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Entries in Atlanta (91)

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
Oct282014

Copper and Torch

Pretty and elegant. That's what comes to mind when I think of the work of Lindsay Troutman. In her online shop, Copper and Torch, you'll find her glass and metal terrarium vases that are particularly pleasing to the eye, whether propped up on a wall or placed upon a bookshelf...

Each delicate geometric shape is made with hand cut glass and lead-free solder, which Lindsay paints a striking black patina. The vases can be hung with either an antique brass or nickel chain, if desired. 

A nature lover like myself, Lindsay handcrafts these minimal and clear containers that allow whatever is placed inside- from fresh flowers and plants to collected seeds, pods and feathers- to steal the limelight. 

Besides her popular vases, Lindsay creates jewelry, frames, coasters, holders and more. Her collection continues to evolve and grow as she finds new ways to help us showcase all of our favorite things. 

Based in Atlanta, Lindsay's work is available in her online shop or in a handful of shops in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina. Pretty and elegant, I could always use more of that...

 

Photos: Copper and Torch       Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Oct162014

Kiki Slaughter

I like any work of art that I can get a little lost in... where I stare, meander and get out of my head for a bit. The work of Atlanta based artist, Kiki Slaughter has succeeded in getting my full attention. I can't help but want to know more...

Kiki is a southern gal, rasied in Charlottesville, Virginia. As shared on her site, "Her paintings are best described as an experiment with the fundamental process of painting. She pours, scrapes, layers and otherwise manipulates paint on the canvas to create works that are rich in both color and texture." 

She creates large abstract oil paintings that feel wholly inspired and layered in meaning. Like many great artists, she's a storyteller at heart. As Kiki shared, "When I begin a painting, I do not always have an idea of the finished product in mind. Instead, I find painting to be an organic process in which the act of painting itself and the phsyicality of materials I use are both muses and methods for my work." 

As one may suspect, Kiki is very inspired by the color and forms of the natural world. She is tuned in to her instincts - able to create a cohesive piece of art that draws us in, not by luck, but by an intuitiveness for form, light and balance. As my friend Kathryn Kolb would say, it works. There's always a reason to why we stop, stare and stay awhile...

Learn more about the work of Kiki Slaughter, here. 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct082014

Jessica Durrant

A love of travel and maps goes hand in hand as it's hard not to love one without the other, right? As a huge fan of both, I was instantly smitten by these watercolor maps by Atlanta illustrator, Jessica Durrant. 

Jessica, whose work has been featured in Target, One Kings Lane, Gilt and more, has a deep passion for her craft. Much of the collection follows her love of fashion and wandering the globe, in search of those moments that instill awe and gratitude. 

 

What I love about these world maps is they are available in sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 36" x 48". Plus, it's hard not to love anything watercolor these days. Maybe I need to take one of her watercolor classes too... Find all of Jessica's daydream inducing works in her Etsy shop, here. 

 

Monday
Sep222014

Kendrick Anderson

Perfect is boring. When it comes to home decor, I crave the little imperfections in materials and the imagination in assembly...

Atlanta based woodworker, Kendrick Anderson has the same craving. He crafted this handsome Holloway Bed from two walnut trees struck by lightening over 20 years ago. The trees, from a farm that Kendrick's client grew up on, have been sitting in a barn, drying out, ever since. 

I love the inlaid butterfly keys that take center stage in the middle of the headboard. Every inch of this bed, no matter how you look at it, is visually engaging. Every notch, discoloration, nuance and change tells a story of these old trees...

Kendrick crafts all manner of custom pieces for the home, including tables, consoles, desks, shelving and more. He embraces a minimalist approach and any chance to weave a good tale. Contact him here to learn more. 

 

Photos: kendrickanderson.com     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Sep152014

The Mifland Rucksack

I can't even tell you how many friends I have over the age of 40, many of them executives and CEO's, who still bring beat up backpacks to work every day. Who takes a guy seriously with a backpack? My thoughts on a perfect upgrade begins with a Mifland Rucksack...

