2.23.2017

a sweet gift for the happy couple

this year, i've made plans. what am i saying, i make plans every year for the shop. but these, i actually wrote down. i'm trying to be disciplined this year with new ideas + new designs...which means more for you guys to choose from!

i've been dying to do more pieces that would make perfect gifts for newly engaged + married couples. not only do i want to help you find great gifts for wedding presents, but of course, i want to help you deck out the bridal showers you're helping throw too!

this past week, i got to start with the home decor piece....with my new hand-painted happy wedding couple throw pillows. seriously guys, this makes me so happy to have created these and to be able to share these in the shop. and, everything is completely customizable! 

so, for that special couple you know that's getting married this year, head on over to the shop + check out all of the options available with this personalized + unique gift! and, p.s. keep a watch out for bridal shower decor coming to the shop soon! 

2.17.2017

how to introduce kids to a love of creating

my little stinker. little mr. re-nest #2 is a major fan
of all things play-doh!
when you have a mama who's kinda creative, you'd think it comes along in the genes, right? yes and no. i get asked a lot if my boys love all things creative like i do. again, the answer is yes and no. and, i have to admit, in the early stages of parenting, i was trying to push it on them both. i wanted them to be artistic and to grow and shape that part of their mind. and, i realized the more i pushed, the more they pushed back.

i backed off.

when i backed off and just let them see me doing what i do with canvases and paints and markers and paper and more, their interest piqued. little mr. re-nest #1 started to want to go to michaels with me. he wanted to get his hands dirty and create. and, what's better: he enjoyed it.

if you're sitting in front of a newborn and you're wondering how you get them interested in art, or if you have been trying to get your littles to get their hands a little dirty with some paint, i have a few suggestions on how to make this happen in a roundabout way. nothing is scientific: these are just my opinions + what i found worked for us!

1. play-doh. kinetic sand. mega-bloks. encourage them to do something where they can see that they have made something. what i learned with my boys as toddlers (and for one of them, we're still very much in this world) is that when they can see they made something this lights up their pride like no other. cultivate that pride + the learning + encouragement that they can make something with their own two hands.

2. let them help you in the kitchen. whether it's decorating cookies, or helping crack some eggs, or frosting a cake, your littles will again see you making. and, if there's anything that little want to do, it's to be just like mom and dad.

3. if dad is a handy type of guy, let your littles see dad fixing things, making things, and creating. even let them in on the safer parts of the making. the more they see, the more they are going to become curious about making their own things.

little mr. re-nest #1's personal art kit! (p.s. this was a way
better gift than trying to find him another plastic toy!)
4. by elementary school, kids are going to get more exposure into art supplies + the fun that comes with them. whether you introduce these into your home is totally up to you. if you want to dabble in setting your kids up with some fun art supplies, a great way to do this is with a little art kit. we did this for little mr. re-nest #1's birthday, and it was a huge hit! i made a trip to michaels and picked up the following: a soft sided bin for the supplies, a 5-pack of 12" x 12" canvases, a pack of assorted paint brushes, some acrylic paints, glue, pom poms, and lots of stickers. he still loves getting this out, and getting creative!

by no means do you have to introduce a major art kit into your kiddo's life! but you can help them grow + explore + help them find their path and way that they can be a little creative everyday. (see what i did there??? wink, wink!) 

2.13.2017

re-nest life // a new approach to the cheeseburger....

our house lives for the cheeseburger. i'm not kidding. there's several reasons why:

burger bites. on a mickey plate.
1. both of the littles will eat them. without pause. and without argument. 

2. they are super fast to make on a weeknight that's filled with homework, work, basketball practice, swimming, PTO, or whatever else we might choose to throw into an already chaotic week. 

3. they are a great source of protein. i'm a little obsessed with making sure the boys get enough protein in their diets right now. 

4. did i mention that both boys eat them without any argument? in fact, i think i usually get cheers of "yay, cheeseburgers!" when i let them know what's for dinner. (#momwin)

even though we live for the cheeseburger, i'm always looking for new ways to make dinner fun for the boys. and, pair that with my current journey on whole30, i'm also always looking for meals that i can make for all of us that don't cause a giant mess or require a lot of time. 

