Frugal Friday~

As always you guys knocked it out of the park with last week's Frugal Friday.

Here are a few of my faves for this week's Round-up...

First up, Cottage Hill shared her be-au-ti-ful DIY trompe l'oeil grandfather clock. Simply fabulous!

I adored this stencilled ceiling share by Not Just a Housewife.

Need some new art? Try this paint chip wall art idea shared by Life, Crafts and Whatever.

Beautiful Inspirations Design shared their DIY bedframe.

And finally, Inspired by You shared her $10 Auction Chair. So. Jealous.

Now it's your turn.

You know the rules...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back to The Shabby Nest so that others can enjoy the frugal goodness.
3. Please leave comments for the authors of the posts you visit.

I reserve the right to remove posts that are not in keeping with the spirit of Frugal Friday including but not limited to those posts that link to your giveaway, and those that promote your products or shop. Please play fair. m'kay?


My Life in Numbers~

For your Wednesday reading enjoyment.

My life in numbers...

6 - the number of people watching a movie on our king size bed last night.
4 - the number of those people that should have been in bed instead of watching said movie.

5 - the number of projects waiting for me to finish them, so I can blog about them.
3 - the number of people in this house who have conflicting activities coming up on Saturday.
1 - the number of cars we have available (since John's accident totalled our other one) to get said people to their activities. Saturday is going to be interesting.
28 - the number of times I've stayed up past midnight in the past month.
28 - the number of times I've had a hard time prying my eyes open the next morning.
0 - the number of times I've been to Target this week. This may be a first in the history of mankind. (Ah, but never fear, the week is still young.)
5 - the number of months ago that the Hubby took family portraits for his sister's Christmas cards in (not near) the Olympic fountain at the Gateway in Salt Lake. (This photo is my favorite - my nephews and brother-in-law at the fountain's highest point!)

1 - the number of books I've managed to start reading this month.
1 - the number of books I'm still trying to finish this month.
3 - the number of times I've lost and then gained back the same 10 pounds since August. It's back to Weight Watchers for me this week!
20 - the number of pounds I have to lose before Summer.
20 - the number of pounds I've been trying to lose since last Summer.
239482380 - the approximate number of photos I need to print out for scrapbooks.
4 - the number of years it's been since I've put a single photo in a scrapbook.
3824 - as of right now, the number of fabulous followers of this blog on my Google Friend box on my sidebar. I JUST LOVE YOU GUYS! Thanks for reading!
1 - the girl who loves to write this blog for you.

Have a great day~



This post is sponsored by Novica.

Have you heard of Novica? It's a fabulous online marketplace that seeks to give artists and artisans throughout the world a global platform to share their talents. As a result, it gives us, as consumers, a wonderful opportunity to purchase truly unique gifts and decor items.

I was contacted by Novica several weeks ago about reviewing their site and their products. After visiting the site, which is associated with National Geographic, I was truly impressed not only by their dedication to their mission, but by the truly beautiful products that they had to offer.

As you may remember, I was looking for something unique to accessorize the coffee table in my living room. So I searched through Novica's home decor selection until I came across this beautiful centerpiece bowl handcarved by an artisan in the Andes. It was perfect.

And after placing my order, I was impressed by the fact that I got follow up emails telling me when the product shipped and the estimated time I would receive it, and then again with tracking information so that I could keep tabs on it.

It was packaged with a beautiful postcard from the Andes as well as information on the artisan that created it. Novica really succeeded in achieving their goal of helping their customers to know their artisans and to feel a connection to the "hands that created" the piece. I look at that pretty bowl sitting on my coffee table as a true piece of art, and I'm happy to know that it was created by hand, not whipped out by a machine.

Novica offers much more than just home decor (although I do have a fondness for home decor. LOL!) They have fabulous unique and corporate gifts, and eco-friendly gifts as well. So if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, I suggest you stop by their site and see what you can find...it's definitely worth your time!

Legal Stuff: I was given free merchandise by Novica in exchange for this review, but the opinions expressed are mine.

Have a great day~


A Little Bit of Valentine's~

I started to pull out the Valentine's Decor this weekend. I thought I'd get more decorating done, but it was one of those weekends where I couldn't seem to stop cleaning the house. Which is good, I guess. Clean houses are always nice. (Oh, and I found a magic way to clean solid surface kitchen sinks that I'll tell you all about later this week...I know you're just frantic to hear about it, aren't you?)

So even though I didn't get quite as much Valentine's fun out as I hoped I would, I decided I'd share a little bit of it with you today.

