Monday, February 27, 2017

{ Sick kid, Organization and Fierce Dragon }

2:14 PM 30 Comments
February 24, 2017

Life sure likes knocking you off kilter once in a while, doesn't it?

I was doing so well with my daily blogging, then last week my Nick got sick and wasn't feeling very well all week, so I set everything aside to take care of him.

If you ask him, I baby him too much when he's unwell.  I panic, I over react, I stress and worry.  He thinks it's funny albeit a little annoying.  But I can't help it, my kids are my world and I live for them and their well being.  You moms know how it is.  If they hurt, you hurt, if they're sick, you're worried.  It is what it is.

Anyway, I got busy with him and home life, and so on, and before I knew it the weekend was upon us and now we're back here on Monday.

He IS doing better, and so here I am, back on track and getting right back on the blogging horse.

Last week I did a bit of reorganizing.  I've said a few times already that I feel like we moved into this big house and just placed things anywhere and never really got around to decorating.

I've slowly been going through closets, and rooms and different areas and finally doing what I want with them.

One of those that was needing a lot of attention, was the linen closet.  My word.  It doesn't help that when the kids or the husband need something, they go in there and in order to find what they want, they throw everything else around or bunch it up into little balls.  Like who does that???

February 24, 2017

It wasn't terribly bad, but it was bad enough for me.  I couldn't stand to look at it anymore, and why on earth was my sewing machine placed in this closet?  Well I asked my husband to put it away for me in the closet.  I meant OUR big closet in the bedroom, he apparently thought I meant this one hahah

February 24, 2017

It's hard to photograph the closet, so I tried to get as much of it as I could.  I got everything organized again by what they are.  Bottom shelf is bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths, plus I was able to fit some blankets too.

Next shelf up is bedding, sheets and pillow cases, and then curtains and extra bedding that is not used as much.  The very top is pretty much extra blankets, and random odds and ends.

February 24, 2017

I actually went in and added some labels.  Granted these are not the right labels for this kind of job and eventually I will redo them, but for now, it will work.  I figure this way when they want something, they can at least read and grab from the correct pile.

February 24, 2017

The house is nowhere near finished or the way I want it to be, but it's certainly getting there.

February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

The weather has been downright insane.  One minute it's hot, the next minute it's freezing.  One minute there's a wonderful breeze, the next minute the trees are waving back and forth with high winds.

I just wish Texas would figure out what it wants, and stick with it.  Annoying!!!

February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

Life is just, life around here.  There's a lot of the same day in and day out, like laundry, and cleaning and such.  Sometimes I wonder what I'm going to blog about or what I'm going to show you because I feel like I'm not really doing anything super interesting that anyone would care to know.

February 24, 2017

Either way, I'll always find something to blab on about, even if just to show you my latest creations.

In an attempt to force Spring into my home, I've whipped up a few little flowers for my dry branches.

February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

They sure brighten up the room, and make me smile when I walk by.  If Texas is not going to give me Spring and warmth outside, I'll make it myself.  :)

This weekend, I worked on another project.  My daughter loves dragons and I had been wanting to make a crochet one for quite a while.

Fierce Dragon

Say hello to my Fierce Dragon.  I started him on Saturday morning and worked on hi on and off, while watching movies with hubby, in between laundry and cooking etc.

He was such a joy to make.  I learned a lot because I'm more of a blankets and doilies and flowers etc kinda crochet gal.  I never really ventured into Amigurumi or anything beyond that.  But I have been wanting to expand my skills and hoping to make a few pieces here and there for a few months, then maybe right before the holidays, have enough merchandise to sell :)

Fierce Dragon

Look at that chunky tail hahaha  I love him, he is just the cutest thing ever.

Fierce Dragon

He even has some fire coming out of his mouth. 

Fierce Dragon

My Jasmine is in love with him, she tells me she's going to keep him forever.  I sure hope she does and maybe one day passes him on to one of her children :)

Fierce Dragon

I learned a lot through him.  I learned that I definitely overstuffed him in some areas, as you can see above by the filling peeking through.  I frogged a few pieces, I lost a stitch or two and then had to make some up in some areas.  I struggled sewing it all together and making it look neat.

