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Friday
Dec192014

Culinary Peach Picks: Hugh Acheson 

As my attention turns to Athens, Georgia these next few months as I get ready to produce the next Sweet Spots paper, I can't help but think of local resident, Hugh Acheson. I first met Hugh at his beautiful Athens home the first year I started the Sweet Peach blog. He's gracious, welcoming and kind and can make a kitchen smell divine in no time. That visit embodied all that I love about the South- so I'm smiling ear to ear as he shares his culinary gift picks with Sweet Peach today. Thanks Hugh! 

Kalita Wave 185 and Kalita Serving Vessel, from $38. Awesome, fast brewing, Japanese pour over device. Perfect for one person. 

Georgia Olive Oil, from $32. Incredible south Georgia olive oil that is beautifully fruity and local- at least in my part of the world.

Heritage Cookbook, $24. Sean Brock's book is redefining Southern food. 

Kunz Spoons, from $5. Available at JB Prince, these cooking spoons are just right for basting, turning and tasting. 

Prune Cookbook, $27. The amazing, fun and interesting cookbook of Gabrielle Hamilton.

Coffee Subscription, $135. Heart is a great company. I get their fresh coffee delivered to my house every two weeks. 

Many Fold Cheese. This south of Atlanta dairy operation is producing award-winning, beautiful cheese. 

Ortiz Ventresca, from $15. Best canned tuna ever. A little steep in price for canned tuna, but boy is it worth it. 

Creature Comforts Beer. This new downtown Athens brewery is run by amazing people who produce stunning beer. 

Ice Milk Aprons, from $55. Truly lovely aprons and kitchen linens that embody the 'cooking from scratch' mentality. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom   Hugh Pic: Andrew Thomas Lee 

 

Friday
Dec192014

Culinary Peach Picks: Annette Joseph

When I began this blog three years ago, I didn't realize how much work it would be- how besides writing and curating, I'd at times also be a food and prop stylist. I needed (and still need) a professional like Annette Joseph by my side. For over 20 years, Annette has perfected the art of styling, whether it's tabletop, home decor, cooking or entertaining. Each summer, she leaves the South to hone her culinary skills in a picturesque Italian villa...sigh. Italy is my true love and I was reminded of this every day this past summer as I perused her deliciously good Instagram pics. I'm thrilled that Annette decided to share her top culinary picks for the holiday season with Sweet Peach. Each and every one is perfetto! (especially the last one...) 

Blue Bottle Coffee, $19. This is the real deal- probably one of the best brews this side of the ocean. This Roman Espresso does not disappoint. 

John Derian Mug, $135. I'll take one of these exquisite mugs to enjoy my morning ritual. Please and thank you. 

Brass & Walnut Pour Over Coffee Stand, $189. It's obvious that i'm a coffee snob. Truth- this brass coffee pour stand is divine! 

Nespresso Machine, $99. This item has a regular appearance on my gift giving list. Everyone that loves coffee should have one. I personally own four machines. 

Tagine Style Glass Cloche, $50. I bought one of these cloches in Napa a few years ago. It's a great addition to any cheese platter. 

Flavored Olive Oil Set, $86. From Oliviers and Company, these are the best flavored olive oils. When I summer in Italy, I drive over the border to France just to buy them at the shop in Menton- plus the shop keeper is gorgeous, so that doesn't hurt. Lemon is my personal favorite but try a few flavors. It's a perfect gift. 

Nutribullet, $160. I am totally obsessed with The Nutribullet. I use mine every day. It's great for Juice January, which is something I do every year. 

Rosmarino Ligurian Pesto, $12. The Italian region I live in during the summer has the most heavenly pesto...

Paella Pan, $22. I am smitten with Paella, plus everyone needs a Paella pan. 

Teak Measuring Spoons, $30. Beauty and utility all in one from one of my favorite shops in Savannah. 

Copper Measuring Cups, $28. I love copper touches right now. I am thinking seriously about exposed copper pipes all over our villa in Italy when we renovate. Until those are installed, these copper measuring cups will do.

