Adding Trim to Windows

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

It’s been almost three years since we first moved into our current home. The longer we live here the more ideas come to me that will add some special touches that make it look more our style and finish off the space. Our home was very builder grade and lacked character especially in the master bathroom. After staring at such a blank space (see pic further down), I decided that adding trim to windows would be a good place to start.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

I read a ton of tutorials and came up with a trim look that would flow with the rest of our home trim. Our home is what is called Acadian style which is very popular here in Louisiana. It’s rather traditional, so as much as I wanted to do the easy and cute craftsman trim style it just wouldn’t have gone with the rest of the house.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

See how empty and boring this space was?

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

Most of the trim I used was primed so it made for easy painting once installed. Our trim is all painted in Sherwin Williams Creamy (SW 7012) and if you are interested the wall color is Sherwin Williams Willow Tree (SW 7741).

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

The window is a privacy one but I still wanted a shade since it’s in front of the fence line and at night you can still see silhouettes and such (which just makes for a lack of privacy!). I had a bamboo shade cut at Lowes and then trimmed the bottom so it would fit nicely. Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

I also added a towel rack to fill in the space and framed this cool piece of artwork we bought at an estate sale. It was an old print from England and we scored it for a dollar. The frame is from Target and was the perfect look and size. It looks like it was custom framed with the pretty matting.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

And lastly, I needed a place for this conch shell we had bought on our honeymoon so it found a home right here. It adds to the coastal feel I was going for. I love how much more special this space seems now and it makes me want to add window trim to all the trimless windows haha.

Finding My Go-To Baking Recipes

6 inch Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting | happy together

I love to bake. It is a fun creative process for me. I have found that I have had more opportunities to bake lately and have been working hard to find what I would call my go-to recipes. I wanted to share some that I have found and what kinds I’m still trying to figure out. Let’s start with the above cake. It is a 6 inch three layer mini chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter together. So delish! I will have to say after trying quite a few chocolate cake recipes my favorite that is always consistently good is the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box which you can find here: ‘Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. It is so moist and does great with stacking layers. I can’t remember which recipe I used for the peanut butter frosting (which is sad since I should have saved it ’cause it was good!), but I have yet to try a recipe I have found on pinterest for it that hasn’t turned out yummy. I did cheat on this cake for the “chocolate ganache”. That is one thing I need to sit down and figure out, but I was pressed for time and due to lack of ingredients I simply used Torani Dark Chocolate Sauce. The bottle seems to last forever! I initially bought it to add on top of my whipped cream in hot chocolate but have found it works on all kinds of other desserts.

Coconut Bundt Cake | happy together

The above cake is a Coconut Bundt Cake and is really good! I had never made a coconut cake before and have made this one 2 more times since. You can find the recipe from 5 Boys Baker here. It is very moist and the coconut flavor is perfect. Even my youngest who doesn’t like coconut liked this. I have added this to my go to list, although I do have some eyes on some other coconut cake variations I want to try.

6 inch Three Layer Red Velet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Covered Strawberries | happy together

This cake was my first try at a Red Velvet Cake from scratch. Sadly, I used the wrong type of food coloring and then did not have enough to get it really red so it was more of a pink hahaha. But it still tasted good. Then I used a cream cheese icing and drizzled some more of that Dark Chocolate Sauce on it with chocolate covered strawberries. While I was the one that made the mistake, I think I will try another recipe as the one I used wasn’t the clearest. Anyone have a good red velvet recipe? I did use this tip to make the chocolate covered strawberries which worked like a charm.

6 inch Three Layer Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Sugared Fruit | happy together

This last cake was simply vanilla with vanilla frosting. It was good, but yet again, I want to try some other recipes to see if I can find something even better. I did like this recipe for the sugared fruit. My oldest was eating all the extras the next day like crazy!

Valentines Cupcakes | happy together

The thing I have learned by making these mini cakes with 6″ pans is that I can always have leftovers to create a few cupcakes to add on the side. I was able to make about 6 cupcakes from each of the mini cakes batters. Since all of these were for a bake sale, having the extra cupcakes made for even more product to sell. And good news! All of these completely sold out! A success for sure. -jess

 

