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Wednesday
Nov192014

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; loudmouth.doobop.com; One Love Organics; Acure     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Nov182014

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

 

Monday
Nov172014

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...

 

 

Friday
Nov142014

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 too...how 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. 

 

Thursday
Nov132014

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


Wednesday
Nov122014

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

 

Tuesday
Nov112014

DIY Flower Boutonniére or Corsage

When deciding what holiday DIY to share in my next Sweet Peach Sweet Spots paper, I stopped in to Adaptation Floral Design to see what Liz Gudmundsson was crafting. She showed me one of her floral boutonniéres she was assembling and I was smitten. It's perfect. Here's an easy step by step for a sweet and sophisticated floral boutonniére or corsage...

 


 

Monday
Nov102014

Pocket Square Subscription

A stylish pocket square always make me smile wide- especially a mix of vintage, modern and reclaimed ones handcrafted by the talented, Danielle Romero of New York to Nashville.

Danielle scours the small towns and back roads of Tennessee to find unique fabrics that catch her eye. Besides the individual pocket squares available in her shop, I really love her 3 month or 6 month subscription offering. It makes the perfect gift... 

Each month, you (or a lucky loved one) will receive one uniquely handcrafted pocket square delivered to the front door. These are all limited run, small batch fabrics that will help any man stand out in a crowd. Sometimes Danielle only has enough fabric to make a few, which is part of what makes her creations so special. I'm such a fan... See her entire shop, which includes bandanas, scarves, suspenders and more, here. 

 

Photos: NY to Nashville   Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Nov072014

The Alchemist

In search of the perfect holiday cocktail, I recently headed over to my favorite neighborhood bar, H. Harper Station. Upon hearing my request for a festive cocktail that embodied warmth and joy, owner Jerry Slater mixed up The Alchemist. His impressive creation is a treasure trove of fantastic, nostalgic flavors. Every sip offers a bit of allspice, nutmeg, apple, cinnamon and overall herbacious goodness. This is a cocktail with depth and character that'll warm you up and have you asking for another. And another... Cheers! 

 

 

Thursday
Nov062014

Luxury in Lake Martin...

I have an early call at work this morning so I wanted to quickly share a house I bookmarked the other day. It makes me think of my friend, Bradley Odom, who dreams of a sophisticated, manly lake house some day. This one, in Lake Martin, Alabama, is one I think he'd approve of...

This lake home, built by McAlphine Booth and Ferrier, and interior design by Susan Ferrier, is a bit of a jaw dropper. The layout and decor draws you in and takes hold. I love the moody deep blue tones, the artwork, cypress paneling and overall mix of organic shapes and textures. As this is a modern home, Susan chose newer decor pieces with clean, straight lines. 

In the bathroom- wood, metal and porcelain reign supreme. Susan, "Using varying elements in an interior challenges you to take a leap from one of the elements to the next and in that dynamic arc or middle ground, you experience a completely individual and personal way to see a space." 

Susan carried the moody tones of the living room into the bedroom but in lighter shades to welcome and soothe. Ah, moody sophistication, I could use more of that...

 

Photos: McAlpine Booth and Ferrier     Content: Sweet Peach