Archive | July, 2012

raspberry jam + printable labels {oldie but goodie}

{originally posted 07.11.11 but a good one to revisit}

I’ve been wanting to make homemade jam for a few years, but was intimidated by the intense process of preparing the jars, boiling the liquid, timing everything just right.

But last weekend my Aunt Laura eased my fears and clued me in to the quick and easy way to make berry jam : freezer jam. Since raspberries are perfectly in season, I decided to give it a try. If you have never made jam before, let me encourage you : it is super easy.

freezer jam

Here’s what you’ll need:

freezer jam ingredients

:: 6 cups of fresh raspberries {about 5 6oz baskets}

:: 5 1/4 cups sugar

:: 3/4 cup water

:: 1 box of Sure Jell Fruit Pectin

::8 half pint mason jars

The actual recipe I used is right here, but I’ll walk you though the steps below.

STEP ONE: rinse jars in boiling water and dry thoroughly

rinse jars

STEP TWO: measure 6 cups of ripe raspberries and mash

mash raspberries

raspberries are mushed

STEP THREE: strain seeds

strain the seeds

I didn’t have much patience for the straining process, so I gave up after a few sieve-fulls, but you can remove as many seeds as you wish.

STEP FOUR: add sugar to berries

add sugar

stir in sugar

It is a lot of sugar, but from what I read, the sugar acts as a preservative for the berries so you can’t skimp. If you’d like a sugar free version, Sure Jell sells a no-sugar-needed pectin.

While the sugar is dissolving in the berries :

STEP FIVE: add the fruit pectin to water and bring to a boil

sure jell

Stir constantly and allow to boil for one minute.

boil

STEP SIX: Add pectin to berry mixture and stir for three minutes

add pectin to raspberries

STEP SEVEN: pour jam into prepared jars and seal tightly

pour into jars

Allow the jam to sit out for 24 hours, then it is ready to eat. You can store an opened container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks and in the freezer for one year.

jars of raspberry jam

I had a fun time decorating my jars of jam using scraps of fabric, bakers twine {from here}, flax colored yarn, houndstooth & dotted papers from my printable paper collection, and a faux raspberry from the craft store.

What special gifts these will make {maybe with some fisher scone mix? Yum}.

jam collage

I created two different labels that you are welcome to download and print {join the archive below}.

raspberry jam full label raspberry-jam-round

And just in case you are making strawberry jam, here are labels for that:

strawberry jam full label strawberry jam round

archive-free-access

Just to show you behind the scenes while I’m doing craft projects, here is what my office looked like while I was embellishing my jam jars. What a mess!

what a mess

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to London we go

I can hardly contain my excitement for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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First of all, the events are exciting and captivating and so much fun to watch. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve never heard of the sport – if its an olympic game, its amazing.

Second, I adore hearing the in-depth stories of the athletes. I cry at them all.

This time around, I am most excited that my oldest boys are old enough to ‘get it’. To watch these incredible athletes, root for our favorites and be part of the magic that is The Olympics will be so fresh and exciting while sitting next to my boys.

In honor of the London games, here are a few Union Jack inspired images.

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Lovely, right?

So, here we go. On to London.

Will you be watching?

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currently

loving: fresh cut hydrangeas from our yard. Especially these on my desk.

reading: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Intriguing story, good pace, a little crass. Just finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom which is now my new favorite book. I could not put that one down.

waiting for: a big shipment of paper! Remember the 50% off sale on art prints? Yeah, that was crazy. Still getting the last orders out and just waiting on that paper so we can print a bunch more. If you haven’t received your prints yet, thank you for your patience. They are coming soon!

excited about: my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Not sure yet what to wear. Thinking something like this:

missing: our most amazing hawaiian getaway. I want to go back.

trying to:  eat less sugar. I’m failing miserably.

working on: reviewing several new blogs created by students in The Blog Class. I can’t wait to share them with you!

enjoying: time with the family this summer.

using: my iphone a lot. Probably too much.

