The Shabby Nest: A Blog Redefined~

I've been blogging for a long time...since 2008....which is a lifetime in blogging years. 
And I have watched the landscape of the blogging world change dramatically during that time.  
It's been a very interesting journey, and one that I wouldn't have traded.

One of my earliest logos.

Another one of my early - although more recent - logos.

This past year had me thinking about the direction I wanted to take with the blog.  With everything that has been going on in my life the past couple of years, I haven't been giving the blog the attention that it deserves, and I was wondering if perhaps I should just retire from blogging.

But the more I thought about that, the more I realized that I really don't want to retire from blogging.
Instead, I want to breathe new life into The Shabby Nest.
I want to go back to the excitement of those first blogging days when I was filled with passion and enthusiasm.
I'm hoping that my new found devotion to the blog will be reflected in my posts.

My current logo (it's not going to change - I  LOVE IT!

When I started the blog, I wanted it to be a creative space where I could share my love of interior design, DIY and crafting.  Through the years I have changed the focus of the blog to be more DIY oriented.  And although I will still be sharing DIY ideas, I really want to shift the focus again and make the overall feeling of The Shabby Nest more of a lifestyle blog.  

I work as an interior designer, and interior design is my passion, so the main focus of my blog will still be interior design related.  But I also have a background in fashion, so I will be sharing a bit of fashion as well.  Of course, crafting and DIY will still make an appearance.  And everything will always be shared with an eye toward affordability.

It has always been important to me to share with my readers ways they can make their homes beautiful without breaking the bank.  I'm still going to do that, I'm just going to expand on it a little bit.  That said, my new mission statement for The Shabby Nest is 
Living A Beautiful Life on A Budget.

I'm so excited to start on this new blogging adventure!  
I hope you're going to enjoy it as much as I am!
Bring it on 2016!




Thin For You Thursday - A Progress Update~

Hello Lovelies!

I haven't posted a Thin For You Thursday post in quite a while.  So I wanted to check in with you all.  I'll be honest.  These posts are difficult for me to write.  Not because I haven't made any progress...but mostly because weight is a difficult subject for me.

It's scary to put these things out there.   But I'm truly hoping that in doing so, I might give someone somewhere a little bit of inspiration in their own battle.  Whether it be weight loss or something else that they are trying to overcome.

We can do it!!

See my latest before/after after the break...


Simple Joys - The Gingerbread House~

Welcome Lovelies!

Last week I posted about my goal to simplify the holiday season for my family and myself. The Christmas season can become such a crazy race where shopping and parties become the focus, and I really want to slow it down and make it purposeful for my family.

What does a gingerbread house have to do with a simple, purposeful holiday? Well...

Read more after the break...


The Simple Joys of the Holidays~

I have been in simplification mode for a couple of years now.  Life just seems to flow better when the superfluous stuff is removed and I focus on the things that are really important.

And at Christmas time, the thing that is most important for me is spending time with my loved ones...especially my sweet kiddos.

Last year I came up with a short of list of Christmas To-Dos.  And I wanted to share them with you again.

They are simple.
They are inexpensive.  Okay, admittedly movies can get expensive.  
(That's why we almost always go to matinees.)
They are fun for every member of the family - even the teens...mostly ;).

My holiday challenge to you, my dear readers, is to make a simple Christmas to-do list for your family.  One that doesn't involve a lot of money.  One that encourages family togetherness.
Won't you simplify your holidays with me?




Christmas House Tour Sources~

Hello Lovelies!

I wanted to start by thanking everyone for your wonderful response to my Christmas House Tour!  I love sharing Hydeaway Cottage with you!  Especially when it's all prettied up for the holidays.

Today I wanted to share sources for some of the most asked about items from my tour...

Read more after the break...


Holiday House Walk - My Christmas House Tour~

Welcome to my Christmas House Tour!  

I'm so excited to be taking part in this year's Holiday House Walk  hosted by Jennifer Rizzo.

