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Entries in Georgia (182)

Friday
Dec182015

Holiday Peach Picks: Nan Myers

The best benefit of having this Southern design blog are the people I meet. I have made many friends over the last four and a half years through Sweet Peach that I will cherish for a lifetime. Like Nan Myers of Thomasville, Georgia. Owner of Firefly, one of my favorite shops, Nan is as cool and unassuming and wonderful as they come. An eye for great design, she thrives on travel and adventure and loves to be outdoors surrounded (and inspired) by mother nature...you are just as likely to find her at her lovely shop as you are in the corner of a restaurant reading a good book. She's a true champion of the South who can organize stunning Southern supper clubs or design and plan a jaw dropping, beautiful wedding, like this one, featured in Garden & Gun. I do this blog because of the artists that continue to inspire me. So here are Nan's Holiday Peach Picks that will most certainly inspire you...

1. Unicorn Horn, $20. Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn. This horn is 5" tall and 1.5" wide at the base. A thin elastic headband is sewn onto the base of the horn which is perfect for the very active unicorn. It is super cute and guaranteed to turns heads as you trot down the street. 

2. Lovelane Capes, Crowns, Hats and Cuffs, from $24. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Lovelane! We are smitten with these adorable Super Hero accessories created in Savannah, Georgia by Lane Huerta. I've been known to rock the tiger cuffs during shop hours. They make me wrap better :) 

3. Sugarfina Champagne Gummy Bears, $20. I remember vividly when my sister, who was 13 at the time, came back from visiting friends in Germany. She brought back Lacoste sweat bands, metallic blue heart shaped sunglasses, a record of some fabulous, strange band called The Police (Zenyatta Mondatta) and gummy bears. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I still love gummy bears and to find these, made with Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne?! How fun is that? We are carrying a range of Sugarfina's products as we think the whole line is pretty darn sweet. 

4. Plumdog, $16.99. This book by Emma Chichester Clark makes me want to move to London so that my Bleu girl (black lab) can be BFF's with Plum. This is a collection of Plum and Emma's daily doings told through Plum's eyes and Emma's charming illustrations. I had to limit how much I would read each night, which was an extreme exercise in willpower. 

5. Betsy Olmsted's tea towels, $26. These tea towels are the perfect gift for the hostess, a friend or for yourself! Printed to look hand painted, Betsy Olmsted's textiles start from her original watercolor and gouache designs. Printed and finished in the USA. 

6. Antler Slice earrings, $86. Artist, Megan Proctor, who is originally from my neck of the woods, now resides in Charleston, South Carolina. She creates nature inspired jewelry kicked up a handsome notch or two. Her pieces are stunning and so easy to wear. These antler sliced earrings are just a teaser of her beautiful line. 

7. Wood necklace, $46. I love the simplistic nature inspired pieces created by Georgia artist, Courtney Weil. Her jewelry is a winner winner chicken dinner with my teens. 

8. We Took to the Woods Candle, from $42. I met Mary and her family this summer at the Atlanta AmericasMart and later visited their lovely store in Greenville, South Carolina on my way to the mountains. I love their genuine Americana style and they are as nice as the day is long. Enclosed in tartan containers with wonderful scent options, these candles are a perfect fit for Firefly. We immediately sold out of our exclusive "Walk in the Piney Woods" and Three Wood Shirts, pictured here, is also a personal favorite. 

9. Scottish Wool Carpet bags, from $118. I am a Scot-Irish 6th generation T'villian who loves some tartan. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find these Scottish wool carpet bags. We have a nice assortment at our brick and mortar store so call and we will be glad to text you some options. We stock them in both medium and large. 

10. Porcupine necklace, $15. Another beauty by Courtney Weil...every necklace is a genuine porcupine spike collected at a local farm, as the quills naturally fall off on their own. 

 

Illustration: Sarah Neuburger, The Small Object 


Wednesday
Dec162015

Revive Your Bath

These days, I feel like handcrafted soap is as plentiful as candles are. With so much to choose from, you never quite know which new products to try. Well I tried Revive Your Bath soaps and now I'm an avid fan...and customer. As these products make excellent stocking stuffers this holiday, I thought it would be a good time to share. 

Caitlin Abshier is an entrepreneur at heart, as she started this business when she was still in high school. Her mom had given her a soap making kit for Christmas and as fate would have it, she found her passion. She continued to cultivate her craft and grow her business in college, selling soaps and bath products at local markets on the weekends. She graduated without any student debt and with that kind of determination, who knows what's in store for her next. Hard work pays off. 

