Fall Favorites

It’s no secret that Fall is my favorite. I always feel more inspired to create and bake in my cozy house with hot cocoa and slippers and a cozy sweatshirt. Although it’s still hot here in southern CA (so so hot!!), I can’t help but dream about what’s to come in the next few months. Here are some of my favorite fall traditions that I’m looking forward to!

…Fall leaves…

I know we don’t have many fall leaves here, but when they come, I love it!!

fall favorites - colored leaves - loveinamasonjar..com

…Apple picking…

Every year we go up to an apple farm and pick apples and apple “seconds” (not as pretty apples, but perfect for applesauce)

fall favorites - apple picking - loveinamasonjar..com

…Canning Applesauce…

And of course with all those apples we make apple sauce and apple butter! Post about that process HERE.

fall favorites - canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar..com

…Canning Jam…

I always can in the late summer and early fall and use the jam for Christmas gifts! (Post on how to can HERE!)

DIY edible Christmas gifts - homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

…Foamy Lattes…

fall favorites - foamy lattes - loveinamasonjar..com

…Decorating Pumpkins…

Last year we made Gold Polka Dot Pumpkins and they turned out so cute! (DIY post on that HERE)

fall favorites  decorating pumpkins - loveinamasonjar..com

fall favorites - decorating pumpkins- loveinamasonjar..com

…Front porch decor…

I love decorating our front porch for fall! Even if it’s still hot here it somehow makes me feel like the season is coming!

fall favorites - fall porch- loveinamasonjar..com

…Pumpkin Spice Lattes…

I love coffee and Starbucks, so naturally the PSL is a fall favorite 🙂

fall favorites - pumpkin spice lattes - loveinamasonjar..com

…Lighting Candles…

For some reason lighting scented candles is just so much more cozy in the fall! I usually pull them out early and make my house feel like its fall even if it isn’t yet 🙂 I love these scents from Bath and Body Works best: Leaves and Cider Lane.

fall favorites - loveinamasonjar..com

…Baking…

I love to bake year round, but in the fall it is my favorite. I like not only making seasonal pumpkin things, but also cobblers and crisps and muffins and scones… sooo many fun things I can’t wait to bake once it’s not so hot in my kitchen!

This photo below is of Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins. The recipe I used for these is HERE. For my other favorite baking recipes see my post HERE.

fall favorites - pumpkin cream cheese muffins - loveinamasonjar.com

 

Now, let’s stop this heat wave and bring on the FALL!! Are you feeling inspired? I sure am! I think I’ll decorate my front porch, light some candles and bake something this weekend and pretend it’s cool outside 🙂

Gender Neutral Rustic Baby Nursery

We’ve finally had time to finish up the nursery! Matt painted it way back in February, and we purchased some furniture shortly after, but until recently, we haven’t had a chance to put it together or do any decorating!

This past week I was able to sort through what we had previously kept in the room and do some organizing and decorating. And now – its complete! All we need is the baby!!

Since we don’t know the gender, we wanted to keep things neutral, and I love how it turned out! We went with tan linen fabric and white furniture, gray walls we brought in rustic elements which we have throughout our home.

Want to see some photos?!

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

We found the crib at a garage sale which started the white furniture trend. We purchased the dresser and night stand from Ikea and the rocking chair we had already in the house. Our neighbors bought us the awesome cushions for the rocking chair and it matches the curtains and crib skirt perfectly.

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

I couldn’t find curtains and bed linens that I liked (except for at Restoration Hardware – which is way too expensive!) so I purchased linen fabric at Joann’s and sewed some curtains and a crib skirt. I am not the best sewer, but I tried my best and I think they look okay!

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

We bought a big dresser because we have a small house with no closets, so the many drawers will come in handy. And with the changing pad, it becomes a changing table too!

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

The changing pad cover came from a sweet little ETSY shop called Fern Leslie Baby. I loved the grey and ivory stripe and it totally matches the linen fabric for the crib skirt and curtains!

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

We of course have lots of mason jars and crates in our house, so I incorporated those into the baby room “decor”. I made the sign (it still needs to be hung :)) but, it is painted on a grape crate I got awhile back and have just been waiting to make something with it!

