Thursday, June 30, 2016

Homemade Strawberry Refrigerator Jam

Hi Friends! 

It was another busy one here today, so I'm late getting to finally work on this post. I'm missing, blogging friends, and still need to come around and say hello to many of you...and tomorrow should be slower paced and allow for me to finally come and say hi.  I had planned to post both the strawberry jam and the strawberry pie recipe. But time only allows for the jam today. I will share the pie recipe in the future though! Both were ridiculously delish!! ;)  I didn't get a shot of the jam on toast (that has been my favorite way to enjoy it this past week). But it's also been yummy to drop a spoonful in my yogurt...or even in my protein shake for the day!

I followed a recipe from a blog called Something Swanky that you can find here. I had pinned it on my pinterest board under "breads" which you can find here.

This recipe is for a small batch of refrigerator jam; which is all my pallet of berries would allow for if I wanted to make a pie too. First, I cleaned and cut up all of my strawberries.

 I put about 5 cups of the berries in a large saucepan and mashed them up well.

Then I squeezed about 5 TBSP of lemon juice and put into a baggie and added 1 TBSP of cornstarch. I then sealed the bag and worked it together until the cornstarch was all dissolved.  I poured the mixture into the saucepan with the berries.

Once you add that mixture stir in 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar.

Turn the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a good rolling boil. Keep it at a boil and stir often for about 20 to 25 minutes. The jam should coat the back of a spoon thickly when it's done.  Let it cool and put into storage container of your choice. It should be enough for two 16 ounce jars. Or I put mine in little quart plastic containers. Then sit back and enjoy the taste of summer in every bite!! 


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Wonder: Flowers & Fairies


I thought I would share some of my flower pots around the house right now. Here are some of the flowers in the front of my house. I need to get a new welcome mat by that door - the other one was too yucky and I threw it out.  As you can see we have a formal front door, but this is the main door we really use going in and out of our house.  Also, I had just watered everything and that's why you see water marks all over the ground. Lol

Hello little fairy friends, please don't let me disturb your fun!

My herb pot is taking over! That's a big tomato plant in the back. I also have cilantro, lemon balm and pineapple sage in here. 

And these are some of the flowers in the back of the house. We kept this old patio table we don't use anymore - and I love it as a place for planting pots and just keeping some on here. Some of the pots here include my lavender and my strawberry plant.

Happy summer blessings to you! xoxo I'll be sharing this at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Instagram Fun

Happy Tuesday to you my dear Friends! 

I'm just popping in while I have a minute and thought I'd share an instagram moment. I've been having such fun with it lately. It's just another creative outlet in a way, but I can share things more "in the moment". I also like to share tips and recipes on there sometimes as well. And also like blogging, I find such wonderful friends on insta (some are even current blogging friends I've found on there too!). It's fun as I can also have more immediate interaction and conversation with friends too. Sometimes I'll share 1 post a day...sometimes several. It depends on what's happening in my day. Here's an example of one of my posts today:

I also enjoy following famous chefs, sports, and movie celebrities too. Won't you join me sometime? You can find me @carriebgroup or click on here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday

Hello and Happy Monday Friends!

How was your weekend? Are you ready to begin a new week? I feel lazy and slow today, but I'm finally getting started and jumping into this day. It was a busy weekend of soccer tourneys for both kiddos, belated Father's Day gatherings and jobs around home. One good thunderstorm, but otherwise wonderful weather that I was able to get out for many walks and enjoy. All and all a great weekend. Hopefully it will be a lovely week ahead too! 



Cloudy and cooler- which I don't mind at all. We've really had some warm weather (for my northwoods) lately. Today it's in the 60's with nice cool breeze, so I have many windows open to let the fresh air inside. We've had the a/c on a lot lately it feels. Looks like a lovely week ahead too - mostly in the 70's. 


Toast with butter and homemade jam I made this weekend and it was GOOOOD!! And a cup of coffee.


Cloudy and gray - which maybe isn't helping with my sleepy factor. However, I'll get my post done here and then get moving to accomplish some chores around here and hope it will help me wake up. 


In my office listening to John Michael Talbot on Pandora. Meditative and soothing Christian music and getting my devotional stuff out and ready. Also, looking at my list for my week ahead. 


I was more of a slacker yesterday, so I have some work ahead of me. I need to load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen and the laundry is ready for the next load. Also, need to change our sheets and finish cleaning in our master bedroom - which I didn't accomplish yesterday. I need to go give my flowers some love and do some dusting too. 


I need to accomplish the above mentioned chores, do my devotional time, and get in some exercise yet today.  I also want to take time to come around and visit blogging buddies soon!  I need to get my weekly schedule worked out too. The kiddos have lots of sports practices this week.


 I have had so many of my magazines come recently and I still haven't caught up on them!! I need to get through them so then I feel I can get back to reading a book again.


I watched Outlander but need to catch up on Game of Thrones. I still have some Hallmark shows to catch up on yet. A very guilty pleasure of ours is Big Brother (we often watch as a family) and we caught up on that last night. 



