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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

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


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!


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!

The Christmas Edition – ISPYDesignSeries

We are so excited for Christmas! We have partnered with a fabulous group of bloggers to share a little Holiday Cheer each Sunday here on the blog and on instagram! Instagram? Yes, Instagram! The series is part of Shauna’s “ISPYDESIGN Series” that she held on instagram this past summer and from the looks of it, everyone loved it. So this time around, the ISPYDESIGN series is taking on Christmas. Yay! Each Sunday we will announce the theme here on the blog and you can enter over on instagram using the hashtag #ispydesignseries.

*The best part, we will be giving away a $150 gift card to Pottery Barn at the end of the series to one lucky fan.*

THe Christmas Edition - ISPYDesignSeries

This weeks theme is Sweet Memory from your holiday Past

We have partnered with these 6 other rockstars and you will absolutely love them!

Their homes are to die for.

I kid you not. 

Shauna at The House of Silver Lining

Shauna Christmas tree

Haneen at Haneen’s Haven

THe Christmas Edition - ISPYDesignSeries

Erin at SunnySideUp


Brittany at Addison Wonderland

Erin ISPY christmas pic


*Bree is an interior designer with an amazing instagram account. Isn’t her son, from her Christmas past, adorable?

THe Christmas Edition - ISPYDesignSeries


*Like Bree, Debbie shares her “all things” decorating on her instagram account.

Her daughter checking out her gift is priceless!

THe Christmas Edition - ISPYDesignSeries

I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favorite pictures from our Christmas past, our Garth in front of our tree last year. You can see more of this room and last years Christmas Home Tour here.

Gorgeous Christmas Home Tour

One of the things I love about this party is all of you who don’t have blogs, can play along over on instagram. So much fun!

Here is how you play along:

*Make sure you are following all 7 accounts ​on instagram ​for a chance to be featured! @addisonswonderland @blountdesigns @interiorsbyzdesign  @haneens_haven @erin_sunnysideup @fourgenerationsoneroof @thehouseofsilverlining
*Every Sunday for the next 4 weeks, we will announce a new theme for the week.
*Post a new photo with #ISpyDesignSeries and TAG as many friends as you think may want to play along!
*You have until Tuesday 8:00 p.m. (EST) to post your photos.

The winner of the week will be announced every Wednesday and will be featured on all 7 of our accounts that day!

So lets get this party started!

Head over to my instagram account and enter now!​

​The Holiday Edition – ISPYDesignseries has officially started for 2015:)

Crockpot Hamburger Casserole {comfort food}

We are in comfort food mode these past couple weeks and this crockpot hamburger casserole did not disappoint. Do you ever have those days where you don’t feel like going to the market but need to make dinner? I have those moments all the time. This time, I had hamburger, broccoli, corn and rice on hand so I decided to throw it all in the crockpot with a container of vegetable broth and a bit of shredded cheese.

Hamburger casserole crockpot comfort food

It came out so good!

crockpot hamburger casserole

Casseroles never are easy to photograph as many times, they look like mush. That’s what my son said about this casserole.

“Mom, it looks like mush.”

I said, “I know, but it’s going to taste delicious.”


Crockpot Hamburger Casserole

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • 1 lb ground beef (lean)
  • 6 peeled carrots
  • 1 32 oz. container of vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 cups wild rice (or white or brown)
  • 1 package frozen broccoli
  • Salt, Pepper, Onion and Garlic powder (1 tsp each) *add more if you prefer more
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Season ground beef and mix together
  2. Add carrots to bottom of crockpot
  3. Cover carrots with broth (about 2 cups)
  4. Sprinkle rice over the top of carrots
  5. Add beef in pieces, covering rice
  6. Add Broccoli to top
  7. Pour 1 cup broth over broccoli
  8. Top with shredded cheese
  9. Cook for 3.5 hours on high or until carrots are soft (a fork goes through easily)
  10. NOTE: you may need to add another cup of broth at the 2 hour mark to moisten rice and beef

This is such a simple recipe and perfect for a cool fall day.

crockpot hamburger casserole

Be sure to check out our kitchen page for more delicious family recipes. Crockpot hamburger casserole may seem like a mish mash of items but it’s really yummy all cooked together!


Easy Asian Chicken and Noodles dinner

Do you ever have those nights when you are running around and don’t have much time to prepare a meal? We have those nights often. Many times my husband gets home from work after seven at night and by then, he is starving. During the school week, my son many times, will eat earlier with my parents or grandparents and I’ll wait to eat with my husband later if I am finishing up work or driving to sport events. To celebrate Wok Wednesday, we were asked by P.F. Chang”s if  wanted to try the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu. Their home menu is full of flavorful dishes of an exceptional Asian dining experience, in the comfort of your own home. I had never tried their home menu before and I am glad we did. This is a quick and easy meal that tastes delicious.

Easy Asian Chicken Noodles dinner

Simply add the ingredients in the bag to a skillet and that’s it.

