Author: Addie Parker
•10:35 PM
I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.
~Benjamin Disraeli

Shew. Are you as tired as I am? I'm about to zonk out right here at the computer. What a crazy, busy, wonderful holiday season it has been! I don't think I even posted in between last week's Thankful Thursday and this week's Thankful Thursday. I just haven't been on the computer at all.

But things are winding down... my Christmas decorations are down (as of, oh, two minutes ago), I've got four days off from work, just one Christmas left to go, and guess what?! 2010 is going to be here very, very soon! I'll be posting about that on January 1. I've never been more excited for a new year to begin, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

For today, though... let's get to thankfulness. I am so gosh-darn blessed. Everywhere I turn, there is a new blessing. Let's get to 'em.

*I am thankful for my pastor, Tom. For the new life he has brought to my church since he came in July. For the learning. For the connections. For so much. I love that he's here.

*I am thankful for a quiet week at work.

*I am thankful for the generosity of my friends and family.

*I am thankful for impromptu dinners with friends.

*I am thankful that my foot is healing.

*I am thankful for the hope and excitement I have for 2010.

*I am thankful for steady income.

*I am thankful for orange juice and macaroni and cheese.

*I am thankful that even though my best friend is on vacation in Hawaii, she's still just a text message away.

*I am thankful for a soft bed, a pretty comforter, and a new pillow (which I am going to go use right now).

(Oh, and no pictures for me this week because I'm tired and I want to go to bed.)

What are you thankful for?

{A little bit of business}
1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : )

Author: Addie Parker
•9:57 PM
Hi friends!

I considered canning Thankful Thursday this week, being that it's Christmas Eve and all. But what better day is there to be thankful?!

Immanuel! God is with us!

*I am thankful for this little guy- my newest nephew, Asher... and the time I got to spend with him and the rest of my family last Saturday.

*I am thankful for safe travels so far this season (and praying that the trend continues).

*I am thankful that my husband brought these flowers home for me when I had a bad day:

*I am thankful for diet sierra mist ruby splash. I mean, really... does it get any better than that?

*I am thankful for my church community. I love being a part of it.

*I am thankful for my job.

*I am thankful for union-negotiated holiday time-off.

*I am thankful for sweet, sweet Christmas Eve services. They're my favorite hours of the whole year.

What are you thankful for? Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

{A little bit of business}
1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : )

Author: Addie Parker
•8:19 PM
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to "organize" my closet. I conveniently forgot that when I set about organizing anything (especially a closet), I tend to go overboard.

So I emptied the closet, stripped the shelves, taped, painted, and searched high and low for ways to organize it. I've been doing all of this ever since. There will be a full blog post about it when it's done.

But for now, I'm stuck. It didn't come together how I envisioned (which is not surprising since I didn't really have a clear vision going into it). But now my creative spark has fizzled out, and everything is just sitting there waiting for me to finish.

I'm almost done. Really, I am. But nothing that belongs in the closet is actually IN the closet, yet. I haven't figured out how it will all work, where it will all go, and how it all should look.

I'm very picky about how it will look. I LOVE opening a closet and having it be pretty. Pretty is one of my favorite words. And this is a closet I open every morning to do my make up (yes, I do my make up in the hallway), so to be a little inspired by it would be just lovely. 

Yes. I do really expect to be inspired by my closet. It's fun. You should try it.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I think I need something shiny in there. I have shopped my own house, looking for something that would work, but everything I see either already has its perfect place somewhere else, or just isn't what I'm going for for this closet. And the hard part is I'm not really sure what I'm going for. Candle sticks seem silly because it's a closet, and I won't be lighting candles in a closet. Same goes for a vase. No flowers in the closet. But I'm envisioning something like mercury glass, so what does that leave me with? I don't know. It doesn't help that I'm a cheap-o and won't pay much more than $5 for anything.

I saw some flameless candles in Target the other day, and I thought, "Ah-ha!" But they were $15 a piece. Um, no. But at least I know that's a possibility.
Then, just a few minutes ago, I picked up an old copy of "Home" magazine (June, 208, I just realized). Flipping through, I came across a photo of a workspace that I love.

Here, I took some pictures of the magazine for you...

