This weekend we attended the Food Film Fest, and I have to say, I had had no idea what to expect and I was thrilled with what I got.

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The whole concept is very clever — you know how when you see a commercial about doughnuts, and you think to yourself, “oh man I could eat a doughnut right now” — well, that’s kind of the idea. You watch a short film (less than 5 minutes) about a food, and while you watch it, they bring you that exact food.

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…which is how I met my new favorite thing — Top Pot Doughnuts from Seattle, Washington. I mean truly, they were the best doughnut I have ever come across, maybe even one of the best pastries in general. Sadly it doesn’t look like mail order is an option, so a trip to Seattle may be in order.

That was what was so neat about it though – right here in Charleston, I got to experience food from lots of different places, over-nighted in just for that event. Canadian maple syrup, treats from Dirt Candy…all sorts of goodies.

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Look at what a good little film patron I am! I kid. I was quite surprised when I came across that one of me when scrolling through the event photos!

Obviously, I did not take any of these photos, they are all courtesy of Food Film Fest’s Facebook Page and copyright Adam Chandler.

And just so you don’t miss out on the fun, here is my favorite film from the event: Dirt Candy’s “Vegetable: Friend or Foe?”

If you have a few minutes, it’s pretty hilarious. Good way to start the week!

Sandwiched in between the Black Friday and Cyber Monday craziness lies a little but growing trend called Small Business Saturday. This is the third year of the movement, which actually owes a lot to American Express for promoting it, and they even talked about it on the Today Show this morning. It’s so wonderful to see the buy local and community efforts taking hold!

With the millions of dollars spent promoting ginormous door-busting 12AM sales at the big box retailers, I think small businesses tend to get overlooked. Normally they’re very small operations and they’d rather spend Thanksgiving with their families instead of in stores (why else do we work if not for those moments?) and more often than not, they’re too small an operation to give away products at next to nothing.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not very, very important.

Small businesses are responsible for 44% of private payroll in the US (source). They create new jobs and put their money back into their local economies.

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I admit I never gave it much thought until I got out into the world, started a business, and realized how important the network of small business owners is to a community. They’re what makes a city or town unique and special – the shops you love for their goods but also because you love seeing the shop owner when you walk in.

So, I hope you’ll plan on doing some local shopping in your community this year! And don’t forget, shopping online through sites like Etsy, Cargoh, etc. supports small business too.

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Here are a few of my fellow small businesses I love to support as much as possible (and please, if I left you off the list, forgive me – I am blessed to know so many wonderful business people! Let me know and I’ll add you):

  • Spacecraft Studios – goes without saying, an awesome shop and crafting home for all of us in the Charleston area.
  • Dwelling – amazing furniture and interior design shop.
  • Seastar Arts – need any holiday photos? Jeni is wonderful. You will love her.
  • Southern Curator – awesome handmade. Modern rustic products. I could live in her store..
  • if I were in Boston, you can bet I’d be joining Audrey on a food tour.
  • Jen of Birdsong Designs makes beautiful jewelry, and Kristen makes incredible prints you’ll love.
  • Monogram Goods has everything you could ever want monogrammed in designer style.
  • Brickyard Buffalo is an awesome new handmade deals site…look for a Dodeline deal coming soon :-)
  • Carla Bakes and Sablee are two delicious bakeries in our area. You cannot go wrong :-)
  • Charleston Shucker Company makes personalized oyster shuckers, which make a great Lowcountry gift.
  • Finkelstein’s Center makes the cutest handmade stuffed toys you’ve ever seen.
  • Alesya bags is a local designer whose ingenious laptop handbag made it to the Today Show this morning too!

Feel free to share any small businesses you’ll be supporting or want to mention in the comments below! Happy holiday weekend!

I was lucky enough to take an impromptu stroll through the Charleston Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Although it was suffocatingly hot, there is something so nice about an hour to yourself, wandering through the crowds, people watching and taking it all in.

From April to December, on Saturday mornings, an array of vendors gather in Marion Square on the corner of King and Calhoun Streets in downtown Charleston. Fresh produce, food + drinks, and crafts of all kinds abound. Several of my Artist Market buddies vend here as well — including Perla Anne, Charleston Soap Chef, Add Libb Designs, and Rewined.

After walking through and taking it all in, I took up a spot in the window at a coffee shop nearby and downed a bottle of water. People-watching from an air conditioned window seat has its perks too ;-)

what was your weekend like?

Joining in on the weekend update link up!

