Making a pie crust from scratch is notoriously difficult. Maybe that’s why I associate making pies with being a huge ordeal.

What if I need a pie now?

And I do.

These blueberry pie bites take seconds to put together and can cure any pie sweet tooth.

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES from Rachel Schultz

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES
Serves 6 tiny pies

1 pie crust
1/2 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice crust into about 1 and 1/2″ circles with a cookie cutter. Stir together blueberries and sugar. Place several berries in the center of each pie circle.

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES from Rachel Schultz

Pinch edges to form pastry. Whisk together water and egg. Brush egg wash onto pastries. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES from Rachel Schultz

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES
 
Author:
Serves: 6 tiny pies
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice crust into about 1 and ½" circles with a cookie cutter.
  3. Stir together blueberries and sugar. Place several berries in the center of each pie circle. Pinch edges to form pastry.
  4. Whisk together water and egg. Brush egg wash onto pastries. Sprinkle with additional sugar.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Sugar Dish Me.

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In my opinion, rooms make it or break it based on the 1) rug and 2) light fixture. By that I mean if you’ve got something unique and interesting going on with those two things, a room will appear really fabulous and “designed.” I first observed this theory in myself by noticing that if something has a cool persian or kilim rug on pinterest, I will probably pin it to one of my home decor inspiration boards. That’s pretty much all it takes! (We won’t discuss light fixtures here because I am a renter with no lighting freedom which makes me sad.)

After adding the shelving for the nursery, I set my sights to a rug. We really don’t have anything good going on in the flooring situation. Our apartment comes equipped with tan low ply carpet.

CRATE BOOKSHELF from Rachel Schultz

I had a $25 gift card to Urban Outfitters burning a hole in my wallet, so I decided it would be the place I sought our flooring solution. I wanted something with a bold pattern and lots of color and UO is typically good for things like that. Be forewarned that pretty much all of their rugs have the thickness of a beach towel. I would never use them for a big space, but in a small area they can get the job done.

The nursery isn’t well shaped for any of the standard rug sizes. Because we were okay with secretly rolling up some of the extra length invisibly, underneath the crib, I searched for 4×6 ones.  (Round would’ve been neat too, but they’re much harder to come by, I learned.) My favorite rug on the site was the magical thinking diamond medallion handmade rug.

Rug

Rug found, people. Now, we wait.

WAIT? Yes. Even though I had a my gift card, the price needed to come down a little more from $69. I waited for the Fourth of July, hoping for a promo code with no success. I checked the rug obsessively. Finally, it went down 20% off, so we moved. (Now it’s back up at $69, but maybe there will be a Labor Day sale? Or it will go down again for seemingly no reason at all?)

It arrived, we put it down. We’re fans.

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Also, you can see the addition of our new quilt for the crib. The nursery is so close to feeling ready and I think we’re in the ballpark of maintaining gender neutrality. Which I am really ready to be done with, by the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not regretting waiting to find out the sex, but I will also be happy to not have to analyze if something is gender neutral for every purchase. I’m ready to just treat a boy like a boy and a girl like a girl. Only a few more things on the to-do list before the mystery will be solved!

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If there’s one thing I cannot get enough of lately it has been snack breads. AKA quick breads. AKA breads that don’t require yeast. Yes, I love the typical banana and zucchini ones. But when you’re making about two loaves a week, you need some fresh things in the rotation as well.

I like this bread sweet potato version because it’s not overly sweet and also perfectly Autumnal. Because once September 1st hits, I will be in full on Fall mode, regardless of the weather. All pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash, and sweet potato everything, please.

SWEET POTATO BREAD from Rachel Schultz-2

SWEET POTATO BREAD
Serves 2 loaves

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, steamed and mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 3/4 cup flour
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine mashed sweet potatoes with eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla in a stand mixer. Take caution that the sweet potato is not too warm that it scrambles the egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet, continuing to mix. Transfer batter to two greased 9×5 loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and baking for a final 15 minutes.

SWEET POTATO BREAD from Rachel Schultz

SWEET POTATO BREAD
 
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, steamed and mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and ¾ cup flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine mashed sweet potatoes with eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla in a stand mixer. Take caution that the sweet potato is not too warm that it scrambles the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet, continuing to mix.
  4. Transfer batter to two greased 9x5 loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and baking for a final 15 minutes.

 

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Rather than just using the same old chalkboard paint and a rectangle picture frame, I turned my attention to the cool, but worn mirror in our dining room. Making things chalkboard friendly with some simple coats of paint is nothing new in the crafter world. But with the ornateness of this frame, imagining this project seemed really fresh.

It felt even more right because the mirror was in terrible shape with lots of scratches and cloudiness that wouldn’t go away no matter how hard I scrubbed. It was $5 at a garage sale, so that comes with the territory.

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I wanted a vintage schoolhouse-y chalkboard green. After the first coat, the color came out looking more bold than what I imagined. I lived with the one coat for some time. I took an instagram poll of whether to keep with the green or switch to typical black. The feedback was almost perfectly split between the two choices!

I considered meeting in the middle and mixing some black paint with the green to get a darker, less bright shade. But then I didn’t. We need more color in this place. I went for full on green and I’m so happy I did. I know overtime, the chalky build-up will tone down the color too.

from Rachel Schultz-2

from Rachel Schultz

A couple other changes you can see are the bulletin board and shelving. I’m still searching for some great dining chairs to refurbish. I really would love some craigslist bentwood or thonet ones that need some work. When we move out of this place one day, I hope we will be able to have the dining table set up with all its leaves everyday. If I get four chairs now, I can mix it up with several more later. I think this guy can seat like 12 at full capacity.

And best of all you can see a little glimpse of the nursery. A couple more updates are coming soon on what we’re up to in there!

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