Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Summer is here, and so marks the season of strawberry freezer jam in my house! I absolutely LOVE this stuff. We like to put it on everything from waffles and pancakes to sandwiches and crackers. Sometimes we even eat it by the spoon. Don't judge me. But seriously, after you try this you will never go back to Smuckers. Not only because it's so easy to make, but also because it is so delicious. Dare I say it's like the nectar of life?

Strawberry Freezer Jam
This amazing recipe is from Chrystalyn Trimble...she is a master in the kitchen and my hero.

5 cups of strawberries (pulse them in your food processor until you reach your desired consistency)
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup of Clear Jel (I get mine from Walton Feed, but I hear you can also find it at gourmet food stores, or at a Bosch store)

Stir together the strawberries and the corn syrup. Mix together in a separate bowl the sugar and Clear Jel -- this is important! The Clear Jel will clump if you add it by itself. Slowly pour, while stirring at the same time, the sugar/Clear Jel mixture into the strawberries. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. Check the consistency -- if it's too thin for your taste, add another teaspoon of Clear Jel (again, add it slowly while stirring to avoid clumping.) The consistency is affected by how smooth you process your strawberries. I always add the extra teaspoon of Clear Jel.

Pour into Mason Jars or plastic containers and store in freezer. I always keep a large tub in my fridge right off the bat because we go through it so fast! I like to get my strawberries from Costco when they go on sale for 4.99 for four pounds (this is just about enough to get the five cups needed for this recipe.) Strawberry is our favorite, but you can experiment and mix lots of different berries to your liking.


{Image via This Week for Dinner}

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Want This Now!!!

So I know I've posted previously about bathing suits, but this is the one! I love, love it! I want it, like, right now! Not only do I absolutely love the lace, but I love the color combination, the ruffles, the shirring. Oh, the list goes on and on! I found this while browsing for vintage bathing suits on Etsy and I'm so happy I did because I found this beautiful little shop! Get a closer look right here!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sing a Song of Sweet Girls!

I absolutely love Ruffles and Stuff so when I happened upon these lovely, birthday party decorations while browsing this morning, it just made me happy! My baby girl turns 3 in 2 weeks and I MUST make these sweet, little party hats! I had decided to keep the party simple with just family, but this just might have changed my mind!
I also, truly love these accordian wall pieces! I want them for her bedroom on a regular basis, not just for a birthday party!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smell the Roses!

Heidi and I were lucky enough to attend a home decor party the other night. It was such an educational and inspiring event! We were very much inspired by Becky Higgins to create some beautiful floral arrangements and, yes, she is as wonderful as she seems! If you want to be inspired, go check her out!

Anyways, this is my first attempt at a floral arrangement and, I must say, it was so much fun and I am in love with it! I know Heidi feels the same about hers! Hopefully Heidi will be posting pictures of hers as well! If you've ever wanted to create an arrangement, do it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Toms Shoes

I love it when I discover a truly pure and wonderful cause. Like Toms shoes -- have you heard of them? For every shoe purchased, a new pair of shoes will be given to a child in need. Incredible! They look so comfy, would look great with shorts or jeans, are perfect for summer (or an Arizona winter, let's be honest), and help out children in need. I'll take a gray pair, please.

Go read about this great company here:
One For One Movement - A Pair Of New Shoes Is Given To A Child In Need With Every Pair Purchased -

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My new console!

Here it is! I finally finished my console table and, I must say, I love it! This table was very easy to assemble, but it does take quite some time. The staining and sanding that went into this big boy was a little unexpected. I also took the time to do a finishing wax and I am so happy I did. I am ready to conquer the dining room table now!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Antique Hardware

One of my favorite things to do when I go to Anthropologie is stop by the hardware bins and oogle over the beautiful drawer pulls and door knobs. I adore hardware. I have a couple things in this house...a few pretty hooks in my daughter's room and knobs sort of like these on my bedroom furniture:
But how fun would it be to open your drawers with something like this:
Or this? (I think these for sure would go great in my daughter's room).

I could browse for hours. The other day I stumbled upon this great little website: House of Antique Hardware. This got me day dreaming about my dream house, and how I would love to have many of these interesting accessories integrated in the plans. {My dream house is either white or yellow wood with a big wrap around porch complete with Adirondack chairs. It will definitely sit on a grassy hilly area with other houses a distance away. There won't be fenced in backyards. I won't even get into the details of the inside, because this is a post about hardware (but just know that in my dreams, it's pretty incredible!) }
Definitely, some crystal knobs of some sort:
And a few of these little beauties:
And let's not forget the hand turn door bell!
Or the gas wall sconces like this one (with a different finish and shade).

