Monday, 16 July 2018

Painted Farmers Market Cooler

A pretty, hand-painted, Farmers Market Cooler is the perfect way to keep your fresh market fruits and veggies cool on a hot day.

I love going to our area French Market. It’s like a farmers market, but has more than just produce. There are also handmade goods and other local vendors. It runs every Saturday morning, right behind our retail store and Makery. It’s nice to pop out in the morning before the day gets busy, and grab some fresh, local veggies, pastries, and other local goods.

Paint a custom farmers market cooler bag to keep your veggies fresh


I bring a soft cooler from our local grocery store for the items that need to be kept cool ,like eggs.  I thought it would be fun to pretty it up a little bit, and make it a little nicer. I used DecoArt’s new Stylin’ Paints to make a Painted Farmers Market Cooler. Even though Stylin’ is for fashion accessories, it will work on any soft surface without cracking, and is super-durable. I knew it would be perfect for my custom cooler!

Upcycle a grocery store cooler with paint

To make this project, you’ll need:

A grocery store soft cooler

Blue painter’s tape


DecoArt Stylin’ Paint for Fashion Accessories in:

White,Chestnut,Beige,Black,Yellow,Brick, and Green

I started by taping off where I wanted my Farmers Market sign to go with blue painter’s tape.

Tape off sign area on farmers market cooler and paint with white paint

I  brushed on several coats of White and removed the tape. To go around my sign, I wanted a slightly darker brown than what is available . Luckily, Stylin’ is easy to mix, so I stirred one part Black into Chestnut, and made a darker brown.

Custom mixed brown color

I brushed that all over the outside of the cooler, leaving a taped off area from the handle base up.

Paint outside of cooler to look like a wood sign with Stylin' paints

I also brushed on White,Beige, Chestnut and Black to make it look like a wood sign.

After that dried, I lettered my Farmers Market sign in Black , and started painting my veggies. I decided on corn, carrots, a beet, and kale.

Painting corn, a base layer on a farmers market cooler

I started by laying down the base colors for my veggies, and then adding layers over the top of color, finishing with white to make it pop. Between each layer, if it was too wet, I let it dry.

Painting an ear of corn on a farmers market cooler

Stylin’ works just like an acrylic paint, so you can layer as you go.

Farmers market cooler tote painted with Stylin' paints

Once I let the paint cure for 24-48 hours, it was ready to use!

Hand painted farmers market cooler with veggies on it


I am really excited to take it with me on my next Farmers Market outing!

If you love  custom projects, check out these hand-painted floral boots.


This post is sponsored by DecoArt opinions are entirely my own

The post Painted Farmers Market Cooler appeared first on Jennifer Rizzo.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Tomato and Mozzerella Herbed-Crust Flatbread Recipe

This Herbed Crust Flatbread Recipe is a favorite go-to in our house. It’s something we generally pull out when either groceries are low, I didn’t really plan a meal, or when we want something on the lighter side.

Herbed crust flat bread recipe

I  always have flour, olive oil, and yeast at home. The best thing is, you can pretty much throw anything on a flatbread, and it tastes good.  It’s a great “what’s left in the fridge” option. Everyone loves a personal pizza from scratch!

It just takes about an hour or so beforehand to make the dough, so there’s time for the it to rise 9 if you are going to make the dough from scratch.). Sometimes, I’m lucky, and I have left-over frozen dough from last time (Yes, you can freeze it!), or I have dough from Trader Joe’s (They have a nice, fast , fresh dough on the fly in their refrigerated dip and meals section.)

When making this recipe, you’ll also need two bowls, one for mixing, and one for rising, a clean dish towel. For our family of 5, this recipe makes about a 8 x10 flatbread each.

Fresh herbed crust flatbread recipe with fresh ingredients from scratch


To make the Herbed Flatbread crust you’ll need:

2 packets of active , dry yeast  or 4 1/2 tsp

1 1/2 cups warm (skin temp) water

 2 TBSP sugar mixed into warm water to proof dough

1/4 cup EVOO for dough

Approx. 1/8 cup of EVOO for bowl and baking sheet

4 cups organic flour for the dough and an extra 1 /4 cup for flouring the surface

2 1/2 tsp salt

3 TBSP blended Italian Seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl with the warm water and sugar mixture, sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let proof. If the yeast is active it will start to foam and expand, and will get that distinctive “yeasty” smell (about 5 -10 minutes) and it’s ready to use.

