A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: April 2013

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29 April 2013

The Way I Like Kitchens

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The Way I Like It Series at the Nest is sponsored by house ads.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I must mention it again. The more I watch home decorating/renovation/real estate shows, the more this issue haunts me, and I know (I KNOW) I cannot be the only one. You see, there is still this driving force towards "opening everything up" and an "open plan layout" that folks seem to clamor towards and spend boatloads of money achieving. They want the kitchen open to the dining room which opens to the living room and then into a 3 story open foyer.  Sometimes there is seriously even open plan bathrooms.

Now I must say that I enjoy the sight lines of an open plan.  I love the way light flows through space when a few walls are gone.  I love that spaces can feel larger than they really are in an open space.

HOWEVER.

That does not apply when it comes to workspaces in my book.  That specifically means the kitchen (and gosh darn it the BATHROOM -- put a door on it!).  People are fond of stating that they want to open up their kitchen so that everyone can pile in while they are cooking.  They love to talk about the kids playing just on the other side of island as they do the dishes.  They even talk about a host of folks in the kitchen helping to prepare a meal.

That all sounds like a big, giant nightmare to me.

When my kids come in the kitchen, I end up cutting myself (accidentally).  When there are 15 people in the kitchen, I can't hear myself thing, nonetheless make sure I have the sugar and not the salt.  In fact, I am happiest in my kitchen when there is a window to look out, a podcast to half-listen to (and not respond) and a nice big sink full of hot, soapy water.  That is bliss.

Do you know where you can find kitchen bliss?

...in a galley kitchen.



I love my galley kitchen and everytime my husband talks about "busting out that wall" and "opening the kitchen" to the living room/front door/bedroom hallway, I balk.

 "Please honey, nooooooooooooo!".  

"...but we can't work together in the kitchen...it is not big enough for both of us!"

"I knoooooooooooooooooooow!  Could you please grill this chicken outside?  It would be such a huge help **smile**"


See this weird wall?  He wants to tear it down.  I sort of love it.
This is the thing -- my kitchen is perfectly sized for me.  I can move a few steps in any direction and get any food, utensil, cleaning supply or cooking device I need.  I don't have tons and tons of junk in the kitchen (There is NO tupperware drawer to my husband's chagrin) and there is no extra space for extra bodies.  I am happy that way.  There is lots and lots of room for bodies in the rest of the house.   There is room for hundreds of bodies outside.  ...but in the kitchen?  There is room for one, and that is the way I like it.

I have a galley kitchen and I LIKE it.  How do YOU like your kitchens?


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PS - Have you entered to win the giveaway for a $50 AMEX card yet? Nest followers have a few easy entries, so make sure you get your name in! CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the post!

The Way I Like Kitchens

Pin It

The Way I Like It Series at the Nest is sponsored by house ads.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I must mention it again. The more I watch home decorating/renovation/real estate shows, the more this issue haunts me, and I know (I KNOW) I cannot be the only one. You see, there is still this driving force towards "opening everything up" and an "open plan layout" that folks seem to clamor towards and spend boatloads of money achieving. They want the kitchen open to the dining room which opens to the living room and then into a 3 story open foyer.  Sometimes there is seriously even open plan bathrooms.

Now I must say that I enjoy the sight lines of an open plan.  I love the way light flows through space when a few walls are gone.  I love that spaces can feel larger than they really are in an open space.

HOWEVER.

That does not apply when it comes to workspaces in my book.  That specifically means the kitchen (and gosh darn it the BATHROOM -- put a door on it!).  People are fond of stating that they want to open up their kitchen so that everyone can pile in while they are cooking.  They love to talk about the kids playing just on the other side of island as they do the dishes.  They even talk about a host of folks in the kitchen helping to prepare a meal.

That all sounds like a big, giant nightmare to me.

