Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe from Home Style Austin
Dedicated to the High Flyers of Central Texas

Around mid-March there’s a bit of a buzz in the air; this marks the remarkable annual arrival of the hummingbirds to the Central Texas area.

It’s easy to see why people are attracted to these expert flyers – they are tiny miracles with wing beats of up to 200 per second. Not just that but they can fly upside down, backwards, and they can dive at speeds of around 60 miles per hour!

I’m a fan of hummingbirds and have found easy ways to attract them to my garden. Over the years I’ve picked-up some tips below for how to be hummingbird friendly, including an easy recipe for making nectar that can attract hummingbirds to your home.


To Prepare: About minutes
To Cool: About 30 minutes

Fast Facts:

❤  Clean your hummingbird feeder regularly. Make sure to clean and store your feeder after the hummingbirds have migrated from the area (usually late summer to early December).

❤  Change the nectar weekly and every 2-3 days in the hotter summer months. When you see the nectar turning cloudy it’s fermenting, signaling it’s time to clean the feeder and change the nectar.

❤  Avoid red dyes, honey, and artificial sweeteners; they are not necessary and in some cases can be unhealthy for the birds.

❤  There are some great resources available for how plants can attract hummingbirds to your garden. Texas A&M’s “Herb’s For Texas Landscapes” is one of my trusted favorites. You can download a .PDF of the resource here.

The hummingbirds of Central Texas

Spotted in northwest Austin this Canyon Creek hummingbird takes a well-deserved break.

Nectar Ingredients:

1 Part  |  Sugar
4 Parts   Water

What To Do:

1. Fill a medium pot with the water and bring it to a boil.

2. Add the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

3. Remove the pot from heat and let rest until cool.

4. Transfer the nectar into your feeder and feed away! If you make extra nectar transfer to a storage container and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

~ Joe Paul ReiderJoe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty

Mobile: 512-222-3302

Crystal Hummingbird Art

I scored this handmade crystal hummingbird at the Blanco Lavender Festival – it’s a favorite!

DIY : Halloween Scarecrow

How To Make Your Own Scarecrow

A Scary Good Project

Not since we made our life-sized “cocoon man” did we smile wider than this year – we scored high fives from a few neighbors for our scarecrow and making it was actually pretty simple! Let the haunting begin! 🎃


    • The material quantities below are approximations; you’ll want to adjust them to meet the needs of your own project and the size of your halloween cheer. My hallo-cheer is apparently XXL sized!
    • Make sure to secure your scarecrow into the ground – the Austin winds can sometimes be brutal. I just found a neighbor’s tombstone on my front porch this week!
    • To make the head we repurposed a latex halloween mask. We filled it with a few plastic bags to provide the support (plastic is rain-friendly vs. paper and also lets the light shine through). To add just the right amount of “creep factor” we inserted a strand of green battery powered LED lights – they are powered on a built-in timer and are outdoor friendly – perfect for a project like this!
    • We used wing nuts and bolts so at the end of the season we could un-tighten and rotate the arms for easy storage.


2 Pieces  |  1″ x 2″ x 8′ Pressure Treated Wood (about $4 at Lowe’s) 
|  Wing Nut and Bolt Sets (about $2)
1-2 Bunches  |  Corn Stalks (about $38)
50′ Spool  |  19 Gauge Steel Wire (about $3)
To Decorate  |  Cape ($5 at my local Goodwill score. Whoops – store)
1  |  Halloween Mask for the Head (ours was free)
1  |  Small Strand of LED Lights (for the head – about $5 at Big Lots!)
2-4  |  Stones About 4-6″ High (ours were free)
Things To Have Handy  |  A Craft Table, Scissors or Saw, Electric Jigsaw, Mallet (or Hammer)

What To Do:

1. Score your materials.
This seems obvious. But finding corn stalks in Austin can be a little daunting. We found ours at the Red Barn Garden Center. At $17/bunch we later confidently shook our heads in the YES direction when we saw how amazing these turned out – you cannot replicate the authenticity of corn stalks for that perfect halloween feel!

2. Build Your Frame.

We decided to make our scarecrow Texas-sized because large only makes it all the creepier. We used my arms as a rough guide for the arm length for the 1″ x 2″ x 8′ boards and made the scarecrow the full 8 feet tall.

