Thursday, October 31, 2013

IG SNAPSHOT: Get in Your Fast Car

One way to travel is in a very fast car. Here is a collection of my Instagram photos from the current Porsche by Design exhibit at the NC Art Museum in Raleigh. A rare one of a kind collection of Porsche cars from all over the globe. Get your tickets before these cars are gone!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

IG SNAPSHOT: Cooke St Carnival

So who doesn't love a street party?

Cooke Street does it best. Every year I am excited to get downtown to the Carnival on Cooke Street. So many fabulous local businesses representing, food trucks, breweries, live music and real atmosphere. What more could you want? I also love taking the party off of Fayetteville for a change, nothing wrong with Fayetteville Street, but it feels a little more local in the residential area.  Cooke Street Carnival happens in the Idlewood neighborhood, very close to Historic Oakwood. If you haven't been, make sure you catch it next year. Its great to be a tourist in your own town! I took my girls and they loved the food, entertainment, artists and vendors and taking pictures! AND of course running into Project Runway star, Justin LeBlanc. Can you say star struck?

Here are a few photos from a fantastic afternoon out in downtown Raleigh. 

Love these photo ops!
Enjoying a tasty Johnny Appleseed from Slingshot Coffee Co. Delicious!
Food truck action was happening!
Sampled (and bought) some Happy + Hale juices. YUM!
We loved the carrot and orange blend!
Centro booth and Day of he Dead 5k info
The community table for all to share.

Fabulous lunch here at The Humble Pig Food Truck
My delicious smoked pork taco. SO good!!
More delicious options!
Garland and House of Swank representing

Tons of shopping local options for guys and girls

Getting crowded despite the grey skies
Its not a party until there's a beer tent! (or two, or three...)
Crank Arm keeping busy!

Lumina tent
Ran into local Project Runway celeb, Justin LeBlanc
Fabulous gourmet cotton candy from Oscar Willams was a crowd pleaser
More fun photo ops
Houses were all decked out for Halloween
My photographer

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Raleigh Shopping SPREE! this weekend!

The 29th Annual A Shopping SPREE!

When: October 24-27, 2013
(Preview Gala on October 23)
Where: Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC
Why: Get all of your holiday shopping done and help support the Junior League of Raleigh and its programs

I have enjoyed attending the Jr League Shopping Spree every year for the last five years or so and the show continues to grow with talented small businesses from in and around North Carolina.  This year, I am especially happy to give a shout out to two women-owned companies here in NC that you absolutely must check out! Please make sure to stop by Yellow Boat Pillow Company  and Just for KiiX while you are at the SPREE!  And tell them RaleighWhatsUp sent you! :-)

About Yellow Boat Pillow Company

"Yellow Boat Pillow Company, established in 2012, is located in Mooresville, North Carolina, in the heart of furniture country and minutes from the International Furniture Market. Our staff takes advantage of the nearby creative talent and resources of our industry partners. We track the industry leaders in color, Pantone, and their chosen colors of the year.  We study patterns and styles and hand select the beautiful fabrics that make each of our hand crafted pillows. "

"Our pillows are not mass produced. Each pillow is specially created with the mission of helping our customers bring “big wow impact” to their home spaces.  Pillows are the easiest and most affordable way to do this! Yellow Boat Pillow Company has set sail to help our customers transform and love their homes with beautiful splashes of color and inspiration and we are proud to make all Yellow Boat Pillow branded pillows right here in the USA!"

"Visit us at the Jr. League Shopping Spree! We will have all of our casual, colorful, fun pillows onsite to touch and feel! We will help you choose the perfect one for your home!"

You can find Yellow Boat Pillow Company in Quadrant 3 Booth #408.

About Just for KiiX from Founder, Heather Bridgers

"How many times have you ruined your shoes by getting a nick, a scrape or a scuff on your heels? KiiX are revolutionary new heel protectors that covers the outer surfaces of your high heels to guard against the hazards of everyday wear.

KiiX are simple and easy to apply. Simply peel off the backing, tear along the perforations to match your heel size, and press. No glues. No tools. No waiting. No fuss. Just peel and press! And there’s no sticky residue or mess!

