Category: Uncategorized

DIY Target Felt Wreath Hack

I’d like to start this post by saying my husband is both a genius and a saint. A genius because he suggested we take off of work from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and a saint because he agreed to sit home with me for three straight days while we decorated the entire exterior and interior of our home for Christmas — save for the tree.
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If you know my husband Mike you know he suffers from something my Mommom likes to call “gas ass” (I do too in all fairness) and our social calendar is eternally full. But we spent most of the ENTIRE weekend at home and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house.

With no time constraints holding me back I had a great time DIYing three felt wreaths for my kitchen and powder room. I bought the wreaths at Target a few weeks ago with the thought that I’d cut them apart into separate pieces and use two of them on my kitchen cabinets. This is what I started with:

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First I snipped the burlap holding the wreaths together to separate them.

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Then I snipped these glitter pinecones off of the tri-pick they came in (also from Target.)

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Then I hot glued the pine cones to the wreath, followed by a few white berries.

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I knew I wanted to hang the wreaths from my kitchen cabinets so I hot glued a piece of ribbon to each one. In the meantime I had hung command strips on the inside of the cabinets upside down where I would hang the wreaths from for a clean look.

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Ta da! Here’s the finished product. Very festive! My kitchen is the first room you see when you walk in the front door so I wanted it to feel just as Christmas-y as the rest of the house.

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I hung the paper banner I made last year over the window and weaved a garland through the wrought iron swirls of my vintage ice cream parlor table to give the whole kitchen a festive feel.

With two of the wreaths in the kitchen, I figured the third would be perfect in the powder room across the hall. I added the same pine cones and white berries but wanted to give it some extra oomph. I bought some gorgeous notebooks (also at Target) a few months ago because I loved the cover art but never found a place to put them. Something in my brained clicked and I thought — custom art and paper flowers!

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I just cut out a square piece of the notebook cover to fit my existing frame and cut out the remaining flowers to hot glue onto the wreath. How cute?!

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Here’s how the rest of the powder room turned out:

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I love how both rooms feel holiday ready without screaming red and green! As excited as I am at how the kitchen and powder room turned out — I’m even more excited about the dining room. Stay tuned for more Christmas decorating fun coming this week!

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you’re enjoying your family, friends, loved ones and pets today.

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Yup, that’s me many Thanksgivings ago. I feel so blessed the word thankful doesn’t feel like enough. As someone in the later half of my 20s I’m amazed by how much I learn and grow year over year. It becomes easier to understand what makes my family tick, why I am the way I am and why the people in my life (both near and far) are so important to me.

In the age of “busy” it’s not easy to stop and take a minute to tune out the digital distractions and tune into you and your family. Among all the holiday chaos today I hope you have the chance to enjoy whatever it is you’re thankful for.

Cheers to the good food, warm hugs and funny stories you’ll share today. I hope you’re able to relax and take it all in.

Autumn Dinner Party

You’re cordially (virtually) invited to my autumn dinner party…

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I hosted a small dinner party for six a few weeks ago to toast the season and informally celebrate my BFF Laura’s birthday. The table setting was one of my best so I decided it was too good not to share.

You probably won’t be surprised to see succulents gracing the table. I used some purple and cream echeveria cuttings paired with seeded eucalyptus and leafy foliage to create a natural centerpiece.

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And some smaller cream succulent rosettes graced the napkins.

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I spent an embarrassing amount of time cutting out some leaf place cards by hand.

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With only four guests (six including my husband and I) place cards weren’t necessary but they added a touch of whimsy to the table. I’ve read that giving your guests a reserved spot at the table eases the worry of where to sit and I think there’s something to be said for that.

We planned to have a fire outside after dinner so I used candles and ornamental kale to give the back yard a more festive fall feel.

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You can easily recreate the rustic candle holders with two terracotta pots, two cylindrical glass vases and some green preserved moss. I’ve had them on my table for the past few weeks through all sorts of weather and they still look great.

I even spruced up the powder room with two stems of succulent rosettes and some extra seeded eucalyptus in a clear vase. Small touches like this are easy and they help make your home feel extra special for your guests.

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On to the important part –the food! I served the meal in four courses to be a little fancy shmancy.

We had acorn squash soup.

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I didn’t use a recipe to make this and just sort of flew by the seat of my pants. I roasted the squash cut side down in a 400 degree oven (smothered in olive oil, sea salt and cinnamon) for an hour until it got nice and soft. I sautéed some garlic in a large Dutch oven and scooped the squash into after it had a chance to cool. Then I added some chicken broth, stirred and let it summer for about 30 minutes. After adding some salt, pepper and a little cream I puréed it with an immersion blender and it was ready to serve! For an added touch I topped it with a few springs of fried sage and roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!

The second course was a delicious fall salad made with spring mix topped with dried cherries, pomegranate seeds, Gorgonzola, red onion and pumpkin seeds dressed with a lite Italian vinaigrette.

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Next was the main course — prosciutto sautéed Brussels sprouts and stuffed chicken breasts. I got both of these recipes from Skinnytaste. You can find them here and here.

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And to top it all off I made gingerbread tiramisu for dessert served with espresso. I used my friend Laura’s recipe because it’s AMAZING and the flavors scream fall (hello pumpkin pie spice and gingersnaps). You can get it here.

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I opted to serve the tiramisu in individual vintage punch glasses for an extra special touch. They took a little more prep before the party but were super easy to grab out of the fridge and go when it was time for dessert. Laura’s recipe made 10 of these little guys so I had some left over. I wasn’t mad about it.

