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Alabama Native: Alex Stone of The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead

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This family business has grown from a natural love for the land and nurturing the process to producing the finest cheeses, honey, specialty foods, botanicals, cosmetic extracts and cosmeceuticals. Honoring both her parents’ and her grandparents’ heritage, Deborah Stone founded Stone Hollow Farmstead in 1999 with her husband, Russell, and daughters, Fallon and Alexandra. The Stone family comes from a line of Alabama gardeners and farmers, sharing their history in all facets of the farmstead. Lessons learned from her grandparents, who ran a sustainable farm and grocery store, are evident in the jars of rose petal jam, the hillside of happy goats, the hives of honeybees and the heirloom herb gardens. Today, the Farmstead houses several complimentary businesses: The Pantry, Stone Hollow Creamery, Stone Hollow Hanoverians, Stone Hollow Herbs, Botaniko Skin, and NeoTegument medical skin care.

The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead offers artisan goat cheeses, cheesecakes, preserves, jams, honeys, syrups, gift collections and more. The style of food draws on inspiration from Deborah’s deep southern roots, a rustic, yet a clean approach. With locally and naturally grown botanicals and free-range ingredients, The Pantry offers some of the best food Birmingham has to offer.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Stone to chat about The Pantry and what she loves about her home state. Read on for more about The Pantry, Alex’s Thanksgiving table scape inspiration, and an exclusive giveaway!

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« WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ALABAMA?
I love the creative vibe of Alabama. We have such incredible people here—from amazing chefs to fashion designers to killer musicians, the coolest part is that they LOVE to collaborate. I really admire my generation—we all thrive on community. Everyone wants to share their knowledge and help get you to where you want to be. It makes the journey that much more fulfilling to feel like you’re all in it together.

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« WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN ALABAMA?
Anywhere that has great food and great people. That may be a little bit vague, but so be it. Whether it be at Bettola in Birmingham, consuming more pasta than I care to divulge with some of my closest friends, or sitting on the beach with my family, shucking oysters and drinking beer. As long as there is laughter and a wine key, I am content!

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« IF SOMEONE WAS COMING TO VISIT YOU FROM OUT OF TOWN, WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TAKE THEM?
I would take them to Avondale. I think it is here that you can see all that is great about Birmingham and its future. What started with a vision of a brewery by the Lake brothers has turned into one of the coolest neighborhoods in the country. Starting a Saturday afternoon at the brewery, then hitting Saw’s for some BBQ, and then bouncing over to 41st Street for a Moscow Mule. Does it get any better?

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« IN ONE WORD, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ALABAMA?
Magnetic.

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« WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS?
I know this is repetitive, but its food and its people. The people in Alabama are here because they want to be. They could live anywhere else in the world, but there is a magnetism that draws them in. Many of us, including myself, have moved away and couldn’t get back quick enough. The people here are so varied and come from such diverse backgrounds, yet they all ended up here. And again, the food is amazing. I would love to have a dinner party with all of the incredible people that call this state home. Who wants to pitch in? I’ll bring the wine!

Thanksgiving-Inspiration
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Plates and cutlery: West Elm;  Glasses, dinner cloths, and quilt: At Home in Homewood; Trinkets: vintage; Wine, wine stand, chili oil, and candles: The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead

When putting together an outfit or designing a room or a table, I don’t stick to any rules. I have to have pieces that are more modern paired with organic, earthy pieces—perhaps some rustic things as well. I like the contrast that happens when putting opposites together. With this table I knew I wanted it to be a darker more sensual look, so that’s how the cocoa colored plates came about. I found them at West Elm at the Summit. I loved their raw edges, and the color is perfect. You can pair them with any color and they blend.

I like cozy spaces, and as much as I wish this table was a few inches larger, I love how tight everything is. It makes it more intimate. I’m an accessories girl to the core, so you’ll find little trinkets like antique bottles or lockets scattered about the table. They make for great conversational pieces—especially if you found them on a trip or with someone special!

Candles are a must. Stay far away from scented candles in the kitchen or on the table. As lovely as they might smell, no one wants an orzo salad that tastes like “red current”. Wine goes without saying. Always have wine. And champagne. I bet someone in your dinner party can think of something to celebrate!

