7th House on the Left

While in LA, we went to the seriously coolest store ever: Tini. I first came across their website over a year and a half ago because I was looking for a large light-up marquee letter. Ever since, I made a point of checking out their online inventory now and then. It’s ever-changing, and they have the most interesting things – not your ordinary antique store. Needless to say, Tini easily made it to my list of must-do things while here in the City of Angels.

Celebs like Jessica Alba, Seth Rogen (Greg’s doppelgänger), Ryan Gosling (whom I got the sheer pleasure of seeing in Beverly Hills later in the afternoon!), Mandy Moore, Justin Long, and Olivia Wilde have all been known to shop here. Set designers for Mad Men, Heroes and a bunch of HGTV shows have also purchased pieces from this place.

Tini stands for “This is not Ikea”. And let me tell you, this place is definitely not Ikea! It’s filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind vintage and antique pieces and reclaimed furniture that will make any interior designer/enthusiast swoon. I totally imagine Emily Henderson going crazy in this place!

Before you set foot in the store itself, the sidewalk is filled with a bunch of goodies. Like the egg chair Abram wanted to take back to the apartment. I pulled for him but Mom said no.

I loved this industrial floor lamp! It would look really cool in pretty much any type of room, but I imagine it looking particularly good in a living room or reading corner.

This little guy had me at hello, but he was about 40 pounds. Too heavy for my suitcase.

To give you an idea of the lay of the land, here’s a shot of the front door from the steps at the back of the store. (This is just one third of the store!) As you can see, it’s full of everything from charming to crazy. Also, notice the brass letters above the door. After you’re done shopping, as you’re walking out the door, they finally tell you what Tini really means. Sneaky!

Right when you walk in, in the middle of the store is a pool table filled with neat objects like a traffic light lamp, a vintage toy car, old suitcases, street signs, and vintage magazines. By the way, I love how they used a vintage pool table as a display table, but you can buy it for $2,950.

The gas station number four reminds me of the number 7 I bought a few months ago, but with the colors reversed (it’s a red 7 on a cream background). I just haven’t figured out where to put it yet! For some reason, I also love the goofy looking man-with-flowers chalkboard on the right. Obviously, it wouldn’t fit at our house, but I bet it would look really cool in a quirky loft apartment somewhere. Any takers?

Oh, the frames! The chalkboards I could make with these guys…

I completely fell in love with this desk! It looks like it belongs right on the set of The Dick Van Dyke Show!

Tini also had a pretty hefty collection of suitcases. These could be used for so many things, but I love the idea of stacking a few up and using them as a nightstand. It would add a lot of personality and charm to a modern room.

Way back in the back of the store (actually, I think it’s where they clean/repair items), there was this set of wooden crates. Aren’t they awesome!? Yet another thing I wanted to snatch up, but it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!

If we had a game room, there would be a pinball coffee table. For sure! (That’s an amazing idea! –Greg) I also loved the marquee letter sitting on the sofa, and the barstools stacked up in the top middle of the photo.

If I had a friend named Oprah, I would buy this vintage letter for her. But I don’t, and they didn’t have an A or a B, so I refrained from snatching it up.

If you looked up, you’d find rows and rows of light fixtures (I’m telling you, they have everything!). I particularly loved the red barn-style pendant lights.

More marquee letters! Ever since I saw that episode of Picker Sisters where they turned an old marquee sign into an art piece, I’ve wanted to get my hands on one. I’ve been on the lookout for a B or an arrow, but so far, no luck.

I’ve always been a fan of industrial accents, and now that we have a house to decorate, I’m constantly on the lookout for random industrial boxes, bins, shelves and such that can be used for something else. Tini had an entire section of old metal boxes that would be prefect for just about anything.

How crazy awesome would these chairs look reupholstered?!

More letters! These guys were about four feet tall and said “Yo”. Yet another thing that would look awesome in a quirky loft!

Now can you see why I fell in love with this place?! It’s modern, vintage, crazy, and unexpected, all rolled up in a whole bunch of awesome.  Have any favorite pieces?

For more information about Tini, visit their website here. A lot of the items mention in this post are available on their online store here. Warning! It’s so awesome, you’ll be browsing for hours! If you live in the LA area, you can check it out in person at 515 S. Fairfax Ave, in Los Angeles, 90036.


I’m rounding off week one here in sunny California and loving every second of it! If you didn’t catch the where, who and why, check out this post here. I’m having so much fun hanging out with my fam and getting to see all the things I’ve only seen in magazines, movies and online. Any other TMZ readers out there? haha! On the other hand, I terribly miss Greg and of course, Bentley. I’m constantly saying things like, “Oh, Greg would love that!” or “Aww, Bentley would love taking a walk here”. On the plus side, Greg and I are already making plans to come here during NAMM early next year. Can’t wait!

