Sweet Things Giveaway!!

To celebrate the release of our 2nd Sweet Peach Sweet Spots, Emily Mann of Eclectica Kiddo curated a collection of fabulous goodies for a Holiday Giveaway! This giveaway (beautifully illustrated by Emily) includes: 1. Himalayan Trading terracotta candle;  2. Elephant art print by Justine Rubin (donated by Eclectica Kiddo);  3. Fig and Flower Gift Certificate for $25;  4. Ocean Rock Design whale pillow made from vintage quilts  5. Tree in a Can candle and Kraft paper Pinecone Placemats from Firefly;  6. Spodee Wine in original red and original white;  7. Blabla Sandwich the Cat mini doll  8. Five pack of assorted butter from Banner Butter. 


Checking in with Jack Rudy...


It's fun to check in on some of my favorite artists to see what they're up to. Turns out Brooks Reitz of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. is up to a lot. Besides partnering in a couple of restaurants in Charleston, he's expanded his line of cool, quality bar ingredients. I love everything about bourbon and cocktail cherries, I can't wait to try these...

Elderberries grow wild in Brooks' native Kentucky so it was an easy decision to add this popular Elderflower Tonic to his lineup. This mixes beautifully with tequila, bourbon, rum and gin. Brooks also worked with Cocktail Punk in Boulder, Colorado to concoct a highly versatile aromatic bitters with layers of citrus and winter spices. 

And then there's the Bartender's Roll. Brooks worked with two talented barmen to assess their needs - Paul Calvert of Paper Plane and Eric Foster of Cask & Larder. As Brooks shared, "We pulled their wants and needs together into one bag, something that offered flexible storage for a number of tools, small and large and provided a stress free catch all for a traveling, working bartender." 

And then of course, the talented folks at Makr in Winter Park, Florida did the rest in crafting a smart, well constructed roll-up. Any of these Jack Rudy products make excellent holiday gifts. See the entire shop, here.


Photos: Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.     Content: Sweet Peach


Eternal Sunshine

It's Friday and time for a cocktail. I'm currently in Mexico City with friends and have sunshine on my mind so I thought I'd share this tasty drink I shot earlier in the year, named Eternal Sunshine. Made with Cathead Vodka, it was expertly crafted by Aron Faubel of Sweet Auburn BBQ. This drink will make a nice addition to any happy hour today. Plus, it'll warm you up. Enjoy...




Short Stack Cookbooks

I don't bake as much as I'd like but one thing that always inspires me is a great cookbook. These pint size beauties were born last summer as a result of a savvy Kickstarter Project by Nick Fauchald.  

Starting with three titles, Nick was able to secure all the necessary funds, (and thensome) through Kickstarter. His idea for Short Stack is that each book is inspired by a single ingredient and written by a single author. They are, as their name suggests, short. Each edition is about 50 pages long and full of various ways to cook, bake and prepare that featured food item. 

The Short Stack cookbooks have quickly garnered a large fan base and in just over a year, Nick has expanded his line to include a dozen different titles. These three are all written by southern chefs- Angie Mosier writes about Buttermilk, Virginia Willis shares her love of Grits, and for the newest edition, Libbie Summers executes the most scrumptious dishes with Brown Sugar. 

And the best part is Angie, Virginia and Libbie will be on hand to demonstrate recipes from their Short Stack cookbooks this Saturday, November 22 at the Preserving Place in Atlanta. Sadly, I'll be out of town but if I could, I'd be there early, in the front row, eager to meet and mingle and taste and admire... If you're in this part of town, I hope you can make it. (They'd make amazing holiday gifts too) Just click here to learn more. 




Fig & Flower

Sara Lamond believes in organic beauty. It's something she cares passionately about- head to toe, inside and out..

To better understand where she is now, it was important for Sara to share her story. As a recovering alcoholic, she spent years of her life caring little of what she did to her body- from smoking cigarettes, to what she ate or drank. She had still managed to graduate law school, pass the bar and begin to chase her dream of money and power. Then, her world flipped upside down- the other way. She fell in love, got sober, left a high end career in law and started to care about other things...

Good food and wellness were now her top priorities. When her cloud begin to lift, she focused back on her career and asked herself, "What can I research ad nauseum and not get sick of?" First it was local, organic foods, then after talking to her friend, Blair Wagoner, discussion turned to organic beauty and skincare. 

