Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Letters


I know I am lacking in any real, meaty content this week, but I promise we have lots of fun things lined up, and I couldn't help but give this whole 'Friday Letters' thing a try! If you haven't read some of these funny and witty letters before, you're definitely going to want to check them out.

Dear Riley

Although Momma & Daddy love you very much, we cannot wrap our brains around the fact that, at 18 months old, you are still waking us up at 6AM EVERY MORNING. Will this ever end? We need some sleep, girlfriend.

Hey Neighborhood Kids,

We understand that we live on a quiet little cul de sac, trust me, that's part of the reason we chose this place, but do you always have to play right outside our house, and scream at each other until all hours of the night?! We really don't want to turn into those disgruntled neighbors. Maybe we'll be more understanding once we have children of our own.

Dear B,

Oh sweet, hardworking husband. I have decided to create a new rule in our house. It's called 'if you finish it, you replace it' and it applies to at least all of the following: toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, napkins and the Brita container in the fridge. Thanks for your attention to this matter :o)

Your Adoring Wife 

Dear Bravo,

Thank you, ever so much, for supplying countless hours of dramatic, reality television. I can't tell you how many afternoons have fallen to the wayside due to a RHONY marathon, or the impending RHoOC finale. I love your work. Keep it up!

Dear New FroYo Place,

Thank you for opening within 2 miles of our house. Even though I really don't need the extra calories during bathing suit season, I truly appreciate being able to run out and grab a sweet treat with my hubby on a random Tuesday night! But seriously, can we work on your Snickers bar chunks? Last time I tried them, they definitely didn't taste like Snickers. Thanks a bunch!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

PixlBug Photo Canvas Review & Coupon Codes for My Readers!!

This product review is one that I have been excited to share with you for quite a while now. Pictures have always been a big deal for me. I was 'that girl' that was always whipping out the camera to capture every college moment. I spent a fair amount of time researching, and even more money, to ensure that our wedding photos would be something we would treasure for the rest of our lives.

The thing that I don't do as much any more is actually print out and frame my photos. Times have changed, and I am much more likely now to create a keepsake photo book or have one of my favorite pictures turned into a canvas for us to display in our home. 

Well, my friends, that is exactly what today's post is about. Allow me to introduce you to the fine folks at Pixlbug. I had the opportunity to create and review one of their canvas prints, and I couldn't wait to share it with all of you.

This is, by far, one of our favorite wedding photos. It captures the happiness of the day, and beautifully depicts the NYC backdrop that was on display for all of our guests that night.

The Pixlbug design center is super easy to use. I literally just uploaded my image, dropped it into the canvas design I wanted, and it was ready to order! Pixlbug also offers a wide variety of design features to help you personalize your product. Whether it be a canvas, photo book, or gadget, you can personalize the design of each item!

The prices are reasonable, and the quality of the canvas was great!

I am now displaying my beautiful, new canvas in my office, and it brings a smile to my face each time I glance over at it. 

And now, the best part! Pixlbug has given me not one, but two coupon codes exclusively for my readers to use on their products! 

1) 30% OFF all Gadget Cases* - includes iPhone 4 cases, laptop sleeves, etc.
Code: MyNewCase
Valid until 11:59pm August 15, 2012

2) 9¢ 4x6" Prints
Code: Pixlbug9
Valid until 11:59pm August 15, 2012
Head on over an check out Pixlbug while these codes last. Trust me, you don't want to miss out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

'So What Wednesday!' Cause I Just Love It

Oh yes, it's Wednesday, which means that we are linking up for another week of Shannon's blog famous linkup! Seriously, if you haven't given this 'So What!' thing a whirl, you really need to, it feels so good to get this stuff off our your mind and chest!

