Wednesday, August 31, 2011

you don't want to miss this.

if there are any top three blogs that I read daily, it would be these:

These three ladies are FILLED full of inspiration. From blogging about family, their children, their projects, their aspirations and their life goals all the way to their downfalls, and struggles.

People, these women are REAL.

They make me want to be a better person.

They must be in kahoots with each other because each one of them are hosting AWESOME giveaways on their blogs...RIGHT NOW.

Over at


 is hosting a giveaway from Little Miss Momma!
One lucky ready will receive a beautiful SHINE pillow!

And in case you didn't know, with each shine pillow sold $5 of the proceeds go to The Shine Project Scholarship Fund.

And since we are on the subject of Little Miss Momma,
who is ALSO named Ashley- just FYI,

let me introduce the Barn Owl Primitive giveaway going on over at her place!

Have you seen these signs around etsy?

I posted one on my FB wall just the other day.

It was this one to be exact.

{it's never too early to start dropping Christmas hints, now is it?}

These signs pictured above are all 'standard' size.

The giveaway is for a JUMBO sign of your choice OR you can work with the creator of these beauties and design one of your own!

It measures 2' x 4'.

Take a look..

Valued at $250-$350!

Last but not least, my super cute friend Casey over at The Wiegand's is hosting a giveaway from Soleil Selene.

Enter here for your chance to win all three of these lovelies:

one rosette necklace

one triple rosette necklace

one double rosette headband

Now, as if this isn't enough, Soleil Selene is hosting a Blogiversary Giveaway Event from now until September 16th!

I don't know about you, but I find myself in dire need of ALL of the above mentioned giveaways.
I've actually already entered myself into each of them.

And because each of the ladies are giving away, I figured I might as well join in on the fun!

Next week, I'm going to host a giveaway from my Etsy shop!
Take a look around and leave a comment below letting me know of an item you would like to see in the giveaway!

In the meantime, I'm offering a 15% off discount code to all of my readers!
Just enter 'embellish' in the discount code box!


Monday, August 29, 2011

dear hubby

Dear Hubby,

You really don't know how much I love you. You are one hard working man, and I'm grateful for that. Not many people can do what you do. I am seriously one lucky wife. You bust your butt daily to provide for us and pay the bills. Meanwhile, I am struggling to find balance owning and running a new boutique. As of now, we are not where we wanted to be at the time after our marriage. Life has thrown us a few curveballs and a couple of additional opportunities that we were not aware of when we made these life goals a few months-years back. Rather than you going back to school this semester to student teach in the Master's program, you have sacrificed for us, and instead you are going to continue working and bringing home a weekly check. I, on the other hand, am 3 months post-graduation with no nursing job. You hate this, this I know. I have taken the initiative to sign up for my NCLEX and it's been four weeks now that I have been waiting on the State to send me my information. You remind me of this quite frequently. It's not that I don't want a career as a nurse, because I honestly do. But a year ago, I had no idea that I would be sitting inside a store in the middle of our hometown running a business. This was definitely not in our life plan. It's kind of crazy how it has evolved actually. Last November I had an idea to earn a little side money to help pay for nursing school costs. That idea turned into actions and those actions have lead me where I am today. Am I thankful for that? Of course. God has given me the opportunity, the assistance, the location, the time, and the funds. All of which I never in a million years would've thought could happen.

So where do we go from here? You are adamant about me having a nursing career. And that's perfectly fine. I want one. I love all that a nursing job consists of. But, yes, the big "but".. I also love this boutique. I love that I can be crafty on a daily basis. I love being challenged and coming up with new, fun ideas. I love that our small community now has a fun place to shop! And, all of our customers really support us and love our products! It's amazing to me.

On another thought.. you know I love babies, and have always wanted to work in the Pediatric field. Whether it be at a hospital or not, this has always been my dream job. Once I had the opportunity to shadow for my preceptorship in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), I was astonished. Never before had I seen a baby soo tiny. I immediately fell in love and knew this was one day where I wanted to end up. Before graduation, I applied to the Neonatal Nurse Residency program and unfortunately did not get the job. There weren't many other positions available in the hospital on the floors I was interested in. So, in the meantime, I chose to continue running the boutique. Therefore, regardless I would have some sort of job. Your Step-Mom and I at this point did not know how well the boutique would pan out. Or if it would at all. We first set a small goal of $100 per day. To our surprise, we have averaged that and most days doubled or tripled that amount. We couldn't believe it. So, we continued.