Of all the products I tried of Caitlin's, I'm partial to the loofah soap. I absolutely love this soap, which has an actual section of a loofah embedded. It's an excellent exfoliater, and paired with Caitlin's soaps, which are made from vegetable based oils without any harmful chemicals, preservatives, parabens or synthetics, it's a quick favorite in any tub. 

As the holidays are coming up, Caitlin is offering some great gift sets. The Soap Slice Gift Set is a mix of 4 different scented soaps so you can figure out your favorite- which may likely be the popular Peppermint Rosemary and Lemon or Vanilla and Lavender. Plus, I just discovered on her site that she sells Soap Misfits from $3-$4.60 each- which are soaps that are perfectly fine but may not be aesthetically ready for prime time. I'm all over that... 

When I visited their office and workspace in Atlanta, Cara Causey of Revive was there making a fresh batch of their Lavender Milk and Oatmeal Bath Soak. This soak is meant to soothe as it's made with buttermilk powder, colloidal oatmeal, lavender and lavender essential oil. As it's a somewhat chilly night right now in Atlanta as I write this, and I've worked the past two weeks without a day off, I'm wishing I had some of this right about now...

I really can't say enough good things about the Revive brand. I have a few new soaps stacked in my bathroom right now, at the ready, but as each bar can last up to a month, I know they'll each have to wait their turn. Click here to peruse the shop and my recommendation- try the loofah soap for your stocking stuffer gifts. The best! 

 

Images: reviveyourbath.com, Sweet Peach    Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Tuesday
Dec152015

Holiday Peach Picks: Sara Lee Parker

If you're a close friend of mine, you know I have a thing for tea towels. Which means, I have a thing for Sara Lee Parker. Her hand-printed textiles, made from organic cotton and hemp fabrics, are some of my all time favorites. They have beautiful patterns with a quirky energy that I love. So how could I not ask her what her favorite gift picks are for this year? It was a no brainer, and there are a couple gifts here that I've already bookmarked to get for some lucky family members. Her list will help make your shopping a wee bit easier...thank you Sara! 

1. Putford scissors, $12. For the crafter who covets nice looking tools. 

2. Molly Hatch mug, $18. I'm collecting everything Molly Hatch and this one is going on my wish list. 

3. Cottage Garden calendar, $14. This cute little calendar would be a sweet gift for my business friends. 

4. Tugboat Printshop Daisy Bouquet print, $150. I've been coveting this print for almost a year! Tugboat is a husband and wife team from Pittsburg making beautiful hand cut, woodblock prints. 

5. Blabla Apple doll, $44. Our local Treehouse Kid & Craft carries the best gifts for the littles in our lives. I love this Blabla doll for my niece. 

6. Kimone Rose perfume, $19. This scent is so lovely, I can't imagine anyone not loving it! 

7. Gold Fish pocket knife, $22. I love giving pocket knives! They make great presents for your handy woman friend. 

8. Mana In Our Foods, $7. Alyssa makes the BEST pre packaged meals from local ingredients...a wholesome meal for my foodie brother.

9. Xenia Taler art tile, $28. I'm a huge fan of Xenia Taler's art tile and I'd love to gift this to a friend. 

10. Diana Sudyka art print, $30. Beautiful art by Diana Sudyka, this print would make a wonderful gift to a lucky someone. 

11. Maria Dondero blue flower mug, $40. My mom would love this mug! 

 

Illustration: Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object

 

Monday
Dec142015

Holiday Peach Picks: Brandy Schuman

Brandy Schuman of A Sensible Habit is one of those artist's with many tales to tell. She appears to come out with a new and unsuspecting product every month and I'm always impressed with her ever expanding options of pretty housewares, stationery and accessories. I love her aesthetic, so of course I wanted to see what was on her gift list this year. Thank you for these stellar selections Brandy...

1. The 52 Lists Project, $16.95. A perfect gift for ringing in 2016. Moorea Seals' newest release is a weekly journaling book that includes list prompts and challenges to help you take action and make your dreams a reality. I'm picking this up for myself and some of my other business minded lady friends. 

2. Atlanta Pennant, $25. A gift for repping your ATL pride. 

3. Swell bottles, from $25. I love my Swell bottles and they have tons of fun colors and patterns to choose from. It keeps liquids warm for 12 hours and cold for 24. Even better, the jumbo size holds an entire bottle of wine...and speaking of which, I go to 3 Parks where my pal Sarah always steers me in the right direction for that perfect bottle of wine or bubbly. 

