Antique Raleigh

So a few weeks ago I talked about how excited I was to go antique shopping with my mom in Raleigh. We hit quite a few stores and I found a couple of great things I needed! I'm excited to share it on here with you guys so if you're ever near Raleigh you'll know where to shop.

We actually started our fun day in the little town of Wake Forest {which, if you're from Raleigh, it's still basically Raleigh to you}. The brick building is Old Magnolia Trading Company, and the white one next to it is The Old English Tea Room. I love both of these places but for very different reasons. Old Magnolia is light and bright inside and you feel like the whole store is a treasure chest and I want to take home EVERYTHING in that store. I should have taken pictures on the inside but I will the next time I stop by. I guess I just got swept up in the moment!

{That's my cute little momma sitting out front.}

The Tea Room is actually just that! The main floor is a restaurant where ladies dress up their little girls to have tea, you can actually pick a hat from a box at the entrance to fancy yourself up for tea and ladies from the Red Hat Society have tea there everyday! It is a charming little place with an antique store downstairs. With a little digging you will probably come across a gem or two to take home. *Funny fact about the tea room, the Mr. actually lived in the apartment above it his freshman year of college at Southeastern Theological Seminary and the sweet ladies there used to bring him and his roommates all the leftover teas and goodies from the day. So I know that must be good people to feed poor hungry college boys :)

Lunch at Shorty's was one of my highlights for the day. I lived in Raleigh my whole life and had never eaten at Shorty's. Mom recommended it and I was glad she did...I think I could have ate two of those cheese dogs. YUM! It was fun to sit at the counter and feel like we had stepped back into time about 50 years. The guy above works at Shorty's and saw me taking pictures around inside and asked if I wanted him to take my picture. I said no, then he said, " You want to take my picture?!" he was so bubbly and happy I said Sure! I asked him if he was Shorty but he wasn't. Oh well, now I know when I go to Shorty's I'll be surrounded by sweet people.
Up until this point I had not found much. Just an old milk glass {I'll share all my treasures either tomorrow or Thursday, so check back to see them!} that I thought would be a nice vase or carafe. This was the golden nugget of them all! Suzanna's Antiques was my little playground for the day. They had beautiful things stuffed in every corner and I had to keep telling myself "you have a budget and a list, stick to them!" I could have bought so many cute things for my house but I was a woman on a mission! I'm happy to say I didn't stray, either. 

The whole place was charming and full of things to make even the least creative person dream a little.

The booth in the pictures above was probably my favorite there. Whoever owned it certainly put a lot of time into staging it and "prettifying" it...and it showed! Very girlie and cute.

What a cute idea! All those pretty pearl buttons in a mason jar...easy, cheap and pretty, just the way I like it people. And y'all know how I'm a sucker for filling glass containers with something like buttons, or more recently...candy corn.

Gorgeous! There's just something about this image that I'm obsessed with.

Chandeliers {and my true weakness of the day} birdcages were everywhere! I really, really wanted to take one home but it is something that will just have to wait for another day. But they are there for you!

Not only do they have some of the best antiques in town, but they DEFINITELY had the best pumpkins in town! Just look at these beauties. The man working there said he just brought them in from the mountains that week...and he had a great price on them too, much cheaper than the grocery store. 

I had so much fun exploring all these little places and most of all with my mom. I cannot wait to have another outing like this again soon. I hope if any of you are ever near that you would find one of these sweet little places that make Raleigh just so great.



Y'all have probably been wondering...where is she? I hate not having the time to update this recently. The past two weeks have probably been the busiest I have been in literally two years. I won't bore you with the details but have hope that it looks like thinks are going from full-throttle around the Ritchie house to just under that ;).

Anyways, since I have been gone I have been hunting. Yes, hunting. No, silly, not an animal {although, I am not opposed and have been dying to go for my first time} but for furniture! Two weekends ago my mom and I went antique shopping in Raleigh and I had the best time and scored a desk, chair, 3 barstools, an end table, an old milk jar that I'm using as a flower vase or carafe and two beautiful white bakers pumpkins...all for $100! SCORE!

I cannot wait to load those pictures on here and share all my favorite antique hunts in Raleigh. Since then I have been hunting down some living room seating. We have a sofa now that we bought from one of those big chain furniture stores a few years ago and we thought it was fine but I think it took a year or two for us to realize we just don't like the darn thing! While it looks nice, it isn't comfortable to: sit, lay, snuggle, sleep, watch movies or have two adults with a 45 pound hound dog all on it together for longer than about 30 minutes. All of those things we do as often as possible on our sofa so we are on the hunt for either a sofa to replace this one and one of those awesome chair and a half to go with it, or a sectional. Either way, it has to be REALLY deep seating since the Mr. and I are very tall people-I'm talking at least 40" deep. 

