Saturday, May 4, 2013


We've been super busy this past week at Embellished Living!  This was just my portion of our week:
That's a lot of Monogram Wreaths!

I had another big thing on the horizon though.  My youngest son is turning the big eight point 0 tomorrow, Cinco de Mayo!  I just found the blog called Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons, and it had the CUTEST idea for a Mexico inspired treat.

That's an edible maraca, people!

As soon as I saw it, I had to have it (follow the link in the photo caption above for the entire tutorial on SheKnows).
Here are the players
Cookies in the oven

Just after baking

Wells formed and some filled with mini M&Ms (he doesn't like Nerds)
See my Frankenmaraca?  There was a lot of extra white chocolate involved trying to save this one!
Delicious handles in place

Thank goodness I had a cooling rack that fit the cookies, otherwise I would have been sunk!

Final decor - he was SO excited that I let him have mini M&Ms AND sprinkles!

The inside!

The maraca in action!

They were a huge hit at home and in his classroom!  Did they take a long time to make?  Yes.  Was most of that time spent waiting for the cookies to bake/cool/chocolate to cool? Yes.  Would I make them again?  Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!  I'm already thinking this would make an adorable rattle for a baby shower.  Any other ideas?  We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Excuses, Excuses!

Boy have we got a ton of excuses for our blog slacker status!  From Stacie's family's bout with the flu and her stream of out of town guests, to Chandra's solid THREE months of battling all kinds of sickness bouncing between her family.  If those weren't enough I decided to make life even more challenging by cutting some wood for an Embellished Living order and removing 3 of my finger tips in the process.  Table saws are the devil.  I've used mine on many occasions, but all it takes is once.  I'm at week 6 into my healing process, my fingers won't come back, but I still have most of them so I was pretty lucky.  Don't get me wrong, it freaking sucks.  My doctor told me today that I have no more restrictions, so here I am ( though truthfully, I am pretty sure that blogging was never really considered a restriction ;) )

Let me catch you up on a few things in Embellished Living's world...  We are now offing our handmade wreaths at a fabulous local store here in Middle TN.  Polly at Blackberry House has people traveling from all over to get their hands on her gorgeous furniture.  We are thrilled to be a part of her shop.

We will soon have our items in another local shop too!  The grand opening is the second weekend in May.  If you are local, make sure to stop by A Jones of all Trades!

These cuties made their debut at Blackberry House and will soon be making their way to Etsy!  Aren't they cute?!?  Love it with my mantle decor!  My favorite is the 3 but I am a house of 4 so.... No 3 for me!  While you are looking my mantle, give me your thoughts on my broken/handless clock (got a great deal on it, btw).  I stupid love it, my husband just thinks it is stupid.  What do you think?

Much Love!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, we created a fun Etsy treasury.  Dirt soap is my favorite item.  :)  Check it out!

What are you doing anything for Earth Day?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I always make my great grandmother's Irish Soda Bread on this day.  My great grandmother lived with my mom's family when my mom was a girl, and my mom fondly recalls time in the kitchen learning how to make this bread.  I have the same fond memories with my mom and think of her and my grandmother's kitchen when I make it.  In honor of the day, I thought I'd share my great grandmother's recipe.  My uncle researched some family history, and I believe he determined she was from County Sligo.
Irish Soda Bread

4 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 3/4-2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sift together all the dry ingredients.  Mix together the wet ingredients, using 1 3/4 cup of buttermilk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix.   If the dough is too dry, add buttermilk until the dough is "rubbery".  (I don't really know what that means, I just know you don't want the dough to be too sticky.)  Add raisins and stir them into the dough.  Bake for 45-60 minutes in a greased pan.

I use a 9" round cake pan and it takes the full 60 minutes in my oven.  Don't use a smaller pan, it will take forever for the center to bake through.

