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IceMilk Aprons so proudly announces our newest Gourmet Retailer, Bella Cucina.

The gourmet line of artful foods, founded by the delightfully engaging Alisa Barry, has a perfectly-packaged and savory experience that cannot be missed.  The flagship store is located in the oh-so-charming neighborhood of Virginia-Highlands in Atlanta, however their distribution does not stop there. From the nooks & crannies of fabulously unique gourmet retail stores, to gift stores, to the superior Henry Bendel, Bella Cucina has certainly made a place for themselves and has quite a following of foodies around the globe.

The Italian gem of a store is so perfectly appointed that it may possibly be the perfect home for IceMilk Aprons to be showcased. The pictures speak for themselves but the design is simple, rustic elegance to the max, with dreamy oversized fabric shades hanging from the ceilings and gourmet goodies scattered amidst garden-fresh veggies and worn wooden fixtures. Delish.

Our line of gourmet heirloom aprons debuted in the Bella Cucina store this August for their weekly Artisan Thursday event, another can’t-miss-moment when experiencing Bella Cucina.

We at IceMilk Aprons are so very thrilled to be involved with this timeless brand, honoring the luxury of food and recalling recipes of generations past. A special thank you and warm welcome to Alisa & her team as we embrace them as another wonderful Gourmet Retailer showcasing the IceMilk Apron line!

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Bella Cucina
1050 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: 404.347.6476

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As the school year comes to a tragic start once again for children across the US, I can’t help but smile as long-standing composition books continue to grace back-to-school shelves everywhere.

Once a pretty standard staple for school children, these black & white books with straight-lined paper are simply iconic. I actually think they are quite lovely, and generally stock up when the adorn the shelves this time of year, as their simple black spines make for a nice way to keep your notes & thoughts collected and stored together on an office shelve or in a worn laptop bag.

A perfect heirloom item that, despite it’s commonality today, has remained year after year a staple item to stock for journaling for years to come.

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IceMilk Aprons,  a gourmet line of heirloom aprons.

rosegarden.011The well-heeled hostess most always has a fresh & fragrant vase of flowers adorning her tabletop when guests arrive.

And the most skilled, as Martha Stewart has reinforced for us, bring those blooms in straight from their very own gardens. Nothing finer than a beautiful burst of flowers and foliage, still moist from the morning dew, fresh-cut and displayed for all to enjoy.

My Nana was known for her beautiful rose gardens. From red to pink to white, from fragrant climbing roses to towering Queen Annes, all giving off the most beautiful aroma that surely could be sniffed throughout the neighborhood.

The art of growing a garden is simply an heirloom treasure Nana J&Jin itself. Learning to appreciate the time honored tradition of nurturing for and tending to a delicate rose garden, a rewarding craft that reaps beautiful rewards for entertaining a lovely home.

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Be elegant when you entertain, with IceMilk Aprons.

Sheet Music.009I’ve touched on other music-inspired heirlooms in past posts, from vinyl records to violins, but few as delicate and romantic as that of sheet music.

In an amazing area of digital recording & music creation, it is so inspiring to see a simple sheet of music propped atop a grand piano being read and elegantly played by a youngster.

The tiny notes dancing across the barred lines on the worn sheets of paper, fancy scripted song titles and the lovely song that is sure to follow by its presence.

I’ve noticed it popping up more and more in the design world as well – gracing tiny gift packages as beautiful wrapping paper or gorgeously framed and on display in living areas.  Something so elegant and classic about their design and purpose.

Learning to read music as a child is something that I cherish, but admittedly must brush up on. An heirloom quality I want to keep alive and well.

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IceMilk Aprons, a gourmet line of heirloom aprons.

Vintage Luggage.006Truly is there anything finer or more coveted than a great piece of vintage luggage that has been passed down from a prior generation?

The craftmanship of a great piece of luggage cannot be underestimated – whether a handbag, a trunk, full suitcase or nice duffle. The pieces bring with them memories made on fond trips and many travels, perhaps adorned with foreign tags & stickers of vacations-past and the wonderful look of finely worn leather. And these great pieces also tend to have a fine attention to detail inside, with hidden pockets, latches & pulls for safely towing your most prized possessions on your own adventures.

If you’re not lucky enough to have inherited a wonderful piece of traveled baggage, then consider the pass-down-ability of your next luggage purchase!

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Create your own family heirloom today with IceMilk Aprons, a gourmet line of heirloom aprons.

