Friday, May 25, 2012

DIY Kitchen Window/Chalkboard Project

I have been living in a DIY frenzy lately. Typically, I line up 5-6 projects that I'd 'like to do, and then a month will go by before I realize that I've only completed one of them. Darn you, Pinterest.

Well, I guess May was my 'finish all of my projects that have been laying around' month. And, that I did.

I was gifted, by one of my dearest friends, with an old farm house window to use for my window/chalkboard project. I have always wanted some type of chalkboard in my kitchen. Something I can use to post notes to B, reminders, weekly meals, and eventually, something I can use with our kids.

I finally got around to starting this project, and by starting it, I simply mean that I recruited my handy husband to help with the sanding, taping and spray painting. 

We used a sanding block around the rough edges to get rid of some of the old paint that was on the window, then sprayed all of the trim you see below with a fresh coat of ivory colored spray paint.


We allowed this to dry for about a day, then took the paper/tape combo that we had used to cover up each window pane off, and taped the wood trim for good coverage. 

I was a bit nervous to see how evenly the sprayable chalkboard paint was going to come out. I bought the Krylon brand on one of my many trips to Hobby Lobby. 


I would definitely recommend this paint. We used two coats, but I felt like it sprayed on easily and evenly, and it's a great surface for writing now! We also gave the chalkboard paint a day to dry really well before we tried anything on it.

Then, we attached some picture hanging hardware to the back of the window, and voila! 


I just love the way this project turned out. It adds so much character to my kitchen, and makes a nice, bold statement as well. If you are interested in a chalkboard for your kitchen, I would definitely recommend grabbing an old window from an auction, etc. because I think the style and size is the perfect fit!


I hope everyone has a great weekend! We'll be kicking off our summer in North Carolina from Friday til Monday night with some friends. 
I'm so excited to get away for a weekend with B! 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Healthy Breakfasts Rock: Lender's Bagel Campaign

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and I received coupons for free Lender's Multi-Grain Bagels. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #LendersHealthyGrain #spon

Hopefully, you all already know that I'm a true Jersey girl at heart. I would consider myself a classic case of "you can take the girl out of Jersey ...,' yea, you get the rest. One of the things that being a Jersey girl makes you, in my humble opinion, is both a pizza and bagel snob.  I don't think I realized how 'good' I had it when I lived in NJ full time. You can pop into almost any neighborhood pizza or bagel shop, and you won't be disappointed! In MD, it takes a calculated decision to have pizza for dinner or bagels on a perfect Saturday morning.

Despite my love for a fresh-out-of-the-oven-won't-fit-in-your-toaster, NY bagel, while we were growing up, and since there were four of us constantly scavenging around the kitchen for snacks, my Mom always kept a package or two of Lender's frozen bagels in our freezer. They were the perfect size to pop in the toaster and eat on that walk to the bus stop, and even to get greedy and scarf down a second one. You know, as long as my sisters weren't in the kitchen monitoring my every move.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that Lender's has done so much since the days of splitting a 6-pack of bagels between four kids. Not only do they now sell 'Bagel Shop Style' bagels in multiple flavors, but their newest addition, 'Healthy Grain' is fabulous!

I had the pleasure of picking up a package of the Multi Grain bagels, thanks to Lender's and Clever Girls, and they did not disappoint! B is a big fan of anything multi grain, so they were a hit in our house! And the best part is, they carry them at many WalMart Super Centers! I love anything I can find at WalMart because I feel like it allows me to get all of my  errand running done in one place.

If you're a bagel fan, or just looking for another healthy way to start your day, I would totally recommend you try either of the newest additions to the Lender's family. 

A special 'thank you' to both Lender's and Clever Girls for allowing me to be one of the first to try them out!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It Only Took Eighteen Months, But It Was Worth It!

Over the weekend, my parents came down from New Jersey to visit. It was the first time they had been here since right after we bought the house, so they were really excited to check out all of the work that we've done!

Saturday night, B and I decided to have a BBQ and host both sets of our parents. We grilled a yummy meal and spent a few hours catching up. 

Our gift to our parents for their help with our wedding was the promise of personalized wedding albums. While I thought this was the perfect gift for them at the time, I let it fall through the cracks. But, I am happy to say that, eighteen months later, I finally finished the albums!

