4th of July Cake Pops

Doesn't it seem like the months and holidays come around quickly? I feel like I'm ill prepared for the celebrations, and while most people are putting out flags and patriotic decor, I'm painting our backyard deck. This is my all consuming summer project and I'm about halfway done. So, I guess you can say I'm not just sitting around in a lounge chair, sipping Pina Coladas!  Instead, I'm battling my deck with paint until my hands can no longer hold the brush. Well, enough excuses, I was able to squeeze in a little festive Fourth of July post.

~ A Note About the Nester ~

I love to paint so much that our last home I not only painted the interior walls once, but probably every wall had about four layers of more of paint. I'm a little crazy when it comes to color and paint.

A little background on Cake Pops according to Wikepedia:

            "A cake pop is a form of cake styled as a lollipopCake crumbs are mixed with icing or chocolate, and formed into small spheres or cubes in the same way as cake balls, before being given a coating of icing, chocolate or other decorations and attached to lollipop sticks.[1] Cake pops can be a way of using up leftover cake or cake crumbs.
The "cake pop" increased in popularity between 2009 and 2011.[2] A book called "Cake Pop" by Bakerella appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.[when?].[3] Cake pops can be found in many bakeries and grocery stores. In some countries, the Starbucks coffee chain sells cake pops in various flavors.[4]"

About a month back I got hooked on making cake pops with the fun little machine, here is the link, cake pop recipe post. And so I stored my four dozen cake pops in the freezer. A little secret to easy swirling is to freeze them. So at this point you want to get everything ready before you bring them out of the freezer. So place the various cookie decorating sugars in bowls.

I like to put the candy melts (these are your frosting) in a microwavable glass mug that is deep and not too wide. Microwave for about a minute and constantly stir during that minute. Once they are melted place add a little bit of cooking oil. The oil is a key ingredient that makes the frosting smooth, this helps in giving it a thinner texture and easier to cover the cake pop. You'll notice that after a few minutes out of the freezer, they thaw enough to insert a cute straw. If the pop has a flat side to it, insert the straw at that end.

Swirl the pop in the frosting and sprinkle with sugar. I tried rolling it in the bowl, but sprinkling worked so much better. Also, note you on have a little bit of time to sprinkle before the frosting hardens and no longer allows the sprinkles to adhere.

I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July celebration. We are planning on relaxing and taking a little break from painting our deck!


A Teen's Summer Bucket List

A Teen's Summer bucket list

My wonderful blogging partner, Marci has so many inspiring and creative ideas. She is such a breath of fresh air, so isn't surprising that her teenage daughter has similar qualities. I was so impressed with her list of a 100 things she would like to accomplish this summer! I immediately fell in love with the project and thought what a great blog post this would make for those of us who have children. This summer while your kiddos are complaining about being bored, you may want to attempt this great plan. It would be a nice family activity that could be documented with photos. Then at the end of summer compile them into a fun little photo book. We hope to check in with her this summer and follow her progress! And maybe we'll join her on some of the craft projects. So, come along and listen to her own words and wise thoughts!

~ A Note About the Nester ~

When I was little, my brother and I would set up a little 
lemonade /candy stand in the summer. We would buy candy 
at the local neighborhood store and then sell it to the friends. 
With the profit, we used it towards buying our vacation trinkets. 

Without further adieu. let's get on with the story...

"I'm Marci's daughter. So, summer is upon us and when I came home from a vacation, I found myself in the worst attitude all the time. The reason why is because I spent almost three to five hours a day only on my phone and the rest of the day watching television. So, I started wondering how I could improve my actions this summer. One day, I came downstairs to my mom and handed her all my electronics. Meaning my cell phone, my Kindle, and Ipad. I only have a pantech basic phone for now. No more social media or web searching for my summer. Ever since I handed in my electronics to my mom, I've found a new attitude and I am able to look at the wonderful things around me."

Summer Projects

Teen Summer

Teen activities

So, I think she can check the chalk art off her list! I love kids art, it is so genuine and happy!

Bucket list for the summer

Summer fun Activities

I think it is ironic that Marci and I were also getting together our bucket list for summer blogging! So, we all have lists, and maybe we need to write them down with fun markers. For now we felt pretty excited that we got our Microsoft Outlook calendars to sync up with our schedule and posts! So, what's on your bucket list? Do your children have some fun activities plan this summer? Let's us know what you want to see on our blogging list! And the most important thing is to have a Happy Summer, everyone.


Thrift and Vintage Shopping

Thrift Shopping

Do you look at alternative shopping sources for you home decor? Checking out local thrift and antique shops can be quite fun. You never know what treasures you might find. I feel that having unique pieces makes a home interesting and not the same as all your friends. I have about four shops that I visit throughout the month. I find it interesting that the Goodwill's in our area buy home goods from Target at a sale price and then resale it for almost half the original. I've gotten some new Target rugs that were such a bargain. So, don't be squeamish about stepping into a thrift shop, think of them as a curiosity shop filled with fun surprises. And if you are concerned about the cleanliness of some of the things, just remember you can wash them and they will be as good as new. So, let's check out what I have found at either a thrift shop, antique store, and Craigslist.

