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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

Have you seen this Homework Help Desk?

A homework help desk? What? Yes, you heard me right. Homework Help Desk  is a new website focused on helping your kids with their challenging homework in math, science, English and parents too! When I was first approached with this campaign, I said, “no way, a site for homework help?” After checking out the site, I was super impressed. I don’t know about you but the amount of homework kids get these days is insane and forget about it if they get stumped. The frustration level even for parents is ridiculous. I love the fact that this site offers resources for kids and parents to help complete homework assignments. I mean, why not give it a try right? 

homework help desk image 1

Check out this cool video of the site. I wish I had this resource as a kid and my mom does too! I told her all about these sites that are now available for kids and parents as it relates to the Common Core Standards and homework and she was amazed at how far technology has come. I am dating myself but there was no internet when I was going through middle school and high school. Yikes, I am sounding old!

You can filter by topic and grade level.

homework help desk 2

Be sure to also check out the Be A Learning Hero site that I shared a couple months ago in June. I think it’s fabulous that these sites exist and that it’s giving parents an opportunity to be involved in their kids education.

homework desk

Don’t get me wrong, these sites are not a substitute for staying in touch with your kids teacher (s) and having a hands on approach but the fact that these sites offer a resource for kids and parents too is wonderful. With the Common Core State Standards, children are learning new concepts and strategies in the classroom. That means parents are learning them too.  The Homework Help Desk is here to help and offers an additional avenue for kids and parents to conquer homework. It’s also offered in Spanish as well. So hop over and check out the site, I think you will be impressed ;).

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

Back to School Pizza

Back to school is almost here for us and I know for many of you, the kids are already back in school. I swear the older I get, the faster time goes by. I don’t remember time flying by like this until I became a mom. With the blink of an eye, seasons pass and before I know it, my son is going into a new grade. Back to school poses many challenges. Some exciting and some stressful. If you have been following along for the last few months, you know we partnered with Ellio’s Pizza over the summer and through the fall season to share with you our fun snack, meal and party ideas using Ellio’s Pizza.

Ellio's Pizza back to school

Ellio’s is a favorite in our home and has been for generations. The brand is super popular here in New England and my gram made it for me as a kid and now I am making it for my son. Ellio’s is quick and easy and even my son (and husband) can make it. Simply pop it in the toaster oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Ellio's Pizza back to school 2

The first couple weeks of school are tough on kids and parents. Getting back in to a routine is not easy. For me, I always try to have a fun snack ready to go when my son gets home from school. He is tired and hungry when he gets home.

ellio's pizza back to school 3

Ellio’s is made with 100% real cheese and has no artificial flavors. It’s delicious crispy crust and real mozzarella cheese make this a great after school snack or quick and easy meal solution.

ellio's pizza back to school 4

We all have those days, especially when school starts, that having a quick stand-by meal is necessary.  Personally, I love this pizza and enjoy eating it just as much as my son does. ha. One of the best features about the pizza is, you can break off the amount you want because the pizza (while frozen) is pre defined and sectioned. All you need to do is break off the number of slices and pop it in the toaster oven. Wrap up the amount you don’t use and place it back in the freezer for another day. Easy peasy! Be sure to check out more about Ellio’s Products on their TwitterTumblr and Facebook pages as well as use their Ellio’s Pizza Store Locator.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ellio’s Pizza. All opinions are 100% mine.

Visit Sponsors Site

Chocolate Covered Banana with Pecans {10 minute no bake dessert}

Anyone else love chocolate covered bananas? We do and these guys took all of 5 minutes to make and that included the 2 minutes to melt the chocolate.  I am back this month as part of Laura’s 10 minute series over at Finding Home and this month is all about “no bake” desserts. If you are looking for a 10 minute or less no bake dessert, these frozen chocolate covered bananas with pecans will do the trick. I purchased Bakers chocolate that you melt right in the cup, crushed pecans and of course, bananas.

Chocolate covered banana with pecans {10 minute no bake dessert}

Simply follow the directions on the chocolate container and then dip your banana in the melted chocolate.

frozen chocolate covered bananas {no bake 10 minute dessert}

Roll or sprinkle the banana with crushed pecans or peanuts.

frozen chocolate covered bananas {no bake 10 minute dessert}

I used plastic cocktail stirrers because that is all I had on hand but I prefer wooden popsicle sticks. Place on wax paper and then freeze.

Looking for other no bake dessert ideas? Check out these fun blogger creations!

Julie Blanner

Dream Green DIY

Miss Mustard Seed

Inspired by Charm

Finding Home Farms

TidyMom

Thistlewood Farms

10-minute-no-bake-recipes

Frozen chocolate covered bananas are perfect for kids or adults and will hit the spot if you are having a sweet craving. My grandfather was so excited when he saw the plate of these. He loves his treats!

