Dinner Party 101

“Let’s have some folks over for dinner this weekend!” – does the thought of this idea make your palms sweat? Don’t worry, join us on Oct. 7th for Dinner Party 101.  The ever-so thoughtful hostess, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch blog joins us to give you the tools for an effortless, casual dinner party.

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Dinner Party 101: Saturday, Oct. 7th from 10 – 11:30am

You’ll go home confident, with easy, impressive recipes, design advice for a festive space, ready to reconnect with old friends and invite some new friends.

You’ll make some new friends and learn from stand-out makers such as Cathead Vodka, Schermer Pecans and Merry Cheese Crisps.

Tickets are $20 and space is limited, so grab a friend and get your tickets today! Be sure to contact the team at steve mckenzie’s with any entertaining needs.  See you soon!

Have You Heard?

It’s our End of Season Sale this week with 20% off the entire store, special furniture pieces at deep discounts, a 75% off Table and lots more.  Spruce up your outdoor living space, office, home and don’t forget to stock up your Gift Closet!

Stop in soon or email us for details as we love to ship to our clients far and wide.

Quick look at some crazy deals on some amazing furniture pieces…

We look forward to seeing you at steve mckenzie’s, and bring a couple of friends because friends are fun!

 

Lighten your load & become more eco-friendly with Dot and Army!

We are head over heels with just about anything from our new friends, Dot and Army. And – bonus – they’re amazin, Earth-friendly wares are made in Brunswick, Georgia! With anything from classic napkins, to bowl covers, reusable sandwich bags and so, so much more, we think you’ll be falling for them too!

Think about how many paper towels, plastic baggies and cling wrap scraps make their way into your garbage every week… Now, multiply that by the weeks in a year, how many of your neighbors use these products the same way, etc. You get the picture; it’s a lot.

Thanks to Dot and Army (we met at The Southern C), now we can combat some of that garbage and put their beautiful, handmade textiles to use all around our homes! Saving the earth on “unpaper towel” at a time.

Dot and Army’s “unpaper towels”

Their unpaper towels – sold by the dozen – are a brilliant replacement to traditional paper towels. Once soiled, pop them in the wash and they’re ready to re-use in no time!

Reusable snack baggies – yes, please!

And how about a solution to all those pesky plastic baggies we’re always tossing in the trash? Dot and Army offers a fantastic solution to these with their denim reusable snack bags. Super stylish for you or your little ones! Simply shake out and reuse or launder for especially dirty bags.

Dish scrubbers that are beautiful AND functional!

Another favorite product by Dot and Army are their reusable dish scrubbers. Forget those nasty sponges, which can harbor all sorts of unsavory germs. When necessary, these scrubbers are machine washable. And so durable – they’re made by hand!

Brilliant, reusable bowl covers.

Never hassle with cling wrap again, thanks to Dot and Army’s bowl covers. Ideal for baking bread or bringing a beautiful dish of something to a pot luck. And, of course, they’re reusable too – and make a wonderful gift for the chef in your life!

Beautiful napkins, for everyday use.

We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and check out all of Dot and Army’s fantastic products and learn how they may aide in streamlining your life and help to make it more eco-friendly.

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Tie It with a Bow

Spring brings travel, special events and celebrations like spring break, Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and graduations to name a few. Being ever the thoughtful Southerner, you know not to show up empty-handed!

This past week at Americas Mart, Steve showed a group of dedicated retail buyers several new ways to put together “The Ultimate Hostess Gift”, including a Holiday Jingle cocktail!

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Holiday Jingle Crush Cocktail

As a bonus, our fellow Butler University classmate and Delta Gamma sorority sister, Jill Miner, joined us.  Be sure to check out her award-winning bookstore in picturesque Gaylord, Michigan, Saturn Booksellers.

Back to the hostess gift!  Let’s deconstruct it and learn some tips.

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Ingredients for a food lovers gift

Steve says to think about your host.  Do they have any hobbies?  This gracious host has discovered cooking and frequently entertains friends and family.

Next, let’s find an unusual container instead of the standard gift bag.  We love this vivid blue melamine (unbreakable!) salad bowl.  Then we filled it with delicious pesto, gourmet salt and a pizza kit from Atlanta-based Bella Cucina.  Tuck in a matching blue tea towel for some extra love.  Now, let’s look at it all put together.

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Food Lovers Basket

Twirl some cellophane around it and tie it with a bow.  Now you’re ready to say Thank You and enjoy your time together.  Shop the look here.

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Tie it with a bow!

We’re going to share these ideas throughout the spring, so stay tuned for more wonderful ideas to wow your host.  Of course, if you’re pressed for time, our team at steve mckenzie’s is ready to prepare your hostess gifts for you.

Missed this seminar?  Keep track of our whereabouts, classes and events by following our  Facebook page and Instagram.

2017 Color of the Year + Selamat Designs = Greenery

So you’ve probably seen the Pantone Color of the Year ” Greenery” by now.  You might also be wondering how this zesty yellow-green shade applies to your surroundings, as you may not be ready to swap out all of your furniture.

