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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

Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

Today we are sharing our winter master bedroom. It was  a little tough taking down all the Christmas decorations in our master bedroom. This was the first year I decorated our bedroom for Christmas and I absolutely loved the red and white bedding along with the tiny twinkling tree. BUT, Christmas is over so time to get back to normal. You may have already seen these pillows in a previous post from last week. I love the Mr. Right & Mrs. Always Right pillows. I decided to put the existing sheet set and white duvet back on the bed and added a tan blanket from our storage closet. Blankets are so expensive so I always try to keep a few on hand that we can mix and match when changing out seasons. My mom has a bunch too that I tend to “borrow” as needed. -ha.

Our Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

I found these fabulous navy patterned pillows at HomeGoods and paired them with the white fluffy pillows we used on our sofa for Christmas. I knew when I bought the white fluffy pillows, they were transitional and could be used year round. I love the texture.

Our Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

Instead of buying a whole new sheet set, I used the white set I had from our bedroom makeover last summer.  Sometimes just swapping out a blanket, pillow cases and adding a couple throw pillows will do the trick and help you stay within a small budget.

Another fun was this adorable silk flower in a vase.

Our Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

Master bedroom winter refresh with pillows and a throw Cutest bedroom pillows ever-12-3

Source: {All pillows/lamp/tray/flower/throw – HomeGoods}, Duvet – PineCone Hill

I switched things up a little on our bureau with vases and accents.

Our Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

Here is the room from this past summer. You can shop this look here.

Our Winter Master Bedroom Refresh

You can see more of this room by heading over the our master bedroom reveal post.

We hope you enjoyed our winter master bedroom refresh. As Mr. Groundhog said earlier today, “Spring is right around the corner.” Be sure to check out the teenage girls bedroom makeover post we shared a few days ago. It’s dramatic!

Sophisticated Girls Bedroom Teen Makeover

We started the teenage girls bedroom makeover during our kitchen renovation last fall and needless to say, it took a while to wrap up this project. The girls love their new room and I must say, I kind of want the room for myself. -ha. I love how sophisticated the room looks yet still has a youthful vibe. You can see more of the before space and demo by checking out our post from last week.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Girls bedroom before:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The walls are painted a light green color called “green trance” by Sherwin-Williams. I chose their Emerald Interior line in Satin finish.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

fur foot stool / HomeGoods

Before:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The gray fabric tufted headboards from Wayfair were the perfect choice for the bedroom. The room is small so we wanted something without a foot board to save room.

Before:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Process:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

We ripped up the old carpet and Mohawk carpet was generous enough to donate a beautiful soft plush carpet from their Smartstrand Forever Clean line. The color we chose is called Sandcastle and it’s absolutely perfect. Not to tan but not to light. A couple of the features that I love about this carpet is that is durable, soft and stain resistant. Perfect for kids and pets.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The striped drapes, both bed throws, light blue quilts and all throw pillows are from HomeGoods.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The tight looped carpet offers the texture I was looking for on the floor.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Isn’t this dusty rose colored silk wreath gorgeous?

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Silk Wreath / HomeGoods

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The white dresser from Joss & Main is one of my favorite pieces in the room. It offers tons of storage and the quality is amazing. It is slightly distressed which offers a nice contrast with the other white neutral bedding in the room.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

I originally planned to hang a mirror above the dresser but came across these two beautiful canvas prints at HomeGoods and decided to pair them together as a focal point.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

I think the A & G monogram letters ad a nice touch for the girls initials and add a youthful accent to the girls bedroom. I struggled with this room as I didn’t want it to look too “adult” if that makes any sense.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

bronze jewelry box / HomeGoods

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The oversized white night table from Joss & Main was the icing on the cake. I searched high and low for a night table that would be big enough to share between the two beds. At first I planned on each girl having their own night table but I couldn’t get the beds arranged so it looked aesthetically pleasing so once I decided to try a large night table vs. two smaller ones, things started to come together.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

The table overs closed storage as well as a large area below for trendy boxes filled with goodies.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

designer boxes / pink flower vase / notebooks – HomeGoods

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

This room was difficult to photograph as the small size and mirror didn’t do me any favors. -ha.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

We still need to complete the wall gallery of personal pictures ect. on the large blank wall. Hoping to get that project completed in February.

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Another before:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Process:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

After:

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Isn’t it amazing the transformation?

Sophisticated teenage girls bedroom makeover

Thank you so much to Wayfair, Mohawk Carpet, Sherwin-Williams and HomeGoods for helping us create this beautiful sophisticated teenage girls bedroom. The girls are thrilled with their new room. The only thing I need to figure out is getting a cable jack installed so they can have their own tv. It’s on the list girls! Stay tuned, I know many of you may be wondering where all the bedding, accents and other fun items are from so I will share a resource post next week.

*Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary furniture, home accents, flooring and paint from Wayfair, Mohawk Carpet, Sherwin-Williams and HomeGoods. All opinions and words are 100% our own.

Mudroom Wall – Shop the Look

 I have a confession, I didn’t really think that the “shop the look” post I did last week featuring our bedroom dresser vignette would have generated so much interest. I appreciate your emails and am glad you liked it. To Sarah G., I am so happy we helped you find the perfect dresser! -:) This week I put together a product list of how to create your own mudroom wall. I am sure many of you do not have a dedicated room for coats, boots and other stuff so why not create a mudroom wall like we did? Last spring we gave this blank wall a makeover using hooks, a toy box that I painted and converted to a shoe box and some pretty accessories and decor to tie the space together.

shop the look: mudroom wall

I’ve linked all these items down below so you can shop this look!

wreath / Leaf Tree / rugbench / bench / Sunbrella pillow / striped pillow / scarf / purple rain coat / blue purse /  Khaki coat

*post contains affiliate links*

In case you missed the post last week about shopping our looks, we are in the middle of creating a shop page on the blog (coming soon) where you can shop all of our home and even clothing (fashion posts coming soon) products right from the comfort of your home. There is nothing worse than seeing a room or outfit you love and not knowing where to buy the items. Now if you see something you love on our site, you will be able to shop the look from the boutique menu I have created. You can also see more of our looks on instagram where I tend to share items throughout the week. Follow us here at Instagram.

My grandfather and the ipad is like watching a dinosaur ride a hoverboard

My grandfather and the ipad is like watching a dinosaur ride a hoverboard. No joke. Can you imagine? Technology fascinates my grandparents. They are constantly telling my son how they were lucky to have shoes and food when they were growing up, never mind an Xbox and an ipad. This past weekend my son showed my grandfather how to race on a motorcycle and create a Minecraft home. Isn’t he the cutest (both of them)? I happened to have my camera (I was sitting at the kitchen island watching them) so I snapped this picture. My son loves to show him how to play games. My son sometimes thinks my grandfather is kidding when he says things because it seems to far fetched to my son that my grandfather has no clue about the electronics. I know my grandfather is serious (he really doesn’t know) but my son thinks he is just joking and being silly. In his mind, “how could he not know what Minecraft is?” I am so happy that he has this experience of learning about how different life was so many years ago.

my grandfather and the ipad

My grandfather loves to watch him play and laughs at all the funny expressions and noises my son makes while playing. My son asked my grandfather if he wanted to try and at the first finger swipe, my grandfather jumped backed and laughed as the ipad screamed out a sound saying, “wow good job as the motorcycle jumped off a cliff!” I personally think we should buy my grandparents one to share and see who uses it the most. Although, that would just give them something else to fight about so maybe that isn’t a good idea. -ha.

my grandfather and the ipad

My grandparents have seen a lot in the last 80+ years and for them growing up in the depression, this lifestyle today is completely different. My parents finally came into this century upgrading their cell phones from a flip to iphones a couple years ago but they don’t seem to be as intrigued with the technology. My dad would be happy to never answer any phone for the rest of his life. -ha. My grandparents though, their eyes light up when they see the laptops, phones and tablets. They genuinely are interested and enjoy learning about them. It’s amazing the generational gap between the kids and my grandparents. My son finds it amazing that my grandfather didn’t have electricity when he was little. In fact, my son didn’t quite grasp that concept until we lost power last winter during a snow storm and couldn’t use any of his electronics. I remember my grandfather telling him, “see kid, this is what my life was like as a kid.” You can find more family and multigenerational posts on our multigenerational living page.

