From the Desk of Dixie

Q & A with Tastemaker Mandy Kellogg Rye

Image by Kathryn McCrary

In case you do not already know the fabulous Mandy Kellogg Rye, please allow us to introduce you!  Mandy is the Founder and Creative Director of the Waiting on Martha brand. Mandy, a Michigan native, is an editorial and interior stylist who has worked with top brands such as Kate Spade, Beholdn, Gap, Old Navy and Pottery Barn, and that’s just naming a few. Her styling work has been featured in Domaine Home, Harper’s Bazaar and House Beautiful, and her blog was recently named one of the top entertaining blogs by Better Homes and Gardens.

Mandy founded Waiting on Martha after a move to Chicago, a city that inspired her to have a creative outlet where she could share her love of Martha Stewart, food, wine and party planning. After her blog took off, she opened up a Waiting on Martha storefront in Atlanta. When she is not working, she can be found with her husband, as well as their King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Addison, in Atlanta who inspired her tastemaker collection.

Keep scrolling for some of Mandy's incredible styling work as well as some of our favorite products from her store!

Source:: Waiting on Martha


Below shop a few of our favorite things from Mandy's store that are perfect for the holidays or your desk:


Staffordshire Dog Ornament


Letter Stand with Pen Rest


Cheers Champagne Ornament


Vietri Old St. Nick Mug

Kate Spade Acrylic Tortoise Pen Cup

Sugar Paper Signature Pen

Mandy's Portfolio Photography:: Rustic White Interiors unless otherwise noted
Product Images from:: Waiting on Martha Shop

Mandy's Tastemaker Collection

Dixie artist Inslee Fariss teamed up with Mandy to bring you a fun-loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniel holiday collection inspired by none other than Mandy's beloved dog, Addison! Knowing Mandy's quirky sense of humor and style, Inslee was inspired to paint Addison enjoying all the fun events of the holidays, from toasting champagne to skiing the slopes of Vermont and, of course, waiting under the mistletoe for a kiss. This collection is sure to bring joy to you and friends this holiday season. Click the collection image below to shop. And you can shop this adorable design in gift wrap as well! 

And to get to know Mandy a little bit better, be sure to continue reading for our Q & A chat with her below!

Favorite Holiday Tradition: 

There are so many, but the holiday tradition that has stood the test of time is Secret Santa. When I was younger my father would wrap gifts for everyone in our family, including himself, in this stunning, often extravagant matching paper. When I was younger those gifts were the first to be placed under the tree, arriving on Christmas Eve. Now that we’ve grown they’re the last gifts brought out and possibly the ones we look forward to most.

Dream Dinner Party Guests: 

Jesus, Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Misty Copeland, Jimmy Fallon, The Obamas, Prince Harry, Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon, J.K. Rowling, Trevor Noah, Al Gore, Richard Branson, and my husband.

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea:

food gift baskets. Who doesn’t love a great gourmet food basket you can easily make themed: pizza, cocktail, cheese, wine, etc.

Most memorable read: 

The Harry Potter Series

Favorite Atlanta eatery: 

Superica, Houstons, Sotto Sotto, Pasta Da Pulcinella, KR Steak Bar, Chick-fil-A

What inspires you most? 

Getting very quiet, and being in a space I can breathe. Usually that means escaping the city and heading either to the mountains or to the Bahamas.

Prized Possession: 

My King Charles Cavalier Addison, while she’s not a possession she’s who/what I would always rescue first if there was a fire.

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming: 

Every Christmas growing up was very sentimental. My parents loved the holiday and passed that love down to me. Growing up however, we had two different Christmas trees. The tree in the living room which was my mother’s pride and joy. Every ornament matched, ribbons were carefully run up and over every branch, and well the tree topper was definitely the

Go-to hostess gift: 

A great bottle of wine wrapped in a Le Jacquard kitchen towel

Hidden Talent: 

Honestly, I don’t think I have one. Any of my talents I’m pretty loud and proud about, ha!

Starbucks Order: 

Fair warning, I am that annoying Starbucks ordering person. Venti extra shot caramel macchiato with almond milk, hot and a venti unsweetened iced green tea, no ice.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? 

So many things; lawyer, ballerina, president, store owner…literally everything at some point or the other.

What is your number one tool of the trade? 

Authenticity. This may not seem like your typical “tool” but I can stand here today and say throughout my entire journey I’ve always been completely who I am, no apologies. And there’s no better feeling then living your most authentic, honest, life.

