🌷 Explore the new spring/summer collection! 🌷 🌷 Explore the new spring/summer collection! 🌷

The Front Porch

Front Porch Focus: Artist, Ceci Mason, Virginia Beach

Front Porch Focus: Artist, Ceci Mason, Virginia Beach
I am thrilled and honored to have Ceci Mason, artist, entrepreneur, and southern hostess as Maggie Blue's first Front Porch Focus in our southern women series. Her delightful textile designs, original acrylic artwork and determination to enjoy every moment is an inspiration. Continue reading

Extravagant, Coastal-Inspired Gift Inspiration

Extravagant, Coastal-Inspired Gift Inspiration

Chocolate, champagne, long stemmed red roses, an elegant, romantic dinner - all hallmarks of a traditionally generous Valentine's Day celebration. 

Who doesn't love all those extravagant and classic gestures of love and affection? 

Those items and experiences, individually or together, are a generous demonstration of affection. However, we southern coastal fans might really appreciate something more, well, coastal.

While the gifts in this curated coastal collection are, in fact, extravagant - they are intended to be inspiration for similar gifts you might choose in your own price range. All of these heritage brands exude style, sophistication, and elegance - while presenting the recipient with something they can enjoy for a lifetime.

Shades of aqua, teal, crisp white, nautical blue, and peridot green - along with touches of rattan - capture the coastal spirit while letting your loved one know - you "get" them. 

L (top) to R (bottom) clockwise:

Valentino Garavani Le Tourisieme Iconography Mesh Tote $1895, Bergdorf Goodman (on sale from $3,700)

Saint Laurent, Uptown Pouch in Micro Raffia $595, Saks Fifth Avenue

MME.Mink, Monaco Bag, Breakfast Blue, $495, MME.MINK 

Herend Reserve Seahorse Seashell Compote, $4,985, Scully & Scully

14KT Yellow Gold Peridot Turquoise Enamel Heart Necklace ($1550) and Earrings ($1550), Anne Sisteron

Hermès - Medor Picnic Cuff Bracelet ,$1724, (available in other leather colors directly from Hermes and other retailers; prices vary).

Varga Pitcher, Pacifica in Turquoise, $850, Scully & Scully

Varga Whiskey Decanter, Pacifica in Turquoise, $850, Scully & Scully

Lalique Miniature Fish Sculpture(s), various colors, $125, Crystal Classics

White Wine Glass in Tiffany Blue® Lead Crystal (various bowl shapes available), $375, Tiffany & Co.

In addition, I located this gorgeous Burberry scarf  ($490) in all the right tones - entitled Highgrove, it will make her feel like a princess and has all the nods to a pastoral, water-inspired moments. 

Happy Coastal Valentine's Day, happy coastal everything, y'all!

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Navigating the Southern Fall Wardrobe

Navigating the Southern Fall Wardrobe

Living in a northern, or even the MidAtlantic region of the south, will render some extreme changes in climate, allowing us the opportunity to snuggle in with an Irish wool sweater, cozy throws, bulky knit socks, stylish scarves and layers and layers of fabulous tweeds, tartans and knits.Then again, for those of us who live five miles from the face of the sun (it's five miles, right?) - or at least it feels like that, navigating an official fall wardrobe can be a little confounding. Visiting for Thanksgiving or Christmas, packing from a colder, to warmer, climate may provide some angst, too.

When packing, even for a weekend, I prefer to stick with three colors - everything coordinates easily, including accessories. These gorgeous pieces in cream, nutmeg and Navy blue, including accessory pieces from our own collection, work seamlessly together. Add in a lightweight, long sleeved T-shirt in Navy or cream, or both, possibly a short bootie, and you're set.


Texture, color and common sense matters - which leads to three simple rules that apply in whatever season and any place in the world. They are:

  • common sense
  • the color shift &
  • fabrics

Common Sense - is there a possibility of snow or rain? What are the expected temperatures? Will I need to layer because temperatures will change daily, or within the day - meaning shirt, sweater/cardigan, coat? You don't want to wear wool in Florida in the fall, but you do want to have the appearance that you know what time of year it is. Leave the wool at home, bring the heavy knit cotton sweater, vanilla velvet or canvas jeans, and booties. You also don't really expect to wear strappy sandals on the streets of Chicago in February - do you? Leave those in your closet unless you're making a change at a formal event. 