This week, I'm saying 'So What!' if  ....
  • I have been eating tons of fresh fruit and veggies lately, and while I do not consider this to be any type of diet, I can easily house a whole avacado as a 'snack' any day of the week. Is an avacado a fruit or veggie?!
  • I am officially on the Wen shampoo train, for real. I know I gave it a semi review here on the blog, but it only took me about 2 washes to fall head over heels in love with the stuff. Haven't tried it yet? Do it.
  • I watched the entire first season on The Client List. I have sort of always like Jennifer Love Hewitt, so I was intrigued when they turned her Lifetime movie into a TV show. Yep, I'm hooked. Hot men and a dramatic story line? You can add another grossly dramatic and tv-made-only-for-women show to my ever-growing list.
  • I am officially addicted to champagne. I can drink it any day of the week, mix it with raspberry lemondae, and I even love it when Heather from RHoOC calls it 'champs.' Hey. it's gotta be better for me than beer, no?!
  • Our TTC journey hasn't gotten any easier (or shorter). We're still moving along, and I have hope that it will happen soon, but it's still on the brain. A lot. I blame all of the cute, new babies :o)
  • I am considering giving myself a 'week off' from the business in mid-July to cover a few small trips I am planning on taking. I'm a little nervous, since I'm a one-stop-shop, but everyone needs a vacation, right?
  • I am getting the itch for a new car. Although we don't yet need one, and my little Accord is still kicking, I really miss driving an SUV (you know, other than the gas prices), and I have my eye on the Honda Pilot. In their gunmetal color, specifically. Realistically, a new car is probably not in the cards for us until late 2012 or early 2013, but it's sure fun to think about!

Want to link up with Shannon and the other fabulous ladies that are saying 'So What!' this week? Head on over and do it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Oreck Winner & Some Tuesday Tidbits

Happy Tuesday, beautiful ladies! First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for entering our Oreck giveaway, and for spreading the love around Twitter, Facebook, etc! I think this giveaway was a smashing success, and I hope to work with Oreck again in the near future!

Now, the good stuff, right?! The winner of her very own, brand new Oreck 'Grab-It & Steam-It' is ....

My sweet friend, Molly from Stilettos & Diapers is our winner!! Congrats, girl!!  


In other news, the 'fevah' might be at all all time high. Let me give you a few examples of the cutenesss in my life right now. And by cuteness, I certainly do mean that my friends must be trying to lure me into motherhood with their adorable children. Am I right?! 

You might already know Aliya's baby boy from her blog. And have you seen her daughter yet? Omgeee. Trust me, go check out her beautiful family!

Have you met my nephew yet?! If not, you need to prepare yourself. If I hadn't already  caught the 'fevah,' this little guy certainly would have done the trick!

 I mean, really, do you see how sweet that little face is?! My SIL sure does make beautiful baby boys!!

Other than spending copious amounts of time with these sweet little guys, we've been up to business as usual. The weather has been hot, and we've been spending lots of time catching up with friends, eating fresh MD crabs and sipping on ice cold beers. Even though I'm a Jersey girl at heart, I do love summer in Maryland.

That's about all the time I have for today, but make sure to check back this week for a fabulous new product review, the inevitable 'So What Wednesday!' linkup, and so much more!

Also - I'm looking for a few ladies who might be interested in guest posting for us here at OLN the week of July 16th - if you're interested, either leave a comment with your email, or email me directly at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Suiting Up for Summer In Style

Whether you are looking for a tankini, bikini or a one piece, Old Navy has you confidently covered.

I can hardly believe that summer is already here. But, it is, and you know what that means? It's time to buy some new summer gear!

Although I have plenty of mix-and-match suits already, there is always room for one more. Have you checked out this season's Old Navy collection? I have always loved their swimwear, and think they really have something for everyone!

I absolutely love planning my beach/pool wear in the summer. Whether we're headed to the beach for the weekend or to Florida with my family for a week, I always pack several swim 'outfits.' What girl can go on vacation without her beach bag, sunnies and floppy hat?

Summer Suiting

As I've reached my late twenties, my style has started to change a bit. While I still love bikinis and find several each year that I would love to add to my collection, my taste is starting to shift, and I'm starting to take an interest in tankinis and cute one-pieces as well. I think they're perfect for those days at the neighborhood pool with friends, and they look adorable when paired with white shorts or your favorite wrap for late afternoon happy hour.


Seriously, how cute is this one piece?  What kind of swimwear is your favorite for this year?

Thank you again to Old Navy for sponsoring my post. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY Gallery Wall

A few months back, I took on the project of turning my upstairs hallway from a completely blank canvas to a gallery wall, of sorts.

I love a finished house, so once the walls are painted, I get to brainstorming decorating them as soon as I can! Since our upstairs hallway is long and narrow, and gets tons of natural light because of the open staircase and large window, I knew this would be the perfect spot for my first (ever) gallery wall space.

