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Some things are far in the making, and this Spring photoshoot is no exception. I’ve kept these photos under wraps since last July {if you can believe that!} and for good reason. I took some truly special people to capture the beauty of the sunlight and new heirloomed linen Collection.

We crammed a lot into this day-long photoshoot, with a prelude of coffee shop planning sessions, style board sketches, and trip to both the farmers market & the wholesale florist. I found a new love of scabiosa in these floral blooms. A swarm of angry hornets and a sting led to a quick location change at the farm, and a 400 lb pig who devoured the vast majority of fresh fruit & raw veggies, and a few of our florals made for a more “simple” look on the final tablescape. But, all in all the final outcome was perfection. Big thanks to the photographic talents of Heidi Geldhauser & the styling {and modeling} by Christina Loucks for making this come to life!

Spring in the South is simply beautiful. It reminds me of brunches, picnics, impromptu backyard barbeques, romantic weddings and light, fragrant cocktails. The simplicity of the heirloomed Collection is meant to capture these special moments.

Stay tuned and tomorrow I’ll share my favorite staples for Spring entertaining in the South!

spring linens

spring tabletop linens spring tablescape spring cocktails spring linen apron spring linen aprons spring entertaining nibbles

Southern Valentine's Day Gift Guide

As a Southerner, here are a few of my favorite finds for that special, Southern sweetheart in your life this Valentine’s Day!

1. Mast Brothers Chocolate & signed book (don’t go the traditional route with chocolates, give her something she’s really going to love) / 2. Emily G’s Jam (Because they are “Jams of Love” after all, and great on a biscuit!) / 3. Floral Painting (Save your money on flowers and give her one of these gorgeous floral paintings from Charleston artist Lulie Wallace) / 4. Arrows with Feathers (Shoot straight to the heart with these beauties! A great gift for your kiddos, don’t you think?) / 5. Bless your Heart Card (This card says it all) / 6. elizabethW Sweet Tea perfume (my scent of choice for as long as I can remember, trust me, she’ll love it!)

With daylight savings time underway and the sun shining just a little bit longer, I figure it’s close enough to spring to go ahead and start the celebration with a little giveaway – don’t you think?

My favorite time of year is coming near, when the weather gets warmer (and by warmer, I mean hot here in the South) and when people come out of the woodwork to have fun and gather together for no reason at all. Spring weddings come to life, and long weekends to the lake & beach are more frequent than not. Fresh fruits & veggies are plentiful, and the grill is always on call to be fired up.

Monogrammed linen napkins & table runner

I am so proud of the new heirloomed collection linens and think they are just perfect for Spring entertaining. I worked hard to keep them simple, yet still distinctive and to keep a balanced juxtaposition of a luxurious linen paired with the rustic, simple kraft pastry packaging. And, I am so thrilled to share that I’ve just added (just now!) the option to have the table runner embroidered if you so wish. You may either have a single letter monogram for the center of the runner, or an “established” date on the detail tag on one end to commemorate a special date. I love the personal touch, and hope you will too.

And now … onto the Spring Giveaway! Hope you’ll join in for a chance to win the heirloomed table linens gift package – a set of four napkins and table runner.

Tabletop linens giveaway

As always, entering is so simple. …

1. Click here to repin our Spring Giveway pin on Pinterest

2. Leave a comment below telling us you repinned it so you’ll be entered to win.

And, for “extra” chances to win ….

1. Pop over and “Like” the IceMilk Aprons Facebook Page

2. Tweet this :  I just entered the Spring Giveaway to win an @heirloomed tabletop linens gift package from @icemilkaprons! http://bit.ly/ZyySov

3. Visit icemilkaprons.com and sign up for our e-newsletter

4. Follow @icemilkaprons on Instagram

5. Follow along on Pinterest

Remember to leave a comment below for EACH “extra” chance to win so they will be counted towards to your overall chances to win! You’ll get more chances to win, and we will get to connect on some of my favorite sites. Be sure to enter by Friday, March 22, 2013 at 5PM EST.

EDITORS NOTE: The winner of our giveaway is Leslie of Leslie’s Desserts! Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered to win! xo

Giveaway entries must be submitted between 3-12-13 and 3-22-13 at 5PM EST . Winner to be chosen at random and will be announced by 3-25-13. Open only to US residents. No purchase is necessary, of course. Some restrictions may apply.

national pie day 2013

It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate one of my most favorite things … pie! This Thursday, March 14th, is National Pie Day, so what better our topic for this week’s #southernchat than pie. A quintessentially Southern treat, pie has graced the dessert table at many a gathering filled with some of our favorite local ingredients, from pecan to peach to apple and more.

