A Fall Backyard Dinner

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
Every other week we hang out with our small group from church. We rotate houses and this past week it was at ours. Now, it’s usually plastic forks and paper plates kind of a meal, but I had been wanting to go all out one time when the weather was starting to cool down. And it really didn’t take much at all! The only things I bought for this was $4 clearance flowers from the grocery store, $4 of candles, and $2 for napkins. Everything else was stuff I already had. We just brought our kitchen table outside to fit all the adults.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
I had put up the lights a while ago after they had been sitting in our garage for months. I got them from Target. I put them up with no light bulbs in them, then once the wires were in place, I rescrewed the bulbs back in. The bulbs break super easy and I wasn’t taking any chances! The box states to expect them to last three months if put outside so I will update how well they last. They will be up for three months next month and are all still shining bright.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
If you noticed, I am slowly repainting all of our kitchen chairs. I hope to share their complete makeover along with our kitchen table makeover soon.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
I painted a 6′ by 3′ piece of plywood with chalkboard paint to have for special occasions and for the kids to write on. (and I totally copied a chalk art I saw on Pinterest. I needed an idea quick and chalkboard ideas do not come quickly to me lol).

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
I wanted my candles to look drippy, so I let them burn a bit before the event. Mason jars and vintage vases held all of the flowers. I added some greenery from our yard (bushes with berries, leaves and branches from trees, and a random vine growing in side yard). I love using things that are just there already. The yellow wheat was from a previous project I had.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
The ironing board became a stand for drinks and I added a thankful sign that I made many years ago.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
We used just about every single plate, bowl, cup, and spoon we had! It made for a fun eclectic look. This table was covered in fabric from my stash. It’s a bit too weathered and needed to be covered up. Those yellow glasses were an awesome thrift store find a while back. I hope to find more and add to my mismatch cup collection.

A Fall Backyard Dinner | happy together
We had such a good time! I might have to do this a few more times before it gets too cold. Especially when my husband does all the cooking for me ;)

-Jess

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J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Any belt lovers out there? This is a simple diy to jazz up a plain old belt. Plus, if you already have many of the supplies it won’t cost much to do either. Even if you have to buy everything, I am pretty sure it’s still cheaper than this J. Crew cork belt (which is currently sold out).

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
While doing my usual window shopping online, this J. Crew belt caught my eye. I think the main reason being that I had some cork ribbon in my stash and I knew I could recreate the look for myself. So I grabbed my friend Dorothy and we went to the thrift store to find a belt. We looked for one that was flat and would be easy to cover. I spent $1 to buy that belt which you can see in pictures below.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
To make this you will need most of the things pictured above. Turns out, I didn’t end up using that pen ;)

  • Flat Leather/Leather like belt
  • Cork Ribbon (I got this from Michaels, but I don’t see it online anywhere. It’s part of the Raw Bar collection)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint or Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Large Nail
  • Optional: Heavy objects like books

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Start by cutting a long piece of cork ribbon so there is plenty to wrap over the side edges. Then lay your belt down right side up. Brush on mod podge on most of the belt, but leave quite a few inches un-mod podged near the buckle. Then place belt on top of ribbon and let it dry really good. If you don’t let it dry, the ribbon will pop off when the belt is bended. Place books on top to help during the drying process if you want.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Next, flip down the un-mod podged ribbon so it is lined up with the rest of the ribbon. Cut down one side, close to the belt edges. Make sure to keep the ribbon even when cutting over the over lapped area. I found it easiest to make an equal precise cut this way.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Then repeat on the other side. Now all the ribbon will be the same width as the belt.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Push the buckle to the back of the belt and determine where the ribbon will need a hole for the prong to go through. Create a hole using a nail.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Place the prong through the hole. Then carefully add mod podge to the rest of the top of the belt and lay ribbon down flat.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Trim excess ribbon on the back, making sure there is enough to cover where the belt leather doubles up. Mod podge that part on as well. Agian, let it dry and use books to help keep it down during the drying process if you want.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Once everything is dry, trim any other places that need it. The end on this belt needed to be trimmed.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
Take the nail and poke holes where the belt holes are.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
I also painted the buckle gold since I couldn’t find a belt that would work for this with an already gold buckle. So that is an option if you want the buckle a different color. I would suggest adding a coat of mod podge on top of the paint as well to help keep it from scraping off.

J. Crew Style Cork Belt DIY | happy together
So simple, right? It really makes for a cute accessory. To style this belt, we went searching on Pinterest for some belt styling ideas.  My friend did a great job putting this outfit together for it. Have a happy weekend!

-Jess

 

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Popsicle Costume DIY

Popsicle Costume DIY | happy together
It’s October! Fall is here for some and costumes are on the mind, so it makes sense that our Michaels Makers Challenge was to do a diy costume. I wanted to do something different that would take minimal time and money. Somehow a popsicle came to mind. Maybe because we are still having some hot days and it feels like summer? Maybe. Good news is that it did end up being different, took little time to make, and didn’t cost a whole lot either. You might already have many of the supplies needed to make this.