So, of course I went straight to Hobby Lobby to find some frames, wall art, miscellaneous pieces, and even a clock. I was so pleased with the selection they had. I quickly scooped up a large, open frame from the clearance section, a piece that I knew would be perfect for creating a 'family crest' type piece at the center of the wall. 

A few frames, a small wall clock and two mirrors later, and we were in business!

I am just thrilled with the way the whole thing came together. The above picture is the view you would have when walking up our stairs to the bedroom level of our townhouse. 

I started with the open frame and the large 'M' at the center, and built the rest of the wall around it. If you know me, you know I love printables, so of course, I framed a few of them to adorn either side of the 'M.' 

I also found that gorgeous fluer de lis at HobLob for 50% off! The frame on the lower right contains one of my favorite pictures from our engagement session, and I finished off that blank space with an adorable wall clock, and let me tell you, that clock sure comes in handy when I'm primping in the bathroom across the hall and it's the only clock in my view!

I think my next gallery wall project will be coming up the stairs to the landing right below this area. Have you done a gallery wall in a staircase before? I would love some tips!!

My Gallery Wall Project - 'Where From's?'

Square, backless, open frame - Hobby Lobby, Spring 2012
Large golf 'M' - Hobby Lobby, Spring 2012 (they still have these whenever I go in!)
Smaller, wooden frame - engagement gift
Two 8x10 wooden frames - Hobby Lobby, Spring 2012
Framed printable ''You Are My Happily Ever After' - Livy Love Designs, Winter 2011-2012

Happy Wednesday, Lovelies!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Oreck Grab-It & Steam-It - Grab One for Yourself!!

We sure have been kicking off this summer with some exciting giveaways, haven't we?! Well, today we are kicking off a brand new one, and it may just be our biggest one yet! 

If you are any kind of social media maven, or you just love a sparkling clean house, then you are more than likely, already a fan of Oreck. 

I received this product to review from Oreck, but all thoughts and opinions about the product are my own. The Oreck Corporation provided the prize for the sweepstakes but is not the sponsor of the sweepstakes.

It is no secret that I would consider myself a Type-A 'neat freak.' You know the type, can't leave for work without cleaning the kitchen, and can't get to bed without doing the same. I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen. But, while I do love a clean house, and do take pride in these wifely responsibilities, I have learned very quickly how much more difficult and time consuming cleaning a 4 bedroom townhouse is that the one bedroom apartment where we used to reside. Oh, and don't forget our energetic, 60lb. black lab!

Before I met my Oreck 'Grab-It & Steam-It' steam mop, I would typically try and squeeze most of my cleaning into one day. By the time I picked up the vacuum to 'finish the job,' steaming the floors had totally fallen off of my list of 'must's', because, most of the time, I no longer had the energy to separately vacuum and steam after I had tackled bathrooms, dusting, appliances .. you get the picture.

And then, my little cleaning heart was blessed with a gift that would allow me to vacuum and steam at the same time! Could it be true?! 

And yes, it certainly was. 

Now, all I need to do is fill up the handy, detachable water container, pop both that and the steam pad on, and I am a cleaning machine.

It's super easy to switch modes. From straight vacuuming to straight steaming, it all happens with the simple turn or press of a button.

The red, blue and green light system will tell you when it's ready to steam, and off you go! I mean really, they couldn't have made it much easier for a woman on-the-go to 'kill two birds with one stone?' 

Now, I can easily suck up all of the lingering dog hair around our house, and steam away the inevitable spots that adorn our floors each week, at the same time! I would have to say that my favorite place to use my new Oreck steam mop is in my kitchen. There are always water stains around Riley's food & water bowls, and sometimes, leftover residue from my cooking or B's work boots!

The Grab-It & Steam-It has saved me so much time, and has truly allowed me to enjoy the process of keeping my floors clean so much more than I ever did before.

Now, I bet you're wanting me to get to the good stuff, right?! How can you enter to become the owner of your very own Oreck 'Grab-It & Steam-It?' Well, that's easy, ladies! 

Begin by visiting and telling us one thing you learned about the Grab-It & Steam-It in a comment on this post. Then, simply use the widget below to collect the rest of your entries!

This giveaway begins today, and will run through Monday, June 25th. 
The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

For All The Dad's - And A FREE Father's Day Card Offer!!

When the fine folks at Shutterfly sent me the link to their new Father's Day video, I couldn't help but click on it because I had to see the tribute they had put together for all of the Dad's out there!