Once the yeast is proofed, add the salt and the oil. to the bowl.

Slowly add the 4 cups of flour, mixing, until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough should seem sticky, but not wet.

Once it’s mixed, form it into a loose ball,put it in an oiled bowl and brush oil over the top of the dough. You can cover it with plastic wrap, though I prefer a clean dishtowel. Place in a warm area to rise.

It should double in size in about an hour. Place dough on a floured surface, knead a few times, and it’s ready use!

To make our flatbread recipe with toppings, you’ll need:

Garlic Powder


Tomato slices

Mozzarella sliced rounds

Sliced black olives

Fresh Basil

Stretch dough on a cookie sheet, or pizza stone. Oil the top of the stretched dough with EVOO, and sprinkle with garlic powder, and a little salt.

Lay Tomato slices on top of salted dough, lay the cheese slices on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the olive slices on top and bake at 400 degrees until the edges of the dough are light brown, the cheese is a medium brown, and the dough is cooked through (at 165 degrees.)

Let rest for about 5-10 minutes on a cutting board, and sprinkle with fresh basil.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

Love this herbed-crust flatbread recipe, and other easy recipes?

Try this Cherry Tart, These Pie Crust Cookies,

This succulent-inspired party tray, and this quick and easy steak salad recipe.



The post Tomato and Mozzerella Herbed-Crust Flatbread Recipe appeared first on Jennifer Rizzo.


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Paint a Boho Dip-Dyed Basket

I love how color is finally coming back, and bohemian style is adding layers of texture to every day decor with baskets, plants and woven materials. I love the look of a boho dip-dyed basket, and it’s such a quick project, and a great way to update an inexpensive, or even just plain old basket already on-hand.

Boho basket before painting

I love the dip-dyed look. A few years ago, I painted table with dip-dyed legs and I love how it just added and extra touch.

I used my HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer to paint my basket after taping off the top. It made it super easy to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

Using a paint sprayer to paint a boho dip-dyed basket

Once the basket dried, I had the perfect place for my Sansevieria plant, which is also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue, and Snake Plant.

If you want to see how to incorporate more plants into your decor, check out this post here.

Sanseviera and Fiddle Leaf Fig in a boho living room

I love this plant! It’s so hard to kill. I forget to water it all of the time, and it hangs int here. It’s not picky like a Fiddle Leaf Fig, and doesn’t have other plant issues like aphids.

Snake plants tells you when it needs water by pulling water from it's leaves and creating sawtooth like indentations.

He’s even smart enough to let you know when he needs water, by creating saw-tooth like indentations in his leaves

Snake plant in a boho dip-dyed basket painted with a sprayer by Jennifer Rizzo

The navy blue bottom really makes the basket look so much more expensive and interesting, and it was super quick and easy to get in all of the nooks and crannies with my HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer.

Easy Boho dip-dyed spray painted basket DIY

Make sure you check out how I easily enhanced this basket, and see the full project here on HomeRight.

This post was sponsored by HomeRight, opinions are entirely my own.

The post Paint a Boho Dip-Dyed Basket appeared first on Jennifer Rizzo.


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Haven mentor blog hop and my best blogging advice!

Well hello there! Remember last week when I celebrated ten years of blogging and I mentioned a fun little event called the Haven Conference

Well, it's not so little -- we were terrified the first year that just the eight of us would be standing there...but SO MANY came! That first one was a total whirlwind. Every conference since has been a huge success and I'm proud to be a founder of this amazing event: 

Haven conference mentor

A couple of us left the team a few years back just because of the sheer amount of work involved. But we're always happy to help, so I was honored to be asked to be a mentor again this year. Mentors are there to meet up with new attendees and make them feel at ease. We each have a small group of bloggers and will catch up here and there throughout the conference. If you don't know many people this is a great way to get to know a few right off the bat! 

You'll probably recognize many of these faces: 
DIY home decor blogging conference

If you are a blogger, and especially a new blogger, I'm writing this for you! This conference is geared towards those in DIY/home decor niche, but those who write lifestyle, crafts and food blogs will walk away with a TON of helpful information. More importantly, you'll walk away with lifelong friends. 

If you're on the fence about attending, check out the info below and I think it will help you decide! And be sure to check out the posts from all of the mentors (I link them all at the end of the post). 

What is your best advice for a blogger? 

