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

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POSTS BY Jessica Yonker

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Happy National Cereal Day! There’s bound to be a lot of milk-related incidents today, and this funky bowl by Fred & Friends takes the idea of crying over spilled milk to new heights.

Help Design Happens celebrate National Cereal Day with this funky cereal bowl by Fred and Friends.

from Fred & Friends

The Spilt Milk bowl is made from flexible silicone, making it virtually impossible for small hands to break. Now if only it could defend against the kids dumping half a gallon of milk all over the counter, it’d be perfect.

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We love music in my household. In fact, my roommates and I have a speaker in just about every room of the house. They help us power through our chores whether it’s tackling piles of laundry, scrubbing the tub or vacuuming – we do a lot of vacuuming.

Spend more time dancing and less time dusting with Design Happen's spring cleaning playlist.

With March finally underway, I want to kick off spring cleaning season by sharing a couple of playlists to help you breeze through your household tasks. Categorized by cleaning mood with everything from today’s pop hits to ‘80s power ballads, you’re sure to find something to get you motivated.

You can listen to the entire mix here, or read on for the individual playlists.

More House Cleaning Music

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We’re expecting a few new little faces at HGTV headquarters, so it’s no surprise the Design Happens crew has caught a severe case of baby fever. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as baby crazy as everyone else around here, but there is something else I’ve been fawning over lately: terrariums.

We're still loving terrariums at HGTV's Design Happens.Propeller Vine / Butterfly Aquarium 
Ornaments / Pear Air Plants / Hanging Score & Solder

I could look at terrariums all day. And with no foreseeable end to winter, thanks to our crazy Tennessee weather, I plan to make a terrarium of my own to put some life back into my home while I wait for spring.

Learn how to make your own terrarium in less than 20 minutes >> 

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A headboard is your ultimate chance to make a statement, but it can run you hundreds of dollars if you buy one brand new. Luckily, you can make a headboard out of practically anything. Just take Kara Paslay, who loved the look of a Moroccan-style headboard from West Elm. However, she didn’t love the price so she made her own out of – yep, you guessed it – doormats.

Find out what this stunning headboard is made out of and get instructions on making your own on HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens.

Get the full instructions >>

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Winter is undeniably one of my favorite seasons, but I’ve checked out early this year. In an attempt to coax spring into coming early, I’ve started the long and grueling process of cleaning my house.

Whether it’s deep cleaning or just tidying up, there are a few ways to go the extra mile and keep your home sparkling. During my spree, I uncovered dirty items around my home that I didn’t even realize were in need of my care. I cannot confirm or deny that I spent 30 minutes vacuuming a loveseat.

Get a head start on your spring cleaning with these deep cleaning tips from HGTV.com's blog, Design Happens.

1. The upholstery. Vacuum couches, chairs, love seats, rugs and mattresses, then spot clean with a rag and warm water. Depending on the fabric, curtains and slipcovers can be tossed in the washing machine.

2. The walls. If you have kids or pets, this might be a no-brainer – those handprints (or pawprints!) add up. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!

Clean Deeper

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If you’ve been following closely, you know that I moved into an old house at the beginning of the year. Since then, I’ve been working to collect pieces to make my cozy cottage feel even homier. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered this super cute wooden state sign on Pinterest.

The Pine Nuts offers all states and has a selection of other fun shapes in 12 vibrant colors. Don’t see anything you like? No worries – The Pine Nuts takes custom orders, so you can be as imaginative as you want!

I’ll take one of each, please.

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Achoo! A couple of us down at HGTV Headquarters aren’t feeling so well. I spent last week in bed fighting what I’m convinced was the plague, armed with only a stash of home remedies and a few boxes of tea.

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that never seem to get sick, you’re bound to catch a cold sometime. Keeping your home spic and span is one of the most important ways to ward away disease, and a thorough cleaning once you’re feeling better can prevent illness from spreading to your loved ones.

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Germ-Free: Cleaning your home after an illness will reduce the risk for spreading disease to family and friends.

Start with the air. If you don’t remember the last time you changed the AC filter in your home, you’re cheating yourself out of good health. Harmful airborne particles like smoke, bacteria, pet dander, mold and allergens can build up in your home with a dirty filter.  A quality pleated filter will only run you about $20 and last for 90 days.

Take off your shoes. Your shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Millions of harmful microorganisms can be tracked across the floor – a major problem only multiplied if you have kids that like to play on the floor. Take your shoes off at the door and politely ask guests to do the same.

Read the Rest

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The spice cabinet is by far my favorite part of the kitchen. The aroma of cinnamon and red peppers, the endless flavor combinations waiting to be discovered . . . I could go on for days.