I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a little choked up watching that! It made me think about all of the memories I have with my Dad, and of all of the memories we will make in our own family when B becomes a Dad.

This weekend only, Shutterfly is offering a FREE Father's Day card offer when you visit their Facebook page! So, head on over and design a little extra love for the Dad's in your life!

Happy Father's Day, Dad's!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Sponsor Spotlights!!

Well, the day has finally arrived for me to announce the winner of our very first Stella & Dot giveaway!! Drum roll, please ....

Congratulations, Krystal of Krystal's Kitsch! You are the proud new owner of a set of Silver Deco Stackable rings! Please email me at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com for more details!

I have just loved working with some of the fabulous ladies that I've met via bloggin g over the last 3+ years that I've been a part of this community. So please allow me to dote on my fabulous Summer Sponsors, in no particular order.

Lena was not only my first 'official' blog sponsor, but she is also the fabulous sponsor of my most recent giveaway for the fabulous Silver Deco Stackable Rings!

Lena and I enjoyed our first giveaway so much that we have plans to host another one later this summer! And, who doesn't want to add some more Stella & Dot jewelry to their collection?!

By now, I'm sure you recognize Leigh Anne, as she's another returning sponsor! 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 my twin, 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!

From the moment I 'met' Lindsey, via the Internet, we 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 absolute 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. She is also probably one of the fittest Mommy's I know! 

If you're not already reading Mommy Musings, you definitely need to start doing so ASAP! She even has a brand new blog design and button! And, new this summer, Mandy is offering sponsorships on her blog! You can order them directly from her blog by clicking here
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 make sure to check out the June Scent of the Month! 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 blogs over at 'Today Was A Fairytale.' She's a soon-to-be newlywed, so you'll catch her dishing about wedding planning on Wednesdays, life as a working girl, photography and her many adventures. 

I always love reading her wedding updates, because it takes me back to the days when I was planning my own wedding, and it goes by so fast!You can also visit Kelly on Twitter here.

And last, but certainly not least, is Jessica from Diamond Doll Designs! 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 through blogging. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, email me directly at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com

Have a WONDEFUL weekend!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Magnets on the Cheap Product Review

When I was contacted by the fine folks over at, I wasn't sure if or how I would ever use their products. But, as I continued my conversation with my contact, I began to realize that my business could surely use their products to 'spruce up' our visibility!

Working with the fine folks at Magnets was a pleasure, and I found their site easy to navigate, and even easier to use to design my very own car magnet! 

Not only can you design your own magnet from scratch, but they give you many templates to choose from, so if all you want to do is add your colors or logo, you can do that, too!

I chose a template for my design, and was able to move the images, lines and text around to my desire. There are also a ton of colors to choose from, so I was able to take the colors from my logo and emphasize them in the overall design. The car magnets also come in all different colors, shapes and sizes!

I have been driving around town sporting my brand new magnet for the better part of a week, and I am always pleasantly surprised when I walk by it and notice the clear, bright colors, and the nice, new way I'm representing BOLT when I'm out and about!

If you're in the market for professionally made magnets for any business or occasion, I would definitely recommend Magnets on the Cheap. Although the word 'cheap' is in their name, the quality is certainly that of a much more expensive product! 

Their sister site, Signs on the Cheap has everything you need for banners, real estate signs, party signs, and much more!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've been feeling like all I've had to talk about lately is cooking, DIY-ing and giveaways. And, while I love each of those things very much, it just seemed that I may be 'typing' myself as a blogger. After all, there are plenty of things that I may not do all of the time, but certainly do sometimes

  • Sometimes I let myself sleep til 9AM, and then tell B that I was up and starting my day by 8:30
  • Sometimes I get really carried away in the online shopping department. And, then I feel guilty when B keeps asking what all the packages that keep arriving on our doorstep are for?!
Exhibit A - New Top (Forver21) and new necklace (BridierBaubles), but WOW, I love this new outfit!!
  •  Sometimes, I wonder how much I am going to miss beer once we finally do get pregnant.
  • Sometimes, I let myself have the 'morning off' if it's not a terribly busy week with the business, and I catch up on trashy TV like the Housewives or The Client List - oops.
  • Sometimes, I find myself wishing the summer away because I am ready for the NFL season to start! Go JETS!
  • Sometimes I just want a night to myself. No husband, no puppy, just a few hours of me time, a good glass of wine and a full DVR to tackle. It's how I relax.
  • Sometimes, I just can't muster up the energy or creativity to make dinner (especially when it gets close to the weekend), so we eat frozen pizza, or I beg B to pick up chinese food on his way home from work :o)
  • Sometimes, I wonder what would happen to our house if I stopped cleaning it. And when I get moody, sometimes, I threaten to 'stop' for a week. True story - that still has yet to happen
  • Sometimes, I wonder why I book my weeks so full. It seems I am always desperate for a completed to-do list, and some 'free time' but when I find myself with 'nothing to do' I'm just not sure how to handle that. I will attribute this to the fact that I grew up with three other siblings, so I am used to chaos. Yea, let's go with that.

