Sunday, March 29, 2015

Playroom Progress: Part Two {Floors & A Wall}

The playroom is so close to being finished I can't even wait! Olivia has been testing out the floors and already loves to go down there.  If you'd like to see Part One of our progress, click here. Since the last update, the wall has been painted and the floors have been put down.  We also added a huge chalkboard wall, which I'm itching to draw on! Everyone always likes to see a good before and after, so here is the before:




Here is our progress leading up to today....



The staircase is now fully enclosed, especially important with little ones running around. I love it and almost can't remember what it was like before. 


The dog's "suite" is now under the stairs and we installed a small sensor light in there incase it gets too dark under the stairs.  It can be set to automatic or turn on and off manually.  We'll be adding a door so it can be closed...I'm voting for barn door style. 


Olivia was in her glory helping Daddy and Grandpa


The chalkboard wall will be so much fun for her!  I couldn't get a great picture because of the lighting, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. 


Grandpa had a great helper the whole time. After Olivia drew on the freshly painted wall with red carpenter pencil, we were asked to leave ;)


The floors are vinyl planks from Lowes: Style Selections in Antique Woodland.  My hubby was hesitant on using them but I researched a ton and we're SO happy with how they came out.  We've had multiple people thinking they were real wood floors when they see the progress.  They were fairly easy to install as well, says the wife who watched;) but seriously only a few cuts and they were installed so quickly. 


To figure out the correct placement, you lay down a line then another starting in the middle of that line and so on. Olivia had a ball stomping on each one to "make sure they stick".  She'll grow up to love DIY, it's in her genes. Now on to the reveal of the finished floor...
One more "Before"...


...and "After"



I let the girls play on the poufs that I found at Target and they were clearly loving it!


I can't wait for everything to come together!  We'll be picking up the couch this week and hopefully doing a little decorating as well.  Our tv was just mounted and it looks awesome.  We used stained a board and mounted it with plumbing pieces. Can't wait to show you more! 



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amazing Lemon Butter Chicken // Recipe

Alternatively titled: So Good You'll Drink the Sauce Chicken.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably notice I'm a big pinner of recipes, fun kids stuff, and home decor.   Most of my pins sit nicely under my food boards and I literally can't think of a thing to make for dinner ;)  Do you do that too?? I love Pinterest so I'll need to start actually using it, instead of pinning pretty things.  

I did once tell my mom that I had big plans of organizing my Pinterest boards over the weekend... Let's not take a minute to realize how sad that is ;) Um, also why are there no emojis for blogs.  I could have used the monkey covering its eyes one.  

Moving on, this chicken is amazing. It's so easy and seriously delicious.  I adjusted the recipe slightly, here is the original recipe from Damn Delicious.  

{Source: Damn Delicious}

Lemon Butter Chicken

Chicken thighs - skin on, bones in 
1 tablespoon of paprika
Salt + Pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of chicken stock (I used homemade bone broth)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Juice + Zest of one lemon
2 cups of fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 clove of garlic
Parmesan Cheese 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.  Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika, coating both sides. Brown on both sides and remove from pan.
  3. Add minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cook until fragrant. 
  4. Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, juice and zest of lemon, parmesan cheese (I just sprinkled in), and thyme.  Bring to a boil and stir in the fresh spinach. Simmer until sauce has slightly thickened and spinach has wilted.  Add chicken back into the pan. 
  5. Roast in the oven (uncovered for about 15 mins) for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. 
I served ours over jasmine rice and sprinkled fresh parsley over the top. My hubby is not a huge fan of thighs (that's hilarious but I can't say it any other way) so I may use chicken breast next time...but they add so much flavor so he may just have to get over that ;)  The original recipe called for much more garlic and more thyme but the first time it was slightly too strong so I cut down the amount of thyme.  I also didn't have fresh parmesan cheese and it worked out just fine.  It's seriously so good and I couldn't wait to have leftovers the next day.  Olivia ate almost two entire chicken thighs on her own! Considering she's been eating a stick of butter over actual food lately, I'll take that as a win. 

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it! 




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hump Day Highlights // Spring Beauty Picks + Link Up



Happy Hump Day!  Welcome to our weekly "Hump Day Highlights".  Each Wednesday we will list some things from the past week that we are loving, can't live without, are on our wishlists, or are things we are just plain obsessed with - and we will even add links (when applicable) so you can check out or scoop up anything you love, too.



Your weekly hosts are MistyAprilKyraShannonAmandaDanicaCandice, and me! We would love for you to add your post to our link up of the things you are loving this week, too. And please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded ladies and make new friends, all while showing off your blog, too. The Hump Day Highlights weekly link up is going to be a blast, I hope you link up and follow along!

