Macramé Classes

Macrame Classes at The Nest

We’ve finally gotten our Macramé Class Series dialed! This will be a series of three classes taught by Bryli Friberg. You may attend any one class or up to all three for a discounted rate! Each class will lay out the basics for beginners and then introduce more advanced techniques as needed. First timers are welcome to every class. Space is limited to 10 people and includes all of the necessary materials plus a drink and treats.

(Click each header for a link to individual classes or the button at bottom to see all 3)

Macramé Plant Hangers

Thursday, April 18th. 6-8pm.

Includes everything you need to make (2) Small macramé plant hangers or (1) large one plus a drink and a treat.

Macramé Plant Hangers II

Saturday April 27th. 2-4pm.

Includes everything you need to make (2) small macramé plant hangers or (1) large one plus a drink and a treat.

Macramé Wall Hanging

Thursday, May 9th. 6-8pm.

Includes everything you need to make a large wall hanging plus a drink and a treat. This one would be a great one to either make a gift for your mom or bring her along to get some good quality time in!

Price: $55 for 1 class. $50 each for 2 classes and $45 each for 3 classes.

*****Use codes 2MACRAMECLASS and/or 3MACRAMECLASS for discounts*****

Macrame Class at The Nest

How to Turn A Mid Century Dresser into a Bathroom Vanity

And other remodeling adventures…

Ali here, folks!

We are on the tail end of our second remodel.  The first, a mountain cabin by Donner Lake (that we still, 3 years later, have a punch list of about 100 items on, but that you can rent HERE on airbnb if you need a mountain getaway) and the second, a Southern California ranch house, originally built in 1959 and nestled into the coastal suburb of Point Loma (of which we intended on “updating” not completely remodeling). 

As elitist as all this sounds, the only way we are even able to buy a home in either of those places is by picking a ‘fixer upper’ and then ‘fixing it up’ ourselves, cutting the cost in half.  Or should I say, himself.  My husband is the ethereal workhorse of it all and, let me tell you, he is the most handy guy I know.  He can pretty much do anything.  Plumbing, electrical, tile, woodwork, knocking down walls and putting them back up; you name it, he can do it and do it well.  And has been doing it consistently for the past 3 years.  Quite honestly, (and maybe best said in a whisper) we are both just so ready to be done with it all. 

Upstairs loft with original built in bookcase and raw steel beam brackets

Upstairs loft with original built in bookcase and raw steel beam brackets

Living room decorated with vintage skis and trunk coffee table

Living room decorated with vintage skis and trunk coffee table

As good as he is in the construction side of a remodel, he is equally lacking in the design side.  Not that he can’t do it, but he just doesn’t really care about style or vibe or uniqueness.  He likes to pick something that is clean and nice and good looking (and in stock), install it and move on to the next thing.  

That’s where I come in.  I care about sticking to the bones of the original, preserving the historic, staying true to an era and keeping things inline with the original intention of the house or the surroundings it finds itself in.  As reluctant as I was on this second remodel to really dig into all the design elements, I cared about only one thing, preserving the mid-century vibe.  Unfortunately, what may have been notable 1950’s elements to keep, such as wallpaper or tile, had already been removed in a remodel years before we moved in and the remaining mid-century touches were in such disrepair that they were beyond saving.  I kept what I could, hardware from drawers and cabinets, the original front door and doorknobs, an entire wall of wood paneling, shuttered doors and the brass fireplace casing accompanying the whitewashed brick fireplace.  I resigned to refresh, update and renew by mixing the contemporary with the vintage and filling the house with as much of a nod to the 50’s as our pocketbook could accommodate, whether through actual construction touches, or simply in decor. 