Phew, it's nice to get some of my 'stuff' off of my chest. Now, please excuse me while I go nibble on my arm a bit more so I can survive the last two hours of 'fasting' before my annual physical this morning. Who told me 10:30AM was a good time for this appointment?!

Happy Hump Day! Don't forget to enter our Stella & Dot giveaway- the winner will be announced THIS FRIDAY!

Friday, June 8, 2012

DIY Fabric Corkboard Project

By now, you should know that all most of my DIY projects are born on Pinterest. Once we bought a house, the crafting bug hit me, and it seems like it may be here to stay. I love having a long list of DIY projects I want to try, and dressing up my house 'on the cheap' never gets old. 

One of my latest projects started with this pin. Now that I work at home, and have created my very own office space in the room that will likely, someday, be converted into a nursery, I can finally have the style and functionality in my home office that a cubicle never would have given me. 

I also tend to be a 'papers' person. When I say this, I mean that I sort of hoard papers. Papers used for note-taking, post-its that have been scratched on, etc. They may be straightened into a nice, neat pile, but they're still always there. Now that I've admitted I know this about myself, I had to come up with a solution. Once I saw this DIY corkboard, I knew this was the perfect start.

DIY Fabric Corkboard Tutorial

What You'll Need
One (1) cork/bulletin board in the size and finish of your choice
1/2 - 1 yard of fabric (again, your choice! I went with something fun)
About 200 silver thumbtacks (this will vary with size of board)
Glue gun
Several glue sticks

Begin by choosing your board. I chose to reuse an old fabric one that my parents were getting rid of. I scurried off to Hobby Lobby one afternoon, and bought 1 yard of this gorgeous orange fabric.

Next, wrap your fabric completely around your board, pulling tightly towards the back. Here is where you can cut off any excess fabric. I chose to wrap the back of my fabric sort of like it was a present that I was wrapping with wrapping paper. This gave it a simple, folded look in the back. I then glued each side down tightly, and added extra glue to those places that had extra fabric hanging around.

Now, is the fun part. I had to break up this next part over two days because it started to hurt my thumbs so much! Begin adding your silver thumb tacks, starting from a corner, in a straight line to create a 'nail head border' around the entire perimeter of the board. 

Continue this process until you create a complete border. I left about 1/2-1 inch of space between the edge, and my thumbtack border. Don't get frazzled if you need to take multiple breaks. Believe me, I did. 

Once your border is complete, and you're happy with the way the front of the board looks, just add simple picture hanging hardware to the back of the board, and voila! 

I hung my board on the upper left wall of my desk, so it's not the focal point of the room, but I still have easy access to it when I'm at my desk. I love the way it came out! It definitely dressed up my office a bit, and gave me the pop of color that I was looking for!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 
Don't forget to enter my Stella & Dot giveaway before the 15th!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stella & Dot Ring Stack Review & Giveaway!

I am incredibly excited to finally announce and kickoff this brand new giveaway for my readers!

As many of you already know, I am a big fan of Stella & Dot jewelry. Infact, my very first, and longest running blog sponsor happens to be my personal Stella & Dot Consultant

Lena and I got to talking a few weeks backs right after I had been doting on her brand new ring stack, and shortly thereafter, this giveaway was born!

I consider myself to have relatively 'classic' taste when it comes to jewelry. I love a bright, statement necklace, or a pair of knockout earrings for a night out, but my every day wear consists of my wedding rings, Michael Kors watch, Yurman bracelet, and these day, I'm always sporting at least one Bridier Baubles cuff! I try to keep it fairly simple, and I love silver, platinum and anything sparkly! I mean, what girl doesn't, am I right?!

