DIY | Nursery Wall Art

My friend, Mary, had a baby recently and about 6 months back she asked me to help her come up with ideas to decorate her nursery! I asked her to search around on etsy and favorite items that appealed to her so that I could get a better sense for her style. A couple weeks later I went over to her house to look at her favorite etsy items and was struck by a selection of photos that had appealed to her from Caroline Mint’s store.

I thought these photos were really sweet and would look just right in Mary’s dream nursery. The only issue was that she needed a bold large piece of art for her wall … and the price for one of these photos that would be large enough for what she needed was out of Mary’s budget. However, at the time Caroline Mint had a deal where you could select several 4×4 photos for $25 – so I had the idea of purchasing the photos and figuring out a way to display them so they made a more impactful statement.

Mary’s husband cut these 5×5 wood blocks, and we painted them gray and sanded down the edges. We then superglued burlap strips to the wood for a little embellishment since Mary’s style is country vintage. Glued the photos to the wood blocks. And as the final touch added a few clothes pins to the top row. We were both pleased with the results! It adds that little touch of girliness to the nursery in a bold way.

Save the Pink Bathroom!

This house has several quirks about it that makes us turn our head … but perhaps the quirkiest of its quirks is its … pink bathroom! This bathroom features a pink sink and pink tub. But our house is not alone … there are millions of pink bathrooms in the world! Back in the 1940’s the boom of pink bathrooms started and continued into the 60’s. While popular in the mid-century, alas they are now frowned upon with despair. When I first saw the pink bathroom during my tour of the home, I thought it was hideous! The previous renters tried to modernize something that wasn’t meant to fit into this day and age.

But as I surveyed this hideous bathroom and tried to figure out how to just – go with it – I realized I already had the perfect bathroom set to really make this bathroom shine! And now … I love it! The pink bathroom is now a talking piece (in a good way). In fact, I like it so much that even if I owned the home I wouldn’t remodel the bathroom.

In fact, I’ve pledged to “save the pink bathrooms”. There is a huge community of passionate decorators who believe in preserving the mid-century pink bathrooms. Who knew?

Here is a photo of how the previous renters went against the pink bathroom’s style. Eck!

Recipe | Scones

We’ve all had scones before, right? That occasional purchase at Starbucks or pastry shop where you think – a scone sounds good, I guess. But store-bought scones taste nothing like home-made scones – they are a completely different food group altogether. Don’t believe me? Make a batch – I dare you.

What I love about scones is that they are considered a delicacy which impresses others when you make them for baby/wedding showers (I mean who makes scones??) but are easy enough to whip up a quick batch prior to a guest coming over. They take 20 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake but their appearance looks like you might have slaved all day preparing them!

Home-made scones are cake-like in consistency, but taste more like a sweet biscuit. I appreciate how creative scones allow you to get in adding ingredients. I know it seems obvious or cliche to say this, but scones really are paired perfectly with hot tea.

Scones This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 2011 ed.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 to 6 tbsp whipping cream

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in egg, vanilla and just enough of the 4 to 6 tbsp whipping cream so dough leaves side of bowl.

Place dough on lightly floured surface’ gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times, On ungreased cookie sheet, roll or pat dough into 8-inch round. Cut into 8 wedges with sharp knife that has been dipped in flour, but do not separate wedges. Brush with additional whipping cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully separate wedges. It tastes best warm, but I think it tastes great even a few days later.

Chocolate Chip Scones – Stir in 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips with the egg, vanilla and whipping cream.
Raspberry-White Chocolate Scones – Substitute almond extract for the vanilla, increasing whipping cream to 1/2 cup. Stir in 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries and 2/3 cup white vanilla baking chips with the egg, almond extract and whipping cream. Omit kneading step; pat dough into 8-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue as directed – except baked 18 to 23 minutes. Raspberries will color the dough a little bit.
My personal tips to creating the perfect scone
  • Use a shiny cookie sheet for best results.
  • I pour in 4 tbsp of the whipping cream at first, and then add 1-2 more to anything left in the bowl that is not sticking.
  • The crowd favorite every single time is the raspberry-white chocolate scone. However, use the following tips to make sure you get it right.
    • I personally do not recommend adding 1/2 cup of whipping cream to the raspberry-white chocolate version. Add the usual 4-6 tbsp… especially if you are using frozen raspberries. The raspberries will begin to melt and your left with even more liquid in your dough. Extra liquid means even longer baking time with no guarantees that you will be left with a breaded consistency. Also, you should be aware that frozen raspberries will leave your scones looking a blue-purple. Like … freaky blue-purple.
    • For the raspberry-white chocolate scones, if you want a more polished look, press unfrozen raspberries into the top of the scones after you’ve shaped the dough into an 8-inch circle. If you decide to go this route, bake your scones at the normal 14-16 mins.

Our Dining Room

It’s been a crazy couple of months in the Hamerstadt household with the recent move to the Irvington house, a major market launch at work, 10 day vacation with the family, and what feels like so much more! Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat … and Pinterest projects? Forget it!

I did snap a few photos this week of the current state of the dining room to give you a snapshot of what’s going on in there! But before we jump into those, here is a look back at what this dining room look liked from the previous renters.

Before

After
This dining set (and the size of the room) is a massive upgrade from what we had in our last apartment (this older blog post shows a few shots of our previous dining room). It may not look like a large dining table compared to what many homes feature today, but comparatively, it’s huge to us! In fact, our first dinner at the table together Wes and I sat on opposite ends at the heads of the table … and quickly felt there was too much distance! So we now sit at the corner of the table together. 🙂 You can see a sneak peek into the kitchen and the hallway from the dining room in the below photo.

This table has been sitting in my mom’s basement for over … 6 or 7 years now … and when we were moving into this place, I knew it was time to brush off the cobwebs and let this baby shine again! The top is a beautiful solid wood that just needs some refinishing. The green on the chairs and table’s legs I could do without, but it works for now. When I have enough time again, I’ll probably paint them a brighter color.

Wes purchased this chandelier for me a few years ago when we were dating, and it has finally found it’s home in this dining room. It definitely makes a lot more sense in here than it did in our tiny apartment.

I consider the dining room the “brass room” while the living room I consider the “silver room”. I feature all of my brass items here which gives it what I think is a modern colonial look. I purchased the below candlesticks from a recent “Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace” from none other than one of my co-workers who had a booth at the show!

Speaking of colonial, when we were moving all of our furniture into this house, Wes had to stop at his dad’s place to pick a couple items. He then texted me a photo of the gorgeous below dresser with the message “my dad says this is mine, are you ok with that?” My immediate response was “ummm yes!!” I was a little sad to move my upcycled dresser out of it’s prominent spot in the dining room, but I couldn’t pass up this gorgeous antique that has been in the Hamerstadt family for over 100 years!

Oh why hello there more brass! My vintage file drawers look much better in this room on this dresser than they did in my previous kitchen. Ahh everything is coming together. perfectly.