Friday, February 28, 2014

BEST OF THE NEST LINK PARTY {1}


It's finally here!  The four of us are so incredibly happy that you've joined us today for our first ever link party!  


To kick things off, we're sharing our Best of the Nest from February.  


Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles
Blog | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Bloglovin' | Twitter

No big surprise here that this is my best project of the month!  Thank you so much for all of your nice comments this week on my son's new planked wall!



Kris @ Driven by D├ęcor

Kris used a blank wall in her gorgeous dining room and finally crossed a project off her list that she's been wanting to do for a long time. I'm pretty sure I'd be completely distracted from my food when staring at that beautiful plate arrangement! 



Lisa @ Shine your Light 

Lisa took the popular Waterlogue app trend a step further and created a sizable piece of artwork with it!  Using a photo she took in Cape Cod, she made this extremely cool triptych art piece.  My wheels are spinning to figure out where I could do something similar!



Pam @ Simple Details

I seriously don't know how Pam keeps coming up with these utterly fabulous projects.  This lady is crazy talented!  Her new foyer demands to be noticed!  


So...the suspense is killing me...what have YOU been up to this month?  Link up your best project from February!  You only need to link up on one blog, and your post will show up on all four blogs!  And don't forget, even if you aren't a blogger you can still participate!  Just post a photo on Instagram and be sure to tag at least one of the hosts and use the hashtag #bestofthenest.

There are just a few rules for this party:
Link to your specific post, not your home page.
Only one link per person from your best work of February 2014.
Spread some comment love - please visit and comment on at least two other links in the                    party.
If you’re linking up from a blog, link back with a text link somewhere in your post. Only posts that have a link back to Best of the Nest will be considered for features.

We'll be around to visit you and choose a few of our favorites to feature next Friday, so we'd love for you to stop back by!  Can't wait to see what you have to share.  Have a great weekend friends!




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Thursday, February 27, 2014

MY THOUGHTS ON COWHIDE RUGS


Up until a few years ago, I never expected to have a cowhide rug in my home.  My home isn't lodge-y or rustic, and I didn't think it was my style.  Boy, was I wrong!  Cowhides can be a very chic accent in many different styles of homes (check out this one from the office of the show home I visited last year!).

I've always been drawn to the zebra printed hides, but last year when I came across a deal I couldn't pass up at Sam's Club I tried a regular hide in my living room.  I brought 3-4 home to try out and settled on this one.  I know you all have seen it, but I've never blogged about it specifically.



As I've been refreshing my breakfast nook, I've thought all along how great a hide rug would look layered over my natural rug under the table.  Since I already had the spotted hide in the living room, I planned to get the zebra printed hide that I've always loved.  Then on a whim I threw a zebra blanket under the table to get an idea of what it would look like, and I didn't like it.  It needed more color variation.  I'm not giving up on a zebra hide someday, but it wasn't right for this spot.

So, while keeping an eye out in local stores and on the internet, I came across Cowhide Rugs, which sells their product through their Facebook site.  I began stalking the page to see what new rugs were posted each day.  These were just about the best prices I've seen, and I love how the exact rug that you're buying is pictured along with the exact size.

I watched for months, knowing I wanted a mid-sized rug with some white and black.  When I saw this one I pounced!


I've tried it in the living room and under the kitchen table, but I'm keeping it in the kitchen for now.  I'll probably switch them back and forth.


David is the nicest to work with.  I asked a few questions over the phone which he answered very knowledgeably, paid, and had my rug a few days later!

It was more beautiful than I expected, and I was surprised that the hair was longer than my other one. There is such a great combo of colors...white, black, and browns.  I know people definitely have their own opinions about hide rugs, but they feel SO good underfoot!  And, they are virtually indestructible.  I vacuum mine or take it outside and shake it out, and am totally unconcerned if there's a spill on it, it's easily scrubbed off.

Now, here's the deal that David taught me when shopping for hides.  My rug from Sam's has folds that won't flatten out and curls up on parts of the edges.  That's because it was tanned with formaldehyde.  I'm just going to share his words with you...I thought this was such good information if you're in the market.