This dream home will be mine once I find the bag of money sitting on the corner with my name on it. Or when it rains money.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gift Define!

Thanks to Design Mom I came across these sweet, felt gift ideas. I love the conversation birds, but my favorite of all are these lovely bird toppers and this beautiful mobile! I want now! Gifts Define has so many wonderful treasures~personalized gifts, party banners and so much more! Go check them out!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mrs. Meyers

I absolutely adore Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, especially the basil scented ones. I was so happy when I saw that they sell a limited amount of their stuff at Target (isn't Target the best?) I now regularly purchase their hand soap. They sell so many other lovely smelling things -- dish soap, toilet bowl cleaner, counter top spray and wipes, laundry soap, baby care -- I think that if I had all of these supplies in basil scent, I would clean my house all day long (well...maybe not all day long.) Go check them will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can enjoy aroma therapeutic household cleaners.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oliver + S and Moda

Oliver + S and Moda...I cannot wait for this fabric line to come out! Moda announced in April that Oliver + S has designed a fabric line for them and it looks so beautiful! It's not due out for some time, which means I'm dying inside, just waiting for it to launch. I'm not very patient.

I would love to try out one of the new, fresh fabrics on this little number. Isn't it adorably, fantastic? It would look even better on my little marshmallow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Three Potato Four

The other day I re-discovered Three Potato Four. It's this wonderful little online antique shop, run by a husband and wife who adore collections. In my dream home, I would love to have an antique displayed here or there. Maybe I should start collecting a few now! I only had time to browse through their shop quickly, but I easily found so many little treasures.
For instance, this fun little key set:
Or these educational posters:
Or this chalkboard map (!!!)
I would absolutely LOVE to have this. Think I could persuade the Mr.?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So, I know it's not really wreath season, but who could pass up this beautiful, vintage wreath.  I love this!  There is a great tutorial that goes right along with it too!  It must be my lucky day!  I WILL be making this sometime soon, yes, along with my console table, which is almost done.  Hooray!  If you want to make your own sweet, summer wreath check out Bluebird Vintage.  I must admit, I probably won't put a deer in mine, but a cute, little bird just might make an appearance.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Oh I am in love! Look at that beautiful quilt! Not only are those fabrics amazing, but the actual quilting is so incredible. I love how it has a thin and antique look to it (despite the modern prints.) Can you tell I am on a quilting spree lately?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Heather Bailey Laminate Fabrics

It was a very exciting moment when I realized Heather Bailey sells laminate fabric. Oh, the possibilities! I have been wanting to recover my barstools for some time now. I basically wish all of my furniture was covered in either leather or wipeable fabric. It just makes life SO MUCH EASIER!

This is the fabric I am liking right now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh my goodness, I am so excited! Yesterday while killing some time at Joann's, I ran across this pretty little book. I enjoy quilting. For awhile now, I have wanted to sew a quilt for my daughter's 'big girl bed' (she's not at that point yet, but will be soon!) I have thrown around a bunch of ideas, a wedding ring quilt being one of them. I really wanted it to be old fashioned looking, so I had always just planned on using 1930s or 1940s fabric on a modern pattern. Enter this book. How much better would it be to use the vintage material on a vintage pattern! I love pretty much every pattern in the book, but my oh my, that wedding ring is quilt calling my name. It looks pretty intense, but in small doses, I know I could get it done! I am giddy! (Lynsee has the quilting bug too! She's making a daisy chain quilt for her daughter!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I am in love with this console table from Pottery Barn!  I am, also, happy to announce that because of Knock-off Wood, I am now in the process of building my own console!  Yay!!! Please, please go check out her blog!  She is able to recreate any piece of furniture and she gives tutorials...all for free!  I love to go browse her creations and hope that one day, I too, will be able to create some of her projects!  Let me know if you try any.  I will post pictures of my console table as soon as it is finished.  If you don't see pictures by next week it's probably because I totally screwed up and it wasn't as easy as it looked! Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I have been wanting to share the love of Picnik for awhile now. Picnik is a lovely little online photo editing website. It's free to use the basic features, or, you can sign up and pay a ridiculously low fee to gain access to the advanced features (wrinkle remover being one of them.) It is extremely user friendly and does a wonderful job enhancing my photos. I eventually plan on purchasing Photoshop Elements (come on Costco, please put it on sale again soon!), but in the meantime, this works well enough to tide me over.

