Thursday, September 2, 2010

10 Things...Beginning to Decorate for Fall

I don't know about you, but I just can't wait for the leaves to change colors, & the air to turn crisp and cool!

Just as nature is changing (or soon will be!) all around us at the beginning of a new season, there are little things that we can be doing in our homes to reflect that beautiful new beginning and make our homes a warm, welcoming place to be!!

Here's a few fun & easy ideas for transitioning into our Fall Decor:


1) Think apples! Not only is the start of school a clue (apple for the teacher!), but nature makes these delicious fruits available to pick soon for making pies, tarts, applesauce, cakes, & cider!

Go ahead and add some apples to your kitchen decor. Put some fresh apples in a pretty bowl or colander and place on the counter (or on your coffee table!) for a healthy treat that's perfect for eating in season.

Or pile a bunch in a large glass vase with a candle nestled in the middle for a lovely table centerpiece!

{photo: Pottery Barn}

Choose your favorite variety & enjoy!!

I'll be adding to this "10 Things" list over the next week!

Happy Fall Everyone!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dining Room Update

Today I thought I'd share some of the additions we've made to our Dining Room Makeover! I made an "Inspiration Board" of the look we are after, and have been using that as my guide when making decorating decisions. I think it's very Fresh! {Fresh is my favorite descriptive decorating word lately :) !}

Here's our newly painted, yet still blah looking little dining room. It still has it's 1980's chandelier, and a microwave from our kitchen remodel that needs to be replaced with something better (new microwave or new fall clothes -- right now I'm voting for an updated wardrobe! LOL!!):

Before I left for vacation we added these pretty soft white curtain panels from Pottery Barn:

And a mirror that looks very much like this one from PB, but I scored mine at HomeGoods! $19.99 -- can't beat that!! It's hung on the long wall of the room, and REALLY opened things up visually! Can't decide if I'm going to paint it yet or not...

I've also added an orchid, and got some black lanterns (also from HomeGoods) to add in. Next up is finding an old buffet to re-do and getting a new chandelier!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We Have a Winner!

....And it's The Rodgers!!!

Congratulations, please send me an e-mail so we can get your goodies sent your way! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

Stella & Dot
Belle Fleur Ring - Hematite

Don't forget!!!
Today is the last day to sign up to win a
$50 Gift Certificate
to my Stella & Dot jewelry e-boutique!

Leave a comment *here* to enter.


Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! We went to our town's French Market this morning, and then to Home Depot for a few more things...trying to get the backyard lookin' pretty! The girls want a butterfly garden, so a butterfly bush and phlox are making their way into the garden bed today!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Back -- With a Stella & Dot Giveaway!

Whoo-hoo!!!!! A Great Giveaway!!!!!

Wow, you all have been so amazing & sweet while I was on my little "bloggy break"! I'm back feeling refreshed and ready to share more inspiration with you all here!! :) {Can't even believe how many new followers I've gotten in the past few weeks -- THANKS!! You rock!!!}

*To say "Thank You!" in a BIG way, I have decided to do a FUN giveaway!*

I'll be giving away a
$50 Gift Certificate

towards YOUR CHOICE of beautiful Stella & Dot Jewelry!!!!!

One of the great things I was doing during my bloggy-break was having fun with my new Stella & Dot business!

I am now an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot -- a fabulous, fresh, oh-so-stylish jewelry company that celebs love and is regularly featured in magazines like InStyle, Lucky, and O Magazine!

I am earning money to pay for my kiddos school tuition by basically having FUN playing dress-up with gorgeous jewelry at girls-nights-out trunk shows!!! How awesome is that?!! I have to tell you, I am seriously LOVING this!

The NEW Fall 2010 line just came out, and I adore all of it!

Top L: Belle Fleur Ring - Gold
Top R: Vintage Cluster Ring
Bottom: Charlotte Pearl Ring

Love these rings! Wear one on your middle or pointer finger for a fresh look!

Nolita Necklace

The statement necklace of the season! It looks great with everything from jeans and a t-shirt to your favorite LBD!

Chelsea Necklace

Looks great when worn long, or doubled up! A favorite!!

Deco Drop Earrings

The perfect, wear with anything earrings -- and at a great price!

Isn't this fun?!!

Owl Charm Necklace


To enter to Win the $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway:

1) Visit my e-boutique & tell me what you would get with the gift certificate if you won!

2) If you make a purchase, leave another comment & get 5 extra entries!!!

3) If you're a Follower, or sign up to Follow then get another entry too!

---This Giveaway will run until Midnight Saturday Aug. 7th!---

Thank you SO much for your support :) & Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And She Realized That It Was a "Good Thing"...

Yes, I've been away from blogging for a couple of weeks, but rest assured, all is well! In fact, I would have to say that taking a bloggy break every now and then is, as dear Martha would say, "a good thing".

At first I was frustrated by the "writer's block" that appeared. I had a post (still in my drafts section btw) with pictures uploaded of the wonderful time I had at the Eddie Ross event all ready to go...but the words wouldn't come. I thought of a million things to share with you, but everything seemed like drivel when I tried to write it out. And quite frankly, it seems like a waste of my time and yours to just type out a little bit of nothing with a picture and post it. (Though sometimes those are my most commented on posts....hmmm...)

As Day 1 of "Not Blogging" turned into days 4, 6, and 10, I began to realize that this bloggy break was good. Good for my soul. Good for my family. Good to actually give me time to pursue the design & decorating I love to do. Good for me to pursue another idea and dream. Just GOOD.

I actually considered not blogging anymore at all. But then realized that the camaraderie and friendships I've developed with you all, not to mention the fun creative and inspirational outlet that blogging has given me is also a good thing. And so The Blessed Nest goes on.

