DIY Paper Greenery

Don’t you just love garlands?!? They make any space pop; however, if you use real greenery, the life of your garland is short lived and if you buy faux then be prepared to spend more money than what it would have cost you to buy real greenery and make it yourself. ORRRR… you could make paper greenery for a fraction of the cost AND it will last forever! Black thumb people unite!

This was my first time using floral crepe paper, and I am totally impressed with how real my greenery looks. My husband even thought it was real. I purchased the floral crepe paper by Lia Griffith through Amazon. You can buy just the green paper HERE, but I opted for the assorted color pack HERE because I plan to make flowers as well. This paper is amazing and different from regular crepe paper. It’s not as flimsy and the colors are perfect for flower and greenery making.

With this being my first time using this paper, I wanted to try something easier than 3 dimensional flowers, so I made English Ivy vines and a eucalyptus garland. The paper is durable and great to work with. I am in love.   

If you are not sure how big to make the leaves, you can download my free printable leaf template HERE.

Now let’s talk materials.

Eucalyptus Garland Materials:

Green floral crepe paper

Scissors

Scotch tape

Ivy Materials:

Green floral crepe paper

Scissors

Cloth stem wire

Scotch tape

Once you have all your supplies gathered follow the below instructions. Please note, these instructions pertain to both types of greenery.

Step 1: Cut out the leaves using the scissors and my free printable leaf template HERE.

For the eucalyptus garland, I cutout approximately 75-100 leaves, making the garland about 7 feet in total, but the amount you need will vary on the length of garland you want and how much you overlap the leaves. For the ivy, I used between 15-20 leaves per wire stem. 

Tip: to speed the process up, I folded the crepe paper over several times to cut out a lot of leaves at one time.   You can also buy an ivy leaf cutout, but I didn’t want to spend the money. 


Step 2 (ivy): Once you have all the leaves cut out you will tape the larger ivy leaves to the top of the wire stem and use the smaller leaves at the bottom. I overlapped the leaves in some places and spaced them out in others. There was no method to this, I simple eyed it for what I thought looked best.

Note: I highly recommend you use scotch tape and not floral tape or glue. I tried using floral tape (as you can see in the above picture) and the leaves kept falling off. I ended up using scotch tape to secure them and they have held up since. Its been over a month! 👏 

Step 2 (eucalyptus): After you have all your leaves, start the garland by overlapping two leaves and taping them together where they overlap. Continue this until you have reached the desired garland length.

Note: If you want to ensure that the garland stays intact, I would recommend sewing the leaves together if you do not want to use scotch tape. I used a glue stick at first and the garland came apart.

Step 3: Gently crinkle the ends of the leaves to give them volume and that authentic look.

Step 5: Hang your garland and/or ivy vines!

Both projects took about an hour and a half to complete, but I’m ok with that, because I know these greens will never lose their color or die. 

I really love the color of this paper. The greenery look so real! Plus I can add seasonal flowers to the eucalyptus garland to use it year round.

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you found it inspiring. If you plan to make this or use my template I would love to know what you think! You can also come say hi or message me on Instagram @acarriedaffairdesigns

Until next time. Xo 

 

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Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Every year I host a summer party. Well actually this is the second year, but I plan to do one every summer. 😊 Anyway…with trying to make my guests happy I am always trying out easy recipes to serve at my summer gathering. I love blueberry & lemon pound cake so I figured blueberry lemonade would be good too. And it is! It’s such a refreshing summer like drink. Bonus, if you want it to make it an adult beverage, just add rum. It’s basically like a blueberry lemonade mojito. Yum!

So if you are wanting to make this refreshing summer drink follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

4 lemons (1 for garnish)

1 cup of sugar

1 pint of blueberries (1/2 for garnish)

2-3 sprigs of fresh mint

2.5 cups of Country Time Lemonade mix

Note: This recipe makes 3.5 quarts

Instructions:

Step 1: Pour the Country Time Lemonade mix into your pitcher.

Step 2: Cut three of the lemons in half and remove the seeds. Then squeeze all the juice into the pitcher with the mix.

Step 3: Muddle 1/2 of the blueberries. Add 2-3 mint sprigs and the sugar to the muddled blueberries and muddle until mixed well.

