Friday, December 9, 2016

Out With The Old, In With The New: Master Bedroom Updates

The year is coming to a close, and while most say this time is usually the busiest, Eric and I have miraculously found ourselves with a couple of weekends where NOTHING is going on. 

I's nuts. 

Well I shouldn't say nothing. Eric usually has basketball practice to go to, or maybe a game, but the bottom line is we don't have to leave town! We get to stay in Cincy! ALL WEEKEND! 

On average, my productivity Monday - Friday is equal to none. Maybe a load of laundry gets done and folded...maybe. So I cherish these weekends at home, and treat them like mini staycations. Except instead of relaxing and drinking all day, we make giant to-do lists, and conquer the world! 

OK yes, there is some drinking.

Recently, our main focus has been in the bedroom. After a rather vicious slamming of the door, our fan decided it no longer wanted to be attached to the ceiling. Considering I've never been a fan of the fan (ha!) I was all too eager for it's removal.  
As it's replacement, we decided to go with the Merwry 52 in. LED White Fan from Home Depot. I love it's modern lines, frosted glass shade, and it even comes with a remote control so you don't have to get up to switch off the light! 
Soooooo much better. 

A second change in the bedroom is, in my opinion, pretty spectacular. For the first time since we've been married, we FINALLY HAVE A HEADBOARD ATTACHED TO OUR BED!!! The nights of leaning against walls, or crushing the blinds behind pillows while trying to read is over! 
I have HATED not having a headboard. Ask Eric, he's heard me complain a million times. Something about my pillows touching our windows and blinds completely drove me nuts.


This little beauty jumped out at me during my routine Craigslist troll, and a few days later it was ours. The wood was OK, but our bed frame is black, so I figured they should match. A bit of sanding, primer, and leftover paint from our Mini-Awkward-Bathroom, and voila! New headboard.
Since our bed is a California king, and the headboard sized for a standard king, the install was a bit tricky. But Eric's ingenuity prevailed once more, and he was able to attach it securely to our custom bed frame
Is it silly to get this pumped up about a headboard? Absolutely. Do I care? Hell no.

You may also notice an update to the blinds I previously mentioned crushing with pillows. These were the only windows in the house without white blinds, and since Eric was in a we're-getting-this-ALL-done-so-help-me mentality, we swapped them.
Our room is much brighter now, and the white doesn't show NEARLY as much dust as the brown, so that's always a win.

Overall, this space has really come a long way. It's not "done" of course, I'd still like to update our dressers, paint the closets, plus now I'm questioning the curtains. Is there too much white there? Should I replace them for something fun with a bit of pattern? Questions for another day. 

For now I'll settle with this satisfying side-by-side. 
Or how about this one from our original house tour back in 2013! 

We also made some sweet progress decluttering the office. That room was/is a complete disaster, and typically gives me anxiety whenever I look around. At least now it's more of an organized disaster. Oh well..TILL NEXT TIME! 

Check out all of our home improvements, by visiting the OUR NEST page. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Own Your Strong - 2016 Gift Guide

Do you hear what I hear?
Do you hear what I hear?
I hear another round of GIFT IDEAS!!! I’ve browsed high and low to bring you a few of my favorite things, and can’t wait to share them with you! From techies, to foodies, to athletes, and bookworms, there’s a little something for everyone.
Be sure to visit OWN YOUR STRONG for the full article, including links and descriptions of each gift!
Need more ideas? Check out these lists from Christmas past: 
2014 Strong Girl Gift Guide
DIY String Art Projects Make Awesome Gifts
DIY Holiday Gifts that are Fun to Make AND Receive

(Warning, some links might be expired or products no longer available.)
The above products in no way associated with the brand Own Your Strong nor was I paid to promote them. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seasons Change And So Did I

Autumn is upon us, and it is FINALLY cooling down. 
Prior to today, I've been able to run outside in a tank-top and still work up a decent sweat. I don't think Mother Nature's gotten the message; IT'S OCTOBER...START ACTING LIKE OCTOBER! I'm talking windows open, crisp breeze, candles lit, wrapped in a blanket burrito-style type weather. 
Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that's what I'm diggin' right now. 

Another thing I can't get out of my head is this book! 
You GUYS! I've literally told everyone about it, so thrilling, so addictive, and so fierce. I randomly picked it up at the airport before my trip to Arizona last week, and I kid you not, by the time I landed back in Ohio I was done. 10 hours max cover to cover. 
If you've read "The Girl on the Train" or "Gone Girl", this is right in that similar genre. It also may have inspired some of the ladies at work to form a book club. #CoverGirls
"Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll.....GET IT! 

