Hanging Out At…Charleston Farmer’s Market and Antiquing

The Charleston Dress made her debut today. Here’s where I showed her off.

First stop, the Charleston Farmer’s Market in Marion Square (Every Saturday from 8am-2pm, if anyone’s interested!)IMG_9864 IMG_9865 IMG_9866 IMG_9867IMG_9868I had a delicious lemonade that was made right in front of me, and then finished it off with the Thurman Herman roti roll from Roti Rolls CHS. It consisted of a light, flaky, chewy “pita” type flatbread stuffed with pulled pork, kimchi, and Creole mac and cheese. It was the first thing I ate all day, but was totally justified, since it was 1pm 🙂

Afterwards, I strolled down to Open Door Shop, which I tried to visit last weekend, but it’s closed on Sundays…IMG_9883I bought the sweetest pineapple bowl for all of my future soirees I plan on having…

pineapple bowl

Open Door is on Line Street and at an end of King Street (the main shopping street) that I never frequent. So as I was thinking I should turn back and go home, I spied a sign saying “Antiques”. Well, nothing bad ever happened at an antiques shop, right? I figured it would be worth it to find out. And I’m glad I did.

IMG_9886The kind ladies at Antiques and Interiors Market on King told me about a great Happy Hour event going on mid-October, where all of the design shops on one end of King will be having wine and cheese in the evening. As my cousin, Margot, would say, “Doin’ it!”

Here are some of the treasures there:

IMG_9896 IMG_9897I imagine this fab antique chest with clean lined lamps and a modern mirror or colorful piece of art, to keep it from looking too “museum-y”
IMG_9898Can you imagine this with all white dishes like these from Open Door? Or some family heirloom china?
IMG_9899 IMG_9900 That bow in a preppy little girls room? Kind of Kate Spade, right?IMG_9901 IMG_9902I imagined that chair reupholstered in a fun floral fabric with the frame painted a high gloss white 🙂IMG_9903 IMG_9904 IMG_9905 I just loved those ram candle sconces. I would seriously consider getting them wired and having maybe modern bulbs put in like these options.IMG_9906 IMG_9907 My imagination really does run away with me, but that’s the fun in antique shopping. You get to imagine that every piece has a great story, like this basket, which maybe held sweetgrass for baskets!IMG_9908 IMG_9909 And although that dining table seems a little country, it was such a cute size for a small apartment.IMG_9910 Yes, just a new fabric, but keep the carved wood. Talk about a Throne!IMG_9911

And finally, 2 sweet cherubs that looked like they just needed to be loved 🙂

To my delight, an architectural salvage store called Encore was right next door!

IMG_9887 IMG_9888 IMG_9889 IMG_9890 IMG_9891 Seriously, my grandmother has one of these in her basement and I totally called dibs on it (not that anyone was really fighting for it anyway…) It belonged to her grandfather and I like that it has some family history. These were going for $650!IMG_9892 I would have loved somethign like this for my bedroom in Philadelphia. But at $1,600, it didn’t look like it was going to happen…IMG_9893 IMG_9894 And THIS little fellow! His human mother went into the back room and he patiently waited by the door. I tried to talk to him, and even requested that he trot over to me, so I could pet him. This was the response I got. No eye contact. As if he just pretended I wasn’t there, I’d go away! A shy guy 🙂IMG_9895

Next, I walked to Circa Lighting with features some realllllly beautiful fixtures at prices just as big as their chandeliers…IMG_9879 IMG_9878 IMG_9877 Loved how they added more storage space by installing these sliding barn door displays!IMG_9876 IMG_9875 IMG_9874 IMG_9873

I hope you had fun “shopping” with me!

