The Willetta Project and OPEN HOUSE Recipes!

We had a pretty rockin' open house weekend and some of you asked if I would share a few of the recipes. I have to say its nice to have the food catered but I really do enjoy cooking sooooo I'm thinking I'll do it when I can! But first.... let's talk Wiletta. Located in the FQ Story historic district of downtown Phoenix, this home had a total makeover! I'm not going to go crazy with photos but here are a few of the finished product and a couple before and afters. At the time of this post we have just listed it for $467,000 Stats: 3/2 Study/1 car garage/RV gate 1751 sq ft 1946 build           Photos: Gina Zee Photography


It was magical to get over 400 people through the house and hear the feedback. I truly am so grateful for the opportunities I have to remodel these homes. They are homes, not just flips. We put love into each of these projects with the vision of the new owner spending the next years of their life there.

Now let's talk food. I think these are perfect fall/holiday appetizers and now they can be yours too! First up the Cranberry Salsa. At first glance I thought well that is kind of weird, at first bite I was in love. Simple but ends up having a very rounded flavor you would have thought I spent a whole day on it. Guess again- 10 minutes and 2 hours in the refrigerator. 

This recipe is from All Recipes and photo is courtesy of The girl who ate everything blog

This recipe is from All Recipes and photo is courtesy of The girl who ate everything blog

So here goes- I used 1 jalopeno and I removed seeds AND the veins before I tossed it in the food processor. I don't like too much heat so if you want to turn it up toss the whole thing in there after you cut off the stem of course. 

Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (add more to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno , seeded and chopped coarsely (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese  

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor (EXCEPT CREAM CHEESE) and pulse until desired consistency. I like mine fairly fine. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (preferably overnight) to allow the salsa to macerate. Serve over cream cheese and with crackers..

The fine print.

This makes enough to cover two blocks of cream cheese. Some people prefer to spread the cream cheese on a serving dish with the salsa on top. I poured mine on top of a block of cream cheese and garnished with a sprig of cilantro. I served mine with sea salt artisan toast.
Depending on how tart your cranberries are you may want to add more sugar. This last batch I added a total of 1 cup of sugar.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Gimme Some Oven 

Photo and recipe courtesy of Gimme Some Oven 

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip


  • 1 (10 oz.) bag fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 (13.75 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped and drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick low-fat cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely-chopped white or red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined.  (You can also stir the mixture actually inside the bowl of your slow cooker, but it would be easier in a large mixing bowl.)  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your slow cooker, that has been misted on the inside beforehand with cooking spray.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 2 hours, or until the dip is completely warmed through and the cheese is melted.  Give the dip a good stir and season with extra salt and pepper if needed. I went the on high route for 2 hours and it was perfect! I served with fresh ciabatta bread and the olive oil sea salt toasts. Total tile 2 hours 15 min

Photo courtesy of Honey and Birch, recipe by Jenny Bullistron

Photo courtesy of Honey and Birch, recipe by Jenny Bullistron

Baked Goat Cheese Roasted Cranberry Appetizer


  • 1/3 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 10 ounces goat cheese 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and pour the almonds into a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey. Add the cranberries and thyme to the bowl and stir until they are covered by the liquid. Set aside for 5 minutes.

On a cutting board, chop up the almonds. Set aside 1/2 tablespoon chopped almonds and roll the goat cheese in the remaining almonds. Use your hands to mix the almonds into the goat cheese and form the goat cheese into a disc. Place the goat cheese in the center of a pie plate.

Pour the cranberry mixture around the cheese. Sprinkle the set aside almonds on top of the goat cheese.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot with crackers or bread.

I used unsalted almond slices to save some time, I put them in the oven for 5 minutes before I mixed them into the goat cheese. Who doesn't like goat cheese and cranberries?! Lastly the thyme made all the flavors pop!

Photo courtesy my iPhone, recipe by Jennifer Neuman

Photo courtesy my iPhone, recipe by Jennifer Neuman

The OG Artichoke Dip 

  • 1/2 cup parmesean cheese
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 package colby jack shredded cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 small jar minced pimentos
  • 1 small can mild diced green chiles
  • 12 oz. artichoke hearts diced

Mix together and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes- I use an 8x8 glass pan. Trust me this is easy and people will LOVE it!

Outdoor Kitchen Paradise!


What do you do when you move to the burbs for some peace and quite but don't have ALL the posh restaurants in your immediate area? You make your own swanky bistro of course! 

When we bought this house in November 2016 we knew we would make some changes. We loved the backyard but felt it really "needed more". Defining more wasn't that easy- It had a great green area, unground pool with sundeck, covered patio putting green, turf we actually love and even some awesome concrete rectangles. 