Fierce Dragon

But now that I've made him, I'm also a lot more confident in what I'm doing when it comes to crochet toys. 

By the way, I completely forgot to stuff his arms.  Like completely forgot LOL  I made the arms, then did the fingers (which were a pain in the royal you know what, cause I'm not used to making them) and sewed it all.  Only then did I realize that I never stuffed them.  They look fine though, but I was thinking "good grief girl, you left them hollow".

Anyway, he is all done, and I'm going to make another one some time this week.  I still need to finish off Part 9 of the Mandala Madness though and then Wednesday Part 3 of the Scheepjes Hygge CAL comes out.  So much crochet, and so little time.

Well I'm going to go make myself a cup of tea.  Check on my boy and see how his schooling is going then watch Dr Phil while I visit you all for the Happy Homemaker Monday.

Hope you're all doing well, hope you had a great weekend and I wish you the best week ahead. 

See you tomorrow friends
xoxox














{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/27/2017 }

6:22 AM 11 Comments
Good morning my friends, hope you've all had a fantastic weekend :)

I am so sorry I haven't had a blog post up for a few days, my son was sick last week and I was so busy taking care of him, that I didn't get much computer time in.

This week we're back to normal blogging again, so there will be a post up later today and then daily ones for you all, and even another Spend the Day with Me later on in the week.

Right, let's get going with our HHM and see what we are all up to.   



The weather:::
Texas is driving me insane right now.  90 degrees one day and back to the 20s and freezing the next.  Seriously?  Come on now!!!  There is so much flu going around Texas and Oklahoma.  Not surprising with the current temperature changes.  Looks like we're going to be in the upper 60's the rest of the week.  Anyone else super ready for Spring?


On my reading pile:::
Still reading In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear.  Loving it.


Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Hubby and I watched a few movies this weekend.  We don't do it too often, but it was kind of a little date for us.  My 13 year old is much happier in his room playing games and he is not a TV kind of kid at all.

Saturday we watched Fist Fight which was HILARIOUS, and then we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  I thought that one was ok, but I got kind of bored halfway through.  My daughter was also texting me at the time so my attention was divided between the 2.  I'll try and watch it again and see if maybe I like it a little more.

Sunday I watched The Shallows in the morning.  Oh my gosh, what a good movie, I haven't watched a "sitting on the edge of your seat" kinda movie in a very long time.  It reminded me a lot of the old Jaws movies which I loved.  So yes, if you get a change, definitely watch that one.
We then watched Hacksaw Ridge together.  If you don't watch any other movie this year, you HAVE to watch that one.  It was one of the most touching, beautiful, amazing movies I have ever seen.  Rates right up there with my top favorites over the years. 


On my TV:::
General Hospital
Dr Phil
Documentaries
Want to catch up on Outlander


On the menu for this week:::
Saturday is grocery shopping day, so I only have meals planned until Friday.  I will be working on the new menu plan this week.

Monday 27th
Sweet Fire Chicken with Sticky Rice
Tuesday 28th
Shepherd's Pie, Salad
Wednesday 1st
Jalapeno Cheddar Brats, Onion Rings
Thursday 2nd
Baked Burrito Casserole, Veggies
Friday 3rd
Homemade Calzones
Saturday 4th
Grocery Shopping
Sunday 5th



On my to do list:::
Finish off the crochet project I've been working on over the weekend
Blog post
Finish off Laundry
Homeschool


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Mandala Madness is needing my attention, so I'll be cracking on with that one this week.
Wednesday I'll be making Part 3 of the Scheepjes CAL 2017.   
Saturday morning I started a new fun project, which my daughter has already claimed for herself, but it's so much fun I'm planning on making another.  I will be finishing it off this morning and you'll get to see it in my post this afternoon :)


Looking forward to:::
Having my girl back home next week.  I miss her already, but I also know that this is preparing me for when she moves out in a few months.  Sucks being a parent at times lol 


Looking around the house:::

I have my curtains open and my Scentsy warmer on.  It's a bit of a dark day today because it's cloudy even though we're not expecting any rain.  I need to get the living rooms picked up, because Mr Marley just trashes them with his toys during the weekend. 


