Don't forget, we are still taking Pre-Orders for our Peach and Bourbon Peach Jam! These flavors are made fresh in small batches while the peaches are in season. Once it's gone, it's gone! Click here to Pre-Order today!
Happy Peach Season from The Southern Mercantile! We LOVE peach season around here--we can't get enough of this Georgia grown fruit. The possibilities are endlessly delicious! Today we want to share two of our all-time favorite peach recipes with you (again).
If you are new to The Southern Mercantile, you may not have had the opportunity to be introduced to our Peach Bee Hives! This dessert is not only beautiful, but delicious! In our opinion, it's the perfect way to kick off the peach season. Click here to read our step-by-step tutorial on how to craft this yummy treat, or click here to go directly to the recipe!
Check out the story behind everyone's favorite Peach Cake by clicking here! This seasonal recipe is sure to wow the crowd. A simple, yet delicious, take on a sweet peachy treat!
We hope you'll take the time to try these fun recipes this summer! We'd love to know what you think, or if you have a favorite peach recipe yourself! Tag us in your social media posts so we can see what you're up to in the kitchen!
Don't forget, we are still taking Pre-Orders for our Peach and Bourbon Peach Jam! These flavors are made fresh in small batches while the peaches are in season. Once it's gone, it's gone! Click here to Pre-Order today!
When we learned that I would be having another boy, so many people were disappointed that we wouldn’t have a little girl. I, for one, was not. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely adore all of my nieces, and the idea of having a child who might actually enjoy shopping or someone to get pedicures with would certainly be fun - and expensive! And, I know for a fact that Chris would never be able to tell her no!
After having two boys already, I feel like I know what I’m doing, even if so many things have changed since they were born. Between balls, Legos, superheroes, and anything with wheels, I think I’ve gotten the hang of this #boymom thing! (Please note, I am also fairly certain this child will be totally different than my first two, and I will have to eat my words!)
When it came time to choose how to decorate the nursery for our little boy, I decided that since we were starting over on a new adventure to incorporate that into the theme and use maps. First things first, I started my Pinterest board of Nursery Ideas. I couldn’t find any bedding I really liked, so I searched Etsy and discovered this beautiful handmade bedding set from Hagar in Israel. After talking to my sister, Leigh, about how much I loved the fabric and wished I could find curtain panels to match, she coordinated with my other sisters and my Mama to order the bedding, and Hagar even made the curtain panels too!
We planned a date for all of them (plus my dear Aunt Wanda) to come over and paint the walls. Originally, this room was Caleb’s nursery with bright green walls to go with the green gingham and frog bedding we used for him and Seth. Over the years, it’s been a play room, a guest room, my father’s room when he’s had to stay with us after surgeries, and most recently, a bedroom for my sister, Latacha, and niece, Kasey. Once they found a place of their own, my boys and I set to work priming the walls to cover the bright green so we’d be ready when everyone came over to do the real painting.
Since it has been so long since my other boys were born (14 and 11 years!), I had given away all our baby gear, including furniture. I found out that my cousins were selling their nursery furniture, which was beautiful and an incredible deal!
Slowly, but surely, we’ve added to the room to make it functional and fun. The futon will give my Mama a place to take a nap when she's babysitting or if she wants to stay overnight sometime. The glider-rocker was my Mother’s Day present from Chris and the boys, so now we have a place to rock baby Perry to sleep. The little rocking chair was mine when I was a little girl, and the wooden toy chest was Chris’s, for a touch of sentimentality.
Tara covered Perry’s initials with maps as part of the decorations for my shower, and they’re perfect for personalizing this room into his space. Wire baskets underneath the changing table hold burp cloths and blankets, like the one Roxie quilted for Perry. I even found baskets with map fabric to hold all the baby essentials, and a matching photo album that will get filled with photos of all our adventures together!
Pick out something special for your own little or for a friend from our online store! Maileg Bunnies are some of our favorites additions to any nursery are treasured for many childhood years to come.