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We’re giving away this Grazing Board to one lucky winner! This $100 grazing board prepared by Michael, the cheese monger at The Pantry, is perfect for your next dinner party! He will work with you on finding the perfect cheeses and accompaniments for your event! One winner will be chosen by Tuesday, November 25th at 5:00 p.m. Head over to our Instagram to enter!

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Designer Spotlight: VELINA

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Launched in 2011 by sisters Tina and Erica, VELINA is a collection of handcrafted jewelry and accessories inspired by art, travel and culture. They seek to bring each of these elements to life through every new collection. Their jewelry is handmade in their studio. Imported from all over the world, the materials are valuable, genuine, and natural. They recently opened a small, outdoor shop at the AVALON in Alpharetta, Georgia, which will be open during the holiday season! Check out some of their amazing designs below.

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We’re giving away the Silvie-Moonstone Lariat Necklace by VELINA to one lucky winner! One winner will be chosen by Friday, November 21st at 5:00 p.m. Head over to our Instagram to enter!

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Style File: The Transatlantic

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Photo by Shelby Gordon

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU.
I’m a blogger, travel writer, and brand consultant living in Nashville. I travel quite a bit for work, which I love, but I’m just as happy being home in Tennessee. When I’m home, I like to hike with my beagle and frequent all the great coffee shops we have in town. But when I travel, I try to step out of my normal routine and try things I usually wouldn’t do.

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Photo by Shelby Gordon

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START BLOGGING?
I’ve always wanted to blog, but it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to blog about. So, I suppose in some ways I’ve been planning this blog since high school. I launched the blog after graduating from design school—it seemed like the perfect time. I learned so much about my style within those four years that it helped me figure out which direction to take things.

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Photo by Shelby Gordon

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BLOG AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO SHARE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS?
I’d describe it as a travel and fashion blog, but I really blog about anything that I like! I share travel advice, outfit ideas, really anything that could inspire someone who shares a similar style.

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HOW HAS LIVING IN NASHVILLE SHAPED THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE TODAY?
I don’t think I’d be blogging full-time if it wasn’t for my time in Nashville. This town is full of so much talent, which pushes you to work hard and live up to the standard. Plus, the style here is so inspiring. People dress really well in Nashville. My wardrobe changed drastically after moving here.

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Photo by Shelby Gordon

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I think I dress pretty casually—lots of denim, lots of leather. Basically, I’m drawn to things that I could wear 1,000 times over and never be sick of. I’ve always seemed to stay away from color, I feel more comfortable in neutrals. Lately, I’ve been looking to French icons like Jane Birkin or Françoise Hardy for fashion inspiration. I don’t think they’ve ever looked bad, so I think it’s safe to have them as muses.

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WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
I could go on about this forever. I’m a sucker for products. For hair, I love Bumble & Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder and Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray. Both are great for making your hair look thicker and a bit tousled. For skincare, I’ve been drawn to Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. I get really dry skin in the winter so I need some pretty intense moisture, and this stuff works wonders. Lastly, for makeup I love Chanel’s Vitalumiere Foundation, Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose, and Dior’s Blackout Mascara.

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Photo (left) by Shelby Gordon

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN NASHVILLE?
I can’t get enough of Epice, which is this incredible Lebanese restaurant in the 12th South neighborhood. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s walking distance from my apartment! If you go, be sure to order the hummus to start and their sea bass for your main course. It’s so good I can’t seem to ever order anything else.

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WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE OUR READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I’ve recently started writing articles for Condé Nast Traveler magazine, which is kind of a lifelong dream come true! I’ve been sharing some travel tips along with my favorite places in Nashville which you can check out over at cntraveler.com.

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Tomorrow Lauren will be taking over our Instagram! Follow along as she shares a day in her life, and be sure to follow @thetransatlanticblog for a special giveaway!

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Trends we love: Leather/Fur/Leopard

Leather is everywhere this season, and it’s no surprise to us. Fall’s hottest trend is back with a vengeance this year. From edgy chic jackets to slouchy leather skinnies, leather is our favorite material of the moment.

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Fur and faux fur is the trend to rock this season. The easiest way to work this trend into your wardrobe is with a fur vest. You can throw one on over almost any outfit. If you want to really make a statement, though, go with a fur jacket!