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

On the other wall of the room, we will eventually put in a bench seat and a built-in possibly under the window, but for now, we just brought in our red flyer wagon and added some baskets for toys.

rustic gender neutral nursery - loveinamasonjar.com

And that’s it! I’m so glad I was able to finish everything and do some decorating before baby arrives. Once we know if baby is a boy or girl, we will likely add in some more details (and maybe a custom baby name banner from our ETSY shop too! :))

Photo review of the Holidays!

Well, I finally logged back into this blog and realized, it’s been awhile! We had a lot of fun over the holidays, visiting family and even taking a 2 week vacation somewhere in between! Even though we did lots of baking, decorating, crafts and projects, I never had time to write about it! So, I though I’d do a quick recap of our last few months through photos!!

Our lovely rustic Christmas Tree.

Rustic Christmas Tree - loveinamasonjar.com

Jam Christmas gifts – a detailed post of these gifts coming soon!

DIY edible Christmas gifts - homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

DIY edible Christmas gift – Cookies in a Jar. We made 150 chocolate chip cookies!

DIY edible Christmas gift - cookies in a jar - loveinamasonjar.com

Homemade buttermilk biscuits – another DIY edible gift!! Aren’t these boxes the cutest!

biscuits and jam - DIY edible gifts - loveinamasonjar.com

12 days of Christmas. I’ve been doing his for my husband the last two years and its really fun!

12 days of Christmas - loveinamasonjar.com

Oh and we got chickens!! Red and Wynona. They are 7 months old and already laying eggs!

Backyard Chickens! loveinamasonjar.com

And I have to share their chicken coop that my husband made! Isn’t it great!?

Homemade Chicken Coop - loveinamasonjar.com

And that wasn’t the only thing he built over the holidays – he also made me a raised garden bed! We planted some lettuce, kale, and broccoli so we will see how it goes!

Raised Garden Bed - loveinamasonjar.com

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying your New Year!

Fall project: Polka dot Glitter Painted Pumpkins DIY

I have a fun, easy fall project with you! Polka dot glitter painted pumpkins!  Fun fall home decor! I’ve seen a lot of photos lately on pinterest and in magazines of pretty painted pumpkins, so I thought I’d try to make my own! And I’m so happy with how they turned out, I thought I’d share!

fall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.com

All you need is…

..paint..

..mod podge or glue..

..glitter..

..paint brush..

..paper plate.. (to catch all the extra glitter)

..and it helps to have these foam pouncers like these… but you could do with out too…

OH! and PUMPKINS!!

pumpkin painting supplies - loveinamasonjar.com

Just use the glue and pouncer for your dots, and then (over a plate) pour on the glitter! Then fold the plate in half to pour the glitter back in the jar. Or use the paint brush and paint to paint designs on the pumpkin!

fall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.com

PS – the glitter dipped mason jars will be available on my ETSY shop soon!!!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 2

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Ok – so in the last post we left off with preparing the jam based on your recipe. I like to do this while you are waiting for your pot to boil, and continue after you put the empty jars inside and they are getting all hot and sanitized in the water bath canner.

canning 101: homemade jam

So, we have mashed our fruit, put it in a pot, added the sugar and set it on a boil. I also often add lemon juice and zest for added acidity. Each fruit acts different, and so with some you will want to strain the juice and reduce it to thicken it, and others you won’t need to do that. With some you can also add in green apple slices to add pectin and get the jam to thicken. Whatever you do, you’ll end up boiling and stirring the fruit for awhile (probably up to 30 minutes). The longer you boil, the thicker it will eventually get. And you’ll start to notice some foam on top. You’ll want to remove this with a spoon as much as you can.

canning 101: homemade jam

By this time your canning pot should be boiling and you can put your empty clean jars inside to sanitize them until your jam is finished.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

When you’ve tasted your jam and you think your ready to fill your jars, use the tongs to pull your jars out of the boiling water. Remember you have your rings and lids in a bowl waiting and they need some hot water to prepare for sealing. You can pour the water from a few of the jars into the bowl for that. Then get your funnel and place it in the top.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Then scoop the jam out of the out and fill your jars! You’ll want to leave “head space” in each of the jars based on the recipe, usually 1/4 inch. This just refers to the amount of space you leave from the top of the jar. Use the tool to measure, as this also helps to ensure your jars seal properly.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

