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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Art Boards Part 1 - "Distressing" Information

Unless you haven't thumbed through a shelter mag recently, you're aware of the distressed trend happening in all things home related.  We are all after that chic, but lived in feel.

As I venture into our playroom project, the item at the top of my list was to create an organized space to display my son's artwork.  Let's face it.  A fridge can only handle so much.

Pinterest helped me out with the idea of adding clothespins (man have I been using these a lot lately!) to 1 X 4's and hanging artwork from the clips.  Easy.  One of my gal pals has this set-up in her playroom and it was neat and orderly, but still showed off her kiddos handiwork.  Sold.

I started my picking out to 1 X 4 pieces of lumbar at Home Depot.  I painstakingly looked through board after board to find the smoothest, cleanest looking pieces I could find. 

 Then I got home and decided to beat the snot out of them.

This wasn't the path I had intended to take, but when inspiration hits, you run with it.

Little and I took these boards out to the driveway and while he climbed trees and played on his scooter, Mommy worked out her aggression with a hammer.

The process of distressing is really quite simple.  And therapeutic.  Get a hammer and a nail or two and pound away.  Take some chunks out of the wood.  Don't be afraid!

I even flipped the hammer over and pulled the claw along the wood to make some deeper gashes.

I'm sure my neighbors thought I had finally lost it, but after 15 minutes, I had some pretty distressed looking wood.  Or pretty, distressed looking wood, depending on how you want to view it.

Then, I propped the wood up in the garage and awaited a warm enough day to tackle the staining step.  Is it spring yet?  (That post it to come later this week.)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Playroom Progress - Detour?

Welcome back!  It's Monday again, but that's okay, because that means we're getting closer to spring days with more daylight!

I'm popping in today to share another (yes, another) project that added itself to my list.  Uh-huh.  It added itself.  I didn't plan on redoing the playroom, but then this chalkboard found it's way in, and well, now everything else has to change. :)

Remember when I told you about making over the pegboard from the playroom?  And once I made it over it was way more fitting in the office, rather than the playroom?  So I swapped the pegboard for the chalkboard?

Well, once that happened I loved it.  I love how the rustic, weathered frame connects the feel of the rest of the first floor living space to the playroom.  However, now the very boy-like, very vibrant playroom is majorly clashing.

Yikes!  My eyes are hurting!  Never you fear.  This girl always has a pen and paper handy for a fresh new list.  Shall we?

new shelving around windows
build in window seating
trestle table 
window treatments
artwork space
storage baskets - repurpose/buy

This weekend I laid on the floor as my son repeatedly "climbed the rock", which consisted of him crawling up my bent legs and body slamming me.  In between blows, I dreamed up a space that is totally kid friendly, corrals all the necessary trucks and dinos, but also yields a fun space for my crafting.  This space has to also tie in with the rest of the house, which means, you guessed it...new colors.  Sensing a theme around here?

I wish y'all could crawl in my head and see it...it's so pretty.  Sigh.

It'll take some time and some muscle, but I'm excited to chip away.  Don't worry.  My other projects are still active as well...

Tomorrow I'll be sharing some very "distressing" news.  Nothing serious!  Just how I distressed some 1 X 4's to get that artwork display started.

See you then!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Going Primal

No, I'm not wearing a leopard skin and carrying a club, but I do look good in animal prints... ;)


My family and I have been eating Paleo for a little while now and I thought I'd share some of our progress.  If you are unfamiliar with what Paleo is all about, go here and then come back over!

One of my good friends has been eating this way for awhile and you just can't argue with the results.  She looks fabulous and feels even better.  The essence is to rid your diet of all processed food, grains, legumes, and dairy.  What's left?!?

Believe me.  I was skeptical at first too.  But, then I discovered there is SO much to eat, and more importantly, these things are way better for you.

Now, I don't like to get crazy about vitamins and minerals, and fish oil and all that hoopla.  I do like to eat real food, prepared in a fresh and healthy way.  I like to not feel tired and craving a sugar boost every 3 hours.  I like to wake up rested and ready for my day.  I like knowing I'm filling my son with the proper fuel for his day.

We eat eggs, and lots of them!  Meat, LOTS of vegetables (roasted, toasted, steamed, sauteed, pureed), fruit, and nuts.  It may not seem like a lot, but I've found our meals so satisfying and filling.  More filling than any cream of casserole or pasta dish I've ever made.  And the satisfied feeling lasts much longer.  No running to the pantry for a handful of crackers to make it through the laundry (you know you've done it).


When we first ventured down this road last summer, I found it completely overwhelming to come up with meals.  I struggled along for several weeks, but eventually converted back to my oatmeal and wheat toast ways.  The holidays were especially rough.  Who doesn't want to make cookies with their kids?!

Then, I just decided enough was enough.  I remembered how good I felt when I followed the plan and jumped back on the wagon, full force, both feet first!  But this time, I've equipped myself with some tools to help me succeed.