We surprised our parents with the albums Saturday night, and they were thrilled! I had so much fun going through all of our pictures again, and it definitely gave me the motivation to start working on an album for us. I want to have something we can look through on our anniversary, and some day, show our children. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I designed our parents albums using Shutterfly.  The books exceeded my expectations! I ordered the 12x12 hard cover, and am so glad that I did. This book is larger than any of the others that I have ordered from Shutterfly before, and I think I found the perfect size to make a statement.

Do any of you have flush mount, professional wedding albums? That was always my plan, but now that I've seen this album, I am thinking about saving the money and making us an extended version. 

Another cool thing about Shutterfly is that they provide you with a link to share your project with friends, family, etc. once it's complete! Check it out using the widget below - you can even view it in full screen mode!

If you've never used Shutterfly for your photo needs, I would totally recommend them! They run specials often, so make sure to wait until the photo books are on sale before you order one!


*I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Campus Book Rentals Review!

I don't talk much about my college days on this blog anymore, but they can pretty much be summed up in three words: best years ever. I absolutely loved college, and not only did I meet my future husband while I was there, but I also met some of the best friends I will ever find. These people became like family to me, and I wouldn't trade those four years for anything in the world.

One of the things that I didn't quite have a handle on during my college days was my finances. I never got a 'real job' while I was in school, and the babysitting money that I made over the summers, and during my one-day-a-week gig only went so far. One of the things that my parents made me responsible for, financially, was my books. So, every semester I would grab a part time position during 'book rush' week so I could get some kind of discount on the books I would need for that semester. 

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All of that being said, when the fine folks from CampusBookRentals.com reached out to me, the first thing that ran through my mind was, 'How come I didn't have this option when I was in college?'

Campus Book Rentals provides a fantastic option for all students out there. Now, you can rent all of your books at a fabulously discounted price, and have them sent directly to you! Here are some of the facts about them:
  • With Campus Book Rentals, you save 40-90% off of bookstore prices (check out a price comparison here)
  • You get FREE shipping both ways
  • You can highlight in the textbooks as if there were your own
  • They allow for flexible renting periods
  • And the best part is, Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented! Operation Smile helps to 'mobilize a world of generous hearts to heal children's smiles and transform lives across the globe.'  

So, you can rent your books instead of paying and arm and a leg to buy them, get free shipping BOTH ways, and give back in the process?! Sounds like a win/win to me! I have two siblings that are still in school, and I will definitely be passing this info along to them so they can start saving some money and giving back to children in need as soon as possible.

Please head on over and learn more about how you can help today.




*I was compensated for this post, but the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Scrumptious Treat: Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes!

Remember when I hosted this sprinkle? Or this one? One of my favorite parts about hosting or co-hosting events is finding new recipes to try. And when you come across a great one, like this, it makes the two hours in front of the Kitchen Aid totally worth it. 

This recipe originally came from this pin and this recipe. I will admit that I was a bit intimidated when I first decided to make mini cheesecakes. It seemed like quite the feat, but I put on my baking shoes anyway.

Mini Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/2 cups crushed Nilla wafers
4 Tbsp. butter, melted (I always use unsalted)
3 Tbsp. sugar

Raspberry Swirl
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp. sugar

Cheesecake Filling
2 lbs. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
A dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature


Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Line each of your cupcake holes with a small liner. 

Next, create the crust by crushing your Nilla Wafers. I placed mine in a Ziplock bag and went to town with the rolling pin. Once they are crushed into crumbs, combine them in a small bowl with your butter and sugar and mix together with a fork until the ingredients are evenly blended (all of the dry ingredients should be moistened). Then, press enough of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner to create a crust (about 1/3 of the liner). I used the bottom of the tablespoon sized measuring spoon to press the crust down firmly into each liner.

Next, combine the raspberries and sugar in a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. If you have a mesh strainer, use it here to remove the seeds from the mixture. I do not have one, so I used the collander with the smallest holes and it worked okay.

Now you'll want to prepare the cheesecake filling. Begin by beating all of the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Blend in the sugar next. Then, add salt and vanilla. Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. 