 

 

 

 

What’s up with your grandparents?

I have been a bit of slacker this summer keeping up with the blog. I must admit, I have enjoyed taking some time off and not posting as much. The summer seems to have slipped away again and it’s almost back to school time. How does that happen? We have been super busy this summer gutting our kitchen and doing a complete overhaul of the space. What a gross, messy process! ha. I can’t wait until it’s finished and once school starts, I will be back on target sharing the renovation and everything else going on in our lives. For those of you who miss what’s going on with my grandparents, here are a few pictures and updates!

What’s up with your grandparents?

what's up with your grandparents

My grandfather has been enjoying watching all the kitchen progress. My gram could care less, she is happy to sit and watch her soap opera’s. Her foot has been bothering her again so hopefully it’s not gout again!

what's up with your grandparents

My gramps did mention to me that this project better be done soon as he would like to put his car back in the garage.

The smallest things drive him crazy!

Yes, I rolled my eyes and ignored him ;).

Our Back to School Pegboard Organizational Wall

I have wanted to create a pegboard organization wall forever and I finally did it. The kids will be back to school in a few short weeks so I decided to create a peg board full of school supplies. Homework is kind of a drag in our house and it’s even worse when necessary supplies are missing. As hard as I try, I never seem to master keeping school stuff organized. I am hoping that having this new peg board full of supplies will help. We partnered with National Hardware for all the peg board hanging tools, accessories and adorable plastic containers.

DIY pegboard organization project. Perfect for back to school, office or craft space. I love the idea of using wrapping paper to cover the pegboard!

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Items Needed:

Pegboard (I got mine at my local hardware store)

Heavy weight wrapping paper (optional)

*Tip: You can also spray paint your peg board with spray paint to add color (optional)

Peg Hook Assortment kit

Curved Hooks

Multiple Tool Holder

Parts tray

Parts Organizer

Organizer Jar

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

I was originally going to spray paint my pegboard in a high gloss white but decided to try a heavy white wrapping paper that I had picked up at HomeGoods a couple months ago. Be sure to use heavy weight if you decide to cover your board, this way it won’t rip.

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Simply wrap the paper across the board and tape along the back side using duct tape.

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Once my board was covered, I decided to arrange my hooks, tray and organizers on the backside so I could see the holes.

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Most of the hooks push right through the paper but the ones that didn’t, I used a nail driver (you can use a pen or something pointy to make your holes. This way, when you flip over the board, your holes are already there in the paper.

I used a nail driver (you can use a pen or something pointy to make your holes. This way, when you flip over the board, your holes are already there in the paper.

I arranged all the hooks where I wanted them (on the backside) so that I could make changes without poking holes in the paper that were not necessary. Once I liked the arrangement, I flipped it over and added the hooks in the already made holes.

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Doesn’t it look so cool?

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

I decided to hang the board on a blank wall in our playroom.

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

How to create a Back to school peg board organization wall

Looking for more fabulous organizational ideas featuring these super cool products?

Check out these blogger projects!

Garage Organization Thistlewood2

Garage organization / Thistlewood Farms

under desk ombre pegboard with attachments 300x300

Desk cord storage & organization / Organizing Made Fun

Garage-Peg-Board 300

 Garage organization / DecorChick

300x300_JennaBurgerDesign

Work space Organization / Jenna Burger Design

Our back to school pegboard organizational wall is going to be so helpful once school starts. I love this board so much, I want to create a craft, sewing and office wall for myself. Oh my goodness the possibilities are endless. Another fun idea also would be to hang the board length wise over a desk.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by National Hardware. I was provided with complimentary products and I was compensated for this post. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

Our Maine Shore Seafood Bake at the camp {Harry & David}

If you have been following us for a while, you know we love our food! We are all about easy meals and this one takes the cake. I mean, how much easier can you get by having it all fully prepared, packaged and sent to you ready to cook? We are huge lovers of grilling and spending our weekends together with friends and family so when Harry & David reached out asking if we would be interested in trying a few of their gourmet meal and treat selections, we said yes immediately!

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

For those of you who are not familiar with Harry & David, they have been around since 1934 and have grown to become America’s premier choice for gourmet gifts and foods. They have everything from a gourmet hand wrapped gift basket to fully prepared gourmet meals.

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

I could spend hours on this website!

We decided to have a seafood bake last weekend with a few friends and I ordered a slew of seafood from Harry & David for the occasion. Not only did the food arrived packed in special freezer bins, it was nicely wrapped and presented itself in a gorgeous box with attached heating and meal instructions.

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

As many of you know, we spend most of the summer at our camp on the lake. We grill everything. If it can’t be grilled or cooked over an open fire, we don’t eat it.

