Thanksgiving at the Todd Nest

JD and I were super excited to host our families for Thanksgiving this year. My parents, his parents and Brandon and Theresa (his sister) all drove up for the weekend. We wish that Chase and Jackie could've joined us from Las Vegas but we can't wait to see them at Christmas! 

Not gonna lie here, I thought it would be a lot more stressful than it was. We woke up around 7 to put the turkey in the oven, hung out for about two hours and then started prepping everything else. I probably had about 10 minutes of stress spark through me, but I was pretty calm (and crazy focused) besides that. 


Mom and dad brought up this amazzzzing butcher block industrial island to fill the massive open space in our kitchen. I've been wanting an island with a butcher block top and this one was beyond perfect. I honestly don't know how we would've made it without this piece at Thanksgiving. We would've had to serve food off the floor. (You think I'm kidding... but I'm not.)


The Menu:
Honeybaked Ham
Cajun Fried Turkey
Cornbread Dressing
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Spicy Mac & Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pancit (Filipino noodle specialty)
Eggrolls (both of these were kindly provided by Mrs. Josie)
Turkey Gravy
White Gravy
Rolls



JD was the carving master of the day. He cut that cajun turkey up like a champ. 


Of course, we had to set up the perfect table setting. Remember my charming jar with the buckeyes and acorns? Well, apparently you're supposed to let buckeyes dry out before you put them in a contained space. It didn't take long before the mold started to settle into the bottom of the jar. 

#decorfail

So I hand-washed the jar at least three times, threw it into the dishwasher, and headed to Hobby Lobby for a quick solution (thus, the neutral color palette of fun decor balls in the crisp and clean glass jar). 

My Gingin sent up this gorgeous tablecloth she cross-stitched years ago. It was the perfect touch to our table and meant the world to me that she passed it down to us.



Whenever my family comes to town - it never fails - we have a list of projects to do with Handyman Dad. Projects that we have thought up but aren't quite sure how to execute. But it also never fails that Dad knows how to make them happen. Here's a glimpse at one of our special projects from the weekend:


It's not completely finished but one of these days, I will give you a tour of the cool things we've done to the laundry room (after I get those cool things painted). ;) 

Oh, and one last thing before I go....
War Eagle!!


The Todd Nest : Dining Room & Fall Premiere

Welcome to our Dining Room! 

I've spent the last two weeks or so painting the walls and reupholstering our dining room chairs in preparation for a fall dinner and game night with some friends from JD's office.

You really can't tell in these photos but we painted the upper half of the room in the same gray (jogging path gray) as we used for the Jitney's Journeys studio. We painted the lower part a stark white. We considered using beadboard on the bottom half but we would eventually like to cover the old school popcorn ceiling with beadboard... you know, after we tear down two walls and renovate our kitchen in like seven years. ;) It'll all happen someday, right?


{sidenote: we are currently in the process of brainstorming for barnwood picture frames to cover that entire bare wall to the left of the built-in and looking for a super unique, rustic yet charming chandelier. we will update you via blogosphere as soon as we make this stuff happen.}

We've had so much fun (and probably way too much stress) with decorating both sides of the built-in between our dining room and living room. I've got to hand it to Mama E - she pretty much designed this side of the built-in too. Isn't it lovely! I honestly don't know what I would do without her. 

Below you will see the before and after shots of our reupholstered chairs. JD was such a champ for taking 300+ staples out of the six chair cushions. Gosh, I love that man. :)


The gorgeous fabric we used was from Hobby Lobby...

Here's another close-up:


At Shop with a Purpose, a new friend ordered a table runner from us with a monogram like the one above. I fell in love with the design. It just so happened that the table runner I made for the Todd Nest originally fit our old table but wasn't long enough for the new table (above) when it had the leaf insert. Obviously, I had no other choice but to make another table runner for the new table with the same monogram style I had made a few days before for a client, right?


The fall theme in our home this year is pretty simplistic. I bought a bundle of pumpkins from Hobby Lobby at 50% off. Half were the distressed orange and the other half were brown glitter-beaded pumpkins with gold glitter stems. 

But I was really set on having off-white pumpkins this year so I spray painted the orange ones with Valspar (Churchill Hotel Vanilla ) spray paint and covered the stem in a dark bronze glitter. Just what I had envisioned. 


For the centerpiece, I layered buckeyes from our yard on the bottom followed by baby acorns our neighbors helped us pick up and a tiny bronze pumpkin propped on top. 


Come back tomorrow to see the recipe my amazing chef-of-a-friend, Leah, helped me make!


What has been your fall decor inspiration this year?


Todd Nest Happenings : Fall Preview 2013

Things have been splendidly chaotic both inside and outside of the Todd Nest this fall, which may explain why our blog hasn't been completely up-to-date. Here's a little glimpse into the past few weeks:

We welcomed Fall with a new wreath on our front door. The burlap ribbon was from last year's Christmas decorations; the white flower was a piece from our spring wreath; the red / orange leaves were given to us from our sweet neighbors; and the twigs were taken from a freshly clipped bush in our backyard. Cost: zero. That's what I'm talkin' about! 


JD's parents bought us a living room suite as a wedding gift (we asked if we could postpone their wedding gift till we moved into our first home and decided on something we really needed). JD and I have both been beyond blessed with amazing, gracious and loving in-laws!! The night La-Z-Boy delivered it all, we fell asleep in our new recliners. :) We'll give you a more thorough tour of our family room later. 


We picked out bamboo blinds for our giant windows from a sweet friend in Monroe, GA. We'll post more about those after we put them up this weekend when my parents come to town! (I'm sure we'll have A LOT to post about after this weekend - we have planned TONS of exciting things to do around the house.) It was a tough decision but we landed on the blinds to the left. 


My girlfriends and I had a girls' spa weekend to celebrate the accomplishments of Kellie (in the middle). She earned her second Master's degree this summer - i.e. she's awesome and deserved a great escape! These ladies are fantastic and their friendship means the world to me.


Chase, my brother, and his wife, Jackie, got a new puppy and appropriately named him Tag (to go along with Chase's name). He's half min pin, half yorkie. We've been obsessing over every pic Chase and Jackie post on Facebook or send to us via text. I wish they would start a blog exclusively with cute pics of Tag. 


We had a family vacation with JD's side of the family to Branson, Missouri. It was a precious time spent with precious people: Mr. Jim and Mrs. Josie (JD's parents), Uncle Donald and Aunt Sandy (Mr. Jim's brother and his wife), and Brandon and Theresa (JD's sister and her husband). 


Most of our time was spent watching football, exercising (crossfit) and eating. Most places closed at 9 p.m. except this place: Cakes & Cream Dessert Parlor. It was pretty delicious but the atmosphere charmed my boots off. I'm a sucker for 50's music, which is why JD took me out front after dessert and danced the night away with me (actually, it was only one song but it was super romantic). 


We only saw one show while we were there: Joseph. The musical was a pretty on-spot rendition of the story of Joseph but my favorite part of being there was this...


JD asked me to take a photo of him with this statue of Goliath. As I was taking it, a sweet older gentleman pointed over and said to his wife, "Take a photo of me doing like that guy!!!" As soon as JD was out of the pic, the gentleman propped his legs out for battle and put up his dukes with a big smile.

It was awesome. 

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Since we've been back from Branson, I've been going turbo mode while making products for this year's Shop with a Purpose, an event to benefit For Life Ministries. 

We'll have our traditional burlap products, glass etchings, chatter tiles and some new pieces like these leather bracelets... 


art pieces... 


and the popular leather wrap bracelets.


Hopefully we'll have more time to post again soon!!