Thursday, April 24, 2014

Awesome Easter with Family

My sister, Sandy, brother-in-law, Dan and niece, Shawna arrived at our house on Good Friday.  It was so good to see them!  We had a wonderful Easter and visit with them!  We celebrated Jack's first birthday on Saturday.  Then Easter Sunday we woke up and went to church as a family.  The service was wonderful.  We came back to our house and feasted on lamb, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce, biscuits, strawberry cake and chocolate pudding pie.  The grandboys loved their Easter gifts and chocolate!

Jack looking dapper in his seersucker suit!  Owen was too busy playing with his Easter gifts.  You can just see him on the right of the picture.

 Jack in the swing at the playground in our neighborhood.  He just loved that swing!!
Look at Shawna all decked out in her Easter finery!  I love that hat!!

Monday we went to the Carolina Raptor Center.  The grandboys really loved looking at all the birds. We had been there about 6 or 7 years ago and they had alot more birds there.  I loved the owls!  We had lunch at Tupelo Honey in South End.  Then we went to the Sleepy Poet, which is antique mall.  Monday night Megan and Ken had all of us over for dinner.  Ken had made his own Kielbasa and he smoked it in his smoker for us.  We had a wonderful time with them!

 Jenny and Jack at the Raptor Center.
Dan and Owen

Tuesday Shawna, Sandy and I went shopping.  We went to World Market, Pier 1 Imports and Ollie's.  My niece really isn't into clothes shopping, she likes unusual things.  Dan and Sandy treated us all to dinner at Longhorn Steak House for dinner!  It was really fun!

Wednesday Sandy, Dan and Shawna packed up and went home.  I was sad they had to leave.  What a great visit we had and fun times!  Memories were made for sure!! My sister and I stayed up quite a few nights until after midnight chatting!  Love her!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2 More Days until My Sister Arrives!!!

My little sister, Sandy is coming for Easter!  Her husband, Dan and youngest daughter, Shawna is coming too.  I haven't seen since last summer.  She is arriving on Good Friday and will be here until Wednesday.  It will be nice to have them here for Easter.  Sandy told me the weather better get warmer than it is now.  They had some snow in NJ last night and she is so sick of it!  It is suppose to be in the mid-70's on the weekend. 

We have planned some things to do while they are here.  My niece would like to go to the Carolina Raptor Center.  We took my nephew there shortly after we moved here and it was wonderful.  I especially love to see the eagles.  I love all kinds of birds so it will be a really nice visit there.  I think we are having lunch at Johnson & Wales University.  My niece would like to be a chef, so she wants to check out the college.  We might go to South Park Mall too.  It is a really nice Mall!  I'm sure we will do alot of other things too. 

I hope everyone has a really nice Easter! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Patio Update

The mason put the sealer on the patio today!  I love it!!

This weekend John and I will be putting a raised bed garden around the patio.  I can't wait.  I am going to plant some herbs around the patio so I can snip some and put them on the grilling meat/veggies!  It is going to look so nice!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Patio Furniture Make over!

This weekend I decided that our patio furniture, which is our round table and 4 wrought iron chairs.  The chairs were originally hunter green.  Then when we moved here we bought a table and it was tan with small brown flecks on it.  So out came the spray paint of the same color and the chairs were transformed into tan chairs to match the table.

 Chair before the repaint.
Table before the repaint.

The green paint started to flake off and it didn't look so nice.  Then when we picked the color for our new stamped-concrete patio I decided glossy black might be a better color for the patio set.

Here is the final results:

I just love the closeup of the table.  The scroll work stands out so much better in glossy black.  I really love the way this project turned out!!  Can't wait to sit on the new patio and enjoy our backyard!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

4-5-14 Wonderful Day in the Garden and at the Garden Center

Yesterday John and I went to Kings Nursery, our favorite garden center.  It is in Stallings, NC about 20 mins. from our house.  I took some photos of a camellia, some hibiscius and a little fairy garden while I was there:

 This camellia was just gorgeous!  I wish I could have taken it home with me!
 I felt like I was in Hawaii when I saw this hibiscius on display.
 Fairy Gardens are the rage this year.  This one was so colorful and cute!
 Another lovely hibiscius.
 A lighter version of the camellia.
I may have to go back and buy this lovely yellow hibiscius tree.  It was so beautiful!!

I also took some pictures of our lovely parrot tulips in our front garden.  I love them!!

John and I undertook a huge task yesterday also!  We really don't like pine straw.  It gets gray, crickets, spiders and snakes like to hide in it too!  We decided to take up all the pine straw in the front garden beds and put down mulch.  While I was working on another project John was bagging up the pine straw.  I started opening the bags of mulch and laying that down.  We were running out of mulch so John went to get more.  I bagged up 3 more bags of pine straw while he was gone.  When he got back I continued mulching.  I don't need a gym membership now I put down 20 bags of mulch and I have 12 bags more to do today!!  Great exercise!  I will take photos today so you can see the end results!  So much better.

I am also working on a project.  Here is the before photos:

This is one of four picnic table chairs we have.  We brought them from NJ when we moved down here.  They are wrought iron.  They originally were a dark green color.  When we bought the new picnic table down here (see below) I spray painted them the color of the table.  We have been here for 10 years (in June) an some of the paint is flaking off.  So I will post the new transformation later today!
We love this table but it needs an over haul too.  Photos of the "new" table later!

While we are tired and sore from all the work we have done this weekend, it still is a wonderful thing to get these projects all done.  Our stamped concrete patio is being poured on Tuesday.  Can't wait to sit out there an enjoy it!!

Yesterday after all the work in the garden Megan and Ken invited us over for dinner.  What a perfect ending to a perfect day!  Also fun hanging out with family!  Megan and Ken are good cooks too!  Jenny, Kevin and the boys joined us, so it was one big family dinner!!  Life is good!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

 I just finished this book a few days ago and I felt compelled to write about it on here.  I really loved this book and keep thinking about it.  I love the cover of the book too!  I actually listened to this book on and the narrator had a lovely English/French accent.

Here is the synopsis of the book on

An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .
An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secret

London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.

Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.

So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.

But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.

Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women, The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.

My review:

I liked everything in this story!  I found it intriguing, mysterious, riveting at times and just enjoyable.  The story line and characters were perfect in this story.  I would highly recommend it and I have given it 5 stars!!