We all love the idea of keeping little pot plants around the house and on the porch, especially this time of year. Many folks have trouble keeping their little green beauties alive and become discouraged. Succulents are truly the easiest little plants to grow, whether or not you have a green thumb! Find a spot where they get enough light, don't over water, and you'll have happy little campers! They basically like to be ignored, which is perfect for me. My Dad and I have had pretty good luck over the last year with our succulent collections so I thought I would have him share some tips with you on keeping your succulents happy and rooting all the babies you will grow!
This is my Dad, affectionately known around town as Mr. Crain. He taught elementary school for 27 years, is super creative, and happens to have a very green thumb. He can grow anything! I have tried to pick up tips from him over the years and, even though my little yard is looking pretty good, I am nowhere near his master gardener status! He's also a pretty funny guy, so funny that he has his own hashtag you can follow on Instagram!
Your first step in starting a succulent collection is, of course, purchasing your first succulent! Once your little succulent is home and happy, it will hopefully start to grow! If it is not growing, it is probably not getting enough light. I haven't had much luck with inside plants so my succulents live on my side porch where they get a good amount of afternoon sun. Tara's succulents are thriving in a bright laundry room window. You may have to try them in a couple different spots but you will know when they are happy because they will grow fast! Remember, it is very important to not over water your succulents so let them dry out before watering them. You will really only need to water them once a week and when you do, don't drown them!
When your succulents start growing it will be time to start trimming them. Your mother plant will start growing little babies around it or start shooting them off of its stem. Don't worry that you will be hurting your plant. Trimming your succulents from time to time makes them grow even more!
You'll want to save all of your cuttings because you can root anything you trim off of a succulent, even just one petal. When you cut your succulents it is good to let them sit out a few days before putting them in dirt. The ends will dry out a little and they might even go ahead and sprout roots!
Dad likes to start our cuttings out in little peat pots. This just makes it easier to keep all of your little babies together so you can tend to them like a little nursery before potting them in larger containers. You can even plant your cuttings in larger pots, leaving them in the peat pots, as they will disintegrate, but we like to re-use ours. If you don't have peat pots you can just go ahead and plant your cuttings in a regular pot. The potting soil you use is also an important element. Dad uses a mixture of Black Kow, potting soil, and garden humus (compost).
After filling your peat pots with your soil mixture, just stick your cuttings or petals in the dirt. Water them and leave them. You will want to water them a few times a week as they are getting started. Let them sit in the peat pots several weeks before transplanting them to other pots, to give them time to root.
When it's time to move your little jewels to larger containers, you will need: more of your soil mixture, small rocks and pebbles, and your favorite interesting containers. In addition to your favorite ceramic pots, get creative and repurpose vintage containers, cups and dishes into vessels for your succulents. We think they look super cute planted in anything! If you choose a container that does not drain, you will need to put small rocks in the bottom so that the water can drain inside the pot. (If your container has a drain hole, you can skip this step.)
Next you will cover your rocks with your potting soil mixture. The size of your container will determine how much soil you need to add. If your container is small you won't need much. The soil you transfer from the peat pot will help to fill it up. Lastly you remove your cuttings from the peat pots, making sure you bring new roots and growth with you, and place them in your chosen container.
Don't be afraid to mix different varieties all in one container. This will add interest and each variety will show different characteristics as they grow. When they start to get too big you can always re-pot again!
We like to top our little pots off with small pebbles. This helps keep your soil packed down and makes it look a little more finished and special.
Dad and I hope these tips have been helpful and that you feel empowered to start your own succulent family! Once you have them going you can have them growing all over the house! If you want to use them in a room that doesn't get great light, just leave them in there for a week or two and then put them back outside. They also make beautiful and thoughtful gifts for special friends and relatives.
If you need a cute new pot we've got your covered! Check out these new items in our store. Happy potting y'all!
My husband, Chris, has always wanted another baby. I’m the one who proclaimed we were done, especially once my boys were old enough to start taking care of themselves. Of course, in the back of my mind, I felt that maybe we weren’t completely done with children, but I really thought that God was leading us toward a path of fostering and potentially even adopting down the road. Our family and friends always joked with us that we needed to try one more time so I could have a little girl for Chris. He’s such a fun uncle to all our nieces, but I knew if we had a baby girl, he’d never be able to say no to her!
l’ll always remember how he would play and make faces with all babies and little kids while we were dating. It didn’t matter whether we were at church or with family around children we knew, or if we were complete strangers to a child in a store or restaurant, kids seemed to be drawn to him. I knew he would make an incredible father, thanks to moments like this, and that’s one of the things that made me fall in love with him. I was right; he is an incredible father!
