Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Life List

This year my focus is not really on resolutions or goals for myself, rather a change in attitude about life. Don't get me wrong, I love setting goals, and I will be setting a few family ones, but when it comes to my personal life, I don't want to just write out a few goals for a year,  just to be disappointed when I don't meet them. Then I am faced with the same thing next year.

Instead, I want to focus on a life list. Certain things to strive for every year, not just one year at a time. These are things that should be a part of my life, year after year. The goals I set for my family are short achievements that need to be reset each year, whether met or not. My life list is something that I will be working to follow all the time.

It was hard at first to create this list, and it may continue to grow, but for now I am satisfied with what I have written down.

So what do you think? Is a life list something you would enjoy creating? Try it out, if anything it will be fun!!

I also have some really exciting news for my followers. Every month, I will be creating something special just for you. It will be a surprise each month and it will be delivered right to your inbox, so be sure to say signed up. Here is a preview of January's freebie!

If you haven't signed up yet, be sure to subscribe today so you don't miss out (I only send 2 emails a month). New subscribers will also receive my, Creating Your Nest Decorating Guide just for signing up!! This guide is packed with basic tips to help you get started in decorating and styling your home. Click the subscribe tab at the top of my page to sign up!!

Here's to a fabulous New Year filled with joy and laughter and lots of love!

Many Blessings,

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best Of...

I can't believe that I am sitting here typing up this post! It feels like only a few short months ago I was writing out 'The Best of 2015' post!

What a crazy year it has been! I have had so much fun blogging this year. I challenged myself in new ways and I feel that I have grown so much! Each year seems to just keep getting better & better.

I loved looking back on all of my posts from this year!
Here are my top 7 (I don't know why I chose 7)!

My Tidying Secret
Creating Your Nest: Part 1
Favorite Things: Holiday Home Decor

The Hard Stuff

                                                                   Write 31 Days Challenge 

Creating Your Nest: Part 4 

What I Learned This Season

And there you have it! My top 7 posts! I think overall it was a great year for blogging! I am so excited for what it is in store for next year! Each year I learn new things, meet new people, and continue to blessed through this experience!!

Be sure to check back on Saturday for the final post of this year!

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What I Learned This Season & a Holiday Home Tour

This is my first post that I have done for Emily's "What I learned" linkup. I first read about it on her blog a few months ago and was so excited to participate in this one. At first, I was nervous because I didn't think that I was going to have enough to share, but boy was I wrong. These past few months have been packed with so much stuff and I made it a point to write everything down. I even started a new journal specifically for things that I didn't want to ever forget.

10 Things I Learned This Season

1. The longing in my soul, can only be satisfied by Him. I came across this post, by Jess Connolly, on
     Instagram, and it was as if God used her to speak this message directly to me. Be sure to stop by
     and read the post --> @jessaconnolly

2. You're brain doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie. What we tell ourselves over
     and over is what our minds think are true and so we act as if it were true. -Jones Design Company

3. Respect yourself enough to say 'I deserve peace', and walk away from people or things that
    prevent you from attaining it. - Jericho Silvers

4. I never really know what to say when people ask me what my style is. My home gives off a 
    modern farmhouse feel and I tend to go for more neutral colors in my clothing and other 
    accessories. I tend to go for the more simple things rather than bold and extravagant, but I never
    know how to tie all of this together to create my style. Until.... I came across this article from 
    The Pretty Blog and discovered that I am a Naturalist. Read more to find out your style.

5. I love this! It's not anything that I really didn't know before,but I like how she makes these things a 
    priority. Let's say I'm LEARNING to follow this.

-Whitney English
6. Turns out, I am better at yoga than I thought! I purchased this awesome app --> Yoga Studio so  
     I can work at it even more. I will never be as good as my find Heather, though! She's my 

7.  Arhaus has the most beautiful home decor I think I have ever seen. I had the opportunity to do  
     Winter Style post for them and I had such a hard time choosing my favorites. You can read the 
     whole post here. ----> Favorite Things: Holiday Home Decor

8. I realized how much I really miss my mom. I had an encounter with a woman and her mother 
    while shopping the other day, and it just put things into perspective for me. She was such a  
    blessing to me and my hubby when she stayed with us for a month this Summer. I can't wait till she 
    comes back again this Spring.

9. Don't make life so complicated, just follow the basics. Love God and love others, that's all. Jesus 
    first + Others second + Yourself last = JOY. Be humble and consider others better than yourself!

10. I really, really, really love to decorate! I mean, it is such a major stress reliever for me. Especially 
      during this time of year. I throw on some Christmas music and just start decorating. I really had 
      so much fun decorating for Christmas this year. Check out the photos below for a little home tour.

