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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


Tuesday
Dec092014

Peach Picks: Jeanée Ledoux

Jeanée Ledoux has a great eye. She curates her online shop, Finely Crafted, to perfection. She's inspired by color, mid-century design, clean lines, original points of view- plus, an artist herself, she has collaborated with a handful of her favorite artists around the globe to create stunning, unique home decor pieces. So of course I asked Jeanée to share her gift picks with Sweet Peach. And as expected, they did not disappoint. Thank you so much for the fab gift list Jeanée. Enjoy...

Mexican chocolate sugar by Beautiful Briny Sea, $16. This sugar blend brings chocolatey heat to braised meats as well as French toast. Now that's an intriguing condiment! 

Gem salt bowls by Bean & Bailey Ceramics, $10 each. These versatile pocelain bowls can gather wee things on a stovetop, bedside table or desk. I adore the pale storm and sherbet glazes mixed up in Chattanooga. 

Bag of homemade caramels by Tiny Buffalo, from $8.25. Sugar and butter and salt. Enough said! 

Walnut flash drive by Son of a Sailor, $36. I seem to have about 537 graphic designers on my list, so I'm on the lookout for stylish gadgetry. 

State letterpress print by Paper Parasol Press, $26. I'm head over heels for the mid-century inspired illustration style of Cindy Tomczyk. She's made a letterpress homage to 39 states, so that covers nearly everyone on your gift list, eh? 

Range ring in gold by Is Was & Will Be, $34 each. I love the delicate simplicity of my friend, Telle Lefler's brass rings, hammered into one of a kind mountain silhouettes. 

Minimalist porcelain Christmas Trees by Honeycomb Studio, $191. Give modern porcelain decor to a loved one who decks out the mantel or credenza instead of a tree. (Like me! Will someone please give me this cluster?!)

Horizon card set of 5 by Native Bear, from $6. Native Bear epitomizes a tribal, modern style that's timeless, not trendy. Speaking of timeless, these block printed notes are useful year round. I can never keep enough cards in my desk. 

Fabric calendar by Jennifer Lesley, $18. I was super impressed by rookie pattern designer, Jennifer Lesley at the holiday Indie Craft Experience. I bought two of these wall hangings without particular friends in mind because they're good staples for the 'present closet.'

Watercolor iPhone case by Britt Bass, $10. This fledgling Atlanta artist is rocketing toward fame, so invest in her original abstract paintings now, and buy her patterned gifts for friends! 

Traveler mug in natural by Go Forth Goods, $25. A few men in my life will find Nathan Ross Martin's leather mugs under the tree. They're beautifully made and practical, plus I admire that he gives 10% of his profits to charity. 

Succulent poster by Finely Crafted and Leah Duncan, $45. I must be a Christmas cactus in another life because I deeply relate to succulents. For other planty people, my friend Leah Duncan and I collaborated on this print series that's a playful take on old botanical drawings. 

 

Top illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom  Pics from respective artists    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Dec082014

Billy Reid, warm and cozy


If you walk into a Billy Reid store this month for some holiday shopping, you'll most certainly catch a manly, enticing scent in the air. That's thanks to their first candle collaboration with Lafco. As a bit of a fanatic, I can safely say this candle, a mix of cedar, fern and amber scents, is my new favorite. 

On my last visit, I was also happy to see Billy reveal his first pocket square designs. For some reason, pocket squares are my weakness- I smile wide whenever they're in my sight. Such delicious, manly fun... 

For this premiere collection, you'll find 18 designs. The pocket squares are made in Italy and are 100% wool. Perhaps I'm a bit biased in my obsession, but I think every guy needs a stylish pocket square. It's a great gift for the holiday...

As the cold begins to descend on the South, a warm and cozy scarf is another must. Find over a dozen designs to choose from- all scrumptiously soft and beautiful. Happy shopping...

 

Photos: Billy Reid; Lafco      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Dec052014

Peach Picks: Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver has good style. Impeccable style, actually. So I was thrilled that he decided to share his holiday picks with Sweet Peach for a second year in a row. At Andover Trask, Matt is known for his timeless, classic bag designs and I can't help but gush over each and every one. My new favorite, Knox, is featured here. I want, I want, I want... just like everything else on his list. Enjoy!

