Nesting Story is back… But Some Big Changes Are Coming!

Over the past year, as I stepped back and took a break from content creation, I’ve taken a lot of time to think about Nesting Story, where it has been and where it is going. I’ve loved the community and culture that’s been built, and knew that I didn’t want to let it go. But Nesting Story also had to morph to fit where I am in my life and there was still so much more I wanted to do with the platforms I’ve worked so hard to build.

During this past year hiatus, I, together with my partner Ben, have built a successful Branding and Social Media Management business called The Water Cooler. Our little company has grown quickly to a team of eight people and I couldn’t be more proud of what I call our dream team. 

Helping Ben and I lead the pack from almost the very beginning has been Jacquelyn van Logtenstein, our Creative Director, who I call Jackie. Jackie reached out to me early on in the process wanting to be a part of what we were creating. I had never met her, but Jackie had followed Nesting Story for years.

Very quickly Jackie became invaluable to our team, and I often describe Jackie as my clone (because we are so so similar) but is more of a logical, left-brain thinker than me, which makes us the perfect pair.

Over the last eight months I have realized how incredible it is to surround yourself with a passionate team (keep in mind for years I almost exclusively operated as an island aside from amazing support from former part-time team members), and how much further you can take your idea if you bring in trusted people. 

That’s when I knew I wanted to bring Jackie on to Nesting Story as a partner and take NS to the next level. Jackie has now joined me on this adventure as my partner and as Nesting Story’s Managing Director. 

What happens to Nesting Story? There will still be a lot of the same, life and lifestyle from my perspective, but also Jackie’s too. We are also bringing on incredible contributors to give new perspectives as well. 

As we soft-launch this summer and trickle out new content, we will be behind the scenes revamping the brand and transforming it into a Lifestyle Media Company with a focus on fashion, home, wellness, food, careers and so much more all through the lens of women who are mothers that have emerged from the trenches of baby and toddlerhood and are venturing into the next chapter of their lives.

I will have so much more to share, but in the meantime, I want you to get to know Jackie. I asked her some questions recently and this is what she shared…

Tell us about yourself, kids, hubs, home?

I live in rural Southwestern Ontario on a farm with my entrepreneur husband and our three kids aged 5, 7 and 9. I’m a former HR professional, turned stay-at-home mom and I’ve recently embarked on my second career in digital marketing and social media as the Creative Director at The Water Cooler. I balance my days working mostly from home, shuttling my kids to school, sports and activities while also squeezing in time for me which includes drinking coffee and scrolling social media, doing CrossFit/yoga/running, drinking wine with friends, and hitting up markets and boutiques. 

Who is your celebrity style icon? 

This was actually a hard one as I find I no longer look to celebrities for my fashion inspiration! I find myself looking more to people like me, through social media, blogs, pinterest boards, etc.! If I HAD to name one celeb, I’d say Jennifer Aniston. She always looks so effortlessly cool and stylish without being too ‘trendy’ – which is just what I’m going for! 

How would you describe your home’s style?

My home is a mix of European and modern farmhouse, with a touch of mountain lodge and traditional details. She’s a mixed bag for sure! But it’s truly our style as we created it from nothing over the last 5+ years (and it’s still a work in progress – I don’t think I’ll ever be finished decorating). 

As a busy mom of three, what is your mantra when it comes to self-care and who you are outside of being a mom?

It took me a while to get here, but I’m finally in a place where I feel like I can make time for myself without the heavy guilt that came along with it in the early years of motherhood! 

A phrase that really struck me a while back is ‘Today is your life too’ (credit: @thelaminimalist). I took this as – it’s not about waiting for the kids to be older and more self-sufficient, that once-a-year girls trip or the facial you book yourself every so often – it’s about making the most of each day and bringing joy into everything, even the mundane. Taking in the sunset on a random Tuesday, taking the long route back from walking the kids to the bus, enjoying a drink of choice for whatever the moment calls.  

When did you start following Nesting Story?

I started following in the early years of my own motherhood journey – I think before my youngest was even born and he’s now 5! I’ve always loved discovering like-minded women in similar situations to follow along, learn from, and let’s be honest, commiserate with from time to time – those years had some tough times and it was always a cozy feeling to turn to YouTube, IG and some go-to blogs and feel I wasn’t alone. 

What makes you the most excited for embarking on this new journey?

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I LOVE to shop, talk trends, to keep up on the latest of anything and everything, and shoot the proverbial shit. And there’s no gatekeeping here – if I find something good, imma shout it from the rooftops, send the links and let you know when the sale is coming. So it really feels like a natural transition for me to do more of what I love, on a platform I’ve followed for years! 

What is it like working with Joanna? 

Working with Joanna has been an experience like no other. Joanna ACTUALLY embodies the idea of work/life balance – she knows the right time to hustle, and when to pull back, and is mindful of when those around her need to do the same. She knows just how to support her team in either direction. 

