Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shipping Frenzy

We are hard at work here at Embellished Living.  We are not just preparing for our own Christmas celebrations, but we are blessed to have a small part in some of yours as well.  These are just some of the packages we shipped yesterday!  We have more to go out today so all of you that placed Christmas orders will have them in time to give to your loved ones.  Thank you so much for all of your support and for shopping with us this holiday season!  We are going to take a blog hiatus so we can focus on getting orders out and spend some extra time with our families during these next couple busy weeks!  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

We lived with a naked tree for about a week, but it is naked no more!  I bit the bullet and transformed the living room while the kids were in school and the hubs was at work.  It was so fun to see their reactions as soon as they walked into the house!

While I love our tree, my favorite decorations are on our mantle.

Growing up, from my mom and dad's mantle hung the stockings that Mom had knitted for us when my sister and I were little.  I knew that once I had my first son, that I wanted to do the same for our family.  Last year, I finally finished my own stocking, so our set is complete!  The mini-stockings are just one of our many Advent calendars, and each one holds an Andes Mint for our boys.  I got the idea from a blog years ago when my kids (now 7 and 10) were just 1.5 and 4.  I fondly remember sewing the stockings while the boys took turns sitting in my lap to see what I was doing.  The village of little people adorned every room of the home I grew up in and were purchased in Norway when my family lived abroad.  Now they reside on my mantle during December.  My book page wreath and the countdown blocks hold wonderful memories of crafting with dear friends that I've made here in Murfreesboro. 

Our mantle is full of memories from my childhood and of when my babies were babies.  What is your favorite decoration?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Miscellaneous!

The stockings are hung, the nativity is set, my mantle is as cute as it is gonna get.  But my most favorite decoration of all, stands proud in front of my window fat and tall.
I love my Christmas tree.  LOVE IT. It is big and full and a total pain in my rear every year!  My tree is 13 years old.  It is not pre lit.  It does not come apart in 3 nice little sections.  It has many, many branches that have to be taken out of their 2 super size rubbermaid totes every year and fluffed and stuck into a pole one, by one, by one.  Then strand after strand of lights is strung round and round the tree.  It takes forever to put up my tree.  But I know I will have it forever.  When I step back and look at it finished every year, I fall in love again.  Knowing that I got it as an after Christmas special for about $20 makes me love it even more!

The first Christmas we put up this tree was our now 12 year old's very first Christmas as well.  It was full of matchy store bought ornaments in a certain color scheme.  As the years have passed by and our family has grown, I now look at my tree and see something so different than it was all those years ago.  While I still have some matchy ornaments in a certain color scheme I don't really notice them any more.  I see all of the memories.  Each of my girls gets a new ornament every Christmas Eve representative of what they liked that year.  There are also, ornaments to remember loved ones, ornaments from family, ones to represent special occasions, and trips taken.  Ornaments out of beads and popsicle sticks and painted by my kids.  Ornaments from many ornament exchanges with friends over the years.  It is a hodgepodge mess of memories all in one place, it is fabulous!  Take a peek at some of my favorites

These 2 always stick together and are always at the top. For a friend of ours that passed away

These are just a few from trips we've taken: DC, Vegas, Cozumel, Isle of Palms, yes you see an ornament made from a dog biscuit in this shot as well lol

My kids favorite ornament!  Stacie may or may not remember this but it came from her in our 1st (previous) mom's group ornament exchange together.  It counts down the days till Christmas!

My personal Baby's 1st Christmas ornaments :)  1980 baby 

Given to my by my favorite Aunt for my 1st Christmas as a mommy

Crazy and hysterical inside joke, but it reminds me of some really good times with great friends

Made by my mom in the 70's

My beautiful, hodgepodge memory tree
I spy a paper snowman, a sock monkey, strawberry shortcake and a cheerleader ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

There are only 28 days left until Christmas, and with Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas and other winter holiday preparations are finally here!  At Chez Nous, we have our tree up with lights on it, but save the one Christmas ornament that sneaked past us when we were taking it down last year, it isn't decorated, yet.  My husband and I are busily making lists of gifts that our kids would like (AND that we approve of), gifts that we need to get, cards that need to be sent, baked goods that need to be baked, I think you get the gist...