When my kids come in the kitchen, I end up cutting myself (accidentally).  When there are 15 people in the kitchen, I can't hear myself thing, nonetheless make sure I have the sugar and not the salt.  In fact, I am happiest in my kitchen when there is a window to look out, a podcast to half-listen to (and not respond) and a nice big sink full of hot, soapy water.  That is bliss.

Do you know where you can find kitchen bliss?

...in a galley kitchen.



I love my galley kitchen and everytime my husband talks about "busting out that wall" and "opening the kitchen" to the living room/front door/bedroom hallway, I balk.

 "Please honey, nooooooooooooo!".  

"...but we can't work together in the kitchen...it is not big enough for both of us!"

"I knoooooooooooooooooooow!  Could you please grill this chicken outside?  It would be such a huge help **smile**"


See this weird wall?  He wants to tear it down.  I sort of love it.
This is the thing -- my kitchen is perfectly sized for me.  I can move a few steps in any direction and get any food, utensil, cleaning supply or cooking device I need.  I don't have tons and tons of junk in the kitchen (There is NO tupperware drawer to my husband's chagrin) and there is no extra space for extra bodies.  I am happy that way.  There is lots and lots of room for bodies in the rest of the house.   There is room for hundreds of bodies outside.  ...but in the kitchen?  There is room for one, and that is the way I like it.

I have a galley kitchen and I LIKE it.  How do YOU like your kitchens?


Pin It


PS - Have you entered to win the giveaway for a $50 AMEX card yet? Nest followers have a few easy entries, so make sure you get your name in! CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the post!

25 April 2013

The Way I Like Tea

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The Way I Like It Series has been sponsored by house ads.

Can we take a simple moment to discuss the merits of unaltered tea.  I typically love my sugar, salt and blow-your-palette seasoning, but I recognize the gentleness of tea and the complex flavors of different blends.  I find myself reaching for a little sugar or honey now and again, but typically, I like tea pure.  If I am making fresh herbal tea from the garden, it only gets the slightest hint of sweetness and the flavor of the lemon or mint can simply sing.





Can we now take a moment and talk about the weirdos that put CREAM in their tea?  To me it feels like pouring mustard on a donut or something.  The fastest way to ruin a cup of tea is to drown it in a boatload of cream (and don't get me started on FLAVORED creamers...)  Holy moly -- do people actually do this?  Do you put cream in your tea?

...of course...this is coming from the girl who drinks black coffee for 3 weeks after giving birth, but
then dives right back into flavored cream spiked brews thereafter.  Hypocritical me.

How do YOU like your tea?  (or coffee?)





PS - Did you enter the current giveaway for a $50 AMEX card?

If you are a Nest follower, you've already got a couple easy entries, so make sure you enter to win!
CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom for the entry rafflecopter form.

The Way I Like Tea

Pin It

The Way I Like It Series has been sponsored by house ads.

Can we take a simple moment to discuss the merits of unaltered tea.  I typically love my sugar, salt and blow-your-palette seasoning, but I recognize the gentleness of tea and the complex flavors of different blends.  I find myself reaching for a little sugar or honey now and again, but typically, I like tea pure.  If I am making fresh herbal tea from the garden, it only gets the slightest hint of sweetness and the flavor of the lemon or mint can simply sing.





Can we now take a moment and talk about the weirdos that put CREAM in their tea?  To me it feels like pouring mustard on a donut or something.  The fastest way to ruin a cup of tea is to drown it in a boatload of cream (and don't get me started on FLAVORED creamers...)  Holy moly -- do people actually do this?  Do you put cream in your tea?

...of course...this is coming from the girl who drinks black coffee for 3 weeks after giving birth, but
then dives right back into flavored cream spiked brews thereafter.  Hypocritical me.

How do YOU like your tea?  (or coffee?)





PS - Did you enter the current giveaway for a $50 AMEX card?

If you are a Nest follower, you've already got a couple easy entries, so make sure you enter to win!
CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom for the entry rafflecopter form.

23 April 2013

The Way I Like Forsythia

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This post has been sponsored by house ads.