From the camera:::
Love taking photos in the morning, the shadows, the colors.  Just beautiful :)




What I'm wearing today:::
Just after 7am so I'm still in my pajamas.  The pants are leopard print but in grey and pink, and the top is a long sleeved pink.  They're so warm and comfy, I swear I would live in pj's if it were allowed. 


One of my simple pleasures:::
Watching movies with my husband. 


Bible verse, Devotional::: 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

{ Hygge CAL 2017 by Scheepje's }

7:18 PM 19 Comments

Hello everyone, so I thought I would start keeping track of my crochet projects, especially the big ones that require more attention, stitch counting and so on.

I think it will be a great way for me to have a record of the colors I used, the crochet hooks, the patterns and the progress as I work through each part of these projects.

You've heard me talking about the Hygge CAL, and I've shared a few pics here and there, but this will be my official post containing all the information.  As I complete each part, I will update it here and let you also know in my regular blog posts so that you know to come and take a look, if you're interested of course :)

So, all the CAL information can be found over at Scheepje's, more specifically on the CAL 2017 page.  The Designer is Kirsten Ballering from blog Haak Maar Raak.
 
Kits are available in 4 colour themes: Rainbow, Pastel, Juwel & Simy's Choice (The Danish Mermaid)
Would you like to buy a CAL2017 kit? Find your Scheepjes dealer here.
R.R.P. € 48,20 / £ 40,79 / USD 49,99.

I didn't buy a kit, I just can't afford that at the moment, but if I could I would love to have one, for sure.

I'm using colors from my stash, so basically just what I already have on hand, which won't surprise you are basically the colors I've used for my other big projects, the Sophie and the Mandala.

My crochet hook is 4 mm.
Yarn is Red Heart Super Saver.

This CAL is for a shawl, but I'm going to adapt it for a blanket as the yarn is not really soft enough for a shawl.   I do plan on making another one with softer yarn and definitely a shawl.

Week 1

_MG_5746


Week 2

Hygge CAL 2017



{ My crazy life }

5:16 AM 6 Comments
What a weird day for me, I was completely off today thinking it was Monday even though it was Tuesday.  Anytime we have a long weekend, it completely throws me off.

Well hello everyone.  First, thank you for your comments on my all my posts, you don't know how much I appreciate them and love them, even if I don't always reply or come by.   You are by far the sweetest ladies, you read my posts, you give me love, you encourage me and I just adore you all, so thank you :)

I spent most of yesterday on the road, we had to go take my daughter to meet up with her boyfriend, who was picking her up so she can go visit him and his family.  I don't mind the drive, it gives my husband and I a chance to talk and spend some time together.  Lately, it's served as a way to vent, to let out our feelings with not only life, bills, things we have going on, but our quickly growing children and Jasmine moving out at the end of May.

It's a lot of feelings, emotions, questions and basically a lot of me saying "I love her, I wish she wasn't growing so quickly, wish she wasn't moving out yet, wish I could turn back time, I miss the kids being little, where has time gone, how do we stop this, how am I going to get through this?".....on repeat.
 
These things seem to play in my mind almost on a constant basis, and I don't have the answers but I also know that no matter how incredibly helpless I feel right now, I'm just one of many parents, going through this, who have gone through this and will go through it.  They got through and so we shall, but boy is it hard.

She's a good girl, she stays in touch constantly, calls me mama, still wants to hold my hand all the time and hug me and love me.  I'm going to miss that.

Ok enough.  I promise to bore you all to death with a Jasmine leaving post, at another time.  This is not what this one is about though.  I'm just here to tell you about my past few days.

So, back to the story.  We drove out almost 3 hours, dropped her off, and turned right back around.  By the time I got home, I didn't feel like doing much of anything, but I managed to get laundry going and tidy up a it around the house, do a little crochet and just basically faff around until bedtime.

