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Monday
Dec172012

Gift Sets

They say it's better to give than to receive...which is especially true with this box of manly goodies. Guys tend not to buy the best skin care products so make it easy for them with this Shaving Gift Package from Prospector Co. in Savannah, Georgia. It includes a rag soak, shaving oil, shave creme and aftershave. ($60) 

Another great option is their Sampler Pack, which includes beard oil, shaving oil, aftershave splash, shaving and absinthium cream. ($48) 

Who knew with a bit of vodka, juniper berries, spices and botanicals, you can craft your own gin at home? This Homemade Gin Kit is a fun gift that comes via some creative folks in northern Virginia. 

Each kit contains enough ingredients to make two bottles of handcrafted gin. As stated on their site, users "have reported that their small batches rival the mass produced, store bought gin brands in aromatics, flavor and complexity." ($80)  

The quick way to any man's heart is food. So may I suggest a gift set from one of my favorite people in the world, Emily Myers. She crafts the best jams and sauces. And I love her suggestion of combining Almond Butter with her Peach Marmalade Jam to make PB & J Wings. Wings and football sounds very Manly Monday...

Click here for the Almond Butter and Jam gift set ($33) or here for your favorite mix of three ($30) or two. ($24). And it's hard not to please any man's taste, as you'll have 21 options of jams and sauces to choose from- which include Peach Ginger Hot Sauce, Strawberry Chipotle and Berbere Sauce.  

 

Photos: Prospector Co., Homemade Gin Co., Sweet Peach    Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Dec142012

This Christmas, Buy Vintage...

All of these southern vintage shops are fun to peruse and wonderful to support this holiday season. Besides, adding vintage items to a room adds a layer of personality that just can't happen when everything is brand spanking new. Here's some ideas... Vintage Santa (just sold), vinyl suitcase set and enamelware mug/pitcher set from The White Pepper;  vintage Christmas tree cookie cutter from The Cupcake Kid. 

Art Deco Ashtray circa 1931 via Route 11 Vintage; Green tea pot from Cast & Crew. 

Vintage Pendleton throw from Bellalulu; American Red Cross first edition First Aid book from Myra Melinda; Christmas mugs from Bergen House and Adrian Pearsall mid-century lounge chair via The White Pepper. 

Vintage pink baroque dish towels from Barking Sands Vintage and an industrial basket from Lovintage Finds

 

Thursday
Dec132012

Rattles, Mobiles, Hats and Booties.... (And a Giveaway!) 

Once you touch and see a Blabla Kids creation, your heart can't help but melt a bit. This company began when two friends, Flo Wetterwald and Susan Pritchett, took a trip to Peru. They fell in love with a group of community knitters they just happened to meet and decided to launch their own line of cuddly creations. Their goods are all made with the finest natural fibers and handknit by Peruvian artists. I love this Owl Dream Ring, which makes such a great gift for a new babe. 

Earlier this year, I blogged about their very popular knit dolls. Since then, they've expanded their offerings to include these adorable rattles.

 


Flo and Susan also expanded their line of clothing. Their hats and booties are just too sweet. They are many creatures and colors to choose from. If you're going to keep 'em warm this winter, may as well make 'em stylish...

Their line also includes blankets and pillows. (Rattles also featured here) What's great about Blabla is they are a no brainer for a kid gift. The quality is high, the design is top notch and the receivers are all too happy to receive...

Pop into their shop if you're in Atlanta or peruse their entire shop online here.

 

Photos: Blabla Kids    Content: Sweet Peach

Wednesday
Dec122012

HollyBeth Organics... (with a special discount offer!) 

One of my favorite artisans to meet this entire year is HollyBeth Anderson. She's the creator of an all organic skin care and natural body care product line called HollyBeth Organics. She takes up residence in the cute StudioPlex building in the Old Fourth Ward area of Atlanta. 

It is here that she single-handedly creates organic, scrumptious recipes for body wash, bubble bath, face and neck elixir, body silk and cleanser....just to name a few. 

I was quite content to sit and watch HollyBeth happily create. When I asked her what she loves most about this business, after leaving a big paying corporate job, she responded, "I love the creative part and working with essential oils. It's liberating and it is such an honor and delight when I make something that people love." 

