• Elva Adventures: Athens, GA

    After an impromptu conversation at February's Summit (an amazing gathering held annually at Sea Island by my favorite peeps at The Southern Coterie) an event was in the works, bringing together art, interiors, fashion, and fun with fellow attendees Breckyn Alexander of BMA At Home, Stacy Smallwood of Hampden Clothing, and Cheri Leavy, co-founder of The Southern C.

    A Spring Pop-Up Shop was such a fun way to kick off this sunny season ahead, and a road trip to Athens, Georgia proved to be just the thing to start April with a smile. Thanks to a tip from another Southern C gal (who is amazing!) we booked this adorable and charming cottage for a few days that was within walking distance of all the goodness the neighborhood of Five Points had to offer.


    The event was held at Breckyn's beautiful shop, BMA At Home, that is full of beauty. From original paintings and tribal textiles to patterned pillows and vintage furniture, every room had us swooning. She has such an amazing eye for color, texture, and style...and even has a feature coming out in Better Homes and Gardens this fall! (So we're clearly not the only ones who think so!)


    Hampden's beautiful clothes and accessories filled the shop (and adjoining gallery of the incredibly-talented Hannah Betzel, also a Summit alum) with stylish and delightful designs, and we loved the juxtaposition of fashion with Hannah's wonderful work.

    It was certainly not all-work-and-no-play, and dinner with a gorgeous group of women at LRG Provisions was such a fun celebration of collaboration and creativity. (I was not sad about the okra, either.)

    A counter lunch at ADD Drug was amazing, chocolate milkshake and onion rings and all. (Also, when was the last time you saw Tab on the drink menu?! And props to Mayfield Milk, a favorite since my childhood summer camp days.) Lots to love here.

    I started every morning of my trip with a tea latte from Jittery Joe's and deliciousness from Independent Baking. (Athens locals insisted I order the Morning Roll, a house version of the cinnamon roll that combines two of my favorite pastries in one, and they were right on.)  I'd move next door just for the bread-baking smell every morning.

    Other highlights: the best little bookstore, delicious local brews on a pub patio, and blooming wisteria along sidewalks and brick-lined alleys. It was such a fun little adventure in Athens, and I can't wait for the next!

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • Our Favorite Podcasts

    I've spent a decent amount of time this fall in the car on a handful of road trips, some with kiddos and some without. While music is my mainstay, I'm also a huge fan of podcasts to pass the time. Whether I'm on the road, cooking, putting together designs in the studio, or washing dishes, here are a few favorites of late:

    - The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel - one for the kids (but I'm a fan, too), it's a serialized story about a smart and curious student and his group of friends as they disappear, one at a time

    - Sincerely, X - a TED talk given anonymously on air rather than on stage, because the nature of their story requires that their identity be withheld 

    - Revisionist History - by Malcolm Gladwell, whose humor and insight is endlessly entertaining and always interesting

    - Homecoming - Obsessed. A story told in a way unlike any I've ever heard before. Add Catherine Keener, and I was sold. David Schwimmer is an incredibly talented surprise in this one, too.

    - On Being with Krista Tippett - I've been listening to this show for years, often on early-morning drives to flea markets with nothing but NPR and coffee to keep me going. I adore the wisdom, honesty, and heart-driven thought in every single interview.

    - Invisibilia - About the forces at work in life that we can't see, I often think for a long time after listening to this one. Fascinating, really.

    -Wow in the World - another one for kiddos, but I learn SO much from these. Because my 8 am biology class in college just didn't stick.

    - The Lively Show - A favorite for years. I'm totally digging her take on "alignment before action," offering ways to find a happier, more fulfilling life that works for each of us.

    - This American Life - because, well, it's awesome.

    - Anna Faris is Unqualified - In full disclosure, I've not yet listened to this one, but it's on my list. Keep you posted.

    Posted by Emily Maynard