wearing: boring clothes. Jeans. Blouse. Hair in a pony. I wish I was wearing this instead:


planning: is not really my strong suit. I should do more of it. Especially meal planning.

singing: something by katy perry, probably. Or anything on Pandora today’s hits.

needing: a hair cut, mani/pedi and new eyelashes. Okay, need is not the right word. But want, yes.

learning: to stop and take a deep breath and not always have to be accomplishing a task in order to feel like I’m being productive.

listening: to a silent house. The kids are off with our favorite sitter, Ryan is out running errands. The house is momentarily silent. It is glorious.

wishing: my baby would please go back to calling me mommy. I’m just not ready for her to say things like, “for real, mom“. Seriously? She’s only 2 1/2.

doing: lots and lots of sandy laundry from spending the weekend at the beach. 

praying for: less of me, more of Him. I’m growing more aware of my selfishness and it’s not pretty.

dreaming of: a cool vacation house in eastern washington where it is sunny all summer and snows in the winter. In our dream world, it would look much like this:

This is actually a guest house over a garage, but that would work just fine for me!

So this is me.

Want to play along? What are you currently up to?

{this currently post idea is borrowed from my friend Sasha at Lemonade Makin’ Mama. She is talented, thoughtful and takes pretty pictures. You should read her blog.}

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jdc | monthly {august}

Staying organized for the last month of summer/first month of school just got prettier.

Meet the August collection of JDC | Monthly:

Rainbow-bright colors, graphic patterns, playful designs. I like this one and hope you do too.

be kind

{art print reads: be kind to each other}

And the project this month are these patterned note books. Great for back to school, teacher gifts, party favors or to keep on your nightstand for jotting down late night deep thoughts.

dotted-line

As a JDC | Monthly member you will receive a seasonal assortment of calendars, chore charts, note cards and art prints to keep organized all month long {and look cute doing so}. We also do a monthly project with printable templates included – always something simple and season-appropriate that can be used during the month or saved for another occasion.

So, if you would like to be part of JDC | Monthly, of course we’d love to have you!

The subscription is $9.99 per month {first month is free} and is super easy to sign up for : just click the button below:

the details

Included each month:

monthly calendar . weekly calendar . chore charts . dinnertime chart . daily menu . grocery & shopping lists . note cards . mailing labels . scripture cards . an original art print {exclusively for JDC | monthly members} . tutorial with templates for the project shown

You will be sent a link to access all of the pdf files. Download and print, or save them to your computer for a rainy day.

JDC | monthly members will also receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

fine print

When you sign up you will be directed to the current month’s link immediately. Billing is done on a 30 day cycle {so if you join on the 15th, you will be billed the following month on the 15th}. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the collection of pdfs, as well as the project tutorial.

If you decide JDC | monthly is not for you, you are free to cancel at any time.

dotted-line

So, what do you say : want to try it out? Click below to sign up.

P.S. If you are already a member, your August link was emailed to you yesterday. If you need any help, please let me know!

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we’re making crepes

Saturday morning breakfasts are a tradition in our household and our most favorite of all breakfast treats are crepes {or swedish pancakes}. Thin, buttery and easy to make.

FYI: I just looked up the difference between crepes and swedish pancakes and it turns out there is a difference.  Crepes are thinner and can be sweet or savory; swedish pancakes are only sweet. So apparently, what we’re actually making are:

Start by melting the butter in a large pyrex measuring cup and whisk in the milk, eggs and vanilla.

Next, slowly add the dry ingredients, whisking to combine and smoothing any lumps. You may notice flecks of melted butter – that’s okay.

While mixing the batter, melt butter in saute pan over medium heat {I use two pans to make the pancake making faster}.

Pour a small amount of batter into hot pan

and swirl to thin and spread around the pan.

After a minute or so, gently flip and cook another 30 seconds.

Stack them up and keep heated in a warmed oven. Or just eat them as you cook them.

Top them with maple syrup, jam, fresh fruit, whipped cream, lemon juice & powdered sugar, or a combination of all.

Guess what day we ate these?

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