We're Getting Ready for the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Either that or Hobby Lobby has vomited all over my house.

A few weeks ago I was tickled by a series of posts over at the Nesting Place about the indiscriminate use of fake plants in well intentioned, however misguided, attempts to decorate our homes. She even hosted a P.O.O.P.I.E Party, and encourages strict adherence to certain faking it guidelines. She is a hoot.

I am not sure where I fall on the fake plant continuum. During the normal months of the year, I do have a few around, but I promise they are fairly realistic. Fairly. However. There is something about Fall decorating that brings out my inner Fake Leaf addiction.

Let's take a tour and you can decide for yourself.

New arrangement (and I use that term loosely) for the front door. Is it too much?

Little table in the foyer. Can you guess my current favorite decorating obsession? (Besides leaf garland of course.)

That's right. Gourds on pedestals. I just can't help myself.

Here's the top of our TV armoire. More gourds. And leaf garland. (Are we still friends?)

Except there seems to be a glaring empty space in the middle. Don't you think SOMETHING needs to be added? But what?

Last, but not least, our mantel.

One more thing. There may or may not be two fall swags placed over our french doors. I am torn. Sometimes I look up and think, "Oh, cozy and festive." and other times I gag. They may be too much Fall. As if.

Now. Please tell me what you think. I can take it. What should I add/change/burn? Be honest.

(I hope the Great Pumpkin likes it.)


Glitter Overload

Monday night I was giddy with anticipation as we turned on our DVR to watch the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars. The glitz, the cheese, the fake tan, oh...yeah, the dancing...we love it all.


After THREE nights*, my eyes have seen a tad too much. I'm officially on glitter overload.

I'm already a little disappointed too after last night's second elimination. Was it just me, or were you sad to see Ted McGinley leave too? And Cloris Leachman stay?

Ted seemed full of potential and class. At first I was rooting for Cloris, at 82 years old I thought it was wonderful for her to be active and be a part of the show. Then she opened her potty mouth and camped it up a bit too much. Not classy.

I had a fond spot for Cloris too because she is after all, Phyllis, Mary Tyler Moore's snobby neighbor from the 70s. Loved her. But she should not still be on DWTS.

It's still too early to tell a whole lot about the contestants. Brooke is on fire, Misty May has strength and grace, Maurice and Warren have potential. Lance gives me the heebs.

Should be a fun season. What do you think? Who are you rooting for?

*Thankfully 3 nights of DWTS was a one time thing for premiere week. Whew!


SPT: What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

The Because of a Blogger SPT challenge continues this week with one of my favorite topics...

FOOD! {Glorious food...}

Because of Mique and her Tried and Trues, I have discovered some tasty, family pleasing meals. My family thanks her.

Because of Kelly, I discovered this tasty treat last year. These could not be any easier. Or more yummy. I like easy, and I like yummy.

Since yesterday was the first official day of Fall, I thought it was perfect timing to whip some up today.

I didn't have any chocolate chips, so I skipped them. I made up for it with some frosting and fall sprinkles. These cookies are a cross between a soft cookie and a muffin. Downright DEE-lish.

Perfect with a hot cup of coffee. Now, if only our weather around here felt more like Fall...

Have you been inspired to try a recipe you found through blogging? What's cookin' over in your kitchen? We had this with a side of this tonight. (And I'll have to add an extra mile or two in the morning.)

Be sure to dash over to Lelly's blog to see what others are cookin' up this week for SPT.


I Hope She Looks Good in Horizontal Stripes

Recently, I have been faced with a few on the spot judgment calls.

I guess it goes with this whole motherhood gig. Sigh.

Let me set the scene. You are shopping at your local grocery store or Tar-GEY. You round the corner and are faced with those self-serve bins full of granola, nuts, and the ever popular CANDY.

For almost 5 years, my firm, "NO" was sufficient at stopping a curious girl {mine} from peeking inside. I don't ever buy anything in those things if I can help it, because of the whole ICK factor. You'll see what I mean, if you aren't already there with me.

One day we came upon the candy bins and I immediately gave A. the look and said no. She was fine with that until two moms and their group of kidlets approached the bins. Said kidlets reached inside their bin of choice to grab "free" candy, while their moms watched.

A light went on over A.'s head. I saw it and was ready with a swift reminder of "No, we don't do that, let's go, yada, yada."

Mid yada, one of the moms told A. to "Just take one. It's okay."

Quick as lightning she did, before I got across the aisle to stop her.

My little criminal. But the chocolate covered peanut was long gone.

