Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Moving on UP!

Hi friends! We have moved to our own domain and would love to have you join us there. Just click below, and be sure to add the new address to your bookmarks so you can keep up with us!

The Stylish Nest

Thanks! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A more natural home.

I try really hard to use natural remedies in our household. There are several reasons for this, one being that chemicals are icky and cause me all sorts of problems, another is that it smells better to use the natural alternative, and last but not least, our bird. Did you know that birds have very sensitive respiratory systems?

This time of year always brings a lot of bugs into the house. So, I was really excited to see this "recipe" for dealing with spiders. Every now and then we will find a spider in the house. Generally I scoop them up and put them outside, but I'd rather they stayed out. I can't wait to try this DIY spray, from Nature's Knockout. I'm also totally cleaning up our "piles" where bugs could hide! Speaking of Nature's Knockout, I am also very excited to try this facial! I recently met Laurie, who you will see in the video, and she is just as fun and lovely in person! Doesn't this facial make you hungry for chocolate?

One more thing that I have been trying this summer is to mulch mow instead of bagging. I'm testing the theory that healthy grass doesn't get as many weeds. I'm also leaving it longer to conserve water. So far, our grass is looking green and lush this year! I think it's working! Do you like to use natural remedies? What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Woof Wednesday: the vet

Baby the Maltese has had a lot of health problems in her lifetime. This is because she came from a puppy mill, but luckily she has a great vet who we see every month. Baby's favorite part is that she gets treats when she gets home!

"Treats? Did someone say treats?"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trailer for sale or rent.

This fun birdhouse has been hanging around our garden for a few years now. It was a birthday gift, and is one of my favorite things in our garden.

Creating a garden is about so much more than just growing flowers or food. It's about creating a space to relax, smile, have fun, and enjoy the beauty around you.

Do you have a favorite thing in your garden? What is it?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Goons!

My husband and I both celebrate our birthdays in the month of June. Luckily, there are quiet a few fabulous cupcake shops in our city! For my husband's birthday we got an assortment of Coconut, Red Velvet, and Pink Lemonade.

My favorite is the coconut, but they were all amazing. Yes, that's 6 cupcakes for 2 people, but look at them! How could we resist?

Many of my friends also celebrate their birthdays in June. It's a good month to be born!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Welcome Summer

Summertime has arrived in our part of the world. The spring flowers are all but gone, vegetables have been planted, and our city has celebrated Summerfest.

There will be more time spent outside than in, and hopefully some much needed home projects will start to take shape. We need a new roof before the weather turns cold again and the snow returns. We have big garden dreams as well.

Part of me thinks we will be lucky to get anything done at all. There is just something about summer, all you want to do is play outside and relax in the hammock.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Busy Bee in the Garden

It's my favorite time of year. And boy have we been busy getting the garden ready for planting.

The above plant is a Ghost Pepper, one of the hottest peppers you can eat. It has been growing inside for over a year, and finally I felt like it was big enough to harden off into the garden. It didn't enjoy the process much, and no longer looks as full and green as it did in this photo. However, if all goes well, we will have some scary peppers at the end of the season.

So much to do still.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More garden magic!

When you are down on your hands and knees, getting intimately close with the dirt and bugs, you can't help but notice the littlest of things. For example, water droplets. Water droplets close up thanks to my iPhone and Olloclip macro lens!

Click to see any of the images larger.

You know, I have always said "it's the little things", and truly it is.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Woof, woof!

Dogs are the ultimate when it comes to relaxing. Above, Baby shows her favorite position, leg up with tongue out, which of course is an invitation to rub the leg and belly. She isn't shy about asking for what she wants either, that little leg will go up any chance it gets!

We humans on the other hand, well, we could learn a lot from our dogs, couldn't we? Not much relaxing has been happening around here recently. And as for asking for what you want? I'm getting better at that, but still have a long way to go.

What lessons have you learned from your dog?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Currently Blooming

Spring is the best season in our garden, here are just a few of the things that are currently blooming.  What is blooming in your garden?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flowers at Temple Square

Sometimes it is a lot of fun to play tourist in a city that isn't too far from home. Yesterday I took a trip to the "big city" to take some photos for a project, and of course a trip to Salt Lake City in the spring would not be complete without a visit to Temple Square to see their flowers. Absolutely beautiful!

I also visited the new City Creek Center, which is an amazing shopping space full of high end shops (like Tiffany's) and loads of outdoor spaces to relax and chat with friends. It's really a beautiful shopping mall, if you ever visit SLC be sure to check it out.

