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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Scones {Valentine's Day Ideas}

Hello dear ones! I hope you are having a good week so far. :)

 I don't know how you are, but it isn't even New Year's and I am already thinking about and planning Valentine's Day! And not only the actual day, but for weeks leading up to it! 

Valentine's Day is BIG stuff here at my little nest, and preparation is in full swing! And one of the first things I think about is
what is for breakfast on Valentine's Day...

Last Valentine's, I had fun taking a beloved recipe for scones I've used since our oldest teenager was a baby, but making them into sweet little heart shapes instead of the typical wedges.

I didn't end up showing you this last year, but thought I would now! :)


I posted the recipe itself previously {July 2010} but it is such a good one, that it bears repeating. :) It is so easy to prepare {only six ingredients to it} and yet the finished result is absolutely soft and moist. 

Pure chocolate loveliness!

What more could a girl ask for in a scone?

 Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Scones


* 2 cups flour
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips
* 1 & 1/3 cups + 4-5 extra heavy whipping cream


Whisk the first four ingredients together, and then blend in the chocolate chips. We are all chocolate fanatics over here, so I always add an extra fourth of a cup, which makes for 3/4 cup versus the 1/2 cup the recipe originally called for. Now add the whipping cream,  blending it in gently with a fork until incorporated.
{Because I use the heavy whipping cream, I always add about five to six extra tablespoons to get the consistency just right. Otherwise there is simply not enough whipping cream to mix it, and the dough does not come together at all. I have found when I use anything other than the heavy cream, the scones are not nearly as soft and fluffy.}

Once you have formed your dough into a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, kneed the dough several times, folding it over itself each time.

Then pat it gently into a ten inch diameter circle, and use a medium-sized heart cookie cutter.

Place the hearts onto a non-greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven set to 425 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Thank you for letting me share this little recipe with you, and I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday! :)

Much love,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Faux Fireplace in the Master Bedroom

Hello dears! And Happy Weekend to you! I hope this Friday finds you doing well! :)

Do you remember the faux fireplace my husband built for me in our master bedroom? 

Well, I finished all the little details {trim, moulding, caulk...} and decorated it, so now I can finally show it to you!

This project was inspired by The Twice Remembered Cottage, who also built their own faux fireplace. Have you seen her kitchen fireplace? It is AMAZING! You can see hers here. I am having trouble finding the link directly to the tutorial she gave, but will update this when I find it! But oh! Her home is wondrously beautiful, and she is such a lovely person to boot! So if you haven't been by for a visit before, you are in for a sure treat!

Now, I loved the look of hers, so we designed ours with a very similar look, though the way we put it together and attached it to the wall was different.

Here is our finished result:

And here is an ugly "before" picture of our fireplace wall.

In fact, I forgot just how ugly it was before. Ugh. At least this is behind us now! ;) 

For the mantel, we found one at Home Depot for around $80, and used the kit that came with it to attach it to the wall.


Once the mantel was up, my husband began building the surround.

Now, we opted to screw the fireplace to the wall, so that it could be removed should we ever move...We have this dream of moving to the country, so you never know. ;)

 {top view}

My husband made what are essentially three sided "legs" for the sides of the fireplace 
 and attached a the header base to it {ideas borrowed from Twice Remembered} and then added the bottom part of the base header. 

{Detail: The sides of the legs we built go from top to bottom and the base header stretches from one side of the fireplace to the other.}

{back view} 

 {front view}

Our biggest dilemma: we had still not decided what to do about flooring. So we added moulding at the bottom of the fireplace to cover the extra space we left at the bottom to remove the carpet and add new flooring.

I must admit, I would have preferred more dainty trim at the bottom, because the trim I chose gave it a more modern look that I wanted. But it is growing on me!

 Once the fireplace surround was built, we set about attaching it the wall.

The fireplace "legs" screw onto these small blocks that my husband attached to the wall. 

The fireplace hooks onto these little blocks under the mantel {one on each side} which keep it in place.


Then after we attached it to the wall, I nailed my decorative top "header" and "legs" {for lack of better words} to the fireplace base. After adding the base moulding, it was completed. :) Then came primer and paint, caulk and spackling... 

The grey I used to paint the room is the same color I painted our master bathroom, a color borrowed from Jami at Freckled Laundry. You can find the formula for this paint color that she came up with here over at her blog. I truly love this color. It is what I would call a complex color. It is grey, but it has a touch of a blue hue to it, especially when the sun shines on it. Sometimes I even swear I see a hint of lavender. LOVE it, and it fits right at home in this room.

Just some more pictures:

{just to give you a better look of the "plank" floor, in case you'd like to see it.}

{a better view of the room, but please, oh please, ignore the boring door that is soon to be replaced!} 

I cannot tell you just how good it felt to decorate this mantel after nearly 10 months of working on this room! Let me tell you, I am really ready to move on to a different part of the house! ;)

{I am linking this to The Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello and Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors.}

{I hope to show more of this room this week, and very, very soon show whole room photos!}

And as always, thank you so much for coming by and visiting! I hope you have a very lovely weekend! :)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

And the winner is...

Hello dear friends! I hope you have had a good week! :)
The giveaway of the book "Romantic Prairie Style" ended this morning, and so it is time to announce the winner! I so wish I could give each of you this book! Not just because it is a lovely book {though it is!} but because you are lovely people! :) I enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts on the book, and want to say thank you for joining the giveway!

Now, with no further ado...
drum roll, please...
the winner is:


And number 16 would be Fleur Cottage!

So, Fleur Cottage, please let me know your address and I will mail this book off to you! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a fun weekend! 

