Birthday Ideas Revisited~

About a week ago, I did a post with a bunch of fabulous ideas that I had gathered on Pinterest for fun things I could do to make the Princess' 9th birthday special since this year is a family birthday party year (as opposed to a big friend party year).  

Of course, I made sure we followed all of our usual birthday traditions - like a balloon chandelier at the dining table, a special birthday breakfast, and our "today's your special day" plate -  but I thought it would be fun to throw in a few more.

Aren't the pink polka-dot balloons adorable??  Found them at Hobby Lobby!

Well, as is often the case, my ideas are grander than my time will allow, so I was really only able to incorporate one new idea into the mix.  But it's a fun one.

I created a few paper medallions to decorate the Princess' bedroom door.  When she woke in the morning she was greeted with these.

And the bonus is that they make a great background for a birthday photo.

They're really easy to make...so I'm going to show you all how.  Look for a tutorial coming soon!



My Colortopia

This post is sponsored by Glidden Brand Paints.

If you  haven't heard about My Colortopia yet, boy do I have a treat for you! 

My Colortopia is a website recently launched by Glidden that has color tips and  inspiration, even a blog where some of our favorite design/diy bloggers contribute their advice on color and design. 

And these three lovely ladies are only a few of the great contributors!  Check out all of them here.

Finding the colors that are right for you can be a tricky thing.  Personally, I find a lot of color inspiration in nature and natural elements. 

I love neutrals and I use them in both my wardrobe and in my decorating.  I know the colors that make me the most comfortable. But knowing the colors you love can sometimes cause you to fall into a bit of a color rut.  That's where a site like My Colortopia comes in!

If you are afraid of color or even if you are comfortable in your color personality like I am, My Colortopia offers a great starting point for figuring out the colors that are right for you, or for helping you to shake your color personality up a little bit. 

For example, they have this fabulous widget that I have posted below where you answer a few questions and it suggests a color palette for you.  Of course, I gave it a whirl...and check out one of the three palettes that it suggested for me.

Does this color combination look familiar to you?   Take a little look around my blog page.  Hmmm.  Those colors do seem familiar after all, don't they?  Isn't that amazing??

Here are the two other palettes the My Colortopia widget suggested for me.  I sense a theme.  ;-)  I am definintely drawn to neutrals with a bit of subtle color thrown in there to add interest. 

Here's your chance to try the widget out for yourself.  Just answer the questions and check out the palettes it generates for you.  Have fun! 

I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


Great Idea: Kids' Art Gallery Wall~

If you're like me, you probably have a lot of kids' art floating around.  My kids love to create art.  They make it at school, they make it at home, and one of my kiddos, in particular, can rarely be found without a piece of paper and a pen. 

So what do you do with your budding Picaso's artwork?  Well, here's one solution. 

Create a rotating kids' art gallery wall like this one in our loft/play area/soon-to-be mom's home office. ;-)

You don't have to spend a lot of money either.  To create this wall, I simply purchased a number of 8x10 wood frames  from the dollar store.  I actually check for wood frames every time I'm at the dollar store - they don't always have them, but when they do, I stock up.  Then I sprayed painted the frames black to give the wall a uniform feel.

I chose a few of my favorite works of art from each of the kiddos and placed them in the frames.  Then hung the frames on the wall in a grid pattern.  That's was it! 

The great thing about this idea is that the artwork can be easily swapped out as new pieces are created.  And the fact that the kids can see the value we place on their creations and art in general is important in fostering their creativity and self-confidence.  It's a win-win situation!


$250 IKEA Gift Card Giveaway at Hometalk~

This post is sponsored by Hometalk.

Have you heard of HometalkHometalk is a great website with a community of home lovers and experts.  Members of Hometalk can share projects, ask questions, search for professionals and more on topics ranging from building to decor to gardening.

Hometalk asked me to share one of my home decor tutorials on their site, and I chose one of my very favorite projects I've done recently...my boys' striped wall!

They also asked me to select a home decor store that I like so that they can give away a $250 Gift Card to one of their members...so what did I choose?  IKEA baby!!  See that bookshelf in the photo of my boys' room?  It's an IKEA Expedit.  I've got IKEA items all over my home and thought it would be a great choice for the giveaway.

So what do you have to do to enter?  Head on over to Hometalk and register to become a member (it's easy and fast.)  Then simply answer the question that's posted about my project for their weekly giveaway and you'll be entered to win the gift card.

Please note:  This giveaway is a Hometalk giveaway.  You can find all pertinent information including eligible entrants and time frame on their website.   You can only enter the giveaway at the Hometalk site, not here on my blog.  Thanks and good luck!

Disclosure:  I received compensation in exchange for this post, however, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.


Happy Saturday, Being "Present", and a Giveaway Winner~

Hello my lovelies!  It's a happy Saturday around here. 