1950 and early 60’s modern was full of rich walnut, brass, symmetrical and geometric design.  Being that I am already a fan of this era, I already had quite a few furniture and decor pieces wrangled from craigslist, garage sales or my local San Diego dealer, Alfonso, of Nok Nok Living (more about him in next paragraph) to move straight in.  The rest of it I filled with artwork created by friends (cactus print from Reno High School classmate + Reno native Matthew Lew of Silver State 98) or myself (desert photograph and black and white portrait painting) and little odds and ends from The Nest (blue ceramic pot and bird) or other local boutiques.  


One of my all time favorite design elements was our master bathroom.  After much debate on how to restructure by tearing down walls, closets and moving toilets we decided on a design that was functional and beautiful.  I scoured the internet for mid-century furniture dealers and ended up in the storage unit of a local San Diego dealer (from whom I have now bought 4 pieces of furniture and who I also now call friend…amazing things happen when you choose to buy local from a small business owner, hint, hint) talking about all things old and interesting, his new baby and figuring out how to refurbish my newly acquired piece of history and make it into my bathroom vanity.  I definitely put a bit of elbow grease on this one, refinishing the top and cutting out a square notch of shelves on either side to make room for sink pipes, oiling the drawers and removing a built in utensil tray, but it was totally worth it.  We added a bit of elegant 50’s flair with hexagon tile and brass finishes.  All in all, it is the perfect mix match of mid-century modern and contemporary and well worth the attention we put into the details.

Master bathroom with refurbished credenza as vanity and his/hers closets with shuttered doors

Master bathroom with refurbished credenza as vanity and his/hers closets with shuttered doors

Hexagon tile (splurge) and faux brass mirrors (un-splurge)

Hexagon tile (splurge) and faux brass mirrors (un-splurge)

Remodeling can be daunting, draining and will pull on every last thread that is holding you (and your significant relationships) together.  Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring contractors, remodels almost always take way longer and cost way more money than originally planned.  But, they don’t necessarily have to.  We chose to splurge on certain structural elements, like a new roof and new plumbing, but also chose to be thoughtful and unique about other elements.  I’m not ok with knock-off versions.  There are plenty of ways to pull off a vintage hack using things from IKEA or even break your bank by buying brand new ‘vintage looking’ pieces from high end decor stores.  But for me, the value isn’t just in the look of the item.  It’s in the quality of the piece, the history of what you are preserving and putting into your home.  I hold out sometimes, having plenty of bare walls and corners until I find the perfect thing I’m looking for…and it’s almost always something that is old, getting new life in a new way.

Needless to say, The Nest is The. Perfect. Spot. to find the old to turn into the new. From light fixtures and vintage hardware to incredible mid-century goods like this credenza with matching dresser. It is literally floor to ceiling full things to use for your next remodel or Spring redecorating project. I know it doesn’t really feel like Spring yet, but, I promise it is coming and freshening up with unique goods is in your near future! Heading into a bathroom remodel? This credenza would be a perfect dual vanity! Click the pic to take you directly to this item in our online store!

Flower Crown Class with Camryn Lane

Camryn Lane Flower Crown

If you’re like me, you’re jonesing for spring—or at least a little break in the weather! Let’s usher in warmer days with a handmade flower crown in one of our favorite classes taught by Camryn Lane. Gather your boho fairy princess friends and join us in creating your very own flower crown to take home while we enjoy drinks and treats to get us ready for a long-awaited spring.




A DIY You Can Really Do Yourself


Ali here with a DIY that I feel really good about!

For the record, I am not a DIYer.  I am the poster child for the proverbial ‘pinterest fail’ and end up with far more unfinished attempts than finished products.  You have my teenage daughter to vouch for that.  We have too many stories that begin with, “Remember when we tried to make that…” and end in a good natured grimace and a lot of laughter. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love every single thing about do-it-yourself projects from the standpoint of up-cycling, reusing, resourcefulness, cost efficiency, and a little roll up your sleeves and get ‘er done grit.  However, it’s the actual do-it-yourself part that always seems to be the problem.  I’m not very good at doing these things myself.  But, when the queen of DIY, Tessa Miller, comes over to your house and says in the middle of another sentence, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to make some of those” as she’s looking at your blue rhinoceros succulent holder you paid $35 for at a vintage boutique in Santa Barbara, the tables turn.  “You can make these?”  

