30 March 2011

The one with my favorite coffee mug.

bando bow headband

Perhaps the most powerful concept that I have discovered on my journey to greater happiness is simply that now is the time to be happy.

Not when you get a promotion. Not when you move into your dream home. Not when you lose 5 pounds. Not when you meet someone special.

Now - no matter where we are in life - is the time to be happy.

Jeremy is currently in college and only working part-time. I often think to myself, "Well, when Jer is done with school and bringing in more income I'll really make our house a home." How sad is that? I may not be able to furnish my house head-to-toe in Z Gallerie and Ethan Allen, but I can find ways to make my home lovely and comforting.

Maybe you are in the same place? You might think, "When I move out of my parent's house/dorm room/apartment/townhouse and into my dream home - then I will really start trying!"

Personally I don't want to waste a minute - so I am so excited to introduce a new feature on That is All...Bless this Nest! I'm going to start off by pushing myself to try new things (decorating, green living, recipes) and share them with you. I would love to open this up to guest posts as well. It's nice to flip through magazines, but I get really inspired when I see the wonderful ideas my friends have. :)

bless this nest

For the first entry, I'm going to show you how I added some personalization to my house with initials!

anthropologie metal letters
Anthropologie mousepad

I love seeing initials throughout a home, but you don't have to take my word for it. Here are a few ideas from some of my favorite bloggers...

decorating with initials inspiration
  • How cute are Srsly Liz's DIY fabric initials? That Glenn is one lucky guy. ;)
  • I love the simplicity of Janet's white "B" on her mantel, classic and sophisticated.
  • Kara please, please come organize my kitchen! I love how she stores her neatly arranged kitchen goods out for everyone to see.
  • I fell in love with Arielle's nursery for her little Leland. Isn't the Scrabble piece "L" perfection?
  • Kerri is my favorite crafty (soon-to-be) momma. The yarn-wrapped letter warms up her shelf and adds something special.
  • New goal - a coffee date with Dani using our monogrammed mugs. ;)

So what do you think? Would you use initials in your decorating?

If you would like to contribute to any upcoming Bless This Nest posts please feel free to email me.

That is all.

photo template via Pugly Pixel


  1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this! My wife and I had to leave our new apartment earlier this month due to us losing our jobs. We moved back in with family, so the only rooms in the house we can do anything to and that are truly ours are the bathroom and our bedroom/office/living area. ;) The bathroom has pink walls and the bedroom green, the floors need a make-over, etc.

    I keep thinking the same thing. "When we move into our own place again..." or "When we fix up the basement, we can..." (we're making the basement into an apartment while we rebuild our credit.)

    But both of those are a little ways off! So we need to make do with what we have NOW. Love this series and I am SO EXCITED and yes, I'd totally decorate with our initials!!!

  2. I'm definitely guilty of putting off my true happiness and decorating and craftiness to some mysterious future time when I'm out on my own, or have more money saved, or something along those lines, but you're completely right. There's no time like the present!

    I love the decorating with initials idea! That giant scrabble letter in the frame caught my attention, probably because it's an L :)

    Love the headband and red lipstick combo! Pretty, as always!

  3. Oh my, yes. You are totally right!! I read somewhere in blogosphere something about "First-World-Problems" - I can totally relate to that. I don't want to become to philosophical or something, I don't want to break it down completely. But yeah, it's the little things that count. Why not start NOW?

    I have a similar problem? Because I quit my job last fall and started university, I had to move back into my parents house. And I just talked to my mother and we start renovating after Easter. I'm so excited to share. And I'm even more excited to find inspirations for decoration here. :) :) :)

    Thanks for sharing. I'll let you know if I use initials somewhere. XO.

  4. I love the idea of being happy now. You are right, getting into the "I'll be happy when..." only sets one up for failure. Your series idea is wonderful, and I love your initials decor. I love decorating with monograms/initials. I think it brings a personal element.

  5. I love monograms. I have them in different places in my house, and so many of my favorite cups (Tervis TUmblers) are my favorite as well.

    I bought the Happiness Project a couple of weeks ago with the intention of doing these little things too. I'm enjoying seeing other blogger's takes on the book. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Oh, yeah, happiness procrastination... don't we know it all?
    I like your attitude and are totally in love with using initials to decorate. What a lovely idea!

  7. Love this idea! It's amazing how much things like this make a difference. Awesome. You're so creative and have such a sweet spirit.

  8. I catch myself doing this all the time. before I graduated from college it was "after I graduate..." and then it was "well after we're married..." and I find so many reasons to do it now too. It's as if in my mind "real life" hasn't started yet, and I'm not even sure what I'm waiting for. I am constantly struggling to find contentment in the *right now.*

    thanks for sharing! and your house looks lovely! :)

  9. This post is definitely something that I can relate to, & something that I've been struggling with lately. My boyfriend lives in a city three hours away & I've been trying to relocate there, but with the economy still down & unemployment rates up, it's super hard to find a good job there (& hard to leave the great one that I currently have). I am guilty of telling myself that I'll finally do this, or finally do that once I move down there & start our life together... The problem is that I neglect things going on in my life, right now. Lately I've been trying to make changes like re-decorating my apartment, finding new things to do in my city, taking up new art projects, making new meals once a week... It really does help when you do things that make "you" happy now & not wait for what you think is the perfect time to do those things!

