Sunday, October 31, 2010

Down East Basics Review on SIMPLE

I'm so excited to be reviewing Down East Basics' fall 2010 line on SIMPLE today!  Go check out my review and enter to win something gorgeous of your own from their new fall arrivals!

I love this dress!  (The Sophistication Dress in Plum Wine)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chalkboard Menu

After my success with my first DIY chalkboard paint project, I thought I'd try another project!  This is actually something I've been wanting to do for months, and it is the real reason I bought the chalkboard paint.

When we moved into our house, this lovely portrait of the builder (yep, he built it by hand in 1920) of the house was left behind.  Check out the 'stache!

Anyway, I fell in love with the frame and wanted to do something special with it.  So, I took it apart (don't worry, I saved the painting of Mr. Everett)...

...primed the glass with two coats of primer...
 

...painted it with three coats of chalkboard paint...

...spray-painted the frame with a coat of black paint...

...and put it all back together!  (P.S. While I was working with this rusty nail-infested frame, I was keenly aware of the fact that my tetanus shot is not up to date!)
Now it hangs proudly in our breakfast nook and I can write our weekly menus on it.  I'm not sure if you can tell, but this is really huge!
I love all the great details on the frame!

I'm really happy with how it turned out!  I'm thinking about other ways to use it too... love notes, favorite quotes, Christmas song lyrics, Bible verses, to-do lists, reminders, drawings... there are endless possibilities!
Linking to:
Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend  wrap    up           party!

handmade projects

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vera: Ten Weeks

Does this cloth diaper make my butt look big? :)

Fall Wall Art

Thanks to Jen, I now have a fun, fall-themed piece of art on the wall in our breakfast nook!


Download one for yourself here.  (Frame $3 at Walmart.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coffee Cupboard with Chalkboard Menu

As our family grows, I may not always have the luxury of having a cupboard in my kitchen solely devoted to coffee, but for the time being it is really wonderful!

I recently jazzed up our coffee cupboard by painting the inside of the door with chalkboard paint and writing a "menu," coffee shop style.  (Note: I bought a quart of chalkboard paint.  Tad has ten bucks riding on half of the house being painted by the middle of next week.)
I taped the area with masking tape and painted three coats of chalkboard paint, allowing each coat to fully dry in between.  I seasoned the board by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over it and then wiping it clean.  Now I'm looking for more things to paint...
 
And, yes, I can make everything listed on the menu!

P.S. You're going to want to try this Pumpkin Spice Syrup recipe!

Linking to:
Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend  wrap    up           party!

Windy Poplars

handmade projects
Featured on:

Undercover Mama Review on SIMPLE

I'm blogging over at SIMPLE today!  Check out my review of the Undercover Mama... and enter for a chance to win one of your own!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Babywearing...in pictures

Just a few pictures of us babywearing so far! (All three of us love it, by the way.)



(not worn correctly, but adorable nonetheless)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday
Lunch: chunky potato/ham soup, Artisan bread
Dinner: Italian meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans

Tuesday
Lunch: leftover meatloaf
Dinner: baked dijon salmon, mashed potatoes, corn

Wednesday
Lunch: leftover salmon
Dinner: scrambled eggs, muffins

Thursday
Lunch: grilled cheese, salad
Dinner: kielbasa potato stew, Artisan bread

Friday
Lunch: leftover stew
Dinner: TBD

Saturday
Lunch: vegetable soup, Artisan bread
Dinner: at church event

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blogging 101

I don't at all consider myself an expert at blogging or blog design, but because I've been asked for blogging advice three times in the last week or so, I thought I'd write a post about it!  This is intended for beginner bloggers (getting ready to start a blog or have just recently started), but there might be a thing or two that is new for those of you who have been blogging longer!

Q: How do I start a blog?  What site do you recommend?
A: I have only used Blogger (okay, confession, I did use Xanga waaaaay back in high school), that is what I would recommend.  I have also heard great things about Wordpress, but I can't help you with that since I've never used it.  Go to Blogger and it is very easy to get started making a blog!  Once you've done that...

Q: What template do you use for your blog?  How do I edit my template/change colors/customize things?
A: Blogger has several layout templates you can choose from when you get started, but I recommend using one from another source. I like Our Blogger Templates, and that is where I got my layout template from. I use Brooklyn. This one is a very clean, minimal design with 3 columns. You can customize it a lot (fonts, colors, etc.) once you upload it. First, download the template you want. Then, go to your blogger dashboard, click "design," then click "edit html" near the top. Browse for the template and upload it. To customize the colors and fonts, click "template designer" and change away!

Q: How do I add a custom header?
A: Creating a custom header in photoshop or gimp (or another photo editor you like) is the easiest way to customize your blog. Make sure the size of your header is 800 to 978 px wide and 300 (or so) px high.  On the "design" page on blogger, click "edit header" and upload your new custom header.

Q: How do I add "pages" to my blog (about me, contact me, etc.)?
A: To add "pages" to your blog (like how I have tabs for recipes, house tour, etc.), go to your dashboard, then click "posting," then click "edit pages," then add a new page.

