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Entries in Georgia (107)

Friday
Apr182014

Malvi Marshmallow Confections

When I met Laura Curtis Retana in front of her display of Malvi Marshmallow Confections, I was trying not to drool. Her marshmallow creations looked so tasty but I knew I couldn't try them, as I'm (so sadly) allergic to eggs. When I shared this with Laura, her reply was my favorite reply I've ever heard from a baker- "There aren't any eggs!" And then, the love obsession took hold, because these things are ridiculously, incredibly, amazingly delectable.  

Laura, "Malvis are all-natural hand made marshmallow cookie sandwiches, like a portable s'mores." She makes her perfectly delicious shortbread-style cookies then adds lots of addictive combinations into her Malvis, like dark chocolate and peppermint, vanilla bean and salted caramel, passion fruit and coconut, blueberries, milk chocolate and cinnamon...and more. Yum. 

Vanilla Salted Caramel is her best seller and my personal favorite. Laura, "Salt plays an important role in my baking and the magical salty-sweet combination is on full display in this Malvi." 

Laura showed up at my work last month with some new flavors and these Vanilla Salted Caramel Minis. Hold me down, lord, these things make me do something I only do on rare occasions- I eat something so unexpectedly delicious, I just can't even talk. To be overcome with joy and happiness is the experience of eating a Malvi Mini. Laura currently just makes them for special events but hopes to package them for customer consumption very soon. Yes please. 

Malvis (which is short for the Spanish word for marshmallow, Malvavisco) are no ordinary marshmallows. Laura, "Marshmallows are 90% air so it's hard to translate flavors through them and most marshmallows are just sugar with a hint of vanilla. Malvis, however, are flavor focused. All the color and flavor in Malvis comes from all-natural, top quality ingredients like organic chocolate, whole bean vanilla and powdered hibiscus. Malvis also have no corn syrup or egg products." 

Laura recently added a Sunshine Sampler to her shop, which is a 20 pack of 5 different flavors for just $25. Check out the entirety of her sweet and salty, super tasty marshamallow confections, here. And happy weekend everyone...

 

Photos: Three Pennies; Sweet Peach      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Apr172014

Eclectica Kiddo

If you live in Atlanta, you may have stepped inside Seed Factory, one of the loveliest and inspirational kid shops you'll find. And if you look along the walls, you'll notice some artwork that is hard not to fall madly in love with. All the pieces are commissioned and curated by Atlanta based company, Eclectica Kiddo. 

Laura Liatis and Emily Mann have combined their talents to provide the most scrumptious children's decor. Laura, "We are always looking for artists with a unique take on children's art." She added, "We want the imagery to be appealing to both children and design-minded parents: to be on trend without being trendy and cute without being cutesy." I believe that is exactly what they have accomplished. 

Ekaterina Trukhan, an artist originally from Russia who now resides in London, has built her career on children's artwok. Her cheery, playful images are just the sweetest, don't you think? 

Laura and Emily find artists that they want to work with, then challenge them with the task to create images just for children. Many of their artists (except Ekaterina) have never created artwork specifically for children before so together they guide the artist through the process. Kelsey Garrity Riley spent her childhood in Europe but relocated to the US to study at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. As shared on the site, "Her beautiful watercolor images have a vintage feel with a unique contemporary twist." 

Teagan White has my heart as her work displays her deep affection for the natural world. Laura and Emily loved these images and decided to display them on birch panels, which is a lovely complement to the style and intention of Teagan's work. 

Atlanta based artist, Justine Rubin incorporated her love of collage and poppy colors to create this adorable series of animals for Eclectica Kiddo. This is Justine's first collection of published children's artwork. 

These days, I'm loving vivid color in design which is why I'm head over heels for the work of Abbey Rhodes. As stated on the site, "Abbey's work shows his appreciation for folk art and simplicity in design and pattern." Mr. Cat or Mr. Dog are available in bright blue, green, orange or yellow. 

