TODAY show y'all!

How much fun was the TODAY Show!!! It was such a treat for this Farmer to talk to Kathie Lee and Hoda about a Southern-style holiday table! From mixing and matching dinnerware, linens, flatware and stemware to the décor of the tablescape itself, each and every part was memorable.
JTF, HK, and KLG chummin' it up at Studio 1A

With help from my friends at Southern Living and their great collection of tabletop items from Dillards, I was able to create a tablescape with true Southern flair. First off, a trio of cake stands served as the main centerpieces that dotted down the center of the rustic wood farm table. For the center stand, I chose the classic Southern Living white cake that is proudly featured on the December cover each and every year. For a nod to Fall, I used ribbons of orange peels, pecans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds that all paired nicely with the red fondant ribbon on the cake.

Serving as sentries on either side of the cake were stacks of clove studded oranges – which just may be one of my favorite scents! The pomanders look great in the Fall and on through the holidays and even into wintertime. With citrus coming in this time of year from Georgia’s southerly neighbor, Florida, citrus has always found its way onto Southern tables and into our recipes too. Apples, oranges and handfuls of pecans were scattered in between the cake stands – all anchored with a burlap runner – so Southern chic if y’all will!
Full array of Flower, Fruit, and Foliage -- 3 F's for strait A tabletop

Mason jars are a stemware staple and glassware must in the South. If we are not using them to drink our sweet tea from, then they might as well be holding some flowers! Orange roses in varying hues and sizes and white hydrangeas were casually arranged and placed amidst the cake stand trio – giving a floral note to the table. Flowers don’t always have to be the centerpiece proper, but they sure do make a table ever so lovely!

Magnolia leaves arranged as chargers brought the garden to the table – literally! If y’all have never traveled with magnolia leaves from Perry to NYC, then rest assured that they travel beautifully in Ziplock bags with some dampened paper towels. Ha! I love white dinnerware for its neutral aptitude throughout the seasons. Here, a stack of white dinner plates and salad plates are layered with the napkins – another classic white shade but monogrammed appropriately for a Southern table and in a seasonal shade. As I told Hoda and Kathie Lee, “If it sits still in the South, we monogram it!” I love the “fishtail” style monogram for myself, for it is fancy enough to be a monogram but not too frilly for a gentleman Farmer.

And, y’all, the table isn’t the only part that got all gussied up for this appearance – yours truly knew just where to shop for this segment! Being a tall drink of water, I sometimes have a hard time finding shirts that don’t “Gus Gus” on me – you know, roll up over my tummy when I raise my arms like Gus the mouse on Disney’s “Cinderella.” Thankfully, Mr. Doyle Johnson at A.D. Mathis in Gainesville, Georgia, has tailored and custom made shirts for me for so long. The larger scaled gingham shirt is plenty long to prevent and “Gus Gus” type of wardrobe malfunction and, of course, sports my monogram on the cuffs.

My friends at Onward Reserve in Atlanta suited me up the handsome Barbour vest and Bird Dog Bay tie, jeans and Luchesse boots too! I love a one-stop shop like Onward Reserve – they know how to dress the gent for any occasion! Hoda even complemented my boots, so I know she has good taste too! Ha!

After wrapping the segment, I scooted off to lunch with my fellow Southern Living Editor-at-Large Jenna Bush Hager to grab a bite at Todd English’s “Food Hall” at The Plaza. We gabbed and laughed and simply caught up with one another, ate a delicious lunch and even made sweet tea – add simple syrup from the bar to your iced tea and voila! From lunch, I had to zip on to the airport and catch a plane to Dallas. A fun trip – a quick trip – but still so much fun nonetheless. I could not have done this segment or anything I do without Team Farmer keeping me in the saddle and on track. Stacey Byrd – I had to twist her arm – my PR gal flew up ahead of me and prepped and gathered everything just in time for our rehearsal at Studio 1A. I cannot thank her and my team enough for all they do!
JTF and JBH teachin' folks at The Plaza how to make sweet tea
Team Farmer #orangeroomselfie

So, y’all enjoy some of these snapshots from the day and know that it is such an honor for Southern Living to have me on board and a privilege to share some Southern style with our friends in NYC. Happy Holidays y’all!

Just in case y'all missed it!