Thursday, September 20, 2012

Acorn Season

Yesterday was the perfect day for an acorn hunt! With the Autumn Equinox approaching, the parks are just covered in these cute little guys. I could not resist packing up the family and rounding some up.

We brought along a little bucket to collect our acorns in. I showed Adrianne what the acorns looked like and told her to find as many as she could and put them in the bucket. She had a blast, and she wanted to find all of them all by herself. I'd have to say most of the acorns in the bucket were found by her! Whenever we found a broken one, I told her to leave it for the squirrels because they love to break open the acorns and eat the little seed inside.

Adrianne was fascinated by the idea of the squirrels eating the acorns. I stopped to show her some squirrels. We didn't have to look for long, they are pretty much everywhere. As soon as we spotted one, Adrianne of course immediately wanted to try and catch one. She was so determined! I have never seen her run so fast for so long! As we chased the squirrels, one of them started playing hide and seek with us. He would run around to the opposite side of a tree trunk, and then a second later he would peek out from the other side before running off to behind another nearby tree! She was laughing and screaming, "SQUIRREL, WHERE ARE YOU?" Eventually I stopped her and showed her where the squirrels went. I pointed up in a tree and told her that was where the squirrels lived, up in the trees. We watched for a minute and eventually we saw one peek out at us from above. She loved seeing the squirrel's home!

Rowan loved it outside too. Adrianne and I showed Rowan the trees. We let him feel the rough bark. Adrianne enjoyed feeling it too.

I am so grateful for beautiful fall days like these. There is something magical about the four seasons. It just keeps everything so interesting and makes you feel alive. And there is nothing like an adventure in nature when things are starting to switch up.

What is your favorite thing to do when the first days of fall start to creep up?

Better Nester Revamp!

I am adjusting my beloved blog to better fit my lifestyle! I've trimmed the site down to the bare minimums. No more sponsors, this is just for fun. I know I can't be devoting my every second to the Better Nester anymore, so the blog should reflect that. I want to keep it pure and simple.

I'll be making little changes here and there in a while again. The Pages links at the top of the page will need to go soon because I just can't keep up with making new buttons for all my tutorials and such. So That will have to become something different. I wanna make the links go to certain tags from the blog like I've seen on many other sites.

Anyways, don't mean to ramble. My point for this post was to say that the Better Nester is changing because so am I! But that doesn't mean it's going away! I am going to make a solid effort from now on to not neglect my little nest over here.

But! In the mean time, you can always follow my new blog, which stalks my life as an artist and student at Full Sail. Just remember, The Better Nester lives on! I will not abandon my project!

Much love!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Have And To Hold

Getting Ready
All Set
The Bride
The Groom
Getting Married
The Wedding Party
The Happy Couple
Father and Daughter
A Happy Family

A rainy day didn't put a damper on our happiness. If anything, it only made us shine brighter! The whole day was fun, so even when things went wrong, it was still perfect.

The ceremony was beautiful. Michelle wrote the entire thing completely customized to us and our backgrounds. (For more info about her ceremonies and pricing click here.) I would highly recommend her, by the way. Everyone was complimenting us afterwards about how beautiful the ceremony was. It was so personal!

The whole night went by way too fast. The dance floor was full of people all night long. So much fun and so much love. I am so grateful for that night and so excited for the future!

Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's New?!

Hello, all! In case you hadn't noticed, TBN went on a bit of a hiatus for a while there.

So what's new? What happened while I was away?

As for me...? Well, there were a few things actually. First was our WEDDING! It was, in a word, perfect.

Second was our honeymoon in HAWAII! It was, in a word, paradise.

Third was my enrollment into Full Sail University for GAME ART! I am, in a word, ecstatic.

I just recently received my "Launch Box" from them, which included my new computer and really awesome software that I'll need in order to do my course work.

Yes, that is correct. I am going to start learning how to make digital 3D art for video games. I'm really excited to have a career path for myself, set in stone. I can't deny that video games are part of what make me me, and so I am setting forth to pursue a way in which I can turn play into work. 

