Saturday, October 12, 2013

the Projects

Hi everyone. I hope y'all are enjoying this beautiful fall weather and all the activities that go along with that. I'm enjoying pumpkins, golden Mums, scary movies with the hubs, apple cider, fall candles and decorations, running and making lots of soup! Life seems to be moving pretty quickly, although nothing too big has been going on. Although, we are trying to buy our first house (and land!). I'm excited and nervous, but trying not to daydream about it too much until it actually happens.

I've been wanting to make different posts about all of the different things we've been doing around the house, but none of them seem to be blog worthy. So, I saved them all up to share today!

 My sweet husband and step dad built a pergola for our back patio. Look how awesome that is! I'm one lucky lady. I'm hoping to grow pretty vines on it to provide shade and bring pretty flowers.

 A quilt for baby Caroline. Our friends Drew and Katie will be welcoming her in a few months. I made the quilt partially with materials that I used to make decorations for our wedding.

 I also made dry laundry detergent (thanks for the idea/inspiration Maranda!). After seeing how much detergent can be made from spending so little, I don't think I will be going back to Tide. I actually really enjoyed the process of making the detergent. All of the ingredients can be found at Wally World.

I learned how to make my Aunt Arlene's Wow Wow Chow Chow. If you've ever gathered around for dinner in the Nelson house, you've probably eaten or seen this beautiful food. Traditionally, you eat this with beans and cornbread, salmon patties, hot water bread, etc.. I eat it out of the jar or however else I can get it. It was such a special experience making this Chow Chow and learning how to can with my Granny. I always enjoy our time together, but when we were making this Chow Chow, I kind of felt like she was passing on a legacy. I'm so glad she is patient enough to put up with all of my questions and mess ups in the learning process! I will be canning some jams and preserves next month. I'm looking forward to teaching my kids and grandkids how to can!

 So, I started a book club! I was inspired by my Aunt Margret, who is involved with several book clubs in New Orleans. She was telling me about her groups and about all of the books they're reading and I decided that I wanted to do the same. These are the books we are reading, if anyone is interested in reading along:

1. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
2. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
3. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
4. A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout
5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  I signed up to be a Stampin Up! demonstrator in May (I think), but with all the hustle and bustle of wedding stuff and working full time I could not keep up. Now that things have settled down a little bit, I am going to become active again. I am hoping to have a booth at the River Market in Monroe to help boost my business. My plan is to sell thank you cards, get well soon, birthday and also birthday/shower invitations.

I hope y'all have a fabulous fall Saturday!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blessings upon Blessings

Hello blog world. So many things have changed since my last post! Most importantly, I have a new last name. I am quite enjoying married life. It is actually my favorite thing in the whole world and I adore my sweet husband. More on the wedding (and marriage) later.

        Jesse and I recently traveled to Nicaragua with a group from our church, through Project Hope to build 15 houses. We were told beforehand that although we would be there to build houses for that community in need, that the real blessing would be for us. The blessing of getting to know and love the people there. That turned out to be so true. We were so blessed and moved by the generosity, hospitality, love, gratitude, humility and kindness of the people there. Something that you need to know about Nicaragua, is that the people there are very smart and hardworking. I feel like it is easy to assume that they are lazy based on the poverty level of the country. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Something that I learned is that there is not much opportunity there. You can't "work your way up" at a nice bank (at least where we were) or other big businesses. They primarily make money by growing and selling produce. When we were working on the houses, the Nicaraguans were always the first to jump in and help. They worked extremely hard, and were very skilled at what they were doing. After working for 2 days, I discovered that one of the Nicaraguan men I was working with had a prosthetic leg due to a mine explosion during a war in the 80's. I was so impressed by that. He was shoveling concrete and moving huge wheel barrels full of concrete back and forth all day, with one leg! That gave me a good perspective on my attitude with work while we were there and my job that I have at home.