As we continued to decorate our home over the past year, we also started noticing that the outside lacked the feel as the house and we wanted the atmosphere to match inside and out. So now what? Well there was of course hours days weeks... who knows how long of planning. See when you design homes for clients or to flip its so much easier. Now here you are at your own home asking yourself if its worth it? Can you live with it? Is the price excessive? No don't be cheap get what you want. Complete angel and devil on each shoulder things! 



So earlier this spring we started planning and by April we had pulled the trigger. Here was the first thing we never thought of-- its Hot AF By May- June..... So hot that how could you  A- touch any of the appliances B- paint in the heat it dries so fast  C- Grout, if you are not the actual looney tunes speedy mouse then forget it! and finally D- pour a counter. 

All the planning and some more waiting we had wait until the heat subsided AND of course we had a couple flip projects that were finishing up. Side note my family basically does not like me whatsoever the last 2 weeks of a project- more on that in another post but it does end well! 

What was remarkable about how this turned out is that I had looked at so many photos, pintrest posts etc and this all came right together BUT a little different but still better. My vision was to create a complementary "bring indoors outdoors" concept. I'm leaning a tad modern farmhouse these days but I still like some rustic touches after all we are outside. 

Some things I considered - I do in all houses - 1. What is the best use of the space 2. How functional will the remaining space be? 3- Go big or ....well lets take a peek when I'm done designing and tone it down if necessary. 4. Resale value of the house- are my appliances and finishes in line or am I straight up overboard (that is not always bad sometimes theres a method to my madness) 5- Last but not least budget- what did we choose, are there less expensive options, trade-offs for the best things etc.

Part 1- Plan the space. Sounds easy but on your own house NOT! I spent a couple afternoons with measuring tape and graph paper just to get an idea of size. Luckily I was using a pencil so I could keep erasing the elongated bar and then putting it back in!  Ultimately I decided on the U shape, small bar, sink, backed the kitchen window for a servery and was open to the yard, seating area behind and had a bar space. 

Part 2- Appliances. Whoa! So guess what my appliance almost cost the same as my demo, pavers, block kitchen with stucco (no counters) but still! It was a bit of a humbling experience. Any of you that follow me or know me that I can be a bit high maintenance. Time to be practical. I live in a gorgeous but modest tract home in the Ahwatukee foothills. Not the type of house that you just shoot the lock off and put in Viking appliances. It must be the investor in me that screams STOP NO! DANGER! in my head- or I'm crazy- possibly both. Ultimately we decided on Lion. Decent pricing, good reviews and enough beauty and power for my abode. We ordered a refrigerator, side burner, ice chest, double door and a single drawer. Pay close attention to what I ordered and you will soon see my first mistake. Also included was a upper countertop to meet the kitchen window and a sink. Side note- we chose a refrigerator that was another $200 we got the same refrigerator and in a separate box an expensive door. I'd say that was the only disappointment the rest of the appliances are perfect!

Part 3- Lets demo, build the shell, stucco and plan spacing for the doors and appliances. Easy. Suns out workers are here. I print all the spec sheets and.... record skip. These guys finish the kitchen and we discover that 75% of the openings are wrong. Oops- I like seriously was babysitting pretty hard but I guess sometimes that language barrier doesn't help. So I call my main man and let him know, he sends them in and they fix... a week later. Also if you know me you know that I think everything happens in a day or week and can be a tad unrealistic about timelines. 

Part 4- Check openings, plan install of appliances and frame counter. Here is where if you paid attention to what I ordered... this is where it went wrong. Side burner- instead of sugar plum fairies in my dreams I had visions of steaming clams and crab OUTSIDE so I would not smell up my house. NO. I had measured counted- ten times counted and how could this be? Might want to consider that the kitchen is made out of blocks so there are some restrictions that come with that! If I were doing a kitchen in a more expensive house it would have been masonry obviously. So in the end it happened that there is no burner. It doesn't fit it and cannot be made to fit. Glad to report- I'm still alive though and love my kitchen 

Part 5- Countertops.  Fast forward a couple months. Its like 115 out every day, we are in the throes of flipping, clients staging vacate rentals and everything in between. Now it's time to plan for the countertops. Build forms, mix up- whats the hold up?? Oh still the heat. Finally we are ready its now low 100's upper 90's. Working with grout- concrete - paint in a dry heat is something you need to plan for. Counter was drying so fast we needed both Tom and Vinny mixing and pouring to make this happen. In our case we like to pour in place using forms we order in. Once the concrete is poured, it needs to be vibrated to get rid of air bubbles, and it seriously isn't perfect. I get calls for designs or counters and my answer is yes- but you are required to come over and see mine. 


