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Friday
Dec112015

Holiday Peach Picks: Hugh Acheson

This past summer, I produced my first Sweet Spots paper for Athens, Georgia. I was thrilled to have Hugh Acheson be one of the first to buy an ad for it and I have to say, he's always been the kind of great guy we see on TV. I've appreciated his support and am a huge fan of his recently released cookbook, The Broad Fork- which by the way, just got listed as the best cookbook of the year by Epicurious (great gift idea). As an added plus, Hugh is an avid traveler and stylish dresser, which makes him fun to follow on Instagram. It's just another way to let this fun and talented, guy-next-door chef into our lives. He's a good man- and I'm as happy as can be to share his stellar Peach Picks on Sweet Peach this holiday season. Thank you Hugh! 

1. Phil and Sebastian Coffee, from $18.50. Phil and Sebastian is a phenomenal coffee roaster in my native Canada, based in Calgary, Alberta. Brilliant packaging but even better sourcing and skilled roasting of the beans. It's also sold at Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta. Save on that shpping $$$!

2. Vintage Cast Iron Pan. Some great cast iron is available on Etsy and Ebay. Look for Griswold brand. And if you find a well seasoned cast-iron (I mean seasoned like you can see your face in it), don't think, just buy. You will never regret it. 

3. All Clad 12" inch stainless collection fry pan, from $95. This is one of the most used pans in my kitchen. And it's also one of the oldest- a testament to the durability of the All Clad product. 

4. Chubo Utility Knife, $195. This has become one of my favorite knives. And I have a lot of knives. It's pricy, but worth it. 

5. McEvoy Ranch Olive Oils, from $29. Olive oil has such a presence in my food and I love showing off the wonderful producers in our midst. McEvoy Ranch produces award-winning, clean and truly delicious olive oil.

6. R. Wood Studio Ceramics, from $22. Rebecca Wood is an iconic Athenian artist and for good reason. Her ceramics befit the most elegant Southern table, but also find a happy home in well-used kitchens. 

7. Condor Chocolates Truffle Gift Box, from $8 (in store only: Athens, GA) or chocolate bars from the online shop, $9. My buddy Peter Dale is serving up delicate, carefully crafted (by the talented Shae Sims) chocolates and confections that will put a smile on anyone's face. Several seasonal truffle offerings make for an elegant and fun gift box.  

8. Gift Certificate to Bikram Yoga Studio, Athens, from $18. Mary, my wife, enjoys a regular practice at our local Bikram yoga studio. It's a state of the art facility that beginners and seasoned practitioners alike patronize. 

9. Subscription to AFAR magazine, $20. Beautifully laid out, stunning graphic design and a great resource for the eclectic traveler, of which I am one. 

10. David Hale prints, from $15. I wear David's art on my arm, but if you're needle-shy, you can get a print instead. His work is vastly intricate and very stylized. He's a dedicated artist. 

 

Image of Hugh: Taylor Oxendine    Content: Sweet Peach/ Hugh Acheson 


Thursday
Dec102015

Holiday Peach Picks: Sarah Pierre

If you live in the East Atlanta area (specifically Grant Park, Ormewood Park and Glenwood Park) then you may already be well aware of the 3 Parks wine shop. It's a small boutique wine shop that also sells local, tasty goods like cheese, salumi, chocolates and all manner of wine accesssories. But the best part is Sarah Pierre. She's the quintessential shop owner who is happily at the ready for any and all wine questions, no matter how complex. I am so grateful to have her in my neighborhood and was thrilled when she said yes to sharing her wine inspired gift picks with Sweet Peach. Prepare to make a purchase or two, these are great picks...

1. Cheers Bottle Bag, $14.95. Love this fancy and fun (and eco friendly) wine bag. Ideal for your holiday celebrations. 

2. Moroccan Glass Cups, $14 each. The prettiest cups to place atop your bar cart. These Moroccan highball glasses are perfect for tea, cocktails and even casual wine drinking. 

