Covet Atelier + Giveaway

Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Tote by Jordan Grace Owens

When I was initially hatching the idea for Feast + West, I was in part inspired by the lack of homes for makers online. Sure, there’s Etsy. But I had a hard time searching for things I wanted there, like artisan gifts that were made locally in North Carolina or other areas. In response, I started a blog to collect those ideas and share them with others.

Kim Pace, the creator of Covet Atelier,  identified the same problem, but approached it in a totally different way. (I love that about creative people, don’t you?) Covet is a soon-to-be online shop for Carolina makers and artists, and I am so excited about it. This is exactly the kind of shop I was looking for. Right now there’s a Kickstarter campaign to fund the shop — I am really hoping it comes to be, because I would love to shop there.

Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Postcards by Wit & Whistle
Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Skirt by Cut From The Same Cloth

Each maker will be handpicked for their quality, integrity and creativity. Covet will feature a profile on each maker, so customers can learn more about the artist, the location in the Carolinas they represent, the materials they use in their trade, details about their process and how they view themselves as part of the Carolinian artisan community.

Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Soap by Hanks
Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Home & Linen Fragrance by Mr. McCall’s

There are so many makers here in North and South Carolina, and as a native I recognize that they — and their work — must be shared, enjoyed and cherished. I appreciate that Covet will feature something for everyone, including items for the home, for men and for women.

Covet won’t come to life without your help, though. If you find yourself craving a shop for Carolina-made artisan products too, consider backing the Covet Kickstarter campaign. There are so many awesome rewards you do not want to miss out on. (Including one by yours truly & Garnishing Co.!)

Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Haberdashery Attire by Beautiful Idiot Clothing
Covet Atelier, a shop for Carolina homemade goods and gifts. // Feast + West
Striped Linen Napkins by The Blue-Grey House

To give you a little taste of Covet, Kim is offering a sweet giveaway from her own Carolina-made shop, The Blue-Grey House — a gorgeous, handmade cloth napkin set to two winners! These beauties will give character and uniqueness to your table setting. So go enter! And check out the Covet Kickstarter while you’re at it. // susannah 

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Hidden Gems: Raleigh Travel Guide

Hidden Gems: Raleigh Travel Guide // Feast + West

It’s been a while since I wrote a travel guide, so I thought I’d reboot an old one from the earlier days of Feast + West. Raleigh is one of my all-time favorite cities. I attended college in Raleigh, then took a job there after I graduated. I lived within walking distance of downtown and watched Raleigh grow and change a lot over the years.

Right now, the city is booming. Forbes ranked it first in its 2014 list of Best Places For Business And Careers. New businesses and restaurants and shops are popping up all over the place. It seems like every time I visit nowadays, there’s something new to see.

Raleigh Travel Guide // Feast + West
North Carolina Museum of Art

After moving to Charlotte, my view of Raleigh changed from that of a resident to a visitor. I travel there often to visit my dear friends, and sometimes for work, too. My group of friends loves to explore, so I developed a lengthy list of favorites over the years. This guide is absolutely jam-packed with tips for you! It is the ultimate Raleigh travel guide.

Next time you’re in the City of Oaks, check out a few of these places for food, drink and shopping! And enjoy it in my honor please! // susannah

Click below to see the ultimate Raleigh travel guide!

Continue reading Hidden Gems: Raleigh Travel Guide


Dream Jobs: Q&A With Kimber Casteel of KimArt

Dream Jobs: A Q&A with Kimber Casteel of KimArt, gorgeous embroidery for the home. // Feast + West

Instagram is my favorite place to find inspiration right now. My love for this app is at a new high right now, and I love seeing Kimber Casteel’s beautiful photos come across my feed. Kimber is an embroidery artist, and I invited her to tell us about her handmade business in this week’s Dream Jobs column because I think it is so cool she has made sewing her career in 2015! I really love Kimber’s gorgeous floral embroidery, and I am dying to order a custom piece of my own.