So Courtenay (of The Creek Line House) was all talking about forsythia on facebook over the weekend and she got me thinking about one of the most popular harbingers of spring.  NOw, some hate forsythia for its gaudy yellow blooms, but I must say I am a fan.  Well, I take that back.  I am a half fan of forsythia.  When it is shaved like a 50's basketball forward's crew cut -- well that is plain ugly.  The little blooms struggle when pruned in fall and the look ends up being a half-hearted yellow, polka dot bikini on the hedge next to the sidewalk.  Ugly.  Don't do it.

Then there are the forsythia plants that are tortured into perfectly round balls.  Those aren't pretty either.    You see, forsythia is a showy plant.  She likes to wave her arms, chock full of blossoms and great spring like a long lost friend from long ago.  She wants to grow big and blousy and taming her just makes a mess of everything.  If you are planting a forsythia, give her room to grow and expect her to be bodacious   If you choose to heavily prune a forsythia, you might as well rip it out of the ground.  It is just uglifying your yard.  ...and trust me, that bombacious plant would rather die than be subjected to those pruners every spring.

To make things a little more clear, THIS is a good and wild forsythia.  

THIS is bad.  THIS, THIS and THIS are too. 

I've linked directly to photos to protect the innocent bad pruning criminals of forsythia crime...

NOW.  Onto the ways I DO like forsythia.  First and foremost, I like her wild and I like to see her with friends.  A single forsythia can be cute and quaint in a small yard, but the most impressive displays use at least 3 mature bushes (if not 300).  The great thing about forsythia is that it starts off as a cheap plant when you first buy it and then it just gets cheaper and cheaper as you propagate it.

Propogation of forsythia is simply a matter of snipping off a new branch (around the size of a pencil that is still green -- not woody) and placing it into the ground in spring.  Let the spring rains do their job and by next spring, that little stick should show off with its own little flower show.  Plant 100 of these in a field and WOW - spring has ARRIVED.

Budded bush ready to bloom when forsythia show is over (See the yellow in the background?)
 The forsythia in my yard is nestled behind other bushes that will bloom in the summer and fall.  I love forsythia this way because it allows the plant to grow big and crazy, but the somewhat unsightly ankles that become bare in old age are covered.  The yellow blooms seem to want to jump out from behind their restraining bushmates in spring and then retreat into a beautiful green backdrop for blooms all summer and fall long.


Like I said though, I prefer forsythia in GIANT drifts, so my favorite stand around here is that of "the farmer".  We know his name, but prefer to just refer to him as "the farmer" - king of his cattle domain and certainly duke of forsythia each spring.  Now tell me THAT isn't pretty.






He even has a bank of forsythia bordering his driveway.  How wildly wonderful is that?

Of course the real show stopper in our area are the literal walls of forsythia bordering the parking lot at Hershey Park.


This is just the beginning...It goes on and on...

and on and on and on...


...and on a side note:


Now you must forgive my "drive-by" photo taking of all these forsythia drifts.  
The camera work is shoddy, but the forsythia is oh so dreamy, don't you think?


Bordering the road is beautiful...

...and giving your house a front border?  GORGEOUS.


NOW.  If you must torture your forsythia by pruning it when it is small, please PLEASE at least prune right after they bloom in spring so that you won't lose blooms on NEXT year's plants.  These little balls of yellow are ALMOST ok :)  (...but you REALLY, really should let your forsythia live free.  At least that is the way I like it.)


So now it is YOUR turn.  How do YOU like forsythia?



Pin It

PS - Did you enter yesterday's giveaway for a $50 AMEX card?

If you are a Nest follower, you've already got a couple easy entries, so make sure you enter to win!
CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom for the entry rafflecopter form.

The Way I Like Forsythia

Pin It

This post has been sponsored by house ads.


