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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten-Minute-Decorating-Ideas

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

Julie Blanner

Dream, Green, DIY

Four Generations, One Roof

Miss Mustard Seed

Inspired by Charm

Finding Home Farms

Tidy Mom

Thistlewood Farms

Grilled Pizza oh my!

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

This month, we are sharing grilled pizza!

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

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

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

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

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

That is a bonus in my book!

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

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

10 minute easy grilled pizza dinner idea

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

Visit Sponsors Site

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

We are proud of our family and here is why!

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 1.58.37 PM

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

Four Generations One Roof WD cropped.jpg

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

Stowe Vermont Ski Trip 2015

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

TYLENOL_INFLUENCER BADGE

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

Big kitchen news! A demo is in the works

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

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

woman's day FPO-120919_JessicaBruno_373

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

white kitchen makeover-010

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

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

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

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

Here is what our weekend looked like.

Kitchen News: Demo day starts today

IMG_2163

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

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

 

How to Install a Water Feature {our garden water fountain}

How many of you love a pretty flower bed? We do! I grew up watching my gram always planting flowers and weeding her flower beds. Maybe that is why I love gardening and planting flowers. Although, I don’t love pulling weeds. I was recently approached by Aquascape to see if we would like to try out one of their water fountains. Aquascape provided quality water gardening products and I must say, our fountain was ridiculously easy to install. We love this thing!

how to install a garden water feature {water fountain} - this is such an easy and quick project.

Not only was is simple to install, it adds so much character to our flower bed.

how to install a garden water feature {water fountain} - this is such an easy and quick project.

First, find a spot in your yard to place your fountain.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

I used the black tarp provided with the fountain to mark my spot to dig the hole. Simply make a circle cut with the edge of your shovel right where the circle cut-out part is on the tarp.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

Dig your hole as deep and wide as the base of the fountain.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

Once you have dug your hole, place the base in the whole and adjust until the base is level. This may take a few minutes either digging a little deeper or creating a wider hole. All in all, it took about 10 minutes for us to get the base level. Not a big deal.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

Once your base is level, add the top (with the holes) and use the clamp to secure the top to the base.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

You can either connect your hose directly to the pump or simply fill the base with water and have a continuous flow of water that way.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

We chose to fill the base with water. Once you have filled your base, place the black tarp back over the cover and center. You can also trim the tarp with scissors if it’s too big for your space.

Next, connect the white tube to the pump which is provided and feed through the hole of the fountain and push the pump into the water filled base.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

Before we covered the tarp with decorative rocks, we plugged in the pump to ensure it worked.

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

It worked perfectly!

how to install a garden water feature in under 20 minutes  {water fountain}. If you can dig a hole faster than me, it will take you less than 20 minutes. Adding a water feature to any garden or yard is a great way to add visual appeal and character to a space.

TIP: if you purchase decorative rock, be sure to rinse the rocks first to get rid of any color (dye) that may be on the rocks. This way, your water stays clear looking and isn’t tinted with color.

This guy isn’t sure if it’s his new water bowl or what? He sat there for about 10 minutes watching the water bubble up and run off the side. Totally confused!

how to install a garden water feature {water fountain} - this is such an easy and quick project.

Once I knew it worked properly, I trimmed a bit of the black tarp and added my decorative (rinsed stone) around the base of the fountain then adjusted the mulch around the rock. We LOVE this water feature and how much character and charm it adds to our flower bed. It’s so cool!!

This video actually sold me on the idea of installing one. When Aquascape first contacted me, I originally was going to pass because I thought it would be super difficult and time consuming to install. I had never installed a water feature before and I was scared! I was wrong!  

Check out this 3 minute video provided by Aquascape.

how to install a garden water feature {water fountain} - this is such an easy and quick project.

My mom loves the sound of the fountain too. I sometimes see her outside having her morning coffee and she has the fountain running. She says it’s so peaceful sounding! Have you always wanted a water feature in your yard but were too afraid to install it? I am here to tell you, these are affordable, gorgeous and so easy to install. The hardest part is digging the hole and lets face it, that’s not that hard. You can find this exact water fountain here and be sure to check out more Aquascape water features as well as their facebook page for additional product information and gallery displays.

