Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom is no picnic. Well, except for when it is…

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Being a mom tests you in every way imaginable. And once you think you’ve finally mastered it, you end up realizing that this is only a stage, and now that it’s completed, the next phase of navigating uncharted territories begins. It’s like that kid of yours who still eats with his hands and can’t wipe his own butt is actually a wise, omniscient teacher that knows when you’ve learned your lesson and is on to teaching you the next one. He’s constantly ready to break you down and challenge everything you know about life. But then in the next moment, he throws his arms around your neck, tells you that he loves you and you slowly start to rebuild your parental confidence with a much stronger foundation and a clearer picture of what is really important in life.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning is that you have to put your own gas mask on first.

As contrary as it is to what society tells us about putting your kids first, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And as any mom can tell you, these kids demand a lot of full glasses of milk. Much easier said than done, I know, especially with all of our cultural pressures, but self-care is trending and for good reason. I notice that if I can get 20 minutes of yoga in in the morning, my patience for tantrums and pee getting everywhere in the bathroom except for in the damn toilet doubles.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Second, you’re not going to do it perfectly.

You’re going to screw up. A LOT. And that’s ok. Just do your best—and perhaps set aside some extra money in the college fund for therapy.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

And last but not least, enjoy every damn minute of it. As cliché as it sounds, it really does go by so fast.

The last time I saw my own mom in the flesh was five and a half years ago. It seems like eons ago. The time passes quickly and reminds me to try to treasure every moment I can with my son and really everyone that I care about. We are never promised another day and should live accordingly: with grace, compassion and playfulness—never taking anything for granted.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

This Mother’s Day, love on your mom and kids for me, will ya?

And this year, as a way for me to love on all of you—mommas and offspring— please take advantage of a free professional portrait with your mom and fam graciously taken by Epics Photo Booth.

See, I didn’t take as many photos of my mom or with her as I wish I did. It just never occurred to me that one day she would be gone. To honor my mom, let me give you the gift of not making the same mistake as I did. I will never again capture a snapshot of that infectious laugh where she threw her head back and laughed so hard she couldn’t stop crying, but if your mom is still around, then you can. So please do. For me.

Sunday, May 12th, 12-3pm at The Nest.

That's Life: It's A Picnic // The Video

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

The other day I decided to invite some friends over for a picnic/photo shoot. My friend Eddie, who has put together some amazing videos for me in the past, had this fleeting window to hang out and do what he does best before he jetted out of town. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was frankly blasé about the idea because I’m so over styled shoots I could puke in my mouth. (Yes, I acknowledge the hypocrisy of that since I’ve been doing them consistently for 10 years now, but that was before they, ahem, became such a “thing.”)

Don’t get me wrong. Styled shoots are beautiful to look at and they do serve a purpose in business, but there’s something that just gives me the ‘ughs’ about them now.

It’s not only because they are everywhere but because it is ultimately feeding into this frightening cultural movement driven by social media that makes us feel like we can only share our life when it looks perfect. That’s not real life, people!

So here’s the weird thing that I’m having a hard time reconciling in my head…this was a totally thrown together little picnic where I literally just invited some friends over and said bring the kiddos, I’ll dress you in some Nest clothes, and we’ll have a picnic. Nothing fancy…boiled eggs, carrots, and my son’s favorite: watermelon. (The kid can put down some watermelon. You’ll see in the video.)

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

But when Kendall Town comes to photograph it, suddenly my crazy impromptu picnic looks like a fairy tale dreamland.

When you look at these pictures, you’d never know that as my friends Breanna and Ali and their boys were filtering in, I was running around my house like a crazy person because I had a guest at my house who was lovely enough to play with Owen that morning so I could sleep in. And sleep in I did because you take advantage of opportunities like that when you have a 3 year old that insists that it’s time to wake up once any sliver of light starts peeking through the window. Although well-rested, I ended up being totally behind and unprepared. I was going to get fancy and make fresh watermelon cucumber juice with my vintage avocado green Champion juicer for godssakes!

But I just ended up boiling some eggs, had Ali cut some watermelon and off we went into the Verdi forest, 2 camera-loving, bologna-vulture dogs in tow. There was nothing that felt glamorous about this shoot. Shit, I didn’t even end up brushing my hair!

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

And why did I pick Breanna and Ali?

Because I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like to. Yes, they are absolutely gorgeous individuals—inside and out—but they’re not professional models, even though they look like it here! I don’t use professional models in my shoots. I use my friends and customers because they are real people! And what better way to capture what life is really like than to just do life how we do?

The Nest Vintage Picnic Girlfriends

Yes, it turned out dreamy because Kendall is goddamn magic, but this is real.