KiiX are for women on the go! Just slip them into your purse so your footwear investment is always safe!"

Stop by and check out Just for KiiX at Booth #541.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Time to try out Sola Coffee Cafe for Dinner! (It's not just for breakfast anymore!)

This past Saturday evening, one of my favorite "uptown Raleigh" coffee shops provided several of us local bloggers a wonderful opportunity to sample their new Fall dinner and drink menu. It was  graciously hosting by John and Jeanne Luther, owners of Sola Coffee Cafe. It was a fun and friendly group of folks including several spouses (and children!) in attendance,  making for a warm delicious get together on a rainy cool night.

Many people especially in the North Raleigh area are familiar with the very popular coffees and hot minis that Sola has been cranking out for about 18 months now. Whenever you stop in at Sola, the restaurant is always busy with folks drinking coffee, catching up with friends, hosting work or club meetings or engaged in a fun board game, checkers or chess. With music lightly playing in the background and lots of action and personality at the bar, Sola never disappoints.

Breakfast and lunch options are popular and always pair well with a hot/cold tea or coffee. The new BLT sandwich (a personal favorite of mine) has become a new menu item!

BUT what I found after talking to many local area folks in the area, they did not realize that Sola Coffee Cafe is open for dinner and drinks every night of the week (except for Sunday when they are closed)! 

Sola Coffee Cafe offers a Fall dinner menu of delicious small plates, salads and pizzas as well as sandwich options.  Ingredients are always fresh, local and often seasonal. Cheese and meat plates include a variety of cheeses, fruit, almonds, honey, local butter and crusted bread and pair well with a glass of red or white wine. 

Meat and cheese plate.
White Garden Pizza w/Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach, Pesto, Basil & homemade balsamic glaze.

Local craft beers are available on tap and Sola generally will rotate the kegs featuring different craft beer offerings from one of the many distinguished craft breweries in the Raleigh area.

Local craft beer on tap.

Red and white wine offerings from France, Italy, Austria and New Zealand are unique and full of flavor and have been carefully thought out and researched before being added to the menu.

White and red wine options
The salads are fresh and tasty and loaded with fresh ingredients.
Caprese Salad
Mixed Greens salad with cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, almonds, red onion, cucumber, parmesan and Jeanne's dressing. 
Not only does Sola offer dinner and drinks, but on Friday and Saturday nights there is generally live music or entertainment offered as well until 10pm. Some fabulous musicians have performed here and the house is full of fun locals enjoying the evening.  You can always find the schedule of performers/musicians on their website.

And finally, for the dessert fans,  you can also enjoy some great coffee and dessert options as well. Warm Apple Crisp or Homeland Creamery Pumpkin Ice Cream Affogato with a hot pumpkin mini are a deliciously warm and tasty end to a relaxing night out!

Homeland Creamery Pumpkin Ice Cream Affogato
Warm Apple Crisp with Ice Cream and other tasty dessert samples!

Make it part of your plans to get out to #SOLAFORDINNER soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Bucket List: See a Movie @ the IMAX

The weekend plan had our family of four headed to the IMAX downtown on Hargett Street to see the new movie GRAVITY which just opened this past weekend. I was ready to #checkitoff my October Raleigh Bucket List. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie on the IMAX screen and most of those movies have generally been a documentary or nature show that the kids wanted to see. Now almost every movie premieres with a 3D version and I haven't really felt the desire to pay extra and see it in 3D...that was, until I started seeing previews to the movie Gravity. From the minute I saw the commercials, I knew I wanted to see this on the IMAX screen and 3D.

I obviously wasn't the only one who decided that because we headed over to the IMAX at Marbles downtown in Raleigh and showed up about an hour before the show, only to find out that that time and every other time that day was SOLD OUT! So, we quickly purchased tickets for Sunday's show at 1pm.

We returned on Sunday to get in line for our showing which was sold out! Every other time for Sunday was also sold out!