I used my jigsaw to saw a point into the end of the vertical post, which I would later pound into my garden with a mallet. I drilled two holes at the cross-juncture, leaving about a foot for the head, then inserted the wingnuts/bolts and tightened everything to form the middle ‘T‘ of the scarecrow.

How To Make A Scarecrow By Home Style Austin
3. Secure Your Stalks.

Time to cloak your scarecrow frame; I did this to help me measure how long to build the arms. Your craft table will help you assemble everything without being hunched over the ground.

How To Make A Scarecrow By Home Style Austin

Using wire will help keep things in place!

To create the arms and hands, I started with the arms and used 5-7 stalks for each arm; I measured from the hands to the center pole then cut and removed the excess. Wrap the stalks with a piece of wire about 5 inches from both ends then affix to the cross beam. Repeat on the other side to complete the two arms. I inverted a bunch of stalks so the tops formed the feet then trimmed the excess to the desired height. Using the same wire-binding technique secure the stalks to themselves… then to the center pole. Make sure everything is secure so it doesn’t slide down the center pole.

DIY Scarecrow Project By Home Style Austin

Looks pretty scary, huh?

4. Make Your Head
See the crafting tip above to make your head. When the head is to your liking place it on top of the ‘crow body and set your LED timer (I set mine at dusk o’clock).

5. Mount Your ‘Crow.
Choose the location for your scarecrow. Using a mallet or hammer pound the center stake into the ground, making sure to avoid sprinkler lines or known rocky areas. I braced the base of the pole with some leftover limestone rocks from when my house was built and secured the center pole from the top with an additional piece of wire tied to a small screw I set on my house.

Enjoy and please email me with any questions about this project! I’m happy to give you some tips!

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.


DIY : Terrarium

A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin
A Bewitching “Terrorium”

When the days grow short and temperatures begin to dip we find special ways to bring nature’s influence indoors.

Making your own terrarium is surprisingly simple and you can create to your heart’s content! For this project I decided to create a Halloween-themed terrarium which was going to be a gift to my special friend Heather who loves the thrill of Halloween as much as we do. Let the terrific terror begin! 🎃


  • The material quantities below are approximations; you’ll want to adjust them to meet the needs of your own project and the size of your terrarium.
  • I decided to purchase a terrarium that included a removable lid; with or without the lid the terrarium looked great and will provide flexibility to give the succulents a little air in between their steam baths.
  • I found my green moss matt (a thin sheet of green moss) and bunches of colorful red and green mosses at Michael’s. I found the terrarium at Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts. I was rather selective about finding just the proper size and creep-factor of my Halloween miniatures so I turned to Etsy and scored a trio of accents from The Little Hedgerow. You can see more of the minis I hand selected below. If you order from Kim at The Little Hedgerow, tell her the folks at Home Style Austin say howdy!
  • While we created the spooky terrarium shown in this post, you can transition the miniature decorations and plants throughout the year to coordinate with the seasons.
  • A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin

    1  |  Glass Terrarium
    Assorted  |  Mosses, Unmoistened
    2-4  |  Succulents
    1-2 Cups  |  Succulent Soil
    To Decorate  |  Garden Accessories (Miniature Accessories, Stones From The Garden, etc.)
    Things To Have Handy  |  A Craft Table, Scissors, Magic Tape, A Spray Bottle Filled With Water
    How To Make Your Own Terrarium

    What To Do:

    1. Line The Terrarium.
    My moss matt was perfect for creating a green edge at the bottom of the terrarium. I trimmed it about 3 inches tall and formed it in a circle around the bottom of the terrarium. I used a couple pieces of Magic Tape to help keep the moss in place while I planted the succulents. I lined the bottom of the terrarium with more of the matt just to keep the soil well contained in my handmade moss bowl. Hint: You may think 4 hands are better than 2 here, but 4 hands likely won’t fit inside the terrarium! 🎃

    How To Make Your Own Terrarium

    2. Plant The Succulents.

    Place about a cup of soil in the bottom of the terrarium. If needed, gently separate your succulents to the desired size, placing them with some room to grow. Fill in any holes left by the plants with more soil until things are well planted.
    A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin
    3. Trick Your Treat.