So what I realized after looking at these photos again was that my little closet needs some pattern. Something interesting. Plain blue walls, plain brown shelves, plain white boxes, plain white potted (fake) plants. Pattern would be good, here. So I have a new mission- pattern and shine! I know, it's totally ambitious. And yes, I'm making fun of myself. And just so you know, I really do realize how trivial this is. I am not actually worried in the least about how this closet will turn out.  But I enjoy the process, and I super-duper enjoy the end result.

And now that I've used "totally" and "super-duper" in the same paragraph. I'm going to stop blogging and start thinking about patterns.

Oh, one more thing. On the let's-make-over-Addie's-blog thing, I'm making progress, but I'm nowhere near done. I have a lot to learn about html, and I'm working with a slow computer and a slower internet connection. It's going to take some time. Patience, friends. : )
Author: Addie Parker
•10:21 AM
Most days, I think I am ready to become a mama. We have plans. A timeline for when to begin trying. I'm getting more excited about it all the time. And sometimes I want to start trying today. {But then I remember all of my years of patience of getting to this point and how a few more months will fly right by, and we'll be better off for the wait.}

I opened my Bible this morning expecting to be encouraged and uplifted. I've been reading Luke and Hebrews (Hebrews for my small group, and Luke just for me). This morning was Luke, chapter 12. I got to verses 51 through 53 and found myself saying, "Not me, though. Right, Lord? You couldn't possibly mean me."

51 "Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to bring strife and division! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against- or the other way around. 53 There will be a division between father and son, mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law."

Right now, I am a daughter and a daughter-in-law. I am not a father, a son, a mother, or a mother-in-law. But I found myself thinking about the mother-daughter relationship- as in me, the mother, and a future daughter of mine. We were actually talking about this during lunch at work yesterday. I work with a bunch of women in their fifties, and they were all reminiscing about how they would sneak out at night and get into trouble. The conversation got around to church and how they were forced to go and always tried to get out of it.

While listening to them, my thoughts wandered to how naiive I am. I was not the get-in-trouble type kid. It just didn't occur to me to want to do that kind of thing. Sneak out? What if my child is the type to try to sneak out? I am not prepared for that! Not want to go to church? I haven't even considered that it could be a battle.

Then, this morning to open up to Luke and read about such division. And I just thought, "No, you can't mean me and my daughter, Lord. Not us."

But he could.

Things aren't all butterflies and rainbows in this Bible thing.  A lot of times it is. The message of Jesus Christ and the incredible thing he did for me. It's comforting and encouraging. Forgiveness and love.

Just not Luke 12: 51-53. 

I wish I were (or had one around) a Bible scholar to decipher and give me background on where this all comes from. But it's just me sitting here with my thoughts.

This morning, I'm thinking about the ENORMOUS task of raising a child. Not the feeding and the clothing and the carting back and forth to school. Not that part. But the part where my child learns to be loving and forgiving. To be kind and gentle with others. The part where I hope my child has a heart on fire for God. The part that I hope it's a joyful thing to be a part of a church community.

How do I do that? How, Lord?  I have so much to learn in the coming months and years. It's helpful that we don't birth six-year-olds. There's time to learn along the way. Time to pray and be prayed for. Time to be boosted up by my friends who will be walking this same path right along with me. Time to listen to the rich messages of my pastor. Time to refine and be corrected myself so that I can be a better example.

There is time. And I will not waste it.
Author: Addie Parker
•7:09 PM
My sister just informed me that my comments aren't working. Again. Boo.  I was wondering why all of you all of a sudden stopped commenting! I thought maybe I was just being too dull (and maybe I was, so you didn't even try to comment, so you didn't know there was a commenting problem- ha!).

I just checked my comment settings, and everything looks good, so I'm guessing it has something to do with the html. Which has something to do with my current layout. Which has been giving me problems from the very beginning.

For starters, I think it's annoying that the comment and post feed links are right up at the top (and on there twice for some reason). And there's the wacky way that the top of the "notebook" thingy is not lined up. And the comment thing. Plus, I'm not sure I'm in love with the grunge-ified look. I have a really hard time finding blog backgrounds that I like. What would be awesome would be to have a blog custom-designed. But that costs money, and that's money I'm not willing to spend right now.

So I will spend some time this weekend making over my blog. Hopefully at the end, things will be prettier and more functional. And you'll be able to leave me a comment to tell me so.

In the meantime, why don't you hop on over to Anna See's blog, An Inch of Gray. Her posts are cracking me up lately. Especially this one. And this one.