My Nest at Christmas

Thanks for stopping by to read this post, if this is your first time here, I hope you will return for more!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Favorite Things: Holiday Home Decor

This year, for Christmas, I decided to go with a woodland theme. I want to decorate in a way so that I can leave things out even after Christmas is over. Christmas is my favorite holiday, but too often it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. I want to get as much out of this season as possible, so I chose a theme that can last throughout the Winter!

If you are like me, the family room is where we spend most of our time together during the holidays. Whether it's cozied up by our fireplace watching a movie, hosting a dinner party, or just hanging with friends, this is the room that you really want to focus on. 

I had a chance to stop over at Arhaus to look at some of their stuff! The furniture and decor is absolutely beautiful. I could definitely see some of their pieces in my home. I created a list of my favorite things from their store.

5. Sweater-Knit Buffalo Plaid Throw (This is actually form Macy's, but definitely a favorite)

I really had a hard time narrowing down my list. There were so many beautiful pieces in that store. When it's time for a new sofa, I know exactly where I am going. Follow the link below to check out all of their beautiful sectional sofas.  

Our family room also includes our 11' Christmas tree that fits perfectly in the corner next to our fireplace. We hung a few stockings on the mantel, set up the manger scene next to our tree, and added a few candles to set the mood. Now I never want to leave this room!

Important Style Tips

1. When decorating for the holidays, try to choose items that will last throughout the Winter months. 
2. Think of your sofa or sectional as the starting point for your room and build around it.
3. Use fresh greens for table top centerpieces, garlands, wreaths, and in vases. 
4. Look for small ways to add in a pop of color. (Red bows on wreaths, a few red & silver ornaments 
    for the tree, or maybe a Christmas painting with red & green accents).
5. Wreaths are not just for doors! Hang them in windows, over the fireplace, or on a small decorative 
    ladder. Get creative!

I tend to go for more neutral colors when styling and decorating my home, so the woodland theme is perfect for me. I am so excited for this upcoming holiday season! I hope that this post was helpful in giving you some ideas for decorating your home! Be sure to follow me on Instagram --> the.erin.elizabeth. Starting this Saturday, I will be posting some more decorating ideas for the holidays! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Many Blessings,

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Letting Go of Perfection

My Grammy passed away last week at the age of 91. She had a great life here on Earth, and an even better one that lies ahead. When I think back on what I know about her, and what she did in her life, there is a lot of good stuff to say about her. She was kind and gentle. Loving and graceful. She was a prayer warrior, always praying for the needs of others. The one thing she was not though, was perfect, and she never tried to be. The best part about that was that she was totally ok with it. She knew she wasn't created for perfection. She was created to love and serve, and that's just what she did, and she never felt like she missed out on anything.

Maybe it was because times were different back then. People moved at a slower pace and there wasn't  as much pressure to hurry and get a million things done in one day. People valued building relationships over building a perfect home. They spent more time creating memories instead of creating to-do lists and more time being grateful than trying to be more.

This is a lesson for all of us. Especially now with social media. I feel mediocre at best, when I see some of these Instagram feeds. Don't get me wrong, I love looking at beautiful photos of nicely decorated homes and perfectly styled vignettes of vintage goods. What I don't love is when I don't see any photos of real life in that person's feed. I once saw a photo of the cutest little pigs from one of the people I follow, and do you know what her caption read, "Is this too much for you guys? I know it's not my typical post, so be honest if you don't want to see stuff like this".

Whhhaattttt???!!!! Was she serious? Of course I responded, "Please don't stop! I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff. I need to see more real-life photos on here". I know that some of you may disagree and that's fine, but honestly, this needs to change. We are real people and we are far from perfect. We need more real-life stories!

Take for instance this story of Mary and Martha, when Jesus comes over for dinner.

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42 

Boy did Martha have it all wrong. When I read this story I just want to cry, because too many times, guess what, I am just like Martha! This year I have been working hard on letting go of perfection, and I'll tell you, it hasn't been easy, but I value real life more. I want to build relationships, savor the precious moments, and love others with all my heart, because we don't know when our life here on earth is going to end. Let's not miss out on what is most important. Let's love this life we have and let's say goodbye to perfection!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#Jesusfor2016 My Write-In Vote

Leading up to this election, I would go back and forth, unsure of who I was going to vote for. It was really hard for me to watch the debates with the way the two candidates were treating one another. At one point, I think I decided that I just wasn't going to vote. 

As I continued to pray about it and do my research, I knew that as a Christian and as a citizen of this country, it would be wrong for me not to vote. I was given that right and it is something that I needed to honor. 

