Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hair-dos and Hardware and Chairs, Oh My!

Things have been happening around here in the Caranci household! Seems we are on a roll with getting stuff done. Here is a recap of the last week:

First topic is rather vain on my part, I admit. Here is the back story: my friend Deanna showed up at a baby shower last week with the cutest hairstyle - her hair was curled and in a side ponytail, with the top pinned back. I thought it looked so pretty! Now, any of you that know me know that I cannot do a thing with my hair - not one single thing. It is either down and a hot mess or in a ponytail and a hot mess. But her look inspired me to try it. Jason and I were going to a movie last Friday night with some of our closest friends and I took the opportunity to try it out. Wasn't too hard, but it took some pinning. Here is the front:



I thought it looked pretty good, at least what I could see. I asked Jason what he thought and he couldn't seem to understand why it wasn't centered, haha. I told him that was the way it was supposed to be and he said if it was supposed to be off-center then it looks good, but I still don't think he got it. :) As it was, I fidgeted with it the entire night, trying to get it to stay to the side and worrying that the pins would come out. But all in all, it was a nice experiment to get out of the box of my normal boring 'do. We had a great time at the movies though, and I highly recommend The Avengers!

Enough about me, on to more exciting things! Next up is a project concerning light fixtures in the hallways (one upstairs and one down). I really dislike these lights - not just the gold, but the shape:

Since we can't afford to buy new fixtures at this point, I knew I could at least get rid of the goldtastic parts. Out came my favorite spray paint and voila! Not great, but better: 

Next, I had bought some hardware for the drawers in our bathroom and just now got around to putting them in. Makes a HUGE difference on the practical side of things! I hated having to try to get the drawers open with no handle - this makes it much better. 

A shot of the whole bathroom (notice the curtain is actually hanging in the correct place now and no more gold door knobs! Still need to iron that shower curtain though...):

We also had hardware for the kitchen cabinets that Jason and his dad started putting in on Monday and I finished up yesterday:

It is amazing what a few little handles can do! I think it helps the kitchen not to look so builder-basic. 

Next up, we ordered a chair from Dynasty Furniture in Winston Salem (yay for groupons! This one was a $150 gift certificate for $49 and I snagged it last fall). The music room needed some extra seating in a bad way so we decided to get a side chair for the little wall between the piano and stairs. Of course Eden had to help Jason put it together:

She approves!

Now we have one more place for someone to sit comfy and visit. :) 

Keeping on the theme of chairs, a while back I posted pics of the new desk in the music room but was so embarrassed by the chair we were using for it I didn't even have it in the pictures. It was one we got from our alma mater when they upgraded to new furniture. I forgot to snag a before shot, but the legs and arms were basic brown wood and the upholstery is a gray/pink shell-like pattern. We do not like it, haha. But it was free and an extra seat so we took it. Jason mentioned the other day in passing that we should just spray paint the arms and legs and re-upholster it. Although I am not sure I can do the re-upholstery part, I know I can spray paint! :) This is how it came out:

Still not great, but at least the legs match the room now and the upholstery kinda blends. I am considering just getting a throw to put over it and cover the pinky material. Any thoughts, suggestions?

After I removed all of the grocery bags I used to protect the fabric while painting, I did notice a little spot I missed on the arm near the back of the seat. Darn, guess I will have to break out my spray can again. 

So that's it for our little round up! Been busy, but we are marking things off of our list. This week I am tackling some other things too: re-painting the banister, starting on the trim around the house, re-arranging Eden's room, etc. Everything is still a long way from done!

Just as a bonus, here is a shot of the kids "practicing" - I love Eden's expression here, like she is thinking "he is not doing that right"...she is a just a tad bossy. :) 

Lastly, my favorite shot of the week, no explanation needed. <3

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Whole Lot to Talk About...

Wow, so a whole lot has happened since my last post. Hold on to your horses, here's a quick roundup of what the Caranci's have been up to!

Jason and I got tickets to go see the Winston Salem Symphony perform Carmina Burana, one of my favorite music sets. It was amazing! We don't get to do this kind of thing very often, but it was wonderful to be in touch with the music world again. Here we are in the car getting ready to head in to the concert:

Next up, I was able to take a few days and go to the beach with two of my girlfriends, Jennie and Deanna:

We had a wonderful time! It was nice and relaxed. We just did whatever we felt like doing at the time, which included movies, shopping, eating, etc. Here we are getting in the Christmas spirit at Callahan's:

A picture of me in a cowboy hat (thought my Dad would appreciate it): 

We also took an afternoon to rent bikes and ride on the beach for a few hours. It was wonderful, albeit tiring!

Believe it or not, this is a metal box we found washed up on shore. The barnacles are so built up it is hard to tell what it originally looked like, but we couldn't get it open or move it at all. I like to think pirates left it for us, or at least Johnny Depp. :) 

It was a great little trip and it was so nice to just chill. I had a wonderful time with these two girls, getting to know them better. :) 

After my trip, it was back home to my sweet little family. I missed them! But of course I couldn't rest long, it was back to my project list for the house. I was able to spray paint (of course, my favorite thing) the hinges for the kitchen cabinets. They used to be this bronze-y gold color:

And now they are a nice satin nickel, to match the hardware we bought. I'm hoping to get those installed sometime this week and I will have pictures of the finished project. I am thinking of painting the cabinets white...Jason says I won't like it because it will look country, but I think with the new sleek hardware it might not have too much of a country vibe (I do not like country-looking all). Any thoughts? 