See the whole tour after the break...


A Few Christmas Tutorials~

I thought it would be fun to kick off December by sharing a few of my favorite Christmas tutorials I have posted here on the blog through the years...

First up, one of my most pinned tutorials...Easy DIY Felt Trees (inspired by some I saw at Land of Nod).

See the other tutorials after the break...


Clever Candy Cornucopia~

Here's a simple and fun idea for the kiddos (or the grown-ups) at your Thanksgiving feast this year...

A Candy Cornucopia

This version is incredibly easy...simply take some fruit-themed candy and put it inside a sugar cone.  That's it!  

See the rest after the break....


I Love Autumn~

I love Autumn!   Here in blogland, we run on a schedule that necessarily hurries us through the holidays.  I get that.  We are idea-sharers and in order to get holiday ideas out in time for them to be useful for our readers, we need to start early.  But sometimes I feel like I miss out on the beauty of each season because I'm constantly having to think ahead.

This was the view from our house in New England...Nothing compares to the fall colors there!

Autumn is my absolute favorite season.  I love everything about it.  I love overcast days.  I love the cooler temperatures.  I love sweaters and blankets.  I love Thanksgiving. 
 I love the anticipation of the first snowfall.

Read more after the break...


Great Hemnes Furniture Pieces From Ikea~

This post is sponsored by Ikea

I've mentioned several times how much I love IKEA.  And today I wanted to share a couple of IKEA pieces that I am currently using around my home.

When people think of IKEA, modern-looking furniture is usually what comes to mind.  I am really more of a fan of traditional pieces, and it may surprise you to know that IKEA has several pieces that fit with a more traditional or transitional aesthetic. And, as always, they work well for people trying to decorate on a budget.

Let's take this adorable Hemnes dresser that I am currently using in my little boys' bedroom.  It comes in several colors, but I chose this great navy blue which is perfect for the space and it has plenty of storage for two little boys' clothes.

Read more after the break...


No Fireplace? No Problem!~

I love fireplaces!  Especially this time of year.  They just add such a cozy fall feeling to a space.  Don't you agree?

Sadly, Hydeaway Cottage doesn't have a fireplace.  I'd love to add one, but they are expensive!  So I had to figure out a budget-friendly way to get that "cozy fireplace feeling".  

Here's what I came up with...

Do you remember my cute contemporary console that my dad built for me?

When I designed it, I just liked the shape and this idea hadn't occurred to me at all.
Until the console became the focal point of my living room.  That's when I had an "Aha!" moment.  

Read more after the break...


My Kitchen Window Treatment~

This post is sponsored by Windows By Melissa

My kitchen has an itty-bitty window.  It's cute...in a cottage-y way.  But when I moved in, I decided that it really needed a little something to give it more presence in the space.

So I turned to one of my long-time sponsors, Windows By Melissa, to  create a pretty roman shade.

I wanted to have the shade made a little bit longer than the window, so that I could hang it higher and have the window look bigger.   And I opted for white linen because I wanted the shade to be versatile if I decided to change the color of the kitchen cabinets.  

I absolutely love it!  It's subtle, but pretty and sophisticated which is just what I wanted.

If you're in the market for window treatments, you should check out Windows By Melissa.  I love her roman shades...but that's not all she does.  She can create drapes and valances or even pillow covers.

She created this lovely unstructured roman shade.  You can use her fabric, or send her your own for a totally custom look like this one.

photo via  Windows By Melissa 

I really love this trellis print roman shade that she created as well.

photo via  Windows By Melissa 

And here's one more photo of my cute little shade so you can  hopefully be inspired to hop on over and check out Windows By Melissa!  :-)

I received my shade at no charge, but the opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.  I love Windows By Melissa.



A House, a Home~

You may have noticed it's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything on the blog.  I apologize for my absence - I've been a bit under the weather.