Color Shifts - autumn here in the south is often more about color choices than it is about temperature. A lot of areas like Colorado and Montana can get snow pretty early in the fall. These folks already have their snow boots and shearling jackets ready. But in southern states, color is key to building a successful fall wardrobe. Keep the white jeans, but not bright white. Opt, instead, for ivory, French Vanilla, or cream. If pumpkin isn't your color (it's not for everyone), look for shades that are less bright than summer, like Wedgwood blues, shades of gray, crimson, plum and deeper greens. You can build a great wardrobe around an forest green or plum investment T-shirt - add a slouchy V-neck sweater for texture, or just an oversized tartan scarf in deeper tones. If you're really good at this - you can continue to wear bright pinks, or blues, but they should be paired with chocolates, caramel and rich, deep greens. 

Fabrics - texture matters, as does the composition of the fabric itself. Before moving to Florida, I thought the only option for autumn was "what I was wearing in summer everywhere else."  I was wrong about that. Over theyears, I had invested in a full fall-winter wardrobe in Maryland, the likes of which I would never wear again unless I intended to travel north in colder weather. Believe me, I love my angora sweaters and wood tartans, but I tried wool, once, and it was insanely hot in Florida, even in December. However, fabrics like seersucker and gingham are not options. Not in winter, not even in Florida, ever.

I had to look for deeper shades of of colors that I wear well. Pinks become deeper and more muted, purples and blues, and I had to find these color shifts in fabrics that were friendly to warmer climates. I suggest cotton and cotton blends (with a little Spandex), breathable sweaters and pullovers, tight-knits that are acrylic or cotton, and definitely faux-leather in shades of brown, caramel, Navy and black - and don't forget the felt hat! Our southern climate demands the look of the season without all the heavy weight fabrics.

If you're new to the south, or thinking of fall into winter travel here, I suggest following one of my favorite fashion tastemakers on Instagram, Emily McCarthy. Emily is a Savannah-based southern artist and clothing designer, who understands the nuances of building great southern wardrobes in all seasons. She skillfully embraces the true southern aesthetic of color and vibe, while bringing us gently into an entirely new season of less humid breezes, Saturday tailgates and campfires. 


In the Magnolia Blue Southern Cargo collection, I've curated BoHo recycled sea glass and wood bracelets from coastal Maryland, and rich, chocolate browns in resin tortoise shell and pearls and genuine Tigers Eye from Texas. Our unique medium blue chinoiserie bracelet, also from Texas, is a southern favorite in every season and our beaded bee bags are modern classics that will stand the test of time. This capsule captures both traditional flair with a fun BoHo streak! Textured fabrics, like the tweedy jacket trimmed in denim, and accessories, lend a gravitas to the shades of blue and teal which both pair well with beige and brown. 


Personal style is king in the south - whether you're more on the preppy side, love to mix country favorites with some classic pieces or blend your coastal influences with a jean jacket or faux-leather slacks, have fun with it!

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For the Love of Summer...

For the Love of Summer...
Maybe it's the crab feasts or low country boils, or the quiet swing of the glider, or reading with no time limit, or biking the beach neighborhoods at eight o'clock in the evening, but there is something about summer that enchants and is magical - a space where time stands still, yet gently carries us into the next season. Continue reading

Magnolia Blue Southern Coastal Retail - Revealed!

Magnolia Blue Southern Coastal Retail - Revealed!

Finally...drum roll, y'all, presenting the Magnolia Blue Southern Coastal Living inaugural collection!

The focus of this, and future, collections is on products by southern artists, creators and collaborators.This collection attempts to marry a style that is unstudied, but rooted in coastal and southern sensibilities.This means, you'll see examples of all four of Magnolia Blue's identified southern coastal styles - BoHo Beach Chic, Classic Preppy, Southern Country Coastal and Palm Beach Southern Chic as we grow the collection.The mission of this collection is evocative of the colors of spring and summer, of busy bees in southern gardens tucked behind ironwork gates and butterflies flitting from sea oat to sea oat on the shoreline. 

A conscientious effort has been made to work primarily with individuals and companies that guarantee fair trade practices (for goods produced overseas), individual artists where possible, and with those who give back to various organizations, including those who to help sustain our environment with a minimal footprint.

Magnolia Blue rattan handbags, for instance, are ethically sourced from the islands of Bali and Java, Indonesia via a southern designer, who was born in Indonesia. The woman-owned business with whom Magnolia Blue collaborates with, uses eco-friendly materials such as rattan, ate grass, palm leaves and vegan leather. Products are sourced from fair price, making sure the working conditions are healthy and safe, using non-toxic materials. The handbags may cost slightly more, but each bag is not only well-made, but conscientiously manufactured at every level.