Ok, so I want to share two of my favorite things about the trip:

1. I loved how personal this trip was! We prepared boxes of pots/pans, clothes, toothpaste, etc.. for our individual families while in the US. What I didn't realize, is that we would soon be delivering those boxes to our families in person. We physically took those boxes into the houses we built and got to share in the excitement with our family as they received their goodies! It was such a moving experience. They were getting new and used basic items, but to them, it was so much more than that. These are things that I so take for granted. I am glad that I was able to experience that. I gained a new perspective and I pray that I always realize what God has done for me, and never take it for granted.

2. Going on a mission trip with my husband was incredible. The trip as a whole was just...awesome, but one of my favorite things about this trip was having Jesse by my side. Not just because I am used to being around him and would otherwise have missed him, but because I believe that serving God together really blessed our marriage. We were able to serve and love his people together and that is an amazing thing to do with your spouse!! I loved sharing that experience with Jesse and I think it was a wonderful way to start our marriage. We celebrated our one month anniversary while there! :)

I also wanted to say thank you to our friends and family who supported us financially so that we were able to go on this trip. Also, thank you to those who prayed for us before and during our trip. And thank you to Larry and Janet White, for all that you do with Project Hope. We appreciate you! We are very thankful that our bosses allowed us to take off work so that we could be a part of this trip.

I will update the blog soon, now that the wedding/honeymoon/Nicaragua trip have passed.

Signing off,
Mrs. Adkins

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cumpleaños de mi Madre

Happy (belated) Birthday to my favorite Mom! She is amazing for so many reasons. She's put up with me for 23 years, she always puts her family first, she is my bff, she is fun, she is a great wife to my Step-Dad (Steve) and the best Mother that God could have possibly given to my brother, Cory (and to me!). The list goes on and on. I am so thankful for her and look forward to celebrating the big 5-0 next year!

The birthday girl in her crown that her sweet coworker and friend made for her at work. (ps-doesn't she look great?? Not that she needed it (really, she didn't), but -20lbs. looks great on her! Go Mom!)

              My newest "project", planting lemon seeds. I don't really know that I did it right, but I am so excited to see if they will sprout. So far, they haven't. I guess I should give them more than 3 days. Whatevs.

                        Easter decorations on my mantle. I got the awesome print from this sweet blog.

The is my back patio. My next project is to build a pergola over the brick area. And by build, I mean watch Jesse, Steve and my Uncle Bill build a pergola while I sip lemonade (from the lemons that I am growing, of course) and buy plants to grow on this pergola.

This is what it will look like when I, I mean they, are finished. 

In other news, I bought a Spanish workbook so that I can brush up on my Spanish skills since I will be going to Nicaragua in August. Also, I LOVE learning Spanish and kind of enjoy doing homework. I miss college. Judge me!

Happy Saturday. Make it a great one!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Cory!

Today is my brother Cory's 21st birthday! This is a very special day because when Cory was a baby we were told that it was very likely that he would not make it to his first birthday. After that, surely he wouldn't make it to his 5th birthday..Although it has never been an easy road, he is still here many years later. He suffers from a rare disease called Methylmalonic Acidemia. Cory is still nonverbal, and always will be, meaning that we are not able to have an actual brother-sister relationship, but I love him very much and he is very precious to me and my family. We had a little birthday party tonight, celebrating his 21 years. We ate dinner, sang happy birthday and ate cake. (Cory was able to eat cake too! He loves the icing). It seemed like kind of a bittersweet birthday, because although he is 21 and healthy for his condition, he is still having some problems that we have not figured out. He will be seeing a specialist at some point soon, so please pray that this problem is solved so that he can go back to his happy, happy, happy self!

Me and little chubby cheeks Cory 


                         This boy loves his Granny! And she absolutely adores him. She is an angel.

A picture of Mom and Cory that was in the News Star after he was diagnosed with MMA

I'm so thankful for another year with my brother. I'm also thankful for my parents who have sacrificed so much to give us the best life possible. They have always tried to make life as normal as possible with a special needs brother. They always put our needs first. I can't imagine doing what they do, every day, but I am so So SO thankful for them. If you are close to someone with special needs, you know what I am talking about. I am thankful for all of the people God put on this earth to take care of kids like Cory. 

