The Bridal Theory + Jessica Fryar

Just had to share a few of these gorgeous images from a recent styled shoot by Jessica Fryar.  Love how she set the table with our white Sophie Conran plates and glasses made from recycled beer and wine bottles.  To see more images, visit The Bridal Theory.

Photography:  Joe + Selah Dodd

Heirlooms Vintage Rentals provided the table, chairs and copper vases

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Pantry Addition: Nicole’s Nutty Goodness

Just in (and I am super excited!), Nicole’s Nutty Goodness Raw Fruit & Nut Bars…While in Charleston, SC my sisters and I stumbled upon these and fell in love.  Not only were they hand made locally (John’s Island, SC) but they were delicious and healthy.  Raw, gluten-free, vegan, paleo friendly…definite recommendation!

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For the Pantry

So, my true love is food.  When I started Addiah, I tried to focus on that which adorns the woman and the home.  But I cannot deny that my heart and mind are excited by food, cooking, and sitting around the table with loved ones.  So, I have decided to embrace that and refocus Addiah slightly.  New addition…The Pantry.  I will begin to introduce some of the food lines that I have discovered and love and want to share with you.  I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

Here are the newest additions:  Big Picture Farm Caramels

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More to come!!!

Please note that the site is slightly restructured and you can now find both things for the woman and for the man under “The Person“.

Meet Worker B

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Worker B is one of those companies that really is awesome – and I mean awesome.  It is hard to put into words how great they are.  What makes them great?  They are producing an incredible line of skin care products, hand crafted, without any fillers.  Let me give you a glimpse into Worker B and the people behind it and why their stuff is so wonderful.

I had the pleasure to speak with Michael S. a while back, one-third of the Worker B team.  Here is a bit of our conversation…

So, who is Worker B?

Well, there are three of us:  Liesa, her brother, and me.  Liesa comes from a culinary background; Liesa’s brother, Michael H., is an engineer; and my background is in women’s ready to wear, so I am familiar with manufacturing and marketing.  Our life and how we grew up definitely played an influential role in what we are doing today.  All three of us grew up with families who had big gardens and a love of being outside.  But, it all started with Liesa.  Liesa was a pastry chef for quite a while and wanted to work more outside – and took a job with a local beekeeper.  Needing additional help for the season, I started working with the same beekeeper.  With all of the hand-washing/cleaning involved with cooking and being a pastry chef, Liesa had developed water-based eczema and other forms of dermatitis.  After working with beeswax and pouring (lots of) beeswax candles, Liesa noticed a marked improvement in her skin’s condition.  We then started making a couple of skin care products primarily for ourselves and as holiday gifts.  From there, the honey producers at the Minnesota State Fair called, wanting to add our products to the collection of local honey. . .so we officially started Worker B!

We turned 3 years old as a company a couple of months ago.  We are based in Minneapolis, MN and do craft fairs, farmers markets, and sell directly to retailers throughout the United States.

At the market
Liesa and Michael S. at the market

What was the catalyst in starting Worker B?

Not being satisfied with what was on the market and wanting to make it better.  When you look at what is on the market and on the shelves, it is full of chemicals and just “stuff”.  We wanted to pare down the ingredients and go from there.

What is the creative & development process?  How do you come up with the products you have?

It takes a long time!  And it takes a lot of research.   From beginning to end, we do all the sourcing, development, manufacturing, and distributing.  We start by making what we want to use.  We ask ourselves what would make us happier with the existing products that are on the market.  We begin combining ingredients, using what we really want, to make the best product we can.  And then we use it ourselves (along with a group of dedicated guinea pigs that will try anything).  Liesa has very sensitive, or “dry”, skin.  I do not.  I have “oily”.  It is all trial and error. Figuring out what works and what does not.  The more we do it, the faster the process becomes.  We understand better the proportions between solid & liquid.

If you had to sum up what defines Worker B, what would you say?

We make hardworking products for hardworking people. All the ingredients being used are necessary and have a purpose.  The products are multifunctional and long-lasting.

I LOVE that your products have expiration dates.  It makes sense, like the food we eat, that which we put on our bodies should expire too.

Really the expiration dates have to be put on there since we do not use preservatives.  But it adds recognition that we are different. The production side has benefits & drawbacks.  We have limited quantities on hand, because everything is made fresh in small batches.

As a company, what is one of the biggest challenges you have faced or do face continually?

Skin care has not really changed.  So innovation and experimentation are vital.  It is not really about what you make; it is about how you make it.  We are trying to help people by using better ingredients and better formulation.  We were one of the first companies doing this when we started.  (It is good to be ahead of the curve.)  People are starting to pay attention to what is in skin care.  Like food, they are wanting a better alternative. The first thing people want to know is what is in the product.  It is nice to see consumers paying attention to what they are putting on their skin, not just in their mouth.  Men are starting to pay attention too – it is nice to see men picking up lotion.  But, across the board, the average consumer is not ready.  They are getting closer though.  Education for the consumer is so important and getting better.  It just takes time.

