Jessica Yonker

"Now you're just some flokati that I used to know."

Jessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on Chopped. Like her mother, she's obsessed with lamps, mirrors and microfiber throws. Unlike her mother, she has an unexplained aversion to chalkboard paint.

Jessica Yonker ON PINTEREST

POSTS BY Jessica Yonker

  • Tell Your Friends

When I overheard Adventures in Antiquing extraordinaire Camille gave conditioning her hair with beer a try, my first thought was probably similar to what you’re thinking right now: Whaaaat?

As it turns out, your favorite brew may have more uses than just cooling you off after a long day. And with Father’s Day right around the corner and the first official day of summer close behind, you’re bound to have a couple of extra cans of beer hanging around. Just don’t use Dad’s rare, imported stout on your hair or you might have to double up on the Father’s Day gifts this year.

1. Condition your hair. The natural sugars, B vitamins and protein found in beer can give your hair body and shine. Wash your hair as usual, then pour half a can of a warm, flat beer into your hair. Wrap your hair with a towel and wait 10 minutes. For a deep, spa-style condition, carefully heat the towel with hot water before wrapping. Rinse with a cup of apple cider vinegar (didn’t I tell you vinegar was useful?) and water.

2. Take a bath. If you’re already washing your hair with beer, why don’t you just go the extra mile and bathe in it? Add a can of beer to your next bath to create a skin-nourishing soak. Make sure to rinse off well before getting out of the tub.

3. Sleep better. Hops, a staple ingredient in most beers, is said to have properties that help you sleep. If you’ve got hops growing in your garden, try filling a sachet with the dried leaves and tossing it into the washer with your bed sheets.

4. Make a marinade. Serve up a drunk chicken at your next grill party: add a cup of your favorite beer to your usual marinade recipe for a sweet, caramelized flavor. Not sure what to put in your marinade? Try this beer marinade recipe.

5. Bake some bread. Whether you’re serving it with soup or just eating it as a snack, beer bread is delicious. Try this recipe by Good Eats star Alton Brown. Remember: the darker the beer, the more pronounced the flavor will be in the bread.

10 More Amazing Ways to Use Beer

  • Tell Your Friends

As a child, my parents could never reveal our summer vacations too early because I would immediately run into my room and start packing. Unfortunately for my loved ones, I’m not any better now – just ask anyone about the “necessities” I pack for vacations or the extensive grocery lists I create for 3-day cabin trips. (“We’re not moving in together, Jessica.”)

Hey, at least I’m prepared.

And with summer finally on the horizon, it’s time for you to prepare your home for the heat of the summer. These items will keep you organized, safe and cool, so you can spend less time worrying and more time at the pool.

A calendar. BBQ at Mom’s. Summer Camp. Disneyland. Wedding. Wedding. Waterpark. Phew! As exciting as all those summer activities can be, they can be difficult to keep track of. Invest in a big calendar, then take a few moments to mark down all the events that you know of. Make sure to put it somewhere your family members will see it – like next to the front door or in the kitchen – and keep a pen or marker nearby so you can add new events to the calendar as they come up.

A new filter. Remember, you need to change the filter in your air conditioning unit every 90 days or so. A dirty filter is not only bad for your health, but will require your AC to work harder to cool your home, quickly increasing your energy bill.

More Summer Must-Haves

  • Tell Your Friends

It’s time for another Tuesday confession from your resident Home Survival Skills blogger: I can’t grow basil.

Many of you who have successfully grown basil (and without much effort, at that) are probably laughing at me right now. From what I hear it “grows like a weed.” If only the weeds in my yard were as “lively” as my poor basil plants, I would never have to pull another weed again.

See which HGTV editor is struggling to grow basil and get tips on starting your first garden from the Design Happens crew.

Pictured: Not my basil plant. Get tips on recovering basil right here.

There’s probably something you’re struggling to grow. There’s also a chance that your fear of wilting plants is keeping you from gardening entirely. But don’t let any of that stop you – give those “ungrowables” another shot or start your first garden with these basic tips.

