Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Run for the Roses Festivities

The 136th Kentucky Derby runs this Saturday, May 1. There's something about the cuisine, attire and history that's always appealed to me.  For years, my husband and I would stop by the local tracks and place a bet.  I used to have these amazing vibes and always pick the winner. Certain names would just stand out to me.  In the last few years, I've lost all credibility.  Since we've added kids to the mix, we now gather around the TV and pick our favorites. My boys love any excuse to cheer and shout!  Here are a few of my favorite recipes to help celebrate.  Enjoy the festivities!

Classic Mint Juleps

The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century.  Mixes are available, but I love this recipe.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
16 mint sprigs, lightly crushed
8 cups finely crushed ice
1 cup bourbon
Mint sprigs
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove sugar syrup from heat. Cool completely.  Place 2 crushed mint sprigs in the bottom of each of 8 glasses.  Add 1 cup crushed ice, 2 tablespoons sugar syrup, and 2 tablespoons bourbon to each glass.  Garnish with mint sprigs.
8 servings

Kentucky Chocolate Nut Tartlets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 tablespoon egg substitute
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt
2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)

For pastry: lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup.  Level with a knife.  Combine flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the baking powder in a food processor.  Pulse 3 times.  Add the shortening.  Pulse 4 or 5 times or until combined.  Place flour mixture in a bowl.  Gradually, sprinkle ice water over the flour mixture.  Toss until moist.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead 3 to 4 times.  Press mixture into a 4 inch disk.  Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll the dough into an 11 inch circle. Remove plastic.  Cut dough into 18 circles.  Fit dough into miniature nonstick muffin cups coated with cooking spray.  Gently press dough into bottom and sides of cups.  For filling:  divide chocolate and pecans evenly among muffin cups.  Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl.  Stir well with a whisk.  Divide sugar mixture evenly among cups.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and the filling is set.  Run a knife around each tartlet.  Remove from pan.  Lightly brush tartlets with 2 teaspoons bourbon, if desired.  Cool completely. 
This recipe makes 1 1/2 dozen tartlets.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Amy Adele Stationary. Perfect Gift Idea for Mother's Day!

Looking for a unique gift for Mother's Day? 
Amy Adele creates colorful calling cards with new Summer time designs. 
Ideal for Mom to set up playdates and hand out to new friends.
Customize your card with your e-mail address or phone number. 
It sure beats looking for a scrap of paper at the playground!
Order by Wednesday, April 28 for delivery by Mother's Day. 
Standard order time and delivery is typically 8 days.

Children's Stationery & Invitations on 100% Recycled Paper


Amy Adele offers a unique selection of children's stationery products.
Over 1,000 designs of thank you notes, party invitations and t-shirts can be personalized online.
I love that every paper item is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.
Outstanding customer service, high quality products, and fast printing results in quick delivery and total satisfaction.

Click on the link below to enjoy Free Shipping on all orders of $50 or more.
Stock up on thank you notes, invitations, announcements, mailing labels and and waterproof stickers.

Free Shipping on all Amy Adele Children's Stationery Products and Clothing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

In Honor of Mother's Day... Mommy's Sippy Cup Giveaway

It's 5 o'clock and Mommy needs her sippy cup! 

I just fell in love with the whimsical designs from Misty and Sandy's
This super cute boutique glass is ideal for Mommy's wine or margaritas... depending on the mood!   Standard wine glasses are also available. 
Select your three favorite colors, and the glass is custom designed just for you! 
A matching ribbon is added for the final touch.  
Discounts are offered on orders of 2 or more themed wine glasses. 
Fun gift for Mother's Day or Mommy-to-Be.
Please order before May 5th to ensure delivery by Mother's Day.

One lucky Embraced Chaos reader will win a Mommy's Sippy Cup in your choice of colors.

Mandatory Entry:
Please visit Misty and Sandy's, pick out your favorite item and leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Additional Entries:
Click Top Mommy Blogs button at top left and click vote.  Leave a comment.
Become a Facebook Fan of Embraced Chaos. Leave a comment.
Become a Google Fan of Embraced Chaos. Leave a comment.
Add the Embraced Chaos button on your blog. Leave a comment.
Blog about this giveaway and include a link.  Leave a comment.

Please include your e-mail address in each comment for winner notification.

Deadline for entry is Friday, May 7, 2010 at midnight.
Winner is selected via Random Org.
Please respond to winning e-mail with mailing address within 48 hours to claim prize.
Shipping only in US, and please no PO Boxes.

Cheers to a Happy Mother's Day!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy 101 Award

Thank you to Ellie-Town for recognizing Embraced Chaos with the Happy 101 Award.  Stop by her lovely site for the adventures of raising two adorable girls.  I love the slices of life. Thanks again to Ellie-Town!

