Christmas Gift List

I think everyone should make a Christmas list.  Growing up, my sisters and I always made wish lists anytime presents were involved.  And that is exactly what they were…wish lists.  There were the years I already mentioned of wanting a parcel of my parents’ land; then it was the organic mattress; and I am sure I had a slew of other dreams that were a bit far-fetched.  That is what they always tended to be for me, dreams and wishes.  It was the place that I wrote down my hopes for life.  And then all the practical things I needed.

I still tend to opt for the practical, the things I cannot afford, or the things I feel like I should not spend my money on but could really use.  (This year I would have been tempted to add a plane ticket to France or Sicily if I did not realize it was just silly of me to do so.)

I love hearing what other people put on their lists.  It shows what might be in their heart or head that they might not have shared.  You learn something.  And, it makes shopping a lot easier.

Here is a handy Christmas Gift List to help keep track of what and who you are buying for designed by Bonnie.  It helps to stay organized!


To print, simply click the image or visit Going Home to Roost for other ideas and fun illustrations!


*Images used with permission from Bonnie.

Holiday Hoopla in Riverview

1307 Holiday Hoopla

Make sure to check out all the other shops having a Thursday night preview party along Hanover Street and Hixson Pike including:

On Hanover Street:
1307, open from 6-9pm (That’s us…Addiah, Lola’s & Spaces)
Mayflowers, open from 6-9pm
Southern Niceties, open from 6-9pm
The Clay Pot, open from 6-9pm, with a street dance party at 7:30
Lambs & Ivy, open from 5-8pm
On Hixson Pike:
Alice Blue, open from 5:30-8:30pm
Hanover Blue, open from 5:30-8:30pm
Mouton Salon, open from 5:30-8:30pm
Verde, open from 5:30-8:30pm
Charlotte’s Web, open until 9pm
Natural Body, open from 5:30-8:30pm
The festivities and specials last all weekend long!  Plus, 1307 will be collecting non-perishable food items for the New City Fellowship Food Pantry.
Hope to see you there!
Virginia, Sue, and Missy


1307 is open!
For those of you who do not know, I have joined together with two other businesses to open a new shared space & shop, known as 1307. We are located in the Riverview area of downtown Chattanooga….1307 Hanover Street.

Tues-Fri 10-6
Sat 11-4

If you are in the area, make sure to pop in and say hello!

You can follow along on our facebook page to learn more.

The Blueberry Farm

For my birthday this year, one of my best friends gave me the sweetest, most thoughtful gift…a date to go pick blueberries at The Blueberry Farm in LaFayette, GA.  And pick we did.  By the time we made it to The Blueberry Farm, the blueberries were almost gone, but we were still able to pick a bucket full (almost).


We ended up combining both of our efforts to get that bucket.




After a morning of picking, we sat down under the shade of a tree to share a picnic.



An absolutely delicious picnic by the way:  a French baguette, cashews, cheese, salame, and a cucumber.  So good (and filling and definitely not healthy)!  Before going to The Blueberry Farm, we stopped by Earthfare and bought an assortment of cheeses and some other goodies for a little lunch.  We obviously got a little carried away in our enthusiasm for good cheese and bought way more than was necessary.  Our little tasting consisted of :  Comte, Gruyere, Gouda, Mediterranean Herb, and Sequatchie Cove’s Dancing Fern.  And for the salame – delicious and one I would highly recommend!  Olli Salumeria, from Mechanicsville, VA, tastes of authentic Italian salami (and the flavor choices are so tempting).  We ended up getting the Molisana: pepper and garlic with Sangiovese wine (I have a weak spot for Sangiovese wines – one of the best wines I ever had was a sangiovese).  The Toscana with fennel sounded fabulous too!  This will definitely be my go to brand in the future for sure.  I could go on and on about them, but encourage you to check out their site to read about their philosophy and production, and try some yourself!

After lunch, we enjoyed a tour around the property with Joe Kilpatrick, the owner of The Blueberry Farm.  He told us all about their solar energy use, fruit production, and  answered whatever questions we had.  I loved strolling around the property and hearing about the hard work and effort that they put into their farm.  So inspiring – my dream of all dreams is to live as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible.


Interesting fact:  they are home to an American Chestnut tree, which were hit by a blight back in the 1900s.  The Blueberry Farm was approached to be host to a couple of trees and they are looking good!


Although blueberry season is over for this year, you can still visit in the fall to harvest grapes or just try to remember to come back next year.  It is entirely you-pick, honor system style, and makes for a wonderful day.  Loved it!

Passing through: Nashville (again)

Nashville is a city that I could move to for a month just to try all the restaurants and coffee shops.  There are so many – too many – for a little weekend trip like I tend to take.  At this rate of going once every couple of months, it will take me years to try everywhere I think that sounds tempting.  Plus, each time I visit Nashville, I discover a million new tempting places (obviously not really a million but my list keeps growing).

