Thursday, June 27, 2013

Finder411 and RaleighWhatsUp Help You Shop Local in Downtown Wake Forest!

RaleighWhatsUp is a big supporter of small local businesses and as part of that, we are partnering with Finder411 to help spread the word about some great locally owned businesses in the Raleigh/Triangle area and some great deals you can take advantage of when you visit. Some of these businesses are new to the area and some have been around for 30 or more years! Either way, it’s important to shop local and support their efforts.

Shopping local keeps our community and neighborhoods strong and helps maintain the history and local culture. Shopping local keeps your dollars in your own community and promotes jobs and preservation of the community. It helps fund improvements and smart development to your own neighborhoods. By supporting small businesses you are promoting entrepreneurship and promoting job growth, and keeping prices lower while encouraging new ideas and services. Sustainability is another important aspect of shopping local. The less we have to drive to big box stores and the more we can encourage growth of neighborhood businesses that we can walk or ride a bike too, keeps our communities strong (and fit)!

This week we wanted to highlight a few small local businesses that you should check out when visiting Historic Downtown Wake Forest.  Historic Wake Forest has a fabulous downtown where you can park and walk to several locations. Whether it’s dining, shopping or just hanging out, there are some great spots to visit.



Tasty treats at WF Coffee Co.
Wake Forest Coffee Company is a great spot for gathering, hanging out, listening to some live music or meeting with your club or hobby groups. Delicious beverages are their specialty!


Shorty’s Famous Hot Dogs is probably one of the best places in the Triangle for hot dogs! The place is like a step back in time and the atmosphere is fun and family friendly. They capture the small town spirit and they are a great snack to feast on if you are visiting White Street Brewery nearby. Check out their Finder411 page.


If you enjoy antique shopping and/or consignment and vintage clothing and accessories, be sure to visit  For Old Times Sake Antiques. These guys have been in the business for over 30 years and if they don’t have what you are looking for, they can probably tell you where to find it! For Old Times Sake is a fun place to walk around and enjoy all the hundreds of vintage and antique items in the shop.  Be sure and read more about For Old Times Sake Antiques on their Finder411 page and be sure to click for their current special. If you visit or have visited their store, feel free to leave a few words on their Finder411 page of your experience at the shop!

Next Consignment Boutique
Next Consignment Boutique specializes in women's  clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes and accessories as well as kids clothing.  With new items arriving every week, this is a great store to check out and do some shopping while visiting Wake Forest. Check out their Finder411 page for the special discount they are offering and leave a tip or comment about your visit! They’d love to hear from you!

The Purple Door Day Spa
If rest and relaxation is what you are seeking, book an appointment at The Purple Door Day Spa. Retreat from the hectic world outside, to a quiet and peaceful massage or facial. The Purple Door Day Spa is also listed on Finder411, so click through to their page to take advantage of current specials and to comment on your spa experience.


White Street Brewing Company has hours every day of the week and is a fun place to stop in and sample some delicious craft beer brewed right in Wake Forest! Brew tours are a fun way to learn about the brewing process and learn a little about the history of the building and location as well. Check their Facebook page for different events going on at the brewery.


Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 8-12pm.
Wake Forest Fourth of July!

Finder411 and RaleighWhatsUp appreciate the opportunity to share more information about the unique and wonderful small businesses in your area. Visit local and shop local and tell them we sent ya!

More info about Finder411:
Part directory, part social communityFinder411 is an online stomping ground where people focused on finding small local businesses of ALL kinds come to discover, learn about, and engage with new and favorite small businesses.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Opens in Durham

Today I got a tour of the new Lilly Pulitzer store that has just opened in Streets of Southpoint in Durham. One of only 22 stores in the nation, this store features beautiful hand painted murals throughout this amazing store, with some of the murals featuring our own state of  North Carolina, UNC vs. Duke and other well known establishments in Durham .  (Be sure to check out the dressing rooms!)