Update: Let's do some math; a story problem, k?
I got up at 3:00 this morning. I worked for 14 hours. I then spent almost three hours searching for a blog theme that I even remotely liked.  What percentage of me wants to give up?

The answer: 50%.

I want to give up searching for a pre-made blog theme that I like.  But I think that maybe, just maybe, I can make one myself. I don't have photoshop. I don't have any other editing software. But I have an internet connection, and therefore, I have google. I can do this. ...on Sunday. Because right now I'm going to go to bed, and tomorrow I'm going to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side of the family. So on Sunday, I will attempt what I previously thought to be impossible, given that I have no knowledge and no skills in this area. That's never stopped me before.

If you have any suggestions for how I should go about this, please email me at  Before Sunday.

Thank you and goodnight.
Author: Addie Parker
•10:40 PM
If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.
~Gerald Good

Hi there, bloggy people!  It's the second edition of Thankful Thursday!

A funny thing happened this past week. As soon as I posted my first Thankful Thursday, I was constantly bombarded with other things I was thankful for. I felt like I could do a thankful post every single day!

It wasn't a great week. Bad stuff happened. It was stressful. But in the midst of it all, I couldn't help but think of all the things I was thankful for. It left me feeling so blessed.  It was almost comical the way I could see every little blessing for what it was and know that it was all the more sweet just for the recgonition of it.

So, without further ado, my list of thanks and praises:

*I am thankful for the prayers and support of my friends. This week was a particularly big week for that, and I could see and feel their prayers for me in a big way.

*I am thankful for my new tires- this wintry weather has already produced some very icy roads, and my new extra-grippy tires are up to the task.

*I am thankful for new opportunities to serve my church.

*I am thankful that I am a creative person. It's so fun to be inside my head!

*I am thankful that my husband is excitedly planning a trip to celebrate our five year anniversary.

*I am thankful for the way the light played with the clouds yesterday afternoon.

    *I am thankful for modern medicine and how doctors are able to take care of me, my family, and my friends. 

    *I am thankful for the discovery of a new ice cream that I like- Mike brought home Edy's something or other (I really don't feel like getting up to check the name of it, ha) when I had a sore throat, and it is a great flavor!

    *I am thankful that I am able to give Christmas gifts to others. It feels so good to give.
      What are you thankful for?  Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

      {A little bit of business}
      1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
      2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
      3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
      4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : ) 

      Author: Addie Parker
      •9:36 AM

      Meet my dining room table. It doesn't see much dining. It just mostly sits there looking all pretty and occasionally collecting mail.  For Christmas this year, I dressed it up with some of my favorite elements- a moss terrarium, green candles, a linen table runner, and some shiny things.

       Want some nitty-gritty details?  Okay!

      The moss terrarium was something I put together at the end of the summer. I have three total. I bought the apothecary jar in Pentwater while shopping with my little sister, Britney, and my newest nephew, Asher. I picked up the moss on a hike. So fun.

      The "linen" table runner is actually just a piece of scrap fabric from a pillow project. I folded it up and laid it down. I was planning on taking it back off and sewing it up right, but it ended up looking just fine, as is. The ends that hang off the table are frayed, but I like that look, so it works out.

      The candles are less than two dollars each from Target. They're actually green, but they show like they're honey-colored here. But they're green. Trust me.

      The glass candle stands are from Walmart, and I think they were $2 a piece. I snagged the last two, so too bad for you!

      I already had the two larger silver ornaments from last year, as well as the star garland. I just stuck them in.

      The small silver ornaments were the trickest part. I am a cheap-o, and apparently I didn't think they were worth as much as most of the stores thought they were. I ended up getting these ones at Walmart for four or five bucks. I still think it was too much for a few little plastic bulbs, but I had an image in my head of how this would come together. The silver bulbs were pretty key to the whole look.

      So that's about it! Besides shopping around for all the elements (which I mostly did while also shopping for other things), throwing this look together took just a couple of minutes! I think it was the easiest thing I did this year, and it looks great!

      What does your table look like? Piles of randomness like mine usually is? Covered in cheerios and dried up milk? Set for a fancy dinner party? Tell me all about it!

      I've linked up to the Creative Cats party at Poppies at Play!