Together, they realized Atlanta didn't have a store devoted specifically to natural beauty and decided to delve in, feet first. Once the business was up and running, Blair returned to her work in diabetes prevention and Sara took over as sole owner of the business.  

At her shop, Fig and Flower, Sarah sells her favorite hand picked products that are nourishing for the body's largest organ. You won't find aluminum, silicones, parabins or formeldehyde inside any of her goods.  

Sara relies on her own strict standards to determine which products she'll carry and promote. For her, there are two important aspects to ensure- Cleanliness of Ingredients and Quality of Performance. 

Sara, "Almost no ingredients are regulated when it comes to personal beauty products. There are only 8 in the US. But people are learning that these synthetic ingredients are adding up. The skin care, body wash, lotion that we use every day, year after year, increases our exposure to these harmful ingredients. They are finding these same chemicals showing up in breast cancer, ADHD and other illnesses." The message is clear, we need to care what we put on our skin. 

Inside Fig and Flower, you'll find only high quality products made with health and wellness in mind- from makeup, skincare and cleaning products to quality goods for mom and babe.  

My favorite product line that Sara carries is HollyBeth Organics, as her skincare is the only USDA certified skincare line in Georgia. I've watched HollyBeth concoct all her products by hand in her Atlanta studio and as a repeat, devout user, I'm an enthusiastic fan. 

Other local southern lines include Dia Flora (started by a breast cancer survivor in Atlanta), Sally Bee's of Atlanta (another cancer survivor), One Love from St. Simon's, Georgia and Deep Steep from John's Island, South Carolina.

I love all the makeup too, which is the central focus to the shop. Sara's most popular products include 100% Pure Mascara, RMS un cover-up and the RMS Living Luminizer.

My personal favorite product, which I discovered here this summer, is Lip2Cheek by RMS. It's the perfect makeup toucher-upper. For some reason, whenever I put blush on, it fades so quickly. This gives me an instant healthy blush and I can touch up my lips at the same time. I'm a tad obsessed with this one...

As a former law student, Sara still loves to hit the books, constantly researching and refiinng. Her two bibles are The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen.

As curious shoppers come in and out of her doors each day, her biggest advice is to not be afraid of oils. Sara, "A lot of people have really oily skin or really dry skin. Oils work exceptionally well for both issues. They are pure, active, plant based ingredients and are so good for balancing our skin."

Sara thought some more on what advice she'd give to others, then added, "Be less afraid." I love that. She's the walking emobodiment of that mantra. Do you (and your body) a favor and go visit Fig & Flower in Atlanta or online. 


Photos: Sweet Peach; RMS;; One Love Organics; Acure     Content: Sweet Peach


Local Produce Design

Most people could use more pillows in their life. I'm certainly a candidate, which is why I'm a fan of mother and daughter team Erin and Janelle Charles. Through their online shop, Local Produce, based in Atlanta, they craft pretty pillows and textiles - the kind that make you want to order about a dozen or so...

Erin, "We want to help you create a space that is aesthetically pleasing but is also comfortable and inviting; a place where you can entertain and make others feel at home." Their blue geometric pillow is one of my favorites...

Erin and Jennell's best sellers are the Stag pillow and the Thomas Paul Tree pillow. Sizes offered are 20x20, 14x18 and 12x18. 

A herringbone wool blanket is hard not to love- especially this black and white one lined with black camel hair. As shared on their site, "It is heaven. It is soft and luxurious and rich." 

Their second blanket option combines a mixed green wool with an army green camel hair. As today is a particularly cold day in the South, I really could use one of these classy, cozy throws right about now... 

In their shop, you'll find a mix of classic, print and geometric pillows- and even some leather ones too. Erin, "We love meshing unexpected prints and textiles together to create something truly unique." 

Look for some Christmas stockings in their shop soon too. You can buy them as is or as always, request any pillow, blanket or stocking to be made with your favorite fabrics and textures. Check out the entirety of their shop to add more pretty pillows and textiles to your life, here.


Photos: Local Produce Design      Content: Sweet Peach



Sweet Spots Winter 2014 

I'm thrilled to announce the 2nd Sweet Peach Sweet Spots paper is complete! Over the next couple weeks, you'll be able to find them at the Sweet Spots featured in the paper or as always, you can peruse the entire paper online, here. 