I do believe that some of the most wonderful heirloom treasures in the world are found in the kitchen.

From tin cookie cutters to rolling pins to aprons, these handy items all contain memories from learning to cook in your youth with your family.

I have a set of tin measuring spoons from my Grandmother’s collection that I must admit I use for baking over my trusty, shiny new ones.

Last Christmas, I received a lovely treasure – a set of Tin Woodsman pewter measuring spoons and are sure to become an heirloom for my future generations. My love for pewter continues to withstand day in and day out, but these hearty hammered oversized spoons are simply iconic in the kitchen. A true symbol for a baker, these artful pieces make for such a lovely heirloom gift to enjoy for years & years!

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Give an heirloom gift from IceMilk Aprons

picture-1In honor of the Masters this week, here is a wonderful and time honored traditional recipe for Pimento Cheese.

Because of my passion for traditions and recipes, an obvious question I posed .. where does this tradition of serving pimento cheese sandwiches at the Masters come from anyways?

The answer is delightful. In true Southern fashion, families in the South generally had to eat what they grew on their own farms – fruits, vegetables, grains. At that, very few Southern farms made their own cheese, and when they did it was white cheese, like ricotta or mozzarella. Yellow cheese was a delicacy for Southerners, and thus generally reserved for the upper class or special occasions.

That being said, they took the precious yellow cheese, added mayonnaise (again, in true Southern fashion) and pimentos which were grown locally across the South to make the fine spread. The Masters, being the epitome of golf and of the elite, began the time-honored tradition of serving the pimento cheese sandwich – which is one of their most popular by far.

Do enjoy!

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Crystal, along with China and fine silver, has long since been a wonderful heirloom treasure. Likely the collections & pieces were made heirloom-worthy due to their memorable givings at such landmark events as weddings and anniversaries.

I have mixed emotions on matchy-match collections. While there is certainly something to be said for folks who have the patience and breadth to collect each and every piece that their fine crystal brand manufactures, I am much more of the mindset that collections should have a common element but be flexible to accommodate three very key points: 1) uniqueness of each object 2) personal meaning 3) adventure!

So lets take crystal. It is simple gorgeous, there is no denying it. Its finely cut edges simply sparkle in the light. It can make punch a delicacy and turn a dish of butter mints into a handful of pure joy. So instead of sticking to one collection of the same pattern of crystal, consider mixing & matching to hit the three points.

First, uniqueness of each object. With many different cuts, makers and patterns each piece is able to sparkle and shine in its own light and stand out in all its glory. Besides, there are very few patterns in the world where the cakestand is just as pretty as the candlesticks.

Second, personal meaning is a big one. When your collection includes new and old pieces, you’re able to include the heirloom pieces without them seeming out of place. And heirloom pieces from all sides of the family at that – wouldn’t want to not use Nana’s crystal bowl simply because it didn’t match your Waterford wedding pattern. No no no!

Lastly, adventure is a big one! It’s your collection and you should enjoy the hunt as much as you enjoy using the pieces themselves. Searching for the perfect missing piece in your collection becomes an on-going process, giving you reason to stop in at that roadside Antiques store or making a thoughtful selection next time Grandma wants you to go ahead and choose just one thing from her collection to use for yourself.

Long-way-around. There is nothing finer than crystal, in all its dazzling glory. My collection began with a tiny crystal piece from Grandma in my stocking each year. A salt cellar, a bud vase, and years of joy making my heirloom collection complete!

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When entertaining, you should always have a hot drink to offer your guests, especially as this winter chill lingers on and on and on.

A wonderful heirloom treat that you just don’t see often enough in kitchens today is the tea kettle. Whether you’re offering hot tea or cocoa, the kettle heats up your cup of delight to the perfect temperature, but the most wonderful part is the whistle it gives off when it’s done.

What a throwback treat to bring back into everyday use! It is sure to leave a lasting and memorable impression on your guests.

In a world where technology reigns and children can’t fathom a world without remote controls, how wonderful to see a little heirloom throwback sneak into today’s world!

Country music artist Jamey Johnson has announced that his new album That Lonesome Song will be released with a vinyl record version. While collecting old records is something of a retro-fad (a cool one at that), the release of a NEW album on vinyl is a wonderful way to showcase your appreciation for things past. And his song “In Color” is just another point-in-case if you haven’t heard it.

The album will be released on January 27th and I do hope everyone runs right out & buys the “real” vinyl version to support this wonderful little heirloom moment in our “downloading-music world” of today!

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