Today we're celebrating the Princess' 9th birthday (which actually falls next week) with a family trip to the movies.  Truth be told, as much as I love to throw a birthday party- and I really do love to do that - it's great to have a celebration where all I have to do is be there.  Sometimes being present really is the most important thing. 

That's something I've been thinking a lot about lately.  Being a "present" mother.  Because I work from home, and I love what I do,  it can be very easy to get caught up in my work.  It can be a hard choice to make when both my job and my kiddos seem to be demanding my attention at the same time.  While my oldest two head off to school bright and early, both of my littlest guys have school in the afternoon, so they are home with me in the mornings.  I have been trying to keep the computer off for the majority of the morning so that I can draw with them, play with them, listen to them.  But then I find myself checking email on my phone, which can lead to sending a tweet here or there, checking in on the blog for just a second.  Balancing the two is something I'm striving to learn.  Because those sweet little kiddos will only be little for a minute.  And I don't want to look back when they're grown and wish I had rocked them, or read to them, or built legos with them a little more often.

And I also like to have the computer off when the kids get home from school.  It's important to me to hear about their days, to sit and help them with their homework, to laugh with them.  By the time we're done with homework, dinner needs to be  prepared.  After dinner and clean up, it's time to settle for the night.  I get the kiddos ready for bed, tuck them in ...and then I go to finish my work.  It's crazy, but it's worth it.  Because I love my work, but in the end,  my family is what matters most.

And so today I will enjoy the Princess' birthday trip to the movies.  I'll take the time to listen to my kiddos' silly jokes, to revel in their laughter.  I'll immerse myself in their childhood world and soak it all in while I can.   I will strive to be present even when life tries to divert my attention elsewhere.  Because they are mine and I am so grateful.

I hope you have a happy and "present" Saturday too!


And the winner of the Windows by Melissa giveaway is Jenalee.  Congratulations Jenalee!  Please email me and we'll get you set up with your prize!


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday! 

I hate to rant here on the blog, but I feel that I have to start out this post by touching on some of the ground rules of Frugal Friday.  Frugal Friday has grown so much, and is quite a large gathering of great ideas.  For the most party, those of you who link up share posts that are perfect for this party.  However, there are some who do not.  That is what I want to address. Frugal Friday is a link party dedicated to Frugal PROJECTS and FINDS.  I don't mind if your project is diy, decor, food or even fashion.  It can be a room reveal, a favorite meal, a cute something-or-other you made, a great deal you found, a party, or what have you.  I just ask that you refrain from posting about your trip, from giving relationship advice, linking to your shop or your own link party, etc.  Those sorts of posts are wonderful.  But they are not what this party is about.  I reserve the right to remove posts that are not in keeping with the spirit of Frugal Friday.  Okey-dokey 'nuff said.

Now for the fun stuff....

It's been feeling like spring here for the past couple of days.  And the warmer temperatures have me in the mood to get some DIY-ing done!  So glad I have a bunch of inspiration to check out at this fab link-up every week!!

Let's check out some of the great posts from last week's party, shall we?
The Fan Favorite from last week was this maple-to-magnificent dresser transformation from Simply Chic Treasures.  I just love gray painted furniture! 

And on to my Frugal Round-up...

Holy crow, people!! Am I ever in love with Eclectically Vintage's kitchen reno!  What a before and after!! Honed Carrera marble counters...herringbone backsplash...those pendant lights.  Wowee folks...I'm off to mop the drool off my floor. ;-)

Be Sweetly Inspired made her own pin-tucked duvet.  I'm very impressed...both with the fabulous outcome and with her patience!! ;-)

And check out this great before/after living room reveal from The Painted Hive.  Lovely. Simply lovely.

Now it's your turn!

You know "da rules"...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back the Shabby Nest (you can use the pretty new button on my side bar to make it easy.)
3. Please visit other participants and leave them comments! Help them feel "the love!" And don't forget to "like" your favorite posts so they can become the "FAN FAVORITE!"



Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home for Spring~

Hello my lovely readers~

You may recall that for the next couple of months I'm partnering with Apartment Guide as an official Apartment Guide Decor Blogger. Whether you're living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for making the most of a space on a budget on http://www.movingtoday.com and http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/And as an official Apartment Guide Decor blogger, that's just what I'm going to do as well.  I hope that you all will join me on this bloggy journey as I share tips and ideas for living on a budget.

Can you feel it??  Spring is in the air.  Especially where I live.  So it may have snowed over the weekend, but today ... 60 degrees baby!  Oh yeah!! 

The thing about rising temperatures and budding trees is that they always make me want to switch things around in my living space.  To bring in the spring, if you will.  So today I wanted to share 5 ideas for bringing in the spring...

1. Liven up your walls
After living with the same artwork all winter long, changing your walls up a bit can be a great way to get the feeling of renewal that always comes with spring.  Here are a few ideas to try...

