The Botanical Hand-Lettering Workbook~

This post is sponsored by The Botanical Hand-Lettering Workbook.

Hello Lovelies!

I love paper.   I love paper planners.  I love paper calendars.  I love stationery, and cards, and lists.
And going right along with my love of paper, is my love of hand lettering.  There is just something so personal about cards or notes that are hand written.  I am so glad that there are people out there that agree with me, and that there is currently a trend toward the personal, paper and hand-lettered items that I love so much.

When I was a young girl, I took a calligraphy class.  I learned how to do the traditional calligraphy strokes, and I got pretty good at it...for a ten year old.  And I've been intrigued with calligraphy ever since.

So as one of my New Year's Goals this year, I decided that I wanted to learn the art of modern calligraphy.  I want to be able to do some beautiful hand lettering.

I am also a huge bookworm.  I adore books.  It is this love of books combined with my love of hand-lettering that made me jump at the chance to review a copy of  The Botanical Hand-Lettering Workbook by Bethany Robertson.  It's not a book about modern calligraphy, but it is a whimsical guide to hand-lettering with a floral flair.

Read more after the break...


Getting My House Ready for Bed (A Simple Evening Housekeeping Routine)~

Hello Lovelies!

Earlier this week when I shared my Wake Up Your House Routine, I promised that I would be back to share my routine for getting my house ready for bed.

This routine is simple and short, much like my morning routine, and is designed so that I can go to bed with a reasonably clean house...and my family can wake up and have an easier morning as we all get ready for our various activities.

Read more after the break...


Waking Up My House~

Hello Lovelies!

Last week, I shared with you my new philosophy, Honest Decorating.  As I have been contemplating all of the different facets of what I consider Honest Decorating to be, I started thinking about the ways I honor our home.  Honor our home.  What does that mean, exactly?  

Well, I believe -  as I've mentioned numerous times - that the home should be a haven and an escape from the world.  Because it plays such an important role in our lives, we should treat our homes with respect.  One of the ways that I do that, is by "waking up my house" each morning.

Read more after the break...


How To Make a Cupcake in a Jar~

Today I wanted to share how to make a cupcake in a jar!  I posted about these adorable treats a few years back, but they bear repeating!  This clever little creation is a perfect gift or a unique dessert. I made the ones I am going to share with you today as hostess gifts, but I think they'd make perfect Valentine's gifts as well.

Get the instructions after the break....


The Master Designer Manifesto~

It's interesting what has happened since I decided to follow my heart and blog about "Honest Decorating".  I've been so inspired in so many ways. 

For example, yesterday I ran across this design manifesto on the lovely blog Fieldstone Hill and it resonated so strongly with me, that I wanted to share it with you today.

Image via Fieldstone Hill
This Master Designer Manifesto beautifully defines how I feel about design.  I feel that design is my calling.  I believe that bringing beauty to a space is a gift that I have been blessed to share with the world.  I do love beautiful things but they are not what is truly important to me.  Sharing my love of design is my passion and if I can make anyone's world a better place though design, that is important to me.

A few years back I wrote a post about my obsessive need to redecorate. I discussed the fact that design and decorating  nourish my soul.  I truly feel that we are each given gifts in this life.  For me, I  believe that my love of design and decorating is a part of my personality that is intrinsic to who I am... and I am intensely thankful for it.

I am also thankful for the chance I have to come here and share something which means so much to  me.  And I am grateful that you all come here and share in it with me!




Honest Decorating~

The beginning of a new year always makes me very introspective.  As a result I have been thinking a lot about what I want to use my little corner of the world wide web to share.

As I mentioned in this post,  it's been hard for me to keep up with blogging for the past couple of years.  I have been thinking about the reason behind that.  And I realized that it was really all about my own expectations for what was worthy of blogging about.

I felt like I always had to share a "WOW!" project.  
Something that would make everyone "oooh and aaah".  

I love my little boys' room, but you know what?  It's only partially decorated... for example, see the bunk bed ladder?  It's still waiting for a coat of paint.   But I feel like the space is still beautiful and worth sharing!

But, the entire landscape of my life has changed.  I am now a single mom.  I am on a tight budget.  I can dream about all the projects that I want to accomplish in my house.  And believe me, I dream.  And dreaming is okay.  I have a list a mile long of amazing projects that I want to do.  But, in reality, many of the things on the list might never come to fruition.  Whether because everything I want do requires some level of expertise that I don't have, requires time I can't find...or because I simply don't have the funds to pay for the project, I can't plan on accomplishing all of them.

Does that mean that I have to sit back and feel sorry for myself?  Does it mean that I should just settle for a house that I don't love simply because I can't afford to add hardwood floors and a fireplace? Does it mean that I don't have anything worth sharing with my readers here on the blog?  The answer to each of these questions is ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I can't afford to add a fireplace to my house right now...but my console table and some firewood work to create a "faux fireplace".  (We even hang our stockings there at Christmas.)

The truth is, and I've mentioned this many times before, our homes are meant to be havens.  They are meant to be our safe zones, our retreats.  And we can make them beautiful with very little money.  And I really mean that.  I have been there (to be honest, I'm still there).

And so, what I realized is that I really want this blog to be a place where I can journal everything I feel about houses and decorating and how to create spaces that we love when we aren't able to spend a fortune (or to really spend anything for that matter).