Thank you so very much for supporting Embellished Living this past week.  So many of you chose to "Shop Small" this past weekend!

Did you know that for every dollar spent at a community based merchant there is a multiplier effect in the local economy?  That means that for every dollar spent at a local, independent merchant, three or more times as much typically goes back into the local economy compared to a dollar spent at chain-owned businesses!

Don't forget to check out the Holiday Guide by PBJstories!  There might be a coupon code for our Etsy Shop if you look around.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Miscellaneous "Cyber" Monday

Hope you all had a great Holiday weekend!  Cyber Monday has already been off to a big start for us!

The Etsy Wreath video debut was this morning and it is fabulous!  Jeremy was wonderful to work with and he really did a great job with it!  We are thrilled to be included in the video alongside so many talented wreath makers! Take a peek at our sidebar------>

Not only that, but we are also featured in PB&J stories Etsy Holiday Gift Guide!  We love Pamela's work and were so excited when she contacted us to be a part of her fun Etsy finds!  You may find a coupon code for our Etsy shop when you check it out ;)


We also added a few new Christmas items to our Etsy shop today :)  Make sure you stop by!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fan or Foe?

Black Friday.

Love it or leave it?

I've hit the stores on Black Friday less than a handful of times.  The first time, maybe four years ago, was the best.  Jacy and I shopped together, started at 1 am,  got some good deals, enjoyed some Starbucks, and almost completed our holiday shopping.  There were crowds and lines, but people were respectful and most shoppers were having fun.  I can't say the same about the employees, regarding the fun aspect.  Black Friday shopping done after that first year has been less successful and much less enjoyable.

This year, I'm going with the #BlockFriday approach.  I'm not sure if it's a full on trend or something started by Holstee but the idea is to take back Black Friday, reflect on what you value most, and do that.  As stores have begun opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, my heart goes out to all the employees who miss Thanksgiving meals and traditions with family and friends.  This year I may browse online, but you won't find me in any stores.  Instead, I'm lucky enough to spend the day with my family, finishing up a project, and putting up Christmas decorations.

So what about you?  Were you brave enough to face the masses at 8 pm last night to get those great doorbusters advertised?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Weeding, lots of weeding!  On a recent trip to buy some vinyl, I was chatting with the shop owner, and he used the term weeding to remove the vinyl in the negative space after cutting.  Even at the it's shop all done by hand on all projects big and small.  Because of our show last weekend, I had a lot of coasters to make.  So, here's an example of what I'm writing about: 
Before Weeding
After Weeding 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and WOW do I have a lot to be thankful for.  I won't list it all here, but I will say that 2012 has been exceptionally wonderful to me and my family.  We are so looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us.  I love this time of year, as the temperature drops, our outdoor activities become fewer, and we have more time for family.  Hoping you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving and can celebrate all that you have and are thankful for this holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

What a fabulous weekend Embellished Living had!  We had a wonderful time at The Hollyday Marketplace.  We've always loved this show, even before Embellished Living was born.  This year did not disappoint.  We all walked away having purchased a few Christmas gifts of our own, meeting some fabulous new customers, visiting with old friends and meeting so many talented vendors all while peddling our own wares.  It was such a fun day!

We also had many people stop by to tell us they saw us in our local newspaper!  We were so fortunate to be asked to be part of an article about The Hollyday Marketplace.  It was such a fun experience and the article was great.  None of us think we look very good in the photo, as the angle was looking up at us (hello double chins), which is unfortunate because it ended up being at least an 11x11 photo on the cover of the lifestyle pullout section!  The print article also included another photo of us and several of our products not in the online article, including our monogram wreaths on the front page of the paper.  A huge thank you to The DNJ and Samantha Donaldson (the writer of the article)  Tara of the Junior League for thinking of us and Simply Southern Marketplace.  It was a great opportunity and we genuinely appreciate it.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fan Club Friday

We're a fan of the Junior League.  Women donating their time and energy to raise money for local women's and children's charities = awesomeness! We're also huge fans of their yearly Hollyday Marketplace.  Not only are we thrilled to be a vendor this year, but we all love to shop the show as well.  One vendor we won't be shopping, only because we bought her out last weekend, is Marcy Jams.  I bought a few for my household, and a bunch more for holiday gifts.  Marcy has a wide selection of unique flavor combinations that are all delicious.  If you stop by her booth, try the Cherry Almond and the Strawberry Jalepeno.  You're welcome.  If you stop by and see us while you're shopping, mention this post and you'll get a free gift with any purchase.  We hope to see some of you!