3. Mid-Century Bar Cart, $279. Because everyone needs a bar cart. 

4. Swell Bottle, from $21.25. The 25 oz one holds an entire bottle of wine! 

5. Gold Ice Bucket, $89. For the entertaining souls, nothing tops a gold ice bucket. 

6. Gold wine key, $14.99 (and available at 3 Parks) I'm always the talk of the party when I open bottles of wine with this gold opener. 

7. The Wine Bible, $24.95. The 2nd edition has just been released 14 years later and it's ideal for anyone who wants the perfect introduction and crash course to wine. It's a household must have. 

8. 'Let's Get Wine Drunk and make out' Card, $4.99. (and available at 3 Parks) The best card ever! Everyone should get this card over the holidays. 

9. Food & Wine and Imbibe subscriptions, from $12. Perfect coffee table magazines for the food and wine or beverage lover. 

10. Coravin Model Two Wine System, from $349.95. This gift is for the wine lover in your life. You're never really opening the bottle and you can come back to it over and over again. 

11. Two Bottle Bag, $18.95. What's better than one bottle of wine? Two! 

12. Vintage French coupe glasses, $48. My go-to glass when I'm entertaining. 

13. Peach Dish subscription, from $45. If you're a lover of wine, you're probably a lover of food. Peach Dish is hands down my favorite meal delivery kit. Pick two meals, receive your box (which includes all the ingredients), open a bottle of wine, then cook an insanely delicious meal. It's so fun! 

14. Cocktail book, $19.95. I love this pretty book of pretty holiday cocktails- from bartenders all over the world. 

15. Impressive Holiday Wines. Quality champage, from $75. RED WINE: Mauro Franchino Gattinara, Italy. 100% Nebbiolo. This is a wine that you pull out of your secret stash when you want to impress your friends. Make sure you open it at least an hour before drinking or decant. $44.99 at 3 Parks Wine Shop. WHITE WINE: 2012 La Conreria d'Scala Dei Priorat Les Brugureres, Spain. This is my go-to winter white wine. The wine is full, rich, complex and badass. And did I mention the vines are 110 years old! $32.35 at 3 Parks Wine Shop. ROSÉ WINE: 2014 Chateau De Berne Impatience Rosé, Provence, France. It's a Rosé in a beautiful square bottle that tastes ridiculously amazing. $19.50 at 3 Parks Wine Shop. 

 

Image of Sarah: Eater Atlanta    Content: Sweet Peach/Sarah Pierre

 

Wednesday
Dec092015

Piebox 

A couple of months ago, I was in the Beautiful Briny Sea workspace and noticed that Suzi was sharing a portion of her space with Piebox. I love Piebox and was thrilled to hear that the owners, Adrienne Blumthal, Carol Blumthal and Steven Karl Metzer just relocated their company from Chicago to my backyard in the Grant Park section of Atlanta. Welcome to the South y'all...the epicenter of good pie. 

The simple, modern design of each Piebox is what makes them so great- plus, they're needed. I can't tell you how stressful it is to transport a freshly baked pie from one part of town to another when you have nothing to use but a dinner plate. It's just so wrong... so I applaud them for these stylish, reusable wooden carriers we can have all to ourselves or to gift to our baking loving friends. 

With the success of the Piebox came the Cakebox. This design is clever as it can be used for most 10" cake plates but also, the removable cupcake racks allow the transport of up to 18 cupcakes. And if you want to up your style quotient, purchase this vegetable tanned leather strap for an easy carry...  

As if Piebox and Cakebox weren't enough, there's also Cookiebox which works for all your small pastries and treats. I want one, filled with an assortment of cookies, preferably any containing chocolate, for Christmas. Family, take note...

And as Adrienne shared, the TSA has just allowed pies and cakes to be transported on planes so it's a no brainer to travel with one of these when you head home for the holidays. The sinful southern dessert you make that morning can be tasted and shared that night, hundreds or thousands of miles away. I want one of every box. If you're feeling that urge too, click here. 

