Friday, July 19, 2013

Painting Pots

My father-in-law gave me two cactus clippings from plants that he had, one being from a very old plant that has been passed down through his side of the family. I was excited to try and keep it alive! My thumb is definitely more black than green, but cactus plants are supposed to be hardy and I have high hopes that I can keep it going. After keeping them in their original pots for a while, I decided they needed some sprucing up. 

I headed to Lowes and picked up some cheap-o black plastic pots and spray paint (my fave!). 

I had seen lots of ideas on pinterest about how to paint pots and give them some personality and some of my favorites were the trendy patterns, like this argyle one I cut out and taped to the outside of the pot:

I went with a metallic silver spray to blend with our gray walls and this is how it turned out:

I also liked the designs with just one stripe on the base or top of the pot, so after taping off the second planter and spraying it with turquoise (our accent color in the kitchen), I came out with this:

My reaction to both of these painted pots? Meh. Neither of them look very well done, but I'm not sure what I could have done to change that. One of those little makeovers I thought I would be thrilled with that just left me feeling like a 3-year-old with a can of spray paint. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. 

Happy weekend! :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Caranci Kiddos

Nothing fancy here, just some pics of our everyday. :) 

Harry watching the garbage trucks outside - looks like he's ready to help!

These kids have a hard life, let me tell ya. 

Thanks to Jason's boss at Leblon who gave me a gift certificate for Mother's Day, we were able to go to Leblon for a wonderful family dinner:

 We picked up some bubble guns for the kids for the beach, but never got to use them. They had a great time this past Sunday learning how to use them (these kids LOVE bubbles!):

Playing with Daddy:

Happy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Recipe and a Wreath

I haven't done a recipe review in a while, mainly because I haven't really been cooking very much. I have been making whatever is fast and easy and will pass for edible food. However, I saw this recipe for Sweet Potato Latkes and decided to give it a try. I was really excited - ever since trying paleo I realized how much I liked sweet potatoes. I don't generally like them seasoned sweetly, but prefer them more savory. This recipe called for cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger so they were definitely more on the sweet side. In short, I hated them. I think it was mostly a texture thing, although I really didn't think they tasted all that great either. Jason said he thought they were ok, and managed to eat his. They were just a little too mushy for me. I like a crispy outside when I make any kind of cakes like this - salmon, potato, etc. And this was just...muddy. Ick. 

(before they were baked, when I still had high hopes)

On a happier note, I decided to make a wreath for our garage entry door. It just looked so plain out there after I took down the Christmas wreath, so it needed some color. It started as a $4 wire wreath from Hobby Lobby, then I just wrapped some yellow flowers around it and added a monogram that I had in the house. So here's a question for all 3 of you that read my blog - do you like the C or no? Jason doesn't think the black and white letter matches the yellow flowers, so I've considered painting it black. What do you guys think? Oh, and please ignore the dirty, in-serious-need-of-paint door frame. It's on the list. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4th of July (almost two weeks later!) and Outdoor Update

 This year for fourth of July, our celebrating was a bit boring. Joe and Sarah's plans of coming up got cancelled, our family dinner was put off until Saturday, and Jason was off work but playing golf. So basically it was just any other day for me and the kids! Not to worry though, we did some fun things to celebrate our freedoms in this country until we could celebrate with the fam a few days late. 

First up, painting (or washable markering) faces! Eden wanted a star and a flag, and Harry got two stars:

Both of the kids love to do arts and crafts, so we made these handprint flags (a pinterest idea):

I also did quite a bit of baking, including friendship bread, apple crisp and gluten free peach cobbler:

(looks burned, but it's not!)

We had a great family dinner on Saturday evening, including some of our cousins from South Carolina which was great! Of course I forgot to snap any pics, but we rode the golf cart, blew some bubbles, had the classic meal of hotdogs and burgers, and had a great time chatting with everyone. 

Just as a little side note, I thought I would snap some pics of the front of our house currently. It looks somewhat patriotic so I thought it could fit in this post!

The only changes since the last pics are the chairs and one light fixture - yes, one. We have both of them, but it turns out they are a little harder to install than we originally thought. We had to cut through some of the siding to get the base to fit, and we still need to caulk around it to make sure nothing gets in there. And because it was so tedious, we haven't gotten around to the other one. Now it just looks kinda lopsided with two kinds of lights, haha! It will be remedied soon, but for now here's the front of the house:

(there used to be yellow flowers in the vase on the door, but they got removed for a project, pics and post to come soon)

(my daisies died out, so I pulled this planted pot out from inside; it looks pretty sad)

Stay tuned this week for more posts, including a recipe review (been a while since one of those!), craft project, and random photos of the kids!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Enchanted Evening

When Jason and I were dating, he introduced me to the music of Harry Connick Jr. I don't know if it was Harry's amazing talent and style, or simply the fact that his music was the soundtrack to Jason and I's romance, but his music has always been my favorite.

