Entries in Mississippi (11)


Johnson Benjamin


It's September and the temperatures are starting to drop, there's a breeze back in the air and autumn is moments away. To help prep for the change of season, a new bag is in order. I can't help but have my eye on a couple canvas beauties by Johnson Benjamin in Corinth, Mississippi.

Johnson Benjamin is a small batch production company, with each bag crafted by hand using cotton canvas duck, brass hardware and heavy cotton webbing. There are a plethora of pockets, a canvas lining and adjustable straps. Each one is designed to be a kick around bag, made to be used and abused, joining you on a new adventure...perfect for fall, don't you think? 


Images: Johnson Benjamin    Content: Sweet Peach 



The sweetest birdhouse...

In Star, Mississippi, you'll find some crafty craftsman making the sweetest birdhouses. When I saw this one, the Bluebird Bunkhouse, I knew I needed it for my backyard to attract one of my favorite songbirds. As bluebirds have suffered a decline in the US, small efforts like this can make a real difference.

My friend Bob helped me place my blue bunkhouse securely in the yard and he kindly brought over some wood shavings to start a nest. Then I waited... It took about a month but then, just like that, a nest was born. It appears to belong to a catbird which makes just as lovely a song...It's okay, I get it. Finders keepers. Welcome to your new home catbird. 

As if the Bluebird Bunkhouse wasn't sweet enough, there are dozens and dozens of fabulously designed birdhouses for all kinds of wrens, chickadees and songbirds in the Heartwood shop. They all came to be because of two Mississippi brothers, Larry and Jerry Glass. Their innovative eye for aviary home design has quickly caught the eye of many and now, stylish birdhouses have taken residence in thousands of backyards across the nation.

My other two favorites include this Lady Bug Loft and the S.S. Birdsong- so perfect for a beach house. And if that's not enough, check out Larry and Jerry's bird feeders, butterfly houses, bat houses and even beekeeping equipment. It's all right here.


Images: Sweet Peach blog and



Blackjack Candle Co. 

A few days ago I posted about some soft and stylish tea towels I found at 200 Mill in Marietta, Georgia. While there, I also found this candle, thanks to Lindsay Troutman of Copper and Torch. She picked up this Spanish Moss scent by Blackjack Candle Co. in Meridian, Mississippi and said it's one of her favorites. So I bought it...and now it's one of mine. 

So many times, candles can smell good in the shop but not always when you burn them. This Spanish Moss scent is woodsy and herbacious and just instantly calms and soothes. Now I just need to check out some of Blackjack's other inventive scents like Front Porch and Film Noir. See their entire collection, here.





I'm back in town after a long weekend out west and have a bit of time to share a few pretty things that caught my eye on the flight home. My endless gratitude for Gogo inflight...

I'm currently searching for more artwork for my own home that is original yet affordable. Painter, Lynne Millar was raised in McLean, Virginia, and sells her floral-themed oils on paper at such great prices. ($80 or $40 for these....) 

Then, there's the gorgeous water cut candles I spotted over at JM Dry Goods in Austin, Texas. These eye catching candles come in 8 different colors for $62. 

And checking back in with my favorite Mississippi shop, Amelia Presents, I spotted this gorgeous hand painted clutch for $60 that is offered in blue, green or pink tones (or simply request your favorite color). It's exlusive to Amelia and I dare say, such a good find. 



Melissa Vincent

My latest find on Instagram is Miss Melissa Vincent. She lives in Mississippi and after discovering Instagram herself back in 2011, she realized a newfound passion for combining photography and mobile art. With just the use of an iPhone and some imagination, she's created some stunning images seen the world over...

At this time, Melissa has an impressive 389k Instagram followers. She's been featured on National Geographic online, Time Magazine, Huffington Post and USA Today to name a few.  

Melissa, "My work is surreal, story book like depictions of my every day surroundings and landscapes or other photos of nature. All of my ideas are rooted in the deepest part of the Mississippi delta. My goal as an artist is to paint the South in a magical and positive way through my iPhone art."