I really love meeting handmade business owners, and I am grateful that things like this column and my new biz Garnishing Co. allow me to do just that! Read on for Kimber’s inspiring story about starting her business while in school and maintaining it on the side now that she’s in the working world.

Dream Jobs: A Q&A with Kimber Casteel of KimArt, gorgeous embroidery for the home. // Feast + West

1. How would you describe KimArt : For The Home?

KimArt is my business that specializes in personalized handmade embroidery home decor. I am the sole owner, designer, maker, customer service and shipping department! In addition to selling custom home decor, I also create woodland inspired bridal and baby flower crowns. I know that these are two totally different types of art, but I truly enjoy making both of them.

Dream Jobs: A Q&A with Kimber Casteel of KimArt, gorgeous embroidery for the home. // Feast + West

2. What were you doing before KimArt? What inspired you to change paths?

I opened my Etsy shop, KimArt, in April 2009. I was a freshman in college, majoring in Economics. Originally, I began selling handmade greeting cards and fabric flower hair accessories as a way to earn some extra income while I was in college. At the same time, I began working in Human Resources for a global pharmaceutical company. Since I opened my shop online in 2009, I have never stopped creating + selling my handmade goods. In 2010, I began to incorporate embroidery into my shop and that is when my business started to shift. I moved away from paper goods and focused more on fabric and thread!

As much as I love owning my own art business, I do also have a full time day job (still with the same company i have been with since 2008), through which I utilize my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Resource Management. Any time I am not working my day job, I am creating special items for KimArt!

Dream Jobs: A Q&A with Kimber Casteel of KimArt, gorgeous embroidery for the home. // Feast + West

3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?

I really, really love flowers, so when I am feeling like I am in a creative rut, I love going to the farmers market and peeking at the fresh flowers. When I cannot do this (winter time) I will usually turn on HGTV. I love watching shows about remodeling and decorating. You can see in my art that I incorporate the bold colors of flowers with rustic vibes.

Click through to read more of this Q&A with Kimber Casteel!

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How to Cook with Wine + Elevie Giveaway

How to Cook with Wine // Feast + West

As September draws to a close (seriously, already?), it is with great sadness that we must also say goodbye to wine month. But goodbyes are better with wine, and today I’ve got some tips for cooking with wine, a food & wine recipe round-up and a giveaway for a wine essential you must have at your home bar.

Cooking with wine is surprisingly easy — add a little white here and there for an intensified flavor to a sauce, or go for a chocolate and red pairing. Either way, when you open a bottle to cook with, you might as well drink some, right? Meet Elevie.

Meet Elevie, the a re-useable sticker that matures your wine in 5 minutes! // Feast + WestMeet Elevie, the a re-useable sticker that matures your wine in 5 minutes! // Feast + West

The Elevie is the coolest device that helps you mature wine — in just five minutes. It’s a reusable adhesive badge made of silicon, and in that silicon is a chemical compound that helps your wine to mature much faster. Slap the badge on your wine glass and you’ve got better tasting wine in minutes. It’s amazing! This is so great for less expensive wines that you’d be less likely to savor because they haven’t aged as long as the pricier well-aged bottles. Evelie helps to elevate the flavor, making your wine taste better and making you feel better about your purchase.

And guess what? The lovely folks at Elevie are giving away a free wine badge to one lucky F+W reader. Right now the only way to get one is by backing their Kickstarter campaign, so you will want to get in on this! Keep reading for details on how to enter and for the amazing wine recipes! // susannah

This post is sponsored by Elevie. I only work with brands I know and love, and I thank you for supporting them! 

Click through for the wine guide + giveaway!

Continue reading How to Cook with Wine + Elevie Giveaway


The Airmail Cocktail

The Airmail Cocktail, a champagne and rum cocktail for pen pals and lovers of mail. // Feast + West

Confession: I love champagne cocktails. All of them. Put champagne in a cocktail and I’ll like it. (Probably, anyway.) I’m so glad we finally got to the sparkling wine part of wine month!