I don't really have a bucket list, but I do have a few things I would like to do before I die. One of them was to see Harry Connick in concert. And not just any concert - I wanted to be up close and personal, not some huge arena for a canned performance for thousands. I found out he was coming to Cary, only about 1.5 hours away from us and my heart started yearning. I knew we couldn't afford tickets but that didn't stop me from looking into it. Which completely confirmed we wouldn't be able to go. 

I guess I always thought that those few things on my sort-of bucket list would happen much later in my life - after our kids were grown and had their own families, we were more stable financially, and had time to kill. I wasn't sure I would even be able to make a Harry concert happen, because who knows if he would continue to tour (which is somewhat rare even now). 

As I came to grips with the fact that we would miss this event, we randomly received a note on our door saying we had missed a FedEx delivery and could come pick it up at our convenience. The last time this happened and I drove to pick it up, it turned out to be junk mail. So I decided not even to bother picking up whatever it was (we were not expecting anything). However, my wonderful children had a rather rough day and I decided that afternoon we needed to take a little drive and the note for the package was the perfect errand. When I picked it up, it was just an envelope, no indications of where it was from. As I opened it up, I screamed in disbelief - out fell two tickets to the Harry Connick concert in Cary! And these weren't just any tickets, they were THIRD ROW TICKETS! I immediately called Jason (even as Eden was trying to figure out why I was so excited, screaming and laughing like an idiot) thinking he must have bought them as a surprise for me. He assured me he did not, and we tried to figure out who could have done this for us. After contacting several friends and family members, we were no closer to finding out who mailed them to us. To this day, we have no idea who sent them. 

The concert was this past Tuesday evening, so Jason came home from work and we took off for Cary. My sister and nephew took over the kids for us, and we are so grateful to them! Jason and I stopped at Boston Market for a quick dinner (that was very tasty, albeit pricey) and then drove the Booth Amphitheater. It was a beautiful venue! It is an outdoor stage, with a lake and lots of trees. There are food booths and tables for dining, and a beautiful green lawn for open seating. We had assigned seats (in the third row, in case you missed that!), but still brought along a chair for me (borrowed from a friend, that seems to have magic properties when it comes to my back). As we were walking to our seats, I could barely contain my excitement. I just couldn't believe that it was actually happening! Unfortunately there was a strict no pictures/video policy, which is why I have zero pics of Harry himself. I did manage to snag two shots:

Waiting for the concert to start:

The stage (his piano is to the left, it was painted a really cool grayish blue!):

To describe the concert seems daunting, because it was just amazing. First of all, he has a stellar band - trombones, trumpet, flute, saxophones, bass, guitar, strings, drums, and of course he played piano, keyboard and organ himself. And by the way, he sounds exactly like he does on his recordings - no computer alteration going on there! The inflections in his voice are just as original in person as they are on his albums. They did a great diverse set - everything from jazz, gospel, pop, ballads to classic New Orleans style. He did a rendition of The Old Rugged Cross that about had me in tears, it was just beautiful. He did some of my favorites, Didn't He Ramble and a medley from When Harry Met Sally. Then he said that his wife told him he needed to throw down on the piano every now and again, so he started his classic jazz musings. As we were enjoying his talent, he all of a sudden turned it into the intro for our song - yes, Jason and I are one of those couples with a song - Come By Me. I. Could. Not. Believe. It. Harry Connick has published a TON of albums and songs, and out of all of those he actually played our song at the concert we happened to be at. Coincidence? I think not! It was all I could do to keep from crying. It was just the perfect moment! 

I know this has been a text-heavy post, but I wanted to do justice to this event. It is so hard to explain how much it meant to us, because it is not of eternal value - it's just a concert! But the feelings it conjures up are so much more than that. This is the music we fell in love to - it represents us being "Shmoopies." Just hearing Harry sing was such a nostalgic feeling - it made me think of Jason, our memories through the years, Christmas (because Harry has the best Christmas albums of all time), and gave me that overall cozy, family and home-y sentiment. It was simply amazing. Whoever is responsible for giving us this memory, we are so, so thankful. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrating Life

So this post is a little 2 months! I threw a baby shower for my dear friend, Jennie, back in the beginning of May. It has worked out to post it this week though, since she is due in 4 days! We have been praying for her and her husband, Dustin, for quite a while now - that God would give them the desire of their hearts for a baby. When God said yes, we couldn't wait to celebrate! Here are some pics from the happy evening. 

The gift table:

Favors and game props:

Coffee bar:

Food table:

The guests:
Ashleigh and Camryn:

Jennie and Andrea:

Meg and Tabatha:

 The guest of honor!

 We were blessed enough to have Shawna take some pics for us:

Meg and Jennie:

With Shawna:

 With Tabatha:

With Shannon and Harper:

 My sweet friend - so happy to be able to celebrate this with her!

Opening gifts!

Time for games! We had a race to see who could drink from a bottle the fastest (turns out it's harder than it looks!):

 Photo shoot with the new mommy:

It was such an honor to celebrate Jennie, Dustin and their little boy! I can't wait to meet him and see what the Lord has in store for his life.