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.
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.
“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.
“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!”
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.”
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!