8.29.2014

Best of the Nest August Link Party


I don't know about you guys but I'm sad to see August go. We had so many fun times this summer! Somehow we found the perfect balance of staying busy enough that I don't think I heard an "I'm bored" from my girls all summer long yet we we had plenty of free time for ice cream cone runs, lazy days in our pjs, and fun in the sand.
How about you guys - did summer treat you well? I know it's a really busy time of year but did you manage to squeeze in a DIY project, try out a new recipe, or finish off a decorating project? If so, now's the time to share it at our Best of the Nest link party (or if not, sit back with a cup of coffee and check out the inspiring things that people are linking up)!
Pam, Lisa, Jennifer, and I will get this party started by sharing our favorite projects from our own nests:

Kris @ Driven by Décor
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Bloglovin' | TwitterGoogle+

The mini-makeover of our kitchen has taken the backseat to other projects for months, but I started back in on it at the end of the summer. I wanted to bring in some wood tones to warm up the space and decided on a set of hanging vintage-style herb crates, which I filled with both the practical (placemats, napkins, salt & pepper) as well as some pretties. You can see more of my latest kitchen addition {here}.


Pam @ Simple Details
Blog | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Bloglovin' | Twitter 

Pam whipped up a stunning gallery wall with the most beautiful mix of colors and patterns. And can you guess how much it cost her to fill all nine frames? Less than $30. For real. She shares her budget gallery wall secrets {here}.




Lisa @ Shine your Light 

Lisa is the master of lettering and her latest project is one of my favorites. She took a simple scrap of wood and turned it into this beautiful, meaningful vintage-looking sign for her dining room. She shares the step by step how-to {here} so go check it out (because you know you want one!).


Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles
Blog | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Bloglovin' | Twitter

Jennifer added a new touch of glam to her family room this summer by DIYing these fun Horchow-inspired fur ottomans. Check out the before-and-after along with her great tutorial (and more pics of this gorgeous room - swoon!) {here}.
So now it's your turn to show us the best from your nest - whether it's a DIY project, a room makeover, a craft, or a fabulous new recipe, if it's your favorite thing you've done around your nest this August, we want to see it! And when you link up on one of our blogs, your link will show up on all four of them.

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:
Kris (@drivenbydecor)
Pam (@pamsimpledetails)
Lisa (@lisa_shineyourlight)
Jennifer (@jenniferdimplesandtangles)
or upload your "best of" images to Pinterest and link back to them using the linky tool (tutorial {here}).

And just a few reminders:
  • Link to your specific post, not your home page
  • Only one link per person to your best work of this month (August '14)
  • Spread some comment love! Visit and comment on at least two other links in the party
  • If you're linking up from a blog, link back to the Best of the Nest with a text link or button link:
 
  • Be sure to stop back by next Friday when Lisa, Pam, Jennifer, and I will each feature some of our favorite links from the party! For those linking from blogs, only posts that have a link back to Best of the Nest will be considered.
The link party closes on Tuesday (9/2) at midnight. I hope that you'll join in the party! Have a great weekend!
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8.27.2014

Simple DIY: Make a Bed Skirt From a Flat Sheet


While I love to DIY, you may have noticed that my DIY projects rarely involve a sewing machine. That would be because my sewing abilities are limited to sewing a simple stitch in a straight kinda straight line. So when I couldn't find a bedskirt that I liked for my daughter's newly redone room, sewing one was definitely not plan A. But after striking out on finding one I liked, needing to get the room done ASAP for the One Room Challenge, and realizing that the cute polka dot sheet set I just bought from HomeGoods (with no thought of a bedskirt at the time) looked better than I expected with my daughter's new duvet, plan B (aka turning my polka dot flat sheet into a bedskirt) was born. 
What convinced me to take the plunge is realizing that the finished edges around the flat sheet would work perfectly for the bottom edge of a bedskirt so there actually wasn't going to be that much sewing involved. I've seen some great DIY sewn bedskirts (like {this awesome one} that my much-better-sewer-than-me-friend Jennifer made) but when push comes to shove, I get too intimidated when too much sewing is involved. Also, using a flat sheet was cheap and I loved that I would be able to throw it in the wash when needed.