I'm sure you are about to chuckle to yourself as you read this next part. But, I feel like God has a bigger plan for us. I know you are probably rolling your dark, brown eyes all while having the biggest grin on your handsome face. You know I always say stuff like this. I always feel like God is trying to show me and tell me something. I feel like it was his plan that this opportunity to own a boutique has come about. I feel that it was his plan for me to get married in June and therefore, not take the NCLEX immediately after graduation like the majority of my classmates. Instead, he allowed me time to focus on the last details of the biggest day of our lives, our wedding. For that, I am thankful. I got to relax and ease my mind. I got to take it all in. That unbelievable feeling that I was about to be your wife in just a few short days.

As I'm typing this, a lady just peeked her head in the front door of my store. She said "I just wanted to let you know what a great job you did on my cup. I love it. I have it sitting on my desk and everyone that walks by always comments on it and says how much they love it. I just wanted to let you know and to tell you thank you." And she closed the door and walked back to her car. This lady, whom I don't even know, just took the time out of her day to come and visit me and to tell me thank you for a cup I had decorated for her a few weeks back. This makes my heart smile. How ironic what I just wrote in that last paragraph? I feel this is God's way of letting me know I am doing something right.

Balance is hard for me. I used to be so organized and neat. The house was spotless most of the time. There wasn't a dirty dish in the sink or clothes waiting to be folded hanging out in the dryer. Our kitchen counters weren't cluttered and the bed was always made. Now, I've been in some sort of funk for quite some time. I still manage to do what needs to be done, but I constantly struggle with self-satisfaction of that being "enough". Our life has no routine at this point. Although I close the store at 5, I sometimes don't come home until 8, if not later. You, on the other hand, often get off mid-afternoon. After working outside all day, you are exhausted. You like to catch a nap, play with Bella, and before long you are ready to eat. After you bathe, you are ready to kick back in the bed and watch television until you drift off to sleep before having to wake up again at 6am. I stay up until midnight or later catching up on things. If someone was to take a picture of us every evening before we go to bed, one would see a remote control in your hand and me typing away on my laptop. Instead of bringing home a weekly check, I allow the funds to roll over in our account to cover expenses. Our goal is to cover inventory and supply costs and get caught up before cutting a check out each week. This is what we want. This is how we need to run it to make it successful in the years to come. I must give a little to take a little.

You are gone before I wake, and home before I get off. Supper isn't cooked more than half of the time. There is probably clothes waiting to be folded and hung in the dryer. There are always dishes in the dishwasher waiting to be taken out and put away so they can be replaced by dirty ones in the sink. The floors are hardly ever vacuumed. The commodes are never scrubbed. Dirty clothes are strung from one end of the house to the other. The floors are never mopped. And I don't have 8 arms..

I wish I did.

Your exhausted. I'm exhausted. But somebody has to do it.

You told me last night while I grabbed a load of clothes out of the dryer, "Cait, don't fold those tonight. Just come lay down and relax with me."

My response was, "Um, no. I've got to fold these clothes, Cliff. They've been sitting in there all day and if I don't fold them they're going to be wrinkled."

You replied, "well, they're all my clothes and I will wear half of them tomorrow anyway! So, don't worry about them."

I didn't budge. I continued folding with a scowl on my face as you layed in bed, feet propped up, flipping through the channels.

I got angry. A fuse went off in my brain. I thought to myself, and then said out loud to you.. "if you would get up and help me, it would take half of the time. Then I could actually lay down with you and relax."

As you looked over at me with scrunched eyebrows, you simply said "it's ten o'clock at night and I'm tired. I work hard every single day. I am not folding clothes this late."

And that was that. I continued to fold all of them, put them on hangers, and put them away in their proper places.

This is what I struggle with. I struggle to find the time to clean the house to your expectations. I struggle with the fact that not too terribly long ago, you weren't working out in this 110 degree heat. When you got home and I wasn't there, you would switch over the clothes, put a load on, unload the dishwasher, or even start dinner. Now, you are exhausted. You think that these types of duties fall back ultimately on the 'wife'. That's me. Because I don't bring home a weekly check, I am considered more of the stay-at-home-wife type. In saying that, we have a perspective that this type of role does all of these duties listed above. The man makes the money and provides, while the wife stays home and cooks and cleans. Ok, maybe back in the day. Or maybe in some sort of fairytale. But, not in our world. I'm away from home working just as much as you, if not more than you at this point. But because, ultimately, you bring in the income and 'work', I am suppose to uphold these duties. I'm failing. I just can't. For one, there's just not enough hours in the day. And two, I have lost motivation.

