Tag Archives: The Refinery Candles

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

If you’re local (aka near Bainbridge), I’ve got some uber-last minute gift ideas for all of Santa’s elves out there!

maiden south christmas eve (1)

Some of these are re-shares from our Maiden South Gift Guide last week, but some are new.  Maiden South is open today until 4 pm – so run by for your last minute gifting needs!

For the Gent:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

Duke Cannon Big Ass Brick of Soap ($10, for laughs and for stockings), Wrong Side Pocket Square/Hanky ($for classy gents), Lake Seminole Creations turned wood pen ($20 to $40, for the business man), Maiden South Koozie ($5, for the social butterfly), Gang Warily leather key chain ($15, for the one who keeps losing them), Lord & Lady Shotgun Shell Tie Tack ($24, for the dapper professional), My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg ($27.95, for the bookworm), Lake Seminole Creations hand turned wooden bottle opener ($45, for Christmas festivities).  

For the Cook:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

Southern Restoration tobacco slat cutting board ($120 – only 1 left! – for the historian), armadillo cookie cutter ($6, for the baker with a sense of humor), The Southerner’s Cookbook ($37.50, for inspiration), Heartwood Forge small batch petty knife ($245, for the serious chef), antique re-seasoned cast iron skillet ($40, for the classic cook).  

For the Lady:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

Vintage Pendleton wool clutch with leather tassel ($70, for the girl on the go), Fuzzy Goat/Maiden South Chunky Martha Cowl Knit Kit ($45, for the crafter), Nest Pretty Things bee bobby pins ($20, for the romantic), Dear Mushka single pearl necklace and verse ($30, for the spiritual gal), Sea + Stone Oyster and Amazonite Necklace ($144, for the mermaid).  

For the Frazzled:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

Flora Fresca Revival Bath Salt Soak ($18, for the one who needs to relax), Refinery candle ($20, for the hostess), Spritz Sweet Dreams spray ($24, for the one who needs to rest).  Side note: pregnant people and tired people really like these gifts.  All available at www.maidensouth.com or www.therefineryga.com

For the Baby:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

Tiny Vines “this little light” romper ($25, for the light of your life), Tree Hopper Toys wooden jalopy ($15, for the little boy), Tree Hopper Toys wooden puzzle blocks ($20, for the fast learner), Tree Hopper Alphabet art on cloth ($40, for the nursery).

For the Hostess:

maiden south gift ideas | oysters and pearls

And the ultimate last minute go-to hostess or Christmas gift is my personal favorite to give and receive: WINE.  With an ornament ($6), cookie cutter ($6), or tea towel ($18) tied on in festive ribbon.

Merry Christmas from Maiden South, y’all!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Girls’ Weekend in St. Joe Beach

As you may have deduced from Instagram, a few of my ADPi girlfriends and I got together at my parents’ beach house on St. Joe Beach this weekend!  We try to get our little group together at least once a year (outside of weddings), and it was my turn to host.  I’m a day late and a dollar short on posting about it because 4 of us (including myself) brought home a stomach bug as a souvenir (one of us had it while we were there), and I was out of commission the entirety of yesterday.  It was an unfortunate return to reality, but we still had SUCH a good time!

I prepared for their arrival by planning a couple of little party favors for them.

Custom Oysters & Pearls Candles from The Refinery in Bainbridge, Georgia

First, I created a custom scent at The Refinery and brought in a random assortment of jars I had saved up.

Candles from the Refinery for Oysters & Pearls

My custom scent was appropriate for the weekend, I thought: a mixture of cotton blossom (representative of Georgia and The Refinery in Bainbridge) and Still Waters, representing Still Waters and The Refinery themselves but also the fact that our weekend was spent by the water.

Custom Candles for Natalie at Oysters & Pearls Blog by The Refinery in Bainbridge, Georgia

The ladies tied one of my oyster shell ornaments on each one, plus a Refinery tag on the other side, and they turned out to be the perfect little party favor.

