NestKeeping: August Monthly Recap AND The Hometalk Giveaway Winner~

August was a busy month around here.  We spent it getting a little more settled into our new house, and getting the kiddos ready for and off to their first day of school.  But I did manage to get a few posts up which I think are worth sharing again (just in case you missed them the first time!)

In Painting 101, the Hubby shared some of his tried and true tips to prep your walls for a flawless paint finish. Seriously, when it comes to painting, the man knows his stuff.

I shared some great tips for renters (and homeowners) on how to make a space your own in my DIY Renter's Repairs and Tips post.

You won't want to miss the FABULOUS smores recipe I shared for National Smores Day.

And check out the room I came up with using this pretty outfit as inspiration in this month's installment of If This Room Were an Outfit.

Finally, if you missed any of the great Frugal Friday Link Parties (serious inspiration here folks) you can find them here, here, here and here.

And last but not least, the winner of the Hometalk giveaway for a $100 Pottery Barn giftcard is...
Something Nice and Pretty!!  Congratulations!  Drop me an email and we'll get you set up with your prize!

Have a lovely day~


Paint Chips and Fabric Swatches~

I've been staring at blue and gray paint chips all weekend.  The colors are all starting to blend together.  Isn't it amazing how very subtle differences in color can make such a huge difference in the feel of a room?  Do I want the blue with a bit of gray in it?  Do I want the one that is more saturated?  Do I want a pure hue?  Etc.  It can be a bit confusing. 

Although there are tried and true methods to picking a color scheme (I've talked about some of them over at the Fifthroom Living blog - you can read the article here) the subtleties of color differences within the same basic hue can be a challenge.  And that's what I'm up against.  But I almost have it narrowed down. I think.  So I'm curious, my dear readers, how do you finalize a paint decision when you have two or three almost identical paint colors to choose from?

In other decorating news, after an exhaustive search, the Princess and I have found the fabrics for her bedroom!!  Here's a sneaky peak at what's in store for her room.  It's going to be FABULOUS!!  Seriously. so. excited! 

Hopefully some dramatic decorating changes around here this week.  What about you?  Any big decorating plans out there??


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!  So glad you stopped by...

Last week's Fan Favorite was a post by Saving 4 Six about Unusual Spray Paint Projects.  Lovin' the spray painted faucet.

Now on to my Frugal Round-up:

First up, Crafty CPA shared her Alphabet Magnets...they remind me of vintage typewriter keys...so cute!

Next, Domestic Imperfections shared her laundry room makeover. So fresh and pretty.  I love the chicken wire cabinets.

551 East Furniture Design shared her distressed cabinet makeover.  I love that the piece ended up looking kind of industrial.  (I'm all about a little bit of an industrial feel in decor lately.)

Finally, Fine and Handy shared their spay painted sofa.  As they mention, it's not practical for decor use, but I thought it was so much fun (and pretty funny too) that I just had to share it!

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!"

Painting 101: Preparing the Walls~

The Hubby is a painter extraordinaire.  So since we are in the process of painting the walls around here, I thought it might be nice to have him share a few of his best tips.  Take it away, Johnny...

Hi, John here.  Today I wanted to show you a little bit about prepping the walls for paint by filling all those annoying holes.

I'm going to use the example of a drywall screw that has "popped" out, but the process is basically the same for any small hole, including nail holes.

Have you ever run across one of these on your wall?

This is a drywall screw that has "popped" out.  It's easy to fix if you follow these steps.

1. Take the corner of a small drywall putty knife and pry the plaster loose from the screw. 

2. Once the screw is exposed, tighten it. 
3. Then you want to use the end of your putty knife to indent the wall around the screw.  If you don't do this, you will have a little mound once you apply the spackle which kind of defeats the purpose of all of this.

4. Take a very small amount of spackle (or joint compound) on the end of your putty knife and scrape it over the hole. 
5. Go over the hole again with your putty knife removing as much spackle as possible. You might need to scrape it a couple of times.  You want to get the wall as clean as possible to avoid having to sand.

Side note:   If you put too much spackle or joint compound on the wall, you'll have to do a lot of sanding, and the sanded area will be smooth and will probably not match the texture of the surrounding wall once it's painted.  Plus, it's a lot of extra work you can avoid.

Just let your filled holes dry, and lightly sand them to remove any spackle that is still on the wall.  Now you're ready to paint.

Filling nail holes is basically the same.  Just skip steps 1 & 2.

THANKS John!!  That man knows his stuff!  Can't wait to show you all our freshly painted walls...hopefully soon. :-)

Off to paint...


Around the Web and the Winner of the Apartment Guide Gift Card~

Hi Everyone! 