First up, my cute Vintage Valentine wreath. I was inspired to make this after seeing one on the Williams Sonoma website. If you'd like to learn more, I talk about how I created this little darlin' here.

Next, my Valentine tree. I used the same spray-painted-white branches that I had as my dining table centerpiece for Christmas. I just switched out the birds and book page ornaments for these pretty glittered chipboard hearts. I heart them. Yes, the pun was intended.

I filled one of my apothecary jars with some funny pink vase filler and a sweet little cupid pixie I made from a baby photo of the Princess. You can read about how to make my famous pixies here.

The other apothecary jar contains a sweet pair of glittered chipboard X and O letters.

And just so you know, I've determined that it is absolutely impossible to get a decent photo of this corner in my kitchen....so I'm apologizing for these less-than-stellar images.

Last year, we started a tradition in our little family of writing love notes to one another during the month of February...then reading them on Valentine's Day. I made this sweet little Valentine pouch for us to stuff the notes in. You can read more about it here.

Finally, I'm afraid this is as far as I've gotten with my mantle decor so far. One little heart (although it's a pretty little heart.) But I'll tell you a little secret as to why I haven't done more. I finally got so sick of the ugly fireplace stone, that I was brave enough to approach our landlords about painting it... and they said "yes"! Can I hear a "woot woot!"? So the hubby and I will be tackling that project this week. I'll post about it, of course! And then I'll finish blinging up the mantle with some Valentines-y goodness!

Even though I didn't get much up on my mantle (for very good reason!)...I'm linking to Beth's Valentine's Mantle party...hop over and enjoy all the Valentine's goodness.

Have a great day~


This Week's Ideabook on Houzz: Zebra Print~

Abbott Houston zebra rug

This week over at Houzz.com, I'm talking about wild animals running amock in our homes! Okay, not really. But I am talking about using zebra print in your decor. Lots of fun photos in this ideabook. To read the whole article, click here.

Have a great day~


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

Thanks for the overwhelming response to my Love Notes for the hubby! Glad to inspire you all....I suspect there will be a lot of significant others receiving balloons and love notes in the near future (and that's a GOOD thing!)

Now for the Frugal Round-up from last week....here are a few of my favorites..

Since we're on the subject of love notes...check out this sweet tutorial from Flamingo Toes for a stitched love note...a great idea for Valentine's Day.

Finding Home Online shared her quiet winter mantle. Post-Christmas winter decorating can be tricky, and she does it to perfection.

And check out this EXTREMELY CLEVER chalkboard chandelier from Just Live Simply. I. love. this. idea. That is all.

Finally, McBride House shared her Pottery Barn-inspired mason jar chandelier. Darling!

Okay now it's your turn!

You know the rules...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back to the Shabby Nest so that others can enjoy the frugal goodness.
3. Please leave comments for the authors of the posts your visit. Help our participants "feel the love!"

I reserve the right to remove posts that are not in keeping with the spirit of Frugal Friday, including, but not limited to posts that link to your linky party, your business or that do not link back to The Shabby Nest.

Can't wait to see what you all have in store this week!


For the past few years I have chosen one word to serve as my "word of the year". My sort of mantra or inspiration for that year. This year I was inspired by the quote I shared you with you in this post.

And that quote is...

"She went out a on a limb, had it break off behind her, and realized she could fly."
Kobi Yamada

2010 was a very trying year. It just kind of seemed to be a fight right from the start. And then after John's accident, it became that much more difficult.

But 2011 holds promise for me. I think it might be the year when things come together. When my dreams start coming to fruition! But that's not going to happen unless I work hard and put myself out on a limb.

It's not an easy thing to do...to chase your dreams....to climb out on that limb. And sometimes, just as it says in the quote, once you get the nerve to climb on the limb, you hear a snap, and the limb breaks. But this year, instead of falling with that broken limb, I'm going to strap on my wings and....


Have a great day~

Frugal Friday goes live tonight at 10:00 EST


Love Notes~

Today the Hubby and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary.

We went in together on an anniversary gift a couple of weeks back, but I wanted to do something to surprise him anyway.

Can I just tell you how hard it is to surprise your husband when he is still home recuperating from his accident?

So a couple of days ago, I called and ordered 15 helium balloons. (1 for each year we've been married.) Luckily, he had a physical therapy appointment this morning. So I dropped him off and while he was there, the little boys and I went and picked up the balloons.

A little side note here: when you are carrying around 15 helium balloons everyone you see smiles. I mean really, everyone. Balloons are just magic like that.

Last night I stayed up late after the hubby went to bed and printed out 15 photos from our wedding and engagement. Then I wrote one reason why I love him on the back of each photo. When I got the balloons home today, I tied one note on each balloon and left them in our bedroom for him to find when he got back from his appointment.

