Solar Eclipse Sale

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the solar eclipse arcing over the US this coming Monday. A friend of mine posted this article, half in jest and half seriously of what not to do during a solar eclipse. Interesting that they have always been considered negative omens.  Let’s hope that is not the case! SO, starting now, until 3PM on Monday you can take 20% OFF any order on our website with the code MOONPIE (because who doesn’t love a Moon Pie?!) in honor of Solar Eclipse weekend. My daughter doesn’t even have school Monday – it really is a national holiday. And buying some jewelry hardly counts as a big decision, right?

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High Tea at Sketch in London

Earlier this summer we traveled through France and England with our daughter Daphne for the first time. One of my favorite things to do with Daphne is go to tea. We don’t really have a proper tea room where you can go have a mother daughter tea in Charleston so it is always a fun thing to do an explore when we travel. We have been to the Plaza in New York for the Eloise Tea and of course to a Disney Princess Tea but I have been wanting to do the afternoon tea at Sketch gallery London for a long time, which is basically a millennial pink palace covered in whimsical, tongue in cheek sketches by artist David Shrigley. I booked us for two – and hers was actually the children’s tea option which includes a free teddy bear with a pink Sketch sweater on (they surprised her with that at the end). The Mayfair flower show was also happening when we were there, so both the exterior and the interior of the gallery were covered in botanicals and flowers – it was pretty amazing and felt a bit like we were walking into an enchanted forest.

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(Daphne had a very loose tooth that she was excited about and hoping it might come out during tea. It didn’t.)

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This is right outside the entrance to the main rooms where they offer tea and was a temporary exhibit for the flower show. All those roses were real!

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The entrance to the Sketch gallery is magical…

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And the pink interior with its upholstered scalloped chairs is to die for. As good as, if not better than in photos!

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The inlaid marble herringbone floors were my favorite:

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Daphne was very happy!

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I especially love their custom china – that says funny little things like “Ghosts” and “Dreams” and even “Forget about it” at the bottom of your tea cup.

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The tea carts layered with different infusions of tea were also pretty magical:

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And Daphne was thrilled to get her Sketch bear at the end.

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It was a wonderful experience – and very kid friendly for age 5 and up. You can book online here, up to one month in advance.

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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.

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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Southern Summer Treats

Garden and Gun recently posted their favorite summer recipes and I suddenly recalled the amazing ice box cake recipe that I tried a couple summers ago from their magazine courtesy of the Lee Brothers. This is literally the PERFECT warm weather dessert – sweet, creamy and nutty. I am reposting below as it is the perfect thing to serve if you are looking for something sweet and cool to make this Memorial Day weekend:

It involves no baking so you don’t even need to turn on the oven, which is why it is a perfect for summer. I started on it quite late Sunday night and even though there is no oven involved, you need to build in a few hours after mixing it to stir and fold it along with time for it to “set” in between.  Best to start it before 6PM if you don’t want to be stirring it at 1AM like I did.  I also burt my pecans while trying to lightly toast them which gave it a hint of “campfire” flavor.  Oops.  It still got rave reviews from my family though, and I’d definitely make it again, and maybe even add in a second seasonal berry next time.  Given the color palate it is perfect for Memorial Day and would also be great for July 4th! Get the full recipe here.

Also, if you live in Charleston or are visiting in the next two weeks, don’t forget that on Memorial Day at 11:30AM, The Grace Episcopal Church Tea Room officially opens its doors for two weeks.  The food is excellent (lunchtime only) – all made by the volunteers and church staff adn they also serve the most incredible, homemade desserts, all donated by church members. It is the kind of genuine, Southern cuisine you can usually only get in peoples’ homes and via family recipes. All proceeds from the Tea Room go to local Charleston charities.  Last year they distributed over $50,000 of Tea Room profits and you can even call ahead and get your lunch to go. More details on The Grace Church website. Bon Appétit!

 

Rhode Island Sweet Spots

While my family and I were on vacation in Florida last week, I asked my friend Lizzy of The Connoisseur of Cute to take over the @candyshopvintage instagram for a couple of days and share her favorite Rhode Island haunts through the her whimsical and colorful lense. While I travel to RI frequently and have posted my own mini travel guides, it was great to see it through someone else’s eyes. Here are the spots she shared in case you missed out on her adorable Instagram posts:

One of my personal favorites, Allie’s Donuts – an amazing local donut shop with signature, brightly colored donuts, full donut cakes and more!

The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center is located in Roger Williams Park in Providence – totally lush and beautiful! And love her matching pants : )

How precious is this bakery – Sweet Indulgence – located at 2202 Broad Street in Cranston, RI

Yes please to this fruit topped custard French toast from Modern Diner in Pawtucket, RI!

Some perfect vintage finds from Lizzy’s RI vintage hunts – she recommends checking out Stillwater Antiques in Greenville, RI and Rhode Island Antiques in Pawtucket.

Almost no trip to RI is complete without visiting the stunning historic mansions of Newport, RI, many of which are open for tours and are located along Cliff Walk.

Rhode Island is famous for its beautiful beaches (and sunsets!) Narragansett beach is a favorite and open to the public daily.

Lizzy’s posts have inspired me to do a little more exploring this summer beyond my usual spots (although Allie’s is something I never miss out on!). Thanks again for taking over for us – make sure to keep following along with Lizzy @theconnoisseurofcute. xo

Instagram Takeover With The Connoisseur of Cute

As some of you know, Rhode Island is my other favorite coastal state, where much of my Candy Shop Vintage jewelry is made and where I go with my family on vacation every summer. Not too long ago I stumbled across Lizzy Colley’s instagram account @theconnoisseurofcute whose bright, playful and often vintage inspired photos always brighten my day. I loved seeing Rhode Island through her eyes so much, I asked her to take over the Candy Shop Vintage Instagram this weekend and share some of her favorite spots. So follow along with the hashtag #connoisseurforcandyshop and @candyshopvintage starting this Saturday…