Things will be a little bit different around here at The Better Nester, but only because I am going to start chronicling my journey from stay at home mom to independent game developer! 

It's true, my dream is to run my own game studio. My mission would be to create games about beauty and art, and less so about action and war. The power of video games is strong, and so many people dislike game because they "teach kids violence." Well, not all games are created equally. There are plenty of games about peace and tranquility, and there will be even more when I'm creating them! Besides, games can also be a powerful learning tool for children in an educational application.

Anyways, fear not! The Better Nester will live on! But I think I am going to start a new segment for my Full Sail tales, for all those who care to read. It just seems easier than trying to put up a whole new blog for it and having to keep track of both.

AND I will also put up more detailed posts about both the wedding and Hawaii soon, so keep your eye out!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Neutral wreath DIY

This wreath was so easy and simple to make, and it's completely neutral. So I think I am going to hang this anytime of the year that I don't have a holiday or theme to decorate for. Wreaths always make your home feel so welcoming!


Wrap your wreath form in burlap or your favorite fabric. Secure it with hot glue at each end of the strip of fabric.


Make lots of felt flowers or fabric flowers of any kind and with your fabric of choice. Also, cut out a few leaf shapes with pinking shears out of green fabric.


Hot glue the leaves onto the front of the wreath.


Then attach a focal point flower on top of the leaves.


Surround your focal point with smaller flowers and you're done! It's simple, elegant, and it's so inviting! Hang it on your front door and enjoy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Food, Fast! Round Up

I'm a mom with less than zero time on her hands. So you can bet I am always eager to hear about quick and easy low maintenance recipes that I can slap together in less than an hour's notice without breaking the bank.  I know, I've got great expectations.

After all my snooping around, I just had to share what I'd found. There is a huge wealth of recipe stockpiles out there containing JUST what I need! Since I've already done all the work of gathering them up for myself, I knew this was the perfect thing for my readers. I hope you're all in easy recipe heaven right now! The best part about these recipes is that they are all from healthy eating websites, so you can rest assured they're pretty darn good for you. Enjoy!

Cooking Light's huge directory of all of their different 5-Ingredient recipes
Cooking Light's huge directory of Superfast (20 minutes or less) recipes
Heart Healthy Living's list of 5-Ingredient recipes
Heart Healthy Living's list of recipes under $3
Eating Well's list of 5-Ingredient recipes
Eating Well's list of quick, cheap and easy recipes

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today I saw this amazing post on MADE about how to make fun little maracas out of left over Easter eggs, which I have plenty of! 

I just HAD to try it with Adrianne. She had so much fun! All you need is masking tape, permanent markers, plastic spoons, something shake-able (like popcorn kernels, rice, lentils, etc...) and of course Easter eggs. Just fill up the eggs, tape it all together, and color on them. Then shake it up! Again, visit Dana's post for a more in depth tutorial.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm still alive!

I know, I know, I haven't posted in forever! My excuse: wedding invitations... If you are about to get married, the only advice I can give to you is to fork up the extra cash to have your invitations done for you if you can! I am really pleased with the way mine turned out, I got a couple of DIY kits. But, wow, they were much more hassle than they were meant to be. Mostly at the fault of my own printer, which refused to take the thick card stock. 

I must admit though, once I finally did get them all printed, it was nice to go out to the park and plant myself in the grass and plow through assembling them. It was a perfect day, not too warm, but definitely not chilly at all. The sun was shining, there was a very light breeze. And I just sat in the shade with my boy and put together nearly a hundred invitations!

What else have I been doing?

I made a new pattern! I have made Adrianne so many little felt foods, I want to share them all! But the patterns take much longer to make than I really have time for. I did get a breakfast set done though, which is now available in my Etsy shop! 

