Okay my friends, the quick tip I present to you today is not that flashy, but it's such a good one to know!  My brother showed me this trick years ago and the first time I saw him do it to a wall of my house I was horrified, only to find out it really is the best way!

Have you ever tried to remove an anchor from a wall so you could fill the hole?  
A wall anchor spreads out behind the wall, so removing once can leave a huge mess of a hole behind,
but if you just leave the anchor and fill the hole, the anchor is still visible.  
Oh the headaches of the homeowner.

So here is my tip for you:
instead of trying to pull the anchor out of the wall, 
just knock it into the wall.  

You will need a hammer and a flat head screwdriver.

1\\  Remove screw if there is one in the anchor.

2\\  If the anchor is not entirely flush with the wall (protruding a bit like the photo above), put the handle end of the screwdriver up to the anchor and gently hit the flat head of the screwdriver with the hammer, pushing the anchor in so it is flush.

3\\  Turn the screwdriver around, place the flat head against the anchor, and gently hit the handle with the hammer, driving the anchor through the dry wall.  
The anchor will fall down between the wall and the studs and then you are left with a small hole to fill instead of a big gash.

4\\  Fill the hole with spackling
(this is the one I use - it turns from pink to white when it is ready to be sanded.)

5\\ Sand, paint and voila!  No more anchor or hole!

Easy peasy right?!

*affiliate links used, but I only share products I truly use and recommend.


Best of the Nest:: February

Welcome friends!  Guess what - it's the last Friday of February!

That means two things - 
first, the longest winter ever is almost over!!!!!!!!!
Typically I like to skip talking about the frigid weather but when the salty ocean turns to SLUSH -
(I didn't even know that could happen)
it's time for spring, Mother Nature!!
(Can you believe this awesome pic from Nantucket photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh?  
Check out his Instagram:  @jdnphotography
There are gorgeous summer photos on there that help me to remember why I love Massachusetts!)

The second reason why today is a fabulous day.....
it's time to share the best from your nest this month!
(this is my favorite day on the blog each month, all this fun project sharing!)

This month we are honored to have Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof  joining my co-hosts Kris from Driven By Decor, Pam from Simple Details, Jennifer from Dimples & Tangles and yours truly!  Jenna has some amazing projects on her blog, including this recent chair makeover that I am dying over!!!
You may also know Jenna from the November 2014 edition of Better Homes & Gardens!

Jenna's favorite project this month was her impromptu entryway makeover, don't you love the fun confetti walls?  Thanks for joining us Jenna!
Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

My favorite project was something I have done many times throughout the years....
A cornice board is a great way to soften a window and update your space with a fresh fabric.
I love cornices but hanging them is always a pain in the butt - getting the drill under there, L-brackets - oy vey.
A block of wood and a D-ring make it soooooo much easier, why didn't I think of this 15 years ago?
You can find me here…...

Jennifer gave her chandelier a fun makeover, including DIY spotted shades with this Ballard Designs knockoff!  They are a bit sassy and unexpected and couldn't be more perfect for Jennifer's colorful house.
Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

Pam is amazing at putting together vignettes.  For Project Design she shared her coffee table styling tips that look effortless, interesting and pretty.  (Note how Pam pulled out the feathery greens from her roses and displayed them separately.  Love that detail!)
Pam @ Simple Details 

Speaking of coffee tables, Kris shared rule-of-thumb measurements for living rooms, including what the ideal height is for a coffee table in relation to the couch.  (FYI...mine is too tall!) I love guides like this, which I pinned for future consideration.
Kris @ Driven by Décor 

Okay are you ready?  It's your turn for show & tell!
Share and inspire with your ONE BEST 
art/craft project, recipe, room design or home improvement.

Not a blogger? You can still join in the fun! Enter through Instagram by using the hashtag #bestofthenestparty and tagging at least one of the link party hosts:
Lisa (@lisa_shineyourlight)
Kris (@drivenbydecor)
Pam (@pamsimpledetails)
Jennifer (@jenniferdimplesandtangles)
Jenna (@raintinroof)

Link to your post url, not your blog home page.
ONE LINK per person - the best of your nest! (additional links will automatically get deleted.)
Link back to the Best of the Nest party in your post with a text link or button.

Thank you for linking up your projects, I am looking forward to reading all your links over the weekend 
(What's that?  More snow on the way?  *I don't hear you weatherman!!!!!!* lalalalalalala)

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies, wherever you are, whatever the weather!


Linen Curtains

Last month I shared some progress I've made on our living room this winter.  One of the new additions was linen curtains.  

I have come to love the timeless, classic look of simple linen or cotton panels.

Linen in particular has such gorgeous texture and I love the way the fabric drapes and breaks.  

If you are also a fan of the look and feel of linen, Ikea's Aina curtain panels are the best deal going! 

In fact Joan at For The Love Of A House used the Ikea Ainas in the rooms of the last two photos above.  These are a fine examples of high-low decorating - beautiful antiques living in perfect harmony with ready-made curtains from Ikea.  

I have used 10 sets of of Ainas over the past year, for both client projects and my own home.
(This isn't a sponsored post, I just think the Ainas are one of Ikea's hidden gems!)

What I appreciate about the Ikea Aina panels:
1// they are 100% linen
2// the white is not bright white (despite the website's unflattering photo); it is more on the creamy side but doesn't have yellow undertones.  This soft color works in so many environments!
3// the panels are 98" long and therefore can accommodate tall windows and be hung high, and the length can easily be customized*
4// there is a track installed at the top of the panels allowing them to be hung via a rod pocket, on hidden back tabs, or with rings 
5// the cost, did I mention the cost????:  1 pair is $49.99 
(expensive for Ikea but not for linen curtains!)

