Friending Dead Presidents on Facebook

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |

Do you ever wonder how some people always seem to get their hands on *great deals* that you can never find?  Do you feel like you haven't gotten your ticket for the clue train?  Today, I wanna share with you one of the BEST resources I've got for snatching a deal.  

Here's your ticket, and ALL ABOARD. This is the "Bargain Express", and we're about to leave the station...
Heathered Nest Guide to buying and selling on Facebook!  Facebook thrifting how-to, online yard sales, online garage sales, online thrift shopping
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Cheers! And some table settings...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 |

You remember the show Cheers, right?  One of the best theme songs of all time.  Probably because we can all relate to that feeling of wanting to go someplace where "everybody knows your name." 2015 marks our ten year wedding anniversary.  So, we've been having some fun recounting that day, with a few blog posts about some of our favorite wedding "things".  We talked about our grooms cake in "Let them Drink Cake" and our photo cake tablecloth in "Icing on the Cake Table".  And here's a couple more today to add into the mix...


A lot of weddings involve a meal, so guests spend a good amount of time sitting at their table.   And with only one wedding couple, and in our case, over 200 guests, we worried that we wouldn't have enough time to spend with each of those very important people on that evening.  These guests were our family and very closest friends, and we wanted them to know how much it meant to us that they were there, even if we didn't get a lot of individual time with each.
 To show our guests to their tables, we bought leaf-shaped place cards, printed names and table numbers on them, and had them strung on an iron tree.  You could totally DIY this...there are a lot of printables out there, like this gorgeous one from EAB Designs.
 Our wedding was in late October, so leaves worked for the season...
Each table was numbered.  For our table numbers, we used small chipboard books. Similar to this one, or this one from Amazon.
Inside each book, we "named" each table for a special place or significant event in our lives.
There was a small picture of us, that was relevant to the name of the table...
And a little explanation/story about that place or event.
At each person's place setting...
There was the typical menu card.  We added a waxed leaf.  If you want to try it, here's a tutorial by Martha Stewart.  It was a chore, but it brought in another nice touch of fall...
And then there were our "favors".  This was probably my favorite part.  Each person had a small envelope, and inside, was a donation card to one of several charities, each chosen to honor a couple of very important loved ones.  

In addition to a little card explaining the charity and donation, there was another card.  On it, we wrote individualized notes to every guest, to thank them for being there, and to tell them why they were so important to us.  
It took time and effort to do this, but, even though a decade has passed, I still have friends and family tell us how much that gesture meant.  If you are planning your own wedding, consider trying it out.

The reality is, M&M's get eaten, seeds get planted, bubbles get blown, but a "favor" with words from your heart, telling someone what they mean to you, well, that could be remembered for a lifetime (and it's less expensive than those other favors too...BONUS!)
Weddings are one of those places, guys.  A place where everybody knows your name.  And as the wedding couple, it's a great chance for you to show them how very glad you are that they came.

Cheers!

And if you liked this project, check out these other wedding ideas!  A DIY Photo Cake Tablecloth, or how about DIY Grooms Cake...
Photo Tablecloth DIY image with ideas for alternate events, bat mitzvah personalized tablecloth, birthday party tablecloth, anniversary tablecloth
**Images in this post that were not taken by me were taken by our wonderful wedding photographer, Steve Canning, who at the time, worked with Robert Isacson of Isacson Studios.**

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The Twilight Home

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 |

You may know this by now, but last year, we moved out of our urban comfort zone, and moved into, I'd have to say, a bit of a country twilight zone.  We bought a home on a little land...a place where the kids could run, frolic, and enjoy the wonders of the great-out-of-doors.  Problem was that the in-of-doors was a tad of an ugly-80's nightmare.

This was kinda ok, because I do love me some 80's.  If I had to have picked a theme song for our pad it was probably that Golden Earring song...you know, "Help, I'm steppin' into the twilight zone..."  Or possibly Guns n Roses' mega hit "Welcome to the jungle"...
You don't get more classic 80's hair metal than that one, right?!  To prove this home's 80s-ness, check out this totally gnarly, gag-me-to-the-max bathroom we had.  Seriously.  And if you're still not convinced of this time warp we were dealing with...check out the shower curtain we inherited when we bought "The Twilight Home".
DO YOU SEE THAT???  Our inherited bathroom curtain MATCHES Axl Rose's outfit!!!  I moved into the 1980's...drop the mic.