Oh...and check out the front page of the Lifestyles section of the DNJ tomorrow.  We're pretty excited about what you'll see there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

We had an amazing opportunity to be interviewed by our local newspaper this morning!  It was so fun talking about and sharing what we love.  The article will be promoting Hollyday Marketplace which is happening this Saturday from 9-5 at the Embassy Suites on Medical Center.  Be sure to come by our booth to say hello!

We learned a new word today when we were talking to the reporter...  Craftermath!

A term coined by her husband - this is the wake of disaster that is left behind after the crafting is finished for the night.  And, boy do I have it in spades all over my home.  Here is just a peek:

This is just one tiny section of my personal craftermath that is present after our last show, and it's the most organized of the mess.  Thankfully, my family just walks past it, and they rarely roll their eyes.

Are you able to keep your craftermath to a minimum?  Tell me how!  My husband would appreciate it ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday... on Tuesday

It's Tuesday.  I have no excuses for not doing a blog post yesterday other than my brain just wasn't cooperating with me yesterday.  Just about everything I did I had to redo so it's Miscellaneous Monday Tuesday instead.

We had a great time at our show on Saturday.  Something about that building just brings the giggles out of us!  We are happy to have another show tucked under our belt this season, and we are beginning to be old pros at setting up our space.

We are SUPER excited about our show coming up this Saturday!!!  We will being doing the show put on by The Murfreesboro Junior League called Hollyday Marketplace.  It has, by far, been the best show,  filled with the most talented artists in the area every year and we believe this year will be no different!  If you only go to one show this is the one you do not want to miss!  So mark your calendars, call your girl friends and make plans to make a day of shopping and knocking people off your Christmas list now.  We are only SIX WEEKS from Christmas day!  We have some new Christmas decor, new wreaths and lots of our tried and true gift and home decor items, in stock and ready to go!  PLUS you will get a free gift with purchase if you tell us you saw this blog post!
Hope to see you there!  It is going to be so much fun!!  I'll be bringing lots of cash and getting some of my own shopping done as well!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank a Veteran!

Today, and every day, we are thankful for the men and women who serve, and have served,  in our Armed Forces.  They courageously protect the freedoms we take for granted, and many have given the ultimate sacrifice.  We're also thankful to the families of those men and women.   Let a Veteran know how much you appreciate them today!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

At our house, we are in race/craft show prep mode!  My hubby (and 11 other gents) are racing this weekend in the Ragnar Relay.  Some might think it's crazy, I am one of those people, but they love it.  This is the third time the Ragnar has been in TN, and this is the 3rd time that the guys are participating.  They took 2nd place the first year, 3rd the second year (due to an unfortunate miscommunication) and are hoping for this year to be the year they take 1st in their division.

While I too am carb-loading (can't pass on a carb), it's for an entirely different endurance race.  We have another show coming up this weekend.  HYPE Events is hosting Christmas on Madison Avenue where the Farmer's Market is usually held in Murfreesboro on Saturday, November 10th from 9-5.  The entrance fee is $5 and the proceeds will go to Last Call 4 Grace.

In addition to our shows, orders keep pouring in from Etsy - you can tell Christmas is on the horizon!  Pictured are just a few of the bows and rosettes we've be busy making and my Cricut happily cutting away. 

We would love to see you this weekend at our show!  Mention that you saw this on the blog for a free magnet with purchase!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday~ Red, White and Blue

Tomorrow is the big day!  My house follows politics regularly, sometimes much more than I care to.  We are all looking forward to election day for a couple of reasons. We are ready to let our voices be heard, but we are also ready to move forward and be DONE with all of it! LOL  I will be dragging my kids with me to the polls so they can be a part of the process because I feel that it is crucial for me to show them how important it is for them to vote when they are able.  So many people before us fought hard for our (women) right to cast a vote and have our voices heard, and I want them to see that it is not something to be taken lightly.  They are excited about the election, but not excited at all about standing in line for me to vote. They are currently trying to come up with some kind of plan to get out of it. ;)  No such luck though, they will be by my side.  My husband voted early, but for me there is just something about casting my vote on election day.  It makes me feel more connected to the process, I guess.  No matter who you are voting for tomorrow, please just vote.  We live in a country where we have a small say in what happens, but if you don't vote your voice is never heard.  It is important, and your kids are watching.