So here are the rules of the Happy 101 Award:
1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2.  List who gave the award to you and use a link to her blog (or hyperlink)
3.  List 10 things that make you happy.
4.  Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

It's nice to take a few minutes to appreciate the good things in life.  Here's my Top 10:
1.  The top of my list is of course my boys. They have brought a joy into my life that I never thought possible. I love their sweet faces, their laughs, and all the silly things they do.  I think I'm having withdrawals right now. I've been working on a video shoot all week, so they are out of town with Grandma and Grandad.  The house is so quiet...  not a home.  They get back today. I'm sure there will soon be moments when they won't be at the top of my happy list :) but my happiest times are with my family.

2.  As much as I adore my children, date nights with my husband make me happy.  I love sipping a martini with jazz music and adult talk.

3.  The adventures of traveling make me happy. I love trying something new and exploring "out of the way" destinations.

4.  I'm always happy at the beach.  There is nothing like sinking my toes in the sand with a Pina Colada in hand watching the sunset. 

5.  I love girl getaways.  It really makes my happy to giggle and gossip with my best girlfriends. Girls that know the real you... pre-kids and pre-husband.  Just you.  What a wonderful escape!

6.  Although few and far between, a good, uninterrupted night's sleep makes me happy.

7.  Acting and being part of a creative process makes me happy. It gives me an identity outside of "just Mom". 

8.  Happiness is getting pampered at a luxurious spa. Massage, facial, mani, pedi... the works.  Throw in champagne and a spa lunch, and I'm extra happy!

9. Shopping has to be on my Happy Top 10.  I especially love finding bargains. I just snagged two gorgeous $200 retail Juicy Couture tops for $29 each. Very happy!

10.  Any reason to celebrate makes me happy.  I love holidays and making memories with my family.  Creative parties, thoughtful gifts and lots of pictures wrap up my Happy List!

Now for sites that make me happy, I would like to award the Happy 101 Award to:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodie Books Review and Giveaway

Remember those little coupon books that you made as a kid?  Goodie Books takes that concept to the next level. A Goodie Book is a book of ten priceless gifts presented with observational humor and colorful illustrations. They package ten things you can do for someone that don't cost a penny into a beautiful booklet! I was so impressed with the quality of the books, and they are perfect for Mother's Day. Note to's  just around the corner on May 9th! 

Ten price-less goodie gifts including such time tested classics as promises to eat all your vegetables, clean your room and feed the pets.

Goodie gift ideas appropriate for teens like clean up your mess, cook dinner once in a while, and keep curfew.

Perfect for the love of your life, your main squeeze, and the woman who knows you only too well and loves you anyway.

There are other selections to meet all your gift giving needs: Goodie Books for Dad and Goodie Books for Him.

These days, cards cost $4 or $5, so for a little more, you get a card and gift bundled in one. The cost per book is $11.95.  Since one "goodie turn" deserves another, one dollar from each book is donated to charity. 

Your choice of one Goodie Book

To Enter:
Come back to, and write a comment at the bottom of this post.
We'd like to hear what Goodie Book you love.

Additional Entries:
Click Top Mommy Blogs button at top left and vote for Embraced Chaos. Leave a comment.
Become a Facebook Fan of Embraced Chaos.  Leave a comment.
Become a Google Fan of Embraced Chaos.  Leave a comment.
Add the Embraced Chaos button on your blog.  Leave a comment.
Share news about Goodie Books and the Giveaway on your blog.  Leave a comment.

Please include your contact e-mail address in each comment for winner notification. 
Deadline for entry is Friday, April 30, 2010 at midnight.
Winner is selected via Random Org.
Please respond to winning e-mail with mailing address within 48 hours to claim prize. 
Shipping only in US, and please no PO Boxes.

Sorta like a goodie bag, except its a book!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


For our son's second birthday, we planned a visit to the Winnie the Pooh breakfast at the Grand Floridian.  He's a big Pooh Bear fan, so it was the obvious party theme.   Kim's Stitch in Time created this adorable, Winnie the Pooh tee for the occasion. 

Kim's Stitch in Time offers unique, custom birthday tees and onesies.  From Mickey to Thomas to all of the Princesses, you'll find a cute top for your little one. She also just added fun vacation outfits.  Perfect if you are planning a trip to Disney World!  Shirts can be personalized too. 

Kim was wonderful to work with. We chatted about the theme, and she suggested a few fabric options.  Then, she custom designed the tee and mailed it in plenty of time. The shirt is 100% cotton and good quality. I would suggest ordering a size larger just to make sure it fits.  Visit her site and enjoy her creative designs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Mess of Boys

I am amazed at the mess my boys can create.
They are miniature tornadoes that devastate a room in minutes. 
Just a typical day in our household...

My little one "fed" the fish. Have you ever tried to vacuum fish food. Not fun!

Then, he took fistfuls of dirt out of the planter... just because.

My older one created an outfit from his brother's diapers.

He unraveled a roll of toilet paper and stuffed his brother's shirt to make him look fat.

On top of that, he cut green construction paper into strips to make "grass" for our family room,

I'm cursing the Easter Bunny for putting a bath crayon in the Easter Basket.
I'm sure he thought it was a great alternative to sweet treats, but those things should be banned.
Now, I'm off to clean bath art off of the Jacuzzi tub!


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