A few weekends ago, I helped host a friend’s baby shower, and took on the task of making favors. When thinking about favor ideas, I decided on going with something edible. I had never seriously decorated cookies with icing before, so i decided to take a crack at it, using a design for a very dapper little boy.
The first step was simply making sugar cookies. I used a very basic sugar cookie recipe, and cut out over 50 cookies from three batches of cookie dough. This was a large shower, so I made sure there would be more than enough for guests to take home. The onesie cookie cutter was easy to find online, and I have also seen it at local craft stores.
For the colors, I took inspiration from the party invitations, and stuck with a classy black and white outfit with a pop of light blue. The piping was certainly more difficult than James and I anticipated; one tricky issue was figuring out the consistency of the icing. We needed some thick icing for outlining, as well as some that was thinner and looser that would pool to fill in shapes.
After a while, we got the hang of it, and set all cookies out to decorate in an assembly line fashion. James was in charge of doing a lot of the more precise lines, and determined that he couldn’t get the buttons to be neat enough with icing, so we decided instead to use some candy pearls for those.
The baby blue bowties added the final touch to these treats, tying the little outfit together. Being a first time effort, they certainly were not perfect, but I was pleased with them overall. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to try out cookie decorating, and most importantly to put a smile on the expectant mother’s face.
Our living room has been a work in progress since we first moved into our house in 2015, and I can finally say that it is complete.
Though fairly small, there have been a lot of structural changes made to the space, which happened in multiple phases. The bookcases, railing, sconces, and fireplace seen in this shot were all absent when we first moved in.
Here’s a look at how this room was set up when we moved in. You can see that the corners flanking the doorway were empty, and the fireplace couldn’t look more different.
The first change that we made was adding the built-in bookcases. As soon as we saw the empty corners, we knew that we had a great opportunity to add presence. Here you can see the concept art that James put together before handing it off to the carpenters.
The build and install was done by Martin Cabinet Designs, who we would later work with for the fireplace and our kitchen remodel. The two pieces greatly improve the flow of the space, and it’s hard to believe that they were ever missing.
The shelves allow us to display some of our books and a few favorite trinkets, filling the room with color and charm.
When thinking of the size for the bookshelves we wanted to make sure to keep this thermostat in place. Though it is no longer functional, it serves as a fun reminder of the history of our home.
After the bookshelves were up, we focused on decorating the entryway. A new Tiffany glass lighting fixture and some decorative objects made the space feel complete and cohesive with the rest of the room.
We made some simple changes to the door, such as a new door handle that would also compliment the switch plates around the house.
Hooks to hang our coats, scarves, and purses keep us organized and avoid clutter.
We use the same table that we had at our apartment to hold keys for easy access on our way out the door. The trays that hold the keys were originally used to hold our wedding bands for our wedding ceremony.
One of my favorite details of the entryway was already there before we moved. This is the mail slot where we receive our daily mail. We painted it the same color as the moulding to give it emphasis.
The next big change was working with with Isaac’s Ironworks to add the railing that separates the living room from the dining room. We opted for this small bench and some decorative pillows to put up against the railing, which gives us some extra seating without the heaviness of another sofa. A tiny side drink table gives guests a place to set down their cocktail.
The last major changes were the built in surrounding the fireplace mantel, and the media cabinet on the side. Above the fireplace, the built-in houses our television, allowing us to close it away when not in use. The media cabinet on the side hides away electronic devices, and serves as a table for our record player, which we use frequently.
After all of the big changes were done we focused on the smaller details such as setting out books on our coffee table and getting new plants to give the room extra life. I’m very happy with how this space has turned out, and all of the slow progress on it has certainly paid off.
Our apartment has gone through many changes, and that is not reduced to just new furniture over the past three and a half years. We constantly look for new decor pieces to add to our home to give it a more personal touch, while still making sure to compliment the charm of the Spanish Colonial influences that we love in this 1920’s building.
Our home is filled with maps and atlases, but this is our only globe. James has said on numerous occasions that he would love to have another globe from the 1950s that has both East Germany and French West Africa, but we have yet to find the right one.
One of our favorite things about Spanish Colonial Revival homes are the archways.
We have a lot of books all around the apartment, these images don’t even show it all. Our books come from many sources such as our old homes, college years, used book store purchases, and some have been in the family for generations.
Our bathroom is full of interesting bits of character such as the yellow and black tiles, and the artwork on our shower door.
When we first moved in, this was what the handles and faucet looked like over our bathtub, but they have now been changed to very boring generic replacements after a necessary repair.
This frame in our bedroom was once a mirror that we purchased at a flea market, but our mischievous kitties broke it. I attached a piece of patterned fabric to the frame so that we could still use it as decoration in our bedroom.
I have loved anything with owls ever since I was a child, and there is certainly no shortage in our apartment.
We have quite a few souvenirs from our trip to Guatemala hanging from the walls and ceiling. We chose items that felt authentic to the culture, and that would also add fun pieces of texture to the space.
These shot glasses are more Guatemalan souvenirs, and the books are a collection of English translation dictionaries from 1957.
Here is a wall plaque from Italy that once hung over James’ father’s bed when he was a child. It now hangs over our bed with two framed maps on each side of it.
We found this hutch at a flea market and we use it to display ceramic kitchen items and to hold our cookbooks. When I first spotted it I knew that the colors would work very well with our kitchen table.
This small table was a wonderful find. Currently we use it as a little bar, but we hope to find a bar cart someday when we have a bigger space to work with.
We though that we would use lanterns similar to this one for our wedding centerpieces before finding larger ones for a reasonable price. This one is sitting on a doily made by my mother.
This is what the hallway right outside of our door used to look like when I first saw it. Since then, all of the brown has been painted over with white, including the floor, and a sloppily cut rug was installed that demonstrates no understanding of the building’s characteristics. If I had first seen the hallway looking the way it does now, I may not have even chosen this building. At least the candelabra remains untouched.
This painting is on the wall of the upstairs hallway. It is very difficult to read the date with the signature, but as best as I can make out, it says ’72.
The greenery in our patio grows very quickly and sometimes it really feels like a jungle out there.
The peephole on our door has certainly seen better days, but it is such a wonderful little detail.
There are many more little details strewn throughout our entire apartment that give each room its own character while maintaining stylistic cohesion from one room to another. With each item we not only take our current home into consideration, but also think about how we would integrate pieces into our future home someday. We strongly believe that although we do not have a house yet, apartment living should not feel temporary but should feel like a home. After all, this little space will forever be our first home together.