 

Teenage Girls Bedroom Makeover (before + demo)

What a crazy weekend. It was so strange to watch most of the East coast get buried in snow and we got only 6 inches here in Massachusetts. I think the snow Gods were feeling bad for their nasty behavior last year and spared us this time. -ha. Last fall we started the girls teenage bedroom makeover and we are finally wrapping up this project. Today I am sharing pictures of the girls small shared bedroom. They are 15 years old and never in a million years did I think creating a teenage friendly bedroom would be such a project. They are in between an “adult room” but not really “an adult room.” Does that make sense? They didn’t want it too girly/kid looking but didn’t really want it looking like my room. -ha. So a sophisticated, kind of adult looking, neutral room is what we came up with.

Their beds were set up as a bunks for a few years and last year, we took them down as one of them could barely sit up on the top bunk. My dad and brother took them apart while I was out doing errands and when I came home, I said, “oh no, we didn’t get the before pictures!” My dad said, “well, they are not going back up so deal with it.” -ha. I guess that’s what I get for asking them to get the beds apart right? They don’t normally do things that quickly after I ask so I thought I had time. That will teach me to take pictures before I ask them to move things around ;).

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

Half the room was painted hot pink and the other half was bright blue. When they were 10 years old, that ‘s what they wanted. -ha. They looked back at these pictures a couple weeks ago and said, “why did you paint our room such an ugly color?” I told them, “that was not my doing….that was yours!” -ha.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

The carpet was over 10 years old and needed to be replaced.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

We decided to sell the old furniture to a family who was in need of a bunk set and replace it with something a bit more feminine.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

Bunks always look great when they are set up but once they are apart, they just don’t look right. Both of the girls are tall so their new beds needed to be a bit longer with no footboard. After the room was completely emptied, we had the old carpet ripped out and installed new.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

Removed all the old baseboard trim and the heat registers.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

The registers were so dirty and disgusting. I was so happy to vacuum them and clean them up. I will share a tutorial on how I painted the old metal register covers soon.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

After about 6 hours, we had the room completely gutted and I started painting squares on the wall. I think we painted 20 different colors before we settled on the winner. I will share the paint story in a couple days. Choosing a paint color can be overwhelming and exhausting but I have a few tips to help you save time.

Teenage girl bedroom makeover before

Stay tuned, the full room makeover will be posted this weekend and it’s drastic. Really drastic. My son is now begging to have his room done. I told him he is next on the list. 😉

 

 

Shop the Look {Our Master Bedroom}

We are announcing something fun on the blog today, shop the look. Since the blog was launched over four years ago, many have asked whether it be comments on the blog, social media or individual emails , “where did you get that” or “where can I buy that?” Well, I decided to create a shop page on our blog (new design coming soon) which will allow you see a pretty scrolling boutique of items that are in our home and/or similar items so you can get the look for yourself. Today, you can shop the look of our master bedroom dresser vignette. Kind of cool right? Many of the items will link to the actual store/item and may possibly be affiliate links. What are affiliate links? They are links that if you make a purchase, we may earn a few pennies.   Today, I am sharing our vignette in our master bedroom that I created on our dresser. This dresser brings so many questions about where to buy, I figured this would be a great post to start with.

Shop the Look: Gorgeous Navy blue master bedroom makeover

Shop The Look – Dresser in “morning fog” / baskets / candles / vases

I’ve linked all these items down below so you can shop this look!

Enjoy shopping and creating your own vignette in your bedroom. Don’t forget, night tables are also a great place to create a fun spot with your favorite decor.

 

Decorating Valentine’s Day Cookies {our kids Saturday night project}

Last Saturday night my niece slept over so all the kids decided that making Valentine’s Day cookies would be a fun Saturday night project. So I headed to the store and picked up a bunch of cookie making supplies. I decided to buy pre-mixed cookie mix to save time. If you are looking for something fun to do with a group of kids, this is it.

Decorating Valentine's Day Cookies

Decorating Valentine’s Day cookies:

Decorating Valentines Day Cookies

I know, this looks like a shout out to Betty Crocker but it’s not, our local market just happened to have all kinds of fun Betty Crocker Valentine’s Day cookie supplies.

Decorating Valentines Day Cookies

My grandparents were so happy, they couldn’t wait to eat the cookies. Although, they were not impressed when I told them they couldn’t eat some of them as I needed to take pictures for the blog post the next day. -ha.

Decorating Valentines Day Cookies

One of the best things about our new kitchen, is this island. It’s perfect for just about anything. Whether we are baking, setting up a buffet or eating dinner, this island is so functional.

Decorating Valentines Day Cookies

A Saturday night making a mess in the kitchen and decorating Valentine’s Day cookies proved to be a fun time had by all.

Decorating Valentines Day Cookies

Looking for more Valentine’s Day treat ideas? Check out this post from last week of 40+ sweets!

40-Valentine-Treats-Pinterest

I picked up a few cute Valentine’s Day treat bags when I was at HomeGoods and they fit the cookies perfectly.  Cute little treat bags are perfect too if you have an upcoming school Valentine’s Day party as well. Kids always love getting treat bags filled with sweets. Heck, we adults do too! I am sure many of you have a child or two that would love to make Valentine’s Day cookies this weekend so head to your local market and grab some supplies, Valentines Day will be here soon.

Mexican Chicken Taco Boat {Dip}

Football season is always a fun time here in our house as we all love to hang out, watch the game and eat yummy food. Even my grandparents enjoy watching football. Last week I made a delicious chicken taco dip as part of Old El Paso™ Spice Up Your Game Day campaign. We love Mexican food, especially tacos and dips. I headed to our local Shaws Supermarket, grabbed all these items and within one hour (including shopping time) I had these delicious boats ready and on the platter.

This is such and EASY recipe!

Mexican Chicken Taco Boat

Mexican Chicken Taco Boats dip

Living with four generations under one roof means there are usually lots of us for any type of event in our house, whether it be a celebration or watching a sports game. We always have loads of food and we tend to line up the island in the kitchen with appetizers and create a buffet. Other times if it’s just a couple of us, a serving tray like this (I always use a wooden cutting board when serving hot dips) and just use our coffee table as our “go to” spot for food. Either way, we love to have delicious options for game day.