      Pssst.... check out my post from yesterday. You could join in next week!
      Author: Addie Parker
      •6:53 AM
      For each new morning with its light,
      For rest and shelter of the night,
      For health and food, for love and friends,
      For everything Thy goodness sends.
      ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you most certainly could not have missed the barrage of "I'm Thankful" tweets and status updates during the days leading up to Thanksgiving. For the better part of a month, my friends and family (and random bloggy people I follow) were tweeting and updating, "Today I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and kids." "Today I'm thankful for the roof over my head." "Today I'm thankful for grilled cheese with the face of Mary, Mother of God, on it."  Stuff like that.

      I wonder how thankful I was this season. I didn't think much about it. Probably because I've been in kind of an emotional slump. Feeling a little depressed, feeling a little hopeless. But that is so not an accurate snapshot of my life!

      I am so blessed!

      Yes, there are troubles. No, nothing is perfect. Yes, there are things I want and things I question, and things I wish and hope and pray for. But I am so blessed!  I have a job that pays well enough and has good health benefits. I have a roof over my head, and I am in no danger of not being able to pay my bills. I have a husband who loves me more than I deserve. I have a big, crazy family who make me laugh. I have the best friends I could ever imagine. And I have a personal relationship with the God who's mercies are new every morning.

      There is so much more. I could write for a very long time about what I am blessed with and thankful for. And I believe that if I do that frequently- if I call to mind on a regular basis all of the things that make my life wonderful- I will be more worshipful. More full of praise. Better able to recall the good when the bad hits hard.

      Every week here at Life with a Lady, I will host a Thankful Thursday party. Please link up and/or comment and share what you are thankful for this week. And keep your thankfulness in mind all week. Together, we can keep a spirit of gratefulness and thanksgiving year round.

      This week I am thankful for the person who was kind enough to stop and leave a note on my car telling me I had a flat. I wouldn't have noticed until I started driving because I don't approach the car from that direction.

      This week I am thankful that I had enough money set aside for emergencies to cover the purchase of four new, high quality tires.

      This week I am thankful that I am strong enough and confident enough in myself to change a tire {Do you know how many people told me I couldn't do it?!}.

      This week I am thankful that my foot is healing.

      This week I am thankful that my church has hired a new worship leader!

      This week I am thankful for Steel Magnolias, chocolate, and a cozy bed at the end of the day.

      This week I am thankful for a supportive bra. 

      What are you thankful for?  Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

      {A little bit of business}
      1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
      2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
      3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
      4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : ) 


      Author: Addie Parker
      •7:38 PM
      Are you ready to see what I've been working on for my Christmas decorations?! I'm ready to show you.

      The first Christmas-decorating thing I did this year was so simple. And fun. You should try it.

      First, I found a silhouette-type graphic of the three wise men and a camel. I sized it how I wanted it on my computer, then printed it off onto black card stock. Yes. It was black ink on black card stock. A little hard to see, but it served its purpose.

      Then I grabbed the scissors and got to work. I cut out all the little, intricate details. I even had to get out the craft knife (which I hate using) at the end for the really tight stuff.

      After these little guys were all cut out (and a star, too!), I just put some scrapbooking adhesive on the front of them, reached up under the lamp shade, and stuck 'em up there!

      When the lamp is off, nothing is visible. But at 7:00 PM, the timer turns on, and- MAGIC! Three wise men and their camel in my lampshade! Delightful.

      You can go to Creative Cats Friday to see what other lovely ladies have been crating this week!
      Author: Addie Parker
      •9:15 PM

      I go among trees and sit still.
      All my stirring becomes quiet
      around me like circles on water.
      My tasks lie in their places
      where I left them, asleep like cattle.

      Then what is afraid of me comes
      and lives a while in my sight.
      What it fears in me leaves me,
      and the fear of me leaves it.
      It sings, and I hear its song.

      Then what I am afraid of comes
      I live for a while in its sight.
      What I fear in it leaves it
      and the fear of it leaves me.
      It sings, and I hear its song.

      After days of labor,
      mute in my consternations,
      I hear my song at last,
      and I sing it. As we sing,
      the day turns, the trees move.

      Wendell Berry, Untitled, from The Sabbath Poems

      Author: Addie Parker
      •8:58 PM
      So, people. I've had some time to peruse a few Christmas home tours, thanks to BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes 2008. I think I might be able to really pull off this whole decorate-for-Christmas-without-a-tree-oh-and-also-without-exploding-santa's-workshop-in-my-living-room thing. Really, I might be able to do it.

      Here is what I came up with for inspiration.