Joanna is not afraid to dream big – and she truly goes for it, while also listening to her gut and knowing when to pump the breaks or pivot. Not only is it inspiring to witness, but she will also empower others to do the same and will help you to see your own value and support you in making it shine! 

This answer actually brings me back to the previous question, as this is absolutely a big part of why joining Nesting Story was a no-brainer! 

Make sure you follow along on our day-to-day journey on Instagram as we transform the Nesting Story brand.

Where have I been?

Oh, hello there. Long time no see.

I honestly have been thinking about this blog post for months. Over-thinking if I am being entirely honest. So I am just going to write. No really big announcement or anything, well other than the fact that I launched my super awesome company The Water Cooler and it is doing so well. But more on that later.

Nesting Story was so much of my world for so long. Then my world turned upside down… big change with our family, a move, a pandemic.

A friend put it like this which feels kind of perfect… life is kind of like a purse full of a lot of shit. Every once in a while that purse needs to be dumped out and you only put back in what you really want or need.

The thing was, I didn’t know where to put Nesting Story. It felt so tied to my old life and I am not the same person anymore. So I just stopped.

I have gone through so many emotions when it comes to creating content, everything from I am going full-tilt to I’m completely walking away from it.

And then I landed here. Somewhere in the middle. I don’t want Nesting Story to disappear, but I also need to make sure that I am showing up on my terms, completely who I am and when I want.

I am not sure exactly what that means yet, but I do know that my end goal has changed…. I am not creating content to lure brands to sponsor me, (not that it was the only reason I made content before, but it was how I financed Nesting Story), but now I can show up as a way to genuinely share while I build my new life and my business.

Of course, a lot of rules still apply, like keeping parts of my life private. I need this space to go back to why it began… talking to you, mostly moms and sharing what I like, what I’ve learned and how I am growing.

So, with that part out of the way, let’s talk about my new biz!

The Water Cooler is an idea I have had for many years, and for a long time I dabbled in the space, coaching businesses, branding and so on. But now I have finally taken the leap and built out a full-blown company along with Ben, who is our behind the scenes Pres.

I should also mention we have an absolutely kick-ass team of women who are quite frankly all unicorns. I am so lucky to have them.

What do we do?

We build brands. Our specialty is defining a brand’s aesthetic, whether it’s logos, colours or overall personality and vibe, we even create websites from scratch. We also manage brands’ social media for them and we help develop businesses… everything from just an idea to a brand that’s been around for a while but needs a total refresh.

And we love every minute of it.

The long-term plan is to also have a super stylish physical space for co-working and events and rentals like a boardroom or podcast room. Don’t worry, I will for sure be taking you on that journey.

Anyways, I think that’s it for now. I’ll be back. I just needed to get all of this off of my chest first.

Let’s not be strangers, okay? xo

My Beach House Bedroom Reveal

Well I didn’t realize that I would be doing a bedroom makeover again so soon, but here were are and it is all very exciting.

A few months ago I decided to move my kids and I to a different house in a different city, which is near a beach. We love it here and although the house is smaller, it fits our family perfectly.

I however have gone from a massive primary bedroom, (actually it was more like a wing in our house complete with a huge bedroom, two enormous walk in closets, a giant bathroom and a big workout room), to a small bedroom with a small closet and a bathroom I share with my girls.

Although I’ve had moments where I’ve missed having more of my own space, I have done exactly what I wanted to do to my bedroom and made it my own.

Before I moved I created a Beach House Pinterest board with all of the ideas I had to transform my house. I knew that my small bedroom would be a challenge, but I had a clear vision in mind. I wanted it to feel airy, with a beach house inspired feel mixed with a minimalist bohemian vibe with a nod to mid-century modern.

I ended up getting a lot of new pieces for my bedroom which is exciting because that means you can shop them, (I’ve linked everything below), but in case you wanted to know more about the bedding or some of the other items, head to my previous bedroom reveal blog post Master Bedroom Final Reveal.

One of the things I downsized from was a king to a queen size bed. I was really excited about this change. I have found that over the past year with Ben I am such a cuddler and a queen is perfect for that!

There was also no way a king was going to fit in my new bedroom. I also knew I wanted an upholstered headboard so that I could work in bed on my laptop leaning against it. It couldn’t break the bank, because I also had to get a new mattress, (I opted for an Endy mattress, which yes I love and would recommend). Lastly, I wanted the wood tone and lines to have a mid-century modern vibe.

When I came across the Murol Bed from Structube for only $549 CAN (before taxes), I was thrilled. I chose to go with the dark grey upholstery and let me tell you… this bed is comfy, beautiful and incredibly built. I’m totally in love.

I’ve always loved mid century modern design. I think I fell in love with it back when I was in the Interior Design program at Sheridan College. Maybe that was around the same time that Mad Men started. I would never want to do a full room mid century modern, but I think a sprinkling looks beautiful.