when february meal planning came along, i turned to my trusty source, skinnytaste.com. (not joking. if you haven't gone over and checked out this site, do it. like, right now.) gina has a whole set of recipes that are whole30 compliant, and when i was scrolling through, i came across burger bites. the whole idea fit all of my criteria: it worked for whole30 and the whole family. #score

sunday night, we introduced burger bites for dinner. they were a hit! for the recipe, i followed the one on skinnytaste, except i cooked mine in a skillet on the stove top with a little EVOO in the pan. (and, not that it matters, but i did use ground beef - we get organic, grass-fed which is always a good way to go if you can swing it!) the best thing: i could make one dinner that worked for all of us! the boys had their burger bites on skewers with a little bit of hamburger bun (the kids love carbs....what can i say?), pickle, and some cheese cubes; i put mine on a romaine lettuce leaf with some guacamole and it was delicious! 

so...moral of the story is: if you rely on hamburgers/cheeseburgers for family dinners and are needing to change it up, head over to skinnytaste and check out burger bites. i promise it will be worth it! 

2.12.2017

weekend diy: a super valentine's craft

life is busy. like, all of the time. i get that. (p.s. i live it every.single.day right along with all y'all.) i feel like days are just a combo of me saying "eat!" (on repeat), "stop teasing your brother!" (to both of them....little mr. re-nest #2 has learned how to hold his own), work, laundry, cooking, more laundry (while trying to keep the puppy from hauling off dirty socks from the laundry piles), and saying "eat!" again from the hours of 6pm - 7pm. but.....

my purple sparkle glitter jar!
i will say that taking out fifteen minutes on a weekend day (when things are not so structured) to do a little crafty diy with the boys is a really, really, really great thing to do. they both love to make + get their hands a little dirty, and most of all, they love seeing that they can make great things! thanks to the power of facebook, i came across the cutest heart-filled project from fun-a-day that combines a little sparkle + some calm for this mama. 

we took off for hobby lobby (oh, and target too!) to pick up all of our supplies. we scored with a 50% off glass sale at hobby lobby, and also scored the large glitter there too. (note: we went with the second set of instructions that fun-a-day shared on their post - i was trying to stay away from glitter glue!) at target, we also scored with a cartwheel on baking supplies (which counted for our light corn syrup), and we headed home to get our sparkle started. 

we followed the directions from fun-a-day exactly, and our glitter jars turned out lovely! the boys sat for a good fifteen minutes, turning them all around and watching the glitter fall. mr. re-nest even got in on the action and showed the boys what the jar looks like when you shine a flashlight on it! 

our supplies, thanks to hobby lobby and target

stirring his corn syrup + water

little brother had to get in on the fun too!

the boys = gold, mama = purple!

so, if you're looking for a fun, easy project to do with your littles on a weekend or day off from school, i highly recommend this one! (and, p.s. it's even fun for adults. my jar is on my desk at work!) 

2.08.2017

the story of us

i've proclaimed it on instagram + facebook, and i'll say it again here...this latest custom order that i had the honor of making and delivering last weekend was the reason why i started re-nest studio. making your home yours with personalization and your story is what drives me + brings me so much joy!

back in november, i met a lovely mom + wife at the washington street holiday market in naperville. she had an idea that she wanted to bring to life for her husband as a special gift. the whole idea was to take the special places, moments, and dates in their life and transform them into a subway art style canvas. oh, and did i mention how big the canvas was? we went big....the 24" x 30" gallery wrapped canvas from michaels which was perfect size! 

since this was such a fun and different order, i also decided i wanted to take my instagram followers through the maker process with me. (if you'd like to see the step-by-step, head over to my instagram account and check it out!)

while i was making this, i'd be lying if i said i wasn't already trying to plan out our own story of us canvas for the re-nest house. (yes, i started a list of places, dates, and meaningful words that mean something to our story!) keep watching because i already have a space picked out where ours will hang. 

want to see the final look? :) 


isn't this just the best? i can't wait to have
ours ready for our house!




tell me: what color combo would look best in your house? and, don't forget if you want to see the whole process to head over to my instagram account and see how this great piece came to life! 

1.29.2017

my top four home design trends for 2017

so, awhile back i totally geeked out that i was given the chance to attend the high point furniture market in october with my full-time job. remember that? yeah, well that ended up being one of the coolest trips ever and managed to cross something off of my travel bucket list! (thanks to my amazing boss + my super cool client for making this possible!)

alright, let's get to the fun stuff. what did i see in my three days of bliss, walking through showroom after showroom of nothing but furniture + home decor? i took about a thousand pictures while i was there + i've managed to narrow down the trends to a top four. let's go!

