Old & New Moccasins

I wrote a story for Breathe’s Nov-Dec issue about a moccasin maker in Atlanta, Ga. In my quest to write more about regional artisans, I thought featuring Patricia and her craft of hand sewing and beading moccasins would be great. To check out Patricia’s other moccasin designs, visit her etsy store here.

Good Giving Guide

I started Christmas shopping today. It was altogether frightening and exciting. I have to admit, I’m more for online shopping. While out and about today, I got gifts for my mom and dad — and maybe myself, too. Oh, TJ Maxx, you get me every time.

If you are looking for gift inspiration, be sure to check out the gift guide we put together for Breathe. We hand-picked our favorite items for the Nov-Dec issue. Awesome wrapping paper, gift cards and postcards from our favorite letter press ladies. Gifts for the outdoor adventurer. Gifts for the kitchen adventurer. Good stuff.

I wish you all happy, safe and not-so-stressful shopping experiences this holiday season! cheers, marissa

Embrace the Yurt

I’m one of those people who gets really into what I write about. For the latest issue of Breathe — it was the idea of yurts. Some of the people I interviewed for my story have yurts as their primary residence and said they embraced the idea of yurt living because it allows them to avoid having a mortgage and house payments. (What a great idea!) Other people I spoke with built their yurt as a low-cost getaway where they could get off the grid and be surrounded by nature.

As much as I love the idea of a yurt, I don’t know if I could go whole-hog and live in one full time, just because I have so much stuff (#firstworldproblems). I definitely could get down with the idea as having one as a getaway though. I did some Pinteresting while writing my story for Breathe and found these three super cozy yurts. Would you ever live in a yurt full time?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Holidays Tapas-Style

In Breathe’s Nov-Dec issue we featured tapas recipes for the holidays. Instead of coming up with a full-on spread with the turkey and all the fixins, we wanted to do something a little different. With company parties and cocktail soirees this season, I figured finger food recipes would be a good bet.

I spent five hours in my kitchen preparing these recipes for our photo shoot, and can honestly say they are easy to make and delicious. My favorite recipe is the sweet potato cornbread muffins (with bacon inside!). I’m going to make them for Thanksgiving. Absolutely delicious. Feel free to share your holidays recipes. Would love to hear what you all are making!

Breathe November-December issue release

This issue really makes me happy, because so much went into it. A majority of the writing, photographing, cooking, food styling, crafting and glitterizing (adding glitter to something) all went down in-house. I’m so proud of all the hard work and creativity that went into Breathe’s holiday issue.

Amanda, our designer, spent many an evening staying up late in the Breathe attic, crafting and DIY-ing holiday gifts — fashioning mason jar snow globes, hand-painting cocktail napkins and glitterizing miniature dinosaur figurines and world landmarks (these went into the snow globe).And then there was the epic day of cooking. I spent five hours doused in flour, covered in beaten-egg and on-foot in my kitchen, cooking for our Holidays Tapas-Style feature story, which we ended up photoshooting right on my coffee table, an old, wooden trunk.

Out of all the issues Amanda and I have put out, this has to be the issue where we’ve been the most resourceful. Goes to show that with a lot of love and pride, you can pull off any feat.

Q&A with Scott Avett

The Avett Brothers are pretty busy guys. We had to reschedule our phone interview several times over the course of a month because they were busy touring, recording and making television appearances. We finally found a time to talk right before we sent the October issue to press. Scott Avett sat down with Breathe (via phone) to dish about their new album “The Carpenter,” life on the road and their Legendary Giveback Concert with Cheerwine. To read the interview, click here and turn to pages 12 and 13.

Be sure to enter Breathe’s giveaway, where you can win a copy of the new album, two cases of Cheerwine and a Legendary Giveback Avett Bros T-shirt. Click here to enter.

Breathe fig nutrition story and recipe

For our food page in the October issue, we featured a fig, arugula and gorgonzola pizza recipe by one of our favorite food bloggers who runs keepitsimplefoods.com and is a regular contributor to Breathe’s food blog. I wrote the nutrition half of the story to give a little background on the health benefits of this fall fruit.

Also, check out the savory fig jam recipe we featured in our Southern Fare & Wine Pairing food spread (recipes by Whole Foods’ cook). Very excited about getting such great recipe developers to contribute to Breathe. Try out the pizza and let us know what you think!

Breathe’s Southern Fare & Wine Pairing Menu

Our cover story for the October issue centered around Virginia wines — sparkling, Port-style dessert, Viogners, Meritages — and seasonal Southern food. Whole Foods Charlottesville supplied all our food and wine and the staff gave us a lot of good input on our dinner party spread. Whole Foods’ cook Taylor Troxell helped us develop these recipes and Jan Van Deventer, Whole Foods’ wine buyer, helped us select wines to pair with our spread.

Breathe’s designer Amanda and I spent all morning cooking this spread and then seven hours setting up and shooting the dinner party with models. Our art director Megan helped coordinate the set up and photoshoot — thank heavens! We needed an additional artistic perspective and set of hands. I spent a good amount of time doing lighting. Us ladies do a little bit of everything behind the scenes. That’s what happens when you have such a small staff. You find yourself doing things like cooking dinners for six, styling food and working lights on top of editing and laying out the magazine. At the end of the day it’s tiring, but after all is said and done and sent to press, it definitely leaves you with a sense of accomplishment — and a new set of skills for the ol’ resume.

I’m a huge fan of this spread. It’s easy to make and delicious. And, if you’re afraid to venture into frying chicken (warning: it’s pretty smelly and messy), just pick up the best fried chicken (Wayside here in C’ville!) in your area and make the sides. The fig jam takes 15 minutes tops and is sweet and savory. The Pungo Creek Mills spoon bread is not only delicious; it’s also local to Virginia. And the collards are cooked with Legend Brewing Brown Ale and a ham shank. What’s not to love about that? Hope you enjoy the spread.

Let me know what you are serving at your dinner party this season!

Visit Savannah, the spooky south

I visited Savannah in March and fell in love with the city — the food, scenery, history … to-go cups. I decided to save my Savannah trip for the October issue of Breathe since it would finally be cooling off in the low country and also because Savannah just happens to be America’s Most Haunted City. Perfect timing for October, indeed.

While I was in Savannah, I met Kristin Luna, an amazing travel journalist and the brains behind the blog camelsandchocolate.com. Luckily Kristin not only happens to be a talented writer, but she’s also a phenomenal photographer, so we featured her photos alongside my story. Very excited to share some ink with my friend Kristin.