I can't have a St. Patrick's Day post without an Irish Blessing, so I'll leave you with this:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Adventure

Chandra and I went on a little girls trip to Louisville, KY this past weekend.  What a fun town!  I had no idea what to expect, I was just excited and happy to go along for the ride.  We ended up finding our way to an area called The Highlands.  First thing on our agenda was FOOD!  **Side bar: Am I the only one that seems to plan my vacations around eating out at new fab restaurants?**  We found ourself smack in the middle of Irish Pub Alley.  I kid you not, from where we stood on the street we could see at least 6 Pubs.  Now this is totally fine by me, I love fish and chips, add some malt vinegar and yummy!  As we were walking to our pub of choice,  we happen to look up and see this in the middle of Irish Pub row.  What?!?

Oh yeah!  Gourmet Grilled Cheese!  In our small town that is just not something you see everyday.  Lil Cheezers won by a landslide.  My Caprese sandwich was super yum. Chandra ate the Fancy Pants and enjoyed the combo of Brie, granny smith apples and walnuts.   I wish I could go back and try another from the menu, but alas,  I will just have to make do with my Big Kid Grilled Cheese from Panera instead.  BTW, if you haven't had Panera's big kid grilled cheese and tomato soup you really should!

After having full bellies we walked Baxter and Bardstown streets and explored all the cool local shops. Some of our favorites were thirteen thirteen, Attic Treasures, Inc, and Discoveries.  We had a fun afternoon of walking through town and found some big pieces that may have come home with us if we wouldn't have taken a cab there ;)
We ended our evening with a yummy dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery and entertainment on Fourth Street Live at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano place, which are always a ton of fun.  We had a great trip and would recommend that you guys pop into Louisville for a visit too.  Those of you in the area, what did we miss out on that we should make to see next time?  
Our trip has inspired us to curate an Etsy treasury, make sure to take a look at all of the cool Louisville inspired Etsy items we found.  They will get you in the Louisville state of mind

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!

Today we are celebrating our 2nd Birthday!  So much has happened the past two years for our little company and we are thrilled (and still in a bit of shock) with how far we have come. We have loved every minute of our Embellished Living adventure and can't wait to see where this next year take us!  To celebrate this exciting day we are offering all of our readers a 20% discount on any purchase on our Etsy shop! We don't offer this large of a discount often so make sure you take advantage if you have been eyeing something ;)  Just type in coupon code 2YEAR20 at checkout
A huge THANK YOU to all of you for your continued support through the years, words cannot express how grateful we are to all of you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Early Spring

Since Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring, I thought you might enjoy a quick and easy project   with rain boots.  I bought this pair on clearance at Old Navy for about $10.  They weren't very cute, but they were the right price.  Along with the boots, I bought a roll of 2" grosgrain ribbon in a bright color and rummaged through my Goodwill pile for an old sweater.

I also needed scissors, FrayCheck, a ruler and an exacto knife.  Once all that was assembled, I used a ruler to mark two inch marks around the top of the boots, and then cut following the marks with my exacto knife.  I worked from the center of the front of each boot, measured an inch in either direction, drew my line, then measured one inch, drew a line, then two inches, then one inch until I'd worked my way to the back.    I cut the ribbon (approximately two yards per boot) and sealed the ends to prevent fraying.  I used Fraycheck, but you could use a lighter and singe the ends if you don't have any other sealant on hand.  Then I threaded the ribbon through each boot, with the ribbon threaded behind each of the one inch sections,  and tied a bow in the back.

 The final step was cutting the arms off an old sweater to add a cuff.  I didn't attach them, because I don't always want a cuff with the boots.  I didn't sew the cuffs at all, and they've withstood me pulling them on and off with a minimal amount of unraveling.
 The whole project was less than $15, took about 30 minutes and every time I wear them I get compliments.  Best part, the ribbon isn't attached, so it can be pulled out when dirty or when you want match the ribbon to your outfit.

