A Simple Evening in Raleigh

by anna on May 23, 2013

I recently had the privilege of attending a lovely event in Raleigh, North Carolina, celebrating the launch of Clyde Oak. The garden design company makes and sells rustic gardening tools and accessories (like “urban farm” seed kits and gardening bags), as well as their own line of organic garden-based cocktail mixers called White Whale. The dinner was the brainchild of Clyde Oak founder Corey Mason and his wife Shelley (pictured below), and Mike and Megan Gilger, the husband-and-wife duo behind The Fresh Exchange blog and Wild Measure design studio. The Gilgers regularly host Simple Evening dinners in their home state of Michigan, collaborating with local chefs and artisans, and they decided to take the show on the road to create a farm-themed Simple Evening in Raleigh.

The party was held at Videri, an airy brick-walled bean-to-bar chocolate factory in downtown Raleigh, with farm-to-table fare by Chef Jake Wolf of Capital Club 16. All ingredients were sourced from Commonplace Cooperative farm, and the tables were handcrafted from reclaimed wood by Justin Johnson and Matthew Cronheim of Arrowhead Collective. The amazing Jenn Elliott Blake styled the table; in lieu of floral centerpieces, she planted herbs in an assortment of antique glass bottles, and for each place setting, she included a piece of slate with Clyde Oak’s motto (borrowed from a Woody Guthrie song) “This Land is Your Land” handwritten by Megan. Natural wood stumps were used as chairs and torn strips of denim strung above the table. A vintage American flag completed the look.

Before dinner, Corey’s friend and business partner Dave Staples (pictured below) mixed White Whale cocktails, each with tongue-in-cheek names like Auntie’s Old Fashioned, The Filthy Liar, and Your Older Brother. The cocktails were served with Jake’s fantastic hors d’oeuvres: crostini with classic Southern pimento cheese and another with sauerkraut and sausage. Everyone sat down at the communal table for a buffet-style meal, including German-inspired dishes like schnitzel sandwiches, spaetzle with wild mushrooms, cucumber dill salad, shaved carrot salad, and an all-American grilled cheese with farm-fresh kale. For dessert, everyone enjoyed Videri’s fabulous hand-made chocolates (and more cocktails!) and danced to tunes spun by local DJ Masokix.

The evening was certainly a labor of love, pulled together by a tight-knit group of friends and co-collaborators. I left inspired—to get my hands dirty, to start my own urban garden, and to take Raleigh’s creative, communal spirit back with me back into my day-to-day life.

{ Images by Mike Gilger }


The holiday rush is here with the 25th just under two weeks away! I spent the day with gingerbread in the oven, pulling out decorations, and doing some last-minute online shopping. But even with a long holiday to-do list, it didn’t quite feel like Christmas until I turned up my speakers and started playing some holiday tunes. I’ve already heard the classics on the radio and in almost every store I’ve been to in the last few weeks, so I opted instead to listen to the playlist we put together for the Holiday Gift Guide.

It’s full of unexpected wintery songs, including a couple that I’m sure will be on my holiday playlists for years to come. (You can listen to it on Spotify or through your browser, here.) Music is an instant way to set the mood, and I guarantee it will put you in the holiday spirit. So if you’re trying to check things off your own to-do list, throwing a holiday party, or just working, put this on and you might find some new favorites, too.


Holiday Table Talk

by Alexis on December 10, 2012

The holidays are the perfect excuse to go all out for dinner parties and family meals. But I often end up focusing more on the food and the table ends up an afterthought. This year I’m finding inspiration in our “Table Talk” piece in the Holiday Gift Guide, and planning to be a bit more deliberate. Meg put together three beautiful concepts—Rich Revelry, Pretty in Pink, and Winter Wonderland—and built table settings for each. You can see the finished settings below, but we also animated them in a short stop-motion so you can see how each came together. Whatever type of meal and table you’re planning for your holiday celebrations, I’m sure you’ll find something inspiring in at least one of these!


2012 Holiday Gift Guide
We’re still having trouble believing that it’s less than a week until Thanksgiving! Before you know it, it’ll be time to brave the crowds at the stores, set up the gift-wrap assembly line in the living room, and prepare the house for dinner guests and out-of-town visitors.

And that’s where our special, digital Holiday Gift Guide can come in handy! In addition to pages and pages of gift picks from some of our favorite bloggers and shopkeepers—for everyone on your list (hopefully!)—we’ve assembled plenty of original content, including:

  • Delicious recipes that will make hosting friends and family a little easier this year
  • Exclusive downloads as well as DIYs that will add that special, personal touch to the holidays
  • Decorating and entertaining ideas for a festive home and tabletop
  • Special discounts with over a dozen fantastic shops
  • And more great features, along the lines of what you’d expect to find in our print magazine

The Holiday Gift Guide is only available online, and designed to be viewed on your screen or printed out (if you’re so inclined). It’s a project that we’ve had a lot of fun putting together, and we hope you enjoy it!

Pages from Anthology 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

{Cover illustration by Lab Partners}


For our 2nd Anniversary giveaway, we asked you to share your favorite spots in your homes with us through Instagram. Thanks to everyone who participated—we loved getting a glimpse into your spaces. We selected two winners at random from those of you who submitted pictures and we’re excited to announce that Olivia Harsham (oliviaharsham) and Sarah Rhodes (arrowandapples) will each be receiving a complete set of back issues, including elusive Issue No. 1 and 2. Below you can see their winning entries.

We also noticed that a lot of our readers have really amazing spaces. If you are interested in submitting your home for consideration for a future feature, send us your photos!