It’s exciting & fun! It’s family vacation time. Now, what do we have to do to prepare? First we have to decide where we are going. Will that be a pleasant conversation or will disappoint some members?

Now that the destination has been decided, although some are disgruntled, all we have to do now is pack and pay. Whether you fly or drive you will definitely pay! Adding on to charges for your lights isn’t fun. Some airlines charge for a blanket now.
If you drive you might want to rent a van because you will be bringing loads of stuff. Renting a vehicle will be an additional cost and hassle. You we having fun yet?

Here’s a suggestion – Try a “StayCation”. Yes, that’s right. Stay home and enjoy yourselves.Think about what you like about a vacation and bring some of those elements home. We did quite a bit of camping with our children and I realized that I love the campfire so I made a larger circle of rocks in my backyard. People gather around a fire and start talking and telling stories which I also enjoy. There is no money involved and you have all the conveniences of home. Also, if you want to put up a tent, go right ahead.

Make spaces in your yard for activities that appeal to your family. You could have a location for art projects, volleyball, badminton, boche ball, an outdoor kitchen or swimming pool.
If you don’t spend money going away, it will cut down on the expense of your new swimming pool. (That’s what I have to tell my husband).

Of course you can still eat out when you feel like it. You can still shop or be with friends. You can discover things close to home now. Free concerts in summer are great. Do whatever you want – you’re on StayCation!

If relaxing is what you enjoy the most then you must! Reading, meditation and taking walks are healthful and refreshing.
I heard a story about a woman who hired a gardener to rid the yard of weeds and debris. A few flowers were planted and everything looked wonderful.

Next she had her whole house professionally cleaned. She put fresh flowers around and the house smelled terrific and it was beautiful. I guess you’re wondering what happened next. After getting everything done, she stayed home for a week and totally relaxed. Now that’s a happy ending! The choice is yours to go or stay, but either way it can be a “get-a-way”.

Linda Doyle – Co-owner of SweetPeas Antiques and Garden

Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

The Bachelorette

Can you believe that the summer is already half over. In a little more than a month the children will be headed back to school, the pools will close, the weather will begin to cool, the leaves will change and then it will be Christmas. Well you know what I mean. Time flies. As you all have discovered, I have 3 teenage daughters. My oldest is 18 and will soon be going out on her own. I have always enjoyed the summers with my girls. We would spend days at the pool. And when they were younger we would do alot of crafts. They don’t seem to be interested in that now. Last summer when I was running The Little Shabby Shed and working 7 days a week, I was not able to spend any time with them. This summer I decided that we would spend some more quality time together. Thus the saga begins

So this summer, the girls and I decided to have a Girl’s Night every Monday night, watching the Bachelorette The first episode we wrote down all the guys names and info. We began watching intently to see if we could each pick which one we thought would be the one Ali would pick in the end. By the second episode we were hooked. By the third episode, our home began to fill up with their girl friends that were too following the show. Now, with only 2 or 3 episodes left, our home is full to the brim and Monday nights have become the happening place at our home.

The Bachelorette may not be for everyone. To tell you the truth this is the only about the second time I have ever watched it. But it has been such a fun time for my family. Each week we sit and are in awe of how these guys can just open their heart to this woman and fall in love with someone that has several other men falling in love with her also. It is a time for us to talk about human nature. A time to talk about love and falling in love. A time to talk about being sensitive to other people’s feelings. The conversations that have come out of these Mondays nights have been very precious to me. And hope that they have to my children also.

We all want to provide a home to our family that is comfortable, open and fun. I think the easiest part is making it comfortable. What you have to do is set up your home to reflect yourself. Where you are comfortable yourself. You place things around carefully that show your personality and what you really care about. Sometimes finding those things can be difficult but the search is the most fun.

Making your home loving and welcome is the challenge. Consistency, love, kindness, warmth, friends, pets all play a part in making your house a home. We at SweetPeas Antiques and Garden are inviting you all to come in to find a little something to make your home what you want it to be.

Published in: on July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Hidden Treasures

In the antique business, it is not unusual to find hidden treasures. Maybe at the Flea Market in a parking lot, or in the Salvation army tucked in the back of a shelf. Or how about one of those yard sales in an obscure neighborhood. You are always so pleased that you went to the trouble to look through those shelves or boxes or messy garage.

It was several years ago when I found a hidden treasure in something that I already treasured with my heart. As most of you know, I have three daughters. They are wonderful. I could not be prouder of them that I am right now. It was about 5 years ago.