And speaking of City Creek, there is a Restoration Hardware store there! Oh my head was filled with inspiration and the desire to spend loads of cash on things for our home (if only we had more space for new things).

What about you? Do you enjoy playing tourist? I love to do it, even in our own city.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Maybe someday!

Now that spring has arrived my time is being spent preparing the garden for planting. This means pulling weeds, and what seems to be an endless amount of weeds I might add. So I see gorgeous spaces like this patio and dream, dream that we had a space like it to enjoy. Dream about someday making it happen, and sometimes I even dream that we have a gardener to take care of the weeds for us.

Luckily we do have a hammock, which I think it's high time to put up. What do you dream of for your garden?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Giveaway with Snapfish

This giveaway won't run for long, since we want the winner to have time to create a special Mother's day gift! What could be better than putting together something she will treasure? Family memories!

Snapfish by HP Photo Books (Starting around $5) have special Mother’s Day themed templates—Linen Mom and Letterpress Mom. They are a beautiful way to showcase her favorite memories, and they are a personalized gift she is sure to treasure it for years to come.

We have a gift code for $50 that you can use at to create something incredible. We love that you can create a customized photo book online for mail-to-home delivery or same day pickup at retail partners nationwide, making it an option for even the last minute shoppers.

Would you like a chance to win?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stanley Steemer Giveaway

Now that spring has arrived and we are all in the mood to clean house, let's not forget our carpet! And our air ducts, our furniture, and many other sometimes overlooked areas. Stanley Steemer cleans all of these and offers other great services as well (including restoration services). We can't wait to use have them clean our carpet, which really needs a nice deep clean after so many years of use.

And guess what? We have a $100 giftcard to give to one lucky reader so you too can get some spring cleaning done!

Did you know that having a deep clean can help combat allergies? Allergens often get caught in carpet, upholstery, and other fibers. Stanley Steemer’s equipment and cleaning processes remove more than 98% of dry soil from floors, and with over 70 branches and 220 franchise locations in 48 states, Stanley Steemer services 95% of the country.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

Yes we live in America, and we aren't Mexican even a little bit, but we love to celebrate holidays around here (even when they don't apply to us). We usually eat tacos, drink Horchata, and watch The Three Amigos. However, this year I do believe these adorable pinata cookies are in order!
Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

Aren't they just the most creative and adorable cookies ever? Be sure to visit the original Cinco de Mayo pinata cookies post for full recipe and a video showing how to make them. What about your household? Do you do anything fun for Cinco de Mayo?

Monday, April 23, 2012

The List!

Now that it has warmed up and it seems that summer is here (it was 80F yesterday), it's time to make the list. You know which one I mean, right? The List. The list of all the things that need to be done to the house this year. The big, scary, how in the world will we do it all, list. Yep, that one.

  • Patch or replace our roof.
  • Repair two sprinklers.
  • Replace the shower head.
  • Replace downstairs toilet workings (got a dual flush kit that should be fun).
  • Fix the light in my office so it doesn't catch the house on fire.
  • Replace ugly, icky, 1980s faucet in the master bath.
Phew! OK, so maybe the list isn't that bad actually. One of the upsides of writing it all down is you can see if it's really as bad as what you think it is. Obviously the roof is going to be the largest project, and oh how I wish we could replace our shingles with solar shingles! Of course, the main problem is that instead of doing all the items on the list, I would much rather be daydreaming of being someplace like this:

Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

What is on your house to do list this spring?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Fling!

It's spring, which has me in the mood to fling! Right now there is a pile of books waiting to be donated to the library, a bag of clothing waiting to be dropped off at our local thrift shop, and I am just getting started. Do you get in the mood to clutter clear in the spring? Honestly the clear out bug hits me year round, but there is just something about spring weather that seems to bring it to the forefront!

And if you haven't caught the Spring Fling bug yet, here is a gorgeous room to inspire you. Notice how simple and clutter free it is, yet it looks so pretty.

Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Anatomy of Refrigerator Repair Infographic Click to see full size.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the fridge is the appliance in our house that gets the most use of all. So I thought this infographic was pretty interesting. The average cost to replace a part for the fridge is $43.63, and did you know that 83% of repairs take less than 30 minutes. (52% of repairs take less than 15 minutes). Basic tools like screwdrivers and nut drivers are often all that is required and much of the time all you need are your hands!

