Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Spritz

It’s 100°F outside, and triple digits always call for a refreshingly cool drink! It’s actually been a pretty mild summer for Texas, which is more than welcome; the fact that it took us until the end of July to reach triple digits is surprisingly awesome. I’ll take it!

Whether tripe or double digits, there’s nothing like a fresh squeezed lemonade to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Even better than that, how about a boozy lemonade? Prosecco and vodka, check! I had some fresh strawberries on hand, so I threw those in there, because strawberry lemonade is my favorite lemonade combo, aside from sweet tea and lemonade. It’s a hard toss up between those two!

strawberry lemonade prep iii

I wanted to throw in some fresh herbs from the garden, but couldn’t make up my mind on which one! I finally landed on rosemary, and in the end mint and basil lost, but would still be delicious option, maybe in the future. Something has been munching on my mint plant, so some necessary steps are in order to prevent that! Anyway…rosemary it is, in the form of homemade rosemary simple syrup. It’s worth it.

strawberry lemonade prep

Mmmm, fresh chopped strawberries! This is such a delicious and versatile fruit. Its amazing alone, goes well in drinks and smoothies, wonderful with desserts and salads, a perfect pairing with cereal and oatmeal, and the list goes on. Strawberries, I love you!

strawberry lemonade mortar + pestal

I just bought this lovely mortar + pestle combination and I am loving it! I’ve been meaning to buy one for a while, glad I finally did. I used it to crush up the rosemary to release the fragrances. That piney smell is so relaxing to me, such a wonderful aroma.

stawberry lemonade prep ii

Oh! How fun are these variegated pink lemons? Yes, real pink lemonade! I just couldn’t help but pick them up in the grocery store. I used them in combination with the large meyer lemons, other wise I would have been squeezing lemons for a lot longer, and honestly, I was starting to get thirsty.

strawberry lemonade spritz ii

In the end, this freshly made lemonade is completed with a prosecco and vodka combo, for a fizzy strawberry lemonade with a kick. I hope it quenches your thirst!

Boozy Raspberry Molten Lava Cake

Aww hell yisss! Anyone else in the mood for something chocolate, something raspberry, and something boozy? If so, you’re in luck because today’s sweet recipe contains all three of those qualities. So get your apron on, and spend some time in the kitchen treating yourself to deliciousness.

baking prep web

I don’t bake often, but I do love it when I do. I had promised Spencer some molten lava cakes for several weeks now, but I kept putting it off and making other meals my priority. But honestly, you’ve got to treat yourself to some dessert, because it’s pretty much happiness in a bite.

chocolate chips web

As tradition with lava cakes, it’s all about the gooey molten insides. This chocolate ganache actually contains raspberry chambord, hence the booziness.

chocolate ganache web

Ooey, gooey, boozy chocolate ganache…

chambord web

As mentioned, I used a shot of Chambord to add a little extra to the ganache for a special sauce; with it’s delicious and subtle taste, I couldn’t resist. Plus, cooking and baking with booze is always a fun experiment.

lava cake up close and personal web

molten lava cake web

Once you finish baking those bad boys, serve them hot! Throw some whip cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate on top for a delightful and decadent experience. Now…I think I need to get back in the kitchen and make some more, because I may be addicted.


For the ganache

5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chambord

For the cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate shavings, for garnish
fresh raspberries, for garnish
whipped cream, for garnish


For the Chambord Chocolate Ganache:

Starting with the ganache, place the chocolate chips into a heat safe bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat, until the cream begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips into the bowl. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. 

Using a whisk, mix the ingredients in the bowl, starting in the center and whisking outward until the chocolate and cream are well combined. Allow to cool for an additional 15 minutes; after cooling, stir in the chambord. 

Cover the ganache mixture and place in the fridge until further use. The ganache will need to set up a little, so allow for around 3o minutes in the fridge. 

For the Chocolate Lava Cake:

Using non-stick cooking spray, prepare 6 ramekins or a 1/2 dozen muffin pan. If using ramekins, place on a baking sheet once sprayed down. 

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and stir in flour and salt until blended. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixture while slowlly adding sugar; do this for about 4 – 5 minutes, until the eggs are pale in color. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir until combined. Divide the mixture among the ramekins or muffin pan. 

Remove the chocolate ganache mixture from the fridge, and spoon 1 – 2 heaping teaspoons into the center of the baking vessel. Place the ramekins/muffin pan into the preheated over and bake for 15 minutes. Using a butter knife, loosen the edges of the cakes from the pan/ramekin, and turn out onto the serving plate. 

