I'm Ellen Mallernee Barnes, a 35-year-old wife, mother, writer, friend, mover and shaker. This is my blog about what I'm thinking about, making, wearing, and fiddling with around my house. It's also a blog about my family and our adventures together.

I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and despite a six-year detour to nearby Knoxville, where I went to college, met my husband, and got my first real job, I've lived in Nashville my whole life. Living in the same town your whole life is kind of like losing your virginity to your husband; it's honorable and romantic, but also pretty much a bummer. Lucky for me, I fall more in love with Nashville each year, and my husband and I try to do lots of traveling to satisfy our wanderlust. 

I met and went instantly bonkers for Nekos in August 2002, married him in September 2006, and in March 2010, we welcomed our daughter, Tessa Jean. In November 2012, our second baby girl, Livvy Lara, also made her way into our arms. 

Other things to know about me: I have always been a writer because I crave the fulfillment of having written. After years spent as a newspaper reporter and then an editor for Gibson Guitar, I now work from home as a freelance writer and jill of all trades. I'm most content at my sewing machine or with a paint brush in my hand (rooms and furniture, not art). I like clothes and craft beer too much. And almost nothing makes me happier than a heart to heart or a big laugh with a girlfriend. 

You can reach me at ellen.mallernee@gmail.com

A couple posts to get to know me better:
Storytelling in 30 Photos
The A-Z of Me

This is Nekos:

And this is Tessa Jean:

This is Livvy Lara. We call her Lou:

I like them all a whole lot. 


  1. I just happened upon your blog... I thought I'd stop and tell you that your family is so, so cute!

  2. Hi Ellen!!! I just found your blog via Top Baby Blogs & I love it! I'm a new follower. I've some some mixed babes too. That Tessa is too cute!
    You can find me over at www.FreshAngeles.Com : )
    XO, Jessica

  3. In thinking about your inspiration, your English-teacher/literary authority of a mother gets a big nod. In addition, perhaps you took a wee chip off of your Northern cousin’s creativity block ...with which you will craft an incredible and elegant block of your own...

    Oh, and I'm fine with for your 3rd or 4th book as a dedication to me :) I'm already s-o-o-o flattered!

    Gosh, it suddenly feels stuffy and arrogant in my own little part of the Pacific NW. Like yours truly is wantin' to snoggle some credit for how talented her cousin is...time to open a window!

    This is great, Ellen Clark!

  4. Just found your blog, Tessa is adorable! xo

  5. Hi!! New follower here! I'm so excited to read more of your blog. I'm raising biracial twin boys born last March, too! Their daddy is Nigerian and I'm, well...freckled. Your little family is adorbs an I'm excited to follow you guys.

    You can find me and the dudes at my blog, Mama and the Dudes. http://mamamandolin.blogspot.com

  6. Hi Ellen, found your blog thru Melissa (I still love you) I love bloggers from Nashville. I went to Vandy and love the South, especially Tennessee. (lived in Memphis for a while too!) Can't wait to read and see more from you!!

  7. Love your lovely blog and have passed on a little award to you:
    Liebster Blog Award
    Hope you like it!

  8. hey, you might want to update what you are freelancing about, since you gave those law blogs to me! i like the new look, but liked your old look, too. i'm still exploring.

  9. I love reading your posts Ellen. You're extremely talented, and I get enjoy bits of nostalgia when reading your blog. It's great to see your family grow. I have fond memories of you and your Mom growing up (even though you may have been to young to remember too many with me ;)

  10. What a beautiful family congrats :)

    Vintage Inspired Girls

  11. I just came across your blog when looking for crafting ideas. I like your style. I'll come again.

    signed, Genevieve McGlinchey

  12. Stumbled across your blog while looking for Decoupage ideas...was just breezing through when I saw your house and thought...She MUST live in Nashville! No other place has houses like this! Laughed out loud when I found out I was right! Here+Home=Love...I know you'd agree!

  13. hi! your daughters are adorable and i love tessa's hair! i'm from huntsville, so i guess we are neighbors. i used to go to opryland every weekend when i was a child, so i think i might be 1/4 nashvillian. :)

  14. Hello from Toronto, Canada. Lovely blog. I like your personal taste and your family is very sweet. My family and I took a trip to Nashville a couple of summers ago and we loved it.

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  20. I read your many comments on my blog this a.m. You, sir, are cruel and crazy and don't know a damn thing about me. Appreciate you not commenting here again. I worked for that company seven years ago and haven't done a thing for them since. How ironic that the interests on your page say you are a fan of Jesus and yet nothing about you is like Jesus.