"The rug (I) purchased is Chromium tanned, which is the most sophisticated means to tan a hide.  A chromium tanned hide will smell more like leather and leave the hide supple, not stiff.  The best tanned hides derive from Brazil or Colombia.  Hides from Argentina or Mexico are generally very stiff, have a strong chemical odor and will eventually begin to curl up around the edges.  Cleaning your cowhide is simple, because Mother Nature continues to protect the cowhide, it is virtually impossible to stain.  The worst enemy is very tiny particles of rocks or gravel collected from shoes or boots.  The reason is over time, the added weight from day to day pressure will eventually cause the hair to pull free from the leather base.  This is easy to prevent either by shaking out your cowhide or vacuuming it periodically."  -David of Cowhide Rugs

By the way, I asked him about the curling edges and he said the best thing you can do is get some sharp scissors and trim it off.  It will eventually get worse and become a tripping hazard if left alone.

So, I still love my "bargain" rug too, but can definitely tell the difference in the new one I purchased.  And actually, considering the better quality and little bit bigger size, I consider it just as much of a bargain.

David regularly posts new photos of available rugs and has an actual store in Wichita, Kansas.  If there's something you're looking for but don't see, feel free to ask!  He carries the zebra rugs too although they aren't pictured very often.  I believe he also has some of the crazy-popular metallic splattered rugs!


So, my Breakfast Nook is one step closer to being finished.  Just one project left, and here's a hint:


What about you?  Do you own a hide rug or do they creep you out a bit?  I'm a fan!


***DON'T FORGET***

Tomorrow we'll be here bright and early for our first ever Best of the Nest Link Party!  The party will open at 8:00 a.m. EST, and I can't wait to see what your best project was for February!  



*I purchased my own cowhide and this is not a sponsored post.  I just love to pass along sources and products I love!

Linking up with:  Uncommon Designs Monday Funday

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DIY WOOD FENCE PLANK WALL {TUTORIAL}


Isn't it great when a project you've been planning to do forever finally gets done?  That was this planked wall for me!


It all started when I saw what Chris at Just a Girl did for her son's room.  Go see it, it's a.ma.zing!  From that point on I knew I wanted to do something similar for my son's room.  Fast forward about a year from the time I saw that post, when we needed a new fence.  When the guys came to replace it, I told my husband to have them stash 4-5 of the panels beside the house.  I knew I didn't want to throw that wood out!

Fast forward another year, and we finally reached a point where we were ready to attempt this project.  Here's how we started:

1) Enlist boy-who-will-be-living-with-this-awesome-project to help pull each board apart and remove the nails.  2) With a high-pressure nozzle, my husband cleaned all of the boards off very well. Then we left them in the sun for days to dry out thoroughly.  3) Not pictured- I used the palm sander to quickly knock off the hard edges on the side that would show, and made a pass over the flat side of the board to remove any wayward splinters.  They are by no means smooth, but should keep any more splinters at bay.  4) We marked the studs with painter's tape so we would know where to nail the boards in.  (That fence in the background is the next one to go...more project supplies!)


We started at the top with a long board centered, and worked out from there.  We completed one entire row at a time, varying the placement of the longer boards and then cutting smaller boards to fit as needed. I made 1 million trips back and forth outside to the saw.


What? You don't use power tools in the snow while bundled up and wearing golden slippers?

Now, these fence boards are not perfect, straight, or particularly level, and are often bowed.  We just worked with them as we went, and it all turned out alright.  If a piece wasn't quite right, we'd flip it around the other way and it would usually work better.  You just have to play with each piece and choose the best one for the spot you're in.  I painted the wall tan before we started, so that any gaps in the wood would be less obvious.


Most of the plank walls I've seen had the crown and baseboard removed, but we didn't want to do that.  I was a little concerned with how that would look, but I think it turned out just fine.


We only had one outlet to deal with on this wall.  We ended up running two rows of boards right up to the edge of the cover and working out from there.  The piece across the bottom side barely covers the plate and I'm ok with that.  For the top I measured and cut a scrap to plug the hole that was left.  I knew the bed would be covering the plug so I wasn't too concerned about it.


Once we got to the bottom, we were left with a space that was about 1/2 of a width of a board.  It would have been a snap if we would have had a table saw to rip the boards in half, but we didn't.  So, we used our jigsaw and it worked good enough to get the pieces we needed for that bottom row.