The next thing you need to do is get a damp towel or paper towel to wipe the top and side of the jar clean. You don’t want any jam on the outside or around the rim as it may not seal and then your jam could go bad.  Once the jar is clean use your magnet to pick up a lid and ring from the bowl of hot water and put in on the jar!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
Secure the ring to “finger tight” so its secure, but you can still unscrew it easy with you fingers. You want it to seal, but you don’t want it to be on there too tight. Next, put your jars on the rack in the boiling pot!

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Once all your jars are filled, cleaned, closed and in the pot, lower the rack down and make sure you water is 1 inch about the tops of your jars. If all looks good, then put on the lid and let it boil to process your jars! This usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on your recipe, but after 15 minutes of being in a boil, they should be good! Then you can lift up the rack and take out your jars one by one.

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Place all the jars on a towel and let them sit for 12 hours undisturbed. You will begin to hear a little ‘pop’ as each jar is sealing. You may even hear it right as you pull them out of the pot. Check after an hour by feeling the lid to make sure they have sealed. If any of the jars haven’t sealed, put them in the refrigerator and use them first. But hopefully you will have none! And that’s it! You’ve successfully canned homemade jam!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

There are so many great things you can do with homemade jam! Eat it of course, but you can also use it for hostess gifts, christmas gifts, and even wedding favors!!

HAPPY CANNING!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 1

This post has been a long time coming. I have started this so many times and it has taken me FOREVER to get it finished! But today is the day… get ready for the basics of water bath canning – Part 1! Wahoo!

Let’s begin with the supplies needed. You will need a large water bath canning pot with a rack like this one here. The pot is pictured below, with the rack inside.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The rack helps to lift the hot jars in and out of the large pot. They often come together in a set, and you can get them lots of places (Target, Ace Hardware, etc.)

You will also need the supplies pictured below. You can get the blue canning utensils in a set from Ball here or at the stores listed above.
canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The blue thing that looks like a zig zag is for measuring headspace when you fill the jars. The tongs are for lifting the hot jars out of the pot. The lid lifter has a magnet on the end so it’s easy to get the lids out of the water to seal the jars. And the funnel is for pouring in your hot jammy goodness into the mason jars!

I also like the measuring cups with the pour spout to scoop the jam out of the pot and fill the jars (these were given to me by my friend who first taught me to can jam!) Oh and don’t forget the mason jars!! I prefer the 1/2 pint jars for jam.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

You’ll need to wash these lids and jars in warm soapy water before canning so you can keep things clean!

And let’s not forget the fruit and your recipes. I love the book Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff because it has recipes with low sugar and uses other methods for natural pectin in fruits, so you don’t have to have pectin on hand.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Now that we’ve got all the supplies, let’s get to making jam!!!

First, wash your lids and jars in hot soapy water, and fill your canning pot with water! You’ll want your jars to have 1 inch of water above them when they are processing, so you’ll need to fill it that much. Once its full, put it on the stove bring it to a boil.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Put your jars aside on a towel and your lids and rings in a bowl while you prepare your jam and wait for the water to boil in the pot.  Then get out your fruit! Follow the recipe for making the jam, but for the most part, it will look a little like this…

Hull the strawberries | chop the fruit | mash the fruit | put in a pot and add sugar | bring to a boil

canning 101: homemade jam canning 101: homemade jam

And that’s where I’ll leave us for today. I’m sorry for stopping mid process, but if I don’t I will never get this out! Stay tuned on how to fill the jars and process in the water bath canner in Part 2!

DIY edible wedding favors and thank you’s

We have been busy with the wedding season in our etsy shop, loveinamasonjar! I love all the creative ideas brides have and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it! I wanted to share what we did for wedding favors for our fall wedding, in case anyone is in need of an edible DIY wedding favor idea!

