Mid-summer in the South is a hot place to be — figuratively AND literally. We’ve been checking things out in some of our favorite stores with locations around the South to bring you our favorite FINDS this month. Here’s what we love:
Hand-crafted cocktails. House-infused liquors. Homemade bitters. Specialty drinks. Far too commonly, these terms seem to mean “a $15 (or higher) cocktail is coming your way!” With the amazing tasting bitters made by Crude Bitters out of Raleigh, North Carolina, take a spin at making your own specialty cocktails at home and becoming your own favorite mixologist — and save on the bar bill this month. Winner of both the 2016 Southern Living Magazine Food Award Winner and the 2015 Good Food Award Winner, these bitters are made with fresh ingredients and don’t use glycerin, chemicals or dyes. $18 and up. Shop online or find a place locally that sell these: crudebitters.com
This company has aptly named themselves Big Spoon as really, you don’t want a tiny spoon to eat these nut butters up! These are the “please hide the jar from me or I will eat the whole thing at once” concoctions. Hand-crafted in Durham, North Carolina, flavors such as Peanut Cocoa, Vanilla Peanut Sorghum, Chai Spice and Espresso Nut Butter have us hooked ($13.95 each). Check them out online to see if you are lucky enough to have a local retailer selling this goodness in a jar (you’ll need to call them to find out), or you may shop online and have your flavors of choice sent straight to your door: bigspoonroasters.com
Earrings handmade in Nashville
Nashville is hot spot for music, yes. But, the creativity doesn’t end there. The art scene is taking off and there has been a consistent undercurrent of fabulous jewelers that kept Nashvillians looking oh-so-causally-chic for decades. One such jeweler is Margaret Ellis Jewelry, owned by Mclaine Richardson. These come in silver or bronze and with your choice of peach or blue freshwater pearls for $250.
This refined raffia tote with a bamboo handle is casual and elegant at the same time. Best of all, it snaps closed so all your valuables stay secured. Sold at J.McLaughlin stores and online for $155, this tote will hold all your summer necessities.
We love these Feather Wild hand-drawn and hand-dyed bandanas ($30), triangle scarves ($45) and unisex “ties” ($70), which can be worn loosely like a necklace or scarf. Owner Sarah Conklin appropriately finds inspiration for her designs from Alabama’s river rocks and prints them on up-cycled fabrics in Huntsville, Alabama. Find them at the Feather Wild tent at Birmingham’s The Market at Pepper Place.
ART & BOOKS
Atlanta native and current Nashvillian Katie Hines Porterfield combined her editorial career with her parental expertise to create a new children’s book that’s loaded with Southern charm. “Find Your Heart in Lake Martin: An A to Z Book” celebrates Southern summers Katie spent at her beloved Lake Martin, Alabama. Whimsical illustrations by artist Lila Graves and vibrant colors make this an instant family favorite. Click here to order a copy for $17.95.
Tim Crowder art
David Lusk Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee, is currently exhibiting Tim Crowder’s “Accumulator” exhibit through July 30, and the display is quite breathtaking. One piece that is available is this endearing work called “Rug Designs #3.” See the entire exhibit at David Lusk Gallery, or take a look at more pieces and gather more information online here.
Coffee table books
As a hostess, having good books around for guests to skim is a must! We love these options we found at Nashville’s Two Old Hippies. Swing by the store (or look online) to grab a few options, like Julia Chaplin’s “Gypset Living,” Justina Blakeney’s “The New Bohemians” and others. Prices range from $35 to $55.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Balm helps, gloss shines and plumper, well, plumps. Put them all together and you have a 3-in-1 product that will give those lips a new lease on life! Lip Batter, available at The Cosmetic Market (with locations in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Alpharetta), costs $16.50 and comes in five shades.
Drop the flyswatter and check out this fabulously named “He Stopped Buggin’ Her Today” by Music City Suds’. This citronella spray keeps the bugs away. There is also a “He Stopped Buggin’ Her Today” candle that’s hand-poured and made from 100 percent, all-natural soy wax. Use these together and you may never need the swatter again. Find the spray for $8 and the candle for $12 at musiccitysuds.com.
Instant Confidence Stick
If your skin is feeling hot and bothered with all the summer sun, give yourself a little pick-me-up with Bobbi Brown’s Instant Confidence Stick. Perfect for pre-makeup or mid-day touch-ups, it works wonders on fine lines and wrinkles. Find it at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics, with locations in Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville for $45.
JUST FOR FUN
Insulated drink bottles
These Corksicle canteens come with triple wall insulation and claim to keep drinks cold for 25 hours. We have tried them for ourselves and can confirm they are amazing! Grab a tumbler or canteen style in stainless steel, copper, matte or dipped mint or pink. And like a good Southern girl, make sure you get it personalized (Yes, that’s an option!). Prices start at 19.95, and they can be purchased here or wherever you buy your Corksicle products.
Enjoy your July! And make sure you follow us on Instagram — @StyleBlueprint — to keep up with all of our favorite Southern FINDS.