Tobi Egberongbe of Atlanta, Georgia knows style. He's designed over a dozen high quality, leather rucksacks that are each assembled by hand with quality waxed thread stitiching, solid brass and hand picked premium leather. 

These are perfect transition pieces from the standard backpack as they are made to weather the elements but also embody a sophisticated ruggedness. They still got an edge, just not that edge which says "I'm still a teenager." It's a bag for men. 

These American made bags will stand the test of time in both quality and style. Tobi offers so many color variations from bright green and yellow, to camouflage, two tone and worn brown leather. See all the current offerings, here

And if you're a man still dragging a backpack to work, what exactly do you think you're doing? Let's just stop all the nonsense, shall we? Time to be a manly man...

 

 Photos: Mifland Leather Goods      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Sep112014

The Bobo Warehouse Sale

If I encourage you to do one thing this week, let it be a visit to BoBo Intriguing Objects' first ever warehouse sale in Atlanta. Doors open this Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, from 10am-6pm. 

Mark Sage has been in the business of buying vintage and designing antique reproductions for a couple decades now. And his massive 100k square foot, full-of-this-and-that-warehouse, proves it. He's the guy with the dream job, as he travels each month internationally to seek out the unique and unusual in remote villages of Argentina, Poland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Vietnam, India and more. 

As one of the major suppliers to Restoration Hardware, Mark has over 18 fixers around the world that keep an eye out for original pieces to buy or be inspired from. With a close working relationship with dozens of factories internationally, Mark also has an infrastructure and network unlike any other. Up until this Friday, his doors have never been open to the public, only to dealers and designers. So trust me when I say, this is a real treat. 

You'll find thousands of antiques here as well as antique reproductions designed by Mark. Many are one of a kind prototypes he had made but never sold. As his marketing guru, Aysan Balkhanian says, "You can find just about anything in here." 

Lighting is an important part of the BoBo line and you'll see hundreds of original fixtures dangling from the ceilings. 90% of their lighting is made in Poland and materials are usually raw- like driftwood, wine barrels, metal and unfinished wood.  

I particularly liked the hundreds of vintage Belgian school chairs stacked in the back part of the warehouse...

This was my first BoBo purchase- a few stacks of Vietnamese rice bowls dating back to 1886. They were recovered from a sunken ship - how cool is that? Each one has a different shape and coloring. Some lie flat, others are a bit rolly polly. And at just $3 a piece, such a steal...

You can also choose from dozens of deer horns sourced from the Czech Republic...

Aysan, "Mark is the person who finds items where people say, 'Where did you even get that?' He has an eye." 

It's true. You can find anything in here, even Mel Gibson. There will be significant markdowns with prices ranging from a few bucks to over $10,000. Even if you don't buy a thing, it's so much fun just to peruse Mark's diverse and valuable collections, both new and old, sourced or inspired from all over the globe. His dream job turns into our dream afternoon...Here's the flyer, now go check it out! 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Sep052014

The Sweet Peach Chambray Shirt

I feel flattered, grateful. That's the best way to describe my reaction to a recent phone call I received from Thomas Wages of TWEEDS, who created a new shirt for women with the Sweet Peach blog in mind. 


Thomas decided to use a peach colored fabric he really liked and create another version of his popular The Guy Shirt for women, which he released this summer. This shirt, named The Sweet Peach Chambray, is 100% cotton, made in the USA with a tailored fit and elbow patches. It's a very limited run of shirts available in store only. 

Shanna Kenyon of nearby Crafted Westside (one of my favorite new shops) was gracious enough to model the shirt for us and she quickly fell head over heels for it. It's stylish, cozy and just an all around fabulous shirt, if I do say so myself. 

The Sweet Peach Chambray joins the other Guy Shirts for women which TWEEDS recently launched to much fanfare and adulation (this photo via Southern Living). These gorgeous ginghams- in blue, navy, pink or red are available in store and online. Thank you Thomas, I'm flattered, grateful. I like it when you're inspired...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; Final photo: Robbie Canponeto for Southern Living     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Jun242014

Aster + Bay

As I get older, I'm finding myself a bit obsessed with bath and body care products that use high quality, all natural ingredients. Like Aster + Bay, based in Atlanta and founded by husband and wife team, Erin and Glen Hammond. 