Today I woke up with a lot more determination to get things done and be productive.

I cleaned and tidied up Jasmine's bedroom, which if you have a teenager you know what I'm talking about.  Major chaos in there, on a constant basis.  Got it all done, stripped her bed and washed all the linens and did all her laundry.

I also switched out the curtain rings in her bathroom.  The ones I had before didn't work quite well and I found that half the time they fell off the rod etc.  They were just a simple metal hook.  I had bought a different looking set a few months ago and hadn't yet gotten around to changing them out, today was the day.

_MG_5746

I also vacuumed and carpet cleaned both living rooms, did tons of laundry and finished the first part of the Scheepje's CAL so that I can be ready to get on with Part 2 when it is released tomorrow.

_MG_5740

I did another row on the Mandala Madness, and also read a few more pages in a book I have for review.

_MG_5739

The mail came and dropped off another book, which I am so excited about.

_MG_5738

I've paged through it real quick and it's filled with not only very interesting information but recipes for all sorts of things using essential oils.  Very informative book.

_MG_5737

Paid some bills, made a yummy dinner of meatballs.  I was going to do them with spaghetti but both hubby and son requested meatball subs instead, so that is what we had.

My boy is not feeling very well, he has had a headache since last night, he has a runny tummy and he says he just doesn't feel very good.  I think he is coming down with something, and I'm pretty certain that headache is sinus related because it is centered mainly on his forehead and above his eyes.  He also says it hurts more when he walks or moves his eyes from side to side.

I'm keeping an eye on him and if by tomorrow this is still ongoing, I'll be making an appointment and taking him in.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's getting sick, the changes in weather haven't helped either, it's 90 degrees one day and 30 the next, then back to 70, then back down to 40.  It's just insane.

Anyway, as a mom I just hate when one of them is not well, the worry kicks in and I find myself on edge until I know exactly what is wrong or until they're feeling better.

So, I'm going to go and give him some motrin and check on him again, then I need to get ready for bed, it's around that time for me again.

I hope you've all been having a great week so far, and that the rest of the week is a good one for everyone.  I'll see you all tomorrow.

xoxoxo

Monday, February 20, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/20/2017 }

6:16 AM 7 Comments
Good morning friends, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  Mine as always was busy and went by in the blink of an eye.

Thankfully today is a holiday and my husband isn't working, but we have to go drop off our daughter about 2 and a half hours from us, so need to get on the road pretty soon.  At least we will be back home by lunch and will have the rest of the day to relax before it's back to work and school tomorrow :)
 


Happy Homemaker Monday



The weather:::
As always Texas doesn't disappoint with the nutty weather.  We had beautiful 90 degrees last week, then Saturday morning woke up to fog, clouds and rainy weather, it cleared up and was sunny and warm in the afternoon, only to grace us with a huge thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and into the very early morning hours.  Craziness!!!
This week we're looking at high 70's so I think it will be quite nice :)


On my bedside table:::
I cleaned it up.  Hallelujah!!!!  So now, just my alarm clock, my devotionals and bible and the TV remote.  


On my reading pile:::
Just started In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear.  It's for a review. 


On my TV:::
Everything on my list last week, did NOT get watched.  I'm a mess!!!
I did however binge watch and am still binge watching, Women Behind Bars.
There are a couple things I watch every day without fail, and those don't change, that is General Hospital and Dr Phil.
I don't know what else I will get to watch this week but I never run out of ideas as my list of shows is ever growing.


On the menu for this week:::
It will be just me and my hubby and son, for the next 2 weeks.


Monday 20th
Meatballs with Spaghetti, Salad
 Tuesday 21st
Ham and Cheese Chicken Roll Ups with Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday 22nd
Paella, Veggies
Thursday 23rd
Hamburger Helper, Salad
Friday 24th 
Sweet Fire Chicken with Basmati Rice
Saturday 25th
Shepherd's Pie
Sunday 26th
Jalapeno Cheddar Brats, Onion Rings, Fried Pickles


On my to do list:::
Drop off Jasmine
Wash my comforter {marley decided to vomit on it early this morning}
Finish last row of Scheepjes CAL 2017


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still working on the Mandala Madness, am about to finish Part 9 which means I'm halfway through.  Goodness!!!
Also started the Scheepjes CAL 2017, second part will be released on Wednesday and I can't wait.   


