Sydney Hale

I've been a fan of Sydney Hale candles for quite some time. The candle line is full of scrumptious scents and are all beautifully packaged. That's all I need to become a devout fan...

Meghan and Chris Cook live in an old farmhouse in Purcellville, Virginia. In 2007, Meghan began a small shop on Etsy to sell a single line of candles which soon became wildly popular, turning her part time hobby into a full time job. 

The soy wax candles are crafted in small batches with all ingredients and packaging sourced from the US. 10% of profits also goes directly to dog rescue organizations. With her and Chris' continued success, their collection continues to grow...

...which includes a new line of deliciously scented room sprays. I'm eyeing the Gardenia one as I always stop to smell gardenias- one of my favorite flowers. I imagine this room spray needs to be in my posession very soon. Check out all of the Sydney Hale scents, (and a fab dog shop) here.


Images: Stephen Hansen, Inhar Chong,    Content: Sweet Peach


Time to shop...

This holiday season, I've reached out to a few of my favorite Southern artists to share their gift ideas with all of us. You'll see these special guest Gift Picks featured throughout December on Sweet Peach and first up is Old Try from Charlotte, North Carolina, who craft incredible letterpress prints and tees. Together, the fabulously talented Marianna and Micah Whitson have picked their top 8 gift ideas for the holiday, all from Southern makers. Enjoy...

1. MAKR Key Bottle Opener $11.50. Micah, I guarantee you, I use this bottle opener more than I use my car key, which either says how much I drink or a little about how much I drive. At either rate, the boys in Florida have given me something damn practical that doesn't take up any more room than it has to. 

2. MOLLY JOGGER, Scout Red Knit Cap $19.50. Rich Stagner is building quite the brand over in the Ozarks. He's an Eddie Bauer alum who is doing remarkable things with a heritage brand that has, well, legit heritage. I've been a fan of every new release they've put out since I've been following them. This wooly cap would look good from Little Rock to Mt. Magazine. 

3. ALABAMA BISCUIT CO. Biscuit Mix $10. A good buddy from college started Alabama Biscuit and before he even got the doors open, Paula Deen picked them as a top 10 biscuit in America. If you can't get down to Cahaba Heights in Birmingham, then get this mix and see what all the hype over their spelt grain biscuits is all about.

4. ANDOVER TRASK Standard Bag $175. Matt Weaver didn't know that if he made a bag in Atlanta that was practical and beautiful and in Ole Miss colors that I'd drool over it and hope one of my bags will break so I can justify another one. Or did he? 

5. KENTUCKY FOR KENTUCKY Kentucky Pennant Raglan $30. From the fine fellows who brought you the Kentucky Kicks Ass Initiative comes a handsome baseball tee because of course a baseball tee from the state of the Louisville slugger based off an old vintage pennant is a homerun. Made in the USA and printed in the Ville. 

6. OLD TRY Old Top $35. Sure, we've got a bunch of prints that are great, but you can't leave the house with a print and it's getting too cold to leave with one of our tee shirts. Which is why we spent a year sourcing a classic navy ball cap that is made in America and works perfectly year round. To that, we'll doff our caps. 

7. BUFFALO JACKSON Jackson Vest $89.95. What's a stuffed buffalo doing in Matthews, NC? Pretty much alerting folks that Xan Hood is making clothes that are a tribute to the west and to the rugged spirit in us all. This puffy vest is the right amount of soft in a rough and tumble world. 

8. SYDNEY HALE Bourbon & Brown Sugar $28. Megan Cook + Co. make these candles in Virginia. They're wonderfully complex and make the whole house smell amazing. I pretty much light one anytime I'm working on new prints. Added bonus? 10% of proceeds go to animal rescue efforts. 


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...