Note: if you like your lemonade really sweet add an additional cup of sugar. 

Step 4: Using a strainer pour the blueberry mix into the pitcher.

Tip: To make sure I got all the blueberry mix into the pitcher, I used a wooden spoon and pressed down.

Step 5: Add 3.5 quarts of water and stir. Then put the remaining blueberries along with a few lemon slices in the pitcher.

Step 6: Pour into a glass and garnish with a few blueberries, a mint spring and a lemon slice. Enjoy! 

If you want to take it a step further, make blueberry and mint ice cubes. I bought these ice cube trays at Amazon when baby K was born so I could make all his food. I knew they would come in handy again. Click HERE to purchase them.

All you do is add 2-3 blueberries and a small mint sprig to each ice cube. Fill the trays with water and freeze. Easy peasy lemon squeeze. See what I did there.

This drink is so refreshing, isn’t too sweet, and looks pretty. What more could you want in a summer-y drink?!

Well that’s it friends. I hope you enjoyed my post. Feel free to leave a comment or come say hi on Instagram! My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

Cheers! Xo

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Laundry Room Makeover – Part 1

Upon moving into our first home I hated the laundry room. It was outdated, the flooring was warped,  and there was an old ADT system mounted on the wall. Do you know what an ADT system looked like before wireless?!? This.

 And all of the accessories surrounding the box was part of the system. All I can say is thank god for the advancements in technology!

 

Add a water heater and furnace crammed into the already small space and you have yourself one heck of an eyesore for a laundry room. See…

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, eww!

 

What actually triggered this project was two things 1) I love starting new projects when I have multiple projects that I already started that need finished and 2) It became the catchall room after our Loft got a makeover. So much that you couldn’t see the floor. Not kidding at all. It was getting to be so bad that my husband came home one night from work and told me that every night he comes home he plays the “trust” game. Meaning he trusts that he isn’t going to fall or trip over something and break his neck. He does work late, so by the time he gets home it’s dark, the lights are off, and the doors are closed. Thinking more about it now, his comment was fair to say the least. With that said, operation laundry room makeover commenced!

 

The first thing I did was create an inspiration board. I knew I wanted a modern look with touches of farmhouse & greenery. I fell in love with the Wash & Dry sign from Magnolia and knew that I wanted that in the laundry room, so I used the sign to set the tone of the room.

 

 

After I had an idea of what I wanted, I got to work! The first thing I tackled (besides cleaning it out) was tiling the wall behind the washer & dryer. I decided to do tile because we had three cases sitting in our garage that a friend gave us. Yeah, you read that right. GAVE us!! It was free ninety-nine. The tile sat in our garage for over a year so I’m glad I remembered it! Initially I had planned on using that tile to do a backsplash in our kitchen, but I installed my DIY open shelves instead. You can see that tutorial HERE.

 

After reading multiple tutorials on tiling, I felt confident that I could do it by myself. If you have been thinking about installing tile yourself then THIS TUTORIAL offers several good tips as well.

 

Below are the tools/materials you will need, regardless if you are using a manual tile cutter or electric wet saw.

 

Trowel
Spacers
Grout
Caulk
Caulk gun
Thinset Tile Mortar
Sponge or cloth towels
5 gallon bucket
Tape measure
Level
Pencil

 

If you are using a manual tile cutter I would highly recommend investing in the tools/materials listed below as well.

 

Tile file
Dremel 3000
Diamond wheel Dremel accessory
EZ402 Dremel accessory
Clamp
Safety eyewear

 

This is a list of additional tools/materials that you might consider, but are not necessary.

 

Tarp
Gloves
Painters tape
Putty knife

 

I would bucket tarp with the required materials if you are not planning to take up the flooring. Grout is EXTREMELY messy and will get EVERYWHERE! But since we did take up the flooring for this project, I didn’t care about the mortar or grout staining the floor.

 

The cost for the actual materials were pretty reasonable. Under $75. However, I didn’t have any of the major tools. My goal was to spend the least amount of money humanly possible, so I purchased THIS $20 tile cutter from Lowe’s. It was manual, and the process was PAINFUL, but it got the job done, so I would say it was worth it. Adhering all the tiles that didn’t require cutting was a breeze, but the tiles that required a special cut, ugh. Especially doing it with a manual tile cutter & a ceramic tile file.