Mexican Chicken Taco Boats {dip}

Mexican Chicken Taco Boat {Dip}

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cut up chicken pieces (I used left over chicken from the night before. You can also buy an already cooked rotisserie chicken too if you are short on time)
  • 1 package Old Elpaso soft taco boats
  • 1 can Old Elpaso Enchilada Sauce *optional
  • 1 can Old Elpaso Refried beans
  • 1 package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 package shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven 375 - Bake 8-10 minutes (until cheese is melted)
  2. Layer taco boats. First spread refried beans, then cream cheese, then chicken and top with cheese. You can pour a small amount of enchilada sauce over the boat if you prefer a little extra flavoring.
  3. Bake 8-10 min. (until cheese is melted and taco shells are light brown) .
  4. Top with lettuce and sour cream
  5. Serve with dipping taco chips

Mexican Chicken Taco Boats {dip}

The option of having individual dip bowls created a lot of excitement in our home, especially with the kids.

Mexican Chicken Taco Boats {dip}

Mexican Chicken Taco Boats {dip}

 You can also make a crock full of the dip (layer the same way as the boats) as shown above and simple serve on a wooden cutting board surrounded by your favorite dipping chips. So do tell, what are you making for the big game right around the corner?

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

Baked Lemon Tilapia Recipe

Just stopping in real quick to share a quick and easy baked lemon tilapia recipe. We are trying to eat healthy as I mentioned a couple days ago and well fish, happens to be a favorite in our home. My grandparents are not big fish eaters but they do like white fish. For those of you wondering, my dad’s hand after surgery is doing well, my grandfather is doing much better on his new insulin and my shoulder is making progress. It’s a healing kind of winter. -ha.

Baked Tilapia with Lemon and Garlic -  30 minute recipe

Baked Lemon Tilapia Recipe

baked lemon tilapia

Baked Lemon Tilapia Recipe

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 3 pieces of tilapia
  • lemon juice
  • crushed garlic
  • salt, pepper and dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven 375 - bake for 30 minutes (or until white and flakey)
  2. Spray bottom of glass baking pan with olive oil spray (or equivalent)
  3. Rinse fish and pat dry
  4. Lay fish inside dish
  5. Squirt lemon juice across fish (I just skirted about 2 tablespoons across each)
  6. Spread crushed garlic across each piece of fish (about 1 tsp each piece)
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. Sprinkle with parsley
  9. *serve with vegetables

*adapted from All Recipes

baked lemon tilapia

baked lemon tilapia

That’s it. A simple lemon tilapia recipe that pairs nicely with just about any vegetable. What I like about tilapia is that it’s not super “fishy” tasting. I also like that it doesn’t smell up the kitchen like fish either. We tend to eat a lot of fish during the summer because we can grill it outside but sometimes fish during the winter tastes good too.

*adapted from All Recipes

You may also like this Cod recipe we shared earlier this week.

Cod Recipe {easy + healthy}

YUMMY Cod Recipe {easy + healthy}

The new year has managed to bring enthusiasm towards eating healthy in our house. I know, the new year does that to many of us. Today I wanted to share a healthy Cod recipe that you are going to love! Last night we made this and it consisted of vegetables and Cod. That’s it! I make a similar dish for Christmas Eve but not this healthy.

Cod Recipe {easy + healthy}

Healthy Cod Recipe

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

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Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb cod fillet
  • 1 14.5 can diced tomatoes (I used basil, oregano and parsley flavor)
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion (any onion will do if you don't have yellow)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow or red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach and kale (I buy a big bag in the lettuce section of the store)
  • 1 small packaged sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp Salt, pepper and lemon herb seasoning *optional
Instructions
  1. Saute olive oil and garlic for 5 minutes on low/med heat (until garlic is light brown)
  2. Add chopped peppers and onion, cover and cook on low for about 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally
  3. Add mushrooms, canned tomatoes and kale/spinach, stir and cover on low/med heat for 5 minutes
  4. Add Cod Fillet on top of all the vegetables, season and cover
  5. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low (#2 or low on your oven) and simmer on low (will still be boiling) for about 10 minutes.
  6. Cod is done when it is flakey and starts splitting apart
  7. *season to taste

Looks yummy right?

Cod recipe {easy + healthy}

You can serve with rice or linguine but we chose to eat it without the additional carbs. Someone told me that squash or veggie spaghetti is suppose to be good for healthy eating but I haven’t checked that out yet. Enjoy this delicious and easy Cod Recipe :). Be sure to check out our family favorite recipes on our kitchen page.

Cutest bedroom pillows ever

I have a secret obsession with throw pillows. Our small storage area under the basement stairs is filled with throw pillows. Our master bedroom had the cutest Christmas naughty and nice pillows so I was so excited when I saw these adorable Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right pillows at HomeGoods. Perfect bedroom pillows! Out with the Christmas pillows and in with the cute Right pillows ;).

Cutest Bedroom Pillows Ever

Need a quick bedroom refresh? Cute bedroom pillows

 

 

Aren’t they cute?  My husband saw these and his response was, “seriously, what is it you and these silly pillows lately?” -ha .

Cutest bedroom pillows ever: Mr & Mrs right and always right throw pillow

I will be sharing the master bedroom winter refresh next week. It’s amazing how much you can change up a bedroom with just a couple different throw pillows. Today is rainy here in Massachusetts so needless to say, we will be staying inside, watching a little football and enjoying some munchies. Happy Sunday!

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

Would you believe me if I told you that I have never made squash soup? For some reason, I just never made it. My friend gave me her easy butternut squash soup recipe and I couldn’t believe how simple it was. Something about winter makes me want to cook stews, soups, crockpot meals and bake. My mom is the same way. Here’s to a fun weekend and why not make a huge pot full of squash soup? You only need a few ingredients and if you are like me, you will buy the already cut up pieces of butternut squash.

Easy butternut squash soup

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

Rating 

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Easy butternut squash soup recipe that you can make in under 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of cut up butternut squash (or you can buy whole squash and cut up yourself - approx 2 squash)
  • 2 containers chicken broth
  • 1 large sweet white onion
  • 1 small container cream
  • crushed garlic
  • 1 stick butter
  • nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add stick butter, garlic, 1 onion (diced) sauté then add squash fill w chicken broth to cover squash and boil till soft. Cool. Put thru blender and add cream to liking and salt and pepper.
  2. Top with a hint of nutmeg or sprinkle cinnamon *optional

Easy butternut squash soup recipe - under 30 minutes

Feel free to serve with your favorite bread or soup crackers. This recipe made about 10 bowls of soup so we had it the next day for lunch too. This is so easy to make! I may need to make this easy butternut squash soup again for this weekend. Although we are trying to eat healthy so I may substitute the stick of butter for margarine or an equivalent. Hope you all have a great weekend and if you are looking for more quick and easy recipes, check out our family favorites on our kitchen page.

 

 

Hello 2016! Family updates

Hello 2016! It’ hard to believe that we left 2015 behind a few days ago and it’s now, 2016. Every year after Christmas, I always feel a little depressed. I personally don’t love the months of January, February and March as it’s cold and snowy here in New England. Although, my son started skiing last year and that helped get me out of the house and somewhat enjoy the snow. I actually enjoy the ski lodges and fun atmosphere. The outside, not so much.