So Courtenay (of The Creek Line House) was all talking about forsythia on facebook over the weekend and she got me thinking about one of the most popular harbingers of spring.  NOw, some hate forsythia for its gaudy yellow blooms, but I must say I am a fan.  Well, I take that back.  I am a half fan of forsythia.  When it is shaved like a 50's basketball forward's crew cut -- well that is plain ugly.  The little blooms struggle when pruned in fall and the look ends up being a half-hearted yellow, polka dot bikini on the hedge next to the sidewalk.  Ugly.  Don't do it.

Then there are the forsythia plants that are tortured into perfectly round balls.  Those aren't pretty either.    You see, forsythia is a showy plant.  She likes to wave her arms, chock full of blossoms and great spring like a long lost friend from long ago.  She wants to grow big and blousy and taming her just makes a mess of everything.  If you are planting a forsythia, give her room to grow and expect her to be bodacious   If you choose to heavily prune a forsythia, you might as well rip it out of the ground.  It is just uglifying your yard.  ...and trust me, that bombacious plant would rather die than be subjected to those pruners every spring.

To make things a little more clear, THIS is a good and wild forsythia.  

THIS is bad.  THIS, THIS and THIS are too. 

I've linked directly to photos to protect the innocent bad pruning criminals of forsythia crime...

NOW.  Onto the ways I DO like forsythia.  First and foremost, I like her wild and I like to see her with friends.  A single forsythia can be cute and quaint in a small yard, but the most impressive displays use at least 3 mature bushes (if not 300).  The great thing about forsythia is that it starts off as a cheap plant when you first buy it and then it just gets cheaper and cheaper as you propagate it.

Propogation of forsythia is simply a matter of snipping off a new branch (around the size of a pencil that is still green -- not woody) and placing it into the ground in spring.  Let the spring rains do their job and by next spring, that little stick should show off with its own little flower show.  Plant 100 of these in a field and WOW - spring has ARRIVED.

Budded bush ready to bloom when forsythia show is over (See the yellow in the background?)
 The forsythia in my yard is nestled behind other bushes that will bloom in the summer and fall.  I love forsythia this way because it allows the plant to grow big and crazy, but the somewhat unsightly ankles that become bare in old age are covered.  The yellow blooms seem to want to jump out from behind their restraining bushmates in spring and then retreat into a beautiful green backdrop for blooms all summer and fall long.


Like I said though, I prefer forsythia in GIANT drifts, so my favorite stand around here is that of "the farmer".  We know his name, but prefer to just refer to him as "the farmer" - king of his cattle domain and certainly duke of forsythia each spring.  Now tell me THAT isn't pretty.






He even has a bank of forsythia bordering his driveway.  How wildly wonderful is that?

Of course the real show stopper in our area are the literal walls of forsythia bordering the parking lot at Hershey Park.


This is just the beginning...It goes on and on...

and on and on and on...


...and on a side note:


Now you must forgive my "drive-by" photo taking of all these forsythia drifts.  
The camera work is shoddy, but the forsythia is oh so dreamy, don't you think?


Bordering the road is beautiful...

...and giving your house a front border?  GORGEOUS.


NOW.  If you must torture your forsythia by pruning it when it is small, please PLEASE at least prune right after they bloom in spring so that you won't lose blooms on NEXT year's plants.  These little balls of yellow are ALMOST ok :)  (...but you REALLY, really should let your forsythia live free.  At least that is the way I like it.)


So now it is YOUR turn.  How do YOU like forsythia?



Pin It

PS - Did you enter yesterday's giveaway for a $50 AMEX card?

If you are a Nest follower, you've already got a couple easy entries, so make sure you enter to win!
CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom for the entry rafflecopter form.

22 April 2013

The Way I Like Grass

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This post is chock full of DIY Gardening information sponsored (but not influenced) by Pennington Seed.  It's more than an ad, yo!




Before we jump right into grass , I wanted to give you a heads up about what is coming up this week on the Nest:

Today we are talking about the LAWN and the way I like to keep our grass green, as well as kicking off a giveaway for a $50 AMEX card!