Once your mixture is smooth and fluffy, spoon some of the cheesecake filling into each of the liners until it is spread out evenly (Note: if you are using the mini cupcake holes like I did, you will definitely have enough for more than one batch).

Lastly, you'll want to add a few dots of the raspberry topping to each cup. Use a toothpick to swirl the raspberry around on top of the cheesecake filling. 

Pop into the oven for about 22 minutes, rotating the tray about halfway through the timer. I kept a close eye on the cheesecakes here, as my oven can be finicky and I didn't want to ruin them. When you take them out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack. I placed the entire rack into the fridge for about 4-5 hours before serving.




I am planning on making these for the BBQ that we are hosting this weekend at our house for both sets of our parents and I know they'll be a hit! If you have an hour or two to spare, and you're in the mood to bake, definitely try these out, they're totally worth it!


Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So What Wednesday?!




Yep, I'm back for yet another linkup, and another addition of Shannon's 'So What Wednesday!' Because, who doesn't love an excuse to get all of the random tidbits that are floating around in their heads out there on the blog?

This week, I'm saying 'So What!' if ...
  •  I got a haircut last week. This 'chop' was inspired by two main things: we had a corporate event for B's company that night, and I had gotten super lazy with my hair, so I figured a fresh cut might motivate me to get back on the wagon. So far, so good.
  • I completed a few more of the DIY projects that have been on my to-do list for practically forever over the past few days, and I can't wait to share some of them! Is this becoming a bit too much of a DIY blog?!
  • I am pretty sad about the series finale of Desperate Housewives. So many of the shows that I've loved for what feels like forever are coming to a close, and what will take their place? Surely, I'll find something :o)
  • Yes, I watched the Bachelorette premiere. I have a soft spot in my heart for Emily, and truly hope this works for her this time. I seriously can barely remember any of the guys because the first night is always overwhelming, so I'll have more on my favorites in the next few weeks.
  • B and I attended the aforementioned company event last week at a pretty swanky hotel in Washington, DC. It had been quite a while since I had had the chance to get super dressed up and hit the town for an overnight 'date' with him, so I was excited. We had a fabulous time, and I may have had a few one too many glasses of wine to boot, but it was worth it. Dating my hubby 'again' is pretty awesome.
  • Did you see my post yesterday? I am counting down the minutes until we jump in the car and head down to NC for five days of fun in the sun and relaxation! Sunshine, here I come :o)

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to me rant. Head on over and link up with Shannon today - you know you wanna!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Inspired: Summer Must-Haves

Is it really May 15th already?! I have been having lots of trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that summer is almost here. And, with the impending arrival of summer, always comes Memorial Day Weekend (MDW), one of my favorite times of year!

This year, we are lucky enough to have been invited to spend MDW down in North Carolina with some of our closest, and also newly married, friends. Of course, I am beyond excited for our mini vacation, and who wouldn't be? But, with a trip, there is always packing involved, and I hate to pack, That is, unless I have some exciting new threads to bring along with me. 

Last year, I wrote this post about my 'Summer Must-Haves,' and although not much has changed in that department, my personal style has changed just a bit, so a girl's got to have some new summer outfits, amIright?!

Whenever I pack for a beach trip, I always over pack. Well, really I over pack for every trip I take. Somehow, I always forget that, at the beach, you spend close to 70% of the time in a bathing suit, coverup and flip flops. I typically sport your average, colorful two-piece suit, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in a fabulous one-piece like this one ...

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Seriously?! One shoulder and flattering? Right up my alley. And, it comes in eight colors! If it weren't for the $118 pricetag, this suit would be on its way to me rather than sitting in my shopping cart.


With every great suit, you also need a smashing coverup, no? I was able to score an adorable one at Target last year, but couldn't find a picture of it online to share! But, typical of me, I also spotted this beauty on the JCrew Factory site. Gorgeous, right?




I pretty much live in dresses in the summer, and have recently found a few new ones I'd love to add to my collection ...


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Aren't they adorable? And, the best part? They're both under $30 thanks to Forever 21. Can someone please tell me where I can find that multi-colored necklace ASAP?!

I love anything flowy, comfortable and, most times, colorful! 