As the Christmas season approached, a friend of mine that I have known for years approached me. She was looking for children to be in a play that she had written and had started a children’s theatre. She knew my children and thought that they would fit well into her play. The name of the play was “The Toymaker’s Daughter”. My oldest child was 13. She was a doll that was made to look like the toymaker’s daughter. My middle (redheaded) daughter was cast to be Raggedy Ann. Of course she did not have to wear a wig, which made her even more adorable.

The play was also a musical. Which was interesting since neither of my girls had ever performed in public. I knew that my 11 year old could sing and carry a tune, so I was OK with that. The last thing I wanted was public humiliation. So after many weeks of practice it was the night of the play. All the family members were in place. The stage was perfect. The costumes were all wonderful.

As the play progressed, the solo came up for Raggedy Ann. My daughter had been faithful to sing the solo at each rehearsal. But she had been so timid and shy. My friend that was directing the play was concerned that even the microphone wouldn’t be enough for the audience to hear her sing. I remember, the knot that was in my throat as she sat on her perch in the window of the Toy Shop. And remember praying, Lord, help her to get through it.

What happened next, was not what I expected. My daughter, timid and shy, started to sing. She did not miss a note as she sang past the microphone. She looked straight into the audience and belted out every word of her solo. All that I could remember at that time was finding my mouth hanging wide open. As she ended her song, the audience was dead silent for a mere moment. Then burst into applause. I remember looking at my father sitting a couple of chairs down from me. Tears were running down his face. At that moment I knew that we had found a hidden treasure. The gift that God had given my child had been found.

Each of us is given a gift of some sort. And it makes me sad to think that some will never look hard enough to find it. We all have a hidden treasure inside of us. Will you look for that treasure inside of you this week. If you are given the gift of compassion, then call someone you know who is down and give them a word of encouragement. If you have the gift of writing then write a poem. True joy is found when you use your gift. Make this day your day of joy.

This week at SweetPeas Tracy has brought in a lot of new jewelry from her stash.  Linda has brought in a beautiful vintage desk that would be a perfect piece for a child’s room or office.  Nice size to any room.  Tracy also brought in a couple of white metal cabinets that go great in bathrooms or children’s bedroom or work rooms. More hanging baskets have arrived at Steve’s Plants.  New items arriving daily at SweetPeas.  Come on in a take a look around.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 9:38 am  Comments (1)  

Protecting Your Nest

I was just on my way home from work.  It has been a beautiful but hot day.  The drive home to me is such a wonderful time to reflect and relax from a day at the shop.  I take that time to try  to think of  the things most important in my life.  Many days I may use that time to call a friend or family member that has been on my mind.  Someone that I wouldn’t have time to call on my busy schedule. 
As I drove down the road where I live, I saw one of my favorite things….A small bird chasing after a big bird.  Don’t you just love that sight.  How can it not make you smile. I have even seen some small birds chasing a hawk.  This act just always fascinates me.  That little bird is fearless and some may say foolish.   Because that large bird could easily turn its tail and attack that little bird right back to her nest.  This sight makes me reflect on the courage that God gives to Moms.  How He gives us the courage to protect our family with all our might and strength.
This particular day, this little bird made me remember an incident that happened several years back.  My children were in a private school and I had to pick them up every day in carpool.  That year, we had a wonderful little Yorkshire Terrier named Maggie.  This was before Charlie.  Maggie had quite a personality. Full of spunk and humor. She was only a year old but had already won all of our hearts and was  part of our family.  .  Maggie died tragically one day and the family was crushed.  The children were experiencing their first real death. 
It wasn’t long after that, that my children came home from school crying because kids at school were saying that they killed their dog.  They were tormenting my kids.  Any of you ever experienced hair standing up on your necks?  This was such an unspeakable  horror to me.  The next day in the carpool line, my middle child, Megan, ran up to my window in the car and said “Mom, there is one of the boys that has been teasing me about Maggie” and pointed.   As I jerked my head around to see,  I caught the eye of this youngster and he caught my eyes on him.  I immediately went into attack mode.  My door swung open, I hopped out of the car, and he started to run.  Without anything on my mind but to protect my kids, I took out running too.  There were kids that I probably ran over,  there may have even been an “Excuse me” but I don’t remember.  All I could think of was catching this kid.  I finally caught up with him hiding in the stairwell, cowering in the corner.  He was covering his face with his hands.  I stopped and without even catching my breath said, “Hey kid,  you better drop the dog”.  Believe it or not, my kids weren’t teased again.
My kids often talk of that day that their Mother flew the coop. 
We will have a nice big laugh about this quite often.  We can laugh about it now.  But to me it was the day I chased the big nasty buzzard away from my nest. 
Thank goodness, we haven’t had any buzzards here at SweetPeas.  At SweetPeas we are striving to make an atmosphere of joy and contentment for our customers to enjoy.  We look forward to you all visiting us and enjoying what we have to offer.  New merchandise is arriving daily.  Our garden center is full of beautiful  plants and garden accessories.  All you need  to make your home the peaceful haven you desire it  to be.
Our motto at SweetPeas Antiques and Garden is “Come and find your joy”. I hope that each of you will continue to visit SweetPeas in the future. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your neighbors. We sincerely want to be a welcoming and refreshing place for you to spend your precious time.
Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Divine Appointments

