Friday, February 27, 2009

Sweet Start From My Sweet Hearts!

I am bursting with love right now! Look what I found waiting for me on the table when I came downstairs this morning!!

A "speshal breakfast" from my 2 girls!! :)

They got it ready all by themselves, and were so proud to show me!

And when I got a wee bit teary, and grabbed the camera to take a picture to keep this moment forever (cause, come on, don't we all have a camera at the ready anymore? LOL!), they excitedly exclaimed, "Oooh, Momma! Are you gonna put it on your blog?!!"

Yes, girls, I am!

What a "speshal" way to start the day!! And a great reminder to ME to make sure the start to my family's day also starts on a sweet note!

It doesn't take much to have a sweet start:
A "Good Morning" Hug
A Smile
Using a Cheerful Sounding Voice
Having a Morning Routine
Uplifting Music and Talking instead of TV
Starting the Shower for Your Spouse
Telling Your Family How Beautiful/Handsome They Are {Inside and Out}
A Simple & Healthy Breakfast
A "Speshal" Love Note!
Don't Forget to Say "I Love You"!!

These things are SO simple and easy, but will make a wonderful Sweet Start to your family's day!

How do you create a Sweet Start in the morning??
Share it with us in the comments for some more great ideas!!

ps--check out The Inspired Room for more ideas on living a Beautiful Life! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fun Finds!!

Since so many of you wanted to know where I purchased this darling little magnetic chalkboard, I thought I'd share it here!

It's from The Pineapple Tea Room in Apex, NC.

The Pineapple Tea Room is one of my favorite area shops, SO cute, the nicest gift items, and of course lots of yummy teas and they also serve special tea parties too!!
And no, I'm not getting paid to tell you this! :)
I just like to pass along a good thing!!

I'm not sure how many chalkboards they have left, so if you'd like one, give them a call!

And just for laughs...
Here's "The Mom Song" sung to William Tell's Overture:
(be prepared to laugh till you pee! how many times have you heard...or said...these things!!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Citrus Splash!!

{"I'm baby stepping! I'm doing the work, I'm not a slacker!!"
Gotta tell ya, somehow projects seem so simple and fast in my head...then I overanalyze and tweak, and everything on a timeline gets WAY out of whack!
I WILL have the laundry room makeover for you next week, after I get back from Florida!
So, rest assured, I AM baby stepping!!
bonus points: anyone know what
movie this quote comes from :) }

With spring right around the corner, I thought I'd share some inspiration from one of the most fun spring trends right now!

Citrus colors!!!

Lemons, oranges, limes....sometimes bright and clear, and sometimes muted and soft...
citrus is showing up everywhere!

It's in fashion...

...and in the home!

The best part is...

...for this fun trend, you only need a SPLASH of citrus!

Splash a little citrus in your room with a new throw, some fun curtain panels, or a great throw pillow!Add some color to your walls, and use soft citrus pottery and fabrics for a less saturated effect!

In my opinion, citrus looks best in fashion and in the home if you just use a SPLASH!

With a mostly neutral outfit: a great shirt, or piece of jewelry, or fabulous citrus shoes...just choose one!

Same with your home! No matter what the trend is, save your money (and likely make everything look better) by just choosing a fun accessory or two, a couple of pillows, or

Natural elements!

Gorgeous bright yellow tulips & their beautiful green stems and leaves!
It really brightens up my kitchen table!!

Pile some granny smith apples in a bowl or stainless steel colander!
Looks great with the fresh bright green on the cover of Barefoot Contessa's new cookbook on display nearby!

Lemons (even if they're faux...shhh!) look so cheerful when displayed in a large glass apothacary jar!!

Have a little fun with this fun spring trend this year!!!

See what you already have that would work!
Use some spray paint in a citrus color!
Display natural items like fruit and flowers!
Just use a splash or 2 for best effect!!
Have fun :)!!!

Any spring trends you're loving this year??!

ps--top pics are from jcrew, pottery barn, and bhg.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still Workin' On It...

Okay, the Laundry Room Makeover is coming!!!

I'm still painting :)!

Why did I decide to do that again???

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Won!!

I won!!!

I won this beautiful handmade journal and a pen from Jen at Sanctuary Arts at Home!!!

Isn't it just too cute?!!

Thank you SO much, Jen, I love this journal!! :) I'm going to use it for my blogging journal to write down all of my ideas and inspiration! And I just LOVE the leopard print and the colors!! THANK YOU!!!

If you want your very own journal, check out Sanctuary Arts at Home -- she has a etsy shop!

Ohh, and y'all better come back tomorrow cause I'm going to have a laundry room makeover for you!!

