Thank you!

It’s always fun when you get recognized for your blogging efforts. So today I just wanted to say THANK YOU to RTA Cabinets and More for including The Stylish Nest on their list of Top 20 Bloggers of 2014. It’s a fun list, I found some new reads and some old favorites alike. Have a look if you get a chance.

This entry was posted in home.

The Return of the Front Porch

After many decades in decline, one beloved American institution is finally making a comeback, and we couldn’t be happier: the front porch.

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Consider the front porch, close your eyes for a moment and grab the first image that floats to the top of your mind. Chances are, it’s cozy and convivial, something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Ladies sheltering from the sun and sipping iced tea behind the gracefully curved colonnades of a southern porch. A cheerful pair of grandparents in their wooden rocking chairs, watching the kids chase fireflies on the front lawn. Sweethearts holding hands on a softly swaying porch swing. Front porch furniture and front porch designs all draw us back to a gentle, friendly time, whether real or imagined.  There is something about this space that just feels special.

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In recent years, builders and architects neglected the front porch. Street-facing garages became the norm, and any outdoor living space was relegated to the back yard, where patios, decks, and BBQ pits took over hospitality duties.

A historical paper by the Montana Heritage Project, The Rise and Decline of The Front Porch took a look at some of the sociological and psychological reasons the front porch was so ubiquitous in its heyday, and why it may have fallen out of favor.

In a world before air-conditioning, when communities were smaller and closer, a neighborhood’s front porches served a strong practical purpose. A shaded spot where you could catch any passing summer breeze was not taken lightly. In a world without televisions, computers, or video games, neighborly chats were valuable entertainment.

The industrial revolution saw more people concentrated in smaller areas than ever before. The rural life was vanishing, and these informal conversations on the porch were a way of strengthening ties in a new, more urban social order. As an intermediate social space between the publicity of the street and the privacy of the parlor, the front porch offered all of these opportunities and more. After WWII, the rise of the automobile, multiple technological advances, and a new emphasis on privacy may all have contributed to its slow disappearance.

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The tide is turning once again in favor of the front porch. In June, a Census report announced that 63% of new single-family builds last year included one, and a recentsurvey from the National Association of Home Builders named the front porch as one of the most common amenities for 2014.

And it’s not just the experts. You can see this trend peeking into popular culture as well. Pinterest is booming with front porch ideas: porch decorations are a beloved tradition which utterly deserve the revival they are seeing. Especially around this time of year, from the first trick-or-treater to the very last caroler, the front porch taps right into our collective unconscious with a heady cocktail of nostalgia, warmth, and joy.

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So why now? We have a few ideas. All of the back-to-basic trends we’ve seen in recent years, from the explosion of knitting as a hip sport, to the local food/slow cooking movement, and the rise of “craft” and “artisan” everything has shown a strong backlash against the haste and disconnection of modern life. Younger generations are reaching backwards for something grounding, and as more and more people move into more densely concentrated areas, the desire for a true connection with neighbors has grown more powerful: not unlike the pressures at the turn of the 20th century. Whatever the reason for this renaissance, we’re thrilled. Three cheers for the good old front porch!

Are you planning on adding or remodeling a front porch to your home? Whether you have a roomy rancher or a stately Victorian-style home, our Porch and Patio Inspiration Gallery will help you find your creative spark. Browse beautiful photos and see gorgeous color options at-work before you build the porch of your dreams!

 

 

Super Fun Giveaway Time!

silhouette

Silhouette CAMEO®

Facebook | Amazon

DREAM IT UP. CUT IT OUT.
The creative possibilities with the new Silhouette CAMEO® are endless. Here are just a few:

Design your own custom apparel
Personalize a party
Give your home decor a signature look
Build 3D prototypes
Cut fabric and save time doing it
Decorate with vinyl decals
Construct a school project
Create custom invitations
Make a stencil
Create unique stamps

tabletrax

TableTrax

Website | Facebook

Add style to your kitchen with this hand-crafted Table Trax Premium Sliding Lazy Susan. Meals around the table become fun and exciting by being able to easily glide this beautiful Lazy Susan from one end of the table to the other. Not only does it slide back and forth, but it also spins smoothly in place.