~ A Note About the Nester ~

When we lived in Vermont, we rented out a booth in a beautiful shop 
that was a converted barn. It was a great business for the owner 
since all the tenants paid a little monthly rent and worked one day a month. 
Someday, I would love to own and manage a little shop like this.

Thrift and Vintage Shopping

I bought this cute clock recently while the thrift shop was holding a sale. I think I bought it for about $3.00! It was a little dirty and I think that may have been the reason it was not bought. Once I got it home and cleaned it up, I found it is the cutest thing in my kitchen! I had been searching for a clock and I was just about to give up when I found this one. Oh, if you are interested in the yummy Lemon Pie in the foreground, here is the link: Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Glassybaby candle votives

So, some of you may know that we used to live in Seattle. And they have this wonderful company that hand blows these beautiful candle votives. They are called, Glassybabys. They retail for about $45 a piece. One day I was shopping in Goodwill and was browsing through the houseware shelves. On my second time through, I spied a Glassybaby! Oh my, it was in perfect condition and only $3.00! I couldn't believe that I found one at the thrift store, obviously someone had gotten it as a gift and had no idea what it was worth. Here is a link to one sold at Nordstroms: Glassybaby

Goodwill shopping

Goodwill shops

I was on a mission to find two lamps for this sofa console table. And I had decided that I wanted to add a little drama to this table, so I was wanting to find mercury glass lamps. Of course, I was so delighted when I found two lamps at Goodwill. Well, before I could buy them, a couple of shoppers were holding on to them and speaking in Spanish, "Mucho dinero." I politely asked if they were going to buy it, and they quickly put them back on the shelves. Well, I snatched them up immediately, ok I can be a little intense when I'm on a shopping mission. I really think they would've been sold quickly had they not had the bright pink lampshades on them. I love these lamps and the price was not too bad, $12 each. I did have to replace the shades but found nice reasonable priced white ones at Target. Here is the blog post link: Lamps  

By the way, the leaf garland hanging from our entertainment center are pages from a used book that I bought at Goodwill!

Vintage and Antique shopping

I found this yellow enamel pot at an antique store and I love to use it as a container rather than a cooking pot. It is a nice accent and kind of fun to see it as something other than a kitchen cookware. 

estate sales

We have an adorable shop in our tiny town. Once a month the shop owners hold a fun estate sale in their parking lot. My daughter and I were toodling around the day they had one and we came across this fun vintage table. It was the end of the day, so the shop owner was motivated to sell her goods, so she gave it to me for $30! They have the best deals at this place and I'm looking forward to their next sale in a couple of days!

vintage pink vase

I found this fun little table at Goodwill. It was originally a mahogany colored table which I covered with white chalk paint. I also, special ordered a glass top to protect it from our beverages, sorry that this photo doesn't show the glass. The table was $15 and the little pink vase was a couple of dollars. I love the vase and it's pale pink color. Also, the Ikea Ektorp chair I found on Craigslist for $30. I ended up buying a new slipcover for $29 and tada a new chair! Here is the post: Ikea Chairs

antique chalk paint

This is a high boy antique that I repainted with chalk paint. I also took off the door and added some fun Anthropologie glass amber knobs. Here is the link to that project: Chalk Paint Project

Vintage Ornament wreath

I had fun searching for vintage Christmas ornaments. I did recently find a ton at the thrift shops. With this project, it is good to always be on the look out for ornaments since it requires a lot of them. If you want to make this fun wreath, here is the link to the project: Vintage wreath

Goodwill lamps

Goodwill treasures

I bought the beautiful white shells at Goodwill. They were in a big ziplock baggie and another shopper wanted them too. I told her that I would like the all white shells and she was happy that I would split the cost with her. I think I bought quite a few of them for $5.00. Definitely a lot cheaper than the ones I saw down at the San Francisco Wharf. 

Goodwill and Target

The grey rug under the sink is the brand new Target rug that I found at Goodwill. At a later date, I found another yellow one that I have near our front door. These rugs clean up so nicely since they are made with Olefin. I was told by a friend that a rug with this material is a breeze to clean up. And I found that she was totally right about this.

Do you know the history of Goodwill?  

Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us and I hope you have your own fun shopping. Remember to always look through the thrift shop twice, there is a lot to take in and you miss things the first time through. Also, don't be afraid to view things even if they are dirty. And finally, think outside the box. If a lamp is perfect but it has some gaudy lampshade, you can always replace the shade. Let us know what great treasures you have found, we would love to hear about them.


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