The change is that I will not apologize for "not blogging" in a while. I think too many of us feel like we need to say "sorry" when we haven't posted for a bit. This is really such a shame! And I think that it actually goes against why we blog in the first place! :)

If I blog about home and family and decorating and hospitality, but spend so much time focusing on my blog and what to blog about that my home, family, friends, ministry, and personal creativity suffer as a result, what does that say about me? About my priorities? I certainly can't write a post inspiring you to make a welcoming home if I'm too burnt out from time on my computer editing words and pictures to make my OWN home a welcoming place to be.

And so, as I continue to post here (and love doing it!), from time to time you may see me taking a bloggy break. And I will come back when the time is right, feeling refreshed and inspired by spending time doing what is truly inspiring to ME!!

And that is a very GOOD THING!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Later Gators!

I'm off to go see Eddie Ross!!!

(squeals of excitement!!!!!!!!!)

I secretly hope he'll be wearing a bow tie.

I also hope I am not a complete dork.

Tell ya about it tomorrow!


Friday, June 11, 2010

A Favorite Summertime Treat


Every year, during the first hot days of summer, I start to crave a good ol' fashioned popsicle!

We used to make our own a lot when I was a kid, using juice poured into a plastic mold. No ice cream trucks going by our house in the country :).

And this year I wanted to have the kiddos experience a fun, summertime treat, that's also healthy too!

I got these cute popsicle molds at Target a few days ago. So far we've done orange juice or pink lemonade with sliced fruits.


{photo courtesy of: Country Living}

Love the idea of placing them in a big ol' bowl filled with ice for the neighborhood kids to help themselves to a treat!

{photo courtesy of: Country Living}

Aren't these molds fun? You can get creative and use so many different things!

{photo courtesy of: Martha Stewart}

I love the idea of making a layered popsicle, with different juices, purees, and yogurts & fruits for a healthy snack.

Plus, they look pretty too! :)

And if you're looking for a simple, lovely treat, check out The Idea Room for a Fresh Fruit Popsicles "recipe". I'll be making these next!

Enjoy this Summer day, & stay cool!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Gonna Party With Eddie Ross!!! {& YOU can too!}

Have you heard? Eddie Ross is coming to Chicago!

And I get to meet him! :)

He's holding an event called "Creating a WOW Party"

{WOW stands for With Out Work -- now that's the kind of fun entertaining I love! Plenty of style to make your guests feel special, but without all of the work!}

And since Eddie can decorate, entertain, and flea market like nobody's business, this is going to be one event I sure don't want to miss!!

Eddie writes:

"Hello, Chicago! On Thursday, June 17th, we're throwing the kind of party that will help you throw better parties!

I'm talking time-saving tricks and insider tips for easy entertaining with style.
Creating the WOW Party, we're calling it, (without work).

These days, I think we're all staying in a little more than we used to, preferring casual gatherings at home that are a lot easier on the wallet than fancy evenings out. But when it comes to cocktail parties at home, hors d'oeuvres needn't be limited to store-bought hummus and pita, chips and and a chunky salsa.

Now don't get me wrong: As an ex-caterer, I'm all for cutting corners if it saves time and money, but the critical part of the equation—the WOW factor everyone's always after—is presentation, presentation, presentation. It's the golden ticket, the insider secret all the pros know but never tell you.

Until now.

Well, not quite now, but soon! The 17th of June at 7 pm, to be precise, at the historic Dunham Woods Riding Club in Wayne, Illinois. Joining me will be the talented Debra Phillips, owner of Scentimental Gardens in Geneva, a fantastic home and garden store full of beautiful, one-of-a-kind antiques."

{all images courtesy of}

So, Friends...
If you live anywhere near the Chicagoland area, come & meet Eddie Ross & learn some fun tips for entertaining WithOut Work, but with plenty of style!

Check this out for more information!

I'm going to be there!
Are you going?

Let me know, I'd love to meet you there!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

10 Things...Quick & Easy Ideas for a Tidy Home

Need an easy way to get your home straightened up in a jiffy?

Company coming over in a minute or there's just no time in your day?

Here are some easy tips!

{Focus on a few main areas, and you'll be surprised how tidy your home can be!}


1) Have a nice, clean entrance! Clear the entry table and floor area from all clutter. Put bills & mail away, shoes in the closet, and straighten the door mat/rug.

2) Wipe down kitchen counters and sink. No time to do the dishes? Pile them in the sink and place a pretty dishtowel on top to hide the mess!

3) Wipe off kitchen table and push in the chairs.

4) Fluff couch cushions and pillows. Your living room will instantly look nice & neat!

5) Straighten up the coffee table. Stack magazines neatly, plop remotes in a basket or on a tray, and take any stray snack dishes to the kitchen sink.

6) Place a fresh, clean hand towel in the bathroom, and wipe down the sink.

7) Grab a big basket
and place all of the stuff left on the floor (toys, a book, slippers, whatever your family leaves all over!) inside. Put in a closet and be sure to have the family put those items away later in that same day!

8) Open your curtains
and blinds and let in the light. If it's a nice day then open a window for a breeze and to hear the sounds of nature. This looks beautiful and makes your rooms seem brighter and bigger too!

9) Turn on a lamp or three
for a nice, warm, welcoming glow!

10) Close doors to untidy areas, light a pretty candle, and greet those at the door with a smile!


And Remember:

A Welcoming Home Begins With A Welcoming Heart!

This post brought to you by our sponsor Red Letter inspired art.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Weekend...

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

I hope it's full of friends and family gathered together...

.....sharing in a patriotic picnic!

Enjoying the laughter & fun, and remembering....

...those brave men and women who gave their lives,

that Freedom's bell may continue to ring forth.

{all photos courtesy of Country Living Magazine}

Have a wonderful holiday, dear friends!