Artisan Sea Salt, $22. I love the new trend in flavored salt. Obviously, the Espresso is one of my favorites. 

Clipping Scissors, $16. One can always use a good set of clipping scissors, or two or three...

Ticking Cafe Apron, $53. I collect aprons and this one works for both men and women. 

Italy Food and Prop Styling Workshop, $2275. Join me for a once in a lifetime creative, photographic retreat on the Italian Riviera in June of 2015. 

 Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom  

 

Thursday
Dec182014

Peach Picks: Ashley Woodson Bailey 

Ashley Woodson Bailey is having a good year. These past months, her incredible original artwork has caught a wave of devout, drooling fans across the globe. We all suffer from the same thing. We see, we gasp and then we pick a favorite. Living here in the South, I'm currently loving her Southern Magnolia image. And then, at the same time, I'm debating which gorgeous floral clutch to buy in her new bag collection created in collaboration with Very Fine South. So, receiving her holiday gift picks for Sweet Peach is something special and as expected, drool worthy. Enjoy...

Puzzle Heel, $299. These shoes. Oh my. All Gorman shoes are beyond comfy and so stylish. 

Tsalagi Clutch, $125. I've had my eye on this amazing Tsalagi clutch. Laura makes it in the yummiest black leather and I would love to carry it during fun nights out with my husband. 

Vertical Rectangle Vase, $45. I would love to hang this sweet little Copper and Torch vase in my house and fill it with gorgeous flowers. 

Diamond Anchor Necklace, email for pricing. A custom diamond and gold cross from Ivy Diamond Cole would be so dreamy. 

Hudson Dinnerware, $90. Keith makes these in black now and oh my gosh, I am not sure I want anything more. 

This class in Australia, $150. Plus, 2 round trip tickets on Qantas to Sydney so I can take this class and my husband can experience what I just did for himself. 

Citizen Atelier Gift Card, $500. I so want a gift card to Citizen Atelier so I can pick out some art for the house. Alessandra curates the site so well, it would be hard to pick just one piece. 

Katherine Sandoz Art Piece. I am a collector of all beauty made by Katherine Sandoz and this one might be my favorite yet. 

Light Drawings, email for prices. I would love one of Rinne Allen's light drawings to hang in my daughter, Byrd's room. They are breathtaking. 

Frida Vase, $295. I also want this amazing vase by Love Star, an Aussie brand, for my love of flowers and my love of Frida! 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson, Silas Tom.  Ashley photo: Katie Oblinger 

 

Wednesday
Dec172014

Peach Picks: Courtney Hamill

As if Courtney Hamill of Honeycomb Studio wasn't cool enough with her gorgeous ceramic vases, antlers, ornaments, lighting and more that she crafts by hand in her backyard Atlanta studio, I recently found out that she is also a beekeeper. I had the pleasure of receiving a mason jar full of her southern made honey and have used it almost every day. As I sip my morning tea, I'm grateful to Court and her bees for starting off my day with just the right amount of sweetness. So, of course, I asked her to share her gift picks with Sweet Peach once again. (here is last year) Oddly enough, almost every one is honey colored...

Handmade Wreath, $50. One of my favorite floral designers in the city has been sharing some seriously gorgeous, minimalist wreaths and garlands on her Instagram feed this year. I pretty much love everything she comes up with so I would love to deck my halls with her creations. Follow her Instagram feed to learn pricing and availability of all of her latest wreaths and garlands. 

CAMP Workshops (Atlanta), from $175. So this could be a bit of a splurge, but they say that experiences are the best gifts, right? CAMP is an awesome collaboration of some of the most exciting talents in Atlanta's vibrant creative scene who get together a few times a year to offer workshops. 

Bronze Sling Necklace, $30. A new (to me) Instagram discovery, I love everything about this jewelry designer's simple, natural aesthetic. I particularly love her delicate rings but since I've been cursed with fat baby hands that don't lend themselves to elegant stacking rings, I'm going to stick with this awesome necklace. 

