Simple Summer Party Decor :: For the Party I’ve Been Dreaming of…

yay tuesday

Saturday we hosted a party to celebrate my sister’s book release. This is huge to me, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Emily invited anyone who wanted to come to throw their name in the ‘hat’ for a free ticket, 50ish people were randomly chosen and they could each bring a guest. We had about 120 people come out–some flew or drove  from Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Florida–and some from just one town over. There was a food truck and a popsicle cart and music–I’ll share all that in another post, but for now I thought it would be fun to see some detail shots of the simple decor and setting for the party and enjoy the fact that a dream we had four years ago has come true.


In the photo above a $10 mum from Costco, white Christmas lights wrapped on branches, a second-hand easel with a chalkboard (I use this tape to write words), a planter from my yard and a piece of furniture go a long way to make the barn entry feel special. I like to shop the property for large impactful things.


Look at these lovely tassels that Megan made. If you come to an event here, Megan is the one I bring in to boss me around-we call her my assistant but really, often I need her to tell me what to do.


We just tied the tassels to a branch so they became the backdrop for the bench–where Emily sat and signed books. If you want instructions on how to make tassels, we’ve got all sorts of inspiring ideas and methods that you have access to with your nesting place subscription (free of course–sign up here) if you already are subscribed & get these posts in your inbox, then simply login here to download the free printables & learn how to make all sorts of tassels.

at the bench

Did I mention we had a great time?

painted pineapple

One of my planters was looking kind of weak, so I grabbed a few pineapples and spray painted them gold. They are looking a little worn after the weekend, but they added some unexpected umph to this display.

white flags

And of course, I’ll continue to use my little white flags (ripped of sheets hot glued to string) until they beg for mercy.

chalk markers

My new favorite thing are these NON-neon, NON-elementary school colored chalk markers! I’ve loved chalk markers for years, but usually I only use white. But now, these muted colors make me want to write on every window, door and chalk board.

chalk markers

This party was such fun and had a really special meaning for me.

Four years ago Emily’s first book came out and we celebrated by having a big party at my house–remember?!

book party 2011

It was wonderful and FULL of charming women who we didn’t have the time or space to actually have a conversation with. When that first party was over, Emily and I felt like we hosted this weird thing where people were just in one huge line–we were inside my house with a ton of people so there was no place to sit and just hang out, there wasn’t room to relax, to listen to music, to connect. It was bittersweet.

That first party is what made us start wondering if there was a gathering space we could have that would be better suited for actual real connection. Even though Emily and I can’t actually connect with each person when there are over one hundred people–we wanted a place where everyone had the space to connect with each other.


So when her last book came out we rented a barn--but we had already purchased this property and were working on getting our own barn ready for future gatherings…

…and now we’ve come full circle.



When we first had this dream, Chad and I never ever thought we would be the ones with the property. We were paying off an overwhelming amount of debt and the thought of owning our own home, much less one with land a place for people to come seemed close to impossible. Four years later, here we are. It’s far from perfect. But it doesn’t matter–actually, it’s better that way.


The SimplyTuesdayParty Hashtag

One year before this party: When the Dream comes true the reality is slow and ugly

How to invite people over when you live in your house and it shows

Why you’ve got to have guests when your home isn’t perfect

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  1. Oh just too wonderful for words, Nester. You and your sister are truly a dream team.

  2. You said it’s “far from perfect,” but what you should really say is- wait for it- it’s “farm from perfect.”

    haaaa…. get it? This comment was free of charge from me to you. And to the internet. You’re welcome.

  3. Your imagination and decorating sense make me smile every time I stop by your nest.

  4. You two are the cutest! And I can’t wait to read her book.

  5. GOLDEN PINEAPPLES?! One of those, “why didn’t I think of that” things. You’re a genius! It looks like it was a lovely time.

  6. I am so thankful for your kind and warm hospitality as you opened up your home and barn to us. It was more beautiful, flawed and perfect than I imagined. You are such an inspiration and I am thanking Jesus he crossed our paths. P.s Millie is the sweetest cat ever and best road trip partner. She will be very well taken care of by Ari. You rock my friend!

  7. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says

    Dear Nester, this post is a little full circle moment for me too…. The first book party you hosted at your home is what made me find you (through Pinterest I believe)….and have been loving you and your relationship with your sister ever since (I have 3 sisters!!). I feel oddly proud of you that you have accomplished this dream I’ve watched you strive for… And so glad I have got to experience it first hand, now I just need to meet that sister of yours!!! *Someday*
    Xoxo ~Kim

  8. Love this testimonial, your love of family, your dream -sharing, your generous heart…so much! You are so blessed! When reading about the house and barn idea- turned -reality it reminded me that all we need is already within our reach. All we have to do is ask. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. It was just so much fun. Thank you for hosting.

  10. Every detail, so very lovely. In the event that I ever get to write a book I’m just going to pretend your my sister. Fair enough?! Well done. :)

  11. It was like a dream come true! We kept pinching ourselves to say, ‘we are really at ‘the barn’! It was so wonderful and exactly like you’ve always talked about! Absolutely love the venue and how God has blessed you and Chad with the ability to have and to share! Thank you so much for being a most gracious host!

  12. Looks like a fun time for all! I’m reading 2 books right now (can anyone identify?) but Emily’s book is on my “To Read” list. So glad you are willing to share your dream with others.

  13. YAY! So happy for you and Emily! I think the first post I read was your hanging a ‘valance’ in Emily’s kitchen using your high heel. Have enjoyed reading your blog, being inspired by you, and cheering you on in life all these years. Blessings to you and yours!

  14. I am looking forward to reading her book. I wanted to say that this post really warmed my heart- not necessarily because of the golden pineapples or cute tassels {they’re darling too!} but because of the gift of relationship, family and one day realizing that what once seemed like a crazy impossible, maybe someday dream- really wasn’t so crazy impossible to God. It doesn’t mean there isn’t hard work or doubts along the way… but somehow you see that he always had it there for you. It’s encouraging and a good reminder to me to take a deep breath and just trust HIM for the big and small things.

  15. I love how you casually pull something from here to there and add a pineapple and it all looks so fantastically wonderful. I like the chalkboard markers you’re using too. Good work, and congrats on your sister’s new book.

  16. The party was a blessing to be a part of. Truly. Your sister’s writing and your ability to create amazingness out of the ordinary are gifts from above. I love that you guys go for it and do big things and make it happen. You dream it. You DO it. So inspiring.
    And by the way, I love how you tie tassels (or Megan does!) and sling branches and paint pineapples…and VOILA! Affordable, beautiful party bliss :) You are one special lady my friend!

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