Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Decorating!

     Hi everyone! This post was suppose to be written a couple weeks ago, but just like it has for everyone else, Christmas has been sneaking up on me. I decided I would go all out and decorate my room this year. I've been seeing on Facebook and Twitter that I wasn't the only one having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit. This was definitely a way for me to get excited. I thought I would share with you guys a few Christmassy pictures to bring some Christmas Joy!

(I put a string of lights on my dresser.)

(I switched out my sheets and bedding. This quilt was a birthday gift from my grandma last year.)

(For anyone who doesn't know, I'm a huge build-a-bear fan. Rudolph and Clarice just happen to be two of my favorites.)

(I actually have these up all year round but they just added to the Christmassy feel.)

(Every year I put up my Teddy Bear Christmas Tree. My mom has given me bear ornaments since I was a little kid. This is probably one of my favorite decorations this year.)

(Our fireplace in the living room.)

(Putting the Star on our Christmas Tree.)

(The finished product of all our decorating!)

     I hope this has brought you some Christmas excitement! I will probably do another post after Christmas. So here's the final picture...

Merry Christmas!

Love, Carson

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Thanksgiving Week....

     Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate until you felt like you could die. I wish I could say I did. I actually ended up sleeping through dinner after I was in the Novant Health Parade. Somehow, I ended up getting one of the worst cold/viruses ever. On the plus side, my performance in the parade went amazing! I was on the cornucopia float, which was beautiful, and I had so much fun waving at everyone. My interview the day before on WCCB News Rising went great too! Everyone at WCCB Studio was so friendly and welcoming. It's been pretty busy these past few days so here are some pictures...

*In the Green Room at WCCB. Ian Somerhalder was watching over me. (LOVE ME SOME TVD)*

*Behind the scenes of my interview with Tera WCCB News Rising*

*Here's an awesome edit someone made me on Facebook!*

*A beautiful shot my friend Krista took while watching the Parade at home. (Thanks Krista!)*

*It was freezing cold so here I am all bundled up getting ready to sing.*

     I've got some more exciting news to share with you guys. After months of working on my new EP 'In My Mind', it is finally out on iTunes! *Insert Scream!!* The physical copy isn't available yet but you will be able to purchase it online soon! It would make a great Christmas gift if I do say so myself! Also you should be able to listen to it on Spotify now. I hope you guys will go buy it and let me know what you think! I'll make it super easy for you and add a link at the bottom. Please share with everyone you know! I love you all so much and the support you guys have sent me this week is mind blowing. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! 

Love xx Carson

Monday, November 18, 2013

Upcoming Events!

     Hello everyone! I've been so busy lately I haven't had much time to blog. Good news is that since I have been so busy I've got some exciting news! First of all, my EP will be coming out VERY soon. I know that I said it would be late October early November, but we've been taking a little extra time to make it the best it can be. It's going to mastering tomorrow and it should be out just in time for Christmas! Personally I think it would make a wonderful Christmas gift. Just sayin'. I've been thinking about making a teaser video and putting it on youtube. Would you guys be interested in that? 

     Secondly, I have a very big announcement for Thanksgiving week. I will be performing at the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade! The parade will be televised at 1pm, but you can come watch it live at 9:30am on Tryon Street in Charlotte. I will be performing on a float in front of the grandstands. This is going to be the first time I've ever performed in a parade. I'm so excited/nervous! So, if you've eaten to the point you can't move, just chill out in front of your TV and watch!
     Thirdly, the day before Thanksgiving I will be on WCCB Fox News Rising. I'm going to be interviewed and may possibly play a song. I'm not completely sure but I can't wait! You can watch it live at 8:30am on WCCB or watch the live stream online!  Here's the link!

     Finally, my website has been worked on recently and it's looking pretty spiffy if I do say so myself! So, go check it out and let me know what you think! You can also keep up with upcoming shows and events on there. 

     Thank you guys so much for everything you do for me. I owe it all to you. Also, I recently reached over 1600 likes on my Facebook page! Thank you to everyone who shared my page and told friends. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week. I am extremely blessed and I know I'm thankful for you guys!   Lots of love-  xxCarson

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shows of Years Past

     Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since I've blogged. The past couple of weeks have been super busy. I've been putting the final touches on my new EP and getting ready for different shows. This past weekend I had my annual show at the local BBQ. It was my fourth year in a row doing it. They always have the BBQ the first weekend in November every year. It's crazy to think that just four years ago I had my first show outside of church. It seems like just last week I was learning songs for my first set ever. The best part about having this show every year, is I get to see how much I've grown since the last time. What better way to celebrate four years then to look back on all the shows I've had so far. 