What I Wore: The Charleston Dress

irrational fear


This is a real fear and I have suffered from this many times in my life. This pretty J Crew Factory linen and blue embroidery dress, which I affectionately dubbed “The Charleston Dress” (sold out) was my most recent source of anxiety:


similar, similar, similar

My sweet Mama bought me this dress for my birthday. As soon as I bought it, I folded it neatly and put it in a “WEAR IN CHARLESTON ONLY” bag designated for my trip. It came out once to get slightly altered (typical), and then made the 500 mile journey down South with me. Of course, I thought of all the times I could wear it: Meeting some new friends out? A casual dinner al fresco? Strolling a plantation? The possibilities were endless, that I couldn’t decide when I should wear it! One thing I did know was that it was white, and Labor Day was swiftly approaching. (Although I still think I’ll give her one more go in the fall…suede open-toed booties, denim jacket…)

Anyway, I felt like today would be the perfect day to take her out for a spin. And boy, was I right! Not only did I get direct compliments, but I even heard some gals telling their friends, “Oh, isn’t that dress cute!” At one point, I walked into a shop and a woman said, “Oh, we saw you outside, and I told my associate, ‘That’s the dress I’ve been wanting!’ I LOVE it!”

But the REAL wonderfulness happened as I was sitting on a bench in Waterfront park, innocently reading my book, when a man came up to me and said, “I am a painter in Atlanta, and you look so nice on this bench, would you mind if I took your picture, so I can paint this scene?” Ummm, YESSSSSSS!!!!!!! Now, some may say that this was a very smooth way to try and pick me up, but that was the last thing I was concerned about. My Charleston Dress had the potential of being immortalized in a painting!!! Not “panting”, a comical word mixup that spurred this text conversation with my best friend:



Hanging Out At…Magnolia’s

A few nights ago, I took myself out to a fancy dinner at one of my favorite restaurants anywhere, Magnolia’s. This may be the best meal I have ever had. I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast the last time we visited and I have been craving it ever since! Here it is in all of its glory…fried amazingness, corn, mashed potatoes, 2 mini biscuits, collard greens (made exclusively for them by a local with a secret recipe, which is INCREDIBLE!)


And for dessert? Southern Pecan Pie 🙂 And, yes, it was just as good as it looks!IMG_9838

Obviously, I wanted to get fancy for fun, so, here’s what I wore:IMG_9837 IMG_9833

I recently got this from Banana Republic. It was on clearance for $75ish AND I had a $25 gift card, so I ended up paying about $50 for this fab dress! Click herehere, here, and here for similar styles!

Trucking around Chucktown

IMG_9842Every street in this city is more beautiful than the last. So, often I find myself just walking around and enjoying the views. It gives me the same kind of rush as when I’m treasure hunting!

First, let’s talk about what I wore…IMG_9794Tan Tank: Forever 21, ancient

Distressed Shorts: Target (stars and stripes exposed pockets removed)

Necklace: Target (part of a set)

OK, now onto the REAL beauties of this post!

IMG_9849 IMG_9848 IMG_9847 IMG_9845And a close-up of that middle house:IMG_9846 IMG_9843 IMG_9830IMG_9829

Philadelphia Alley below 🙂IMG_9826

Rainbow Row:IMG_9825

Cypress trees:IMG_9823

This is peering through the window of a home that was under construction #jealouscreeperIMG_9822 IMG_9820

View 1 and 2:IMG_9819 IMG_9818

Old brick driveway:

IMG_9814And a close-up of that Olive Wonder:

IMG_9813 IMG_9812

IMG_9810This also deserved a close-up!IMG_9811 2

Oh! Hello, little Friend!IMG_9808 IMG_9806 IMG_9805 IMG_9804 IMG_9803 IMG_9802 IMG_9801 IMG_9800 IMG_9799 IMG_9798
IMG_9796 IMG_9797IMG_9795


New City, No Friends (yet)



When I said that I would have some time alone with my thoughts, that’s exactly what I’m getting. Without knowing anyone here, I’ve got lots of time to myself. I’m trying to keep myself busy, knowing that as soon as I have some friends, I’ll feel more like a local.

Confession: I’ve lived in Philadelphia for almost 10 years, yet I still have absolutely no idea where I’m going. I mean, I recognize things and locations, but I still need a GPS to get me everywhere.

My mission in Chucktown (that’s for you, Dad) is to learn this city and figure out how to get around without relying too much on my GPS. When my Dad and Other Mother 🙂 stayed downtown in April, we walked everywhere and just that one week here really helped me to feel comfortable coming down this time. I’ve been walking everywhere and am starting to know where I am! Downtown Charleston is pretty small and so it’s getting easier everyday.