Serve immediately and garnish with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate shavings. If desired, melt leftover chocolate ganache and drizzle over the cake. 



DIY Faux Concrete Planters

Woah, hold on…is it Spring already?! I’ve been waiting for this moment for what felt like ages! Not that I’m not a fan of Winter, but in my honest opinion, it’s not Winter if there’s not snow, cold weather, and fires. This Winter in Austin was very mild, so it was a bit hard to get into the cold weather spirit. I have an abundance of firewood and hot cocoa left over. So sad.

supplies + plants web

Needless to say, it’s finally Spring, and if there’s one thing I can rely on, it’s a full on Summer in Texas. This can be a problem sometimes with plants, so given the sometimes harsh weather, I’ve decided to go all out on house plants this year. First off, they make amazing decor and add life to any space; secondly, they cleanse your air and make you happy, and lastly, I just love plants, dammit, regardless of my sometimes unsuccessful green thumb.

process - combinedRead More »

Silverthorne | Breckenridge | Keystone

Hell yes, vacation time. It’s been 6 long years since I’ve been to the mountains during winter; I was itching to get out there and experience snow and chilly weather! It’s been so unseasonably warm in Austin; I’m not sure we ever even experienced a freeze, as all my plants are alive and well. My pepper plants have already been producing little baby peppers…wtf. It’s not even spring!

boots web

So, some of my friends planned a trip to hit up the Rockys in Keystone and Breckenridge; I’ve never been, so needless to say, I was in. What’s winter without snow? It just doesn’t feel right otherwise. We hit the road and drove from sunny 70°F weather into 45° and snowy conditions. Let me tell you, Texas is one big ass state; it takes forever to drive through it, but the change of scenery is is nice. I’ve always been a fan of road trips, despite the long drives. There’s so many neat things to see along the way, and history to experience.

spencer + john - web

Finally after two days of travel, we awoke to our first day on the mountain. There was nothing but bluebird skies and sunrays; it was a beautiful day full of anticipation and excitement. And those mountains though…for a girl that grew up in the panhandle of Texas, it’s always great to see anything more than farm lands and flat horizons.

Read More »

Fresh Flowers: Lavish Lavender

I’ve really been digging purple flowers lately, what can I say?  Especially shades is lilac, lavender, and grape. I think deep down I’m just ready for Spring, arguably one of my favorite seasons up there with Autumn.

Spring or no spring, I was inspired by these lovely purple flowers I stumbled upon at the flower market. I decided to stick with a soft, feminine palette with shades of light pink, lilac, and cream.

This floral recipe is made up of dahlia, peonies, hellebores, dusty miller, feather eucalyptus, and calcinea.

Read More »

Alternative French 75 Cocktail

Alright folks, I can appreciate a classic, after all, I’m an avid antique hunter and thrift shopper. That being said, I love to derive from the classic or standard options for something more unique or eclectic from time to time; because, sometimes you just have to experiment and open new doors. With that in mind, let’s dive right into an alternative concoction for a classic cocktail, the French 75!

coniteaur up close

Let’s start with a little history lesson and introduction to the French 75, shall we? While it’s hard to pin point the exact origin of the cocktail due to numerous gin and champagne combinations, it’s creation is attributed to a Parisian bartender who named the drink around 1915 during the early stages of World War I; over the years, it continued to gain traction through the early 20th century when it was published in several cocktail recipe books, making this drink an instant classic. 

french 75 shaker

Fun fact, this deliciously intoxicating drink was named after the French 75mm field gun, as it was said to have a kick equal to the firearm itself. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a French 75mm field gun, but straight up, it’s a canon; it was even used as an anti-aircraft gun! Keeping that in mind, this cocktail packs one hell of a punch and is sure to knock you off your feet if you’re not careful. I can confirm, one serving and I was toast. 

Read More »

Fresh Flowers: Violet Valentine’s

Hello world! I hope your Sunday is going as well as mine; it’s a beautiful day, the sun it out, and I’ve got some fresh flowers to enjoy! It happens to also be Valentine’s Day, you know, the holiday full of chocolates, red roses, and diamonds. Well…I’m not one to subscribe to the traditional Valentine’s Day, so I decided to throw together a lovely arrangement full of shades of violet, mauve, and lilac and deviated away from the usual pink and red.

boutinerre layout

But who says this holiday has to be about romantic love? How about those in our lives whom we love and bring us great joy? That’s why I also love to support Galentines/Palentines day! We should be celebrating anyone and everyone who makes a difference in our life. That also includes yourself; take some time to appreciate yourself and treat yo’ self, because we all know that a lot of times we end up putting ourselves second to everything.

white runnuculus close up

That being said, one of my favorite things to have around the house are fresh flowers. They never fail to bring a smile to my face with their cheerfulness, sweet aromas, and delicate petals. Even something as small as flowers can brighten your day. So again, treat yo’ self to some flowers anytime, anywhere! Who say’s someone has to give them to you as a romantic gesture?Read More »

Vanilla Bourbon Smash

Wow…holy hell it’s been a while. So sorry my friends, these last few months have been a journey.