Have you had to make any repairs to your fridge? Did you do it yourself?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter. In our house we celebrate with coloring eggs (so fun, we like to get very creative), an egg hunt, dinners with family, making our traditional bunny cake (36 years and going strong) and of course Easter baskets. Even the pup gets in on the fun.
Do you celebrate Easter? What are some of your favorite traditions?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bunny Treat Bags

These are a long time tradition in our family. In fact, I can't remember an Easter as a child when these were not made. Where the idea came from is anyone's guess, but they are a fun and easy way to create a gift for those you love.

Simple sandwich bags, some markers, and a pair of scissors is all you need to create the bunny treat bags. With the bag still closed (the way it comes out of the package), simply cut ear shapes near the opening. When opened, cut across the sides.

Then it's all about creativity! Draw fun bunny faces on the front, fill the inside with Easter grass and all kinds of treats! Easy, fun, and adorable to give (and receive)!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Friday: Bento

Awhile back I got an adorable book called Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches. It has been sitting on my shelf for a few years, waiting for the day when I had some supplies to create cute food. Today I attempted to make a Hello Kitty boiled egg. Note to self, use larger eggs next time! Sadly my egg only had a cute Hello Kitty face, and was still egg shaped because it was too small. Still, it was really fun and it makes me want to buy a lot more egg molds for future egg making.
One of my favorite YouTube shows, Cooking With Dog, has a very good video about making bento: What about you? Have you tried making cute foods for bento boxes?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In the garden

Gardeners are some of the best people on the planet. Not only are they very nice and helpful, but I think that they are unique in that they notice things other people overlook. When I am out in my garden I often see things that no one else would see. Little things, the kinds of things one only notices because of the proximity of being so close to the dirt.

One of my favorite hobbies is photography, and ever since the iPhone came into my life I have been in love with a neat little attachment called the OlloClip. It helps me capture those little things, and it does an amazing job of it too! Here are some recent favorites in the garden:

From top to bottom: details of an amaryllis leaf, ice, inside of a lily, and a sap droplet.

Do you garden? What little things have you noticed in your garden that you think other people probably overlook?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woof Wednesday: Look into my eyes!

She knows she is cute, and she knows just the look to get exactly what she wants. Oh, and she is not afraid to use it either.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Photo Wednesday: Spring!

The snow has almost completely melted, the forecast is saying it will be 70F this weekend, and the trees all have buds on them. Spring has sprung!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March happenings

March is full of fun and celebrating in our house. We might not be Irish (though I am a fair skinned red head), but we celebrate St. Patrick's day anyway!

Spring seemed to be arriving early, with crocus and even our daffodils blooming already. Today they are covered under a blanket of snow! 3-4 inches fell in the night and we woke up to a winter wonderland.

The first day of spring is always cause to celebrate, and I have certainly been planning what I hope to do in our garden this year. I can't wait to share it all with you if it works out. Even if it doesn't, we can all enjoy a good fail.

What do you celebrate in March?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Painting tips from Ace Hardware

Spring is in the air, and that always puts us in the mood to freshen up our home! Painting is one of the easiest, and least expensive, ways to make a change in your house! On March 17th, and March 24th, you can even get a free pint of the new Clark+Kensington line of premuim paint when you visit Ace Hardware. I wish we had an Ace nearby, because it sounds like a great line of paints! Here are some tips they sent us to share with you! Will you be painting this spring?

Color Matters:

Finding the right color can often times be the most difficult part of the painting process. Manfredini recommends you select colors that you are drawn to and compare them at different times of the day, under different lighting conditions. This will allow homeowners to get a good feel for how each color will look in the home. Also, consider bringing home a paint sample to validate how it looks with the lighting and tones of the room.

The Art is in the Tools:

Invest in high-quality roller covers and brushes. Look for “woven” on the packaging, which provides very superior, smooth coverage. For professional grade paintbrushes Manfredini recommends synthetic brushes high in polyester, such as Ace Supreme or Wooster’s Ultra Pro, because they are durable and hold their shape better.

The Right Paint is Key:

For years, professional painters have advised homeowners to use a primer. Now, new premium paint technology means there are paint and primers in one that provide the same professional look, but in half the time. One of these new paints, Clark+Kensington™ is specially formulated to deliver more hiding power than ordinary paints, a smooth, professional finish and superior stain resistance. Available exclusively at Ace Hardware, this paint line offers homeowners a sophisticated color palette of 120 colors that perfectly harmonize to create a cohesive flow throughout the home.