If you need proof, just look at the list of champagne-based cocktails I’ve shared with you over nearly two years: Lavender Champagne Cocktail, Champagne Jell-O Shots and Meyer Lemon Drop Champagne Punch — even a Champagne Cocktail Bar.

And then I remembered the Airmail cocktail. I first shared this recipe in the first two months of starting this blog, and because that feels like so long ago, I figure it’s high time to bring it up again. Pour champagne over a base of gold rum, lime juice and honey and you’ve got a classy, classy cocktail from the days when the postal service ruled. (Let’s be honest, it totally still does!)

When I stumbled across a recipe for the Airmail cocktail a while back, I knew I had to make it as soon as I learned it is often served with a postage stamp for garnish. This classy cocktail was first introduced in Esquire’s 1949 Handbook for Hosts.

The Airmail Cocktail, a champagne and rum cocktail for pen pals and lovers of mail. // Feast + West

My love for mail probably stems from having family overseas. Before computers and cell phone plans, my grandparents in South Africa would send us aerogrammes each week. Aerogrammes are thin, folded papers that doubled as both the letter and the envelope. (The United States had them too, but the USPS discontinued them in 2007. ) Because postage was pre-paid on aerogrammes, they were cheaper to send via airmail than regular letters, so we got a lot of these.

I love going through my mom’s boxes of old letters and stamp collection to study the elaborate postal illustrations from around the world. (Nerd alert, I know.) At least now I can do it with an amazing champagne cocktail! // susannah

P.S. Don’t miss any of wine expert Rachel von Sturmer‘s wine month guides: red, white, rosé and sparkling!

Click below for The Airmail Cocktail recipe!

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Hidden Gems: Kansas City Travel Guide

Hidden Gems: Kansas City Travel Guide // Feast + West

Kansas City is an incredibly underrated city. Most people hear Kansas and immediately write it off. But, there are so many nooks and crannies to this city that can easily be overlooked. I have lived in Kansas City for about 11 years total but I left for 4 years to go to college in Savannah, Georgia. Over the past year I have been re-discovering the city as an adult and it’s a city that catches my attention daily.

Hidden Gems: Kansas City Travel Guide // Feast + West

I am so excited to share my city with you and I hope you will see the abundance of beauty that lies here in the middle of the country. 

Click through to see Jacque’s Kansas City travel guide!

Continue reading Hidden Gems: Kansas City Travel Guide


Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Smoothie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Smoothie // Feast + West

I’ll tell you a little secret: I don’t eat breakfast every day. (Sorry Mom!)

But lately, I’ve been sneaking into the kitchen for a late-morning snack. I get out the blender and not-so-quietly whip up a smoothie. I love that smoothies are packed with nutrients but I don’t think they should taste like salad in a glass.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Smoothie is my favorite smoothie recipe. I could drink it again and again. Yes, it has some odd ingredients, but I promise the end result is delicious! I do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Smoothie // Feast + West

You’ll need a banana, milk, Greek yogurt, honey, a block of tofu*, a handful of spinach** or kale, a spoonful of chia seeds, a spoonful of cocoa powder and a scoop of peanut butter. You can eliminate any of the ingredients, or add others — like protein powder or milled flaxseed.

Once you’ve made it a few times (provided you can get past the ingredient list), you won’t need a recipe anymore! And you’ll probably be addicted to this smoothie like me. Get the recipe on Pretty Providence. // susannah

*Yes, I am totally for real on the tofu. It makes the smoothie so, well, smooth and silky!
**And yes, I am also for real about the spinach/kale. So nutritious, but I promise you can’t taste it at all!


How to Keep In Touch When Traveling

How to keep in touch when traveling // Feast + West

Everyone experiences travel differently. Some people refuse to think about home, while others get homesick and don’t enjoy their trip. Really, travel should include a healthy mix of both!

Let’s face it, though: It’s hard to strike a balance between enjoying your trip and missing home. My family and I have always traveled frequently, so over the years I’ve picked up some tips for communicating when traveling. (This advice come from both my own travels as well as my experience being the one stuck at home ignoring Instagram!) Here’s how to keep In touch when traveling.