How many of you have ever heard of Divine Appointments? Those are the moments in your life when you are put in a particular place, at a particular time and moment in time to experience one of life’s blessings. These are the moments we find inspiration, friends, happiness, blessings, and moments that we could not expect to find any other times in our lives. It is those times you think to yourself: Wow, I was just at the right place at the right time on the right day. If you are shaking your head right now, you have had one of those moments. You never forget them. You play them over and over in your mind. Because, you know it did not just happen by accident. You know that it was meant to be.

Such things have been happening to me for quite sometime now. Many more started happening when I became a single mom 3 years ago. Many of you can relate to that. Going on very little. (One thin dime is stretching it). One of my favorites Divine Appointment moments was in Belks. My oldest daughter was looking for a Spring Fling Dress for high school. She was trying on dresses in the dressing room. She had her heart set on a dress that cost $98. I was having her try on dresses from the sales rack just in case she would find one (and like it) that costs around $30.
About the same time I was standing there waiting for her in the dressing room, a mom came up with her teenage daughter, who was also trying on dresses. She and I were standing at the dressing rooms waiting for our beautiful daughters to emerge looking way too old and much prettier that we ever imagined and we struck up a conversation. I asked her to please tell my daughter that the $30 dress was beautiful. A moment or two later, both daughters exited their dressing rooms, dressed in beautiful dresses and looking stunning. The wonderful thing is that they knew each other from school. So the mom and I began talking more. The mom told us that she had a dress in her car that had just been altered and they did not make it fit her daughter right. She said, “I’ll just give it to you”. The most wonderful part to this Divine Appointment is that it fit my daughter to a tee and she absolutely loved it.
Being a co-owner of SweetPeas has been a Divine Appointment for me. I am constantly amazed at the customers that may come in looking for something wonderful or a special gift. They may be feeling low and come in to find a little joy as they run from place to place, carting kids to and fro. It is the mom who brings in her 3 small girls to find gifts with the money they have saved for something special. Or it is the newly separated mom who I can share my story of hope and belief.
On July 22, SweetPeas will be having a Tea Party from 1:00-4:00. We hope that this will be your opportunity to come in and relax. It will be a time to relax, talk, find friends, shop (if you like) and maybe find a Divine Appointment. Maybe you would like to share one with us. 
Our motto at SweetPeas Antiques and Garden is “Come and find your joy”. I hope that each of you will continue to visit SweetPeas in the future. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your neighbors. We sincerely want to be a welcoming and refreshing place for you to spend your precious time.
Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm  Comments (1)  

My Gift from God

Many people ask me how did I get so creative. When asked that question I never know quite how to answer. All I know is that I have had this gift for as long as I could remember. I remember my mom letting me get out of washing the dishes after meals so that I could go to my room and work on my projects. My favorite things have always been miniatures. I vividly remember a bedroom I made in a shoe box when I was about 8 years old. The carpet was green velvet. The bed made out of a small cardboard jewelry box. Little stool for my vanity made out of a toothpaste top with a little of the green velvet on top. Squares cut out of the box for windows and curtains made on toothpicks as curtain rods. I can’t remember if it was a school project or just one of my many projects. I kept that shoe box for many years.


I worked on many projects like that. All my projects have not been as memorable but each has helped me to develop my creativity. Each step I have taken to make, create and deliver has been a step toward what I am today. Through my journey of creativity I have realized this one thing. I have been giving this gift by God. He created my stumpy little fingers not to have manicures but to paint, hammer, sew and whatever else it may take to complete a project. (I have only had one manicure in my life). After doing a study of the book of Ecclesiastes one summer on my own, it became evident to me that God gave me this gift for a reason. He gave me

this gift to use. He gave me this gift not to hide under a rock but to share with others. He gave me this gift to bring joy to others.