Speaking of colorful I love pretty much anything yellow, coral and navy this year, and may or may not have just added this skirt to my 'must pack for MDW' pile. Sorry, B.

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And, what would this post be without my favorite sandals for this year? Even though they carry a hefty price tag, these babies were worth every penny, and are the true completion to many of my summer outfits!







Well, I'd say that's a pretty good start to my 'packing list,' now please excuse me while I go hide my wallet and finish all of the laundry we'll need cleaned before our trip!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY Message Board/Guest Book

Earlier this week, I mentioned the guest book that I made for my SIL's spa sprinkle, and promised to share the DIY details here with all of you.

In my 'baby sprinkle planning' frenzy a few weeks back, I stumbled upon this pin, and knew it would be the absolute perfect homemade addition to AP's sprinkle.

So, off to Hobby Lobby I went again, in search for the perfect open frame and fabric!


DIY Homemade Message Board/Guest Book

What You'll Need
1 open frame in the finish and size of your choice
Enough fabric to cover the backside of the frame (I had the ladies at HobLob help me measure)
1 roll of cork board in the correct dimensions (I bought a roll that was 12 inches wide)
1 hot glue gun and a few glue sticks

I also added a small 'M' for accent and personalization 
Be sure to grab some tags, pens and a stamp of your choice if you're planning to use it as a guest book or message board at an event


Begin by cutting your cork board to size, you'll need enough to fit tightly in the back side of your open frame.


Next, wrap the cork board with your fabric and glue the fabric to the back of the cork. 


Then, affix any accessories to the front of your board, and gather any supplies you'll need if you're using it as a guest book. 


We chose to display our guest book frame out on a table with a small white frame containing 'instructions' right next to it. 



I am so happy that AP loved this board as much as she did - it's a perfect addition to M2's new nursery! 

If you have any questions about this project, feel free to email me at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com


Happy Thursday!! The weekend's almost here :o)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And Then My Organization-Loving Heart About Burst.

If you asked me to describe myself, you would probably hear words like type-A, slightly OCD, cleaning freak, and wanna-be organization goddess. Yes, I have always been most of these things, but for some reason, I have been on a mission to organize my life house over the last few months. I'm not pregnant, so I can't call it 'nesting,' but I have a feeling that this is something like what nesting feels like. 

I've done everything from organizing closets to creating a Home Management binder (details to come!), and with each completed project, my organization-loving heart grows larger and larger. One of the things that I have always wanted to do is to create some sort of shared calendar that B and I could both use, and would always be readily available for us to jot quick things down before we forget them.

Allow me to introduce you to Mead's 'OrganizeHer' brand. I stumbled upon these products a few weeks back during one of my bi-weekly Target trips. My first purchase was the 'Shopping Companion' and I fell in love with it so quickly, that I went back to the 'organization aisle' the very next time I was in Target.


And wow, was I thrilled when I realized how many options I had to choose from! Not only did I find a dry erase calendar that's perfect for the front of our refrigerator, but I also snagged an adorable magnetic meal planning/grocery list pad that helps me keep everything together!




Of course, I had to snag some multi-colored dry erase markers so B and I could have colored categories for our social/work/house items! We've already colored up our calendar and I just love having a central place for us to keep up with our busy schedules.

Check out the OrganizeHer website for more information about all of their products,they even have a whole section where you can download some of their templates for free!



I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spa Sprinkles Are For Boys, Too!

It's no secret that my life has been chock full of baby showering of late. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit burnt out, but there is something so very special about showering (or sprinkling!) your loved ones and babies-to-be with as much love as possible!

If you've been here before, you probably already know that AP from ILYMTC is my sister-in-love, as we so fondly refer to each other. When we found out she was having another baby boy, my other SIL and I knew we had to do something unique and special to celebrate her and the excitement of welcoming M2 :o)

I should probably add, that this was the first time I had planned, or even attended, a celebration at a spa, and oh my word, it was DIVINE. All of the women there were in agreement that every shower they attend from here on out should be at a spa. It allowed each of us to have some real relaxation time, and more importantly, gave the Momma's in attendance a break from Mommy-ing for a few hours. 