So today marks the day of getting our butts back in gear after taking two weeks off during Christmas and New Years. My grandfather went back to work today and so far, his new insulin and meds seem to be working great. Fingers crossed it continues. The kids are back to school, my mom is back to work after a long weekend and my dad and husband, well they never stop going to work. Although, my dad did take some time off to let his hand heal after surgery a month ago. My gram, well she just wants Sam and Jason to get back together on General Hospital so hopefully that happens in 2016 for her! – ha.

hello 2016, family updates

I am headed out to a new gym this morning after being away for a few years. When I started blogging over four years ago, it took over my life and the gym went by the wayside. A friend of mine is also starting with me so it will be nice to have a workout partner. I tend to show up if I have someone waiting for me.

This year we have a few goals in mind for our house which I will share later this week and another project in the works that I will share more on if it comes to life. I have learned over the last couple years of blogging that so many things start out as a “sure thing” and then come to a screeching halt for absolutely no reason. We have had a couple of those happen and while it’s disappointing, it has taught me that when one door closes, another one eventually opens. I have learned a lot about patients and letting time go by. It’s not easy though!

Happy Monday and good luck with your new goals, ambitions and enthusiasm for 2016. Here’s to hoping we don’t get buried in snow this winter! ;).

Christmas and Gramp is back!

Just stopping in real quick to say hello and update you you on my grandfather and share a bit about Christmas. If you read last weeks post, you know my grandfather has had a rough few weeks with falls, diabetes complications and just feeling overall, crappy. I am happy to say that two days before Christmas we got him on some new insulin, which we are giving him now and his Lifeline is in working order. Gramp is back! We had some issues with the Lifeline not working so they sent us a new pendant. He went back to work today for the first time in 2 weeks and it was a success. We got him to agree to wait for my dad to leave for work (he goes to work with my dad) before he starts his day. He kiddingly says we are treating him like a kid but he knows, it’s for his own good. My husband finding him on the ground outside at 6am in the freezing cold last week was the last straw. He isn’t allowed to leave the house now unless it’s daylight and my dad is headed to work too. -ha. He loves to sweep the floors where all the large equipment stays and honestly, if he couldn’t go to work, I think he would go crazy. Literally. We had a great Christmas and all went well.

Grandfather update and Christmas 2015

My grandparents during Christmas.

Do you think they could sit next to each other?

Nope.

Grandfather update and Christmas 2015

I cooked the Feast of the Seven Fishes which is a family favorite. Even though this is a Catholic tradition (we are Protestant), we still celebrate the tradition as my husband is Catholic and grew up with his family celebrating and his mom cooking all the fishes Christmas Eve. My husband loves that the kids have the same thing he had growing up and honestly, my family loves it too. I started 8 years ago when my son was born cooking all the fishes on Christmas Eve and needless to say, our family and extended family expects it now. -ha. My mom also has prepared a large Christmas Eve dinner since I was a kid so we actually share the cooking duties. She still prepares all the traditional food (ham, turkey and fixings) and desserts. Yes, we have a ridiculous amount of food during Christmas. This was our first large gathering in our new kitchen and it was perfect.

Grandfather update and Christmas 2015

My s.daughter Gabi is such a huge help in the kitchen. This girl loves to cook and bake. She is always right there asking what she can do and really enjoys it. She made the breakfast casserole for Christmas day and was so proud ;).  Although her eyes bugged out of her head when I told her she needed to crack and mix up 24 eggs. -ha.

Grandfather update and Christmas 2015

My momma. Isn’t she cute? We are taking the next few days off to enjoy some quiet time and enjoy the school vacation. We will be back after the new year with lots of plans for 2016. Thank you so much for all the sweet comments last week about my grandfather, we always love hearing from you!

 

My grandfather – diabetes is kicking his butt + my dad surgery

Diabetes. What a pain in the butt disease. When it rains it pours….right? I don’t know why that always happens. Things have been pretty quiet here on the home front for a while and things are still pretty good but my grandfather’s diabetes has been keeping us all very busy. Remember about a month ago, I posted that he had fallen and I had found him after 3 hours of being on the floor? Well since then, we got both my grandparents Lifeline (those little buttons that they wear around their neck and detect a fall) but he has fallen again 3 times since then. His diabetes is kicking his butt and ours too! On another note, my dad had hand surgery last week for carpal tunnel so he is recovering too. Between my shoulder surgery, my dad’s surgery and my grandfather not being able to stay “upright” we are three peas in a pod -ha.

my grandfather's diabetes + my dad surgery

I found my grandfather a couple days ago in his workshop almost passed out with sugar below 35 and yesterday, my husband found him outside on the ground at 6am. It was so cold and windy so thankfully, he was only outside for under 10 minutes before we found him but his sugar was 36 and he was a mess. Long story short, we got his doctor involved and got his meds switched around and he isn’t administering his insulin anymore. About a year ago, we had to take over his pills as he wasn’t taking them properly and now it’s time for him to let us takeover his insulin. It’s not as easy as it may sound. He is/was super independent and VERY stubborn. He doesn’t like being told what to do and I don’t blame him but at this point, it’s for his own good. For those of you who are caretakers of an elderly friend or family member, you know the importance of trying to let them have as much control as possible. Once you start taking things away from them, like simple tasks such as taking your medicine, they tend to get really angry and sometimes depressed. My grandfather’s diabetes, dementia, anxiety and depression have gotten worse this past year and it’s really hard to watch. I don’t blog about it because it makes me sad to even think about it so I tend to avoid it. Sometimes I cry at night before I go to sleep just thinking about how he is now. I don’t cry for long, just a quick couple minutes. It’s really sad sometimes. Heck, I might need some meds – haha. More on living with my grandparents, diabetes, dementia, anxiety, depression and a slew of other things in 2016. It’s time to be merry and cheery as Christmas is right around the corner :).

 

 

 

 

 

Our Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015

Good morning, today we are sharing our traditional Christmas home tour. This season, we decorated a little bit at a time and didn’t get our entire home tour done early in December as we usually do.  Surgery and life got in the way. Oh well, that’s just how things go sometimes. I actually felt less stressed doing the rooms one by one instead all at once. That’s a lot of work! -ha.  We kept things pretty simple and used traditional Christmas colors throughout the house.  I have added all of our Christmas rooms from this year that we have been sharing throughout the month, here in one post. Hope you enjoy!

Family Room

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015 Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Christmas Kitchen

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 - Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 -Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 - Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry. Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 - Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Christmas Playroom / Study

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015 Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

Christmas bedroom

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers
Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Traditional Christmas Home Tour 2015 Our Red + White Christmas bedroom

So there it is, another Christmas home tour down. It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth year we have done a home tour on the blog. Heck, it’s hard to believe the blog will be 5 next summer! Where does time go? You can see our previous Christmas home tours by clicking these links, 2012, 2013 and 2014 part 1 and part 2. I am hoping to close up the “blog shop” in the next couple of days until after the new year. Looking forward to some time off. Off to get some last minute shopping done and then hit the grocery store today. We have our big Feast of the Seven fishes dinner coming up on Christmas Eve and I don’t even know what I am cooking yet! -ha.