Here is an example of what I have done using Picnik:

Before. (A pile of completed tags ordered for Mother's Day.)

Trust me, pictures of your kids will turn out even better! Try it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Pretty Poppy

I think my "I can make that myself" phase began a year or so ago when a couple of us girls got together to make hair bows for our daughters. We sat in a living room and made bows till our fingers hurt. It was so fun. Prior to that experience, I had enjoyed sewing and quilting. But the bows...well that just brought out a whole new crafty side to me. Since then I have transformed into an aspiring crafter. I don't feel like I can truly call myself a real crafter since I don't actually complete many of the crafts I endeavor to begin. But I love to be inspired, and when I actually have the time, I love to create things.

The other night while watching the remaining few minutes of the Suns game, (be still my heart, I love the Suns (READ: STEVE NASH) so much, I threw together this ridiculously easy poppy pretty. (If you remember, around here we refer to hair accessories as 'pretties', coined by Ms. Lynsee herself.) I loved it, and wore it the next day, when I happened to be going to lunch with a bunch of mothers. One actually liked it so much that I took it out of my hair and gave it to her. So, this afternoon while my house is insanely messy, but also insanely quiet, I made another one, this time complete with a tutorial. Enjoy!

A scrap of red felt
Black thread
Little black beads
A clip or headband (or both!)

Step one: Cut out three slightly imperfect circles, each one smaller than the other.
Step two: Layer them.
Step three: Sew on some little black beads. However many you choose. I doubled my thread and sewed each bead three times. (I have a little terror, I mean, toddler. Good thing she's a little sweet pea.)
Step four: Cut out a little tab to sew on the back over the not so pretty stuff.
Step five: Sew on.

Step six: Squish, to give some character.
Step seven: Slide on over a clip or headband.
5-10 minutes later, you are all set with a fun and cute accessory! {Tutorials posted for personal use only, not for resale. Thank you.}

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I've discovered a wonderful website!  Let me tell you that I will be ordering some of this soon!  I think it is the coolest thing EVER!  Okay, not ever, but it's pretty cool.  If you go to Mix my granola  you can pick and choose each and every ingredient that goes into your granola.  The possibilities are endless.  Let me just share...cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, cherries, mango, goji berries.  I'm salivating!  That's not even the end.  You then get to choose what nuts you would like and seeds.  They also offer chocolate!  They mix up your request and ship it off to you!  One more plus...everything is organic.  Oh man, I can't wait to bite into a bit of this!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So many giveaways!

A bunch of our super crafty and creative friends are hosting giveaways right now. They are all pretty amazing, so we wanted to spread the word so no one misses out!

Shannon of Shannon Makes Stuff is giving away a $60 gift certificate to CSN stores, an online shopping mall with over 200 shops!

Tricia of BabyNightNightBoutique is giving away some really cute hand made clothing for women and children.

Becky Higgins, the scrap booking goddess, is hosting a photography giveaway lasting the entire month. Every day photographers from around the world are giving away a free session to a family local to their area. It's HUGE!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Woo hoo!

We were featured yesterday on One Pretty Thing!

How exciting for us!

Thanks, Shannon for submitting our stuff!

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!

If you can't guess from Heidi and my posts, we are definitely in the PARTY mode!  Why, you may ask?   I want to throw a party so I can try out all of the beautiful decor things I have spotted while blog surfing.  One of my favorite inspirations is this Lemon Leaf Garland from O Happy Day.  Nothing brings on the nostalgia of summer like fresh lemons!  Now, let me admit, I'm not thinking of summer days in Arizona, but of summer days with cool summer nights.  Where, exactly, does that happen?  Let me know!  Do you know what also reminds me of summer?  Limes.  Do you think I could throw a few limes in the mix?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Balloon Canopy

I stumbled upon this awhile ago while blog surfing. I can't imagine anything more unique and pretty. Guess it's time to plan another party!

{Created by landscape architect and designer Gustafson Porter using helium balloons and some shade cloths.}