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One of my very favorite things about the Summer is the fresh fruits and vegetables that are oh-so plentiful this time of year.

Watermelon, peaches, corn, tomatoes, beans – you name it. There are so many reasons to love Summer, and this is one of my favorite. The past two days we’ve awoken to a bit cooler weather {and by cooler I mean, not in the 80′s by 5am …} and it’s made me realize that Summer is coming to a sweet end sooner than later.

It made me remember this wonderful farm stand called Jaemor Farms that we stopped at on our way to rustic North Georgia. I love how this picture makes you feel like you’ve take a step back in time, like it could have been taken yesterday or 40 years ago. In recent years, there has been a flourishing comeback of farms, fruit stands, farmers markets and such. A brand new one just opened in our neighborhood about a month ago and I finally made the walk up last weekend – it was perfect.

So, while I’ll be sad to see my favorite Summer season come to an end, I’ll look forward to the upcoming days of fresh apples, jars of jam and one of my all time favorites – those great boiled peanuts that only a true Southerner can master.

Do you have a local farm stand that you love? Do tell – I’d love to be sure to mark it on my list when we travel next to your area!

One of my most favorite coastal towns is that of Apalachicola, FL.

It is a quaint little town in the Florida panhandle, filled with charming little businesses – one of the best seafood joints you’ve ever been to, an outfitters store equipped with a dog named Captain, a historic theatre, several Inns, a nautical antiques store, and a few other gems for you to discover.

The towns claim to fame is to have founded the first ice machine – and trust me, having lived through eighteen Florida summers, this IS a monumental invention.

I visited last weekend to discover a few of my favorite home stores were sadly no-longer, but also the most fabulous new discovery – Apalachicola Chocolate Company.

Spread inside a gorgeous old building, with cases filled of the finest cocoa concoctions – the owners truly have a time-honored craft that has been learned, practiced and shared to groom the next experts. The caramels were divine, the chocolate truly did melt in your mouth and even a special chocolate oyster that pays homage to the world-famous Apalachicola oysters. Coming soon is an expanded gelato section that already left you swooning!

 

Hope you’ll click over to see more photos from my favorite new chocolatier, and more importantly, go visit for yourself!

 

I was fortunate to have attended a retreat this past weekend at Berry College in Rome, GA. Proof again that there are amazing things so close to you that you still know nothing about, so go explore!

While there were many wonderful things about the sprawling campus that I enjoyed – gorgeous mountain views, deer running all over the place, the darling little downtown of Rome, an amazing stone church – my most favorite part of the weekend was exploring the most amazing little building called Possum Trot Church.

As the story goes, this small church & schoolhouse grew for the small Possum Trot community until there were many children in attendance, but not enough bibles to go around. So Martha Berry painted these breathtakingly simple verses on the wall for all to take in. I simply loved what the morning light had to do for this gorgeous building.

One of my most favorite of places happens to be right here in Georgia, the perfect combination of rustic deliciousness is The Farmhouse at Serenbe.

I was surprised by the Mr. with an early Valentine’s Day inspired treat, brunch at The Farmhouse. They happen to have *the* most divine fried chicken, fully seeped in buttermilk overnight I have heard, accompanied by  homegrown butter beans, collards & baked macaroni & cheese.

What a wonderful surprise and the perfect treat for our first Valentine’s Day, it being our first time back at Serenbe since our wedding. Who knows, maybe it’ll become our own little tradition over the years.

Hope your day today, like all others, is filled with lots of love.

With a brick-laden Broad Street, street lamps afire and a 300-year-old oak tree the size of a city block, the plantation town of Thomasville, Georgia is lost in a world of which we all reminisce.



One of my very favorite places to visit, there are so many things in The City of Roses that you just simply cannot miss, all housed in the charmingly historic downtown buildings of Thomasville.

The oh-so-fabulous gourmet goodie shop Relish is filled with everything to keep a foodie happy and the most fantastic screen door that makes you feel like you’re coming home. Kevin’s is a must-stop for the beau, a beautiful outdoor shop with all things a plantation owner, or one with fabulous taste, must have.

There are many wonderful antique stores to peruse, all worth checking out. My personal favorite is Relics, as there is always something you’ve never seen before and a good bit of architectural pieces. My first visit here was met with the owner snapping fresh green beans into a bucket – how could I not fall in love?

Another thing I adore about Thomasville is their heirloom markers of history. Each of the downtown stores has one posted outside noting the original date of construction and business type that once graced the land – I love the nostalgia.

As for eats, you can’t miss George & Louie’s for some true southern seafood, and on Broad is supposedly the worlds best chili dog (though I don’t speak from experience, I’ve heard it to be true).