 

Images: Steven Karl Metzer    Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Tuesday
Dec082015

Holiday Peach Picks: Ashley Woodson Bailey 

Ever since I first spied the work of Miss Ashley Woodson Bailey, I've been a superfan. I love her story, what she creates, her unique perspective...and what she picks each year for my Gift Guide. As expected, her 2015 gift picks are a mix of luxurious and vibrant, surprising and wholly original...just like her. Thank you Ashley! 

1. Drippy Tapestry Pillow Cover, $400. I want to crawl into every room Martyn Thompson creates and never leave. They are magical. 

2. Landon Nordeman Photo. Landon's photos are some of the most show stopping, heart pounding images around. He captures fashion like no one else and I so want one in my home. 

3. Saint Therese Enamel Pendant, $169. Ever since meeting Dr. Lisa Cooper in Sydney, I have become fascinated with her love for St. Therese, that Little Flower. Her phrase, "Everything is Grace" is what she is known for as well as her ability to ease those who suffer. She seems to be my patron saint, and is also the patron saint to most florists. I would love to hang this delicate little charm around my neck in her honor every day. 

4. Gucci Collection. Ever since Alessandro Michele became Creative Director of Gucci, I have wanted every single piece he has shown. 

5. Dixon Rye Gift Certificate. We are currently in the throws of redoing our home. I walked into Dixon Rye yesterday and thought I had died and gone to heaven- from the pottery to the gorgeous leather sofa to the light fixtures, I want a hefty gift certificate to this store! 

6. Coqui Coqui Spa Hotel. I would love to have a romantic vacation with my husband to Tulum and stay at Coqui Coqui. 

7. Alyson Fox rug, from $75. Dreaming of this rug by Alyson Fox to tie everything together in my living room. 

8. Ashley Woodson Bailey 8" x 8" print, from $85. I will be giving all of my flower loving friends one of my newly framed prints. 

 

Monday
Dec072015

Reclaimed Vintage Ties

The go-to guy gift tends to be the standard necktie. I'm all for it but I like to seek out one that stands out from the crowd. These ties, out of Nashville, Tennessee, are reclaimed and repurposed. When a vintage tie with a cool print is found, it is cleaned, taken apart, then resized and resewn for an updated, modern look. 

Well priced at $50 each, Reclaimed Vintage Neckties are a good gift to give. Better to keep your holiday interesting & unexpected & these stylish ties certainly fit the bill... 

 

Friday
Dec042015

Holiday Peach Picks: Beauty Everyday

I always feel so lucky when I send out emails to a few of my favorite Southern artists to see if they would share their holiday gift picks on Sweet Peach and they reply with an enthusaistic 'yes!' Such was the case with the Beauty Everyday gals based in Athens, Georgia. Kristen Bach, Rebecca Wood and Rinne Allen are just some of the most creative, talented and impressive women I know and I'm thrilled to share their gift selections below. Their picks are the first of many from Southern artists to come this month. My endless gratitude to Kristen, Rebecca and Rinne...and to the always fabulous Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object for her perfectly playful illustrations to showcase the 2015 Peach Picks this holiday season. Happy shopping y'all...

1. SHOTWELL CANDY CO. CARAMELS, $19.75. We read about this company not too long ago and have drooled over everything on their site way too many times. We were glad to see this sampler pack so we could try one of each. Southerners do know their sweets... 

2. ALABAMA CHANIN POTHOLDER, $30. Our friends at Alabama Chanin in Florence, Alabama make great things for wearing and for the home. This hand loomed potholder has seen lots of use in Rinne's home. 

3. SARA LEE PARKER NAPKIN SETS, $30. We have been admiring Sara's work for many years now. We love her sweet illustrations that are printed perfectly on items that you will use every day. 

