Totality, Midnight Rice Beads and Charleston Eclipse Photos

It was impossible not to get swept up in the hype of the solar eclipse in Charleston since we were directly in its path. As the weekend ended and Monday approached the city had sort of a nervous energy about it. We had a solar eclipse sale. I made eclipse cookies. And I wondered if it would indeed be as magical as everyone said.

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We watched the eclipse from Sullivan’s Island – undoubtedly one of the most picturesque viewing points in the area. Our whole group had (the correct) glasses thanks to our host and Daphne was so worried she would go blind she barely took them off her face.

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When “totality” occurred I did take off my glasses for a moment and snapped this shot. It was just to incredible. The whole sky and beach was eerily dark and still. The church bells at a nearby church were ringing which added to the surreal feeling of darkness descending in the middle of the day and a storm was rolling in so off in the distance there was thunder and lighting. The change in light was slow and steady and felt more like a dark sunset than being plunged into total darkness and when the sun did reappear there was a feeling of elation. It really was an incredible thing to witness! And the clouds parted for just enough time to make it possible.

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The public schools in Charleston were actually closed today – I would say it was a win for Daphne spending a day at the beach instead of in a classroom.

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And here are a couple other photos taken in Charleston that I just loved…

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Finally in honor of our solar eclipse passing we have brought back our Charleston Rice Beads in Midnight Black for the season, just a little bit early.

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Some Bunny To Love

This weekend is Easter and this cake has been a long standing tradition in my house – both growing up and since I became an actual adult to make a coconut bunny cake. It was the first dessert I brought to the first Easter brunch we were invited to in Charleston. Even in the South amongst the stiff competition of easter puddings and the fruit trifles, this cake became a major topic of conversation. Something about it makes me and everyone who sees it just… happy. My cousins used to spend every Easter at our house and after tearing through our Easter baskets and several pounds of candy, this was the sugar high we looked forward to after Easter brunch just as we were coming down from our Peeps. I think the recipe was torn from some early 80s magazine and though I now have it memorized, I remember the way it was stapled to an index card in my Mom’s recipe box, We were fiercely loyal to the bunny cake – not so much for its flavor (although it is pretty good) but for its look, its texture and its comforting consistency of presentation year after year. The acid green coconut “grass,” the jelly bean eyes, the chocolate chip trim… My Mom would store it in what she referred to as the “cold closet” after it was prepared and the cream cheese frosting had a great chill to it when you finally dug in to it. It was even good as leftovers a couple days later with a cold glass of milk. It is remarkably easy to make… and of course, fun.

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Also, proof that I am not lying when I say I have been making this forever, this is me at age 7 or 8:

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What you need (for the cake):

  • A box of chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • two 9″ round baking pans
  • two bags of sweetened coconut divided into three bowls
  • jelly beans
  • Twizzlers pull and peel
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips

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After baking two 9″ chocolate cakes (and banging them loose from the pan – Daphne’s favorite part) keep one fully intact for the “head,” then, cut the second cake in three pieces, the “bowtie” that is the middle part of the circle and the two “ears” that make up the negative space once you cut out the bowtie.

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All four pieces should then be carefully transferred onto a separate tray or platter. If it is not done perfectly, it is not a big deal because it all gets covered in icing.

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What you need (for the icing):

  • stick of butter
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 box of confectioners sugar
  • vanilla extract

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We always made it with cream cheese frosting (ingredients listed above, basic recipe can be found here). It seems to go best with the flavor of the coconut and chocolate once completed. The entire head, ears and bowtie should be covered in frosting. Then, take the white coconut first and cover all the frosting in a layer of white coconut. Once a layer of white coconut has been added, pink coconut should be used to fill in the ears and bowtie. (This should be made in advance in a separate bowl using red food coloring). Once sprinkled inside the ears and bowtie, use the chocolate chips (evenly spaced) to outline the pink areas:

08 Jelly bean accents work well for the eyes and nose and Twizzlers pull and peel make the perfect bunny whiskers:

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The most fun part is the last step… sprinkling the “grass” – the dyed green coconut – around the giant bunny head:

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And our finished bunny!

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Good enough to eat… Happy Easter!

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Skinny Dipping in Charleston

It’s rare these days that a new retail store opens on King Street in Downtown Charleston that isn’t a national chain, so when I heard about Skinny Dip: The Charleston Edition, a collective retail concept that already found its sea legs after launching successfully in Nantucket I was immediately intrigued. And after drinks with one of the founders and designer behind accessory line Beau and Ro – Sara Rossi – I was totally thrilled to be invited to be a part of it. The brand collective shop represents both emerging and established designers from around the country in one, chic space – brands like Society Social, whose beautiful furniture makes the upstairs “local vibes” section feel both homey and luxurious, Ellsworth and Ivey, founding partner Taylor Ivey’s lifestyle brand, and Kiel James Patrick to name a few.

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The second floor of Skinny Dip Charleston’s King Street retail space bedecked with furniture from Society Social.

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Founders Sarah Rossi and Taylor Ivey – how cute are they?!

Plenty of Charleston based designers and brands will also be represented – you can find our Charleston Rice Beads upstairs as well as Lauren Lail’s beautiful vintage inspired line Library, colorful tunics and dressed by Escapada, even Shep from Bravo’s Southern Charm’s quirky line Shep Gear and many more. You can even relax and have a glass of wine in their upstairs bar run by Rudi’s – a satellite location from their Old Village wine shop in Mt. Pleasant.

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Artist Meredith Hanson hand paints a mural of Rainbow Row in Skinny Dip Charleston at the hard hat opening.

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The official opening party is this Friday, April 7th where I am also DJing but the store is open for shopping as of Tuesday, April 4th. There are so many goodies in there you definitely want to be one of the first to check it out. Congrats to the Skinny Dip team for all of their hard work and looking forward to celebrating on Friday!

THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES EVER

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a long time and with Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought it was a perfect time to spread the love. These are, quite simply the best sugar cookies you will ever eat. I used to have bad associations with sugar cookies… you know the buttery stale kind you get in a red plaid tin at Christmas or the ones that are passed out with apple juice in elementary school? The worst. I will almost always take a chocolate chip cookie over a sugar cookie, but…

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…when I friend of mine shared this family recipe with me I was a total convert. My daughter Daphne and I have made these at least half a dozen times and she is only four. Baking is one of our favorite mommy daughter activities, and even though these taste gourmet they are incredibly easy to make. You can also make the dough far in advance and freeze it and just pop it out when you are ready to make your next round of cookies.

ingredients

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For the dough:

SIFT: 3 cups of flour + 1 teaspoon of baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon of salt

CREAM: 1 cup of butter + 3/4 cup of sugar + 3 tablespoons of milk + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla + 1 egg

Refrigerate for an hour or freeze and thaw before ready to use. Roll out and cut, bake for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 box of powdered sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract + 1/4 cup of milk until desired consistency. Food coloring and decoration as needed.

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The best part… taste testing. We really have to make these in small batches, otherwise we just inhale them. And PS, my pink Charleston Rice Beads will be available for pre-order online next week!

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Because We Love You

And with Valentine’s Day coming up… among other reasons… we could all use some extra love right now! So here is something sweet… Take 25% OFF any order. Until Friday. Period. Until supplies run out! Just enter code SWEETSALE at checkout on candyshopvintage.com. Bon Appétit!

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Cheers to Charleston Holiday Giveaway

Cheers to Charleston Holiday Giveaway with Escapada Living, Candy Shop Vintage and Candlefish

Cheers to Charleston Holiday Giveaway

We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with two of our sweetest retail partners, Candlefish and Escapada Living for a Holiday Giveaway featuring over $600 of prizes. You can enter to win gift cards from all three of our stores in addition to products from the brass candle (pictured), set of our Charleston Rice Beads in Coral (pictured) and Escapada Living Clutch (also pictured). The contest runs through midnight on December 23. Enter here and let us finish your holiday shopping for you!

Holiday Events and Trunk Shows

Our trees at Candy Shop On Cannon are already trimmed and we have a few Holiday events and trunk shows lined up over the next few weeks. Of course you can catch us at our Charleston store at 9 Cannon Street Tuesday-Saturdays 10AM-5PM but we will also be at these fun events and trunk shows:

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The Holiday Sip ‘N Shop

Shop local businesses and enjoy specials at local restaurants in Cannonborough/Elliotborough in Downtown Charleston.

When: Neighborhood wide shopping event from 5-8PM on Friday, December 2

Where: Candy Shop Vintage at 9 Cannon Street and participating Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood businesses in Downtown Charleston, SC.

 

The Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market

Holiday market and fundraiser for the Junior League of Columbia, SC.

When: 9AM-5PM starting Thursday, December 1 – Sunday, December 4 

Where: Cantey and Goodman Buildings at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, located at 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29201.

 

The Gibbes Museum Holiday Trunk Show

The Gibbes Museum holiday trunk show. Shop from a variety of curated local vendors after their Wednesday evening program.

When: 6-8PM on Wednesday, December 14

Where: The Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC

 

Gwynn’s Holiday Trunk Show

Holiday Trunk show at Gwynn’s in Mt. Pleasant with our Charleston Rice Beads, Candy Shop Collection jewelry and vintage jewelry as well as other featured local vendors.

When: 10AM-7PM on Saturday, December 17th and 12-5PM on Sunday, December 18th

Where: Gwynn’s at 916 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC.

 

Better together: Charleston Holiday Gift Sets

If you are looking for that perfect Charleston gift this holiday season, look no further. We’ve compiled some of our favorite local items in gift sets. Ordered together, our four gift sets can also be customized with an add on gift note. And the best part? They come gift wrapped so you can send straight to the recipient without so much as having to curl a ribbon! But hurry up, as quantities are limited (available online only)…

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Charleston Cocktail Napkins Gift Set $85

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Color Charleston Gift Set $40

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The Charleston Academy Gift Set $95

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Set of Charleston Guest Towels $65

Happy Election Day!

It’s Election Day! I may have put my “I Voted” sticker on crooked but at least I voted! While it’s a day of mixed emotions, it is so important to get out and vote/ Wearing our Charleston Rice Beads (three necklaces wrapped as bracelets) in patriotic colors to celebrate today!

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Hermine, Labor Day Sale & Charleston Rice Bead Rings

Here in Charleston we are bracing for tropical storm Hermine as we go into Labor Day weekend. We closed our 9 Cannon Street Shop Today out of caution… It can be hard to get around here once these types of extreme storms blow through (unless you’ve got a boat!). But, weather permitting, we will reopen tomorrow (Saturday) at 10AM!

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Our Labor Day Weekend Sale Kicked off today, so if you are stuck at home as I am with spotty internet access you can still participate! All of our Spring and Summer Charleston Rice Bead Colors are on sale so if you want to purchase any of the remaining, available Spring/Summer colors at 25% OFF you can use code ENDOFSUMMER at checkout to get your discount:

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And if you haven’t already, check out our new Charleston Rice Bead Rings. Available in all of our metallic finishes (AND coming soon in gunmetal!) they are stackable AND sized. We carry sizes 5-8 and if you don’t know your ring size offhand, hold up one of your existing rings to this size chart on your screen for reference. Photo taken at The Dewberry Hotel, who was kind enough to let us shoot part of our Fall Lookbook there. Can’t wait to share it soon!

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