The Lilly Pulitzer store at Southpoint will be hosting their official Grand Opening next weekend but tomorrow they have dubbed the first day of summer as "National Wear Your Lilly Day". Get to the new store tomorrow and "get caught" wearing your Lilly! There will be fun events going on throughout the day. In-house artists and print designers will be painting live in the store, get a first look at the newest summer collections and win prizes and gifts with purchase. There will be a photo booth in the store as well, so wear your Lilly!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Instagram Travel Thursday: Nashville, TN

Continuing my short series on easy weekend destinations from Raleigh,  Nashville is a must. Southwest flies there several times every day and the flight is all of one hour. The Nashville airport is easy to get in and out of, much like RDU.  Nashville has many different neighborhoods to explore and we spent the weekend checking out several of them.  We did not rent a car, so we took a few cabs and walked to several different places.  We would probably rent one next time to save a little time. Its not like NYC trying to get a cab, but you can call one and they are pretty quick to pick you up.
Recently we were in Nashville to see Josh Rouse, a favorite musician of ours who only  travels to the US on very few occasions. We decided to make a weekend of it and explore the city of Nashville for ourselves. When I think of Nashville,I have always thought of the stereotypical country music haven it is and  I am not really a country music fan. So that being said,  I've never really thought of spending time in Nashville.  Needless to say, I was wrong. We ended up discovering some amazing places to eat, drink, shop, listen and enjoy. We will definitely be back!

COFFEE: Frothy Monkey was our first stop after arriving in Nashville. The line was out the door and a delicious breakfast menu was available. The coffee was fantastic and it provided some fun people-watching. Definitely put it on your list of coffee shops to check out while in Nashville. Frothy Monkey is in the trendy 12 South neighborhood, so there's a lot of great places to check out nearby.  Another eclectic coffee shop in Nashville is Cafe Coco. They do amazing coffee and breakfast but also have a back room with live music at night. You can grab a coffee or a beer.  Seemed like half coffee shop, half club!  One of our favorite discoveries was Barista Parlor.  Located in East Nashville, this garage turned coffee shop was unreal. I wish someone would create a venue like Barista Parlor in Raleigh. The place was spacious and felt like  you were hanging outside due to the big garage doors that were open at the time. Its a nice large relaxing, hip space perfect for hanging out, working, reading and  sipping coffee.

Frothy Monkey Coffee shop, Nashville, TN
Additional coffee shops that came highly recommended but we didn't get to were Crema, Fido and Bongo Java.

FOOD:  We checked out some amazing restaurants while in town. West End Cafe served up a fantastic brunch. The breakfast burrito was delicious. West End Cafe was convenient for us while we were staying at The Hutton Hotel. It was walking distance from the hotel as were many fabulous places to eat and drink!   12 South Taproom and Grill was a great stop for a cold one later in the afternoon. We sat at the bar and sampled some local beers, but they also offered up a delicious looking menu.

Downtown Nashville is the ultimate country music city experience. From neon signs, to cowboy boot stores, and plenty of saloons with live music pouring out into the street, its definitely worth walking down day or night. If you are looking for something in that area that's a little more unique and not so touristy,  we found it at  Pub 5. A Nashville must! Amazing restaurant/bar/rooftop patio tucked away just off the main street. Perfect spot to get away from all the downtown hustle bustle. Another fun rooftop stop for a drink is Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant and Brewery Rooftop Bar, Its entrance is on a side street as well. Take the elevator up to the rooftop for some nice views of downtown Nashville and the river.
Pub 5
Just across the river in East Nashville, try The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden.  The Pharmacy offers great food and a relaxed atmosphere and the outdoor beer garden is a great place to hang with friends. We enjoyed a delicious  beer and a burger and visiting with the friendly staff.

 We got some tips on a couple up and coming trendy restaurants to try out so we took a cab to City House.  City House is in historic Germantown and is a short drive from East Nashville. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, the food is phenomenal. We shared some pork snacks and pate,  and dined on their delicious pizza. We would definitely come back to City House again. Well worth getting there. Another up and coming place we heard about but didn't make it to was Rolf & Daughters.

BREWS:  Brewery stops in Nashville must include Jackalope Brewing Company and
Yazoo Tap Room.   The lines were out the door for brew tours on Saturday when we stopped by Yazoo. The weather that day was amazing so a lot of locals  filled the outside patio.  Whether it's a beer or coffee you are seeking, Jackalope Brewing Company's taproom includes a coffee shop, ZolliKoffee tucked inside the brewery. The beers were great and we enjoyed sampling both breweries.