4. Glow in the dark pillowcase set, $50. These glow in the dark hand printed pillowcases from Grandiflora Textiles are stylish and fun at any age. 

5. Serving board, from $32. Star Provisions in Atlanta has some wonderful wooden serving boards for under $50. I have a round one and a large rectangular one that I love. They are great for serving food and snacks, then hanging on the wall when not in use. It's the perfect hostess gift for the right person. 

6. Blabla knit dolls, from $44. Blabla dolls are the best and are my go-to baby gift. Beauregard is my current favorite with his boots and red sash. 

7. Private Parts bath mat, $60. I like to have a few things around the house that weird out my boyfriend and make me laugh. 

8. Aesop, from $10. I'm a big fan of Aesop's hand soaps and lotion. Someone nearby almost always comments on how good it smells as soon as I use it. 

9. WKNDLA Wall Hanging, $150. I admire Cindy Hsu Zell's minimalist pieces and the way she mixes materials. I hope to get my hands on one of her wall hangings soon...

10. Blockshop Textiles indigo scarf, $120. I love these beautiful scarves that also make great wall hangings, as they are extra long. 

11. Lapel pins, $8. Adam J Kurtz has lots of hilarious things that you could give to the right person. This guy really cracks me up. 

12. Contour key ring, $16. This is my fave key ring because it easily slips on your wrist. The great price makes it the perfect little gift for a friend or a stocking stuffer. 

13. Bronze coffee scoop, $75. I use a little wooden spoon with my morning coffee but these bronze coffee scoops would make my AM coffee making ritual real pretty.  

14. Gifts for the pup, from $9.50. We can't forget the pups! My personal favorites are a new leash from Found My Animal, a leather collar from Woodlark, or rope toys from Jax and Bones- which my dog, Hendrix, loves to chew to pieces. 

15. Classes and Workshops, from $30. The gift of experience! Last year, after my boyfriend gifted me a month of classes at Mudfire, I started making ceramics and it's been one of the best gifts yet. Preserving Place in Atlanta also has workshops and classes for those interested in canning or cooking. 

 

illustration: Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object

 

Friday
Dec112015

Holiday Peach Picks: Hugh Acheson

This past summer, I produced my first Sweet Spots paper for Athens, Georgia. I was thrilled to have Hugh Acheson be one of the first to buy an ad for it and I have to say, he's always been the kind of great guy we see on TV. I've appreciated his support and am a huge fan of his recently released cookbook, The Broad Fork- which by the way, just got listed as the best cookbook of the year by Epicurious (great gift idea). As an added plus, Hugh is an avid traveler and stylish dresser, which makes him fun to follow on Instagram. It's just another way to let this fun and talented, guy-next-door chef into our lives. He's a good man- and I'm as happy as can be to share his stellar Peach Picks on Sweet Peach this holiday season. Thank you Hugh! 

1. Phil and Sebastian Coffee, from $18.50. Phil and Sebastian is a phenomenal coffee roaster in my native Canada, based in Calgary, Alberta. Brilliant packaging but even better sourcing and skilled roasting of the beans. It's also sold at Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta. Save on that shpping $$$!

2. Vintage Cast Iron Pan. Some great cast iron is available on Etsy and Ebay. Look for Griswold brand. And if you find a well seasoned cast-iron (I mean seasoned like you can see your face in it), don't think, just buy. You will never regret it. 

3. All Clad 12" inch stainless collection fry pan, from $95. This is one of the most used pans in my kitchen. And it's also one of the oldest- a testament to the durability of the All Clad product. 

4. Chubo Utility Knife, $195. This has become one of my favorite knives. And I have a lot of knives. It's pricy, but worth it. 

5. McEvoy Ranch Olive Oils, from $29. Olive oil has such a presence in my food and I love showing off the wonderful producers in our midst. McEvoy Ranch produces award-winning, clean and truly delicious olive oil.

6. R. Wood Studio Ceramics, from $22. Rebecca Wood is an iconic Athenian artist and for good reason. Her ceramics befit the most elegant Southern table, but also find a happy home in well-used kitchens. 

7. Condor Chocolates Truffle Gift Box, from $8 (in store only: Athens, GA) or chocolate bars from the online shop, $9. My buddy Peter Dale is serving up delicate, carefully crafted (by the talented Shae Sims) chocolates and confections that will put a smile on anyone's face. Several seasonal truffle offerings make for an elegant and fun gift box.  