Oblong Burlap Tray with Gold Stripe, $90. I know, I know. I'm a ceramic artist so I should just be able to make my own, right? But North Carolinian, Lindsay Emery, has a style that complements mine, yet is all her own. She's a wizard with glazes and on the wheel and while I picked one platter style, anything she makes would be a welcome addition to my home.

Spicy Honey, $14. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am an avid bee keeper and a fan of all things innovative when it comes to honey. I also pretty much grow nothing except habanero peppers in my garden during the summer so honey + spicy is something I'd love to get my hands on (and perhaps try to recreate in the future). 

Skincare Set, $18. This cute little family made the decision to uproot their NYC lives and move down to rural Tennessee in order to pursue their dreams of a goat farm that produced farmstead cheeses and organic skincare products. Their farming model is based on overall health and sustainability, grabbing them the Grand Prize for West Elm's Small Business Grant this year! 

ATL Hat, $50. I'm not a huge hat gal, but a hand-stitched looking, wool ATL hat to rep my city? You had me at hello. 

Holiday Flannel Wood Veneer Sunglasses, $92. I'm always on the lookout for good sunglasses and I love the turquoise details in these one-of-a-kind specs. If you already follow Becca and Doug on Instagram, you know that not only are they angels of mercy for a menagerie of super cute animals, but they work tirelessly hand cutting all of the wood veneer for their glasses. A labor of love...

 

Top Illustration, Rob Wilson of Silas Tom


Tuesday
Dec162014

Peach Picks: Sarah Neuburger

Oh Sarah. She is easily one of my favorite people in my life. Sarah is an illustrator, designer and owner of The Small Object. She illustrates my Sweet Peach Sweet Spots papers and Sweet Peach videos. Sarah is not just a true talent, she's also incredibly kind, generous, funny and adorable and I love to say that she is also my friend. It was a no brainer to ask her to share some of her holiday favorites. And her list does not disappoint...but of course. Thank you Sarah! 

Take Your Time Loving Me Print, $40. I try to hang pieces around the house that remind me of what's important in life. This print ranks right up there. You can't rush a good thing and taking time to love is time well spent. 

Bean and Bailey Pattern Cup, $25. One of my favorite mugs is one that my wife and I bought at the Decatur Arts Festival several years ago. I covet this cup from Anderson Bailey and Jessie Bean of Bean and Bailey in Chattanooga. This is mark making at its finest and dreamiest to me. Yes, please! 

Fontanette Boots by Bed Stu, $260. I tried these boots on locally at Sq/Ft in Decatur and that was that. They are still on my brain and would be the definite splurge of the season. The oxblood color I adore and the side zipper is like someone opening the door for me every time I come home with my arms full of groceries. Such a simple, thoughtful convenience but oh so appreciated. 

Waxed Canvas Polka Dot and Yellow Tote Bag, $160. I feel like I've been looking for the perfect tote bag for ages and this one fits the bill! Amy Nieto runs Little Bright Studio and I originally met her when she was organizing the Mutation Craft Fair in Savannah, GA - before she left the South for Portland. 

Clue Town Books: Atlanta BeltLine, $15. Jay Carlson makes ready-to-solve scavenger hunts for various neighborhoods around Atlanta. The BeltLine is one of the newest and I am so excited to do it! Jay and I shared a vendor booth at the Decatur Book Festival a couple of years back and I can definitely say these clever books are a hit with kids and adults alike. 

The Amazing Wise Tattoo Bundle, $45. Last year, I took a ten day meditation course and the one non-essential item that went with me was Suzanne's 'breathe' tattoo on my wrist. It stayed on during the duration of the course and was a wonderful, gentle reminder. Today, I continue to wear it with the fondest of memories. 