More on this bathroom down the road, but right now, I'm gonna focus on another part of the Twilight Home.  This was our 1980's smurf-er-ific stairwell that led into the 1980's basement (side note: that smurfy blue color follows us everywhere...check out THIS room we remodeled!).
 I know...
In the words of that aforementioned 80's icon Axl Rose, this place was gonna bring us to our "sha na na na na na knees, knees" 
 So, we got to work.  Oh, that's us...in our normal weekend leisure garb.  Wish I was kidding.
Our first thought for the stairwell was that we would stain it to match the hardwoods in the rest of the house.  The treads on these steps are pine.  Pine isn't the easiest to stain.  We gave it the ol' college try...you can see the result on a couple stairs in the picture above.  Not good.  Our buddy Axl Rose probably would have said "All we need is just a little patience".  He's a very sage and wise fellow.  And I wish that we were better with the whole "patience" skill.  But we're not.  So we moved on to plan B.  
Plan B was paint.  Paint and utility grade unfinished oak hardwood flooring for the landing (which costs $1/sq ft..AMAZING, right?!?!).   Above is our work crew.  And yes, that's their weekend garb.  Pajamas.  Listen, there's a reason I don't write a fashion and/or a parenting blog. 
Painting this stripe design was a bit time consuming, and we learned a couple tricks along the way.  More about that soon on the blog.
To save costs and time, we kept the existing handrails and updated them.  We spray-painted the hardware, and painted the banisters to match the stair treads.  SOOO much cheaper and easier than buying, staining, and installing new ones. 
And voila, no more 80's-ugly!  We removed an old builder-grade vanity mirror from that bathroom in the first picture, cut it, and framed it out in some barnboard.  We love barnboard here at the Heathered Nest.  If you click those links, you'll see some examples of what we've done with it.

And that light fixture?  Guess how much that cost...ZERO!  It used to be one of those old builder-grade-boob-lights (yes, that's a real term, didn't make it up).  Here's a pic of the light before...
We just spruced it up with some capiz shells and again, the almighty spray paint.  Now, I think she's a "total babe" as they said circa 1988.
 To me, the white handrail with gold hardware feels clean and bright, which are helpful in a darker basement.
Once upon a time, there were walls flanking both sides of this stairwell, floor to ceiling.  We knocked one side down to open up the space and make it feel less like entering a dungeon.
 We've done a lot of stairwells in our time.  Funny thing is, this is one of the cheapest we've ever done, and despite the low price tag, the finished product is easily one of my favorites.
Hope you like the results!  I'm happy to say that we haven't ditched the decade of valley girls and pinch-rolled jeans completely in this house...it's just now, we keep our 80's blastin' on the 'ol boom-box rather than staring at it all over our walls.  The 1980's is definitely a decade that is much better heard, but NOT seen.
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The Rainbow Parrotfish...and a Remodelaholic Feature

Saturday, February 14, 2015 |

Happy day friends, hope this post finds you all enjoying a relaxing, albeit cold winter's weekend.  Have you heard of the Rainbow Parrotfish?  Gorgeous species of fish.  Formally named "scarus guacamaia", this fish can grow up to nearly 4 feet in length.
Clark University, Taxonomy of the Rainbow Parrotfish
Beautiful, right?

The blogging world is a big one.  There are lots of us out there in the big blogging sea.  And I'm just a very small fish.  Have you heard of Remodelaholic?  Well, of course you have...it's only one of the biggest blogs out there.  A very, very big fish, you could say.

And here's the thing about fish...like most animals, there are carnivores,
National Geographic Great White Shark Photo Gallery
and then there are herbivores.

In any industry, there are those that want to HAVE you for dinner, and there are those who want to TAKE you to dinner.  Remodelaholic is one of the latter.  They very frequently host guest bloggers, and contributors, who usually are smaller guys.  I love that.  A big fish that doesn't eat the small fish.

Just like our big, beautiful, herbivorous buddy Rainbow Parrotfish...
Sans Green Valley Blog - Rainbow Parrotfish
It's a thrill to have a Heathered Nest project featured today on Remodelaholic.  As just a little guppy in this big sea, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be seen there.  So thanks, Remodelaholic, for being our "scarus guacamaia".

Now swim on over to Remodelaholic today, and check us out.
Cuz this little guppy's feelin' as fine as a whole kettle of fish today, friends!

*Side Note:  THAT'S a guppy above....I had no idea it was such a pretty fish, did you?
**End Note: Truth be told, bloggers as a whole are a LOVELY group.  I haven't met a one that had teeth like that Great White, above.  I was exaggerating to drive home a point, you knew that though.
**Around the back, over the shoulder and between the legs note: Thanks for hanging out with us for a minute or two today.  We know there are lots of other fish in the sea, so we're grateful that we got caught on your virtual line.