The mission of the Magnolia Blue collection is to elevate and support southern artists, or those indivduals and companies who share the southern coastal sensibility - with handbags, hostess gifts, textures and textiles that compliment our style, personally, and in the home. In this inaugural collection, we are working with individual artists from Texas and Florida, Indiana and Iowa. We strive to locate companies and creators who manufacture products within the United States, but are equally delighted to work with those who practice fair trade and sustainable manufacturing internationally. We indicate in our product listings where, and by whom, items are designed and manufactured - transparency is important to us.

From award-winning handmade handbags to services pieces that will elevate cocktail and tea time, to hand-beading, scents from the garden and sea, including citrus and rose, to sea creatures and florals, as the collection unfolds over the next several weeks, I hope you'll find something for you, a family member or friend. 

In addition to our collection, we take the world of packaging and recycling very seriously. As a start, we are part of the "no issue eco-packaging alliance" - our tissue paper is made from recycled, biodegradable materials so it’s 100% compostable. It is acid-free, sulphur-free, and lignin-free paper certified by the Forest Steward Councilship (FSC), and can be composted at home or commercially. I hope you'll love that it's also printed in soy-based inks to fully compost without generating waste or toxins. As our business grows, we will develop more ways to lessen our footprint and designate a percentage of our sales toward keeping our planet, and it's inhabitants, safer.

I hope you'll enjoy this collection, and return to peruse new items as they are added. We will be expanding our home and entertaining collection, as well as introducing a bath collection and men's products. I also look forward to working with artisans on creating designs unique to Magnolia Blue. Whether you are lakeside in Michigan, or knee-deep in sand castles in California, our curated line is imbued with southern, coastal influences, seaside, lakeside or poolside!


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Rosemary Beach: New Urbanism Meets European Refinement

Rosemary Beach: New Urbanism Meets European Refinement

Amid the cobblestoned streets, black and white awnings and the urge to dine al fresco, is the feeling that you're no longer in the United States, but in some blue-sky European enclave. Rosemary Beach, Florida is such a place and it sits on the Gulf of Mexico, with sea breezes down every cobbled alley and onto the wide green public spaces.

Rosemary Beach, Florida

We've visited Rosemary Beach several times en route elsewhere, but never enjoyed the pleasure of staying until I recently attended a conference of primarily southern influencers. The conference was held at The Pearl, which possesses a sublimely luxurious, coastal elegance with a complete absence of pretense. The service is a testimony to genuine grace and southern hospitality. You don't check-into The Pearl as a stranger - you are all at once a member of the family.


Greeted by Randy at check-in, we were immediately engaged in the culture of The Pearl - cordial, relaxed, but exacting in the service. Randy, and the young man who helped with our luggage were our first contacts with The Pearl and turns out - their impeccably amicable service would be something we could count on with every staff member we encountered.

We dined the first evening at the hotel's restaurant, Havana Beach Bar & Grill and our meal, server and drinks reflected our welcome. While my husband indulged in a Creole Pasta, I craved some French Onion Soup (the weather had turned a bit chilly over the weekend) and a hamburger, of which I nearly finished the entire thing!  To know me, is to understand I simply cannot consume an entire hamburger in a single meal. I wish I could recall the name of our server because he was equally engaging, well-informed and delightful.

The following evening, we chose to enjoy a cocktail in the Havana Beach Lounge, a West Indies inspired room with peacock blue walls, a green velvet sofa and sumptuous leather chairs and appointments. 


With an overnight stay at The Pearl, guests receive a pass to access the beach property just a couple blocks to the Gulf. This private beach boasts Florida's soft white sands, bright umbrellas and comfortable chaises. Had I the time, I would have claimed a spot for several hours. 


On Sunday morning, we made our way to the 30A Farmers' Market held on N.Barrett Square. I purchased some fig jam to take to a friend's vacation home, along with charcuterie, and a jar of Peach/Mango Spicy Jam for home from Weslowski Farms. I intend to use the latter for serving with Brie and/or proscuitto, as well as on turkey sandwiches. We discovered an Argentine baker, which made my husband happy, and enjoyed a special dulce de leche pie with friends. The Farmers' Market is open Sundays from 9AM-1PM year round. Always be sure to check their schedule, however, for any potential changes. While Rosemary Beach is a pet-friendly town (we saw loads of leashed dogs at the Farmers' Market and on walks),please note that The Pearl allows service dogs only, at this time.

Rosemary Beach feels worlds away from the "regular," and that may be because it is. Part of South Walton, Rosemary is tree-lined streets, friendly neighbors, coffee shops with fresh-baked deliciousness, restaurants and charming boutiques and galleries that bring both charm and warmth to the town. Grab a bike ride, treat yourself to a spa day, dip into a gourmet shop or buy a 30A tote or hat to commemorate your trip - to use when you return, because you will. 


 The Pearl

63 Main Street

Rosemary Beach, FL 32461





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