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Author Archive | Jessica Bruno

Jessica Bruno

We are a crew of four generations all living together under one roof. We share our
Do-It-Yourself renovations, project tutorials, room makevers and bits of what life is like living together under one roof. Could you live with multiple generations?

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Here are my most recent posts

Mini Christmas bedroom makeover {before & after}

Are you ready for a bedroom makeover? Last week I shared our Christmas home tour part 1 and 2. During the part two tour, I shared my parents master bedroom for the first time on the blog all decked out for the holidays. My mom loves the new curtains and bound carpet by Mohawk. It’s amazing what a few key changes can do for a room.

mini Christmas bedroom makeover {before and after}


mini Christmas bedroom makeover {before and after}

By simply changing out the curtains, rug and lamps, we added a bright fresh new look to the room. The paint color stayed the same and it’s amazing what the new lighter accessories did to the room.  We de-cluttered a bit and removed some of the furniture that needed a home which allowed the room to breath a bit.

mini Christmas bedroom makeover {before and after}

We brought in a sofa table that was more proportionate with the large bed and a smaller rocking chair as well. My parents mini-Christmas bedroom makeover is complete and the carpet really brightened up the space along with lighter curtains. The curtains are from West Elm and the bound carpet is from Mohawk. Happy Christmas!

Disclosure: as noted in our in Christmas Home Tour part 2, the bound carpet was donated by Mohawk. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

Do you have a favorite coffee mug?

Do you have a favorite coffee mug? I do! It’s pink with dolphins on it. Every morning, I get up and have a couple cups of coffee in this mug. Only this mug! Are you like that with your morning coffee? I don’t know why, I just love it! For those of you who don’t know, coffee is my weakness. Coffee is a big part of my day ;). I am sure many of you feel the same way! I was contacted by Shaws to share this really cool contest with you and I couldn’t say no, it’s about coffee. Would you like to win a years worth (24 bags of McCafe ground or whole bean) of McCafe coffee?

Keep reading!

4generations1roof my favorite coffee mug / enter to win a years worth of Mcafe coffee

All you need to do is head to Shaw and submit a photo of your favorite mug.

McCafe Coffee contest


How to enter: Head to Shaws  1: scroll to the bottom and click the McCafe submit a photo icon   2: Submit your photo  3: See your photo with all the other entries

McCafe submit your favorite mug

I entered and it took all of 15 seconds. I can’t win but I wanted to see how quick the process was, it’s easy! Super easy and worth it for a chance to win a years worth of McCafe coffee. Don’t you agree? Head over to Shaws  and see for yourself, some of the photo’s entered are pretty funny ;). Happy Holidays!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaws. The opinions and text are all mine.

How to make a hot chocolate bar

A couple days ago we shared a few fabulous hot chocolate bars and today, we wanted to share how to make your own. I decided to use the table top of our craft dresser and I think it worked perfectly! I don’t have an over abundance of hot chocolate items and only a few santa mugs so I needed a fairly small space. A hot chocolate bar is just a variety of items necessary to make hot chocolate and a few yummy accessories.

how to make a hot chocolate bar

how to make a hot chocolate bar / simple and easy tips

Isn’t it cute? I used a tray to coral the mugs and and cute buckets to hold the candy canes. I added gold glitter trees and plaid placemats that I found from HomeGoods and along with a vibrant red tray, I think it came out very cute!

how to make a hot chocolate bar / simple and easy tips

Adding a marshmallow and candy cane to a cup of hot cocoa makes that yummy drink, extra yummy!

how to make a hot chocolate bar / simple and easy tipsI filled a jar with hot chocolate and wrapped festive Washi tape around the top and lower portion of the jar. The jar now looks fun and not boring ;).

how to make a hot chocolate bar / simple and easy tips

Want to add a cute shelf above a dresser? Check out our how to make a shelf tutorial. How to make a hot chocolate bar is very easy and if you are looking to add a fun banner, festive holiday flags (marshmallows) and signs, head over to Minted. They shipped me these complimentary items to help make our hot chocolate bar extra special. Thank you Minted!