Popcorn and Pretzel Snack Mix

I don’t know about you all but we love snack mix. Especially when it comes time to watching tv or hanging out watching a movie. Sometimes we mix a bunch of stuff from the cupboard in a big bowl and melt chocolate and spread over the top and freeze. Other times, we mix our favorite candies with pretzels and popcorn. We recently partnered with FLIPZ® Chocolate Covered Pretzels, to share how we “do” movie night and were challenged to whip up a fun, quick and easy snack using their chocolate covered pretzels.

Popcorn and Pretzel snack mix using chocolate covered pretzels, m&m's, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and popcorn

This is the easiest snack on the planet to make.

Popcorn and Pretzel snack mix using chocolate covered pretzels, m&m's, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and popcorn

Simply mix any favorite Flipz pretzel with popcorn, chocolate chips, peanuts, marshmallows and your favorite chocolate covered candies. I chose the Fliptz chocolate covered pretzels for our snack mix. I absolutely love how the chocolate covered and white fudge Flipz pretzels taste. The perfect combination of a sweet salty snack. Yum!

Popcorn and Pretzel snack mix using chocolate covered pretzels, m&m's, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and popcorn

That’s it! Serve with your favorite soft drink or hot chocolate.

Popcorn and Pretzel snack mix using chocolate covered pretzels, m&m's, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and popcorn

Doesn’t it look delicious?

Popcorn and Pretzel snack mix using chocolate covered pretzels, m&m's, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and popcorn

During the holiday season, we tend to watch a lot of family movies and it’s always extra special to have a fun snack. The kids especially love when we load up the coffee table with extra yumminess and cozy up on the couch and watch our favorite holiday shows. Be on the look-out for FLIPZ® limited edition snowflake pretzels, which are available exclusively for the holiday season. They are super cute! Be sure to get your own coupon, Click here to Save $1 on FLIPZ® Chocolate Covered Pretzels! and check out their FLIPZ® community on Facebook.

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

Visit Sponsors Site

Our 2015 Family Christmas Picture + $200 Minted Giveaway

You know when you have an idea in your head and you think, oh that would be super cute and so easy? Well, I had that idea this year for a Four Generations One Roof family Christmas picture and can I just tell you, shopping for coordinating pajama’s for nine people was a bit tough. I spent 2 hours in Kohls one afternoon with 3 shopping carts filled with different themes and I finally settled on these. My grandparents thought I was kidding when I asked them to get their new jammies on after we at Thanksgiving dinner but they quickly realized I was serious. They are not the fastest people on earth so this took a “loooooooong” time. Minted was kind enough to sponsor our Christmas cards this year and also give one lucky reader a $200 Minted credit to their online store. Keep reading, you can enter below.

Our 2015 Christmas family picture featuring black, plaid and reindeer

My grandfather thought I had absolutely lost my mind with his Santa pajamas. We all laughed at him and he kind of found himself funny too.

Our 2015 Christmas family picture featuring black, plaid and reindeer

If you are not familiar with Minted, their motto is ” We uncover design genius through ongoing design competitions. At Minted, all that matters is good design. Designers submit, and the Minted community votes to tell us what to sell.” I love that real-life people like you and me, can submit their designs and if chosen, be sold on Minted through unique, high quality stationary, cards, wall art and more. I am so excited because this year, I created custom wrapping paper for each of us. Wait until everyone sees their gifts with their names all over them!

minted 2minted 3

You can also create a custom party design full of banners, confetti, signs, table runners and more. I LOVE this site. Their quality is amazing. I also created these two custom party packages for our Christmas Eve and day celebrations.

minted1

Are you ready to enter to win a $200 Minted Giveaway?

Enter below via the rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. A new winner will be drawn after 48 hours.

Not many can say they live with four generations under one roof and I feel so fortunate, especially during the holidays, that I do. We are going on eight years living together and it’s been a wild and crazy ride. We are looking forward to a healthy and happy 2016. Minted has been gracious enough to offer a $200 giveaway for one lucky reader. Our Christmas cards are absolutely gorgeous from Minted and we couldn’t be happier. Good luck!

Our Red + White Christmas Bedroom 2015

Happy Sunday! My arm has been feeling a little better so I decided to put a little tree in our bedroom.  I have never decorated our bedroom for Christmas but this year, I decided it was time. I have always wanted a Christmas bedroom full festive bedding and cute holiday pillows. Something about flannel sheets make going to bed some much better. -ha. It is so nice and cozy having a tiny tree in the bedroom and lite up at night. What a cozy and warm feeling. Do any of you ever decorate your bedroom for the holidays? Last year, I helped my mom create a festive holiday look in her bedroom and it turned out so pretty (I think so anyway) and this year, she did the same thing. You can see my parents Christmas master bedroom here. 

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom

I found the black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet set and adorable naughty and nice throw pillows all at HomeGoods.

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

I sleep on the “nice” side. -ha.  My husband came home from work after I had washed everything and put the bedding on and said, “why do I have the naughty pillow?”

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

He quickly figured out that you can turn the pillow around and it says “nice.”

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Reversible naughty and nice pillows, isn’t that fun?

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Our Red + White Christmas bedroom featuring black and white polka dot flannel sheets, red velvet blanket, red and white diamond coverlet and black gingham checkered pillow covers

Be sure to check out the rest of our holiday home for this year too,

Our Christmas kitchen

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas family room

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Our Christmas playroom / study

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

So there you have it, a cozy Christmas bedroom. When I was creating this look in the store, it was based around the holiday coverlet. The coverlet had red and white diamonds so I knew I needed a printed sheet that would coordinate and the black and white polka dots ended up being perfect. White or red sheets would look good too but I took a chance and mixed two patterns. I get a little nervous sometimes mixing patterns but this worked out. I ended up grabbing a set of standard black gingham checkered pillow cases too because checkers and dots always go together so I figured, why not give it a try right? What’s the worst thing that can happen, it looks horrible and you return it right? No harm in trying to mix and match in my book. You never know unless you try :).

 

Fun Holiday Coffee Drink

Do you guys love coffee? Like, reeeeeeaaaallly love it? We are addicted to coffee in our house and I am the biggest culprit. That first morning cup is the absolute best. We have a little coffee station set up on our counter that is functional and kind of looks cute too. We also love to setup a fun coffee and hot chocolate bar when we entertain. Today, I wanted to share this quick and easy holiday coffee drink.  Have you ever tried whipped cream on your coffee? Oh my, it’s delicious! Partnering with Folgers®Coffee for the holidays was a no brainer. I had no idea the variety of coffee flavors they offered. Everything from Mocha Swirl K-cup® Pods to Sugar Cookie flavors.

Fun holiday coffee bar

For our upcoming holiday festivities, we will most certainly have a table setup full of Italian pastries, muffins and a variety of sweet treats. What goes best with delicious biscotti? A cup of coffee of course -ha. I picked up these glass Irish mugs a while ago at Homegoods and what a good find! They are perfect for a coffee bar. My grandparents literally have loved Folgers my entire life. My grandfather still insists on instant coffee on occasion. He has since upgraded to the Folgers K-cups® Pods. He loves my machine :). I can remember as a kid, my gram would save the old glass Folgers® jars and use them for storing sewing items.

Fun holiday coffee bar

I prefer the Breakfast Blend as it’s a lighter brew but the men in the family like the Dark Roast. I absolutely love their Mocha Swirl flavor and I love to top it off with chocolate whipped cream and a few shaved pieces of chocolate. This is such an easy quick way to serve gourmet coffee that didn’t take forever to make. Plus, it comes in a K-cup® Pod version which makes life easy.

