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    Everyone needs a faux mantel!

    Ok…we admit, the holidays got the best of both our waistline and our blogging….we’re working on it! At least the blogging part…we’ll keep you posted on our gym motivation.

    Lately, we have been loving CHARACTER & finding ways of adding it into our little fixer upper. So yes, when we found out our first house didn’t have a cozy fireplace complete with a fire iron and a mantel in the master bedroom, we were (or at least Cassie was) searching for inspiration (Pinterest!) and getting creative! Of course we could have just installed a fire place….but what fun would that have been? A DIY faux mantel was a little more up our alley and a perfect fit (not to mention fairly simple & incredibly inexpensive!)!



    We first cut the beam to our desired length & then it was time to paint. For this particular project we chose a vintage decor paint from Martha Stewart’s crafts line at Michaels. Lately, I’ve been using white chalk paint in bulk and have transitioned to Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint from Menards. The linen white, country gray, and matte clear coat are my fav!


    The beam that we purchased had a slight green tint, so an additional coat of paint was needed…three in total covered the best!

    Next up…install…and that was all Tyler! Metal rods (2, 5″ in length), liquid nail, and lots of measuring. Two 2.5″ holes were drilled into both the wall and into the beam to match the size of the metal rod. The metal rods were inserted into the wall, secured with liquid nail, and allowed to dry. Once dry, liquid nail was inserted into the holes in the beam and then the beam was lifted up onto the rods and secured as the liquid nail dried.

    And it’s up! Time to dry.

    Added the TV and a little decor…project complete!

    Wanna make your own? Here is what you need.

    -8 ft beam (or smaller depending on the size of the space) cut to your desired length
    -paint (we used a decor paint from Michaels)
    -metal rods (2) for securing to the wall (we used 5″ rods based on our wall studs and beam size)
    -liquid nail

    Happy faux manteling!

    xo, the Russells


    Under the Mistletoe

    Christmas has always been a favorite around the Russell house…we literally count down the days starting December 26th (only 359 days to go!) There is just something about snow falling, the taste of hot apple cider, Baby It’s Cold Outside playing, the smell of a fresh cut tree, and the twinkle of Christmas lights that can’t help but bring out a smile. Isn’t the Christmas season magical?

    Christmas only comes once a year so of course we didn’t leave any of the details out!

    First came the tree…

    Our rustic barn doors needed a little holiday spirit…DIY wreath compliments of Target & Hobby Lobby and only $10!

    And then there was…tree #2 (we just had to have a REAL tree this year!)!

     The stockings were hung by the chimney (faux mantel for us! and of course coming to the blog soon!) with care…

    And the decorations dazzled in hopes that St.Nick would soon be there…


    What an amazing Christmas it was…we have SO much to be thankful for
    & there is nothing like the Christmas season to help remind us!
    (PS. we found the best site to order Christmas cards from quickly and inexpensively! Check it out here!)

    However, somewhere in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, we forgot to make our 2nd annual Christmas ornament featuring our two big mile stones of 2016…buying our first house and welcoming Harvey our Shiba to the family. If we finish by tomorrow, it still counts right?!

    Did you meet under the mistletoe? We can’t wait to hear about
    your favorite things about Christmas in the comments below 🙂

    xo, the Russells


    No Tricks…Just Treats


    Throwing it back to a not so spooky Halloween weekend….greets, sweets, and lots of TREATS…yum!

    We kicked off the weekend the best way possible- a freshly brewed pot of coffee and a scrumptious breakfast. Breakfast muffins compliments of an impulse clearance cookbook purchase at the one and only Target. So simple, but so delicious…definitely a breakfast must! Pillsbury biscuits, sausage (maple for us!), shredded cheese, and an egg…simple right?!


    Recreate in 30 minutes (or less)

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin pan
    • Cook sausage through- once cooked, spoon sausage (we used maple sausage) into a large bowl
    • Add one egg and 1 c. shredded cheese to the sausage
    • Cut each biscuit into half once, and then cut in half again
    • Roll each 1/4 biscuit into the sausage, egg, and cheese mixture
    • Place 4 1/4 biscuits into each muffin tin
    • Sprinkle 1/2 c. of shredded cheese onto each muffin & place into oven

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    • Bake for 15-20 minutes & breakfast is served!