I don't know if any of you have ever seen Tori & Dean on Oxygen before, but first of all, I love how she decorated her whole house. Secondly, I think I would steal her sofa if it were possible! Ok, not really, but I really, really want a big, cushy sofa like theirs that is almost bed-like. However, I have a prerequisite: it cannot be frumpy! I am a firm believer that it does not have to look like a Lay-Z-Boy to be comfortable. No offense to those Lay-Z-Boy lovers out there...they serve their purpose well being very comfortable, they are just not my personal taste.

So, once again we are heading to Raleigh tomorrow to hopefully find what we're looking for since we were unsuccessful locally last Saturday. I hope you all enjoy your weekends...by the way....are any of you doing anything to spruce up your homes this weekend? Maybe some more fall decorating or for Halloween perhaps? If so, please share in the comments!


Fall Simplicity.

Easiest fall decoration....ever.
I don't know about y'all, but life has been really, really crazy for me the past few weeks. As much as I love to decorate, dream up plans for my home and make some beautiful things for it on the cheap, I just haven't had the time to do any of it. However, I wanted to do a little more fall decorating but had to think of something that could be done in oh, about 1 minute and cost, oh...about $2. And here it is!
I grabbed these four glasses from my cabinets, bought two bags of candy corn from the store and viola! Instant cute, cheap, fast, unexpected fall/Halloween decoration. I liked using these glasses because they were so simple already, when arranged as a group like this they really make a statement.
I'll let you in on a little secret......those "glasses" are flower vases! Even better, they're $.97 a piece at Wal-Mart! About two years ago I was looking for tall, skinny, so-simple-they're-modern glasses. I was having a hard time finding just the right ones without spending $10 or more per glass {which will just eventually get broken and go in the trash}. Never fear, Wal-Mart's flower vase aisle saved me...and I get complimented on those things all the time.
So, it's not magazine worthy, nor is it perfect, but it's a cute way to add a little fall flair to your home! Since I already owned the glasses it cost me the price of the candy corn but if you run out to Wal-Mart and get the glasses, ahem, vases then it will cost you around $6. I know, it's really gonna break your bank ;). I had to hurry up and post this because the candy corn levels are quickly dropping since I can't stop eating one out of each glass every time I walk by!
So go ahead and give it a try, or post your own version of this and leave a link in the comments. I would love to see everybody's creativity.



I'm an artist, like many of you other readers out there and as a creative type I hunt down inspiration for whatever I may be doing. This may be in reading other blogs and seeing your ideas and projects, reading magazines or going shopping. Being created as an artistic person I like to express that in almost anything I do-why do something ho-hum when you can make it something to.die.for.?

My main creative outlets are:

Decorating homes.
Cooking-specifically finding challenging dishes, delicious gourmet meals to create {and yes, I'm normal too, we still eat mac'n'cheese and hot dogs quite often} as many times a week that time will allow and the budget can afford :)
Creating different fonts for words and lettering-yes, I am that big of a dork, but I love doing this!
Writing and blogging.
Cake and cupcake decorating.
Making music-singing, playing guitar, learning new instruments.
Dressing myself/fashion.
How I style my hair and makeup.

However, today I wanted to share how I get inspired for whatever I may be working on next {a new dish, a new piece of artwork, decorating a room}.


Here is their current issue on stands now. Being born and raised in North Carolina, I'm a southern girl through and through. With that said, this publication keeps me rooted in all things of the South. I love the recipes, the southern homes-because one thing I have learned is that homes in the south are very unique in their architecture, character and details and I love them all. I read this magazine every month anticipating great decorating ideas, discovering new towns and restaurants to visit and recipes to make.
This is such a wonderful magazine. The first issue I read I was challenged to make so many yummy foods and I learned so many practical things like the proper way to dice an onion and how to take a chicken apart properly. You know how you read in cookbooks to do add 2 cups diced onion and then when it comes down to dicing it you're like, What do I do with this round thing that won't stay still? Don't worry, I've nearly lost a few digits myself. But this magazine not only is chef worthy, but is the bible for new cooks since it teaches you practical lessons. Or just regular home cooks like me who need to know these things. It's like cooking school for $3 a month. Score!

Clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, accessories, makeup, hair, this is a creative explosion! Seeing how different fabrics move or how to pair something really rugged with something glamorous gets my gears working not just for my own outfit choices, but this REALLY inspires me on how to design my home!


Pottery Barn...who doesn't love this place? I pour over each catalog I get because I'm not just inspired by some of their items, but more so it is how they stage their products like this office above. Take a look at all those little details. That is creative genius right there.

Here is a picture of the latest J.Crew catalog in a feature they call Jenna's Picks. The creative director for J.Crew, Jenna Lyons {who's home was featured in the now sadly gone Domino magazine} picks her favorite pieces of the latest collection and I must say: I WANT TO RAID HER CLOSET! My style couldn't match her's more perfectly. The tomboy meets girlie glamor is Heather Ritchie from head to toe. I dress like this most days, a girlie top with glitter or flowers on it and a leather motorcyle jacket, dark skinny jeans or maybe some ripped up ones, with shiny silver ballet flats and a huge statement necklace and ridiculously sized ring. Perfection.

