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Brick Walkways: How to Kill Weeds Naturally

Brick Walkways: How to Kill Weeds Naturally

Two and a half years ago Chris and I hired two outstanding stonemasons to lay a brick walkway along the side of our Craftsman Bungalow home as well as a brick landing leading to the front door. The traditional look and feel of brick was […]

The Classics: French Onion Soup

The Classics: French Onion Soup

Adapted from my original article as Food Contributor for City Farmhouse. Check that out ova here! I don’t know about you, but this broad is a soup-all-year-round kinda gal. Recently, I took a work trip to Syracuse, New York with my bestie and fortuitously feasted […]

DIY Driftwood Succulent Centerpiece

DIY Driftwood Succulent Centerpiece

If you’re looking for a reason to hit the beach this summer, do I have the reason for you. Amidst redoing the dining room, I knew the table centerpiece had to be a knock out. Hence, this DIY driftwood succulent centerpiece came to be. And it only took ten minutes to make.

Long story short; go find yo’self some baller driftwood, beaches. It’s time to play gardener.

If you’re looking for a reason to hit the beach this summer, do I have the reason for you! Amidst redoing the dining room, I knew the table centerpiece had to be a knock out. Hence, this DIY driftwood succulent centerpiece came to be. And it only took 10 minutes to make. | DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

This isn’t one of your regular DIY projects; this piece of driftwood is near and dear to me. Our wedding florist has become somewhat of a family florist, and this driftwood was used as a floral arrangement at my Daddio’s 60th a couple years back. It’s been leaning around in corners for a while when it hit me: no table centerpiece could accent this glorious, custom-made poplar table better.

Cacti and I are tight, but succulents and I have had a love/hate relationship. Our house has beautiful natural light, but these little bastards require special attention. They stretch in indirect sunlight and croak if you overwater. 😐 I’ve learned the best way to care for interior succulent arrangements is a plant mister, good drainage, understanding your indoor climate and location, location, location.

DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

First things first, our supplies & tools:

– Driftwood
– Succulents
– Large and/or small plastic bags
– Pebbles
– Succlent & Cacti potting soil
– Thumbtacks
– Power drill
– Hole saw attachment (pick your size!)
– Mallet
– 1’’ Furniture sliders
– Scissors

First up, stabilize your driftwood. My piece was generally stable, but needed a little shoring up to ensure it didn’t tip in an active area. After a couple of test runs, I used two, 1’’ furniture sliders to keep the driftwood from tipping over.

DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

Next up, make a space for your succulents. This driftwood had two natural openings. I used a power drill and 2” hole saw attachment to make room for more plants.

Once you have your potted areas, use a large or small plastic bag to fill the space. Secure to driftwood using thumbtacks. Lightly hammer in with a mallet, if necessary. Cut the excess plastic bag with scissor.

DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

TIP: Wood hardness will vary. My driftwood was incredibly hard. I bent several thumbtacks! They secured best when I tapped them in delicately.

Fill the bottom of the plastic bag with just enough pebbles to ensure drainage, retaining enough room for soil. Pot your succulents and fill any remaining room with fresh succulent/cacti potting soil. If you’re feeling fancy, top off with decorative pebbles.

DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

Voila! Your room just went from BAM to WAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM. 💣

TIP: Succulents are hardcore. You can manhandle those little SOBs to the roots and they’ll survive. So, if you need to fit them into a tight space, don’t be afraid to swipe the excess soil away. I’ve never met a plant more badass. In fact, you don’t even want to water them for two to three days after you plant them. It’s like transplant detox. Hardcooorrrrre.

SHOP THIS PROJECT!

DIY Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece | DIY Projects | DIY Home Decor | DIY Deco | Jessica Brigham Magazine Ready for Life

Any questions? Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts or suggestions below! I’ll hit you back, boo.