Easy Asian Chicken Noodles dinner

Their meals are far from ordinary frozen dinners, the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu uses authentic Asian ingredients and cooking techniques, designed by P.F. Chang’s founder Philip Chiang himself.

Easy Asian Chicken Noodles dinner

I must say, they are really good! There is a variety of meals to choose from and you can find them in the frozen isle of your local grocery store nationwide. Everything from quality cuts of beef, white meat chicken breast or succulent shrimp paired with crisp colorful vegetables, tender noodles, and full-flavored sauces, the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu is infused with delicious flavors and bold aromas. My chicken dinner that I tried smelled really good ;). 

Easy Asian Chicken Noodles dinner

So why not break up the week and give one of their meal or appetizer selections a try? You can even enter to win your own. Head over to Wok Wednesday and enter to win a Wok Wednesday kit. The Wok Kit includes: branded woks, chopsticks, tableware etc. To enter, you must leave a comment sharing your #WokWednesday celebration ideas. What would you do on #WokWednesday? So head over now and check it out! Good luck!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu. All opinions are 100% mine

Visit Sponsors Site

How to make a quick meat & cheese platter

Can you believe the holidays are fast approaching? I can’t even believe it. I wanted to share how to make a quick meat and cheese platter today compliments of Dietz & Watson. We recently partnered with them to share with you their variety of deli meats, cheeses and condiments. This was a no brainer for us. We already buy their deli meats and cheeses and love them. One of quick appetizer idea that is always a hit in our house during the holidays is a meat and cheese platter.

how to make a meat and cheese platter loaded with roast beef, ham, turkey, apples, grapes, tomatoes and specialty cheeses.

Doesn’t it look delicious?

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

Dietz & Watson is a 4th generation family owned and operated company since the beginning some 75+ years ago. Of course, we love this because we are four generations living under one roof ;). Anything multigenerational is a plus as far as we are concerned.  You can find Dietz & Watson products in your deli department and have them freshly sliced or simply grab the pre-packaged version. You will also find their specialty mustards, horseradish sauce and more in the deli department.

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

For this platter I chose black forest smoked turkey breast, virginia ham, london broil roast beef, provolone cheese and cheddar horseradish cheese, all from Dietz & Watson.

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

We always roll a bunch of cheeses and meats and have either french or sourdough bread available in case someone wants to make a sandwich.

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

Another fun idea to add to the platter are ham and cheese rolled apples. Simply slice up an apple and wrap smoked or honey ham around the apple and slide in a piece of cheddar or provolone . These are so yummy!

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

We love adding a gourmet touch to our platters. Another trick is to create kabob sticks.

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

Try pairing small salad tomatoes, red seedless grapes and a thinly sliced piece of cucumber to the kabob.

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

This meat and cheese platter took about 20 minutes to make and you will be surprised when you serve this to your guests, they will think you paid to have it made!

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses

This is one of the easiest appetizers to make. You can’t mess this up!

how to make a meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses


Hosting guests can be stressful so we always try to make things easy.  Whether you are a seasoned host or hostess or this is your first holiday dinner party, you can’t go wrong with creating a delicious meat and cheese platter filled with premium meats and cheeses from Dietz & Watson.

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

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

Free Christmas Printable {Ho Ho Ho}

Ho Ho Ho! Today I am sharing 19 free Christmas printables with you as part of Kristen’s holiday blog hop. You can add a printable to just about any Christmas vignette, tabletop or even food. In September, we created a cute framed autumn printable which coordinated nicely with a fall wreath on our shelf in our family room. This month, we decided to use the top of a small bureau to create a fun Santa and hot cocoa scene featuring a “Ho Ho Ho” printable.

Free Christmas Printable {ho ho ho}

You can print off your own HO HO HO printable here.

Free Christmas printable {ho ho ho}

Simply print off on white card stock, cut out the letters, punch a hole in the top middle and string together with festive ribbon. That’s it!

Free Christmas Printable {ho ho ho}

Now for the fun part, you can also print off 18 other fabulous printables by checking out these other bloggers. I can’t wait to print off a bunch of these!

19 Free Christmas Printables - Christmas Printable Ho Ho Ho

Chalkboard Christmas Tags by A Burst of Beautiful
Ho Ho Ho Banner by Four Generations One Roof
All is Merry and Bright by Chronicles of Home
Watercolor Christmas Printable by Craftberry Bush
Hot Cocoa by My Sweet Savannah
It’s a Marshmallow World by Clean and Scentsible
Merry Christmas Banner by Ella Claire
Plaid Merry Banner by Making Home Base
Christmas Countdown Conversation Cards by TIDBITS
Smiling’s My Favorite Pillow by Just Destiny
Christmas Advent Tags by Finding Home
A Stag Painting Postcard by Shades of Blue Interiors
Free Printable Vintage Tree Farm Sign by Everyday Enchanting
~Soup’s On ~ by My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
There’s No Place Like Home Gingerbread House by Eclectically Vintage
A Child is Born by Town and Country Living
NOEL Banner by AKA Design
Holly Watercolor by Finding Silver Pennies
Merry Happy Jolly Cheers by Nest of Posies

We hope you enjoy all of these free Christmas printables. It’s such a fun way to add a personal touch to your Christmas decor, treats or gifts.