Of course you can make them, she can make them, I can make them.  And thus began a new attempt at another possible failure.  But, as the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  So, here we are with a very unconventional DIY tutorial that is missing half of the steps because, well, I’m not a DIYer and because I have 3 kids and can never actually finish a project in one sitting and because I’m just assuming you, as the reader, have half a brain and can use it to fill in the blanks for the parts that are missing.



This ended up being the hardest part, in my opinion.  They don’t make toys the same way they used to.  Toy animal figures used to be a durable and hollow, soft-rubbery-plastic type of material.  Most often now, the realistic looking figures are solid plastic or resin and nearly impossible to drill into (however, I would LOVE to know if anyone has a good way to do this).  That being said, you can find vintage toys at garage sales, eBay, second hand stores or even your neighbors house, especially the neighbor with grown kids.  They almost always have a box of old dinosaurs their kids used to play with that they are hanging on to for old times sake.



While your setting up to make a mess, let your kid play with the animals for a few minutes.  When it comes time to cut them, each one will have a name and a personality and will tell you if they are in pain as you cut their back or if they like it.  Well, at least such was the case with us.  Grab a sharp razor blade or exact knife and cut a square out of the back of each animal.  Depending on how hard or soft they are, you may also be able to use scissors.  I think it goes without saying, but pay attention during this part.  I had to use quite a bit of pressure when trying to make the initial puncture.


This is where my resourcefulness comes in handy…I used paint we already had!!  We had a few cans of spray paint kicking around the garage from previous projects so we started with those.

I will say, though, I wasn’t super happy with the glossy look, which is what we had.  I went to the craft store and bought 2oz jars of chalk paint for $1.50 each.  I ended up liking the matte look far more.  With this paint, I primed each animal (you could use a spray primer, but I already had a paint-on kind) and gave each 3 coats with a sponge brush, allowing ample time in between to dry.  After curing for 24hrs I sealed them with a wax coat.

This step is completely personal preference.  Play with colors, sheen, etc. and see what you like.



Now that you have a painted, empty toy, it’s time to make it functional.  Succulents and air plants are great candidates for surviving riding in the back of a plastic animal toy.  Plus, Tessa has some at The Nest right now! Before planting, put a small layer of perlite, tiny pebbles, rocks or gravel in the bottom of the toy to allow the soil to drain properly (you don’t want it to get moldy).  Pick a small succulent and drop it in with some cactus soil and you are ready to rock and roll!  My resourcefulness came in handy once again by gathering cuttings of succulents I already had growing in my yard and transplanted them into the new planter.  Succulents are beautifully hardy and can re-root quickly and with very little space to spread out.


Voila!!  Quite possibly my first ever DIY that I succeeded in.  And, if I can do it, I promise, so can you.  Give it a try.  These are a fun and quirky way to add some whimsy to your home as well as bringing a little outside, well, inside!


Terrarium Class Recap


If you easily get FOMO, don’t look at the album below from our 8th Annual Getting Dirty on Valentine’s Day Class!

We had a blast! So many amazing and FUN people and terrariums. I laughed A LOT with this crew. With a glass of wine and a Holey Schmidt donut in hand, we had a memorable evening, took home living works of art and even had a staff ‘end of the night’ dance party! Check it out below. See a photo of yourself that you just love? Go to our Facebook album where you can tag yourself and download the photo courtesy of Alexis Turner Photography.

If you feel like you missed out on hanging out with some cool cats, don’t fret: we’ll do it again next year… ;)

Terrariums not your thing? We have a floral arrangement class with Camryn Lane coming up on April 14th and a series of 3 macrame classes getting dialed right now as well! Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more details. Have any suggestions for a craft you want to learn? Leave a comment below, and we’ll see what we can do!