I don't know about you, but when I'm not feeling my best, I get somewhat introspective.  And I have been giving a lot of thought to things over the past few weeks.

I've written similar posts before, but I feel that this is a sentiment that bears repeating.

Like most of you, I love a pretty house.  I love to see a well-decorated space.  I want my house to be a lovely place.  And there's nothing wrong with feeling this way.

But ultimately, what's really important to me... what I really want...is for my house to be a home.  I want it to be a place that's chock full to bursting with love!

As I sit in my home, I've found that the thing I really love about it are the people who live inside.  I love to hear their voices as they play together or yell from room to room. I love to sit around the dinner table each evening and hear the day's events.

I believe that having a home that is welcoming, comfortable and attractive helps everyone feel more at ease.  And I also believe that doing our best to keep our homes clean has the same effect of making others feel welcome in our space.  And I do my best to have my home reflect these things.

But ultimately, I want my home to be a refuge.  I want it to be a haven from the day to day stresses of life.  I want it to be a place where my family wants to be.

And so today, I want to issue a little challenge.  Do one thing today that will  make your family (or friends or roommates) feel loved and appreciated.  It doesn't have to be anything big.  A note...a plate of cookies...maybe straightening up the kitchen.   Just let your people know you love them.  Because, my friends, without those you love, a house is just a house.  It's the love inside that makes a house a home.



A Couple of my Favorite Kid Decor Items in my Home~

Thank you to The Land of Nod for sponsoring this post.

Today I wanted to share a couple of my favorite kid decor items in my home.

I have had an infatuation with the teepee craze since it burst on the scene a couple of years ago.  And I knew that I wanted to add a teepee to  my little boys' room when we moved to Hydeaway Cottage.

In my search for teepees, I ran across this adorable teepee from The Land of Nod.

I loved the black and white stripes and the fact that it is portable and easy to set up and take down.  My boys often carry it to different places in the house and set it up as a "fort". 

The rug in my daughter's room is the Color Static Rug also from The Land of Nod.  

I had originally planned on using this rug in my boys' room as well, but once I got it, I noticed that it had a lot more pink in it than I had originally thought.  It turned out to be absolutely perfect for my daughter's space though.

I really like the rug because it is thick and soft and even though it is a kid's rug, it has a level of sophistication to it that I love in the space.  In addition, the fact that there are so many colors in this particular rug means that it can be used in an entirely different space and look just as good! Since I love to switch decor around periodically, items that can be used in many different spaces are always a good idea in my book.

The Land of Nod provided the teepee and rug to me at no charge.  The opinions expressed about them are 100%  mine.  I love The Land of Nod!



Final Frugal Favorites~

Welcome to the final Frugal Favorites post!

I'm loving this great built-in hall table linked up by Lehman Lane.  Such a great space-saving idea!

Scavenger Chic shared this cute chalkboard buffet.  I love this idea!

Thanks to everyone who has linked up to Frugal Friday in the past!  I'll miss hosting these parties and seeing all of your Frugal inspiration!




Autumn Living Room Refresh~

Thank you to RugsUSA for sponsoring this post.

Hello Lovelies~

Fall is in the air and I'm so excited! I just love the cooler air and the changing leaves...and hot chocolate.  Don't forget hot chocolate.

I recently gave my living room a little refresh for fall.

The refresh really centered around this pretty rug, the Treasures rug, that I received from RugUSA.  I thought it would be nice to add a rug that is a little bit darker than the one that I had previously been using in the space.

I looked at a lot of rugs on the RugsUSA site before settling on this one.  The gray-blue hue is perfect for the colors I already had in the room - tying in the throw pillows on the sofa perfectly.  It's nice and thick and I'm very happy with it!

I moved my vase with the twigs from off of the console table and added in some cute stems with wooden disks.  They feel so autumn-y!

I love the subtle change in the space!  Bring on autumn!!

RugsUSA provided the rug to me free of charge for review.  The opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.