With our first two boys, I was a stay-at-home mom. I’m grateful to Chris for making that time work because I know it wasn’t easy for us financially. Although teachers don’t make enough, losing my salary and insurance was quite a blow! Once Caleb started pre-school, and Seth started first grade, though, I began to toy with the idea of working outside our home again. I took a couple of long-term substitute teacher positions, which made it clear to both of us that I shouldn’t go back to teaching. Soon enough, Roxie and Matt talked to me about coming to work for them in The Cafe, which is how I joined the Fourth and Cherry family in 2011.
Fast-forward six years. By this point, I’m shuttling Seth and Caleb to school and extra-curricular activities, while working in The Café and as part of The Southern Mercantile team. I truly enjoy my job and feel as if I’m not only helping my family achieve their goals, but am starting to realize some of my own dreams. And then, I find out I’m pregnant again at 38 years old! (By the way, I turned 39 in March.) I must admit, I freaked out a little bit - my mind was reeling with thoughts of “I’m too old for this,” “My boys are old enough to do for themselves,” and “I don’t have time to have a baby!” When I revealed the news to Chris, I couldn’t tell if he was going to cry or pass out from the shock!
The first person I called was my sister, Marcy, who is a nurse practitioner in a maternal-fetal medicine practice, which means she deals with high-risk pregnant mothers. She has been such a valuable resource and voice of reassurance throughout my pregnancy - once she stopped laughing! Because of my “advanced maternal age,” I knew I would be referred to her practice, which was just fine with me. I trust my sister and wanted her to be as involved with my pregnancy as possible!
Once the initial shock of being pregnant wore off, my mind turned to worry and fear. I worried that I would miscarry early on, as I figured out I was pregnant around 5-6 weeks. Then, I worried I would have a later miscarriage, even into my second trimester. I worried about my baby having Down’s syndrome or some other chromosomal abnormality due to my age. There was a possibility that I could deal with Intrauterine Growth Restriction. And, the fact that Chris had a cerebral hemorrhage and seizures when he was born was a concern for the doctor, which made me worry about that.
You should know that I am not normally a worrier. When I do have irrational thoughts that flit through my mind, usually I can talk myself out of actually worrying about whatever is going on. With this pregnancy, though, I found that hard to do. I have had so many friends and family struggle with miscarriage, still birth, and infant loss, that it became a real fear for me. I had this horrible feeling that something terrible was going to happen to my baby, and then I would not only deal with grief, but also guilt over the fact that I felt so overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant. For some reason, I had this irrational fear that I would never meet my baby, and I felt like it would be my fault.
At some point, after being reassured by my sister (and multiple test results) that my baby was growing as he should, with no signs of any abnormalities, I began to worry that my fear meant something terrible would happen to me instead. This made me worry more about leaving Chris, Seth, and Caleb behind to raise our baby boy. Instead of blaming me for losing him, would they blame him for losing me?
No one really knew how I was struggling. I’ve never understood how someone could be so paralyzed by fear and worry, but now I do. It is mentally taxing, and I see now how it can even be physically crippling. I prayed and prayed for God to grant me peace somehow, but it didn’t come. Until Easter Sunday.
I don’t remember much else about our Easter Sunday service, but I remember singing “Because He Lives.” And, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit about me like I never have. I’ve always loved that hymn, even as a child. When I sing this song, I hear my Mama’s sweet soprano voice singing it along with me. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the chorus:
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, He holds the future.
And, life is worth the living, just because He lives.”
Such simple words, but so powerful. I’m wiping tears even now as I recall trying to sing along that morning. I was emotional then, but could still sing until we began the second verse:
“How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
and feel the pride and joy he gives.
But, greater still, the calm assurance,
this child can face uncertain days, because He lives!”