I should also mention that the spa we used went above and beyond to make us comfortable. They were accommodating, gave us the entire upstairs for a few hours longer than we had planned, were flexible and so nice to work with! Even better, the spa was only a mile or so from AP's house, so it was easy to get her there and back! 

When I first started getting my thoughts together for this sprinkle, I knew I wanted it to be different from her first shower. Heck, I didn't have Pinterest back then, either. And, once the wheels started turning, there was no stopping.








Obviously, we went with blue, grey, and more blue! Because we had a private room, it was easy to transform the room. I loved the way the natural light accented all of the little touches!

By far, one of my favorite parts was the homemade 'guest book.' 


 I found my inspiration for this personalized message board here. I am thrilled with the way it turned out, and it just screamed AP to me! I'll be sharing more about how I made it later this week!


And here is the beautiful Momma-to-be soaking it all in. AP, thanks for letting us spoil you on Saturday, we loved every minute! Can't believe little M2 will be here in just a few weeks! I am beyond excited to meet him!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Brand Spankin' NEW Summer Sponsors!!

There has been a lot of buzz around the interwebs lately about partnerships and sponsorships. Let me start by saying that I am incredibly thankful to be able to share openly here on my blog, to have connected with so many women, and now, to be able to help promote some of my favorite bloggers and women right here at OLN.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to our fabulous Summer Sponsors, in no particular order.

Lena was not only my first 'official' blog sponsor, but she and I have become fast friends over the last few months, and I am so happy to have her along for the ride this summer! She started selling Stella & Dot a few months back, and I haven't stopped drooling over the catalog since! 

Lena has a dear friend who just got some tough news, and she has taken the initiative to get out there and do something that can really change her friends' life ...

'Many of you have heard me talk about my precious friend and sorority sister, Katelyn.  She found out a few weeks ago that she has cancer of the uterus.  She found out about her cancer about 5-6 weeks after her son, Owen, was born.  She has a daughter, Avery, who will be 3 in November.  Can you imagine having 2 children, one who is a newborn, and discovering that you have a life-threatening illness?  I cannot imagine it at all.  

But Katelyn?  She has fought it with a "bring it on" and "take that, cancer" attitude.  

And fight she has done.  

She's literally had half-a-dozen blood transfusions and an emergency hysterectomy, and she still has strength like a lion.  She's not only my dear friend, she's my role model. 

I have been thinking and praying for a while about how I can help Katelyn in some way, and God said to me - sell your jewelry.  I love Stella & Dot so much, and I know many of you do, too. 

So, I have set up a special trunk show for Katelyn, and I'm donating 100% of my commission to help Katelyn.  Despite cancer, there are diapers to buy, bills to pay, mouths to feed, etc, and this is one way that I can help. 

I ask that you consider buying yourself something new in honor of my friend - wear it proudly and pray for her whenever you wear it.  All of the hostess rewards that are earned from this show, I also plan on donating to Katelyn - because we all know, jewelry makes us feel beautiful, no matter what we may look like on the outside'

How amazing is that? I think it's so genuine and heartfelt that Lena has organized this initiative for her friend, and I am honored to be able to help spread the word. Are you interested in helping out? Simply visit her new Stella & Dot Trunk Show, and thanks in advance for your support!


You many already recognize Leigh Anne, as she's a returning sponsor as well! Leigh Anne is the author of the fabulous blog, Hart to Heart, where she writes about fashion, fitness, cooking and crafting! Be still my heart. Talk about a girl who is my style, right? She's a fellow newlywed and a fellow fashionable brunette! She has already motivated me to cook healthier and to get my fitness back on, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Leigh Anne is sweet, down-to-earth and the type of girl I know I'd be friends with IRL. In fact, maybe we should work on this whole 'in real life' thing so I have someone to motivate me back into the gym a few times a week! She really has become one of my favorite bloggers, so show her some love, ladies! You can also check her out on Twitter, and visit her Etsy shop while you're at it!


Where do I even begin with Lindsey?! We were originally introduced via Twitter by my SIL, and since then, we've struck up a real friendship. Even though we may not know each other yet, I consider Lindsey a friend, and a beautiful one at that!