Record and music stores are a specialty of Nashville and usually have quite a bit of history to them. We enjoyed checking out several of these venues while in Nashville.
The Groove is just down from Barista Parlor and is worth a walk through. , Ernest Tubb Record Shop is located in downtown Nashville.  On Saturday we attended National Record Store Day events at the world famous Grimey's New & Preloved Music. The place was packed for free shows from Paramore and Josh Rouse. Corner Music in 12 South  is a great stop for guitar shopping or browsing.

Sunday night we went to see Josh at 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill, It was a quiet venue and the show was amazing.

SITES: We took the time while exploring downtown Nashville to do a tour of the  Ryman Auditorium. It's worth taking an hour and walking through a space that once was home to so many famous country music entertainers. Its got quite a fascinating history as well.  Another easy destination is in the heart of Centennial Park and that's the Parthenon.   The Parthenon and the statue of Athena inside are both full scale replicas of the originals in Athens, Greece.

So, if you are looking to get out of Raleigh-town for a short, easy and fun getaway, put Nashville on your list. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and very glad you went.

Nashville neighborhoods:
Nashville Visitor Info:
Check out my 4Square Nashville Hit list
Check out my Nashville Favs Pinterest board

Check out Raleigh's Ashley Christensen at City House

Asheville, NC 
Richmond, VA
Coming Soon: NYC

Josh Rouse plays at Grimey's Record Store Day

Trendy 12 South neighborhood

Corner Music Store

Touring the Ryman Auditorium

Barista Parlor

New and Hip, City House

Breakfast at Cafe Coco


Upstairs at Pub 5

Boot and denim shopping in 12 South

This post is part of Instagram Travel Thursday hosted by Skimbaco Lifestyle,Child ModeLive.Do.Grow.Luxury Travel MomDestination UnknownHines Sight Blog, and House of Anais.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

BRING ON THE FOOD TRUCKS! Food Waggin' event at Wilkinson Supply Co

This past weekend we decided to have lunch out at Wilkinson Supply Co in Raleigh at their first Food Truck Rodeo event. We were excited to go sample some food and help raise money for a great cause (we have our own rescue cat!) Wilkinson Supply Co joined forces with several popular local food trucks to help raise money for the SPCA of Raleigh.

It was a great opportunity to try out many popular food trucks and we were fortunate to sample without waiting in really long lines. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds along with  their owners came out and enjoyed relaxing and playing in the grass and sampling some terrific food.

The trucks that participated were

* Chirba Chirba Dumpling
* Klausie’s Pizza
* Captain Ponchos Tacos
* Chick-N-Que
* Porchetta
* Smiles the Cupcake Truck

What was really cool is that each Truck donated 10% of their  earnings from Saturday and then Wilkinson matched it!

I love that we had a chance to finally try Chirba Chirba.  I tried to get a sample at the last Food Truck Rodeo in Raleigh but the lines were massive. Deliciously fresh pork and mushroom dumplings and a delicious side salad of marinated cucumbers, made for a very tasty lunch.

We also ordered a couple of pork sandwiches from another favorite, Porchetta.  Lines were a bit longer at the very popular  Klausie's pizza and the smell of pizza was fabulous. My daughter enjoyed a delicious and spicy chicken BBQ sandwich from Chick-N-Que. Tacos at Captain Ponchos are always good and there was even Smiles cupcake truck for dessert!

If you missed this Food Truck event, no worries. More and more food truck rodeos, big and small are starting to pop up all around Raleigh and surrounding areas, especially this Summer.  Food trucks can also be found at many local businesses in their parking lots and commercial business parks. There's a great sense of community at these events. The best way to know where these trucks are (or if you are looking for a specific truck) is to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out this website to find out where your favorite Local  Food  Trucks might be making their next appearance.


Another HUGE Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo is set to happen downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street this Sunday June 9th. With the popularity of the first rodeo, they've expanded this next rodeo to cover  more streets with more trucks and  they are getting started earlier this time, at noon. Here's the other upcoming dates for the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos this summer/fall.

June 9 - Free from 12-5pm
August 11 - Free from 4-9pm
October 13 - Free from 12-5pm

Customers getting in line for Chirba Chirba Food Truck.

Dumplings and Marinated Cucumbers

Crowds come out for some Food Truck lunch!

Something for everyone