Like all heirloom towns, this one comes stocked with the quaintest of barber, coffee, book & bath shops, not to mention a fabric & bedding store; a dapper men’s shop and Firefly (great for kids + unique accessory finds).

As for “to-do’s” – the Museum of History is a must to learn all stories of the local plantations, and to experience one first-hand I adore Pebble Hill and their gorgeous property & cemetery. If you’re going, Springtime is just grand and you can catch the annual Rose Festival in late April or the take-you-back decorations if visiting over the Christmas holidays. And, of course, find the Big Oak for a photo opp you’ll want to treasure.

My only warning is the strong desire you’ll feel to move to Thomasville upon visiting. Do go, to enjoy & do share with us your favorite heirloom moments in the Rose City!


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Located in the preserved & bustling Virginia-Highlands neighborhood in Atlanta, we are excited to have Urban Cottage as our newest Gourmet Retailer of IceMilk Aprons.

Housed in a fabulously quaint cottage set just off the road, Urban Cottage has a myriad of wonderful items, both large & small. Their beautiful furniture is all custom and can be tailored to your every whim – a gorgeous tufted ottoman caught my eye immediately.

You’ll be quick to notice a fabulous selection of carefully chosen books – from cookbooks to home to wedding to idea inspiration – all urging you to flip through. One of my favorite finds was pinched pottery from a local potter in Cabbagetown, with a rustic finish and done in fabulous neutrals. Mother & daughter Silverstein team own this glorious shop, along with the beautifully designed Breathless Paper Co. well worth taking a peek.

We are thrilled to be in the treasure-filled Urban Cottage and excited to have them as a partner – hope you’ll stop in for a visit!

In my very humble opinion, there are few places in this world more delightful than Serenbe. Located just south of Atlanta, the community was build as an organic farm with green-space galore and the most whimsical little town you could ever imagine.

I am so delighted to share that IceMilk Aprons has partnered with our newest Gourmet Retailer, Harris & Clark – a “thoughtful grocery & food school” located in the heart of the Serenbe community. Founded by Anissa & James Harris, the duo aims to provide a nostalgic & local Southern fare of artisan products within their quaint market space.

From pear butter and pickled peaches, to Farmer D’s organic compost, fabulous loaves of crusty bread, the most beautiful local honey you’ve seen, farm fresh eggs & local cheeses, and of course – IceMilk Aprons. They have so many wonderful cooking school events that are hosted there at Harris & Clark, partnering with local folks to help bring some gourmet learnings & good times.

Spending the late afternoon with Anissa & James was such a wonderful experience and I’m thrilled to be a part of what they have created with their shop. Stay tuned for a special “Heirloom Travel” post on Serenbe, but in the meantime be sure to go out for a visit and explore all there is to love about this little place lost in time.

IceMilk Aprons so proudly announces our newest Gourmet Retailer, Bella Cucina.

The gourmet line of artful foods, founded by the delightfully engaging Alisa Barry, has a perfectly-packaged and savory experience that cannot be missed.  The flagship store is located in the oh-so-charming neighborhood of Virginia-Highlands in Atlanta, however their distribution does not stop there. From the nooks & crannies of fabulously unique gourmet retail stores, to gift stores, to the superior Henry Bendel, Bella Cucina has certainly made a place for themselves and has quite a following of foodies around the globe.

The Italian gem of a store is so perfectly appointed that it may possibly be the perfect home for IceMilk Aprons to be showcased. The pictures speak for themselves but the design is simple, rustic elegance to the max, with dreamy oversized fabric shades hanging from the ceilings and gourmet goodies scattered amidst garden-fresh veggies and worn wooden fixtures. Delish.

Our line of gourmet heirloom aprons debuted in the Bella Cucina store this August for their weekly Artisan Thursday event, another can’t-miss-moment when experiencing Bella Cucina.

We at IceMilk Aprons are so very thrilled to be involved with this timeless brand, honoring the luxury of food and recalling recipes of generations past. A special thank you and warm welcome to Alisa & her team as we embrace them as another wonderful Gourmet Retailer showcasing the IceMilk Apron line!

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Bella Cucina
1050 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: 404.347.6476

roadtrips.010 There are few things more wonderful in this world than a road trip. The anticipation of the vacation finally coming to a start, generally the many hours of build up you have traveling the road, anxious to reach the destination you’ve been so longing for.

I feel road trips are making a come back too, in a big way, as is the simplicity of a family vacation. Every family creates a different sort of tradition for the time spent on their well traveled paths.