Here is the menu I ordered for our seafood bake:

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

Award winning cheese and cracker assortment

Gourmet easy appetizer spread assortment

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

Seafood Bake (the most amazing thing on the planet)

Lobster Mariner Pie

The nice thing is, you can grill everything in the foil they send it packaged in. The tins are also perfect because you can place them on top of aluminum foil and there is no need to use special grilling dishes. The seafood on the platter came wrapped in a perfectly sized foil bag that I placed right on the grill. I cooked it for about 40 minutes on high heat and that’s it! Simply dump it out on a pretty platter once it’s cooked and you have a gourmet meal that is sure to please.

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

Chocolate covered strawberries & cheesecake pops (to die for!)

These came specially wrapped in a pretty box and freezer packed. Simply take out of the freezer the morning you want to serve and let them thaw.

Absolutely delicious!

Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining

We seriously ate like kings and queens.
Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining
The seafood was fresh and was absolutely delicious.
Our Seafood Bake / Summer Entertaining
Another wonderful feature of the company are their gourmet gift baskets for any occasion. My step-daughter’s graduated 8th grade this year and as a treat, we sent them a basket full of moose munch and a box full of fresh chocolate covered strawberries that spelled out “congratulations”. Not only did they love getting a special over-night package in the mail, they were thrilled with the delicious treats. The best part, they were not expecting it so they were super surprised.
If you are looking to create a memory for a child, send an anniversary gift to a loved one or throw a party featuring gourmet food that will be remembered for years, try Harry & David for your next event. Our guests were so impressed with the food as we were too. They can’t wait for another fun dinner created by Harry & David:).
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Harry & David. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

How to create a decorative coffee table tray {10 minute decorating ideas}

Do you ever feel like your coffee table is a catch all for crapola? Ours is. It never fails, there is always a bunch of random stuff  spread out all over it. One solution that I have found is to use a tray or basket to keep stuff organized. This month as part of Laura’s 10 minute decorating ideas, I decided to share how to create a decorative coffee table tray.

how to create a decorative coffee table tray {10 minute decorating ideas}

Some of you may know that I worked with HomeGoods a couple months ago on a photoshoot and this tray that I created for the family room is adorable, functional and super stylish.

How to create a decorative coffee table tray {10 minute decorating ideas}

In less than 10 minutes, I filled a tray with a tiny mason jar full of petite hydrangeas and filler, hardcover books and a decorative gold accent.

How to create a decorative coffee table tray {10 minute decorating ideas}

Trays on coffee tables are also perfect for keeping a cold drink on hand. I love the idea of grouping a bunch of items in a tray. Quick, easy and pretty!

Ten-Minute-Decorating-Ideas

To find the rest of this month’s 10 Minute Ideas, you can visit these friends.

Julie Blanner

Dream, Green, DIY

Four Generations, One Roof

Miss Mustard Seed

Inspired by Charm

Finding Home Farms

Tidy Mom

Thistlewood Farms

Grilled Pizza oh my!

Have you ever thought to grill your pizza? I honestly had never made grilled pizza before until last year when we started camping. It’s funny the things you will cook over a fire or grill when you don’t have modern amenities at your finger tips. Whether we are living at our home or in our camper during the summer, we still stock our refrigerator and freezer with quick meals, and Ellio’s Pizza happens to be one of those staples that lives in every freezer we have. :)  Many of you may know that we partnered with Ellio’s Pizza a few months ago to share a slew of fun meal idea, snack and appetizer ideas using Ellio’s Pizza.

This month, we are sharing grilled pizza!

Grilled Pizza is super easy, and the kids absolutely love how it tastes. We are in the process of revamping our fire pit at the camp, and I plan on creating a spot for a grate as well. Cooking food over an open fire is so much fun, and there is nothing better than fire roasted pizza.

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

Camping means rest and relaxation for all involved, and lengthy meal prep is not in my vocabulary during the summer. When cooking Ellio’s pizza frozen, just simply add it to the grill (right on the grill grates) as you would in a regular oven or you can use foil as shown below. I sprayed a bit of cooking spray on the foil to keep the pizza from sticking.  Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat (grill cover closed) and that’s it.

One thing that I have learned about camping is that space in your refrigerator and freezer are limited. What I do, is remove the Ellio’s pizza from the box and stack them inside the freezer. They are flat and take up minimal room.

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

That is a bonus in my book!

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

The grilled crust tastes absolutely delicious along with the melted cheese. That is one of the benefits of Ellio’s pizza, the cheese is 100% real cheese and has no artificial flavors.

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

Ellio’s pizza is perfect for a quick lunch, snack or meal. Serve with your favorite mixed greens or a simple chip side, and you are done. My son loves grilled veggies so I always grill up a side of summer squash or zucchini as well. If you are looking for more of our favorite Ellio’s pizza ideas, be sure to check out our movie nightsummer pizza on the patio and how to throw a pizza party posts. You will also find more Ellio’s pizza fun on their Twitter Facebook and Tumblr pages. Not sure who sells Ellio’s Products? Check out the Ellio’s Pizza Store Locator.