DIY spice jars

Perhaps you remember all the great ways you can use vinegar around your home. You’ll quickly find that herbs and spices are no different, offering natural solutions for both you and your home. Plus, it’s likely you already have several of these super-spices at home – probably more than you know what to do with – making them a practically free cure-all.

The Spices

Cayenne Pepper: An easy to grow hot pepper great for adding a kick to any dish, cayenne pepper is a powerful sinus-cleanser (as many hot-sauce aficionados may know) and also great for getting rid of pests.

Cinnamon: One of the most commonly used spices, cinnamon smells good and is good for you.

Garlic: Garlic isn’t actually an herb or a spice, but a member of the lily family – making it kin to other bulbs like onions, shallots and chives. Besides its numerous uses in the kitchen, garlic can do everything from clear up acne to protect your pet from parasites.

Ginger: Ginger root has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes such as treating digestive problems or a nasty cold.

Ginseng: Like ginger, ginseng is harvested for its healing properties and can also help you feel more energetic.

Mint: The mint family actually covers a wide range of plants that includes basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage. Mint is versatile and used in cleansers, can deter pests and can also soothe a tooth or tummy ache.

Other beneficial spices include – but certainly aren’t limited to – turmeric, parsley, saffron, nutmeg, cloves and countless others.

Tricks to Try

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Football reminds me of lazy Sundays with my dad, so even though I only know enough about football for people not to groan, I’m always excited for the Super Bowl.

For those of you who have been out of the loop this season, allow me to catch you up to speed: this Sunday’s matchup of the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers is interesting because it pits head coaches Jim and John Harbaugh against each other. Yes, you read right – Jim and John are brothers!

The Super Bowl is the ultimate football fan holiday, and no holiday is complete without a party full of good friends, delicious food and drinks, of course. If you’re looking for ideas for a fun Super Bowl party, look no further – we have everything you need to keep the cheer going until the final touchdown.

The Colors

Super Bowl party ideasDesigners, from left to right: Brian Patrick Flynn / Brian Patrick Flynn / Cortney and Robert Novogratz / Meg Caswell / David Bromstad / Emily Johnston Larkin / Judith Balis / Greta Goss

Nothing says fanfare like decking out your home in team colors. Conveniently, brothers serving as head coaches aren’t the only two things tying these teams together. The Ravens and the 49ers also share glitzy gold (our January Color of the Month) as one of their team colors, but are divided between violet for the Ravens and scarlet for the 49ers. What’s great about these color combos is that they look good all year, so feel free to make your Super Bowl decor a little more permanent.

Touchdown-Scoring Party Ideas

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It’s true that keeping a closet neat and organized is a difficult task, but life with no closet or a small closet may feel like you’re just perpetually shifting things around.

closet storage ideas

Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. I wrapped up my holiday season by moving into an old house with two close friends.  The house was built in the early 1900s, has beautiful hardwood floors and a mantel in the living room and two of the bedrooms.

The only problem is that my lovely new home has no closets. It also didn’t take too long for my roommates to realize that dorm life had spoiled me – I was the proud owner of no furniture, mismatched, collapsible hampers and a mountain of clothes and shoes.

There are plenty of ways to fake an organized space if a traditional closet just isn’t possible. You can make or buy an armoire or chifferobe, build your own custom closet or repurpose items to create a storage nook.

Unwilling and unable to purchase an expensive armoire or go custom, I chose the latter option and invested in a freestanding wardrobe.  I plan to strip the cloth cover (the fabric resembles a reusable shopping bag) and hang sheer curtains in its place – an easy first step since the wardrobe is held together by metal rods. To hide my always-growing shoe collection, I’ll place a shoe organizer inside. I also want to get a wood pallet cut (almost any home improvement store will do this for you) to sit on top, leaving me space to stash baskets of scarves, socks, hats and other accessories.

It sounds like a bit of a hassle at first, but I certainly wouldn’t trade the time I estimate the project will take for living out of a suitcase again. I’m also pretty sure my roommates want their coat rack back.

How do you deal with a lack of closet space? Tell us how you battle clutter in the comments below and for more creative storage solutions, visit the links below:
Storage 101: A Closet Makeover
12 Steps to Your Dream Closet
8 Revamps for Your Closet
Declutter the Closet
Repurposing Household Items for Closet Organization
Kids’ Room Storage Solutions
Maximizing Storage in Your Walk-In Closet
Make Your Closet Resemble a Chic Boutique

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I don’t know about you, but this gloomy weather has many of our editors ready to go into hibernation (the rest are still bright and cheery from their encounter with Color Splash superstar David Bromstad).