Laura, "I absolutely love watching the imagery evolve from a conversation with our artist to a sketch, to a inked drawing, to a final image." While Laura, (seated to the right of Emily) brings a long career on the business side of art and art production to help run the operational side, Emily, an artist herself, is integral in the creative and collaboration process. Together, with a strong love for the arts, they make a perfect match. I loved that they saw a niche in the market and filled it with something sweet and cheery- and beautifully designed! Bravo...

 

Photos: Eclectica Kiddo site     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Mar282014

Revolution Doughnuts

It's a funny thing- if you live in Atlanta and mention Revolution Doughnuts among friends, there are always a few people who start salivating on the spot. They shout out their favorites, "the Almond Joy Nut,"...  "Nutella Cream Puff" or "Raspberry Sprinkle," and all this enthusiastic talk of scrumptious doughnuts reminds you how good this place really is. 

Maria Moore Riggs has always loved to bake. When she moved to Atlanta from San Francisco, she started selling her homemade scones, muffins and cookies at the local farmer's markets and quickly found a following. When the thought came to try something new like doughnuts, the response was very encouraging...

And so, with all of her savings and a lot of hard work, Maria opened Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur, Georgia during the summer of 2012. Maria attributes the shop's success to a tried and true product that also has good timing. Maria, "These are nostalgic treats offered during a downturn in the economy. A doughnut offers that feeling of comfort and happiness." 

Maria is also a smart business woman. After listening to all the diet restrictions and flavor preferences of her customers over the years, she created a variety of doughnut options including Cake Style, Yeast Style and Baked Cake. Cake Style is tender but also dense and moist with a slightly crunchy exterior. The Yeast Cake is fluffy and puffy with a bit of a chew...

And the Baked Cake has a texture like a pound cake or a muffin. The dough is a little sweet and vanilla like. Because every day the crew bakes from scratch, Maria has the ability to offfer various options in the doughnuts, many of which are vegan and gluten free. But it's important to note this is an open kitchen and as Maria shared, "We can't guarantee these doughnuts are trace free from cross contamination." 

What she can guarantee is a fresh, delicious doughnut that is made from scratch that day. There are no hydrogenated oils, no synthetic flavors or colors. Instead you'll find ingredients like organic flour, local dairy and produce and 100% trans-fat free vegetable oil. Above is their popular, Big 'Ol Cinnamon Bun.



When I visited the shop, it was an all girls day in the kitchen. Together they began their day at 4am to create the mainstay of their menu, including seasonal and daily specials. On this day, the special was a Coconut Creme Brulee...

One of their most popular treats is the Caramel Bacon doughnut. Maria was inspired to make the glaze because of her father-in-law, who grew up eating southern cakes. He remembers fondly a boiled caramel icing that his mom used to make. Once Maria perfected it, she realized it would make the perfect glaze for a doughnut. She then adds bacon via The Spotted Trotter, an excellent, slow food style charcuterie business here in Atlanta, whom she got to know while working the farmer's markets.

If the menu is a bit overwhelming, it's only because she has created something for everyone, including savory options like the ridiculously good, Crunchy Mister...

As spring has just sprung, keep an eye out for the Fresh Strawberry Slider and then in the summer, the Peach Slider. Plus, every holiday gets a doughnut and new concoctions pop up from time to time like the popular S'mores doughnut or the Bar Snack, made with crushed salty peanuts and pretzels atop a beer caramel glazed yeast doughnut. Their slogan is "Put something good in your mouth." It's funny, I couldn't of said it better myself. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach   1st pic: Whitney Ott   Last 2 pics: Instagram/Maria Moore Riggs


Monday
Mar242014

Huckleberry Gentry


I think it'd be fun to be a man. You'd get to wear things like pocket squares and cuff links, or lapel flowers...like this one via Huckleberry Gentry.