Best Apple Crisp Recipe

Looking for a quick and easy apple crisp recipe? We have one! Today I wanted to share an apple crisp recipe which is so easy to make. My favorite party of any apple crisp is the topping. Do you agree that is the best part? Apple crisp isn’t just for the fall, it’s a perfect dessert for the upcoming holiday.

Best apple crisp recipe / Quick and easy dessert

Doesn’t it look yummy? I could eat that topping all day long!

Best Apple Crisp Recipe


  • 6 lbs. apples, peeled and sliced
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup sugar (part brown)
  • 1 stick margarine or butter
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg


  • In a bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add apples and toss to coat. Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. In a separate bowl mix topping ingredients - sugars, margarine, oatmeal, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until it's a crumbling pie crust mixture. Cover the apples with topping and pat down.Bake in a 375-degree oven until top is light brown and apples are bubbly, about one hour.
  • 12 servings.

best apple crisp / Water Farm Apple Crisp

This apple crisp recipe is from Waters Farm cook book. Waters Farm uses Gravenstein apples, but others such as Jonathan may be used. My friend used Granny Smith apples and they worked just fine! Be sure to check out our kitchen page for more yummy recipes.

4 Generations Christmas Home Tour {part 2}

Living with 4 generations is not only a bit crazy on a day to day basis but during Christmas time, is even crazier. Would you believe me if I told you we have 7 Christmas trees this year?  Between me, my mom and gram, we do a lot of decorating during the holidays. Last week I shared part 1 of our Christmas Home Tour and today, is part 2. We are so thankful to Chris at Just A Girl for inviting us to her amazing round up of blogger home tours. If you are coming from Kristen’s at The Hunted Interior, welcome!

4 generations Christmas Home Tour

Front Door

Our front door is so much fun to decorate now that the portico is finished.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour front door

Aren’t the Irns adorable from Wayfair? Perfectly sized for the dwarf trees.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour front door

4 generations Christmas Home Tour part 2 bucket full of lush greens

The Playroom / Study

4 generations Christmas Home Tour The playroom

4 generations Christmas Home Tour The playroom The santa mugs and ornaments are from HomeGoods. Some of them are actually gift tags!

I have never shared my parents master bedroom before on the blog so we thought our Christmas Home Tour would be a perfect opportunity to show you another space in our home.

Parent’s Master Bedroom

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom 

Their bedroom is rather large, sporting almost 900 square feet. This is just a portion of the room. We plan on sharing more of the room in 2015 – a before and after. The ivory SmartStrand carpet by Mohawk is absolutely gorgeous and we are so thankful to them for donating the bound-carpet for our home tour. I will share the before and after of this room next week. The carpet and drapes really changed the look of their room.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom

My mom loves traditional design but has decided to start incorporating some modern elements to her existing design.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom Look who decided to grace us with his presence. The beautiful thing about this carpet is that it’s pet-friendly and easy to clean.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom

He LOVES “his” new carpet. I don’t blame him, it’s super soft!

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom

Pretty cozy space right? My dad came home during the photo shoot for this room and said, “don’t even tell me you are putting my bedroom on the blog.” You bet I am dad!

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / Woodland Christmas bedroom baskets / gold trees / wrapped gift boxes / lamps : from HomeGoods

The Den

A few months ago, my mom decided to create a den (another living room) in the basement for her and the kids. On the weekends my dad and grandfather take-over my parents family room and watch westerns for hours starting at 4am. My mom decided she needed a place to have her coffee and not be stuck watching westerns. The space is a work in progress. We just painted the room a few weeks ago and are still looking for a coffee table and new lamp but for now, it’s looking very festive!

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / colorful basement living room

This room has no windows so it’s a bit difficult to photograph but as you can see, it’s a bright cheery space. My son loves to hang out in this room and play his video games and watch TV.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / colorful basement living room

 Blue pillows / Throw : from HomeGoods

A colorful whimsical Christmas room that definitely is proving itself as a popular cozy spot.