Hello Dodeline Design readers! Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekends. If you happened to stop by Sarah’s blog a little while back, you may remember me from this post about adventuring to Philadelphia, and today I’m back again for my second guest post. If we haven’t met yet, my name is Carly Totten, and I love writing and the wedding industry. What else do I love you ask? If it were possible, I would dip my life in chocolate and set up a tent on the beach on Kiawah Island and live there forever. Combining both would be wonderful. : )

Because Sarah happens to be on a beach getaway, I thought it only fitting to talk about Kiawah Island, which should just be renamed My Favorite Place in the World…Ever. Even though it’s only about 14 miles long, it sets my heart on fire and makes me feel alive in only the ways that time spent on Kiawah can. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Kiawah many times each year for my entire life (23 years), and sometimes I wonder why I am so lucky. Let’s just note the fact that it’s a 13-hour car trek from Philly to Kiawah. Willingly traveling in a car for that long to visit an island is true love, y’all!

Kiawah’s formal name is actually Kiawah Island Golf Resort (not My Favorite Place in the World…Ever…yet    ; ). As you can obviously tell from its name, Kiawah is an athlete’s paradise with five public golf courses and two tennis centers. The golf and tennis are beyond awesome, which my dad will tell you on a long tangent; however, I love Kiawah for other reasons – reasons that don’t really have anything to do with either sport.

Like I mentioned earlier, I love Kiawah because it makes me feel alive, reinvigorated, and in.love.with.life. Below is a peek at my most recent trip to Kiawah (and what every summertime visit includes)…

Beach Days: Walking on the beach is usually how I begin every morning. Toes in the ocean = happiness. With that said, I did a lot of running during this trip (a whole other story entirely), but the beach still created an awesome atmosphere. The rest of my day is filled with boogie boarding – I’m very young at heart – and sometimes jumping twirling ballerina style in the waves. A good book and a lounge chair also add to a perfect afternoon.

Scenic Bike Rides: One of the first things my parents and I do when we arrive on Kiawah is rent bikes. I bike everywhere, no joke. I’m the one riding to the beach while balancing my bag, boogie board, and chair in a basket. It’s an art form. ; ) Not only does a bike make a great mode for beach transportation, it’s also the best way to explore the island. I love wandering, and I am happiest when I happen upon a long bridge or a road I have yet to explore while viewing some of the island’s wildlife (read: alligators). If you rent bikes, make sure to ride up to Freshfields Village (gorgeous marsh views) and, once there, hop over to Vincent’s Soda Fountain for a milkshake. Other favorites include Rhett’s Bluff (stop by the boat launch where you will be greeted by a gazebo that I am obsessed with on the dock and possibly a dolphin); Flyaway Drive; and Captain Sam’s Inlet, which is where Kiawah meets neighboring island, Seabrook, on the beach at the western most end of the island. Be sure to pick up an island map before you start your ride or become fast friends with Google Maps just in case!

Yummy Dinners: My favorite place to eat on the island happens to be where a pro golfer will earn the title of 2012 PGA Champion in August: Ryder Cup Bar, located in the Ocean Course Clubhouse. The food is delicious (try the Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad, Ryder Sliders, or Crispy Fried Shrimp), the views of the sunsets are unreal (time your visit!), and some of the staff have become like members of our family. Another one of our new favorite haunts is La Tella Pizzeria, a family owned and operated Italian restaurant located in nearby Freshfields Village. The portions, by the way, are in the dictionary under “massive,” so my parents and I decided to share the Chicken Parmesan and Ricotta Pizza (ah, so good!). I thought of Sarah’s paper loving heart while I was there because La Tella had a stamp designed which they use to brand all of their pizza boxes – creative packaging for the win!

Sunrises & Sunsets: I love mornings because I love beginnings more than endings. With that in mind, my goal while I was on Kiawah was to watch the sunrise one morning. I set my phone’s alarm, and I willingly got up and ready at 5:45 (insanity). I biked over to the beach, and the view of the sun rising over Turtle Point golf course was worth the ride alone. Then I got to the beach. Holy, sunrise! It was beautiful! Everyone stood still for a solid 20 minutes and stared at the sky…

…which is exactly what happens when the sun sets. Even though the sunset marks an ending, I am one of the people staring at the sky every night. The sunsets are mesmerizing and possible thanks to the fact that Kiawah runs west to east.

If you live in Charleston, take a day and visit Kiawah – go on a bike ride; walk on the beach; jump in the waves; and watch the sunset to complete your day. If you don’t happen to live close by, book a flight (Southwest offers many inexpensive options) or take a road trip and plan to do the same thing. I’ll meet you on the beach, and I hope you will have a serious love for My Favorite Place in the World…Ever even after only a day.

have you ever been to kiawah? where is your favorite vacation spot?

Enjoy your day! I will see you again soon.

With my background in interiors + architecture, I love to draw buildings and skylines. I get requests for it all the time so I thought it was high time to create a card line for all of these fun little cityscapes.

I’m starting out with 5, and although they might seem random, they are some of my favorite cities: Charleston, Paris, London, New York, and Washington DC. You can check them all out in the Etsy shop!

