a teepee, some books + a gentlemanly reminder

we have a million + one children's books. like, they are oozing out from everywhere in our house. and, just when i thought i had them under control, i paid a little extra attention one day when i walked into little mr. re-nest #2's closet, and there it was. a giant, rubbermaid tub filled to the brim with more books.

and, i started to panic. (just a little, not a lot.)

what in the world was i going to do with them? and, i had massive guilt that there were all of these fab children's books that our little guy had been missing out on.

so, i made a plan. and, it included ikea. and, some decor i had been picking up along the way from land of nod + hobby lobby. 

we already had the super cute orange-and-white striped teepee from land of nod + the navy-and-white rug from there too. but i wanted to create a space for the boys to read, relax + have fun, and selfishly, have somewhere to store the mountains of books!

last weekend, i packed up the boys (solo!) and we headed to ikea. i had my list: nine mosslanda white wall ledges, and one of the white two-by-two kallax shelves. i figured with that much, we could get control over the book situation.

and, then i got out my tools + put some holes in the walls. (that's what mr. re-nest calls it when i start hanging things....especially in walls he's built!)

and, i'm so, so, so happy with how it looks, and how the boys love it, and how it creates this little corner for reading + learning for our boys! (p.s. there's more book storage happening up in little mr. re-nest #2's room too....with pics to come!)

here's the space! i brought in pieces we
already had with some new decor that
finally have their new home!

my very fave piece: ladies love a gentleman. when i saw this,
we had to have it!

isn't that elephant so adorable?

i am so in love with how the books add
so much awesome color to the space!

this was a total unexpected addition: we had
this cool mobile hanging around, not being used
and little mr. re-nest #1 + i brainstormed....
and decided to hang it, and add colorful cut shapes!

the teepee all ready for our boys!


maximizing the mud room

confession: when mr. re-nest heads out of town for work, that tends to be the time when i really want to make some decor changes around the house. nothing major, but just little things....moving something from here to there, or like this weekend, putting up some repositionable wallpaper. 

so, let's talk about the state of our mud room. about a year ago i did some updates. new flor squares. some wall decals. and a cute dragonfly hook from young house love. here's how the wall looked:

i was never sure how i felt about the wall decals. i was looking for something, anything to add when i put them up. so, they've been up for about a year, and i was kinda keeping my options open.

and, then i saw this at target....

and, i couldn't stop thinking about it. or, visualizing it on the wall with the decals. 

and, yesterday i found myself on one of *those* target trips....where you just need a few things, and then you get pulled to all of the other sections of the store that you typically try to avoid (in order to protect your budget!) mr. re-nest is out of town on business, so i thought "why not?" the instructions looked easy, and i had a saturday night with some time to fill. 

so, here's how it went: 

1. first i had to take down the circle decals. that was super easy + the wall was totally unharmed by the decals!

2. next, we measured. twice. the space i wanted to fill was about 64" w x 41" h, which meant i was going to have to cut four panels and match them up on the wall. 

3. we cut the panels. the instructions recommended adding 3-4" to the length needed to allow for plenty of trim space. 

the first panel. i promise i only said a few bad words
when trying to get it lined up!
4. next up was the hardest part of this whole diy project....getting the first panel positioned on the wall, to hit the upper left-hand corner and wall edge. it took a few tries, but i finally got it. ***install tip: the instructions recommended having two tools: an x-acto knife and a squeegee to help smooth out bumps. for me, the squeegee was totally unnecessary - i just smoothed everything out with my hands. 

5. once that first panel was up, the others went so much faster....and the pattern i chose was super easy to kind of fudge the matching up for the seams. 

6. and, once it was all up, i just added back in our clocks + tags to finish the look!

i'm so, so happy with how different this makes this space look + feel! the platinum color with some sheen just adds the right amount of contrast in the space....not to mention, it was a pretty inexpensive diy fix! 


wedding gifts...with a personalized touch

the wedding gift. of course, going straight to the registry is always a great option. but going unique + personalized is always a way to go too....like a truly amazing re-nest fan just did this past week. thanks to this amazing fan, last week was totally filled with making customized keepsake wall art for two sweet couples.

first up, a wedding coordinates framed wall art that included a color palette tribute to the bride + groom's alma mater...the university of illinois. but what was super cool: they were married in mondsee, austria at the basilica st. michael mondsee. can you imagine how gorgeous that wedding was? 

i so love that this piece not only has the coordinates for their very special + amazing wedding location, but also adds that extra layer of personalization through the color palette!

then, i got to do another super special wedding coordinates framed art for another couple who were married at the herrington inn in geneva, illinois. the color palette was a little more traditional, with a pretty + simple tan, white + dark brown theme. seriously, i so love making these! 


re-nest life / our disney adventure!

we went. we saw. and we conquered disney. and, we have lived to tell about it! 

let me go back about twelve months where the planning for this whole trip started. my bonus mama called to let us know that she had an annual conference at the grand floridian in june of 2016. 

that was about all any of us needed to hear, and we were on the planning wagon! 

i know there's tons of advice out there on how to plan a disney vacation (which we totally used), but since we were doing ours attached to a conference + group rate, there were some interesting things we learned about the ticket process + disney dining plans. plus, i have a few hints + pics to share!

the disney stay + dining experience:

1. group rates can be awesome. seriously. if you have an opportunity to stay at any disney resort as part of a conference, do it. staying on property, and staying on the monorail or ferry boat line, is really a great, great thing. plus, conferences usually get some pretty great rates on rooms at the resorts.