Here’s what I wore yesterday while strolling around downtown:IMG_9719Ruffle Top: Ann Taylor LOFT Outlet

Striped Green Skirt: Greene Street Consignment (and then tailored, of course!)

Striped Navy Cross-Body: Francesca’s, a birthday present courtesy of Iron Man specifically for my Big Trip!

These lovelies are from a shop called Alexandra AD, which sells beautiful French antiques.

IMG_9726 IMG_9725 IMG_9724 IMG_9723

This lovely campaign chest was over $9,000 and spotted in David Skinner Antiques & Period Lighting. The rest of the lighting was in the same shop.

IMG_9721 IMG_9720This fab ship chandelier reminds me of the one featured in Lilly Bunn’s beautiful apartment. As my lovely friend, Elise, would say, “swoon” 🙂

Finally, you KNOW I couldn’t go shopping without trying a few things on…This super cute dress was from Vestique. SO cute, right? It was a tiny bit short, so some minor alterations would need to occur, but that doesn’t usually deter me, since I’m a big fan of tailors!IMG_9728

Then later on, I quickly walked through the Charleston Home Show, which ended up being a bust…the good part was that it was a 5 minute walk from my apartment. Here’s what I wore for my short stint there…


Dress: Japna via TJ Maxx

Black Clutch: Charming Charlie (originally $22, but purchased with a 10% off coupon from a previous purchase!)

Earrings: Target

Today, I went to Folly Beach! It was really easy to drive there, but surprisingly much harder to find your car when you’re ready to go home…After a minor freak-out (cue massive sweating episode and wishing I had “dropped a pin” on my iPhone…), I found a very nice man driving a buggy wearing a Folly Beach County Park t-shirt who literally drove around all of the side roads to find my car for me. He was so thorough, I thought he drove away and wasn’t going to come back! But, he found my car and I sat inside with the AC turned up, petting the steering wheel and telling her I’d never lose her again…

Before the panic:IMG_9744

Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

*Disclaimer: So many wonderful people have reached out to me saying that they have a friend here, or have put their friends in touch with me. I truly appreciate everyone’s efforts to help me socialize and acclimate to a new city. I feel so loved!

Hanging Out At…Quirk Hotel


I split my Southern journey into 2 parts.

Part 1 took me on a 5 1/2 hour drive to Richmond, Virginia, where I spent the night at the  FABULOUS Quirk Hotel. This was generously made possible by Iron Man’s loving parents. So I have to give a shout out to them! E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about this place was customized, down to the pale pink ice bucket:


I originally heard of Quirk Hotel a few weeks ago when YoungHouseLove posted their photo on Instagram:


I didn’t read the caption, only the location, which I quickly investigated, since I was trying to plan my route to SC. Lucky for me, my route ran RIGHT THROUGH Richmond! Fast forward a few days, and I was lounging on the beach in Long Beach Island, NJ and reading the September issue of House Beautiful (I don’t usually buy magazines…) While reading the cover story, I realized that it featured the Quirk Hotel owner’s home on the cover! Had I read YHL’s caption, I would have known this, but after seeing all of these instances come together, I took it as a sign that it was meant to be!

Check out my photos from my glorious stay 🙂


IMG_9707IMG_9673 IMG_9672 IMG_9671IMG_9675

That beautiful “tapestry” is made of discarded coffee lids. Some of which still have coffee stains on them…


Maple & Pine Restaurant/Lounge:

IMG_9684 IMG_9689 IMG_9690 IMG_9668IMG_9667 IMG_9680

I had the Ms. Crenshaw cocktail and the Roasted Chicken Breast. This was anything but boring-the pesto was amazing! And although the portion looks small on the plate, it was definitely filling and really, really good.

The Courtyard:

This may have been my favorite place! I would have sat out here with a book much longer if I didn’t have to drive 6+ hours the next day.


Outdoor Rooftop Deck:

IMG_9687 IMG_9686

My Room! I actually stayed in 301, but it was easier to take the photo of the door across from my room 🙂

IMG_9651 IMG_9650 IMG_9648 IMG_9658IMG_9649IMG_9664
Basement Elevator Lobby:IMG_9693

My only regret is that I didn’t check out the Quirk Gallery when I first checked in. I was so tired from driving! By the time I realized that it might be closing soon, it was closed. It didn’t reopen until 10 and I headed out at 9am. Lucky for me, I can order from the online store if necessary 🙂

Bottom Line: If you get the chance to travel to Richmond, then stay here

Happy Travels!


