my creative bucket is filled!

it's so been one of those weeks. i'm sitting here, writing this post on the day before our little family leaves for a week-long vacation to the beach + disney, and while i would usually be *freaking* out, i'm not. this week has just been that awesome, and i can't wait for what's ahead with our getaway this coming week!

1. i got to ship off another one of my you are my sunshine canvases, to a special home in indiana! no matter how many times i make this design, it's special every single time. i always love hearing how much this song means to so many, and how it brings back so many sweet memories!

2. one of the big things that i can't wait to officially announce (coming soon!) is a huge invitation to join a blogging community for a well-known retailer! there's so much more to share and to come, but i am so honored + excited to be invited to be a part of this great retailer!

3. and, i have a couple of fun shows set up for this summer + fall! i can't wait to take part in the washington street market in naperville in august...then also the november re:craft + relic show in franklin, wisconsin. plus, i have some others in the works too that i would love to join!

4. planning + sketches are in the works for the re-nest holiday 2016 collection! there's more pillows, canvases + banners that are will be going into production in the coming weeks. 

i so love having weeks like this, where i feel like so much of the hard work i put in pays off. it's such a great feeling to know that i have so many great fans and friends who support me and the work i love doing! 


re-nest life / summertime learning + fun!

summertime. i don't know about other parents out there, but the thought of summer, and tv, and electronics, and lack of time in the classroom, kind of brought on some anxiety. all i know is that walking into that first day of summer, we needed a game plan. 

first up for us: ymca summer day camp at the kishwaukee ymca. while little mr. re-nest #1 would be going to day care all day during the summer, we thought he needed something that would give him some variety this summer. we're so fortunate that our local ymca is so close by, and that they do a great summer day camp with swimming + field trips + fun. we signed him up for that.

his weekly calendar. i *loved* getting out my
sharpies! you can also find lots of the same
examples over on pinterest too!
then, it was all about how we make sure that he still is getting in some great reading, math, and creative time this summer. with all of the summer reading loss statistics out there, and with how well he did in first grade, we needed to do something to help keep the loss at bay. our first step: signing him up for a summer reading program. a great friend of mine does a summer reading group through her usborne books + more business, so both boys got signed up! the daily goal for little mr. re-nest #1 is 20 minutes of reading a day; little mr. re-nest #2 has a goal of one book a day (you know, because he's only three). 

next up: i got out my sharpies + decided to make him a weekly calendar. it's super simple....each day he has some key things he is supposed to do - some days it's math flash cards, or being creative, or writing in his journal. but every day, he is to read for his 20 minutes + make his bed....and when he does all of his daily tasks, he gets to add a sticker to our family calendar (y'all know how obsessed i am with our family calendar from paper source!). for every 10 stickers he accumulates, he gets a $5 target gift card. (yes, there's some bribery involved...what can i say? the kid loves gift cards.)

our family calendar from paper source.
it's big + fun for little mr. re-nest #1
to put stickers all over!

week #1! i didn't even have to buy new stickers...
we have so many sticker books + sheets, we're
just digging into those!

we're in week one right now, and he's seeming pretty dedicated to his reading, writing, bed-making + learning! that makes me a happy mama!

tell me: how are you keeping your kiddos creative + growing + learning this summer? i'd love to hear in the comments below!


a #lightningmcqueen third birthday bash!

birthday season has officially wrapped at the re-nest house! i'm kind of happy to be totally honest about it. i love, love, love designing + styling my kiddos' parties, but this year has just been a roller coaster of life, and so it was a little tougher than usual. but, the parties are wrapped, i think they were great, but most importantly, they had fun!

last weekend was little mr. re-nest #2's third birthday bash. we were back in indiana, so i took party styling on-the-road to my mama + bonus dad's house. at first, i wondered how party decorating at another house was going to go, but fortunately it kinda came together. plus, we were going with just a small family party, so that kept things under control manageable. (my mom still made the "i thought we were keeping this small" comment when it came to my decorating, but whatever!)

the start to this party decor was a little different than normal...we actually did a "cars" birthday party for little mr. re-nest #1 when he turned three, and somehow, someway, i had the forethought that we might have a second boy one day....so i saved a lot of the decor from that party. like, surprisingly a lot. 

one thing i really wanted to do was to create + style a backdrop for this party. my mom + bonus dad's house has these great french doors that were the perfect place to set up a backdrop for a small cake table. i ordered a roll of red paper from amazon (prime, of course!) as the start to our backdrop. and, i repurposed some "radiator springs" postcards i had leftover from the oldest's "cars" party! to finish off the backdrop, i made a little different kind of banner....this one had each piece just placed on the backdrop! definitely a fun change!

the other piece i was really excited about was doing a giant #3 as a party accent. i'm so happy with how this turned out, and especially love the paper fans + personalization!

and, let's not forget about the cake! once, again, my friends at nutphree's bakery delivered a beautifully decorated + detailed "cars" themed cake. and, i also have to mention that we drove the cake five hours to indiana with zero mishaps! 

it was a great party - a perfect party with just family to celebrate our little guy's big birthday! 

p.s. and, here's some more photos from the fun day!

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