The other day I was sitting at my desk thinking about my decision, and I still felt a little uneasy. I started to pray and asked for God to give me peace about this whole election and to help me to stop worrying about the outcome. When I got home that afternoon, I was going through a pile of papers in the kitchen, and I found a neatly printed card with a message on it that came with something I purchased a few months ago. I honestly thought that I had thrown it away. This was what the card said….

I was almost tears as I read the letter. It was as if I was sitting next to Him having a conversation  about life and He was telling me how much He loved me and that I don’t need to worry. He not only took the time to think of me before I was born, but every other living person on this earth was thought of and created by Him before they were even born. He holds the future of each one of us and this world in His hands. This means that I don't need to worry about this election or anything else. It's in HIs hands now. He’s got this!! All I need to do is be obedient to what His word says.

Today I will be voting, and I will do it without fear of the future, because no matter what happens here in this life on earth, I know that I have another life, that is eternal, in heaven with Him.

Many Blessings,

Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Days of Home Projects: Day 31

It's late. I'm tired. I've been in 'go' mode since I woke up this morning and haven't had a chance to sit down to write this post till now. I apologize and hope that you don't miss out on this last post, because its so late. Especially because, I have something special that I created just for you!! I want to thank all of you who followed along with me on this journey. It was hard to get my post in some days, but I made it through and only missed three days!

Now the weather is starting to get colder, and before you know it, it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I don't mind the cold on special occasions or when I am really bundled up, but most of the time, I would rather just stay in during these months. Sometimes there is nothing better than cozying up on the couch, with a cup of coffee and a blanket to watch a good movie. I don't have to get ready or anything. I can just relax by the fire and enjoy my family and my home. I thought this saying was perfect for the next few upcoming months. I printed mine as a 16x20 and have it framed on my mantel. You can download this print for free by following this link --> Let's Stay Home.

I had so much fun participating in this challenge and I look forward to meeting with all of you again next year! 

Many Blessings,

31 Days of Home Projects: Day 30

Today's project isn't really something that you are going to make or assemble. It is about styling certain areas of your home. I love creating vignettes in my home. I have many that I change up depending on the season. The one that I am going to focus on today is the one right by my front door when you walk into my home. It is very simple, but adds just the right touch to that room and hopefully makes others feel welcome and cozy when they come over.

Styled Fall Vignette

What You Need

1. Large basket
2. Variety of pumpkins (real or fake)
3. Cozy throw blanket
4. Decorative pillow (I choose one that goes well with each season)
5. Boots (optional)
6. Large decorative Vase/Jug
7. Branches or wheat grass

Step by Step

1. The instructions for styling your fall vignette are really based on how you want to arrange your
    items and where in your home you want to do this. This type of vignette is styled on the floor,
    opposed to other types that are created on tables or mantles. Feel free to copy mine or arrange
    yours however you like. I started with my basket and put the pillow on one side and had the cozy
    blanket on the other side with part of it hanging out. I then added the pumpkins around inside the
    basket. I placed my boots on the outside of the basket on the side so you can still see everything.
    Finally I placed my large milk jug behind all of it in the back corner. You can add other items to
    your vignette or you can leave some out. Whatever captures that Fall season.

Many Blessings,


Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Days of Home Projects: Day 29

After today we will be all caught up! I can't believe that we are almost through October!! It's been a great month so far and I can't wait for Monday when my little gets to dress up.  He is so excited! This project requires a little help from him, really just his feet. I love adding art work to my home that my
son gets to help create. This project is very easy and fun!

Love Feet Sign

What You Need

1. Acrylic Paint (Any color) I used light blue, and white
2. Wood Piece I used a 1x8 piece of wood that was 18 inches long
3. Baby feet
4. Small art paint brush

Step by Step

1. Sand the edges of the wood if you want, so they aren't sharp and pointy.

2. Paint the wood whatever color you want the background to be. Mine is naturally grey. I like the
    the way the wood looks without any paint.

3. Using a pencil I lightly drew the letters /L/ and /O/ before painting and filling them in. I did those
    in white.

4. Next, the light blue color for the feet, paint your baby/toddlers feet, one at a time, and stamp
    them onto the wood in the shape of the letter /V/.

5. The last step is to draw the /E/ with a pencil and then fill in with paint.

That's it!! I want to eventually hang mine in our kitchen above the sink!!

Many Blessings,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Five Minute Friday :: Eat

Every Friday, a few teachers will take turns bringing in goodies for breakfast. Some like to bake. Others will bring in donuts and coffee. Most of the time, because of my allergy to gluten, there is not much for me to eat. I'm used to it by now though and I don't get upset.

Well today, I almost didn't go down to the faculty room, because I figured that there would be nothing  for me to eat. I decided to go and at least say hi. When I walked into the room they all stared at me and smiled. The one woman said, "I wonder if she will notice". I walked over to the table and there was a sign that said, gluten free brownies! I was so excited.

