Wednesday, September 26, 2012

i have a bump!

A baby bump!



Yes, it's true! 

Hubby and I are expecting our first baby in February. I'm hoping for Valentine's Day, but I would be happy with any day, of course! We are so excited.

In fact, we are finding out whether our little one is a boy or a girl... TODAY!

After all the family is updated, I will be certain to let you guys know the news as well.

And I hope you will indulge me in a few baby-themed posts on my blog in the coming months. :)

(and if you hadn't guessed, yes, this is the reason for my long absence this summer... hoping to be back to blogging for good now!)

15. Make strawberry jam

I'm sure you've all been wondering whether I've done anything towards my 30 before 30 list in the last few months. Well, I've done a few things. Not a lot but at least a few.

The first thing I did was make strawberry jam.

I didn't really want to deal with canning jars and boiling and all of that, so I took the cheater route and made freezer jam. It was sooo easy!

All I needed was:
Strawberries (or fruit of choice)
Bag of freezer jam fruit pectin
Sugar
Empty jars

making strawberry freezer jam

First, wash the strawberries and then chop them up as small as possible.

strawberries!

Then mash them up. I just used a potato masher because I didn't mind having larger pieces in my jam, but you could definitely use a food processor if you prefer to avoid fruit chunks.

making strawberry freezer jam

Then mix the fruit with the fruit pectin and the sugar (your package of pectin will say how much sugar to use). 

Simple.

making strawberry freezer jam

Then all you have to do is put it in a jar. 

It will last about a month in the fridge or about 6 months in the freezer.

And it is so yummy! Now that I've made it, I would really like to try making jam with some different fruits... maybe fruit combos like peach blueberry, apple raspberry, etc. Lots of potential here!

yummy strawberry freezer jam



30 before 30

Monday, September 24, 2012

my {beautiful} spool holder

Just wanted to pop in and show you something really cool. My dad is a woodworker and I've been bugging him for awhile to make me a wooden spool holder to hang on the wall in my craft room. I've looked at the ones at Joann Fabrics and other places and they just look so cheaply made. I wanted something really nice.

So when we visited Iowa this summer, my dad presented me with the beautiful spool holder he designed and built. Isn't it great?

handmade wooden spool holder

He told me that he added a little heart cut-out at the top because he loves me. :)

I was surprised at how quickly I was able to fill it up with my thread. It's so nice to be able to see them all lined up by color. Hopefully it will keep me from running to the store to buy thread for every project, thinking I don't have the right color. Do you guys do that too?

handmade wooden spool holder with adjustable shelves

My dad put a lot of thought into this. He even put wing nuts on the end of each little "shelf" to make them adjustable. That way if I have a bigger spool of thread that doesn't quite fit, I can spin the shelf outwards a bit so that it does. 

handmade wooden spool holder in my craft room!

Doesn't it look nice hanging in my craft room? He could totally make these and sell them on Etsy, don't you think? My dad is super talented! :)

[On an unrelated note, one of these days, I'll do a post about my craft room! Right now it's filled up with junk because we're having a couple of other rooms painted, but once it's back to normal, I'll try to get on that!]

scooter is not impressed

Scooter, as usual, was not too impressed. But I suppose that's to be expected. After all, he is a cat. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

boston is nice

So perhaps I spoke too soon last week when I claimed I had my blogging mojo back...

No matter. 

I mentioned awhile back that I took a short trip to Boston early in the summer (waaay back in June, in fact) to attend a conference for work.

I loved Boston.

What a friendly, beautiful city! I loved how walkable it was... how beautiful it was... how historical it was... how family friendly it was... Definitely a place that I could see myself being happy to live.

While I didn't take a ton of pictures (you must remember, I spent the majority of my trip in a cold, ugly conference room), but I did want to share those that I did take with you so that you can enjoy Boston too! (And if any of you live in Boston, lucky, lucky you!)

Our hotel was right next to the Boston Common. So lovely.

I saw the famous statue of George Washington...

george washington

Big puffy flowers...

alliums

Adorable bathing birdies...

sparrow taking a bath

A cute pond with swan boats...

swan boats in boston common

I've previously shared my love of cemeteries. Well, in Boston cemeteries are called "burying grounds". Oooooh. I like.

I got to visit Paul Revere's grave...

paul revere's grave

The grave of the original Mother Goose...

mother goose's grave

The grave of Benjamin Franklin's parents, and many others...

granary burying ground

Then I took a tour of the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre.

old state house

We spent an afternoon lounging next to the Charles River...

boston across charles river

...watching baby duckies.

duckies!!

Awww!

Our final stop was to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Inspiring. As expected. And in a beautiful oceanside location.

JFK library

Thanks Boston, for a great time. Hope to come back someday!

ocean from JFK library

(Can you see why I loved it?! And I forgot to even mention the amazing clam chowder!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

hello

I'm baaack!

I took the summer off from blogging, but I think I'm finally ready to get back in the swing of things. All sorts of things to share, but you'll just have to be patient... I don't want to share everything at once!

How was your summer? Mine was ok. Mostly hot. In some ways quite uneventful and in other ways very exciting. We took a trip (I'll share pics later) and and I wasn't really very crafty at all... in fact, I was a little bit of a bum. But that's alright, because like I said, I'm energized and ready to get back in the swing of it!

Hope you can all forgive my long absence... I've missed you guys!!

live oak