I was gifted a this beautiful set of 'Stackable Deco Rings' in silver (pictured above), and it was love at first sight! They are the perfect compliment to the rest of my every day jewelry.

 I chose to wear them on my right ring finger, and think that they're the perfect compliment to my wedding rings! They're simple, chic, and elegant and you can dress them up or down! 

Now, here's the great part: Lena is offering another set of these adorable stackable rings to one of my readers! That's right, simply use the widget below to enter, and make sure to leave your ring size in the comment section!

This giveaway starts today, and runs through Thursday, June 14th. 
The winner will be selected and announced on Friday, June 15th!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Waiting Game: An Honest Post About TTC

I have gone back and forth for a while now over whether or not I should write this post. And, if I write it, do I then share it with everyone out there on the interwebs?

I've decided to go for it for two main reasons: this is my blog, and I want to be able to look back years from now and remember the stage of life we were in, our struggles and our joys. Secondly, it is my hope that this post will allow me to connect with other women out there who are experiencing the same fears and doubts as I am in this 'season' of my life.

Do you ever feel like there is a predetermined amount of time that people (and when I say people, I mean all of those that were invited, and present, for our nuptials) wait to start asking 'the question' once you're officially married? You know the question I mean. 'So, are you thinking about babies yet?' 'Are you drinking wine tonight, or can't you drink right now?!'

For us, it was right around our one year anniversary. When the questions started, I would simply laugh them off and act like we wouldn't be ready any time soon. But, after a few months of light prodding, I started to get real with myself. The truth is, I have wanted to be a Mom for as long as I can remember. My parents used to joke that I shouldn't go away to college just to get my 'Mrs.' degree. And, while that was all in fun, and I have used my degree to accomplish many things already, I always knew that, someday, I would hold the job title that I was meant for. 

 I've danced around this subject lightly a few times on this blog before, but this time, I wanted to get it all out, and really be honest about where we are, and how much hard work and patience go into TTC (see what I did there, with my fancy lingo? TTC = 'trying to conceive,' in case you didn't know). 
Around Christmas of this past year, we decided that it was a good time for me to go off the pill. I had been on it for 6+ years, and many friends had told me that it would take my body a few months to 'right itself,' so if we were thinking about starting to try in the next six months or so, it was a good idea. 
At that point, I knew next to nothing about how many details really go into conceiving. I just thought I would stop taking the pill, and two months later we'd get that 'surprise' positive sign on a Target-bought pregnancy test. 
Boy, was I wrong.
For the first two months, I was super laid back about it. No charts, no temps, no OPK's or any of that jazz. But, there were also no 'surprises' to speak of either. So, I turned to a few friends who had successfully conceived at least once, to find out what worked for them. It was then that I started to do some research, and decided that charting and temping was a good place to start. 
I think I underestimated how hard (and annoying) it would be to wait the extra two minutes each morning, before jumping out of bed to pee, to grab my thermometer from the nightstand, and then sit patiently waiting while it beeped away for 30-40 seconds. And then, there were the days that I didn't remember at all. 
As a result, the charts that my handy iPhone app started to build were a bit off. I figured this was fine, and that it would take a few months to really learn what was going on in my normal cycles. Well, impatience paid me a visit, and I decided to heed the advice that another friend of mine had given me: 'skip the temps, and just buy the Ovulation Predictor Kit!' 
Fifty dollars, and one five-day-early period later, I already felt stumped. Was my cycle finally going back to 'normal?' 'Is that second line there, really a second line?'
While all of this babbling probably hasn't given you a very clear picture of what has been going on, chronologically, I can simplify it pretty easily. My cycle has reverted from 28 to around 24-26 days at this point. I still don't feel like I have a good read on the true phases of my cycle, but there was one month where I was afraid that my luteal phase was too short. 
I keep telling myself that 5-6 months is not a long enough window, especially with my inconsistency in a few areas, to really determine whether or not my cycle is giving my signs of a problem. But, I cannot shake the thoughts in the back of my mind that are telling me that 'it shouldn't be this hard,' and 'maybe there is something wrong.' 
The latest? I decided right before our MDW trip to take a break from all of it and just see what happens for the next month or so. So far, that's been going just fine, but the fear is still there, just sitting in the back of my mind.
You're probably wondering what B thinks or has to say about all of this, right? Truth be told, he's been a rock. He truly believes that 'God has a plan' and that it will happen at the right time for us. I wish I could look at it that way all the time. I have been having a hard time swallowing the fact that I have little to no control over the timing on this one. Maybe it's time to let my faith step in and take over.