The kind woman who made them walked over to me and said, "I remembered our conversation a few weeks ago about you having Celiac's Disease and being gluten free. I felt bad for you, because there is never anything for you to eat on Fridays when we bring stuff in. I didn't want you to feel left out, so I made them just for you!"

I was almost in tears. How kind of her to think of me when we really don't even know each other that well. It made my day and I am so thankful for the simple act of kindness that she showed towards me today!

Many Blessings,

31 Days of Home Projects: Day 28

Today was a good day! Not just because it's Friday, but because I have so much to be thankful for. This morning I was reminded of how blessed I am to be where I am in my life right now. So often we forget to give thanks, when it should be a daily practice. I find that on days when I make it a habit to give thanks, I am in a better mood. I feel more content and I take a different perspective on life. Back in January, I starting counting my gifts (giving thanks) each day for the things that would transpire. This was started by Ann Voskamp, who wrote the book, One Thousand Gifts. She talks about how she began writing down all the gifts, even the hard stuff, every day that she could think of. At first, it was a little difficult, but as she continued to do this, she found more and more gifts to write down every day. How amazing!! So I started the same journey and everyday I would sit down and write out 3 gifts that I could think of that day.

Here are a few from the past couple of days....

September 26th: letting go of perfect, when He provides the unexpected, life insurance

September 29th: fun new things to try, freedom to be, flexibility at work

October 6th: choosing to laugh, capturing the moments, a completed project

These are just a few, and as you can see there is no right way to do this. You just start to think more about your day and what was gifted to you from Him, because really, everything in this life is a gift.

1,000 Gift's Cards 

What You Need

1. Blank 4x6 cards from Michaels or AC Moore. You need 365 of them, one for everyday.
2. Month Covers (free download from me)
3. Small box to hold your cards (see a few posts back about the one I made)

Step by Step

1. Print out the free covers I created for you and cut them out. I decorated mine with stickers, and
    some I hand-lettered my favorite quotes onto. I want these to last for a while since I will be doing
    them every year.

2. Every month, before it starts, I write the dates on each card. I told you that you need 365. That's
    one for each day of the year. Starting at the top I wrote the month, day, and year. Next to that I
    wrote the three gifts for that day. I did not write them very big, because I want to be able to fit as
    much as possible onto each card. Each day I would do the same thing. Next year, I will start over,
    but use the same cards. I will just write the month, day, and new year underneath what I wrote for
    this year. I am excited to go back through and read what I wrote for each day last year. When you
    total up all of the gifts for one year, it comes out to one thousand!

Some may say that this is not a home project, but I felt that it is just as important to give thanks about
our homes and things we create for them, as it is to actually make them. Have a great weekend!

Many Blessings,

Thursday, October 27, 2016

31 Days of Home Projects: Day 26

When we first looked at our home, I fell in love with the brick fireplace. Its a lighter blonde color and it is one of my favorite things about our home now. The only thing I did not like however, was the orangish/tan mantel on top. Not a fan at all! I knew that it wasn't something that I would be able to do right away, but it was on my list of priorities. This past Summer I found some time to repaint it! I loved how it turned out so much, that I wanted to share it with you. I just know it's on the top of everyone's to-do list!! In all seriousness though, it is something that I really wanted to do, and I am so glad I finally found the time.

Repainted Fireplace Mantel



What You Need

1. A hand-held powered sander or a manual sanding sponge (this one will take a little longer and may
    not work as well as a powered sander.
2. Semi-gloss white paint (be sure to get a paint that is the primer and color in one)
3. Paint brushes (regular & angled)
4. Small foam roller & rod
5. 3M blue painters tape

Step by Step 

1. First, you need to sand your fireplace mantel really well. You want to make sure there is no shine
    left. It is also a good idea to lay a tarp of some sort down to collect all of the dust. You can vacuum
    what's left, but I would not recommend vacuuming all of it. It will mess up your vacuum.

2. With a damp cloth, wipe down the mantel. Make sure there is no debris left on the surface. Tape
     off all the edges, so that you don't get any paint on your walls.

3. You can now start to paint your surface. I used the brushes for the first coat, making sure to get a
     pretty good layer of paint. I let it dry for an hour and then went back in with my small foam roller
     and did a second coat. The foam roller is good, because it covers the paint lines from the brush &
     makes the color more even/darker. Since I used a semi-gloss I didn't need to put a sealer coat on
     top. However, I have noticed over the last few months, there have been some marks to the paint.
     This doesn't really bother me, because I am thinking of possibly adding a brown glaze over top
     to make it look a little worn, and you don't want a sealer on top for that.. You can watch this -->
     tutorial if this is something that you might want to do!

Many Blessings,