Monday, March 29, 2010

Family Fun Day & A New Magazine

{The Fam @ DisneyWorld in February!}

This week is my kiddos' Spring Break. So today Hubby took the day off of work so that we could have what we call

"Family Fun Day"!

On a Family Fun Day, we try to plan an outing or activity that everyone will enjoy! Sometimes we clue the kids in as to what we'll be doing, while other times (like today!) our fun time is a complete surprise!!

(We'll be going to the Zoo & having a picnic....Shhhh!)

We try to choose things to do that are generally pretty inexpensive, but give us plenty of time to laugh, play & have fun together.

Do you ever have a Family Fun Day with your family?
What sort of things do you like to do together?

{I'm keeping this post short & sweet today, so that I can focus on my family!}

In other news, look what is going to be coming to us this fall from
none other than Matthew Mead:

Head over to Holiday with Matthew Mead to find out how you can win the opportunity to have your blog or online shop mentioned in the magazine. Holiday with Matthew Mead is a "book-azine" celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas holiday season. To be released in October 2010, Holiday is offered via online orders only - in limited quantities - and will not be sold on newsstands. But, by simply following the BUY HOLIDAY MAGAZINE link below their banner, you can reserve your own copy of this beautiful magazine, with guaranteed delivery of the magazine straight to your mailbox! Holiday with Matthew Mead is144 pages of holiday inspiration with well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch features, printed on beautiful paper and not drowning in ads!
Now, head on over for your chance to win!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Green Thumb Gardening Day Party!!!

Welcome to the very first

Green Thumb Gardening Day Party!!!

I'm so glad to have y'all here!

If you think that you have a "black thumb" and are just no good at gardening, well then, think again, my friend! :)

Our Green Thumb Gardening series is designed with you in mind.


Alright, my darling decorating friends :),
did you know that you can use those amazing decorating skills when gardening?

It's true! Just like you have a "shell" of a room that you begin with in decorating before adding in the furniture & accessories, the garden also has a "shell" that you must begin with first.

This "shell" or structure of the garden is what you would concentrate on first, before planting any other plants!

This would include such things as:
A fence, hedge, walkways, deck/patio, arbor, garden shed, existing large trees, perimeter of property, etc.

{above photos: The Blessed Nest - My last Garden in North Carolina}

This garden room (above) clearly shows the "shell". The fence and garden shed were placed, then I'm guessing that pathways and garden beds were designed, then the plants and accessories came last.

Sometimes it's just the existing trees and plant life that form the "walls" of a garden, no fence needed!

This outdoor dining patio is lovely, isn't it?!! This separate "room" in the garden has the structure of the stone patio, the arbor, grass pathway, and tree canopy overhead. The other plants just fill in and accentuate!

This entry gate is beautiful, it reminds me of the garden gates on Nantucket.
What a statement to make as the entrance point to your garden!

{above 4 photos: Country Living}

Love the little informal garden rooms here...

The tall hedge is the border of this garden, with a row of hydrangea and other perennials in front for color and form.

{above 2 photos: Martha Stewart .com}

Later in our Green Thumb Gardening series I'll share how else Decorating skills can be put to good use in the Garden for a beautiful Garden space!!!

I'd love to have you link up for our Party today! :)

Share your favorite Garden pictures from this year or last year, front door pots or wreath, plants or flowers in the house, gardening tips, veggies, inspiration photos, etc.!

Just remember to link to your specific blog post, and grab the Green Thumb Gardening button up top to link back to The Blessed Nest. Also, be sure to visit & leave a little comment on the others' links too to share in the linky love!!!

Easter Decorating Inspiration & Party Reminder!

Ahh, Spring! What a joyous time of year to celebrate!

I love how the earth springs back to life after a sleepy Winter, with daffodils and tulips peeking up out of the ground, and birds returning to fill the air with their song!

It always seems like the new life of Spring symbolizes the new Life found in Jesus as we celebrate Easter!


