Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Finds #57

LinkyMain2-04Hello and welcome to another edition of Friday Finds! We have some awesome projects and recipes picked out this week - visit them and show them love! Also, don’t forget to link up this week for a chance to be featured on next week’s party - happy linking! Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds

New Sew Gift Bags from The Casual Craftlete
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Christmas Candy Countdown from Woodland Flower
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Boho Piano Bench from Redo It Yourself
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Vanessa from Tried & True || Instagram || Pinterest || Facebook
Christmas Sherbet Punch from The Casual Craftlete
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Gratitude Box from Grandma Ideas
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Devin & Tara from Salt & Pepper Moms || Instagram || Pinterest || Facebook
DIY Burlap Table Runner from Decor by The Seashore
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Texas Pecan Pie from Building Our Hive
Don't forget to post your favorite links from this week to have a chance to be featured in our post next week or to get pinned to our Friday Finds Pinterest Board!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Navy Striped Dress from DownEast

Posted by Devin

I recently went on a shopping spree at DownEast Basics. I just stopped in to get a few things but I ended up finding so many great buys that I loaded up! Sometimes I think I could shop my entire wardrobe there, no need to go anywhere else! I love their stuff. So don't be surprised if you see a lot of DownEast items on my fashion posts for awhile. ;) I am always a sucker for a stripe and this dress was one of those finds that I liked on the rack but LOVED when I tried it on. I paired it with a red necklace, brown shoes, and my red plaid Dooney & Bourke bag for a little more color to my ensemble.

What I Wore:
Dress - DownEast Basics
Pumps - Ross
Necklace - Charming Charlie
Bag - Dooney & Bourke

Linking Up With: The Pleated Poppy

Monday, November 23, 2015

Garden Fresh Jalapeño Jelly

Posted by Devin

As many of you know, I am an avid gardener. We did not plant a winter garden this year as we need to refill our bed and get it ready for spring planting, but we still have a few things that are alive and producing right now. The foremost of these are our pepper plants. We are getting lots of bell peppers and TONS of jalapenos right now. Like, a gigantic bowl full every week. Check out Connor with one week's harvest.

We have always been fortunate enough to have bountiful productions from our garden but I have never know how to do the second essential step to gardening: canning. It intimidated me and frankly I had just never done it nor knew anything about it. I finally decided with all of these jalapenos that it was time to make the most of our harvest and find a way to jar it and make it last. I absolutely love jalapeno jelly so I made a resolve to start there (I was told jams and jellies are a great place for the novice canner to begin, as well). 

Have you ever tried jalapeno jelly? It is delicious. It's great on toast and cornbread, a wonderful garnish for Mexican food such as taquitos and flautas, and just divine poured over cream cheese and scooped up with Wheat Thins. Mmmmm... this is making my mouth water. Anyways, if you have jalapenos growing out your ears or just want to try a new and fun recipe, I highly recommend it. Here's what you need:

3/4 lb jalapenos
6 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 packets liquid pectin (6 oz.)

For Canning:
8 - 8 oz. jelly jars with lids OR 16 - 4 oz. jelly jars with lids
Waterbath canner
Canning tools - canning funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter

Making The Jelly

1. Remove the stems and seeds from your jalapenos. This can be a lengthy process so I like to do it the day before and have my jalapenos all ready to go on jelly day. Measure out 3/4 lb of your jalapenos for your batch. (Note: If you are planning on making more than one batch of jelly, do not double the recipe. Rather, do one batch at a time in assembly-line fashion. The jelly will not set right if you make larger batches.)

2. Puree the jalapenos with 1 cup of your apple cider vinegar in a food processor.

3. Pour the jalapenos, sugar, and 1 more cup of the cider vinegar into a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the 2 packets of liquid pectin and return to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute and remove from heat.

Your jelly is now hot and ready to be jarred. Easy-peasy, right? On to the canning process.

Canning The Jelly

Before we begin, let's talk a little bit about your setup. When you can your jelly you are going to need your jelly and your jars and your lids and your waterbath canner to all be hot and ready to go at the same time. My good friend Kathy gave me some great tips on how to do this. Before you begin making your jelly, put your jars in the dishwasher with a heated dry so they are hot and ready when you are. Keep them in the dishwasher until your jelly is prepared. While you are making the jelly, put your lids (not the rings, just the lids) covered with water in a saucepan on simmer on your stove. Also, fill your waterbath canner 5-6 inches full of water on medium-high heat so the boiling process will be faster when you add your jars. With all of this happening at once, you should have a fairly busy stove that looks something like this.