I didn't know what to do. Should I have said something to the mom, you know, about stealing? I pulled A. down the other aisle and firmly reprimanded her for disobeying me and explained how taking even one was wrong, it was stealing, etc.

Since then, this type of thing has happened again, from a member of our family {whom shall remain nameless} who gave A. permission to "just take one". Of course, she did.

So here I am. The candy bin Nazi. Beside a 5 year old felon.

Now I am turning to you, my dear bloggy friends, for your opinion. What would you do? What do you think about the Just Take One principle*?

*I will confess to eating a grape or two or taking a Brachs caramel from time to time when I was a kidlet, usually because my dad did too. I guess theft runs in the family.


Saturday Stew

Although not a literal stew, because that would involve going to the grocery store. As you can see...

I have been avoiding that task. I'm sure the stores are better stocked now that it's a week past our visit from Ike, but I'm still wary. Therefore, we seem to be existing on cereal, soup, sandwiches, grapes and Gatorade.

I promise I'll go soon. Maybe.

In other Ike news, after three full days of work and combined efforts of four male neighbors, four chainsaws{Scott was secretly thrilled to need to purchase one}, one front end loader, two wheelbarrows, two tractors with trailers, several rakes and plenty of male sweat and effort, four yards along our street look a world-a-betta. {I'll post pictures soon.}

Also in Ike news, we have discovered more water damage to our wood floors. Along with the family room, we have buckling in our foyer near the front door and in a room upstairs that also has two french doors. The intense force of the rain and its angle must have blown in through each of those doors. I am seriously questioning our commitment to wood floors.

I am also considering large rugs and calling it a day.

Moving along.

As we hurriedly packed for our hurricavacation, I realized a little something else I was grateful for...

my Cropper Hopper. I must clarify though. I bought this delight on sale at Hobby Lobby, oh, let's say two or three years ago, with the intention of organizing our photos. Key word: intention. Finally, in a moment of utter frustration with myself, I ordered slews of our pictures that had been whispering to me from SmugMug, with the intention of scrapbooking them. Key word: intention.


Even though I have not gotten them into scrapbooks yet, I DID organize them in my Cropper Hopper.

When it was time to go, it was so easy to grab it, pack it, and dash. This made me happy.

I must admit I have been a bit all over the emotional board lately, tending to level off somewhere between cranky and blah. After more than a week of no school for A., an evacuation and a hurricane, stress and boredom eating, no running, no naps for A., I must confess I have not been at my emotional finest. I know, I know, WAAAAH. {May I cry you a river after you peel me a grape?}

I may also have been overheard saying to A. yesterday, "Stop following me, I'm going to the bathroom."

And I did. not. say. please.

Sorry A.

The Lord's mercies were thankfully renewed this morning AND I went for a run with my group as the sun rose. This return to normalcy was MUCH appreciated. By my family too. Trust me.

This afternoon I piddled around and finally put a little scrapbook together for A.'s illustrious dance career {all of two years, this is her third}. It's small and simple, but she loves it already. I'm hoping this scrapbook fever will last a while. My Cropper Hopper is whispering to me now.

8x8 is one of my favorite scrapbook sizes to do, I suppose it doesn't seem as intimidating. Plus it's a great size for a themed book and it's a good size for kidlets to enjoy.

The last couple of nights I've been escaping with this BBC delight...

Have you seen it? I plan on reading the book at some point, but went for immediate period romance gratification and started with the DVD first. Mr. Thornton { played by Richard Armitage} is difficult, but oh so dreamy.

I am such a sucker for anything BBC-A&E-Merchant & Ivory.

Finally, it is my sad duty to report that due to Ike we had to cancel Polka-Dot-Polooza 2008 {The Birthday: Act III}. A. seems to understand. Well, actually I think she has forgotten. Shhh...don't remind her.


Bibliophilia: Do I Have This Disease? Do You?

I saw this book list on Jill's blog and knew that I absolutely had to copy it.

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six. This hurts my heart.

Here’s what you are supposed to do:
*Look at the list and bold those you have read.
*Italicize those you intend to read.
*Underline the books you LOVE . {I couldn't underline, so I added ** to my faves.}

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen**

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte**
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling(well, only the first 2)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee**

6 The Bible***
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott**
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (complete? seriously? only Romeo & Juliet)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier**
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell**

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins(partial, plan to finish)
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen**
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon**
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt(partial, couldn't bear it)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas**

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A S Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams**

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (partial, couldn't bear it)
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Hmm...35 total. It seems I may not be as much of a bibliophile as I might have thought, at least based on this list. I just felt my book guilt increase tenfold.

