ladies who lunch!

i don't think i was that quiet about my excitement last weekend about little mr. re-nest #1's school fundraiser, the 2015 ladies lilac luncheon! (want to learn more? please check out the facebook page here!) given this is our first year at the school, i had heard rumblings about this fabulous event last fall, and couldn't wait to become a part of this very special day! 

me being one who doesn't do anything small, when all was said and done, i sat on the committee helping with marketing and pr efforts, i volunteered to decorate two of the lunch tables (more on that next), and i was so honored to be chosen as one of the nine vendors chosen to exhibit for the day! 

i had heard for a long time leading up to the luncheon, just how major the table decorating contest was. i mean, i've seen pics of prior year's tables, and i like to think i'm pretty creative, so i thought "how hard can this be?" let's just say that i marveled at the creativity that i saw from parents and business owners and organizations at this year's event! live butterflies. a handmade replica of a bonfire as a table centerpiece. a handmade peacock. just amazing!

so, what did i do? like i said, i did two tables. one was for re-nest studio, and the other is for my KEEP collective business (wondering what else i've gotten myself into? check out my facebook page here!) 

my re-nest table theme was a total extension of one of my latest obsessions: pineapples. more importantly, the symbolism of the pineapple in the home. (isn't that cool? do you know about the symbolism of the pineapple? please, please check it out here! it's really awesome!) for the table, i did a combo of "shopping" decor in the re-nest house + scouring hobby lobby, michaels and tj maxx for pineapple goods! 

and, i also have to share my KEEP table because it had a totally different look! KEEP is a totally new company (a sister company of stella & dot!), and i love doing a modern, bright palette with acrylic touches look to represent KEEP! plus, it totally gave me an excuse to get one of the heidi swapp marquee letters at michaels and whip it up for my table centerpiece! 

isn't this just such a fun idea for a fundraiser? we had such a fantastic time....i met so many new friends, got to see so many wonderful ladies + had a great time with my own family (a special thanks to my sister, my mom + my bonus mama for coming + for their help throughout the day!)


and though she be but little...

rounding out the month of may in the studio was an amazingly sweet mama who reached out to me about doing a set of custom canvases for her sweet baby girl. i am always so touched when someone finds my work on etsy, and then reaches out to me with the ask for a completely customized design + order. it's just such an honor that people can see my work + how much i love it through my store and trust me enough to come up with something completely new for them!

this mama has been such a fabulous lady to work with! we started talking about where the canvases would go, which led to a suggestion on sizes, and then to color + the specific, very special wording this mama wanted for her darling little girl's room.

"and though she be but little, she is fierce. let her sleep for when she wakes, she will move mountains."

isn't that just adorable?

i got to work with my sketches + sharing + feedback from the mama. and i have to say, she just was a joy to work with. her praise + complements just meant the world to me!

and this week, i got to send these very special pieces off to scranton, pennsylvania for this amazing mama + her sweet baby girl! 


re-nest life / living without peanuts

i'll start off this post by saying that i'm not gonna get all preachy here or anything (or at least try not to!). but i do have this forum and i do have several peeps who check this out when i have something new to share or say, and in the spirit of food allergy awareness week, i thought i'd share a little bit about our family + our story.

simply put, little mr. re-nest #2 has a severe peanut allergy. 

this is probably the scariest thing i have ever faced.

saying that sounds odd because i know there are things waaaayy more filled with dread that i could face, but i fortunately haven't in my thirty-six years. but i will say that when you find out that something so innocent, so much a part of everyday kid life, something that you have so little control over, could take your child's life, well, that's up there as one of the the scariest things i think i could face. 

three days after his reaction.
long-sleeved pjs did a good
job covering up the spots!
it all started pretty simply. it was december 22, 2013. little man was almost seven months old. we were basking in the glory of getting him to try new foods and introducing new foods. i did this with such precision. introduce a new food and watch. only have that food as a new element in his diet for five days. introduce the next food. i was making all of his food. i took such joy and pleasure in making his baby food. 