The contest will end on May 10th, and between now and then we are going to be talking about "The Way I Like It" and the way YOU like it!  We're getting all opinionated over here (as gardeners do :)  I hope you come back each day full of opinions ready to share!

On to the grass though...

If you look in the photo above, you will see our back lawn in summer.  nice and green and lush and ready to soak up that giant rainstorm that is coming in from the West.  That very same lawn in spring?

Brown as brown can be.

Now most of you are probably thing - who cares?!  Everyone has brown grass in the spring, right?  Well....no.  In late winter, the grass is brown everywhere, but it starts to green up as soon as the rains start.  The rest of our yard is a wonderful grass and weed blend and turns lush almost immediately, but this nice grass takes a good long while.

So why do you like it?

Here is why!  The grass is a drought resistant variety that will hold up well during our long, hot summers.  It is beautifully thick and feels like carpet underfoot all summer long and is the asolute PERFECT grass for picnics and croquet (yeah, we actually do that, but we don't get all proper and British or anything...just backyard casual ;)

So if the grass is so nice, why is it only on that one section?

Good question!  This grass is perfect for this space, but like I said, early spring is it's "ugly" time.   I don't like this grass in my front yard because you drive down the street in spring, excited all the new growth and you see lawn after lawn of green, green, green, green, BROWN.  Yeah, you don't want to be that lawn.  It just kind of makes your house look stale, you know?

Consider the benefits AND the downfalls of the grass seed you pick.  Do your research and THINK AHEAD!


Why do you even want a drought resistant grass?

Glad you asked.  I am not a crunchy granola Earth nut, but I am definitely a concious gardener and I try to be reasonable about our family's waste.  While I won't hesitate to take a good, long, hot bath when I need one, I don't want to waste untold numbers of gallons just to water the lawn every year.  Why?

· In 2012, the U.S. experienced the hottest year on record and two-thirds of the country faced drought—the most ever experienced.
· Thirty-six states anticipate continued local, regional or statewide water shortages, even under non-drought conditions.
· Did you know: Americans spend on average 73 hours a year maintaining their lawns—watering being a main focus of time and energy.
· Depending on their region, homeowners use between 30%-70% of their water outdoors.
· Lawns require approximately 1 inch of water per week to stay green in the summer, which equates to about 2,500 gallons of water per week to keep an average-sized lawn green.
· Up to 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and maintenance practices.

Not cool, eh?  The solution?  Well, it starts with the grass you choose,  can change when you change your water habits and you know what?  Sometimes allowing a bit of the native weeds in to help green things up is NOT a bad thing for your lawn.  Here's the low down:
·         

-- Pennington Smart Seed remains green for up to three weeks without water and requires up to 30 percent less water year after year versus ordinary seed.

-- By utilizing a high-quality seed that requires less water and contains no filler, lawns are more resilient and easier to maintain.

-- Pennington Smart Seed comes in both traditional variety blends/mixes, as well as specialized mixes that are customized to specific regional climates. (They have a Pennsylvania mix!)

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Now on to my picks from the line:

I clearly am a fan of the Pennyslvania mix.  HELLO!  It is created for my STATE!

I am also loving this Pennington One-Step mix with mulch and fertilizer because it means planting grass seed is sprinkle and DONE.

The products just go on and on -- one for Southern regions, a mix for sun AND shade, a deep shade mix.  Whatever situation you have going on in your lawn, there is a seed mix for you that will require LESS water!

NOW.  After you get your grass seed, you will want a nice cool drink and I have you covered with both!  Enter our giveaway for a $50 AMEX card and you can pick up that bucket of grass seed and dinner out at your local Mexicana restaurant on the way home.  Win, win, eh?


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Want another chance to win a little $$$?  I have ANOTHER $50 giveaway running HERE!


Want to learn more?  Join Pennington here!






Make sure you come back tomorrow and the rest of this week as we dive into some opinions about some pretty little yellow flowers, the way people drink and my very strong feelings about a certain room in the house!  

Then you get to tell ME
the way YOU like it!





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