I think from start to finish it took both of us working together for about 6 hours.  A good deal of that time was going back and forth to the saw.

We love all of the nail holes and knots and texture and color variation and imperfections in the wood.  It makes it so interesting!  We're also suprised at how much bigger it makes the room feel.  It's quite a small room, so every little trick to make it seem bigger helps.


There's still plenty to do in this room.  I have a few things to add to the planked wall, a headboard to make, a gallery wall to put together, and a few accessories to tweak.  I'm hoping to get it finished up in the next few weeks, after all, it's only been in the works for over 2 years!


*Disclaimer:  There could be health concerns when using pallet wood or boards that have been treated with chemicals.  We are confident that these boards were safe to use in our home, but if you're not sure you might want to research a bit online.  Sealing the wood with a few coats of polyurethane may also be effective if you're concerned about the safety of the wood.  Use old fence boards at your own risk...



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Friday, February 21, 2014

WEEKEND READING SUGGESTIONS


Thank you all so much for your sweet comments yesterday on my black dresser!  Other than the dust that shows up like crazy on it, :) I'm loving the change!

I'm just quickly popping in today to share a great resource with you.  It's time for the annual "Homies" awards given out by the uber-popular blog Apartment Therapy.  Somehow I made the list!  Although I'd love a vote from you, that's not really why I'm sharing this.


The list of nominated blogs is a goldmine!  There are so many that are new to me, and I thought you might be interested in some new blogs to follow too.  This list has many of the best ones all in one place for you!

Now, if you WOULD like to vote, you can click over here to do so.  If you're not registered at AT you'll have to provide an e-mail address, but it's quick and not big deal.  And, you can vote for ALL of your favorite blogs, not just one!  The voting ends tomorrow so you'll have to be quick.  So if you're there, and you're voting anyway, would you please vote for my friends Kelly from View Along the Way and Julia from Cuckoo for Design?  They're both right at the top with the highest nominations, and the top five blogs get to move forward to the next round of voting.  I'd love to see these two girls make it!

If you're not interested in voting, head over and check out some great blogs this weekend!  Speaking of the weekend, what are your plans?  I'm attending (& decorating) our annual Ladies' Conference today and tomorrow, watching my girl play basketball (our favorite thing to do!), and hoping to wrap up Caleb's wall.  I hope you have a great one!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

BLACK DRESSER


Hi everybody!  How's your week coming along?  I know some of you are still covered in snow, but we've actually had a few days in the 70's this week, and it's been great!  I'm sure our winter isn't over yet but it's been nice to have a few days of warm sunshine!

Yesterday I remembered that I never showed you my dresser that I was working on a few weeks ago.  Actually, I just got around to styling it a few days ago and getting it ready for it's close-ups.  :)


Remember, it started out like this:


And then went bold and glossy, which I loved!


However, after living with the color for almost a year, I began to feel limited by it.  I really wanted to be able to use some of my blue and white pieces in that spot, and they did not work with the turquoise.  I also tried to move the dresser to a few other places in the room, which always put it too close to the green china cabinet, and it just looked strange. So, I turned back to my old stand-by...black.


As usual, I used a small good quality roller and a good brush for the corners, and Behr Paint+Primer paint in a satin finish.  I also sprayed a few coats of polyurethane on the top to help the paint cure faster and eliminate the tackiness that results from using latex paint.  I still left it completely alone for a few days, and waited probably 4-5 days before leaving anything on the top.


I'm loving how all of these colors play nicely together.  After collecting some blue and white pieces over the past several months, I'm wondering where it's been all of my life!


Just for fun!


The pulls that I sprayed last year are holding up beautifully, no problems at all.



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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

BEST OF THE NEST MONTHLY LINK PARTY


Today I'm so happy to announce a new monthly link party, and you're all invited to participate!  I'm teaming up with three of the sweetest bloggers around to host our "Best of the Nest" Party, where you can link up your best project from the previous month.


