Lord it's like a [Moss Family] Christmas...

Christmas morning, Beau and I ate breakfast and hung out with the Hollands and Jenkins until about 10am, then we hopped in the car and drove westbound for THREE hours to get to Lake Charles (Beau's hometown) to visit his dad's side. TOTALLY worth the drive! The whole Moss family is awesome and reminds me so much of mine: loud, funny, big (in terms of quantity), and craaazy! His aunts, uncles, and Mimi are all wonderful, but it's the cousins that bring the family gatherings to another level. I think there are two thousand 17 cousins on that side, and they're all around the same age, and are all great. For this Christmas, even cousins from out of state came in to visit, so we got a chance to visit with everyone...and had they not, Jingle Booty would have never been introduced to my life...

So I know I have mostly random food pictures, but I get a little nervous whenever I whip my camera out at a party - I feel like everyone's watching thinking, "put the camera up, weirdo". Furthermore, it's hard to take pictures when I'm laughing hysterically. Amongst other games, some of Beau's cousins created a little game called "Jingle Booty". The idea of the game is to get as many jingle bells out of an empty Kleenex box that's belted to your butt...by shaking it like...a salt shaker. It. Was. Hilarious.

After the family get-together, Beau and I met up with his dad, stepmom, and twin brothers for a little gift exchange at their house. Amongst other things, they gave us an incredible patio set (table and chairs) for our newly poured patio! Yay yay yay! Then that night, we slept like kings in their new addition/guest house they just finished building! It was so neat to see Mended Nest furniture in it's natural habitat (I recently finished an end table for Beau's stepmom).

So all in all, I think this was one of the best Christmases I've ever had. Seeing my family and both of Beau's in one weekend was exhausting, but so much fun. We're blessed for so many reasons, but family has to be my number one. We love them all. Merry Christmas!


Christmas with the Jenkins and Hollands!

So after spending Thursday night and Friday morning in Covington with the Caraglianos, Beau and I headed south to New Orleans to visit the Jenkins (Beau's sister's family) and the Hollands (Beau's mom, stepdad, and brother). Laurel, Beau's sister (Jenkin's Family Journey), lives in a beautiful house on Fairway Dr., and that's where we spent Christmas Eve and day. We had such a great time sitting around drinking wassel, playing with Beau's niece, Isabel, and enjoying family talks and yummy food.

It was so enjoyable because we had absolutely nothing to do...and major rarity. At home, we usually get stuck working on some sort of project, but there we got to truly relax! We went to the movies a few times and went out to eat, but mostly hung around the house and just enjoyed each other's company. Beau has the most loving family and it's always a joy to spend time with them.

Christmas eve was my favorite day/night. We went to Mass right around the corner and then came home for a delicious Christmas meal...and then exchanged presents! There's nothing like watching a three year old's excitement when opening Christmas presents - I loved it! Of course, Isabel had her presents from Santa on Christmas morning, but these were from Mia (Rose), Bops (Bob), her mommy and daddy, and "The Uncles" (Beau, Bobby, and me). 

So, after enjoying a little more family fun Christmas morning over coffee and breakfast, Beau and I hopped in the car and headed west to Lake Charles, LA for the last leg of our Christmas journey - Christmas with the Moss family!


Christmas at the Caragliano's (Jeri's Corner)

Hello! How was your Christmas? I hope everyone had a great time! As Beau and I were driving home from Lake Charlesl last night, crawling through 3 hours of traffic, we both agreed that this was one of our best Christmases ever. In years past, Beau and I always separated for Holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc., but this year, we decided it was time to stick together and split them up between families. Since my parents got Thanksgiving, we visited Beau's families for Christmas. However, because Beau's very pregnant sister, Laurel, is in New Orleans (which is where his mom and stepdad spent Christmas), I was able to sneak in one night on the Northshore at Jeri and Frank's before heading to the Jenkin's (Beau's sister's family).

We got into Covington Thursday night and left Friday afternoon, so it was a very brief visit, but a great one none the less. We all sat around in the living room (MawMaw included) chatting, laughing, sipping on wine, and enjoying a delicious creamy salsa soup with fresh avocado and cilantro on top. (Recipe coming soon!) Afterwards, we exchanged presents and then sat down for a lasagna supper. Jeri and Frank did a good job this year! Beau and I loaded up on some much needed goodies, but the two gifts in the pictures above I thought were so cute that I couldn't help but share: a little mended nest complete with a tiny "duck egg blue" egg that Jeri picked up from a shop on Lee Lane - Best. Street. In. Covington. She also gave us another cute nest with a little bird candle. Instant obsessions with both, and they're already in our new office!