The table top comes in a variety of stains, to match virtually any table or furniture you may have. Even if you don’t see a style that’s matches your table, TableTrax is more than happy to customize one.

gift ideas for Women

Pick Your Plum

Website | Facebook

“Get it Before Your Neighbor!” Pick Your Plum is a favorite daily deal site among women! Super cute stuff, and always super cheap. New deals are posted every morning at 7am and oftentimes sell out fast. Winner of the giveaway will get to know first-hand how awesome these deals are with their very own grab box with $25+ worth of items! Be prepared to squeal in delight when you open your package.

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PowerSkin PowerStand

Website | Facebook

PowerSkin PowerStand’s unique wedge shape is an all-inclusive, hands free, viewing stand and portable charger. Small and light weight, the charger suctions right onto the back of most phones and cases, making video and photo viewing easier without draining power.

Need to share a presentation, pictures, watch a video, or even use your camera to apply makeup? PowerStand makes hands free screen viewing easy with the suctioned kick stand and portable charger. No longer worry about Youtube or Netflix videos draining your battery. PowerStand charges your phone lets you easily view the screen without having to hold it.

bottle band

Bottle Bands

Website | Facebook | Amazon

The BottleBand stretches to fit any sized bottle – from a Nalgene to a 16 oz generic bottle. Its one-size-fits all construction can also be tightened by pulling the circular bands apart to fit any hand size.

The BottleBand is also extremely mobile. After you’ve finished your water, you can throw your disposable bottle away, put the band on your wrist, and run unencumbered.

But the best part about the BottleBand is that it works better and costs less than a $20-30 handheld that can only fit one bottle.

Ninja

Ninja – 3-in-1 Cooking System

Facebook | Amazon

Professional cooking technology for your kitchen! I have one of these AMAZING cooking systems, and I have to say, it is one of my favorite items in the kitchen. It’s non-stick, so clean up is super easy, and you can use it as an oven, a slow cooker, or a stove top. I think any slow cooker lover will totally LOVE the Ninja Cooking System. If I had enough money, I’d give one to everyone I know.

ball canning
Ball Canning (Canning Explorer Kit)
Ball is the leader in providing top of the line supplies for canning. From their innovative FRESHTech Canning System to high quality canning jars, they have you covered for all your canning needs. The Canning Explorer Kit is the perfect idea for anyone who wants to test the waters of canning, and one lucky winner will walk away with it!
watch
Wood Watches by JORD
If you are looking for a unique and beautiful wrist watch, Wood Watches by JORD is a great option. They are designed to take people back to “nature” by eliminating traditional metal and rubber and making their watches with diverse woods all over the world. While they have a variety of styles to choose from, each watch is unique, since no piece of wood is the same.
Total Beauty
Total Beauty Shops
If you love makeup, lotions, or fun beauty products, then Total Beauty Collections is where it’s at! They have several beauty collections to choose from, but every year for the holidays they do a special collection of beauty products just for the holidays, and the value of the products always far exceeds what you pay for the collection.

Mega Giveaway! Enter Now!

One lucky winner will win ALL OF the Following 9 Items:
Women's Giveaway

RAFFLECOPTER

a Rafflecopter giveaway

First snow of the season!

It finally feels like November. What an odd fall we have had. Yesterday we had a hard frost, all of our leaves fell from our black walnut tree. They fell despite being green still, and now the tree is bare. I’ve learned that this is normal for walnut trees when there is a frost.

I saw that we had snow in the forecast for today, so I set up our time lapse camera just for fun to capture it. If you look closely you will see a few birds too, small and large.

Hot chocolate season has arrived! What it is like in your part of the world?

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