Disclosure: I was compensated and provided product by Aquascape. All words and opinions are 100% my own.

New contributor to Ebay

This blogging thing is kind of funny, the opportunities that present themselves are ones that I would have never dreamed about almost four years ago when I first started blogging. I have recently partnered with Ebay where I will be contributing to their site sharing “how to” guides and collections featuring products related to my guide. Kind of fun right? I have yet been able to explain to my gram how Ebay works but one these days, it might sink in ;). My grandparents generation and even my parents generation …..heck even half of my generation didn’t involve the internet never mind buying stuff online. So this concept especially to my grandparents is completely foreign.

I have three guides that I would love for you to check out.

This whole Ebay thing is kind of new so I would love some feedback! 

First up, “smoothie essentials everyone should have”

smoothie must haves

Second, “How to have an ice cream party” *I am in LOVE with the stainless steel ice cream maker!

ebay how to ice cream party

Third, BBQ Essentials to make grilling summer meals fun.

EBAY bbq essentials

Click the links above and come on over and say hello!

How to spray paint a rocking chair {navajo white}

This summer has been a whirl wind. I am sure many of you feel the same way. We have managed to squeak out a few DIY projects here and there but for the most part, we are trying to relax this summer. Although, we have all new kitchen cabinets coming this week which is kind of starting to freak me out. More on that soon! If you follow along with us regularly, you may know that we are an ambassador for HomeRight. I absolutely love their products and they make DIY projects so easy. We had a couple rocking chairs in need of new paint so I used my finish max pro sprayer and made the rocking chairs beautiful again.

how to spray paint a rocking chair

The chair is probably 15 years old and has been left outside in the rain on more than one occasion. We usually keep them in our pool house or on our covered porch but the weather still beats on them.

How to spray paint a rocking chair

I lightly sanded the chairs to get off any loose paint. You can also use a palm sander if you have a large area to sand.

How to spray paint a rocking chair

Clean off any dust from sanding with a cloth and start spraying.

How to spray paint a rocking chair

Total time to complete the project, under one hour.

How to spray paint a rocking chair

I used exterior latex paint in navajo white and applied 2 coats.

How to spray paint a rocking chair

Setting up the sprayer takes less than 5 minutes and cleanup is so simple. I can’t even imagine painting this chair by hand. Now that would be painful! The sprayer allows you to achieve a custom finish very quickly. The dry time is minimal as the sprayer leaves a fine smooth finish. Once the first coat was dry, I applied another. My grandfather was watching me as I took this sad rocking chair and turned it into something beautiful in no time at all. He said, “good job kid, I am glad you didn’t throw it out, it’s looks brand new again.” He is from the era of “save everything and dispose of nothing.” I am with him all the way when it comes to making something old, look new again.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post however, all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

 

Behind the Scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

Just popping in real quick to say hello! We are on vacation this week and chilling out doing absolutely nothing. We spent a week at The Atlantis in the Bahama’s the end of June and came home deciding we needed a vacation from that vacation. ha. I know, back to reality soon. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work with HomeGoods for 7 days on a photo shot. I was given the task to create and decorate a full family room, dining room, chalk board wall and a coffee station from scratch using everything from HomeGoods. This was a fun day! I snapped a bunch of pictures with my cell phone and thought I would share them with you today. It’s crazy to think about all the work that goes into a photo shoot.

You’ll see what I mean….keep reading.

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

For all of you who love HomeGoods, just imagine shopping in a HomeGoods store and buying anything and everything you see to create a room. We filled about 50 plus shopping carts each day and stacked rugs and furniture to the top of the trucks.

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

Meet my assistant Caroline (she is the one driving the U-Haul).

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

We shopped 4 HomeGoods stores in 4 days. It was the most insane thing ever. Everything from couches, chairs, rugs, tables and a billion accessories. Each day, we would drive the trucks to the warehouse, unload and look at all of our pretty finds. It was the craziest thing ever. So much HomeGoods in one place ;).

Can you say HomeGoods Happy?

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

We ended up transporting all of our finds to a gorgeous photo studio where I created my rooms. Here is a picture as you drive into the HomeGoods campus. That is the only way to describe their headquarters. It’s literally like a college campus. It even has the coolest cafeteria inside! ;).