Popsicle Costume DIY | happy together
Popsicle Costume DIY | happy together
Popsicle Costume DIY | happy together
Popsicle Costume DIY | happy together
What you will need (you can find all of these except the pants in your local Michaels store or Shop Michaels Online):

  • Black shirt and pants
  • Tan felt
  • Foam Board
  • Poster boards of your choice
  • Ribbon
  • Glue Stick
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Safety pins (not pictured)
  • Glue Gun (not pictured)
  • Pencil (not pictured)
  • Round Object, like a plate (not pictured)

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Anthropologie Style Refashion: The Cassia Scoopneck DIY

Anthropologie Style Refashion: The Cassia Scoopneck DIY | happy together
One of my most favorite sewing projects are refashions. It’s fun to just sit down and alter something already made. It doesn’t usually take as long compared to making an item from scratch and it’s satisfying to add a little more “you” to clothing. We all know how much I adore Anthropologie, so I went there for inspiration first. I found the Cassia Scoopneck and decided it would be fun to replicate in my own way. I mainly focused on the back, but there are a few other details you could add to a shirt to look even more like theirs (like the ruched sleeves and the added lace details to the front bottom corner).

Anthropologie Style Refashion: The Cassia Scoopneck DIY | happy together
I originally had a shirt that looked more like the Anthro one. It was dark blue with small white stripes. Unfortunately I went to cut it and accidentally cut the front instead of the back! That made me so sad. That shirt will be made into something else though. I tried to find a shirt thrifting, with no luck, but came across this cute boat neck striped shirt at Walmart. They had it with mustard yellow stripes as well. My friend also gave me  a perfect vintage curtain for the back and I used buttons, knit fabric, and lace from my stash. This shirt would have cost me nothing at all if it wasn’t for my accident, but it ended up costing me $7.44 to make versus the $68 the Anthro one costs.

Anthropologie Style Refashion: The Cassia Scoopneck DIY | happy together
You can see the before and after of the shirt above. Just little details that take this shirt to a whole new level. This is what you will need to made your own refashion:

  • Knit shirt of choice
  • Lace fabric
  • Lining fabric (I just used a knit fabric so I wouldn’t have to sew a bottom seam and it wouldn’t unravel)
  • Lace trim of choice
  • 5 buttons
  • Small piece of ribbon for button loop (or can make a loop simply from embroidery thread)
  • Pins
  • Needle for hand sewing
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Appropriate sewing needle (for knit fabric) and sewing machine with notions
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Optional: Ruler or Measuring tape

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New Recipes Tried This Month

New Recipes Tried This Month | happy together
I’m always on the lookout for good, easy, and on the healthy side (or not lol) kind of recipes. In September, I tried 5 different recipes I found while browsing Pinterest. The first was this black bean soup recipe. This has become one of my husband’s favorite meals lately. It was really easy to make and very inexpensive as well. To save even more time, I used pre-cut frozen onions. I don’t have an immersion blender, so I just used a mashed potato masher to smoosh some of the beans. Not as “creamy”, but still made for good soup. We also added some chicken one time which really took it up a level.

The Stuffed Honey-Ham Biscuits were a really good “need to make something quick for dinner” kind of recipe. So simple to through together and the honey made them extra yum. Yes, the honey was the show stopper for these.

This Lazyman’s Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is another quick recipe with a few ingredients. Again, I used the frozen pre-cut onions to save time (and my eyes!). The suggestion I have is if you use brown rice to make it before putting everything together. I tried this recipe a few times with brown rice and can never get it fully cooked in the oven. I have gone over the time, but then the edges start to overcook. So next time I plan on just cooking the rice before hand and seeing how that works. It might not take as long to cook then as well. I will let you know how that goes when I do that.

I tried out these Toasted Coconut Onion Rings. I love onion rings and was interested in how the coconut might do paired with the onion. We loved them! I did the baked version and would say they are more on the dry end this way but are still really good. Having a nice dip takes care of that though. I liked mine dipped in plain old ketchup.

New Recipes Tried This Month | happy together
And since it’s fall I had to try a new pumpkin recipe! I LOVE the pumpkin muffies and muffins from Panera’s and went hunting for a copycat recipe. I found Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffie Tops and could tell they were a winner just by those beautiful pictures in the post.  Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfectly beautiful as those, but they were delish! And tasted pretty much the same as the Panera’s ones. I did substitute Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil since that was all I had and I didn’t have any parchment paper to use, but again, they still came out fantastic. I want to look into getting a cookie scooper thing now so I can make them perfectly round next time.

Anyone else tried some new fantastic recipes lately? -Jess

Follow my recipe and dessert Pinterest board for more cooking inspiration:

Follow Jessica Fediw’s board Recipes on Pinterest.Follow Jessica Fediw’s board Dessert on Pinterest.

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