Prisma Earrings, $45. At the Indie Craft Experience last month, I bought the ring to this set and wear it weekly- which says a lot, given I opted for a tattooed wedding ring vs. having to wear the real thing. The ring is so stellar, now I'm wishing for these earrings. 

Cat Face Lapel Pin, $38. I am a cat person. We have three at home and talk about them way too much. (We just had a conversation if one of our cats should be the only image on our holiday card this year.) Given that the cats haven't taken to walking on a leash with much enthusiasm, when they are left at home, I can sport this pin to find my fellow cat lovers. 

Squiggle Studs, $46. These earrings by Annika Kaplan rank high on my list. She was trained at Savannah College of Art and Design so it's a well deserved shout out to Savannah (our home before Atlanta). Annika's earrings are the perfect balance of playful and simple. 

A Donation to PAWS Atlanta. Our first and only dog, Milton was adopted from PAWS this January and our life has been made all the richer. So many of my very dear friends work or have worked at PAWS- plus various friends have come into my life because of this wonderful organization. I am so grateful for this community. This year, Milton requests a gift in his honor. Done, my friend. 

DIY Constellation Quilt, $38. Who doesn't love the constellations? This sew your own quilt is on my to-do list for 2015 and seems perfectly manageable. You can bet it will be sewn with glow in the dark embroidery thread! I could of only dreamed of such choices as a kid. I love taking this size quilt into the car on road trips...

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom

       

Monday
Dec152014

Peach Picks: Danielle Romero

One of my favorite finds when I first started the Sweet Peach blog was the NY to Nashville shop, created by Danielle Romero. Her continuous hunt for vintage and reclaimed fabrics in Tennessee has led to the coolest manly pocket squares. I loved sharing her shop on the blog and she was part of why I started Manly Monday. So - Danielle has a special place in my heart, whether she realizes it or not. I'm thrilled she said yes to sharing her holiday gift ideas. Like her pocket squares, Danielle's picks are of high quality with a classic, timeless style. Thank you Danielle! 

Daniel Boone Buffalo Plaid Pocket Square, $27. My husband used to keep a rag in his pocket for wiping engine oil off his hands or dabbing sweat from his brow when he was woodworking. I made him this flannel pocket square to replace the shop rag because it looks a lot cooler in his back pocket when not called upon to clean up a mess. 

Goo Goo Clusters, $4.29. These chocolates are a Nashville original and a MUST in our stockings every Christmas. 

Sugarlands Distilling Sweet Tea Moonshine, $25. Bottled in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this handsome mason jar boasts a 40 proof southern sweet tea moonshine, blended just the way your grandpa used to make it. 

Handcrafted Waxed Canvas Lunch Tote, $65. I love the brown bag aesthetic with the durability of waxed canvas + leather! Made in Nebraska, so you know it's sturdy. 

Titanium Cutlery Set, $22. Keep these in your car or at your desk for a much better alternative to eating lunch with a plastic fork. 

Huberd's Shoe Oil, $12. This oil is perfect for keeping those boots in working order. Plus, the tin can boasts a fantastic design. 

Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle, $28. Perfect for bringing coffee to work or carrying along on a camping trip, I vote for the classic red bottle. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson, Silas Tom. Danielle Pic: Tyler Sharpe  

 

Saturday
Dec132014

Peach Picks: Bradley Odom

When I have a design quandary in my home, I seek advice from friends, but I tend to listen most to Bradley Odom. Bradley just graduated SCAD, plus he's the Director of Design Education at West Elm. None of that means I would automatically listen to his advice, except when I propose these decor problems, I always like his answers. He makes me see things from a whole new perspective that is at all times creative, technical and solution oriented. So I'm overjoyed that he shared his Holiday Gift Picks with Sweet Peach once again. (click here for 2013) These wonderful picks mimic his great eye and care for smart, beautiful (often luxurious) design. Thank you Bradley! 

Deco Letter Ornaments, $4 each. Holiday decor at West Elm gets better and better every year. My personal favorite for 2014 is a Deco Letter Ornament. Use a few to add sparkle and style to your tree or try tying them to each person's napkin at your next holiday party. 