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It was a very special night and we all decided we should have formal, fancy dinners more often. Maybe I’ll host another for the holidays? Or to combat the winter blues in January? Who knows, but I hope it’s soon!

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Just remember the most important thing is to make your guests feel welcome and relaxed so don’t try anything outside of your comfort zone for a dinner party setting. Rely on your favorite recipes and think of a way to elevate them — like serving dessert in punch cups instead of bowls. Little touches go a long way when you’re entertaining. Now go call your friends and invite them to dinner! 🙂

#succulentaddict

So, don’t promise to start blogging more when you’re jumping head first into a new job. It leads to yet another blogging hiatus. Sorry about that.

These beauties have been keeping me busy…

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I’ve fallen (even more) head over heels for succulents since starting my job at ArizonaEast (don’t visit our website yet — that’s one of the projects on my docket) and have been learning A LOT!

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The beauty of signing on with a small, quickly growing company is that I’m marrying my PR skills, marketing know-how, branding expertise and social media savvy with this crazy new world of business strategy, logistics, growth projections, business development and product design. Do you have any idea how hard it was just come up with a title for my position? #LinkedInproblems.

But the chance to see a company explode with growth right in front if my eyes is exciting, and the opportunity to get up from my desk a few times a day to put my hands in the dirt and create products from such gorgeous plants is truly soothing to my soul (and my strained eyes). I feel blessed every day at the unique opportunity I’ve been given at such an early time in my career.

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To be honest, blogging hasn’t been what I thought it’d be. I found myself being too much of a perfectionist to post regularly and that’s just not keeping it real. So with the business of starting a new job I opted to ignore the blog rather than posting anything less than ‘the best.’ What is the best, anyway?

I’m realizing every post doesn’t have to be an amazingly intricate DIY project. I have to remember the whole point of blogging is opening up and letting you guys get a glimpse of my (not so) fabulous life whether it’s picture perfect or not. And what IS real is the fact that I LOVE all the DIY projects, crafts, cooking, entertaining and decorating that was my motivation for starting this blog — but there’s more to me. So buckle up and get ready to accompany me on this journey that is La Vie de Brie. It’s not perfect, but it’s me. And that’s a-okay in my book.

If you agree, leave me a comment to let me know you’re with me!

Xo,
Brie

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Clover Leaf is the New Stripe

I’m definitely suffering from a case of the winter blues. The weather has been swinging between 50 degrees and raining to freezing single digit temperatures. Yuck. I just can’t deal – but I must. With the holidays behind me I’m refocusing my attention on the house, and I wanted to update you on some new additions to the master bedroom. I love how small details can really help pull a room together.

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I was given a giftcard for Homegoods for Christmas and I was chomping at the bit to use it. Mike and I were furniture shopping last Saturday so I twisted his arm to stop in and see if anything caught my eye. I happened upon a pair of white pillow cases with a gorgeous graphic navy pattern on sale for $14.99. Score! I had picked up a pair of velvety navy throw pillows by Nate Berkus at Target a few weeks ago and I knew the new pillow cases were just what I needed to pull the whole look together. I’m SO happy with the result!

pillow close up

bed

I’m equally excited about the second new addition to the master which was a Christmas gift from Mike. The stool that I DIY’d to upgrade by vanity back in September was just a little too tall (note to self, keep a measuring tape in my purse while shopping). I needed something a little more comfortable and this cushioned cloverleaf stool was just the ticket! How cute is it?! I love how the white of the cushion ties into the drawer pulls and the wooden legs match my gorgeous 1920s cherry dresser perfectly. So it was in with the clover leaf and out with the stripes. Don’t worry though, the striped stool is currently being repurposed in the office (post to come).

clover leaf stool

vanity stool

Much better than my old setup, right?

New Navy Vanity

Next up on my project list? I want to tackle some smaller finishing touches like closet light fixtures and paint touch ups, and we’re also saving up for some new living room furniture. I can’t get enough of customizing our house to make it really feel like a home.

What are you doing to beat the winter blues? Any projects of your own in the pipeline?

Hi! I’m Brie.

It’s nice to meet you by way of this blog post. As the name of my little corner of the internet suggests – this blog is about my life. Why did I choose such a broad topic? Because I want to share so many aspects of my life with you. I had trouble pinning down a ‘theme’ for my blog, but I knew I wanted to write.

Brie Apple Picking

I’ve always loved expressing myself through writing. I’m one of those weird people who pours themselves into writing, closes the document or hits send on an email, and then promptly reopens it just to reread what I wrote. It gives me a thrill. Very weird, I know – but it makes me tick.

Why is the title of my blog in French? Because it rhymes (nice!), and because I happened to take French in school from grades 6 through 12. I got all the way to honors French 5 (whoa!) …and I don’t remember a lick of it – except for little phrases like the one in the title of my blog. But I have fond memories of learning French, so it’s sort of an homage to all the little pieces of the puzzle that make up my life, like learning French in a tiny little high school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for quite a while now. My friends and family have nudged me to start it for just as long, but I’m a firm believer in listening to my intuition. And my gut said, “you’ll know when you’re ready.” As you may guess, my gut recently followed up with, “I’m ready,” and here we both are. Me, writing, nervous to share my passion with whoever’s interested enough to read my scribbles, and you, the interested party, who I have unending gratitude for because you’ve decided to read what I have to say. Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Through this blog I’m hoping to share things I’m truly passionate about. I’m no Martha Stewart or Julia Child, but I love trying my hand at crafting and cooking just the same. Check back to see what kind of DIY adventure I’ve gotten myself into. I’ll be sure to share the good, and even some of the ugly. There’s a lot to be said for ‘course correcting.’