4 generations Christmas Home Tour / colorful basement living room

To add character and a bit of atmosphere, my mom and dad purchased an electric stove to cozy up the room. It actually provides quite a bit of heat as well. I hope you enjoyed part 2 of our Christmas Home Tour. Don’t forget, you can start at the beginning of the tour at Just A Girl but right now, lets head to the next stop,  Courtney at A Thoughtful Place. Lets go together shall we?

 Disclosure: I was given gift cards from HomeGoods to purchase items for our home tour. I was given a complimentary rug from Mohawk.  All opinions and words are 100% my own.

Create your own: Special Letter from Santa

A special letter from Santa, we all want one of those right? Christmas is such a fun time of year and I absolutely love watching my son during the holidays. The magic of Christmas is amazing through a child’s eyes. When Shaws asked if I would like to try out their interactive site and create a Letter from Santa, I jumped at the chance. I mean, I really am a kid at heart and really do want one for myself ;).

Secret Santa letter graphic

Look what turned up on our Christmas tree! A sweet letter from Santa and Mrs. Claus to my son. I am sure many of you have Christmas traditions that you celebrate year after year. This year we are hanging this special letter from Santa on our Christmas tree and what a surprise it will be, for my son. He will be bright eyed and so curious.

Special letter from Santa

All you need to do is visit Shaws , create an account using your email address and fill out specific questions about your child.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 6.45.32 PM

That’s it! While you are there, be sure to check out all of the the click-to-print coupons deals with special offers from Coca-Cola, Oreo and Ritz for Santa’s Crew: the Elves, Rudolf and the Reindeer team and Mrs. Claus. On Christmas Eve, we set a place for Santa at our table and fill a dish with cookies and sweet treats along with a tall glass of milk. We also leave carrots and a large bag full of reindeer food as well. Do you make your own reindeer food? We mix oatmeal, white and brown sugar in a big bowl and spread it across our front lawn just before bedtime on Christmas eve. The reindeer need treats too! So are you ready to get started? Head over to the site now and create your own magical Letter from Santa for that special child (or adult) in your life and spread some Christmas cheer.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons. The opinions and text are all mine.

Our cute blue + white Christmas tree

Do you own a white Christmas tree? This year I bought an inexpensive white Christmas tree at Walmart for $39! Yes, $39. Every year I drool over the gorgeous white trees and always wish I had one. My friend Kari Anne over at Thistlewood Farms told me to check out the cute ones at Walmart, so I did!

Blue and White Christmas Tree

It’s about 6 feet tall and perfect for a corner in your home.

White + Blue Christmas tree-2

I added a variety of blue colored ornaments along with silver and white.  I think this tree is the cutest ever!

White + Blue Christmas tree-3

Any colored ornaments will look great on a white tree. The tree provides the perfect back drop.

White + Blue Christmas tree-4

I think this little inexpensive white tree is a keeper and next year, I might need to invest in a large white tree for our family room. Did you see our Christmas Home Tour last week? Be sure to check out our large red and black nostalgic tree and a our dog Garth enjoying the scenery. He loves his picture taken!

Gorgeous Christmas Home Tour

Our Frosted Fraser Fir Christmas Tree {owls}

We are so excited to be kicking off the 12 bloggers of Christmas tree series with Balsam Hill today and sharing our Frosted Fraser Fir tree. When Balsam Hill asked if we would like to choose one of their gorgeous artificial Christmas trees and decorate it for the holidays, of course we said yes.

Our Frosted Fraser Fir Christmas Tree

I knew immediately that pinecones and owls would be perfect for this tree. I decided that the tree would look fabulous in our foyer against the rock wall. Do you agree?