 

Tip 1: if you use a manual tile cutter, treat it like a wet saw. After measuring out the tiles, I submerged them in water, and even poured water directly on the tile after the tile was secured in place. Doing this made it easier and the cuts didn’t look jagged.

 

 

Tip 2: Buy a tile file! Just do it. If you are using a manual tile cutter, the $10 you spend on this ceramic tile file is worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. A tile file will smooth the edges of the tile after it has been cut. I cannot stress enough how dependent I was on this tool.

 

 

Tip 3: Make all your tile cuts at once and write out the measurement on the back of each tile and on the wall where that tile will be secured. It was tedious, but it saved me a lot of time trying to figure out which tile goes where. Plus you won’t be able to see the pencil marks once the tile is up.

 

 

 

Even though I tried to avoid buying any power tools, by week 3, I caved. After several failed attempts of trying to do a 90 degree angle cut with the tools I had, I realized I either needed to a) have a professional do it or b) buy the appropriate power tools. So first I called all the local tile shops and the most inexpensive place I found wanted $109…for only 9 cuts! I knew the tool I needed was less expensive, so I broke down and bought it.

 

 

If you have not been introduced to a Dremel, and you plan on tiling a wall yourself, BUY THIS TOOL! There are several versions of a Dremel, so make sure if you buy one you get one that has multiple speeds. I bought the Dremel 3000, which was the least expensive one that I knew would cut the tile. If you buy a Dremel, more than likely it will come with a starter kit. HOWEVER, you’ll need to buy the diamond wheel and the EZ Lock EZ402 accessories. Both are sold separately and NOT included with the Dremel kit. I didn’t realize that until I got home, so I had to make another trip to Lowe’s.

 

 

When cutting the tiles, I used a clamp to hold it in place. I did the cuts on my kitchen island and just laid a tarp over the island for protection. It was messy and I would recommend doing this in a garage or outside. It was rainy the day I did this, so just did it in the kitchen.

 

 

From here, I am not going to go into crazy detail on tiling since THIS TUTORIAL does a really good job explaining the steps. I mean, why try to recreate the wheel?

 

I do however have a few more tips I would like to add after completing my first tile job.

 

Tip 1: I was lazy and didn’t wipe all the mortar off, so there was a lot that dried on the tiles. But instead of scraping with my nails, I used a putty knife and it worked like a charm and it didn’t leave any scratch marks on the tiles!

 

 
Tip 2: Clean out the leftover mortar and/or grout mix in the 5 gallon bucket immediately after your done. They both dry quickly and it is impossible to clean out after it sets. I went through 3 buckets figuring out the things you shouldn’t do. Bucket number 1 bit the dust because I covered the  bucket planning to  use it the following day. Bucket number 2 was letting the grout mix sit too long before cleaning it out.

 

Tip 3: Lay a tarp down/over anything you don’t want the grout to stain. Grout and mortar are both incredibly messy. Especially grout. I opted out of the tarp only because we were going to lay new flooring down. Otherwise, I would have used one.

 

 

 
Tip 4: Take off any outlet plates you plan to tile around before you start tiling. 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

 

This may sound like common sense, but this was my first time tiling and I thought the tile would look good around the plate. Wrong. It didn’t help that my tiles had beveled edges, so they stuck out like a sore thumb. However, the new outlet cover I bought covered the edges enough, so crisis adverted!

 

After three long weeks of tiling, grouting, and caulking I was done!

 

 

So pretty!!

 

Once the tile wall was done, I removed the baseboards. Initially I was going to buy rapid fit baseboards to put over the existing one, but when I was planning out how I was going to lay the flooring I knew I would need to remove the baseboards if I wanted the flooring to look right along the edges of the walls.

 

Removing the baseboards was actually quite easy. I used my handy putty knife and a crowbar and it came out easy peasy and still intact! I found THIS TUTORIAL to be super helpful.