Pay attention to the labels. Though there are plenty of low-maintenance plants that don’t require more than a pot and some water to thrive, the process of creating intricate flower beds and thriving vegetable gardens is a little more delicate. There are thousands of species of plants that all have different needs, so make sure to note the specific variety of your plants to ensure proper care.

Get Growing

  • Tell Your Friends

Okay everyone, I have a confession to make: until a week ago, we didn’t own a working lawn mower. Thanks to our assortment of spring flowers, we got by for a while on the excuse that our yard was “cottage style.”

But then a storm came through in the middle of the night. We woke up to a yard full of scattered tree branches and flower petals. On top of that, it seemed like the rain caused the grass (and weeds) to shoot up two feet! With visions of Cinco de Mayo festivities dancing in our heads, we knew it was time to clean outside of the house. With help from a dear friend, we are now proud owners of a fully-functional lawn mower and a tidy lawn.

If you’re like us and have been neglecting your yard, now is the perfect time to give it a makeover just in time for summer – barbecue season, anyone?

Start with the gutters. The rule of cleaning from top to bottom still applies outdoors. Cleaning the gutters will remove any debris that built up over winter.

More Outdoor Cleaning Tips

  • Tell Your Friends

One of my favorite things about spring is definitely the fragrance. Fresh cut grass, aromatic flowers, the smell of the rain – I could lay in a meadow and take in all the sweet scents until summer. Of course, I can’t actually skip town and camp out in the fields for two months (I have a house to spring clean, remember?), but I can invite the smell of spring into my home through the intoxicating power of homemade potpourri.

If you’ve ever tried to make your own fragrance, you know it can be difficult to get the combination just right. That’s why we followed our noses to find easy mixes for springtime scents that you can make at home – easy Mother’s Day gift idea, anyone?

Dried flower potpourri. It wouldn’t be spring without the aroma of blooming flowers. Julia from Free People mixes together dried lavender, rose petals and cloves, then arranged them in decorative jars and containers.

More DIY Room Scents

  • Tell Your Friends

When the Design Happens crew first set our eyes on this gorgeous country wedding, it was love at first sight. Jenna and Andrew Lombardi exchanged vows on a 300-year-old Georgia farm, keeping the southern charm going with simple, nature-inspired touches like a wildflower bouquet, baby’s breath headpiece and lots of hay.

See more photos from Jenna and Andrew’s romantic, Georgia wedding >>

  • Tell Your Friends

I grew up in Seattle and as a result, I spent a lot of time playing in the rain. Parents, you can probably see where this is going: before my muddy feet could even touch the doorstep, my mother would send me directly to the shower.

Although my puddle-splashing days are [mostly] over, I’m still known to spend an hour in the shower after a storm. So instead of dreading those rainy days, use them as an excuse to relax – preferably in the comfort of one of these luxurious showers or bathtubs.

Susan Fredman Bathroom / Imperia Tub For Two / Stone Outdoor Shower
Bath Crashers Eco-Tub / Bath Crashers Spa Bathtub / Wooden Outdoor Shower

More stylish bathroom remodel ideas:

  • Tell Your Friends

Can you believe Tax Day is almost here? Yes, it’s true – somewhere between building that raised bed and decorating all those Easter eggs, we’re less than two weeks away from the April 15 deadline.

Preparing your tax return can be chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping important papers organized year-round can help you spend less time scouring your file cabinet and more time planning your Tax Day shopping spree (you know you’ve been browsing the sales).

Browse clever ideas for banishing paper clutter from HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens.

SPRING PROJECT: Upcycle Your File Cabinet

Start with the mail. It’s easy to let the mail stack up, and somehow even easier for unread letters to make rounds through every room of the house and get lost. Since it’s not always possible or practical to deal with the mail as soon as you walk in the door, create a system for sorting the mail that works for you – it doesn’t matter when or where, but a consistent routine will help you stay on top of things.

More Ways to Curb Paper Clutter

  • Tell Your Friends

You’ve seen beautiful photos of our HGTV.com editorial staff’s gardens, but I bet you’re wondering whatever happened to those terrariums and herb gardens I’ve been rambling about.

