HollyBeth Organics: Eye Serum

I've been a big fan of HollyBeth Organics ever since I first blogged about it two years ago. Its mastermind, HollyBeth Anderson, handcrafts the only USDA Certified Organic skincare line in all of Georgia- based purely on her incredible passion for producing products that are hydrating, soothing and effective....and good for you, inside and out. This latest product may be her best work yet...

HollyBeth has crafted various formulas for eye creams over the years, but this one changes the game. Her newly released Eye Serum is comprised of black cumin, carrot seed and pomegranate seed oils that work to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and fade dark circles. And because of these super nourishing, organic oils, her serum brightens, hydrates and protects. It just can't get much better than this...

Oh, but it does. My favorite feature of this eye serum is the cooling steel roller ball applicator, which means you don't need to use your fingertips on the most sensitive part of your face. Brilliant. Find it, here.


Images: Sweet Peach

Basil + Bergamot

The last time I visited HollyBeth Anderson in her studio workshop, she had just finished concocting a new product for her ever expanding USDA Organic skincare line, HollyBeth Organics. Her latest endeavor combines basil and bergamot essential oils with camellia and sunflower base oils to create a luxurious hand wash and body lotion. I'm blogging about it because I just can't get enough of it. I'm addicted. 

Bergamot isn't widely known in the U.S. but it's a fragrant fruit about the size of an orange. The fruit can be found growing in France, Italy and Turkey and many use it for its essential oil or to make marmalade. It's antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it a popular skincare choice. Bergamot also helps to open the heart chakra and uplift the mind. 

Basil is antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It's also soothing to the skin and full of antioxidants to replenish and protect. As the bergamot uplifts the spirit, basil helps bring spiritual clarity, which makes it a really good way to start your day.

I just can't say enough good things about it. HollyBeth Organics is the only USDA Certified Organic skincare company in Georgia and there truly is an incredible benefit in using only organic oils on your face and body. Once you start, you can't go back. 

I love this pic of HollyBeth in her lovely backyard garden. She lives and breathes an organic, healthy and beautiful lifestyle. Always an inspiration... Find her Basil Bergamot goodness, here. And explore HollyBeth's online shop to find lots of skincare options that will make you an addict. But in the best way possible. 


Photos: HollyBeth Organics; Sweet Peach; elixirnews.com; Indiamart. Final two shots,  buffydekmar.com   Content: Sweet Peach


Garden Party, Part 2

I'm happy to report that our first Garden Party was a sweet success...

Our prep, which I covered in yesterday's post, also included us placing Beth's colorful tissue flowers in HollyBeth's frontyard trees. We also dangled some pretty paper flowers from the driveway trees...all leading our Garden Party guests to the backyard.

We mixed tables and chairs and adorned most of the tables with a white tablecloth...

Then we mixed and matched all of our favorite new and vintage dishware. 

Beth finished making our two sided napkins that morning, which was perhaps my favorite touch of the day. HollyBeth diligently placed flower clippings from her beautiful yard atop the tables...It was a Garden Party afterall. 

And then of course was the cocktail. We wanted it to be something from the garden so we used some lavender blossoms to make the simple syrup, then added that to vodka, champagne and soda water. Mint ice cubes too. Ridiculous. I think it's my new favorite drink.

I made the cucumber gazpacho- a recipe my friend Vanessa shared from her favorite cookbook, Plenty. It's a really great soup as the dish has a lot of layers to it. I made it the second time with twice as many jalapenos for a bit more of a kick. We topped each cup with some edible flowers I found at the Grant Park Farmer's Market- provided by Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet.

HollyBeth made her perfect Southern Drop Biscuits. They were a mix of herbs from the garden, like Thyme and Lavender, Sour Cream with Rosemary and Mint. I could eat these all day long, which I actually did. 

Beth was in charge of dessert and she blew us away with an incredible Georgia Peach Sorbet with fresh mint and a dab of honey. So good...

I think it's fair to say, a good time was had by all. I certainly enjoyed every moment of it. It was fun for Beth, HollyBeth and I to say thank you to some of the people that have helped us and inspired us over the years. 

Near the end of the party, I passed out the Peach Butters we had made previously. (FYI- If you sign up for our Sweet Peach Revival Bourbon, Bacon & Biscuit Brunch, you'll get our homemade Bourbon Peach Butter free!) 

A big thanks to Beth and HollyBeth for all your hard work and patience and care in bringing this together. Let's do another one! 