 

After removing the baseboards it was time to paint the remaining walls, trim, and door. I went back and forth several times about painting vs. shiplap. Believe me, I LOVE shiplap as much as the next fixer upper farmhouse lovin’ junkie, but after tiling I was ok with just painting. I ended up going with HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams in Delicate White from Lowe’s.

 

This was my first time using this brand of paint, and honestly I was not super impressed with the coverage. I usually purchase  the Emerald line from Sherwin Williams. That stuff is AWESOME, but expensive. Since I had to buy the tools for the tiling job, I decided to use a less expensive brand of paint.

 

 

I applied two coats and let the paint dry overnight. More like over-week. I work full-time, so I feel that’s acceptable. Right?

 

After the walls were painted I tackled the flooring. Initially I was going to just lay the planks over the existing linoleum, but after reading several tutorials I decided to take up the linoleum and lay the planks directly on the concrete. The reason I decided against laying it over the linoleum was because the existing floor was warped in several places and not even.

 

 

It may sound like a lot of hard work, but taking up the linoleum was actually quite simple. The previous owner only had adhesive along the edges of the linoleum, so pulling it up was a breeze.

 

Look at that beautiful concrete!

 

 

Laying the planks down was also super simple and the only prepping I did before starting was sweep the floor.

 

Once the floor was clean I started laying the planks down. I started at the corner of the room behind the dryer, then staggered the planks from there. It was so simple that I didn’t even have to take the washer and dryer out of the room! Crazy right??

 

 

So much better!!

 

We used  Safari/Brown Peel-and-Stick vinyl planks from Lowe’s. I planned on buying the gray driftwood vinyl, but decided on a darker tone at the last minute. I am so glad I did! Now that the flooring is down, I don’t think the gray would have looked right with the color scheme.

 

Tip: In most of the tutorials I read, the bloggers were saying to use extra adhesive on the planks, but I didn’t  and I’ve had no issues with the planks coming up. However, I took the existing flooring up first. So if you intend to use peel-and-stick flooring and plan to lay the planks over the existing flooring, I would recommend using the adhesive. 

 

The floor isn’t finished yet because we are in the process of moving the water heater, so I will share more angles when it is finished in part 2 of this makeover.

 

Now it was time to start decorating the walls!

 

First up was the outlet on the tiled wall. I switched out the standard white outlet plates for antique brass plates. Such a simple change, but I love the brass, black, & white color contrast.

 

My amazing FIL installed an extender box for the outlet on the tiled wall. I wanted the outlet cover to hide all the tile edges around the outlet. I’m so OCD about things like that. I got really lucky that a normal sized outlet plate covered all the edges. I should have taken the outlet cover off before measuring the tile. Rookie mistake. 🤦🏻‍♀️ However, the plate covered it enough, so no worries!

 

Next, I hung the Magnolia sign & clothing bar.

 

 

I made the clothing bar using galvanized pipe. Super easy! I attached all the pieces, then spray painted it Matte Black from Rustoleum. The best part, I already had everything to make the clothing bar from past projects!

 

After the clothing bar was mounted it was time to tackle the shelf above the washer. I was anxious to mount the hardware for our shelf. However, after all my hard work tiling, I  was TERRIFIED that I would crack the tile when trying to drill into it. So I looked up several tutorials and THIS TUTORIAL was the most helpful.

 

I purchased the anchors, screws, and drill bit. I had standard plastic anchors on hand, but with the weight of the shelf and brackets I wanted to be extra safe so I purchased toggle anchors that can hold up to 159 pounds.

 

 

Also, screws come with the toggle anchors, but they were silver, and I wanted black to blend in with the brackets. The screws were only .37 cents so I just bought them instead of spray painting the screws that came with the toggle anchors.

 

If you intend to mount a shelf on a tiled wall you’ll need to buy a special drill bit made to penetrate tiles. Otherwise your tiles will crack.

 

 

As stated in the tutorial I referenced above, drilling into tile takes patience. I was extra careful and did not put any added pressure on the tile so I wouldn’t crack them. After about 35 minutes I had the brackets put into place and the shelf ready for decorating.

 

Step 1: Use blue painters tape where you will be drilling. Then make a dot on the tape where the holes need to be.