That is why I am so happy here at SweetPeas. Not only do I love creating and displaying but I am finding the real joy in the customers. The customers that come in to SweetPeas for the first time and stand at the door and say “Wow, this place is adorable” There is not better joy than for someone to pick up something you have handcrafted yourself and think to themselves, “I want this to be part of my life”. A part of me then returns with them to their homes and they find somewhere in their home for a bit of me. They take my gift from God and introduce it into their home.


Our motto at SweetPeas Antiques and Garden is “Come and find your joy”. I hope that each of you will continue to visit SweetPeas in the future. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your neighbors. We sincerely want to be a welcoming and refreshing place for you to spend your precious time.

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Step Into the Future



I usually send out my SweetPeas Newsletters on Thursdays. Seems to be a good day of the week as you are ending the work week and going into a weekend and may be looking for something to do or just relaxing. I was having trouble coming up with a good idea. Not a good sign for someone who has only sent out 4 newsletters. It has been a busy week here at SweetPeas. The weekends are always a bustling place and this week has been full of events. To begin with, Linda has been on vacation all week. So glad that she was able to take time with her hubby (Bill) and go down to Hilton Head Island to visit for a week with her best friend. She needed the rest.

On Wednesday of this week, my oldest daughter, Hannah, graduated from Millbrook High School. All parents can attest to the fact that it is a bittersweet moment in your life. Your child is taking their first real step into adulthood. They are about to step forward into the rest of their life. The next steps they take will literally help to form the rest of their lives. Will they go on to college. Will they chose a major that will suit them and help them to have the kind of job and life that will be satisfying and rewarding. If they are headed to college, have you prepared them to make good decisions? At the same time you are thinking of their future you are thinking of their past and all the years you have invested into molding them into this young adult. Gone are the days of tea parties and sweet 16. Those are now precious memories.

Now, as our young adults begin their journey into real life, we can only hope and pray that what they have learned thus far will continue to influence their choices and behavior.

I could not be prouder of my daughter. She has worked at a preschool since she was 15 years old. She has shown a great deal of perseverance with personal struggles that she has had over the past few years. She has been a loyal sister, niece, friend and daughter. She is sweet and kind and loves the Lord with all her heart. And she loves me. I am the luckiest Mom in the whole world to have been able to spend the last 18 years with the dearest child. I can only look forward to the future now, as Hannah and I develop our relationship and become closer friends as she continues on with her journey.

Many of you that visit SweetPeas have children. Many of you have seen your children take the same steps. Here at SweetPeas we are also growing. We are developing friendships and developing a work ethic that we hope will last through the years.

We thank you for your patronage and hope that you will continue to make SweetPeas part of your lives. We are here to bring some sort of joy into your busy and hectic days. We always want to be the place you can go to either step back in time, by finding a memory or also to step ahead and continue building your nest into the warm inviting place you desire.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sweet 16 and Goodwill


This past year before my middle child was turning 16, she came to me one night, notebook in hand, to discuss her Sweet 16 Birthday Party. Quite a shock to me since I still view her as 6. And quite frankly believed that Jesus would come back before I had to face the fact that any of my children would drive. Anyway, she sat down on my bed and said she wanted to have a themed party but wanted for me to help her out with a theme. She had come up with several ideas. Several of those ideas were good, but not different. Not something that had never been done before or would be something fun and exciting. Also, challenging was the fact that I had little or no money. So, after several days of contemplating and going through party books and the internet we found nothing. Then, somehow, it hit me. 27 Dresses. Don’t know if any of you remember the movie where she was a bridesmaid 27 times. The idea was a hit.

So we sent out 27 invitations. The invitations stated that the dress could not be new and could not be something that they had worn before. She especially liked that idea because, like me, she if very cost conscious and did not want parents to view this party as a big expense. (Thoughts like, OH NO, another expensive party to go to)

Well, as you might imagine, the party was a hit. A picture was taken as each of the girls arrived. Each dress, was adorable. And surprisingly, each girl had followed directions. At the beginning of the party each girl had to reveal where they got their dresses. Many had borrowed the dress but over half had found their dress in a thrift store like GoodWill. And each of these girls was amazed that their dress had only cost a few dollars and most stated how much fun it had been to go out with their mom to find the dress.

And so, my hidden agenda was a success. As an owner of an antique store, I am quite aware of the stigma that might go along with only having things that are old and used. Many of those girls have visited me at SweetPeas and tell me that is one of the most fun parties they had been to.  And many say they would shop at Good Will again.