4. SMOKE SIGNALS BAKING WORKSHOPS, from $150 & PAPER CUT PIE BOX, $20. Rebecca has been there in person but for the rest of us, we have gotten to know Smoke Signals in Marshall, NC from their great instagram feed, @bakerhands. We can't decide which workshop we will take in 2016 but we will definitely be at one.  

5. SHORT STACK EDITIONS COOKBOOK, $14. We get more and more inspired with each edition of Short Stack's great single topic cookbooks. We love the simple, colorful production of each volume and the in depth look at each ingredient. 

6. FOOK BANK DONATION. We also love giving back each year and encourage you to find a special cause or charity in your own community to give back to, either with volunteer hours or with a monetary donation. They all need your support! This year, we are supporting the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.

7. BULLS BAY SALTWORKS SMOKED SEA SALT, from $10. Rinne photographed the process of making sea salt at Bulls Bay Saltworks in McClellanville, SC last year and has been using their smoked sea salt every since.  

 

 

8. BEAUTY EVERYDAY BOOK, $98. We would be remiss if we did not mention the Beauty Everyday book that the three of us collaborated on. The book features 365 photographs- one for each day of the year. It's a gorgeous visual record of the seasons and textures of the South. Give it to someone special...for the holidays, for a wedding or just because. 

9. 2016 MOON CALENDAR, $19. We are all huge fans of the shop, Villagers, in Asheville, NC. Every year around this time, Kristen visits and does the bulk of her holiday shopping there (and now they sell online too!) This year, Kristen has her eye on this lovely moon calendar. 

10. BROWN PARCEL PRESS CALENDAR, $35. Our friends, Megan Fowler and her mother, Gaelle Boling of Brown Parcel Press have been printing their letterpress calendar out of their rural Devereux, Georgia studio for years and we get them (and give them) every year. 

11. ME SPEAK DESIGN BRASS BOWL, $65. Eric and Lori Wright live just outside Athens and make beautiful, Japanese inspired homewares under the name ME Speak Design. We love these new hammered brass bowls they recently added to their line. 

12. HOME.MADE PEPPER JELLY PECANS, $15. Our good friend Mimi has been spoiling Athens with her yummy food for a decade at her restaurant, Home.Made. Kristen just finished taking photos of their new line of snackies now available online for anyone to try. These candied pepper jelly pecans are our favorite! 

13. ANN LADSON BARNACLE FLATWARE, from $180. Rinne watched Charleston, SC based metalworker Ann Ladson at work recently as she created her new Barnacle collection. This spreader knife or dinner fork in bronze is a beautiful, functional heirloom- one that will only get better with age and use. 

 

Thursday
Dec032015

Beautiful Briny Sea

For me, the best part about having a blog is the artists I get to meet and the opportunity I have to learn more about what they do, what they create. Suzi Sheffield of Beautiful Briny Sea is a force of nature and a gal after my own heart. She is passionate about creating, pushing boundaries, succeeding- and none of that happens without having a ton of fun along the way. If she's not enjoying the process, something is seriously wrong. 

Suzi owned a taqueria and catering restaurant for 12 years in Columbia, South Carolina. Craving a new direction, she left that business but brought her food instincts and savviness with her to create salts and eventually, sugars. And quality is paramount. Every item packed inside each Beautiful Briny Sea tin is hand harvested...the salt, the sugars, the herbs. Each product is then labeled and packed by hand in her Grant Park warehouse just east of downtown Atlanta. 

If Suzi doesn't love her job every day, she is failing at some level. So she comes up with fantastic creations that keep her imagination and enthusiasm level on high. As her possibilities for crafting dry goods are unlimited, the results are a mix of quirky and awesome. Like Mr. Gigglepants, a hibiscus sugar that's perfect for french toast, cupcakes or fancy schmancy cocktails. She wanted the label to reflect the spirit of this sugar, so it's an elephant in pink hot pants, holding a champagne glass and dancing while baring his three chest hairs. 