The best part is, since I have no time myself, my patterns are all designed with your lack of time in mind! They are super fast and easy to make, so if you don't have the confidence or attention span for some of the more elaborate felt food patterns out there, you'll love this one! (In my not-so-humble opinion...)

I've got so many more pattern ideas too! I wish I could get them all out there right away! But I suppose it's a work in progress. Like most things. Luckily, my artistic adventures tend to be the things I do to relieve my stress. Exercise has been another de-stresser for me lately as well. And stress is something I have plenty enough of. It's hard to keep it in check, but I have to remember how important it is to not get too stressed out.

What do you do to de-stress?

Monday, April 16, 2012

International Child Abduction

Peter Thomas Senese, author of Chasing the Cyclone, has recently brought to my attention this issue of International Parental Child Abduction. This peaked my interest because I had never before really heard anything about international child abduction, and was surprised to learn that it is a major cause for concern. 

Peter, himself, in fact wrote his book after his own child was abducted. He had to travel across the world in order to find and return home with his family in tact. This story is both extremely touching but also terrifying. To think of your own child being stolen away from you, perhaps never to be seen again?

The total number of International Parental Child Abductions that will occur over the next decade is expected to victimize over 1,000,000 children, 125,000 of them originating in the U.S. alone. The scariest part is that the average cost a parent will spend in their attempt to reunite with a child is $50,000.00 and only 10% of parents will ever bring their child home.

Reading Peter's novel can provide much more insight into what exactly it is like to have your child abducted, and I urge you to consider giving it a read. Peter has founded the I CARE (International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment) Foundation, and all of his royalties from the book are donated to this cause.

You can view Peter's blog here, where you can read more about his cause and find his Youtube video series dedicated to the issue. The book's official website can be found here. And again, please consider checking out Peter's book:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feeding A Toddler

I got this great idea from a post for a Matryoshka (I've always wondered what those dolls were actually called) themed birthday party at On To Baby.

Well, anyways, I thought this was a great idea for a toddler meal, since my little girl loves to graze and really only likes to eat what she can pick up with her fingers.

But what I did was I used the bottom half of an egg carton instead of an ice tray. The holes are a little bit rounder, and it's way cheaper to use something you're going to have to get rid of soon anyway than to buy a bunch of ice trays! Also, it's recyclable if it starts to look like it's seen one too many toddler lunches.

What's In My Toddler's Lunch?
  • Grapes
  • Mixed Veggies
  • Bunny Grahams
  • Colby Jack Cheese
  • Blueberries
  • Pretzels
  • Cheddar Bunnies
  • Banana Slices
  • Strawberry Slices
  • Raisins
  • Yogurt Melts
  • Green Beans

It's fun, it's colorful, and best of all it's healthy! Every good food group is packed into this lunch! And I have never seen Adrianne eat green beans willingly until this idea came around. It doesn't take long at all to put it together because you're mostly just grabbing things from here and there. 

Adrianne doesn't usually finish every last bit, but at least I can rest assured that she has had a healthy and well rounded lunch when I give this to her! Well...Happy feeding!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Napkin Chair Covers

Chair covers are a popular choice of decor because they soften up the furniture and can really add a boost in color. The covers shown above compliment the table cloth and table settings perfectly with the apple green, white ribbon combo.

These awesome chair covers were made by a friend, Heidi! They are pretty and sophisticated, and of course they were simple to make. Can you believe they are made of cloth napkins?

Heidi simply took two napkins, and sewed them together, right sides facing with the ribbon in between, leaving the bottom open to slip them easily over the backs of her chairs. And voila! Cute, easy chair covers!

I've got some extra napkins that I think I'll try this for myself with. Thanks, Heidi!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Today we stuffed ourselves at two delicious family feasts to celebrate Easter! Then we had a great Easter egg hunt in the backyard. The girls had such a great time collecting all the little eggs filled with fun treats in their buckets! Here is our day in photographs:

This is five generations of my family! My little ones and me, my mom, her dad, and his mom!

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