This week has consisted of getting acquainted with the area around the apartment (which I love!), hanging out, relaxation, a smidgen of shopping and a bit of house-stalking. To be honest, I was kind of nervous about flying so far (I hadn’t flown that far since I went to Australia a while back), but the six-hour flight wasn’t too terrible and luckily I had my mom and Abram with me for the ride. There was waaaay to much laughing going on during the flight. Fortunately, the people sitting around us found it amusing. It’s a good thing!

A close friend of ours picked us up from the airport and where was the first place we headed? The infamous In-N-Out Burger! There’s a special not-so-secret code when ordering, so I let Abram order for me. A Double Double Animal Style. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t eaten in 10 hours or the animalness of it all, but it was delicious! With all of it’s cheesy, messy goodness, I’m surprised it’s a favorite of Paris Hilton’s. Haha!

Even though the apartment is basically a temporary living arrangement, my mom has done a super awesome job at making it feel like home. I’m planning on taking some photos of the apartment before I leave! On top of that, the location is out of this world perfect. Everything you need seems to be within walking distance… Trader Joe’s, a pharmacy, Urban Outfitters, the movie theater, Pinkberry, Ikea (I know!) and any type of restaurant you can imagine  – Thai, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Hawaiian, and the list goes on.

My favorite feature of the apartment (aside from the location!) is the good-sized balcony off the living room. It really makes me want to fix up our carport/patio when I get home. The weather is so freakishly perfect here that the sliding glass door stays open for most of the day. And there are no mosquitoes like there are in Virginia! The balcony has a surprising amount of privacy,  looks out on Downtown Burbank, surrounded by palm trees and magnolias and has a great view of the mountains. The above Instagram photo doesn’t do it justice! Between this balcony and my mom, I’m being completely spoiled. For instance, we just finished having breakfast out on the balcony – turkey bacon, whole grain toast and fried eggs. The toast was made with fresh baked bread and the eggs were farm fresh eggs. Both were purchased yesterday from the Burbank Farmer’s Market that sets up shop every Saturday morning from 8AM to 12:30PM. And like everything else, is only 2 blocks from the apartment. More on that next week. Now I’m sitting here with the laptop getting some [much needed!] sun while I write this post. Yes. Spoiled.

I can’t do a LA trip update without mentioning the celebrity sightings you’ve all been asking about! Around here, celebrities definitely blend in – so sometimes it’s hard to recognize them. They are normal, everyday people going to the grocery store, pumping gas and eating dinner with friends. However, I have noticed a few here and there so far. The first “sighting” was on the plane from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Jack from The Secreat Life of the American Teenager (Greg Finley) sat right behind us. He was really nice and had just bought a pair of the new Micheal Jordan shoes. We saw Ashton Kutcher at Chateau Marmont. He’s taller than I expected and goes up stairs three at a time. We’ve also seen Jane from Jane by Design (Erica Dasher) going into Trader Joe’s. She has gorgeous hair! And as for my favorite celebrity sighing so far… we saw “him”. Ryan Gosling. We saw “him” walking down the street with a friend in Beverly Hills. Yes, he’s just as good looking in person. We also saw Howard Hesseman taking a walk in the Toluca Lake area. That man knows how to power walk!

Since I have an obvious love for houses, we’ve done a good bit of house stalking as well – though we plan on doing much more this next week. I love seeing houses used in movies and TV shows. My favorite so far being The Brady Bunch house! Yep, I was that girl singing the theme song in the car with the windows down.

As far as shopping… do I have a place to share with you guys! It’s an amazing antique store in Los Angeles called Tini (which stands for “This is not Ikea”). The outside alone yelled “Blog post!”. I’m going to put together a post with tons of photos for next week. It’s so awesome, you’re going to want to book a plane ticket. Promise.

We also did a little shopping at a thrift-store like place called It’s A Wrap. They have two locations in town and each one is filled with nothing but actual wardrobe and props used in movies and TV shows. Each item in the store is tagged with a show code. For instance, PP is Paramount Pictures and GEN is General Hospital. They have everything from vintage to couture. I scored a big “Vegan leather” bag that Jennifer Aniston used in Just Go With It for $45 (!!) and Abram got a really cool Ralph Lauren seersucker jacket for $50 that was worn by one of the Jonas Brothers. Holla!

This week we’re planning on doing the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, taking a day trip over to Malibu and hitting up some of those restaurants you guys have been recommending. Keep them coming – I’ve had fun adding them all to my list!

How does one end a post while laying in the sun on a balcony in sunny California while drinking iced lime water? Like this… :-)

Hey Girl photo found here.


posted by Ashley  /  31 Comments

“I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream and my cardigan…” For the life of me, I cannot get that Miley Cyrus song out of my head!

Technically, I haven’t “hopped off the plane” yet, but I’m currently getting ready to hop in the car and off to the airport because today I’m bound for sunny California for three weeks! Well, two weeks and five days to be exact.