Fun holiday coffee bar

What do you think, incorporating a gourmet coffee bar for the holiday festivities sound kind of fun, right? We love making fun holiday coffee drinks. These Irish glass coffee mugs from HomeGoods are perfect for pretty coffee drinks.

Fun holiday coffee bar

Taste of Home and Folgers are having a fun gingerbread contest going on and they would love for you to head over and vote. Last year was the first time I hosted a gingerbread house party with the kids and I must say, a house full of eight year olds was enough to make my brain freeze but they had so much fun. Be sure to head over to Gingerbread BLVD to pick your favorite!

 

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

Ornaments – 10 Minute Christmas Decorating Idea

Just stopping in real quick to share the easiest 10 minute Christmas decorating idea on the planet. I am joining Laura’s 10-minute series along with a group of other bloggers and my idea, fill a bowl or dish with ornaments! Yep. That’s it. For this particular vignette in our family room, I stacked ornaments on a small cake dish that I found at HomeGoods.

Fill a bowl or dish with ornaments - 10 minute Christmas decorating idea

Doesn’t it look cute?

Fill a bowl or dish with ornaments - 10 minute Christmas decorating idea

I had a little fun playing with my camera settings when I took this picture. I learned it from Kate over at Centsational Girl and I literally jumped for joy when I got the picture to come out with heart shaped lights in the background. Although some of them looking like butterflies or birds flying. – ha.

Fill a bowl or dish with ornaments - 10 minute Christmas decorating idea

Take a look around your house and if you feel like your mantel or tabletop is missing something, try adding a bowl, dish, vase or basket filled with ornaments.

quick-easy-ten-minute-christmas-decorating-ideas_

Super easy!

Finding Home Farms

Miss Mustard Seed

ornaments-10-minute-christmas

Inspired By Charm

Fill a bowl or dish with ornaments - 10 minute Christmas decorating idea Cookie Cutter

Thistlewood Farms

twig and boxwood Christmas mantel

Julie Blanner

Dream Green DIY

10-Minute-Doodle-Gifts-300-PIXELS

Be sure to head over and check out these other gorgeous 10 minute Christmas decorating ideas. Christmas decorating doesn’t need to take hours. Simple little touches can add a big impact.

 

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Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston {Lands’ End Pop Up Store}

If you have been shopping in Boston during the holiday season, you know the malls, streets and shopping areas are lite up like a Christmas tree and simply gorgeous.  I had the pleasure of working with Lands’ End recently where I visited their pop up store at Copley Place in Boston.  Lands’ End opened two pop up stores this year for the first time, one in NYC and one in Boston. What’s a pop up store? I wasn’t sure at first either but it’s basically a store in the mall, just like any other store except better – ha. Everything is tailored towards the holiday from personalized monograms to a cozy sitting area near a fireplace decked out with gorgeous stockings.  So lets do some holiday shopping shall we?

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This location features 3,000 square feet of selling space and is stocked with the brand’s favorite holiday gifts for everyone in the family. The store has fabulous handpicked merchandise from the brand across the categories of men’s, women’s, children’s, home, and holiday gifts. Monogramming is available on-site for items such as Christmas stockings, sweaters, shirts, and much more.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

The store was beautifully decorated and so festive.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

The most adorable holiday clothes for children that all matched and coordinated with each other. If you are not familiar with Lands’ End, their quality is amazing.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

I ended up picking out a few sweaters and flannel shirts for my husband and dad for Christmas. They are going to love them!

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store-13

One of my favorite things, pajamas. Flannel pajamas. – ha.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store-14

I could have spent hours perusing the ladies holiday clothing ensembles. Absolutely gorgeous!

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

Everything was coordinated for everyday holiday casual wear to festive evening cocktail parties.  Whether you are looking to step up your game at the office, heading for a weekend getaway or planning to attend a holiday party, Lands’ End has you covered. I found so many items that I wanted myself. Yes, I did buy a flannel or two for myself ;).

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

This was one of my favorite sections. The pet section! Oh my, the beds and jacket/blankets are perfect for your pooch.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

Extra special stocking stuffers.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store-17

Complimentary monogramming.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

Needless to say, I bought quite a bit along with a custom monogrammed “I love Boston” canvas bag.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

Check this out, the Lands’ End coat drive.

Holiday Shopping Copley Place Boston Lands' End Pop Up Store

I love that they have partnered to help kids have a coat. Every kid deserves a coat and I love that they are offering an incentive to help increase the donations. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about what is important and donating a coat is something that many of us can do. Holiday shopping is so much fun and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit this beautiful store. Be sure to stop by either the NYC or the Boston Lands’ End pop up store and donate a coat and browse their holiday merchandise. You will be glad you did!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Lands’ End and I was compensated. All opinions and words are 100% my own. This place is fabulous!

Our Rustic Red Christmas Playroom / Study 2015

This time of year is so much fun to peruse the internet looking at all of the gorgeous Christmas home tours and beautiful inspiration. Today I wanted to share our playroom / study where we decided a rustic red Christmas theme would be cute. The only new item purchased for this room was the fabulous oversized sign hanging on the fireplace mantel. Isn’t it cool? I couldn’t pass this sign up. I found it in Nordstroms a couple weeks ago and fell in love. I originally planned on putting it on top of the mantel and removing the mirror but after looking at it leaning against the mirror for a few days, I decided to try and hang it from the molding under the mantel. I used tiny finish nails and just tapped them in until they were secure. Then I hung the sign right on top of the nails. So simple!

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

We decided to put a real tree in this room and decorate it with the homemade ornaments from years past.

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

Mixed with a flannel plaid ribbon and red ornaments from HomeGoods, the family ornaments look fabulous.

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

Some of my favorite ornaments are from when the kids were little and they made special gift ornaments for Christmas. So cute!

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

These pillows were all left over from last years Christmas family room.

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

The nordic throw is from Homegoods and coordinates perfectly.

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

I remember when I bought this Santa sleigh almost 10 years ago in a tiny shop on vacation. I filled a basket full of greens and placed the sleigh inside. Kind of cute, right?

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

Rustic Red Christmas Playroom - Study 2015

For more Christmas inspiration, be sure to check out:

Our red + white Christmas family room:

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Our Christmas kitchen:

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

We hope you enjoyed our rustic red Christmas playroom. Are you enjoying the Christmas season so far? How do you decorate your home? It’s hard to believe that this is our fourth year taking pictures of our home and sharing them here on the blog. Prior to blogging, we just decorated and didn’t share with anyone – ha. It was what is was and that was it.Stay tuned for more fun Christmas surprises. We have a few more things up our sleeves to share. My mom created an amazing 30 foot Christmas shelf in her family room. You can also find our Christmas home tours from years past by clicking, 2012 Christmas home tour, 2013 Christmas home tour and 2014 (part 1) and (part 2) Christmas home tour.

*note this post contains affiliate links*

Our Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Our Christmas family room is full of red and white this year. We used our flocked tree from a couple of years ago and added red velvet ribbon and red ornaments. Topped with a red and white Santa hat, the tree is complete. We are decorating very minimally this year. Super easy and simple. Sometimes, less is more. I absolutely love the red and white together. So not much writing today, just a bunch of pretty pictures to share.