I mentioned in yesterday's post about Emeals.  I can't say enough good things about them.  You sign up for a  plan (in our case, the Paleo plan) and every week a new 7-day dinner plan is emailed to you, complete with a shopping list.  Better still, there are tons of coupon codes out there, so I got a whole year's worth of meal plans for $3 a month.  $3!  What?  That to me, is money well spent!

I also added a few new cookbooks to my collection and they have been awesome!

The first is Practical Paleo.  This book is absoluty essential to anyone who wants to know more and then, start the Paleo lifestyle.  I will warn you, there are a lot of pages about all the things that wheat, gluten, etc do to your body.  I get that lots of people will really want to delve into that.  Like I said, I just like the way I feel.  I don't necessarily need to know about all the organs in my body.

Diane gives you great ideas for how to transition and some awesome recipes as well, complete with 30 day meal plans.

This one has great kiddie friendly ideas, as well as some fun staples, like sauces.


I was thrilled when I saw this title!  Everything we've tried so far has been delish.  Fried okra?! Mashed cauliflower that tastes better than tatters?!  Sign me up!


My new fav is Paleo Indulgences.  This book is what made me feel like I can do this.  What?  I can still make cupcakes for my son's birthday?  We can still have pancakes on Sunday nights?  Yay!


The key is to treat these as indulgences.  Because that's what these types of food should be.  Paleo or not.  Our world has become a world of indulgences all the time, any time and it's time to get back to basics.  Believe me.  Peanut M&M's and I have been besties for a long time and we've had a rough break-up...

Anyway.  I know no one probably cares what my family eats, but if I can help one other person see that Paleo is not crazy than hooray!  I definitely thought my Paleo friend was nutso when she told me about the program (love you girl!).  But then I tried it.

We're still figuring it out.  We haven't braved a restaurant since we've gone "all in" yet, or been guests at someone else's house, or entertained, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Baby steps.

Don't worry.  This is not becoming a food blog.  Or a Paleo fan club.  However, this blog is about my life, my nest, and this has become a new part of how we live around here.  And I'm excited to share it with all of you!

Now I'm gonna go bake those blueberry muffins on the cover there because they are making my tummy growl!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DIY - Mini Clothespin Magnets

Happy Wednesday!  Hopefully everyone's weeks are going well.  It's February break around here, which means no school, which means lots of one on one time with my favorite little guy. We've had a blast playing games, painting a bit, and trying to brave the temps for some outdoor time.  We've got a mad obstacle course running over here.

I've squeaked in a little DIY time, even without my preschool time!  It's quick, easy, and little hands can get in on the fun.

A few weeks ago, I spied these adorable little clothespins at Michaels.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I knew I'd think of something...

When I made my clothespin pushpins, I suddenly knew what to do with this set...magnets! 

To make them, I cut strips of craft magnets I already had to fit the length and width of the clothespins.

Then, I hotglued the strips onto one side of each pin.  Be careful not to glue the magnetic side down!  You want to keep that part on top so it will adhere to your fridge.

Let the glue dry thoroughly before you stick them up, or you'll have to do it twice.  Lesson learned.

Voila!  I love the little splash of color they bring and you know I'm loving anything that gets me closer to spring!

They hold up my weekly meal plan beautifully.  BTW, have you guys ever tried emeals?  Check it out.  They have a ton of meal plans, low carb, traditional, gluten free, low fat, Paleo etc.  You select a plan, and every week they send you 7 meal ideas, recipes, and the shopping list.  We've been using the Paleo version (more on that in another post) and we LOVE it!

Anywho!  A quick little DIY that keeps me organized and brightens my day.

And who doesn't love that!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fashion Fun - My New Friend

Hi there!  Is anyone else ready for some warmer temps?  I am SOOOOOOO ready for spring.

So ready, that when I saw this spring green bag it had to come home with me.  Had to.

Isn't it divine? 

The color.  The shape.  This adorable gold polka dot interior.  It all makes me smile so much!

It may be freezing outside, but my bright green bag makes me feel like hope is in the air!  Spring will come once more!  Can you hear the chorus singing?

Do you have a bright bag that makes you smile?  What's your favorite color in a purse?  I usually go for a neutral, but branching out a little here.

Go get yourself a little something springy!  Maybe if we all do, the weather will take the hint!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Hello Again!

Hi friends!  I apologize for my absence.  I've had a whale of a time trying to upload pictures into Blogger...

At long last, a few pics of some Valentine cookies we made to celebrate.  

Heart and lip cookies are a must in our house.  My mom always made these for my class parties, so I have to make them with Little.  They were delish!

Here's one happy customer!

He had a blast shaking on the sprinkles.

Well, these were a tad belated, hopefully you'll forgive me!  I was able to get these pictures on when I loaded them one at a time...

Hopefully I'll have many more posts to share with you this week.  I've got a new bag I'm dying to show you and a few DIY we've been working on.

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

V-Day Decor

Are you ready for the day of love?  I know.  Me neither.  I have valentines to make for Little's class, cookies to bake, cards to fill out...