College ADPi Girlfriends Reunion with Candles from The Refinery in Bainbridge, Georgia

Naturally, I had to add a custom koozie commemorating the occasion.  I created these myself and had them made at Vistaprint.  They only come in white, which worked perfectly for our purposes, and fortunately they are heavy-duty and and have a neoprene-ish texture, which will keep them from getting dirty.  That isn’t an affiliate link or anything, I just thought I’d review their koozies while I was at it, since I had never ordered them from Vistaprint before.

We all got to the house very late Thursday night, and the girls all loved both favors!

Friday it was raining most of the day, so we all had a mimosa and got dressed and headed into Port St. Joe for some shopping, eating, and bar hopping.

We started at Provisions with pitchers of red and white sangria, their TDF bruschetta, and goat cheese fondue.  I had the St. Joe Saute for lunch, which was a pasta dish full of bay scallops, shrimp, artichokes, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes.  It was delish!

Then we hopped on over to Joseph’s Cottage, my favorite little store in all of St. Joe.  I dropped off some of my handmade oyster ornaments there while we shopped and chatted with the sweet-as-pie owner, Melissa.  I think they’re the perfect fit in her shop!

Afterwards, after popping into a couple more shops, we headed over to The Thirsty Goat at the Port Inn and had some bevs with Sir William.

He’s a charming fella.  Afterwards we moseyed over to Sunset Grill for an excellent supper and more drinks, which is also where Wheat and I had our rehearsal dinner.

Anyway, are you sensing a theme, here?

After that, we headed back to house for more fellowshipping (after a quick pitstop at the Haughty Heron for supplies, of course).

Saturday morning we woke up to a gorgeous, albeit exceptionally windy, day on St. Joe Beach!

 We braved the wind and posted up on the beach in front of the house.  However, the wind disguised the fact that we were getting burned… badly.  OUCH.  I don’t think I’ve ever, ever been this sun burned before.  #amateurhour

Saturday night we went out to eat at Killer Seafood for a very late dinner, which was great, then came home and nursed our wounds and played Cards Against Humanity,
 also known as the most fun game known to man.

And then Sunday around noon, we said our goodbyes.  I was so sad to see them all go!  Hal and I stayed and finished cleaning up, then met Wheat at my parents’ house to check on our bees there.

As you may remember, we tied honeycomb from the hive we moved into frames for their new digs.  Marc and I checked them last Wednesday evening, entirely too late in the evening, actually, and we saw the old queen, who I have since dubbed “Bee-yonce.”  We also saw a juvenile queen we think must have hatched from the queen cells we left in there.  We can only assume they fought to death, as queen bees will do, because they haven’t swarmed since then. We were checking for that on Sunday, when Wheat and I returned to cut the twine off.

Cutting Strings Off of Frames | Oysters & Pearls

As you can see, I’m much braver now and ditched the bee suit (despite my bee sting on Wednesday – to be explained further tomorrow) and also standing extremely awkwardly due to my painfully blistered legs.

Natalie & Wheat Beekeeping | Oysters & Pearls

Nat and Wheat Beekeeping | Oysters & Pearls

The bees are doing really well, and busy as… you guessed it.  We won’t bother them again until we add another super and a queen excluder to the top, possibly this weekend.  More details on that later!

We went with my parents to The Whip afterwards, and then around 1:30 a.m. yesterday morning, I was struck with the stomach bug and promptly lost my Tailfeather sandwich.  I spent a miserable day in bed and on the couch yesterday, but mostly I just really despise laying around all day, even when I need (am forced) to do it.  Thank goodness I had a good nurse to go get me pedialyte!

I’ll be back with more bee posts the rest of this week.  Hopefully I’ll be 100% by then!

Until Next Time

Weekend Recap

As you may have deduced from Instagram or Twitter, I have had an extremely busy weekend!  And then I had an extremely busy Monday back at work.  Hence this weekend recap occurring on a Tuesday.

It all started wayyyyyy back on Thursday night.  Maggie and I went to the So So Van Gogh class at the Firehouse Art Gallery.  It was Paint Your Pet Night, which was so much fun.  The class was taught by local artist, Vicki Bailey.