Looking forward to:::
Paying off some of our bills.  We are just 5 months from paying off one car and one bill we have with the IRS from a mistake back in 2015.  So excited.


Looking around the house:::

It's dark, but I have my Scentsy burner on.  It's just gone 7am, so it's getting brighter outside.  I need to pick up Marley's toys which he has thrown about all over the living room floor, but other than that the house is not in major disarray.


From the camera:::
Quite enjoying some knitting, even though I'm a huge crocheter, I do however enjoy my knitting and it's been a nice little break from all the crochet I've been doing.  I haven't stopped crochet though, just adding a bit of knitting to the mix :)





What I'm wearing today:::
Still in my pjs, but going to get dressed very shortly so we can get on the road.  The temps are supposed to be in the high 60's lower 70's so I'm going for comfort.  I'm going to wear my black maxi dress with my black sandals and throw on my denim jacket over.    


One of my simple pleasures:::
Laying on the couch with one of the dogs.  Just laying there, playing with them or letting them nap on me.  Love it :)  


Bible verse, Devotional::: 

All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.
– Proverbs 13:16 (NIV)

How much time do you give toward planning? Sometimes we confuse the walk of faith with lack of planning or an ignorance of the circumstances, but the Bible does not condone that type of thinking. Understanding the implications of our actions are not signs of unbelief, but wisdom. Otherwise our ignorance is exposed, and we can be tempted to blame God for our lack of thoughtfulness. - by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org


Saturday, February 18, 2017

{ Grocery Haul February 18, 2017 }

7:38 PM 7 Comments
Good evening everyone, I sure hope you've had a wonderful Saturday.

Mine was busy as always, lots to do, a lot of running around and I am finally sitting down at almost 8:30pm, to get this post up and relax a little.

I've been on the go since 8am this morning, starting with a grocery trip to my local commissary and this time I took you along with me, at least for a little.

I returned back home and fully intended to get the grocery haul recorded for you, but while at the store I felt really sick, so I finished up quickly, came home and my wonderful husband put away the groceries.  I still managed to do the haul for you all, but it's a little different than I would normally do it, you'll understand once you see it, and I do hope you enjoy it :)

Also, yes I was driving, but I have a little tripod holder thingamabob for the phone.  Not that it works very well because it started sliding and I had to move the phone back.  Hahah

Anyway, go on and watch the haul below, and right beneath it you will find the menu plan for the next two weeks.



I went over budget just by 2 dollars but that was part of the 5 dollars that I used to tip the bagger, so technically I guess I stayed under budget again.



 


Sunday 19th
Slow Cooker Ribs, Texas Toothpicks, Zestie Fries

Monday 20th
Meatballs with Spaghetti, Salad

Tuesday 21st
Ham and Cheese Chicken Roll Ups with Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday 22nd
Paella, Veggies

Thursday 23rd
Hamburger Helper, Salad

Friday 24th 
Sweet Fire Chicken with Basmati Rice

Saturday 25th
Shepherd's Pie

Sunday 26th
Jalapeno Cheddar Brats, Onion Rings, Fried Pickles

Monday 27th
Baked Burrito Casserole

Tuesday 28th
Homemade Pizza

Wednesday 1st
Spaghetti with Tomato and Bacon sauce, Homemade bread sticks

Thursday 2nd
Manicotti, Salad

Friday 3rd
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Au Jus Gravy, Fries

Friday, February 17, 2017

{ A little DIY and a new Crochet Project }

7:03 PM 5 Comments
Hello, Hello!!!

It's Friday night and I'm thrilled that it's the start of the weekend, I always get so excited at the prospect of not having to go to bed at a specific time, or getting up early with the alarm.