Shotwell Candy Co. Caramels, from $9.75. These "Old Fashioned" buttery soft caramels are infused with aromatic bitters, Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and orange extract. Whenever I have the pleasure to try one, I need a moment to savor and appreciate because each and every one is slap your mama good. 

R. Nichols Grand Sparkle Candle, $90. I recently brought this candle as a hostess gift to my friends' house in San Francisco. They loved it. The container is just as lovely as the scent, which smells just like a Christmas tree. I defy anyone in its presence to not feel merry and bright... 

Mountain Fresh Grocery Herbes de Provence Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $9.95. This is another no-fail hostess gift. I spend many long weekends in Highlands, North Carolina and each time, I buy a new olive oil flavor from Mountain Fresh Grocery to try. This one is by far my favorite. 

Artifact Uprising Print & Wood Cleat, $59. I love the idea of displaying an important photo in a new and unique way. Goodbye photo frame, hello wood cleat. 

Hudson|Grace Gold Gnome, $195. Red Gnome, $95. My friend, Monelle has the chicest home decor shop in San Francisco. As soon as I spotted these adorable yet sophisticated gnomes on her shelves, I knew they'd make for incredible holiday decor. Plus, they're an original, unsuspecting gift.  

Res Ipsa Wool Loafers, $225. A pair of these gorgeous loafers is a perfect gift for the discerning, fashion forward guy in your life. I've placed them on my wish list this holiday season as they're crafted from vintage hand woven Turkish rugs and finished with a durable leather sole and rubber heel. Perfect with a pair of jeans! 

Sid Mashburn Filson Deerskin Gloves, $88. A friend of mine gave me this pair of gloves several years ago and I'm here to tell you, they will change your life. Made of 100% deerskin, these sumptuous gloves feel amazing, plus they work well dressed up or down. Your choice- just don't leave 'em at home on a cold winter's night.  

Coyuchi Men's Plaid PJ Pants, $58. I'm a sucker for a pair of good PJ bottoms this time of year. I see this attractive plaid pair accompanying me on all my overnight travels this holiday season- including cozying up to the fire on New Year's Eve.

Otis James Navy Herringbone Cashmere Scarf, $225. Herringbone. Cashmere, Navy. Otis James. Need I say more? 

 

Friday
Dec122014

Sweet Peach Picks  

Thursday
Dec112014

Peach Picks: Nan Myers

There's something about the deep South that is a bit more distinctive, wild, beautiful. And Nan Myers, owner of one of my favorite shops, Firefly (of Thomasville, GA), has her pulse on it all. Her holiday Peach Picks this year are particularly good. All are centered on high quality products that are also stylish and wholly southern. I'm in love with each and every one...Thank you Nan! 

Nan: I love the IDEA of entertaining, but for the most part it is not very realistic during the holidays. However, I will embrace it next weekend when I have 10 adults and 8 kiddos coming over for Sunday brunch. I will be using these cloth napkins (from $12 a bundle), some festive owl placemats, $29,  and all of my R. Wood pottery, from $22. I will also cheat a little with heating up some yummy Callie's Biscuits, $40. 

Animal Coat, from $140. Artist, Marty Goodall, a stay at home mother at the time, was frustrated when her two year old son refused to wear the hoods on his coats. Searching for a creative solution, she designed and made the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat to inspire him to put his hood up in the cold. Friends commented, orders were placed and Little Goodall was born. Yes, she does make adult jackets and yes, I got a Fox one for myself.

Message Booklet, $12. Sideshow Press/StitchDesign Group is a daring little letterpress factory and design studio based in Charleston, SC, with an extensive line of clever gift items ranging from all things letterpress to horseshoe cocktail picks. These little pads of 25 calling cards come in a range of sayings. Love You More and A Little Happy are my absolute favorites. 

