Yo Momma Monday: Stefanie Schiada

yo momma monday

Stefanie Schiada, 36, is a home design blogger who started the very popular Brooklyn Limestone in the midst of her recent home renovation. She is a world traveler who calls Brooklyn, NY her home and she is mama to a beautiful one-year-old named Agatha Grace.

Stefanie started Brooklyn Limestone to document the renovation of her 100-year-old limestone in – you guessed it – Brooklyn. Now, her blog includes entertaining, design, travel and decor. Since Stefanie does not receive her primary income from her blog or graphic design site (she works in finance), she keeps the blogging to the weekends.

Stefanie admits that she never wanted to add a personal side to her blog. She was simply going to document her renovation, post some photos and hopefully make a photo book out of it when she was done. Two years later, she finally showed her “mug” and more personal details about her and her family.

Stefanie and Agatha at Agatha's first birthday! Photo taken by Stefanie's brother.

Stefanie and Agatha at Agatha’s first birthday! Photo by Stefanie’s brother.

Before she moved into this house, she and her husband lived in a much smaller house and did room-by-room renovations. Now, she “just takes a lot more photos.” Stefanie says she has been interested in the DIY process for as long as she can remember.

“I think I’ve always been a little on the cheap side which definitely makes me ask the question “can I do this myself?” and “can I do it better?”.”

Stefanie says she gets her inspiration from all the places she visits, and trips to the home improvement store can also get her creative juices flowing. “Sometimes a pile of wood can really spark the imagination.” She also searches for items that she knows she won’t tire of quickly.

Just a little snippet of the renovation that was done. Clearly, she doesn't mess around! Photo taken by Stefanie Schiada

Just a little snippet of the renovation that was done. Clearly, she doesn’t mess around! Photo by Stefanie Schiada

“While I always seem to have one project or another going, I don’t really want to have to change things out unless I’m in the mood.”

The experience Stefanie has with being a tourist – mixed with her knowledge and love of her city – has led her to create a downloadable one-day tourist guide for people who are visiting Brooklyn. Now, this was back in 2009 so I’m sure some stuff has changed, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you are going to be visiting.

In fact, she loves her city so much that she had a hard time picking just one thing that she loves the most about it.

The beautiful house when the decorated it for the holidays. So magical!

The beautiful house when the decorated it for the holidays. So magical! Photo by Stefanie Schiada

“If I had to pick a favorite its having the variety of choice here in eating and shopping.”

And in all of her travels, Stefanie says that her safari in Africa stands out from the rest, and says it’s hard to compare it to any other destination. Stefanie has even taken on the daunting task of traveling with her daughter – something I have yet to do.

“I’m a pessimist so the reality is much easier than I imagined.  Obviously so much depends on the temperament of the baby and the parents but we have found that its not that different than spending time with her in a restaurant or any other public place.  The key is just to GO!”

Asam Church in Munich, Germany

Asam Church in Munich, Germany. Photo by Stefanie Schiada

As a new mom, Stefanie wrote a post titled “Things I Wish I Knew Before Bringing Home Baby,” and man, could I relate. That post hit so close to home that I felt like I wrote it, and it is actually what pushed me to contact Stefanie about the interview. If you are a new mom, or you have been one before, you should read this. Trust me, you will have yourself a good laugh.

“My advice would be to not be so hard on yourself.  I think our generation of parents put this incredible burden on ourselves about creating the absolute perfect environment for our children (breastfeeding exclusively, organic only diet, educational toys, etc.) that cutting yourself any slack at all (no matter how much you are trying!) feels like a big failure.  

I know I cried many tears on countless subjects (especially about nursing!) that seemed absolutely crucial at the time but even  with just the little time I’ve had to think about it, its just not that important in the scheme of thing.  Its hard to remind yourself you are doing your absolute best and you are allowed to enjoy it too.”