We got inside the theatre with our 3D glasses and the coolest experience started even before the opening scene of the movie! Gravity was THE perfect movie to see at this venue. I can't even imagine seeing it on a regular screen. The story and the action engages you from the very first minute. It is thought provoking and you feel like you are the third character in the movie the whole time.  The IMAX/Gravity experience makes you feel like you are dangerously dangling in space and keeps you guessing the whole time. The photography and the digital effects are stunning. During the quiet moments you could've heard a pin drop (not a cough or a candy wrapper noise in the whole place!).

We all walked out exhausted and thrilled at the entire experience. What a fun afternoon out and we had something to talk about for quite a while afterwards.

TIP: Purchase your tickets online before you head to the theatre!  Definitely worth seeing this one on the biggest screen you can find!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Get Offline! and #Checkitoff! My October Raleigh Bucket List

This summer I had a lot of fun checking things off the Downtown Raleigh Bucket List, created by Offline Media. If you aren't familiar with the DTR Bucket List, it was a contest for Raleigh folks to earn rewards by getting out and completing activities on their list and then document it with a photo on Instagram and using a specific #hashtag to identify and show you had completed each activity.  It was very popular and a lot of fun to do.

The whole notion of getting OFF your social media and getting OUT and DOING stuff seems so obvious but not always the way we prioritize. So, Offline has taken the bucket list a step further and is letting you create your own personalized bucket list of things you would like to get out and see and do in Raleigh, Durham or anywhere in the Triangle area! The Bucket List lets you pick and choose from a range of activities and add them to your own list. These guys were kind enough to help me start my own Raleigh bucket list and to get started, I have come up with a list of five items to complete in October!

Follow me on Instagram and I will hashtag #checkitoff as I complete each item on the list and I will also be blogging about each event and what we thought of it as we work our way through some great stuff to see, taste and do in Raleigh!

To create your own Local Bucket List, go to

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Car Fanatics and NCMA Art Lovers Unite! Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed

Next Saturday, October 12, the new Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed premieres at the North Carolina Museum of Art. This is a first of its kind for the museum and a winning show for those lovers of beautiful design and a serious appreciation for fast cars!
More than 20 iconic cars including cars owned by Janis Joplin, Steve McQueen and Ralph Lauren will be on exhibit, highlighting the beauty, artistry, technology and innovation of the historical Porsche line of cars. Cars ranging from 1938/39 all the way to 2010 will be featured. This is the only worldwide showing of this collection of cars and you can purchase tickets for the show now for October 12, 2013 to January 20, 2014.
Usually photography is off limits at the museum exhibits but for this exhibit, photos are encouraged! Post your shots to Instagram and hashtag it #Porschebydesign!!
Not only do you have the opportunity to view this unique one-of-a-kind exhibit, the Museum has organized many events to go along with the exhibit starting in October and going through January.


On four Saturdays during Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed, the NC Museum of Art will present juried car shows along Blue Ridge Road, featuring Porsche, American, European, and Art cars. The winning cars, selected by distinguished jurors including automotive reporters, museum directors, and car collectors, will be on view in a designated area, and Best in Show winners will be chosen. 

Attendees can also enjoy coffee, snacks from food trucks, and music. The events include family-friendly activities and a kids play zone, as well.
In addition to the Winner’s Circle of cars selected by the juror, there will be a Drive-ups section at each meetup for those who wish to display their car but not submit to be juried. The
Drive-ups section will have a limited number of spaces and will be available first come, first serve. (Vehicles must arrive by 8 am and must stay in place for the entirety of the meetup event.)

Details and calls for entries are below. For more information, please contact Robert Mlodzik at (919) 664-6743 or
WHEN: Selected Saturdays, 8:30 am–1 pm
WHERE: Museum Park
COST: Free

Porsche Meetup
Saturday, October 12 (exhibition opening day)

European Car Meetup
Saturday, October 19

American Cars and Hot Rods Meetup
Saturday, November 9, honoring veterans

Art Cars Meetup
Saturday, November 30

Additional events in October include Fall Family Day: Design-a-thon and a local Craft Beer and Sausage Party.

Tickets are on sale now. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity happening only in RALEIGH!!