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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 Build a deck over a deck {our campsite}

Guess what, our summer project at our campsite is finally complete! It only took the majority of the summer but I guess that’s how it goes, right? Today I am sharing how to build a deck over a deck. Sounds funny right? The existing deck was unfortunately, a hodge podge of additions that over time, became uneven. In english, it was a mess! Here is the deck in early June. The camper now sits in that open space along the deck. For this project you will need pressure treated 2×4′s, 1×8 decking boards, a nail gun, air compressor and a bazillion 3 and 4″ nails!

building a deck over a deck {campsite}

The entire deck (in the middle) was completely uneven and a huge tripping hazard. Because we don’t own the campsite, we just pay seasonal, it didn’t make sense to tear down the entire deck and start over so we reinforced the underneath beams with 2×4′s and added a new deck floor over the existing deck floor. Make sense?

NOTE: Before you make any changes or add any additional wood to an existing deck, be sure the underneath can support the weight of pressure treated wood. This deck we added is extremely heavy so we actually reinforced every single beam and post underneath with new pressure treated wood.

That was a crappy day let me tell you!  I don’t even have pictures because I was scrunched up in a ball under this deck with a nail gun praying I didn’t get bit by spiders or worse, see a snake! 

How To build a deck over a deck {campsite} As you can see above, the middle is a mess.

We built the frame below for our new floor out of pressure treated 2×4′s. Always use pressure treated wood when constructing anything that will be outdoors. It will not rot!

how to build a deck over a deck {our campsite}

We created a rectangle out of 2×4′s and made a frame to lay our new floor on. (see below)

building a deck over a deck {campsite graphic

Some of you may be wondering why we didn’t just nail the new floor frame to the existing deck. The reason why is because the old deck was so uneven, we had to essentially “lift” the floor a bit so that we could have a level area for our new floor. By adding the 2×4 frame underneath our new floor, we now have a nice new level floor and the old uneven mess is hidden! Yes, there is a step up to the new floor but for us, that is fine considering the existing deck was so uneven.

how to build a deck over a deck {our campsite}

Did I tell you this is what my husband did on his first day of vacation last month? He was actually very excited to help and be a part of our campsite project. He works so much that he sometimes feels left out I think, although, he may be happy after this project that he is at work during most of our renovations ;)

how to build a deck over a deck {our campsite}

Next we added 1×8 pressure treated boards to our frame to create our new deck floor.

building a deck over a deck {campsite}This project wasn’t that complicated but just time consuming. We (the four of us) completed the deck in a weekend, about 12 hours total. Shown below, the new floor abuts up nicely to the DIY steps we built a couple weeks ago.

building a deck over a deck {campsite}

Isn’t the new floor pretty? My mom is working hard above supervising as she sips on her glass of wine ;).

building a deck over a deck {campsite}

Tomorrow we are sharing all of the before and after pictures and the full reveal of our campsite makeover. Oh my, it’s crazy how different it looks! Wait until you see this bad boy all stained up thanks to Sherwin Williams! Check back tomorrow, you won’t want to miss it ;).

 

Back to School organization at home

School starts next week! Who wants to think about back to school organization? Yikes, not me! We are currently on vacation this week enjoying the beach along the south shore in Massachusetts and savoring the serenity and peace that the ocean views offer. The entire family, my parents and my brother’s family were here earlier last week and this past weekend and have since left to head back to work but some of us are still here. I don’t want to leave!

Last week I shared a full organizational post over at Home Goods featuring fabulous back to school organizational ideas that anyone can implement.

backtoschool organization home

HomeGoods

This fall I hope to finish our home work station in our study but life keeps getting in the way of this project but it’s on the list of things to complete.

backtoschool station

Better Homes and Gardens

homegoods back to school organization

This was just a sneak peek of what I shared, come visit me today over at Home Goods where I am sharing ways to get your kids organized (and you) for back to school. Everything from sock drawer organization, hanging metal baskets for paperwork, craft drawer and school supply storage and more. I would love to hear your ideas on how to keep the clutter down and how you keep yourself and kids organized during back to school.

PS. pictures coming soon of our family vacation and the completed campsite deck and more.