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Griswold Snowflake Fair Isle Blanket / Birch Lane

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Green Reindeer Pillow / Birch Lane : White Fur Pillows / HomeGoods

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Chalkboard Christmas Tree / Birch Lane

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Ski Pillow / Birch Lane

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

The red ornaments, ribbon, gift bags and wrapping paper are all from HomeGoods. I love how the red, brown paper and gold dot bags coordinate together.

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

White Flocked Christmas Tree / Wayfair

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Gold + Green Holly Berry Wreath / Birch Lane

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Poinsettia plants are the perfect centerpiece for a table top. Although if you have animals, be sure to get a faux plant as poinsettias are poisonous to animals. The gold tray is from HomeGoods.

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

Hallee Tree Skirt / Birch Lane

Red + White Christmas Family Room 2015

For more Christmas inspiration, be sure to check out our Christmas kitchen that we shared last week.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

There you have it, our red + white Christmas family room. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Be sure to check out our 2012, 2013 and 2014 (part 1 & part 2) Christmas home tours as well.

Family updates “what’s going on around here”

Happy Saturday! Just stopping in real quick to share some family updates and what has been going on around here. December traditionally starts to get a little chilly here but we have been lucky, we’ve had a few nice days above 50 degrees. I hope that doesn’t mean we are in for a horrible winter though, like last year. I can’t handle another 100+ inches of snow. So what’s been going on around here? My grandmother is insisting on her tiny tree again this year for their TV room. Last year I setup a 2′ tree and she thought it was the best thing ever. They don’t have a lot of space for a larger tree so I will be helping her decorate her itty bitty tree this weekend. I think she will like something decorated like this dwarf boxwood tree in our kitchen.

December 5 boxwood tree: family updates: multigenerational living December 2015

My grandfather posed with his kitty Sophie this week for a newspaper article featuring Sophie’s long journey in a kennel and how she has now found her forever home. So sweet! We can’t wait to see the article.

family updates: multigenerational living December 2015

My shoulder is healing and I am on my 6th week of physical therapy. I don’t know how anyone would recover from shoulder surgery without physical therapy. It’s so expensive though, thankfully we have health insurance but for those who don’t, I can’t imagine paying out of pocket for it. Although, our deductible is huge so we essentially pay of pocket until that is met. My mom has been working with a few different insurance companies for my grandparents, trying to find the most affordable senior option and plan that is conducive to their needs. Ugh. Health insurance is a topic for another day!

These guys, they are loving the rug in front of our barn doors we recently installed in the kitchen. I shared this on our instagram page and it was a hit. Do you follow us on instagram? Click here to follow and check out what goes on during the week in our house.

family updates: multigenerational living December 2015

We headed to the tree farm last week with the kids to pick out a Christmas tree and I think the highlight was the homemade donuts. It’s so much fun during the holidays visiting tree farms and browsing through their gift shops and enjoying the holiday cheer.

family updates: multigenerational living December 2015

Our town has a full day of holiday parties, events and fun things to do all over the town today which we will be heading to soon. They have a trolley that takes you all over town from 10am-4pm visiting local sites all decked out for the holidays and then later, the town tree lighting and Christmas caroling. My mom is cooking a huge dinner tonight so we are definitely looking forward to that! Happy weekend!

 

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015

It was kind of fun decorating our new kitchen this past weekend. We are not quite finished with the renovation, we still have the mudroom wall to complete, but we are well on our way. Sometimes I sit in this kitchen and just reflect back to when I was a kid and try to envision the wall still there along with the old dark cabinets. It’s such an amazing difference. It’s hard to believe we are in the same house sometimes. We kept the Christmas kitchen decor to a minimum in an effort to create a casual elegant space, plus my shoulder is still really sore from surgery so minimal is the theme this year ;). I am so thankful to Masterbrand for partnering on our new kitchen. You can read all about our new kitchen and see the full reveal here.

The new barn doors from Masonite are gorgeous featuring hanging boxwood wreaths hung with red velvet ribbon. We decided that a simple striped hand towels from HomeGoods and red accents would coordinate perfectly.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

The beautiful geometric rug and braided pouf are from Dash & Albert. I love the red lines in the rug, perfect for the holiday season.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

A dish filled with red bulbs from HomeGoods serves as an easy and simple centerpiece.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

I love hanging wreaths inside on the windows.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

You can see a tiny piece of the mudroom wall on the right peeking in. It’s not fully complete yet so once the holidays are over, we will finish up that project. I used red velvet ribbon from HomeGoods to hang the wreaths. By tapping a small finish nail (to the ribbon) to the door, I was able to hang the wreaths.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

Isn’t the boxwood tree adorable on the island? I found that at our local tree farm and scoffed it right up.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

I played around with a couple different centerpieces on the island, I think I like the dish full of red bulbs the best.

Our Christmas Kitchen 2015: boxwood wreaths, red velvet ribbon, boxwood Christmas tree, red striped hand towel, greens and holly berry.

There you have it, our Christmas kitchen for 2015. This is the first year since I started blogging a little over 4 year ago that I didn’t join a Christmas home tour with a group of bloggers. Feels a little strange flying solo this year – ha. My shoulder surgery a few weeks ago has limited me so I opted out this year from all the blogger Christmas festivities. We certainly will not be decorating 7 trees and taking thousands of pictures but we will be sharing more of our decorated home over the next couple weeks.

If you would like to see our previous years Christmas home tours, check out 2012, 2013 and 2014 (part 1) & 2014 (part 2). Also, being that today is Cyber Monday, check out our holiday gift guide for a teenage girl, it’s full of trendy and designer goodies.

 

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Teenage Girl

As many of you know, I have two step-daughters who are 15 years old and they want everything under the sun for Christmas. They have great taste, in fact, I would like some of the things on their list. This year, I asked them save me links of things they loved and today, I am sharing it with you plus a few more items that I think a teenage girl would love. A holiday gift guide is something new we are trying out this year on the blog, so hopefully you like them. I have provided links for all the products and they are affiliate links so if choose to buy from my link, I may earn a few pennies so thank you in advance!

Happy Shopping!

2015 Holiday gift guide teenage girl

Layla Rose Headphones

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: layla rose headphones / nordsroms

Lululemon headband

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: lululemon headband

 CHI Hair Straightener

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:CHI hair straightener

Iphone 6S case

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:

Divergent Book Series

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: divergent series

Beauty Blender

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:beauty blender

Sperry Boot

 Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:Sperry boot

One Direction Perfume

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: One Direction Perfume

Ipad Mini 4 cover/case

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:ipad mini 4 cover

IPad Mini 4 16gb

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:

Beats Solo 2 headphones

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:overear-solo2-white-standard-side-O

NorthFace Denali Jacket 

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:northface womens denali jacket

Lash Stash

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: lashstash

UGG Dakota Mocassins

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:Ugg Suede Dakota Mocassins

MAC lip gloss

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015:mac mineralize lip gloss

Nail Set

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: nail set

Vera Bradley Weekender Bag

Teenage Girl Holiday Gift Guide 2015: vera bradley weekender bag

Well there you have it, a teenage girls dream Christmas list – ha. I kid you not, I would love most of this stuff, minus the One Direction Perfume. Stay tuned, we will be sharing a few other holiday gift guides over the next week or so, specifically for grandparents, gifts for men and me!