2. so, if you're going with a conference + you book your room(s) directly through the hotel, that means you'll have to purchase your park tix separately. which is super easy to do through the mydisneyexperience.com site. make sure you set up an account the moment you decide you're going to the happiest place on earth.

3. but....from what we learned, if you're staying in the park as part of a group, you can't get the disney dining plan. but, i think we came out close to the same cost by just buying food at the parks (we think). 

kid-tips for disney:

1. for this trip, we slated just three days at the parks. it was our youngest's first trip to disney, and after a not-so-great first trip four years ago with our oldest, we were a little skittish about trying to do too much. and we didn't do park hopper passes because i figured with three days, we should just concentrate on the places our boys really wanted to go. so we focused on magic kingdom + hollywood studios. and, it worked out really well!

2. fastpass, fastpass, fastpass. use disney's fastpass. use it for rides + use it for character meetings. use it for your parental sanity.

3. if you have littles who are stroller-sized, either bring a stroller or rent one at the parks. even if they don't ride in it 100% of the time, just like in non-disney life, it's a fab tool to hold your stuff.

4. autograph books. so, any shop within any of the parks or hotels sells those adorable, disney autograph books. yep, they're totally cool. but for our oldest, we ended up using his disney journal (check out the idea here) which was perfect for him to gather autographs, write about his trip + add stickers to that he collected around the parks! 

5. disney photo pass. okay, so this costs $169 to add to your package, but it is totally worth it. with kids, trying to manage a camera or even an iphone to get pics can be just enough to add the right amount of hot messiness to your trip. and, besides it ensures your whole family is in the pics, and it doesn't require you to have to pass off your good camera or phone to a stranger to take a pic. 

now, want to see some pics? (and, yep these are all from disney photo pass!)

our joyful day at magic kingdom!

meeting mickey with a little fistbump!

woody + buzz lightyear!

monkey see, monkey sit!

giving pluto a little pat on the nose!

huge moment: our oldest faced his fear and met mickey!

my top ten anniversary gift picks (aka: earn major brownie points this year!)

disclaimer: this is a sponsored post brought to you by uncommon goods, a founding B Corp that features unique jewelry, designer decor, tabletop items and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment without harm to animals or people. all opinions are 100% my own.

the anniversary....for me + mr. re-nest, we celebrate two big ones a year: the wedding anniversary + our dating anniversary. (i'll pause for the eye roll or the "awww!") and, i admit: when the wedding anniversary comes around, i feel major pressure to come up with something totally awesomesauce for him....and i usually panic at the last minute. (eek!)

but the one thing i always, always, always try to do is come up with a unique, personalized gift for mr. re-nest to celebrate the day we became an us. (are you surprised? me + personalized = a must-have!)

the love is pillow. handmade by tori tissell.
available on uncommon goods.

and, just in case you find yourself totally stumped for what to get your sweetie, i've pulled together some one-of-a-kind anniversary gift ideas that just happen to come from the artisans and craftsmen (which y'all know i love!) from uncommon goods. ready? here we go!

1. i heart pillows. for someone like me, home decor gifts can be the way to my heart. and, can a pillow get any more loving than this love is pillow? check out this perfect-beyond-perfect gift for the home decor fanatic here

2. for the journal + keepsake enthusiast, the 12 ways to say i love you journal is pure perfection! make your way through this prompted journal handmade by jason thompson for the sentimental one you love.

the latitude longitude bracelet.
handmade by ana talukder.

3. i'm so obsessed with gifts that mark a special place. for me, i would love, love, love to be gifted with this latitude longitude bracelet to add to my jewelry collection. (hint, hint, mr. re-nest!)

4. we all have a wine enthusiast in our lives. (i know i have several!) and, the anniversary wine box is total perfection for those couples who love a great glass of vino + who appreciate the gorgeous handmade box with personalized engraving on the front. (by the way, am i the only one who is reminded of "the giving tree" when seeing this beautiful gift?) 

the set of 8 bicycle glasses.
available on uncommon goods.
designed + handmade by brett childs +
crystal hanks childs.

5. bicycle silhouette glasses are the perfect anniversary present for that couple who is always on-the-go. you know the ones...those friends who load their bikes up and take off as soon as 5:oo on friday hits. give them the perfect gift designed + handmade by brett childs and crystal hanks childs. 

6. okay, is thirteen years too late to get this piece of art by alexander doll for an anniversary? because i'm fairly certain we need the first dance personalized art from uncommon goods in our house. honestly, having a perfect mix of personalization, artwork, keepsake + all-around cool for an anniversary gift makes for such great gifts!

the custom beach bracelet.
handmade with sand from
your fave beach.
7. if you + your beloved have a special beach or beachy vacation spot, this custom beach bracelet handmade by holly daniels christensen is perfection. 
8. what could be a better way to celebrate an anniversary than with some cocktails? maybe some cocktails served in these cool wooden martini glasses, handmade by david rasmussen? i'm not usually a martini drinker, but pass the shaker + olives, please! 

9. the perfect modern first anniversary gift. every home needs a fabulous clock, and one that's personalized always stands out! the personalized maple wall clock over at uncommon goods is handmade by scott tincher, and can be personalized with a family surname + a favorite year. 

10. gift inspiration from something as sweet + memorable as carving you + your loved one's initials in a tree...the personalized love birch cuff, handmade by nancy nelson is a delightful blend of modern, keepsake + sentimentality! take a look at the beauty of this piece here!

tell me: which are your faves? which of these awesome pieces would be perfect for your loved one?

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