Let us show you how to incorporate some home accessory items from Selamat Designs  in your home, re-vitalizing your palette, much like updating your wardrobe with a new trendy necklace or coat.

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Revitalize your home with shades of “Greenery”!

Visit the showroom or email us for more details.  Looking for more assistance with your interiors?  McKenzie Interior Design is at your service!

Have a wonderfully fresh week!

 

 

Steve’s Gone Wild! 25% off…

Being full of holiday goodwill, Steve’s gone wild and the most of the store is 25% off (some exclusions apply). Visit us the shop on Dec. 28 – 30 for best selection, and online savings with the code WILD2017, expires midnight 1/1/2017.  Start 2017 off right by saving!

25% off some exclusions apply Ends Jan. 2, 2017
25% off
some exclusions apply including Match Pewter, Le Jacquard Francais, Gien, Royal Crown Derby.

How to Follow Your Passion: Kristen Hard & Cacao

Following your dreams and making your passion your profession. It’s something we strive for throughout our lives. For some people, following their passion comes effortlessly and early on. Others may not realize what their passion even is until later in life, and then they work for it tirelessly.

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Kristen Hard

For Kristen Hard, the founder of and artisan behind Cacao, she knew early on her passion was in the confectionery arts – specifically chocolate. But, following her passion came as no easy task.

Kristen learned to cook early on, as a little girl, her mom allowed her to get very creative and almost everything she made involved sugar. Because Kristen’s mom didn’t allow sweets in the house – there were eight children total – she had to make her own.

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Her dream was always to open a cafe, but as she honed her skills and refined her passion, her dream of becoming a chocolatier blossomed. Kristen quickly learned there was much more to the world of crafting fine chocolates than pouring molten cocoa into molds. There was a whole world of cacao plant genetics and technology to learn about, and she knew if she wanted to become one of the world’s finest chocolatiers, she had to know her raw product inside and out.

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To create the world’s best chocolates, Kristen knew you had to have the best possible quality cacao bean, which comes from the perfect plant, grown in an ideal setting over time. Because cacao is considered a high-end, luxury commodity, sourcing the best product can be extremely difficult – Kristen likens it to diamonds. And, based on her somewhat scary and extreme, off-the-grid travel challenges she’s faced sourcing and now growing the ideal cacao plant, we have no room to argue. Kristen navigates the globe working with scientists, geneticists and farmers who all share her goal of creating the finest chocolate possible.

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For Kristen, her chocolate is her art and she believes in working with the best possible medium to create a successful end product. And she’s creating quite a name for herself – she’s the first female chocolatier in the US to work from the cacao bean to produce her goods. And she’s proud of her grass-roots beginnings, she’s a self-taught strong female, who’s also a single mother to a four year old daughter. And Kristen says she’s never going to stop perusing her passion and working tirelessly to shape and improve the industry she’s chosen to work in.

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Kristen’s hands on approach to the art of chocolate has garnered her many accolades thus far and she’s looking at greater success in the near future. Cacao currently boasts four brick and mortar boutique locations in the Atlanta area, as well as international sales that are showing exponential growth, especially in Japan where Kristen says the people have a true appreciation for her purpose – they understand perfection and want only the best.

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In addition, Kristen will be publishing a cookbook this spring, which will be the first book that follows chocolate from it’s original, cacao seed form to finished product and showing home chefs that creating the highest quality chocolate is possible, right under their own roofs.

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Kristen has created a triptych of chocolate levels under the Cacao umbrella – these include Twigg & Co., probably the closest to what we know of fine chocolate, Cacao Platinum and then Black Label, the finest quality chocolate Kristen can create. By offering chocolate in this way, Kristen feels she can best showcase the journey of fine chocolates and work to redefine what we think of as quality chocolate – her line is a prototype of what she believes the cacao industry should offer… Systematized, verified, certified, while being in control of the technology and science behind growing a top quality raw product.

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Thank you to our new friend Kristen, and artisan chocolatier, for inviting us to her cafe in Atlanta’s Highland neighborhood and for sharing her passion – and even a few chocolates! – with us. She’s a truly inspiring artist and we believe there are a few key takeaways here for any of us who are ever evolving and working to follow our passion:

  • It’s never to late (or early) to pursue your passion!
  • Educate yourself and learn your chosen industry/medium from the ground up, inside and out.img_8014
  • Experiment and make mistakes… Kristen holds vanilla tastings, dessert trials, and more with her staff (you could put your friends and family to the test if you don’t yet have your own professional crew) to ensure they’re using the best possible ingredients and crafting her chocolates and other sweet offerings to the best of their ability. They even dye their own sprinkles, which comes with plenty of trial and error!
  • Never stop. Kristen’s fighting personality and passion for bettering her industry as a whole is what most stood out to us during our visit. Become your own industry champion and support will follow.

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If you’re local here to the Atlanta area, find a Cacao location and stop by – you’ll be in heaven if you appreciate any type of sweet. And if you’re not local, check out Kristen’s online Cacao offerings. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

And remember to always follow your passion!!