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This spotted trend is our go-to print. Timeless and always fun, leopard print is an easy way to bring some color into your Fall wardrobe. Our favorite way to wear this trend is with accessories like an infinity scarf or a cute beanie.

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Alabama Native: Jessie Pitts

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Jessie grew up in Birmingham, Alabama with her five siblings. Her musical talents were unknown to many throughout high school until she got her first solo as a Sophomore at Spain Park High School. She became captain of the SPHS show choir and fell in love with performing. Her father, a musician, inspired her to sing and taught her how to perform by building her a stage in the family barn. Jessie currently attends a music school and works at a recording label in Nashville, but she is hoping The Voice can help her launch her singing career.

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« WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ALABAMA?
It’s hard to name only one thing, but I absolutely love the fact that Alabama is constantly evolving—especially where I live in Birmingham. I feel like every time I come home there are new restaurants, shops, and venues. Birmingham is establishing its own personality and I’m so proud to live in a place that has such good taste in music, fashion, food and more! Alabama is truly unique and without a doubt underestimated.

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« WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN ALABAMA?
Truly one of the hardest questions to answer EVER! My family and I fell immediately in love with Jim ‘N Nicks barbecue. We go there often to feast on the out of this world cheese biscuits. I also love eating at Rojo in Highland Park. It’s such a cute and unique place where you can get great American or Mexican food.

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« IF SOMEONE WAS COMING TO VISIT YOU FROM OUT OF TOWN, WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TAKE THEM?
I take them to Homewood! Visiting Octane in Homewood is a MUST! I love taking people through Homewood and seeing their surprised faces as they never expected Alabama to be so dang cute. Jackson’s cookie dough egg rolls are my favorite! For music, I love taking people to Iron City! Also, outside of Birmingham, I love taking people to see Mount Cheaha. I love hiking and that is where my dad proposed to my mom, so it’s a very special place to me.

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« IN ONE WORD, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ALABAMA?
Surprising.

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« WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS?
I think all of the beautiful parks like Little River Canyon, Mount Cheaha, and Noccalula Falls are some of Alabama’s best kept secrets.

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Thanks for chatting with us, Jessie! Tune in to The Voice each week on NBC and vote for Jessie Pitts! Download The Voice app here and checkout Jessie’s latest single “Holding Out For A Hero” here!

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Soca Unplugged: The Pantry Hollow Holler Dinner

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Once a month The Pantry by Stone Hollow hosts a dinner at the farmstead, and this month we were lucky enough to get to attend! The Pantry is one of our favorite places to eat in Birmingham. Their produce is some of the best in the area, and their interiors are to die for. At the Hollow Holler dinner, we dined at a 100ft long farm table while sipping on artisanal cocktails and enjoyed a true farm-to-plate meal prepared with sustainably grown ingredients. We wanted to share our fun night away from the city lights with you as well as a recipe for one of the cocktails we enjoyed!

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Thanks to The Pantry for giving us a seat at your table and sharing this delicious cocktail recipe with us. We can’t wait for the next dinner at the farmstead!

xoxo,
Soca

Our favorite Fall nail colors!

This season we’re loving deep, dark nail colors, and of course, metallics. Check out some nail art inspiration as well as our favorite colors below!

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1. Bordeaux by Essie: A deep red wine with super rich color. It’s feminine yet dark and edgy.
2. Orage by Chanel: A bit of a splurge, but it’s the most beautiful deep blue!
3. British Racing Green by Butter London: A less expensive alternative to Shutter—and just as beautiful!
4. Shutter by Nars: Part of the Phillip Lim for Nars collection, this polish is an amazing dark green. Perfect for the holidays!
5. Revlon’s Base + Top Coat: Amazing base and top coat at an even more amazing price point. Extends the life of your manicure by days!
6. Take It Outside by Essie:  This perfect wintery nude/taupe is part of Essie’s Fall 2014 collection, and it goes with everything!
7. Rich by Revlon: This deep, pewter/gold is seriously the best metallic ever.
8. Dubs by Butter London: This glittery polish is a great multidimensional metallic.
9. Diorific Vernis Top Coat by Dior: This polish is a limited addition color this season! Gold flakes in the clear top coat to add metallic sparkle to any nail color!Fall-Nail-Colors
And there you have it! Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to do a little at-home manicuring.

xoxo,
Soca

 

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