Tag Archives: Wine

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

Charlotte Yoga Retreat

I recently drove all the way up the East coast to visit the best college girlfriends.  We were supposed to meet in Raleigh at our friend (and yoga instructor) Ashley’s new house, but due to a series of unfortunate events, we relocated the retreat to Charlotte.  Since we were missing our favorite yogi, we decided to just roll with the punches and book classes at studios all over the Queen City instead.  I thought I would post a little review of each one, in case any of my readers/yogis live in or are ever visiting Charlotte!

While Sara and Jen were at work, Courtney and I headed to Okra for a 12:30 class.  Okra is the cutest studio + tea bar ever!  We loved our class with Megan, who was really laid back and fun.  The class varied from a nice vinyasa flow to a workshop atmosphere and back to flow again.  We had a great time and learned a lot!  We also loved Gumbo, a yoga/running apparel shop next door owned by the same folks.  I’m sad I didn’t snap any pictures from our class!

Photo via Instagram @okracharlotte

Next up, Courtney, Sara and I did a pre-happy hour first for all of us: aerial yoga!

Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls

It was quite the experience!  I wouldn’t say it was exactly like yoga, because it was a lot different, even though we were attempting versions of the same asanas (poses).  However, it was an entirely new sort of workout for us, and we were sort of surprised that even in a “stretching” class, just how much upper body strength was required.  I had so much fun with my triplets (our house mom in ADPi’s nickname for us) playing on the aerial silks, and we loved our instructor (and even stayed to chat with her for a while!) but I have to say I don’t know that I would be a regular if it were an option down here in South Georgia.  It was a great experience, though!

aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls

After our “relaxing deep stretch” aerial class, we met our friends Jen and Parker and Sara’s husband Chris at Napa on Providence for wine time and catching up.  We got some stares in all our workout gear (Jen and Parker had just come from Cross Fit) but we didn’t care.  #yogapantsarepants in our books.

Cheers at Napa on Providence in Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Also, our waiter’s wine rec was en pointe – we loved this vino!

Napa on Providence, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Saturday morning we set up a private yoga lesson at Yoga Shala with Hollis.

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Hollis was patient, kind, and extremely knowledgable.  We loved our lesson with her!  We gave her a heads up when we scheduled the session that some of us would like some pointers on building up to inversions, that we had a beginner in our midst, and we were a mix of levels of yogis.  She was amazing working with all our differences and we worked on breath work at the same time as strength building, especially in our core.  The first half of the class began with warm ups, including a new Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) for all of us – Sun Salutation S!  Hollis studied under the Rod Stryker school of yoga, so this is his own personal Surya Namaskara.  In case you’re interested, here’s a video of some warmups from Rod Stryker himself.

We ended the class with lots of L-stands to practice for handstands, some headstands, too.  It was much more of a workshop atmosphere for the second half of the class, which was a lot of fun!  I think all four of us really enjoyed it.  It was a great way to end our yoga retreat in Charlotte!

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Not only was it a relaxing, yoga-filled retreat, it was a soul-nourishing weekend with best girlfriends.  I’m so fortunate to have such a tight-knit group of college girlfriends that still talk every single day, even though we are spread from Raleigh to Tampa to Shanghai!

Namaste, y’all!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Spodee Spritzer

Happy Valentine’s Day!

While I hope y’all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and an excellent Friday, I hesitate to even call today a “holiday.”  I was going to try to do a gift round up, but Wheat and I aren’t even exchanging gifts!  So that seemed silly and fake.  Don’t get me wrong, I love giving and receiving gifts!  But if I’m not even giving or receiving them, it seemed ridiculous to tell y’all what to buy or do.  Wheat and I had planned on getting some oysters and building a fire tonight, but plans changed and he is working for Storm Services (his other day job), helping the power companies turn to power back on for all the folks in North Georgia.

So instead, I’ll be toasting to a Happy Valentine’s Day by myself, and I suggest you do the same.  This red drink is perfect for this holiday full of pink and red and sparkles.

Spodee Spritzer  | Oysters & Pearls

If you’ve never heard of Spodee, don’t fret.  Neither had I, until last week.  They offered to send me a bottle to try, since they are recently available in Georgia.  Not one to turn down the bottle (usually I prefer to turn it up), I promptly said yes.

Spodee Swag | Oysters & Pearls

Spodee swag, anyone?

Spodee for Valentines Day | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll be honest.  I’m not usually a liquor person.  I can drink the vino with the very best of them, and I love an ice cold beer.  But liquor has never really been my jam.  I think it’s because I’ve never been a very confident bartender.  Cooking and baking, I got.  Drink mixing, not so much.  So I was a little nervous about this stuff, but the fact that is had wine in the name calmed my nerves a little.  Spodee is “Depression-era hooch,” country wine fortified with moonshine, chocolate, and herbs.  The chocolate really threw me for a loop.  Wine + chocolate + ‘shine + herbs?  Could this stuff possibly taste any good?

Spodee, Wine with a Kick | Oysters & Pearls

I do love that it comes in an old milk bottle.  Y’all know I’m a sucker for a bottle I can save and reuse!

I read that Spodee is good for sipping, and it just so happened that I had also just been gifted a set of these:

Balls of Steel - Drink Coolers with a Cause | Oysters & Pearls

The third grade boy inside me cannot stop laughing.  These whiskey-chilling Balls of Steel (dying) are so named in order to raise awareness about testicular cancer.  Normally, I might have passed, but the timing was eerie.  A coworker’s husband was just diagnosed with testicular cancer a couple of weeks ago, so I couldn’t ignore the coincidence.  Anyway, these Balls of Steel had me laughing for a good cause, so I accepted.  I decided that it couldn’t have been coincidence, either, that I was gifted a sipping hooch and these balls of steel within the same two weeks, so I decided to try sipping Spodee.

Spodee, Chilled with Balls Of Steel | Oysters & Pearls

I cannot tell a lie.  It was intense.  I liked the flavors, but it was too sweet for my taste.  The Balls of Steel had done their job, but Spodee sippin’ ain’t for me.

After that, I looked up some Spodee drink recipes, and settled on a Spodee Spritzer for my solo Valentine’s Day toast.  Lemons are in season here in the South, so although it sounds summer, it’s actually quite seasonally appropriate.  And I just so happened to have a few straggling lemons leftover from the pre-polar vortex harvest.

Spodee Spritzer | Oysters & Pearls

Spodee Spritzer Recipe

– one part Spodee
– one part freshly squeezed lemonade
– one heavy floater of club soda
– lemon wheel for garnish

This bev was so surprisingly refreshing!  It felt like a great summer drink, but with the herbs and chocolate in the Spodee, it felt… winter-y and warming.  It’s super smooth, but the lemonade and club soda cut through the heavy Spodee and made it really drinkable.

Spodee Spritzer for Valentine's Day | Oysters & Pearls

It was the perfect little Valentine’s Day toddy.

So to all my readers out there…

Cheers!  And Happy Valentine’s Day!

It may not be a real holiday, but it’s as good an excuse as any to have a cocktail and hug the ones you love.

Spodee Spritzer for Valentine's Day Cocktails | Oysters & Pearls

Disclaimer: Although this bottle of booze was gifted to me, all opinions of the hooch are mine and mine alone.  You can order Spodee online from Super WIne Warehouse, or check your local Georgia liquor store.

Until Next Time