For me, pie is a time-honored art that truly is passed down thru the generations. I shared my own Nana’s (Great Grandmother’s) Pie Crust recipe many years back on the blog, and to me it’s the best because it’s what we grew up enjoying. I’ve heard many secrets to the perfect pie crust … cold butter, cold water, lard, shortening … who knows what really makes “the best” but I’m all for trying them all! And, I love seeing some vintage pie accessories like wheel crimpers & cutters, pie saves, and good old tin pie plates. My go-to is this Emile Henry pie dish from Williams-Sonoma that I got as a wedding gift and it makes any pie look even lovelier.  There are so many variations on pies, too. The whoopie pie, Chattanooga’s own MoonPie, and my friend Abby Dodge even wrote this beautiful book on Mini Pies, too! And, one of my favorite things is a skillet pie, baked right into a cast iron skillet.

southern pie

This week we’re celebrating all things pie – from ingredients, to secrets, to favorites – so I hope you can join in the fun, and that we might just inspire you to share a pie recipe of your very own, or even make one from scratch this week! Join us for a special #southernchat at 9PM est this Monday, 3/11/13 to chat all about pie!

#southernchat

#southernchat: pies (Monday, 3/11/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: What are your all-time favorite kinds of pie?

Q2: Share some links to some of your favorite pie recipes from sites & blogs {yours included!}

Q3: Across the South, who serves the best pie around? Restaurants, chefs & more!

Q4: What is the secret to baking the best made-from-scratch pie? Tips & tricks welcomed.

Q5: In the South, good food is tied to great memories. What are some of your favorite memories that include pie?

{ If you’re interested in sponsoring the southern pie chat, or to learn more about #southernchat, see upcoming topics, to be a guest or host another giveaway, click here to learn more!}

Southern Pies: Garden & Gun bourbon pecan pie / Scratch bakery in Durham, NC / 3.14 Pies in Charleston, SC / My Nana’s Pie Crust Recipe / Moon Pies from Chattanooga, TN / Pie Shop in Atlanta, GA / Emile Henry Artisan Pie Dish from Williams-Sonoma / Mini Pies Cookbook by Abby Dodge

There are few things that define the south moreso than our food. From biscuits to peanuts to whiskey to okra, we have a diverse palette and a variety of ingredients to keep the tradition alive. This week we’re chatting all about our favorite southern restaurants, and hope you’ll join us at @heirloomed on Twitter on Monday at 9:00 PM est at #southernchat!

southernchat

#southernchat: southern restaurants (Monday, 1/14/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: In the south, we are blessed to have some of the best chefs around. Who are some of your favorite southern chefs?

Q2:  There are always a few southern-inspired food trends. What do you predict for 2013?

Q3: What are the best southern restaurants around? Share your local favorite!

Q4: If you could pick just one southern food on the menu, what would it be?

Q5: Besides the food, what other elements help to set the stage for a top-notch southern dining experience?

Giveaway or Giving Back:

Team HIDIThis week, instead of a giveaway, we’re giving back with #southernchat. In true southern spirit, and in keeping with the theme this week, I’d love to introduce you to the story of Ryan & Jen, a restaurant concept called Staplehouse, and Team HIDI. There are so many southern chefs and restaurants who have joined together to help, and it is truly inspiring. I hope you’ll take a moment to read their story and see how you can help yourself.

To learn more about #southernchat, to be a guest or host a giveaway, click here to learn more.

It is no secret … I love the south. A quintessential Southern moment is surely that of a front porch filled with rocking chairs, friends & family telling stories, chit chatting away. So, I invite you join us on the Twitter “front porch” for our new #SouthernChat series each Monday at 9:00pm est.

southernchat

Each week we will have a new guest join us for the chat – from southern craft artisans,  companies & brands, bloggers, musicians, chefs and more! We will spend the hour-long chat getting to know our guest, meeting new friends and greeting old friends, and chatting thru a few questions that we’ve compiled in advance of the chat. Most weeks, our chat will include a chance to win a southern-inspired giveaway {special thanks to some of our southern sponsors, partners & guests}.

Joining the chat is easy, simply tweet with us each Monday evening using the hashtag #SouthernChat. Perfect for southern sites, brands, bloggers, for southerners or just those that love and appreciate the south! You can always visit us at heirloomed to see who the latest guest will be, to check out the questions for the week & all the details – and follow along with us on Facebook (heirloomed) and Twitter (@heirloomed) and by using the hashtag #SouthernChat.