 

 

 

How to have a lemonade stand {on our boat!}

Hey friends! Anyone want some lemonade? Come join us for a day on the boat with Birch Lane. These guys contacted me a month or so ago asking if we would like to share some of their fun new products with all of you and I jumped at the chance. Their products are gorgeous and super affordable. We decided to have a lemonade stand on our boat for the kids. Lemonade stand graphic 1

We always have a cooler full of drinks on the boat when we venture out for the afternoon but this time, we created a fun lemonade stand for them to enjoy while swimming in the lake. how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

Our pontoon fits a small sized folding table towards the front so we layered two table cloths and viola, a little old card table transforms to a lemonade table ;).

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

Birch Lane has so many fun accessories including the small star fish platter.

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

Perfect for lemons!

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

The coral napkin rings and glass Jubilee goblets coordinated perfectly together.

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

The beverage dispenser is my absolute favorite. Not only is this perfect for lemonade but fresh brewed ice tea or flavored water would be amazing in this dispenser. I love how the galvanized base and cover pair with the ice bucket. Casual and fun!

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

The seeded glass lantern with a sisal roping handle served as the perfect container for the fresh hydrangeas.

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

My niece happened to be at the camp the day we had our lemonade stand and she said, “this is the nicest lemonade stand I have ever seen!” I told her that it’s always fun to add a little casual elegance to whatever you do, even if it’s a lemonade stand ;).

how to have a lemonade stand on a boat

Why not add a few comfy indoor/outdoor pillows in the mix?

how to have a lemonade stand on a boatWe had a few neighboring campers  ask when we docked the boat what we were doing and my son responded, “we are having lemonade, do you want some?” Thanks so much to Birch Lane for sponsoring today’s post and the complimentary products. The kids had a fabulous time swimming and taking a break to enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade.

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

Back to School with MoxieJean – Get the look for Less + Giveaway

We all know that back to school is stressful for parents and kids, never mind trying to afford all the clothing that goes along with growing children! I won’t lie, I love new trendy clothing and you all know how I love to shop but I am not opposed to buying gently used clothing. In fact, many of the outfits I purchased for my stepdaughters when they were younger were gently used. I love brand names but despise their price tags!

Want to learn how to get the look for less with MoxieJean plus win a gift card for your own shopping spree? Keep reading!

Back to School with MoxyJean - Get the look for less

I was recently contacted by MoxieJean asking if I would like to review their site and share my thoughts with all of you. The site was launched by two sisters in the fall of 2012 offering unique, stylist-created looks from favorite brands like Gymboree, Gap, Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, Baby Lulu and Ralph Lauren, plus designer brands like Oilily, Mayoral, DKNY, Burberry, and Juicy Couture, all at 75% or more off retail prices.

back to school with Moxie Jean get the look for less

Did you know from this year’s press release from the National Retail Federation that the average back to school shopper will spend an average of $231.30 on clothes and $124.46 on shoes. For under $25, I purchased a pair of gently used Crew Cuts jeans and a Crew Cuts sweater from MoxieJean. If I had purchased these new at JCrew, I would have spent over $100. Seriously? That is crazy for something my son will out grow in a couple months. I was thrilled with the quality and he loves the outfit. I paired the purchase with an existing checkered button down that he already had. A cute designer outfit for minimal money.

Back to School with Moxy Jean Get the look for less

MoxieJean is all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – they donate all unpurchased or lightly damaged items to Kid’s Pantry in Chicago. I love that!

back to school with Moxie Jean get the look for less

Isn’t the outfit cool? My son digs the outfit and really thinks he is the cool one…..

back to school with Moxie Jean get the look for less

I created this fun video with my son and you have to watch, it made my grandfather bust out laughing ;). He still hasn’t figured out how his great grandson got in the video.

Turn up your volume, it’s a catchy tune!

Are you ready to win your own MoxieJean Gift Card so you can go on a shopping spree? Enter below via the rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School with Moxy Jean-3

MoxieJean is a Red-Tricycle finalist as the most awesome “Online Consign, Swap and Recycle” site, a Moxie Award Finalist and has been featured on the TODAY Show, “Good Day, Chicago,” Daily Candy, iVillage, and is a 2012 graduate of Chicago’s renowned Excelerate Labs (now Tech Stars – Chicago). I encourage you to click over to MoxieJean and check out their site, you won’t be disappointed. I mean, getting a designer look for less for our kiddo’s on a budget is pretty sweet in my book! Plus, they are offering readers $10 in Moxie Money for $50 spent (or $25 in Moxie Money for $100 spent.) Just use this promotional discount code at checkout LOOK4LESS42. Thank you to Moxie Jean for sponsoring today’s post, we love our outfit!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Moxie Jean. The opinions and text are all mine. I was compensated for this post.