Q & A with Tastemaker Calder Clark

We are so honored to have wedding and event planning c
onnoisseur Calder Clark to our 2018 Tastemaker Collection! Calder is the owner and founder of Calder Clark Luxury Wedding Design, a full service event and wedding consultation and design firm in Charleston, South Carolina. She has a national following for her modern spin on Southern entertaining and has designed and planned pristine events throughout the country. Calder has been featured in national publications such as Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Harpar’s Baazar and Vogue. In 2017 she was named one of the best wedding planners in the South by Southern Living

We have included some of our favorite images of Calder's event designs below.

Photo:: Tec Petaja
Photo:: Tec Petaja
Photo:: Tec Petaja
Photo:: Tec Petaja
Photo:: Tec Petaja

Dixie Creative Director Holly Hollon teamed up with Calder to bring you her gorgeous holiday collection shown below. Calder was inspired by the mountains in North Carolina, where her family vacationed this fall. This gorgeous card was created by combining branching bittersweet with pines, plus Calder’s current color obsessions - orange, olive green, and mushroom. We think it's perfect for the one who dreams of holidays spent in the mountains enjoying fresh air and a night snuggled by the fire!

And to get to know Calder a little bit better, be sure to continue reading for our Q & A chat with her below!

Favorite holiday tradition: 

My husband always reads The Night Before Christmas to our two littles, right before bed. The pure magic on their faces is simply priceless.

Dream dinner date: 

Oysters and champagne off the prow of a boat, anywhere

Favorite wedding destination to plan:

Blackberry Farm, a place that feels like home to me 

Last great film you saw? 

Sabrina, the original - is there anything more classic?

Favorite way to “wow” wedding guests:

Lavender-scented iced rolled towels passed around the dance floor on a wild night

What inspires you most? 

the perseverance of the human spirit

Most memorable event you have planned:  

My best friend’s birthday party

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming: 

Paper snowflakes my children made in years past

Last minute hostess gift: 

A Candlefish candle and flowers from the garden in a simple jar

Hidden talent:  

I play the piano and the guitar

Go-to Lowcountry restaurant:

The Obstinate Daughter

Starbucks order: 

I don’t know the first thing about coffee culture - but I wish I did! I drink crazy teas from all over the world in the comfort of my kitchen.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? 

A ballerina

What is your number one tool of the trade? 

Tear-by-hand tape; I order it by the boatload and hoard it like it’s my job.

Q & A with Tastemaker Caroline Boykin

Caroline Boykin is the owner and founder of Caroline Boykin Fine Arts & Interiors based in Raleigh, North Carolina. A native of Mobile, Alabama and an Ole Miss graduate, Caroline studied ceramics in college. She has traveled to amazing places like Florence, Italy and Innsbruck, Austria to study the art of ceramics. Her work centers around the emotional balance within a moment and her creations have been featured in publications like Elle Decor, PopSugar, Cottage Gardens, Alabama, and more. Most recently, Caroline has expanded her artistic portfolio to include interior design.

Keep scrolling to view some of Caroline's beautiful ceramic, acrylic and mixed media work as well as some of her interiors.

Photo by Anna Routh Barzin.

All images from Caroline Boykin unless otherwise noted.

Dixie artist duo Bonnie Cross and Currier Stevens of Tenn Hens Design created Caroline's green and pink floral tastemaker card collection. This modern garden-inspired collection truly captures Caroline's romantic and feminine style found throughout her artwork. Her two adorable little girls will look precious adorning the front of one of these cards!

We have included some of our favorites from the Caroline Boykin Holiday Tastemaker Collection below. And to get to know Caroline a little bit better, be sure to continue reading!


Favorite Holiday Tradition: 

Oh I love traditions! My favorite growing up was that my brother and I were only allowed to open one gift on Christmas eve and that was our gifts to one another. We put so much thought into those gifts and it was such a sweet way for us to focus on giving rather than receiving. Now that I have my own family, we love picking out and decorating our Christmas tree the night of the Tree Lighting in Rockefeller Center. I make a big pot of chili and the girls decorate while watching and singing along to all of the pageantry. Also, I get to host my husbands family for Christmas Eve dinner and that is such a wonderful tradition that the girls and I go all out on.

Dream Dinner Date: 

My late grandmother Sue

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea:

Pajamas or homemade sweets

Most memorable read: 

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Favorite Raleigh Eatery: 

Breakfast - Third Place.  Lunch - Village Deli. Dinner - Stanbury

What inspires you most? 