I pulled it off...he was really surprised. And he loved it, that old softy.

Then the hubby and I headed off for a lunch date to the Cheesecake Factory (mmmmm good! I highly recommend the avocado egg rolls...oh yeah!) where we ran into one of my fabulous readers who stopped to introduce herself - hi Emily! That was fun. And a lunch date was quite the luxury. We enjoyed some kiddo-free conversation and alone time which made the whole day special, mainly because it doesn't happen very often.

Happy Anniversary Babe! Here's to many more!!


Flower Pins: How to Make 'em / How to Wear 'em~

Hello my lovelies!! I'm in a mood for pretty today, so I'm going to talk flower pins. Oh how I love me a pretty little posy.

I'm not going to tell you how to make these babies, because darling Emily over at Jones Design Company did a wonderful tutorial on how to make them a while back and I just can't improve on it, so I'm going to link to it instead. I am going to say, however, that most of the time I see these flowers with 3 or 4 circles, but I like them to be really full, so I use 7 or 8 (occasionally more). Other than that, I follow her process exactly.

Unless you take this little cutie into account. I found that if I held each section of the circles over the flame, they would pucker up all over. And I think they make cute (and unique) flowers this way as well.

But once you have a bunch of these pretties, what do you do with them? You can add clips to the back for your little girl's hair (or your own, for that matter.) Or you can add pins to the back like I did. Then you can put them on just about anything from a bib necklace....to a shirt....

White Shirt: DownEast Basics Gray Sweater and Earrings: Target
...to a pillow....to a hat.

On the Princess: Jacket: Children's Place, Hat: Target

Makes you want to make some pretty flowers too, doesn't it?

Have a great day~


Create the Look of Etched Glass the Easy Way~

This post is sponsored by Silhouette.

A while back I found myself at one of my favorite home decor stores. (Shocking, isn't it?) While I was browsing around, and getting inspired, I happened upon a sweet mirror with an etched monogram. It was so pretty, I thought it would go perfectly in the Princess' room. I came thisclose to buying it. But I talked myself out of it because (1) the Princess already has a pretty mirror in her room and (2) I had an idea.

The Princess' mirror BEFORE

So over the weekend I pulled out some new Premium Vinyl that I received from Silhouette. This vinyl is fabulous stuff. It's frosted, and when placed on glass it has the look of etching.

So this is what I did.

I found a font that was similar (possibly even identical) to the font used on the one I saw at the store - one of the great things about Silhouettes is that they can access any font that you have on your computer. Then I cut out a large uppercase "E" which is the Princess' first initial.

After that all I did was apply that baby to her existing mirror and VOILA! the look of etched glass without the etching cream and fuss! I LOVE IT! And so does the Princess.

The Princess' mirror AFTER

And have I got a deal for you. The week of January 17-22 Silhouette is offering 2 fabulous promotions.

The first - and this one is great - is a machine deal. You can purchase a Silhouette machine for $225. And not only do you get the machine. You will also receive 2 rolls of Premium Vinyl, 1 roll of transfer paper, and a Home Decor CD. That's a $395 value for only $225.

If you already have a Silhouette machine, don't worry, they haven't forgotten you. They are also offering 25% off the purchase of Premium Vinyl.

In order to receive these great deals simply enter the code "SHABBY" at checkout.

So get yourself some frosted vinyl and try creating the look of etched glass the easy way!
The legal stuff: I am an affiliate for Silhouette. I was given premium vinyl to try free of charge.



Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday! Last week's party had so many inpsirational posts, I had a really hard to limiting them to just a few to share in my Frugal Round-up.

That said, here is just a smattering of all the frugal goodness from last week's party...

First up, Maple and Magnolia shared her fabulous writing desk and chair makeover.

Primitive and Proper linked to her clever chalkboard armoire makeover....I love this idea!

See a beautiful bathroom stencilling makeover at Isabella and Max Rooms.

Pine Cone Prim shared a darling sleepout-porch-turned-bedroom makeover.

Love this mudroom makeover at Simple Beautiful Home.

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 to the Shabby Nest so that others can enjoy the frugal goodness.
3. Please leave comments for the authors of the posts you visit. Help our participants feel the love.

I reserve the right to remove any links that are not in keeping with the spirit of Frugal Friday including but not limited to those that link to your own linky party, those that link to your business, or those that promote personal interests or businesses. Let's all play fair, mmmkay.