 

Back to School Pinterest Party + Major Giveaway!

OH my do we have something special for all of you this coming Sunday! I have joined forces with 12 other amazing bloggers and we have put together a fun back to school Pinterest party and you are INVITED! We are also giving away some fabulous prizes so be sure to show up, you don’t want to miss out! My mom said, “can I have the crock pot?”

Sorry Mom, not this time! ;)

Back-to-school-Pinterest-Party-Giveaway

What is a Pinterest Party?

It’s a fun night of doing one of our favorite things… pinning!! Each party host will be pinning their BEST Back to School Ideas on the DIY Creative Ideas board so you can get great ideas all in one place! There will be crafts, teacher gift ideas, fashion, hair styles, recipes, organization tips, parenting tips, free printables, photography tips, party ideas and more!

You’ll want to be there to repin and save your favorite ideas. The BEST part is, we’ll be giving away some awesome party prizes throughout the night. You won’t want to miss the fun!!!

  • When: Sunday, August 17, 2014
  • Time: 6-7 pm PST,  7-8 pm MST,  8-9 pm CST,  9-10 pm EST (Make sure to show up in the correct time zone!)
  • Prizes: There will be 4 awesome party prizes!

You must follow the directions on the giveaway widget below to RSVP and be entered to win the giveaway prizes.

Back-to-school-Pinterest-Party-Giveaway

IMPORTANT: You MUST be present to win. We will be announcing winners LIVE on Pinterest.

Joining the Party is Simple…

  1. Click here –> to Follow the DIY Creative Ideas Pinterest Board.
  2. Follow the party hosts on the widget below to RSVP and be entered to win the party prizes.
  3. Show up online at the DIY Creative Ideas Pinterest Board, Sunday, August 17th at the correct time for your time zone.
  4. Repin your favorite DIY ideas, leave comments and have fun!
  5. Be present and watch to see if your name is announced as a winner!
  6. If you win a prize – you must claim your prize in a comment under the announcement pin so we know you are at the party. We’ll give the winners 5 minutes and if nobody claims it, we’ll assume you are not there and will choose another winner. So watch your pinterest notifications so you know if we tagged you!!

Looking forward to seeing you at the party! Be sure to invite a friend:-)

Enter below!

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams store + $200 gift card giveaway

Remember last week when I introduced you to Carlos and Joe from my local Sherwin-Williams store? Today, I am back to share with you a little more about why I love these guys and my local Sherwin-Williams store. Keep reading because we are also giving away a $200 Sherwin-Williams gift card at the end. I don’t know about you but my time is valuable and honestly, I don’t have much free time to be researching for paint colors, wall treatments, tools and techniques for our DIY projects. I mean, who does right?

That’s why I go here.

Why I love my Sherwin Williams store

As I mentioned last week, Carlos and Joe are like permanent fixtures in my local store and they are not only super friendly but a wealth of knowledge. Whether I am painting a wall, adding wallpaper or staining my deck, these guys always know the right direction to point me in.

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams

A feature that I signed up for is The Sherwin-Williams paint-perks program. It’s one of a kind and offers tremendous value to the consumer.  Sign up is free,  you save everyday on paints and supplies, you will receive painting tips/ideas and exclusive sale alerts, a $10 coupon after you sign up and you can manage your painting projects and store color and paint purchases for 10 years.

Kind of cool right?

Why I love my Sherwin Williams store #SWshoutout

I love to save money where I can and this program helps you do that. My local store also offers this wonderful in-home color consultation with a color expert that actually comes to your home and helps you decide which colors coordinate together and how best to maximize the impact of color in your home. Check your local store for details.

Why I love my Sherwin Williams

Each section of the store is designed to feature specific products and projects. Whether you are shopping for the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams paint or designer wallpaper, it is super easy to find what you are looking for.

Why I love my Sherwin Williams

Not sure which paint tool to use, no worries, these guys have you covered.

Why I love my Sherwin Williams

I am in the process of staining our deck at the lake with the Sherwin-Williams deck stain and can I just tell you, I love it! Hopefully that project will be done in the next week or so and we will have the full reveal to share soon.