Prized Possession: 

My family

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming: 

Heirloom painted glass ornaments that my grandmother gifted me when I got married. They are my favorite.

Go-to hostess gift: 

A piece of art or a topiary

Hidden Talent: 

I love to cook, especially bake.


Having a 4 year old and a 1 year old, all day long. Hot with a little cream.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? 

A Florist

What is your number one tool of the trade? 

My potter’s wheel

Q & A with Holiday Tastemaker Amanda Lindroth

Since founding her design firm in 2010, Amanda Lindroth has become a go-to designer for island dwellers from Lyford Cay to Antigua, Abaco to Belize, Harbour Island to Palm Beach, and Southampton to Great Cranberry Island in Maine. She is known for her airy, relaxed, indoor-outdoor aesthetic throughout her island and coastal interiors. A South Florida native, Amanda is heavily influenced by her childhood memories of the coast as well as the glamour of the 1960s and 1970s in Palm Beach. Amanda also has an online decor shop that features some of her favorite coastal decor pieces as well as her newest project, Island Hopping by Amanda Lindroth.

We have included some of our favorite Amanda Lindroth design projects below in addition to some products from her shop that we are adding to our Christmas lists!


All images by @LindrothDesign and Amanda Lindroth 

Dixie artist Willa Heart collaborated with Amanda to design her holiday card collection. The finished products are filled with pale pinks and vibrant greens as well as breezy palms... perfect for someone who longs for those warmer temps and a Christmas on the beach!

We have included some of our favorites from the Amanda Lindroth Holiday Tastemaker Collection below. And to get to know Amanda a little bit better, be sure to continue reading!

Favorite Holiday Tradition: 

Buying a Christmas tree with my daughter and decorating it.  It always has to be at least 12 feet tall!

Dream Dinner Date: 

Orjan husband of course!

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea:

Mini Birkin baskets with silver and gold handles from my collection!  The perfect accessory for anyone.

3 Favorite Coffee Table Books: 

Island Hopping by Amanda Lindroth (my brand new book-just came out this September!), Out East, and Anything Slim Aarons

Last great film you saw? 

Body Heat with Kathleen Turner

Favorite Design Element to Achieve that “Island Life” Aesthetic: 

Palm trees and any vintage rattan will always do the trick to achieving the perfect Island Life aesthetic.

What inspires you most? 

Beautiful classical architecture is my biggest inspiration.

Prized Possession: 

My daughter, Eliza!

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming: 

I have gigantic silver Christmas balls from the local hardware store in Nassau which amuse me.

Go-to hostess gift: 

Lindroth Island Tray!  With the many sizes it comes it, makes it the perfect hostess gift for anyone!

Hidden Talent:


Starbucks Order: 

I’m a Dunkin Donuts girl!

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? 

An interior designer.

What is your number one tool of the trade? 

Vintage furniture!


Get to Know Dixie's Newest Tastemaker - Amy Berry

We are so in love with the Treillage Collection designed by Gina Langford. The collection was created for our newest Dixie Tastemaker, Amy Berry. Amy is a talented interior designer based in Dallas, and we were honored to design her birth announcements (pictured at the bottom of this post) for her newest little addition. Her birth announcements were the spring board for this beautiful collection (which also can be ordered in pink!). Read on to learn more about Amy including her design tricks of the trade and where she turns for inspiration on Instagram.

Favorite aspect of your job:

A happy client! Nothing beats it. I love my job and there is nothing better than helping someone love their home. It's tough sometimes, but it's so rewarding.  

Every living space must have:

A comfortable place to sit! ​

Wallpaper or paint:

Wallpaper! Always! ​ 

Your go-to neutral paint color:

​Farrow & Ball Pointing ​

Dream dinner date: 

​La Goloue in New York. My husband & I's first date was there (and so was his parents too!) ​ 

Favorite hostess gift:

​A small flower arrangement, I like doing them myself when I have the time​ 

Favorite vacation spot: 

​Harbor Springs, Michigan ​ 

Last great movie you saw: 

​Sabrina. One of my very favorites... I always come back to it 

Comfort food: 

​Ice cream  ​ 

What most inspires you: 

​Travel, books, my peers... ​ 

Some design instagram accounts that you admire:

​Mark D. Sikes, Remy Renzullo, Vintage Millworks, basically every architect... ​

Prized possession: 

​My babies, Sutton & Wilder =) ​ 

Hidden talent: 

​I actually have a really good memory... I remember really strange things like item numbers. I think I still have most of Pierre Frey's item numbers memorized from when I first interned there seven years ago.  