January may leave your home feeling a little cold and empty, so what better way to add warmth to your home than by lighting a beautiful fire?

If your fireplace has gone untouched this season, never fear. As long as you’re prepared, starting your own fire is just one flick of a match away.

Get Fired Up

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Welcome back everyone! I hope everyone had a fun-filled, restful holiday season. Now that your guests are gone, the decorations are packed away, and you’re not out battling all those crazy holiday shoppers, I bet you have a lot of time on your hands and empty space to fill – or perhaps you’re having the opposite problem and have no place to put your stacks of presents!

If 2013 has you itching to complete a project in your home, look no further: we have plenty of beautiful designs to get you inspired no matter what room or budget you have in mind.

Kitchens

For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Take this year to treat your kitchen to a makeover, whether it’s a small project like repainting your cabinets or doing a complete remodel job. Don’t forget to give your dining room some love in 2013, too!

See The Rest

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We’ve finally arrived at the most wonderful time of the year, ladies and gentlemen – Christmas is only one week away!

red and white christmas

When you’re busy running from store to store trying to get the perfect gift for friends and family, it’s easy to forget the little things you need Christmas Day, like mountains of tape and batteries. In honor of all the chaos, we’ve compiled a list of all the essentials you may have forgotten so you can spend more time with your family and less time racing to stores come Christmas Eve. After all, no one likes a last-minute Scrooge.

See the List

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‘Tis the season for holiday mishaps – burnt desserts, toppled trees, wrapping paper getting just a little bit too close to the fire – especially if you’re accident prone like me (loose extension cords from all those strings of light will be my eventual demise).

christmas lights safety

Taking extra precautions throughout the month can be the difference between having a very, merry Christmas and sending a Season’s Greetings from the hospital. Save yourself the trouble by viewing the top holiday safety tips right here: 16 Tips to Avoid a Holiday Decorating Disaster This Season.

Tell us about one of your (or a friend or family member’s) Christmastime blunders in the comments and visit the links below for more on keeping safe throughout the holidays:

Choose and Upkeep Your Christmas Tree
Holiday Energy-Efficiency Tips
Fireplace Maintenance and Safety 
DIY Network: Outdoor Holiday Lighting Safety

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Christmas lights are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. This year especially, I’ve been known to frantically scream out “Christmas!” every time I see a holiday light display – I’m certain everyone I know is asking Santa for an early present in the form of earplugs.

Light displays may be a warm and cozy staple of the holiday season, but there’s no getting around the fact that they cost a lot to run. If it’s been a couple of years since you replaced your light set you might be wasting energy – and therefore money.

READ MORE

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The holidays are finally here. That’s right folks — no more singing Christmas carols in secret or lying about tearing up at the end of an early Home Alone showing  — you are now free to spread the cheer.

Several of our HGTV editors spent Thanksgiving weekend putting up their Christmas trees, so imagine our delight to return from break and see that headquarters was already in the spirit, too:

scripps hgtv christmas tree

The lobby at HGTV Headquarters is now home to a massive Christmas tree and festive holiday decorations. Keep up with what goes on behind the scenes by following HGTV on Instagram.

So while we’re all geared up for the holidays, I bet many of you haven’t put your Christmas tree up yet. Perhaps you’re waiting until this weekend (December 1st is Saturday!) to sort through the decorations; it might be your first Christmas in a new home; or maybe you’re just looking for something new. Whatever your situation is, we’ve created a guide to help you pick out the perfect Christmas tree to light up your home this season.

Deck The Halls

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It’s crunch time, everyone! Many of you might have Thanksgiving guests starting to trickle in (I, for one, have already made myself quite cozy at my parents’ house), but I’m willing to bet a large percentage of you are doing one last mad cleaning-dash through your home before your loved ones arrive.

Being a host isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of your friends and family. Before the hungry cavalry arrives, take some time to prepare your home for your guests. A lot of organization and a little bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way.

Become a Super Host

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Even though we’ve been getting ready for Thanksgiving here at HGTV headquarters since the middle of summer (putting together those classy Thanksgiving centerpieces and testing out holiday cocktails takes up a lot of time, folks), the holiday has still managed to sneak up on us.

Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away! If you’re looking to try something new this year, this lemon and sage turkey will add some zesty goodness to your menu.

If you haven’t gotten your grocery list together yet, you better hurry; there’s nothing more frustrating than a last-minute hunt through a ransacked supermarket. Overwhelmed? Still scrambling for ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Prepare for Thanksgiving

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • If you can tie a knot, then these flowy cafe curtains will

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  • Add an unexpected aspect to your window treatments by using

  • Use your basic painting skills to add a vintage feel to