I had my eye on a couple other nightstands that were out of stock, but I eventually fell in love with these Williams Two Drawer Nightstands I found on Wayfair.

I’ve only ever owned houses that have broadloom carpet so having hardwood in my new home is not only a new concept, but with four kids and a dog, also very exciting. My room needed a rug and although I love the look of jute rugs, or braided wool rugs, each don’t wear great and are tricky to vacuum. I opted for this beautiful Geometric Handmade Flatweave Cotton Area rug from Wayfair because it had the same feel of a jute or wool rug but is way easier to take care of.

I was in love with the ceiling light I had installed in the office of my old house which had a very beachy feel, plus it was very budget friendly so I bought the same Rattan Ceiling Lamp from Bouclair for my bedroom.

I learned years ago that I prefer a bedside table lamp that you can direct the light over a typical table lamp with a shade. I knew I wanted light coloured task lamps and found these Wood and Metal Desk Lamps at Bouclair which were absolutely perfect!

Something I knew I wanted for my bedroom was a round mirror. It’s nice to break up all of the sharp corners in a space with a softer shape. This pretty round 31.5″ diameter Round Gold Frame Mirror is also from… you guessed it, Bouclair.

Summer To Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Summer to fall capsule wardrobe

A few months ago I decided to move my four kids and I to a different town. We needed a fresh start and I wanted to move closer to the beach and to a city that I’ve loved for many years. Part of the decision was to also downsize and pick a beautiful house that would work better for my kids and I, as a solo parent.

I’ve gained so much more than I have lost… but I had to let some things go, including two walk in closets and tons of storage. This was okay with me because for years I had been moving my family towards a more minimalist lifestyle and this has forced us to take it to the next level.

One of the things I had to do was edit my wardrobe. I held onto what I loved and let go of the extras. I chose staple timeless pieces carefully and said goodbye to anything I hadn’t worn in a while.

I love fashion and I love refreshing my wardrobe each season, so this edit will have to happen regularly. Since moving I have got some new pieces and mixed them in with what I had to create a lot of outfits to take me from summer to fall. I’ve added links to pieces that are still availably and some similar options for the ones that aren’t available. Here they are, my favourite staples while working in some current trends while making them work for me, a 38 year old mom of four.

Similar Tube Top

Similar Zara Wide Leg Jeans

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Free People Purse

Zara Faux Leather Biker Jacket

Similar Ray Bans Sunglasses

Similar Tube Top

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Zara Wide Leg Jeans

AE Ripped 90’s Boyfriend Jeans

Reebok Classic

Aerie Tie Dye Cut Out Knot Dress

Vans Old Skool Platform Shoes

Similar High Waist Faux Leather Leggings

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Similar Free People Purse

Similar Ray Bans Sunglasses

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

AE Ripped 90’s Boyfriend Jeans

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Reebok Classic

Similar black skirt

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Vans Old Skool Platform Shoes

Similar Cropped Denim Jacket

Similar black skirt

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Similar Black Babydoll Dress

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Free People Purse

Similar Denim Shirt Dress

Reebok Classic

Can You Breathe? Making The Final Decision to End My Marriage.

I found this photo as I scrolled through the photos taken around the time that this happened.

When can I breathe? If I stayed in my marriage, or if I ended my marriage?

That was the final question I asked myself before ending it.

I have been asked a lot by people I know in person and people who have reached out online, how did I finally decide? They were on the fence and didn’t know what to do.

Asking myself that question was how.

Ending a marriage, especially with kids is a monumental decision that will have an atomic sized impact on many people in your life. Years later we are sometimes feeling the effects of the blast as if it just happened. So, I want to be clear, I do not talk about this decision lightly.

Looking back it was a slow burn over years. Years of stress, and emotional disconnection and distrust. It took two, and to be honest, we were pummelled by stressful life events to the point where it was getting harder and harder to get up again.

But at the end it was like I was hit by a freight train.

I tried. We tried.

Intense therapy, and attempts at reconnection. We could have gone on like that walking on the tight rope of should we or shouldn’t we for many many years. I think a lot of couples do.

But after realizing that staying wasn’t actually best for my kids because they needed out of the pressure cooker too and to have two happy parents, it was this that question I asked myself that made me step off the tight rope.

The idea of staying felt like I couldn’t breathe. Although terrifying, ending a relationship that was destroying both of us meant I could fill my lungs with air again.

Little did I know that almost immediately after deciding I would also be able to see life in colours I never saw before.

The decision was made. The page had been turned and the pressure that was on my chest for years was gone.

Note: My intention of sharing bits and pieces about this sensitive topic is to help share some of my own tough experiences in the hope that I could help someone else going through something similar. I am very sensitive to make sure I keep my kids and other parties in mind as I share because our family’s goal is to move towards healing and happiness. Although I would so badly like to give individual advice as I receive messages from others going through something similar, I found that when I was doing that I was not able to heal properly. xo