  • Add a wall mural.  No you don't have to be an artist to do this.  In fact there are many companies that can create removable murals for you.  You may recall this mural from my boys' sock monkey bedroom in our previous house.  It's a photo of the hubby as a kid at his cousin's ranch.  Too cute, and a great way to personalize.

  • Try a gallery wall.  I adore gallery walls.  They add so much personality to a space.  I've created one in every house we've ever lived in.  This wall is in our current living room, but you can read about one I created in our previous home here.

  • Mirrors are always a welcome addition in a space.  And mirrors add light.  Which reminds me of spring.  Which means they are a perfect addition to your spring space.  (This paragraph reminds me of "If You Give a Pig a Pancake".)

2. Add some Ombre to your life
If you've visited pretty much anywhere in blogland lately, you're well aware that ombre is a big trend in decorating at the moment.   And it's a great way to bring in the spring.  Choose a spring-y color and paint out the drawers in a dresser in graduating colors to make it pop.

3. Reupholster a chair in a happy color
Thrifted dining chairs are a perfect choice for this project.  Find an old chair at your local thrift store and paint it a happy color.  Replace that faded cushion with some bright spring-toned fabric and you've got yourself a perfect addition to your spring home.

4. Don't forget those Pantone colors
Note that I said colorS.  Not color.  A lot has been said about Pantone's color of the year... Tangerine Tango.  But did you know that Pantone actually has a list of 10 colors for 2012. You might want to check them out, so I've given you a list...
  • Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463
  • Solar Power, Pantone 13-0759
  • Bellflower, Pantone 18-3628
  • Cabaret, Pantone 18-2140
  • Sodalite Blue, Pantone 19-3953
  • Margarita, Pantone 14-0116
  • Sweet Lilac, Pantone 14-2808
  • Cockatoo, Pantone 14-5420
  • Driftwood, Pantone 18-1210
  • Starfish, Pantone 16-1120
So try adding some of these other fun colors to your decor this spring.

5.  Add some house plants
Greenery is a great way to bring spring indoors.  But, if you're like me, you're rolling your eyes and silently cataloguing all of the dead house plants from years past.  Fear not!  There are actually some houseplants that can thrive even with those of us who have black thumbs. Consider some of these hardy indoor plants...
  • Pothos plant
  • Spider plant
  • Aloe plant
  • African Violet
  • Snake  Plant
You can read a bit more about each of these here.

So are you ready to "Bring in the Spring"??  I sure am!  And I'd love to hear if you try incorporating any of these ideas into your space, so make sure and let me know if you do!

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Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Great New Products at IKEA~

As I mentioned in this post, we are in the process of reworking basically the entire house so that we can accomodate a home office for this work-from-home mama, because this has been my workspace lately.

This photo courtesy of Mr. Three. It was taken candidly by him the other day.  I laughed when I found it on my camera.  The kid has some mad photography skillz for a 4-year-old.

Well, this or the breakfast bar in the kitchen.  And it's getting a bit -  how shall I say it? - annoying.

So yesterday, we made a little pilgimage to IKEA to look at their sectionals.  But because I am easily distracted in any store that sells decor/furniture/stuff for the house, I couldn't help but notice a few of the fun new products that they had out on the floor.  (Although I appreciate contemporary design, I definitely tend more toward the traditional, and I'm glad to see IKEA offering a few more products that are more on the traditional side.)

And I just want to insert here that I have not been approached by IKEA to do this post...this is just some good old-fashioned shoppin' love that I had to share....so here we go.....

This is the Benzy Land Pillow.  I think it's just darling.  It depicts a treasure map complete with a pirate ship and a whale.  It would look fabulous in my boys' bedroom...and they loved it!
I thought this Emmie bedding was darling.  I love the huge pink buffalo check duvet, and the accent pillows were lovely...the large floral one is actually embroidered! Too bad it's not the right colors for the Princess' bedroom, because it's just so pretty, bright and cheerful.

This is the Songe Mirror and the photo really doesn't do it justice.  It is a pretty warm silver color that reminds me of silver leafing and it's very large.  It would make a great leaning mirror.  I'm thinking it might look good in my Master bedroom.  Just sayin'.
 I also loved the Sundero Adirondack-style chair and footstool.  I've been wanting some of these for the yard (they remind me of when we lived Back East - closer to the ocean.) And they are a great deal!

So, now I have a longer list of things I need want for the house.  I guess I better start an IKEA wish-list fund. ;-)

Have a great day~


Birthday Ideas~

The Princess turns 9-years-old this year.  Next week actually.  In our family, we only do a big birthday party every other year.  This year, she gets a family party. 