      String ornaments from trees outside. Yeah, I could do that.

      The link for this picture no longer works, so I apologize to the lady (whoever you are) to whom I cannot give credit.  I like the idea, though... little tags on a string-wrapped, spray painted tree. Nice.

      There were some pictures on the tour of homes that sparked an idea for me, even though they weren't pictures of the actual ideas. So... some notes that I jotted down:
      *Put things on cake stands.
      *Use white feathers.
      *Mercury Glass.
      *Use sheet music.
      *Make a burlap table runner with something Christmas-ey on the ends.
      *Put shapes inside of a lamp shade.
      *Use candles. Lots of candles
      *Stars on sticks
      *Card Hanging Ribbons

      And the specific projects I'd like to do:
      Natural colored linen pillows with cream Christmas tree appliques.
      Table runner
      Wreath or garland
      Put shapes inside of a lamp shade.
      Funky wrapped styrofoam trees.
      Card Hanging Ribbons with minature clothespins with Christmas trees on them.

      Stay tuned to see these projects come to fruition!

      Author: Addie Parker
      •6:41 PM
      Remodeling Guy just posted a little survey. He's gathering info for his blog so that he can better cater to his readers (including me, yeah). I read through the questions and decided that in addition to answering his survey, I would post my answers here. This is a new blog, and I think it's a great way for you to get to know me (or at least get to know my remodeling side. :)  You can take his survey, too, at He's not sharing your answers with anyone except himself. But if you want to share your answers here with me, I'd love to get to know you, too!


      No, but thank you for asking.




      No kids, yet. Soon, maybe.


      I would really like to have a home that I am completely comfortable in, without having a bank account that bleeds. I am willing to do so much by myself to save money, but if I'm talking to a professional, it means it's a job that is too big for me. I need the professional to understand that I just want to make small improvements, but I want them to be done well. I need to be able to trust him or her to to a good job and charge a fair price.

      About Your Home!

      • Check.



      • Check.


      The Heart of The Matter!!

      Here are the questions that will really help me to better serve you!

      I want to be delighted at every turn.
      In that pursuit, I try to find a balance between need and want. The needs (like our back deck) make me grumpy. The wants (like crown molding) excite me.

      Budget is always the biggest hurdle. After that, I find that I'm always doing projects on my own. My husband is not interested in home improvement. This makes bigger projects impossible most of the time. 

      I do the work around the house. If a project needs more than I can give, it doesn't get done unless absolutely necessary (like repairing the refrigerator). Hiring a professional is very intimidating to me, and I am always scared of what they will tell me it will cost.

      Depends on the job. For most jobs, I'd probably hire a handyman type. I would only hire a company if it were something like an addition. The professional image is semi-important. I don't care how the person dresses, if they cut their hair or shave their beard. That doesn't matter. What does matter is that they don't smell (that matters A LOT if they're going to be spending time in my home), they're clean (no tracking in mud, getting oily fingerprints on the furniture, etc), and they are respectful. Also, I would say that smoking is not an option.

      Do you ever watch that show on HGTV, Holmes on Homes?  Well, I do. Mike Holmes does a fantastic job.... fixing everyone else's mistakes. What if I do it wrong? What if the person I hire because I don't know how to do it does it wrong? Are mistakes going to be made that are going to end up costing me thousands? 

      Is it worth it to make all these changes? Am I going to see a return on my investments when I go to sell in five or six years? 

      I would love to buy a piece of land that is not too far out of town but still secluded and quiet. I would like it to have a little stream. I would like to have a new house built that meets all of my needs.  I would like to stay there for a very long time.

      Well, yeah. All of the above. But most specifically, I visit your blog for instruction and encouragement. I was hooked as soon as you posted about spray painting cabinets.  {That was for Remodeling Guy. For the rest of y'all, I like looking at your craft and decorating projects for inspiration. And I like the blogging community. Even though my last blog had to end, I would really love it if this blog had some faithful readers and commentors like my last blog did. Hopefully that will come in time.}
      Author: Addie Parker
      •10:35 AM
      I interrupt your Monday morning to bring you some important bloggy business. Thank you for attending my impromptu meeting.

      First, Old Business.  Well, there is no Old Business since this is a new blog.

      So- New Business.