My reasoning for going to LA probably needs a little explaining. This is something I haven’t talked about here on the blog until now, so bear with me a minute while I give you a little back story… I have one and only brother, Abram. He’s a best friend, confidant, secret-keeper, my partner in crime and literally the best little brother anyone could ask for. Well, he’s not so little anymore – he just graduated high school last Friday!

When Abram was about 11, I gave him my old guitar. I told him that if he’d play guitar, he’d get a lot of girls. He took the bait and started playing. Greg (who was my boyfriend at the time, ha!) taught him a few chords to get him started. After the chords came lyrics. Most of Abram’s songs were just impromptu ramblings about funny things – like our Dad’s bald head… “My dad has a bald dead, when he gets mad it turns red…”. I remember nights when we’d be laughing so hard, we’d be crying! After a while, he started writing music that was actually really good. Abram played guitar and sang at a few school talent shows but that was pretty much the extent of his “music career”. Around the 16 (not that long ago) he told my parents he wanted to put down sports for a while to pursue a music career. We were all floored because Abram had been playing sports since he was 5 and at the time he played football and was on two basketball teams. In an effort to help Abram be certain he was making the decision, our mom signed him up for a local talent competition, Hanover Jr. Idol. He ended up singing/playing an original song called “Talk to Me” and won the whole kit and caboodle! That night, he booked his first four gigs and signed his first autograph. Over the next few months, things started picking up. He was asked to perform at a lot of local events like the Hanover Tomato Festival (we’re serious about our tomatoes around here!), the Ashland Strawberry Festival (and our strawberries!), and headline at the Virginia Special Olympics Closing Ceremonies. This little adventure became a family affair. My mom was his manager, my dad ran sound, Greg played electric guitar in the band, and I managed the online “stuff”, graphic design, merchandise (t-shirts, wristbands, etc), and all that jazz.

I really wish I could post some of his new stuff, but it’s under wraps for now (boo!). But here’s a “homemade” video we put together earlier this year to go with a scratch track (aka rough draft) of one of his much earlier songs…

To make the long story short, let’s fast forward a year… Abram was offered an opportunity to work with an awesome manager and some incredible producers that have worked with many of his all-time favorite artists. So, in true “now or never” fashion, about two months ago, my mom and Abram, packed up and headed to Los Angeles. My dad owns an access control business here in Richmond, so he needed to stay here, bring home the bacon, hold down the fort and, of course, help me and Greg on our house projects, haha! Seriously though, I don’t know what we’d do without him sometimes! I’m sure most people think my family’s current living situation is crazy weird. But the way we look at it is that you’re never going to “make it” unless you get out of your comfort zone and take some risks. And that’s what we’re doing – as a family.

As far as their new home away from home, my mom and Abram have a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Burbank. I’ve only seen it on text message photos and FaceTime, so I’m anxious to see everything in person! On top of being able to spend some time with my mom and little bro, my cousin Danny, his wife and my childhood BFF Sarah, and their two freakishly adorable kids, Elliott and Nora also live in the area (you might remember them from this post!). And yes… I’m going to Disneyland for the first time! I’m told not to expect much because apparently Sleeping Beauty’s castle looks like a Polly Pocket compared to Cinderella’s digs in Orlando. Nevertheless, this Disney freak is still insanely excited! …and Greg is insanely jealous.

My trek to the west coast doesn’t mean we won’t be posting! However, since I’m the one that normally moderates comments/answers emails, there might be a slight delay in response here and there. Before packing my bags, I even wrote a few posts for while I’m gone. We’ve also got a few “quick tips” for a Tuesday here and there and Greg’s working on an awesome Reader Reno post as well as an outdoor DIY project that he’ll be finishing up and posting while I’m gone. So basically, expect “your usual programming”. Also, I’ll be checking in on Twitter and Instagram during my travels. Love me some Instagram!

Greg’s done packing the car, so I’ve got to run! Simply due to the fact that I can’t seem to get this song out of my head, I’m leaving you with this…

You are welcome ; )

In the mean time, any must-see places / things to do in LA? Do tell!

UPDATE // 4.13 // A few of you have asked on an update on Abram’s LA adventure so rather than dedicating an entire post to it and having to explain everything again, I thought I would just update and link back to this post.

We’re very excited, happy, and thrilled to be able to finally announce that Abram has signed with Warner Chappell Music! It’s been in the works for a few months, but now that the dotted lines have been signed, we can finally spill the beans. Warner Chappell is one of the largest music publishing companies in the world (they even own Happy Birthday!) and will place songs Abram has written with other artists (whom we can’t name at the moment, ugh!!), hook him up with some of the world’s best writers/producers and help launch his own artist career. This has all happened so fast and is such a big deal for a teenager to have at such a young age, that we’re still kind of blown away. Obviously, my parents aren’t about to let their teenage son live in LA alone, haha, so that means mom is still out there but our family is making trips back and forth between LA and Richmond as much as possible to make things sort of normal. Whatever “normal” is ; )

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