How can I be at home constantly cleaning in order to keep up with the amount of housework that just the two of us have when I am constantly having to be at the store putting together orders, boxing up and shipping out items, rearranging inventory, entering new inventory into the computer system, labeling items, researching and coming up with new ideas, ordering supplies and new inventory, maintaining three websites, taking the time to clean and take out the trash, and simply remembering to take a moment to breath in and out?! Whew. Is it manageable? Is there a weekly schedule I can work out? Is there a personal assistant I can hire? No wait, I have no extra income to pay them. Scratch that thought.

I don't want you to get discouraged with me. I don't want you to feel like I am a failure and that I am loosing sight of my dream for becoming a nurse. Because I'm not. I don't want you to feel like I'm not upholding my wifely duties, because I'm trying. I want to have the house spotless, I want to have a three course meal waiting on you when you get off of work, I want to get up with you in the mornings and make your coffee before you walk out the door. I want to do all of these things. And, one day soon I will. I promise. Don't hate me because I work late or because I am just as exhausted as you when I get home and sometimes I don't feel like folding two loads of clothes, unloading the dishwasher, fixing a three course meal, and simply sweeping the floor. I am trying to work hard and start this business where it will be successful and something to fall back on. Please understand this. I just feel like this is God's plan for me, for us. He must have a much bigger plan thant what we had originally imagined. It's just going to take time to see the ultimate outcome. I try to explain this to you often. You can't help it, you are just a teeny weeny bit impatient..and that's understandable. I completely understand. I can't make you see it at this point. I just have this gut feeling that it's all going to work out. And it will, according to His will.

Until then, let's just keep our faith, our trust in one another, and a smile on our faces. It's going to get better. Our time is coming. I know God has a big, big plan for us. And for that, I am utterly excited.

P.S. Our sheets are washed and supper will be cooked tonight!

your wife

Friday, August 26, 2011

DIY: chicken wire frame

Fall is full of festivals, craft events, and parades.
Which means, busy time for Embellish Boutique.

So to get a head start, I began researching craft booth ideas on my dearly beloved, Pinterest.
Since we sale a variety of handcrafted jewelry, I was interested in finding a unique piece to display our items.

Then, I find these.

{found here}

And of course, I think "I can SO do that!"
If I'm not mistaken, I probably think this to myself after every awesome DIY project I come across.
Pinterest is inspiring me WAY to much here lately. In fact, it's soo inspiring that I find myself spending countless hours glued to the computer. When I finally close the laptop and put it away.. I feel ironically, creative?
And I haven't done a thing.
It sounds silly, but it's so true.

Anyhoo, back to my project.
So, I crawled out of bed around 11:30 night two nights ago and found an old frame and propped it up by the backdoor.
I knew if I wouldn't go find it right then and there, I probably would forget by morning.

There it was laying by the door when I went to leave that morning.
I carried it on the back porch & put a quick layer of flat white spray paint on it so that it would be ready to go by the time I got home.

Unfortunately, I don't have any before pictures.
But, here's the turn out.
Not too terribly shabby for a first go, eh?

Supplies needed:
unused frame, 8 x 10
chicken wire - approximately 12x12
wire snippers
staple gun
spray paint of choice

1) Spray paint the frame your color of choice & allow ample drying time.

2) Place frame over chicken wire & snip outline.

3) Flip frame over, place chicken wire on top, & staple along the border.

4) Snip the excess chicken wire.

Simple as pie!

To add a twist, you can even spray paint the chicken wire a fancy color too!

Use these for jewelry displays, inspiration boards, to hang childrens artwork, or a fun weekly menu/recipe board.

Next craft show is in October. Until then, it's found a new home on my nightstand.

Definitely going to make more for my craft room & storefront.
I'm loving these colors!