If you had to pick, what would you say your favorite product is?

  • Face wash for oily skin – great all year
  • Treatment stick
  • Cream – with working and living in MN, my hands are pretty chewed up all the time

Right now I am all about the face!

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Honey & the worker bee are obviously the essence of your products.  How or where did your love of honey start?

Honey was always just something sweet.  What changed it for me was doing a honey tasting.  I started to understand the differences between clover, dandelion, etc.  Like cheese and wine – there was a wide variety of honey.  I was like “Wow!  I really like honey.”

Do you have a favorite honey?

Hard to say – I like them all.  Right now I would say buckwheat and basswood.  Buckwheat is stout – chocolaty, malty.  It is good for cooking stir fries and to glaze carrots.  Or in winter, to drink with hot water.  Basswood is a little lighter – minty, grassy, woodsy.  I like to eat it on toast or yogurt with fresh berries.  Pretty much you pair honey to what you are cooking or how you are using it.  I would say that I am a bit of a collector of honey.  I will pick up honey and give it a try to see how it can be used.  I have been really excited to try New Zealand’s honey, since they have totally different flowers.

How much honey do you actually eat?

Probably a healthy couple of spoonfuls a day.

How do you eat it?

Just with a spoon while sitting on the couch.  I usually have one spoonful mid-morning or afternoon and sometimes at night.  (It is good for heartburn and indigestion.)  Liesa eats it with yogurt or crème fraiche.  She will also use a bunch in granola or baking.  We don’t eat tons, but more than most people.

Now, educate us about honey…

The bigger picture:  Honey is influenced by the flower, the region, and the bee.  Raw honey is a snap shot of where and when.  It is a taste of the region.

Local honey has lots of benefits, if not cooked out, from the natural flower pollen, bee pollen, and natural enzymes.  Medicinally, honey has been used since the olden days on wounds.  When honey hits the blood stream, it is said to react like hydrogen peroxide.  Beeswax is an anti-inflammatory and blood circulator.

In the end, it is always important to know where your honey is coming from and how it is being cultivated.

So what kind of honey do you all use in you line of Worker B products?

We work with central Minnesota beekeepers (we prefer to work locally so that we can work along side them and see how they produce their honey and establish personal relationships).  We make sure the beekeepers are using sustainable methods and have antibiotic and pesticide-free hives.  We like to support beekeepers – it is important!

We need about 300-400 hives for our production.  We also use honey from a Canadian group in Quebec.  They are fantastic.  Their process is right in line with what we are doing and believe in.

Worker B beekeeper

What can we expect next from you all at Worker B?

Candles just launched, as well as our own line of raw honey.  Cleanser for hair is coming next.  Just trying to expand the market to new areas.  Lots of ideas – just not enough time to develop them all.

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Who or what inspires you in this pursuit?

A friend in her 20’s recently moved to Africa and got into sustainable beekeeping.  It was always her dream.  I think that is pretty humbling and inspiring.  (Ethiopian honey is supposedly delicious.  I am excited to try it!)

You know – growing up – my dad always said “If you work hard, good things will happen.”  It is a phrase that has stuck with me and I am putting into practice.

What have you learned through this or how have you been impacted personally?

It is fun doing what we are doing – stressful – but fun.  It is neat to meet new people and travel to different places.  I never thought I would be doing this.  We did not set out to do this.

One thing I really appreciate is learning again – having to figure things out.  We have to make all the decisions.  Everything is starting from scratch.  It is personally rewarding but not everyone is cut out for it.  It is a good experience, being a little uncomfortable with new scenarios.  We have to make this happen.

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It is not about wishing for better, it is about doing better.   And that is exactly what they are doing.  Thanks Worker B!

I am a firm believer of knowing what you put into your body and trying to be as organic and natural as possible.  But it does not stop there.  We need to be as aware of what we are putting on our bodies.

My personal favorites:

*Photos by Worker B.  Used with permission.

In love with: Ancian Rosa

I am TOTALLY in love and so excited to share!  This has been a long time in coming – longer than Addiah has even been in existence.  So, go make a cup of tea and get ready to hear a love story (it is not really that exciting and a glass of wine is probably more fitting).

It all started in college….