1. Bulleit Kentucky Bourbon, from $24.   2. Bittermilk Old Fashioned Mix, $15.    
3. Radio Roasters Coffee, from $12   4. Classic Copper Cups, $90.   5. A Great Bottle Opener, from $10.   6. Catherine Jones Artwork, from $100.   7. Apothecary Bottles from Honeycomb Studio, from $13.99   8. Preserving Place Sweet Onion Confit, $15.   9. Peppermint Bark from Olive & Sinclair, $16.99   10. Pamplemousee and Bois Candle from Townhouse (425 Peachtree Hills Ave, Suite 32, Atlanta  
11. Knox Bag from Andover Trask, $195. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson, Silas Tom. Pics from respective artists    Content: Sweet Peach/ Matt Weaver 


Thursday
Dec042014

DIY Holiday Gift: Organic Body Butter

I tend to be a DIY gifter for the holidays. Not all my gifts, but some...because it's fun and original. My friend, Tiffany, who lives up in Asheville, made me some organic body butter earlier this year and it's honestly my favorite gift. I love it. So we got together last month to make some more for the blog. This recipe makes enough for 3-4 mason jars or over a half dozen half and quarter jars. Perfect for the holidays...

To start, you'll need 3 cups organic raw shea butter (solid) 1 1/2 cups organic coconut oil (solid) and 1 1/2 cups organic almond oil (liquid). 

Then lastly, your favorite essential oils. Choose ones depending on your needs. Like lavender to calm and soothe, bergamot for a mood lifter, eucalyptus for an immune boost and then there are all those combinations you can create. It's a bit endless, just make sure the oils you choose are skin friendly.

First, melt the shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double broiler. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Next, stir in almond oil and your favorite essential oils. (start with about 20-30 drops and increase as needed)

Tiffany and I favored Tranquility by Aura Cacia. It's a combination of lavender, balsam fir needle, patchouli, palmarosa, geranium and Roman chamomile. It smells divine and is designed to relax the body and quiet the mind. 

After you add the essential oil, place the entire oil mixture in freezer or outside to chill. Wait until the oil starts to partially solidify, then whip until it's a butter-like consistency. Be sure not to overmix- just keep checking for that right consistency, as seen here in bottom right. 

Lastly pour into clean jars, label and decorate as you desire. Easy peasy. It's important to care about what you put on your skin and when you make this concoction by hand, with simple, high quality ingredients, you can't help but feel like you've done a really good thing. It's the perfect gift to give...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; Aura Cacia     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Dec032014

Peach Picks: Libbie Summers 

From the moment I met Libbie Summers at last year's Southern C conference in Charleston, I was an instant fan. I just love her infectious energy and adorable, lively style. Her gorgeous food blog, Salted & Styled, which she created with Chia Chong, was voted best food blog of 2013 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I have (and love) her cookbook, Sweet and Vicious. If you haven't checked out her playful, pretty culinary videos, it's well worth a few minutes of your day. It'll make your day actually- much like Libbie saying yes to sharing her favorite gift picks with Sweet Peach. Somebody pinch me. Enjoy...

1. WOOL FELT PENNANTS, $26. I love these adorable pennants from artist, Jessica Duthu. They are perfect for a kid's room, or if you're like me, you just have one hanging from your lamp on your desk so you'll always know when to ROAR!

2. LEOCI'S RASPBERRY JALAPENO JAM, $12. If I'm giving you a packaged food suggestion, you have to know it's better than great! This Raspberry Jalapeno Jam from the award-winning chef, Roberto Leoci is just that great. I always have a jar in my refrigerator...always. You should too. 

3. BIRD DOG ZIPPER TOTE, $158. I'm OBSESSED with this Bird Dog Tote from Hayden Reis! Not just because I have a bird dog with an attitude, but also because the bag is so durable, chic and has a shit ton of pockets inside to keep me organized. 

4. KATHERINE SANDOZ PAINTING, from $500. Artwork is an intimidating thing to purchase for someone, UNLESS it's a piece by artist, Katherine Sandoz. I've never met a person who doesn't swoon when they're staring at a piece of Katherine's work. I'm blessed to have a piece of hers in my home that I get to smile at every day. How can you put a price on that kind of joy? 

5. BROOKE ATWOOD LEATHER CAMERA STRAP, $145. Really, who doesn't think they are a photographer now? This kick-ass leather studded camera strap from the talented Brooke Atwood is exactly what every fashion blogger needs!!