 

 

Step 2: Start drilling on low-speed. You can increase the speed slowly as you start to see the hole form. Continue drilling until the drill bit is all the way through.

 

 

Tip: Make sure the size of the anchors coincide with the size of the drill bit. Meaning, I used a 5/16 inch drill bit, so purchased anchors that were 5/16 inch in diameter.

 

After the anchors were in place, I put up the shelf.

 

 

 

I found the Crates & Pallet shelf brackets at Home Depot online. They were exactly what I was looking for. Durable yet modern. I’ve bought a lot of shelf brackets in my day, but none compare to these. The brackets come in several sizes, but I purchased the 12 inch brackets to ensure the shelf would be wide enough for the canisters.

 

 

I had to make sure to add greenery to this space, so I moved the wall planters from our entryway wall to the laundry room. I think the greenery brings this space together.
I also love the mini wicker basket for lint. I found this clever idea from @brepurposed She recently made over her laundry room and it is truly swoonworthy! 😍 I tied the basket to the hook using twine.

 

After the walls were decorated, I decided I was going to paint the door black. Initially I was going to change out the gold doorknob for a black, but I couldn’t find a black door knob I loved. I also didn’t look very hard.

 

I had the black chalk paint on hand, so I just decided to paint the door. It was a darker shade of white than the walls anyway. At least that’s what I told my hubby. 😂

 

 

I applied three coats and voila! New door. I still plan to buy a new door knob and hardware for the door, but it will be another week until that’s done. I will have the door finished for part 2.

 

Even though I still need to finish the floor, add the baseboard, put up the new blind, and change out the door hardware I am so happy with this transformation! It seriously looks like a different room!

 

 

I would consider myself a seasoned DIYer, but this DIY project had me in tears a couple of times. Of course I want to encourage you to DIY when you can, mainly to save money & give you a sense of accomplishment, But sometimes DIY projects are not all rainbows and butterflies. They can be time-consuming, painful, and at some point make you question your sanity. However, after all the blood, sweat, and tears I would do it again. Mainly because of the cost savings. I spent roughly $300 for this makeover (granted the tiles were free). If I would have paid a contractor to do it, we would have easily spent over $1000. Crazy!! So basically, this makeover would have never happened. 😑

 

 

Well friends, that’s it for part 1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you found inspiration to take on a big project and I can’t want to show you the final reveal in part 2. Stay tuned!

 

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Our Easter Brunch 2017

Our Easter brunch this year was a huge hit and honestly, I must give a lot of credit to my good friend Julianne for letting me borrow most of the decorations (props of having a friend that is a catering manager) and my hubby for cooking a smorgasbord of amazingly tasty brunch items! Without them, the brunch wouldn’t of been nearly as wonderful.

 

I love whimsical accents, so a garden party theme was in order. I also LOVEEEE tea sets. I actually am trying to collect a set from every country. Right now I have three. 😂 So basically, I need a lot more.

 

 I scoured local goodwill stores  and the Salvation Army for inexpensive tea sets, but to no avail, I found none. 😭  I was thinking I would have to go with plan B, until my friend told me she had several sets I could borrow from her work. I was so excited!! Good thing because I didn’t have a plan B. 😂 So I packed up baby K and went on a {free} shopping spree! The amount of tea sets she had was insane. I loved all the patterns, so I borrowed a little from each set.

 

You can see all the details of where I purchased everything on my Easter Brunch Tablescape post HERE. You can also shop the sources at the bottom of this post.

 

Because I already blogged about my Easter brunch tablescape, this post will be less wordy and more pictures. 😊

 


The table setting

 

 

The food

 

My husband made all of the food with the exception of the bread. It was my first time baking bread from scratch and I think it turned out good. I didn’t get to taste any, it was all gone before I had the chance. 😂 So I’m assuming it was good. 😉 I used THIS recipe I found on Pinterest.

 

 

For the deviled eggs I wanted them to be different and I love spicy food so I asked my husband to make them with Siracha. He didn’t disappoint! 😋

 

 

The recipe for the Siracha deviled eggs is at the end of this post.