Many may not realize what it takes to be a certified organic company. It takes more effort to source the right materials, the costs are much higher and the standards are incredibly strict. But for HollyBeth, she wouldn't have it any other way. 

The first product that really caught my eye was her Grits & Honey Scrub. My first thought... 'Grits?' But it makes sense. As HollyBeth shared, "My mother used cornmeal on her face as an exfoliant when I was a child. After her radiation treatment for breast cancer, I wanted to make a product about and around her. She suggested adding grits to the cornmeal. I added honey and Vitamin E and voila!" HollyBeth explained that honey is the oldest humectant and moisturizer on the planet and has no expiration date. It's a perfect (southern) combo to moisturize and exfoliate. 

I'm currently writing this blog entry before I go to sleep. I just washed with the Chamomile Cleanser, exfoliated with the Grits & Honey, moisturized with Rose Geranium lotion and delved into her luscious Lavender Hand Cream, which may just be my favorite. Oh, and I seriously just spritzed my face with her Rose Gernanium Toner. I guess you could say I'm a HollyBeth experiment... (so far, so good) 

I have spent a lot of money on my current skincare products and they are not organic. When I asked HollyBeth what makes her eye cream better than the one I just spent $50 on, she shared, "It's handmade without chemicals and synthetics from pure, effective ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, camellia and sweet almond oils." And you know, she's right, it feels good on my skin and it feels even better knowing that I'm choosing to use something that is 100% good for me.  

Once you start delving into essential oils, you can become an instant convert. They are truly powerful, wonderful ingredients that have proven to help all manner of ailments such as hormonal imbalances, asthma and sore throats as well as improve your mood, energy and immune system. It's worth learning more about, and thanks to HollyBeth, I'm starting to... 

 

Such a great Christmas gift...thank you HollyBeth! 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Dec112012

Gift Ideas, for her...

Voluspa Candle Vermeil Collection, Authentique Home in Atlanta or Anthropologie, $24; Aristide Traywall Art, $125; Colette Bream pillows, $89-$118; Felted Acorns by Feltjar, $12; I Love You art by Sugarboo Designs, $85; Bench x60, $199 with promo code 'SWEET50';  

Bike basket, $79; Kristi Baker hancrafted journal, $30; Simple Pear Vase, $17.50; Imogene + Willie custom blend coffee, $15.00; Emily G's jams, $8.50 each; Fort Remington handcrafted wooden spoons, $7-$29; Bexar Goods tote bag, $215.

Jeanette Zeis mixing bowl, $42; Sydney Hale's Blue Spruce and Spearmint candle, $28; Pomegranate Farm's crochet coasters, $10.50; Pony & Poppy tea towels, $44. 

Setting bowls, $56; La Pera Poster, $550; Becca Stadtlander's Strawberries print, $22; Cities 2013 Calendar, $30

Who needs diamonds or fancy cars when you could be lucky enough to own either of these scrumptious bags from Peter Nappi in Nashville? ($395, $675)

My personal favorite gift for gals this year are the individually made Wobbly Plates, sold at the indie-pendent in Atlanta, or here. Handcrafted by Brigitte Bouquet, they range in price from $15-$27 each. They're amazing textural pieces, made prettier stacked together or placed in various colors atop your dinner table...

 

Monday
Dec102012

John Rich's Holiday Picks for Men ... (Includes a special discount!) 

John Rich is a cool cat. He is the best curator of men's goods I know so I was thrilled when he said yes to our 2nd annual John Rich Holiday Picks. (2011's list) John recently closed his shop in Braselton, Georgia and has moved all his USA made goods into two rooms inside his home. His doors are open by appointment, which I recommend... but he also has a revamped website with all of his favorites. The gift selections here are available via his website, unless indicated otherwise. Let's get started...

Whenever I see a nice tie on a guy, I compliment him because it's a rare occurance. One way to avoid bad-tie-syndrome is to buy a Hitsman tie. ($75) Hitsman is based in Oklahoma and offers classicly stylish neckwear and leather goods. 