Happy Thursday,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Things Lately

Well, life has been moving pretty quickly. I would like to document some of this, because I enjoy looking back at these posts months later and remembering where I was.

My baby cousin Cheyenne has her permit. And is learning how to drive. And is becoming a grown up. Oy vey! I let her drive us to Orange Leaf for a treat. It was a treat, alright. I'll leave it at that.

Cheyenne and I did our nails in crazy Mardi Gras colors. 

West Monroe's classy Mardi Gras parade.

Jesse had to work Friday night, which meant he slept most of his birthday (Saturday) before going back to work that night. I made him a cute little cake and decorated my house for him.

Jesse and I before eating on his birthday.

Our fortunes. 

Joei's homemade king cake. I almost ate the whole thing. 

Jesse's sweet birthday message from his nieces. I love them!

Cutie pies.

Jesse's birthday banner. And a big 'ol glass of sweet tea.

Blowing out the candles and making a wish.

Just look at it. 

Sweet lovin'

Making some good old fashioned Valentines. 

Me and my sweet love eating some Hibachi for our Valentine's date night. Goodness, I just love this man.

So, now you're all caught up. It's been a fun month. I am irrationally ready for spring to happen. Like, put sun screen on and worked in the yard yesterday when it was 60 degrees. I need help.

In other news, I raked the yard so long yesterday that I have blisters and calluses on my hands. I'm a real wo-man, y'all. 

Happy Monday,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Birthday Boy

Happy weekend! I hope that you all have had a great Saturday. I wanted to write a "happy birthday" post in honor of my sweet, sweet man. Jesse. He is so great for so many reasons and I feel so blessed to call him mine. He has been working nights for the past couple of weeks, and I am just so proud of his work ethic and good attitude. This means I haven't seen him much since he started this job, because he works from about 8p-8a then goes to his apartment and sleeps during the day. We aren't complaining though, because it is work and that is a blessing. So I thought I would list 5 reasons why I am so glad that God decided to bring Jesse into this world 29 years ago. I could literally list thousands of reasons, but for time's sake, I will limit myself to 5. And here. we. go! (anyone get that movie quote?):

1. He is absolutely golden. A complete gentleman, has never raised his voice, has ideal morals, puts God first in our relationship, encourages me to be better, is patient with me when I'm actin' a fool, helps me to pursue my dreams, but what makes him the most golden is that he daily leads our relationship in a Christ-centered direction. That is how I know he will be a wonderful husband and (one day!) an amazing father.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:2-3

We have focused on this verse a lot, and I feel like it encompasses Jesse's actions towards me and our relationship.

2. He knows how to make me laugh! Big time. We enjoy laughing together and always have so much fun. We enjoy doing the same things, and can have fun in almost any situation.

3. He is a man. A real man. A manly man, who knows how to fix anything (I've never come across something that he couldn't fix). Also, he is the smartest person I know.

4. He has a servant's heart and is just as kind as could be. He loves helping people in times of need. Hurricanes, flat tires, sick family get the point. When someone is struggling, he wants to do anything he can to help.

5. He has the sweetest family. I have felt like a part of Jesse's family from the first time that I met them. Jesse gets his great attributes from this precious family, I do believe. Also, they all love Jesus, which is extremely important to me.

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Favorite Things

Warning: This post is pretty much completely directed to the ladies. Not that I am convinced that I have any readers (ok, I think I might have 2), male or female, but I just felt that it was only fair to give a heads up.

I have a few products that I just adore, so I thought I should share!

1. My very favorite perfume of all time: Hot Couture by Givenchy. If you know me very well, you know that I have a slight obsession with the "smell good" stuff. I want it. I need it. I love it! For years, the only place that I could find this sweet nectar was Dillards, but lately I have seen it at several other locations.

2. Not necessarily my favorite color (although I do love Tempting Teal), but my favorite brand of fingernail polish: Mary Kay! My Mom sold Mary Kay for years, and I have always loved their make-up, perfume, nail polish, and anything else I could get my hands on. I usually order through my local consultant, but you can order online.