Living Room Progress - a mini reveal~

First, let me start by thanking you all for your kind comments on my new haircut! You sure now how to make a girl feel cute!
We have been making progress on our living room redo...and I am really loving the results so far.
Every time I post about a room redo in our house, I feel the need to preface it by saying that we are living in a rental house right now. We cannot paint the walls, we cannot alter the house. So I have to work with the raw material that was here. I would definitely repaint if I could.


But that said, I'm happy with how the living room is coming together. Over the weekend we painted the dresser, painted the rehabbed console white - this was a subject of much debate between the hubby and myself - and moved it behind the sofa (what a creative place for a console table, huh?) We also began adding in some touches of blue. The room is still in need of some styling and some accessories, not to mention something substantial to replace the console under the large charcoal (we're thinking a bench is in order) but here is a look at how it's coming together so far.


I just noticed that I didn't actually include a picture of the console painted white (or the fireplace for that matter - but I have posted plenty of those photos recently)...I promise to post one of the rehabbed-rehabbed console in the near future...my bad.

Frugal Friday goes live Thursday at 10:00 pm EST. Can't wait to have you all join me here for the Frugal goodness!

Have a great day~


Starting the new year off with a bang~

I needed a change. And what does a girl do when she needs a change? (Besides rearranging her entire living room.) She cuts her hair. Come on. Admit it. You do it too.

And so enters the new haircut. Bangs. Lots of them.

Shirt and Jacket: Target Necklace: Children's Place (no, seriously)

I cut them myself. (Hope my hairdresser isn't reading this.) Just went in the bathroom a couple of days ago and decided to give them a little trim. A little trim led to a little more...and a little more...and well, you get the picture. I like them, but I was nervous what the hubby would say. Men can be a little funny about their wives' hair, you know. But the first thing out of his mouth was "I like your hair."
That was good. But then it got better.

"It makes you look young, though." Like he thought that might not be a good thing.

Scarf and jeans: DownEast Basics

Oh that silly man.

Anything that makes me look young is a good thing.

And so I start of 2011 with a haircut that makes me look young. This year is gonna be good.

Have a great day~


Furniture to match my blog: A dresser redo~

I have been wanting to switch up the living room for quite a while. I really, really, really, really, really times 10 to the 3rd power wanted to add in the color blue. The color of my blog...okay, that's not the reason...but don't you think it's nice for your blog to match your decor? Ha! Alas, our rug (which was lovely and in great shape) was all in warm shades of gold, red and brown. But then, as you may recall, the Princess was sick in the living room. Gross. But serendipitous in a way.

We *had* to replace that rug, so for Christmas the hubby and I pooled our gift money and bought a new rug. Pretty and neutral.


Then the fireworks began. With a new neutral rug, my decorating-obsessed self was free to make some switcheroos.

I am lucky to have a hubby that loves decor *almost* as much as I do. He is really open to my suggestions of change. And very helpful as well. So when I told him I wanted to switch around the living room and add some blue...he was game.

Enter this pretty little $25 dresser. Yep! $25. It was an aweful minty shade of green. (Doesn't look quite as minty or aweful in this photo.) But it had pretty lines. And, did I mention it was only $25?!?

DRESSER BEFORE (the hubby had already started removing the knobs...bless him...he's not a blogger, afterall...but he did stick the drawers back in and even took the before photo for me.)

I told the hubby I wanted to put it in the living room...and I wanted it to be blue. He agreed. And even volunteered to do the painting since I am currently bogged down with other stuff.

Here comes the tricky part. We wanted to find the perfect shade of blue. So I emailed this sweet lady who has a fabulous dresser in a delightful shade of blue. And off we went to Lowe's to get the paint. Alas, it was not quite the right shade for our decor. So we had them lighten it to 75%...brought it home...painted the dresser...still not right.

Then I pulled out some pretty throw pillows we had in the master bedroom and asked the hubby if he thought their color might work. A nice grey-ish french blue. He loved it. So off we went to Lowe's again...pillow sham in hand... and found the perfect blue. Cafe blue by Valspar in semi-gloss.

And the hubby (injured leg and all) painted the dresser yet again. We switched out the knobs for some fabulous clearance versions (again from Lowe's) and VOILA! The perfect addition to our living room makeover.

Here she is in all her glory.

(And what French Blue dresser would be complete without a little Le Tour Eiffel?)

Of course...when you add a blue dresser to the living room...you have to shift furniture...paint other furniture...switch up the accessories...switch the slipcover on the sofa...etc. etc. I'll show you all the rest of the changes just as soon as I figure out what to do with the curtains. They are in dire need of a little spruce up! But for now...I'm sure loving that blue dresser!