{found here}

{found here}

{found here}

Linking up with Ashley over at The Shine Project today!
OHH, and if you aren't friends with Casey Weigand at 'The Weigand's'.. you MUST go check her out.
I'm hosting a $50 store credit giveaway along with THIRTEEN, yes - that's 13! - others!!
It's a hunk of a giveaway!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

down home.

don't read any further.
scroll to the bottom of this post, turn up your speakers, and hit play on the youtube video.
you must listen along as you read.

ok, now you may continue :)

around here,
the weekends are spent outdoors.
the sun shines bright,
the fields are planted with crops,
& the roads are made of clay.

we drive 4x4 trucks,
sunglasses dangle from our necks,
we let our hair blow in the wind,
& a Sunday drive is with the windows down
and the radio up.

nothing beats a good, country song.

the sky is blue,
the clouds are white,
pine trees are abundant,
rain is scarce,
& the bugs are plentiful.

"Down home where they know you by name and treat you like family.
Down home a man's good word and a handshake are all you need.
Folks know if they're fallin on hard times they can fall back on..
Those of us raised up down home." {Get the full lyrics, here.}

Monday, August 22, 2011

shine on.

I got my SHINE necklace in the mail last week.

Talk about excited?!

I haven't taken it off!
 (okk, exclusion- to bathe, that's it).

I love the length.
The meaning.
The antique flower & pearls.
It's perfect!

Help support Ashley & begin to inspire the world!
Follow her: Facebook -- Blog
You'll be glad you did!

Ashley was so kind to let me purchase 15 necklaces for my storefront!

I challenge you to Make a Change!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world"

Friday, August 19, 2011


{yes, indeed. I'm a Leo.}

some good, some not so much.
these word are all adjectives that describe a big part of who I am.
did you know, these same exact adjectives also describe my husband?
at times, we clash.
we clash because we are.just.alike.
we do have our differences, but both of our attitudes regarding life are described above.
this can be a good thing.
yet, this can be a little tricky at times.
sometimes we get along great.
other times, we challenge each other and bicker about pointless stuff.
now, let's be honest for a moment. raise your hand if these have happened once or twice in your time between you and your significant other..
how many of us are so firm and decisive that we both believe our opinions are 'the best' and 'better than' one or the others and we stand tall to back our decision?
how many of us get so pushy to the point of pure aggravation with one another?
how many of us are so determined that both of our answers or opinions are correct that we often lose sight of reality and begin to make up every excuse in the book to back up our statement we felt so certain about to begin with?
{sigh} i think it happens to the best of us.
while this doesn't happen often, it's something worth looking back on & remembering in the days to come.
i see us 40 years from now looking back and laughing at just how gung-ho we actually were.
wonder fills my mind when I think back on how we gained these said characteristics.
was is because cliff moved out at age 18 and moved off to college on his own?
he had to support himself, make decisions on his own, learn to cook & clean, and begin to pay his own bills.
was it because I decided at the age of 15 that I wanted to have a job so I could earn money to buy the 'wants' I had growing up as a teenager?
was it because good moral values were instilled in both of us to do and make the best of what we can be?
i'm not really certain as to why we are the way we are, but i am glad.
i'm glad we are independent, determined, firm, confident, assertive, and decisive. 

{all photos via pinterest}

what are some adjectives that you and your significant other have in common?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I long for the day that our home is finally complete...
No more renovations.
No more grossly stained carpet with a hideous rug covering up the spots.
No more white patches on the walls.
No more windows without blinds and walls without pretty paint.

Until then, I will continue dreaming.

Here's a few LUSTS for this week..

{all via my new obsession, pinterest.}

{I'm totally digging the mustard yellow. I plan to make these rosette pillows!}

{love this vintage inspired bathroom, especially the tub}


Ok, snapping back to reality now.


Friday, August 12, 2011

sightseeing in Sanibel {part II}

2nd stop: J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

This is a 4-6 mile nature park off the coast of Sanibel.

You can hike, ride your bike, or drive you car.
We chose to drive since it was cloudy and raining here and there.

We must've hit it on a not-so-good day.

There was only a handfull of animals we encountered along our journey.

{small fishies}

The landscape was pretty regardless.

I spy.....fiddler crabs!

Now, this is just freaky.
If there's one insect I'm freaked out over, it's a spider.

Next up, birds.

And lastly, a few lizards.

That's a wrap!!

p.s. we FOUND sunshine!!

Two days in a row.
We're off to enjoy our last day here!