A few things:
  1. Stay consistent with content and publishing posts. I mean stick with the topic(s) you're good at and try to have a consistent publishing schedule. Your readers want to know when to watch for your content! 
  2. Speak in your OWN voice and just be yourself! It's so easy to compare. I know...I did it a lot early on! Anything other than being you will be exhausting and therefore no fun at all. 
  3. Respect your readers -- don't lie, don't make stuff up. Don't pretend you, your family or your home is something it isn't. Real life wins every time. 
  4. It's OK to keep some stuff private. I don't share pics of my family here much because they're "mine" -- I share enough with the world and I want them to myself. :) I also don't want to share anything my son may not appreciate as he gets older. AND...there are just weirdos out there. Simple as that! 
  5. Don't get obsessed. Man, I'm so glad I started this gig ten years ago. I cannot tell you how many times us blogging grandmas say that. It's much harder now breaking in, I know. But it can easily take over your life quick. Take a breath and step back consistently to keep some balance. 

TV in bedroom with gallery wall

What is your best advice for a new Haven attendee? 
I highly recommend chatting with attendees online before hand. See if there's anyone going from your area and meet up before you head to the conference. 

If you don't know anyone there, I'm not gonna lie -- at first it will be nerve-racking. But if you can open up a little and approach new people I can absolutely promise you these will be some of the best days of your entire year. Meeting other people that do what we do is so awesome. It's such a weird job we have and it's hard for most to identify with it. You will find "your people" at Haven.

And if you go and want someone to talk to, come up to ME! I'd love to meet you. 

DIY picture ledge shelves family room

Who are you most excited to meet or see at Haven this year? 

I always look forward to meeting new bloggers every year. It's funny because you feel like you know the person so it's hard to tell if you've already met. ;) You see each face so many times on their blogs and social media, and sometimes I could swear we already know each other! 

I look forward to this weekend every year because of the new people I meet and the ones I get to reconnect with. A bunch of us have been at this for a very long time and we only see each other once or twice a year. It's like a high school reunion and we always have the best time. 

Two of my best friends, Beth and Chris, are people I talk to every day but only see a few days a year. We cherish that time together so much!! 

white kitchen with wood accents

So there you go! If you didn't figure it out by now -- you should come! ;) Whether you've been at this for a few weeks or a few years -- if you want to get more serious at it, this is the event for you. I'd love to meet you! 

Check out the other lovely ladies joining me as Haven mentors this year:


 Rhoda of Southern Hospitality | Sheila of Maison de Cinq | Liz of Liz Marie Blog | 


Chris of Just a Girl | Haneen of Haneen's Haven | Ashley of The Handmade Home


Traci of Beneath My Heart | Erin of Erin Spain


Laura of Duke Manor Farm | Stacy of Stacy Risenmay | Debbie of Refresh Restyle 


Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl | Diane of In My Own Style | Beth of Home Stories A to Z
Lauren at Bless'er House | Katie at Bower Power



Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A look at our first outdoor space (and why we LOVE it)

Hello my friends! Welcome to the end of May -- can you even believe it? We've skipped right over spring here in Indiana and it's felt like the end of July for the past two weeks. I loathe the heat -- and so begins the summer "slothdom" I talk about every year.

I am not usually very productive in the summer, although I'm getting better. Last summer was full out CRAZY because our move happened so fast. I'm looking forward to a good mix of relaxation and productivity this summer!

Speaking of relaxation, I thought it was time I shared our favorite spot "in" the house lately. This one is actually outside, but it's a space we're spending a TON of time in. It's funny, because our backyard at the old house was just amazing. We added and added to it over the years to make it a beautiful oasis:
Paver patio with stone fireplace

Wood pergola on deck with lights

If you'd like to see everything we did in the old backyard, be sure to check out these posts! We worked on it for years! 

I mentioned before that there's very little we miss about the old house, and that has surprised us. Our backyard was just so pretty and magical, and we do miss it a bit -- but we know our future yard will be just as beautiful someday. 

What we don't miss is the upkeep. I didn't realize till we moved how much work it was to keep all of those outdoor spaces up. When we would entertain in the warm months we'd spend a good hour or more sweeping the deck, cleaning up cushions and pulling weeds from the paved patio. Obviously we'd do that plenty all year, but those are the times I really remember. 