Greetings from Charleston!


Hello Ya’ll! (OK, I’ll stop)

If you follow me on the ‘Gram (sarahashley612), you will see that I have been heading down south. #sarahdoescharleston

I have long contemplated moving to Charleston, South Carolina for 4 years. Why Charleston? Why not Charleston…the vibe of the city is just *heaven*. Every building has a story to tell and is maintained so beautifully. The old cobblestones, bricks, lanterns, piazzas, weather, palm trees, shops, and award winning restaurants are all reasons why it’s been ranked The #1 City in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2015. I’ve always loved the South, so when I talked about moving here, Charleston was constantly suggested. Not to mention, every time I saw a dreamy photo of a place I felt like I needed to go, the caption always confirmed the location…Charleston.


I made 2 trips this past year to explore downtown and the suburbs, and I still felt like I needed to see what this path meant for me, so it was about time that I bossed up and made it happen! Don’t get me wrong, I have everything going for me at home, but I felt like I couldn’t move forward with any of it until I figured out what role Charleston would play in my life. It may just be a fun experience to tell my kids about (lesson: have courage), a good time to continue some emotional healing (yep, still working on it), and also give me more confidence in being independent (get it, girl!), or solidify why I need to own a home here at some point in my life (which means I need to become a multimillionaire AND also marry a multimillionaire…)


In order to “test” it out and really take advantage of the experience, I decided to come down for 2 months. I figured out a way to continue working at my spectacular company, found an incredible FURNISHED apartment in a “Charleston Single” house right downtown, and hopefully made a connection to help a local interior designer (fingers crossed!) So far, it’s been just the kind of trip I thought it would be. A chance to be alone with my thoughts and fall in love with where I am in my life now.

It’s working.

Hanging Out At…Terrain at Styers

IMG_8139I realized that I have been checking out some cool places lately. So I’ve made a new category for all of my posts documenting the fun places where we can “hang out” at together!

I have been wanting to visit Terrain at Styers for a long time now. It’s owned by Urban Outfitters, so you KNOW it’s going to be amazing…Finally, I had my opportunity to get myself out there, so last weekend, I took myself on a nice brunch date there 🙂

First, I strolled around the greenhouses and outdoor areas:

IMG_8140 IMG_8141The mantle with the greenery was such a sweet idea to bring some character to a weathered shed.IMG_8142The smell of a wood burning fire was so welcoming on this warm winter day. It stayed in my hair for hours after I left!IMG_8143 IMG_8144IMG_8173IMG_8171And then I checked out the little Mushroom House:IMG_8149IMG_8151 IMG_8152It was being set up for a private gathering later that day. A woman was setting up in there, so I could only snap a few clandestine shots before I snuck out of there 🙂

Then, it was off to the cafe!IMG_8150 IMG_8153Again, sly photography-but you can see the beverage bar area made of what looked to be wood boxes. S0 garden-y…IMG_8154Even the way they used the white birch branches inside of a “house frame” was theme-y in a good way. It felt like a whimsical bird house!

Once I was at my table, I enjoyed the gnomey rustic-ness of the dining area.IMG_8157 IMG_8158IMG_8156I was a little disappointed when I tried to order my meal. I asked them to substitute potato hash and bacon with apple fritters (obviously), and they got themselves into a kerfluffle just trying to figure out how they were going to do that. And when my meal came out, it was missing the hash browns and sausage, but came with bacon. Not too big of a deal, but the waitress said nicely, “Usually, we charge extra for custom orders, but since we’re not busy, we’ll make an exception”…When I read their menu, bacon, sausage, and apple fritters were all the same cost, so I’m not sure who it cost them more, but anyway…I ordered their Breakfast Board, which was 2 overlays eggs, a petite salad, 2 pieces of challah toast, bacon, and my apple fritters 🙂 I also got a cherry vanilla homemade soda. I splurged a little bit on my calories, so sue me…IMG_8155Loved the wood slice plate that it was served on, and the receipt came in this sweet vintage kite book. Overall, my waitress was nice, the food was good, and the atmosphere divine. IMG_8160IMG_8159Next, I visited their shop. Which was stunning. In fact, I was so inspired, that I created a whole model apartment concept after this polished rustic look for work…