8. Gift Certificate to Bikram Yoga Studio, Athens, from $18. Mary, my wife, enjoys a regular practice at our local Bikram yoga studio. It's a state of the art facility that beginners and seasoned practitioners alike patronize. 

9. Subscription to AFAR magazine, $20. Beautifully laid out, stunning graphic design and a great resource for the eclectic traveler, of which I am one. 

10. David Hale prints, from $15. I wear David's art on my arm, but if you're needle-shy, you can get a print instead. His work is vastly intricate and very stylized. He's a dedicated artist. 

 

Image of Hugh: Taylor Oxendine    Content: Sweet Peach/ Hugh Acheson 


Wednesday
Dec092015

Piebox 

A couple of months ago, I was in the Beautiful Briny Sea workspace and noticed that Suzi was sharing a portion of her space with Piebox. I love Piebox and was thrilled to hear that the owners, Adrienne Blumthal, Carol Blumthal and Steven Karl Metzer just relocated their company from Chicago to my backyard in the Grant Park section of Atlanta. Welcome to the South y'all...the epicenter of good pie. 

The simple, modern design of each Piebox is what makes them so great- plus, they're needed. I can't tell you how stressful it is to transport a freshly baked pie from one part of town to another when you have nothing to use but a dinner plate. It's just so wrong... so I applaud them for these stylish, reusable wooden carriers we can have all to ourselves or to gift to our baking loving friends. 

With the success of the Piebox came the Cakebox. This design is clever as it can be used for most 10" cake plates but also, the removable cupcake racks allow the transport of up to 18 cupcakes. And if you want to up your style quotient, purchase this vegetable tanned leather strap for an easy carry...  

As if Piebox and Cakebox weren't enough, there's also Cookiebox which works for all your small pastries and treats. I want one, filled with an assortment of cookies, preferably any containing chocolate, for Christmas. Family, take note...

And as Adrienne shared, the TSA has just allowed pies and cakes to be transported on planes so it's a no brainer to travel with one of these when you head home for the holidays. The sinful southern dessert you make that morning can be tasted and shared that night, hundreds or thousands of miles away. I want one of every box. If you're feeling that urge too, click here. 

 

Images: Steven Karl Metzer    Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Thursday
Dec032015

Beautiful Briny Sea

For me, the best part about having a blog is the artists I get to meet and the opportunity I have to learn more about what they do, what they create. Suzi Sheffield of Beautiful Briny Sea is a force of nature and a gal after my own heart. She is passionate about creating, pushing boundaries, succeeding- and none of that happens without having a ton of fun along the way. If she's not enjoying the process, something is seriously wrong. 

Suzi owned a taqueria and catering restaurant for 12 years in Columbia, South Carolina. Craving a new direction, she left that business but brought her food instincts and savviness with her to create salts and eventually, sugars. And quality is paramount. Every item packed inside each Beautiful Briny Sea tin is hand harvested...the salt, the sugars, the herbs. Each product is then labeled and packed by hand in her Grant Park warehouse just east of downtown Atlanta. 

If Suzi doesn't love her job every day, she is failing at some level. So she comes up with fantastic creations that keep her imagination and enthusiasm level on high. As her possibilities for crafting dry goods are unlimited, the results are a mix of quirky and awesome. Like Mr. Gigglepants, a hibiscus sugar that's perfect for french toast, cupcakes or fancy schmancy cocktails. She wanted the label to reflect the spirit of this sugar, so it's an elephant in pink hot pants, holding a champagne glass and dancing while baring his three chest hairs. 

Creative people love to collaborate- they know that's the good stuff. And I think my favorite product of Suzi's is one she did along with Amy Sedaris and Fishs Eddy called I Like You Sprinkles. It's a mix of colorful sprinkles, sanding sugar, pastel sugar wafers, nonpareils and the best part- chocolates with the phrase 'I like you' on them. It's a perfect product for Amy and she found the perfect partner to make them with. I mean, I just can't take the cuteness. Such a great gift idea. 

Another recent collaboration of Suzi's was with Chef and Restaurateur, Kevin Gillespie. Owner of the popular Atlanta restaurant, Gunshow, Kevin and his Executive Chef, Joey Ward, came up with a finishing salt aptly named Gunpowder.


Suzi explained to me that her front door is always open as she wants chefs and other professionals to come in and mix and match her ingredients to see what they can come up with. It's a playground upon entry, so one must play


Inside the warehouse, Suzi has a small team that work together to fill, label, package and manage all the tins and employees enjoy the constant perks- like the Soap Box Derby they were all racing in that weekend, dressed as magic unicorns, of course. 