So, here is a list of my still have to try in no certain order:

On the last two trips to Nashville, I was able to visit a lot of new places, plus a couple of old favorites.

Edgehill Village

Where to eat:

Bella Napoli Pizzeria:  Absolutely idyllic.  When my aunt suggested going, it seemed a bit kitschy, hence, not very tempting.  When something proclaims how authentic it is, especially when it is Italian pizza, it tends to not be.  Oh, how wrong I was.  The evening was perfect.  Set back in an alleyway strung with lights, Bella Napoli is just as good for the pizza as it is for the setting.  The night was cool (shockingly so for being in the middle of summer) and there was a soft breeze blowing.  Lights were glowing and every seat was filled.  The atmosphere was mellow and joyful.  Everyone truly enjoying their food and company.  We were starving, and had such a hard time choosing from the list of tempting pizzas.  My mother, aunt, and I each ordered a pizza and a glass of wine, and then shared.  I ended up ordering the Salsiccia (Fresh mozzarella, homemade Italian Sausage, broccolini and fresh garlic).  Definite recommendation.


nash10(The pictures were from the next morning.)

Legato Gelato:  Perfect after pizza!  We made it just in time too.  The line after us was so long.  Obviously a favorite in Nashville.  Legato Gelato does not disappoint.  They do gelato and they do it well.  It was not too sweet and was definitely creamy.



The Gulch

Where to shop/eat:

The Turnip Truck:  Totally love!  My aunt has talked about The Turnip Truck for the longest time.  I have passed it driving but never took the time to stop.  So glad that I finally did…



It totally is the quaint little neighborhood grocery store, with a very well curated selection.  I bought a raw sprouted salad from the salad bar, as well as stocked up on some things from my favorite brands (like Go Raw Ginger Snaps).  Loved!  Wish Chattanooga had this!  A must for a shopping destination (if you like shopping for food).

East Nashville


Off the beaten path of Gallatin Road, is Eastland Avenue.  Brimming with places to eat, Eastland Avenue is a definite stop in Nashville.

Where to eat:

The Silly Goose: Ah, delicious!  We (my aunt, mother, and myself) tried hard to get there for the lunch menu (as my aunt loves their lunch) but didn’t make it.  I am glad we didn’t, because I loved my dinner.  We started by splitting the Joe Bailey – their cheese plate.  So good!  Then my mom and I split the Cardinal (a duck and lamb sausage) and the Double AA (a warm couscous dish).  For dessert, we all split the Ray (peaches and rhubarb) and the Second Chance (a toffee date cake).  Everything I ate, I would recommend. The only thing I was not crazy about was their sangria.  Definite recommendation for a restaurant.


And if you are still hungry, or was not tempted by a dessert at The Silly Goose, Jeni’s is right next store.  There was no way I could have had anything else.  Another day maybe.


Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea:  Typical coffee shop and a good spot for doing work – lots of seating and most everyone seemed to be hard at work.  Going into the Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea, I was planning on getting tea as it is a “Coffee & Tea” place.  From a tea drinker, I feel I make it good at home and don’t usually order it unless it after a meal.  When it comes to coffee, I trust the professionals.  Walking up to order, I noticed their lavender latte.  How can you pass that up?  I tried it iced – interesting for sure.  It was my second latte of the day, so it was kind of hard to judge how good it was.


Where to eat:

CremaUp there with Barista Parlor for my favorite coffee shop in Nashville.  Crema is urban and totally cozy, I love the aesthetic.  Definite recommendation.



Green Hills

Where to eat:

The Well Coffeehouse:  How can you not want to support The Well.  The whole point of The Well is to change lives.  It is a non-profit coffee house that wants to make money to give it away.  Plus, it is a great place to meet friends and enjoy a cup of coffee together.  I will be honest that I was so “coffeed” out by all the lattes I had already had on this trip, that I did not try any.  I ordered a sandwich and tea.  Not crazy about what I got, but will go back to try their coffee sometime for sure.  Plus, I love that they took an abandoned Burger King and totally converted it.


If you have any other recommendations in Nashville, please pass them my way!



Memories of Italy

From an early age I fell in love with traveling.  Moving every 3 years at the start of my life was thrilling (as my father was in the Army).  I loved every aspect of it, from packing up the house and having movers come (which now I realize I had absolutely no part of), to the newness of an empty house, to making a list of all that we were going to explore while in this new place.  As I grew old enough, my grandparents began taking me on trips.  My first trip that I can remember was going to Disney World with my grandmother – just the two of us.  I can still remember playing at the beach and the chocolate on my pillow at night.  I don’t remember Disney World.  Over the summers my grandparents took my cousin and I on annual trips.  I don’t know how we lucked out as being the two out of the nine grandchildren to be chosen.  We went to NYC, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, the Teddy Bear Picnic, Williamsburg, a cruise to Canada.  As all the grandchildren aged, those trips stopped.  Instead, my grandparents began taking us grandchildren overseas one trip at a time.  When it became my turn, I went with my older sister to Italy for 5 weeks.  That was the beginning.  I feel in love.  I was in high school and was in love for the first time.