Hope you like them and have a lovely Tuesday! I’ll be in meetings much of the day, so if you email me and I’m a little slow to respond, that’s why!

Robert woke up with a genius idea yesterday morning to try out Wildflour’s famous sticky bun Sunday. I had heard so much about it but we’d never been, so I called them to find out if they still had any, and was told we’d better hurry!

So off we went to the wedding district on a beautiful Spring day in Charleston. I’ve had several weddings in common with Wildflour and had a few meetings there, but didn’t realize how it is THE place to be on a Sunday…

…for very good reason.

We got sticky buns and cinnamon rolls to bring over to visit with my family, and they were every bit as yummy as they look. Pair those with wedding/honeymoon photo albums and family time, and it was a pretty fantastic Sunday.

How was your weekend?

I had never been to a fondue restaurant until Robert took me there when we hadn’t been dating for very long at all – six monhs – and were still in high school.

We went to Fonduely Yours in Mount Pleasant, which is one of the oldest bars in town but also happens to be a super kitschy fondue restaurant. And I loved it!

For my 21st birthday we went way to the other end of the spectrum restaurant-wise and went to the much fancier Melting Pot in downtown Atlanta.

There is something so fun to me about eating and drinking and chatting while you “cook” your food. Some people I’ve met didn’t want to go because they didn’t want to see raw chicken before they ate it. We as Americans are just so disconnected from where food comes from aren’t we? But I guess I see the point. What do you think? Ever been to a fondue restaurant?

The best part is dessert though. The other night we went for the milk chocolate fondue, and they just bring you a big plate of pound cake and fruit to dip in it…so simple but delicious!

Happy Thursday!

All of a sudden it seems like Food Trucks are everywhere. First my amazing client Audrey of Boston Food Finds started blogging about them, so they crept onto my radar, and then one of my favorite diners Jack’s Cosmic Dogs got an Airstream, and it seems like the next thing I knew, they were in the City Paper, the NY Times, and now the Food Network has a show about them!

So yesterday Jeni of Seastar Arts organized an impromptu visit to the mobile Food Truck Court with her neighbor Kathy, Ashley of Fraiche Event Design, and her Aunt Pat too. It was such a fun to chat with these lovely women and eat delicious food from Roti Rolls & Diggity Donuts!

And of course, the photos are from the amazing Jeni, who very nearly got run over to get a few of them – that’s dedication ;-)

A quick post today about one of my favorite things: my bicycle. This spring weather prompted me to head out to the bike rack and pull out my beautiful blue and brown leather beach cruiser for the first bike ride of Spring.

I got out the WD40 and a brillo pad and went to work on some of the winter’s rust {living by the water has its downsides} and she’s as good as new. There is something about riding my bike that just makes me feel like a kid again – gives you that sort of “I’m free!” feeling. What about you?

{trackandfielddesigns on Etsy – I am having one of these made up to fit my computer and can’t wait to see it when it’s done!}

{watercolorbymuren on Etsy}

{buckscountyframes on Etsy}

{wordgarden on Etsy}

Happy Thursday, only one more day to go!

I am so thrilled to say that I was a vendor at the very first Cupcake Camp ever held in Charleston. I have to say when I got the original email I had a bit of a, “what in the world..” type reaction, but I can certainly get behind any event that promotes yummy-ness and sharing. That’s my style!

So full disclosure: I’m a terrible cook. If I’m in charge of feeding myself, I’m going out to eat or I’m making a sandwich. Well, to be fair, I can also boil water and scramble eggs, but after that it’s crazy talk. So I promptly informed Heather that I would be Betty Crocker-ing my cupcakes, and she said, no worries, it’s about cupcakes in general! So, of course, corny designer that I am, I came up with this fun little graphic for my cupcakes.

Cupcake Camp

Photo Borrowed from JWNPhoto.com

The turnout was AMAZING! Free cupcakes and nice weather really brings the people out.

Cupcake-tinis don’t hurt either. It was some combination of rosewater and vanilla, and although it didn’t taste like a cupcake really, the sweetness of it was quite yummy!

I met quite a few wonderful people as always and had pretty good sales as well. Thanks so much to all of my new customers and friends!

Lastly, my vendor-buddy shoutouts:

Alexa and Sergio from Palmetto Pastries were there, and I’m already friends with them from having gotten to design their logo. I finally got to try some of her amazing cookies and they are TO DIE FOR, as were her cupcakes!

Corinne from The Fresh Stitch was there with her lovely designs.

…as was Lauren Amos with her gorgeous jewelry!

They will both be at the Lowcountry Artist Market next weekend, and I can’t wait to see them both again! It’s so great to be involved in events like these because you just meet the most amazing people. Hope to see you there!