I told my husband from the start in our new house -- no more decks and no more paver patios in this backyard. I don't want the upkeep of wood anymore and no more weeds that sprout in the patio (ours was worse than some I'm sure because it was surrounded by trees). I want basic concrete! That's it! ;) 

Anyway, I cannot even TELL YOU how much we are enjoying our new outdoor space. It's nothing super fancy, but we love it. We have a large covered porch and we had no idea how much we'd like this area:
 Covered patio with tall ceilings

It's around 200 square feet, which we've realized is a perfectly lovely size for what we need right now. (The trampoline looks like it's in the house but that's the reflection. 😂)

You know how I love symmetry! It won out here too, does that surprise you? :) I put our firepit in the middle and the four chairs on either side. It makes for an easy conversation area. There are two more chairs at the end of the patio that we can pull around the side as well. 

We sold our outdoor table that we had out here. We learned pretty quickly that we prefer to lounge in comfy chairs. :) 
Blue, white and aqua outdoor decor on covered patio

We've had those chairs and the firepit for years -- both were from Menards. I need to spray paint the metal on the chairs sometime this year. I'll share all the sources at the end of the post if you're interested in anything!

I mentioned a few weeks ago how much we love having a sliding glass door. Actually, not so much the sliding door as the screen door. I've never had a screen door and it's been wonderful when the weather is nice. The cats are stationed there every minute it's open: 
Gas firepit for patio

Annnnd I just realized you can see Colby sitting there. Ha!! 

The only item I don't have a source for is the ceiling fan, but I'll do some checking. I love the little detail with the trim on the ceiling -- and that it's crisp white. I was going to paint it blue but so far we haven't had any bugs nesting up there! By the way, the fan helps tremendously with bugs when we sit out there. I had no idea it would help that much: 
Blue and white striped outdoor rug

We had speakers added so we can play music. We just haven't figured out how to do it yet. 😂 We also had cable and an outlet run for a future TV one day. That will be awhile I'm sure. 

I love how the big windows look in this space -- they're so pretty inside but make a big impact out here too:
Blue and white outdoor decor on patio

We'll put the heater away soon since it's hot as Hades most of the time, but we do still use it at night occasionally. By mid-June it will be stored away I'm sure: 
Covered patio with large windows

We also have a couple more chairs we keep at the end of the porch that we sit in when we take the dog out: 
Covered patio with ceiling fan

When our backyard grass grows in more we'll have him go in the back instead. Then I plan to move the chairs and install a wood swing. I cannot freaking wait! How cool will that be?

It occurred to me the other day that we've probably spent more time outside on this covered patio in eight months than we did the past two years at our old house on the deck or patio -- and we used those a lot! The shade is BLISS. Bliss I tell you!! We get a lovely breeze through here too so it makes it so comfortable even on a hot day.

It's not quite as pretty as the old backyard, but it's super functional (and we think pretty cool looking). We are enjoying this space so much and are so thankful for it:
blue and white outdoor decor

Our backyard is much bigger than our old one and much flatter as well. We have big plans for it that I hope to share with you soon -- it will be awhile before we get started on any of that though. The biggest part will be the patio and we don't have details nailed down just yet. It's fun to dream about how it will look someday! 

Do you have an outdoor area at your house -- covered or not? I always thought a screened porch would be lovely too. Do you prefer something out in the open like our old patio or something like this? Eventually we hope to have both but I really have fallen in love with the shade. ;) 

Here's a list of the items on our porch if you're interested! Affiliate links included for your convenience:

Cushions: Lowe's but these are very similar and a better price
Rug: Target
Firepit and chairs: Menards (probably five or six years ago)
Butane heater: Amazon (no longer available but this one is similar)
Pillows: At Home and Home Depot
Thermometer: Target
Planters: Goodwill (see how I spray painted them here)
Door rug: IKEA
White side tables: World Market



Cottage kitchen and Living Room

Last week, we had looked back, to that time we flipped our rental house, and had taken a peek at the bathrooms. I wanted to look back at the cottage kitchen and living room, because it certainly didn’t start that way!

Cottage kitchen with white painted cabinets

The kitchen had been remodeled sometime in the 1980’s with those orangey oak cabinets. It also had a weird layout. I think the original owner tried to maximize cabinet space, but in the mean time, really ended up minimizing living space. The ceramic floor tile was cracked, stained and old, and the room layout was terrible.