(Talk about motivation to get it done :) !!!)
Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Won't You Be My Valentine?!!...and a Winner!

We decided to make our own simple Valentines this year for the kids' class Valentine's exchange!

I think they turned out so cute! :) I got all of the supplies at WalMart. I used Martha Stewart coasters (believe it or not!) and hot glued a heart shaped lollipop on top. On the back we wrote, "You're "Sweet"!"

Couldn't be more simple than this :)!!
(If you're wondering where we got the lollipops, they came from Sponge Bob valentine's package!)

The kids also made a Valentine for each of their teachers and teacher assistants.
But in lieu of another teacher gift, I decided this year to give a gift that ANY teacher would love and use, and the kids would enjoy too!!

A new book for the classroom library!

I think I'm gonna use this idea from now on!!

By the way, Y'all were SO sweet with your kind comments on my 100th post!!! It really means a lot to me that you enjoy visiting me here at The Blessed Nest! And I've LOVED getting to know so many of you through blogging! I also loved meeting some of my first time commenters...thanks, and I hope to hear from you again soon :)!!

So...Would You Be My Valentine??

I made an extra one just for you!

Now, on to the WINNER OF MY 100th POST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Can Tricia Anne of Notes of Sincerity get a whoot-whoooot!!!!
Congratulations to Tricia Anne!

Have a fabulously wonderfully LOVE-ly Valentine's Day tomm.!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creating a Welcoming Home Thursday

The Valentine's Edition!

Creating a Welcoming Home is really about acts of love for others. Creating an environment that says that you care for those who enter your door. What better time of year to have some extra-special fun with this than around Valentine's Day?!!

Welcome your sweetie(s) home with a great big hug and kiss! Tell them that you missed them and are glad to see them!

Leave a "love note" for your hubby or kids to find on their pillow! Draw an "I heart U" on the steamy bathroom mirror. Pack lunches with a note on their napkin!

Set the table with touches of white, red, and pink. Use what you have, and add a few extra special touches for fun! You can sprinkle candy hearts like confetti on the table, tuck a pretty flower into everyone's napkin, light some tealight candles, or serve heart shaped food!

Cut sandwiches, toast, or pancakes into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. This could also work with cheese slices on crackers, and biscuits. Think creatively here! Top dessert with red sprinkles, or place some candy hearts on top of a scoop of ice cream -- Yum! Or how about chocolate dipped strawberries? They're simple, and always a special treat!!

Make your bedroom a cozy, romantic spot! Clean up the clutter and light a softly scented candle, or spray a squirt of your perfume over the sheets. Place a special framed photo on the bedside table. Fold back the covers and place a love note or gift on the bed! Play some soft music, and have a tray with a lovely snack set for 2!!

Do a chore for your kids or spouse, just because...

Invite another couple or 2 over for a special dinner! Ask everyone to dress in "Sunday best", and prepare a simple yet delicious meal!! Share stories about how you met or were proposed to! Tell your friends how much you LOVE their friendship! If you're not married, invite a few close friends over and do the same thing! Share wonderful stories about how you met each other, and how important and dear you are to each other! Praise God for dear friends!!

Put a bouquet of fresh flowers on your kitchen table! So cheery!!

Tell everyone in your family "I love you" at LEAST once a day, and keep this up for forever!

Have some fun creating LOVE-ly memories for your family this year!! :)

What is your favorite way to say a Valentine's I LOVE YOU?? Any special things you've done or will do this year?



ps-- This is the LAST DAY to sign up for my 100th post GIVEAWAY!!! Sign up on the 100th post ONLY! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweet Girl's Birthday!

Sweet Girl had the BEST 8th birthday!! Thanks, everyone, for your happy birthday wishes for her! She LOVED the new outfit, and here are a few pics from her special day to share with you!

This year we decided to do Family Fun Days for the kids' birthdays instead of a big party like last year. So Sweet Girl chose to go to the city Kid's Museum and to see "Hotel For Dogs"!

We had the most fun time together! :)

Enjoy this day, & tomorrow come back for another visit here at The Blessed Nest for Creating a Welcoming Home Thursday!

ps-- Don't forget to sign up on the 100th Post ONLY for my GIVEAWAY!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My 100th Post & A Giveaway!!!

Yay, it's The Blessed Nest's 100th Post Giveaway!!!

Visiting with y'all here at The Blessed Nest has been such a HUGE blessing for me! I have loved getting to share heart and home inspiration, having some creative fun, and making lots of lovely new friends!!

In order to say "Thank You", I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!!