Kristen Bamford of Atlanta started Huckleberry Gentry with the intent of bringing something fresh and new to the everyday gentleman's wardrobe. Kristen, "A person's choice of clothing and accessories can make a profound statement about who he is or a special cause he supports. We are a vehicle for that influence and self expression and want to make that fun and special for people." 

Kristen has created something new and original in the market- a fabric boutonniere with a nickel clip. This magnetic clip allows its wearer to attach the fabric boutonniere to any type of shirt of jacket, whether it has a button hole or not.  

As spring has sprung, I think it's a good time for men to experiment with some new fashion accessories. Kristen, "Today's southern gent is both modern and traditional. He prefers quality and long lasting products. He has the ability to be both rugged and refined. He stands for something. Our boutonnieres balance these qualities and help him make his own statement in a tasteful and exciting way." Like I said, it'd be fun to be a man...

 

Photos: Huckleberry Gentry       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Mar172014

A Manly Bracelet...

A couple of years ago, I posted about a manly trend of wearing beads. I have to say, I loved it then and I love it now. It's nice to see a good bracelet or necklace on a guy, which is why I was a quick fan of ByJodi based in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

Jodi Gonsman creates some really beautiful pieces for men. Like many an artist, she is very particular in her craft, the materials she sources and works tirelessly to get it 'right' each time. Jodi, "I spend more time than most making sure that every detail is perfect." 

What I like too is how men can mix and match, as these bracelets go so well stacked together. 

The men's bead gemstone bracelet may just be my favorite. The masculine matte hematite is a great feature. As Jodi explains, "I have never seen anything like it. Normally hematite has a shiny, silver-like metallic look to it. This is just cool." And to make it even cooler, she added a nuts and bolts style, sterling silver bead to give it focus and added texture. These beaded and braided creations are part of a manly trend that I hope continues for at least a couple more years. Check out the ByJodi shop, here, which includes hundreds of gorgeous jewels for the women too. 

 

Photos: ByJodi        Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Mar102014

Grooming, via Prospector Co.

Every now and then, I like to check in with the guys at Prospector Co. in Savannah to see what they're up to. They recently introduced new shaving products to their fantastic line of men's skincare, including these pure bristle brushes. My dad has always relied on one of these and I just love it for its classic design and practicality. These shaving brushes are made with boar hair for a firmer, more rigid sensation to the shave. The bristles will soften with age...

They're offered in three different handsome handles; a plastic black, acacia and birchwood. 

And if you own a shaving brush, you'll need the right holder. You'll find two offered at the Prospector Shop- the hardwood razor and brush stand for $18 or the chrome brush and razor stand for $32. 

A good razor is important. The guys at Prospector Co. were discerning in picking the right line to carry in their shop, searching for one that was superior in both design and engineering. They found it in the German company, Merkur. These are high performing razors (recently voted Razor of the Year), with a chrome plated design that work well for the novice to the seasoned pro. 

I love a leather pouch with accessories- this one is for the Merkur travel razor that breaks down nicely into three parts. 

There's something about a straight razor I can't help but love. It's old school and cool...plus, has a hint of danger. This one is made from a non stainless-steel carbon steel blade with gold etching. Its handsome handle is made from maple wood and is smooth to the touch- enhancing the quality of the blade. See the entire shop of grooming goods, here.

 

Photos: Prospector Co.     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Mar072014

Doubletake Recycled Luxury

I've never blogged about women's fashion on Sweet Peach before but this hidden gem of a shop in Atlanta just makes me want to share. It's too good...

Doubletake Recycled Luxury is located in the Old Fourth Ward section of Atlanta, inside Studioplex. Owner, Daniel Troppy is passionate about vintage clothing, specifically pieces with a name and a cool factor. He carries clothes from incredible designers like Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Jill Sander, DVF and more... and at great prices. So I enlisted a few friends of mine to show off some of the goods.

