Monday, December 22

My Favorite Things: Karen Carroll

There is nothing like Southern hospitality, and Karen Carroll, Editor and Chief of Southern Accents, not only embodies this classic trait, she capably shares it with millions of devoted readers.

Like most Southerners, I was raised on Southern Living recipes (I've even had a few of my own published) and have read Southern Accents since I married in 1993. Early on it became my secular bible, and now living in Scotland, I delight in the visual reminders of home.

What sets Karen apart from the crowd is her graciousness, professionalism and accessibility. Again and again she elevates the South through the pages of her glorious magazine.

My favorite gift to give this year
We're cutting back for everyone but the children in our family this year, not only because of the economy, but also because we're blessed to have so much already. I'm trying to go "Martha" and make a lot of things--we'll see how that goes! I have a 3 year-old niece who is totally into her princess phase, so she's getting a lot of sparkly Cinderella and Snow White things.

My favorite gift to receive?
Doesn’t matter whether it’s a trinket or something luxurious as long as the giver has put some thought behind picking out something they think I’ll like. And hopefully they’ve wrapped it in beautiful paper and ribbon. Call me superficial, but I can get as excited by packaging as what’s inside!

My favorite way to celebrate the holiday
Always with family. We usually go to my parents or my husband's. This year we're hosting at our house.

My favorite luxury in life?
Time to myself with a glass of wine, a good book and a bath.

My favorite current book
I always have several books going at once on my bedside table. I’m currently reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman, Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, and One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell.

I can’t say that any of them would qualify as a favorite book, but I have to confess that I keep reaching for Candace’s. Frankly with all the stress going on in the world, it’s just easier to fall asleep reading something that is pure fluff.

My favorite holiday song
I love holiday music and must have over 100 Christmas cds. "We Need a Little Christmas," by Johnny Mathis (from one of my favorite movies, Auntie Mame) and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," by Andy Wiliams are two of my traditional favorites. And I'm currently obsessed with the Flo Rida and Trey Songz remix of Jingle Bells on

My favorite party clothes
Sounds boring, but I usually go with something black. But always with great shoes.

My favorite cookie?
My mother's sugar cookies with royal icing--I've never tasted better. And I also love macarons from Laduree in Paris or Sucre in New Orleans.

My favorite city?
Venice. To me it's the most magical city on earth.

My favorite place to shop
Takashimaya in New York and William Yeoward in London. I also loved Charlotte Moss' townhouse in New York. I'm still mourning its closing.

My favorite movie to watch again and again?
The BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It's 5 hours long, so it's impossible to do in one sitting, but I'll never tire of the Regency interiors or the complicated courtship between Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet!


Anonymous said...

What a darling photo!

Style Court said...

Loved seeing the childhood picture of Karen! So glad to hear she also has so much holiday music -- makes me feel less silly.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Pigtown*Design said...

I am with Karen 100% on her choices, especially Takashimaya and Wm. Yeoward!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

She sounds super lovely. And do know that among bloggers, I always think of you as one of the most gracious:)

ALL THE BEST said...

Awwww Maryam, that is so kind of you to say...thank you!

ALL THE BEST said...

I'm with you Amiee, that photo is so cute!!

ALL THE BEST said...

I know Courtney, I thought I was the only one with a ridiculous number of Christmas CDs!

ALL THE BEST said...

You are so right Meg...Takashimaya and Wm. Yeoward are the best!

annechovie said...

I loved this post on Karen. She is truly one of THE nicest, most talented ladies in the design/publishing industry. The photo is adorable as well!