Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Catch-up!

Today I have a little catch-up post, to check in with my sponsors and see what they've been up to recently. Take a look at all the interesting things they have going on, and be sure to follow the links over to their posts!

I've been making hexies and trying to get enough to make an actual something!
I also spent an afternoon taking some self portraits, almost a hundred of them.  Then I deleted a bunch. Even with an entire month off I haven't really accomplished the things I thought I would, good thing I still have a month left!
~ Tara

This summer has been very busy, leaving me with little time to blog or update my shop (though I'm not complaining!). I spent the first three weeks of my summer traveling through Europe (England, Spain, Czech Republic, and Hungary) and have since been busy every weekend visiting family, celebrating birthdays (here and here) and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. I can't believe it's almost August, but I'm looking forward to lots more fun summer plans, including cottage weekends, baby visits (that's you, Margie!) and more quality family time. Visit my blog to find out more about my summer so far!
~ Brynn

Well I’ve now got my products in another boutique locally, so that is an accomplishment on my list for this year which will have me in two more by the end of 2012.  So pray for me people!  

I’m getting a studio space together in the upstairs of my house, and I’ll do a post on that on my blog so stay tuned! Also, I’ve also got some other exciting things in the works for the remainder of 2012 and will blog about those as well.  So stay blessed, encouraged and creative!
~ Monique


It seems it has been busy summer for everyone! I hope you are finding time to enjoy it :) 


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Discounts Galore!

Danielle from Framed Frosting had a Christmas in July event this Thursday and Friday. Lots of shops with discounted items and free shipping! And lucky for you the sales are continuing on items throughout the weekend. So I would hop over to her facebook page and check them out!

If you ever fancied this print of mine below, you can purchase it here for half price and free shipping!
Be sure to check it out, maybe you can get some early Christmas shopping done!


Sponsor Feature & Giveaway

I have a lovely lady here for you to visit today. She is a great blog friend of mine, I met her early on in my blogging days, and she is such a sweet heart. Read a little more about her below and be sure to enter her lovely giveaway!

You can find online at these locations:

She is also offering this beautiful bracelet to one lucky winner! (enter below)
Can't wait to win? Use the code newfoundlander for 20% off your purchase in her shop.

Good luck, and Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Homemade Oreos

How does that tickle your fancy? I thought it might. Jump on over to the After Nine to Five blog for this weeks contribution, and this yummy yummy recipe!


The Art of Preserving Part I: Starting Out

I have had a few people ask about canning so I thought I would do a three part series over the next three weeks that talks about what you need, some tips and tricks, and a few recipes also. I learned how to make jam while I was living out in Newfoundland. The family I lived with spent quite a bit of time during the summer and early fall harvesting local berries and jarring and preserving them. I was amazed at the time they spent doing this, but once I learned how I realized it was all worth it!

My mom bought me this book at a garage sale, and it is an awesome resource for all kinds of preserves. The first time I made jam by myself I used the recipe in this book for strawberry jam and it turned out really well. These recipes are traditional jam and preserves, but nowadays for jam most people just pectin, and pectin boxes come with recipes inside them. However, I would recommend an older recipe book, if you can find one on your grandmother's shelf or at a used book store perhaps, and take a look through to see the traditional canning process.
So what do you need? Above is the basics for making jam. Jars, sugar and pectin. Many recipes also call for lemon juice, and of course you need fruit! And below is a simple canning set you can get at most places that sell other canning supplies. It includes leveler/measurer, magnet to pick up sterilized lids, tongs for pulling jars our of boiling water, and a funnel that fits exactly to smaller jars. I mostly use the magnet and the funnel, but the whole kit is useful and definitely affordable.
As you probably know all the tools and jars that you use need to be sterilized. Make sure the jars are clean and dry, and I usually put them in a low temp (175F) oven during the cooking of the jam. The jar lids and all the tools you will be using, including any spoons or ladles, should be doused in hot water. I usually put all the tools in a large bowl or measuring cup and pour boiling water over top.
Finally, making jam can become a bit of an obsession so you should make sure to have a cool, dry place to store all your pots! I had to make some space in our pantry but it was well worth it to stash all our homemade jam!

I hope that is a little helpful, now you can run out and get all the supplies you need. I will be back next week with the cooking process, and a couple easy recipes! So far this year I have made strawberry, raspberry and blueberry jam - I think I might try mixing a few soon :)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Day

Today is overcast and rainy. Which I think we all need, as people we need a break from the heat and humidity, the dogs are happy to have an excuse to sleep deeply on the kitchen floor and I know that all the plants and animals outside could use a drink and a break from the blazing sun!
So I'm going to take a cue from my son and spend the day snuggled up on the couch with my tea and a good book. Oh and of course cuddling with my sweet little babe :)

How do you spend grey days?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's Hang in August! (and Sept for free?)

I made the leap, I signed up for passionfruit. I was avoiding it for some unknown reason, I think I wanted to maintain control... but I've realized with the little one around any time I can get back is a wonderful thing!

