A Mad Fantasy Tea Party

This past Monday we had a spring tea party to launch our new Fantasy Garden Collection, a vintage inspired capsule collection and collaboration with New York based jewelry company Ciner. I don’t know if it is the recent release of Beauty & The Beast, spring in general, or the fanciful nature of this new collection but I have had a tea party craving for awhile now. Talented Charleston-based illustrator Daniel Velasco did our invites and we purchased teacups that doubled as party favors for all the guests and turned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street into a tea room for the afternoon.

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Thanks to Ooh events, we were able to squeeze in seating for 18 people down the length of the store. We served Charleston grown tea from The Charleston Tea Plantation in three flavors – Charleston Breakfast, Peach and Earl Grey. Frampton’s Flowers provided some beautiful fresh ranunculus for us in shades of pale pink.

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Out tiered tea towers were brimming with homemade goodies from local bakeries and caterers – Hamby’s, Sugar bakeshop and scones from Wildflour:

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And one of the best details were the beautiful, hand painted unicorn macaroons from Mercantile & Mash:

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The centerpiece of our new collection, The Unicorn Fantasy Necklace:

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Our floral selfie wall was also a lot of fun:

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As were the unicorn horn party hats from Meri Meri party:

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I only slept about two hours the night before but still had a blast:

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Thanks to all who came and contributed to a magical afternoon in Charleston!

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:

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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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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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Treat Yourself this Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day…one of those sometimes amorphous holidays that prompts relationship questions – do you give a gift? Do you get a gift? In eighth grade when we were in that phase of “going out” and then “breaking up” (often in the same afternoon) I had my first Valentine’s Day ever with a “steady” boyfriend. I was so excited I went to CVS and bought him one of those gigantic chocolate Hershey kisses. I couldn’t wait to give it to him and when we found each other by the lockers in the morning, I gave it to him and in return he gave me… a card. Needless today, I think our relationship lasted a total of three or four days. So if you want to skip the drama and hint dropping and just go out and get a little something for yourself, I’ve rounded ten of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats:

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1. If you cocktail this pink ombre glass Oh Joy for Target Shaker will make you smile

2. Fashion (and critter) friendly fur from BURU White Label

3. The perfect tassel, big, bold yet lightweight ruby red earrings from Hart Studio

4. The worlds most whimsical chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections

5. Our special edition Charleston Rice Bead stud earrings in 14K gold at GG Mercantile & Co

6. The most darling cast iron pot of all time from le creuset

7. Our vintage inspired perfect pink poodle pendant

8. The I Heart Charleston (and who doesn’t?) necklace specially made for us by Gunner & Lux

9. We are about to start carrying these amazing vintage inspired wristlet bags (all made in the U.S.A.) from Sarara Couture in our shop, but you can snag one here in the meantime.

10. The perfect set of Valentine’s Day cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma.

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!

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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Holiday Sip & Shop in Charleston December 2

This is a test of your imagination… As I sit her trying not to turn the air conditioning on in my shop I am starting to assemble my Christmas card list and planning our our December events. How is it still 80 degrees in November? Luckily, Mary Mac of Print Charleston designed me the MOST festive little holiday cards this year to get us in the spirit even if we are a far cry from having snow.  In less than a month my shop in Charleston and all the neighborhood stores in Cannonborough-Elliotborough will be hosting a sip & shop the evening of Friday, December 2 from 5-8PM. Each shop and location will have its own festivities going on and our hope is that you will stroll from one to the next – so save the date!

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Here at Candy Shop On Cannon we’ll have a complimentary braid bar with the braid style of your choice. We’ll also be offering up free gift wrapping, snacks and festive holiday libations. Olivia even did a little test run of one of her braiding techniques on Rachel, our production manager. More details to follow later this month!

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Happy Halloween From Charleston!

Happy Halloween from Charleston, SC (where it is a balmy 80 degrees out – seriously, I am ready for some real fall weather!). Today is the last day to play “Guess The Number of Candy Corn” in the champagne glass (below). The closest (or exact) guess wins a $100 gift card to Candy Shop Vintage that can be used online and in store. If more than one person guesses the correct number then they both get a gift card! Comment on this blog post with your best guess and your email address! Winner is announced tomorrow.

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This year my daughter Daphne asked me to dress as a rainbow unicorn with her. I figure that the number of years she wants to wear matching costumes are going to be limited so I should jump on board. It is pretty cute wearing a matching costume with her (although she shed some of her unicorn accessories for a pony ride in the park because it was just so hot!).

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And for some adult treats, don’t forget to check our our One-of-a-Kind Vintage section where we’ve just added some fresh vintage treats!
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Oyster Hour

Two weekends ago I celebrated my 36th birthday in Charleston with my good friend Grace Atwood (who lives in New York) but fell in love with Charleston on a press trip and can’t stop coming back! In fact, that is how we met, and ever since her first visit we’ve been fast friends, bonding over our love of oysters, jewelry and and the south. Since we are both September birthdays and share so many mutual friends, it was only natural to celebrate with oysters and frosé at one of our favorite Charleston spots, Leon’s (best known for oysters and their amazing fried chicken).

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Our party, a family style dinner party with an opening round of char broiled and raw oysters and frosé was actually held in their event space in back, The Oyster Shed. The renovated “shed” is the perfect place for an intimate gathering, with just the right amount of comfort, rustic charm and sophisticated touches like their vintage “oyster” and “lobster” signs. While you can see more of the photos over on Grace’s blog, I thought I’d share a few more (thank you Clay for beautiful snaps!)

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These are my absolute favorite – their char broiled oysters, in all their garlicy, buttery goodness. Do not miss out on these if you go to Leon’s!

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And frosé of course! Grace has a great recipe on The Stripe if you want to try making your own:

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And the amazing Leon’s friend chicken – probably my favorite in Charleston with just the right amount of peppery goodness:

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Plus a thanks to my friend Elaine who own’s Frampton’s Flowers and made the most beautiful little bouquets for the table:

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Finally, as a party favor I gave out little zip drives with a mix that I made on it (I sometimes DJ around Charleston). You can listen to it and download it here and find the tracklist here:

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Such a special birthday celebration!