Over the years, I have traveled at every chance I had.  I have loved almost everywhere I have been but Italy will always be my first love.  It seems like home.  There is something about going back, I cannot explain it, but it is comforting, enticing, and thrilling.  I love Italy.

I have not been able to travel overseas for a couple of years now.  (The trade-off of starting a business.)  But there are so many memories from trips.  Blessed trips.  There is something about traveling that makes time seem to stop.  Life is on hold and you are able to be, to enjoy, to savor.  It as if senses are heightened and those moments are experienced fully, without distraction, really connecting to where you are and whom you are with.


On one such trip to Italy, my sister, two friends, and I traveled to Cinque Terra.  All the guide books said to show up and wander the city to find a room for let.  We arrived in Vernazza at 9pm.  Hopping off the train we started our search for a room.  Boy, did we search.  We knocked on practically every door, asking, begging even if there was a room we could rent for the night, but we were turned away.  Obviously, we must have looked a bit desperate.  People who were sitting outside in restaurants started coming out and suggesting this place or that or to tell us where they were staying and maybe we could try there.    One traveler offered to let us bunk with her, but her friends did not seem very keen on the idea, but we appreciated the offer.  Person after person all coming to us to offer help.  Everyone was American and we were all bonding over our desperate attempt to find a room.  One sweet, sweet couple on their honeymoon went out searching for rooms for us.  Everything was booked.  The entire town was booked, except one room.  However, they would only allow two people to stay.  We ended up giving it to another couple who was also looking.  We were a little shocked.  It was supposed to be so easy!  My sister and I said forget it.  We had homemade sleeping bags from sheets.  We could just walk out of town and find a field to sleep.  Our friends weren’t so keen on that idea.  Going into the trip we made a couple of rules, one being that we had to all agree on major decisions.  This was one and it was divided.  So, we headed back to looking.  Although we were worried and exhausted, it was neat to see how many people tried to help.  The town was so cute…all the cafes were full of people eating and drinking under the stars, waves were crashing along the shore line.  All we wanted to do was enjoy the ambience of this village.  Instead, we were able to experience amazing generosity and seeing God answer our prayers in ways we could not imagine.  Well, it turned out that one of the bartenders we asked for help said that if we could absolutely not find anything else, as a last resort, he lived with his mother in a surrounding hill village and they had an extra bedroom.  After exhausting every option, we went back to ask if we could rent their spare room.  Another rule, the gut check – when in a situation we were not too sure about arose, if anyone felt uncomfortable, we would not do it; but if we all felt okay, then we went for it.

We went for it.  And how thankful I am that we did.  Those few days were wonderful.  It turned out our host was British.  Her son was only half Italian.  Her son had found us a place to rent the rest of our stay, but she kindly offered to let us stay with her if we would like.  Coffee and steamed milk and conversation in the morning; the afternoon sharing walks along the terraced gardens; picking cherries in the orchard with her Italian neighbors; the evening listening to her read excerpts from her book that she was writing.  That was amazing, touching.  Listening to the depth of emotion and hearing the stories that surrounded what was written on the pages.  It was an indescribable time, one of connecting and sharing of lives for a brief moment.  One I will cherish.  She opened her home and her life to us for those couple of days.  I will always be thankful for that time and her hospitality.  I don’t think that we were able to adequately express how much she touched our lives and what an impact she made on the trip.  What a wonderful answer to our prayers.

Terraced gardens
Afternoon walk
Picking cherries
Hiking along Cinque Terra

I am longing for my next adventure.  Until then…Virginia

*All the pictures are scanned images of my film from the trip.

Spring Photo Shoot with Lily Glass Photography

So, I am super excited about the new things that are coming in for Spring.  There are some Addiah exclusives, plus items from artisans in Swaziland, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the USA.  Lots of beautiful colors and prints, with a very indigenous design aesthetic.

Something else I am super excited about, thrilled really…the most recent photo shoot with amazing photographer Lily Glass.  This was the first time working together and with much success.  She took beautiful photos and I could not have been more pleased.  Not only is Lily super sweet and a pleasure to work with, but she is also super cute with great style.

I am also so very grateful to the models.  Thanks to all for your help!  Really, thank you.  Hannah is a busy wife and mother and spent practically an entire day with us.  The result -stunning pictures.  I called Bryan a couple of hours before the shoot to ask if he was available.  Total life saver.

Here are some extra shots…

Bow Tie 1
















Lesson learned…  After we shot these pictures, we moved on to the field to get some other shots.  While we were gone, one of my dogs decided to eat the ENTIRE quiche.


Thankfully we already got the shots.  Unfortunately, we had to make something else for dinner.