    Place your mosses and chosen miniatures around your succulents. My miniatures came with small metal picks which helped keep them in place. I even decorated the terrarium lid, since this was a special gift.
    A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin

    How to make your very own terrarium
    4. Care & Feed.
    Succulents thrive best in well-drained soil. So since your terrarium likely won’t have a drainage hole, don’t overwater the plants. I used a spray bottle and spritzed every few days, making sure to let the soil dry between waterings. You can wipe the inside and outside of your glass terrarium with a moist paper towel to remove any water spots or dirt. When your plants get too big for their tiny home you can transfer them into another pot or outside to enjoy the Texas sun.
    A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin

    Stand back and marvel at your work of art! With a little care and feeding your terrarium will be a prized creation that will last you for years to come.

    Enjoy and please email me with any questions about this project!

    ~ Joe Paul Reider

    Home Style Austin Founder
    Austin Realtor®
    Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
    A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin

    A DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style AustinA DIY Terrarium Project From Home Style Austin

DIY : Rainbow Butterfly Gift Box

Learn how to make a Rainbow Butterfly Box

Outside The Box …

To celebrate my friends’ tie-dye themed wedding, I crafted this rainbow-butterfly gift box inspired by the Texas Hill Country for under $10 (including the box). It was a snap to put together and made a high-impact presentation that the bride said she really liked. She may have been more impressed that this guy’s got some crafting talent! :)


  • All of the crafting supplies came from my trusted crafting friend, Michael’s. It must have been raining money yesterday because the floral stem was 60% off and while I was standing in line to pay I checked out their website and found a 30% off coupon. #Score!
  • I used a glue gun for this project. In a pinch you could likely make do by using some double stick tape to help fuse the ribbon to the box.
  • The time it took for me to complete this project was about 25 minutes, excluding a couple of rest breaks to chill a bit with my Dogs.

How To Make A Rainbow Butterfly Gift Box

1  |  Box With Removable Lid
A Few Yards  |  Wire Edged Ribbon (I used about 6 yards)
Assorted  |  Faux Floral Stems (I found one assorted cluster, shown above)
To Tie  |  Some Green Garden Wire (optional)


To Cut  |  Scissors
To Adhere  |  A “Loaded” Glue Gun
To Snip Floral Stem  |  Wire Cutters or Scissors (optional)

What To Do:

Step 1: Wrap Bottom Of Box.
I decided to decorate the box separate from the lid so that it would be easy to open and close and so it could be regiftable or kept as a keepsake. To get started, line the ribbon from the inside bottom of the box up over the top edge, down the side, under the bottom and around until it mirrors itself on the other side (like forming a big “U”). You can test-fit the ribbon to make sure you like where it rests on the box; the wire edge ribbon can be folded and smoothed on the edges to give a clean fold and help hold the ribbon in place.

Once you’re happy with the length, cut the ribbon. Line a small bead of glue along the edge of just the end of the ribbon and press the ribbon into place. Turn the box 180 degrees and repeat this process on the other side to create a criss-cross shaped ribbon design.

Step 2: Wrap Lid.

Using the same technique as the box bottom, repeat the process for the box lid. It’ll take a little finessing to align the ribbon from the lid to the bottom but in the end it was easy to do. You can also wiggle the ribbon along the top edges of the box if you’re off a bit, since the edges are not glued to the box. Once you’re happy with how the ribbon is decorated on the box you’re ready to prepare the top decoration.

Step 3: Form Your Flower Stem

I found a faux flower stem with assorted flowers and a butterfly already in a bunch. I wouldn’t need it entirely so I deconstructed it by cutting off some stems to my desired length. [Optional Step: I held the stems together by wrapping them near the base of the clustered stems a few times with the garden wire. You could use a small wire twist tie or just use some ribbon to tie a bow around the bunch to hold it together. I decided to go for durability so I used garden wire.]

With the remaining ribbon I tied a small bow to the base of the bunch. Congrats, this step is complete!

DIY Project : How to make your own rainbow butterfly gift box

Step 4: The Final Step
To adhere the flower bunch to the top of the box I made a couple of pea-sized globs of hot glue using the glue gun and pressed the flower bunch to the glue for a few seconds until it “set.” Your box is all done and ready to be filled with your surprise!


How To Update Your Front Door Wreath

Rather than toss the remaining flower stems I found a way to add some new life to a weathered wreath by tucking in the stems into the existing wreath. This is a great way to transition your wreath from season to season. I wound up using all the materials for this project – no waste!