I like to make birthdays a very festive occasion at our house...big party or not...but on off years - years when the kids don't get a big "friend" birthday party - I like to do a little something extra to make the day special since I'm not spending my energy creating all sorts of party fabulosity. (That is a word, right?)

With the advent of Pinterest (if you're on Pinterest - I'd love to have you follow my boards) collecting fun ideas has been a breeze - more like an addiction actually.

Here are a few of the amazing ideas I've collected...

Aren't these pom pom cake toppers adorable??  I bet the Princess would be head over heels for these. Available on Etsy.
Source: etsy.com via Wendy on Pinterest

Traditionally, I make a balloon "chandelier" to go over our kitchen table, but these paper spheres from Martha Stewart might be fun switcheroo.

These balloons hanging from the ceiling would be a fun way for the Princess to wake up in the morning.  Via The Pleated Poppy.

Or I could create a Princess version of these balloons that I made for the Hubby on last year's wedding anniversary.

The Princess would simply adore these ballerina cupcakes (don't know if I could make the frosting look quite that adorable though.) Via TheSweetTable.ca

I *could* make some of these letterpress stamped cookies though using the Princess' monogram. Via CreatureComfortsBlog.com

Creating some cute birthday labels and putting them on the bottom of pink kisses would make the Princess' day.  Available on Etsy.
Source: google.com via Wendy on Pinterest

Creating a little garland out of old baby photos embellished with tiny birthday hats would be a fun way to celebrate. Via CookieMondays.com

Or I could decorate a wall with fabulous pinwheels like these. via CraftyAfterAll.blogspot.com

I love the idea of creating a garland out of fairy lights and paper cups.  Via HomeConfetti.blogspot.com

Or a pretty garland out of felt flowers and thread.  Via gdanfamily.blogspot.com

Now comes the hard part...narrowing down all the great ideas.   Wish me luck!


Sponsor Sunday: A Giveaway from Windows by Melissa~

This post is sponsored by Windows by Melissa.

Today I'd like to take a minute to introduce you all to one of my fabulous sponsors: Windows by Melissa. 

Windows by Melissa is a great etsy store featuring custom made window treatments and pillow covers.  Check out some of her beautiful creations.

 I'm really loving this Imperial Trellis roman shade.  I think I might *need* one of these.

One of the things that is really special about Melissa's business is the fact that they love to give back.  Here is what she has to say about her company. 
We are a team of six whose ultimate goal and mission is to clothe your bare windows. We pride ourselves on providing attractive, functional, safe and affordable window coverings. We are also dedicated to helping in our communities. As a special thanks for our success, we have decided to give back to our community by donating $5 of every order to a worthy cause each month. You can read more about our sponsorship program on our blog under "Sponsorship Program" in the top bar. Or read about past sponsor families under the label "monthly family sponsors." If you know of anyone to recommend for our sponsor program we welcome a write up to our email where we will review and consider the cause. 
I have enjoyed reading about some of the sponsor families on Melissa's Blog...and getting some practical information about window treatments as well.  In addition, every Tuesday she has a giveaway on her blog...so make sure and visit!  And she also offers coupons for her shop regularly on the Windows by Melissa Facebook page.  Just a couple of things to keep in mind if you don't happen to be the lucky winner of today's giveaway.

And just what is today's giveaway, Wendy?  you ask.  Well, today Melissa has generously offered to give one lucky reader of The Shabby Nest two 20" pillow covers in Dwell Studio's Bella Porte in Citrine!!

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. It's as simple as that!

This giveaway will be open until Tuesday, February 21 at 11:59 pm MST.  A winner will chosen at random and announced here on the blog later in the week.

Good luck and have a great day~

This post was sponsored by Windows by Melissa.  The opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!  I hope that everyone had a lovely Valentine's week, and that you celebrated in your favorite Valentine's ways.  I sure did.  I got to have a lovely (even though I did the cooking) meal with my five favorite people...the Hubby and our four kiddos.  What could be better??
Now let's get to the frugal good stuff.

Last week's Fan Favorite was posted by Red Barn Candle Company as part of her Thrifty Decor Series she shared Thrifty Side Table Decor. 

And for my Frugal Round-up...

I adored this half-bath makeover by Burlap and Lace.  The navy blue is so classic and sophisticated...and a bit unexpected!  (Love the rug too!)

I realize this wall has been shared in Blogland quite a bit, but I couldn't pass it up.  It's simply too fabulous.  Check out this amazing diamond wall treatment by Make Them Wonder.

And, mostly because I have a slight infatuation with the city of lights, I had to share with you these adorable FREE Paris city downloads linked up by Fine Crafts Guild.  Love. This.

Now it's your turn!

You know "da rules"...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back the Shabby Nest (you can use the pretty new button on my side bar to make it easy.)
3. Please visit other participants and leave them comments! Help them feel "the love!" And don't forget to "like" your favorite posts so they can become the "FAN FAVORITE!"