We will have family visiting us for Easter this year, and I found some lovely inspiration photos to share with you for fun...

So cheerful & fresh! LOVE this!

Tulips are a favorite Springtime flower of mine -- they look so pretty tucked in the Easter baskets like little eggs!

Who knew chocolate could look so elegant? :)
This would be so lovely on a sideboard or as a table centerpiece.

SO SO SO pretty! *sigh!* A "nest" full of flowers!!!

I think my favorite part of the pic above is the industrial looking wire basket they used!

A miniature Spring backyard! Kids would love to make this decoration!

You know I adore anything to do with birds! So lovely!!

{above photos:}

What a pretty centerpiece this would be! I know we all love a great idea using a cloche!!

Simple & Sweet

Monograms & Jellybeans -- Love this idea!!

{above 3 photos:}

Hope you were as inspired by these photos as I was!


Tomorrow (Saturday) is my very first Green Thumb Gardening Linky Party!

So, pleeeeease show up & link up for me, 'kay?!!!

Show off what's peeking up in your garden this Spring, or how your garden looked last year...a bouquet of flowers in your home...a garden project....playhouse....porch or patio...container plantings...birds or animals visiting your or hints...front door wreath...flower the family plays in the ideas...curb appeal...

Pretty much anything goes! :)

I'll set up the Linky later tonight!

Let's get set to have fun & get some Gardening Inspiration!!!!!

Question for Today: How are you decorating for Easter??

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meet "Red Letter Words"

I'd like to introduce you to my latest sponsor here at The Blessed Nest:

Red Letter Words

Get ready to fall in loooove.....

Dee began Red Letter Words with the purpose of creating meaningful and personal faith-inspired art for the home.

I just love that!

I know that I personally (like many of you) choose art for my home that I make a personal connection that is that makes me feel that can lift my families spirits...that tells our story...

and Red Letter Words fits that perfectly!

Dee's art is beautiful! She chooses inspirational words and phrases to encourage!

What family wouldn't be filled with warm fuzzies seeing this hanging in their home?!!!

The typography...the distressed look...the wonderful reminder!
Lurve it!

Dee also does these oh-so-hot right now Keep Calm & Carry On pieces!

This print {above} is my own personal fave right now! I have it hung in my kitchen -- show you where tomorrow!

What words or phrases or Bible verse captures YOU or YOUR FAMILY?

Maybe you're all about the beach & coastal living...

Or maybe Game Night is HUGE with friends and family at your home...

Red Letter Words also does Custom Pieces!!! What a great gift idea!!!

{Red Letter Words also has an Etsy shop and a blog....Go check it out!}

They also offer art that features your favorite cities!

Or choose from the beautiful sets of notecards Red Letter Words offers.

This month in March the Print of the Month "He Lives" is on sale!
What a beautiful reminder of Easter's blessing to us!!
Go get yours on sale now!

So, go and visit Dee at Red Letter Words!
See what inspires you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Thumb Gardening Day

Do you feel like you have a "Black Thumb" when it comes to having plants or a garden?
Well, no longer! I'm here to tell you that You Can Do It --Grow that "Green Thumb"-- And most importantly, have FUN learning to Garden!!!


That's why I started our new Gardening series on Saturdays, now known as:
Green Thumb Gardening
@ The Blessed Nest

I'll be sharing lots of simple & fun tips for you!

Easy hints, inspiration photos, design help, and more!

We'll also be starting a Linky party Next Saturday March 27th!!!

Come on over here to The Blessed Nest and link up your gardening pics & projects.

It can be ANYTHING gardening related.....

flowers peeking up in Spring, pics from last year, pots by the front door, your favorite plant/flower, container garden, plans & ideas for this year, a project to decorate the garden, your kids' treehouse/playhouse, photos asking for help, your cute new garden apron, a visit to a local botanical garden, veggies you're planting, even some Spring flowers making the inside of your house all pretty!

Link up next Saturday Mar. 27th and let's share!!! Sound fun? :)


Ok, here's a garden planning tip I'll share with you today.....