1st Year! (2010)

     Here we have a 11 year old version of myself. Braces and all. Anyone who was at that particular show will tell you that it was freezing cold and it even snowed a little. I remember being so nervous and halfway through the set I couldn't feel my fingers. It didn't help that I had a cold a week before (which seems to happen every year). Any performer will tell you that it's really hard to sing in front of people who know you. Since I was singing in my hometown I knew every single person who came to listen. One thing I've learned over the years is to quit worrying what other people think. Looking back, I have so many people who love me and come to support me, and those are the ones I should focus on. So, thank you to everyone who came out on that freezing cold November 6th. The first thing I said walking off that stage was "I want to do it again." And thus, I had caught the performing bug…

2nd Year (2011)

     The next year I had already had 12 months worth of playing shows and learning new stuff. I had already recorded half of my 'Country Sky' EP with Brad Smith the past spring, so I was starting to get more comfortable with everything. I actually started to get over my fear of talking to crowds, so I said a few things in between every song. That's a miracle in itself because my first show I barely said anything. I don't have a picture from this show; my mom recorded everything so I could put it on youtube and watch it back. This particular song was pretty popular with everyone who heard it so I thought I'd share it with you. 

3rd Year (2012)

     The 3rd year was a really good one for me. I had been on Charlotte Today a month before. That was crazy in itself. By this time all the kids my age had kind of started to get use to my performing. I'm pretty sure now I'm just known as the girl who sings. They all still support me, which I'm really grateful for. I had also learned that no matter what I do, I had a lot of friends who would help me share my music if I asked. That's one thing I love about my hometown. They have always been here for me. I had gotten wayyyy better on my stage performance and I had grown as a songwriter too. Every year I've been getting better.

4th Year (2013)

     This year, I brought my acoustic band with me (Thanks Gabe and David!). One thing I'm super proud of is I'm developing my own style and I did a lot more of my own songs this time around. I think the highlight of this past show was my family. They all came out just to hear me perform. I even have a semi little fan club that includes a bunch of little cousins and some girls from my church. It's funny how I am much more confident with my music. I use to be afraid that someone would think I was being arrogant, or all I wanted was attention, and they would make fun of me. Now, I can get up there and just have fun. Because no matter how many bad shows I might have where I play to 15 people tops, I know that when I come back to play the local BBQ I will always have a loving and supportive audience. Besides, they're the ones who gave me my start. I owe a lot to them.

     So, I hope you all have enjoyed looking back at my past. I've grown a lot with my music and as a person. I would definitely be nowhere without all the lovely people I call family and friends. God has truly blessed me. Also, I'm proud to announce I will be playing at the Novant Parade in Charlotte this Thanksgiving! It will be televised! I can't decide if I'm excited or completely terrified. Maybe a little bit of both. I love you guys so much! Thanks for reading!

xx Carson

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cloudy Days and Mondays

     It's finally October! Crazy right? Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. The air starts to get chilly, the leaves start to change, and the holidays start getting closer. When I was younger I would get excited when October came because it meant only one more month till my birthday. Plus, when the weather got colder, I could go play in the woods without worrying about snakes. Now, I enjoy it because I start seeing pumpkins on peoples porches and kids are getting excited over what they're going to be for Halloween. Everyone starts anticipating Thanksgiving and Christmas, and looking forward to fall break. It's just a happy time of year. I've always been a cold weather kind of girl, so when I woke up and saw it was chilly and overcast on a Monday morning, I thought what better way to enjoy the start of October than to go outside and take some pictures without the killer heat. There's quite a few I wanted to share, and I am by no means a great photographer, but I enjoyed taking them none the less.

(My kitty named Garth. She thinks she's a predator sometimes.)

(The leaves are changing!)

(This is Freckles. He's my walking buddy when the cats stop following.)

(Our cute mailbox.)

(Walking back down my driveway I saw my grandpa getting out of his truck. He's quite the model.)

(My sister's kitty name Voltaire. I know, we give strange names…)

     There you have it! I love, love, love overcast days. I hope guys have enjoyed looking at my pictures. If not, then at least lie and say you do. Haha. Feel free to comment your favorite things about fall! I'd love to hear about it. Thanks for reading!

xx Carson 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nashville/Country Music Hall of Fame/Photo Shoot

     Hi again! This past week has been a busy one. I know I probably say that in every post, but it's the truth. Since my EP will be finished soon, a trip to Nashville was needed for a photo shoot. Mostly, we needed promo shots and possibly a cover for my new album. It was a last minute trip (well, planned about a week in advance). I was so excited when we arranged a photo shoot, mostly because my mom has done all of my pictures up until this point. I honestly didn't know what to expect and I was a little nervous. Like always, I worry too much because it was such a fun experience. I worked with a photographer just outside of Nashville and she was wonderful. She also gave me a lot of great advice on my music. You can check out her photography at The Factory Photography website. I'm super excited to see the finished product of my pictures soon!
     Anyways, this post isn't just about my photo shoot. On the way to Nashville I had a friend of mine, who lives in upstate New York, tell me she had never been to Nashville and would love to go. Nashville is a beautiful place and I thought it was a shame that not everyone has the chance to visit it. So, in honor of anyone who has never been to Nashville because they live too far away, here's a few shots I took of Broadway and the Country Music Hall of fame.