Lindsey blogs over at Love to the Moon about her beautiful family: her hubby and two precious daughters. Personally, I love her Wednesdays vlogs because it makes me feel like we're in the same room! Lindsey is a great Mom, and a beautiful person inside and out. Head on over and join in on the fun and show her some love! You can also find her on Twitter here!


Mandy is another one of my favorites. A fellow Jersey girl, and another Mom to two precious little girls! I often feel like Mandy and I have known each other for years, but the truth is, we've actually never met! We do text each other like 'IRL friends,' and it is my hope that Mandy, Lindsey and I can all hang out together some day in the near future!

Mandy is the author of the blog, Mommy Musings, and writes about raising her two beautiful little girls, her adorable pups, and being married to a once military, turned cop hubby. Her posts are always filled with adorable photos, and I always feel like she gives me an up close glimpse into her life. She has also helped me host a 31 giveaway, and is one of the cutest, fittest Mommy's I know. If you're not already reading Mommy Musings, you definitely need to start doing so ASAP! You can also find Mandy on Facebook and Twitter!


Jamie and I have become 'internet buddies' more recently after she reached out to help promote the Week of 31 Giveaways that myself and some other fabulous ladies helped sponsor back in March. Since then, we've kept in touch via Twitter, and I always love popping over to her blog to read about her most recent happenings.

Jamie blogs about her life as a wife, and former 'working girl' turned SAHM. She met her hubby at 18 and now they're sharing in this beautiful journey together. She is also a reality TV junky just like me, and her recaps about the likes of the RHOC are classic. Head on over and say hello to Jamie as soon as possible!


I am beyond excited to welcome a Scentsy consultant into the mix with my Summer Sponsors! It is no secret that I am a total Scentsy convert. In the past few months, I've added a full sized warmer, two plug-in warmers and a dryer bar to my collection, and I've been thrilled with each and every product!

If you're new to Scentsy, or if you're ready to freshen up your collection for summer, pay a visit to Kim's site and check out all of the fabulous new things that Scentsy is offering, like the Campus Collection, Scentsy Buddies, the Layers Collection, and even the brand new Men's Collection! You can also host a party of your own, and receive the benefits of being a hostess! Contact Kim with any questions about specific products, and let her know that I sent you!

You can also find Kim on her blog, and please check out her adorable boys while you're there! She's also on Twitter!


Have you had the pleasure of meeting Kelly yet? She bog over at 'Today Was A Fairytale.' She's a soon-to-be newlywed, so you'll catch her dishing about wedding planning, life as a working girl, photography and her many adventures. 

She is also hosting a 31 giveaway this week! I am honored to help Kelly sponsor this giveaway for a URU Thermal Tote, and hope you'll head over and enter right away! Not only are you supporting Kelly, but 31 is giving back for each URU tote that is sold! The giveaway is open until next Wednesday, May 9th, and the winner will be announced on Thursday, the 10th!



If you are not already privy to Laura's blog, Between the Lines, then you have surely been living under a rock somewhere. Laura is another one of my favorite bloggers! Not only is she a wife, a mom, and a Scentsy Consultant, but she also finds time for design and photography?! She must be wonder woman, and I love that about her.

Laura's blog shares stories about her life, her son, E, their adventures in military life with her hubby, and so much more. Laura is down-to-earth, and I love the honesty with which she shares about her faith, her adventures in her kitchen, and in entrepreneurship!

Laura is yet another woman who I would love to be IRL friends with. Are you seeing this, Laura? Let's make that happen! You can also find her on Twitter (thank God lent is over and she's back), Facebook and Pinterest!



And last, but certainly not least, is Jessica from Diamond Doll Designs! Jess came as a referrals from my fabulous, SIL. I looked her up right away, and have never looked back!

Trust me when I say you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the familiar blog banners you see when you visit her site. She's fun, creative, and she really helped me come up with the fabulous new look for OLN. If you're thinking about giving your blog a facelift, definitely head on over and tell Jess I sent you!!




Whew! If you're still reading, thank you SO MUCH for your support of our new sponsors. I am super excited about each one of them, and writing this post really helped to remind me of all of the wonderful friends and connections I've made here. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, email me directly at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com
Now, please excuse me while I go place the finishing touches on everything for Baby M2's Sprinkle tomorrow! I'll definitely share about it all next week!