Have fun embellishing your own boots!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Hello!  We hope you all had a fabulous holiday!  We all enjoyed our time off.  It was the first time we closed our shop since we opened it!  We are back to work and knocking out orders but I have struggled!  What is it about the month of January that always just feels so Blah!  I don't know about everyone else but I have had a really hard time getting back to "real life" after all of the holiday hoopla.  Seems like the same thing happens every year.  Having a few days of sun has surely helped some though.
Now that January is winding down, I feel like I am finally getting back into the swing of things.  I have several home projects brewing in my mind!  I am hoping to cross many things off of my project list this year.  My resolution for 2013 is to get it together.  It is pretty broad really, and encompasses all aspects of my life.  Balancing time between work, family and home is HUGE and at the top of my list.  I feel like the resolution to get my stuff together in 2013 is a rather large undertaking, but they all go hand in hand really.  Becoming more organized, balancing time, home projects, money, family it all goes together and will make life run smoothly.  Wish me luck!

My first order of business is to realize that I (we moms) can't do it all.  Having a 12 and an 8 year old, my kids are beyond old enough to help out around the house.  They have always had chores but getting them to do them without it being a huge deal has not gone so well in my home.  They find ways to skirt around them.  I hear these excuses a lot "can I just relax for a little while first, I had a long day" or "I have sooooo much homework"  Then they disappear into their bedrooms only to be seen again when they are hungry.  So now the rules are changing.  I went back and forth as to what to do for a chore chart.  Of course I went straight to  Etsy to see what I could find!

My favorites are This one from More than a Memory AK
source: Etsy More than A Memory
This one from Mellow Yellow Decor

source: Etsy Mellow Yellow Decor
I like the idea of the magnets on both, having them see what they need to do and having to physically move them to the done column.  So I finally decided which one I wanted but couldn't decided where in my house I was going to hang it so it was seen by the girls everyday.  It needs to be in their face so they are constantly reminded to actually do them, but I didn't really have a wall I was willing to give up for a chore chart :(  Then it hit me!  The door in my kitchen that leads to my garage, the door that we use multiple times a day, well, that door is metal.  Oh yeah!  I was going to go ahead and place an order through Etsy for the magnets, (gotta support other small businesses) but then I saw the turn around time.  I get why it takes so long, I am just not a patient person.  When I get bit by a project bug and I have it all planned out, I want it done now!  So off to Lowes and Joanns I went for supplies.
Supplies used:
2x2 white tiles
527 glue
mod podge
scalloped punch

I simply made a list of all of the chores they could ever potentially have (and there are a lot) typed them up on my computer and printed them out, including one for each that says "Parents Choice" for anything I forgot ;)   I used my scalloped punch to punch them out of the card stock because it ended up being more forgiving to do that than trying to get everything spaced perfectly when printing.

Then I separated the 2x2 tiles (they come on a sheet) and mod podged each chore to a tile.   You can do several coats of mod podge (letting each coat dry before adding the next) but I didn't.  When I make things for myself I tend to cut corners a bit cause it doesn't have to be perfect if it isn't leaving my house ;)  A coat of sealant over them would give the surface added protection as well.

Once all of that is dry, flip them over and use your 527 or something like it to attach your magnets (make sure you are in a ventilated space, that stuff is potent!)

Next I cut out vinyl to add to my door, and viola! It is done.  Very simple project.  Hopefully very effective as well.  It has only been a week, but my kids are excited about it and are doing it.  I have attached an allowance to it.  Sadly for them, they don't get paid by chore, they get paid by day.  They have to accomplish all things on their list in order to be paid for the day.  Mind you most things on that list are ridiculous and shouldn't have had to be put on a chore chart but alas, they did.  Things like Feed the dog, and put away your lunch box.  Simple things, but things that are a constant struggle in this house.  How do you handle chores in your home?  Do you have a chore chart?  Is it working for you?  I am just hoping ours works longer than a month!  If you are attempting the dreaded chore chart as part of your new year plan, Good Luck!