For our family, road trips started with a hearty McDonald’s breakfast, a backseat full of pillows, a bag of Starburst, and country musics original greats on the radio. The many traveled hours took us from the largest interstates to the tiniest small town squares, and all the while we played games as a family.

“Car Bingo” was absolutely a favorite – a retro cardboard square with tiny plastic windows pushed closed when we spotted a cow, an airplane, a firetruck. “The License Plate” game was on-going … the excitement of finding a road-mate from some far-off place like Hawaii, Alaska or Kansas was unimaginable.  And last but not least, the most-played “Alphabet Game” is one that never gets old – broken into “teams” trying desperately to find the Q’s and X’s before the other team and hating when our travels led us off the beaten path where it seemed no letters existed in the world as our game came to an unfinished end.

Road trips are not soon forgotten. The traditions continue through the generations, the memories continue.

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Create family traditions of your own. Give the gift of IceMilk Aprons.

Having traveled to San Francisco a few years back, biking for five days, and absolutely loving it – the one thing we didn’t get to do was Wine Country.  This month my sister and I decided to travel back for a few days to experience the vineyards & small towns firsthand.

This Heirloom Travel segment highlights our travels and notes those places & experience that you should be sure to put on your list during your next visit! Do enjoy!

Napa

We started our adventure in the heart of Historic Napa Mill. The Napa River Inn was simply darling with Napa General Store right next door. The best little bakeshop we found on our entire trip was also right here – Sweetie Pies! A throwback screendoor with galvanized metal greets you as you enter and the bakery is filled with the heartiest breakfast croissant sandwiches & Morning Buns that are to die for. It also features the only remaining grain bagging machine smack in the middle of the cafe floor as a nod to the Napa Mill’s roots.

The historic Napa area was fun to wander, though we didn’t find too much there. Ate at a great Mexican restaurant for dinner with a wonderful open-air floorplan and agave nectar margaritas that you just can’t miss.

Across the main street was another bakery, cafe & Oxbow Market area – nearby the Napa Wine Train station – with a Farmers Market on Saturday AM.

Calistoga

A good bit to the north of Napa, we traveled to the town of Calistoga. With a retro Western feel to the town, we ventured up early Saturday AM to catch their town Farmers Market which turned out to be a treat! Beautiful fresh flowers, grapes & peaches, and some great woven baskets that we couldn’t pass up. Not far from Old Faithful, Calistoga is known for their mud & the healing powers that comes with it, so we decided it was here we’d partake in a Spa treatment. The Spa was very cute with ivy covering the exterior stone building and I must say a great massage! Several vintage consignment stores worth checking out as you enter the town too!

Oakville

Passing vineyard after vineyard, Oakville holds a few great treasure stops along your way. The first, and loveliest is the Oakville Grocery. A wonderful old building set right beside the main road is painted with Coca-Cola with benches out front for sitting & eating. Inside the hardwood floors creak and mobs of people peruse the various cases of baked goods, prepared foods, meats for slicing, gourmet goodies & beloved sandwiches. The perfect stop for picnic preparation, and be sure to get one of their handy burlap grocery sacks!

To complete the picnic, you can also stop at the always-wonderful Dean & Deluca, also located right off the main drag. D&D features some of their wonderful classics (black & white cookie fans beware) sprinkled with a great variety of local treasures – like Point Reyes Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, local honey and produce.

St. Helena

This wonderful little town was absolutely a top favorite from Wine Country.  The road to St. Helena is a grand entrance lined with slightly canopied trees welcoming you to the quaint town. St. Helena Olive Oil Company is SUCH a treasure! We stopped in twice to restock. Their infused olive oils are just delightful … basil, rosemary, jalapeno, garlic. A variety of balsamic vinegars, lavender bath products and the most wonderful sea salts! All housed in an old bank building .. a must stop.

The town is just filled with endless treasures! Model bakery has a rustic display of crusty, floured bread in the window, and next door the Woodhouse Chocolates almost feels like a jewelry store of handmade confections. Ridiculous window displays line the streets, can’t help but wander inside these shops. “M” had some great oversized pieces like this great rope chandelier and worn-wicker chairs. Vintage Home was pure delight with breadboards, Match pewter, and great lamps scattered throughout the charming store.

Petaluma

We almost didn’t stop if Petaluma, as we hadn’t heard much about it. Another of the absolute best places we visited while in the Wine Country. Petaluma is a fabulous few blocks of historic buildings packed with antiques, dining & more. We park directly in front of the Seed Bank – filled with aisles of heirloom seeds! A simply breathtaking building with wonderful painted windows – what an amazing treasure! The street corner sidewalks held metal lettering spelling out the street names, worn from walkers year after year.