These limited edition bowties John had made by Sally Peek of Columbia, SC. The fabrics used are from old Civil War reenactment materials and retail for $65.  

A couple of my friends are currently producing Duck Dynasty on A&E, making duck calling all the more fashionable. John was quick to appreciate the handiwork of his fellow Braselton resident, Brett Akins, who crafted these game calls with exotic woods such as zebra, purple heart and black wood. ($60)

Every man loves a good knife and John has plenty to choose from on his site. One of his favorite craftsman is Marvin Poole from Commerce, Georgia. These above beauties are handcrafted fillet knives with a 5.75 inch blade. The handles are made with camel bone (right) and buffalo horn (left) with rifle checkering. ($175)

A good hat will last a guy a long time. John recommends Strong Brand, (He's wearing one in his photo). As stated on the Strong site, these hats are good for "boozing, sailing the open seas and shooting guns." ($15/$25) This handsome set of wood grain holders were designed and made by Amy McClure of Decatur, GA. (They come with green or orange accents on the inside or bottom of each piece. $24-$32)  


At first glance, it's hard not to fall in love with this Outlaw Franky wool blanket. The entire thing is hand loomed and made with a gorgeous vintage style plaid in natural, red and blue. ($398)  With the purchase of this blanket, John will also throw in this stylish leather holder, handcrafted by Shaun Garcia in Spartanburg, SC. 

I'm a big fan of the luscious Beekman 1802 goat milk soaps. Last Christmas, I featured their Year in the Country set which is always an amazing gift. 

Every man needs a good bar of soap all to himself and the fabulous Beekman boys now offer many handcrafted, hand wrapped options, including Winter, Honey, Bug Repellant and After the Sun. ($12-$14) 

I think every guy's office or bedside table needs a good candle. Himalayan Trading Post, based in Decatur, Georgia, creates incredible smelling scents, packaged in replica spice tins. These tins have an antiqued distressed finish with hardwood lids. Scents featured are Bourbon Vanilla and Campfire. ($18)

I love seeing artwork that stands apart and feels unique to that artist. Stephen Skurnick is just that guy. He offers hand drawn prints based off of his original pieces. And what I really like is they all arrive framed. These 8 x 10 and 10 x 13 inch works are an easy way to add manly style to a guy's office or bachelor pad. ($50)

Just ask my nephew Cameron, who I am always trying to dress up, I absolutely love man scarves. Farm Tactics makes this beauty, with a deep blue on one side and manly stripes on the other. John (and I) highly recommend... ($45) 

When I think of Christmas day, I think of music playing all day long. Two albums John really loves this season are Affairs of Plain Living by Brother Hawk, based in Atlanta. This is great guitar driven Southern rock. The other is bluegrass tunes from the album, In the Mud by Split Lip Rayfield of Wichita, Kansas. Enjoy! 

Hope this list inspired you a bit for the Holiday season. See all of John's fabulous USA MADE finds here (which, in the Southern way, all have a good story behind them). A BIG thank you to John and happy shopping....

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach. Additional soap pics by Beekman 1802

 

Friday
Dec072012

GIVEAWAY TIME...

 

Friday
Dec072012

The Hanukkah Table 

Hanukkah begins tomorrow, on the evening of Saturday, December 8 and ends one week later on Sunday, December 16. Looking forward to this event, my friend Beth Lord of the indie-pendent in Atlanta put together a Hanukkah table for inspiration. This table reflects the traditional colors of Hanukkah, which are blue, silver and white. 

Beth used a blue table she got second hand for $15 and then cut a crochet bed cover to make a pretty runner. The napkins are a navy fabric Beth had around the house. She fringed the edges by pulling the warp and weft threads. The pretty plates are a mix of dishes, both new and old, with the Hanukkah colors predominant. 

Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. The lighting of each candle on the menorah happens 8 nights in a row, from left to right. It's a reminder of the miracle that happened when one day's worth of oil burned for eight days after the Maccabees reclaimed the holy Temple. One silver goblet is customary on the table, for the blessing of the wine. 