By this point, I was a blubbering mess, just trying to hold it together, hoping no one would notice! I felt God’s peace washing over me, a “calm assurance,” and “all fear is gone.” Somehow, no one else saw me falling apart, or at least they never said anything. I’ve told very few people about this experience so far, but felt compelled to share it with y’all. I want you to know how powerful God’s peace truly is, if you can allow the Holy Spirit to work in you. As Philippians 4:7 states, it really does surpass our understanding.
I left church Easter Sunday feeling so much lighter, even though my belly didn’t show it! And, wouldn't you know, God had already placed a reminder around me for when I would begin to fear again? A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law was cleaning out cabinets and found a plaque someone had given her when Chris was born. She passed it along to me, and somehow, that plaque ended up on the desk in the foyer of our home. What’s on the plaque? A copy of the hymn, “Because He Lives.” As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always loved this hymn, and as it turns out, this hymn brought great comfort to my mother-in-law when Chris was born with a cerebral hemorrhage and faced surgery once his seizures stopped. (That’s a miraculous story for another time!)
The week after Easter, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes; no surprise, given my family history and the fact that I had almost every risk factor on the list. This means I have to keep track of my blood sugars, and if I don’t keep them under control, my baby could grow too big, which could mean I would have to have a C-section. I’m now on medication, which has a slight risk for stillbirth, so I have to go to the doctor twice a week to monitor his heart rate, while I make sure he’s moving throughout every day. While these are valid reasons for me to be scared, I don’t worry like I did before, “because I know, He holds the future.” And, whatever happens, “life is worth the living, just because He lives!”
A big thank you to Summer Laurel Photography for our new family portraits.
Most everyone enjoys the beauty of having fresh flowers in the home, but few of us actually keep them around on a regular basis. While picking up a beautifully crafted flower arrangement from your local florist on a weekly basis would support a local small business and be easiest, it might not fit into your weekly budget or your busy schedule! All of us buy groceries and most grocery stores sell fresh flowers. If you find yourself drooling over the flowers in the grocery store as you push your cart to the produce section, then this blog is for you! Pick out your favorite mix and put them in your cart because you can turn those awkward grocery store bundles into a beautiful bouquet like this in just a few quick steps!
Many people make the mistake of bringing flowers home, removing the plastic, and dropping them straight in a vase (that may or may not be the right size) without any trimming or arranging. While the actual blooms are very pretty, the arrangement will look very awkward and well, like you bought them at the grocery store.
One of the problems with store bought bouquets is that they usually don't include much greenery. To me, greenery is the most import key to creating a lush and beautiful arrangement. To get started you will need: a bundle of store bought flowers, your favorite vase, clippers (or your kitchen shears if you don't have yard clippers), and greenery cut from your yard.
For this tutorial, I intentionally chose some random greenery from my yard. Don't stress over what you are cutting. If you think it looks pretty and has a nice shape, then use it! I am using stems of camellia, azalea, and an unidentified branch from a tree, just because I liked it!
*Note, if you live in an apartment with no access to fresh greens, there is still hope for you to liven up your arrangement! Look at the grocery, to see if they have any bundles that have greenery, of if they have greenery you can buy to add to your preferred bundle. If that is not an option, then choose a vase with a smaller neck, so that your flowers will not be too loose when arranging them.
Start your arrangement by adding your greenery to your vase. Before I start to put my stems in my vase, I trim the leaves off of the bottoms of the stems, so that no leaves will be plunged into the water. Clean stems help to keep your arrangement from getting murky water. I started with the azalea first and then added in the camellia. You will need to trim the stems so that the leaves start at the top of the vase. I use the side of the table or counter that I am working on, to help me decide how much to trim off of the stem.
Spin your vase as you fill in so that you can green the arrangement evenly on all sides. I saved my shorter, unidentified pieces of greenery to fill any holes at the end.
Next, separate all of the main flowers from the mix, leaving the filler flowers aside. This bundle had lilies, mini hydrangeas and roses.
As with the greenery, you will need to remove the leaves from the bottoms of the stems, so that there are no leaves in your water.
I like to start with my boldest flowers first and then add in smaller ones. The lilies aren't open yet but when they do open, they will be big and bright. I started with a taller stem in the middle, and then added one a little shorter on each side. Again, using the side of the table to help me decide how much to cut off of my stem.