This edition is twice the size of the Summer Edition. It includes 100 Sweet Spots covering the intown Atlanta neighborhoods, then east to Decatur. The paper is illustrated to perfection by Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object. My close friends Vanessa Dina and Bob Conquest were on hand to handle design layout and direction. 

This edition celebrates the winter holidays. Many of the tidbits include gift ideas and inside you'll find a full page featuring my personal Peach Picks for the Holiday. Hope you get a chance to check it out. I'm going to take a much needed few days rest, then on to Sweet Peach Sweet Spots, Athens, to be curated by Rinne Allen, Kristen Bach, Rebecca Wood and myself. Look for it in the new year...




Adopt Me

Meet Margot. She's a sweet little pup in need of a home. Through my friend Monica, (who last fostered Petunia) I found Margot. She hails from Augusta, Georgia and came to Ruffus Rescue in Atlanta after she had a litter of pups. She needs a home, so I decided to take her picture- but first I put her in the first ever Sweet Peach hat (made by the fabulously talented Bernadette of Sweethoots in Maryland) If you adopt Margot, Bernadette is donating the hat great is that?  

Monica and her husband Chris have been fostering Margot for a few weeks now. As Monica shared with me, "Margot will bring a ray of sunshine into your heart. She is so full of joy and love and she believes that everyone (whether human, canine or feline) is her very best friend. If you look in her direction, her whole body wiggles." 

Margot is about a year old and is now spayed and ready for her own home. When I met her for the photo shoot, she really was so sweet, loving and easy going. As Monica said, "This is truly a happy dog, she even smiles when she sleeps." 

Contact Harriett at Ruffus Rescue to see how you can adopt Margot- and if not her, there are so many adorable pups to choose from. Like Suzi, Monty, Annabelle, Simon, Rosie and Billy. And that's just at one rescue organization- there are thousands of them in every state. As the holiday season approaches, I'm hoping more animals can find a permanent place to call home. A big hug and thank you to Monica, Chris, Harriett and Bernadette...and to whoever adopts Miss Margot. She's a keeper. 



The Carry On Cocktail Kit

Sometimes you stumble upon a product that reads 'brilliant' the moment you lay eyes on it. Such is the case of the Carry On Cocktail Kit. As someone who travels a lot, I'm a fan, a big fan. 

Eric Prum and Josh Williams from W & P Design (the Mason Shaker boys) collaborated with the folks over at Punch to help all of us have better drink options high in the sky. And when you think about it, what took so long? As airlines stay way behind the curve, it's creators like Josh, Eric and the guys at Punch who help shake things up and fill a void. It's refreshing to say the least. 

The Carry on Cocktail Kit includes six items to help you craft two old fashioned cocktails at 30,000 feet. Just order a mini bourbon, then use the bar spoon and muddler to mix in the sugar and bitters. Next, relax. Watch a movie or the clouds pass on by. Or just close your eyes and smile...cuz flying just got a whole lot better. 

Eric emailed me yesterday to let me know they're crafting new carry on recipes as we speak. With four flights coming up in my near future, this is very good news. I'd like to place an order for a Bufala Negra please...


Photos: W & P Design      Content: Sweet Peach


Half Light Honey

The imperfections are always the best part. Ceramic artist, Samantha Carter of Brasstown, North Carolina agrees. Her pottery is functional, well designed and uniquely her own. As Samantha shares, "The asymmetrical compositions and organic shapes are small reminders of the hand that made the work." 

Samantha began working with clay at Florida State University. She soon found a love for functional ceramics and played with styles before she found her signature one. She is known for her black and white handcrafted design of table and hanging planters but she continues to expand her wares to include bowls, plates and jewelry. 

Samantha, "I make pottery that is useful with aesthetics and design always in mind. As a lover of drawing first and foremost, I try to incorporate the hand drawn line into most of my work via the technique of sgraffito, in which painted clay is carved into while still wet, revealing the natural clay color beneath." 

Samantha loves the contrast of working in black and white and I personally love her various versions of it, each so different from the next. Peruse her online shop, Half Light Honey to see her continue to play with texture, color, shape and design. All the while, never forgetting to embrace the imperfections...  


Photos: Half Light Honey       Content: Sweet Peach