Design Details: Arches

 

6 amazing arches that will take your breath away!

Dodson Interiors

So last weekend the temperature hit 60 degrees here in Minnesota. 60 degrees. In February. I opened the windows and actually believed that spring was here! Unfortunately, it's back down into the 30s with snow on the way, but it's still encouraging knowing that spring is just around the corner.

Once the warmer weather arrives, my husband and I will be moving. We've been looking for a house to rent and I'm so excited to find one that's just right for us!

As I've been rental house hunting, I’ve slowly come to realize how certain things can add so much character to a house. You've heard about custom crown molding and fancy trim for doorways & windows, but arched hallways or doors? *swoon!*

At least 70% of the houses I've look at had some sort of arched hallway or door. Older houses tend to have an abundance of these arches, but I love when I see newer houses with them as well. There's something about the richness of detail and sense of permanence that traditional building styles convey. 

I'd love if we can get a rental that has an arch or two, but if we can't, that's ok. I'll just begin to plan some for our dream house someday! But who am I kidding, I've already begun to do that 🙈 

Whether or not you've ever given arches a second thought, I dare you to try to not fall in love with them! Ready for some inspiration?

Studio Life.Style.

Simple arches without any moldings are my favorite right now. These are the types of arches I'm hoping for in our next house! They're clean and modern yet look like they have so much history.

Lynnstone Estate | photo by Chipper Hatter

A grand archway to greet you as you enter the room? Yes. Also, those stone tiles are gorgeous!

Arched doors are another love of mine! The curve on these ones aren't as dramatic, so they don't make you look like you live in a hobbit house. The combination of the wood, large glass windows and sleek iron hardware is beyond perfect! 

Natural Stone Tile - South Africa

Arches can also totally transform the look and feel of a room. Imagine this hallway with a rectangular opening and straight moldings. Too formal and stuffy, right? The arches soften the look and add a sense of elegance.


So, when it comes to hallways & doorways, are you an arch lover or do you go for straight ones? Comment below!


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Heart Shaped Cherry Hand Pies (Vegan + Delicious!)

 

Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day or any day!

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Is it just me, or are foods cuter when they're tinier? Mini cupcakes, mini doughnuts...mini pies. So much cuteness!

I first became obsessed with mini desserts while planning our wedding last summer. My husband and I decided to have a mini dessert bar, complete with mini tarts, mini pudding cups, and mini pies-on-a-stick shaped like our home state of Minnesota!

Since then, I couldn't stop thinking about how great it would be to make mini pies in the shape of hearts for Valentine's Day. I mean, wouldn't that be cute? 😉

I had a problem though. Ever since going vegan, my attempts at a vegan pie crust were pretty sad. Instead of buttery and flakey, I got dry and tough with clumps of coconut oil. 👎🏼

After those disappointing pieces of pie I was pretty nervous to make pie crust from scratch again. "I think I'll just get a pre-made pie crust from the store," I told my husband. "You know, the frozen ones."

Let's just say, he was having none of it.

Pie is homey. It expresses tenderness and caring. No frozen pie crust in the world can compare to one made at home, with love. Plus, it simply tastes way better!

Thus began my research on making the perfect coconut oil pie crust. Thankfully, I didn't have to search to long, since Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes already figured it out (thanks Ashlae!).

Biggest lesson learned? Coconut oil is not a butter substitute. You can't incorporate it the same way you do with butter, while it’s hard and cold, and with a pastry cutter or two knives. Who would've thunk? 

And now that I've tasted this pie crust perfection, I'm never going back. So sweet, so buttery, so flaky! Can it be fall again? I'm ready to bake.

Since I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of whole wheat flour (there's a difference) to make these hand pies, I adapted her recipe a bit. If you want to read the whole method on making the perfect coconut oil pie crust, head on over to her blog, Oh, Ladycakes.  

AND, since we're all about making things from scratch around here, I even made some cherry pie filling! Blending up the dried pineapple gives the filling a special tartness to it (no, it doesn't taste like pineapple) and the cornstarch helps thicken it up. And of course, a little sugar sweetens things up. 

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

One of the reasons I created this site is so I can encourage people to live a slower life, to take a step back from the everyday hustle and bustle and reignite the beauty of old-time traditions (with a modern twist, of course).

So while you could always cheat and use a frozen pie crust and canned filling, I encourage you to take the extra time to slow down and make something with your own two hands!