I am surprised that there is so much Austen (not that it's a bad thing) and Dickens, along with Helen Fielding for Bridget Jones' Diary--interesting. Several of those in italics are on my bookshelves, I've just not gotten around to reading them yet. Some books I had not even heard of--yikes! I hope that does not further diminish my self-proclaimed bibliophile status. I have read some of the authors other books (Margaret Atwood, Bill Bryson, John Irving). This may be pesky, but why are some books of a series included twice, as in The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia/The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? I'm also surprised some authors aren't included at all. Where's Mark Twain? Barbara Kingsolver? Wallace Stegnor?

Since there are so many books waiting for me to read, I obviously don't have enough time to blog anymore. I better pull the plug.


What about you? Feel free to copy this list and post your answers on your blog. Be sure to let me know if you do, I'd love to read your answers.

Are you surprised by some of the choices on this list? Are any books missing that should have been included? Any that I haven't read that I should drop everything and read immediately? Do you ever feel book guilt?


Ike, Whom I Did Not Like

Off and on throughout the day last Wednesday I watched the forecast of an unwelcome visitor making his way to the Texas Gulf Coast.
In the form of a hurricane.

His name was Ike.

This Ike, whom I did not like.

We did not want to evacuate (really, who does?), but the threat of the storm surge was very real since we live near a creek that Galveston Bay feeds into. Thursday morning a mandatory evacuation was issued for our zip code and several surrounding cities. Preparations were made around the house, bags were packed and the car was loaded. Thankfully, Peggy (my dad's wife) still has not sold her town home on the west side of Houston, so this was where we would weather out the storm.

At first it seems overwhelming to decide what to take with you when your home is threatened, although it's actually pretty simple.

Your family. Your memories (in the form of scrapbooks and pictures). A few changes of clothes. A few toys, books, games, snacks, and movies to pass the time.

Your pet.

And then you hit the road, Jack.

Thankfully, traffic was not too bad when we left Thursday around Noon. It got progressively worse throughout the day.

You also eat your last Tex-Mex for a while. Yes, this was mandatory, just like the evacuation.

Don't forget to make one last emergency trip to Target. Once again, you thank the $ Spot for all of its goodness.

Once the $ spot goodies grew old, there was a box of treasures that had belonged to Peggy's grandsons years ago. These were a hit with the small fry crowd, membership 1.

There was also some of this, enjoyed by all ages, while there was still power.

We played games (A. is now a Go-Fish--watch out Las Vegas) and kept our eyes glued to the constant news coverage until either power was lost or our eyes glazed over.

Hurricane Ike hit land Friday night, devastating parts of Galveston and its surrounding beach communities. Ike was considered a Category 2 hurricane, but its winds and resulting storm surge were incredibly powerful.

Sunday afternoon we ventured out to see how our little neighborhood weathered the storm.

Our front yard.

Oh. Yes. That's our neighbor's pine tree leaning on our house, with its roots pitifully exposed. Thankfully, it did not damage our house. At least not yet.

Our back yard looks much like our front with plenty of tree branches and general debris.

Annelise was heart broken to see her play set after Ike came over to play...

He did not play nice nor did he respect the property of others, did he?

This Ike, whom I did not like.

We also have a bit of roof damage (missing shingles, not too extensive) and rain must have blown in by our back family room doors because our wood floors are buckling. Deep, deep sigh.

In the grand scheme of things however, we feel very fortunate. Our shingles can be replaced, our floors can be repaired, our yard can be cleaned up. We weathered the storm with family and enjoyed our time together. We were safe. We had plenty to eat and drink. We did not have to visit a POD (Point of Distribution for water, MREs and ice). We had gasoline. Electricity was restored (huge happy dance).

Just about a week after our mandatory vacation (sorry, no postcards) we returned home this afternoon.

Home feels good.

But that Ike, still, I do not like.


The Birthday: Act II

After all of the morning and early afternoon festivities, we continued the birthday celebration on into the evening. A. did not protest. You only turn FIVE once you know.

When Scott came home from work she got to open a few more presents. Aunt Jerry and Uncle Dan in Maine sent a cute little tote bag along with a savings bond. This time last year we visited Maine, and would love to go back. But I am NOT running that Half again.

A sweet friend from church gave A. something right up her alley. A box full of fun papers, gel pens, notepads and of course, envelopes. A. was thrilled! Thank you S.!

Soon it was time to walk over to Pappo and Miss Peggy's (they live two houses away) for a delicious spaghetti supper. And of course...more presents.