How To Give New Life To Your Front Door Wreath

Enjoy and please email me with any questions or suggestions about this project!

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

DIY : Creepy Halloween Curtains

How To Make Creepy Halloween Curtains

Scares ‘Em Good

Add a bone-chilling “creep” factor to your Halloween home with these easy-to-make Halloween curtains!

For this project we’ll be transforming pure white gauze into what appears to be time-worn curtains thanks to a few cups of Joe. Coffee-stained curtains will turn your patio, porch or inside “crypt’ from happy to “Oh, wow, that’s scary!” in just a few easy steps.


  • You can purchase your gauze by the yard at your local fabric store – we found ours at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft. The eye screws and rope we scored at our neighborhood Lowes.
  • To make a single curtain measure the vertical height of the space you are decorating, double it and add a few inches to make sure your curtains will hang to the porch/floor. You don’t have to be precise with this step. Make enough curtains until you have enough for your space.
  • Since you’re not drinking the coffee you don’t have to use the “good stuff” – use a lower-end coffee and save a few bones. You can probably use tea as well, but I’ve always gone the coffee route. A 10 cup pot of coffee will yield about 4-5 curtains, depending on the size of your panels.


Assorted  |  White Gauze Panels
To Stain  |  One Large Bowl
To Stain  |  Coffee (or Tea)
To Hang  |  Eye Screw
To Hang  |  Nylon Rope
To Secure  |  Staples or Paper Clips (optional)

What To Do:

How To Make Creepy Halloween Curtains
1. Make Curtains.

In a large bowl pour several cups of prepared coffee. You can ice it down if you prefer so it’s not so hot as you wring the excess coffee from the curtains. Wearing gloves is a good idea as I had coffee-stained hands for a couple of days after this project! Lower your pure white gauze into the coffee and let it rest a few minutes and give it a good soaking. Using tongs, lift the gauze out of the coffee and gently “wring” some of the excess coffee back into the bowl. Let the curtain rest in your sink until you are all done staining the remaining curtain panels.

How To Make Creepy Halloween Curtains

2. Hang Curtains.

Choose your method for hanging. We chose to use eye screws and placed them every 6-8 feet in our frieze board around our patio. You could also use hooks suspended from a gutter or leverage existing plant hooks if you don’t want to drill new holes into your house. Thread the rope though the eye screws, pull it tight and tie it off well at each end.

Hang the coffee-stained curtains on the rope – about half on each side of the rope. Let your curtains dry an hour or two. The aromatic smell of coffee in the air is my favorite part of this project! I found over the years with the breezy winds of Central Texas that securing the curtains at the top with a few staples or paper clips will help keep them from sliding around on the rope. Using a glue gun you can also use a few dabs of glue here and there to keep the curtain into position.

How To Make Creepy Halloween Curtains
3. Add The Creep Factor

Using your hands tear the bottom end of the curtains to make them look like they have been blowing in the wind for years. You can also tear small holes in the curtains to give them the old look.

4. To Care And Feed
Your curtains should last you for years of Halloweens to come.  You can re-stain them every couple of years to restore the brown coffee stain effect that may be diminished from rainfall.

Have any questions about this project? Email me at

Have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

DIY : Succulent Planter

How To Make A Succulent Planter by Home Style Austin
One Excellent Succulent

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to make a lasting impression, make and gift one of these unique succulent plants.

Once you have the supplies, these “succulent hangers” are surprisingly simple to create. The end result is a one-of-a-kind handmade plant that will surely delight both you and the lucky recipient.


  • The material quantities below are approximations; what you use will vary based on the size of your plants and the number of succulent planters you’re making. PS ~ While you’re making one you might as well make more!
  • You may find 4 hands are better than 2! Our friend Eileen lent us her 2 hands which were especially useful during the forming and wrapping stages shown below.
  • Most of the supplies are easy to find; we found plants, soil, sphagnum moss and the garden wire at Lowes, green moss and the rainbow-inspired decorative twine came from Michael’s. The clay soil was the hardest for us to locate but we scored a 40 pound bag of it for about $5 at Hill Country Water Gardens (it’s one of our favorite nurseries). PS ~ 40 pounds of clay soil is deceivingly small. 