Q: How do I add things like links and polls to the sidebars on my blog?
A: These are called gadgets or widgets.  Go to your blogger dashboard and click "design." Decide where you want your widget and click "add gadget." You have lots of options to pick from: photos, links, blog rolls, polls, etc.

Q: How do I add an "etsy mini" like you have on your blog?
A: To add an etsy widget, first create an etsy mini through your account on etsy. Under "your etsy," click "etsy mini." You can choose to use items from your shop or from your favorites. It will generate a code for you. Copy this code. Now go back to your blogger dashboard and click "design." Decide where you want your etsy mini and click "add gadget." Select the "html/java script" option and paste the code in the box. Save and view!

Q: How do I add a custom signature to my posts?
A: You can add a signature to your posts by following this tutorial. (This same site also has other great tips.)

Q: How do I change the font of my blog post titles to something cute?
A: Making all your post titles show up in a cute font is kind of advanced and takes a while to do, but it's so worth it! (I just did it recently.) Here's a tutorial that shows how.  (That is a really fun blog too.)

So, as you can see, I basically have learned how to customize my blog by googling, "how do I ____ in blogger" anytime I want to do something new!  Hope these tips help you become a better blogger as well!

Feel free to ask me any more questions about blogging, and I'll try my best to answer them!

Linking to:
 Windy Poplars

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vera Bradley on One Kings Lane

If you haven't joined One Kings Lane yet, you should!  I just saw some Vera Bradley items on sale for $15 and under which would make great Christmas gifts! 
They also currently have a sale on Chandra (Amy Butler) rugs.  Beautiful!
I'm also in love with this gorgeous green throw pillow!
One Kings Lane sends out daily emails notifying you of their 72-hour sales.  No strings attached!

Things sell out quickly, so if you're interested in any of the items featured above, you might want to hurry up and join.  :)

Disclosure: Links contain affiliates.

Vera: Nine Weeks

Myrtle Beach Vacation

Our family just had a great vacation at Myrtle Beach last week! We really enjoyed all of the time we got to spend together.

Vera went "swimming" for the first time in the heated indoor pool.
 
We went to a cool aquarium!
Vera looked adorable in all of her cute outfits... but especially this little sundress (and matching hat, not pictured)!
We watched the sunrise over the ocean from our balcony one morning.
The view (and the weather) was gorgeous during the day as well!
I wore Vera a lot last week (so did Tad).
We celebrated our anniversary while we were there as well!
We are so thankful for the blessing of getting to spend the week together as a family!  It was a great vacation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shelf Re-do

I started this project with a small metal shelf I snagged at Goodwill for $1 over a year ago (yes, I liked quatrefoil before it was as popular as it is now). I loved the clean lines and I saw lots of potential in this little piece!
I painted this black the same day I also painted this piece. Now I have it hanging in my kitchen and I love what it has done for the plain white wall!
 

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vera's Two Months Old!

Can you believe it?  Baby Vera is two months old today!

Milestones:
-rolled over (at 5 weeks) and now rolls regularly when she has tummy time
-weighs approximately 12 lbs.
-enjoys stroller rides, babywearing, and lots of cuddling!
-slept for a record 8 hours straight at 6 weeks (averaging 7 hour-stretches most nights)
-loves being read to (current favorite book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle)
-"talks" a lot: cooing, ooohing, ahhing
-smiles a lot, especially when we try to coax it out of her (and we think she's on the verge of laughing!)
-loves being sung to and tries to sing along
-experienced her first family car breakdown on the way to the beach
-has now traveled to Virginia and South Carolina
-saw the ocean (Myrtle Beach, SC)
-"swam" in the heated indoor pool (worn in a baby sling)
-visited an aquarium

We love our sweet baby girl so much!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blogiversary One!

Today we officially celebrate one year of blogging at Feathers in Our Nest!  

We love looking back at all of the posts over the last year and are thankful that we've been able to chronicle so many family memories and milestones.  

We now have 93 followers on Google Friend Connect, which is awesome since when we started we think it was just our parents reading our blog.  (Though we are super-happy that they did and still do read it!)

In the last 365 days, we have posted 340 times (counting this post).  We started tracking visitors in the middle of January, and since that time we have had over 42,600 visitors and over 80,000 page views.  We've been excited to see visitors from all over the world! 

Our original blog header
 We started out as two...
On our honeymoon in Charleston, SC
...and now we are three!
Here are some of our most popular posts:

-Nursery Project: The Big Reveal!
-Mantle Re-do: Fall Edition
-The Meaning of Her Name
-Love at First Sight
-Vera's Newborn Photo Shoot
-Frugal & Fabulous: Saving Money on Groceries
-The Great Rib Debate

And here a few of our most popular recipes:
-Autumn Chowder
-Mozzarella Chicken
-Apple Crunch
-Angel Rolls
-Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes
-Fondue for Two
-Coffee Beef

Hope you've enjoyed reminiscing with us! Have any of you been around with us since the beginning?  Do tell!
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