Jeri's corner time: all around the house were these small arrangements filled with tree trimmings, red berries, and leaves from various plants and trees around the yard creating these mini homemade Christmas bouquets. Where she finds the time, I'll never know, but I'm glad she does because I secretly look forward to these little guys all year. I've never seen her do this, but this year she stepped it up: she took a large vase, filled it with water and trimmings from their tree, wrapped it with burlap, and created a DIY dining room table centerpiece! Jeri's funny: she'll decorate for Fall, but not Halloween, Easter, but no bunny, and Christmas, but no Santa. I love that. This is NOT a blanket statement, but a lot of the Santa decorations tend to be cheesy and not cute. Jeri will decorate with tree trimmings, angels, mangers, and other various DIY decorations and keeps the tacky out of Christmas. I want to be JUST like her!


Christmas Tags

As Beau and I were scrambling the other night trying to get all of the presents wrapped, we realized that we had no way of differentiating between who the gifts were for. Beau quickly made these cute cards, and I thought they were perfect. I know it's a little late now, but hopefully we'll be a little more organized by NEXT Chirstmas, and we'll be able to sell packs of them with all kinds of different designs.

This is going to be our last post until Tuesday after Christmas. Beau and I are going to be traveling for a few days, and I'm thinking that a little present to myself will be taking Monday off. Don't worry - we'll get through this together! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone. Cheers and God bless! Oh - and get ready for a big 'ole Jeri's corner!!


It's the Most Won...Hectic Time of the Year!

Last night was a mess. We had multiple loads of laundry to finish, packing for the extended weekend, wrapping all of the presents, a house to clean, hours of freelance work for Beau, and most importantly: the finale of American Horror Story to watch. If that wasn't enough, I decided to tackle a last minute Christmas order for an custom iPad cover. Clearly, I wouldn't have made it through without a few glasses of wine. After finally getting to bed at 1:30 this morning, I am exhausted today!

I don't know what it was about this year (possibly owning a company), but we both felt extremely rushed this Christmas season. This is really embarassing, but I still don't even have presents for Beau yet! Okay - one I've ordered, but I still have to pick up the other one at lunch...from the mall. That traffic is going to be a LOT of fun. Can it just be Christmas, already!?


We Will be Boarding Shortly...

Danes update! Yesterday, I loaded up the danes it my little Jeep and drove off to the vet for a last minute visit so both Duke and Cooper could get their bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine. Beau and I will literally be traveling all across southern Louisiana for Christmas, and there's no possible way we could bring two great danes to my parent's, his sister's, and then to his parents. With that said, we (very sadly) have to board them for a few days over the holidays. I feel TERRIBLE, but we don't have a choice.

Either way, the vet visit was a hot mess. Clearly, half of Baton Rouge had the same idea as us because the vet waiting room was packed. Worst of all, I was that person with the bad dogs! Duke was okay...sort of, but Cooper was terrible! Literally, he non-stop barked and shrilly whined from the moment we got in until the moment we left. My arms are sore from them pulling on my leashed trying to play with other dogs. Omg, I was so embarrassed. They're lucky I love them!

My favorite part of a vet visit - weight in time. This time around, Duke stayed about the same - just under 150, but Cooper grew tons - he's now weighing in at 120 at just 10 months old! He's going to be huge, and I can't wait!!

PS - please excuse our floors in these pictures. Things have been INSANE at The Mended Nest with last minuted holiday orders.


Simple Snack

This is one of my favorite simple snacks. It's about 3 calories, and surprisingly filling. Best of all, you can eat as much as much as you want until you're full, and it's all good for you. (I love that!) All you have to do is peel and chop up cucumber as well as red onion super thinly. Add a dash of salt and pepper and finish with a little balsamic vinegar. Light and crisp. Yum.


Christmas Card!

As you know by now, through The Mended Nest, llc, Beau and I create...pretty much everything under the sun. Repainting furniture, custom invites, photography, and DIY tablet covers are only a few of the things we can now add to our resume. However, custom announcements and invitations are our bread and butter. This was part of the original plan we had for The Mended Nest, and it's something that we still love doing.

Above is an example of a custom Christmas card we were asked to make for our great friend, Lissa Weston. She loved the cards (and we couldn't be happier either). They came out looking great! It's always so much fun to work with Lissa, and we're looking forward to all the work she'll bring our way!