Been busy getting the kiddos back in school, and starting to finalize plans on how we want to decorate this place (while driving past the hardware store with the Hubby 3 times before we realized where it was- ahhh life in a new town!)

So today I thought I'd share with you a couple of places that I can be found around the web...

Check out my post on how to Brighten Up Your Summer Space (before good old autumn arrives) at Fifthroom Living.

You can also find me at Little Black Dress/Little Red Wagon talking about my addiction to love for Pinterest.

And now for the winner of the Apartment Guide $50 gift card giveaway.

Congratulations Nikol Spencer!!

Please drop me an email and let me know whether you'd like a Home Depot card or a Target Card! 

Have a great day~


$100 Pottery Barn Gift Certificate Giveaway from Hometalk

Happy Tuesday everybody!  Do I have a treat for you today!  Yep!  Because today, I have a fabulous giveaway sponsored by Hometalk!

Home Decor

And just what is Hometalk? Well... it's an online community of regular folks and home improvement pros who love to talk about home improvement. According to Hometalk, the site exists for one simple reason: to make home improvement easier and better for you.

Whether you are a homeowner, a renter or a contractor, you need a place to talk about your home improvement projects. Hometalk has created a network where you can get all the information you need to do a home project right down to the last detail.

The basics about Hometalk:
  • It’s 100% free.
  • Get (almost) instant answers to questions about your home & garden.
  • Search photos and tips for inspiration and information.
  • Post photos and grow a fan base for your own house.
  • Get real & reliable reviews of local contractors.
  • See tips from local businesses.
  • Enter great weekly giveaways.
Hometalk's goal is to make home improvement  accessible and transparent so that people can get it right the first time and get more from their budgets.

To help spread the word on how fabulous Hometalk is,  they are sponsoring a giveaway for a $100 gift certificate to Pottery Barn for one lucky reader of The Shabby Nest!  (Actually, if there are over 500 entries for this drawing, Hometalk has offered a SECOND gift certificate - so two lucky readers can spend $100 at Pottery Barn! So make sure and spread the word!)

Here's how to enter.  Please make sure and leave a separate comment for each method of entry...every comment counts toward the 500 entries!

1. Like Hometalk on Facebook, then leave a comment here.

Optional Extra Entries...

2. Join Hometalk (remember it's 100% FREE) and leave a comment here.
3. Follow the Shabby Nest.
4. Facebook, blog or tweet about this giveaway!

This giveaway is open until next Tuesday, August 30 at 11:59 PM MST.  Good luck!!

This post was sponsored by Hometalk.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Crafting With the Stars~

Happy Monday Mornin'!!

Today is the official last day of summer for my crew.  Tomorrow morning it's back to the books!  I have to tell you...I'm excited.  Not so much because I want to get my kids out of my hair - but since we moved to a new house during the summer, my poor kiddos have been a little lacking in the friend department.  I'm so excited for them to meet some more kids!  Hopefully, they will make a whole group of new amigos.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyhoo, I'm sure as you can guess from the title of my post, I'm not here to write about the kiddos friends (or lack thereof.)  Nope.  Today I'm here to tell you that I have been asked to be a potential "star" on the 3rd season of Crafting with the Stars! (That's a super fun crafting competition here in the blogosphere hosted by Sew Dang Cute.)  And what that means, is that I have the chance to "mentor" one of the competitors in the competition.

But, right now, all I have is a chance to be a "star" and "mentor".  In order to actually be chosen for this honor, I have to get YOUR votes!  That's right kids!  There are 19 potential "stars" and only 12 slots.  So PLEASE hop on over to Sew Dang Cute, and vote for me!  She did the list in alphabetical order, so I'm at the very bottom.  So don't miss me! LOL!  You can only vote once, but you can vote for five candidates, and they are all impressive...so even with 5 votes, it'll be a tough decision!  (I'd sure love it if you include me in your choices though!)

So please hop on over and vote



Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

Seems like everyone liked the larger thumbnails from last week (myself included), so they are staying!

Now on to the fun...

Last week's fan favorite was a fabulous DIY art piece made from a "MacGyvered palette" by Kelly Simon Says.

And my Frugal Round-up...

Another fabulous work of DIY art (including a tutorial) was shared by Salvage Savvy.

Tiffany at LemonTree Creations shared her daughter's adorable Pinwheels and Polka-dots birthday party.  You'll have to click over to see the Starburst candy pinwheels...I'm gonna have to try those!

In My Own Style shared a fresh and pretty bathroom makeover.  Lovin' the board and batten treatment in this room!

Finally, I love all the different uses for palettes that have been floating around the internets of late...but this shelf by Painted Home had me at "hello".  Love it!

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!"

Entry Way Dilemma~

The layout of the entryway in our new home is such that it actually connects the front door and the entry from the garage.  Because of that, I want to create a space that functions like a mudroom, but I want it to be quite attractive because it is the first thing that someone sees when entering the house.