This week I wanted to share some of my favorite beauty picks for the spring.  I can't wait for warmer weather and sunshine! Those cold winter months can do a number on your skin, nails, and lips so I've put together a list of some of my faves to share with you.  I hope these will leave you feeling springy ;)



1.  Bloke Body Scrubs - These delicious scrubs are perfect for exfoliating your skin and filled with antioxidants and skin soothing ingredients like green tea and coconut oil.  The other body scrubs include vanilla chai + sugar and coffee + orange...yum!! They also have hair and lip products as well.  I follow them on instagram @blokebody.


2.  I'm obsessed with all things coconut and this Say Yes to Coconut lip oil does not disappoint. This is a mix between chapstick and lipgloss and it goes on smooth and somewhat tingly.  My lips definitely feel softer after and it tastes yummy too! 

3.  This French Lavender & Honey body cream is my new favorite from Bath & Body Works. I prefer the body cream to the lotion because it's slightly thicker.  It's so calming after an evening shower and has a light, slightly floral scent. 


4.  I really love this Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment. It smells so good and you only need a tiny bit.  It adds volume, shine, and overall strength. I really want to try the hairspray and shampoo and conditioner, too. 


5.  This Essie polish is so pretty for spring! Hubby for Dessert is the perfect candied lilac...a must for spring nails! I love to top my nail color with this top coat from Julep to create a gel-like finish.

That's it for my spring beauty picks!  What are some of your favorites for spring?  Do you have a must to repair your skin from winter?  I'd love for you to share.  


An InLinkz Link-up




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Caramelized Grapefruit // Simple & Delicious

Grapefruits are one of my favorite fruits...especially enjoyable after a long, cold winter.  While it's still cold here, there's glimmers of sunshine and I wanted to try out a yummy breakfast.  Caramelized grapefruit is where it's at.  Sweet and sour, crisp and juicy...so fresh and simple.  This would be good for an afternoon snack as well.


Caramelized Grapefruit

One Ruby Red or Pink Grapefruit
Sugar - white, raw, or brown

  • Slice the grapefruit in half, section pieces, and remove pits
  • Sprinkle on sugar - however much you prefer
  • Place under broiler or use a small dessert torch to caramelize
Enjoy! 




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hump Day Highlights || Favorites + Weekly Link Up



Happy Hump Day! I am so excited to announce that I have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you the second installment of "Hump Day Highlights".

Each Wednesday we will list some things from the past week that we are loving, can't live without, are on our wishlists, or are things we are just plain obsessed with - and we will even add links (when applicable) so you can check out or scoop up anything you love, too.



Your weekly hosts are Misty, April, Kyra, Shannon, Amanda, Danica, Candice, and me! We would love for you to add your post to our link up of the things you are loving this week, too. And please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded ladies and make new friends, all while showing off your blog, too. The Hump Day Highlights weekly link up is going to be a blast, I hope you link up and follow along!
{@thebirdsnestblog}

1. Yesterday, I made a festive St. Patrick's Day breakfast complete with a rainbow and fluffy clouds for Olivia. If you follow along with my Instagram: @thebirdsnestblog, I used our favorite tableware from Re-play and she loved it.  For the rainbow, I used raspberries, clementines, pineapple, green apple, and blackberries.   The fluffy clouds were scoops of plain Greek yogurt, throw in a shamrock pancake and some Cheerios and enjoy a little top 'o the morning to ya. 

{@thebirdsnestblog}

2.  I've been looking for a teepee as a gift for Olivia's second birthday and I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for yet.  I am a little shell shocked as to how much some of them are selling for as well! I found this tutorial from one of my favorite bloggers, Julie Blanner, and I think I may try this!  I will be using fabric instead of a drop cloth because I'd like to make it extra fun for her play area.  We also need a smaller sized one so I think this will be perfect for her. 

{Photo via: Julie Blanner}

3.  I switch back and forth between tea and coffee most mornings and I absolutely love finding different kinds to try.  I found this Coconut Marshmallow Coffee from World Market and it sounds amazing!  Pair it with your favorite mug and you have yourself a little cup of happiness in the midst of a chaotic morning. 

{Photo via: World Market}

4.  Berry baskets.  I'm obsessed with how adorable these are.  They're perfect for displaying fruit, little toys, arts & crafts, and so much more.  I love how they can be used for fun hostess gifts with hand soap, some fun tea towels and a candle. Or even as a teacher gift with a gift card and a pretty mug.  So many ideas! If you're planning on giving them as part of a gift, I'd probably use the paper ones, but if you are using for your own home to store sponges, soap, utensils, etc then I'd use this one from Anthropologie.  I've also seen them at Michael's craft stores in many different colors. 

{Photo via: Anthropologie}

That's it for me! See you next Wednesday for more Hump Day Highlights! Click the next blog in the link up to head over and see their favorites, and don't forget to link up your blog below.
Grab our graphic, link back to one, some or all of us and add your link below! Also, follow along on Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) #humpdayhighlights 


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Honest Company || Product Review + Vlog


{Products c/o The Honest Company}

Hi everyone!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Ours was nice and I was so happy that my hubby was able to be home with us. We (meaning I watched) got a lot of work done in the new playroom and I can't wait to share more pictures! Today, I wanted to share with you what I received from The Honest Company. I was always curious as to what came in the trial boxes so I decided to do my first Vlog to show you so you can see for yourself if you'd like to try Honest products! Note: this was my second attempt as the first one started out with our cat jumping face first towards the camera and nap time was ending shortly ;) 




Now, here are my honest opinions and thoughts about the products...