the day before, we had gotten the all-clear from his pediatrician to start introducing proteins, so i cooked and pureed him up some chicken. very clean, very simple, just chicken cooked in the crock pot with water. nothing added. he gobbled it up at dinner that night.

ninety minutes later, little mr. re-nest #2 was covered from his bottom to his neck in red spots. he looked like he'd been bitten by a million mosquitoes. no breathing issues seemed to be at play, but we took no chances and got him right to the emergency room. after what seemed like forever and every doctor in the ER that night looking at him, it was deemed likely an allergic reaction, he was given benedryl, and we were sent home with instructions to see our pediatrician the next day. a heavy dose of steroids later and he was fine. but it was still outstanding: what caused this? so we did a blood test.

this was the first test where we found out he had "a slight allergy to peanuts." "slight" in this case meant his reading was just above what would be a normal reaction to the allergen. we decided that peanut butter would be held off until he was two-years-old, and we kind of went on our merry way. it wasn't until we were switching pediatricians that some bells and whistles started going off.

i'll stop here and say this: i do not have a medical degree. i try to stay off of webmd as much as possible, and i try not to self-diagnose. i trust physicians. i trust them with my health, but more importantly, i trust them with my kids. but i should have asked more questions. i should have asked for more clarification. i shouldn't have been scared.

fortunately, our new pediatrician recommended we see a pediatric allergist + immunologist. we found a truly amazing one in dr. sakina bajowala with kaneland allergy + asthma center. one appointment with our little peanut (ironically, that was the nickname i gave him when the nurses put him in my arms in the hospital), and we had even more confirmation. we were dealing with a severe peanut allergy. no longer were we "just staying away from peanut butter," but in that afternoon, everything changed. 

the good news is that, as a family, we've adapted. yes, we carry epi-pens everywhere with us. thank goodness, we've never had to use it yet. but i can promise you, i won't be afraid to. we have to train anyone who will be alone with our little peanut about how to use it + what to watch for. it's forced this mama to cook a whole lot more at home. when we do eat out, there are three restaurants in our town that we've identified as somewhere where we can all eat. we read every label. twice. and read it again the next time we go grocery shopping (because even though allergy warnings have gotten a TON better, brands can change their production centers and methods from time to time, which means the labels can change. the very first time i went grocery shopping after his diagnosis, it took three hours. and i cried in the bread aisle.) we talk to chefs at restaurants or we just pack a meal for little mr. re-nest #2 when we go out. sunbutter has become our best friend. and, god bless little mr. re-nest #1, he has so adapted, far beyond our wildest expectations. he has zero concern in speaking up to an adult getting ready to give him food that he doesn't know where it's come from. he knows he can't eat peanuts because we don't know how the little peanut will react. he is so protective. it's a beautiful thing that we have witnessed.

so, if you've made it this far in this diary entry, thank you. no sympathy needed because there are so many families who deal every day with this, and this has become our reality and that's okay. but i understand that if it's not your reality, it's hard to remember or to think about. and, in sharing this story, hopefully it helps shed some light into one example of what and how food allergy families deal. 
little man's first chocolate
sunbutter cup. i think he
likes it!

and, just in case you are wondering what sunbutter is or tastes like, i totally recommend it! (for this peanut butter loving fool, i actually love it more than peanut butter now.) i totally encourage you to check out some of the amazing recipes over at one spot allergy (like the chocolate sunbutter cups....ah-mazing!) 

p.s. you might be asking yourself, what caused the reaction from december 22, 2013? the food processor that i used to make his pureed chicken has blades that i also used to make my daily chocolate protein shakes which would include peanut butter. the blades were cleaned, had been run through the dishwasher, but there was still a tiny, minuscule amount of peanut butter attached that i didn't see that got into the chicken. scary stuff. and one more time: if you made it this far, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this far. i really do appreciate it. 


abcs for a baby-to-be!