Now that I have done my PSA on voting, I have got to show you what was waiting for me in my driveway today!
That is 5 BIG boxes my friends.  I wish I could tell you that it was something great that I ordered online to do some fabulous decorating in my house, but it's not.  They are not for me at all in fact.
Instead all 5 boxes are full of these beauties!  I cannot tell you how excited I am to have them arrive!  All 214 of them!  Now, of course I have to figure out where we are going to store all these babies.  Luckily we never seem to hang onto them for very long. We are officially ready for the holiday season to begin!  So exciting!  

Have a great night all!  Get out the vote tomorrow!

Embellished Living

Friday, November 2, 2012

I need inspiration!

Congratulations to Amanda for winning the mustache and lips wine glass giveaway at My Un-Entitled Life!  We hope you love them!

Before the advent of Embellished Living, I spent a fair amount of time following crafty and DIY blogs. I also spent a fair amount of time on projects in my own home.  Our last home was a brand new builder grade home when we moved in.  During the 6 years we lived there, we painted every single wall in the house, replaced all the carpet with a good laminate, added crown molding to a couple rooms, tiled the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room, built a fence, landscaped, and I redecorated each of the bedrooms at least twice.  Our family grew, and our house wasn't big enough, so it was time to move on, but, wow, it was hard.  Many of those projects were done with the help of family and the house had a lot of sentimental value for me.  We're 2.5 years into our new home and I've yet to make my mark.  Only my eldest son's room has been painted, and minus a few accessories, is done.  The rest of the house has furniture, artwork, rugs, some window treatments...but it's basic.  It's time to spend a little time scouring those DIY blogs that I loved.  Time to search for inspiration and start making our house feel like our home.  Between Pinterest and Blogs, surely I'll see something that will encourage me to pull out that paintbrush and start adding life to these beige walls!  In my quest for inspiration, I came across SAS Interiors blog post for today.  While it relates to furniture and not walls, the nightstand makeover from Mandi at Vintage Revivals is amazing and worth checking out, you won't believe how she got that finish!  That nightstand caused me to click over to her site and I came across a post for building a simple barn door.  Not only am I loving her tutorial and thinking of where I can put one of those handmade beauties (with a different finish) in my home, but I also loved the stenciled wall behind the barn door.  Thank you Mandi and SAS Interiors for giving me some gorgeous inspiration and plenty of food for thought.

Tell me, what's your favorite DIY/Makeover/Crafty blog?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Today, for one day only, I'm taking a break from the crafty Christmas preparations.  While Halloween isn't one of my favorites, it sure is a favorite for my two boys (well, three if you include the Mister)!  Meet Wolfman/Guitar Hero and Tie-Dye Morphsuit guy.  Creative names, I know, but I'm running on empty with a bit of a sinus infection.  That's as good as it gets.

Each year we try to out do what we did last year as far as pumpkin carving goes.  We love seeing what new patterns Zombie Pumpkins has each year, and keeping with the theme of his costume, D chose a wolfish design.  J just loves the pirates, so while it isn't what he is dressed up as, he chose the Jolly Roger.  This year was a BIG step for me since no one wanted (or needed) my help beyond printing the pattern and making sure it was on straight on the pumpkin.

My husband is in charge of the gutting of the gourds since he enjoys roasting the seeds.  This year he went with his usual savory blend of garlic salt, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese, but he also tried a new recipe with honey, white and brown sugars and cinnamon.  Both batches are delicious!