Let's comparison shop:
Restoration Hardware's Belgian Sheer Linen Drapery in the 96" length (50" width vs. Ikea's 57"), 
$95 EACH on sale.  

Ikea's Aina curtains, 2 for $49.99

UNLINED:  $190 for 2 RH panels
 $50 at Ikea.

While I love the light filtering unlined linen, I also think lined linen curtains hang so beautifully.  
$199 each.

Ikea Ainas ($50) + drapery liner (+/- $42).

Joann's drapery liner is $6.99; roughly $42 in lining for 2 panels, or use inexpensive white sheets as lining.

LINED:  $400 for 2 RH panels 
under $100 for 2 Ikea panels with lining (excluding labor).

I checked out the panels at Restoration Hardware and the quality of them is really nice.  That being said, are they THAT much better than the Ikea panels?  NO.  Would I notice the difference if you had Ikea panels or Restoration Hardware panels hanging on your windows?  NO.  

If you're in the market for linen panels, buy the Ainas and put the rest of your budget toward some fabulous fabric for pillows (that's my plan!!!)

Next week - some ideas on how to customize ready-made curtain panels, a topic I have become very familiar with these past few years!

Don't forget - tomorrow is Best Of The Nest fun fun fun!!
See you there!


Quick Tomato Soup

Do you buy cans or boxes of soup?  I used to buy them all the time too until I started reading the contents more carefully.  Store bought soups that tasted good to me where packed with sodium and ingredients I couldn't pronounce, and healthier alternatives seemed watery, bland and overall lacking in flavor.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a big winter favorite around my house and once I started making tomato soup from scratch I could never go back to the store bought.  

This tomato soup takes less than 30 minutes with very little prep, and is simple to tweak to your liking! 

olive oil
28 oz. can ground peeled tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic
red pepper flakes
kosher salt
dried basil
ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons half and half (skim milk works too!)

Set a saucepan over medium heat.
Finely mince garlic.
(I like to use a garlic press but on this day my press was missing. 
I'm not complaining because that means someone else unloaded the dishwasher :) )
Swirl a bit of olive oil in the pan.  When the oil shimmers it is ready.  
Throw in the minced garlic and stir for a minute or so.
Add the tomatoes & broth.
 Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.  
We like to grind our red pepper flakes to a finer consistency using our coffee grinder 
so the spicy heat is more evenly distributed in the food. 
 Add a pinch of kosher salt, to taste.  
Go easy because there is sodium in your chicken broth.
Add the dried basil:  
shake a bit onto the palm of your hand and then crush up the flakes to release all that flavor.
Give the soup a big stir and then let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  

Add a swirl of honey, to taste.  
I use about a tablespoon but this is something you can play with, along with the red pepper flakes, to customize the soup to your liking.  

Simmer on low until you are ready to serve.  
Take the soup off the heat and stir in the half and half (or milk).

This cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and the heat of the pepper and gives the soup a hint of creaminess.  

The end result is savory with a hint of sweetness and a little kick.  
Grilled cheese with tomato soup - I mean really - is there is a better winter comfort food?  

(PS - try a grilled cheese on a multigrain bread with your soup, so good!)

Are you joining BOTN on Friday????  
I am so looking forward to seeing what you've been up to this month!

Have a great day lovelies!


A Trip To Vermont & A Teen Room Plan

Last week was school vacation for my kiddos and so we packed up and headed to the northernmost part of Vermont, right on the Canadian border, to ski at Jay Peak along with some friends.
I brought my laptop with full intentions of cozying up next to a roaring fire and writing a few blog posts, and also putting some time into my little Shine Design business.  It turns out we were blessed with spotty wi-fi all week.  So instead of blogging....I skied.  And laughed at my crazy kids and their antics.  And snuggled by the fire with my husband.  And drank wine.  And ate lots of yummy desserts with Vermont maple syrup.  And didn't cook a single dinner or do a load of laundry!!  Ahhhhhhh.  It was heavenly to be away for a while!

I did, however, start scheming about my 16 year old son's room.  When we moved here 4.5 years ago I gave his room a quick paint job with good intentions of coming back someday to pull it all together.
Where the time went, I'm not entirely sure, but seeing as he is more than halfway through his sophomore year of high school, I think it's time I make his space a little more functional and polished.

I'll give you a really terrible before so the end result will seems so much more dramatic!

This is back in his super messy days which he has magically grown out of.  These kinds of photos are frequently snapped by me and texted to my kiddos with sweet notes like "you have a super fun weekend ahead of you" :)

What is staying:  the chalkboard wall.  I know the whole design world is so OVER chalkboard walls but my kids aren't, and guess what, I'm not either.  I like dark bedrooms, I love the smoky soft feel the chalk gives the black wall, and it's FUN.

What I'm thinking of adding:  board & batten to the other three walls, with a ledge for framed sports photos.

Also:  a DIY upholstered headboard.  He has one currently, but it's short and curved and it's time for a new one.
(L) Babble  (R/top) via  (R/bottom) House of Turquoise

I already have two of these babies for over the headboard.

I'm thinking this would be a fun idea for some of Peter's team shirts from days of yore.....

A wood bureau and desk are also going to stay in their current state (unpainted) to balance out all that stark black & white.

Still up for discussion:  the inclusion of a bit of red, the window treatments, the 479 "participation" trophies, and the state of Peter's door-less closet.

Peter is going on another ski trip with his school this weekend and I have a wild hair to surprise him with a room makeover when he gets back.  That means I have from Friday morning to Sunday night to get this teen room banged out.  Knowing how long I like to drag my own room makeovers out (um....the living curtains are not yet hemmed) what do you think of this plan my friends?

I'll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime don't forget that this coming Friday is the Best of the Nest party!  What's your best from February??  Can't wait to see!