Every month on the last Friday we'll be ready to party!  All four blogs will be participating in the link party.  You only need to link up on one of the hosts' pages, and your link will automatically be shown on all four blogs.  And, anyone can enter, even if you don't have a blog!  You can submit a photo through Instagram by using the hashtag #bestofthenest and tagging at least one of the hosts in your post.  You can follow any or all of us and we'll be sure to remind you!

You will also be able to submit your project through Pinterest.  We'll share more details on how to do that next week.

So next Friday, February 28, get ready to bring your best project from the month.  It can be anything from your "nest"...a DIY project, room makeover, craft, tip, or recipe.

I am so incredibly happy and honored to be hosting with these unbelievably talented bloggers.  If you don't know them, head over and say hello!

Pam from Simple Details


Lisa from Shine Your Light

Kris from Driven by Decor

The four of us can't wait to see what wonderful things you have to share!  We'll be featuring some of our favorites.  I really hope you'll join us next Friday for Best of the Nest!

A big congratulations to Barbara P. who was the winner of the lamps.com giveaway!  And, if you could use a better smelling vehicle,  don't forget to enter the PERK Vent Wrap giveaway.  It's open until tomorrow night!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

NEW PERK VENT WRAPS AND A GIVEAWAY!


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PERK for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
As much as I love decorating and DIY projects, I also enjoy posting about life in general, and little ways to make that better.  And one thing is for sure, with a new teenager, a near tween, and a busy schedule, we're in our car a lot!  And one thing that's made all of that time in the car better is a fresh, clean scent!  

PERK Vent Wraps recently sent me three of their new auto vent air fresheners  to review.  There are 5 fragrances available, but I received Clean Laundry, Lush Valley, and Absolute Zero.


PERK is a new brand of auto fresheners that is very discreet and very effective!  It easily slides right on to one of the slats of your air vent and stays put without restricting air flow.  It took longer for me to open the wrapper than it did to install!


I was even able to attach a Vent Wrap to our return air vent in the back of the car, which was nice because lots of stinky shoes, sports equipment and uniforms end up back there.



After trying them out, my favorite scent was Lush Valley, which smells like a fresh Spring day.  Aren't we all ready for a little hint of Spring?  Absolute Zero is a more masculine, musky scent, and Clean Laundry has a powdery-fresh smell.

Each pack comes with 4 vent wraps that are individually packaged to hold in the fragrance until you're ready to use it.  And, the new StediScent® technology provides fragrance that doesn't fade after only a few days...it stays strong for about 2 weeks.  I've had my first one in the car for almost 2 weeks, and it smells just as good as the day I put it in. 


If your car could use some freshening up too, PERK auto air fresheners are available for purchase at Advance Auto Parts, Walmart, Target, and other retailers that sell automotive air fresheners.  You can also head over and Like PERK on Facebook.


Ready to try it?  How about a chance to win your own?

PERK is providing one winner with a 6 month supply of PERK vent wraps.  To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.  Must be 18 or older and open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to PERK Vent Wraps who provided their product to review and sponsored this post!

Visit Sponsor's Site


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Friday, February 14, 2014

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY...I LOVE YA SO MUCH, HOW ABOUT A GIVEAWAY?


Happy Valentine's Day, Friends!  

The good people at Lamps.com contacted me recently wanting to share one of their lamps with me, and I thought I'd pass it along to one of you!  If there's one thing I love, it's a great lamp!

Here are a few that you can choose from...there's something for everyone's taste! (sorry for the fuzzy photos, click the corresponding link below for a better one)

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Or, if you'd like you may choose any other lamp up to $125 value.  Open to US residents only.  Head over to lamps.com and check out your options, it's your choice!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  No other requirements today.  Just a little way for me to tell you how much I appreciate you following, reading, commenting, and supporting me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, I had to end today with a Happy Birthday wish to these brothers...they're two today!



They lived at the shelter for the first 6 months of their lives until we adopted them, so we've only had them for a year and a half, but they're definitely part of the family!  Even though they look alike their personalities are VERY different and we're having lots of fun with them (when they're not shedding on the couch or leaving muddy paw prints on my bed...grrr!)  Happy Birthday Chief and Scout!

Don't forget to enter!  Giveaway will close Sunday night 2/16 at midnight EST.  Many thanks to lamps.com for providing this giveaway!

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