Photo from Agatha's Christening Party, which Stefanie styled. Photo by Stefanie Schiada

Photo from Agatha’s Christening Party, which Stefanie styled. Photo by Stefanie Schiada

Stefanie recently planned her daughter’s first birthday and shared her experience and photos from the party on her blog. Since it was smack-dab in the middle of winter, and they live in New York, Stefanie came up with the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” theme, and beautiful decorations that fit perfectly with the theme.

“Don’t be ashamed to go over the top!  I love parties where you can see the host put a lot of time and effort into all of the elements and didn’t take the easy way out.  As a guest, it feels like you are part of something special.”

Thank you so much Stefanie for participating in this series! You can find photos from her travels and get tips here, and you can find party ideas here.  If you are looking for home renovation and design tips, just peruse all over her blog! And don’t skip this About page – it’s where she shares a lot of her tips and answers FAQs. Want an overload of inspiration – and adorableness? Check out her Flickr!

If you enjoy this series and would like to be a part of it, or know someone who should, please leave a note in the comments or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram. Next month, I will be talking with Karen LePage of One Girl Circus!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

So, my next crafty project that I am working on is this old barn window that I am turning into a cork board. Since I haven’t done any cork board projects yet, I thought I would see what goes into making your very own cork board!

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I checked out a few tutorials, and I must admit…some of them were pretty janky. Now, they would be fine to just hang in your house and I think that’s what a lot of people end up doing with their corkboards. But I’m looking for something that would be pretty enough for people to feel inspired when they see it, so inspired that they want to purchase it!

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Image belongs to House of Hepworths

Handmade cork board tutorial by House of Hepworths – Allison, who runs this blog, used an old frame that she had, a foam board, a cork roll and a utility knife to cut the foam board and cork roll to fit. She also used glue but said that spray adhesive would probably be better, she just didn’t have any. You can find the full tutorial by clicking on the link.

Now, I went through a lot of good tutorials, but that was one of the only ones I could find that used an old frame without a backing. She hot glued the cork board to the frame so I might try that. Or I might check into some other creative ways to keep the cork board in. I found a natural cork roll for $10.24 at Amazon that I will need to get.

Other tutorials attached the cork material to either a thick and strong cardboard, or plywood. So I will be looking into all of these options to see what I like the best.

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Image belongs to Brooklyn Limestone

Seating chart tutorial by Brooklyn Limestone – Stefanie, who runs this blog, used a canvas as a backing for the cork board. She also used a drop cloth and a t-shirt transfer to complete her project. This was used for a seating chart, but you could really use it for anything you wanted once the project was done.

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Image belongs to Paint me Plaid

DIY Cork Board Memo Hoops from Paint me Plaid – I found this blog from another radical blog called Scissors and Thread. Charlotte from Paint me Plaid used embroidery hoops and Folk Art paint to complete this project. She used painting tape to make the separate colors look nice and pleasing to the eye. I love them and totally want to paint some Cecilia’s room/my office!

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Image belongs to Infarrantly Creative

Decorative Corkboard Memo Board by Infarrantly Creative – You can even transform an old serving tray into a cork board! I smell something and it’s the scent of a new project! She glued the cork board to her tray and then she used burlap to cover the cork board. I never got into burlap but with all these projects I’m seeing with burlap, I think I’m missing out on something.

And for the super talented/adventurous crafters….

Imaginative Girls Bedroom @vintage revivals[2]

Image belongs to Vintage Revivals

DIY Corkboard Wall Mural Bulldog Style by Vintage Revivals – Let me just get one thing straight here. I love painting more than anything in the world, aside from my family, frozen yogurt and cupcakes, but there is no way in hell I would ever attempt this. I’m sure when Cecilia is of the age where she can tell me what craziness she wants in her room, just like I told my mom, I will have to do something like this. Luckily, I have a few years of practice before this topic arises. Given the way she is developing though, it could be a few months. Girl needs to slow her roll. Seriously.

So, I’m feeling well-equipped with loads of information to get this project done! If you have any cork board projects you want to share, post in the comments or share it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #diycorkboard. You can also check out my Pinterest for more inspiration on corkboard projects.