1 – 2 Cups  |  Potting Soil
1 – 2 Cups  |  Clay Soil
About 1/4 cup (To Form)  |  Water
1 (or more)  |  Succulent Plants
Two Handfuls  |  Sphagnum Moss, Moistened
Two Handfuls  |  Green Moss, Unmoistened
10 – 15 Feet  |  Decorative Twine
To Hang  |  A Piece Of Driftwood Or A Found Stick (about 6 inches long)
To Hang  |  Some Green Garden Wire (available at most craft stores)

What To Do:

1. Make Dirt.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together equal parts of the potting and clay soil. Add water and combine until the mixture resembles a pliable dough. Set aside.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
2. Form Planter.

Remove your succulent plant from its container and wrap it with enough sphagnum moss to entirely encase the roots. Then wrap the moss-covered succulent with the prepared, wet, soil from Step 1 above, forming a ball. Wrap green moss around the succulent and trim any excess that rises above the edge of the succulent.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
3. Wrap Planter

Using your decorative twine, wrap the planter several times to secure the soil and moss to the plant. A few times I carefully wrapped the twine on top – and between – the succulent branches to help form a well-wrapped “ball.” Along the way test your wrap to ensure the plant hangs level. As we formed the wrapped planter we created 4 extra-long suspensions at each “corner” of the succulent planter and then wrapped the hanging stick (below) to help keep the plant stable in the breezy winds of Central Texas. Make sure and leave enough excess twine at the top of the plant for hanging.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
4. Prepare To Hang

Wrap the excess twine around your hanging stick (from Step 3) to your desired length and tie them off at the top of the stick or tie and tuck the twine along the bottom of your succulent planter. To suspend from a nail or hanger wrap the stick a few times with the garden wire and secure.

5. To Care & Feed
Hang your succulent in a semi-sunny place, indoors or out. Make sure to keep the plant happy and keep it moist by misting daily or by watering liberally or letting rest in a shallow bowl of water. Succulents don’t need to be over-watered but they do need a little love.

Enjoy and please email me with any questions about this project!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin

DIY : Cascarones

DIY Cascarones From Home Style Austin

Party On

Never underestimate the power of creativity!

This DIY project is for how to make your very own “cascarones,” or confetti eggs. Cascarones are eggs that are emptied, filled with colorful confetti (or small objects) then commonly cracked on an unsuspecting person’s head in celebration of many things both big and small. Learn more on wiki here.

My family typically made our cascarones by hand-dying the eggs usually around the Easter holiday. This year, let’s look at this no-dye version.

Let’s get crackin’


  • This DIY recipe is for making cascarones with tissue paper and glue. You can also color-dye your eggs with many of the kits found in local Austin stores.
  • The more eggs you make, the more fun you can have! You can make/save the egg shells in advance so you’re not hoarding 12 or more eggs all at once – your choice.
  • You can buy your confetti or make your own from shredded papers. The best deal on confetti we found was $1/bag at HEB (shown below). For about 75 cents more, you can buy a dozen eggs already pre-made by the fine folks at HEB, but your inner artist may be left unfulfilled.  :/
  • Cascarones make great handmade gifts!

The Materials For Making Your Own Cascarones By Home Style Austin

12 (or more)  |  Eggs (brown or white)
1  |  Glue Stick
1 Bag  |  Confetti (or other special surprises – see below)
A Few Sheets  | Your Favorite Tissue Paper
A Few  |  Rambunctious Kids, Or Kids At Heart

What To Do:

1. Prepare the eggs. Carefully crack the large end of the egg with a spoon or tool of your choice. Crack the hole about 1″ in diameter (big enough to get objects inside the egg) and be sure to avoid getting pieces of shell in the egg. Don’t throw the whites and yolk out! Empty the egg into a container – you can use the yolks and whites to make omelets or our popular Egg In A Cup recipe. Rinse the inside of the egg under running tap water and turn the egg with the hole facing down to drain; set the egg upside down on a paper towel to further drain and dry. Continue until you’re all done with the number of egg shells that you want to make (we suggest at least a dozen). 

2. Decorate your eggs. Using your glue stick, apply glue all around the outside of the egg. Your hands may get sticky, so you can do this in phases. Apply torn sheets of tissue paper to the eggs and lightly press the tissue to the egg – layering will create interesting patterns. See the pic above as a guide.Cascarones Confetti By Home Style Austin

3. Fill the eggs with goodies. It’s most common to use confetti to fill the eggs but you can let your inner creative go wild by filling the cascarones with small toys, your very own homemade fortunes, wedding rings or objets d’art. You don’t need to cram the egg full of goodies, but it’s best to fill them about ¾ full.