     One of the many things Nashville is known for is Broadway Street. On a weekend you hear nonstop music coming from every bar/restaurant. You'll also see some musicians busking on the side of the street.

     One of my personal favorite places to visit is the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. It is also on Broadway Street. They have all kinds of records and cd's of new and old artists. Plus, the people who work there are so friendly. In the back of the store there is also a stage that many old country artists have performed on.

     If you haven't heard of Tootsies, there's just one word you need to know. Crazy. Willie Nelson wrote the hit song Crazy by Patsy Cline in the back of Tootsies after he performed at the Ryman. Many people don't know that at the back of Tootsies is an alleyway that connects to the Ryman. Many artists would go there after performing. It's an amazing place to walk in and look around. You can almost feel the history and imagine the things it has seen.

     This past trip was my first time ever going to the Country Music Hall of Fame. My advice to anyone who goes is to make sure you have plenty of time to look around. It takes you from the beginning of country music to today's mainstream country you hear on the radio. There is so much to read and see that I couldn't even decide on the pictures I wanted to share with you. I did, however, decide to share this quote with you. It was one of those things that gave me the chills when I read it.

Johnny, I want to send out a big thanks for the inspiration. You took the social consciousness from folk music, the gravity and humor from country music, and the rebellion out of rock & roll, and taught all us young guys that not only was it all right to tear up all those lines and boundaries but it was important. -Bruce Springsteen.

     On your final stop, there is a big room full of plaques of every person inducted into the hall of fame. The walls are filled with legend after legend. The thing the caught my attention the most was the ceiling. If country music had one motto it's this: May The Circle Be Unbroken.

     There is so much more to do in Nashville, this is only a dent in it. In fact, this was my fourth trip there and my mom and I were still seeing new things. In between meetings, we drove around and saw new parts of the city we had never seen before. 
     On a different note, during my meeting with my PR guy, Don Grubbs, I got to meet Billy Dean! It was so random. He had a meeting in the same building and stopped by to say hello. He is such a nice guy and he gave me a lot of advice as a young artist. 
     Well, that's about as exciting as my life gets for this week. Now I have to catch up on some school work. :\  I hope you all are doing well!

xx Carson

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Italian Week!

     This past week was Italian Week on Food Network. If you're wondering why I'm telling you this, it's because my mom is a huge fan of Italian cooking. She swears up and down we were meant to be Italian. So, we decided to celebrate by cooking an Italian meal every night. Each family member, excluding my sister who is at college (Sorry Catie), got to pick one of their favorite dishes to cook. On Monday my mom made her famous eggplant parmesan. I know everyone says this but, my mom really does make the best Italian food. Since she's a boss in the kitchen, my dad and I wanted to do just as good. 
     Tuesday night was my turn. I decided instead of trying to be fancy I'd stick with a classic, spaghetti and meatballs. Since I'm mostly known for my baking and not my cooking, I went for the easy route. What's simpler than spaghetti and meatballs? Boy was I wrong. I asked my mom for her recipe and found out that watching a few 'Extra Virgin' episodes on Food Network was not going to help me. I am by no means an expert on how to write a blog post about a recipe, so, I figured I'd just share a few snapshots my mom took.

     One thing a learned about cooking meatballs is that it's hard to enjoy meat when you've smelled it raw. If my vegetarian sister is reading this, no, it does not mean I'm becoming a vegetarian. I just ended up enjoying the leftovers the next day a little bit more. (Tip for rolling meatballs- Lightly roll them in your hands. Try not to compact the meat to keep it from becoming too dry.)

My beautifully rolled and raw meatballs!

     After I rolled the meatballs, I put them in the oven to cook for a little while until browned on the outside. I didn't let them cook all the way through until I put them in the sauce and let them simmer for a while. As you can see below, this is what they should look like when ready to eat.

     Once the sauce and the meatballs were finished, I quickly made the spaghetti noodles. By that time, the smell had filled our house and my dad wanted to 'help' finish cooking it. 

     After I cooked the pasta, all that was left to do was put it in a bowl. I had to go outside to get some basil for the finishing touch. 

     I don't think I could've done it without a little bit of my mom's help, but it turned out beautifully. We ended up sitting at the table with Italian music playing while we ate. I'm pretty sure my dad and I got on my mom's nerves while we sang the only words we knew to a couple of the songs; mine being 'When a *mumbles some form of words* like a big pizza pie that's amore'. All in all, the meal was delicious. Later on in the week it was my dad's turn and he made a steak marsala. It was amazing.
     I know this doesn't really have anything to do with music, but I want this blog to be about my life in general. Someone told me recently that they loved hearing about the adventures that go on in my life, so I figured that you guys might too. I have a lot of stuff coming up soon and hopefully I will have time to keep you updated!

xx Carson