6. ASHLEY WOODSON BAILEY/ VERY FINE SOUTH CLUTH, $350. 'Every flower has a story.' That's artist/designer Ashley Woodson Bailey's line. I just love that Ashley's flowers will make the look I choose to wear even more fantastic with one of these clutches in my hand! 

7. TAPER CANDLES, $37.50. Hot Pink taper candles for my dining room table? YES PLEASE!!!!

8. LOVELANE'S SHEAR-LING BOMBER HAT, $40. I pretty much love everything that artist, Lane Huerta touches. I've even used her children's capes and hats to hang on the doors at a NYC party for some heavy hitting journalists to get the conversation going. These shear-ling bomber hats are beyond! Trust me when I tell you that a small headed adult can even wear them! 

9. SWEET AND VICIOUS FRINGE CUFF, $52. I am BEYOND excited about these butter soft metallic pink leather Sweet and Vicious Fringe Cuffs! Perfect with a chambray shirt or a sweet cream cashmere sweater. For the coolest chick on your list! 

10. CERAKKO FARM FRESH CANDLE, $22. I'm weird about candle scents. I don't want to smell apple pie unless an actual apple pie is in the oven, or magnolias blooming unless magnolias are actually blooming in my yard. This Farm Fresh candle from Cerakko Farm is simple- fresh and clean with a little gritty undertone. When I smell it burning, it reminds me of my grandmother Lula Mae's farm in Missouri...minus the pig smell. 

11. EMILY McCARTHY GIFTS TAGS, from $8.50. Coastal living designer and influencer, Emily McCarthy is a breath of fresh air! I love her modern takes on Southern traditions with big pops of color and prints. Her gift tags are a great gift to anyone before the holidays or after. She will personalize them with a hand done monogram too! 

12. MEREDITH ANNE SUTTON 12 GAUGE BUCKLE, $200. A handcrafted 12 Gauge buckle from metal artist, Meredith Sutton will win you extra brownie points from the men in your life...trust me, I've experienced it. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson, Silas Tom. Pics from respective artists    Content: Sweet Peach/ Libbie Summers


Tuesday
Dec022014

Himalayan for the Holidays...

Julia Leaphart is a visionary. She was one of the first to sell candles in unorthodox, reusable containers. Half English and half Indian, Julia has traveled much of her life and is always drawn back to India to find original materials. This year, she relied on local Indian artisans to etch pretty designs on galvanized iron pots.

I'm particularly attracted to her hand painted tins which take inspiration from henna designs. Both the tins and pots come in small and large sizes offered in over a dozen scrumptious scents- like Campfire, Patchouli Ginger, Jasmine and Amber. 

Julia has slowly grown her HImalayan Trading candle company, based in Decatur, GA, to a nationwide force. She continually updates her containers and scents so you never quite know what to expect. Just expect to love them...

My personal favorite this holiday season is the Mistletoe candle - offered in a variety of containers as it's widely popular this time of year. It's a wonderful fragrant candle, making your whole house smell like Christmas. (good hostess gift too) 

I'm always impressed by the unique vessels and scents available online and also- if you're in or near Atlanta, the factory and shop. Julia has a small store open to the public with a wide range of candles to choose from, both new and old. Plus, most are discounted...I'll be stopping by there today actually. 

And if you're in this part of town this coming Friday and Saturday, (Dec 5/6) check out Julia's Holiday Open House from 10am-5pm each day. Perfect spot for checking gifts off your list...

 

Photos: Himalayan Trading Co.     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Dec012014

Helm Boots

Quality craftsmanship is always appealing- and readily apparent inside the Helm retail shop on the east side of Austin, Texas. 

At the core of Helm is their specialty creation... boots. All their boots are made in the USA with high quality materials like soft, durable leather and are designed with clean, classic lines. Each pair includes a signature white midsole and are built to be used and abused, for the working man...

Joshua Bingaman is the man behind the brand. An adventurous soul, Joshua cares deeply about creating quality shoes that stand the test of time - shoes that will get us from one place to the next with reliability and swagger, during our own personal adventures around town or across the globe. 

The Helm retail shop looks like an incredible place to visit. Opened in 2013, the shop includes their current selection of boots and a plethora of accesssories for both sexes that are carefully curated, of high quality and made in the USA. Quality, attractive craftsmanship appears to be the mantra. Gotta like that...

 

Photos: Helm Boots; Michael A Muller;  Content: Sweet Peach