You should have heard her excited, although a bit high-pitched, squeal when she opened up High School Musical 2. We might should have checked the windows for cracks.

They also gave her a Barbie doll and a few sets of clothes. In A.'s book, they ROCK.

She put the sprinkles on herself along with the candles. Try to overlook the clump of rainbow sprinkles on one side. I did. It made me twitch, but I did.

After making a wish, blowing out the candles and trying to squeeze cake and ice cream in after spaghetti (no worries, we managed), it was time to call it a night.

Oh. I almost forgot. There was one last present. See?

Oh my.

The Final Act will take place soon, in the form of a small, simple party at our house, with some of her friends. This will be remembered as Polka-Dot-Polooza '08. Note to self: KISS--Keep It Simple Silly.


SPT: Because of a Blogger--Entertaining & Parties

This week Lelly wondered how blogging may have inspired us to entertain in different ways. The blogosphere is ripe with so many creative ideas for get togethers and parties. We could be partying all the time. Not that we should, but we could.

At the approach of our daughter's birthday, I found myself scouring blogs for party ideas. Blogs have always delivered. This is why I love them.


Last year, I found ideas for a fun outdoor birthday party that incorporated a lot of water play. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I used some of Marie's splish-splash ideas for our daughter's 4th birthday party. All the kidlets seemed to have a blast.

This year blogging has come to the birthday rescue again. After finding festive ideas HERE and HERE, we decided to have a Polka-Dot-Polooza to celebrate Annelise turning 5. The party is just around the corner, so I'll post more about it soon.

Also, Laurie at Tip Junkie has been featuring lots of creative birthday ideas recently. If you have a birthday (kids or adults) looming on the horizon, be sure to stop by her blog for ideas.

I have to mention one more blog that always inspires me to entertain and practice hospitality. I can't say I have done anything yet, but Sandy, at 4 Reluctant Entertainers, still inspires me.

Has a blog motivated you to entertain? Have you tried a fun party idea you saw on a blog?

Be sure to visit Lelly's blog to read all the other entertaining (cue corny laughter) SPT posts. Did you know that Lelly inspired me to organize a Soup Swap last January? Blogging is powerful stuff, people. I'm just saying.


It's a Fine Balance Between Love and Hate

Thanks to the lower humidity and cooler temps, yesterday's long run was all about the love.

Saturday morning, starting at 5:15, was pure magic. All of those runs slugging through the murky stew of humidity and heat were a distant memory. This was how running should be.

If I could sing, and been near hills, I would have pretended to be Maria. It was that nice.
Even playing chicken with a golf cart did not deter me.

That's the thing with running, and a box of chocolates.

How is your relationship with running?


The Birthday: Act I*

Once upon a time, a little four year old girl went to sleep.

While the busy Birthday Fairy put the finishing touches on the birthday magic.

Such as hanging a birthday banner**, strategic gift placement, and a special announcement made.

So that when the Birthday Girl stumbled downstairs in the morning, as a brand new FIVE year old, she would be surprised.

And just a smidgen excited. See?

Then BG enjoyed a nutritious breakfast before school. Okay, nutritious might be a stretch. It was colorful.

While BG was at school, the Birthday Fairy whipped up the Coca-Cola cake. Using my grandmother's Pyrex mixing bowls made it seem like A.'s great-grandparents were sharing in BG's big day as well. The Birthday Fairy felt a tad sentimental. Misty even.

Birthday Wizard (AKA Scott) came home for lunch, and brought McDonald's. BG was thrilled. She also got to open a few presents. We like to stretch out the festivities for as long as possible.

This year the Birthday Fairy and Wizard brought JUST the right presents. Someone should buy stock in Disney. I'm just saying. BG is over the moon about all things Ariel and High School Musical.

The Birthday Fairy is rethinking the whole microphone idea right about now.

Her teacher made the Birthday Girl feel special with her very own crown and a trip to the treasure box. A sweet friend in her class gave her a princess puzzle (what a thoughtful surprise). BG shared pink sugar cookies with her friends--which were scrumptious, she reported. BG was also excited about the awesome (her word--now that she is five, everything is awesome) birthday napkins. These were actually a hodge-podge of leftover napkins from the last three years. Shhh.