Have any of you had similar struggles? I have a feeling I'm not the only one.

Monday, June 4, 2012

31 June Customer Special!

Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope your week is off to a great start. We have a minor 'Case of the Mondays' around here, but there is still work to be done, meals to be cooked and rooms to be cleaned!

I wanted to make sure and stop by to let you all know about the fabulous monthly special that Thirty-One is running for the month of June. If you're new to 31, it would probably help if I told you that our Large Utility Tote is, by far, one of our most popular, and best selling items. Whether you're looking for something to help organize your baby items, to keep in your car, or to take with you to the pool, the Large Utility Tote is the perfect solution!

This month only, we are running a special where, for every $35 you spend, you can get a Large Utility Tote for just $10!! You definitely can't beat that deal, and this is the only time of the year where we will be running it! 

Also in June, we will have lids for this ever popular item! That's right, the 'Top-A-Tote' lids will only be available in June, and can be ordered in three different colors for just $10! And, that pretty little pattern you see in the picture above? That's Hot Pink Lotsa Dots' and it will only be around in June, while supplies last! 

We are also featuring a number of new patterns this summer to help you and your families support your favorite sports teams! Don't forget you can personalize these totes as well! 

If you're interested in taking advantage of this deal, you can visit my 31 site or send me an email at ourlovenestblog{at}gmail{dot}com anytime!

If you're a fan of Stella & Dot, you definitely want to stop back later this week, because I'll be giving away one of my very favorite pieces to one lucky reader!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Brain & Photo Dump

Well, the last five days really got away from me, now didn't they? If you're a frequent visitor around these parts, you likely already know that I sometimes complain rant about our busy schedule. Well, this past week was a little different. Instead of jumping onto Twitter or posting a quick 'update' here on the blog, I decided to just let myself 'be' for the week.

It started with our couples vacation to Southport, NC for MDW. We had a blast. It was a perfect, long weekend full of sunshine, tan lines, cocktails and yummy dinners! 

Getting away for four days was just what the doctor ordered, I was immediately less stressed about the day to day to-do lists, and it was great to be able to catch up with good friends!

Never a dull moment around here, we also had two new babies join our lives! B's college roommate and his wife welcomed baby #2, a boy, into the world early this morning, and one of my very best friends had her daughter last week!

Is she one of the cutest little peanut's ever, or what?! If I didn't already have the fevah, and let's be honest, I obviously do, this little princess would have brought it on in full force! Thank God I will get to see her all the time! I always said I want all boys, but in all honesty, between planning a baby girl sprinkle and meeting this little one, I think I need a daughter now. And, that's that.

In news unrelated to babies, it has been business as usual down here. If you know me at all, this next photo won't surprise you. What would my house be without a cold Sam's Summer and new episode of The Bachelorette on the iPad while I prepped dinner one night last week?

You gotta love that NY Jets pint glass representin'. AmIright?!

And lastly, I was gifted with a brand new bottle of 'Wen' this week. Have you heard of it or used it before? I had heard amazing things from a friend (you know, that same friend with the beautiful babies?!), so when she gave me a brand new bottle, I was floored. 

I tried it out for the first time yesterday, and I am surprised by it! Surprised in a good way, that is. Since Wen is a 'cleansing conditioner,' it doesn't lather and/or clean your hair like you are probably used to. Aliya gave me some great tips, like applying it as soon as your hair is wet, and using a thick-toothed comb to comb it through during your shower. 

I would make two comments about it:
  1. I sort of wished that I had done one quick shampoo rinse through before I applied it because my hair is uber thick and my scalp tends to get dried out
  2. When my hair was dry and styled (read: straightened with avengeance), I was surprised that my hair felt sort of tacky. It resembled two-day hair, but was so soft to the touch, I could barely stop running my fingers through it!
Bottom line is that I would definitely recommend you try this stuff if you haven't already. And, I will likely be spending the $$ to keep a bottle of Wen in my shower at all times!

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend, and that this week has treated you well. Please forgive me for my short lapse in social media/blogging, in June we are back in action!

Stay tuned for more info on all of our fabulous June/July sponsors, and I have TWO giveaways coming up over the next few weeks that you won't want to miss!!

Happy Friday, friends!