The reason I had to find something to read at the airport, was because the book I ordered from Amazon got delayed (womp womp). What DID arrive from Amazon though was my new coffee table!!! 
Since I was in a bit of a time crunch before leaving for Arizona, our only bonding moment was when I brought it inside off the porch. But lucky for me, I have an incredible husband who had it assembled and eagerly waiting when I arrived back home. For less than $100, I'm in love with this piece. I think it has great lines, is very sturdy, and the faux marble top is as beautiful in real life as I'd hoped it would be. 
It's narrower than our last table, which makes moving around the living room much easier. Plus the white top doesn't show NEARLY as much dust as glass. Less dusting = total win.

Other new ditties around the nest include swapping out all my yellow flower decor, for these wickedly glam dead roses and black branches. 
The Fall vibe is STRONG y'all! 

Lastly, on my most recent trip to Marshalls, I skipped out of the store with this charming vintage-inspired throw rug. With every intention for it to live on our front porch, I could just picture how seamlessly the reds and blues would tie into our hanging lanterns and throw pillows. But like most plans I make, that idea changed quite rapidly. After one day outside, the wind kept blowing the corners over so the whole rug bunched up, and after straightening it back out multiple times...I surrendered. Apparently it's not quite heavy enough to sustain the elements.
So back in house it came, where I do believe it'll be just as happy in the guest bedroom. 
It really brings in some nice texture, and helps break up all the wood flooring. Plus those little tassels are just too dang cute!

I love it when the seasons change. It's always the perfect excuse to update your wardrobe, switch things up around the house, and find a new book to get lost in. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rocky Mountain High, Oooooh Colorado!

"Vacation's when you go somewhere...and you never come back."

But lucky for YOU, we did come back!

Before the last few weeks of Summer ticked away, we were able to squeeze in one final adventure out West, to the snow-capped mountains and cannabis filled lands of Colorado! 

About four months ago, my younger sister and her husband changed jobs, packed their things, and moved from Seward, NE to Aurora, CO. Which gave the rest of us the PERFECT excuse to come visit, explore their new home, while also getting some much needed down time.


Eric and I flew out that morning, landed in Denver early afternoon, and planned to meet up with everyone else at the Beaver Creek Resort. Nestled at the bottom of a mountain, this place literally looks like a fairy tale. I could just picture Belle, waltzing around singing "Little town. It's a quiet village..." 
The main square is bursting with shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, as well as a huge ice rink that's open year around. Everywhere you looked, people were chatting around fire pits, while sipping wine and roasting marshmallows. And the best part? They give out free cookies everyday at 3:00. FREE COOKIES! Like I said, basically a fairy tale. 
Did I say cookies were the best part? I lied. These girls, THEY were the best part. :)


As we've gotten older, our family trips tend to lean away from "rest and relaxation", and more towards "get that blood pumping!". So it shouldn't be a surprise that the first item on our agenda was a day of zip lining and whitewater rafting! 
Picture-perfect, is the only way to describe the view from atop those mountains. I wish I'd taken more (or any) photos from the rafting part, but we totally conquered that river. Nobody was thrown overboard, and we even fit EIGHT PEOPLE into Swiss Cheese Rock!!!!! 

Does it smell like cheese? 
It smells like VICTORY.

While on vaca, no evening is complete without ice cream. Or in our case, Gelato from Rimini. And since this was our 2nd or 3rd time visiting the cafe, and the ever-so-friendly boys behind the counter remembered us, Gelato quickly turned into Get-a-LOT-o.
We actually scored pretty high on the "Get Free Food" scale this trip, I mean look at that cupcake!. Let's keep track shall we? Extra Gelato - GFF #1


Since Beaver Creek is a ski resort, during the Summer the mountains are ideal for hikes, horseback riding, and biking. Our original plan was to ride the ski lift up to the top, and then work our way down. But after the nice lift-man informed us it would cost an arm and a leg to ride up...but free to ride down...we changed our minds.
16,390 steps, 255 floors, and 7 miles later, we made it to the top! 

To reward ourselves for conquering the mountain, we bummed around the rest of the day, had some serious hot tub time, and stuffed our faces with Blue Moose Pizza. Any restaurant that uses paper table cloths, and provides crayons, is aces in my book. 