I invite friends over, and we do picnics. No, I don’t normally dress friends in Nest clothes when they come over, so this was a bit of a special treat for them. Ali walked away with that ever-elusive treasure of a pair of perfectly fitting cutoffs. And that vest on Huck? C’mon, it must’ve been made for that kid!

And honestly, I love picnics. I do them at least once a week, even if it’s just my son and me outside on our grass. (Although we adore it when friends join us!)

The Nest Vintage Picnic Swinging Kid

Anyway, all that to say, we had a picnic. It was fun. Here’s the video of it. We’re not models. It wasn’t styled, per se. It was just a couple friends hanging out, watching kids run through the woods (sorry Calvin, you’ll be running soon enough…).

Kendall and Eddie just happened to be there capturing it to remind us that even though sometimes we think our everyday lives aren’t that glamorous, they really are fairy tale beautiful. No freshly squeezed watermelon cucumber juice needed.

Without further ado…

Special thanks to Vokab Kompany for letting us use “That’s Life” as the perfect soundtrack to our outing!

Macramé Making A Comeback

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It’s common for era-inspired fads to come full circle (or never actually go out of style in the first place), so we love that this wildly popular 70’s fad has made a comeback in a big way some 40+ years later!

It doesn’t take more than a quick glance on Pinterest to know that we are all obsessed with the macramé wall hangings and plant holders popping up all over the place. But did you know they would be so much fun to make yourself?! Ok, they definitely required a bit of dexterity and patience too, but what a blast! So much fun that all of our inaugural macramé classes sold out.

Thank you so much for your support. We are so excited you joined us and always appreciate your enthusiasm for trying something new. We hope you love your hanging planters + we also hope you sign up for more macramé classes when we offer them again (hanging macramé chairs, anyone?).

In the meantime, here’s some pics from the past two classes…

Photo credit: Kendall Town and Alexis Turner

And pretty puhlease if you didn’t get to sign up for one of these classes but still want to, leave a comment below! If there is enough interest, I can put together another class sooner rather than later. And it doesn’t have to just be macramé either—holla at ya girl about what classes you’d like for me to put on!

Mom

photo credit: Kendall Town

photo credit: Kendall Town

Mothering.  I often say it’s the hardest job you’ll ever have…with the easiest application process.  

And, boy, is that ever true.  And possibly becoming more and more true as my kids turn from cute little babies into tantrum ridden three year olds and sullen, mouthy teens.  

“Your kids are so beautiful…cute…calm…respectful…happy,” people say when out and about.  

Yes.  True.  But they are fire breathing dragons at home so don’t ever come over. 

photo credit: Kendall Town

photo credit: Kendall Town

Mothering is tough.  I’ve recently been reading through blogs and journal entries I’ve written from the past 11 years of mothering, and it has tugged on more than a few heart strings.  The ever-growing beauty of it all, though, is that I find myself being drawn more and more into the story of mothering itself: the narrative of womanhood and the role of the feminine, aligning myself globally with the raw strength of this tribe of mothers.  And on that note, with that depth, I find myself letting go of so many of those judgements I used to harbor about ‘how to mother right’.  

Because, I want to believe we are all fighting the good fight.  And with every perfectly posed Instagram moment or with every toned gym body ‘I actually look like I never had a baby’ moment or with every arms-laden-with-groceries-and-pulling-a-screaming-kid moment or with every fist bump, tears shed college graduation moment, we are all totally in this together and need each other, each and every one.

The Nest Vintage Picnic Mommas

So, yes, we threw together what appears to be a perfectly styled Mother’s Day picnic photo shoot complete with cute kids, beautiful mothers, healthy food and incredible vintage goods + it was gracefully captured in all its golden-lighted glory by Kendall Town.  But, when I sift through these, there is so much more of the story.  I see a breath of fresh air, maybe, in an intensely demanding mothering season.  I see the choice to sit and smile with friends in lieu of fussing over soon to be watermelon-stained vintage Osh Kosh B’Goshes.  I see intentionality and wisdom through a loving physical gesture toward a rambunctious son.  I see all the challenges you have overcome and all the ones yet to be hurdled. I see you, Mama.  I see you.  

And you are doing a damn good job. 

written by: Ali Denney

photo credit: Kendall Town

Mother's Day at The Nest

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Join us SUNDAY, May 12th to celebrate you with tailor made in-store pop-up shops and a special gift of:

20% off in store for moms

(BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH EVERY DIME OF THAT AND MORE)


IN STORE POP -UP SHOPS

SUNDAY, MAY 12TH 12-3PM

 
 

EPICS PHOTO BOOTH

Another little gift for Moms: FREE professional photos with your mom and/or children! As moms, we always seem to be the ones behind the camera instead of in front of it. We want to honor you and help you remember this special time with your loved ones. So, dress up (or down if you prefer) and bring your family for a fun photo booth experience!