Creative people love to collaborate- they know that's the good stuff. And I think my favorite product of Suzi's is one she did along with Amy Sedaris and Fishs Eddy called I Like You Sprinkles. It's a mix of colorful sprinkles, sanding sugar, pastel sugar wafers, nonpareils and the best part- chocolates with the phrase 'I like you' on them. It's a perfect product for Amy and she found the perfect partner to make them with. I mean, I just can't take the cuteness. Such a great gift idea. 

Another recent collaboration of Suzi's was with Chef and Restaurateur, Kevin Gillespie. Owner of the popular Atlanta restaurant, Gunshow, Kevin and his Executive Chef, Joey Ward, came up with a finishing salt aptly named Gunpowder.


Suzi explained to me that her front door is always open as she wants chefs and other professionals to come in and mix and match her ingredients to see what they can come up with. It's a playground upon entry, so one must play


Inside the warehouse, Suzi has a small team that work together to fill, label, package and manage all the tins and employees enjoy the constant perks- like the Soap Box Derby they were all racing in that weekend, dressed as magic unicorns, of course. 

If you're in the Grant Park area, stop in and see Suzi- she loves to show off her space and share a bit of her passion. And honestly, the best no fail gift to give this year is one of her sugars or salts. There are so many to choose from, including Santa Salt made with rosemary and pink peppercorns or the Dream Team salt set featuring Hot Steve, French Picnic, Campfire and Friends Forever. I mean, c'mon. So good...

 

Images: Beautiful Briny Sea; Sweet Peach     Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Wednesday
Dec022015

Foxwood Co.

A couple months back, my eye landed on this walnut vessel and it's been love at first sight ever since. This piece turned out to be one of many eye catching and original works be Annapolis, Maryland couple, Casey and Amy Johnson.

Casey is an artist and sculptor by trade and takes great pride in constucting aesthetically pleasing, clean and functional forms. Amy helps in the design process and streamlining the logistical and marketing side of things. It's a a good match as their pieces feel wholly original with staying power. As shared on their site, "Our hope is that they become heirlooms, gathering their stories from kitchens, dinner tables and homes as they are passed from hand to hand." 

Casey sources the wood locally and no dies or stains are used. What does shine through, however, is a great respect for the process, as it's evident Casey lets each piece of wood tell the tale it wants to tell. The results are simply stunning, much like Mother Nature herself. See the entirety of the incredibly lovely shop, Foxwood Co., here. 

 

Images: foxwoodco.com     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Dec012015

Wee Gallery 

Surya Sajnani of St. Petersburg, Florida has the wee thing down. In her shop, Wee Gallery, she creates the sweetest items for our little ones. These nesting dolls come in sets of three and are meant for kids age three or older. 

I first found Surya's work at a shop in San Francisco a few months back. Her Art Cards for Baby were a perfect gift for my friend Tiffany who just had a baby. These cards feature high contrast and repeating patterns which helps to stimulate visual development in infants...use as flash cards or as artwork inside or near the crib. 

Her signature black and white designs carry through in wallpaper, decals, toys, blankets, pillows, tattoos, mobiles and these adorable ceramics and activity books. Check out the entire Wee Gallery shop, here.

 

Images: Wee Gallery     Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Monday
Nov302015

Gifts of Indigo...for the men

Indigo seems to be the impact color this year. It's rich, earthy, enticing and it sprung up in all manner of gifts for the guys this year. This mix of items above I found over at the Stag Provisions shop in Austin, Texas. 

From top left: Tweeds floral pocket square, $40. The Hill-Side indigo bow tie, $85. Appointed Workbook, $24. Billy Reid chevron tie, $125. Sid Mashburn scarf, $85. Mifland Rucksack, $415. 

More gifts to impress include Sid Mashburn cashmere sweater, $475. Herringblone blanket, $420. Indigo dopp kit, $51. Imogene + Willie jeans, $235. Indigo catch all, $150. Anchor Bracelet, $31. Oak Street Loafers, $325.