So many lovely antique stores – the best of our trip. Sienna Antiques (wonderful pieces, very authentic), Vintage Bank Antiques (lovely building, a mismatch of everything), and Chelsea Antiques (again, wonderful pieces & little treasures) being our favorites. Found a great old bag too! Bluestone Main was a proper little decor store with strikingly crisp & classic finds, while the Sweet Little Shoppe was filled with inexpensive clothing & accessories with a wonderfully playful decor.

Lucky for us, we stumbled into Petaluma during their Arts Festival which was fun for all with the food, wines, music & wares. The Free Public Library might possibly be the most wonderful old library I’ve ever seen! And you must stop in the quaint Knitterly makes you want to make a scarf on the flight back home.

Santa Rosa & Healdsburg & Yountville

Santa Rosa was a quick drive-thru for us on our travels, but made for a nice little venture. The historic railroad junction of a town had a few great old buildings and some promising little shops that had already closed their doors for the evening.

Healdsburg was yet another little treat of a town to the North. A lovely town square again with blocks of wonderful shops and restaurants to explore. A vintage sweet shoppe takes you back to a simpler, more whimsical time. Yet another stop at the Oakville Grocery (one of the 6 shoppes they have) provided the most refreshing red berry drink and turkey & brie sandwich yum! Amdist the well-done restaurants and shops, the one that simply cannot be missed was Bistro Ralph. I dare to say one of my the top 5 restaurant interiors I have ever seen. Painted-white brick walls & a simple white interior provides the perfect backdrop to an enormous black spoke wheel suspended from the ceiling on the back wall of the restaurant. And their sorbet trio looked like a treat!

Lastly, Yountville was another quickstop for lunch – the overly French Bistro Jeanty – provided great outdoor seating and a friendly & social crowd, filled with authentic French dishes.

Sonoma

Sonoma Plaza was a great place to stay. The Plaza Park provides a secret garden of stone buildings, huge trees, little ponds, and people picnicing and playing. Our wonderful El Dorado Hotel was ideal, with cool tile floors and a laid-back yet refined El Dorado Kitchen restaurant that made for a great last dinner for us.

As we didn’t visit the lavish winery itself, we took in an evening wine tasting at the charming Ledson Hotel, enjoying a hearty tasting of nearly all their selections! A great place to stay overnight too no doubt. One evening we took in a fabulous bushel of oysters at the oyster & martini bar down the square – a must!

A array of great little shops, like the very-French Chateau Antiques, the childlike Tiddle E. Winks filled with vintage games, bookstores, & home goods. Rhapsody is a must-stop with it’s absolute joy interior design & displays inside! They have a great array of clothing and some very unique jewelry selections too. Almost cloud-like fabrics & lights make for the most fun shopping you’ll have!

The Wineries

And last but not least, who goes to Wine Country without visiting the wineries! I must say I wish there had been a better guide for which were the best small & unique experience vineyards to vist, but nonetheless we found some great ones to share.

At the Robert Mondavi Winery, we did the tour which I’d highly recommend. For being such an industry giant, the tour was very personal & experiential, starting in the vines, a great deal of education, moving into the fermentation process & cellars and ending with a dining-room-like tasting. We tasted some new wines they were testing and even a sampling of goat cheese & watermelon salad – delightful, educational, beautiful & fun overall.

Nickel & Nickel was an appointment-only winery that is so delightfully charming with it’s farm-like appeal & horses. The wooden-barrel-like appearance of Peju & Cakebread were both just lovely against the stark green of the surrounding vineyards.  Twomey had a nice small & personal family feeling, with some great reds for tasting. Stopped into Franciscan also, as Dad loves their Cab .. our first tasting too .. and actually found their Sav Blanc to be quite tasty & pear-like.

Most beautiful & fun experience we had was at the Korbel Champagne Cellars. A last-minute trip, we meadered up to Korbel to find it nestled amongst the redwood trees of the North. We had such a fun time sampling all the champagnes side-by-side and realizing their vast differences. A quaint little deli & market also provided to the experience. Who can resist the bubbly!

A few more stops at Rodney Strong from some great reds and V. Sattui, where we tasted right along with George Sattui which made for a great “from the family” experience for us.

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heirloomed Blog may contain paid advertisements, sponsored posts and/or affiliate links at times. I will disclose when a post is sponsored and if a brand has provided product as a gift by marking it {c/o} within the post. These opportunities will allow me to do even more of what I love here on the blog. I will only post about things I truly love and enjoy, and appreciate the opportunity to share these things with you.