 
 
 

METAL MASON

Multi-talented owner of Epics Photo Booth also makes these awesome concrete planters for succulents and air plants and will have lots of unique containers and home decor items for sale. Because flowers for Mom’s Day are nice, but a succulent in a concrete planter has staying power!

 
 
 

TOTALLY BAKED RENO

Totally Baked is woman-owned business specializing in handmade and locally baked French Macarons. She has over 20 unique flavors all wrapped up in environmentally friendly packaging. If nobody happens to be doing something sweet for you on mother’s day, do something sweet for yourself and stop in for a treat. You totally deserve it!!


AND…IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH…

TO KEEP YOUR MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION LOCAL + EXTRA SPECIAL, DRIVE A LITTLE FARTHER DOWN THE BLOCK FOR THESE EVENTS + DISCOUNTS:


 

Hope to see you all there with your moms and chitlins!


Green Cleaning Products You Can Make At Home

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Ali, here, with some spring cleaning must-haves.

Spring definitely has me in that cleaning mode, but so does the fact that my youngest daughter has been sick lately. Not feverish sick, not throwing up sick, but nagging runny-nose-dry-cough-not-at-the-top-of-her-game sick. It isn’t the first time this has happened and when it does, my go to remedy is stripping her sheets, ditching old stuffed animals, washing her clothes + breaking out the cleaning products to rid her little habitat of anything and everything germ-y. But, we just can’t seem to kick it. We finally went to the pediatrician and her diagnosis was ‘allergies’. We went on a month long routine of allergy chewables, nose spray, etc. Her symptoms lessened temporarily, but recently came back with a vengeance.

I’m pretty conscientious about what goes in and on those little kid bodies. I’m not helicopter mom carrying sanitizer with me everywhere, but, I’m thoughtful about healthy eating habits, washing hands, natural ingredients, etc. However, after this recent bout of coughing and a blurb about VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds that can cause nose, throat and respiratory irritation (an article I read in a magazine at the pediatricians office, of all places), I finally decided to give these oft talked about homemade cleaning products a try. Maybe there are things lurking around, even in a clean environment, that are agitating her.

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There are a plethora of cleaning products you can make at home ranging from dish soap to toilet bombs, but I simply stuck with an all purpose surface cleaner I found on a blog called Live Simply. Mostly because it said you can make it ‘right now’ with ‘3 ingredients’. And, hey, I had all 3 ingredients, so, sounded perfect. Here’s the details:

Castile Soap Surface Cleaner

Safe to use on any surface (always test in a small area first):

  • 2 cups distilled water

  • 2 TB castile soap up to 1/4 cup (based on how ‘soapy’ of a cleaner you want)

  • 15 drops essential oil (lavender, tea tree, orange, etc.)

Directions:

Mix everything together. Clean with it. Feel like you’ve done something good.

Seriously, there isn’t much else to it. Fill an empty spray bottle with the ingredients. Shake it a little to mix the oil and water and spray away. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was literally no residue and that my hands didn’t feel like they’d been gnawed on by a colony of hungry fire ants when I was done cleaning. Castile soap is plant derived, so it is non-abrasive and essential oils are, well, oil, so you do the math. For this cleaner, I used Tea Tree Oil (for it’s natural disinfectant properties) and Lavender Oil (because it smells good…oh, and because that is what I had!).

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I don’t know anything about essential oils except that my mom uses them for everything + when my daughter was an infant my mom mixed up a tummy serum we lovingly called ‘belly juice’ that kicked my babies colic to the curb. I was sold at that point. Calming down a babies colic within minutes is hard proof that these things pack a punch and gives me even more reason to be excited that we are hosting a class with the amazing Lynell Garfield on essential oils and incorporating them into your cleaning routine. Lynell has spent the past 5 years working with essential oils and teaching others how to wrap their lives around natural health and wellness. I personally cannot wait for this. Stay tuned for class details.

All in all, I think this was a win. I’m left with a clean kitchen countertop that my daughter can run her tongue along if she wants. I hope she doesn’t want to, but 3 year olds are hard to predict. I’m also left with the hope that ‘greening’ my cleaning routine may help that little nugget kick whatever allergens or agitators are doing her in and allow us a little more ‘green’ in the pocketbook (those over the counter eco-friendly products I used to buy are breaking my bank).

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