The Top 5 Things That Have Helped Me Get My Health Back on Track

Photo by  Ali Denney

Photo by Ali Denney

Many of you—bless your hearts—have been following me for many years, through the death of my mom and birth of my son, my crazy health problems, so many harrowing business ups and downs, and oh yeah, to see what kind of vintage gems I have in the shop. ;)

The biggest outpouring of love I get from y’all is when something happens to me that you can relate to. Maybe you have lost someone you love or have struggled with a serious unknown health problem that doctors tell you you’re making up because they don’t have an answer for you. When I open up about my troubles in my posts, I always get a crazy amount of heartfelt responses to my blog posts but also a lot of people who are going through the same struggles and are seeking guidance and camaraderie.

Well, my health has been on the mend (yay!), and because I know so many of you have been dealing with the same sorts of issues…

I’d like to share some resources that have helped me along the way. In a nutshell, they all boil down to…




venturing deep down into childhood traumas to heal them.

Not sure what all of those things have to do with improving your health? Start here…

{These are in order of least amount of commitment to most commitment both time and money-wise.}

I just watched this documentary on Netflix the other day, and it explains pretty much all of the things that I’ve researched and learned within the last couple of years, but you (lucky duck) can be up to speed in less than two hours from the comfort of your couch.

Basically, stress causes illness. Decrease your stress, and your health will improve. Sounds simple, and it truly is, but in our culture we make that much harder than it needs to be. Really, what is more important than your health? When you have a disease like cancer, none of these things that you’re stressing out about right now matter in the least. You’ve got to put on your gas mask first, and a health issue is just a wake up call from your body that you need to take care of yourself. If you do nothing else, watch this movie!


The Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as Tapping, is briefly shown in Heal. I was introduced to it through my therapist, Zoe Gerhart. {Side note: getting a therapist you trust is key. I had a hard time finding one that did more good than bad, so once I found Zoe, I stuck with her.} It’s a simple, free technique for reducing stress. Because it’s not a prescription that a large pharmaceutical company can make money on, it’s not pushed by doctors, although I would be so bold as to say that if you got the hang of tapping and did it consistently you could get probably get off those anxiety and antidepressant meds…

Literally, you just tap on different points of your body. That’s it. I’m not going to go on about the exact method and science behind it because I’ll butcher it, but watch this video and learn more about it there.

Also, the main catalyst for this blog post is that the Tapping World Summit is going on right now. It’s a series of recorded interviews about a myriad of different issues that we pretty much all can relate to with accompanying tapping sessions to help people work through these issues.

I listened to my first one two years ago, and it changed the way I looked at just about everything. Highly recommend you take the time to see which ones spark your interest and listen this week. They are free for 10 days (3-4 presentations are available each day for 24 hours) and then you have the option to purchase. I bought the first one that I listened to because I wanted to go back and reference a lot of them. If you aren’t able to listen to the summit while it’s free, write a little comment below, and I’ll send you the link to the ones I bought two years ago, which are still and will always be very relevant.


Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.

I just got certified to the second level of Reiki, and I’ll tell you, it has really amped up my intuition, which has been an integral part of my healing. I practice on myself 1-2 times per day, and it has helped with my stress levels tremendously. For me, it is a form of meditation.

Reiki 1 is a few hour long class consisting of learning about chakras and enough practical information and training to practice on yourself, small children and pets. Reiki 2 is a 5-6 hours long class where you fine tune your reiki skills enough to be able to practice on others.

Kelly Aguilera was my teacher. She is about to give birth here soon, so I don’t know what her course offerings will be for the near future, but I highly recommend her. She cuts to the chase, gives you all the information you need to know and is available post-class for questions and help.

High Sierra Allergy

At first, I was hesitant to go to High Sierra Allergy because I didn’t think my problem was an allergy one. But then I heard from multiple trusted friends with an assortment of seemingly non-allergy related illnesses that they went to her, and she helped when no other doctor could.