So come and hang out with us in August, we'd love to have you in our sidebar! And because we're coming up on my favourite month, right now if you purchase one month you get the second free! Choose a quantity of 2 and use the code SEPTFREE at the checkout, and you will get two months for the price of one!

September is bound to be a lot of fun with my birthday, anniversary and the beginning of fall. I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to spend it here! ;)

Thanks so much for all your support, and feel free to e-mail me with any questions!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Celebration Giveaway!

I recently reached 200 GFC Followers, and although that is not something I want to brag about, I was really excited to see how many people like my blog well enough to add it to their reader and read along with my daily adventures. This of course doesn't include those of you who follow along via bloglovin, facebook, twitter, or e-mail. And I am so grateful for all of you!

To celebrate this milestone I have amassed a few giveaway items, thanks to a few sponsors and friends, and one lucky winner will win them all!

Vintage Lace Hairpin from Prairie Pretty
Perfect for prairie mamas and girls alike!

Blog :: Shop :: Facebook

Handmade Cup Cozy from Sew Tara
Cuteness for your coffee!!

Large Ad Space from After Nine to Five
300x200 for August
Necklace of your choice from Hooked Goods
Beach combed items from the shores of Newfoundland 
Set of 2 Photo Note Cards from Knotted Tree Photography
Mounted on Recycled Kraft Paper - Your choice of Photos

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for all your love :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baking Challenge: Cool Summer Treat (#1)

The Baking Challenge started with a recipe posted by a good friend. She was unsure of how to decipher a recipe in a thrifted church cookbook, and I took it as a challenge to try it out. To see all The Baking Challenge posts, click here. And please join in and try out any that seem enticing!

Also, if you have any challenges for me please comment below or send me an e-mail. I'd love to try something for you!

So I might have promised something like ice cream sandwiches, but I haven't had a lot of time lately. Pip has been going through a bit of a growth spurt, and has been feeding a lot! So I opted for something that takes a little less time than making ice cream, and because there is no cooking involved I could wear Pip in his carrier. And who doesn't love a sweet ice pop! This is such a simple treat to make, I just had to share. :)

Basically all you need is about 2 cups of liquid. If you are short on time feel free to use just plain old fruit juice. Or if you are looking for something a little more interesting here are a couple combos you could try:
Mango Vanilla Pops:
1 1/2 cups mango chunks
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vanilla ice cream

Combine mango and juice in blender. Pulse until liquid, but not smooth. Add vanilla ice cream and combine. Pour into pop moulds and freeze completely. Enjoy and cool off!

Strawberry Banana Rockets:
1 1/4 cups frozen strawberries (or fresh if you have some)
1/2 cup orange juice (or more if needed)
1/2 cup plain yougurt
1-2 bananas, peeled and chopped
honey to taste

Combine strawberries and orange juice in blender. More juice might be needed to get a consistency that will pour. Add honey to taste if desired. Pour into moulds. Combine yougurt and bananas in a bowl, add honey to taste if desired. Top off moulds with yougurt mixture and freeze completely.

I found these moulds at a local supermarket, and because summer is almost halfway over they were on sale! So if you were ever thinking about getting some, I would go look now. You might find a good deal. And feel free to try any combinations of fruit, juice, yougurt etc. I assure you they will all be good!

Let me know if you try any. And I promise to return with those ice cream sandwiches ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pip Update: 2 Months

From the eyes of a sweet little Pipster!

Well, a lot has happened since I posted last! I'm still eating lots and growing fast. And I've started to smile quite a bit and even make some happy sounds, I try to talk but the words just aren't coming yet. Mom is giving me lots of tummy time, which I enjoy for a little while (until I get fed up). I really love visiting with family. I'm lucky that they are so close by! A few weeks ago I went to daddy's family cottage for the third time, and we are headed there again this coming weekend. I think mom might try to take me swimming again, and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like it.

We also went to visit mama's parents recently and attended the Mariposa Folk Festival. I spent almost the entire weekend outside in my Chariot listening to tunes, taking in the new sights and sounds and meeting all kinds of people. It was kinda overwhelming, and I slept a lot - actually I slept 9 hours in a row on the Saturday night, and mom couldn't believe it (she keeps telling people she woke twice before me, hehe)!

Molly and I did our first photo shoot, which was fun, but I didn't realize how hard it is to sit up on my own. Mama assured me this would get easier as I get older :) Mama also got me to try a bottle for the first time, I drank a little bit, but it wasn't my favourite. I'm not really sure what that's about - something to do with a wedding in a couple weeks I guess. Oh well.
Anyways, as you can see I am getting to be a big boy and changing lots all the time. I hope you are enjoying your summer! I will be sure to check in again in a little while :)


Friday, July 13, 2012

5 Penny Pinching Tips: Grow and Store

Reggie and I have been looking to cut back on costs recently, with the baby arriving, and my income decreasing drastically we thought we would prepare ahead of time. So every other week I plan to share some of the ways we have found to cut monthly costs. I hope that this might help any of you who are looking to do the same.