By far the easiest way to check in with friends in family, a text message here and there goes a long way. We all know this. But if you’re overseas, it gets more difficult. I never pay for extra data or roaming when I’m abroad, so I rely on other apps to communicate whenever I’m on Wi-Fi. What’s App, Viber and Tango are all great ways to stay in touch. (Just make sure your friends and family download the app too!)

From here, I use a mixture of What’s App, iMessage and Google Hangouts to keep up with my overseas family.

Video chat

When I get a moment of Wi-Fi, video chat is amazing. Sometimes, I still can’t believe what technology can do. Plan some time to talk face-to-face on Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts. You can use your smartphone, tablet or computer. Sometimes, finding a good connection is tricky. When that happens, turn off the video and the call will act just like a regular phone call — audio-only but the connection might be better.


Of course, if you’re traveling domestically, talking on the phone is obvious. But when you’re overseas or wanting to talk to someone who is, it’s trickier.

So, buy a phone card! I know it’s not 1999 anymore, but phone cards are still totally a thing. I use one to call my family in Africa all the time! Shop around for lower rates, and remember that calling a landline is often cheaper than calling a mobile phone. Vonage and PennyTalk have lots of plans to choose from.

You can also pay to use Skype to call phone numbers from the Skype app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This is a great option if you don’t want to buy a phone card or just need to make a one-time call.


As much as it sucks to spend time online when you could be out exploring, a little note to let your family know you’re alive. They will appreciate it when you do reach out, even if it’s just a short note with a couple photos to show them what a great time you’re having.

Snail mail

There’s nothing like receiving mail from a friend on vacation. I collect stamps, so I love receiving letters from other countries. Plus, it’s just a nice and somewhat unexpected way to let people know you’re thinking of them from afar. If all digital means aren’t working, at the very least send your loved ones a postcard or package to let them know you’re doing okay. (Or just do it because your BFF back home collects stamps. She’ll love you forever, I promise.) // susannah

How do you stay in touch when you travel?

Wine 101: Intro to Champagne + Sparkling Wine

Wine 101: An introduction to drinking sparkling wine by wine expert Rachel Von Sturmer. // Feast + West

Wine expert Rachel Von Sturmer is back with tips on drinking sparkling wine! Don’t miss her guides to white winered wine and rosé wine. She also teaches a free online wine course!

Champagne used to rule the roost in the land of sparkling wines, but now there are tons of great options we can access. It is made in countries all over the world, from various kinds of grapes, through different methods. Its certainly overwhelming, especially if you dont know what to look for.

Click through to see the rest of the Wine 101: Intro to Champagne + Sparkling Wine!

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Rosé Wine Granita

Rosé Wine Granita is like a grown-up, alcoholic snow cone. // Feast + West

Everyone loves a snow cone. But how about a wine snow cone?

Yes way, rosé.

Do I have your attention now? This Rosé Wine Granita is an incredibly simple dessert cocktail. It looks complicated, but all you need is a mixing bowl and a few hours, and you’ll wind up with a dessert that will impress everyone at your next dinner party.

Rosé Wine Granita is like a grown-up, alcoholic snow cone. // Feast + West

The trickiest part of granita with alcohol is making sure you have enough additional sugar and non-alcoholic liquid to help it freeze, because alcohol won’t freeze by itself. Here, I added a bit of lemon juice, water and sugar. To pick the right rosé wine, you will need Rachel von Sturmer’s rosé guide. I opted for a drier wine because I added additional sugar.

You’ll add a thin layer of liquid to a flat dish or two that will fit in your freezer (I used two brownie pans) and rake it through with a fork every hour or two until frozen. See? Rosé Wine Granita is seriously easy! And so pretty. Doesn’t it look like a bowl of frozen cotton candy? // susannah 

P.S. If you’re already planning your Thanksgiving menu (I kinda am…), this Cranberry Bourbon Granita is amazing. Just sayin’.

Click through for the Rosé Wine Granita recipe!

Continue reading Rosé Wine Granita

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