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

I was a little overwhelmed at first thinking, how on earth am I going shop for 4 spaces at once and keep my head screwed on? I decided to draw my spaces on paper with the vision I had and make a list of core items I needed. The drawings weren’t very fancy. Just a pencil and paper with a bunch of lines and shapes for furniture, rugs and accessories. I think I am the only one who could actually understand though what was on the paper. haha

Carolyn, my assistant (yup they gave me a rockstar assistant!) hiding behind the books and Mary, who heads up the blog, all social media outlets for HomeGoods and a bunch of other fancy stuff! :).

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

Meet Moe, part of the HomeGoods creative team.

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

Here is Katie, she is the social media queen on Pinterest and Instagram for HomeGoods.

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

It’s so funny when you look at a picture in a magazine, online or a blog. There is SO MUCH that goes into a pretty picture behind the scenes. Lots of shopping, meetings, moving stuff, meetings and more moving stuff. ha

behind the scenes Home Goods style shoot-24

Me taking a picture of the photographer. I am sure that he thinks I am crazy.

behind the scenes HomeGoods photo shoot

Stay tuned,  I will be sharing some sneak peek pictures soon. Be sure to check out my latest HomeGoods blog posts as well here. I recently shared a fun popsicle recipe using a popsicle molds. I hope you all enjoyed your fourth of July and if you extended the holiday like we did, enjoy the the rest of the week!

Summer Pizza on the Patio

I am having a bit of an anxiety attack. It’s almost July! What the heck is going on? It seems like just yesterday I was wishing for the snow to go away here in Massachusetts and dreaming of the warm summer weather. Now that warm weather is here, I feel like it’s going by too fast. Part of our summer enjoyment consists of BBQ’s and social gatherings outdoors. Keeping our refrigerator and freezer stocked with quick meals is the key to our enjoyment, especially when it involves kids. The last couple months I have shared our love of Ellio’s Pizza and how we incorporate it in our daily lives. Whether it be a movie night or pizza party, Ellio’s is staple in our freezer. It’s a quick and convenient meal that everyone loves.

summer pizza on the patio

We are stocking up our freezer this summer with our Ellio’s favorites (5 cheese is my favorite). Not only can I make these in a snap, my husband and kids can too! In just a quick couple minutes, Ellio’s is done via the toaster oven. It’s doesn’t get much easy than that.

summer pizza on the patio-12

Many of our meals are spent on our patio near the pool. Personally, I love a cold glass of ice tea with my pizza where the kids prefer lemonade.  Summer entertaining for us, usually means using paper plates when possible. NO washing necessary.  We always have a basket full of paper plates, napkins and utensils ready to go. We are all about quick and easy when it comes to meals and entertaining.

Ellios near the pool-12

One of the best things about Ellio’s pizza is that tastes good and is made with 100% real cheese with no artificial flavors. Not bad in my book. Try Ellio’s pizza for your next outdoor summer BBQ, playdate or social gathering. It can be served a variety of ways. Try cutting it up in squares as an appetizer or serve full pieces on a platter with fresh mozzarella (or cheese of your choice) and whole baby tomatoes. As I mentioned in my previous posts, Ellio’s has been around for decades. In fact, I grew up eating it as a kid. Looking for more information on Ellio’s Products or where to buy then? Check out their Ellio’s Pizza Store LocatorFacebookTumblr and Twitter page.

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

Visit Sponsors Site

My grandfather is wearing his socks around his wrist! {DIY wristband}

My grandfather makes me laugh. He is constantly walking around the house looking for one thing or another. Yesterday, he was outside walking around his truck looking for a bag of potatoes. I couldn’t help but laugh because I knew they were probably still at Walmart (he loves Walmart) in the checkout line.

Anyway, as he was getting out of the car, I noticed a funny looking thing on his arm.

The man cut his sock in pieces and put it under his watch so it wouldn’t rub on his wrist. My grandmother is mortified that he wears that around in public.

They make me laugh!!!

Grandfather's DIY Wristband

I said, “what the heck are you doing with your sock on your wrist?

He said, “it keeps my watch from rubbing my skin raw!”

Now tell me, isn’t that the best DIY solution you have seen in a while?

Quick, no cost and functional.

That’s my grandfather for ya!

 

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