I love this entry from Pottery Barn.  I love the gallery wall, the eclectic feel and the fact that it has a little bit of a rustic edge to it.  Functionally, it could really use some hooks for jackets (where would those go?) and somewhere for shoes, but the baskets would make great storage for the kiddos school papers etc.

Then there is this lovely mudroom that I found on Houzz.com.  Although I'm in love with the ladder, it would be an accident waiting to happen in my house with 4 kiddos (especially with my 2 little boys..oy!) and because we are renting this house, we couldn't do a built-in per se, but the hubby can easily recreate a similar look that we would be able to take with us when we  move.
Mud Room traditional laundry room
traditional laundry room design by minneapolis architect Charlie Simmons - Charlie & Co. Design

My feeling is that even though I love the eclectic-ness of the PB space, the functionality and clean lines of the other mudroom would probably work better in my house

What's your opinion?  Eclectic?  Traditional?  I'm interested to know.

Frugal Friday goes live tonight at 8 MST.


Apartment Guide: DIY Renter Repairs and Tips & A Giveaway~

This post is sponsored by Apartment Guide.

Happy Monday everyone!

The Giveaway is Now Closed.

Remember a week or so ago when I mentioned that I was involved in Apartment Guide's DIY Renter Repairs and Tips Bloggers Challenge?  Well, today I have a few great tips for you on how to make a rental into a home - and a giveaway from Apartment Guide as well!

I have been on both ends of the spectrum.  I have been a renter and I have been a home owner.  Currently, we are renting the home we live in.  And although home ownership allows you certain freedoms to make changes that renting doesn't allow, my belief is that it is important to make ANY PLACE that you live into a comfortable home.  After all, your home is your haven, your escape from the world, and it should be an inviting to place to come home to, it should be a retreat!

That said, here a few easy, cost-effective tips for making a rental home your own - all of which are reversible when the time comes for you to move out.

(My little disclaimer:  please stay within the confines of your rental contract.  Make sure that anything you do will not get you in trouble with your landlord.)

1. Paint.  Okay, I can hear a collective groan.  I realize that not all rental contracts allow for painting and I'll give you some alternatives in a minute.  But if your contract allows it - and don't be afraid to ask, the worst they can do is say "no" - painting is a super quick and easy way to make a space your own.

2. Gift Wrap Your Walls.  No, I don't mean putting up wallpaper.  But if you have a fairly small wall space to cover, using a staple gun to attach gift wrap or even fabric to a wall can go a long way toward personalizing a space.  You can read about how I did this here.

3. Use adhesive vinyl.  In my last rental house, I wanted a chalkboard wall in the worst way...but we weren't allowed to paint.  So I purchased a few rolls of adhesive vinyl chalkboard and put it up on the wall.  I got my chalkboard and when we moved, it came off clean as a whistle.

4. Personalize your Lighting.  One way to accomplish this is to change out the light fixtures.  This is only as expensive as purchasing the light fixture you want - and possibly hiring an electrician to do the job if you don't know how (I don't want anyone electrocuting themselves).   And you can replace the old light fixtures when you move.

Another way to do this is to add wall sconces.  They don't require hard wiring but can add loads of personality.  And I just want you to know that I am well aware that the cords look TERRIBLE in the photo I am showing you from the Princess' new bedroom...but we are repainting the entire room, so I haven't put up the cord casings yet - and they will be against a white wall anyway which will minimize the look.  Just sayin'.

5. Add Curtains.  This might seem like a no brainer to some of you.  But, I also know that a lot of people hesitate to put tons of effort into decorating a place that is not "theirs".  Let me just say that the fact that you don't own a place, doesn't mean that it's not "yours".  You live there.  Having a  place that is pleasant and attractive to live is an investment in yourself. 

So check out this before and after.  Here is my dining room without curtains.   It's a pretty room (and undecorated and messy, sorry).  But it lacks the feeling of being finished.

Here it is with the addition of curtains.  WOW! What a difference.  It's still not technically finished being decorated, but those curtains go a long way toward making it feel like "home".  Not to mention the fact that they offer some needed - albeit faux - architectural interest.

So, my dear readers, whether you rent or own is not the point.  It's the thought and effort that you put into making a space your own that really matters.  I hope that these tips help to get you thinking about the different ways that you can make any space that you live in your own.

Now today, Apartment Guide is offering one reader of The Shabby Nest  a $50 gift card to Home Depot or Target (winner's choice!) to help you get started making your space your own.  There are a few ways you can enter for a chance to win...

1. Follow Apartment Guide on Twitter then come back and leave me a comment.
2. Like Apartment Guide on Facebook then come back and leave me a comment.
3. Mention this giveaway on your blog, twitter, or facebook... please leave a separate comment for each thing you do.

