Sunday, October 31, 2010

Visions of sugarplums are dancing in my head!

Is it bad that Halloween is officially over in 40 minutes and I'm totally psyched to decorate for Christmas??? I CAN'T wait! Ok...I'll wait a few weeks but I'm already planning my projects! How about you??

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Recipe Wreath!

A while ago, I saw this great tutorial over at Jones Design Company on a book wreath.   Such a cute idea!  I decided that I wanted to make mine for the kitchen area to bring some life to it.  As I've said before, right now we are renting so we can't change much physically, although our landlords completely renovated the kitchen and it's a wonderful change, but I thought adding the wreath would be a nice touch.  I basically followed Emily's tutorial & changed it ever so slightly.

These are the materials that you will need:

Old cookbook {I loved how it looked vintage with the yellowed pages}

Glue gun & glue sticks

Foam wreath {it looks small here, but it gets much bigger once the paper is added}

Satin ribbon & two pins

So lets get started...

First, rip out the pages of an old book.  I chose an old cookbook from my grandma to go along with the kitchen theme.  I loved how it had a vintage feel with yellowed edged and old-fashioned recipes.

Then after your glue gun has heated, fold the pages like this:

I varied each page going back and forth between the ripped edge and the yellowed edge.  I chose to glue the bottom pages together before gluing the whole page on the wreath. Once you fold the paper like what shown above, put little dabs of glue between each fold at the bottom where my finger is...then once the bottom is glued {it will look like a small paper fan} put glue on one side of the paper on the bottom like this (sorry so blurry):

Then push onto the wreath...

Continue around until it looks like this:

Now, flip it over so it looks like this:

Start your second layer by doing the same as above {gluing the bottom} and fold slightly to attach to the wreath like this:

Continue your way around for the second layer...

Watch out for glue gun burns! Ouchhh

Moving on to the next layer, do the same thing and overlap the second layer.  Since I was using a cookbook, I tried to vary pages by recipe titles and directions.

Once you are done with your third layer, it should look similar to this:

Side view, LOVE it

Then add a fourth and fifth layer and leave the bottoms hanging off slightly in the middle.  You will glue those to the back layer next.


Now, turn the wreath over, and glue each of the front flaps back like this:

Flip it back over and fill in any areas that are looking a little bald :)

Now measure your ribbon for the correct height you need and add a pin to hold the ribbon in place

Then add another:

The final project, in all it's glory: 

{Don't look at the icky decorative titles}

I'm picturing it hanging in a beautiful window over the kitchen sink in our future home!

Hope you enjoy this!  If you create you own, I've love to see! These would work great for dining rooms (using music sheets), baby rooms (vintage baby books), family rooms, anywhere..Enjoy!!

Happy Halloween Eve!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Want to become a sponsor of The Birds Nest?

Hi All,

Just a little uncomfortable putting this out there...but I've noticed that most blogs I follow have sponsors. Would anyone out there like to sponsor The Birds Nest? I'd love for you to contact me {send me a comment & your email and I'll contact you!} I would offer low monthly rates if you are interested. I am not looking to make money, simply add some spunk to my blog & give my readers great options. Thanks for reading!

Check back soon for the Dining Room Makeover!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have you...

Have you gotten your flu shot??

Just got mine :)

Quick recipe for yummmmy Hungarian Goulash:

1 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes in puree {I normally use RedPack}
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tbl. paprika
1 tbl. thyme
1 - 2lbs. of cubed bottom round beef
Salt & Pepper
1 cup of sour cream
Egg noodles

To begin:
1.  Coat beef cubes and onions in flour, add to slow cooker
2.  Add chopped carrots
3.  Add can of crushed tomatoes
4.  Add spices, salt, and pepper
5.  Turn on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours

Boil water for egg noodles, cook until al dente or your preference

When you drop the noodles in boiling water, add 1 cup of sour cream to the slow  cooker and stir until incorporated.

Serve goulash over noodles & enjoy!  My hubby wasn't sure of the name...but LOVED it!  

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hi Everyone!

Hope you're all having a great week so far... the title of this post explains it all: a little bit of everything over the past few days:)

First, if you are married or living with a guy how many things do they do that drive you nuts?! I love my hubby but seriously does he know where the hamper is???  I told him I was going to blog about his towel a.d.d. if he didn't fix it and did that happen...I'm afraid not.  Therefore, the great towel debate:

Sometimes he hangs towels wherever he sees an open spot places towels here:

or here...

or here...

and so get the idea.  I understand that we have three bathrooms but why can't he find the hamper?! Now, this may seem like a small thing but seriously everyday? Hmm...maybe he needs to be in charge of laundry duty from now on to prevent the accumulation of so many towels ;) 

What are some things that your hubby does that drive you absolutely crazy?  I'd love to hear! 