However, our home is ready!

You already saw my mantle last week...

...and yesterday I shared the simple craft Little Man and I did together.

Today, I'm just showing a few pics of the others lovey touches around the casa.

I'm a big sucker for seasonal pillows.  This is why I have a white sofa.  I just can't commit!  To pillows.  Don't worry Mister.

I've had the Pottery Barn red ticking pillows forever and stumbled upon the heart lumbar pillow at Ikea last year.  It makes me so happy, even if it is only out for a month.

This little tic-tac-toe game always sits here, but it's so apropos right now!  Don't you love that word?  Apropos.  I feel a little bit fancy.


I made this little garland last year with some leftover red felt.  Easy-peasy.  I just cut out some hearts and hot glued them to a long piece of ribbon.  I love how it looks draped across the hutch.

I pulled out the vintage valentines from last year and put them in the exact same spot in the kitchen.  They're all food related so I thought it was fitting...


And that's it.  It's kind of refreshing to not go crazy after all the hoopla of Christmas.  You know me.  I love to put it up, but I love taking it down maybe a little bit more!

Not too much longer and we'll be busting out the Easter eggs and bunnies!  But first, I have a certain almost 4 year-olds birthday party to plan.

Back to that list...


Monday, February 11, 2013

Tissue Paper Hearts - V-Day Craft

Welcome back to another week at Nest Your Best! Hope you had a fun weekend.  My Little Man had his first baseball practice this weekend and it was hysterical.  Really.  I'm bringing a video camera next time.  he had a blast.

  We are gearing up for all things V-day.  I'm not usually too big on Valentine's Day, but having a blog and a baby makes even little holidays more of an event around here!  Little gets so much joy out of all the crafts, stories, and decorations, how could I disappoint?  Even if it means lots of glue on my Pottery Barn table...

We threw together a fun and time consuming (if you have preschoolers, you know this is awesome!) craft to bring a little fun to the kitchen.

The process was quite simple.  I used to do this with my first graders all the time.

Just cut out a heart or two out of cardboard or something else with some substance.

 Then, trim your desired color of tissue paper into little squares.

Set out a palette of glue and show your child how to scrunch up a square of tissue and dip it in the glue.  We had a big talk about the difference between a 'dip' and a 'dunk'...

Get those little hands moving and about 30 minutes later (Yes!! Fold some clothes, eat a snack, take a nap?? Just kidding, I would never...) you'll have some completely covered hearts!

*Disclaimer - I had to go back in and fill in some spots to cover the cardboard.  Little worked on this for a loooong time, but we had differing opinions on what was "finished". :)

I think they turned out pretty cute and he had a blast working on them, to a point.  Maybe we'll do some shamrocks next month!  Or some Easter eggs...hmmm.

Tomorrow I'll be showing you some more decor we have going on.  Got to go make a gajillion pretzel hugs for preschool!


Hope you have a fab day!


Friday, February 8, 2013

In-Spy-ration: Minty Madness

I was browsing through my Pinterest style board the other day and I noticed a trend.  Mint.  It. Was. Every. Where.

No longer just for bridesmaids dresses.  Here are a few ways this cool color has made it's presence known.

Love this necklace.  Especially the rough edged stones against the smooth blouse.

Fun color combo.  Has me pining for spring!

love this combo
Don't you just want to be a Boden girl?  They always look like they're having the best time, in really cute mint skinnies.

Love navy and mint.  In fact, I may be doing this very soon...Top knot and all.

This is way more intricate than I could do on myself, but it's really fun.

Love it
And for those of you wanting a more subtle splash in the minty turquoise direction...


Is anyone else craving mint chocolate chip ice cream right now?  Mmmmmm.

Have a fantastic weekend!  My Little Man has his very first baseball practice tomorrow.  I'm getting teary already!  How is he big enough for organized sports?  I cannot wait to see him in a little uniform.  Sigh.  Too.  Cute.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day Mantle 2013

Happy Friday Eve!  Today I've got a lovey-dovey mantle to share with you, complete with an easy DIY.

I didn't spend a dime and I'm loving the touch of fun it's brought to our living room.

You may have spotted the framed Tunnel of Love ticket.  This was a quick DIY.  I found the printable from Flamingo Toes.

I just printed it on cardstock and cut a piece of burlap for it to sit on top of in the frame.  Done-zo!

The "X" and "O" are actually pieces of a tic-tac-toe game I keep on the coffee table.  Perfect for V-day!

You can see how I made the wreath here and learn more about the vintage valentines here.

I just used painter's tape to adhere them to the candlesticks and the basket.

The basket vase, botanicals, and candlesticks are from Pottery Barn.

And there you have it.  A mantle fit for a day of love.

How do you do V-day?  Just a heart or two, or do you like to do it up big?

Next week I'll be showing you some other touches of love around the house.  The big day is fast approaching!  Did you hear that Mister?  It's a week from today.  I mean, I think.  I'm not keeping track or anything...;)


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