Design Sponge Southern Book Tour

6 10 2011

We all love our Design Sponge. The crafts, ideas, and just general things of interest I gleaned since adding Design Sponge to my reader program years ago has been incredible.  Grace Bonney and her crew, being the crafty and super smart people that they are, published a book this year.  The book is simply amazing. Seriously Martha Stewart better watch out, Design Sponge is the heart beat of the people!

In case you are lucky enough to live in or close by any of these great southern cities, make sure you stop in to buy your book, or get your book signed. Many of the cities are also hosting crafts as well, but you must RSVP (I know all of our southern ladies will of course).

Have a blast out there and craft away!

October 13Dallas, Texas

October 15Austin, Texas  

October 24Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina 

October 25Asheville, North Carolina

October 26Charleston, South Carolina 

October 27 – Savannah, Georgia

November 1 – Birmingham, Alabama

November 2Athens, Georgia.  

November 3 – Atlanta

Fall Color in Athens

30 11 2010

Before we barrel head first into Christmas, I just had to share these two pictures from the beautiful foliage in Athens, Georgia over Thanksgiving.  Why are dying leaves just so darn pretty?

2nd Anniversary: Phickles Pickles Giveaway and GA Feature

21 04 2010

It seems that Georgia is always on our minds here at Sweet Iced Tea.  We have so many Georgia related posts that is difficult to select which posts to share. Nevertheless, here are a few of the goodies from along the way.

    Flannery O’Conner

Athens, Georgia Home

Live Oak Trees

Big City Bread

Lost Laysen

We are also super excited to share with you today’s giveaway.  It is none other than Phickles Pickles, a gourmet pickle company in Athens, Georgia.  Angie Tillman, owner and creator of all things pickled is picking up steam as she is featured in this month’s Garden and Gun magazine.  Some of her delectable treats include pickled cherry and grape tomatoes, jalapenos, okra, green beans, carrots, and green tomatoes.  In a world where most of the items we buy are made in other countries, how great is it to find and order from a “local” business and support what is happening right here in the good old US of A. 

We are so excited to share with you her homemade pickled goods.  To win 4 jars of Phickles Pickles and/or a southern gardening book, leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you by Sunday, April 25, 2010. 

Also, make sure to check out our other giveaway items, Corky’s BBQ, and Jan Karon’s The Mitford Series.

Highwire and 5 & 10

14 01 2010

If you haven’t noticed, I’m missing my family a lot lately. After getting to see them so much around the holidays, I’ve gone into withdrawals. We always say that it’s not fair that a family who is so close has to be spread out over so much of the (Southern) country. [Those 20 hours of home-videos my dad copied for me onto DVD probably didn’t help my nostalgia either though.]

My sweet sister, and brother-in-law were kind enough to indulge me a couple of weeks ago, when I swung through Athens for a 17-hour visit to take me to Schlotsky’s (used to go there in high school, don’t have them here, long story, good sandwich, but still…), instead of the world-class level restaurants they have there in Athens. What sweet, accommodating people they are. And even took me after to Kroger on a wild-goose chase for some Zapp’s potato chips. (I mean Florida is the south, but sometimes, we’re not as Southern as we could be. Why don’t they sell Zapp’s down here! Speaking of a wild-goose chase… sorry for that tangent!)

Since I do get to visit there pretty frequently though, I’d like to share a few of those world-class restaurants with you, and just pretend I went to these two lovely places, instead of ordering the Original Club and a Coca-cola from Schlotsky’s, okay?

First off, there’s 5 & 10. Nominated for awards, reviewed by magazines such as Bon Appetit, and I mean, who really cares what accolades the place has gotten unless the food is delicious, right? It is. Folks travel all over the country to eat here, people, and it’s in our own “backyard.” So get yourself there, folks, fast! In case you don’t believe me, they’ve even posted a couple of recipes you can use for your next entertaining at home to get a taste.

Then, pop on over to Highwire. The sister-lounge to my favorite pub, Trappeze, Highwire is a great place to have an after-dinner beverage or a second bite to eat. All their selections are gourmet and original. You certainly won’t be disappointed.

So, your mission is two-fold today, Southern readers:

1. Go tell your family you’re missing them too. I’m sure they could use a pick-me-up in this dreary lonely month. (And whose idea was it to schedule a month of no-holidays directly after a month of such reveling?)

2. Plan a trip to Athens. The shopping is great, the folks are great, the atmosphere is infectious, and the food… well, I just can’t say enough. I’m sure you’ll hear more from me about the food in the near SIT future.

Daily Grocery Co-Op

3 12 2009

Do you ever find a place that you think is so fascinating that you cannot help but tell everyone you know? It almost becomes infectious and just takes over.  I often feel that way about a new recipe, restaurant or a song that is simply amazing.  I pretty much feel this way about the Daily Grocery Co-Op in Athens, Georgia. 

Offering organic products (produce, deli, groceries, toiletries), the Daily seeks to respond to the needs of the community through ethical practices.  Membership is an option, but the store is also open to the public. 

You must see the vat of peanut butter in the back!

Screen Door Series: Athens

20 11 2009

Do you ever find yourself listening to a stranger’s conversation in a public place, or creating your own scenario of what might be happening between people when you cannot hear the words, but can read the body language?  Then I think you will understand where I am coming from, when I say I do this all of the time, and it even overflows into evening walks with my boyfriend.  We often walk in the evenings and I love his neighborhood.  Just love it.  Because so many of the homes are older and carry their own personalities, I tend to make up little stories in my head about their owners (who I do not know), and notice their décor as we stroll by.  I realize it might sound a bit strange, as I basically love looking into people’s houses, but it is fascinating to see how other people live. Just for the record, we are on a walk, so we do not stop and look into people’s homes.  Most observations are just casual comments on our evening stroll.   I know many of your Southern cities are great for this including, Charleston, which is perfect for walks of observation, especially at night. 

With this being said, we found the cutest screen door on our fall road trip in Athens, Georgia.  When I come across such delights, I instantly think of who and what could have lived in such a home. For example, could this home originally been a wedding gift to a young couple, who’s parents wanted their daughter to have a great social life thus moving her into the heart of Athens? All the while being funded by her banker father until the new husband found his footing?  As you well know, one must live in the best places to meet the best people and find the best jobs.  Of course, this is how many people lived “back in the day,” but perhaps over the years as the couple grew older the home became a burden to their children and they were obliged to sell.  As a result, the home is now occupied by a university professor or perhaps by an older man who lives his day to read the paper, smell a cup of coffee and walk the neighbor noticing the change in seasons.  He keeps things tidy, of course, and Horace, the cat brings him constant cheer and companionship.  Don’t fret over his companionship as he is very active in the Presbyterian Church around the corner, and sings in the choir each Sunday.  “God is good,” he says, and lives another grateful day. 

Really, I do not know the history behind this screen door, but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming.  If you think about all of the screen doors and the stories they carry with each swing, you will never be bored or tired for amusement. 

All pictures are from

Road Trip: Trappeze

19 11 2009

After a long journey on the road, what I wanted to do most when stopping on our last leg was to hang out with one of my favorite people in the world, my sister, in Athens.

She and her husband took me out for a comforting meal at one of our favorite Athens establishments, Trappeze. This is the perfect little pub to sit down and have great conversation, and of course, something to eat and drink. As a road weary traveler, all I wanted was something warm in my belly, so we ordered a smorgasboard of sandwiches, my favorite of which was the crisp Turkey and Swiss.

Make sure you stop in and get a bite, a sip, and make a few good friends.

(We even got to sit in a “private” booth where you can find R.E.M. many nights!)