That and the fact that being the weekend, means I can relax with my family, which I always enjoy.

I wanted to start by letting you all know that I haven't forgotten about the Birthday Giveaway, I plan on getting everything ready and boxed up to be shipped, winner picked and announced etc, by Sunday afternoon :)

Just been so busy and waiting for pay day as well, you know how that goes.

_MG_5712

So I wanted to show you my little DIY today.  I was sitting early this morning, looking around my living room and making a mental list of things I would like to make or buy for the room.  Mostly things I want to make, because I want to have as much homemade by me as possible.

Crochet, sewing, painted, built, restored etc.  I firmly believe that we can do anything we set our minds to and I also think that it makes it so much cozier and meaningful when it comes from your own hands.


_MG_5708

As you know, my living room is green, like a minty green.  I t was like that when we moved in and though at first I was not happy with it at all, it's kind of grown on me.  I would eventually like to paint a darker sage green, but for now it works.

So I want to incorporate and add a few pieces to accentuate the walls.  Crochet projects in greens and pale yellows, colors that will go with the room.

_MG_5709

Then I remembered that I have these really cheap glass vases, sitting in a cupboard.  I never use them, because they've always felt like they needed a little extra something to make them pop.

At first I thought I would crochet some covers for it, but I didn't want to have to deal with stitch counts and because they're narrower towards the top, I would have to play around a bit until I got what I wanted.

Then it hit me.....glue and yarn.  The same way that you can make those yarn letters for your wall, but around the vase.  I immediately grabbed some mod podge and within 15 minutes had 2 vases.  One green and one pale yellow.

_MG_5710

I am so in love with these, that now I want to make them in different colors for different rooms in the house.  I want 2 for my bedroom in grey and white.

I think they're such a fun and simple project that can be adapted for any room, and just imagine how pretty they will look in the Spring and Summer when they can be filled with fresh flowers :)

_MG_5711

I puttered around a bit more, got my fabric stash out and looked through it, because I have a few ideas I want to get sewed up this weekend, hopefully, fingers crossed.

_MG_5718

And then I got right into the Scheepjes Hygge CAL 2017.  Not like I need another project, but I fell in love with this one when I saw it and was anxiously waiting for it.

I'm not using one of the kits, nor am I using any suggested color combo.  As always, I have to use my own and whatever I'm feeling at the time, it's the way I crochet and it's what makes me enjoy it so much.

I have 10 rows to complete in total and so far I've done 6, though you don't see it in these pics as they were taken early this morning when I first started it.

_MG_5719

If any of you want to join in, be sure to go on over and check out the instructions, the pattern, the yarn suggestions etc.  You can also follow along on Youtube {which is what I do}, where the amazing Esther from It's all in a Nutshell, guides us week by week.  She really is fantastic, she got me through the Sophie's Universe, is guiding me through the Mandala Madness and now the Hygge CAL.

This is what we will be creating, this beautiful shawl, though I don't think I'm going to use mine as a shawl, I might turn it into a blanket, I have an idea on how to do that, but we'll see how it goes.



I will also have a separate post up for this project, I've decided I'm going to do one for all of my crochet projects, mainly the big ones like these blankets, where I'll share with you the week by week progress right until the end.  I'll also share the crochet hook I'm using, the colors and yarn etc.  I want to keep record for myself as well in case I decide to recreate any of these projects in the future.

Anyway, I need to go and quickly finish up my menu and grocery list as I'm heading to the store in the morning.  I'll have a grocery haul up for you tomorrow sometime.

Also have to go downtown to get a money order for a bill that I have to send off, buy some shoes for my son who just doesn't stop growing and may try to squeeze in an oil change for the car which is due.

Another busy, busy day but I'll take you along :)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

{ Canning Tomato Jam }

6:51 PM 2 Comments
_MG_5688

I had such a busy day yesterday that I didn't even get a chance to come in and put up a post.  I'm so sorry, I fully intended to do so but time just got away from me.

My day today was equally full and busy and very productive as well.  Oh my goodness, I love a productive day.

