Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hanging Wooden Planters

The music room makeover is plugging along nicely! I'm really enjoying making over this room. Because it's a slow process, we have the opportunity to make all of our decisions carefully, thoughtfully, and right the first time.

I'm really liking my new desk (more on that in the total room reveal), but the wall space above it needed something. Sarah and I wanted some small pops of color on the only white wall in the room, and thought some wooden plant hangers would do the trick. These awesome wooden planters from Target are unfinished wood, so they're perfectly customizable. You could paint them, or finish them with some polyurethane, but I really like the raw wood look against some of the darker elements in the room. If you like this look, here's how we did it!

Here's what you need:
- Rope
- Drill & drill bit
- Cup hooks
- Newspaper
- Moss
- Plants (real or faux)

Since our planters are hanging above a desk/computer, we wanted to avoid using real plants we would have to water, and provide adequate drainage for. We decided to use faux plants and found these great looking faux options at our local JoAnn store. Could you tell they were fakes?!

Here's what you do:
- Decide where you want the planters to hang, and screw your cup hooks into your wall. 
- Measure your desired length from the hook to where you want the planter to hang.
- Double your measurement, and add about 10 inches before cutting your rope (this allows room for the knot at the top, the knots on each end, and the slight angle at which the rope will hang.)
- On either side of your planters, drill a hole about 1/4 - 1/2 inch from the top rim through which you will feed the rope.

- Knot one end of the rope and feed it through one side, so the knot is on the inside of the planter.
- Feed the other end of the rope through the other side of the planter, and knot again.
- At the top/center of your rope, make a loop by tying a simple overhand knot.
- If using faux plants, fill the majority of your planter with newspaper as filler.

- Arrange your faux plants as desired, and top off with moss to complete the look.
- Hang your planters from the hooks. If they seem to be hanging crooked, adjust the knot at the top to raise or lower one side of the planter.

Voila! We wanted our hooks to all be level across the top, but the planters to hang at different lengths, so we used 2 different sets of measurements for our rope. I think the staggered look helps to fill up the space above the desk nicely. I'm loving the combinations of pops of green, dark blue on the walls, clean white, and that super sweet brass lamp!

What do you think? We hope you like them as much as we do! We're also super excited to share a fun giveaway too! You've heard ALL about the #NSale, right? Well we teamed up with some fun bloggers to give away a $200 gift card to Nordstrom! Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/15 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email. Thanks to Oh My Gosh Beck for organizing!

Sarah & Nick

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wooden Map Hanger

I've always been obsessed with maps. I can't for the life of me recall what sparked it, but for as long as I can remember, I've been interested in scouring maps, snooping around on Google Earth, and studying city layouts from satellite images. I can literally identify major cities based off of their unlabeled subway transit maps (embarrassing, but true.)

When it came time to think about decor for my new music room at the Surznick Ranch, I knew a large map would be an integral part. Sarah showed me a few pictures of these vintage style map hangers, and I immediately knew that's how I wanted to display my new map.

There are kits to make these out there online, or you can have it professionally hung like this. But seriously, why? This is such an easy project. Do It Yourself, amirite?

Here's what you need: (To frame a 50" map)
- Saw (I used a borrowed miter saw, but any kind will do!)
- Four 3/4x1/4" wood strips measuring 51.5" (We bought four 8' strips and cut each down to size)
- Wood glue
- Staple gun and 1/4" staples
- String
- Binder clips or small weights
- Polyurethane and brush

Here's what you do:
- Cut 4 wood strips to size with your saw. Since our wood strips were 3/4" wide, we wanted 3/4" overhang on each end of our map. The map is 50" wide, so we cut 4 strips at 51.5".
- Finish with 2 coats of polyurethane, allowing to dry completely in between.

- Apply wood glue to the insides of each of your wood strips and sandwich the map in between the wood. Be sure to flatten and stretch the map to the best of your ability. You don't want any bumps where the map meets the wood.
- Clean up any glue drips.
- Fasten with binder clips or weights, and allow to dry completely.

- Cut a piece of string your desired length and knot near each end.
- Staple the string to the back of your top wood strip. Be sure to staple above and below the knot so it doesn't slip out.
- Hang, make a funny face, show off muscles, admire!

It's been hard to photograph in the new music room, but I really love the combination of this natural wood look and the dark blue we chose for the walls.

If you're planning on something like this for you house or apartment, I hope this has convinced you to save the cash and just make it yourself. Be sure to let us know if you decide to give it a try!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

Whether you try to eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, raw, no carb, gluten-free, liquid only (?), whatever, NO ONE can resist the pull of a thick, soft, delicious pancake. Pancakes may not fit into your diet plan, but they do fit on a plate... and in your mouth... and in your belly.

Here is our take on a classic, fluffy, pancake using vegan ingredients that is 900% amazing.

Here's what you need (Makes about 6-7 pancakes):
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat)
- 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. flax seed meal + 2.5 tbsp. water)
- 3 tbsp. melted vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)

Here's what you do:
- Prepare your flax egg in a small dish. Let sit to thicken about 3 minutes.
- Put all of your ingredients into a large bowl and mix it with a whisk. No need to get fancy with sifting your ingredients or a "well" in the middle or anything.
- Scoop the batter with a 1/4 cup measuring cup onto a hot, non-stick griddle or pan.
- This batter is really thick, so you won't be seeing the classic bubbles come up through the batter as it cooks. When the edges look dry, flip them over. (Or you could just peek, no points are lost for checking to see if it's brown enough for you.)
- Soak them in Earth Balance and syrup, and enjoy!

As a side note, I'll typically eat 2 or 3 with the classic vegan butter and syrup combo, then go all out with my 4th which I cover with peanut butter and syrup #treatyoself. Sarah usually eats her last pancake cold and with butter only #boring.

Sarah & Nick