On another note, he redeemed himself and surprised me with this book today!

I love it so far!  Awesome ideas and great pics to inspire such as:

Gahh I love fall...

I would sell someone for this mantel...just kidding but I looove it

and this b-e-a-UUUU-tiful sideboard...

Seriously, buy this book it's worth it in pictures alone! And no, I'm not being paid to's that good.  

Also, to add to my blog smorgasboard today, I made the cauliflower soup from Centsational yummy & a little messy! :)

Carrots, celery, onion...

Mmm...add stock, milk, half & half, simmer and you get this...

Make a little wedge salad...

and some parmesan crisps to go with it...

and you have this yumminess:

Delish...try it!

Anyway, off to take my fur baby Annabelle to the vet for her checkup!

She makes my heart go pitter-pat I love her! Have a great day all!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodwill treasures

Hey All,

Just stopped by the Goodwill store and scored these:

$3.99...loove it...I can see visions of Christmas ornaments underneath :)


$3.99...this would be a great stand for the glass.  I can't wait for Christmas to use it!  I think I'm going to put a small pumpkin underneath in the meantime...

I never even thought of going there to find household items but once I started reading and following decorating blogs I couldn't wait to go!  So many of you have found some awesome finds!

What are some treasures you have found lately??

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna & Other Yummy Goodness

Last night we had my mom, sister, and her fiance over for dinner.  My sissy is quite the critic... performing cooking masterpieces {show off - love you} She is also the one that got me this great cookbook:
...highly suggest you pick it up!

Anyway, I decided to make butternut squash lasagna and my secret caesar salad...mmm :)

I read about a slow cooker recipe for slow cooker winter squash lasagna in the Real Simple magazine and figured I'd try it.  I'm always trying to sneak veggies into my meat and potatoes hubby.  Instead of using the slow cooker, I used my new Dutch Oven that I looove.  It was under $40 from Sam's Le Creuset but it's awesome.

To get started, these are the ingredients you will need:

1 lb. of lasagne {I used the kind you have to boil, definitely use the no-cook if you can find it - time saver!}

2 boxes of frozen butternut or winter squash {I used Birds Eye}
Thaw them in the microwave before using

1 large tub of Ricotta cheese {around a 1lb. I think}

1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt & Pepper {add to squash and ricotta cheese mixture}

Bread Crumbs {not pictured - whoops}

To begin, spread a small amount of the squash on the bottom of your Dutch Oven or lasagna pan:

Then add a layer of lasagna sheets, I cooked mine slightly less than al dente because they cook more in the oven.  Then a layer of ricotta and shredded mozzarella cheese mixed together...

You can also add fresh parsley or basil to the ricotta and mozzarella mixture, I just didn't have any ready to use.  After all of the layers are completed, add a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella and breadcrumbs over the top layer.  I also added cubed butter to brown the top slightly.  Everything is better with butter, right? :)

I made this ahead of time in the morning so I could just pop it in when I was ready.  Cook the lasagna at 350 degrees for about an hour...up the temperature if you need a shorter cooking time.  It comes out all bubbly and yummy like this:

This made enough for 6 people plus at least 2-3 servings for could freeze this too!

To go along with the lasagna, I made a suuuper easy caesar salad.  I'm not a big fan of the raw egg - anchovy version therefore I created my own using these ingredients:


1 small cup of plain yogurt {I used Dannon All Natural}
1/2 cup of mayo
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of spicy brown mustard {Dijon works too}
1 garlic clove
Salt & Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese

First, you start out with adding the plain yogurt and mayo to a mini food processor:

Then comes the red wine vinegar, mustard, crushed clove of garlic, cheese, and salt and pepper, just throw it all in there together!

Blend until it comes out like this: 

In the meantime, prep your lettuce {wash & dry} then I like to add shredded cheese of some kind, tonight I just used mozzarella and croutons:

The add the dressing over the top and mix.  I normally have some left over to use another day :)  If you have a small family, you can cut the recipe in half.

Definitely give these recipes a try, they are delish!  Super easy and yummy.  

Thanks for reading & have a great day!


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