All right, once your jelly is hot and finished being prepared, here are the steps to canning.

1. Take your warm jars out of the dishwasher and using a ladle and your large funnel, fill them up to about 1/4" from the top with your jelly.

2. Using a damp cloth, wipe off the rims of your jars for a clean surface for the lids. Remove your jar lids from the warm water with your magnetic lid lifter and place on each jar. Screw on the other piece of the jar lids to secure.

3. Place your jars into the waterbath canner and fill the rest of the way up to about 2 inches above the lids with hot tap water. Place the lid on the canner, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the jars from the waterbath canner with the jar lifter and place on a thick, folded-over bath towel on the counter. This will prevent your jars from bursting on the cool counter top. Let the jars completely cool and then store at room temperature until you are ready to eat.

And that's it! This photo above is 3 batches of jalapeno jelly. Altogether I have made 6 batches so I am all ready for Christmas gifts, woohoo! Good luck with your jelly and let me know how it goes!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Finds Linky Party #56

LinkyMain2-04 Welcome back for another week of Friday Finds!
Happy Friday, friends! It’s time to show off what you’ve been up to!
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Christmas Embroidery Hoops from Living My Given Life
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Dresser Makeover from Thirty Eighth Sreet
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Vanessa from Tried & True || Instagram || Pinterest || Facebook
Meltaway Cookies from The Food Nanny
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Orange Honey Butter from My Name is Snickerdoodle
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Devin & Tara from Salt & Pepper Moms || Instagram || Pinterest || Facebook
Gingerbread Man Banner from Bugaboo City
Friday Finds Linky Party! #linkyparty #fridayfinds
Pallet Letter Sign from Shay Renovation
Don't forget to post your favorite links from this week to have a chance to be featured in our post next week or to get pinned to our Friday Finds Pinterest Board!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Office Desk Makeover and EJ's Giveaway

Posted by Devin

As most of you know, I just participated in a room makeover contest with EJ's Auction & Consignment making over my home office and I won! Woohoo! Today I am going to show you guys how I took an old desk I bought at the auction (for only $50, I might add) and turned it into a fabulous piece for my office. AND we have a great giveaway for a $100 Gift Certificate to EJ's at the end of this post so make sure to enter while you're here!

Here's what my desk looked like when I purchased it (minus an ugly, gray foam pad that was stuck to the top of it that I quickly peeled off):

The wood was pretty worn down and pitted on the top surface and the hardware on the drawers was very out-dated. But I loved the style and the shape of the piece and knew it could be a beauty with a little TLC. So first things first: sanding the desk down. I took a small, hand-held sander and did a quick, light sanding over the entire surface of the desk. Then, since the top of the desk had so many indentations, worn-away areas, and pit marks, I began to use wood filler to level and smooth the surface.

Using my putty knife, I worked the wood filler across the desktop, making sure to fill in all of the worst areas.

Once I was happy with my job, I let the wood filler dry and then re-sanded to surface again for a smooth and even desktop.

I then repeated this process with the drawers. The old hardware had worn a pattern into the wood so I had to use wood filler to create an even surface on the drawer fronts and prepare them for new hardware. 

Before moving on to painting, I wiped the desk down with a rag and wood cleaner to make sure that all of the sand particles were removed and I had a clean surface to paint on. Once that was done, it was three quick coats of white paint on everything!

The last step to complete the desk was adding the new hardware to the drawers. I had a little help from my hubs for this part. He drilled the holed in the drawers for me and then I added the new pulls. I was a little nervous about messing up on the holes.

Hardware is like furniture jewelry so you have to choose wisely and I knew just what I wanted from the moment I spotted this desk. Don't the simple pulls look great?!

So now that I've shown you this awesome furniture makeover, I know you are all dying to run to EJ's to find your own amazing piece for your home, right? Well, you're in luck! Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to EJ's! I hope our winner has as much fun as I had bidding at the auction and that you score an awesome piece!

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