Next I will add the mini hydrangeas. I don't want any of these to be quite as tall as my tallest lily. I add one to the center of the arrangement and then the other three, spread evenly around the sides.
Next, the roses. I have a nice little spot in the middle so I add one in right beside the tallest lily. Then add in the others, evenly around the sides.
You can start to see a pattern here. Build each layer, starting with the center, working out around the sides of the arrangement.
Next I will add the "filler" flowers. These little daisies will be just what this arrangement needs to brighten it and add interest. Daisies often have flowers that grow too low down the stem, so don't feel bad when you have to remove a few of their dainty blooms. I added my first stem to the center and then worked around the sides.
I wanted to show a picture of my "trash" pile so you would know that I did have to remove quite a bit of foliage and low growing blooms from the stems. I don't want you to be afraid that you are trimming too much!
Lastly, I used the unidentified greenery to fill in little holes around the bottom of the arrangement, to make it look nice and full.
And ta-da! Just like that you have turned your awkward grocery store flowers into a colorful masterpiece!
If you decide to try your hand at this at home, we'd love to see your finished product! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can see your handy work. I hope you've found this helpful, and that you feel empowered to go forth and arrange flowers without fear or hesitation!
This past Sunday we had the honor of celebrating Jorjanne and baby Perry! We thought this would be a fun way to spend the afternoon on Mother's Day. When coming up with a theme for the shower, we were inspired by Perry's nursery. Jorjanne chose to decorate his room with maps. We decided that a "Welcome to the World" theme was appropriate!
Vintage globes and maps were used to pull the theme throughout the room. We even made little map flags to top the cupcakes with! We had a delicious spread of southern favorites; a cheese ball, chicken salad sandwiches, pasta salad, wedding cookies and lemon cupcakes.
Roxie found the sweetest children's book to use as the guest book. It's called "The Wonderful Things You Will Be." Its pages are filled with beautiful illustrations and encouraging words. It was so fun to read and imagine what baby Perry will become!
Jorjanne had a wonderful crowd at the shower, most of which were family! Chris even stopped by to say hello.
Jorjanne's sisters, aunt, niece and mom were there to celebrate with us.
Chris' side of the family was there too!
When it came time to open gifts, we had a ball! We laughed at the tiny clothing that we knew Chris would love and were in awe of the handmade gifts they will cherish for years.
Jorjanne received tons of practical items, as well as a few fun things too! Baby Perry, we are now ready for you!
If you are new to The Southern Mercantile, you may not know that we have a brick and mortar store called The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry. The Shoppes is where The Southern Mercantile was born. Inside The Shoppes, we have a Cafe. Running the Shoppes and Cafe is our "day job", I guess you could say. We have a wonderful work family that we are blessed to share life with. The Lord has always provided the right people at the right time. And right now, we are prepared and ready for baby Perry's arrival!
They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but I think it's worth a million if you know the story behind it.
There's something about old pictures that does something good for my soul. One of my favorite things to do is flip through my Nana's old photo albums and listen to her reminisce.
It is so funny how I can recognize a face in a faded black and white photo--but that just isn't enough for me. I need to know where they were and what they were doing so that I can put the story together in my mind. To some, a picture might not mean too much, but to me, they mean the world.
I'm sure you've recognized from previous blog posts that Roxie likes to decorate with old family photos in her home. (She even uses copies of them throughout the shop!) I thought it was such an interesting and obvious idea--why hadn't I thought of that before?
Old family pictures are great reminders of what really matters in life. They are interesting to look at and are always a great conversation starter. They add an element of depth to your decor, while keeping things simple.
I just love learning about our family through photos. Sifting through stacks of pictures resulted in countless conversations. It is because of this that I know exactly where my bossiness, wrinkles and love of cooking come from. My favorite photos are those from my Nana's childhood. Not only was she beautiful, but so full of life! She went from silly to serious, from tom boy to beauty queen so seamlessly. Her personality just jumps right off of the page. The pictures of her from years ago are almost whimsical--maybe that's why I love them so much.
With Mother's Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to encourage you to sift through your own family photos this weekend. Start conversations, listen to stories, and embrace where you came from. Choose a few of your favorites to feature in your own home. This is one of the ways I have chosen to honor my family. (Especially my mothers!)