This is a picture of my backyard. Notice anything? Nope? Well, you're right -- there's nothing as far as plants or flowers or shrubs there to notice {LOL}!

What is more subtle in the pic above, and what you should notice in your own garden as you plan, is the amount of Sun vs. Shade that your garden receives.

This is just one thing to take into account before purchasing any plants.

How do you do this?

Let's take a look here:
(Thanks to photo software I suddenly have a little perennial {A} (plants that come back every year) border!)

Make note of where the full sun, partly sunny, full shade, partly shady spots in the garden are.

Let me caution you that while you can do this now in Spring, things change from season to season. Don't just look at the ground when you're planning, look UP too!

Take a look at {B} in the pic above. Trees start out in Spring with little leafy buds, then have leaves all over them in the Summer, and in Fall the leaves are falling off other words, as the seasons change, the light and Sun vs. Shade in your garden changes too. Keep it in mind as you plan your garden spaces.

So, a plant that needs full sun and blooms in the Spring {hint: the tag on the plant will tell you the amount of sun it needs, the time of growth/bloom, as well as other info.} would do just fine planted under a tree because the tree leaves aren't grown out yet. But a plant that needs full sun and blooms in the hot Summertime would not do well placed under that same tree, 'cause now it's all cool and shady under there with the full canopy of leaves!

When I was planning this post, I saw something really cool on my friend's blog & she allowed me to share it with you!

Amanda from Serenity Now did a wonderful post recently about how to make a drawn plan for Sun vs. Shade. So easy, and so clever! She's sweet & awesome & has a really wonderful blog too! :) Take a look here and check out the pic from Amanda below...

Amanda says, "I am learning that planning is essential to gardening." Right on! That is SO true!

Checking the amount of Sun vs. Shade in your garden is one easy way to plan & ensure that you're on the road to a successful & beautiful Garden!


Garden Seeds

I was so pleased to get a little package in the mail yesterday from Hometown Seeds. They sent me some Survival Seeds as well as some lovely flower seeds! I'll really enjoy using them in our new garden this year! Can't wait! Thank you, Hometown Seeds :)!!

Happy Garden Planning &
I hope you'll join us all next week for the Linky party! Come on back now, ya hear?!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Decorating to EnLIVEn Your Home!

A very simple, inexpensive way to liven up your home and make it a more Welcoming place is to try to have at least one "live" thing in each room!

Live items could include:


Flowers (Cut or Potted)

Fresh Fruit or Veggies Piled in a Colander or Bowl

Beautiful Music


Shells, Starfish, Coral

A Flickering Candle

Breeze Coming Through an Open Window, Fluttering the Curtains



Things Living or Found in Nature


Having "LIVE" things in a space really makes your Home feel warm & inviting.

Not to mention the joy these items bring because of their beauty!

I can't imagine that there is anyone who doesn't want to bring some


& freshness

into their Home!

These flowering dogwood branches in our last home really made our breakfast room feel so beautiful and fresh and cozy all at the same time!


Makes me want to have a friend over for tea & cupcakes just looking at it!!

Fresh fruit or veggies look so amazing when they're put in a pretty bowl or basket in the kitchen. Who wouldn't want to eat healthier when you're looking at such colorful produce?!!

{I'll admit that I even use real-looking but fake lemons piled in an apothecary jar....they are so cheery you can't help but smile when walking past!}

Even small rooms like a bathroom could use some "live"-ening up!

Here an old scale holds pretty soaps and a towel, but when I placed the coral & starfish on there -- LOVE it!!

The candles in the background can be lit for taking a relaxing bath.

Some moisture loving plants do very well in a bathroom too, due to the humidity.

Flowers are one of my very favorite ways to bring "life" to a space!

Whether they come from your garden or your local grocery store, flowers are a wonderful way to enjoy the Creator's handiwork up close!


But most of all, it's the love & laughter of family and friends being together that really makes a House a Home!!!