      1. I was informed that it was impossible to comment on my posts. So sad because I LOVE comments! I made some changes to my settings, so hopefully that situation is rectified. I also now allow everyone to comment without moderation, including anonymous bloggers. But please don't be anonymous! When you comment, I'd like to have the option of commenting back, going to your blog, making it a conversation, and getting to know you!  Let's spread some comment love, shall we?!

      2. I now have a "contact me" thingy over there on the right side of the page. See it?  Now you can send me emails, too.  .... What? You have nothing to send me an email about? Oh, c'mon. Sure you do. : )
      "Dear Lady, Why don't you have a real name? Love, Blogger."
      "Dear Lady, Could you please help me decide what color to paint my little girl's room? Love, Blogger."
      "Dear Lady, Where is the best place to go hiking in Michigan? Love, Blogger."
      "Dear Lady, I have a million dollars to send to you. What is your address? Love, Blogger."
      See? There are lots of things to email me about.

      3. I was thinking... I need a NAME!  I used to have this great blog (well, I thought it was great). But someone else didn't think it was so great. And because I used my name a lot in it, they were able to really cause some trouble in my life. So when I started this new blog a few weeks ago, I decided to just be The Lady from Life With A Lady. But it's not really working for me. You know? Yeah, I like being The Lady, but I feel like I need a stronger identifier. I need real name. Just not my real name. Because even my first name is pretty unique. A stage name. A blog name. What should I be? Who should I be? Ideas? I need to decide soon.
      I like Anna, but that is currently taken by multiple people in my life, so it's kind of off limits. I just feel like if I weren't *insert my real real name here*, I would certainly be an Anna.
      So, not Anna. What else? Maybe I should look through a baby name book. Yeah? Okay. I'll just flip through and see what I see.
      Ooh! Addie. That's cute! I think maybe there's an American Girl doll named Addie. Maybe.
      Bella. That was my nickname growing up. But I didn't love Twilight enough to go that route, so no.
      Ella. Taking the B off of Bella. That could work!
      Frank. I think it'd be fun to be a girl named Frank. hehehe
      Kate? Love it, but there are too many Kates.
      Kendall. It means "Ruler of the Valley."  That's Ruler of the Blog, to you!
      Maren? I could be a Maren.
      Molly. I could be a Molly, too.
      Noelle? That's fun. I kinda want to name a baby girl Noelle, but I don't think I'd have the guts to do it.
      Sadie. I just bought something from an Etsy shop called Sadie'sTheLady. Love it. But I don't want to copy.

      So what do you think? I'm choosing soon, so get your two cents in before it's too late!

      4. Guess what! My tissue paper bow tutorial was mini-featured on Poppies at Play! I'm so excited! Thanks, ladies! Poppies at Play is a collaborative blog, and they have a Creative Cats party every Friday so we can all show off what our creative sparks of genius have come up with lately. It's fun. I'm so honored that they liked my project!

      I think that wraps up our little town hall meeting. Anything to add? No? Okay. Meeting adjourned. Thanks for coming!
      Author: Addie Parker
      •2:20 PM
      Deck the halls with boughs of holly!

      Just thought I'd start you off with a little song that will stay in your head all day *insert evil lady-laugh here*.

      I've been thinking about holiday decorations for a few weeks, now. Last year, I didn't put up a tree (gasp!).  I had multiple reasons for that. Number one- I wasn't in the mood. I just wasn't. Number two, I like how my house is without all of the extra clutter of holiday decor.  And number three, my Christmas tree just wasn't {isn't} my style. I did bring out my old stand-by Christmas decorations, and managed to make my home look pretty festive.

      Fast forward a year, and here we are. The only thing that has changed is that I am in the mood for Christmas decorating- and the first week of November hasn't even come to a close, yet. 

      But still, I like my house how it is. Adding more STUFF, especially hokey holiday stuff, will upset the balance of clutter vs. select pretty things being displayed. The clutter effect will win. So does that mean I put some of my other stuff away for the season? Hmmm.

      Then, there is the issue of what holiday crap I can live with. The holiday section of any given store makes me shudder. It's just not ME. It's not. Forest green and blood red. Not my colors. Sparkles on everything or old-world santa. Puke. I do think blue and silver are okay, but they really really really don't go with my house.  Can't they make neutral colored Christmas stuff?

      So here I sit, trying to think of ways to incorporate Christmas into my home without getting a headache.

      And I have an idea.