JJ's Knife Kit, $9.95. Gene Jameson first made his son JJ a wooden pocket knife back in 2008. He quickly realized not only the appeal of a wooden pocket itself, but the process of crafting it. Shortly thereafter, JJ's Knife Kits were born. As a mother of two stinky boys, I can't wait to put these in their stockings. 

L Pax Mary Janes, $42. One of my sweet assistants asked me one day if I would be interested in seeing some shoes that her friend Lauren was making. "Sure" was my response. Well, minutes later Lauren and her baby strolled right in and her first 'real' order was placed and a children's brand was born. If interested, please call the store, as we have a large inventory with multiple choices. Firefly 229.226.6363

Blackberry Patch Syrups, $6.99. These syrups are locally made here in Thomasville, and have only three ingredients- berries, lemon juice and cane sugar. It is truly a simple pleasure, and my cool sister-in-law, Haile Mccollum of Fontaine Maury redid their packaging, so it is visually wonderful too!  

Short Stack Cookbook, $14 each. I am pretty excited about this little series of cookbooks. Each book tackles one ingredient by one expert chef. Yesterday, I attempted poaching my first egg and I was successful. Ian Knauer, author of the first edition, Eggs, gave me the 'pep' talk that I needed. Sweet Potatoes is my next read.

Hand forged Oyster Knife/bottle opener, $40. I love oysters. I love to eat oysters. I love raw oysters. I love steamed oysters. I love fried oysters. Needless to say, I will be roasting oysters this Christmas come hell or high water. To inspire my husband to enjoy this process, I bought him this oyster knife from Carolina Shuckers.

Crap Taxidermy book. $11. I just completed a wedding this fall where the dance tent was covered up in roadkill taxidermy, lovingly collected and scraped by the Bride's mother for over two decades. No, I am not kidding and it was absolutely wonderful. This book just makes me laugh and is accurately named, as it is full of serious 'crap' taxidermy. 

Ceri Hoover bag, from $134. I missed the girl gene that is attracted to fancy designer bags. I just don't get it. So when I find myself attracted to a bag, it's for a very good reason and these bags are Bad Ass. Pardon my French but Ceri Hoover of Nashville is just that and these bags appeal completely to my sensibility. 

Mark Lexton Jewelry, from $55. Mark "Lex" Matthews is a master goldsmith. How many folks can say that? His collections are called Oysters, Fox Mask, Equestrian and Low Country, which automatically draws one in. However, it is the craftsmanship and timeless, classic beauty that hooks you.

John Cleaveland Painting, from $800. Art is deeply personal. It either speaks to you or not. John Cleaveland's oil paintings have always spoken to me and I am happy to be representing his work at Firefly. 

Local Restaurant. I think one of the best gifts is treating someone you love to a local or regional restaurant. Two Georgia restaurants that are on my current radar are the Seabear Oyster Bar in Athens and The Florence in Savannah. I am a huge fan of the wickedly talented (and nicest guy ever), Peter Dale of Seabear. And I can't wait to meet Patrick Stubbers of The Florence, who has an impressive food background, including the infamous Supper Club, The Fourcoursemen. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom    Photos: Respective artists     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Dec102014

Grandmother's Baking Bowls...

When I think of the holidays, I can't help but think of the kitchen and like many of us, our grandmothers. I just spotted this amazing Grandmother's Baking Bowl set over at the Garden and Gun site and wanted to share. They're a smart and beautiful collaboration between Ashley Leckey Schoenith of IceMilk Aprons in Atlanta and Jeanette Zeis of Portland, Oregon (formerly Atlanta). 

These were inspired by the stacks of mismatched bowls grandmother's seem to always have in the cupboard. Made of vintage white porcelain clay with the added lovely touch of a red imprint laurel design, this set is one to be used, kept, cared for and passed on to the next lucky family member. What a great gift- plus Jeanette is happy to personalize the bowls as each is made to oder. Learn more, here.

 

Photos: Margaret Houston; IceMilk Aprons    Content: Sweet Peach