Since my last post, I’ve decided to leave my career in accounting and finance behind, and pursue a more artistic career. I’m slightly terrified, but equally optimistic! After working as an accountant for five years, I’ve decided it’s time to pursue my passion of jewelry. I’ve somehow found myself back in school taking metal smithing classes, and it’s been a resource of knowledge. I’m enjoying every bit of it, and have been spending the last few months building out my work desk (which is another blog post to come!), reading and collecting countless books, and practicing, practicing, practicing.

And as far as that finance life, I left my corporate job behind to work as a studio manager for an Austin artisan designer. I won’t lie, at first I was terrified. For the early years of my life, I believed a 9-5 salaried desk job was the life, and it truly is for some when you find your passion, but I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I have longed to work with my hands and create something, anything! While I’m not necessarily doing that now in my normal work hours, I’m learning what it takes to operate a small and thriving business. It’s exhilarating and wonderful; every month is a new month and it’s an amazing growing experience.

But hey, let me not bore you with details. That’s my life, and I know you came for the cocktails!

This next cocktail recipe is dedicated to my girl Bettina, who’s been waiting for a new blog post! I didn’t realize Spencer had shared my secret internet life as a blogger with others 😉

So…cocktail recipe…since pears are still in season, I figured why not celebrate the pear, which is in season through the end of winter. An ode to pears!

pear and bourbon shot web

Crisp, delicious, and sweet; this pear cocktail is sure to tie you over from late winter to spring! Of course these days, if you’re down in Texas, it’s already starting to feel like spring.

vanilla bean simple syrup web

We’ll start this round out with a delicious homemade simple syrup; if you don’t make your own already, you should. It’s quick, easy, and deliciously customizable. This time around, I’m making a flavorful vanilla bean simple syrup. The recipe is simple: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 vanilla bean scraped. Combine the ingredients into a sauce pan and stir until the sugar is melted and the mixture is boiling. I threw in the vanilla bean husk and simmered it for an additional 10 minutes before pouring into a separate container to cool.Read More »

Braised Pulled Pork Tacos

Alright folks, I live in Texas, and if there is one thing us Texans love, it’s a great taco. You just cannot go wrong; breakfast, lunch, or dinner! There are an infinite different combinations that make tacos a favorite of mine; they may not always be traditional Mexican tacos, but I love fusion and alternative options so just about anything will fly as long as it’s delicious.
prep photos - spices iii better

This time around, I’m going for the classic pulled pork taco, a staple in the Southwest!

prep photos - spices ii

It’s nice to take a few hours to roast a pork shoulder from time to time; I just love how easy it is, while filling up your house with delicious aromas and spices.Read More »

Pineapple Jalapeño Mexican Mule

Hey folks! It feels like it’s been forever since I posted! October has proven to be a busy month so far. Speaking of, Happy October! There’s something about this month that I really love; maybe I’m partial because I was born this month, but there’s just something about all the pumpkins, Halloween, and costumes that gets me.

Oh yeah, remember that delicious Jalapeño Infused Tequila I made a little over a week ago? Well….it’s back and ready to be enjoyed in the form of the Moscow’s Mule tequila based cousin, the Mexican Mule!

mexican mule prep ii

I’m a big fan of the Moscow Mule, but equally so of the spin off cocktail concoctions inspired by. This particular drink is jam-packed full of delicious flavors, from the sweetness of pineapple, to the sourness of ginger beer, and of course, the spiciness of the jalapeño!

mexican mule flat lay

Aside from preparing the tequila a day or so in advance, this cocktail is very easy to make, it simply includes mixing together some ingredients, such as pineapple juice, ginger beer, lime juice, and tequila. So refreshing and tropical…you’d almost forget it’s not Summer. Oh wait, it’s still 90°F in Austin, so sometimes it’s easy for me to forget it’s Fall. I want so badly to wear boots, sweaters, light a fire, sip hot cocoa, and all that jazz, but I struggle sometimes when the weather is still plenty hot. Patience…patience…patience.Read More »