For the first installment of #SouthernChat, we will have no guest and just get right down to finding our southern friends online, kicking off the chat and talking about all things southern for the new year! You can join in the conversation with these questions …

Monday, 1/7/12 (9:00pm est) – Kicking off #SouthernChat!

Q1: Nice to meet y’all! Share with us who you are, where you are & your connection to the south.

Q2: Who are some of your favorite southern people, blogs, companies, places, etc. on Twitter?

Q3: What do you love most about the south?

Q4: Happy new year! What great things do you think we’ll see coming from the south in 2013?

Q5: What do you want to see from #SouthernChat this year? Guests, topics, giveaway suggestions welcomed!

This week’s giveaway is from my company, IceMilk Aprons. Chat along with us and you’re entered to win a full adult Rollings of Cinnamon apron (an $85 value) – one lucky person will be chosen at random to win!

Rollings of Cinnamon apron

I’d love to hear from you if you’re excited about joining in the chats, if you have special guests you’d like to see in the series, or if you are interested in being a guest yourself! Simply click here for more information about being a guest or sponsoring one of our upcoming #SouthernChat events.

there are few things that remind me of the South more than a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. a staple in Southern kitchens for generations, the skillet has been a versatile vessel for sweet to savory dishes alike. i love the beauty of the deep black skillets, especially when well-worn. there is such a rustic and simplistic quality to their art form, allowing the food to truly be the hero.

i remember my mother using our big cast iron skillet for many dishes over the years, but an all-day pot roast with potatoes and carrots is the one that I most recall it being used for. followed by an encore of hash the very next day, of course.

what cast iron skillet recipe or memory is your favorite?

images via : savory sweet life / always with butter / martha stewart / honey & jam

As you know, there is a sweet spot in my heart for things that are throwback and things that are Southern. When the two forces combine, I simply cannot help myself. I have long been fond of the Southern Proper brand, and now is no exception.

They have just launched their new “heritage collection” for the Fall season, so of course I took note. I adore the names of their lines and products and their clever play on the South – their “beaus collection” is an assortment of fabulous bow ties, and their “sweet tees” make you want to have a glass of your own.

The prints of Southern Proper could not be more tailor-made for the Southern gentleman, from duck boots to fishing flies to crops to man’s best friend. Straight from the field but fancy enough to sport just about anywhere. What print are you loving most from their collection?

The ladies behind this brand will knock your socks off. Dapper truly is the only way to describe this Southern style.

And, please do not even get me started on my obsession with suspenders. I will save that as a special treat for you tomorrow {swoon}.

In true fashion of preserving, there a few things closer to true tradition in the South than a good hunt.

As you probably know by now, I’m not quite what you’d call a hunter – but I can appreciate the Southern sport for what it is. A tradition that has long brought family & friends together in the field, for me a hunt brings about a sense of proper attire, hours spent leisurely talking & laughing, and at the end of it all, a feast fit for kings.

While I’ve been hunting before, this was my very first dove hunt. I enjoyed my day in the sunshine & boots, and while I didn’t actually shoot any birds, I did shoot a few photos on one of the most beautiful summers-end days I can recall.

With a name like “The Hungry Southerner,” well, there was simply no doubt I wouldn’t love everything about this project.

Yes, I do love grits, biscuits, farm-fresh vegetables and the occasional *ahem* piece of fried chicken. It’s hard to keep a girly figure in the South, isn’t it? Oh, but so worth every yummy moment.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sean from The Hungry Southerner team, at one of my favorite Atlanta spots (Bakeshop), to chat about this wonder of a project. Their mission is to share the rich stories that make being hungry a way of life, to discover the southern foods that inspires new creations and to pass on our passion for Southern culture and its timeless traditions.

Truly, a match made in heaven, which I often refer to as – the South.


Photo by The Hungry Southerner

I am so honored to be a part of their podcast series, which is currently the top foodie podcast series on iTunes, no less! They are currently making their way across the South, talking to people about traditions and the stories that inspired their products. The passion  & genuine interest they have for their project is undeniable. For me, it doesn’t get any better.

I hope you’ll take a moment to take a listen to The Hungry Southerner podcast with IceMilk Aprons and read the delightful blog post & gorgeous photos they took!

A very special thank you again to The Hungry Southerner – helping to preserve these Southern stories for generations to come, and allowing me to tell a bit more of mine.

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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.