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Holiday Gift Guide: For The Jewelry Lover

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1. Mickey Lynn Druzy Necklace $96-$120
2. Vanessa Mooney Necklace $40-$298
3. Sonya Renée Necklace $70
4. The Giving Keys Necklace $35-$45
5. Skinny by Jessica Elliot Necklace $40-$72
6. Velina Necklace $110-$275
7. Tai Stud Earrings $32-$72
8. Piney River Goods Leather Cuff $25
9. Alabama Funk Vintage Coin Necklace $32-$39
10. Gorjana Laurel Large Hoops $58

You can find all of these great gifts in our stores! Happy shopping!

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Holiday party tips from Alex at The Pantry!

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MY TOP TEN HOLIDAY ETIQUETTE RULES

1. Let the host or hostess know you will be joining and do not be late. Try and be ten minutes early — any earlier and the host may still be in a tizzy. Tizzy. I love that word.

2. Never show up empty-handed. Bring a bottle of champagne or something that can be used at their next hosting event.

3. Always offer a hand. Most of the time you will be shooed away to enjoy your glass of wine, but it never hurts to ask.

4. Keep count of your glasses of wine. I’ve always been bad with numbers, so trust me.

5. No cell phones — unless something Instagram worthy happens.

6. If you’re having a Pretty Woman moment…“Siri, which fork do I start with again?” She knows. Promise.

7. Enjoy yourself! Nothing pays a higher compliment to a host than laughter and great conversation. Bashful? Think of some talking points or fun stories you could share before you arrive.

8. Stick a game into your purse, and if things are slowing down, be the girl with a solution. Who doesn’t love a little Catch Phrase?

9. Jump in and help clean up. If whipping Catch Phrase out of your oversized clutch didn’t make your date fall in love you with you, this will.

10. Write a thank you note. Everyone loves a hand written note. Everyone.

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HOSTESS GIFT GUIDE

Pickled Carrots // $12.99
These are not just carrots. They are pink carrots. There are multiple pickled products to choose from and all pair beautifully with cheese and any other accompaniment found on a grazing board for a party.

Secco Italian Bubbles // $18.50
Bubbles are always a good idea. This is a delicious bottle with a reasonable price tag.

Flavored Sea Salt and Chèvre Log // Salt: $6.99 // Cheese: $5.00
Flavored salt can be used in culinary dishes all year long, and a chèvre log is delicious on a cracker or crudités and is easy to cook with.

Stone Hollow Farmstead Marinated Goat Cheese // $15.00
There are multiple flavors and all are wonderful as an appetizer for a party or dinner and can also be used to cook with.

All products listed can be found and gift wrapped at The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead
17 Dexter Ave, Mountain Brook AL, 35213 // (205) 803-3585

Holiday Gift Guide: Soca Girl Stocking Stuffers

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1. Santa Boot Socks (other prints available) $16.00
2. 52 Christmas Activities $6.95
3. Christmas Nail Polish Set $7.95
4. Set of 5 Card Games $12.50
5. Lipgloss $3.95
6. Penguin Retractable Ear Buds $17.95
7. Kitty Change Purse $8.95
8. Squirrel Pen $6.00
9. Rudolf Socks (other prints available) $8.00

You can find all of these great stocking stuffers at Soca Girl! Follow their blog for more gift guides!

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Alabama Native: Loyal Stricklin

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Loyal Stricklin is an idea built from nothing. One hide turned to two, two to four, and four to many more. With a few simple tools, we began our story: one built on hard work, late nights, and too many cups of coffee. We were tired of purchasing low quality goods that didn’t last more than a few months, and we realized that many others out there felt the same way. Our studio is located in the historic Opelika, AL train depot, the reason for the town’s—and Auburn University’s existence. Often the train rushes by, drowning out the sounds of work, reminding us that its presence created the space we now call home. At Loyal Stricklin, we believe in community; the careful selection of materials; smart, simple design; and the beauty in products that age and patina with grace— and are all the better because of it.