How do you take your coffee:

​Nonfat Latte. ​ 

What did you dream of being when you were a kid: 

​A mom 

Your number one tool of the trade: 

​Studio Webware. And my muji notebooks and pens. I'm addicted! ​

Chatting with Interior Designer James Farmer

A Southern author, gardener, floral and interior designer, cook and garden-to-table lifestyle expert, James Farmer seems to do it all. Known for his "classic with a twist" interiors, his work has graced the pages of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Southern Living Magazine, Traditional Home Magazine, and many more. In Spring 2013, James opened his design firm and antique store in Perry, Georgia. 

As one of our Holiday Tastemakers, James worked with Dixie artist Gina Langford to design his stunning Christmas cards this year. He has very graciously agreed to share with us some more about himself including his holiday traditions and what he always has on hand when working on his design projects.

Favorite Holiday Tradition: My family eats sushi on Christmas Eve because my grandmother had finally had it with turkey, dressing and ham.  She wanted the complete opposite!  We have eaten at a Japanese Steak House for as long as I remember.

Dream Dinner Date: I would love to have dinner with Truman Capote, Babe Paley and their friend group. Or perhaps, Jackie O and her sister Lee.  However, if none of them were available I will settle for Thomas Jefferson.

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea: Books!! I love giving books…hint hint, James Farmer books!

3 Favorite Coffee Table Books: Furlough Gatewood’s One Man’s Folly; An Updated Emily Post book because we all need to mind our manners; Of course, I am biased, but one of mine!!

Last great film you saw? Home Again with Reese Witherspoon! I love Nancy Myers films! Or, I am on a major Florence Foster Jenkins kick.

Comfort Food: Soup and corn bread.

What inspires you most? Creative Ingenuity!  I love when someone does something so simple yet so great!

Prized PossessionMy Mimi’s every day silver or old family photos.

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming: True confession: Christmas trees are not my favorite.  I love decorating my mantle, though!  I have my grandparents, parents and my siblings’ stockings which go great on my mantle.

Go-to hostess gift: Snips and Clips from the yard in a fun container! People love fresh flowers especially seasonal garden flowers.

Hidden Talent: The Uncanny ability to sniff out a bakery or antique mall in any town. I can tell you anywhere to eat below the Mason Dixon line or East of the Mississippi.

Coffee: I love coffee with a heavy hand of cream.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? Who I am today, honestly!

What is your number one tool of the trade? That blue stuff – Putty! I fixed a Christmas decoration with it just this morning! Its great for hanging and for cabinets that won’t close, anything really!

Elisabeth & Butter's Elisabeth Farris

We are so excited to help you get to know one of our favorite Southern bakers! Elisabeth Farris, one of our 2017 Holiday Tastemakers, is the face behind the fabulous Elisabeth & Butter baking blog. We loved working with Elisabeth to design her beautiful holiday cards this year. Dixie artist Shanna Masters was inspired by several of the themes of Elisabeth's very recent fall wedding while designing the Bartlett Heraldry card collection

Elisabeth kindly shared some fun tidbits about herself below...including the baking tool she cannot live without!

Favorite holiday tradition:  My family makes a big Christmas Eve dinner with beef tenderloin, lots of good side dishes and a Buche de Noel. We all open one gift afterwards and it is such a special tradition!

Dream dinner date:  I think my dream dinner date would be exploring a new city and going to a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try. It would definitely have to involve good food and wine.

Favorite last minute holiday gift idea:  A wooden cutting board  or cheese board is always a good idea in my family.

Favorite Christmas morning tasty treat:  Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Last great film you saw?  Lion

Comfort food:  Thanksgiving turkey, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. I could eat it year-round.

What inspires you most?  So many of the wonderful creatives that I’ve gotten to meet and work with through my business. They constantly inspire me to dream big and keep growing.

Prized possession:  My mother’s sugar cookie recipe

Favorite baked item to gift someone:  I usually go for banana bread or cinnamon rolls since they are great for an easy breakfast.

Go-to hostess gift:  A loaf of homemade bread and a bottle of good olive oil.

Hidden talent:  I’m pretty good at making fancy cocktails.