Another random tidbit is that we are loving the fresh produce that is in season! Fresh peaches and strawberries are the best!

Another exciting tidbit is that our hydrangea is definitely alive! Take a look at these beautiful pink blooms:

I was so excited to come home from my beach trip to find them. SO glad Morgan was unable to kill our new bush!

Lastly, I thought I would include a bunch of random shots of the kids. They are growing so quickly and learning so much. Eden's vocabulary is becoming quite extensive and I love seeing her put new words into sentences and be able to communicate better and better. Harry is growing like a weed too and will be walking before we know it. He has added a few words too, including juice, bye-bye, and mama pretty regularly. :) 

In this one, I thought Eden looked so cute in her little white shorts and pink shirt, all ready for the beach! With her breakfast in hand of course, a waffle. 

Harry doing what he does best, eat:

A morning at the park:

(I love his little pucker here, so cute!) 

(Eden has always had super strong legs - it looks like she is doing a Russian dance here, haha) 

I also wanted to ask for opinions: now that Eden has moved to a toddler bed there is a huge open wall in her room (from the lack of the princess canopy). I would really like to do a hand-painted tree mural, something like this, this or this. Any thoughts? Should it be centered on the wall or on one side? I like to be able to move the furniture around too, so I don't want something that is too limiting. Should I fore-go the tree thing altogether and go for some other kind of art? Other things I considered were this or this. I am open to any suggestions!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This and That

As mentioned in a previous post, when my in-laws were in town from Maine, they helped us with some landscaping. Our two maple trees out front are doing beautifully, but I'm not quite sure about our hydrangea in the back. Our dog, Morgan, had a few rounds with it...although she never actually dug it up, she just got close to the original root system. I am convinced it will live though, as she hasn't messed with it in a couple of weeks and the blooms are still looking good:

Time will tell - I think it should bloom in color by July. :) 

In other news, our handy man got to work and installed a fan in the kitchen:

Hallelujah! It makes a HUGE difference when I am baking or cooking, especially in the afternoon or evening hours when the sun hits the kitchen full force. Major thanks to my father-in-law for installing it for us! He is on the docket to install one in Eden's room soon. :) 

Next up, we have a little recipe experiment. I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies on pinterest (of course) and decided to try it. I have never been able to make good cookies, they are always too crispy for my liking. This recipe called for vanilla pudding and seemed a little different so I thought it was worth a try. Here is my little helper, who had to stay on the sidelines this time, due to a runny nose (she still got to enjoy the benefits of helping, including licking the spoons):

The finished product:

Those look pretty close to perfect, if I do say so myself!

We had a fun week last week, enjoying coffee with friends, shopping for a baby shower, and having dinner out with some of our closest friends, Rebecca and Glenn:

Their daughter, Holley, is our favorite babysitter, so the kids got an evening with her while us adults went to Red Lobster and perused the mall. They are dear friends, always helping us when we need it. In fact, Rebecca is watching the kids for us all day this Friday so I can head out to the beach. We are blessed with such wonderful friends!

Lastly, I couldn't help but add this picture - I went to check on the kids yesterday (they usually play in Eden's room most of the day) and I could see their sweet little reflection in Eden's mirror. Thought it was cute!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Little Girl is Growing Up!

Eden has still been in a crib and we had decided to keep her in it until she wouldn't fit, haha. No need to give her the freedom to escape! We had planned to transition her straight to a regular twin size bed eventually, but we changed our minds when we heard from my friend Michelle that they were looking to get rid of a toddler bed. Her daughter, Emma, is a few months older than Eden and had not had a ton of success using the toddler bed. We decided to try it. First, we had to take apart the crib. Eden LOVES helping with stuff like this, working with her hands:

Next up, put together the new bed:

This is the extent of Harry's help:

He was way too distracted with Mickey Mouse:

Then the little princess got to try it out:

I have been so proud of Eden! We have had ZERO, and I mean ZERO trouble with the transition. She still doesn't get out of bed until we come to get her and she is so proud of herself for being a big girl. I'm sure she will eventually start getting up on her own but for now she is happy to hang out in there until we come in for her, just like she did in her crib. She seemed a little nervous at first, unsure of the new bed. She had a few tears at the first naptime but nothing major, just enough to let us know she wasn't quite sure about it. Within 24 hours she couldn't wait to get into bed every night. 

It is so interesting to see the kids' little personalities. Harry can't wait to be with us in the morning so he isn't generally happy for very long in his crib. Eden seems content to be by herself, singing or talking with her animals. She is also very mature, I think - almost like a little adult. She is the one making sure everything is just so, and Harry is the one being a crazy man and into everything. I love to watch them interact, especially when Eden tries to tell Harry what to do. She is definitely a little mother! Quite bossy, actually. :) 

The time is passing so quickly, but I love every minute with these kids. This weekend I am heading to the beach for a few days with some of my girlfriends and I am really looking forward to it...but I am gonna miss Jason and the kids like crazy!