Seriously though, don’t be intimidated by making these from scratch. They aren’t hard to make and there are so many possibilities for filling! Apple, blueberry, strawberry or any other wild berry would be absolutely amazing. Change it up however you like.

So grab your sweetheart, flour up your rolling pin and get baking!

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Heart Shaped Cherry Hand Pies

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3-4 tbsp water, ice cold

For the pie filling:

  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups red pie cherries
  • 1 tbsp sugar, to taste

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup powered sugar, heaping
  • 2 tbsp soymilk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. 
  2. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out until it's about an 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of the dough. Transfer half of the hearts to the baking sheet and set the other half aside. I got 16 hearts out of the dough.
  3. Place one or two cherries and a little sauce in the middle of the hearts that are on the baking sheet. Carefully set the remaining hearts on top of the ones with the fruit. Gently press down with your fingers to line it up and start sealing it, but don't press too hard!
  4. With the tines of a fork, press around the edges of the hearts to seal, then use a small knife to cut two small vents in the top of each heart. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until edges are golden, rotating the pan half way through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Add the powdered sugar to a bowl and slowly stir in the milk until it's a smooth, slightly runny consistency. Drizzle over the hearts while they are still warm.

 

COCONUT OIL PIE CRUST
(recipe adapted from Oh, Ladycakes)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Transfer the bowl to the freezer and freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the flour has chilled, slowly drizzle in the melted coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, squeezing the mixture between your fingers until all the coconut oil has been evenly dispersed (note: the coconut oil doesn’t have to be cooled to room temperature, but it shouldn't be hot, just liquid). Once all the coconut oil has been added, the mixture should look crumbly with some clumps. Transfer the bowl to the freezer again for 15 minutes and get your ice water ready.
  3. After 15 minutes, remove the mixture and break up any big, hard clumps with your fingers. You don’t have to get all of them, so do this quickly. Drizzle in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, gently mixing with your fingers like before. Be careful not to add too much water, so add it in slowly.
  4. Once your mixture seems like it’ll hold together (not too wet though!), form it into a ball of dough. The dough is going to feel tough and dry, but it will soften as it rests. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic and flatten it into a smooth, round disc. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you don’t want to use the pie crust right away, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (or frozen for up to two weeks), but will need to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Frozen dough will need to be moved to the refrigerator overnight, then allowed to rest at room temperature as stated above.

Yield: Enough dough for one 8-9″ single pie crust or 8 3″ hand pies.

 

CHERRY PIE FILLING

  1. Add the dried pineapple, water, and cornstarch to a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour the mixture into a pot on medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the mixture becomes thick.
  3. Add in the cherries and sugar. Let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cherries (not just the sauce) should taste sweet, so cook longer/add more sugar as necessary.
  4. Once cooked, take off heat and let cool before using. You can store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator. 
Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Do you like baking from scratch? Tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments below!


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Romantic and Organic Summer Garden Wedding

 

High school sweethearts finally get married

Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica Shoes: Bella Belle

Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica
Shoes: Bella Belle

I'm so excited to finally be sharing some of our wedding photos! Caleb and I are high school sweethearts and dated for 4 1/2 years before tying the knot. By the time we were engaged, I already knew what style I was going for: romantic and organic with a neutral color palette. Think loads of eucalyptus, lush white roses, muted pinks and grays, with gold and wood accents. 

I had my heart set on brass candlestick holders, so the summer before our wedding I snagged a bunch off of Tradesy for a great deal! All of the floral designs were a DIY with my mother, mother-in-law and aunt, saving us tons of money. The wooden signs were also a DIY that Caleb helped me with. We stained some plywood and used a paint pen to write the words. I wish I could say that the calligraphy was my own, but we cheated and set up a projector and just followed the lines. Someday I'll be that good though!

Our wedding day was absolutely perfect! August in Minnesota can be pretty humid, and our wedding was held entirely outdoors. Thankfully, it turned out to be the most perfect weather weekend in the state all summer! Sunny, but not to hot. 

Looking back on that day, I wouldn't change a single thing. Yes, some things went not as planned, but that's what makes memories. What matters most is that I married a Godly, hardworking, caring man; my best friend. There's no one I'd rather do life with. 

Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica Floral Design: DIY by Market Flowers

Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica
Floral Design: DIY by Market Flowers

Cake: Cocoa and Fig

Cake: Cocoa and Fig

Cake: Cocoa and Fig

Cake: Cocoa and Fig

Rentals: Après Party and Tent Rental

Rentals: Après Party and Tent Rental

Guestbook table
Hair and Makeup: Primped MN

Hair and Makeup: Primped MN

Hair and Makeup: Primped MN
Hair and Makeup: Primped

Hair and Makeup: Primped

Allure Bridals Wedding Dress | Back lace detail
Allure Bridals Wedding Dress | Back lace detail
Neutral bridesmaids dress
Groomsmen with suspenders
Desserts: Cocoa and Fig

Desserts: Cocoa and Fig

Cute flower girl with flower crown
Minnesota pie pops at summer garden wedding
Garden wedding | Bride and Groom portraits at sunset

Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica | Event Design + Styling: Rosetree Weddings & Events | Floral Design: DIY using Market Flowers | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals via Effie's Bridal Trunk | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Cake + Desserts: Cocoa & Fig | Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Gardens of Castle Rock | Catering: Chapati | Hair + Makeup: Primped | Ceremony Music: Ovation String Quartet | Reception Rentals: Après Party & Tent Rental


What was your favorite memory of your wedding day? Or if you're still in the dreaming stage, what colors/look are you going for? Doing any DIYs? Comment them below!


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What I've Learned in 6 Months of Marriage

 

Some things I have (and haven't) learned since our wedding day. 

What I have Learned in 6 Months of Marriage. Some things I have (and have not) learned since our wedding day. 

Now that I’ve been a “Mrs.” for a whopping 6 months, I'm practically an expert at this whole being married thing, aren't I? LOL, just kidding! I still have LOTS to learn.

But I have learned a few things during this early newlywed stage, and since today is our half-year marriage anniversary, I'd like to share some things I have (and haven't) learned since then. For those of you not married yet, take this as a warning! ;) JK.

Getting used to a new name is harder than expected

For the first month or two after getting married, I would accidentally introduce myself with my maiden name. It didn't become second nature until I had changed my name on absolutely every account I could think of. That, and practicing my new signature on 10 sheets of paper. 

But just as I thought I had got the hang of writing and saying my new name, something else caught me by surprise: new initials. 

We were at the bank setting up our bank accounts and the banker asked me to initial some documents. So I quickly scribbled out my initials in the three tiny boxes and sat back, only to hear my husband kindly point out that, "Those aren't your initials, hun". What? Sure enough, there were little BHs where the BNs were supposed to be. Since I don't write my initials very often, who knows how long it's going to take me to get the hang of it!

Sharing a bed is also harder than expected

We didn't live together before marriage, so we both had this idea that going to bed together would be all angelic, wonderful and tranquil, which it is now, don't get me wrong. I love nighttime cuddles! It just wasn't always the case. The honeymoon was all angelic, wonderful and tranquil, it was the everyday going-to-bed that hit us by surprise. 

1. You need to discover which side is truly your side of the bed. For the first week back at home, I slept on the left and Caleb slept on the right. We had all sorts of sleeping issues until we switched sides. So much better. Who would've thought we had bed side preferences?

2. Also, *hangs head* women do hog the sheets. This has been solved this by tucking one side of the sheets under the mattress. 

3. Agree on a bedtime routine and go to sleep at the same time! Unless you have special circumstances, wait up for your spouse or make the effort to hit the hay earlier. This was hard for us since Caleb wanted to stay up and I wanted to go to sleep. My advice would be to decide on a bedtime routine together and stick to it as much as you can.

What I have Learned in 6 Months of Marriage. Some things I have (and have not) learned since our wedding day. 

Patience, patience, and more patience

Marriage requires patience, encouragement, and forgiveness. Lots of it. As we learn more about each other, we've also learned to be patient with each other as we learn together how to be a husband and wife. We’re not perfect, nor should we expect perfection of ourselves or our spouse.

Marriage is not about your happiness

“A true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, ‘What’s in it for me?’ while Love asks, ‘What can I give?’”
— Seth Adam Smith

I read this my freshman year of college and it's been engrained in my head since then. Marriage has taught me that I am incredibly selfish. I think about my own wants far too often. As husbands and wives, we need to love selflessly, without resentment. This is, by far, the most important thing I've learned.


I once heard that marriage is a school that you will never graduate from. There's always something new to learn. For those of you about to enter this school, remember to love unconditionally, hug and kiss often, have lots of patience, and don't forget to double check your initials.


Do you have any funny memories or things you learned when you first got married? Comment them below!


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