 We are covered with snow here in the Seattle area! About a foot of  snow is outside my window, and it is beautiful! It doesn't happen very often that we get this much snow, so the kids are very happy! {They also didn't mind missing an entire week of school!} ;)

 These pictures were taken yesterday afternoon, when we had half the snow we do tonight! I just have to shake my head in amazement at all this snow!

And a confession:
I am as crazy about the snow as the kids!

Are any of you getting snow where you are? Do you love it or hate it? 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Glittered Letter Doily Banner {Valentine's Day Ideas}

Hello sweet friends! I hope your week has been a beautiful one so far!

I thought that as it was getting closer to Valentine's Day, I would share this banner with you! 

I shared this when I guest posted over at Attempting Aloha about this time last year, but never shared it here! However, it's such an easy little craft, I thought it would be a shame not to show it over here as well!

I had these cute large chipboard letters on hand. A few years ago, I was really into using them for my banners, but I hadn't used them in a while.

They are pre-glittered, but I didn't want them to be black for this project. Enter dark blue glitter...

I decoupaged the letter,

and then shook the glitter over it. Yea! Now I had a blue  glittered letter!

And another letter...

I just kept glittering away, until I had finished all the letters I needed. After letting them dry, I was ready for these:

These small doilies, just under 7 inches wide, were found at JoAnn's Fabrics.

I glued each glittered letter to the the center of each doily...Now I used a glue gun, because I want to be able to get it off easily, to use these doilies again. However, I tested a letter using Elmer's multipurpose glue, and it worked great.

There is just something about glittered letters...

I just wove the ribbon through two of the holes in the top of each doily. I adjusted them until they looked right, attaching it securely to both ends of the mantel. (Upholstery tacks work wonders for this!)

And you have a doily banner!

{What you will need for this project}
Small doilies
Chipboard letters {I know these can be found at Michael's craft store}
Decoupage glue
Foam brush
Glue gun/glue sticks or Elmer's glue

 I hope you all have a good night, and a lovely Wednesday! It has been snowing since Saturday, and we are enjoying being *snowed in* over here! Apparently there is a lot more on the way, too, so I have three very excited children! I'm crossing my fingers we get even more snowed in! :)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

{A giveaway for you!}

Hello dear friends! How are you? I hope this finds you doing well! :)

To launch the new year, I have a little giveaway to share with you!
Do you remember in the last post, me going on and on about a book?

{This one.}

Well, I bought an extra copy of it to give away, because it is such a lovely book!

The photography is amazing, and each page is filled with lovely rooms and equally beautiful outdoor spaces!

I officially give it five stars!

Would you like your own copy of Romantic Prairie Style?

Well, it is as easy as pie to enter for your chance to win! :)

For one entry, simply leave a comment!
For a second chance to win, blog about this giveaway or post it on your blog sidebar! Please leave a comment if you do either of these, so I can make sure you get your extra entry!

*You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway! Just be sure to leave your contact information so I can let you know if you win!

This giveaway will run until January 19, at midnight PST. 

I hope you each have a restful night, and a beautiful Thursday! :) This week is going so fast, don't you think? The long Christmas completely spoiled me, and I am already counting down the days until the weekend! :)

Much love,

Monday, January 2, 2012

{Amazing Spice Cake}

Hello friends! I hope you had a lovely New Year's weekend!

Isn't the thought of a new year such a wonderful thought? It is like one big, mysterious adventure just waiting for us! I am so excited to see what the year will hold! :)

I want to first thank you for your dear and thoughtful comments on my recent post concerning ideas for this blog. I was actually very nervous as I waited to hear what you would think! So thank you, for each and every comment touched my heart. And I am so glad to hear you think it all sounds all right! :)
Well now...

How about a slice of warm, straight out the oven pumpkin cake? Or perhaps banana is more to your liking, and well, that's all right, too!
It is soooo delicious with a cup of steaming hot coffee along side it, too!

And I must add, if you have the cake and the coffee, you might as well make it a thorough indulgence and include a wonderful book!
{It really can be any book, as long as you truly love it!} ;)

And the secret about this cake is that it is really more of a sweet bread. In fact, one of the reasons I love this recipe so, is that I was trying to duplicate the banana bread and the pumpkin bread found at Starbucks...only it would be fresher, and warm!

Well, this little recipe satisfied me to my heart's content! Delicious flavor and absolutely moist, down the very last crumb.

But the best part is that it is of those "one recipe, two ways" variety...The recipe came from a dear friend as Banana Spice Cake-
 but guess what? When I substituted canned pumpkin for the mashed banana, it worked entirely as well!
And I was as tickled as could be. Because one of my deep, dark secrets is that I use pumpkin all year round. Now that I have that off my chest, I am going to have to share this recipe with you! 

{I have also included a recipe for homemade buttermilk, should you not have this on hand!}

Amazing Spice Cake~ Banana OR Pumpkin 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger {for pumpkin cake}

2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
*2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup mashed banana OR 1 1/4 cup canned {or pureed} pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Making your own buttermilk is so easy! Using a measuring cup for liquids, first add a teaspoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. Then add milk to the one cup line. Stir it well, and let it stand for ten minutes. This will keep refrigerated in a covered jar or other container for one week. It is the best if made with whole milk, but you can use 1% or 2 % if desired. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Store as above.

Mix the dry ingredients together first, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir for 30 seconds on low, then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan, and bake for 40 minutes.

Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients in a bowl if you prefer! I just love the convenience of the mixer!

{Grab a hot cup of coffee or tea and a book!}

Oh, and the book I chose?

This is my favorite book on decorating! It won't be long before it has dog eared pages, it is just that beloved!

Which book would you choose?

I hope you have a beautiful Tuesday!

Much love,