[life] BIG news on the homefront!

As of a few weeks ago, Bryan and I are officially going to be moving into a new home!!  “La Casa”, as we like to call it, is a TOTAL fixer upper, aka, a DIY DREAM.  We will be doing everything to it from painting (exterior and interior), floors, landscaping, etc.  If you are not into “before and afters”, feel free to tune me out for the next few months ;).  I can’t wait to get my hands on this new project and make it my own. Living in a house (with a yard!!!) is also going to allow Bryan and I to live out our (newly found) farm dreams…chickens! dogs! vegetable gardens! oh my!  For those of you out there that have tackled many a home improvement project…send your advice our way!! I leave you with our first ‘before and after’ (although..its really a before..and work in progress)…


Next up…choosing paint colors!  Turns out I could stare at the paint colors at Home Depot for days…

We are also in the process of picking out a laminate wood floor which they swear is ‘easy to install’…so I’ll keep you posted on that one!

Wish us luck, and stay tuned for (many!) more updates!




[Amy’s Kitchen] Melon Salsa

For this fresh, springtime salsa, you will need:

1/2 honeydew melon

1/2 cantaloupe melon




1/2 red onion

dash of sea salt

Dice up ingredients (minus the lime and salt).  Mix. Add/subtract ingredients to taste. Squeeze lime on top, sprinkle sea salt on top.  Serve with tortilla chips, or on top of grilled fish or chicken.  Enjoy!



*recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

[Amy’s Kitchen] Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

A few weeks ago for our family’s Passover seder, I was in charge of bringing dessert.  I found this great (flour free, yeast free, passover friendly) recipe on Smitten Kitchen and gave it a whirl!  It was a hit at the Seder, and even though the week of Passover has..passed over…I still wanted to share this yummy treat with y’all!

You will need:

14 ounces  sweetened, flaked coconut

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 pint  fresh raspberries

one bag of chocolate chips

First, preheat the oven to 375 degree, then, line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.

In a food processor, blend the coconut for about one minute.  Add the sugar and blend for about another minute.  Add egg whites, almond extract, and salt and blend for another minute (this is when it starts to smell rrrreal good).  Add raspberries and pulse until raspberries are broken up (but NOT completely blended in).  *Having the raspberries in chunks will create a pretty marble look later on ;).

Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter into one each mounds onto the cookie sheets.  Since they won’t be ‘rising’, you can put the mounds fairly close together.

Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges look browned.  I think I took mine out too soon, because they were still pretty gooey..so just watch out for that.  I ended up putting mine in the fridge for a little while to firm em up.

While the macaroons are cooling, slowly melt the chocolate chips in a sauce pan, and drizzle (or ‘Jackson Polluck’ style in my case) chocolate on top of the macaroons.

All done!  Now, sit back and enjoy this raspberry-coconuty-chocolatey goodness!



[DIY] j to T to z

Welcome to the T party!!!

Introducing the latest J to Z guest blogger Teale (T)!

In the wake of Coachella, T has so graciously put together some fun and fashionable DIYs for our viewing pleasure. Although I myself am not attending the festivities in SoCal this weekend (tear), I’m totally inspired to rip off these festy accessories and have my own little dance party here in Austin, Texas.

So before T boards her  Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Palm Springs (beer, snacks, trivia & mood music from a mile high dj inclusive, say whaaaaat?), here are a couple DIYs she’ll be packing along with her game face, party hat & of course… her dancin’ shoes.

So jelly.

Have fun at Coachelly.





[friDIY] Green Grass Coasters

Happy FriDIY yall! For our Tie DIY party this past weekend, Jen and I wanted to make something special for our guests.  We decided on making coasters for the mini-mason jar-mimosas (say that 5 times fast…).  We originally wanted to use artificial grass, or astroturf, but when that was hard to locate…we settled on this awesome paper!  To make these coasters, you will need:

cork board (ours already came cut in squares, but you could buy a larger piece and cut any shape you want)

decorative paper (the possibilities are endless!)

Mod Podge

small paint brush


glue (any kind, to attach paper to cork board)

Cut the paper into squares slightly smaller than your piece of cork.  Glue the paper to the cork.

Cover the entire top of the coaster with Mod Podge.  This allows for the surface to be water proof, and secures the paper even tighter.  Let this dry over night. *If you are doing this on a paper surface (ie, the poster board I was working on), be careful about the entire coaster sticking to it.  I had to reposition my multiple times so that they weren’t permanently stuck to the poster board.

After they dry, place underneath yummy coctkails, and enjoy!



[DIY] Peep + Jelly Bean Bouquet!

My mom sent me this picture this weekend of an ADORABLE arrangement she put together for the holidays.  She is an amazing artist herself, and is always inspiring me with her creativity.  I love how she used the Peeps in a tasteful way, and its not just another generic pastel Easter decoration 🙂 All you need is:

a vase (preferably square)

jelly beans (any color)

Peeps (any color)

flowers (her inspiration used Gerber Daisys, but I loved what she ended up using)

a small clear plastic cup

Place the cup on the base of the vase in the middle.  Surround the vase with a small layer of jelly beans, and then place Peeps on top of the jelly beans.  Fill up the cup with a few inches of water and place flowers in there.  Great job mama! Love you!



[life] tie DIY party

As Jen mentioned the other day- Spring has Sprung!  We kicked off our favorite season with a day of fun in a local park with our girl friends.  This park is known for the group of (beautiful!) peacocks freely roaming the grounds, and they really added a unique touch to our afternoon.  We had each guest bring a white item to tie dye, and after the mimosas and snacks, we got right down to dying!  Here are some more pictures from the afternoon.  It was such a fun day, and a great way to embrace Spring :)!

These cascarones may/may not have ended up on my head on by the end of the party :)…

Simple and easy touch- add a Peep to each glass to add pop of color (and hint of the holiday)!

Champagne + pink lemonade+ blueberries = DELISH

I must say, I have hosted many a tie-dye party in my day..and this year the final products were STUNNING!  Don’t you agree?



[diy] Tissue Paper Flowers

tissue paper flowers add a fun pop of color to any occasion: outdoor fiestas in the park, birthdays…or just because it’s tuesday and already, we’re wishing it was friday 🙂


tissue paper (all colors)


pipe cleaners


fold each piece of tissue accordion style

gradually cut each end of the tissue in 1 inch intervals (these differing lengths will help create depth)

cut a point or curve at the end of each sheet to create shape (i chose the point method for mine)

bind each sheet of tissue with a pipe cleaner (to be removed after this process) and cut along the accordion fold on each sheet, making sure you do not cut all the way through the middle. just cut along the folds on each side of the pipe cleaner.

after cutting along the folds of each sheet, lay your tissue paper out, largest sheet on the bottom, smallest sheet at the top. align the folds as best as you can (does not need to be perfect), and begin the accordion fold method bunching all colors of tissue together.

once all sheets are collectively folded together, loosely twist your pipe cleaner at the center and begin gently unfolding each petal away from the folds and toward the center.

continue doing this layer by layer until all layers have been gently pealed out of their folds, upright and outward into a beautiful blossom!

inspiration from here



[life]: hello spring!

Certainly feels like April in Austin! Topped off a lovely weekend with a little crafting in the park.

More pics to come! Hope you’re having a good Monday!