The top right pic was taken in one of Melissa's favorite spots in Sardis, Mississippi. Melissa, "You can walk out and view the wetlands which are breathtaking. I wanted to make it even more magical through editing." Bottom left is a Mississippi cotton field and as a lover of trees, Melissa shares their beauty- always adding a touch of magic...

Melissa finds inspiration through the work of Ansel Adams, Picasso, Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Melissa, "Missisippi isn't a place most people visit, so I enjoy showing the world beautiful landscapes they might not see otherwise." 

Melissa utilizes apps like Juxtaposer, Decim8 and Photo Wizard to create her memorable images. The entire post process happens on her phone. Oh, how I'd love to just sit by her side and watch her work... 

Check out Melissa's site to learn more or better yet, follow her Instagram. I think I may be downloading some new apps soon too. Time to let the imagination run's good for the soul. 



Shack Up Inn

Sweet Peach subscriber, Erin Reid, reminded me yesterday of a place I've been meaning to blog about, The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi. I was supposed to be there last summer for my friend Lyn's wedding, but alas, I was off shooting some reality show somewhere. The more I see these pics, the more I realize I missed a great thing...

The accommodations are exactly what it sounds like- shacks. These sharecropper shotgun homes were built in the early 1900's to the mid 1900's, and some have been added fairly recently as the Inn has grown in popularity. (The Tinth, above, was recently constructed with eco friendly materials) There are rows of shacks, spaced over 2 1/2 acres that rent for just $70-$90 a night. There's also a series of hotel suites in the original cotton gin.  

They proudly state on their site, "The Ritz We Ain't." The owners refer to their setup as a B&B, which stands for Bed and Beer. As one of the owners, Guy Malvezzi shared with me over the phone, "People are just looking for something different. You can stay at a Comfort Inn any place in the world. You wake up and can't tell which Comfort Inn you're at. You stay out here and it's a whole different ballgame."  

The old shacks have been renovated to include heat, AC, plumbing and electricity. There is even internet. Inside the office, you'll find coffee and a box of doughnuts in the morning. Don't expect a can get that at the Ritz. 

This land was once the Hopson Plantation. Guy admits people have a tough time with the word plantation (primarily outside the Delta), but it's important to note these shacks were built way after slavery was abolished. It was here, with the invention of the first mechanical cotton picker, modern cotton farming was born. 

With cotton picking, came the Blues. Now, the Blues began in the North Mississippi Delta after the Civil War. The Blues is a mix of African music, spirituals, work songs, field hollers and simple narrative ballads. It's origination is here in Clarkesdale as just down the way from Shack Up, you'll find the Delta Blues Museum. If you like the Blues, there's a wealth of incredible history here. (And when you're hungry, you can visit another town landmark at Abe's Bar-B-Q, serving since 1924) 

So when you're staying at the Shack Up Inn, don't expect high end luxury. Do expect a cool experience and the chance to hear lots of good stories on the front porch. There are no matching sheet sets here but a mish mash of things bought and found over the years. Some shacks even have old pianos inside that are tuned and ready to play. You won't find chocolates on your bed at night, but you may just find a freshly made moon pie...

One of my favorite features on the grounds is the Juke Joint Chapel which combines music and religion themes here in the Bible Belt. They have some incredible live music here- hopefully you'll experience it if you stay. 

I had to ask Guy about the swing, pictured right. Guy, "Oh that's a satellite dish we had sitting out here forever. I was always trying to figure out what to do with it so I drug it up under that thing and put a swing under it." They added the windmill later as it just looked cool. 

Many of the old relics found on the grounds Guy found at The Mid South Fair in Memphis. As it was going out of business, they got tons of cool stuff for cheap. Guy and his business partners started Shack Up Inn as a place to kick back, tell stories, drink beer, play music. They haven't spent any money on advertising and people the world over come to knock on the Lobby door. It's often sold out. I think Guy's right, people are looking for something different. 