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« WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ALABAMA?
Growing up I always thought I would want to leave Alabama as soon as I could, but as I grew older and got to see the world a little bit, I realized that Alabama had something that nowhere else does: it is home. I grew up here. I went to school here. I started my first two businesses here, and it is still my home. I love everything about Alabama: the people, the beauty, the culture, and especially the food. Alabama will always be home.

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« WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN ALABAMA?
Sam’s Super Samwiches in Homewood for breakfast. I’ve loved going since I was in high school and always find at least one morning to stop in every time I’m home. It’s a classic good breakfast: two eggs, melted cheese, and thick sliced ham on a hot hamburger bun with mayonnaise. Delicious.

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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’d take them on a tour of all of our local coffee shops, my storefront and workshop, and then probably just try to get outdoors at Mt. Cheaha or Tuskeegee or just a drive around the nearby countryside.

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« IN ONE WORD, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ALABAMA?
Does Sweet Home count?

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« WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS?
Every time I travel to a big city, people are surprised to see that my business is located in Alabama. They just can’t believe that a relatively unknown brand like mine was born and bred here. There is something special going on in Alabama right now, one built on hard work and individuals striving for their dreams. Many Alabamians, especially young adults, have found a lacking job market and instead of sitting around, have taken their fate into their own hands—building their dreams off their talents and skill sets, even developing new skills through determination and perseverance. From small towns like Opelika, where I live, all the way up to Birmingham, there is a resurgence in creativity and business that is unprecedented. The South is already a mysterious place to those not from here, and Alabama is booming with a revival in Southern heritage, style, and a rustic flair unique, authentic, and relatable to people all across America. Alabama is a genuine place, where people greet strangers, and hold doors open for each other, saying “excuse me”, “thank you”, and “please”, and I think it’s beautiful.

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All photography by Sarah Lolley

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We’re giving away this Aviator Mug by Loyal Stricklin to one lucky winner! One winner will be chosen Wednesday, December 10th at 5:00 p.m. Head over to our Instagram to enter!

Thanks for sharing with us, Michael! Loyal Stricklin Aviator Mugs will be available later this week at Soca Birmingham!

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Holiday Gift Guide: For Your Mom (Or Mother-In-Law)

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1. Kooba Leather Wallet $119
2. Mickey Lynn Necklace $104-$264
3. Echo Leather Gloves $98
4. White+Warren Cashmere Snood $198
5. Botaniko Body Scrub $48
6. Alex & Ani “Because I Love You, Mom” Bracelet $28
7. Piko Top $34.50-$38.50
8. Love Stitch Cowl Neck Sweater $62-$68
9. Velina Bracelet $60-$135
10. Soca Holiday Candle $14.95
11. Stephanie Johnson Cosmetic Bag $33-$48

You can find all of these great gifts for your mom or mother-in-law in our stores! Happy holidays!

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Denim trends we love: Winter White/Hardware/Coated

Contrary to popular belief, you can wear white after Labor Day. Winter whites are one of our favorite denim trends of the season. The neutral color palette makes styling a breeze. Don’t be afraid to rock this trend—trust us, it’s all white.

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If you’re looking to add some edge to your style, zipper-detailed denim is the trend for you. Exposed hardware can add the perfect amount of visual interest to an outfit or transform your favorite skinnies into a subtle flare.

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Coated denim is a must this Winter! We love this leatherette look because it’s practical, comfortable, and has just the right amount of edge. This trend is definitely worth the splurge.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Our favorite things!

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1. Full Motion Denim $167-$218
2. The Giving Keys $35-$45
3. Floppy Hat $36
4. Soca Candle $14.95
5. Piko Top $34.50-$38.50
6. Echo Infinity Scarves $38.50+
7. Boot Cuffs $14.95
8. Botkier Logan Crossbody $195

You can find all of these great gifts in our stores! Happy holidays!

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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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