1. neutrals have officially shifted. it's time to throw out your circa-2000 pottery barn tans, maroons + greens (trust me, i worked at pottery barn from 2002-2004, i know....), and replace with a cooler, calmer neutral palette. honestly, if you've never believed in the power of color in the home to help influence a mood, now is the time to start. not to mention, the colors i saw during the market were just right up my personal taste alley! there's gorgeous greys, silvers, and blues that belong anywhere and everywhere throughout the home. 

the new neutrals. soft, house-brightening +
lovely!
2. metal, metal, everywhere. metals in furniture are really nothing new, but this year, what i think is so different are the tones of the metals i saw. sure, we've seen the antique bronze + traditional pewter in accents like drawer pulls, but now the range of metal color tones is so expansive! and, the way metal is being used...oh my gosh! we're talking grommets, nailheads on leather + fabric sofas, chairs and bedroom sets, casters on everything from traditional leather chairs to occasional tables (which, by the way, makes tables totally functional for small spaces with the ability to move them around!) 

check out the metal accents on this
accent table!
3. if you love blue, you are in luck. see #1 above. seriously, blue is everywhere. there were gorgeous navy velvet sofas (to die for!), blues incorporated into fabric patterns, even blue undertones in wood stains. blue is such a cooling, calming + modern neutral that helps shift the feel of a space. if you haven't tested it in your space, it's easy to try it out - start small with something like throw pillows or a piece of art that complements your existing space. 

seriously. i need this chair in my life.
4. the design is in the details. i already mentioned some of the lovely metal accents in furniture, but the design elements don't stop there. chair and sofa legs are everything from wood blocks to metal mid-century modern-inspired feet to casters. occasional tables have ranges of different stains and finishes that expand beyond the typical cherry or honey finishes. the blend of materials on occasional tables is massive too with some designers blending modern and traditional with concrete + wood. sofas and sectionals feature unique stitching to add a little something extra to the solid look of leather. 

this. i just love this idea. riding boots with feathers.
and, besides these amazing details + design trends, i also got the totally exciting chance to walk through the magnolia home showroom too....but, no pictures because we're asked not to take any. but i can tell assure you that everything in the line is one thousand percent in the style of joanna! just gorgeous materials, designs, lines + textures!

finally, i have to say that if you are as home-decor obsessed as me, and you ever get a chance to go to high point, go. it's seriously something like you've never seen before! 

1.16.2017

valentine's day: solved!

***attention: valentine's day is coming. maybe you tell your spouse/significant other that you "don't really want anything this year" or "oh, it's just a silly holiday," but trust me, they would like a little something to celebrate the day of love. (just trust me. i've been on the giving end of "oh, it's okay, you don't have to get me anything" and it really kind of wasn't okay.)

and, i'm here to tell you that valentine's day doesn't have to be difficult. it can be something other than jewelry or flowers or engraved flasks or food. valentine's day can be meaningful and personalized and something that means something to you, as a couple. 

i'm here to help you out. from now until february 5, i'm offering to help you cross valentine's day off your list. that's right, friends: i'm going to take care of valentine's day for you. doesn't that sound sweet?

the special dates wall art. includes dates special to you,
your loved one + your family.
head over to my etsy shop, where i'm offering 14% off two of the sweetest, most personalized ideas for valentine's day gifts: the special dates wall art or the wedding coordinates framed paper art. 

wondering what those numbers are? give me the location
of your wedding, and i'll include the coordinates
of your wedding site in a framed piece of art!
ordering is as easy as can be: head over to the etsy shop (either here or here), and when ordering, all i need is your choice of frame color (black, dark brown, grey, or white), a background color, your family's special dates* (between 5-9 are best) or the location of your wedding (i'll even look up the coordinates for you!) - and i'll get to work! and, for valentine's day, i'm even throwing in gift wrapping + a handmade valentine's day card. can it get any easier than that? (p.s. if you need help or have questions when looking, you can always, always, always message me at ashley@reneststudio.com!)

i can't wait to help you surprise your loved one on the 2017 day of love! give something meaningful, personalized + different this year. i'm seriously here to help you make it easier!

(don't forget: this offer is through february 5. because we need to make sure we give ups plenty of time to get it to you!)  


*need some ideas for special dates? here they are: your birthday, your spouse's birthday, the day you met, your first date, your engagement date, your wedding date, your pet's birthday, your kids' birthdays, when you bought your first house, your first vacation together, any special vacation days....anything goes!

