Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spreading Our Wings...

A week ago, we turned the lights off, locked the door and tried to not feel too guilty about leaving our shop for a full week.  We headed in a new direction...the Lower Rio Grande Valley, visiting South Padre Island, as well as, further stops West.  New sights and new sounds were just the refresh we needed, plus time to recenter as a family.

The world is so big and so small, just the same.  Truly, though, after a fun-filled week of discovery and relaxation, our Nest was a welcomed site!

Places we enjoyed:
--Lisa 
 
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Picky Papa: Father's Day Challenge

If you liked my Mother's Day tour of the shop, you'll love this walk thru (from our Walkthru Wednesday series) where I show you my picks for Papa!
Featured in this post:

  • Roux Spoon & Jambalaya Set available at Nest
  • LSU Grilling Set - one left here.
  • Lampe Berger Summer Nights Gift Set - $5.00 off here
  • Rustic Picture Frame for 5x7 photos - available here

--Lisa 
 
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Flights of Fancy...

In my ongoing efforts to learn more about butterflies and enhance both my Monarch Waystation located at Nest and my home butterfly garden, I attended an interesting Butterfly Gardening talk given by our local Master Gardeners early this week.  The wind was kicking up, skies darkening, another summer storm was rolling through - I thought, for sure, I'd be the only one.  But to my delight, a lot of people attended, from all walks of life.  Listening to the questions asked, many on what to plant, but several on the act of raising butterflies, I began to think maybe this is a topic I need to focus more on at Nest.

We started our Monarch Waystation late last year; it was quickly discovered by Monarchs (you can watch our first release here).  And I've continued raising all sorts of butterflies since; earlier this year, we raised a number of Giant Swallowtails and currently I am raising several Black Swallowtails
I still consider myself a novice, but I really want to share what I've learned so far.  All butterflies need our help, the more we over develop and the less we plant native and diverse plants, we will continue to chip away at their evolutionary fiber.  So, I'm kicking around something for the fall; something to blend gardening info specific to butterflies and information on how to raise them, including monarchs.  Let me know if you are in?!

For now, I want to leave you with a few great resources that I found super helpful:

  • A super informative presentation on raising Monarchs here
  • Mr Lund Science on You Tube: a lot of excellent Monarch raising videos here and good tips on growing milkweed
  • A very cool article and video about how one man basically saved a species of butterflies in his backyard
  • A butterfly gardening guide by LSUAG on specifically creating butterfly gardens in Louisiana
  • Journey North - lots of info and citizen science traceable info
  • Get certified: create your own Monarch Waystation
And, I'm excited to tell you, I will be returning to the Pollination Celebration as a vendor September 16th.  I'll have favorites from our garden department plus a few new specials!

--Lisa 
 
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vintage Vibe: May Finds

Milk glass lovers...take a look!  We added some beautiful pieces to our collection this month:
So precious, this set of 6 tea cups in an intricate cut glass pattern.  I was delighted to find so many together and in perfect condition.
Ice cream for everyone!  This sweet set of fruit compote or ice cream bowls on a footed pedestal are a treat!  In a traditional grapevine pattern.
The piece de la resistance!  I'll probably regret selling this amazing vase decorated with swans and cattails...I've really never seen a lovelier piece of milk glass!

Featured in this post:

  • Milk Glass Tea Cup or Punch Glass Set of 6 - available here
  • Milk Glass Fruit Compote Glass Set - on Etsy
  • Westmoreland Swan in Cattails Vase - only one available here

--Lisa 
 
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Make the Most of Memorial Day Weekend...

Memorial Day ushers in a warm welcome to Summer and hopefully the beginning of a three day weekend for most!  With a nice chunk of time (if you're not headed to a beach) why not make the most of it and tackle a paint project or two?  Not only is the extended weekend perfect but we've marked down all Cottage Nest Paint 20% OFF Friday and Saturday only!  Stock up on our basics like either of our whites, Cotton or Sweet Olive and check out our newest colors, Oyster and Pothole.