Do you have any Halloween traditions?  We'd love to read about them in the comments below!  Tomorrow, it's back to crafty Christmas preparation!  Just 55 days until Christmas.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

56 days!~ Miscellaneous Monday

Yes everyone, that title is a Christmas countdown!  We here at Embellished Living are definitely in Christmas mode.  We had Christmas items for sale at our craft show on Saturday and everyone seemed really excited about the upcoming holiday!  We are rolling out our new Christmas items at Simply Southern Marketplace this week in time for the town square's open house Holiday Celebration and our Etsy customers have already begun their holiday shopping as well.

I say every year that I am going to start Christmas shopping in January.  Strangely enough that never seems to actually happen.  I have had a couple of years where I start in August.  This, my friends, is not one of those years.  My kids are 8 and 12 which makes the idea of Christmas shopping much less appealing, because they don't want all of the fun toys anymore :(  I have no idea what I am going to get either one of them, let alone anyone else on my list.  I have to say, when I see that we only have 56 days left till the big day, I have a bit of an anxiety attack.  I think I am going to live in denial a little while longer and focus on helping other people cross names off their gift giving lists instead, that gives me less anxiety ;)
How about you...  Have you started your shopping yet?  I know one person at least that I would bet money is already done with her shopping.  Are you someone that waits till the last minute or are you done months in advance?  Are you like me and the whole thing gives you a bit of anxiety?

Happy 56 days till Christmas!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Unofficial Kickoff!

Tomorrow is the unofficial kick off to our busy season.  One year ago today,  we had no idea how crazy things were about to get.  If the past couple weeks are any indication, we'll be just as busy this year.  Either way, we're excited for the show tomorrow.   We always enjoy chatting with shoppers and other vendors, seeing other local artisans and crafters, and spending an entire day with each other!

If you're local, stop by and say hello.  We'll be at the Festival of Arts and will be giving a free magnet to any of you who stop by and tell us you follow our blog, facebook or twitter pages.

We'll be there 9-4, hope to see some of you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Well, hello there!  I "mustache" you a couple of questions:  Have you entered the giveaway yet?  AND Are we going to see you this Saturday at The Festival of Arts and Crafts (First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro from 9-4)?

This week has been all about mustaches at Chez Nous - that's 5 mustache wine glasses and a My Stache bank.  Somehow my two boys are under the impression that once a man  grows a mustache and beard, they can go to college.  Not sure how that relates, but they mention it every now and again.


Also, in filling out our stock at Simply Southern Marketplace, we realized that we had never made a Q or U Monogram Wreath!   So we took this opportunity to see what we could do!  I think they are so cute!

Hope you are having an excellent Hump Day, I really "mustache" and work on some more great creations for Saturday.  See you there!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday ~ Friends

I am one of those rare people that has been lucky enough to have the same friend from when I was 1 year old till today at *cough* 32 *cough*.  As kids we were inseparable and now as adults and living 550 miles apart we still see each other once a year and talk on the phone as often as our busy schedules allow.  She is still one of my best friends and always will be in my life, she is my chosen sister.  I am well aware how rare this feat is, and trust me I do not take it for granted.

She married her high school sweetheart.  Seriously, they were 14 when they started dating.  He proposed at our senior prom.  Now it has been 13 years since their wedding and they have 3 fabulous boys.  They decided that 3 just wasn't enough and she is currently pregnant with baby number 4.  Being that this is their last, she wants to make it special and memorable for her whole family.  She was talking about photo ops and that got me to thinking about Embellished Living products ;)  So here is what I sent and how she used them...

She sent these photo's out on her big 20 week ultrasound day to all her friends and family as a teaser to let us all know the answer would be here soon.  She is a scrapbooker, and seriously, how cute will this page in the baby's album be?

After 3 boys, everyone is hoping that this time they will finally get the girl she has been dreaming of her entire life.  Drum roll please....

So happy for them!  Thank you Rachel for sharing your product photos!  We love seeing how our customers use our products in their lives.  If you have any photos of our products in action we would love to see your pics as well!  You can tag us on facebook or email them :)

Just for fun....
This is us at 2 years old.  I am the clown on the left, she is the clown on the right... fitting in hindsight ;)

This is us last summer at the NKOTB concert together just like we had been so many years earlier in 4th grade.  Don't laugh, it was a fabulous show!!  I again am the clown on the left and she is the clown on the right ;)  Do you have a friend that you've had your entire life?  I hope so, it rocks!