And thank you to  Apartment Guide for inviting me to take part in this Blogger's Challenge. Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide will help point you in the right direction. Apartment Guide has tips on how to update and make repairs at home whether you are in a large or small space. It’s helpful information no matter where you live.

Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “DIY Renter Repairs and Tips” Blogger Challenge.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “DIY Renter Repairs and Tips” Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source 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.


Frugal Friday~

Howdy Folks!!

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!  Lots of goodness in Frugal Friday land last week.  Let's get right down to the fun stuff, shall we?

Last week's Fan Favorite was one that I had chosen to feature this week anyway, and then realized it was the overwhelming Fan Favorite from last week.  This fabulous kitchen tranformation from Pink Postcard was achieved with a little white paint and a lot of elbow grease.  Love. it. too. much!

Now for my Frugal Round-up...

Design, Dining + Diapers shared her beautiful modern nursery makeover.  I just love the color combo in this room.  Perfection.

Domestic Imperfection shared her amazing $10 dumpster rocker makeover.  Love the fresh and pretty result.

December Skye shared her ruffled shower curtain.  Love the fact that it combines both ruffles AND stripes.  Mm, mm  good!

Finally, Chrissie's Collections shared her fun dresser rehab.  I love this redo for a number of reasons...pretty color, pretty knobs, pretty fabric in the drawers and the fact that she named the dresser Mr. Peabody.  Anybody that names their furniture is alright in my book!

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!"

A Little Bit at a Time~

We've been in this house for over a month now, and to be honest, not much has gotten done decorating wise.  (At least most of the boxes are empty though.) And if I'm going to be completely honest, it's driving me a bit crazy.  I'm kind of one of those "get it done yesterday" types.  But we've had family in town, and next week is the kids' last week of summer vacation.  So I've been trying to take it easy.  That's also why I've been a bit scarce on the old blog.  Trying to help my littles enjoy summer in a new neighborhood.  It can be a bit challenging without all their old friends to hang out with.

So next week we're going to play and play hard!  I'm going to make sure the kiddos live it up for their last week of vacation.  And then, when they're all back at school...I'll be able to get to all my million-and-one projects.  My to-do list is quite literally pages long.  But I'm so excited! And  hope you'll all tune in to see what I have up my sleeve for this place.

I actually did get the bookshelf arranged and one of our art pieces on the wall, however.  (Pats herself on the back.)  Don't you find bookshelf arranging to be a bit challenging?  I've written about beautifying your bookshelves before...and there are lots of "rules" to follow to make your bookshelves look more appealing.  But this time around I decided to try loosely arranging the books by color.  I kind of like it.  We'll see how long it lasts. ;-)

Frugal Friday goes live tonight at 8 MST.  See y'all then!


National S'mores Day~

Tomorrow is National S'mores Day!  And any holiday that involves chocolate is a good one in my book. 

Last year my little family celebrated National S'mores Day by making some of the most amazing s'mores ev-ah! 

So this year, I thought I'd share that fabulous recipe with you all again...it's definitely worth repeating.

Strawberry Banana S'mores

12 graham cracker boards
6 ounces milk chocolate
12 large marshmallows, cut in half crosswise
6 large strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 large banana, thinly sliced on the diagonal
12 teaspoons strawberry preserves

1. Break each graham cracker in half along perforation to form 2 squares.
2. Place 12 of the squares on a flat work surface. Layer a 1/2-ounce piece of chocolate and 2 marshmallow halves on each cracker. In batches of 4, place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 15 seconds, until marshmallows puff up.
3. Place a few strawberry slices and a banana slice on top of each square. Spread 1 teaspoon of preserves on one side of each remaining graham cracker and place, preserve-side down, over fruit. Press down gently; serve immediately.

(recipe from Family Circle)

Enjoy National S'mores Day!!


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday! 

I apologize again for the teeny-tiny thumbnails in last week's post.  To make up for it, I'm trying thumbnails that are bigger than the ones I normally use.  Let me know how you all like them.

And now for the fun stuff...

The winner of last week's FAN FAVORITE was Decor to Adore and her darling Gift Card Holders.  Such a cute and clever idea!

Now for my Frugal Round-up...

First up, I thought the Paint Sample Coasters shared by Crafty CPA were adorable...and the perfect addition to any DIYer's party!

Next, Twice Lovely shared her Fireman's Dresser.  Such a cute idea for a boy's bedroom...love those knobs!

French Country Cottage shared her backyard makeover.  Could not believe she got this stuff at KMart...especially those French Bistro Chairs...Holy Cow!

Jilly and Mia created a fabulous industrial dresser.  I love this look!

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!"