On Wednesday morning we said goodbye to our cozy little mountain home, and took off for Denver. While in the city we grabbed lunch at Brider, a casual, yet super chic restaurant focused on rotisserie-style cooking. We even scored some dessert (GFF #2) after they gave Dad the wrong sandwich. So so yummy. 

After lunch we walked to the Downtown Aquarium, and hung out with the fishies. I'd forgotten how entertaining aquariums are. Everywhere you looked, little kiddo's were losing their mind in front of giant tanks of sea life. 

No day in Colorado's capital is complete though, until you visit the original REI Flagship Store. This is the emporium of outdoor gear. Three floors, exposed brick everywhere, giant windows, and in the center of it all a legitimate rock wall.
In spite of being surrounded by every extreme outdoor activity you could imagine, nothing tested my nerves like that Jenga match. 

And finally, what better way to take in the sights and sounds of a city than with SEGWAYS?! 
Overall, very successful first day in the Mile High City. 


Thursday morning sisters #3 and #4 flew back to OH, while the rest of us decided to take a day trip up to Boulder. Eric has family living there, and his Grandma always told us to go visit because, "It's full of hippies... you'll love it!". And while I can't say much about the hippies, I CAN say Boulder has personality, lots and lots of personality. 

Before we left, Eric did some research on what we could do, and Banjo Billy's Bus Tours kept popping up. Described as "an old school bus tricked out to look like a traveling hillbilly shack", we were certainly curious, and bought tickets. Let me tell you, Billy did NOT disappoint. We went from feeling posh and sophisticated while lunching at The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, to riding around downtown in this...
Absolute hilarity. Hillbilly on the outside, retro gypsy caravan on the inside. Our guide was informative, entertaining, and a very passionate storyteller. We learned all about the many ghosts that haunt Boulder, the history behind some of the neighborhoods, and even saw the house the creatures of South Park lived in while attending Colorado University. 

Banjo Billy dropped us off just a few blocks from historic Pearl Street, a precious pedestrian mall, home to dozens of shops, restaurants, and also the Boulder County Courthouse. If given more time, Mom and I could have done some serious damage. 

Before meeting up with Eric's relatives, we had time to swing by Sweet Cow, "Best ice cream in Colorado", according to our segway guide. I don't have a lot of Colorado ice cream to compare it to...but damn...this is GOOD ice cream. When we told the guy serving us it was our first time eating Sweet Cow, he put all our scoops on the house! (GFF #3) 

We ended our day in Boulder with drinks, pizza, and a LONG overdue visit with Eric's aunt, uncle, and two adorable little cousins. Under The Sun Eatery and Pizzeria was the perfect setting for our rather large group, and since we had to wait a bit longer to get a table, they sent over a free appetizer! (GFF #4...seriously, we have a gift)


During the day, us "vacation-ers" were tasked with keeping ourselves busy, while my sister and her hubby did adult things like go to work. Today's activity? TOPGOLF. The last time my parents were in CO, they discovered Topgolf, and lucky for Eric and I, they actually just opened one 10 minutes from our house! Imagine a driving range mashed up with a restaurant and arcade, that's Topgolf. The Denver location practically shares a parking lot with my sister's office, so she was able to sneak over during her lunch and eat with us. We ALMOST chalked up another GFF, when the waitress accidentally spilled water onto Eric's lap, and offered us some dessert. But we declined, and consequently forever broke the Get Free Food was fun while it lasted.

As the guys perfected their swing, Mom and I sat back, chilled, and drank some strawberry and jalapeno margaritas. I swear, all golf should be like this.

After Topgolf, we headed downtown again to scope out a few more don't-miss-while-in-Denver spots Mom had read about. First up; the Tattered Cover Book Store. I'm pretty sure I could live in a bookstore, and this one in particular was intoxicatingly charming. Rows and rows of packed shelves, gloriously large windows, and a Dr. Who themed "It's bigger on the inside" gift bag. Be still my beating heart!

Next door was the equally impressive record, CD, and DVD store; Twist and Shout. If I lived in the bookstore, Eric would be living here. And rightfully so, apparently it's one of the best places in the country to find rare, out of print, and import items. It was probably a good thing we flew to CO, and had to keep in mind anything bought needed to fit in our suitcases, otherwise we'd be in trouble. 

Since it was Friday, and happened to be the first Friday, Denver's Art District on Santa Fe hosted their annual Art Walk. The whole street shuts down, and all the art galleries open their doors to the public for free. 
It truly is a beautiful street, and I think I could have spent the whole evening drifting in and out of museums, listening to music, and sampling the food trucks. Out of my whole family, I'm the one who takes the most interest in art. This was an awesome treat, and a special shout out to my husband and brother-in-law, who tagged along even though it wasn't quite in their wheelhouse. 

You know what IS in their wheelhouse? MEAT! And meat they did receive when we completed our night at The Buckhorn Exchange. Denver's oldest restaurant, they specialize in beef steaks, buffalo prime rib, elk, salmon, quail, game hen, and baby-back ribs. You'll also find exotic appetizers such as alligator tail and rattlesnake. Ever try a Rocky Mountain Oyster


Last full day of vacation :(
So what do we do? We channel John Denver and get Rocky Mountain high that's what! 
If you're in Colorado, and even the slightest bit into nature, you should have absolutely no reason to be bored.

Nature not your thing? Maybe food and drinks more your style? Then you HAVE to stop by the world famous, Dark Horse Bar and Grill.  We walked in, not really knowing what to expect, but anywhere claiming to have Boulder's Best Burger couldn't be bad, right?
You seat yourself, order food at the kitchen window, and drinks from the bar. Once the cook yelled "OOOOORDERUP!", we grabbed our meal, found a place to park, and enjoyed the Olympics on their enormous projector screen. Hallways lead to bars, which lead to rooms, which lead to more hallways. Each decorated floor to ceiling with movie memorabilia, antiques, and yes, the burgers were delish.

About a half hour south of Boulder, is the city of Golden. And that is where the MillerCoors Brewing Company calls home. 
The self-guided tour through the brewery was interesting, and even though I don't necessarily drink beer, I enjoyed seeing the copper brewing kettles, and learning about the whole process. Getting to glimpse into the packing room, with it's seemingly hundreds of assembly lines, was probably my favorite part (the sampling room was Eric's). Did you know it was Coors who first innovated the all-aluminum can, making the product entirely recyclable? Now you know! 

As another successful vacation came to a close, we toasted our trip with a rooftop dinner at Ignite. Located just a few blocks from the Colorado Rockies ballpark, we sat under a canopy of twinkle lights and feasted on sweet potato tots, fresh cocktails, and one-of-a-kind burgers topped with "man candy" aka BACON! 

But we couldn't stop there, especially after discovering Denver had their very own Voodoo Doughnut! I'd seen this unique doughnut shop featured numerous times on the Food Network and Travel Channel, so imagine how stoked I was to finally EAT ONE!

Good things really DO come in pink boxes.

Unlike Mrs. Gump's definition, our vacation couldn't last forever, and we eventually had to come back. Colorado truly is a magnificent state, and we only covered a blip of it. There are so many places to explore, restaurants to try, and mountains to climb! 
Hopefully I'll have time to sharpen my hiking skills.

Till next time!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Old2New - Thrifted Sconce Shelves

Things that are currently making me happy: 

1. This video of Stephen Colbert telling the story about how he met his wife. Trust me, it's the most ADORABLE THING POSSIBLE!!!!! 

2. Devou Park in Covington, and the absolutely breathtaking view of the city you're treated to when visiting "The Lookout". 
and lastly...
3. These sconce shelves I saw at the thrift store, left behind, IMMEDIATELY went back to rescue after a day of deliberation, and now am sharing with YOU! 
They're heavy, kind of green, and just begging to be given new life. 
Primer + paint = DONE! 
I love the look of a traditionally classic piece, revamped in a sleek modern color. 
I picked up these matching vases at At Home - The Home Decor Superstore, which if you've never been, you're totally missing out. It's as if Home Goods and Sam's Club hooked up, had a baby, and that baby is a gigantic warehouse stuffed full of anything you'd ever want for your space.
Of course I enlisted Eric's help when it actually came time to hang them.
To finish things off, I tossed a few sprigs of yellow flowers into each vase, and just like that we're done! 
I love having a little sumtin' sumtin' flanking the window, and the pop of yellow against the wall is just perfect. 

So there you have it! 
Was this the most complicated project ever? No way. Does it fill me with joy? Absolutely!
With the addition of our new rug, and now these sconce shelves, bit by bit our living room is transforming into the bright and cheerful space I always dreamed of. 

Focus on what makes you happy people!