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Drink Your Garden: Moscow Mule

Drink Your Garden: Moscow Mule

  Happy Independence Day, yo!! What’s better than a classic cocktail that appears Russian to jumpstart this fine American holiday? 😂 The Moscow Mule was designed back in the 30s to aid the American public to imbibe on the lesser-known vodka. Well, thanks guys, ‘cause vodka […]

Before & After: Modern Vintage Dining Room Reveal

Before & After: Modern Vintage Dining Room Reveal

Somebody needs to pinch me to prove this modern vintage dining room design is a real thang, because I’m having a moment. Once I nailed the vision of our total home design, little by little my bitty bungalow exceeds my boho chic expectations. It feels […]


Culinary Conquests

Garlic Shrimp with Pesto Zoodles

Garlic Shrimp with Pesto Zoodles

It’s a good day when you find a solid gift card sitting in your side purse pocket. You know what I did with that card? I finally bought my damn self a Paderno spiralizer. I’ve had my eye on it for some time, and since spiralizing seems to be taking the health food world by storm, the time had come to invest in my cooking future.

garlic-lemon-shrimp-pesto-zoodles-zucchini-noodle-pasta-healthy-eating-paderno-spiralizer-jessica-brigham

This tool is impressive. It comes with three types of blades – thin noodles, thick noodles, and ribbon style – and suction cups to hold it in place. Unfortunately for me, none of my cooking surfaces permit easy suction, but there is a cool handle bar to assist the spiralizing process. First, you place a vegetable along a scorer, secure the back end with prongs, then churn out noodles with a fury. You’ll want to score the vegetable prior to securing to make shorter noodles or you’ll have a single noodle for days. Zucchini noodles: would they match up to pasta? Insert wide-eyed emoji. Oh wait, 😳.

garlic-lemon-shrimp-pesto-zoodles-zucchini-noodle-pasta-healthy-eating-paderno-spiralizer-jessica-brigham

Well, they did. Total A++. Not only was this recipe delicious, it’s a thirty-minute meal from start to finish. The refreshing acidity from the lemon-garlic shrimp marinade, paired with the texture and crunch of the noodles, topped with homemade pesto made by hand, and the richness of parmesan  … Oh mah gawd, pretty sure this is what heaven is made of.

I believe you could impress any Italian with these noodles; they really hold their own. Spiralizer, you put your money where my mouth is.

Garlic Shrimp with Pesto Zoodles
Serves four people

For the marinade:

1-1.5 lb. gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. white pepper, fresh ground
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of lemon zest

For the noodles:

4 large zucchini (straight, not curvy)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 cup. homemade pesto
1-2 medium to large shallots, minced
Handful of fresh basil, leaves torn
Spattering of parmesan
White wine

No. 1: Take your cleaned shrimp, rinse, pat dry with a paper towel, and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest, white pepper and salt. Let marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes.

No. 2: In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute shrimp for two minutes on each side. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add cherry tomatoes, cook for a minute, then add spiralized zucchini. Cook until noodles start to wilt down, about 3 to 5 minutes.

No. 3: Turning off heat, add pesto and torn basil leaves to the pan and stir. Dish out zucchini noodles, top with parmesan, garnish with basil leaves, and serve immediately.

No. 4: Bon appetito!

garlic-lemon-shrimp-pesto-zucchini-noodle-pasta-healthy-eating-paderno-spiralizer-jessica-brigham-blog


All Time Favorites

The Classics: French Onion Soup

The Classics: French Onion Soup

Adapted from my original article as Food Contributor for City Farmhouse. Check that out ova here! I don’t know about you, but this broad is a soup-all-year-round kinda gal. Recently, I took a work trip to Syracuse, New York with my bestie and fortuitously feasted […]

Drink Your Garden: Moscow Mule

Drink Your Garden: Moscow Mule

  Happy Independence Day, yo!! What’s better than a classic cocktail that appears Russian to jumpstart this fine American holiday? 😂 The Moscow Mule was designed back in the 30s to aid the American public to imbibe on the lesser-known vodka. Well, thanks guys, ‘cause vodka […]

Wannabe Southern Shrimp & Grits with Rampscuits

Wannabe Southern Shrimp & Grits with Rampscuits

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Drink Your Garden: Green Rhubarb Fizz

Drink Your Garden: Green Rhubarb Fizz

I don’t know about you, but I fancy me an old fashioned cocktail from time to time. That being said, how’s about a Green Rhubarb Fizz, eh? This champagne cocktail is an ode to late spring, welcoming summer and honoring the gorgeous, gargantuan rhubarb that […]

Cornish Hen with Celeriac Fries & Sage Gremolata

Cornish Hen with Celeriac Fries & Sage Gremolata

Adapted from my original article as Food Contributor at City Farmhouse. Check that out ova here! Spring hopeful time to stroll the streets of New Haven’s Little Italy. Buzzing with pedestrians, pups, and cherry blossom blooms, the first outdoor farmers’ market of the season graced Wooster Square. Even in […]