i kinda feel a little like a broken record these days....i've been blessed with so many opportunities to design + create totally custom-made pieces that every single one that comes out of the studio is my absolute fave! so, instead of playing favorites, let's just say from now on, these are featured re-nest pieces...how does that sound? because honestly, i love each and every piece i have the good fortune to be asked to make!

this week's feature is a very cool, modern + totally unique set of two canvases made for a special mama-to-be. (she's super special because she's a great friend, and she also happens to be the one person i trust with my hair....you know what i'm talking about, that relationship with your hair stylist is unlike any other...)

so, we've been friends for several years now. she has given both little mr. re-nests their very first haircuts, she made sure my hair was properly trimmed + ready for when little mr. re-nest #2 was coming along, she gave me bangs when i begged for them, and last year, she chopped at least seven inches off my hair when i told her it was time (but she knew enough to tell me she would NOT take more than that off, because she just knew i wasn't ready for that much change....geez, she knows me so well!) 

i had the great opportunity to make two special pieces last year for her first nephew when he was born, and, this year, it's her turn to become a mama for the very first time! so, when her sister reached out to me a while back about making her a very special custom piece for the nursery, i wanted this to be so special and something so unlike anything i've done before. her sister + i immediately went in cahoots with one another, and started coming up with ideas. 

it had to be gender neutral (this baby was going to be a surprise!)

the nursery was going to be benjamin moore's amherst grey (love that color!)

we liked the idea of the abcs.

B. two four blocks from target.com
then i started noodling + sketching, and i was totally loving the idea of using alphabet blocks in this piece, blended with my paint + paper art. i started digging for cool alphabet blocks....there were the traditional ones, and then there were these really, super cool blocks we found at target.com made by B. toys. and both the sister + i were in love with the blocks. the sketch started, which led to painting, which led to lots of paper art, and the final pieces!

so without further ado, here are the finished pieces!

hope you enjoyed seeing this latest creation! i can't wait to see pics of this hanging in this little peanut's nursery!



phew. it has been a month. i'm so overwhelmed + overjoyed + beside myself with how much fun + love i've been shown in the past several weeks! besides orders for custom pieces, we had a very, very, very important birthday to celebrate this month....#thebigsix went down + "everything was awesome!"

that's right, like i mentioned in this previous post, little mr. re-nest #1 requested, oh, about eight months ago, that his sixth birthday party be all things lego. so i got going on my very important pinterest board to try + get some inspiration. then the invitations came around, which i couldn't help but share here. and, then the party.

after #thebigfive last year, i swore up and down that that would be the last party that we held at our house...given the boys + their friends were getting bigger and rowdier and needed to burn off some energy. so, where did we go? energym in sycamore! 

given i was going to be decorating out of my usual element, i kind of focused on a really cool cake, a candy table, a banner or two, and then let emmet from halloween kind of do the heavy lifting for me. y'all know me and i love doing party decor in bright, amazing colors, so doing a lego party was very, very awesome! and, the kids had a great time, which was all that mattered (because i also learned that scotch tape alone will not hold a delicate banner to the front of a table when there are fifteen five- and six-year-olds around!)

so, here goes with the photos....and much love + credit to those who made this possible! 

aren't these lego frameables awesome?!?
such fantastic additions to the party from
i should be mopping the floor!

once again, paige at polka dot bakery amazed me. she is just the bestest!

all of the credit for this masterpiece goes to mr. re-nest.
three hours and a couple of bins of legos +
this amazingness was done!

what's a party without a candy table?
with a custom "master builder" banner made by me.

popcorn! in the lego head! (which means all of our
lego bricks now smell like popcorn!)

i was so psyched about this....the party favors.
a very big thanks to typorific for putting together these
awesome vinyl names + lego heads and getting them
to me so quickly!

....and of course, emmet made an appearance!

the final vote from little mr. re-nest #1 was that #thebigsix was awesome! stay tuned because up next is little mr. re-nest #2's "finding nemo" second birthday party!

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