If you were inspired by this post and are looking for unique ways to display your old photos, consider these brass and glass frames! They come in three different sizes and are just perfect for showing off your favorite photos. What I love most about his particular frame is how you can see the edges of those old and tattered snapshots.
Fresh salsa really is so simple and easy to make, there is no reason to be intimidated and no reason you can't enjoy this treat all summer long! I will confess that I love to eat at a restaurant in Atlanta called Taqueria Del Sol. It is a small chain, and there are several in North Georgia and Tennessee, but we always go to the one in the West Side Provisions District because I just love, love, love this part of Atlanta! Taqueria Del Sol has the best homemade salsa. They offer three varieties on a little trio plate and Matt and I usually make quick work of it! Many years ago, I scoured the internet for recipes similar to their salsas. It was so long ago, I can't remember where I found what I ended up with! My copy was hand written on a sheet of computer paper, with notes of alterations I had made. I didn't know until doing a little research for this blog that Eddie Hernandez, co-owner of the restaurant, now has a cookbook! I'll have to be hinting around to Matt that I want one for Christmas!
For Fresh Tomato Salsa you will need:
1/4 bunch of cilantro
2 Tbsp. spoons yellow onion (I usually like a little extra onion)
**Unless I am having a party, I usually half the recipe because it makes a lot!
If you want to punch up the flavor a little bit, you can try roasting your tomatoes and jalapeños for a Roasted Salsa. For the roasted salsa you will need:
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1/4 of a medium sized yellow onion
**Again, I usually make a half recipe. It doesn't make quite as much as the fresh tomato salsa but it still makes a lot!
In no time you have two delicious, homemade salsas that are sure to please any guests! I think they are best served on the patio with good friends and good tequila! Haha!
If you try these recipes at home, I'd love to hear from you and know what you think! Be sure to check out the store for cute kitchen accessories and serving pieces to bright up your summer kitchen. From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Check out our Kitchen category for cute new aprons and
coordinating dish towels!
We are so excited to have our dear Katelyn back with us! We are so in love with this little girl they've brought into the world, and are so blessed to be a part of this family's life. We thought that our readers might want to share in the excitement with us, so here is Katelyn's latest blog post about sweet Lainey Kate.
They say time flies when you're having fun -- but it zooms by like a rocket when you're having the best time of your life thus far and also running on little sleep! It's hard to believe it's already been 6 weeks since we first met our sweet Lainey Kate, and what a wonderful 6 weeks it has been! Jake and I are loving this season of new beginnings. In less than 5 years we've both been new to South Georgia, new jobs, newlyweds, welcomed a newborn that made us new parents, and plans to soon plant new roots and make South Georgia, officially, our new home. Whew!
In March, The Southern Mercantile Team was honored to play a small part in a beautiful Southern wedding! We don't have time to do as many weddings as we would like to do these days, but we just couldn't resist saying "yes" when Anna approached us about doing the floral design for her wedding. We jumped at the chance to get our creative juices flowing and be a part of such a classic and beautiful day!
Anna chose Lily of the Valley and mini Calla Lilies for her bouquet. Delicate flowers that made a big statement!
Her beautiful bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of fresh hydrangeas.
The Groom and his groomsmen were the epitome of Southern gentlemen in black tuxes with boutonnieres made of white ranunculus and seeded eucalyptus leaves.
Wreaths of greenery, roses, and mini hydrangeas adorned the doors that guests walked through to be seated. The mothers and grandmothers carried small nosegays of roses and mini hydrangeas.
The altar was set with southern pines trees and a beautiful lake creating the perfect peaceful backdrop. These dramatic arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, eucalyptus, and, curly willow provided the perfect focal point for the wedding ceremony.
The theme of white roses and white hydrangeas carried through to the tented reception area, where I am sure a good time was had by all!
It really was an honor to be a part of such a beautiful wedding! The combination of good weather, beautiful venue, and beautiful bride made this a perfect southern wedding! We wish a very happy life and many blessings to Anna and Tommy Ross! You can read more about the details of their engagement and wedding at overthemoon.com.
Facebook: Chelsey Dellinger Photography
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