BG was gracious enough to pose for a few pictures to document the momentous occasion of turning FIVE years old.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!! We love you to pieces!!
*Stay tuned for Acts II and III of The Birthday...coming soon.
**Making the birthday banner was rather amusing, at least to me. I tried to recreate those cutesy wootsey pennant banners like this one out of 12X12 scrapbook paper. For the life of me, I could not figure out how she managed to get 3 pennant triangles out of each sheet. Not being mathematical and more of an Oh Let's Just Wing It type of girl, I ended up with more traditional triangles. That may or may not be the same size. Annelise still loves it. This morning she exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! Did you make this for me?" The Birthday Fairy's heart swelled.


At This Very Moment

I am obsessed with our local library's online system. These last several weeks I have been utilizing our library more, and my wallet less, to soothe my restless reading spirit. The whole "Place Hold" option is GENIUS. With one click, the book I want is reserved, pulled from the shelf, and soon my phone rings, then a nice lady tells me my book is ready to be picked up within 5 days. What a wonderful service!

It's almost like a drive-through window.

Only one of the books below was the result of that service though. Once I was actually there, I decided to browse just a bit. I'm looking forward to enjoying Georgette Heyer again, since The Grand Sophy was so entertaining; along with two Maisie Dobbs mysteries and a couple of others.

After yesterday's SPT and an emergency trip to Hobby Lobby, I am itching to create and decorate with abandon. Well, just a little abandon.

These keyhole plaques spoke to me as well as a simple black corkboard. I still need to get some fabric and ribbon to spruce that up. I plan to use it in my craft room as an inspiration zone.

I know there is no accounting for personal taste, but I really liked this believe sign. I don't always like those mass produced sentimental objects de art telling me to Live, Laugh, Love, Simplify, etc, but...what can I say, I fell for this one. I hope we're all still friends.

Now, the 12x12 paper is actually why I went into Hobby Lobby in the first place. I know. I have approximately 18 hours to make one of those cutesy Happy Birthday triangle banners. I know.

The other side of our dining table still looks like this:

Obviously no dining is taking place here.

I fiddled and piddled with cards, but, alas, I got distracted.

I also need to make a cake for Annelise's birthday tomorrow. She requested a spaghetti supper and chocolate cake, so I'm using a bit of creative interpretation and will make a Coca-Cola cake.

Just imagine the warm, fudgey cake with Homemade Vanilla ice cream. Okay, not really homemade, it'll be Blue Bell.

Speaking of birthdays, A.'s 5th to be precise, I appreciate all of your comments about my dilemma. Scott and I have stewed and brewed about it, and I probably beat that poor horse WA-A-AY down into the ground.

We decided to celebrate with our family tomorrow evening, she will also take cookies for her class, and then we will have a simple--note to self: SIMPLE--party with a few of her friends at our house in a couple of weeks (more on that soon).

At this very moment, I guess with all of these tasks looming over my head, I need to get busy doing them instead of blogging about them. Sigh.


SPT: Because of a Blogger

Once again, Lelly has inspired me (I am not really surprised by this). If you haven't already, be sure to check out her challenges for SPTs during September. After missing several weeks of SPTs this summer, I am thrilled to be jumping back in to the fun.

The amazing community of bloggers is constantly causing my jaw to drop, my brain to whirl, emergency trips to Hobby Lobby planned and my creative to-do list to grow longer. There may even be drooling. Shhhh...don't tell.

Some of the drooling is caused by this, this nest, this one too, and this new find.

I want to rummage in thrift stores, sew aprons/holiday pillowcases/curtains/quilts, spray paint frames and furniture black, knit, make interesting decorative arrangements on my mantle/table/shelves/armoire top/walls/side tables and change them out seasonally, make silhouettes of our family (or at least our hands), make a wall arrangement out of framed fabrics or papers, and on and on. And on.

Of course I am paralyzed by the sheer enormity of the things I want to do, so therefore I do nothing.

Maybe it's kismet, but Lelly's challenges this month seems to have lit a creative spark and I feel ready to try some of the projects. I know!

My plan is to start small, with things I can easily do. Chris at Just a Girl (she has all kinds of decorative ideas) and Kristin of We are THAT Family have inspired me to put cute things under glass, because we all know glass sets the most simple things off and adds a touch of wow.

Things under glass. This I can do.

I don't have a cloche (it's on The List), and I can't find my large jar (I think I packed it away last Fall--I did put gourds in it though), but I do have this on hand.

Hmmm...it needs a little something. Obviously. What should I put under it?

I realize I am cheating somewhat with this SPT, since I haven't actually done anything yet. I am after all, a creative work in progress that is easily distracted. Is there a 12-step program for this?

Be sure to pop over to Lelly's blog to see everyone's creative twists on this week's challenge.
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