4. Wrap it up. Line the outer edge of the egg’s hole with more glue and apply a final piece of tissue to keep the surprises inside.

5. Have an “EGGcellent” adventure! At your next party or “just because,” sneak-up on your unsuspecting “victim.” Crack the egg in your hand then let the inside goodies cascade all over them – or smash the egg directly on their head, if the egg’s loot is safe and soft.

Aren’t surprises great?

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Valentine’s Day The Home Style Way

  Valentine’s Day 2014 Featured Post  

Our Heart’s At Home

Our finest suggestions follow for how to make your own bang-up Valentine’s Day evening for your special ones in your very own home sweet home! Plus, discover our picks for two “Best Romantic Wines” perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond!

We’ve paired our favorite music, appetizer, main course, desserts and wines with some great “at-home” movie recommendations sure to melt hearts. Fun doesn’t start outside the home – it starts inside the home, with you! Let’s check out this year’s menu board:

Home Style Austin's Valentine's Day Menu 2014Below are the easy-to-follow instructions for a great Valentine’s Day (click the links for the recipes):

A Mercury Glass Project From Home Style Austin

1. Set the mood with some great music by legendary greats like Andrea Bocelli or Frank Sinatra. Need a little candlelight? This DIY project for some mercury glass candles will surely put some sparkle in their eyes.

The Best Romantic Wines of 2014 By Home Style Austin2. Pour some red. We’re diehard fans of the two great lands of Texas and Tuscany so we’ve selected two great reds that perfectly embody the deep, bold romanticism ideally suited for Valentine’s Day: the Super Texan® from Flat Creek Estate and the Piccini Chianti DOCG from Tuscany, Italy. Both wines are tastefully affordable and available at fine wine and spirits retailers like Twin Liquors throughout the Austin area.

A Bruschetta Recipe From Home Style Austin

3. Tickle the tastebuds. For the antipasto, check out my favorite tomato bruschetta recipe which will surely impress. Take note: In the recipe I’ve included my special secret for how to serve this dish extra-special!

4. Make it movie time. Right about now it’s probably a good idea to turn down the music and pop-in a movie. The Home Style Austin team picked three movies sure to keep hearts happy – Lady and the Tramp, The Princess Bride and our personal all-time fave Under The Tuscan Sun. Why not make it a triple feature and make it a night to remember?

I Used My Red Sauce For This Valentine's Day Inspired Dish

5. Make it red. We bring on the main course with my delicious red sauce atop spaghetti. If you’re watching Lady And The Tramp, you’re probably feeling pretty awesome right about now. Pssst! Cupid’s Secret ~ If you’re one of the first 10 Texans who promise to send me a pic of your own Valentine’s Day meal, I’ll send you a heart-shaped cookie cutter used to make my spaghetti dish and our rice krispies treats! Pinky swear. Here’s how

Sugar Dusted Cupid Cups By Home Style Austin

6. Score sugar points! Perform the evening’s perfect touch with some super easy-to-make sweets including Valentine’s Day Rice Krispies Treats or our signature Cupid Cups. Treats made from the heart? Pure gold!

Until the big day, keep your heart in check – visit our Pinterest “Holidazed” pinboard with some Valentine’s Day inspiration for you and yours … we’re adding new pins until the big day!

“Home” truly can be found wherever we hang our hearts and we hope these tips make your Valentine’s Day 2014 the very best ever!

Happiest Valentine’s Day from your friends at Home Style Austin,

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

A Valentine's Day Rice Krispies Treats Recipe

A Strawberry Heart From Home Style Austin

DIY : Mercury Glass Art

A Mercury Glass Project From Home Style Austin❤  Valentine’s Day 2014 Featured Post  

Love Shiny Things?

You’re not alone! It’s hard to walk into any retailer these days without seeing some silver-coated this or shiny-awesome that.

For an easy way to transform mere glass into beautiful silver-coated objets d’art let’s set aside about an hour. The results? You’ll be proud of your very own talent!


