Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Shopping Ideas (that don't include the mall!)

Looking to shop this weekend but don't want to fight the masses at the mall? Every year we trek over to one of our favorite spots in Cary for a little holiday inspiration. This unique spot is the Garden Supply Company. Located on Old Apex Road, this place has an amazing selection of holiday decorations and is always a warm, cozy place to shop in. The owners and staff are always helpful and there's usually a warm cup of coffee or cider to sip on while browsing their unique and eclectic selection of holiday decor. We usually pick up a few new items for decorating each year and always enjoy checking out the selection of new items. When the kids were younger, we used to go eat donuts and listen to Mrs Claus read a story, now we all enjoy picking out new ornaments or something festive to hang on the wall or give as a gift (teachers, friends, etc). I've included a few photos from our recent trip. If you are looking to get out and shop for some special gift or decor ideas this holiday weekend, put the Garden Supply Co on your list and stay away from that crazy mall! ;-)
Koi fish pond outside

Front door

love these chalk boards

holiday bulbs

beautiful year round decor

clever wall art

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weekend Ideas - Part 2: Raleigh Christmas Parade, Pullen Park Grand Re-opening

Busy weekend all around for Raleigh downtown. The 67th annual WRAL Christmas parade is happening this Saturday starting at 10am. Weather looks pretty good (cold though!) so put on your hats and gloves  and coats and head downtown with the kids for some Christmas cheer!

Another big opening this weekend is Pullen Park! Who doesn't have memories of  riding the boats or the train around the park? The whole thing has been under renovation for the last two years complete with a new cafe and all updated amenities. The  grand opening is Saturday, November 19th at 2pm. The cafe owners includes the chef from Zely & Ritz of Glenwood South fame. Music and entertainment from 3-6pm. Go out and find your inner kid!

Weekend Raleigh Plans: Idea 1 - Dillon Fence

Greg Humphreys from Dillon Fence at Hopscotch 2011

I may be showing my age a little, but looking forward to seeing Dillon Fence this Friday night at the Lincoln Theatre. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm. Always a guaranteed fun time. A popular band that were big in the late 1980s to 1995, Dillon Fence originated from Chapel Hill and get together occasionally to perform in different NC venues.

Lincoln Theatre is always a fun spot, so looking forward to getting out and catching up with them Friday night!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kickin' in the Season with the Rockettes

Last night was opening night at DPAC for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. I have to say, this show definitely got me feeling the Christmas spirit (and I'm not one to really start until AFTER Thanksgiving!) What a FANTASTIC show. Run, don't walk to get your tickets to this show before its gone. Only 36 more shows through November (the show only runs in November). The costumes were dazzling, and the 50 foot LED video screen behind the whole thing added such a cool new dimension to the stage production. At one point, there is a double decker bus touring the streets of NYC including Rockefeller Center and Times Square and you really feel  like you are moving along with the bus, through the city streets. One of my favorite scenes was the many, many Santas that came out and did a spectacular dance. SO fun. They cover the gambit of holiday cheer, including an absolutely stunning nativity scene at the end, complete with  a real camel, donkey and sheep that were bahhing, you couldn't help but be a little moved by it.

The show runs just under two hours so not too long for the kiddies! Great for all ages, take your Grandma, your mom (I did!) or take the kids, everyone will love it. DPAC is a great performance venue...a gem in the center of  the American Tobacco District in Durham. I have to say I felt a little guilty seeing it without my kids, so they will definitely come along the next time. Any aspiring dancer daughters?? They will be thrilled.  Catch it before its gone!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SATURDAY: NC Beer & Band Festival

@Lincoln Theatre presented by NC Brewers Guild
Happening this Saturday, November 12 ! Unlimited samples of beer from lots of great local breweries such as: Natty Greene's, Carolina Brewing Company, Mother Earth, Foothills, Lone Rider, Triangle Brewing, Count Craggie, Roth, Carolina Brewery, Duck-Rabbit, Mash House,and others. Bands will be playing on stages inside and outside from 3-8pm. Tickets at Lincoln Theatre. If you like good music and great beer,  this could be a fun Fall day out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hooray for Parks!

The Mayor takes time out with us for a photo
This past Saturday we attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newest neighborhood park in Raleigh...Strickland Road Neighborhood Park. We strolled over on freshly laid mulch to find Mayor Meeker and Mayor-Elect McFarlane there along with several other Raleigh folks, preparing to cut the ribbon and introduce the new playground area. Several families, boy scout and girl scout troops, donated their time and effort to help plant shrubs, lay mulch and add the finishing touches to a project that has been in the works for a couple years. After the ceremony, I had a nice chat with Mayor Meeker about how many great parks, greenways, etc that Raleigh folks have available to them. Its true, between many neighborhood parks, bike paths and of course Umstead State Park, Raleigh is very lucky to have so many wonderful outdoor places to go play, stroll, run, check out wildlife, picnic, throw a ball, whatever you feel like. This is definitely one of my favorite things about living in Raleigh. I appreciate all of Mayor Meeker's efforts over the past 10 years to help create and maintain many of these beautiful outdoor spots and I hope people continue to enjoy these great places for years to come. The weather is perfect in Raleigh now, so get out and PLAY!

cutting the ribbon
More info: Strickland Road is a 37 acre neighborhood park located on Strickland Road between Ray and Leesville Roads in NW Raleigh. The Strickland Road Master Plan was adopted by the Raleigh City Council on March 17, 2009 and funded by the 2000 Parks and Recreation Bond Referendum.
checking out the new playground

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ready to "Kick" in the Holiday Season @ DPAC!

Well, as hard to believe as it is, Halloween is over and Christmas is less then TWO months away! This past weekend we started thinking about checking out a fun holiday production this year to "kick" off the start of the holiday season. Since we are big fans of DPAC, we are excited to see this year's holiday event they are hosting, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world famous Radio City Rockettes! They are performing this show at only a handful of select venues this year and its guaranteed to be a great show. Not to mention they are going high tech with a 50 foot LED screen, amazing costumes, dancing, singing and of course the man in the red suit!

Shows start November 10th and this is sure to be a hot ticket event. We have always wanted to catch the Rockettes in NYC but have always had so many things on our agenda when we were there so this will be a great opportunity to see them in Durham without making the trip to NYC! This year's production sounds like it will feel as if you are in the Big Apple, with a double decker tour of the city as part of the show. I can't wait to see this!

Make this a Girls Night Out event, date night  (lots of great Durham restaurants close by) or take the whole family!   Go to now to get all the ticket and show details!