Photos: Shack Up Inn;; Vickie Stanton Photography;     Content: Sweet Peach


A Christmas Eve Cocktail, served hot

On Halloween, I shared a post that featured Cathead Pumpkin Spice Vodka and cream soda. So simple to make yet insanely good. This time, Ross from Cathead Vodka of Jackson, Mississippi shared a new concoction using apple cider. This is hands down one of my new favorite drinks for wintertime. It has incredible depth of flavor and is just as tasty served hot or cold. Enjoy, and happy Christmas Eve everyone...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Happy Halloween! Let's make a cocktail..

This fall, Cathead Vodka of Jackson, Mississippi has released two new flavors, Pumpkin Spice and Pecan. And both are incredibly tasty, if I do say so myself. A couple days ago, my friend Wendy Binns was kind enough to lend a helping hand to style a few shots...

We both absolutely loved the Itsy Bitsy Spider cocktail, which was all the more fun to make in the fabulous Mason Shaker. After making it, then photographing it, I drank it. Then quickly poured myself another...


The Dark & Spooky is a low key kind of drink, perfect for a bewitching Halloween night. To make the brown sugar vanilla syrup, mix one cup of brown sugar with one cup of water, add a vanilla bean, (learn how to prep the bean, here) then stir over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool, remove the vanilla bean and store your syrup in a mason jar inside the fridge. 

I love a seasonal vodka and happy to discover two new ones this month which taste as good as you'd hope they would. If you make a cocktail with one of these Cathead vodkas, please Instragram me a pic as I'd love to see any and all crafty concoctions. Here's to your Halloween being dark, spooky and full of terror- and a cocktail. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach     Syled by: Wendy Binns



Cathead Vodka

Cathead Vodka is based in Jackson, Mississippi and is the first legal liquor produced in the state since 1907. Richard Patrick and Austin Evans, who were college friends at the University of Alabama, began the company in 2010 to showcase a love for their Southern roots. Their stylishly packaged vodka, which comes in regular and Honeysuckle, is corn based and crafted in small batches. 

Richard and Austin chose the name Cathead as cats is a common blues singer slang for musicians. Their logo was inspired by cat artwork that Delta blues musicians made to supplement their income. What I love most, besides their homage to the Mississippi blues, is that a dollar from each 750ml bottle sold goes to support live music in the Jackson area. 

I recently got together with my friend Wendy Binns from the Atlanta Intown Paper to prepare a couple of Cathead cocktails. I particularly like Cathead's concoction called Blues Cat, where the first step is to muddle together 10-15 blueberries. 

Add to the muddled berries 3 oz Cathead Vodka, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 oz. simple syrup and 5 basil leaves, muddled. Shake well then strain. 

Add ice then garnish with blueberries and a basil leaf. So good... 

I love the idea of Honeysuckle Vodka and Richard and Austin are the first distillery to attempt this combo. Honeysuckle is a Southern vine, growing plentiful in Florida, southern Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Cathead brand is all about Southern roots, afterall...

To make a pitcher of Honeysuckle Lemonade, mix together 4 cups of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons), 1 cup basil simple syrup and 4 cups of water. 

Pour your lemonade into 8 oz mason jars filled with cracked ice, then garnish with a mint sprig and lemon wheel. And then may I suggest sipping this tasty beverage on your front porch with a little music playing in the background. Blues music, of course...

Learn more about Cathead Vodka and the Mississippi Blues, here.


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach   2nd Pic: Clarion-Ledger


Celebrating Poplarville, Mississippi

Kyle White likes the charm of the South, specifically the small town of Poplarville, Mississippi- just a stone's throw away from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he attended. 

I think it's fair to say he got a good education. Kyle designed these postcard sets for the city of Poplarville and has accrued an impressive portfolio over the years, now living and working in New York City as a graphic designer. Kyle shares that "these postcards were intended to reflect the town's relaxed atmosphere and landscape." 

I like how Kyle pays homage to Mississippi's state bird and the popular Blueberry Jubilee that takes place in Poplarville every June. I think I need to go to a blueberry jubilee. That sounds fun...

Poplarville is not very populated. With just over 2600 residents, it has small town appeal. It certainly left a mark on Kyle, now it leaves a mark on us.


Photos: Kyle White Design    Content: Sweet Peach