I want you to be able to come here and feel uplifted, inspired and empowered  that no matter your circumstances...whether you live in a studio apartment, a small house, a basement, or a trailer...you can make your space beautiful.  You can make it a reflection of you and somewhere that you are happy to spend time.

It's  not about following the decorating trends.  It's about embracing the things that you love and making them work in your space.  And here's the quote that inspired me with this idea...

Stick to the things you really love.  
An honest room is always up to date.
Billy Baldwin

From this quote, I came up with a new decorating mantra that I can't wait to share with you.  It's what I want to call "Honest Decorating"...decorating on a real budget, creating sanctuaries that might not be straight off the pages of a shelter magazine, but that are lovely none-the-less.  Honest Decorating is about embracing the things we love, the things we have to work with, and making the best of them.  It's about not comparing ourselves and our houses to others, but creating places that are a reflection of our true selves regardless of the others.  It's about gleaning the best from the amazing inspiration we are given here on the internet, and using it to build ourselves up rather than making us feel inadequate.

I hope you'll join  me as I work on shifting this blog to become a journal of honest decorating inspiration.  I can't wait to share the ways that we can all work to make our lives beautiful on a budget.  I'm hoping we can start a conversation that will help us all to love the homes we're in and the lives we're living...wherever we are.  




Glitter And Valentines~

I made these pretty glittered heart ornaments several years ago, but they're still one of my favorite Valentine's projects.

I love to pull them out every year and hang them from some branches to make a "sweetheart tree".

Today, I wanted to share the very simple instructions to make these beauties.

Read more after the break...


Reintroducing E-Design Consultations~

After taking a break for the past few months, I'm really excited to be offering e-design consultations again!

What's an e-design consultation?

An e-design is an easy and fun way for me to help you create the room of your dreams!

Simply contact me at my email shabbynest(at)yahoo(dot)com with the subject line design consultation, and we'll get you on the calendar.

I'll start by sending you a design questionnaire, and then you'll fill it out and return it along with some photos of your space and some inspiration rooms.

I'll work up a plan for you, and then comes the fun part!  I'll send you your customized design plan, including furniture, fabric, accessories, paint colors and even a floor plan if you need one.  Then we'll talk...we can chat via email or via phone (whatever makes you the most comfortable) so that you can get my personalized point of view and ask any questions you might have.  And all of this for only $185!

I'm so excited about my revised service, and I hope you are too!

I can't wait to help you out with your design dilemmas!



Basement Bathroom Design Reveal~

I recently helped some wonderful clients with their basement bathroom.  Since they were finishing an unfinished basement, we had a completely blank slate to work with.  It was a lot of fun!
The bathroom has no natural light, so we decided to go with a light and bright palette of white, gray, and pale blue with brushed nickel accents.

One of my favorite parts of the shower is the vertical glass mosaic tile accent.  It adds an unexpected touch of glam to the marble subway tile.

See more after the break...


Let's Get Crafty: 3-D Paper Stars~

Hello Lovelies...

Today I'm sharing how to make these cute 3-D Paper Stars

I was looking back through my archives the other day and I ran across this great little tutorial for 3-D Paper Stars.  They make a fun and unique addition to table decor, to gift packaging and so on.  And they're really easy to make.  I originally found them years ago in an issue of Family Fun magazine, but I couldn't find a tutorial on-line, so I came up with my own.

Read the tutorial after the break...


Thin For You Thursday: The Importance of Accountability~

Hello Lovelies!

The beginning of a new year always has me pumped...and believing that anything is possible!  So it's a great time for me to share my excitement about Thin For You Thursday with all of you.

The holidays didn't do much damage to my weight.  My goal to practice  moderation worked well and I was able to maintain my weight loss through the holidays.  But now that they are over it is time to get serious!

Read more after the break....


House Projects - On a Budget~

When I moved into my house last year, I made a list of all the projects I wanted to tackle.  And there were a lot of them.  And even though a year and a half has passed in the interim, I would be lying if I said that I had accomplished even a quarter of the items on my list.

Read more after the break...


DIY Bulletin Board~

Since it's the beginning of the new year, and I'm on an organizing kick, I have another fun project to share with you.  As is the case with most families, the kitchen is the hub of our home.  So important papers and mementos often end up on the refrigerator.  Rather than having a mess of papers on the side of the fridge, I thought it would be nice to have a bulletin board to pin them to instead. 

Read more after the break...


Dollar Store Organization for Craft Supplies~

If you're like me - not a professional crafter, but someone who does use craft supplies on a regular basis - I'm sure you have a "craft drawer".  You know, the drawer where all of the most-often-used supplies congregate?

Read more after the break...


My 2016 Word of the Year~

Happy New Year Everyone!

For the past several years, I have chosen a word of the year.
I love this tradition, and I have found that the words I have chosen in the past have really helped to shape the course of each year.  They have sort of been like single word resolutions, if you will.

I have a sense that this year is going to be a pivotal one for me...so I thought long and hard about the word I wanted to govern it.

And I landed on the word ENTHUSIASM.

I don't want to do anything half-way this year.  Whatever I do, I want to give it my all.  And I want to do so happily.  I want to approach every undertaking with energy and enthusiasm.  I believe that enthusiasm is catching and that if I bring my "A-game" to everything that I do, others will reciprocate.  In this way, I hope to elevate my own performance, and to hopefully help others do the same.

Do you choose a word of the year?  I'd love to hear your word if you have one.

And if you'd like to see some of my previous word of the year posts, click on the year below.