MONDAY: slow cooker German potato salad, grilled burgers, salad, fruit

TUESDAY: jambalaya 

WEDNESDAY: probably breakfast for dinner (mini pancakes, eggs, fruit)

THURSDAY: pasta bake, cheese toasts, caesar salad

FRIDAY: hoping date night dinner out - will be shopping for July 4th weekend groceries too


Finishing up a cross stitch project, scrapbook catch up (as always), cookbook stuff. I did get my little summer banner done!


This week I will be sharing the homemade jam and strawberry pie recipes I made this weekend with fresh farm berries....and both were fabulous!!


When processing fresh picked berries...don't wash right away, but keep dry on paper towel lined cookie sheets and they will keep longer until you can get to them. 


The berries I picked up from a farmer selling them late last week - and the jam and pie process in the works. Will share more on Thursday!

pansies, lilac and bleeding hearts from my yard & pots

My Mom has a bad back and neck and had tweaked them the other day, so I got extra Angel puppy love, as I went to help her out and take Angel for a long walk to tire her out a bit and give Mom a bit of a break. 


Have a wonderful week my Friends! I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday: Artwork

Happy Friday to you my Friends!!  

I thought for my 5 today I would share some of the artwork Annie did at her recent art camp. It lasted a Monday through a Friday and went all day each day. She did it with a friend and just loved it! They did other fun things like daily field trips next to the big lake (Superior) as the class building was located by it. They would go hike around, sketch and collect things like rocks and driftwood to incorporate into their art. They had quiet and reading/drawing time, snacks, and lunch within the day as well. It was at very cool art studio with beautiful views of the lake. At the end of the week they had a pizza party and invited the parents and family to attend and come look at their art gallery all set up with the artwork the kiddos had accomplished that week. My Mom (Annie's "Nana") went with me and it was so fun to see them so proud to show off their artwork. 


I'll start with 2 of my favorites. Annie painted that beautiful northwoods sunset. I put it up on our mantle and I love it as it reminds me so much of our beautiful bay at sunset - a favorite time for me!  And I love this coffee painting (they're both on canvas with acrylics) as she painted it just for me. She knows how much her mama loves her coffee! Lol And I put it against the backsplash on my stove top for now. How fitting next to the banana bread I had baked that day, huh? ;) 


I love this neat sculpture and I put it on our hearth next to the fireplace for now. Annie said they were inspired by stained glass, or sea glass you might find on the beach. They painted the stands and then threaded the material in different colors on it. Annie picked this color palette herself. When you hold it up against a window the materials are more sheer than they seem in this pic and it looks more like stained glass. I just didn't have a window spot I liked for it right now. Might switch to our bedroom windowsill eventually.


She painted the above frame in her favorite color of blue and isn't sure what she wants to do with it, but she put it in her room for now. And then she pickled this block of wood and glued on lake rocks and pieces of driftwood  to make her name and a flower...added a hanger - and she also put this in her room.


She also did this lovely painting (also on canvas) of hydrangea (also a favorite of mine) and I put this one on my bedroom dresser. 


And here's Annie with her friend she went to the camp with that week (there were about 15 - 20 kids overall ranging from ages 7 or 8 years old up to 16 years). Annie is the taller one on the right. This is a painting they worked on together. They each painted a half on canvas and when you put them together it makes a pretty campfire with a "best friends forever"  (BFF) moon. ;) Annie is keeping her half in her room. 

She also painted a beautiful very zen-like picture of bamboo and white flowers and gave it to my Mom as it fit well in her house and she just loved it! I forgot to take a photo of it though. She did several other little projects too, but didn't want to bombard you too much. Lol

I'm linking with Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quick & Tasty Fruit Dip(& a Turtle Surprise!)

Hello my Friends! 

I had a busy day of driving kiddos to their various sports and running some errands. So since it's getting later here I thought I would share a quick and easy recipe. 

I had some of the gals over, recently, that had helped me work on the carnival. I wanted to treat them so we had one of our final meetings here at my house and I put together a little spread of munchies & dessert, and one of the munchie dishes was fruit with this homemade fruit dip and a store bought strawberry one too. It was really tasty and really easy to put together.

As you can see the dip is just a mixture of Greek vanilla yogurt, peanut butter and some honey. Whisk together and voila!

Delicious sweet & salty yet creamy dip! A perfect summer time treat. ;)  I found this recipe on pinterest and you can find it here.  The basic recipe is: 2 containers Greek vanilla yogurt, and about 3 Tbsp each honey and peanut butter. But adjust to how you like the flavors  (I think I might have added a bit more peanut butter).  ;) Then chill for at least an hour for flavors to blend.

In other news I thought would be fun to share - this is what greeted me out my door this morning:

Those of you that follow me on instagram got the scoop already - but basically I had a couple of lovely (& large) snapping turtle mamas laying their eggs in our yard this morning.

On beautiful summer mornings like today, I like to enjoy my coffee out on the deck among the birdsong. Ruby ran off the deck to the side of the house and was barking a I went to investigate and I stumbled upon these lovely ladies working hard. Gotta love life on a bay in the northwoods! xo