January 12, 2015

DIY Gold Fish-scale Wall Art

Now that I’ve got most of my place painted, I’m spending time on the smaller details of the decor. I am obsessed with adding texture to each room in subtle and not so subtle ways.

For my bedroom I choose a jewel tone palette and I want the vibe to be rich and sexy in color, texture and overall vibe. I’ve done this by mixing modern and natural accents and lots of saturated fabrics both solid and patterns.

This scaled piece has been on my list for a while now. I’ve had several ideas on how I want it to look. I considered making it a headboard, doing a trio of square pieces, etc. but when I saw this frame in salvation army I knew that I wanted to use it for this project.

I saw the original project on pinterest, which uses slightly different materials. I used what I had.

I highly recommend buying a circle cutter for this project versus hand cutting the circles. You really want them to be precise and it will go by much faster.

What you’ll need
  • A frame or plywood
  • Circle cutter 
  • Glue gun
  • Craft paper
  • Poster paper
  • Tape
  • Spray paint
How it’s done
I bought bunch of poster board from the dollar store and used the circle cutter to make 4” circles. You can make them big or small, I think smaller circles look much better.

Then I covered the frame with craft paper. I may want to use it for something else later.

Draw out or use tape to create straight lines across the frame.

Use a glue gun to place the circles on the frame starting at the bottom.

Once it is covered leave it overnight to dry.

When it’s completely dry flip it over and cut the round edges off.

Glue the edges done.

In a well ventilated area spray paint the frame. Now, you can use any color you want to match your decor.

This is a fairly simple project, cutting the circles was the most time consuming part.

I’m in love with the finish product. It is just perfect for the tone that I’m setting in my bedroom.

  • Use poster paper! If you use a thinner weight then the circles are more likely to crease.
  • Make sure you get under the circles you don't want any white parts showing. 
  • Ask a friend to help you hang it. My frame is currently a bit crooked, hanging a frame of this size is definitely a two person job!

December 23, 2014

DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Its crunch time people! And I have several super simple DIY gift ideas for the holidays.

Infused Liquor Set
I already have a post about infusing liquor here. The bottles are from ikea, you can also get them from Target or Walmart on the cheap.

What you’ll need:
  • Glass bottles.
  • Alcohol: don’t buy anything too expensive.
  • Flavor ideas: orange, chocolate, vanilla, dried candied pineapple, dried candied ginger.
  • Boil the bottles to sanitize.
  • Go light on the sugar you can always add more. Measurements do not have to be exact.
  • The contents should be shaken and tasted weekly.

Cigar Box
I bought a plain wood box from Joann’s Fabrics and painted it with a leftover paint sample that I had in my house. I also bought a clear spray paint gloss from Home Depot to give it a glossy finish.

Super size this gift by adding:
  • Cigars
  • A bottle of wine or cognac
  • Gift card to cigar shop

Infused Oil Set
I always have a set in my kitchen. It is an easy way to layer flavor in dishes like omelets, stir-fry and homemade salad dressings.

What you’ll need:
  • Olive oil
  • Flavor ideas: Garlic, Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
After you sanitize the bottles, pour the olive oil into the container to measure how much you’ll need. Add the flavor component(s) and let the oil come to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the oil for as long as possible. Let it cool down and add it to the bottles.

Infused Honey
It is cold and flu season so this is a perfect option! There are two ways infuse here. The first is by using a double boiler and adding the flavor components, is to add the flavor components to the honey and let it infuse over time.

What you’ll need:
  • Glass Jars
  • Honey
  • Flavor: Sage, lemon bomb, citrus (zest/peel), ginger

Sage Simple Syrup

Equal parts water and sugar plus a flavor component and voila! My favorite is sage simple syrup, which I love to put in my coffee. Yeah I know sounds real but it’s magically delicious.

You know the drill, glass bottles, twine, pretty package, hooray!

Anywho! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! xoxo

November 29, 2014

Jordan's Homemade Popcorn

My mom is obsessed with popcorn and now my nephew is obsessed as well haha! When she watches him they each make their own popcorn. My mom like it pretty plain, but Jordan adds a little bit of flair with butter and black pepper. Never seen a kid more obsessed with black pepper.

My new go to is butter and franks red hot sauce before the kernels pop. Too damn good. 

He used three adult handfuls of kernels about 1/4 cup, about a tablespoon of olive oil, butter and black pepper for flavor. Making popcorn is so easy and seriously better than store bought. Hello snack attack! 

November 24, 2014


I’m not big on bread, but for thanksgiving you have to have cornbread. My family has two types of cornbread. This version and then a pan fried cornbread which is just water and cornmeal fried using olive oil. Sounds simple but it is so delicious with greens. My nephew who tends to be a picky eater always requests that my mother make several corn cakes for him during thanksgiving. 

We also have traditional cornbread, which I love making in a cast iron skillet. It just taste so much better when it’s baked in a cast iron skillet. The crust around the outside comes out perfect and I prefer a pie slice rather than a square slice or muffin. That is oddly specific I know, don’t judge me lol. Anywho, you can bake it in whatever you want it will come out great either way.

Tip: Save your butter milk by portioning out what you're not using by freezing ziplock bag. 

What you’ll need
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 2/3 cup white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease your pan. Use olive oil or butter. If you are using a cast iron skillet pop the greased pan in the oven to warm once the oven is hot until you are ready to pour in the batter for baking.

Melt the butter in a pot on low/medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Make sure mixture not too hot! You don't want the eggs to cook. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in the pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and no lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool a bit before serving.

If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu 
  • Turkey Roulade
  • Cast Iron Cornbread 
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria 
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes | WHAT TO MAKE FOR THANKSGIVING

If you've been following me for a millisecond you know I love fresh herbs. This dish is a small twist on traditional mashed potatoes perfect for thanksgiving. This recipe was a happy accident, sage happened to be the only herb that I had on hand while I was making this dish one evening. The sage complimented the sweet potatoes so well, I loved it so much that I have been making it with sage ever since.  

What you'll need
  • About 1 lb of potatoes
  • 3 Sprigs of fresh sage, 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Heavy cream as needed

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Add to a pot and fill with water just until the potatoes are just covered.

Add three cloves of garlic, 2-3 sprigs of sage and 1-2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary. Cook until tender.

Strain water and remove herbs. Add the butter and begin to mash with a spoon.

Once butter is incorporated, whip until smooth adding heavy cream when necessary.

If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu
  • Turkey Roulade
  • Cast Iron Cornbread
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes
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