Preparation is Everything:

Preparation is 90 percent of a successful paint job. Cover and protect furniture and floors with drop clothes, take some time to fill holes and cracks with spackle and then sand the area smooth. Make sure to spot prime the spackled areas with paint+primer in one and allow to dry. Next, wipe down all of the surfaces with a damp cloth and apply painter’s tape, such as Frog Tape, to prevent paint from bleeding on to windows, doors and trim.

Paint Like a Pro:

After prepping the space properly, you’re ready to paint. Start by giving your paint a good stir with a stirring stick until the paint is uniform in thickness and appearance. When using a paintbrush, start by holding the metal band around the brush securely. Dip the brush about a third into the paint. Next paint the wall with horizontal and vertical strokes. For a roller, fill a tray with about one-half inch of paint and dip the roller into the paint using short strokes to ensure all areas of the roller are covered. Then in three- to four-foot sections, apply the paint in a “W” pattern. Always finish with light vertical strokes.

These tips and tricks were sent to us from Ace Hardware, we thought they were worth sharing! If you want to learn more visit or stop by an Ace Hardware store.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Friday: Hello Kitty Cake Fail

For our ten year anniversary last month my husband gave me a Hello Kitty Cake Pan, complete with Hello Kitty food coloring to go with it! Of course I was super excited to bake a Hello Kitty cake, and could not wait to do it! Enter the cake mix (my favorite kind, Funfetti). Everything was going well until it was time to get the cake out of the pan.

Yes, I sprayed it with Pam. Yes, I let it cool properly. The cake mix just wasn't strong enough, the cake fell apart. This was just one part of the problem though, because the cake could be pieced back together, which we did, even though it looked pretty bad. Next time the cake will be from scratch for sure! The second problem was all that I had to decorate the cake with was a butter knife. At least it tasted great!

 Have you had any food fails recently?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paper Coterie

Paper Coterie was one of the great sponsors at ALT Summit this year. In addition to the amazing journal they included in the gift box, they also included a gift card to be used at their shop. With so many fun options it was really hard to choose just one thing to buy! However, I thought it would be really fun to make a journal featuring our adorable pooch!

 They have pet themed items, so it made it very easy to put together. What you can't see in the photo is that the collar has a tag hanging down and her name is on the tag. I was so surprised to open my box and find an adorable necklace as a "thank you" for being a new customer.

Great service, fair prices, and going the extra mile? Paper Coterie wins on all three. If you are ever looking to make some personalized gifts, check them out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Frustrated DIYer

The list of things that we want, and need, to do to our home is much bigger than our bank account. I'm sure many of you can relate. One reason we DIY is because we actually really enjoy doing the work ourselves. The other reason is because it saves a lot of money.

However, there still needs to be SOME money involved, even if you do all the work yourself. This is why I am a very frustrated DIYer as of late. So many fun projects are in my head, ready to get done and to be shared here with you. Sadly, there just isn't much budget for things like that right now.

So, I am putting on my thinking cap, and hopefully will be able to share some fun, free to do projects with you all in the near future. Until then, let's all dream of having an amazing space like this one in our home (can you imagine having such a library?)!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Photo Wednesday: Fresh Flowers

While traveling in Russia there were many things that were new and different, but there was something that really surprised me! The fresh flowers! Not only were they HUGE, and so inexpensive for us to buy, but they were everywhere. In the metro station, at the kiosks, and on the tables of those we lived with.

I was only 18 when I went to Russia for the summer, way back in 1993, but I made a promise to myself that when I was "grown up" and had my own home I would make sure that it always had fresh flowers in it.

In the summer we cut flowers from our garden, but in the winter when the garden is sleeping, we have to purchase our fresh flowers. Luckily beautiful flowers are available all year long.

What about your home? Do you enjoy having fresh flowers on your table?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"The Homies"

Apartment Therapy is once again hosting The Homies, an award for all things awesome in the world of home blogs. There are so many favorites up for nomination right now, so if you have a moment head on over to The Homies and check it out!

Some of our favorites? DIY Diva, The Art of Doing Stuff, and I Still Love You. Also, if you know of a great blog that should be on the list, there is time to nominate until March 2nd.

Update: HOLY MOLY!  I just found out that this blog is nominated in the DIY category! Wow! If you would like to cast a vote that would be awesome. We are so excited just to be there at all! Woohoo!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A super SWEET giveaway!