Naturally, I painted my sweet pup Harold.  I even had a mini photoshoot last week to prep for the class.


Let’s just say that I’m better at the wine drinking part of So So Van Gogh than the painting part.  I think I’ll stick to the photograph-taking and let the pros do the painting!


I’m pretty sure we had some professionals in the room that put my furry pal to shame.



And then I decided I should have just chosen a ridiculous picture of Wallace to paint, because Maggie’s picture of her cat, Buster, slays me.


Hallelujah Cat!

Friday morning Wheat, his parents, and I headed up to Atlanta.  My MIL Nancy and I attended our first basket weaving convention with Wheat’s aunt Lillian all weekend while the guys played golf.


It was a very long, very fun weekend!  I’m saving all my good pictures for a long recap this week, so don’t worry, this post won’t be the epic one.  That will come later.  ;)

The Georgia Basketry Association‘s Convention was held in Roswell, and we arrived with just enough time to find this gem of a Mexican restaurant near the hotel.  It was legit.



The pressed our tortillas right there in front of us on a traditional wooden press, and we literally had to order in Spanish.  I got two tacos al pastor, and they were awesome.


With full bellies, we headed to Day 1 of the Convention, where Nancy and I both wove (weaved?) our first Nantucket basket.  Here’s a sneak peek!



Excuse the iPhone pics, por favor.

Friday night we ate at the Druid Hills Country Club, which was delicious.  I had a poached pear salad and a blue crab wonton, and both were really good.  No pictures though, because it was dark and I was tired and I forgot.

Saturday I wove with willow, and ended the day with a muffin basket that wore me slap out.  It is  really challenging!  Here’s a peek at my basket base.


 All will be explained in my full post.  :)

Saturday night we had a well-earned meal at Wahoo Grill.  Wheat and I both had the tuna entree, which was awesome and so very pretty!



Sunday was another half day, and that morning I had another class of weaving with willow.  I came home with another basket made of willow called a Sciathog, which you may have seen on Instagram.


 Overall, I loved basket weaving and I can’t wait to share with y’all the full experience!  As you know, I love making things and working with my hands (not so great on the drawing/painting part, as mentioned above).  Basket weaving is part art, part utilitarian, which I loved.  I may have found myself yet another hobby!  So glad Wheat’s aunt Lillian got Nancy and I to go to the Convention.

Anyway, after our last class on Sunday, we made a pit stop by Wheat’s cousin’s apartment to check out his view of Atlanta from Cabbage Town.  It was pretty unreal.


 Definitely the perfect happy hour spot.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t happy hour, and we had to head back to SoWeGa.  Before we left, though, Wheat’s uncle Gene (Atlanta born and bred) insisted that I have my first ever trip to eat at The Varsity.  And who am I to say no?



Checked off The Varsity on my bucket list, and sat in the same spot Bill Clinton sat while I was at it.

We finally made it back home, but the entire weekend, my sister sent me updates on Harold and how he was doing.  He seemed to take my absence okay.


Sun-drunk pups are the best.

Monday was nuts, but there were a couple bright spots in the day.  One: a beautiful Professor Sergeant camellia from my bush in the front yard.


Two: a quick trip to The Refinery for some candle retrieval and chatting with Jessica, and Three: a delicious pizza from our local pizza joint, American Pie.


In the hashtags of @chowdownatlanta, #thisiswhyI’mfat

Overall, I’m exhausted but excited.  This was such a great weekend with family, and I fell in love with a new art form.  Stay tuned for lots more on baskets.

UPDATE: I also have some exciting news to share that I forgot to include in this post this morning.  The sweet and adorable Aimee Broussard, who started the Sisterhood of the Traveling Apron, is publishing a cookbook by the same name!  And I’m utterly delighted to announce that yours truly will be included in that cookbook.  :)  I’ve been holding out a couple recipes on y’all, but I hope you’ll forgive me.  I was sworn to secrecy!  But the news broke yesterday, so go check out the details over at Aimee Broussard & Co.

That’s all, folks!

Until Next Time