11.24.2014

The Cutest Thing I've Seen All Year!

My friends, I guarantee this will take away your Monday morning blues!!  
Just watch - it's quick!

I know, right?  

Scrumptious babies, I can't even stand the cuteness!!!!

From the safety of my little suburban US town, it's hard to believe that on the other side of the world innocent babes are brought into this world each day with a terrible disease.



You might have seen the (RED) button that's on my sidebar.  Do you know about this company, founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver?

This is not a sponsored post, I just think this organization is so amazing that I want to tell you all about it, especially as we enter the craziest shopping season of the year.

The idea behind (RED) is to engage people all over the world to combat the AIDS epidemic,  and it's so cool how the organization works.


(RED) partners with all sorts of hot brands (hello, Jonathan Adler???) to sell products like

and


and
and


and


Partners donate up to 50% of the sales from (RED) branded products.  
Every penny (RED) collects goes towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.  


When you're doing your Christmas shopping, be sure to check out all the (RED) products (and other fun initiatives like the world dance party) at red.org.

On Black Friday (this Friday!! Can you believe it?!) if you purchase select items at the Apple store, you'll get a bonus iTunes gift card and Apple will make a donation.  Also, on World Aids Day - Monday, December 1 - Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds from every single thing on their site.

Look for other (RED) branded products when you are out and about this holiday season.  Crossing things off your Christmas shopping list and doing something good for the world at the same time, it's a win-win!

xoLisa

11.17.2014

Tis Almost The Season! Announcing.....




Last year's 12 Days Of Christmas Tour Of Homes was so much fun, we decided to do it again!  

So mark your calendars....
the grand finale is reserved for you on Tuesday, December 16,
and I hope you'll link up and share how you celebrate this season 
of joy and good cheer in your own home!

xo
Lisa

11.14.2014

Ikea Desk As A Vanity Table


Hi friends!!!  No I did not actually fall off the face of the earth......just having one of those weeks where I said YES to way too many things, it's all good but my poor little slice of the blogosphere has been woefully neglected.   I am working like mad on this house, but I did manage to get to a fun project for myself that I thought you might enjoy.

Remember my little vanity table area that was comprised of repurposed odds and ends from around my house? A folding card table, a plant stand and a gold mirror that I had forever became this little vignette....

Since our master bathroom is teeny tiny, I have LOVED having this little area to put my makeup on, do my nails and stack up my books.  My very own little spot.  

However it was a bit deep for that wall; the closet door to the left could not open all the way and this caused my poor husband some deep distress.  And so a year long thrift store search for a narrow console that struck my fancy has ensued.   
It was your typical Goldilocks story - nothing was ever the right size, length, depth.....

....until last week as I was walking by the Vittsjo Laptop Desk at Ikea - an item I have walked by without a second glance 479 times before - 
and it occurred to me that this little piece could make a really cute vanity.  

Pros - Narrow in depth and yet fairly long at almost 40".  And hello, only $40!  Less than thrift store furniture around here!
Cons - more modern that what I was envisioning - and then the weird hanging shelf thing.  Hmmmmm.  

I had all sorts of ideas on how to zhush it up a bit jumping around in my head - 
maybe build a drawer for the shelf - add some Greek key detail at the corners perhaps - 

but after spray painting it white I was kind of smitten with it's simple and unassuming profile.
I found this square tray at Target that is a perfect fit for the shelf, 
and put some of the bracelets I wear every day on it.
It's kind of like having a jewelry display case for a vanity!

The glass top is a huge bonus - no flecks of mascara or foundation to ruin a paint job - 
plus a bit of sparkle never hurts a room!

I gave the legs of my plant stand-turned vanity stool a quick hit of gold spray paint and it's feeling a bit more glamorous too.

The Vittsjo comes with little stick-on cord catchers that you attach to the back of the desk frame.  I despise loosey goosey cords and think those little things might be my favorite part of this whole project. After hiding my cords as best I could, I also busted out the wall paint and slapped some on the visible part of the light cord.  Isn't it magical how it almost disappears?

If this guy ever takes me on a date (HINT HINT) I will actually sit down and make myself all girly.  Remove the paint from my hands and if he's lucky, pluck my eyebrows.  No promises!!!

This whole project including putting the desk together, spray painting it (1 can of white paint, 2 coats), getting the desk set up in my bedroom, and attaching the cords to the back was done in under two hours, including drying time.  How easy is that??

If you are an Ikea hack fan, you might also be interested in my bedroom lights:


Wishing you the most lovely sunshiny relaxing weekend!  Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


11.07.2014

BEST OF // Best of the Nest October



Happy Friday blog world!!!!!!

Are all you One Room Challengers planning a whole lotta nothing this weekend?  I was just amazed at all the design goodness my eyeballs came upon these last two days.  It was exhausting just to READ, forget about executing!  WOW is this a creative, talented, inspiring and DIVERSE community!

In addition to checking out the ORC reveals this week (something like 110 of them between the Wednesday and Thursday crowds!) I also had so much fun dishing about Thanksgiving tables & recipes as part this little ditty:

Today it's Amy's turn at the Blissful Bee.........
.......be sure to pop over after you check out these fab October BOTN projects!

*PLEASE PIN FROM ORIGINAL SOURCE*

First up, Tracy at Right Up My Alley shared her fabulous DIY Large Statement Mirror.
(You know how I feel about round mirrors over the fireplace!!  Swoony.)

This Vintage Gallery Wall by Mary Ann at Classic*Casual*Home is perfection.  Especially love it by candlelight!

Sherry at Sheer Serendipity linked up this gorgeous Drum Shade Chandelier which is a complete DIY - wait until you see what it's made out of!!  