  • When selecting your glass objects, clear glass (vs. colored glass) works best. Try items that have unique shapes with raised lettering or design (e.g. hurricane lamps, or the mason jar and Jose Cuervo bottles shown).
  • An essential ingredient for this project is the “looking glass” paint. Don’t attempt to cut corners with a silver or chrome spray paint. Call ahead to find a retailer near you who carries the paint. Here’s a link to the Krylon® store locator.
  • The instructions on the looking glass paint said to spray from the inside of the glass object but we found that difficult to do; we sprayed from the outside and were totally happy with the finished objets d’art!
  • Your finished items are perfect for year-round decorating. Keep in mind that items decorated with red and silver ribbon transition well from Christmas to Valentine’s Day.      

A Close-Up View Of Mercury Glass


A Few Sheets  | Newspaper or Paper Bags
Assorted  |  Glass Items (vases, hurricane glasses, etc.)
6 Ounce Can  |  Krylon® Brand Looking Glass Paint (more details)
1 Spray Bottle  |  Filled With A Bit Of Vinegar
A Few Sheets  | Paper Towels

A Jose Cuervo Mercury Glass Bottle

What To Do:

1. In a well-ventilated area (we suggest outside) spread your paper out on a flat surface – you’re about to spray paint!

2. Prep your can of looking glass paint by shaking it for 2 minutes.

3. Now get your vinegar bottle. LIGHTLY MIST your glass object with a few squirts of the vinegar, spraying all sides. If you “over-spray” your item the vinegar will dribble off your object; you want to avoid this and strive for bubbles and puddles, not dribbly runoff.

4. Using your looking glass paint LIGHTLY SPRAY your glass object. You’re going to apply a few coats so no need to try and completely cover your item on the first go. Let the paint rest one minute between rounds.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 above a few times until you’re happy with the coverage of the silver paint.

6. Spray the vinegar one last time and let rest a few seconds. LIGHTLY PAT (don’t rub) the silver surfaces with a paper towel and if all goes well you should see the characteristic mercury glass mottled silver-and-glass effect!

7. Let your item(s) rest an hour or two until completely dry. Decorate with ribbon(s) or insert a candle or battery operated candle on the inside of your objet d’art and enjoy!

Happiness starts at home!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

A Mercury Glass Mason Jar Project From Home Style Austin

❤ Love Valentine’s Day? Visit our post called “Valentine’s Day The Home Style Way” for our ideas for how to make your day extra special at home. We’re pairing our favorite appetizer, main course, desserts and wine along with some great “at-home” movie recommendations sure to melt hearts.

DIY : Reclaimed Ribbon Organizer

A DIY Ribbon Organizer Project From Home Style Austin
Make Wrap Time A Snap

Looking for a way to bring order to gift-wrapping chaos?

This DIY project take mere minutes and less than $2 to create a useful tool that’ll make you fast and fashionable in the wraps department.


Home Style Austin  We scored our wooden box from our local liquor store. Some wine producers are still shipping their spirits in wooden boxes which are often discarded. We made friends with our local spirits aficionados who gave us several boxes for free.

Home Style Austin  With $1.58 we purchased our wooden dowels at our local crafts store, which yielded enough real estate to make four rods which could easily house over 50 spools of ribbon!


1  |  Wooden Box or Crate
Size Length To Fit  | ¼” Wooden Dowels
1  |  Hand Drill

How To Make Your Own Eco Friendly Ribbon Organizer From Home Style Austin

What To Do:

1. Once you have your wooden box measure it to determine how many dowels you will need. Our box was about 13″ wide x 11″ tall x 7″ deep which was large enough to hold comfortably hold four horizontal rods.

2. Group your ribbons by color or size depending on your preference. The size of the ribbon spools will help you determine placement of your dowels. Make sure and leave enough height and depth between the dowels so the spools will fit and spin on the rods. We placed the front rods about 1″ lower than the back rods to help us view the ribbon once the organizer was filled. 

3. Using your hand drill, make your holes. “Measure twice, drill once,” as they say. I drilled from the outside of the box and made the holes just large enough to insert the dowels so they fit tight – yet they were still able to be removed to reload ribbon. For oversized spools of ribbon we included two additional vertical rods on top, as shown.

4. Once you’ve tested placement of the dowels load them up with your ribbons; to do so I inserted half of the dowel from the outside of the box and loaded it with the spools from the inside of the box then inserted and secured the rod on the opposite side.

That’s a wrap! Now it’s time to marvel at your time-saving, eco-friendly creation!

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.