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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


    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

    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