Visit Sponsors Site

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ellio’s Pizza. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are proud of our family and here is why!

Can I just tell you, that I have met the coolest readers (virtually) since starting our blog almost 4 years ago? So many of you email your own fun family stories about living with another generation and we love to hear about people who are living like us or are contemplating it. We are so fortunate to be going on 5 years of four generations under one roof and almost 8 years of three generations. Isn’t that insane? We have joined forces with TYLENOL® to help spread the word and invite you all to share in the #HOWWEFAMILY celebration. I am sure like many of you who live with extended family, you have your own traditions. Our biggest tradition, is our Saturday night family dinners. It’s the one time during the week where we all stop and hang out together.

If you follow us on facebook, you may have seen the post we shared about “#HowWeFamily” and a cute picture of us enjoying a typical Saturday night barbecue on our patio.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 1.58.37 PM

We have many friends whose families are spread out all over the country and I am sure, many of you do as well. Whether you are creating traditions of your own in your immediate family or are fortunate enough to live close to extended family, we love the inspiration that TYLENOL® is spreading about “#HowWeFamily.” I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Four Generations One Roof WD cropped.jpg

Many of you may think we are crazy but we don’t just live together, we travel together too. We are a family that really likes each other! ha. Well most of time. My brother and his family also join in on the Saturday night dinners as well as our vacations. Our version of “#HowWeFamily” may be a bit different or very similar to many of you. I know by some of the emails we receive, many of you adore your families and have your own compounds as well or hop to create one in the near future.  I recently read an email from a reader who was thrilled that her kids get to live with her parents and grow-up in a close knit family. I couldn’t agree more. The kids involved in multigenerational living really get the “old school” benefits of living with their grandparents and in our case, their great grandparents as well.

Stowe Vermont Ski Trip 2015

We are so proud of the fact that we have made so many years together under one roof. I mean seriously, who would have thought!? I sure didn’t think I would be doing this 10 years ago. Life moves by quickly and I wouldn’t trade this living style for anything. We have made so many wonderful memories together. Memories that more than likely, wouldn’t have happened, had we not all been living under the same roof. We would love to see how you family!! You can let us know by tweeting, commenting below, or by sharing a photo or video of what represents your family love and pride. Be sure to use #HowWeFamily hashtag for any social media shares and be sure to visit their website to learn more.

TYLENOL_INFLUENCER BADGE

Disclosure: I have received information and materials from McNeil Consumer PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for this post. All opinions and words are 100% Healthcare, Division of McNEIL- my own.

Big kitchen news! A demo is in the works

Do you ever say to yourself, this summer will be full of R&R? I say that at the beginning of the every summer and for some reason, the summer always takes on its own path and it goes by in a blink of an eye. We started thinking about renovating our kitchen last year around this time but the timing just wasn’t right. Although, there really is no good time to demo and completely destroy your kitchen BUT we were approached with a super sweet deal to partner with MasterBrand Cabinetry and we decided to move forward with the renovation. We are thrilled to be working with MasterBrand and their Diamond Cabinetry line! Wait until you see these gorgeous cabinets and all the fun inside cabinetry storage options.

Our existing kitchen is the original kitchen from when the house was built the 1960’s. About 5 years ago, my parents had the dark stained cabinets painted white to freshen it up and update the space a bit. Some of you may remember that the kitchen makeover was featured in Woman’s Day Magazine 2 years ago.

woman's day FPO-120919_JessicaBruno_373

Here is the kitchen now. With some paint and a blue backsplash that I installed myself, we were able to take dark outdated cabinets and make them look fresh and modern. When painting cabinets though, you have to remember that the paint chips over time and will need to be re-painted. That is the stage we are at right now. I am so thankful that I will NOT be repainting these. There is nothing wrong with the existing cabinets but they are staring to show signs of aging, chipped paint and the layout is not conducive to a large family. We plan on ripping out a wall which will add an additional 250 square feet to the kitchen and building a huge center island to tie the two rooms together.

white kitchen makeover-010

Here is the kitchen 5 years ago before we painted the cabinets white.

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

We will be tearing down the wall where the refrigerator is as mentioned earlier and opening up the existing kitchen into the adjoining multipurpose mudroom.  Oh my, what a mess we are going to have!

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

Here is what our weekend looked like.

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

IMG_2163

Yes, emptying all the cabinets was a total pain in the butt but I must say, I was thrilled to get rid of stuff that had expired 2 years ago! Stay tuned. This entire process will be a series of posts over the next few weeks. Wish us luck, my grandfather is already disgusted because his car is parked outside so the new cabinets have a home until they are mounted to the wall. I don’t know about that man sometimes ;).

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by MasterBrand and Diamond Cabinets. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

 

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