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is I discovered the cat had been using my seedlings as his own personal obstacle course:

Your four-legged friends are often the culprit of soil problems in the garden.

The good news is I started fresh (okay, I cheated and bought plants at a greenhouse) and can finally share my garden with you. Enjoy!

Peek into one of our HGTV.com editor's colorful array of container gardens and terrariums.

  • Tell Your Friends

We’ve been wishing, hoping and practically pleading with Mother Nature and now the day is here: it’s officially spring! And what better way to celebrate than by growing your own Easter basket grass?

Toss the fake, store-bought grass and try growing real grass in your Easter basket this spring. Get instructions from HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens.

If you start now, you’ll have a good-sized patch of grass within a few days. Kind of makes you wonder why you ever bothered with the fake stuff, right?

Get the full growing instructions>>

  • Tell Your Friends

The birds have returned to my neighborhood in full force. Even though they drive my dog (and my roommate) crazy, they’re a cheerful reminder that spring is finally almost here. To keep them around, I’m trying out this easy project by Susan Gibbs: fill an empty bird feeder with leftover pieces of yarn and your feathered friends will use the colorful scraps to build their nests.

Get more information and full instructions here >>

  • Tell Your Friends

With the holidays long gone and winter coming to a close, we thought our pie-eating days were over. And even though we quickly figured out National Pi Day celebrates the number 3.14 and not the baked good, we’ll take any excuse to dig into one of our favorite treats.

With sweet caramel, rich chocolate and a salty pretzel crust, this “Take the Day” pie is the perfect dessert for any occasion whether it’s Pi Day, Pie Day or even just plain-old Thursday.

Try this "Take the Day" pie in honor of National Pi Day, presented by Design Happens.

Get the recipe >>

  • Tell Your Friends

As kids, Marianne and I would have made an odd St. Patrick’s Day duo. While you’d likely find her scrambling to find something green to avoid getting pinched, I spent many a March 17 outside searching for four-leaf clovers and chasing rainbows. That leprechaun’s pot of gold was as good as mine.

Four-leaf clovers proved hard to come by and I was only allowed to follow the rainbow to the end of the street, so as you can imagine I never found the gold. But that’s okay – this year I’m bringing that pesky leprechaun to me with this easy shamrock garden.

Get ready for St. Patrick's Day with a shamrock garden centerpiece.

Learn how to make your own leprechaun garden at HGTVGardens.com >>

  • Tell Your Friends

After spending early March enduring not only freezing temperatures but also out-of-the-ordinary snow, Knoxville finally saw its first bit of spring weather this weekend. While it’s still a little chilly out, the sunny skies were just what many of us needed to get started on outdoor projects.

The nice weather inspired me to pick up a couple of seed packets and give my poor roommates a break from all our spring cleaning duties. We started a couple of flowers and spring veggies, but I’m most excited for our soon-to-be kitchen herb garden.

Get advice on starting an indoor herb garden for your kitchen or windowsill from HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens.
Growing an herb garden indoors isn’t difficult as long as you know what to plant. Herbs like mint and oregano can tolerate low-light conditions and are easily grown from seed, but herbs like basil and thyme require more sunlight and care to thrive.

Ready to get growing? Get full planting instructions right here.

What are you itching to grow this spring? 

  • Tell Your Friends

You may already know this, but we’re in love with carrot this month. So in honor of Plant a Flower Day, we rounded up our favorite orange perennials that you can plant right now for vibrant summer blooms.

See our favorite orange flowers and get planting instructions from HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens. Blackberry Lily / Mum / Klondyke Azalea
Dwarf Red Hot Poker / Dahlia / Blanket Flower /Pansy / Juila Child Rose

Happy planting! Visit the links below to get more information on each of these lively varieties: 
Blackberry Lily
Mums
Klondyke Azalea
Red Hot Poker Lily
Dahlia
Blanket Flower
Pansy
Rose

Latest Pins on Pinterest