I’m a huge fan of Melissa. She is down-to-earth, empathetic, patient and thorough. It can take a while to get in to see her as a new patient, and it’s not cheap (although if you really do the math on what you’re spending with your western medicine doctor on co-pays, insurance and other bills then add those up because you have to go to every doc in town and they still don’t know what’s wrong with you, it ends up saving money, time & heartache in the long run!)

Appointments at her office are extremely refreshing. She is super friendly, and she truly cares. She never rushes me out. She always answers all of my questions and brings it down to a level that I can understand without having gone to med school. I always leave feeling hopeful and with a clear plan of action to which I usually see marked results. I don’t think I’ve had an appointment with her that went less than a full hour.

And the allergy part—well, from my rudimentary knowledge of all of this, I’ll sum it up like this: our diets are garbage. Even when we try to eat healthy and organic, our food supply is crap. Perhaps you have heard of leaky gut: basically our digestive systems are beat up and have holes where our food can leak out into our bloodstream. Because that’s not where food is supposed to be, our body marks it as a pathogen and attacks it. With leaky gut, eating something repeatedly can cause a sensitivity to that particular food. Now, I’m no expert on it, but that’s the Cliff Notes version of what I understand about it. I would suggest everyone do a little research because it can manifest itself into a myriad of illnesses, and I think it’s more widespread and under-diagnosed than most people realize.

Couples Weekend

This set of three weekend retreats are all facets of the same philosophy geared towards, you guessed it: men, women and couples. Now the Woman Within is a wild card for me. I haven’t gone yet, so I can’t personally speak to it at this moment, although I will be attending it this coming weekend! My husband went to the men’s version called the Mankind Project. Boys, you are not men until you go to this weekend retreat.

Let me set the scene for you: it was a tumultuous time in our relationship. My mom had passed away, and things were rocky at best. We were on the precipice of really calling it quits, and MKP was the thing that turned it around. The transformation that occurred in my husband was nothing short of miraculous. Over the course of one weekend, he learned how to call out emotions and childhood traumas that were stuffed so deep that he didn’t even know they existed. He learned how those traumas became triggers and how to deal with those triggers when they present themselves in day to day life. It has done wonders for our relationship, and he continues to go to an integration group every other week.

Then we attended A Couples Weekend together. Man oh man. I’ve never felt so raw as I did after that weekend. Another attendee summed it up well at the end when he said, “I don’t think I have an emotion left in me now.” It was super intense but so amazing. We learned so much about ourselves, each other and how we get into cycles of triggering each other and how to stop those cycles.

We have a much more solid foundation now, and even though we hit road bumps just as often as everyone else, we have a set of tools now to deal with our triggers—both our own and each other’s. So the fights that used to be a 10 are now 5s. We don’t spend days on end pissed off at each other. We air our grievances in a clean way so that our fights may only last a few hours or less.

These weekend retreats, my friends, are not for the faint of heart. But if you are serious about wanting to make a profound change in your life, relationships and ultimately health and want to do it quickly, these weekends will certainly do that. I’m up for the challenge but also honestly terrified about this upcoming weekend. Please wish me luck! I can’t wait to share with you all that I learn!

In summary…

This obviously isn’t a comprehensive list of all of the things that have been helpful for me (yoga, exercise, changes in diet—you know, all that stuff that we should all know about by now—have also been extremely wonderful), but this list is a good start for any of you looking to go a little bit deeper.

I tried to keep it short and sweet so you could pick and choose what resonates with you, but I am an open book and am more than willing to talk more in depth with you all about any of this stuff.

Because if I’ve learned anything, it’s that COMMUNITY plays a vital role in healing. All of these resources are wonderful, but being able to open up and share your advice, experiences and highs & lows with people who you trust and can connect with makes all the difference.

The Girls

So, if you’re feeling a little lost, alone or needing to make a significant change in your relationships, thought processes and ultimately your health and life, just holler at ya girl. We’ll grab a cup of tea, roll up our sleeves, tap on our faces like crazy people and fix our health!