Have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Life Lately.

Earlier this week, I was doing a bit of blog reading, and as I caught up on Shannon's blog, her 'Lately' post really struck a chord with me.

In the recent months, I've been trying to do more event/project/recipe/DIY/giveaway based posts, rather than bore all of you with the nitty gritty details of 'a day in my life.' But, I'll admit it, lately I haven't had much time other than to just live according to the daily grind. Maybe it's a rut, but I feel like getting it all out right here might help me get it off my chest, and move on to bigger and better things!

Lately, I've been chugging along with my business, keeping my big clients satisfied, and working to sustain all of the responsibilities that I've already committed to under the 'BOLT' title. I wish I could say that there are also a handful of new and exciting things going on in that slice of my life, but, the truth is, I just haven't had the time (or energy) to grow this business the way I had hoped I would by mid 2012. I have so many great ideas swirling around in my head, but I have been struggling to find the time, and sometimes, the motivation, to kick off some new initiatives. I know the time will come, and I'm excited to be able to say that I have a call scheduled for tomorrow with a new prospect, but it's just been a topic that has been weighing on my mind of late.

Lately, my life has been full of babies: new babies, baby presents, baby showers and baby visits. While I surely have no reason to complain about any of these joyful happenings, I would be lying if I said this current state hasn't given me an awful case of 'the fever.' I feel like I've struggled so much with knowing when the 'right time' would come for us to start our family. It's like I was waiting for God to drop something straight from the heavens that read: "OK, it's time now!' But, that's just not life. I've been trying to keep a level head, to not let it stress me out, and to accept that God has a plan, but, full disclosure, this is much easier said than done. Lucky for me, I get to help welcome four new babies into the world in June, and although this may only cause 'the fever' to intensify, I am over the moon excited to meet each and every one of these beautiful babes!


Are you getting tired of hearing my woes yet? Good, I am, too. But hey, this is my blog, and it was just time for me to air it all out. 

On a more personal note, I'd like to thank all of the special women in my life that have been listening to me babble, cheering me on, and just really being there for me lately. Above all else, I know I have the most incredible girl friends and I feel truly blessed.



Make sure you check back tomorrow and greet all of our new Summer Sponsors!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So What If I Get Dressed for Instagram Photos?!

Well, folks, I have really fallen off the wagon this week. My schedule has been so full lately, and I've just been feeling on the verge of burnt out. Some mornings my mind all but turns to mush, and I can only muster the concentration for the likes of the Real Housewives.

Luckily, there are so many fabulous women in this blogging community, that I can always find the inspiration to get back on the horse, or wagon in this case, I guess? See what I mean about the concentration thing? Even better, Shannon also inspired me to write a 'Lately' post, so I can give you all a peak into what has been keeping me busy and laden with baby fever lately.

All that said, I felt like this week was another perfect opportunity for 'So What Wednesday,' because we all have our moments, am I right?!




This week, I'm saying 'So What!' if ...
  •  Some days, I find the motivation to get dressed early because I want to post another OOTD pic on Instagram. Are you on Instagram? It's my latest form of social media crack these days
  • I'm wearing my Rock the Red coral skinnies again today in honor of the Caps game #3 tonight. GO CAPS!!
  • I've been watching this video NON-STOP since one of my guy friends showed it to me last week. This song is addicting and the video totally made me develop girl crushes on Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale.
  • I have been shoe craaazy lately. In the last two months, I've added both Tory's and Toms to my collection, and yes, it definitely hurt my wallet.
  • I am counting the days until MDW (Memorial Day Weekend), and a much needed mini beach vacation with great friends! We're headed to North Carolina for five, blissful days, and I'm already planning my 'Summer Must Haves' post in preparation :o)
  • I am over the moon excited to attend the swanky corporate function that B's company is putting on next week at the W Hotel in DC. I can't think of another thing I want to do more than gett all gussied up and go out on the town for drinks, dinner and dancing with my hubby. Holy classy date night!

Thank you again, Shannon for providing me with this outlet so I can blow off some steam. 


Have you noticed the new buttons hanging out up there on my sidebar?! My fabulous new summer sponsors are now on display! Full details coming on Friday!