Coffee:  I like to switch up the brands of coffee but I typically mix it with an almond milk creamer and a little bit of honey.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid?  When I was really young, I wanted to be a “baby nurse,” and then I dreamed about being an actress.

What is your number one tool of the trade?  I love my icing smoother tool. I use it on every cake I make and it is perfect for the “naked cake” look.

DoSayGive's Favorite Children's Christmas Books

Seasons Greetings! I am Lee Cordon of DoSayGive, a space where I write about how to be lovely and gracious in everything we do, say, and give. I love giving gifts that are beautiful and timeless - and books are one of those things! Today I am sharing some of our favorite classic holiday children's books and how they help bring our focus back to the true meaning of the season. Plus, a few book traditions you might want to incorporate into your family.

One of the reasons my children love holiday books is because I bring them out just during the holidays. It's always so much fun for them to page through their favorites after they've been away all year. I know some families who will wrap up 25 books under the tree and unwrap one each night in December to read. I don't have time for that much wrapping but we read at least one Christmas book a night. Our favorites include stories of giving and service and, of course, baby Jesus. There are so many Christmas-themed children's books out there, but I tend to like the books that have stood the test of time. Classic books with rich language and beautiful illustrations. Ones with sweet stories that my children ask to read again and again. I think these kinds of books make the best books to give as well!

Ways to Give Timeless Christmas Books

  • Each year wrap up a holiday book under the tree for your children (and write a sweet inscription and the year). It's become a tradition in our family to give our girls each a new book on Christmas Eve.

  • If giving a little girl a doll, consider pairing it with a vintage copy of Tasha Tudor's precious A Doll's First Christmas or The Story of Holly and Ivy, about a girl that wishes for a doll and a doll that wishes for a girl. While The Best Loved Doll is not a Christmas book, it's a must read for all little girls and would pair perfectly with an American Girl doll. For boys, pair a classic Lionel train set with The Polar Express.

  • Former White House Social Secretary, Lea Berman, once told me that when she attends a holiday party at a home where there are young children she will bring 2-3 classic Christmas books as the hostess gift. So thoughtfully unique!

  • Instead of baked goods, why not give your family friends and neighbors a beautiful classic Christmas book to enjoy with their children? Give a different one every year and they will have a nice collection of holiday books after several years.

More Christmas Book Favorites

As told from the animals' perspectives on the night Jesus was born, Song of the Stars is a precious book that will bring tears to your eyes. The illustrations are just stunning. An Orange for Frankie has a powerful message about giving and being thankful for even the smallest gifts. It's one that sticks with you long after you've finished reading it. Mortimer's Christmas Manger is an adorable book for young children about a mouse who decides to live in a family's nativity set. Any of these books would make a special gift this holiday. And one day they can pass them down to their children and grandchildren. After all, timeless stories never fade. You can see these and more Beloved Christmas Books, as well as age recommendations, on DoSayGive's Holiday Gift Guide. Along with suggestions for classic toy favorites as well. Merry Christmas!

The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season

Myka Meier and her husband, Marco, putting into practice all of her tips for being a gracious guest while attending a recent wedding.

We hope you saw our post yesterday on Myka Meier's tips on being a gracious host. We simply could not leave out her advice for all of you who need to be gracious guests this holiday season! Please do not miss Myka's recommendation for what time a gracious guest should arrive to a party...we think it is spectacular advice! And for her thank you note reminder, we have some beautiful stationery options for all of your note writing.

According to Myka...

  • The perfect time to arrive is from the invitation time to 10 minutes after. Never arrive early…as the host or hostess is probably preparing last minute touches and will be caught off guard. When you arrive, offer to help in any way you can.

Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

All the Pink for Lemon Stripes' Julia Dzafic's Newest Arrival

We are thrilled to have Julia Dzafic, author of the successful Lemon Stripes blog, as our current featured Tastemaker. The girls at Dixie fell in love with the adorable nursery she prepared for her new baby, Amalia, and we're grateful to Julia who is allowing us to share some images with you!  You will clearly see why there was no way we could stray from the nursery’s all-pink color scheme when it came to designing Amalia's birth announcement and stationery.

Julia requested that her cards’ design be in shades of pink and and that we would go all out making them as preppy as possible. She also mentioned that ladybugs are significant to their family. We think artist Gina Langford did an outstanding job carrying out Julia’s design direction. She even managed to sneak in a few of those special ladybugs! You can shop the entire Lemon Stripes Collection here.