After the lighting of the candle, it is tradition to play a dreidel game. Family and friends play for matchsticks, pennies, m&m's or chocolate coins, pictured above. The silver coins are bittersweet for the adults while the gold coins are milk chocolate for the kids. Beth dressed the middle of the table with the coins and dreidels. 

I love the mixing of plates that Beth does so well. These above are from Up in the Air Somewhere and Cynthia Vardhan. The important thing, when dressing any table, is not make it too complicated. Be creative with all that you do have, because as I bet is true, that is more than enough....Happy Hanukkah. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach 


Thursday
Dec062012

Christmas Munchies....

Shell and Emily are a mother and daughter team in Charleston, South Carolina. In their little bakery, Butter Blossoms, they create all manner of tea and shortbread cookies. These are perfect for the Christmas munchies...and makes a great hostess gift. 

Rosemary Pine Nut and Chocolate Espresso shortbread cookies sound simply divine ($13.50). All of Shell and Emily's cookies are baked fresh to order and can be shipped anywhere in the US. 

There's something to be said for simplicity done well. These Vanilla Bean shortbread cookies are filled with hundreds of vanilla bean seeds and finished with a light sprinkling of white sanding sugar.  

There are dozens of tasty concoctions to choose from on their site. Don't peruse hungry, you'll want to buy one of everything...

 

If you live in Atlanta, you'd be remiss if you didn't try the incredibly tasty concoctions of Maggie and Katie Sweeney of Cake Hag. They make the best cakes I have ever tasted, hands down. There are many holiday cakes to choose from but Maggie shared her current top three. The above is their Ginger Spice Apple Berry Cake, made with layers of citrus and ginger cream cheese, carmelized apples and cranberries ($30).  

Her 14 Layer Cake, pictured left, is Maggie's sponge cake made with premium chocolate and Grand Marnier liqueur ($35). The Buche de Noel, pictured right, is actually a set of two cakes. One is white chocolate with raspberry mousse and dark chocolate ganache (above) that's paired with a milk chocolate with mocha mousse and milk chocolate ganache ($40 for two). 

 

It's amazing how many options Tookie has in her shop. Based in Arkansas, she has hundreds of tasty jar cakes, gourmet marshmallows and cookie-wiches to choose from. All she does is bake and create, bake and create, and I love her for it. Some of my favorite Christmas offerings from her shop this year are the cookie-wiches. These are two handmade cookies sandwiched together with a big dollup of hand whipped buttercream and ganache in the middle. From top, Christmas Confetti, Green velvet chocolate ganache and the Brownie Peppermint Krunch cookie-wiches. Order them by the dozen, and merrily, merrily, begin to curb the Christmas munchies...

 

Photos: Butter Blossoms; Sweet Peach; Tookies     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Dec052012

Silas Tom Paper Goods

I received an email recently from a graphic artist in Texas. If I had interest, he wanted to share his new holiday cards with Sweet Peach. After seeing Scarf Face, above, and his incredible, modern style...well, I was quickly a fan and devout admirer. His name is Rob Wilson. 

In the business for 22 years, working with clients such as AT&T, American Airlines and Nokia, Rob is an established and well respected designer. He started creating these drawings in his spare time and after much fanfare, decided to share them with the rest of us. 

As Rob shares, "Each of the illustrations are infused with my sense of humor, experiences from my travels and my own sense of design." This graphically pleasing and endearing card is named Present Tense.

Rob has a few Hanukkah selections as well. It's amazing how a great artist can instantly set a mood and bring us into their world. I can connect with the emotions of the scene...the comforts of home and the holiday season ring clear. 


This series, with the added gold color, is inspired from Rob's travels to Germany. Rob, "For several years, I traveled to Germany and Austria a few weeks prior to Christmas. I enjoyed the bitterly cold weather, the hot gluhwein and a great sense of cheer as I wandered through the many Christmas markets." 

What I like most about Rob's cards is how the more you stare, the more you see. My mind fills with mini scenes and storylines. Rob offers boxed sets of all his holiday thoughts just in time for the holidays. I suggest you check them out- along with his line of cards for birthdays, weddings and such. He's a gem, which makes me all the more grateful that he found Sweet Peach...