I was the type of girl to only have a couple of friends, but they were my dearest and my constant companions.  Lauren was one such friend.  We roomed together my last semester of college and did everything together, so much so that people even thought we were sisters.  During that time, we dreamed of traveling Europe together – specifically France, as Lauren had lived there.  I honestly thought they were mostly dreams and hopes, and did not imagine them coming to fruition.  The years passed and we talked about it, but life happened and we just talked and dreamed.  Until, one day we just decided to go for it.  With absolutely no money saved up and no plan, we headed to Europe for two months.  We hopped around Ireland, France, and Italy, visiting everyone we knew.  One such family, graciously hosted us for two weeks in the south of France.  During those two weeks, we walked the same streets and shopped in the same shops day after day as if expecting to stumble upon something new.  We were in a tiny little town, with not much to explore.  However, there was one sweet little shop.  All very French.  We would stop in whenever we passed by just to look (and because it was our favorite thing in town).  One day Lauren decided to buy some perfume.  Now, this was a big splurge at the time.  We had set budgets for food and travel and they were MINISCUAL.  We were just eating one real meal a day since that was all we could afford (except for when people would feed us).  One time we just had a cup of hot chocolate (or chocolat chaud) for lunch/dinner and another day a lunch consisted just of carrots.  (I think the lowest point was getting a can of spaghetti o’s in Ireland or maybe when we ate Subway because it was the only place you could get a meal for less than 5 euros.  Thankfully I had packed half my bag with granola bars.)  Don’t get me wrong – we did enjoy some delicious food – just not as much as we would have preferred.  So, back to the perfume…

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Lauren splurged and bought Durance’s Ancian Rosa Eau de Toilette.  I was not a rose fan.  Lavender was my scent of choice.  But everyday she would wear her new perfume and I would just think she smelled divine!  I just could not get over the scent.  I don’t think there has ever been a scent that has so captivated and enticed me as this did.  I could not afford to buy any for myself, but thought it would be a perfect gift to bring back to one of my sisters, so buy it I did.

Upon returning to the states, whenever I smelled my sister, I thought she smelled phenomenal and would ask her what she was wearing…it was always this same perfume.  I was in love!  And wanted to share it with everyone.  I tried to carry it, but they discontinued selling it to the US right after I placed an order.  From then on, whenever someone went to France I would have them bring me a bottle back.  However, this summer everything changed!  I finally was able to order the perfume and here it is for all to smell and enjoy!

Rose is a hate it or love it scent.  It seems everyone has a strong opinion about the scent.  This is what did it for me…I am a convert and proudly declare my love of the scent of roses!

Introducing: Home and Hill Quarterly Magazine

I would like to introduce a new quarterly magazine focused entirely on celebrating that which is Tennessee:  the people, the history, the land.  There is a beauty in celebrating and appreciating our state and the people who make it up.  For lovers of Tennessee, for Tennesseans, and for transplants:  may you enjoy, may you learn, and may you be thankful for Tennessee.

Beth Kirby

*Photograph by Beth Kirby.  Used with permission.

Sugar Pearl Waffles and Le Pain Quotidien

I never really cared for waffles or pancakes growing up.  I would eat them when my mother made them, but never really liked them.  I was a French toast kind of girl.  And just so you know, it was not my mother’s cooking.  It was totally me.  The turning point for me with pancakes was around five years ago when I had the Four Seasons’ Lemon-Ricotta Poppyseed Pancakes from The New American Cooking by Joan Nathan.  I was already starting to come around, but this recipe got me there fast.  With waffles, it took a bit longer.

It all happened a couple of years ago when I went to Le Pain Quotidien.  My sister ordered their sugar pearl waffles.  One bite was all it took. Oh my gosh!  They were the most delicious thing ever!  (Maybe not the most delicious thing ever, but at that moment, it felt as if that were true.)  They served the waffles with fresh berries and that is all they needed.  No powdered sugar and butter (my go to for waffles growing up), honey, syrup, molasses, or agave nectar…they were perfect just as they were.  That shows you that something is made well – if it does not need anything else to make it delicious.

Started in Brussels, Le Pain Quotidien is committed to slow food, organic ingredients, and communal eating.  In their own words, “Good food tastes even better in good company.”  Oh so true.  For a chain restaurant, they want to encourage you to linger, to enjoy conversation, to connect over good food.  So refreshing.  The founder of Le Pain Quotidien focuses on the artistry behind food in a very comforting and authentic way.  I feel as if I am eating at a farmer’s table (a really impressive farmer’s table).  The portions are light to be sure (unless you get the lentil salad), but good, and are focused on the integrity of the ingredients used.  It is an inspiring, comforting, and delicious place to eat.  Born as a bakery with a communal table, Le Pain Quotidien translates as “the daily bread”.  Starting with tartines, a couple of salads, and a few pastries, they have grown incredibly.  And the newest addition, their own cookbook, so that you may share “simple, wholesome, and sustainable food” with friends and family around your own table.

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Tempted to try sugar pearl waffles?  Well, you can either make a visit to a Le Pain Quotidien location or you can make your own using Lars Sugar Pearls  (there is a recipe on back for making waffles).  I would recommend both!

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