Saturday, April 5, 2014

French country style blogs

Now that spring is here (sort of), I can't wait to tackle some decorating and organizing projects! I mean, maybe I'll even have time to unpack a few more boxes. That's right...we are still not completely done!

I've always had a pretty good idea of how I want our house to look, but of course it changes a little bit all the time! I have always loved french decor, and while I have a few french touches around our home, I am looking forward to adding even more. Since I don't have much new to show you around our house at the moment, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite french style home blogs. Click on the link below the picture to go to the blog.

Enjoy the pretty!

(This is the real deal! She lives in an old French house in Normandy!)

And if you want to have your breath taken away even more, go take a look at Chateau Gudanes. It's a blog following the restoration of a 1700's chateau in the south of France! Amazing!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rachel's Nest Closet - Instagram Shop

Hi friends! Happy Friday night! Just wanted to pop in and let you know I've created a new Instagram account, Rachels Nest Closet, where I will periodically post clothing and accessories from my (and maybe Audrey's) closet.

Currently, I've listed remaining items from my last Instagram sale....make me an offer...I want them gone! I will be listing new clothes and accessories tomorrow!

Happy Shopping!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On seeking approval.

This is a bit of a turn from the usual around here, but I really felt like this was so relevant and worth sharing today.

I've been reading the devotional, My Utmost For His Highest for a couple of months now, and I came across something in it that really hit me a couple of weeks ago (the entry for March 17th, if you'd like to look it up).

The one sentence from it that has been ringing in my head is this:

"Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor." 

Having been in a couple of different concert bands in my life (yes - nerd alert!), this was a very relatable image for me. Your eyes should always be on the conductor...if you get too caught up in looking to the audience and their reaction, you could lose your place in the music or miss a cue. An approving glance from the conductor was the best thing I could ask for while playing.

Often in my life, I get caught up in what others think of me, and I base many of my decisions on those thoughts (don't we all?). My motives become clouded, and I find myself doing things that I think will win the approval of the people around me, or make myself look like "a good person". I easily forget that my primary goal should be to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord from the inside. Even if I do look "good" to others, that doesn't matter if my private life is not in line with the heart of God.

Since reading this simple, but powerful sentence, I've been more conscious about checking my motives about who I am trying to please, and why I am doing the things that I do. I remind myself that all I really want is a glance of approval from my "conductor".

I hope this speaks to you in some way, just like it did to me. Thanks for listening to my ramble, as imperfect as it is.

And because I'd hate to leave you without a picture:

Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let's talk about...Stitch Fix

But first...thanks to all of you who shopped my Instagram sale! (PS-still some items left here!). And sorry to those of you who had to put up with 20 plus items flooding your feed if you had no interest!

Since I'm on the subject of clothes, I thought I'd ask if you've heard of Stitch Fix? I've been seeing other bloggers and Instagram friends post about it lately. At first, I dismissed it, thinking it was so silly to have someone I didn't even know pick out clothes and accessories and send them to me each month....but the more I contemplate it, the more appealing it becomes!

Within the last few years, my wardrobe has gone from business casual, to maternity, to completely casual stay-at-home-mom wear. My style has changed a little bit, but my needs have changed a lot. Comfort and functionality trumps everything these days, but that doesn't mean I want to look frumpy and careless either! I find that when I go into stores (99% of the time with Audrey), I just sort of pick the same styles and colors and call it a day, but then I get home and look in my closet and think "I have nothing to wear!" Or, I have cute things that I like, but I feel like they're totally not working for crawling around the floor with Audrey all day! Agh. Dilemma.

The concept with Stitch Fix is that a stylist picks out 5 items to send to you each month. You fill out information about yourself and take a style quiz so your stylist knows your needs and what you're looking for. You can even select how frequently you want a certain style sent your way. After each box of clothing, you can give additional information to your stylist on what you did and did not like, so that his/her picks for you can become even more on-point.

It would be nice to have someone pick things out for me that are on trend and fit my lifestyle without me having to over-think it, or spend time in a dressing room with Audrey (while I give her lollipops to keep her entertained!). I figure, if nothing else, this might save me time and sanity, and I could end up with some cute items that I wouldn't have picked out on my own.

Here we are - in a dressing room and she just finished her lollipop! This means, "Wrap it up, Mommy!" Then she threw a fit because I bought a green shirt, and not a pink one! LOL This girl! 

So what do you guys think? Have you tried Stitch Fix? I'm still kind of on the fence. On one hand, it seems convenient, but on the other, I feel like I might be too picky to benefit from this. I'd love to hear your feedback if you have any! I may just try one month and then cancel if I don't love it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shop My Closet!

Hey friends! I'm having an Instagram sale right now! Click here!

Check it out and tell your friends! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New chandeliers

I wanted to show you all some new chandeliers that we had installed this week! We've had most of these in boxes for months, and we're so glad that they're finally up! 

The rooms that these are in are largely unfinished, so bear with me. Also, these pictures did not turn out the greatest, but will hopefully give you a good idea of what the chandeliers look like!

Here's the dining room. Previously, there was a very basic brushed nickel fixture in here. It was fine, but I'm so glad we could add something that is much more our taste (Ok...let's be honest - my taste! Haha, not to worry though, Josh likes it too!). This is definitely my favorite light in the house so far! To me, it looks like it could be an antique from a shop in Paris. Yes, I think I will just imagine that's where it came from :)

Here is the playroom. This chandelier is much less exciting than the last one, but it's perfect for the space. It actually was a fixture that we already had. It was installed on one of the landings going up the stairs, but it was right next to the large foyer chandelier, so we felt it was unnecessary there. Moving it to the playroom basically gave us a free light for this room. Yay for that!

Next up is the upstairs guest bedroom. This room serves as our main guest room and previously had no overhead light in it. Originally, I chose this chandelier for Audrey's room, but I found something even better for her, which I'll show you in a second. I'm not sure this white and crystal chandelier is what I would have chosen with this guest room in mind, but it's pretty...and plus, it was a good price and I had it for months, so I doubt I would have been able to return it!  

Now, for Audrey's room. We stumbled upon this gorgeous crystal chandelier at Restoration Hardware Outlet last weekend. It was on sale for $130 (regularly $500 at RH Baby and Child). We couldn't believe it was such an amazing deal and scooped it up without a second thought! 

I think it's safe to say Audrey loves it. She calls all the new chandeliers "my beautiful new light"! Haha, such a cutie, and a girl after my own heart! 

Surprisingly, we still need lights for a few more rooms! Hopefully I'll have more to show you soon! 

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Homemade cream of chicken soup

This is a simple, yet life-changing recipe that I've been using for quite a while. It's about time I share it! It's so useful in any recipe that calls for cream of chicken (or cream of anything) soup. It's a super healthy and smart replacement for processed, cream based soups. Now you can make all of your favorite recipes so much healthier with this homemade cream of chicken soup! Yay for that!

Recipe slightly adapted from here.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
(makes about 2 store-bought cans of cream of chicken soup)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Seasoning mix (you can create your own and change it based on what you're using the soup for). Here's what I currently use: (these are all measurements for dried spices)
    • 1 teaspoon parsley
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
    • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pour chicken broth and 1/2 cup of the milk in a saucepan, and bring to a low boil.
In a small bowl, mix the flour and seasonings into the remaining 1 cup of milk until it reaches a smooth consistency. 
Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan while it's on low heat. Whisk continuously to avoid a lumpy texture. Let the mixture simmer, while whisking for about 5-10 minutes until smooth and thick. 
Use as a replacement for condensed soup in your recipes!

Hope you guys love this one! I really think you will! 

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