IMG_8172IMG_8170 IMG_8169 IMG_8168 IMG_8167 IMG_8166 IMG_8165 IMG_8164 IMG_8163 IMG_8162 IMG_8161 Finally, I crept around the wedding pavilion.IMG_8148I did think that the ceremony spot looked a bit weathered, and I hoped for the spring brides’ sake, that they would repaint the structure…but right across the brick paved walkway was the reception area…IMG_8146IMG_8145IMG_8147Luckily for me, they were setting up for a celebration, so I got to see it in all of its glory.IMG_8175IMG_8176 IMG_8174 IMG_8177That is one lucky couple. It was gorg!

Overall, I thought it was beautiful! I have to say, I am REALLY looking forward to going back in the spring (which is mere weeks away!) when more flora is blooming. An updated post may follow…

I hope you liked tagging along with me on my weekend adventure 🙂

What I Wore: Vegas Edition!

The Huntress-What I Wore

What’s a girl to do when she is offered a chance to go to Las Vegas for a fun-filled Valentine’s Day weekend? Well, you say, “My bags are packed!”

Before I left, I took some snaps of the outfits I planned. And then, of course, I’ll show you how it all panned out!

You know, things rarely go as planned, so luckily, I packed some extra outfits *just in case*, which came in handy (this isn’t my first rodeo…)

Friday Night:


photo 1Graphic Peplum Top: Bebe


IMG_3866photo 2Striped Maxi Dress: Max Studio via TJ Maxx

Sunnies: Bebe

Unfortunately, this hot leather dress’ zipper was not cooperating. I’m sure the cookies I’ve been eating lately didn’t help the situation…or maybe it was the fact that it was only $10…


Luckily, I brought this graphic little number…
photo 3Graphic Dress: Charlotte Russe

Pink Graphic Cardigan: J. Crew Outlet

Black Heels: Tracy Reese via TJ Maxx


Sunday Flight Home:
I don’t even need to go into detail about this top 🙂 lol

As for the details of the trip, here is a rundown:

Stay: Hard Rock Hotel

Play: Hard Rock Hotel Pools (Rehab was closed for the season), Hard Rock Hotel Reliquary Spa, Britney Spears Piece of Me Show

Eat: Pink Taco, Mr. Lucky’s, Fu Asian Kitchen, Señor Frog’s

Altogether, it was a wonderful, wonderful weekend trip with CK, his brother and his gf 🙂


Word of the Year: 2015

2015 source

Happy New Year!!

Instead of choosing a resolution, Layla at The Lettered Cottage chooses a Word of the Year. I think this is so “wonder-full” (which happens to be Layla’s word this year), because it allows you to keep one goal in mind and do whatever you need to do to make that phrase come to fruition.


2014 was extremely challenging for me. I hate to talk about really personal things, but here it goes. In August 2014, after 8 years together, HJ decided that he was not ready to be a husband and called off our wedding 3 weeks before the date.

It was the most devastating thing I have ever experienced (hence the short blonde hair and new clothes). But do you know what my word was for 2014? It was Love. And that’s exactly what I did. I loved him enough to let him go and learn about himself and I loved myself enough to love me the way I wanted to be loved. To me, that meant doing things to make me feel pretty, like a sassy, new, blonde hair cut.



It meant spending money on adult purchases, like this beautiful sofa from Crate and Barrel.


It meant accepting love and support from others, including these encouraging letters (some from strong women I don’t even know!)



It meant traveling to Ireland by myself to see my cousin and best friend, Rachel, so we could be together during the hardest time in my life

me and rachel

But now, it is a New Year! And so here is my word:



This is the perfect word for me this year as I experience my life in a new way. It is so scary and yet so freeing to know that I have so many new choices and paths that my life can take. I am so ready for all of the opportunities for me to Grow in 2015.

Here’s to a New Beginning!

cliffs of moher