There is a really amazing giveaway happening right now thanks to Simply the Sweet Life Magazine. The giveaway is taking place on their Facebook page, and features some great prizes. They are giving away everything from cooking goods, clothing, jewelry, home security systems, and even a trip!

Entry is simple, just give a like and fill out the form. Even if you choose not to enter the giveaway, would you all do me a favor and "like" Simply the Sweet Life's Facebook page anyway? They are a lovely magazine and I think you will really enjoy the fun ideas they share. They are also a great local company that I am proud to spread the word for!

Hurry though, the giveaway ends on the 29th of this month! Enter here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simple Pleasures

February is a favorite month in our house. Not only is it Valentine's day, but we also celebrate our wedding anniversary. Simple pleasures are our favorite pleasures. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate LOVE.

  • Heart shaped pizza dinner.
  • Heart shaped cinnamon rolls for breakfast (found on Pinch My Salt).
  • Specialty flavored hot chocolates. So simple, just add your favorite Toranni syrup to your basic hot chocolate recipe.
  • Themed movie nights (we have been on a Pirates of the Caribbean kick this month).
  • Snuggling up in front of the fireplace, or in our case, the fireplace DVD.
  • Bundling up to stargaze on the clear, cold nights.
  • Playing favorite video games together.
  • Creating new recipes together.
This year we had fun making Rice Krispie treats with Valentine's Day M&Ms. Such a fun addition to an old favorite, and they were tasty with the chocolate added in too! And for our upcoming anniversary I want to recreate this idea that I found on Pinterest:

Isn't that just darling? What are your favorite simple pleasures?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The DIY Paradox

There is something that happens every so often to people who enjoy doing it yourself. Now and then there will be a project that needs to be done. The project can be large or small, and of course the project is something that you can totally do yourself!

But instead what happens is that the project gets forgotten about, pushed to the side, or otherwise doesn't get finished. It even could have been done a long time ago if you had just hired someone. But of course, why would you hire someone to do something you are so totally capable of doing yourself?

We have a few of these projects hanging around our house right now. I'm sure I am not the only one. Tell me friends, has this happened to you too?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Closet Dreaming

Our master bedroom closet has been on the project wish list for years now. We are lucky to have a walk in closet, however it is about as standard as they come. Just a simple shelf and rod, and not using the space to the full potential.

It has been livable though, but every so often an image of a magical closet like this one shows up in my Pinterest feed and gets the old wheels turning again! Of course our closet is not this large, but there is so much to love in the way they designed it!

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Giveaway: Create a Memory with HP Faux Canvas

If you love making your own art, and personalizing your home just how you want it to be, then you are going to be excited about this giveaway! With Valentine's day just around the corner, what better time to create something to last for the years?

HP Faux Canvas is an easy way to create a unique and special gift that can be enjoyed all year long. You can choose a favorite photo from your own archives, or choose from the Art Gallery featuring a large portfolio of well-known imagery including paintings from Van Gogh and Monet, iconic National Geographic images and more.

What is even better is that you can create your HP Faux Canvas online or in store at a local Walmart and pick it up the same day – making it the perfect choice for a last-minute gift that looks like you spent weeks planning. Best of all, it’s extremely affordable!.

One lucky reader will get the chance to create your own HP Faux Canvas ($20 value)! Keep it for yourself or make something special for your Valentine! Here are the rules:
  • Visit the HP Faux Canvas site, then leave a comment on this post letting us know why you would love to win! 
  • Comment before midnight on February 9, 2012. You may comment daily.
  • Please be sure to include a way to contact you if you win (email, blog link, etc).
  • The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email after the giveaway ends. They will then have 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
  • This is open to those in the USA.
Thank you to HP for providing the prize and information for this giveaway! Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed, congrats to #16, Karen.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Food Friday: Valentine's Day Fun

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite ideas for making the day special. In our house we always bake a heart shaped pizza, and other fun heart shaped treats. So of course these heart shaped calzones caught my attention:

Chocolate covered strawberries are another favorite of ours, so when I saw this idea for strawberry brownie cupcakes I had to remember it! Don't they look amazing?

Heart shaped whoopie pies, to put you in the mood for making whoopie! ;) These are red velvet, but I bet they would be pretty amazing in vanilla too if you added a little red food coloring.

What do you do for Valentine's day in your house? Do you have something that you always make? A tradition that you keep?
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