Our DIY Sliding Barn Doors {tutorial}

I am sure many of you have often wondered what barn doors would look like in your home. I absolutely LOVE barn doors. They are perfect for covering a book case, adding character and charm to a room, hiding a TV that is mounted on the wall or simply just as a decoration. Yes, you can hang a barn door on just about any wall for no reason other than, adding character to a space. Last week I shared our built-in wall in our new kitchen and announced we were adding barn doors compliments of Masonite. Well today, I am here with the super easy tutorial! Oh my. These DIY sliding barn doors are amazing and so easy to install.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

 I strongly recommend having someone help you. I had shoulder surgery right before we installed these so I was useless, in fact, I could barely take pictures – ha. The doors are a bit bulky and somewhat heavy so two people will make life easier when it comes to installation. Also, many of these pictures were taken at night so the lighting and picture quality isn’t that great. So I apolize in advance ;).

Lets get started.

We needed to enclose the top of our built-in with a 2×10 in order to have a solid surface to mount the door hardware to. We cut 2×10’s to create cleats on either end of the unit as well as in the middle for extra support. The barn door kit comes with a support backboard if you are simply mounting the doors to a wall. We didn’t use the backboard they provided, we needed to do a little work first in order to create a structurally sound area for mounting. If you choose to use the backboard they provide, simply screw it to your wall but make sure it’s attached to the studs to ensure proper support.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Next we added the long 2×10 and fastened it to the cleats.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Next we added a 1″ piece of primed pine cut to size on top of the 2×10 board to create a finished look.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Next, we fastened the black track supplied in the kit to our backboard.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Use the bolts and screws they provide.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Easy peasy.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Keep in mind, we installed two barn doors which consists of two different kits. The picture above is of the two tracks joining together in the middle. They just touch each other. Be sure to install the “door stops” before hanging the doors, otherwise, your doors will roll right off!

Next, fasten the roller to the door.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Very simple but it’s good to have a second person helping you by holding the door.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Next, hang your door.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Once the door is hung, you can adjust the door stop with the allen wrench provided in the kit.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

That’s it! Fastening the track to the wall and hardware to the doors took under 30 minutes. You finally can have a barn door that doesn’t take forever to install and won’t break the bank!

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Aren’t they gorgeous? The doors come all set ready to paint or stain but we decided to leave the pine natural for the time being. I absolutely love the warmth of the natural wood and they look amazing in the new kitchen. 

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

The beautiful geometric rug and braided pouf are compliments of Dash & Albert and they coordinate beautifully with the doors. Our mudroom wall is being installed soon which is right near these doors and this little pouf gets a lot of use by my son as he puts on his shoes ;).

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Some of the features that I love about this barn door are it’s made with quality wood, thick premium wood veneers and it’s all ready to be painted or stained. You can customize this door which ever way you want! One of the best features is the fact that the door has the holes for the hardware already pre drilled. That is huge in my book. The hardware is included so everything fits like a glove! There is some assembly involved regarding the hardware but all in all, it’s fairly simple.

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

Here is a sneak peek of what’s inside. Stay tuned, a kitchen organization project and shelving after the holidays will take place behind these doors!

DIY sliding barn doors by Masonite. Easy to install kit which includes all rolling door hardware.

You can find these doors at select Home Depot stores and online. There are two designs available, this Z-Bar Knotty Alder Interior door  or if you prefer a more modern, contemporary look, check out their West End Melrose barn door. I am sure that so many of you are excited to finally have access to a reasonably priced DIY barn door kit. So there are no excuses now, head to your local Home Depot store this weekend or order online a new barn door for your home! See these doors in our newly renovated kitchen!

Disclosure: Masonite provided the doors complimentary. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

 

10 Minute – Christmas Tablescape with Greens

Hey friends! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we go out to a nice restaurant and enjoy a couple hours together. I am looking forward to a nice day of rest and relaxation with family. Today, I wanted to share our quick 10 minute Christmas tablescape centerpiece. I am joining Laura’s 10 minute series this month and thought this would be perfect! I started decorating for Christmas a couple weeks ago. This year, because of the shoulder surgery I had last month, I am really cutting back this year on the decorating. My arm is healing but there is no way I can decorate six Christmas trees like last year – ha.

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

I decided to use a plaid throw blanket from HomeGoods as my tablecloth and added greens, berries and faux Christmas trees to anchor the greens. Coordinated with a couple candles, and presto, you have a cute Christmas centerpiece.

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

This took under 10 minutes to create.

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

I plan on sharing the rest of the dining room over the next couple weeks.

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

Candles are always my go-to decorating item.

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

Be sure to head over and check out Laura and Carrie’s 10 minute Christmas decorating idea. I absolutely love the Laura’s snow globe did and Carrie’s gift tags!

Dream Green DIY

10 MINUTE - Christmas tablescape with greens

Finding Home Farms

Christmas-vintage-Container-centerpiece

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and we will be back Friday sharing more Christmas decorating ideas along with a few fun holiday recipes. I am hoping to get my grandparents and parents to join our holiday picture wearing festive fun pajamas but that idea isn’t going over well at the moment – ha. Wish me luck, I have a couple days to convince them!

UPDATE: The Christmas PJ’s happened! Stay tuned, will be sharing our Christmas family pictures next week ;).

 

DIY Sliding Barn Doors {our kitchen renovation}

We are back with a super cool project that I think many of you will love. DIY sliding barn doors. But more importantly, they slide! Like for real. Do you know how long I have wanted sliding barn doors? Forever. The hardware was always so expensive and it just seemed like such a huge project. BUT now, you can get an affordable barn door with the sliding door hardware included. I am not kidding. If you have been following us for a while, you know that we made a pair of barn doors a few years ago (one of our first blog projects) to cover an opening of a bookcase in a room that was right off of our garage. Well that room is now part of our new kitchen and we really wanted full length, floor to ceiling barn doors on a rolling track. Yep, We are installing new barn doors with gorgeous functional hardware.  You may remember a couple months ago, I shared Masonite’s new Vista Grand patio doors with you and while luck would have it, they just came out with a DIY Barn Door kit that is now available in select Home Depot stores and online. The folks at Masonite asked if we would have a place for barn doors in our home and of course, we said yes. I’ll tell you what, their timing couldn’t have been any better. I knew just the place for them, our new kitchen.

Here are the doors that we made a few years ago.

Sliding Barn Doors {new project}

Here is what’s behind the doors now.

DIY sliding barn doors

Here is the wall with the doors off and the bookcase being emptied for construction.

DIY sliding barn doors

We decided to enclose the top (the 2×10 on the floor will accomplish that) in order to create a space for the sliding door hardware. For those of you who are not familiar with Masonite, let me introduce you. The Masonite International Corporation is a leading global designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors. They have everything you need and more. I ended up going to meet the local representative for the company a few weeks ago at a showroom near our home and wow, their interior and exterior doors are gorgeous with a door for every budget. I love that! We chose a set of the Z-Bar Knotty Alder Interior Barn Door Slab with Sliding Door Hardware for our project but they also have modern version as well, the West End Melrose barn door. Stay tuned, I will be sharing the tutorial in a few days! *update: see full reveal here.

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