Healthy Gluten Free Banana Muffins {no sugar added}

We made some yummy banana muffins last week and today, we are sharing this gluten free and no sugar added recipe with you. My dad, grandfather and husband are all diabetic so when we can, we try to bake as healthy as possible. There are a few muffins with chocolate chips for those of us who need to satisfy our sweet tooth, me included.

Healthy banana muffins gluten free no sugar added

Cooking without sugar poses many challenges, one being that sucralose upsets my stomach so I am always trying to find sugar substitutes with minimal artificial sweetener. Because of the diabetics in my family, cooking and baking with minimal sugar is tough. Some of you also know that I try to eat gluten free when possible as my stomach is a bit sensitive.  I found this recipe online and instead of using honey, I used sugar free maple syrup. Sugar free maple syrup does have artificial flavoring (sorbitol) but in small doses, my stomach can handle it.

gluten free banana muffins no sugar added

Healthy Gluten Free Banana Muffins {no sugar added}
  • 1½ cup gluten free baking mix (I used King Arthur all purpose baking mix)
  • 3 bananas (ripe)
  • ½ cup greek yogurt (plain - I used Fage 0%)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond milk unsweetened
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup no sugar added syrup (I used Cary's)
  1. mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with spoon
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix (beat) until smooth (about a minute)
  3. Grease 12 muffin tins and fill tins ¾ full with mixture
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Use a toothpick or knife to test center of muffin. They are done when toothpick is clean when removed.

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

gluten free banana muffins no sugar added

Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream which I have used in previous banana bread recipes. Greek yogurt is so much healthier and it keeps the muffins nice and moist. These gluten free no sugar added banana muffins only lasted 4 hours. They were a hit! Be sure to check out our kitchen for more delicious baked treats and meal ideas.

Easy Pumpkin Bread from HomeGoods

Something about fall makes us want to cook and bake in our home. I think my grandmother has made 6 different cookies and cakes in the last couple weeks. Growing up as a kid, she made every meal from scratch and always had a homemade dessert. I know, dessert every night isn’t healthy but my grandparents don’t care. My grandfather says, “I made it to 86 years old eating whatever I want so why would I stop now?” He has a point. Anyway, last week we made this delicious pumpkin bread from a mix that I bought at HomeGoods.

Pumpkin Bread for the holidays

Easy Pumpkin Bread from HomeGoods

Yep, HomeGoods has an amazing selection of pre-mixed bread and cookie mixes right now for the upcoming holidays.

Easy Pumpkin Bread from HomeGoods

As many of you know, I am a blogger for the Design Happy blog over at HomeGoods and today, I am sharing this fun recipe and more details about their seasonal food inspiration. HomeGoods seriously has everything for your home. I love the food lines that they are bringing in and especially the fun seasonal premixed items like these pumpkin bread mixes. Head over now and check out the rest of the post and see all the new stuff they have!

Crockpot Beef Stew with Corn

There is nothing worse than when you want to make something and you don’t have all the ingredients. Especially when it’s freezing cold and raining. A few days ago, this was my story. A cold rainy Saturday and not the right stuff for dinner. My parents were headed home from Maine and my husband wanted beef stew for dinner and I was being lazy. The last thing I wanted to do was run to the store in the rain to buy carrots. Most beef stew recipes call for carrots but this time, I decided corn would be fine. I mean, corn is good right? The best thing about making a crockpot stew is, you can add just about anything to it and it usually turns out ok.

Beef Stew with Corn {crockpot meal}

The key to tender meat is the meat mallet. It’s important to tenderize your meat prior to cooking.

Crockpot Beef Stew with Corn
  • 2 (32 ounce) beef broth
  • 1 (6 ounce) tomato paste
  • 2 lbs lean stew meat (cut up in small pieces)
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • 6 potatoes (cubed)
  • 2 cans drained corn
  • 1 cup cooking red wine
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, bay leaves (2) and parsley (1 tsp each)
  1. Prepare Meat:
  2. Tenderize with mallet and season with salt and pepper
  3. Pour broth into crockpot and stir in tomato paste
  4. Stir in garlic and red wine
  5. Add cubed potatoes and chopped meat
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper and onion powder
  7. Add bay leaves and sprinkle parsley on top
  8. Add corn at 3.5 hour mark (or if you are not home, add once you are home and let sit for 20 minutes in stew)
  9. *if you prefer more seasoning, add towards the end of the 4 hour mark. Season to taste
  10. cook high for 4 hours or until potatoes are tender
  11. *thicken with corn starch once the stew is done if you prefer a thicker broth. Follow instructions on corn starch box.


Beef Stew with Corn {crockpot meal}

The beef stew looks pretty good with the corn right? A hot stew is the perfect way to end a cold rainy day. Be sure to checkout our kitchen page for more family recipes.

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