    I like that you opened up your new series to include guest posts, maybe I will have to e-mail you to see if I can participate!

  10. what sweet inspiration! i have mine and my hubby's initials just sitting in a closet, this might be the push i need to get them displayed in our home!!

  11. Hi Ashley! Thanks for visiting me. And I must say that your blog is quite inspiring. I totally agree with your post here. I am guilty of dreaming too much about the future and not enjoying the full happiness in the present.

  12. I can definitely relate to this. We are getting married in June and I keep saying that after the wedding I will finish decorating the kitchen or doing whatever needs to be done. I need to just do it now. Once I've gotten my act together I'll surely share some photos with you.

  13. What a lovely post. Thank you for including one of my photos, and for all the other pretty monograms. I can't seem to get enough letters lately...

    I love your take on happiness, I am constantly working on that myself :)

  14. Lovely post! I'm always thrilled whenever you talk about your Happiness Project. Can't wait for the next one!
    I love your new header as well :)

  15. I love initials in decoration! I was just looking for some for our new home and the new nursery we will have to do. This is such wonderful inspiration!

  16. I definitely love the personal touch the initials add. Thanks for sharing! I now have more ideas for decorating our future home. :)

  17. I love initials, too! I also have that Anthro mug, but with a "C" of course. I collect mugs, and that one is definitely one of my absolute favorites. I have to say, this is a great idea for a blog feature. Can't wait to see more.

  18. I love this whole post. And seriously, you are gorgeous. Your face was made for red lipstick.

  19. Loved this entire entry; I couldn't have read it at a better time. I've really been struggling about being happy with myself, I'm constantly worrying about the "if only i could..."'s.
    You're beautiful, by the way!

  20. I love monograms. I recently made a yarn "K" for myself. It adorns my desk at the moment, but I want to hang it on my wall of frames! Also, I am all about that "waiting" mindset. I live in an apartment on my university campus right now, and next year I will be an RA in the dorms so I am downsizing to my own dorm room rather than anapartment.But today is the day to embrace a beautiful homey cozy environment.
    You have encouraged me!
    Love this post and this new idea!

  21. I am absolutely in love with your blog! i cannot wait to catch up on past posts of yours!

  22. Ashley,

    You are just too pretty! What a cute photo.

    A few things. First, I love your feature idea and look forward to all the upcoming posts. Second, I LOVE initials and script in the home - such a personal touch. Third, I would love to contribute! I am always baking, so if you are ever in need of a recipe post, just let a gal know!



  23. I love using initials in decorating! My hubz and I have started collecting N mugs for our last name too! I hope to have a whole flock of them soon!

  24. i definitely have a huge "B" on my door in my apartment! love initials. :D

  25. i'm right there with you. i keep thinking "when i move into a bigger space that i'm truly in love with i'm really going to put lots of effort into decorating it!". i feel like i'm in a rut now, because i want to make my house lovely, but i don't know how long i want to stay here so why put in the effort.

    i actually have a photo collage on my wall with a wooden "I" so i'm all for representing my favorite letter ;)

  26. Love love love this! The mister and I decided to live for the moment and purge through our apartment. Our goal is to get out of our tiny place by August (we'll have been there for four years), but we decided to stop living for "when we move" and for how we do this right now.

    SO excited about this new series!

  27. I just came across your blog via a pocketful of pretty and firstly I would like to say that I love it! SO I am now a follower myself, and secondly you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen! And your natural hair colour is just gorgeous! Wow!

  28. you seriously have the most LOVELY blog ever. So enjoyed this post.


  29. Thank you for visiting my blog!
    You are like the cutest.
    And I love your Blog as well.
    I'm a new follower.
    p.s. i love that black bow on your head.


  30. Katelyn Asire4/01/2011

    Thanks for this post Ashley. It is so timely for me and a great reminder to start living now and not waiting for the perfect house, job, ect. I fall into that mode way to often. Thanks for being uplifting and positive. It made my night:)


  31. This is such a great idea and endeavor!! Can't wait to see more!

    Have a lovely weekend!


  32. I was catching up on your blog, and I realized that forgot to say, thank you for including me! You are so sweet and I LOVE this feature. Excited to read more.


  33. 1. I love your lip color!
    2. Monograms. I grew up with my own monogram on lots of items: bracelets, robes, make-ups cases, etc. Now that we're married my caring and wonderful family got us dishes, platters, yard flags, and pillows with our monogram and I love seeing it all over our home.

  34. 1. I love your lip color.
    2. Monograms. I grew up with monograms: towels, bracelets, make-up cases, totes, etc. Now that we're married our wonderful friends and family have gifted us personalized items with OUR monogram on them: platters, dishes, pillows, yard signs, totes, etc. I completely recommend monograms--they feel special. Etsy is great for personalization


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