Now, I love Pottery Barn, but if I had endless amounts of money, I could decorate my house from top to bottom from Ballard Designs-but I wouldn't because I like a challenge. However, I have been oohing and ahhing over the Le Poeme rug for a few months now and I think I will be saving my pennies for one of these babies. This company's products fits hand in hand with the southern style I was speaking of earlier. Every little detail is paid attention to and that is why it inspires me so much.

 I love this store so much. Whenever I walk into one my creative energy feels like a thousand buzzing bees that are suddenly trapped in my head, my chest, my hands. I have to touch everything in front of me to feel it's weight, texture, material. Every store is decorated completely different and is an artist's playground! My friend, Nancy Ray, is even more in love with this place than myself and she just did a whole post on the store! Not to mention, I LOVE their logo...actually, I'm quite obsessed over it. Once again is my tendency to mix something rough {the bold, staunchy lettering} with something feminine {the pretty swirly designs}.

In one word, Z Gallerie is: BOLD. If I want something that will make a statement in my house all I need to do is stop by this store and just pick one thing and it will liven up any room. I tend to buzz around these stores as well, much like Anthropologie because there is so much to see! 
Rachel Zoe is a huge inspiration for me. I watch every episode of The Rachel Zoe Project and always feel creatively energized like I did after a great studio art class in college. For normal people like us, that outfit is so loud and not what we would wear everyday-but she does. I do not wish to dress the way she does, even though I like a lot of her items, I like to watch the creative process in her studio when she is dressing a client or herself. It's like watching a great artist like Caravaggio, working in his studio and seeing everything he works through to get to the one masterpiece. 
In case you don't know, Rachel Zoe is the number one stylist to all the biggest stars. She picks out every little thing for their award shows, premieres, parties, you name it. I don't agree with everything she says, or does, but I watch this show and it makes me NOT want to follow whatever is in fashion and rather, inspires me to dress and style myself however I feel like at that exact moment. Which is truly being yourself. I always want to be who God created me to be even down to the most mundane moments in my life and for whatever reason, watching the Rachel Zoe Project pushes me to do just that. Go figure!

Weddings!! Wedding dresses, cakes, receptions, decorations, details, photography. I love it all and I religiously read wedding magazines even though I've been married for 4 years.
Cupcakes and the really amazing cakes you see on TV always wow me. These are from my favorite cupcake shop ever, Sweet Revenge in NYC. I love how she doesn't use ordinary cupcake wrappers but got creative and uses squares of parchment paper to pour the batter into and her little cakes come out looking so unique. She is also known for the little cupcake mohawks she puts on top of them all. Rebel cupcakes...watch out! 

That hair! Wavy, beachy, blonde, messy, imperfect hair. I love this! This is how I liked it a lot when I was in high school and I have been doing it again a lot for the past year and a half. I think I feel most like me when I do my hair like this {it also helps that it pretty much does this look when it air-dries...thanks, God!} Pretty hair styles give me good ideas but I always get excited when I see hair like this on ladies.

So, I know that was A LOT of inspiration for one day, and believe me, I could go on and on. But I'll save you the agony ;). I just think it's important for people who like to create to always know how to get their creative ideas flowing again when they get stuck and frustrated. I'm very interested in how other artists create, so if you would, share with me how you stay inspired to do whatever it is that you do!



October is here!

Are you excited that it's October? I am. To me, October officially says "it's fall" and it really actually starts to look and feel like it outside. Not only that but it begins the holiday season-Halloween, Thanksgiving and the very best of them all...CHRISTMAS! These are all reasons I get so excited about October. I think I was so excited for this post that I skipped ahead a day because I really almost posted this yesterday! Silly me.

There are some super cute bakers pumpkins like the ones above at the Harris Teeter just 2 minutes from my house and I think I'm going to run over there and grab a few. I just don't want them to compete with the wicker pumpkin I already have on the porch. What do y'all think?

As always, I post my monthly goals on the first of each new month to keep me focused on what I want to accomplish and so that way we can all read each others and stay inspired and encourage one another to get it done! I LOVE my goals, lists, organization...ahhh, is that perfection I hear? Ok, back to the goals...here they are!

{October Goals}

-Host first women's ministry event {name to come} with Maggie and Rebecca!
-Speak at first women's ministry meeting on October 15.
-Find decorations for women's ministry and teenage girl's events for church.
-Go furniture hunting :)
-Host sleepover for youth group girls at my house tonight!
-Begin working out regularly again {3-4 days a week}.
-Continue to try at least 2 new recipes a week.
-Hang photo gallery.
-Begin playing my guitar again...2-3 times a week.
-Create artwork piece for Daniel's office.
-Create logo for women's ministry.

 If you have goals then link up!