A fan of vintage, my friend Sarah was all smiles from the moment she walked inside Doubletake. She tried on almost a dozen dresses but she seemed to always pop in red. It's a great color on her and this dress fits flawlessly. It's a 60's wool dress (with silk lining) from designer, James Galanos. James started his line in Los Angeles in 1951 and quickly became known for his elegant suits and dresses for day. Nancy Reagan was a loyal fan, and now, so is Sarah. 

I really loved this secretary dress on Sarah. It's by Nina Ricci, circa the 1970's. As Daniel said, "This dress has movement and flows with you. It's very sexy." Nina was born in Italy but moved to France in her early teens where she began her career as an apprentice dressmaker. She is known for her refined, romantic and always feminine dresses. They fit incredibly well, perhaps because Nina worked with fabrics directly on the mannequin.

This is one of my favorites. My friend Lyn is modeling a 1960's Oscar de la Renta Italian peasant dress. Oscar is known for his romantic and extravagent work but also his attention to detail. The more I studied this dress, the more I loved it. Notice the play of pattern, the pirate sleeves and the lovely, unexpected elegance of it all...

This is an early 2000's Jil Sander. As many of you know, Jil is known for her minimalist designs as well as an attention to precision and structure, rather than embellishments. Although this dress has a boxy frame, it's very feminine with the side slit and deep neckline. Daniel paired this dress with a collectible Norman Norell sequined clutch.

I can't help but call my friend Kendall a cutie pie, as that's what she is. She looks lovely in this 80's Guy Laroche dress with a sheer waistband, silk belt and wave patterned fabric. 

Guy Laroche opened his own couture house in Paris in 1949 and became known as a masterful cutter and tailor. Daniel decided to pair this dress with colorful Gucci shoes from the 70's as well as a red bracelet to tie it all together. 

This next dress is an 80's Emanuel Ungaro. I loved the details of this dress which included draping, a bow, zippered sleeves and a tapered bottom. I particularly loved the latter feature. It's not easy to run in this one, that's for sure, but as Daniel said, ''It's designed to take small steps- it's definitely a dress to take your time in..." 

Ungaro was born to Italian parents and as his father was a tailor, he learned from the best. He became known for using soft, fluid fabrics and layered garments. The Gucci shoes worked perfectly for this dress too...

I like these pics as it shows a bit of fun you'll have when you visit Doubletake. After Sarah slipped into this 70's Halston acetate and metal caftan dress, Daniel took it up a notch by adding this chunky red necklace...then a black patent leather belt to show how different a dress can be when you start to play with accessories.

Daniel opened this treasure trove of vintage luxury in 2010. I suggest giving him a visit if you want to play luxurious dress up for a day. It's really fun as he has a knack for figuring out what your style is and what would flatter your figure- whether you know it or not. As Daniel often says, "Just try it on!" Inside you'll also find shoes, bags, hats, belts, scarves and gobs of jewelry. And don't be surprised if old tunes of Barry White or Dionne Warwick are playing on the record player when you step inside. It's vintage, baby...the good stuff. 

 

Photos & Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Feb242014

Tweeds

Tweeds is the kind of shop that grabs your attention the moment you walk inside. The space is great, the offerings are varied, distinctive and well made. It all just makes a lot of sense, much like the union of its owners, Kirk Stafford and Thomas Wages. When they met, they quickly realized their mutual love for design and men's apparel and decided to go into business together. 

With incredibly similar interests and aesthetics, Kirk and Thomas sometimes feel like they have the exact same brain (and often dress alike). Their 2300 square foot space on the west side of Atlanta (that was once a horse stable) is open and welcoming. The shop has ample space to meander, with couches and chairs to relax on, plus a steady rotation of great tunes playing. And for us home decor lovers, everything inside the store is for sale, including all the tables, props and display pieces. Thomas, "The whole store is a living breathing thing that's always evolving." 

Tweeds is filled with men's apparel and provisions handmade by small craft companies from across the globe. And yes, that is an Andover Trask bag I spot... 