As stated on their site, "We believe in the healing energy found in nature, in the ritual of self-care and in the mind-body connection possible through botanical scent. Essential knowledge lives on in the apothecary traditions of Europe, Native American herbal medicine, English kitchen gardens and the lore of old Appalachia." 

Erin and Glen craft small batch, hand-blended infusions and oil blends with organic and wild-harvest ingredients. Their shop includes an ever expanding line of face serums, body oils, therapy oils, hair products and lip stains.

In the market for a good exfoloiator, I think I need to try their Dandelion Face Grains made with clays, resins, roots, flowers and grains. You can mix the grains with six different options, depending on the need. For instance, mix with water to detoxify, yogurt to cool and calm or whole milk to nourish and hydrate. 

Each formula is rooted in history, experimentation and an intention to nourish and treat skin naturally. It's fun to read about each product on their site with highly beneficial ingredients like sea kelp extract, hazelnut oil, Moroccan lava clay, sweet fennel essential oil, tumeric or marshmallow root powder to name a few. 

Beet root + hibiscus lip stain just sounds so tempting and lovely, doesn't it? I like how their stellar packaging matches the quality of their ingredients. Treat yourself to Aster + Bay products sold in seven states or through the online site, here. 

 

Photos: Aster + Bay       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Jun202014

Low Country Boil 

I love a good southern party, specifically a Low Country Boil on a nearby front porch. My uber talented friend, nearby neighbor and colleague, Monica Martino drew this lovely illustration and hosted this shindig last month- along with her husband, Chris. It was a no brainer to add this to the calendar. Yes, please!

Monica and Chris make a great team. They used to throw large get togethers when they lived in Los Angeles and have the perfect party formula dialed in. Having just moved here from LA, (Chris is originally from Atlanta) the couple decided to invite the neighborhood so they could get to know everyone. That's the southern spirit...

Now any good Low Country Boil includes crawfish. The trick is you gotta keep 'em alive until right before you boil them. It's a process for sure. As Monica shared, "I'd eaten my share of crays while working on a tv show about shrimpers in Louisiana, but this was my first time buying and cooking them. We bought our crawfish in the morning from the Crawfish Shack and kept them cool until it was time to cook." 

Monica, "While the water was boiling, we 'purged' the crawfish in the cooler with running cool water and rock salt. This makes them release all their impurities. We rinsed them until the water ran clean, then they were ready to cook." 

They bought a 40 quart pot with a steamer basket and a big wooden paddle to mix. Besides the crawfish, the boil included spicy andouille sausage, sweet corn, red potatoes and shrimp- plus a lot of seasoning, lemons, garlic and a bay leaf or two. 

And seasoning is paramount in any Low Country Boil. Zatarain's concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil has been a New Orleans staple since 1889. It adds a lot of spice. As Monica wisely shared, "Don't be afraid to go a little spicy- that's why there is cold beer available." 

It was fun watching these two work their magic so seamlessly. Monica, "Everything must be fresh and the order you add to the pot is important. Start with the seasonings, onions, garlic, lemons, pepper and sausage. Then add corn and potatoes. Then comes the shellfish. Other than that, you really can't screw it up!" 

Chris and Monica essentially followed this recipe, just adding a few tweaks like using shrimp and eliminating mushrooms. Picture perfect...

So if you're going to do this right, get a big long table and cover it in paper, adding hot sauce, fresh bread, paper towels, cold beer and small garbage pails for the shellfish remnants. Then, let the fun begin...

This has to be the very best part. I'm getting hungry just looking at this whole scene again as everything was so ridiculously tasty. Monica, "It's such a dramatic way to serve up the food and it's so fun to eat straight off the table. It's also a great way to get to know people because there's nothing like sharing a meal with strangers to turn them into friends." 

Chris and Monica hope this becomes a tradition every year. Um, yeah...it better be. 

You may remember Monica from our Christmas post where she made Mercy Gumbo with fresh Louisiana Gulf Shrimp- another dish to remember for a lifetime. Good Lord, I miss that gumbo...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach