2.24.2015

renest life / everything happens for a reason

if there's any mantra i have for my life, it's the one you see as the title of this post.

everything happens for a reason.

i adopted this a long time ago, not surprisingly out of a need to try and explain and rationalize why things in my life were happening. not that it was anything terrible or earth shattering, but when you're hurting or struggling or exuberantly happy or when someone comes into your life by chance, it helps me to go back to these words to remember that there's a higher power at play. 

i had one of these moments about a month ago. and, i promise you, there's not a day that's gone by since that i haven't thought about the glorious angel that walked into my life by chance. 

for privacy's sake, no names will be revealed. but i think it's important to share this story because it was a classic time in my life as a mama: i was busy, i had a million and one things to do, i'm sure one of my children was coming down with something, i had five loads of laundry that needed folding, bills had to be paid. i know there's many of us that go through every day of our lives with our minds going a thousand miles an hour, so as to not forget anything. don't let anything slip through the cracks. it's so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day that when someone crosses your path and helps you re-evaluate your bogged down days, it's a gift.

it all started with my etsy shop. it was an ordinary day. i had a notification on my phone that someone had sent me a conversation via etsy. i opened it up, and it was a note about my "you are my sunshine" canvas wall art. this woman was asking if i still was making it, and if i could customize it. i replied in my usual manner....to tell you the truth, i get a lot of questions from prospective buyers, but i'm sure their lives are usually like mine: sitting down to order something on etsy doesn't necessarily float to the top of the list most days!

this lovely woman messaged me back within a day. and this is when my eyes opened, and in a way, my world stopped.

she's a mama. a mama who's son has just gotten engaged to a beautiful fiance. and she's a mama who is fighting terminal cancer. a mama who knew she wasn't going to live to see her son get married, much less see the birth of her first grandchild. she was reaching out to me to help make a special wish for her to come true. 

she was gathering special baby items for her future grandchild's room, that she was putting together and leaving as a legacy gift for her son, future daughter-in-law and future grandchild.

to say that this hit me at my core is an understatement. 

i cried. my heart hurt and was bursting simultaneously. 

i happily jumped on the bandwagon to help this mama out. but it doesn't end there.

we started a conversation. i learned she lives in the same city that my mimi lived in after we moved her from iowa to be closer to family. where i had the chance to visit my mimi and have some of my last memories of her when she was still my mimi, before dimentia and alzheimer's really captured her. 

everything happens for a reason, i believe.

in my almost three years of owning my etsy store, and having the honor of being a part of so many new babies' nurseries, this project touched me to my core.

i pray everyday for this sweet mama. for strength. for her, for her family, and for the blessings to approach her fight with courage. i've met a lot of strong women in my life, but this one is up there on the list. 

what did this sweet angel remind me of? to slow it down. to realize that our time is a gift. that every moment with our families is a moment never to be returned. that maybe, just maybe, i don't need to have control over it all.

2.22.2015

the comfy life!

*disclaimer: the opinions expressed herein are those of the author + are not indicative of the opinions or positions of parachute home. no compensation was received as a part of this post.

it’s winter here in the great midwest. and, boy, oh boy is it winter. (example: this morning, it was -32 degrees with wind chill. want to know what -32 degrees feels like? nope, didn’t think so.) so, the cold + wind + blustery existence means a couple of things. you either: 1. you totally embrace the change in seasons and you love when feet of snow are dumped in your front yard and you can’t wait one moment to get into the snow, or 2. your first urge is to pull out your softest, warmest sweatpants, a fleece, a comfy blanket, a cozy pillow, and anything else you can find that brings warmth and coziness and curl up on the couch. if you’re like me, the latter applies to pretty much any day from november to march. 

i was recently chatting with my new friends at parachute home, a newer company that specializes in quality bedding, about all things comfy + cozy. that conversation got me thinking: i have so many go-to items in the re-nest house that i turn to when it's one of those days where i just need to curl up and be. and i’m of course always on the lookout for new ones that can add to my home (or to my arsenal of all things comfy!) why not share what makes us comfy + cozy?

so, in the spirit of the winter blast of february 2015 that much of the country has encountered, grab a mug of tea/hot chocolate/coffee, your favorite blanket + curl up as we look through some of my very favorite comfy things!

my fave warm attire…

the missy from little houses clothing on etsy
i shared this on the re-nest studio facebook page a couple of weeks back, and i’m still just fanatically crazy about the latest littlehouses clothing addition to my closet! introducing the missy, from the incredibly talented little houses clothing on etsy. warmth, style, shape, and comfort. i’m not sure about you, but i love the feel (and warmth) of a sweatshirt, but i’m a little over the boxy nature of the sweatshirts i've  been hanging on to since college (and before!) a friend of mine introduced me to little houses clothing, i was fortunate enough to get my first one last year (thanks mom-in-law!), and was so in love, it made my christmas list for 2014 (thanks, once again mom-in-law!) i love that each piece is handmade to order, and most of all, that i feel like i have some sort of sense of style, while still being comfy in these frigid midwest winters.

the ugg australia cozy knit slippers
(image from ugg.com)
next up in the attire category: slippers. i was never a huge slipper person, but then we moved to northern illinois (and i became a mom), so i kind of fell into it. and, a couple of years ago, i found my faves: the ugg australia cozy knit slippers. thanks to mr. re-nest taking a chance, these are a must-have for keeping my toes warm!

and, finally…just because it’s flipping cold here, doesn’t mean that i can just wear sweats all the time. i still have to head to my 9-to-5, which for me is kind of a blend of business attire with a splash of casual thrown in. this winter, i’ve become a huge (and when i say, huge, i mean major) fan of athleta’s metro skinny pant. they are super warm, super comfy, and an all-around a+ from me. they look adorable with riding boots under a long sweater for those really, really cold days!

athleta metro skinny pant
(image from athleta.com)

my faves for a cozy home…

remember how i said this time of year makes me want to throw on my sweatpants and curl up on the couch? yeah, well besides the sweatpants, a must-have for me is a warm throw blanket that i can snuggle up with. the re-nest house has lots of these cozy throws, but one that is on my new wish list is from parachute home. can you say “cashmere throw?” um, yeah. warmth, style, softness...all wrapped into one seriously warm striped cashmere throw! (be sure to click through for the lovely pics!) i seriously love the look of this (especially with the stripe!) and the color options available. this might just have to go on my christmas 2015 wish list!

what’s a great throw without a super soft pillow to lay your head on? one of the faves in the re-nest house (voted #1 by little mr. re-nest #1 himself!) is the threshold oversized knit toss pillow. no joke, we’ve had this for about a year, and with two boys (and two adults), it’s held up so nicely. it’s the perfect size to curl up with on the couch and take a little snooze!


the threshold oversized knit toss pillow
(image from target.com)
okay, so confession: i’ve become a little obsessed with optimizing the scent experience in the re-nest house. no joke, one of my very favorite places to go is any westin resort because they pump that white tea and ginger scent throughout the entire place. hea-ven. while i know i can’t make my house smell like a westin hotel, or really even like a spa, there are little things that can be done to help make places in the house smell a little better. essential oil diffusers have become increasingly popular (confession: i’m kind of obsessed with the diffuser idea!), but candles are a fabulous alternative too! i love the calming scent of lavender, so naturally, i’m curious about the parachute home lavender scented candle! i might just have to try this one out to help make our house a little more scent-friendly!

let’s hear it from you: what are you must-have essentials for coziness? is it a simple warm drink? a well-worn in quilt (i have one of those too!)?

2.04.2015

it's a bird, it's a plane!

yeah, you know the rest...i swear, writing this, it still amazes me somedays that i was blessed with two boys. these two little guys have opened my eyes to a whole new world of boyhood that i never knew...

but that doesn't mean that this mama can't blend my boys love for all things boy (think superheroes) with my love of making sure that our house looks nice. (confession: i might have pulled off some jedi mind tricks to make it happen, but nevermind about that...)

so, little mr. re-nest #1 is obsessed (i reiterate, obsessed) with all things superman. good lord. one day before christmas, we were on a relatively innocent trip through hobby lobby for my usual canvas + acrylic paint shopping trip, and we mistakenly walked by the metal sign home decor area...which happened to be filled with various superman designs. to say that we stopped and looked would be a tremendous understatement. we stopped. begging ensued. reminders started that christmas was right around the corner, and well, wouldn't it be nice to put some of these signs on your christmas list? more begging ensued. i had to take pictures with my iphone to have a reference to send to santa. and, i probably bribed him with candy just to get him away from that section. 

fast forward to christmas: presents are being ripped open, and lo and behold, sissy came through! (sissy is my sister....the boys' term of endearment for her.) we had a couple of bright and shiny, new superman metal signs from hobby lobby! oh, the excitement to get them placed in his room!

let's just say, i had one idea as to where they could go, + my five-year-old opinionated son had another idea. who won? do you even need to ask?

i had one goal with getting these included in little mr. re-nest #1's room: do it without adding any more holes in the wall. mission: accomplished.

when he was born, i ordered two of the espresso gallery frames from pottery barn kids (18" x 18" with the 5" x 7" opening). way back then, i placed some fun numbers scrapbook paper in the openings, and called it a day. that stayed that way until two weeks ago when i had a brain wave...

and, it worked! i was able to take my frames, remove one of the spacers in the frame, and place the flat metal sign in the frame (with the glass included!) what do you think? (our little superhero loves his new decor!) 














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