driveway
Howard Design Studio

Mom and I have both always loved infomercials. I know. They’re worse than reality TV. But it’s not like you set out to watch an infomercial. It’s something that just sort of happens. Not so much anymore, but, back in the days before DVR and OnDemand, we’d be up late, and one would just come on. And then we’d get sucked in, and, before we knew it, we were pulling out our credit card  (Well, Mom’s credit card. I was a child.) and ordering Yoga Booty Ballet because the next fifty callers got a free set of resistance bands.

dining
Suzanne Kasler via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

We already had three sets of resistance bands, but it’s something in that guy’s voice and all those women who went from a size 14 to a size 2 in three weeks and their asthma went away and they met the love of their life and won the lottery… 

dining
Suzanne Kasler via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

So we ordered Yoga Booty Ballet. And Billy Blank’s Tae Bo. And this cool thing you used to sort cans in the fridge. And something I can’t remember the name of that involved step aerobics. (Mom is really good at step aerobics. She was a preschool mom in the early 90’s so, you know…)

pea gravel robert coultier connecticu c &G
Robert Couturier  via CTC&G

But there was this one infomercial I always used to see that intrigued me. It was for these detoxifying foot pads. You’d put them on when you slept and they would pull all the toxins and heavy metals out of your body and when you woke up the foot pads were black with all of the gross stuff pulled out of your body!

pebbes
CTC&G

Now, Mom still has a Tony Little Gazelle in the garage, but she made fun of me for thinking these things would work. So I never got them. 

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Lissy Parker

Highlands Mountains in Bloom Garden Tour via Lissy Parker

Yesterday, I was in TJ Maxx trying to be patient while Will examined two dozen lunch boxes when I saw them. Those foot pads! And they were $4.99, so I bought them, despite the lack of a free set if I ordered in the next eight minutes. And I woke up this morning and they were black just like on the infomercial, and I am quite sure that my insides are squeaky clean and toxin and heavy metal free just like that happy girl on TV all those years ago!

boxwoods
CCT&G

So, sure, yeah, it’s probably just some sort of reaction with the heat in my body that turns that little pad black. But it makes you feel so accomplished. I mean, for every win–like the foot pad and Billy Blanks–there’s a thigh master and a can sorter that cans don’t actually fit in. But that’s half the fun. And this is why we love infomercials. 

gardens
Patrick Ahearn Architect

Something we love that’s a little less risky? Pea gravel.

porch
Architectural Digest

We installed it in our backyard in Beaufort, and it has been a miracle for controlling moisture and keeping those pesky mosquitoes away.

garden
Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Plus, it’s so pretty, which, frankly, was our initial appeal. The lack of Zika was just a happy side effect.

pool
CTC&G

So, no, it’s not great for heels. But in flats or flip flops, gravel makes the most satisfying crunch underneath your feet.

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Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

And it’s such a beautiful juxtaposition with surrounding grass.

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CTC&G

So, no, you probably won’t get a free gift with purchase with your pea gravel. But, on the very bright side, it’s also probably not going to end up unused in your garage. Speaking of, I’m off to unearth those Yoga Booty Ballet DVDs I haven’t seen since college. They were great. And I’m having the strangest urge to hunt down this Fluidity Barre system that I used to see all the time… Although, it’s way less fun to order informercial products now that I have to use my own credit card!

Wishing you a wonderful day, chic friends!


If you might be interested in having the Slightly South of Simple book tour come to your house (or town!) next April or May don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] for more information!


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