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We Must, We Must, We Must Decrease Our Rust

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 |

heathered nest DIY rust removal tutorial
A little while back, I wrote a post about the rehabilitation of a sweet, elderly little chrome chair I found curbside.  Since then, I've gotten a lot of questions on the "how to" of her revival.  Let me tell you about it.

Here's the ol' girl right here.  We'll call her "Margaret".  And when I found her, Margaret wasn't doing or looking so hot.
Pretty decrepit.  She was a whole lotta age, and hardly any beauty.
Wood rot...
And the worst part was the rust.  
It was everywhere...
Did you read the Judy Blume book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.  A Classic.  The epitomy of an awkward, coming of age story, am I right?  

This chair makeover was a little like that book.  Awkward, because I didn't quite know what I was doing.  I fumbled my way through much of this process, just praying that it would all turn out ok for Margaret.  

In Margaret the chair's case, we aren't really talking about a coming of age story, but more of a reversal of age story.  And at this particular *phase* in my own life (which I will NOT call middle age, but rather "above average") I am a big fan of age deniers.  There are all kinds of "deniers" in this world...and this is one kind of denial I aim to embrace wholeheartedly.  Anyone else wanna join me and Margaret in our club?  We'll call it the ADA.  Age Deniers Anonymous.  

So, in the spirit of Judy Blume, and our protagonist, Margaret, I'm going to share with you how to get rid of the rust, and polish up old, banged up chrome.  Altogether now... "WE MUST, WE MUST, WE MUST DECREASE OUR RUST"...that still sounds awkward, even with the wording-change-up.  Thank God puberty is behind me. 


Supplies

  • Tin Foil
  • Water


How-To

1. Grab a small wad of clean tin foil.  Dip it in some clean water.
rusty chrome close-up prior to rust removal
2. Rub the wet tin foil all over the rusted chrome. 
removing rust from chrome with tin foil and water in process
3. THERE IS NO #3!  YOU'RE DONE!  Can one of my ADA members up here in da club pop a bottle full of bub?  Because this is a flipping miracle, I'll tell you.  Seriously, that's all you do. 

Below is a shot of the same section of chair, after the tin foil/water treatment.
heathered nest chrome chair after rust removal with tin foil and water
I scrubbed a tiny, itsy bitsy amount...not hard, just went over each section a couple times with the tin foil/water treatment.  This procedure alone removed 85% of the rust.  Now, truth be told, this little chair will never again be completely rust-free, but considering where we started, I'd call this a serious victory!
chrome polish for use after rust removal with tin foil and water heathered nest
Just to help out a little more, after the tin foil/water, I rubbed the frame down with chrome polish/rust remover.  Same kind that people use on their cars (we don't use it too often for that purpose, which is why this bottle looks like it's from 1985).  I can't say this step really improved the chrome's condition more than the water/tin foil alone, but I think it *may* help protect the finish a bit moving forward.  So it's an optional step, but probably a good one.  I have heard others swear by using Coca-Cola on their chrome to restore it.  I haven't tried it, but would love to know if someone else has and how that worked out for them.  

For now, I'll show you how things turned out for our friend, Margaret.
heathered nest chrome and cowhide chair after makeover
She's a beaut.  I'll tell ya, it makes me feel like breaking into song.
heathered nest cowhide and chrome chair after DIY rust removal
Possibly a little Sinatra... "You make me feel so young..."
close up of chrome after DIY rust removal with tin foil and water
Or perhaps a rousing rendition of "Forever Young" by my man Rod Stewart?
close up of chrome after heathered nest DIY rust removal tutorial with tin foil and water
Maybe a little MKTO "Out of my league, old school chic, like a movie star, from the silver screen...baby you're so classic"...
heathered nest close up of chrome after DIY rust removal with tin foil and water
Regardless of the tune, bottom line is Margaret may be an oldie, but she's definitely a goodie.  And since age is "just a number", I'm gonna say hers is a PERFECT 10.
DIY tutorial rust removal from chrome chair heathered nest
But since we're not mentioning age here in the ADA club, we'll just leave it like this...
DIY tutorial rust removal from chrome chair heathered nest
You're only as old as you feel, and if this chica is "acting her age", she's got a long, spunky, fun-filled life in front of her.  No more elderly or awkward here.  In fact, now I'm SUCH a believer, that perhaps I'll go and try that other "must, must" thing again...you ladies know what I'm talking about (wink, wink).


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We've shared this blog post at a bunch of fantastic blog link parties, such as Savvy Southern Style. and Between Naps on the Porch..check them out *HERE*
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