1.09.2017

hello 2017!

that's probably the most cliche blog post headline ever, but who cares. i was not sad to see 2016 have the door hit it on its way out, and i have nothing but positive feels for what this year is to bring. i'm coming off of a much-needed professional + re-nest holiday break, where i just got to soak up my family, see the excitement of my boys at the holidays, go back to indiana, and actually have an un-interrupted convo with mr. re-nest. (you parents know exactly what i'm talking about, right?)

so, i'm entering 2017 with a positive attitude, some super fun ideas + some goals...and what better way to come back to this blog than to do a little sharing? (dare i say that i have made some resolutions?)

let's start with a few personal goals:

• me, my health + i. let's just say 2016 was not the most fabulous year of taking care of myself. it all started with this post where i shared the hormone shake-up that was going on + it's ill-effects. well, we got those oh-so-fun shake-ups taken care of, but that (along with me sort of writing myself off/feeling kind of sorry for myself) meant i've added some pounds. i would go in spurts with exercising, but nothing long lasting enough to actually make a difference. i would do the same thing with my nutrition. and, then there would be cookies. or margaritas. or for the love of all things, my favorite food in the whole world: chips and guacamole.

so, 2017 is in my mom's words "the year to take care of me again." there are really no excuses. we are fortunate enough to have a treadmill and elliptical in the basement. i have a membership to beachbody on demand. we belong to the ymca (which has child care, mind you). it will not destroy my children's lives if mommy puts them in front of an ipad or a video for 30 minutes to run, or do strength training. say it again, "it will not destroy my children's lives to spend 30 minutes in front of the ipad." i'm happy to say that i'm on day ten of working out every single day. it's baby steps. but i honestly don't remember when i've hit this long of a stretch. (oh, and i should also mention that my extremely competitive nature kicked in when the apple watch released their 2017 activity badge last week. so yeah, i have to get that.)

exercise is great, but i'm kinda hoping to lose some the excess i brought along from 2016, and wanting to really try and be better about what i feed my body. as of today, i'm proud to say that i am one week+ without a diet coke, and i'm on day eight of the whole30 reset. yep, eight days of no dairy, no refined sugar, no processed anything, no processed grains. while this reset is more about gaining balance in your body vs. losing weight, there might be some weight benefits after my thirty days. check back with me on february 2nd and see how i'm feeling.

• reading. no joke, the extent of me sitting down to read a book in the last seven years has been isolated to the two solo vacations that mr. re-nest + i have taken since becoming parents. there's nothing i love more than sitting on the beach or by the pool with a book. this year, that changes. i subscribed to goodreads. i have a giant list of books i want to read, and i also joined their 2017 challenge. (my goal is a measly one book per month, but we all have to start somewhere, right?) (p.s. i'm almost already through my january book! i'm reading "truly, madly, guilty" by liane moriarty. awesome. highly recommend!)

family goals

• getaway with mr. re-nest. we didn't do this in 2016 (except for an overnight in milwaukee when i convinced him to tag along with me when i had a craft show). this week is our 2017 getaway: my scientist is out in california for work, so i'm flying out for us to have a little getaway this weekend. i can't wait. sunshine. warmth. time with mr. re-nest. like so many parents know, it's so hard to get this kind of time. and, we spent a lot of years not realizing how important these kinds of trips are. all i can say is: if you haven't done at least a small getaway with your spouse/partner away from the kids, do it. 

re-nest goals

• new designs (of course!) i have so many ideas down for new framed prints + new childrens' designs! more 8" x 10" framed options that will be perfect for a home office, a kitchen, wherever! plus, i've got so many cool plans for the children's shop with framed prints + canvases, all trending with the latest designs, patterns + themes for kids!

• bring on the party! there's more party goodness coming to the shop this year...i'm even in the prep stages for putting in a display in a local shop featuring cake toppers, cupcake toppers, framed art + banners....plus, i'm finally going to officially offer my large birthday banners in the shop!

• shows. shows. and shows. 2016 was a year where i dipped a toe in some new endeavors....new shows, new distribution + features....and i want to keep it going in 2017. my big goal is to take part in some indiana shows....so if you know any, let me know! (p.s. i've already been accepted to my first show of 2017: re:craft & relic in franklin, wisconsin!)

• oh...i have so many things i want to do! first things, first: i want to keep writing this blog. i'm trying for weekly posts so that we can chat + i can share the latest happenings in the studio. so, i promise y'all you'll hear from more of me this year!

• along with the blogging, i want to grow this little blog that could. even if that comes from going to one conference or watching one webinar, i want to keep learning more about how to make this even better for you. 

there you have it. my goals are written down and i'm committed. it's a busy life we lead, but it's one i love. here's to 2017....the year of being brave, being a little self-focused + being focused. 

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