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:
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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Vintage Vibe: April Finds

This month the collection is in the pink!  I'm in totally love with each of these pieces featured here as they hearken Spring with a lightness and whimsy!
This retro ribbed vase is a stunner we just acquired; I think its an easy pick for Mother's Day, especially for the girl that has it all.

It's becoming harder to find these, but - hooray, this is a flour sack bag.  Manufacturers in the 50's and 60's began to print fun patterns on the flour sacks for their customers to use as a free incentive.  Don't you wish they'd continued?!
And I can't believe I even found this amazing quilt.  About a twin size, it's in pretty good condition. Also hand pieced in a lovely double wedding ring pattern but what makes this piece so nice is a lovely scalloped edge and the amazing paisley fabric on the back!
This must of been made for a very special person because quilt backs of this age are typically pretty plain, as they put their work and good fabrics on the front.  

Featured in this post:
  • Vintage Ribbed Pink Vase - Get it here.
  • Pink Daffodil Flour Sack Fabric Remnant - on Etsy
  • Twin Size Double Wedding Ring Quilt - Available in store at Nest Interiors or online.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Growing the Good...

I'm coming off an amazing 24 hour buying trip, more on that later!  But I just had to pause and say thank you guys for making our Earth Day Make and Take Event so special!
For those that participated, we made these cute chalkboard pots and planted pollinator friendly plants.  We used my newest color, Pothole, of my own chalky finish brand of paint, Cottage Nest Paint.  I love our paint but even I was amazed at the coverage this black has...and yes it worked really well as a chalkboard finish.
The star of the show was this guy tho, a Giant Swallowtail butterfly that I had pinned all my hopes on emerging for the big day.  Thankfully he agreed and it gave me an opportunity to share the work I am doing to raise and conserve butterflies.  All butterflies are in a decline, so to share this amazing animal in our Monarch Waystation was beyond special.
If you liked this event, please share your thoughts!  Also, we have plans for a special Fall event that will have another eco-friendly focus to it, so keep watching and reading for details!

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Earth Day Make and Take

We're celebrating Earth Day this Saturday at our shop and Monarch Waystation!  This Saturday we will be hosting a Make and Take, where we will use our Cottage Nest Chalky Finish Paint to make chalkboard style flower pots and plant a pollinator friendly plant.  All free of charge just for joining us!
Also, *fingers crossed* we hope to release one of the Giant Swallowtail butterflies we've been raising.  We have one very close to emerging but it's on butterfly time, not our time.  Either way, we will have caterpillars and chrysalises on display for any curious guests.  And here's a little background on this season's first generation of butterflies we are raising.
 And if you can not join us but want to make a difference, I recommend you look up local March for Science events, read this great article from Jane Goodall and by all means please watch this documentary on Seed Saving and Extinction featured on until the end of the month.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

5 Reasons to Join Us for Strawberry Festival

Yes, it's the Berry best weekend of the year and you should start at Nest!
  • Beginning with the Strawberry Fest Parade, rolling at 9:30am and passing right in front of Nest.  We offer a family friendly environment on our lawn with ample free parking at our building and adjacent businesses.
  • Meet our new neighbor, Flowers by Linda!  She'll be handing out free balloons to the kids and you can win a bouquet for Mother's Day.
  • Easter Sale - fill your basket with already discounted goods 
  • Extended Hours:  
    • Friday 10:00a - 5:30p
    • Saturday 9:00a - 3:00p
    • Sunday 11:00a - 3:00p 
  • E-news Subscriber exclusive coupon for Friday, Saturday and Sunday only...sign up on our website
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Vintage Vibe: March Finds

This month brings some real pieces of hobbies and pastimes of American life.

How lovely!  This bridge set of napkins and rare, cocktail glass slippers are a perfect shade of robins egg blue with white embroidery.  These are on sale, too!
Also, I love this vintage Brass Butterfly plant rooter; also a good home for air plants!

And, this!  A vintage tennis racket with a cross stitch yarn heart.  I actually did a tutorial a few years ago on the blog and I'm letting go my demo.  Instant art!

All of these items (and more) are located in my dedicated Etsy shop.

Featured in this post:

  • Vintage Cocktail & Bridge Napkin Set - on sale here.
  • Brass Butterfly Vintage Plant Rooter - only one on Etsy  SOLD OUT
  • Forty Love Vintage Tennis Racket with Cross Stitch Heart - get the original here.
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nest is Nine

We end this month full of thanks!  This past Saturday was our big Anniversary Celebration and Sale.  Despite a terrible rainstorm with hail (yes, hail, yes!), we had an incredible turnout!

We are already planning our 10th anniversary and next year will be BIG!  Thanks again for shopping and supporting our store!
Remember, you can still use your coupon code HAPPY15 for 15% Off any purchase at our Etsy shop in celebration, too!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Totes Adorbs

This is a BIG weekend for us!  We're celebrating NINE years in business at our Ponchatoula, LA location.  And as a big thank you we've got some great one day specials for this Saturday, March 25th.
First off, we are offering this amazing little tote (designed and silk-screened by moi!) free with a $25 purchase in store...but wait there's more...when you bring this bag back and let us fill it with more get 5% OFF any additional purchase forever!

Secondly, Saturday only, the store is 15% OFF everything, I know, crazy right???  And right now, we've got so much new stock: Easter decor, flags, a full restock of Lampe Berger, amazing regionally made items.  This is going to be a good day to have a GREAT day!

Thirdly, I know more?!?  I'm hauling in bunches of mini cupcakes and sweet tea, just so you know how much we love you!

This is primarily an in-store celebration, but our Etsy shop (also NINE) is running a special coupon code HAPPY15 for 15% off  your entire purchase there!

And thanks from the bottom of our hearts, for making our shop dream a reality!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sunday Funday: Crosby Arboretum

Hooray for Spring!  To celebrate, we drove east for about an hour to tour Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, MS.  I had been years ago, right in the beginning with my mom and now I was taking my own children to explore...
It was such a delightful experience; one of those rare times that something actually exceeds all your expectations.  The highlight for me was walking into their "bog area" - it sounded rather unattractive by name, but it could not have been more open area, with a field of tiny almost Chinese lantern style blooms, and bright yellow and red pitcher plants poking up through the grass.  Small pearl crescent butterflies zipped past, drawing my attention to a dive, then another, of a pretty bluebird pair...all of which were none too bothered by two loud toddlers...thankfully!

Find out more about Crosby Arboretum and the work they are doing in the field of native planting here.
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