And need a little inspiration?  Check out this video I pulled together of a piece I refinished with Zach of Rekindled Designs.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and thanks to all our military & their families who sacrifice daily for our freedom.

--Lisa 
 
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Walkthru Wednesday: Mother's Day Challenge!

We're down to the wire...Mother's Day is Sunday!  Earlier this week, I started to hear the usual "she has everything!"or "she's so hard to buy for!"  I expect it, and I really do take it to heart to find unusual and meaningful gifts to help take the pressure off of you.  Here's a quick trip I filmed earlier today with a few of my favorite go to choices:
I also want to add, particularly when giving to someone you may feel never likes what you give them (that's tough!); take the expectation out of gift giving.  I know we all want to wow the other person, but when we give, it is one of our greatest acts to let go for the betterment of another.

An additional tip I recommended in selecting a gift, especially for someone you may not know that well (say a future mother in law), give something that says something about yourself.  A candle that reminds you of a pie your grandmother made for you as a child, a vase with flowers because you remember your father giving something similar to your mother, or even your favorite novel.  A gift with a story grows wings, becomes less of just another thing but rather an experience, memory you now both share.

--Lisa 
 
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Remembering the Why...

Most nights, including last night, after I get home from the shop, spend time with my kids, put them to bed, I get back to working on my store.  Last night it was both developing products and strategies for the next few months.  Though I'm running myself ragged, it's quiet and I can finally think...and somewhere in my research last night this lovely nugget pops up to remind me why I started this journey.

If I've never told you this, I was in my twenties in college pursuing a degree in Interior Design.  And as together as that sounds for a young person, I was completely ambivalent about this path.  I was in a place in my life that I was pressured to "pick something already!"  I should of been listening to my gut, because I actually did know what I wanted to do.  Every couple months I found myself on Magazine St. in New Orleans, walking from independent shop to independent shop.  Meeting retailers, each with their own story...dream.  I particularly loved shops that offered items that, I as a poor college kid, could afford; not everything in the store was low priced but I could at least walk away with a treasure.  I told my mother half way thru my degree that I wanted to open my own store and sell items that anyone could find at least one thing they could afford and treasure.  I should preface this and say my mother is completely supportive of my business now, but in that moment, she said "absolutely not."

So, I did become an interior designer, for a better part of 10 years I worked in commercial design with nationwide clients and million dollar budgets.  Of course no one will tell you in school, that there will be nights you'll stay up trying to find the best toilet seat and light bulbs for a facility that services the mentally ill and could use the wrong design to commit suicide.  I respect someone has to make these decisions, but I knew I had to find my own path soon...as this job was literally killing me.

One morning, on my drive into work, I called my spouse, I was literally in tears, and it just flowed out of me...the entire concept for this store and it's name just came out of my mouth.  It's funny how when you say something you actually become accountable for it - in about 3 months we bought the building we're in now, and about 18 months later we opened Nest.

Fast forward about 10 years, I probably work harder than I did as that interior designer ping ponging from deadline to deadline, but it's the most rewarding thing I've done.  And yes, just as I wanted to do as a twenty-something, I curate a shop that anyone at any budget can find something.  It has literally made my day for a child to bring me a jar of change they saved because they can buy something from my shop.  I've helped people put back the normal in their lives after the area flooded twice last year with our furnishings and accessories.  And just this week, a customer called for anything with a cardinal.  Knee deep, in my stock room unboxing Christmas because that's the only place I'll have one, I find a cardinal garden stake, today it's at a relatives funeral.

These are more than things we sell, these are the treasures and proof of our lives together and love we hold for one another. Sometimes I do forget this, at night, when my feet hurt from standing all day, upset from someone I couldn't please, burned out, but someone like yourselves will walk in the next day and tell me, "What a beautiful store" or "this is just what I needed" and I can't thank you enough for being part of my why.

--Lisa 
 
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