It turned out to be a much simpler project than I ever would have expected and I LOVE that the bedskirt fits the bed perfectly and looks custom-made (because, well...it is!). 
Here's the how-to on this simple DIY:

1. If your sheet is new, wash it first. {A huge perk of the flat sheet-turned-bedskirt is that if something gets on one of the bedskirt panels, you can just spot treat it and throw it in the washer BUT since the fabric might shrink the first time it's washed, wash & shrink it before making it into your bedskirt.}

2. Figure out a few measurements (the size of your flat sheet and the size of your box spring) and get your math on to figure out how you're going to cut the panel sizes that you need out of your sheet. You will need two side panels that each measure the length of the of the box spring (from the head to the foot of the bed)  plus 5", one end panel that measures the width of the box spring minus 2", and two corner panels that are each about 16" wide. If you have a standard height bed, make each of your panels about 16-18" tall. For taller beds, make the panels a few inches taller (the height doesn't need to be exact).  {I was able to use an oversized full sheet to make a bedskirt for a full bed but sheets are not consistently sized so check your measurements before buying your sheet to make sure you don't have to go up a sheet size.} 

Here's the plan that I went with for cutting out the panels for my bedskirt:
When you're planning the cutting of your panels, keep in mind that most flat sheets have a wider folded edge at the top of the sheet. If you want to avoid using the wider folded edge as as one of the pre-finished edges on your two side panels, take that into account. I used the wider folded edge as the edge of each side panel that is closest to the head of the bed and actually like the look of it: 
So that you have the least amount of sewing to do, plan the cutting of your panels in a way that most of the edges that will show are pre-finished edges. With my layout, all I ended up having to sew was a few short stitches to make each of the three pleats (more on that in a minute) and three short straight lines (in pink). All of the other cuts (in green) won't show on the finished bedskirt so can remain unfinished:
3. It's time to get the sewing machine out and sew the few edges that need sewing (or you can cheat and use Stitch Witchery - I won't tell!) along with a box pleat in the center of each of the two side panels and the end panel. Did I just lose you there with the mention of box pleats? No worries - I used Jennifer's tutorial of how to make them {here} and it was super easy! Each pleat will end up looking like this:
4. Once all of your panels are sewn or Stitch Witched up, give them a quick iron before putting them on the bed.

5. Put the two corner pieces on the bed first, centering them on the corner, wrapping them around both sides, and then pinning them in place at the top of the box spring. I used simple straight pins with large heads to do my pinning but you can buy bedskirt pins if you want to hold the panels on even more securely. After your corner pieces are pinned in place, you can pin your foot and side panels in place, overlapping the corner piece. 
No one will ever know if the edges of those corner pieces are left all ratty since they'll be covered up:
And....we're done! The whole project was finished in less than two hours (with a big chunk of that time spent on the measuring, layout, and ironing). I seriously don't think I'll ever buy a pre-made bedskirt again.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! Don't forget that Best of the Nest is on Friday - come on over and share your favorite project of the month and check out what everyone else has been up to! Looking forward to it!
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8.25.2014

Best Ever Guacamole Recipe


Ice cream, lobster rolls, Shake Shack burgers, and fresh guacamole & chips have been the foods of our summer this year. Lobster rolls and ShackBurgers are both newfound favorites but ice cream and guacamole are ones we eat all too much of summer after summer. This past weekend was our last summer hurrah before our girls go back to school and that seemed like as good of an excuse as any to feast on some chips & guac. I've been making the same guacamole recipe for years - it's as simple as 20 minutes of chopping and mixing and it tastes amazing.
And while I'm usually all about taking shortcuts in the kitchen (boxed brownies are perfectly ok in my book), I'm a guacamole purist. Using all fresh ingredients is the key to the best guac!

Ready to make the best ever guacamole? (recipe serves 6)
I'm not big on a lot of spice, but if you want to add a little kick to your guacamole, throwing in some diced jalapeños will do the trick. 

Your freshly made guacamole, a couple of margaritas, & your favorite tortilla chips = happy hour bliss!

Enjoy!
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