Sign up to win on THIS POST ONLY, and you are entered to win!
You have until Friday morning when I wake up to enter!

And you could win....
...all of this!!!

A 5x7 black picture frame
A cute little "Home is where your story begins" plaque
A sweet little nest (of course!) for your nest!!

This darling chalkboard!!!
It's on a stand, is great for little messages, and is also magnetic!
Plus, you can change out the ribbon whenever the mood strikes you!
Perfect for seasonal/holiday displays!!

And don't forget this too Southern tea towel!
It's white with a bright green trim, and it says
"Bon Appetit"!
Your kitchen will never look cuter!!

To add to the Goodie excitement,
how about a little caffeine?!!
A $15 Starbucks Giftcard!

Just enter your name here (don't forget your e-mail address if you don't have a blog), and all of this COULD BE YOURS!!!

Thanks SO much for making this such a fun time for me :), and I hope that maybe I've inspired y'all a little bit as well!

Much love and

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I *heart* The Birthday Girl!!!

I can't believe that my Sweet Girl is going to be 8 years old tomorrow!

Time sure does fly by! I remember when she, our firstborn, came into this world all of the older couples we knew said, "Don't blink...They grow up so fast...Before you know it, she'll be all grown up and you'll wonder where the time went...Enjoy this precious time...".

At the time, with a colicky baby, I just knew that they were wrong! "Yeah," I thought, "time really flies by when she's been screaming for 5 hours. Uh, sleep, millions of stinky diapers, and I quit a 30 hour a week job for one that goes 24/7!" The kind words were honestly lost on me!

And even though there is a ways to go before Sweet Girl is all grown up and leaves our little nest for one of her own, it seems that I am now glimpsing what those sweet older folks already knew. That time with our children is SO precious. That every birthday becomes bittersweet...filled with memories of what was, and dreams of what will be!

I can't hold onto her newborn swaddled body, nor can I capture her belly laugh in a bottle. I wish that I could keep her toothless grin, and her sing-songs with Elmo. I would wrap them up in the prettiest box and tie them with a beautiful bow. That's partly how I feel. But I can't do that. Oh, sure, those memories are documented in countless photos, and are part of my motherly heart. But if I hold too tightly to my Sweet Girl, I won't be letting her bloom and change and grow into the 8 year old young girl she's meant to be.

And even if I get sentimental for her sweet past, and excited for the days ahead :), my main desire as a mother this year is to follow the advise of parents before me. To soak up and ENJOY all of who Sweet Girl is TODAY. Because today is the day that God gave me to hug her, and kiss her beautiful dimples, and tell her, "I love you"!!!

Take the time today to enjoy your family and friends!!!

{The pictures above are of one of Sweet Girl's birthday presents :)!
Shhhh! It's a surprise!!
I appliqued cute little hearts onto a long-sleeved white t-shirt and jeans.
Coordinating ribbons for her ponytail holder and socks, and this Southern girl has a sassy new outfit (for not much moolah)!!}

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yummiest Chocolate Cake EVER!!!

We made this cake yesterday, and OH.MY.GOODNESS it is simply the best chocolate cake!!
I just knew that I had to share it with you!

I got this recipe from a friend at our old church, and everyone always goes crazy for this cake!
This is also a DAIRY FREE cake, but you'd never know it!
(I'm also going to include the GLUTEN FREE version)
The ingredients sound crazy, but YUUUUUUMMMMM!!!

Crazy Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350. And get out a 9x12 (or similar size) UNgreased glass pan.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
7 tbsps. cocoa powder
2 teasp. baking soda
1 teasp. salt
(Take above ingredients and sift together into the cake pan. Make 3 depressions or "holes" into this.)

3/4 cup veg oil (canola) -- Put 1/4 cup into each "hole"

2 tbsp. vinegar
2 teasp. vanilla
(Sprinkle vinegar & vanilla over top of batter)

2 cups cold water
(Pour over entire batter)

Using a slotted spatula mix all ingredients. Be sure to both stir and scrape the bottom and corners of the pan so all is thouroughly mixed.

Bake for 40 min at 350 degrees.

{To make this cake GLUTEN FREE like mine is, just substitute white rice flour cup for cup, and add 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum! too easy!}

We don't ever ice this cake, it's moist and rich enough on it's own! But a sprinkle of powdered sugar or cool whip would be great if you want a topping!!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

ps -- I wanted to say a BIG "Thank You" to everyone who left such sweet comments about my sunroom! :) Some of you wondered about the slipcovers: I made the pillows myself, but purchased the slipcovers through Ballard Designs Baldwin collection in White Duck. I hope this helps!!