    Next up, pumpkin spice mini donuts (insert heart eyes emoji).

    Into the oven they go…img_8564

    22 minutes later….. hello to the perfect Fall mini donut! Again compliments of the ever famous Everyday Fall Baking clearance cookbook find…best $8 EVER!


    And last but not least treats of the candy variety (Sour Patch Kids and Laffy Taffy for days..oh yah!). Our first Halloween in our first house…all the treats without the tricks! And of course SKOL Vikings 😉


    xo, the Russells

    Let the projects begin!

    First comes house….then comes house projects! We made our list, we checked it twice, and the projects began!

    Paint, nails, plywood…we jumped aboard the farmhouse trend train & our DIY shiplap wall was born.



    So let’s start with the basics:

    • 8′ X 4′ X 1/4″ plywood (we used 3 sheets) cut into 8″ strips
    • 1″ wire brads
    • 1 gallon of semi gloss white paint
    • 2 pennies for spacing

    We started by cutting the plywood sheets into 8″ strips which was the most time consuming part. After the strips were cut, it was smooth sailing & we started nailing each board to the wall.

    TIP: Use the pennies to keep the spacing equal between each board 🙂


    Almost finished…one more board!


    Two coats of white paint & voila….

    Hello shiplap wall!


    And for the finishing touches…decor!


    Wooden letters: Hobby Lobby  (added twine and black paint for an extra farmhouse feel)

    Hanging tin baskets: Decor Steals (this sight is AMAZING! but be warned…you will become addicted!)


    xo, the Russells


    Miss us?! We missed you!!!!

    This summer has been absolutely nuts…our heads are still spinning! Where did the last three months go?!

    SO you’re maybe wondering where your his and hers bloggers have been hiding out?

    We can’t wait to fill you in! From buying our first house to adding a fury friend to our family, we have so much to share. EEEK!!


    It has been project city at the his and hers household and they are all coming straight to the blog….ship lap, chalk paint, and all our favorite farmhouse finds..filled with tutorials and photos of course! Hello DIY lovers!!

    What are you most excited for us to share? Tell us below in the comments!

    xo, Cassie

    All things Anniversary!

    As many brides and grooms do in preparing for their wedding, we inadvertently planned  for our first anniversary and many more to follow. Although the BIG 1st anniversary seemed like light years away, we froze the top layer of our wedding cake, contemplated booking a one year anniversary photo session, dreamt about what the first year would entail, purchased our wedding video to reminisce about the special day…and then, just like that, a year had passed… it was May 23rd,  our anniversary…and the only thing we had really planned was to get our one year old, possibly dry,  cake out of the freezer! What at one point seemed like such a distant thought was suddenly right in front of us. An entire year had FLOWN by!

    After much contemplation, we settled on a casual dinner filled with walleye fingers (for all of our Fargo followers, Doolittles has the BEST walleye fingers!!!), scallops, steak, and the most delicious creme brûlée (I adore a good cream brûlée!!), oh and wine of course- can’t forget the wine! We then headed home to our half packed apartment, (yes, we were in the middle of moving!) ate our semi-dry raspberry vanilla cake, and watched our wedding video for the first time. It was like we were there all over again. It’s funny how many things you miss when you are the center of every picture, hug, well wish, and toast!


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    And last but not least, we exchanged our “paper” gifts….well Tyler gave me his gift. I, as usual, had procrastinated just a little and Tyler’s gift didn’t arrive until the following week…oopsie!

    Now for those of you who haven’t celebrated an anniversary or have but didn’t know there were rules…well, there are! Rules regarding gifts, what you should do, etc etc. For your first anniversary the gift is paper, second is cotton, third is leather, etc. And if you want to follow the modern list instead there is a entire different set. Crazy right?! WHO KNEW! But don’t worry, Hallmark has the hookup for keeping all of these straight!

    Tyler blew me away with the thoughtfulness and creativity he put into his paper gift. Isn’t his countdown adorable?!