      I'm going to go through old Christmas home tour blog parties {I think both BooMama and The Nester have hosted them in the past} and get some DIY ideas. Then I'm going to travel to DIY heaven and crank out some Christmas-ey stuff using neutral, natural colors and textures. 

      Stay tuned to see which ideas I find that inspire me to go Christmas crazy!

      This won't be making the cut.

      Disclaimer: I don't have kids, and my husband says he doesn't care, so I'm not ruining anyone's life by not having a Christmas tree. K? Maybe when I do have a child and he or she is old enough to care, then I will have a tree. And maybe by then I'll have thought of a style of tree that makes my heart happy.
      Author: Addie Parker
      •4:58 PM

      One of my favorite places to look for inspiration is to the lovely ladies (and gents, I suppose) who post their wares on Etsy. Some days, I'll find a tee shirt embellished with ruffles or a wrap skirt with a little birdie on it. Other days I'll find a painting that would look great on my walls or a set of greeting cards that would be perfect to have on hand.

      The eye candy at Etsy is delicious.

      So today, I'm happy to share with you a cozy little collection of autumn items. Take a look, then feel free to click on the pictures to visit the Etsy shops and consider taking something home with you! Unless I buy it first. Race ya'.

      This $13.50 wreath is so simple. So easy. So casual. So pretty on my front door...

      This catchy little pair of earrings will bring a whisper of fall into your style for just $16.

      These little shoes pull at my heartstrings. I'd buy them right now (for $17) if I had a little girl to buy them for. Do you?

      I'm all about being understated when it comes to holiday decorating. This pumpkin pillow is perfect at only $16.

      At $65, this bag is a bit of a splurge, but well worth it. I'd love to carry this on my shoulder this fall!

      I'm not usually one for signs and words, but this particular one for $18 is a subtle and pleasant reminder to give thanks not just during this season, but in every moment.

      How about you? What are you doing to wrap yourself in cozy-warm colors and give thanks for the beauty of fall?
      Author: Addie Parker
      •11:21 AM

      What happens when you leave a lady alone with a plain gift, a spool of ribbon, and some tissue paper?
      {Oh, and make sure she's in a hotel room the night before a wedding with no real resources.}


      So what really happened was that we rushed to get out of town on Friday afternoon, drive to the Big City, pick up my husband's tux, and make it to the rehearsal on time.  On the way there, we stopped at a Rite Aid to get a card and a bow for the top of the gift. But Rite Aid's bows were tragically insufficient for the super-fun bird cage and bird wrapping paper that I had used. So I picked out some coordinating tissue paper and ribbon. That evening, after the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, I set up shop in the hotel room. I realized at that point that I had no tape and no scissors.
      That's okay.
      I grabbed my husband's pocket knife and went to work.  I pulled out my old homecoming-float-flower-making skills and delighted in creating something beautiful.  The following is a tutorial so that you can duplicate the project when you find yourself in a similar jam (or when you just want to add something whimsical to the top of a gift).

      Step 1: Cut your tissue paper down into manageable squares. I wanted large flowers, so I cut each layer of tissue paper into four pieces. They were large. I'd say an 8" by 8" square would be sufficient for a medium-size flower. Use at least six layers of tissue paper for a full flower.

      Step 2: Fold up the squares (keeping the layers together) into an accordion. It doesn't have to be exact. It doesn't have to be perfect.

      Step 3: Tie a length of ribbon around the center of the accordion. I used probably about 12" pieces of ribbon. Less is fine. More is fine, too.

      Step 4: Make sure your ribbon is tight and your knot is secure. The knot will be on the bottom, so it doesn't need to be pretty.

      Step 5: Take each layer of tissue, and start GENTLY pulling it toward the center of the flower. Depending on the quality of your tissue paper, it could tear quite easily. So be gentle!

      This is what your flower will look like from the bottom.

      Keep going. Why would one flower be enough?! I made three.

      Step 6: Secure your flowers to the top of the gift. I just tied the ribbon from the back of the flower to the ribbon that was around the box. You could use tape if you're so organized that you have it on hand.

      Step 7: Take pictures for all to see. You'll want to blog about it, of course. And you'll definitely want to let me know that you did. : )


      Step 8: Proudly march your gift through the reception, and bask in the compliments as you make your way to the gift table.

      Step 9: Enjoy the day. What a lovely couple.

      See how other creative ladies are expressing themselves at the Creative Cats Friday party at Poppies at Play and DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land.