If you're interested in a custom announcement, invitation, etc., please email us at


Dreaming of a White (Chicago) Christmas

As it's humid and roughly 76 degrees today in good 'old BR, LA (in December!!), I can't help but let a little nostalgia set in as I reminisce on our 2010 Chicago Christmas/New Year's trip. To catch you up to speed, Beau and I are both completely infatuated with Chicago - especially in winter. Negative degrees, muddy snow, and layer upon layer upon layer? Yes, please!! I am completely over short sleeves and shorts in December. It feels like it sucks the Christmas spirit out of everyone. Too much?

There's just something about a city like Chicago that makes me feel alive, independent, and unstoppable. It seems it's full of endless possibilities, with fun and excitement around every corner. Our plan was to move immediately after I graduated college in 2009, but life had a different plan for us. Since that time, Beau and I both landed incredible jobs, we bought a house, and brought a new love into our lives (Cooper). Furthermore, we're within close driving distance to our families - something I feel we wouldn't realize how special utis until we didn't have it.

I'm certainly happy with how our life is unfolding, and I wouldn't change it for the world.  Howver, every time I look back on these Chicago pictures, I can't help but wonder - what if?


Mended Furniture - Bedside Tables

Good morning, Mended Nesters! I am pleased to bring you the newest set of furniture I repainted and reknobbed (clearly not a word considering autocorrect tried to change it to "reckoned"). How typical is it that I don't have any "before" pictures? Either way - I hope you like the end product. Christine, this super skinny and cute lawyer, dropped these off a few weeks ago, and unfortunately I'm JUST finishing them. I've been slammed with other furniture projects, not to mention these pieces took a while, themselves.

I started my mixing Provence and Arles (Annie Sloan) to create this custom green. Originally, it looked a little minty, but after adding a water/French Linen mixture then a water/Old White mixture, the green was toned down just enough. I'm so pleased with the final color. In fact, I'm going to try to match it when I start working on these little wooden filing cabinets for our office. Also, if you look closely, you can see a hint of gold leafing. Per Christine's request, I added this at the last minute using this incredible gold leafing wax. At first it looked a little gaudy, but after sanding it down a little it came out great.

We want you!! Please email us at TheMendedNest@gmail.com to get a quote for something you'd like me to repaint for you! Also, be looking out because we have a few items that'll be coming up for sale soon!


Deck the Vases with Boughs of Faux Holly

Colder weather is upon us; unfortunately that means that flowers are freezing to death (too morbid?) and I don't have any more fresh flowers for my house. Sure, I could buy them, but it's always a hassle. I either have to make a special trip to the florist with in my nonexistent free time or pick some up when I'm at the grocery. The only problem with the grocery is that I try to strategically get them at the very end of shopping so that they're not out of water too long, but I ALWAYS forget to go back and get them! So what's a guy gunna do?

Try using the holly you can buy at any Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or even Walmart or Target. It doesn't die, you don't have to change out the water, and you don't have to throw them out! Plus, as long as you're keeping it simple, they'll look surprisingly chic.


Are We Out of Raffia?

This holiday season, I feel like we're going through more raffia than ever! That sentence seems a little strange, I'm sure so please let me explain. I've mentioned this in former posts, but I wanted to dedicate a whole day to it: bringing a (small and inexpensive) present when you're invited to a party is such a great gesture. Jeri's Corner time: whenever my parents go somewhere, my mom brings a tiny little vase with a few fresh flowers from her garden. The flowers are free and the vase was probably $2.99, but it's the thought that counts.

My go-to gifts are a bottle of wine or a little food something-or-other. Just add a little raffia and a serving spoon or cheese knife for example, and you're good to go! I wouldn't bring these to the same party - just two different examples of how you can incorporate raffia to finish off your gifts! Beware - it goes faster than you thing and one day you'll be out when you need it most and you'll be devastated!! Exaggeration?


Isabel is 3!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend and is trying to stay positive about this upcoming work week...or is that just me? Especially the great weekend part. For one, Beau's parents and grandmother were in town for his niece, Isabel's 3rd birthday, so we got a chance to visit with them for a majority of the weekend. In fact, Grams got to sleep on our sofa bed we have in our new office (post coming soon!) In my family, on my mom's side (which has all of the grandkids living in one city) has only one granddaughter out of 9 grandkids, so I'm not used to little girl birthdays at ALL. Well - they are hilarious.

Laurel, Beau's very pregnant (yet somehow still thin and as always beautiful) sister hosted Isabel's party at La Petite Tea Room in Metairie, LA and it was so cute! If you have a young daughter, I cannot recommend this place enough. The girls seemed like they had the time of their lived dressing up as their favorite princess, dancing to fun music, decorating their own picture frame, walking in a "fairy princess" fashion show, as (of course) having tea (apple juice) and cake!

For more pictures from the party, visit JenkinsFamilyJourney@blogspot.com!