So I'm a little behind in my Penny Pinching posts. But today's is one that I am really excited to share! One of my favourite things about the summer season is the abundance of fresh and local produce. In one of the earlier penny pinching posts I talked about some of the ways you can save money on groceries, and today we are going to expand on that by looking at how to get fresh produce for little to no money!

Some of last year's goods!

  1. Visit your local Farmer's Market: Most communities have a market where local farmers, producers and crafters sell their products. Usually these markets run from May to October, and depending on the community anywhere from one to seven days a week. I am lucky to live in an area that is surrounded by farms so our local markets are always well stocked with something right off the farm. Purchasing produce, and other items, directly from the farmers cuts out the middle man, which removes extra costs for packaging, transportation and advertising. You would also be supporting your local farms and producers, as opposed to large corporations that ship produce around the world.
  2. Stick to local, in-season produce: So if you live somewhere where you do not have a local farmer's market to attend then please try to purchase produce, and other items, that are as local as possible and in-season. I understand the 100-mile diet is next to impossible for many people in Canada (what veggies would we eat in the winter?) but if you wait until strawberries are in season and purchase the ones that are from Canada as opposed to the US you will save money, and enjoy tastier fruit also (winter strawberries from California have nothing on a local, fresh pint). Be sure to read all the packaging and stickers to find out where the fruit is from, and I would try to stick as close to home as possible. Of course this doesn't mean you have to give up bananas and citrus, but choosing items that do come from your local area, when they are in season - sooo good!
  3. Grow your own: A great way to save money on groceries is to have a garden and grow your own veggies. It is a little late in the season for some veggies, but some produce has two growing seasons, and some things you can plant and grow anytime. Lettuce is a good example of something that will germinate almost anytime, and beans and peas typically have two possible planting times - April when it is still cool, and August when the nights are getting longer and cooler once again. Don't have a yard? Or much space in the yard? Don't worry you can still grow some items right on your deck or patio. Greens, herbs, tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, and likely more, all grow well in pots. Curious about how? Check out my "In the Garden" series for more info :)
  4. Learn how to preserve: Alright so here is the best part about fresh local deliciousness: opening up a jar of summer sweetness in the middle of cold and dreary January. Most people my age think that preserving is messy, a lot of work, and not worth it. Well I can assure you with an attitude like that I bet it is! Truth is, making jam couldn't be simpler these days. I am going to share a post on how to make jam and other preserves, but basically all you need is: sterile jars, fruit, sugar, pectin (or lemon juice), a large pot and a little time. It can be messy, but so worth it! And if you choose to use commercial pectin the package contains recipes for jam and jelly of almost every fruit! You can also bottle fruit, make pickles, heck you can even bottle meat or fish. Options are almost limitless, and nothing tastes better than homemade jam from the pantry.
  5. Use your Freezer: For more than just frozen pizzas! Did you get a good deal on some local berries? Or have an abundance of zucchini in your garden? Freeze them! Most produce freezes well, and keeps for a few months (at least). And there are numerous ways to freeze things, something tells me I should write a separate post on this topic also. But a few quick ones: Berries and other fruit freeze well just as they are. I would rinse them off, and spread them out on a cookie sheet until frozen, and then transfer to a zip-lock bag. Veggies like beans, peas and carrots should be blanched before the same process. Blanching means quickly dropping them in boiling water - this helps them remain crisp when they thaw. And root veggies such as squash or turnip can be cooked and puréed before freezing. Oh and your zucchini? Grate it, and freeze to use in zucchini bread later in the fall or winter :) You can use these items in the winter instead of buying frozen fruits or veggies, or fresh produce from a foreign land.
Raspberry Jam

And there you have it, a short explanation of how to save a little money on your produce purchases this summer! I will get back to you with a more thorough explanation of both the canning and freezing processes. But until then get out and find your local farmer's market!

Happy Money Saving!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In the Garden: Baby Birds

Last year a sweet little Robin made a nest in our front yard, and I thought it was just going to stay empty this year, until I noticed mam bird sitting on it a little while back. This would be her second round of babies, although I'm not sure where she layed her first eggs but this time round she chose our back yard. So sweet!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bad Crafter

So I am one of the contributors behind the ApoCALypse craft-a-long blog, and recently we had our first project. And silly me thought I could leave it until the last minute and still finish it in time.  Well it still isn't finished and now we have a new project up on the blog  that I need to get working on.
So I'm a bit of a bad crafter, but I hope to catch up a little bit this month! You should check out the Craft-a-long, especially if you're interested in learning about knitting!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Weekends

 Can you see the wildlife?
 Rising Moon.
 Fishing in the boat with Reggie, while Pip was asleep inside with Grandma and Grandpa :)
Pip filling out his lifejacket a little better, ready for the boat ride!

Last weekend Reggie, Pip, Gunner and I went up to Reggie's family cottage near Algonquin Park. It was Pip's third time there in just over 6 weeks and it was wonderful! This weekend we are headed to see me parents and attend Mariposa Folk Festival. I'll be sure to share some photos after the weekend is through!