I started my morning by stripping my bed, making a whole new fresh one, cleaning and organizing the bedroom, vacuumed and then carpet cleaned the whole room.  Love a clean and fresh bedroom, and lately I had been neglecting it a bit.  It's so important to have a little space for ourselves that we can retreat to, relax, and feel completely at ease, and for that to happen, I need my bedroom to be a soothing environment and not a chaos.

_MG_5689

Ok it wasn't that bad, just needed to give my side tables some attention, needed a good vacuum and carpet clean and some dusting.  It's not like I had a royal mess in there, but it felt messy to me and it was getting on my last nerve, if truth be told.

_MG_5692

After the bedroom, I made some phone calls, got the kids schooling taken care of, put in a refill for my birth control, then vacuumed both living rooms, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, started some laundry and straightened my hair......and all before 11am.  Pretty darn good if you ask me.

Once all of that was out of the way I was able to finally get down to what I really wanted to do, which was make some jam.

I had been wanting some of my greatgrandma's Tomato Jam, and had bought tomatoes last time I went grocery shopping, almost 2 weeks ago, but never got around to making it.

Love jam, love making jam, love canning in general so this was the perfect few hours for me.

_MG_5687

Not only do I enjoy the whole process of canning and I am getting pretty excited just thinking about all the canning I want to do this spring and summer, but I also enjoy making family recipes and using tricks that have been passed on to me. 

Like peeling the tomatoes.  My greatgrandma always did it this way and that's how I learned.  She would make an X on the bottom of the tomatoes, place them all in a bowl and then pour boiling water over them and let them sit for a few minutes.  I would sit and watch her and she would let me peel them when they were cool enough to touch.

Doing this simple process today made me think of her and wish that she was with me at this moment, making jam.

_MG_5693

Tomato and Apple Jam is one of my favorites.  Weird in a way, because growing up I absolutely detested tomatoes in any shape or form.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I started enjoying them.

But like I was saying, growing up I couldn't stand them, the only way I would go anywhere near them would be through the tomato jam.  My greatgrandma would slice me up two thick slices of bread, slather them with butter and them a good heaping of this jam, and I would lick my lips and go to town.

_MG_5694

_MG_5696

If you've never tried Tomato Jam, you may be surprised just how good it is.  It may sound a little strange but it's delicious.  If you want to try it for yourself, I do have a recipe on the food blog.

_MG_5698

Canning is one of those things that may seem intimidating at first, and Lord knows I avoided it for such a long time.  I was terrified that I would mess things up....I had visions of exploding jars, and jam dripping off kitchen walls. 

_MG_5697

Truth is, it's so easy to do if you just follow some simple directions and precautions, and the rewards are amazing.

Now my visions are more of a huge cellar room with wall to wall shelving filled with mason jars, filled with all sorts of bounty yumminess.  I may still do that one day, I mean we do have a cellar, or storm shelter, which would double up as a great larder.  One day....maybe.

_MG_5700

I spent most of the afternoon between jars and funnels and the delicious aroma of cinnamon and apples and tomatoes. 

Late afternoon, we had a therapy appointment for Jasmine.  It was just a maintenance appointment, like a check up to see how she is doing, and she is doing extremely well.  It's been a huge change, like night and day from a few months ago where I honestly felt so lost and helpless. 

She has just one more appointment right before her graduation and then she's done completely.  So proud of my daughter for overcoming this huge obstacle in her life.  She still struggles with depression and anxiety, but she's learned to manage it without medication, and using the tools that her therapist instilled in her.

Anyway, because the appointment was late in the day, we picked up Little Caesars Pizza on the way home.  It had been years since I had it, there was never one near by in Arizona or second time around in Idaho.  Just glad there's a few in our area now, it's good pizza and it's inexpensive.

Now I'm going to finish up this post real quick and start on the Scheepjes CAL 2017.  Like I need another crochet project or CAL right?  Hahah 

But I can't help it, and I've been waiting for this project for a while so now that it's finally here, I am super excited to get going with it.