Part 6- Finish Finale. So all along we are into the technical stuff- much like the beginning of a flip and then we get to the fun! We decided that the outside of the kitchen would be wrapped in Cement tile and we would have a barn wood baseboard combined with pipe shelves. Here's some tips on Cement tile- 1. Its expensive so decide what you want, buy it and PAY ATTENTION to the install instructions. We did with no hiccups but I'm saying this because I feel like so many people just hurry along in excitement. The cement is porous and needs to be sealed (takes all of 5 min) before installation and again after grouting. If you are going to pay so much for tile you have no excuses. Also be careful handling it - it's brittle AF.  For the trim I visited one of my vendors and chose a thin trim piece. We used construction adhesive to hold this in place, no nailing into stucco or cement tile. My vision was a bar with shelves for cute stuff and bottles. Easy for us we assembled and installed the pipes and then used barn wood for the shelves. 

I then staged this, took photos and basically stood speechless staring for a while. Now that we have been using it for a couple months it is really everything we wanted and it is the perfect addition to our home! 

If you would like your own outdoor kitchen design contact us for a consult! 








So... many of you on instagram have been following my stories and I'm sure asking yourselves why the f*ck I would remodel a camper. BECAUSE! 

Several months ago I started researching Airstreams and talking with @flippinwendy about camper remodels. I think my reactions/actions went in this order- AWE like really? These camper remodels are pretty cute and clever WANT wow could I do this? Am I cut out for it- yes! LOOKING so I shopped for a few different things. I did learn some more about the Airstreams and got a HELL NO from Tom. Ok then maybe we need to ease into this? OBSESSED now I'm pinning, Wendy and I are non-stop texting about and and we will not STFU about campers to our guys. JUST DO IT so we rule out the Airstream.. for now.... and I begin looking for the smaller project. HOLY SNAP! It was a hot summer weekend and guess what ??!! Wendy and I purchased the same size trailer the SAME DAY! Ok well there's where "the same" ends. 

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My camper: 1991 Kit Monterey 18' 

Wendy's Camper: 1971 Red Dale 18' 

Theme- Well naturally its opposite! Mine is luxury over the top and generally high maintenance- hers is practical and retro

rachel's camper design

Rachel Camper Design.png

wendy's camper design

Wendy Camper Design.png


Let's talk about the plan. Now that I found a camper- it was a whirlwind romance! Now I could put all my pintrest boards to work all at once- just kidding. We did a walkthrough- much like what we do before a remodel and then took to researching. Here are the immediate things we needed to consider: 

Paint- Our sweet 90's camper had the most lovely wallpaper- theres a specific way we need to paint that to adhere 

Cabinets- Again the number one issue was painting, then came to or not to replace doors, maybe add trim and hardware. 

Kitchen- Stove, countertop, faucet, sink

Flooring- Wood- Vinyl, Cork? Researching the weight the how the why 

Cushions- Initially we thought we could leave our master bed out and still use the camper- well that was shut down quickly since it blocks the door. We weighed our options on cushions - covers, mattresses etc. 

Bathroom- To what end can we make this look like an actual bathroom?

Decorations- Curtains, wallpaper, refrigerator 

Exterior- Consulted some uber smart Dunn Edwards geniuses and made a decision

Mechanics- Look I'm not going to be hot or cold in this camper or go without my creature comforts. This unit needed and AC, Icemaker, and a generator at least! 

Guys- this is one of my prized possessions!

Guys- this is one of my prized possessions!


So out of the box what were the biggest surprises or things to overcome? 

1. Cabinets. These were a sexy laminate with a super-duper awesome gold trim. Well guess what? The primer did not adhere to the gold plastic. The fix- Tom popped off all the gold trim 

Also there was a pretty cool indent in each of the cabinets, we thought well lets get new doors or put some type of deco trim on the doors. The fix- wood filler. Now we were at ground zero- we liked that so much that we primed and painted and you would NEVER know. 

Oh the paint---- I am notorious when anyone asks me "What sheen do you want for that paint" I say "As matte as possible" WRONG! Smart I know I can print the cabs with Dunn Edwards Aristoshield but my not so smart was she sheen. Eggshell- spotty finger prints instant filth.       The fix- we sprayed the Aristoshield in a high gloss. All set! 

2. Paint. We did figure out that we need to use Dunn Edwards Sure-Loc primer followed by an interior paint. The thing we did not realize is HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE. Ask me what I wouldn't diy next time? Interior paint. 