3. MAC pro longwear concealer. Made specifically for people like me, with extra oily skin. This stuff works miracles for bumps and blemishes. It is a little more costly than I would prefer, but I have a tendency to be frugal and make things stretch a little longer than usual ;) I bought mine at the mini MAC store in Dillards, but you can also find it on the MAC website.

4. Briarhill Farms Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Homemade Goat Milk Soap. This is a new favorite soap of mine. I bought it recently at the local health food store, Fiesta. One of the reasons I love it is because it was made in Ruston, LA and I love supporting local businesses! Another reason I love this is because it smells heavenly! I mean, I feel like I now understand why the land of milk and honey is referred to as "The Promised Land". So. Good. And it makes your skin SO soft! I'm assuming the oatmeal acts as some sort of exfoliant. Also, organic oils and fresh goat milk. The perfect recipe for a granola girl, like me! I be lovin'. Gon' getcha some!

(ps- they have LOTS of other scents in this same brand of soap)

5. Curly Sexy Hair spray foam curl enhancer, which is a long way of saying "spray mouse". I use this when I wear my hair wavy. It adds a nice, natural bounce without making my hair heavy and crunchy (yuck). I usually get this for about $8 cheaper at TJ Maxx, but they do not always have it. Ulta always keeps it in stock, but you will pay more (unless you have a coop-un).

I hope you all have had a not-so-manic Monday. Mine was a bit manic. That's ok. Now, go try these little wonders!

PS- Please excuse the bad photography. I'm using an iPhone, and can only do so much!

Have a good week! 

Perfume, Soap and Love,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In a Nutshell..

I love my job. I have the coolest job ever! It's just so fun (most of the time)! But what is it that I do??

I get that question A LOT.

Maybe it's because I work for a local company that does not sale locally (we do all online sales). Maybe it's because it's not your average cubical job. I'm not sure. But for some reason I have a huge problem explaining to people exactly what it is that I do, and it usually comes out as a stuttering "scrapbooking and eating paste".

I work for a media packaging company called Loktah. You can see about us here. We sale media packaging products to professional photographers all over the world (hence the lack of sales in this area). I heard about this job through a local artist and friend. Check her work out here. (It is AMAZING!) I have many roles at my place of work (sales rep., communications rep., janitor, dog watcher, gardener, etc..) but my biggest role is that of creating hand made, all natural photographic albums. I make these albums from start to finish. This includes (but is not limited to):

-downloading artwork from the photographer
-printing (for some books)
-making the outside cover
-putting it all together

So after making these books and letting them sit for a while, we ship them out. Most of the time we ship directly to the photographer, who will then deliver the albums (or packaging products) to their clients. Loktah is a pretty small company,(contrary to what some of our customers believe, which is that we are Amazon) comprised of about 8 people. 

Here are a couple of pictures of the beauts:

I hope that has given those of you who have asked about my job a better idea of what I do.

I do not scrapbook (although it feels like it, sort of).
I do not eat/play with paste.
I do not sit on my hind whilst coloring and chewing bubble gum.
I do not listen to Disney music. Every single day. Yeah, that I do.

And for now I will head to bed, where I will undoubtedly dream about making these albums. Or have nightmares about how badly I messed up on the albums and how furious the customer is with me. We'll see how it goes.

Love and Paste,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Patience, grasshopper.


Why has this always been such a challenge for me? Really. I remember very well being so impatient about things as a child. You'd think I might learn from this, but sometimes (ironically enough) that just takes time. For me, I feel like my lack of patience is due to my pride and selfishness. I don't want to admit that God's way really is better than mine. I want to do it my way, in my time. Things always work better when I put my faith in God and his plan.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." -Romans 12:12

I am committed to becoming more patient: with my relationships, my fiancé, my job, and my future.

p.s.- I have not completely abandoned my affinity for a healthy lifestyle. It kind of took a back seat to Thanksgiving. And Christmas. Nonetheless, it is back in full swing. Today is Day 1 of a 20 day challenge that I made up. Hoorah, another way to practice patience! :)

Patiently and Lovingly,