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Whenever there is a blank wall that needs some decor something with plants is almost always a good option in my opinion. Especially if the plants aren’t real and require no maintenance. So when this lovely wall needed something, I dreamed up a diy wall planter to hold faux succulents and ferns. I was inspired by the succulent walls that Pottery Barn sells and some faux plant installs I have seen in stores and restaurants.This piece has added some lovely color and life to this little corner.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Now I always try to work smarter, not harder (hahaha) so I was hoping to create a piece with as little wood cutting as possible. There are these lovely inexpensive pieces of lauan plywood and the 2’x4′ (like this) was a great size for the space. So I started with that as the base and bought some 1″x4″ ‘s in the lengths I needed to cut the outer frame and create the center X. I decided to add that X feature to break up the plants and help hold them in place, but it’s not necessary. I think I bought five of  1″x4″x6′ pieces of wood, but I was actually just shy of an inch on one of the last cuts for the inside pieces. I fortunately was able to just cut another small piece to fill it in and knew the plants would cover it, so it worked out. I first cut the outer frame pieces at 90 degree angles and used wood glue and my nail gun to put them together. Then I glued and nail gunned the lauan plywood to the back. The inside X was harder for me as I am just not very good at cutting angles. But I managed to make it work! One piece goes completely straight across and the other side of the X in in two pieces. Now, I should have written down what angles I used, but I had to play around with it to get them just right (and even then it wasn’t perfect). But again, plants will disguise the not so perfect. Oh, and there’s wood filler too. I used that on all the seams and it helped create a really nice finished look.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Once it was all together and the glue was dry, I used Minwax Early American to stain it.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
I will not lie. All of these plants cost some money, so I suggest waiting for sales and using coupons. If you have the time, you can slowly accumulate what you need too. All of these succulents came from Hobby Lobby and then I found all of the ferns from Michaels. I started by hot gluing the ferns in place first. I used wire cutters to cut plants apart, trim off leaves, or cut off the stems. Some of the ferns were too full, so I used the pieces I cut off as fillers in other spots. Once the ferns were spread out to my liking, I added the succulents. I tried to spread out the similar ones so it was more pleasing to the eye. Then I used moss to fill in any spots that were bare.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Since this was going on a wood wall I just screwed the planter right to it. I wanted to make sure it would be really difficult to pull off since it is in a public place. So far all the plants have stayed in place, except one day some kids were in front of them and I believe their heads hit them and caused them to fall off. But I glued them back on and in worst case scenario, I could use a stapler or nail gun to help keep them in place. I thought about using construction adhesive to keep them in place, but I tried that on another succulent on wood install and it was not good. Many fell off. I also thought about liquid nails, but that stuff comes out so fast and I didn’t want to get it all over the plants if i made any mishaps. All in all I’m very happy with the whole process of putting it together and with how it came out. I think it would be lovely in a home and would really make a statement. Let me know if you make one like this or something similar :) -jess

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
This month’s issue of Food Network Magazine is showcasing fifty different eggs from fifty different bloggers (you can now see them all online here: Easter Eggs Across America). Each state is represented! I am honored to represent Louisiana as this is the state I have lived in for the past six years. I have grown to love it here as it is a state full of it’s own unique culture and such wonderful people. I had to share a few ideas on what type of egg I could create that would showcase a bit of the state. I secretly really wanted to make a crawfish egg, but Mardi Gras beat it out hahaha. That is one thing this state is known for and we have enjoyed all the family events that come along during that time of the year. I now get to share the Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY for anyone who might want to make one or create their own spin of this type of egg. Or, as i like to call it, a Masquer-Egg…..get it? ;)

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together
Materials needed:

  • Boiled Egg or Fake Egg (I used an Eggnot)
  • Mardi Gras colors of acrylic paint (purple and green)
  • 2 Paint Brushes
  • Gold Leaf Flakes
  • Gold Leaf Adhesive (my local craft stores were all out, so I used Mod Podge and it worked great)
  • Optional: One Step Crackle Finish (I used this to try to create more texture, but it didn’t make enough of a noticeable difference in my opinion)
  • Mask: black card stock, toothpick, small feathers, small rhinestones, glue, and small scissors or exacto knife)
  • Optional: Egg Carton

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Begin by painting the top of the egg purple. Allow to fully dry. I found that using an old egg carton upside down was a great way to set the egg in place during drying times (see picture further down of this).

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once the purple is dry, paint the rest green. Allow it to fully dry. If you like, this is when you can add the one step crackle finish to one side at a time. Allow to dry.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Now for the fun part. I had never used gold leaf flakes before and was excited to try it out. It was fun! It made me want to gold leaf all the things. I painted on a layer of Mod Podge to one end of the egg. Then I took a dry brush and placed it in the gold leaf flakes and applied them. I just added the flakes until I was happy with it. Then I took the brush I had applied the Mod Podge with and added a top coating of Mod Podge to the flakes to seal them in place.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once that half is dry, flip the egg over and repeat on the other end.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
For the mask, I found a simple outline on the internet. I printed it to the size I wanted and used that as a template to cut out the black card stock. I had no small scissors, so I used an exacto knife to make the small intricate cuts.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
You can decorate your mask how you like, but I glued on small feathers and two small rhinestones for a simple look. Then I painted a toothpick black to be the holder. Glue the mask in a place you like and let it dry. Now you have a fancy Mardi Gras Easter Egg. Don’t forget to check out the Food Network Magazine to see all the other state Easter Eggs.  -jess

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Last weekend I hosted my Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop. It was so much fun and to add to the fun it actually snowed the morning of this workshop! It never snows here in Southwest Louisiana so it was quite a surprise. The locals told me the last time it actually snowed like this was twenty something years ago. It was also the first time my two daughters were able to experience snow and that was a whole magical thing to watch in and of itself. So with snow on the ground (but not the roads thankfully), I prepared for my guests and we even made them gumbo and hot chocolate (from scratch!) to enjoy during the craft night.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I kept the decor simple since our home was already decorated for Christmas. I made a simple sign with some card stock using my Cricut machine and used paper decorations that I have picked up over the years when I see them on sale. I highly recommend doing that if you host lots of parties. Then you have a stash you can always grab from. I laid out each space with the sign they would be painting, their supplies, and fabric covered plastic candy canes with their names on it.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Once everyone arrived, we snacked some and then got to work. There were three projects: a Christmas countdown sign, oyster shell ornaments, and water color gift tags with pom poms. While the sign and ornaments were a “do it just like me” kind of project, the water color tags allowed them to be creative and make them however they wanted. I loved seeing everyone’s creativity and I enjoyed sharing with them skills they hadn’t learned before.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I’m so thankful for these ladies that support and encourage me in my crafting endeavors. They make these type of events so worth it! -jess