Summer at Simple Stylings shared these adorable homemade Apple Cider Hostess Gifts & Recipe, don't you love the cute label that her assistant did?

And then there is this!  Alissa at 33 Shades of Green is renovating a home with her dad and sister and shared her new bathroom as part of her Lakehouse Home Tour. Simply stunning!


Be sure to visit Pam at Simple Details, Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles and Kris at Driven By Decor for more October features!

THANK YOU to everyone who linked up a project last month.

If you've been featured on Best Of The Nest, 
you are welcome to copy and paste this button on your blog!  

With the holidays fast approaching, I know there are going to be some seriously amazing projects getting knocked off your to-do list!

Mark your calendar - the next Best Of The Nest party is the last Friday of November, 
which happens to be the day after Thanksgiving - 
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28.

Happy weekend lovelies!

11.05.2014

My Thanksgiving Table & A Favorite Family Recipe



Welcome to day four of Thanksgiving Tastes & Tablescapes!

shared her festive table featuring autumn colors with a touch of gold,
 and an unusual and delicious sounding green bean recipe that I am dying to try.

showed us how she incorporated a bit of blue with fresh greens into a Thanksgiving tablescape, 
and gave us her Pecan Cheesecake Bars recipe - yum!

gave us a tutorial for the hand stamped salt dough tags that she used at each place setting of her gorgeous table (so cute, and fun to make with the kiddos!), 
along with a great recipe for a make-ahead breakfast casserole for an easy breezy Thanksgiving morning.

Today is my turn to share some simple ideas for a Thanksgiving table
and I'm so happy you're here to visit!

My inspiration this year was our very own beautiful Massachusetts autumn.
(don't bring up the endless winter.....let's just pretend it's always like this :) )
{Photo from my Instagram}

One of the things that strikes me about our autumn is the way the reds, oranges and ochres pop against the glorious blue sky.  

God is a pretty amazing artist!

This is my interpretation of all the natural beauty that we are blessed to look at every day here in New England 



Without any real plan in mind, my pup and I took a walk around the yard......
...spread out our treasures on the floor.....
and the next thing you know....
this pumpkin centerpiece was born.  The only things I bought were the pumpkin (which I've had on my front steps all fall) and those pretty red rose hips (a $4.99 Trader Joes purchase).

There was a lot of editing to make the centerpiece short enough for guests to actually see each other over the table (kind of an important consideration with centerpieces, no?)
and in the process this accidental vignette came to be.  I love that crazy seagrass, and our overgrown rhododendrons give me those shiny green leaves all year long.  They are great for Christmas decorating too!
I used a bronze metallic Sharpie marker on these beautiful leaves as simple place cards.  
(FYI, use leaves that are freshly plucked from a tree or have recently fallen and are still pliable.  
The dry leaves lose their color quickly, and crumble when you write on them.)  

I don't care where my guests sit, 
but I think it's lovely to have a special place of honor for each person.

No table is complete without candlelight!
Turn the lights down low and light real (unscented!) candles no matter what time of day you eat Thanksgiving dinner!  Dancing candlelight makes everything warm, soft and beautiful.

My daughter Hannah made me this sign last Christmas.  It is one of my favorite gifts ever and I think it is just perfect for the day devoted to giving thanks for our blessings!

We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for about 15-20 people, after my son's high school football game.
I have already started scheming about the menu so I can figure out what to ask family to bring,
and what to make ahead, then go and enjoy my son's game that morning with our family and friends!

The twice baked potato casserole is definitely on the list.

My kids all request these potatoes for their birthday dinners, and when we were talking about the Thanksgiving menu they begged me to make them.  They can be made a day or two in advance and warmed up when the turkey comes out of the oven.
Give them a try, they're sure to disappear in your house too!

INGREDIENTS:
4 baking potatoes, approximately 3 lbs.
1/2 cup half&half
1/4 cup butter
8 slices bacon
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
a handful of fresh chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Peel potatoes and cut into 1" pieces; place in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer until fork-tender (about 15-20 minutes).
While potatoes are boiling, cook bacon until crispy; allow to drain on paper towels and then crumble.
Chop chives.
Preheat oven to 375.
After draining potatoes, return to cooking pot and add half&half and butter and mash (I do the mixing in my stand mixer but the stovetop method is fine too).  
Add bacon, cheddar, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper and combine.
Pour into a casserole dish and bake for about 20 minutes until heated through and edges turn golden brown and crispy.
If reheating, take out of refrigerator and sit on counter for 15-20 minutes before popping in oven, it will heat a bit quicker. 

Crispy, creamy, cheesy, bacony - as far as my kids are concerned it doesn't get any better than this!

I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


Last but not least on the Thanksgiving Tastes & Tablescapes tour is the talented Amy at The Blissful Bee, check out her pretty table and fabulous dessert tomorrow!

xo, Lisa


11.04.2014

Quick Tip Tuesday:: In The Kitchen




Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  
Just throw boneless cooked chicken (warm or cold) into the bowl and turn the mixer on high. 
The quickest and easiest way to make chicken pot pie or chicken enchiladas!

:

Here is my recipe for chicken pot pie in which I bake chicken on the bone, but if you're short on time, try boneless chicken breasts that have been poached and shredded.

:

Check out this blog for tons of great ideas on using shredded chicken.  

:

Shred cooked boneless pork with this same method and turn leftovers into BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.

:

Today Becky at This Is Happiness is sharing a fabulous recipe 
and gorgeous Thanksgiving tablescape 
you won't want to miss, hop on over to check them out!


Thanks for stopping by today!
xo, Lisa