We ended up pulling out all of the cabinets that had been on that far wall, including the refrigerator,and moving it to the main kitchen area. We also added a few new cabinets, and moving around some of the old ones around for a better layout.  You can see on the before picture, that there was counter top and a cabinet  where the fridge is on the after.

See more of the full transformation here.

We put down new floor, painted the cabinets, and added a new counter top. It became an entirely new kitchen! I know that sounds very magic wand-ish. It actually took several months, and about $6,000, and a lot of elbow grease. But, I will say, it was very satisfying and rewarding to see it become brand new, and alive.

Painted oak cabinets and a new counter top give this kitchen a nice update in this ranch remodel

Since the home was a ranch home, and the kitchen and living room smack right up next to each other, I decided to keep it light and bright.

Pretty cottage ktichen with mason jars for flowers

I really felt like they needed to be separate, but flow into each other, since when you walk in the front door, you can see right through to the back of the kitchen.

Farmhouse living room with beadboard wallpaper


We added french doors to keep it open, but separate the spaces slightly.


You can see the difference in the before picture, and you can see more of the projects here.

Oak house before cottage kitchen and living room

It’s amazing how simple changes can update an entire home. To me, interior decorating and design is like painting. It’s about putting pieces together, and then seeing what seems like it’s missing. Almost like a beautiful puzzle.

Cottage decor and vintage french doors as dividers

I loved the act of taking something that was so sad looking, and making it brand new. This house just needed  a cottage kitchen and living room, and some love, and it was ready for a new family.

At the shop, we’ve been offering interior design and decor since we opened, but it’s really started getting busy. I love how in every home we go into, a transformation happens. We are able to help a homeowner love their home all over again, most of the time using what they already have. To me, that’s the best part.

Thanks for taking a little stroll with me down memory lane!


The post Cottage kitchen and Living Room appeared first on Jennifer Rizzo.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

I'll make art out of anything!

Hey all! Thanks so much for your kind comments on my last post -- I'm glad so many of you liked my wall project in the family room. It makes such a difference in there! 

My friend Jen from the blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam recently wrote a LOVELY book called Just Open the Door (affiliate). It is such a wonderful read about opening our homes to others without the stress and anxiety that sometimes holds us back from doing so. I've known Jen for nearly ten years and she is a beautiful soul. I was thrilled to get and read her book!
Just Open the Door book

When she sent the book, the package included this lovely tea towel. I loved it but it felt like it wouldn't be seen quite enough just hanging on a rod in the kitchen. 

I had an idea to display it: 
They broke bread quote tea towel

I went to the hardware store and had a piece of plywood cut down to a 22 inch square -- only $5! 

When I got home I sprayed the heck out of the wood with this spray adhesive: 
Spray adhesive for craft projects

This stuff works best when you let it sit for a minute or so -- it gets extra sticky! 

I centered the towel on the board and any little bubbles I rubbed out: 
Making a tea towel into art

Then I grabbed my staple gun and secured the towel to the back: 
How to staple fabric around wood

Just be careful not to pull it too tight or the fabric and wording will get wonky.

On the corners I just fold it like I'm making the bed -- whatever you do just make sure it's not too bulky:
Wrapping wood with fabric to create art

This fabric is super thin so it was easy to work with. 

I put a few extra staples on the corners to make sure it doesn't budge:
How to use staple gun with fabric

Oh, and I usually cut down any corners if they're too bulky. 

I got more of my really thin pine trim I use ALL over the place to make the frame. I spray painted the pieces black and then used my nail gun to secure them around the sides: 
DIY cheap frame for artwork

If you try something like this make sure your large wood piece is thick enough that you can nail into the sides. 

That was it! It was a super quick project and I just adore it:
Using fabric or a towel to make DIY art

I hung it on a wall in the family room right by our breakfast room (the one I call the "morning" room)  since we don't have much wall space in the eating area. 

And YES, I KNOW. It's more words, ha! (Check out this post if you're confused.) But I just love how it turned out! There's no glass over but there's no need. I see pretty tea towels all the time that would make great art like this: 
DIY framed art using a tea towel or fabric

I will make art out of anything! I'm not picky. ;) And it cost me about $10 in materials. Can't beat it!! 

Have you framed anything unusual to create art for your home? You can check out all of the art I've made over the years by checking out these posts

I highly recommend Jen's book -- it would be a lovely gift as well. I'm thrilled for her and honored to help spread the word. :) 

Have a great weekend my friends!