Photos: Sweet Peach, Stefanie Carter      Content: Sweet Peach

Garden Party: Part 1

When I first visited HollyBeth Anderson's home (of HollyBeth Organics) and saw her backyard, I texed our friend, Beth Lord (of the indie-pendent) and said we have to have a party here. We ultimately decided on a Garden Party, each inviting a few close friends who have helped us in our creative endeavors. It was our way to say thank you by smothering them with some goodness and prettiness...

Our plan was to utilize HollyBeth's beautiful yard (which backs up to 40 acres of green space, so she has many lovely birds and critters meandering about). We decided on each of us making something: HollyBeth-drop biscuits, Me- cucumber gazpacho and Beth- Georgia peach sorbet. 

Beth made the gorgeous invites with card stock she had on hand, some scraps of vintage floral fabric and a bit of twine. I love that girl...

We also purchased new fabric to create two sided napkins for the tables and takeaway gift...

For the gift for our guests, we enlisted Lyn Deardorff, our resident master canner for some advice. Together we decided on making Peach Butter. Lyn, "I prefer making butters from fruits because little or no sugar is required." Lyn cares deeply about the craft of canning and I was so happy to have her help us. (Sign up for her amazing canning workshops, here.) 

To make 5-6 half pint jars, you'll need 4 pounds of peaches (firm, at peak of ripeness & organic as you'll keep the skins on), plus organic sugar to taste.  

Prepare for water bath canning by filling your canner or large stockpot with mason jars and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then let them sit at medium heat while preparing the peaches. Put flat lids in saucepan or heatproof bowl. Prepare peaches by washing. Cut into halves and remove pits. Do not remove the skins. Cut again and place in stockpot, then bring to a boil over high heat. 

Continue cooking over medium heat until the peaches are very soft in texture, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add sugar, if desired, to level of sweetness preferred (none is required, however).

Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture reaches soft ball stage. This can take from 20 minutes to a full hour, depending on your peaches. You can test when they're ready by placing a spoonful of the mixture on a plate. When cool, it should hold its shape, not run when the plate is tilted. 

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids to sterilize. Remove your mason jars from the stockpot and place on a towel. Ladle the hot peach mixture into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Clean the rims and secure with lids and bands. Place jars back in large stockpot, making sure water covers them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to process. Remove jars to folded towel and leave undisturbed for 13 hours.

Check lids for tight seal. Label them and make 'em pretty, then store in a cool, dark place. If unopened and sealed, your peach butters will last 6-12 months. Once opened and refrigerated, the butter will last for 3-4 weeks. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Garden Party tomorrow to see how it all turned out...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Mother's Day Gift Solution: HollyBeth Organics

The right Mother's Day gift can be hard to find. But after discovering HollyBeth Organics late last year, I feel I have the perfect go-to for all the moms in our life. HollyBeth Anderson handcrafts all manner of goodness for our skin and is the only USDA certified organic skin care line in all of Georgia. 

I've tried many of HollyBeth's products and every time I think I find a new favorite, I try something else and fall head over heels. They are all so scrumptious and good for you, I want them all, all the time. The Orange Peppermint Shea Butter Cream feels incredible on your skin, (currently soothing my sunburn) and works to moisturize and nourish dry lips, hands and feet- or wherever you need it most. 

The Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil works great to reduce oily skin and to calm and heal minor irritations. HollyBeth makes her foaming cleanser in both Chamomile and Marigold. These cleansers are gentle on the skin, hyperallergenic and 100% natural. The Camellia & Sunflower Face & Neck Elixir is one of my favorites. In all honesty, it feels a million times better than any face cream I've tried...

I'm a big fan of HollyBeth's best seller- the Eye Cream. It comes in a one ounce jar and will last your mom months and months (if not a whole year). This cream is so popular because it's rich in Vitamin E, (an antioxidant) Camellia oil, (UV protectant) and jojoba and sweet almond oils which moisturize and hydrate. Perfect combo. 

Peruse HollyBeth's site to decide which all natural skin care concoctions your mom would like best. You may remember I blogged about HollyBeth's Grits & Honey Scrub which is an excellent gift- but so is her Citrus All Over Cream which is highly effective in keeping away mosquito bites in the coming months. Why spray a chemical when you can have something all natural, good for your skin and sweet smelling? So many options...including a travel gift set. Peruse all the organic goodness here.



 Photos: Sweet Peach, HollyBeth Organics    Content: Sweet Peach 

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