3. Stove. I was flying high when I thought we were gonna keep our cute white stove. Great news once we painted it - turns out it was more of an almond--- thumbs down! Just like any house I remodel I welcome the challenge- I took a look at the stainless appliance options which were astounding. $800 for a camper stove- NOPE (Maybe in that Airstream this is me daydreaming)  Wendy mentioned powder coating so that's what we both ended up doing. Mine was teal but then I changed my mind and settled on pink. I think the powder coating guy was rolling his eyes... like what is this person doing??

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So far we have done the world's shortest 1 hour demo and....

  • Primed and Painted (I don't recommend diy) 
  • Removed and Replaced counter, sink and faucet 
  • Powder coated stove 
  • Spray painted lights, vent covers etc 
  • Installed Flooring 
  • Demoed Bathroom


  • Installing wallpaper and kitchen backsplash
  • Spray tub, Install partial tile in shower 
  • Add vessel sink, faucet, counter in bathroom
  • Add new Vanity mirror and shower curtain 
  • Install Acrylic camper table 
  • Assemble cusions- we got new covers 
  • Install privacy curtains, and roll down shades, curtains on large windows 
  • Decide deco for refrigerator 
  • Paint Exterior (professionals!) 
  • Pack up and go on our first voyage!!! 







A little remodel...

So this is it- our latest flip. We had fun with this one especially since it was only 1125 sq ft! But as always it was a rollercoaster. So let's talk about some of the behind the scenes stuff- 

Upon starting this job we realized a few things we hadn't thought about in our first couple of walkthroughs. Not that we had the inside removed its as time to finalize the kitchen layout- well it was a little more tricky than we had anticipated. This is not out of the norm- once you get down to inches there are some things to be realized. This particular kitchen is IKEA so we were using the kitchen planner to guide us through this one IKEA KITCHEN PLANNER PHOTO. Upon taking some additional measurements we realized that the sink was not going to be centered over the window which was to me a travesty. Next we plugged in the appliances and the island and then had some serious second thoughts. We couldn't have a kitchen that is not functional but we also could not have a wide open space in this little box of a house. After some late night back and forth, cocktails, and more time with the kitchen planner-  we decided to move the refrigerator to the other side and cancel one of the hallway doors. 

So trashy looking in the beginning

So trashy looking in the beginning


Window install proved to be interesting since we had recessed windows we assumed they were set in block- NOT. So once we cut the windows out and re-installed it was looking pretty rough. Stucco was a breeze and then we turned our attention back inside. We noticed that the ceiling in the kitchen was a bit cracked due to the plaster so next up - well there was no insulation in any of the exterior walls or ceiling! Not sure how the folks that lived there prior paid their AC bills! So we set out to make a ton if holes in the walls to blow in the insulation. 

At this point I was getting impatient because we werent to the "pretty stuff" yet. No offense to y'all that love drywall and insulation but its boring AF. A week later we had an insulated house, new living room ceiling, and patched drywall. Now off to the races--->

While the crew was handling all of the non-exciting must-do things I was off meeting with some of my vendors to talk shop.  Some of the most important things to me when I'm doing a flip are: Flooring, countertops, and specialty items such as shutters, barn doors etc. 

Turney was the first home in the world to get Arizona's Geronimo Marble 

Turney was the first home in the world to get Arizona's Geronimo Marble 

Flooring is probably number one, not only is it at the top of the list as far as expense it will make or break your project. Things I needed to consider were of course budget but wait- lets talk about the other less obvious things. The overall appeal based on trends in the area, the neighborhood, and the perceived value. Finish quality and color is another deal breaker. One finish for one side of town will not work for the other. Also its good to have a couple of higher end finishes that mix in with the lower grade ones to make it pop. Counters and backsplash are worth spending time pondering. Your home needs to stand out, be unique but still appeal to the masses. This is especially important in Phoenix as most homes on the market are remodeled or flipped. The buyer is accustomed to upgrades and expects something special. 

Once we chose all of the finishes it was time to execute and to balance the work and timing with all of our trades. This can be tricky! It's like walking a tightrope. Everything needs to align perfectly or you'll fall- well maybe not that bad but I guess what I'm trying to say is that every single thing depends on something else. My best advice is that someone needs to be on site every day to field questions, catch mistakes, and keep progress on track. It takes a village people! 


Once we get well under way with finishes we turn to deadlines. This particular house we had a party planned to announce our new product Revive + Remodel which designs for the public. Party = Panic the house needed to be done not only for photos but for this event that we had heavily advertised, ordered food, live music and you name it else. The morning of the party the house was a mess there was sawdust on the floor the oval toilet didn't let the bathroom door shut and other general nonsense! We didn't panic we persevered and at 4pm in the people came, food and music flowing it was a success! 2 days later we put the home on the market and sold it within the first few hours over our list price. Another happy buyer!


Here are some before, after, and detail photos. Professional Photography by Life Created other photos by Tom or myself