I quickly became a fan of the luxury boxers, Royal Highnies. According to the makers from Flintstone, Georgia, these are handmade, "including a spacious ballroom with full seating and a sturdy front entrance so that no one slips out unexpectedly." The blanket and strap come via Yellow 108 in Los Angeles and the attractive leather belts are part of their ever expanding Tweeds line...

One of the top two reasons to shop at Tweeds is for their hand stitched suits. Thomas, "Our handmade suits are a third to a half the price of our competitors." The handsome Tweeds brand suit sells for $895.

The second top reason men seek out Tweeds is for their shirts. They have a nice selection from Ernest Alexander of New York as well as the recent introduction of their own line. 

Thomas showed me a couple special features, including their split placket across the back which allows the shirt to hang better on the shoulders. The quality of their material is superb- plus they add elbow patches, which I can't help but love. 

Kirk and Thomas were a pure pleasure to hang out with. They promise me big things are happening at their store this year, including their own denim line, more shirts, pants and provisions under the Tweeds label as well as an expansion of their store...and some more things that they were keeping mysteriously mum. But, they assured me that whatever shenanigans they were up to, it was something really good. Well, like I said earlier, they got my attention.

Check out the Tweeds shop, here.

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Feb202014

Gunner & Lux

My favorite part of being a design blogger is telling stories. Products come and go but what connects all of us to an artist and their work is knowing a bit of their background, their passions and quirks. What is their story?  For John Petersen, his design story begins in Atlanta, Georgia where he lives with his partner, William and their exuberant four year old daughter, Riley.  

John has always been the creative type with a love for crafting and styling. He recently decided to collect jewelry pieces for Riley in anticipation of her wanting to play dress up. From friends, antique and thrift shops, John soon amassed a large collection of new and vintage jewels. John, "I decided to try my hand at crafting a one of a kind necklace for a friend. My daughter wanted to watch and before I knew it, she was helping me create the necklace." 

Like many people who discover a passion, John decided to delve deeper. His one necklace became two necklaces, then dozens and dozens more. He loved curating the jewels, crafting new, original pieces and was encouraged by the positive reception. 

I have to say, it was very sweet seeing Riley practice making her own necklaces alongside her dad. The little time I was at their home, Riley was learning how to count, spell, tie a knot, use her imagination and better know her dad. When it's jewel making time, the two sit side by side at the dining room table- John with his supplies on one side and Riley with her supplies on the other. 

Riley creates necklaces for herself and friends- or their lemonade stand in the summer where she sells her colorful creations for $1 a piece. Good deal.  

John sells his jewelry in a few boutique shops as well as in his new online shop, Gunner & Lux. And as John reminded me, what makes his necklaces so special is there can never be two the same. The jewels are primarily ornate and vintage, both bought and found, making each completed necklace a unique statement piece with its own collection of stories to tell...

We now know the basics, plus a bit more detail and insight into this lovely family of three. For John and Riley, they've begun a journey of imaginative, artistic play that feeds and thrives off the other. I'm not sure where the story goes from here but it's fair to say, their Once Upon A Time tale has just begun...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Gunner & Lux      Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb182014

Yours Is The Earth

 

Atlanta based artist, Jamie Jimenez has a playful, bright style that quickly grabs your attention. Her online shop, Yours Is The Earth includes illustrated and calligraphed prints, stationery and home goods that celebrate our favorite time of day-  mealtime. 

As Jamie believes strongly in eating seasonally, she has designed a print for each season highlighting the harvests we can expect throughout the year. You can download all four for $12, here.

I'm always a fan of tea towels, especially the small collection Jamie has created to complement a lively kitchen.

Her calligraphy skills naturally translate to stamps, as you'll find 18 to choose from to mark your homemade goods or evening's menu...

I particularly like her mini cards that would cheer anyone up. How sweet would it be to receive one of these? Check out the entirety of Jamie's shop, that appeals to the glutton in all of us, here.

 

Photos: Yours Is The Earth      Content: Sweet Peach