Our Frosted Fraser Fir Christmas Tree

The tree is absolutely gorgeous and very sturdy. The owls and pine cones look so natural on the tree, as if the tree was in the forest covered in snow.

our frosted fraser fir christmas treeI think the owls love their new home.

our frosted fraser fir christmas tree

The Frosted Fraser Fir Christmas Tree echoes the quiet charm of powder fresh snow blanketing an evergreen forest. The Easy Plug™ setup is by far, the best thing ever. Do you know what that is? Basically the tree arrives in a soft velvet bag in three pieces and all you do is place each piece inside one another and the tree lights up. No cords, no plugs, no hassle!

our frosted fraser fir christmas tree

our frosted fraser fir christmas tree

Thank you so much to Balsam Hill for inviting us to their fabulous yearly 12 bloggers Christmas tree series and providing us with a complimentary tree. We love our frosted fraser fir tree!  Balsam Hill invites you to use this code 12BJESSICA25 and get a special discount of $25 off any purchase of $200 or more. Code expires on 12/22.  Now it’s time to head over to Lucy’s home over at Crafterberry Bush to see which tree she chose (see image below) . This girl is crazy talented and her home is amazing! Trust me when I tell you, her tree will be gorgeous. Are you ready to go? Click here and follow me over! PS. You can see the full blogger tour line up for the entire week over at the Balsam Hill blog.


Our Fun Family Christmas Card + Minted discount

Do you send Christmas cards to friends and family? We love getting Christmas cards from our friends and family around the country, especially the ones with kids. It’s always so nice to see how they have grown throughout the year. This year we partnered with Minted and created a fun family Christmas card. If you are not familiar with Minted, it’s time I introduce you. Minted is an online marketplace of independent artists and designers. Designers and artists submit their art and graphic design through open monthly challenges, the public votes for the winning entries, and Minted produces the winning work as stationery, wall art, and decor.  Minted unique designs are produced using high-end LUXE paper and are fully customizable. You can preview your design online and order in minutes.

Fun family Christmas cardMinted offers an extensive selection of Holiday cards with or without photos. We decided to try their new flat sided card with a fun festive patterned back. You can also add photo’s on the back side as well or even share a recap of your year. How fun is that?

Fun family Christmas card

I absolutely love the coordinating envelopes, liners and the ability to customize every little detail.

Fun family Christmas card

These unique watercolor designs are gorgeous and I love the fact that you can choose your own color combo. There are 100’s of designs, you will be amazed!

Fun family Christmas card

Some of Minted’s newest feature for this season are the ornament cards, booklette cards, The Minted envelope and my favorite, foil-pressed cards. Click the image below to be taken to these fabulous new features for the 2014 holiday season.

Fun family Christmas card

The ability to customize each piece of your holiday card and coordinating envelope all within a few clicks is very appealing to me. I don’t have a lot time so ordering online, adding our family photo’s as well as having the address’s printed is wonderful! Simply import your address book to your Minted account and Minted will send you your envelopes fully addressed!

Family Fun Christmas Card

I am thrilled with our cards and the quality is amazing. In under 10 minutes, I ordered a gorgeous holiday card set with the most adorable coordinating envelopes. So how about you? Have you done your cards yet? Head over to Minted and poke around, you will fall in love ;). The best part, for the next week, Minted will be offering all of you a 15% discount. Just use the code  FOURGEN15. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary product as well as compensation for for this post. All opinions and words are 100% my own. 

Christmas Decorating with Fresh Greenery

Earlier this week I shared our Christmas home tour and today I wanted to share how I made our dining room table centerpiece. Fresh greenery can be expensive so before you head out to your local tree farm, grab a basket, shears and take a walk through the woods. You will be amazed at the fresh greenery you will find and the best part, it’s free! Last year a friend of mine shared a secret spot in town to get winterberry branches. Oh my, I was in heaven! We are very careful though about what we bring indoors for fresh greenery as some is poisonous to dogs.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery

I created an easy centerpiece for our dining room using cedar, spruce and boxwood. I started with a long wooden bowl and snipped a group of small greens from the larger limbs.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery

I layered the three different greens inside the bowl.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery-3

I added the cedar first because of it’s flat full body which in return, makes for a nice base.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery-2

After a few minutes of layering the greens, the bowl was full.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery

I added a few pinecones and in under 10 minutes, I created a beautiful simple centerpiece for our dining room table.

Christmas decorating with fresh greenery

I love Christmas decorating and adding fresh greenery to bowls, vases, tabletops and any space that needs a little Christmas flare. If you do not have fresh greenery in your back yard, try a friends house or simply pull over on the side of the road and start snipping! ;).

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