 It is hard to raise children these days not to be superficial and so status minded.  And especially to appreciate the simple things in life. As you go through your day today, I would like for you to remember some of those simple things in life.  The hummingbird, the clean water, the new rose blooming in your garden.  We at SweetPeas will strive to continue to bring you of the more of the simple things this life may have to offer.

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tea Parties and SweetPeas


Can anyone tell me where May went?  Our Grand Opening was May 1 and that just seems like yesterday. Everyday is precious.  Every memory is priceless.  My oldest daughter, Hannah, is graduating from High School next week. Time has gone by so quickly.  Those of you with children know just how I feel.  

My years with three girls have been such a fun time.  When my girls were young every summer we would invite about 20 of their friends and Moms to our back yard for a Garden Tea Party.  All the girls would be decked out in the prettiest little dresses.  We Moms would wear hats and our Sunday best.  The grass was cut just right, the flowers were always in full bloom, and the weather was always perfect.  One year we even had the News & Observer write us up in the events section. 

One might think that a Spring Garden Tea Party to be a bit frivolous.  My girls remember those parties with joy.  I remember the prep and the setting up.  Everything had to be just right.  Tablecloths on all the tables,   floral tea cups and saucers.  (I like to use mismatched cups and saucers). We had cloth napkins and fresh cut flowers.  The food would be just as much fun.  Tea sandwiches cut out with adorable flower cookie cutters, petit fours with tiny sugar flowers on top and fresh fruit with powdered sugar.  I never knew what a proper tea party really entailed.  Or just what kind of tea to serve.  All I wanted to do was try to make a great memory for my girls and their friends. 

Coming soon at SweetPeas we will be putting on a Tea Party for our customers.  Moms and daughters, neighbors and friends will all be invited to make a memory.  The date has not been decided but it will probably be in June. It will be a fun time to just sit down and relax and maybe get some pointers on making your own tea party memory.

SweetPeas is also inviting anyone who wishes to set up a table on Saturdays for our Flea Market.  We have a large space at the end of the parking lot just waiting for tables and tents and all sorts of items for sale.  If you or anyone you know would like to set up for the Flea Market, just let us know.  We will advertise on Craig’s list and put out signs. 

We at SweetPeas Antiques and Gardens are so happy to have you all as customers.  We are striving to bring you a shop that is fun to be in with a friendly atmosphere.  We are dedicated to bringing you new (old) and fun merchandise to bring joy into your homes.  We hope that you will find time in your busy schedules to stop by and visit SweetPeas.  We hope you will bring friends and family and hope that you will spread the good news that there is a wonderful new shop in town.

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Building Your Nest

How many of you have ever had a bird build its nest right at your front door? It always amazes me that that little creature has searched the area; she has probably made an assessment of other places and has found your front door area to be the best spot to “raise a family”.

Years ago, I had a nice big bird feeder standing on a pole right outside of our breakfast window. My daughters and I watched in amazement as a robin spent a couple or more days fashioning the most adorable nest on our bird feeder. It was one of those feeders with the food all stored in the middle and a sort of wraparound porch for the food to spill out on. Well, that robin spent a lot of time scaring off the other birds as she brought in all the materials for her new home.

Our favorite part of the building of the nest was after she had woven a beekfull of straw and sticks into the nest. She would then sit inside the nest and press down the materials with her body. She would spend much time with that little tail high in the air as she pressed and smoothed and made sure that that nest would be perfect for the family she was planning. We watched as she sat on her little eggs so loyally. Hardly every leaving those little blue eggs. When the baby birds emerged we watched in awe as she fed each one and kept their nest clean.

We were observing one morning when she had left the nest to get food for her precious cargo. One of the little chicks was evidently feeling adventurous and stepped out of the nest. He was half around the wraparound porch when Mom came home with his lunch. What we witnessed has ever been ingrained into me and my children’s minds. That mother Robin “gave that little chick the NEWS”. All the squawking and goings on! It was quite comical but also a lesson to me and my kids.

Moms have a big responsibility to their families. This mother Robin put on quite a display making sure that baby knew what he had done wrong and who was in charge. The amazing thing is that I never saw that baby leave the nest again. Then one morning they were just all gone. I saved that little nest as a reminder to me.

It is a reminder that the home is worth what you put into it. No matter how large or how small. Each home is there to show love and security to those we raise. There are hard times and thank goodness a lot of wonderful times. Nevertheless, our homes are precious. As we decorate our homes to make them our own little paradise I hope that you will remember SweetPeas Antiques and Gardens for maybe somewhere to go and find some piece of heaven to take back to your little nest.

Published in: on May 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment