Have a Question? Email me at nestyourbestblog@gmail.com I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Calendar

It's December. Well, tomorrow it will be. How on earth did that happen so fast?!?  Since Little Man is 3, I decided we were ready to do the full Advent calendar this year.  Last year it was just a count down, but we're all in this time around!

We have the hanging Santa calendar from Pottery Barn Kids.  There are SOOOOO many options for crafting your own calendar.  Just search it on Pinterest and you'll have reading material for daysssssss.  However, I liked this one, the price was right, and it was monogrammable.  I have mentioned I love monograms, right?

(Disclainer: All of these photos were taken at night once wee one was in bed.  Apologies for the poor lighting and general outcome of all pictures!)

My plan is to have each pocket hold a numbered tag with some sort of activity on the back.  Now, little hands will not be able to leave said cards in place, so Mommy's going to have to remember to put a new card in each night.  Add that to my nightly agenda.  Right after moving the blasted Elf on the Shelf to a new and clever spot.  (Ladies who came up with the Elf, I simultaneously love you and hate you, I hope you understand.)

I found these printable countdown tags here.  Aren't they adorable?  Thanks to DaNita at Delightful Order!

I just printed and cut.

Now, you could be uber organized and fill out each tag on November 29.  However, we are a busy family and I'm not always sure when we'll be able to fit in watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, so I made a list of all the things I definitely want to do as a family, along with some other ideas.  Then, before I tuck the tag in the pocket of the calendar each night, I'll pick something from the list I know we'll be able to fit in the next day.  Make sense?

What's on my list, you ask?  Why, of course I'll share!

Here are just a few ideas.  Add your own (and then add them in the comments because I can always use more!)

Christmas Advent Calendar List

Read a favorite Christmas Story
Drink Hot Cocoa
Play a game by the fire
Decorate the tree
Do a Christmas Craft
Make reindeer food
Write a letter to Santa
Polar Express!
Watch a Christmas movie
Bake cookies
Decorate Gingerbread Men
Go see the light show
Set-Up the Nativity scene
Cookie Swap!
Read the Night Before Christmas
Go to the Christmas Parade
Read a favorite Christmas book
Dance to Christmas music
Sing carols

Aren't these fonts delicious? Also a Pinterest find.  They are "Amazing Ruler" and "Cinnamon Cake" (you can find them on Dafont.com)

Well, you've got a few hours before Advent season officially commences.  Get to printing lovelies!  Just kidding!  Do whatever it is that brings you peace and joy during this fun time.  Even if that means filling a Pinterest board full of things you'll never do (like me). ;)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Family Photo Shoot

It's that time of year again.  Time to get your holiday cards made, stuffed, and mailed.  We usually go to a local photographer for Santa pics of the little guy, but she increased her prices by a LOT!!  So...over Thanksgiving we enlisted the help of my bro-in-law who just happens to have lots of experience behind the camera.

We took the photos outside at my parents house.  It was the perfect day.  Overcast, which made for great lighting.  The red tree leaves were beautiful and literally the next day, all the leaves fell down.  Can you say perfect timing?

To those of you readers who are on our Christmas card list, sorry for the spoiler!  And to those of you lovely readers who I don't personally know yet, here is your version of our Christmas Card.  Happy Holidays!

In this one, Little J was thinking "I'll get the 'cheese' over with so I can go jump in those leaves".  He looks so pained!

Uh-oh!  Eyes closed!

Little decided he was going to make antlers at the last minute.  I love this picture.  It's so real. :)

L.O.V.E. this one too!

And one with my sis. Can we say holiday gift for the parents? ;)

A huge thank you to Adrian!  I could not have asked for better pictures.  Sorry to bore you all with picture overload of my family, but I'm just so tickled with how they came out.  Yay!  One more thing I can check off our list!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye

It's the end of an era. 

 My beloved Santa Fe has found a new home.

It was time.  Little Man's legs were stretching out over the console, but it's hard to say goodbye to a car you've had since you were 19.

My parents made a deal with me when I was very young.  If I got a full scholarship to college, they'd buy me a brand new car.  Well, I worked my tail off in high school and got that scholarship...and this little car.

It took me back and forth to college loads of times, to camp every summer, on midnight runs to Steak 'N Shake with my girls, and on dates with my now Mister.  I rescued our pup in this car and made countless trips between my single girl apartment and our new "married couple" home, loaded down with books and lamps and dishes.  We watched her cross 100,000 miles...and then 150,000. We took Little Man home in this car.