    And then a week later….my gift to Tyler showed up, but who is counting (thankfully he is a good sport about nearly everything)? A classic wedding photo with our first dance lyrics printed atop.


    As cliche as it may sound, a year really does fly by. Each and every one does. Find reasons to celebrate, have fun, and remember to be thankful for each and everyday. And if you find yourself in our position and your anniversary is tomorrow, you haven’t picked up flowers, there is no reservation, and your cake is a little freezer burnt we have you covered! Check out these great ideas  for celebrating your first anniversary (or 50th!).

    First Anniversary To Dos

    Take a photo holding a photo from your wedding day- repeat each year using the prior year’s photo (we still need to do this!)

    Have dinner at your wedding venue or at the location of your first date

    Save the top layer of your wedding cake and eat it on the big #1

    Dance to the first song you danced to as Mr. and Mrs. 

    Take a trip to your honeymoon destination

    xo, Cassie

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    But first…BRUNCH!

    Brunch hard or go home…especially on Mother’s Day! And let me just tell you, we brunched SO hard!

    Tyler and I were lucky enough to host Mother’s Day this year and we had such a blast doing it. A mix of a few new recipes, a few favorites, lots of family, and even more fun!

    Check out our menu and decor below. And Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mamas out there!

    xo, Cassie

    Setting the brunch mood with a little floral chic decor. It wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without a celebratory table sign and a splash of pink! I’m a huge fan of incorporating vintage, feminine elements into everyday decor as well as special occasions like Mother’s Day brunch!




    Appetizers: Chocolate filled croissants with chocolate drizzle! & fruit of course!

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    Our family members are HUGE chocolate lovers so these were a no brainer! Not to mention, so incredibly easy to make. Pillsbury croissant rolls, chocolate chips, and a little butter.


    We finally pulled out one of our favorite wedding gifts! This five piece serving set was the perfect piece for our fruit bowl.

    Main Course: French toast, eggs, hash brown cups, and Cloverdale maple bacon!


    This French toast is one of our absolute favorite recipes! I found the recipe a while back & it never disappoints! I honestly cannot remember where I found it, but will type up my food stained paper copy below for those who want to give this heavenly toast a try! Add maple syrup, peanut butter, or powdered sugar– either way this is a for sure win!

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    Pinterest pulled through for me once again with these delicious hash brown cups. Hash browns are one of my favorite breakfast foods to eat, but I HATE making them! I have tried and failed way too many times and have never been able to get them as crispy as our favorite breakfast spot. But these hash brown cups were amazing! And again, super simple! Ore Ida frozen shredded potatoes, a little cheese, an egg, and 55 minutes in the oven–hallelujah!

    Brunch wouldn’t be brunch without our favorite Cloverdale maple bacon– it was a must have! We especially loved using the maple flavor for breakfast as it paired so well with our other dishes.

    And don’t forget the eggs! We chose a basic scrambled egg for ease. Hint: ALWAYS add milk! The eggs are much more fluffy and airy with a splash of milk. And don’t forget a sprinkling of cheese for all of my cheese lovers out there!


    Want to recreate our brunch menu? Links below!


    20 Minute Chocolate Crescents (Croissants).

    Awesome French Toast
    (dear writer of this recipe, you are amazing!! I wish I remember who you are!)

    6 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream, half & half, or milk (for our brunch we used half & half but have also made with milk!)
    2 tbsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    pinch of ground nutmeg
    pinch of salt
    6 slices (1 inch thick) bread (we’ve always made more than 6 slides and use Texas toast— we’ve loved it!)
    4 tbsp unsalted butter (we improvised and used salted)
    4 tbsp vegetable oil
    maple syrup or any other topping you like!

    1. Whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside
    2. Place bread in shallow baking dish large enough to hold bread slices in a single layer. Pour egg mixture over bread; soak 10 minutes. Turn slices over; soak until soaked through, about 10 minutes more.
    3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry half the bread slices until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack; place in oven while cooking remaining bread. Wipe skillet and repeat with remaining butter, oil, and bread. Keep in oven until read to serve.

    Simple Ore Ida Hash Brown Cups