Why I love my Sherwin Williams

Fall is right around the corner and that’s when spray paint becomes my best friend. I love to spray my planters with fun fall colors and add seasonal mums to our porch. Can you believe it’s almost fall? What! I know, I am getting ahead of myself but seriously, fall DIY projects will be here soon!

Many times when I am planning a project, we sit together and go over the new color trends and fun coordinating colors. So many times I visit my local store and I have an idea in my head and then, they share the latest and greatest in the color world and I’m like, “I want that!” What girl doesn’t change her mind two or three times in the middle of a DIY project? ;)

Why I love my Sherwin Williams-13

So are you ready to win a $200 Sherwin-Williams gift card so you can get busy on your own DIY paint project?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner must respond to winning email within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

One last thing about why I love my Sherwin-Williams store……

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams store #SWshoutout

They achieve the JD Powers Award in Customer Satisfaction year after year and trust me, these guys deserve it. Are you working on a do-it-yourself project and need paint or stain or simply want to start a room makeover but don’t know where to start? I would encourage you to head to your Sherwin-Williams store and ask for help. They don’t just sell paint, they are color consultants who are very knowledgeable in all things related to paint projects around your home. For those of you in Massachusetts, these rockstars above are in the Sherwin-Williams location of Westborough, Ma.

Tell them Jessica sent you! ;)

Disclosure: I was compensated by Sherwin-Williams for this post however, all opinions and words are 100% my own. As you can see, these guys are great!

Mini Bathroom Makeover with Chevron Listerine

You don’t have to ask me twice if I would like to makeover a room in our home. I am always game for that! Johnson & Johnson recently launched for a limited time only, these really cool, bright and designer friendly Listerine bottles and asked if I would like to incorporate them into our bathroom. Why yes we would!

mini bathroom makeover listerine-2

I chose the green and blue chevron as it coordinated perfectly with the green colors in our bathroom.

mini bathroom makeover listerine-4

I am not a fan of toiletry products on our counters but this actually looks great! The chevron design is so fun and trendy and pairs nicely with the rest of the decor.

mini bathroom makeover listerine-5My local Target had these adorable coordinating cosmetic bags so grabbed one along with a new set of hand towels.

mini bathroom makeover listerine-7

Not only is the Listerine easily accessible for my on-the-go lifestyle, it looks great too!

mini bathroom makeover listerine-6These fancy little bottles are only available at Target for a limited time.

 photo 02225-57_listerine_izea_400x450_zps2bfd58fe.jpg

The come in four different colored chevron designs and if you are lucky, your Target store might even have the coordinating cosmetic bags like mine did. Listerine is the number 1 dentist recommended brand and gives you a cleaner healthier mouth. Be sure to grab you own next time you are at Target!

This post brought to you by Listerine. All opinions are 100% mine.

Visit Sponsor's Site

My Grandfather & his Santa Clause

Today is all about my grandfather. Well kind of. Many of you have emailed over the past few weeks asking what he is up to so I decided to share what he does “every single day” since May. Many of you know, he has a workshop here at our home and he literally spends every day inside, cutting, crafting and creating Christmas gifts for friends and family. He is much slower than he was every a couple years ago so it takes him twice as long. Heck, it takes him twice as long just to walk from the house to the workshop!

my grandfathers Santa update-4

Last week I ran out to do some quick errands and my son decided to stay home and hang out with my grandfather. This is what I came home to, these two admiring the Santa Clause drying in the sun. Of course, eating cookies and drinking juice boxes.

my grandfathers Santa Clause update

A true blessing of multigenerational living, my son and grandfather chilling out looking at Santa Clause drying in the sun. My little man has no idea how lucky he is, he just thinks it’s normal to have his grandparents and great grandparents around all the time. It’s his normal!

my grandfathers Santa Clause update

These are just a few of them he has made this year, he has 30 others inside!

my grandfathers Santa update-2

He looks pretty happy in this picture and it was definitely a good day for him. I will admit though, his crabby side is coming out a bit more lately and he tends to be worse later in the day. Unfortunately, we think he has signs of alzheimer’s developing which isn’t exactly easy to deal with. More on that another day though! If you ask him, he is just fine! ;)

my grandfathers Santa update-4

So if you are a family member or friend of his reading this post, you now know what you are getting for Christmas. He works hard and loves crafting, creating and giving gifts. It’s been a passion of his for years and hopefully he has many more years of creating wooden gifts for his friends and family ;).

