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! 


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!) 


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! 


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!) 


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! 
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