 

For the drinks we served mimosas. To put a spin on it, we froze concentrated orange juice in ice cube trays. Then topped them with champagne. I knew those trays would come in handy again after baby K went to table food. 😉

 

 

Super simple and a fun twist on the traditional mimosa. I got the idea from Pinterest. Click HERE for more ice cube ideas.

 

The desserts

 

We served carrot cake, egg shaped sugar cookies with homemade royal icing & luster dust, and garden carrot cupcakes. 🥕

 


I made bunny ears out of gold pipe cleaners for the cake. 🐰 Then topped it with white flowers. Quick and easy!

 

We also made raspberry and strawberry parfaits made with homemade whipped cream. My husband made the whipped cream. It was 12am the night before when I was attempting to make it and it wasn’t turning out right, so I let him take the lead on that.

 

 

I found the recipe for the garden carrot cupcakes on Pinterest HERE.

I didn’t get a good picture of the cupcakes at the actual brunch, so I used a picture from my Easter Brunch Tablescape post.

 

Aren’t these egg shaped sugar cookies so cute?!?! I simply brushed luster dust on them. Super simple. For my royal icing recipe & how to use luster dust click HERE.

 

After all the decor and food was taken care of, I needed to figure out what I was going to wear. I decided on a tulle skirt I purchase from Space 46 Boutique a couple years ago with a white camisole and floral headband.

 

 

I made the floral headband using some of the flowers I bought for the tablescape. It was super easy. The tutorial is below.

 

DIY Floral Headband

 

Materials:
Flowers
Greenery
Floral tape
Floral wire
Wire cutters
Scissors

 

I used ranunculus as the main flowers then 2 types of greenery, and two types of flower spray. I don’t know the names of them. I should of asked the florist, but I forgot!

 

Once you have all your flowers/greenery and materials gathered follow the steps below.

 

 

Step 1: Cut enough wire to fold in half three times. Then bring the two ends together forming a circle.

 

Tip: Before cutting the wire, make sure it lays on your head how you want it.

 

Step 2: Cut the stems off of all the flowers, leaving about 1.5 inches of the stem to tape to the wire.

 

Step 3: Put two to three stems together and use the floral tape to adhere them to the wire.

 

 

Tip: I used the flower spray all the way around and bunched all the ranunculus together in one place.

 

Step 4: Overlap the flowers about half way up each time you adhere a new section. Doing this will give the headband more volume and it will hide the floral  tape.

 

 

Step 5: Repeat step 4 all the way around the headband leaving about 3 inches for the flowers or ranunculus in my case.

 

 

You’re done!

 

Tip: I would suggest putting it in the refrigerator until you plan to wear it if you make it ahead of time. I made mine an hour before our brunch. I didn’t want to chance the flowers wilting.

 

Bonus, it only took me about 20 minutes to put this together. 😊

 

Well friends, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed it and leave here feeling inspired for the upcoming holiday. If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I see it. You can also message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

 

The Sriracha deviled egg recipe is below as well as the source details to shop this post. Have a lovely holiday!

 

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Sriracha Deviled Egg Recipe


This recipe will make approximately 1 dozen or 24 eggs cut in half.

Filling:

1.5 cups of mayonnaise
1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
Hard yolks from 1 dozen eggs
1/3 cup of Sriracha
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 fresh jalapeños (sliced)
2 slices of bacon 🥓 (diced)
A dash of cayenne pepper

 

Step 1: Boil the eggs and then blanch them i.e. run cold water on them after boiling. I put my eggs in a strainer and let the water run over them for about 2 minutes.

 

Tip: let them cool completely before removing the shell. Doing this will make it easier to remove it without making indentions in the eggs.

 

Step 2: Remove the shells. Bonus, I used some of the shells for my centerpiece. 😊

 

Step 3: Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks.

 

Step 4: In a large bowl mix the yolks, mayonnaise, 3/4 of the shredded cheddar cheese (the remaining will be for garnish), Sriracha, Dijon mustard, and the cayenne pepper. Mix until smooth.

 

Step 5: Put equal parts of the mix in the eggs.

 

Step 6: Garnish the eggs with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese, a few pieces of diced bacon, and one slice of fresh jalapeño.

 

Step 7: You’re done! Serve immediately or refrigerate.