{c/o The Honest Company}

I absolutely love their Shampoo + Body Wash that I've been using for Olivia's bath.  It's also safe for all hair types, so that's a win when I can sneak some for myself to enjoy ;) It has a sweet orange vanilla scent that reminds me of a creamsicle - delicious! It may seem a little more expensive that other baby washes, but to me it's worth it seeing the ingredient list compared to the others. Also, those little toddler heineys only need a small amount. 

{c/o The Honest Company}

The diapers and wipes trial bundle contains a package of 7 diapers and a package of 10 wipes.  Ours was the girl styled bundle, which came with so many cute styles.  I especially love the strawberry and flower one.  The diapers are so soft and comfortable for her.  They also make super cute boy styles and just came out with a few new patterns as well.  The wipes are thick, absorbent, and free from perfumes and dyes.  I love how convenient the travel pack of wipes is, throw it in the diaper bag and go! 


{c/o The Honest Company}

The essentials trial bundle came with five different products, including: organic healing balm, hand soap, face + body lotion, multi-surface cleaner and a travel shampoo + body wash.  Again, perfect sizes for the diaper bag and I love that I can try it before purchasing a full sized product.  The healing balm is nice and thick, perfect for cuts or scrapes, even diaper rash.  The hand soap is lavender scented and gently on Olivia's tiny hands.  I'm really happy to finally have a multi-surface cleaner that I feel comfortable using around Olivia because she's my number one helper around the house ;) It has a nice white grapefruit scent which makes that just cleaned feeling even more refreshing.  This bundle would be a really nice gift to new parents or new homeowners with little ones.  


{Products work great for baby doll baths too}

I'm so glad you stopped by today to hear my thoughts on The Honest Company. Have you tried their products?  I'd love to hear! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hump Day Highlights || Link Up


Happy Hump Day! I am so excited to announce that I have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you the first ever "Hump Day Highlights".

Each Wednesday we will list some things from the past week that we are loving, can't live without, are on our wishlists, or are things we are just plain obsessed with - and we will even add links (when applicable) so you can check out or scoop up anything you love, too. 




Your weekly hosts are MistyAprilKyraShannonAmandaDanicaAmy, and Kaitlyn. We would love for you to add your post to our link up of the things you are loving this week, too. And please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded mamas and make new friends, all while showing off your blog, too. The Hump Day Highlights weekly link up is going to be a blast, I hope you link up and follow along!


Happy Wednesday, friends!  This little one was playing hide and seek with the lobsters at the supermarket yesterday.  Between those pigtails and her saying "Boo!" to the lobsters, I die.  After food shopping with a toddler, I tend to compare it with trying to corral a capuchin monkey, while bribing with food and speed skating through the aisles.  Anyone else feel that way? I think it may help once I start remembering the list that I forget on the counter;)

On to some of my favorites this week! 



1. Someone loves to play with mommy's makeup!  I'm planning on making her some play makeup from a tutorial I found on Pinterest here.  Isn't that brilliant?!  No mess and it's fun! 



2. I'm excited that St. Patrick's Day is just a few days away then the countdown to Easter can begin!  We're pretty much always in bunny mode in this house.  {Although I'd like to thank my mom for pointing out that I said Santa was going to bring Olivia candy in her Easter basket} Anyway, I'm dying over this sweatshirt from BabyGap. Pretty sure Olivia would wear this way past Easter ;)




3. I just ordered this "perfect throw" from West Elm.  This is a super deal at under $10 plus free shipping! It's so soft, yet light enough to use on a cooler spring night.  I bought it in Feathered Gray.  Super fast shipping as well.  I may even buy another for our living room! 



4.  Love these latte bowls from Anthropologie!  They come individually or in a set of 6 and I just love those spring colors.  My favorite colors are the turquoise, lavender  and coral.  Is it sad that I'm putting these on my birthday list?  I guess it shows that I'm getting old when I want kitchen items ;) Pretty sure I could spend the whole day in an Anthropologie store.  


5.  Easter books - I love this sweet Peter Rabbit book and I'm currently adding more to my Amazon wish list for Olivia's Easter basket.  I'll be posting soon about all of the goodies I'm planning on putting in her basket. Are there any must have Easter books that your little ones love?  I'm always looking for great books for her.

See you next Wednesday for more Hump Day Highlights! 
Click the next blog in the link up to head over and see their favorites, and don't forget to link up your blog below.




Grab our graphic, link back to one, some or all of us and add your link below!

Also, follow along on Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) #humpdayhighlights