 

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams store {part 1}

Today we have a treat for you! I am sharing why I love my Sherwin-Williams store and how fabulous these guys are. For the past couple years, I have been visiting my local Sherwin-Williams store where I am always greeted by the same smiling faces. These guys are like permanent fixtures in the store and a wealth of knowledge. I am always full of color questions and honestly, they probably think I am crazy. ha! You should have seen their face last year when I told them I sawzalled my couch in half and needed paint to fix the wooden legs. They said nothing and just giggled at me.

As many of you know, we are always renovating a room, working on a paint project or ripping apart something to make room for something new.

Through it all, these two guys have been with me.

Like for real! 

Meet Carlos and Joe!

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams

When they see me come through the door, they are all smiles and say, “what are you working on now Jess?!” I love these guys because not only are they always there, they know everything about paint and the perfect tools to achieve the look I am going after.

My son is usually with me and he loves the coloring table.

Why I love my Sherwin-Williams

For those of you who travel with kids in tow,  you know the importance of a kid friendly space and a cute spot to occupy them while you browse the store. I remember one time last year, my son was on his WORST behavior and I was struggling to keep him entertained while I shopped for paint colors and magical Carlos took it upon himself to share all the red paint color chips with my son and show him all the different shades. Can I just tell you, my son was fascinated with those red paint chips for 30 minutes and I was able to shop in peace.

Thank you Carlos!

No lie, this really happened ;).

When Sherwin-Williams asked if I wanted to share why I love my local Sherwin-Williams store, it was a no-brainer. Not only is the store a fabulous spot for do-it-yourself painters, they offer a broad range of products, colors and tools for every project and of course, a rockstar staff. Check back next week because I will be sharing the inside scoop on their paint-perks program, their in-home color consultation program and hosting a $200 Sherwin-Williams gift card giveaway.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Sherwin-Williams, however all words and opinions are 100% my own.  I love these guys!

 

 

Building a Portico {the roof is up!}

Last week I shared the start of our new portico project and today I am sharing the progress we have made. It’s looking so much better and the roof is up! It’s crazy how a building a portico, a little roof and two new columns can transform the front of a home.

building a portico the roof is up

Here is the before:

a new portico for our home

We framed around the existing step.

building a portico the roof is up #diy #curbappeal

Initially, we were going to remove the cement step but decided that it was in decent shape and would provide a solid base for the new wider step, so we left it.

building a portico the roof is up-2 building a portico the roof is up-3

We chose a maintenance free vinyl decking to create our new step.

building a portico the roof is up-4

Last week I shared portico designs that I had rounded up to help my mom decide what style she wanted. Ultimately, we decided on the round italian style column.

building a portico the roof is up-5

We did enlist a little help with the install of the columns and roof. We DIY most everything around our home but occasionally, you need muscle for projects, more muscle than I have! ha.

building a portico the roof is up-7

I found it fascinating how they made a simple rectangular box as the supports for the columns. I have never seen a portico built before so this was a first for me. It’s always nice to see how things are actually made and what is underneath the “pretty” end product.

building a portico the roof is up-8

We used special brackets for fastening the wooden box to the house and new columns.

building a portico the roof is up-10

They used wooden shims on top of the columns to brace the support beams (rectangular box) until they got it level, then they removed them.

 

building a portico the roof is up-11

Kind of cool right?

building a portico the roof is up-12

Progress!

building a portico the roof is up-13 building a portico the roof is up-14

We decided to add a decorative inset on the front facing part of the new roof which I will share next week. It was a last minute decision but it took the roof line from nice to wow!

building a portico the roof is up-15

As you can see, it’s coming along nicely and the two toned shingles add so much color and texture to an otherwise, boring roof.

building a portico the roof is up-16

We still need to finish up the details and rip out the old door. The existing door is a solid wood gorgeous door with beautiful detail but unfortunately, that’s about all it has to offer. It basically lets in all the cold air during the winter months and you can see the outside through the cracks when you walk by it. Not good! I have plans for that door though, possibly a DIY headboard for our master bedroom. Stay tuned, the portico reveal is soon!

 

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