If you're in the Grant Park area, stop in and see Suzi- she loves to show off her space and share a bit of her passion. And honestly, the best no fail gift to give this year is one of her sugars or salts. There are so many to choose from, including Santa Salt made with rosemary and pink peppercorns or the Dream Team salt set featuring Hot Steve, French Picnic, Campfire and Friends Forever. I mean, c'mon. So good...

 

Images: Beautiful Briny Sea; Sweet Peach     Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Friday
Oct162015

The Sandwich Wrap

I just wrapped a four month job and I must admit, I had lunch off site much too often. I spent excess money on sit down meals instead of making my own sandwich each day. So maybe for the next gig, I'll be more motivated to make my own lunch if I buy these aesthetically pleasing sandwich wraps, via Dot and Army

Jennifer Zamudia of Brunswick, Georgia crafted these fabric wraps exclusively for Food52. The wraps are available in black houndstooth, red pin dots, slate canvas, tan pin dots, neutral canvas and gray ticking. Simply lovely.

Order your favorite trio of well designed, self motivating sandwich wraps, here.

 

Images: Food52   Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
Oct152015

Radio Roasters

For the past year, Chip Grabow of Radio Roasters and I have emailed back and forth, always planning to get together for a blog shoot, but for some reason or other, never connecting. Until earlier this week, when we set a date on a Monday morning and I arrived and he was there. Perfect. Now let's have some of that coffee...

Part of the reason it took Chip and I some time to connect was because roasting small batch coffee is not his day job. He's an editor at CNN and does this coffee roasting thing on the side. Except it's not really just a thing- it's a big, ambitious, impressive thing. He does it for the love of coffee and Chip's passion is evident the moment I stepped inside his small roastery in Decatur, Georgia. He doesn't want others to just drink good coffee, he wants them to understand why it's good coffee. As Chip explained, "roasting coffee is an art form."

Coffee, at its origin is a food crop. Like a fine wine, the taste varies based on the soil it is grown in, the care the farmer provides, when it is harvested and how. The farmer who raised the beans now passes the responsibility on to those that roast and ultimately brew those beans. Chip savors the challenge. As he shared, "There are all these flavors locked inside a coffee bean that you don't realize is there."

During my visit, Chip roasted two of six coffee options that he is always rotating, depending what's in season and from where. The first up was Estate PB near Antigua in Guatemala which derives from the small bean known as peaberry-  which, if roasted just right, elicits a full bodied, sweet taste. The other coffee was Banexport from Huila, Colombia which showcases an apple crispness with a sweet, rich body.

It was so nice to have a cup of the Antigua coffee, roasted and brewed by a caregiver's touch. I told Chip, as I work in television studios and sets, I always hide my bad coffee with cream and sugar. But here I had the chance to drink a quality cup and really learn its depth and nuances. It tasted delicious and I learned a thing or two. Mission accomplished for Chip.

I also learned through our time together that Chip was a producer at NPR for 15 years (hence the name of his company). He's a man after my own heart as he loves a good story. And he continues to tell really good stories, whether he knows it or not, with each cup of coffee he serves.

If you live in Atlanta, you can purchase Radio Roasters coffee from Crafted Westside, Sq/ft or in Chip's online shop. As the formula goes, Chip roasts and you brew, so I recommend you check out his brewing tips for crafting a flavorful, quality cup. One that would make him and the farmer proud. 

 

Images: Whitney Ott, Sweet Peach     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Oct062015

Philip Juras

In search of more artwork for my home, I had to take a moment to admire the work of painter, Philip Juras of Athens, Georgia. I spied his work on my friend Nan's Instagram account the other day... 

What I love most about Philip Juras' work is that the majority of it showcases my favorite place on earth- Little St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Through my work at TBS, I've been so fortunate to visit this magical, private island a multitude of times. Whatever the reason, (which I gather has a lot to do with how protected and untouched this southern wilderness is) I feel nothing but happiness when I set my feet here- and I get the feeling Philip feels the same way. 

As shared on his site, "Philip focuses primarily on remnant natural landscapes that offer a glimpse of the Southeast before European settlement." Through my dozens of hikes with friend, Kathryn Kolb, I've come to learn first hand how special and fragile our Southern ecosystem is...it is artists like Philip (and Kathryn) who remind us why it's so vital to stand up and protect it. 

See more of the lovely, southern inspired work of Philip Juras, here.

 

Images: Phillip Juras      Content: Sweet Peach