Matt and I love chocolate chip cookies (Matt especially) so it seemed fitting to include them in our wedding, And my father-in-law makes the best chocolate chip cookies around. I mean – they really are the best. So we were so thankful when he was willing to make 250 chocolate chip cookies to use as our favors! They were such a hit, and we loved that it was something we both love, and it was a family recipe.

We were going with a kraft paper, brown paper bag look for the rest of our wedding, so we decided to use a brown paper bag with a custom stamp to hold the cookies for your guests. We had the stamp made for us at the same shop that did our invitations (see that post here) – Stampout online. This is what they looked like on our table.

DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

Don’t these cookies look delicious!!?

DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

And a close up of the stamp.

Cookie Bags stamped - DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

We also wanted to include a thank you to our guests, as it was so special to us to have them all there to celebrate with us, so we incorporated that into our favor as well. The thank you card we made ourselves, and printed on kraft paper card stock we bought at Michaels.
custom wedding thank you - loveinamasonjar.com
We decided to use a mini clothespin and attach the thank you to the hand cut napkins we made and put them at each place setting along with the cookie favor.

wedding thank you - loveinamasonjar.com

For the napkins, we simply picked out different fabric patterns, and my moms and sisters hand cut each piece. We left them frayed because it was easier, and it was more “rustic” anyway! See – we couldn’t have done it with out family!!!!

favors on long tables - loveinamasonjar.com

Every time I write these posts, I am reminded of how blessed we are, and what a wonderful family I am a part of! An amazing part of planning a wedding is the way families pull together to make it happen!

Easy DIY July 4 party ideas!

Happy (almost) Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is almost here, can you believe it? I love this holiday and wanted to share some ideas from a party we threw a few years back (actually it ended up being my engagement party but I didn’t know that at the time :))

We set up simple tables with red table cloths and a mason jar with a dollar store American flag for the “centerpiece”.

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We used a long table for the food spread and made sure to get American flag plates and napkins to make it festive! We did potluck style so everyone brought something, which made it super easy!

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One of my favorite entertaining staples is this mason jar beverage dispenser from pottery barn . Don’t forget the sharpie for marking names on the cups!

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For bottled beverages instead of a traditional ice chest we used a red radio flyer wagon to hold the drinks!

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And last, but not least, dessert. Try this festive cupcake American flag display! You can use any flavor with white frosting and berries on top for the decor! I was so happy with how it turned out!

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Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

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Everything is better in a Mason Jar

I don’t know what it is, but I have been using mason jars for everything lately! Iced coffee, summer drinks, breakfast, pantry organization…Everything just seems so much better in a mason jar! Here are some photos of my latest mason jar adventures!

Breakfast to go:

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Love having my yogurt and blueberries already set to grab from the fridge! Just add granola and you are out the door!

Tasty iced coffee:
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See my post on these to go cups here

Organized pantry staples:

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The plastic lids are awesome because they allow for easy opening! You can find them here

And of course sweet tea:

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Want recipes for iced coffee and sweet tea? Stay tuned!

DIY Mason Jar To Go Cup

Hi friends! It’s been awhile! I have no idea where the month of April went, but apparently it’s now mid-May! Summer is a-coming! And on that note, I thought I’d share a little DIY I did awhile back that would be a great project for the hot summer days coming up!

I know you have all seen the mason jar to go cups before, so this is no surprise but I just thought I’d share! (Plus, be sure to read the update at the end with some additional suggestions…)

What you need:

..mason jar  with lid and ring (I used the regular mouth pint size)..

.. #14 stainless steel grommets..

..hole punch or drill..

..hot glue gun..

..straws (I got mine from starbucks)..

mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

Step 1 – drill or punch a hole in the center of the lid

Step 2 – use a hot glue gun to glue a grommet on the top and the bottom of the lid, just around the hole

DIY mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

Step 3 – Wait to dry and then insert the straw and screw on the lid!

DIY mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

That’s it! It looks super cute and even fits in a car cup holder!

UPDATE: After a while the glue began to come apart from the lid (I think it has something to do with the moisture and the smoothness of the lid). I tried re-gluing a few times, but it came apart each time. The next time I have a few minutes to do a project I want to try a rubber grommet like the one used in this post from Little Bit Funky Blog. Hope this helps!