Mister texted me on a Wednesday at noon, saying he had posted her on Craigs List.  By 5:30 pm she was rolling away in new hands.  We couldn't have asked for a more harmonious transaction and I know the young man who bought her will have great times too.

This car has been a huge part of my life for the past 12 years and she deserved a proper send off.

To you, Santa Fe.  Thanks for the memories and the miles.

...and we are VERY excited about the newest addition to our fleet.  Just think of the fun times ahead!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's a Wrap!

So, have you hit the shops yet?  Are you a July shopper or do you love the thrill of the December pressure?  I'm pretty much done and I love the feeling of just being able to enjoy the pretty stack of gifts under the tree. not the Santa gifts of course.  Those will arrive on Christmas Eve. ;)

I have to thank this blog for helping me along in getting things done.  I'm great at buying early, but I tend to wait until the last minute to get things wrapped.  Not this year!

I'm here to share with you some wrapping inspiration from Pinterest, as well as some of the gifts I've wrapped.

To me, the prettiest gifts are the simple ones.  I like brown craft paper, some festive ribbons, and hand written tags.

Add a little accent with a bell or a flower, and voila, your item just became a memorable little gem.

This year, I added a little phrase from a Christmas carol to hint at what's inside.  It was really fun coming up with a lyric for each package. What do you think's in this one?

What about this one??

A pile of prettily wrapped packages makes we oh so happy!

Here's a couple Pinterest ideas to get you rolling, I mean, wrapping!

I love the use of buttons on these.  Very cute!

button gift wrap

Someone in my house would love these edible wrapping accessories...

Christmas gift wrap

Threading the ribbon through the tag?  I love this!  It's like a belt for your present!

Christmas gift wrap

Or how about using an old wool sock or sweater?  Very cool.
Cozy Christmas Gift Wrap

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a new Fashion Fun post so be sure to check back!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Gift Success!

Has everyone survived all of the turkey and dressing?  I for one will be eating salad this entire week...right before I start doing my Christmas baking.  

I'm so excited I can finally share a project I did a little while ago.  My sis and her hubby took a trip to Spain last summer and Adrian was all aflutter about this print he saw in Barcelona.  My sister wanted to surprise him by having me recreate it as a painting to gift him for Christmas.  I got to watch him open it over Thanksgiving and it was such a thrill!

I love the bright colors and whimsical nature of the piece.  It will look awesome in their eclectic home.

Thanks for letting me be a part of the surprise guys!  It was an honor!


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Hello to Christmas!

I know, I know.  It's Black Friday and all the crazies are out at the stores.  Not this gal.  No way, no how.  I love to shop, but I'm not about to fight someone whose drunk on turkey and been up since 3 am over a cable-knit sweater.  Not. gonna. happen.

So, there has to be something for us sane people to do!  Why deck the halls, of course!

We tackled our entry first.  Somehow this is always the easiest spot for me and really gets the ball rolling.  My colors this year are silver, gold, and chocolate.  I wanted it to be a nice mix of rustic and glitzy.

First,  I strung a pre-lit garland along the back of the table.

I got this wreath at an after Christmas sale a few years ago.

After a nature walk, Little Man and I collected enough pinecones to outfit our holliday decor.  They look great placed throughout the garland and paired with a silver ornament.

I reused the gold pincecones from my fall decor and placed them in this little star dish from Pottery Barn.  Add a few cinnamon sticks and silver balls and we're cooking!

Remember these festive little glitter dropping trees?  Well, they're not far from toddler hands, but I really like them here.  They make a fun statement right when you walk in the door.

This is a daylight photo so the lights aren't lit.  The silver ornaments are from a bulk box I got at Garden Ridge years ago and the little gold ones are from Target.

I'm hunting for one last finishing touch, but since I can't find it in a store, I'm going to DIY.  I'll be sure to update you when I have it ready!

Have you started decking your halls yet?  Did you have turkey for lunch?  Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend friends.  And if you're shopping this weekend, beware the crazies!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope you all have a fabulous day with friends and family, gobbling this guy, and playing some touch football!

I'm grateful for all of you, my lovelies!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today is a hard day for me.

Two years ago we experienced a loss we were not prepared for and it's something I'm still working through.

Rather than dwell on loss, I'm making a conscious choice to let my thought land on all the abundance I do have today.

I do have...

  • A husband who would do anything for me, no question
  • A son who drives me nutty most of the time with his 3 year old antics, but is such a pure expression of joy and life and love I can't help but smile
  • A family who loves me unconditionally and supports all my crazy whims
  • A network of supportive friends
  • A house we've made a home
  • This little blog, which has given me so much joy and an outlet for the projects I get myself into
  • Grace and strength to move forward, even though it's hard

I know God has a plan for us and He definitely knows better than me what that plan should be.  Man, I wish He'd ask for my input sometimes! ;)

For those of you struggling with loss or finances, or family issues, or jobs, or what have you, I'll leave you with a quote I read that I think about every single day.  I hope it brings you the same feeling it brings me.

“Give thanks for unknown blessings, already on their way.”

All my Love,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home Tour - The Kitchen & a Winner!

First off, thank you to everyone who entered the Rodan + Fields Giveaway.  We have a winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can you believe I haven't really shown you the kitchen yet?  I've shown you what happened when I got a wild hair and took the doors off my cabinets.  I've shown you the recent hutch swap-a-roo and my command cabinet, but where do these people eat?  Where is all of their food?  Do they even have a sink?!

Yes.  We do.  But we don't have curtains.  And I'm still figuring out decor.  And I have some nail holes to patch.  And-...well.  Okay.  I'll show you.  But you have to be nice and know that my kitchen is where it all happens.  Little Man's art winds up all over the fridge and mail breeds on my counter.  But, we love it.  And of course I hid all the mess for the photos.  You understand!

I hope you do too...

 This is the side of the kitchen with the doors on the upper cabinets.  They hold things like sippy cups, spices, and my Magic Bullet.  Can't live without that guy!

We do have a sink!  I love how sunny this window is.  You can see we need some window treatments here. I have some plans in mind...

And my coffee station.  I hate having to visit every corner of the kitchen to make a cup, so I streamline my process a bit.  Still have to hit the fridge for my caramel creamer!

This is a shot from the dining room.  There's my little artist down at the other end. :)

We have a T-iny pantry, but we somehow make it work.  I always laugh because the apartment I lived in before we got married had a pantry triple this size!

The iron diamond is where I clip up birthday party invites, thank you cards, and some of my favorite photos.

There's the hutch from before.  You may notice that the artwork is a bit different.  You're catching a sneak-peek at some of my holiday decorating.  Don't worry!  I'll show you soon!

I don't know what we would do without this easel.  It saves me when dinner time comes around and keeps tiny hands away from my food prep.  Thank you Ikea!

I found these little galvanized tubs at the Target dollar spot.  I knew they would fit in the tray perfectly and they can be labeled!  Have I ever mentioned how much I love labels and monograms?

Our table is one of the first "grownup" pieces of furniture we purchased when we moved in.  It's a long story, but I wound up taking this little gem home from the Pottery Barn Outlet for $149.  That's right.  Mama knows how to work a deal!

It has a leaf, but we prefer the closeness of the round table.  Better to wipe up those spills!  Wouldn't a round sisal rug be awesome?  Maybe in a few years...remember the aforementioned spills?

Just a little shot of our everyday dishes and cutlery.  I'm a firm believer in not saving the nice stuff for just holidays.  If you have it, get it out and use it!  It's doing you no good tucked away in a cabinet!

This is another piece that comes with a funny story.  When I was 2 days overdue with our son, I found myself at Big Lots trying to "walk him out".  I had to have this ladder shelf so I asked if I could have a discount since I was past my due date and miserable.  I don't know if they really felt for me or just wanted the grumpy whale out of the store, but they gave me the discount!

The top framed piece is our wedding invitation and the bottom is an ink drawing of the place where we got married.  This is one of my favorite stylings in our whole house.

I love this little three-basket guy.  He has been in several spots in the house, but I think he's finally found his purpose holding potatoes and onions.

The obligatory cookie jar and fruit bowl.  I just realized the irony in their placement...

This is where all the prepwork happens.  Those are the real jars my organic spices came in at my warehouse store.  Aren't they awesome!?  I promise I didn't buy them just for their packaging. ;)

Our open shelving and range live on this wall.

As you can see, it's a pretty wide kitchen, but it's not big enough for a standard size island.  I'm on the hunt for something tall enough to be a chopping block, but skinny enough so we're not running into it all the time.
Any ideas?

Then, some cute striped runners I think.

Well, there you have it.  Still a work in progress, but definitely the heart of our home.

Things to do:
window treatments
banquette seating??
butcher block island
crown molding
light fixtures?
paint cabinets???

So should I paint my cabinets white?  Just the tops?  Just the bottoms?  Not at all?  I love white cabinets, but you know the Mister.  He is not on board...yet. :)


Popular Posts