Fall Front Porch Decor

Well, it rained this weekend here and for a second it felt like fall! So I got my first pumpkin spice latte and decorated my porch 🙂 I am a creature of habit when it comes to decor (and we have no storage space so I have to keep the non-essentials to a minimum!) but this year I decided to change it up a bit!  

  I love this chalkboard I found at a vintage market! We leave it outside and Maddie loves to color on it!  The crates and window we had outback and I figured why leave then out there where nobody can see them! Aren’t the pumpkins cute too?! They are fairytale pumpkins from @traderjoes ! 

  This wreath was super easy and quick too, they sell them at any craft place and I just added a burlap bow and fabric strip to hang  it from. The mini welcome banner I made years ago and just added to the wreath (message me if you want one!)  
This was all super quick and easy, which is about all I can do these days! Hope you are all enjoying this fall season – and hopefully it’s feeling like fall where you are! 

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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 🙂

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!

DIY edible gift – Canning Applesauce

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

What to do with all these apples?! Why, make apple sauce of course! We have a started a fall tradition of going apple picking and while we always get what we call fancy apples (for eating),  we also learned that getting “seconds” or the less perfect apples that go for cheaper are PERFECT for making apple sauce! While you have to pick through lots of apples to find the best, and you always end up with a random mixture, they work awesome for a really well rounded apple sauce.

Here’s what we used (although we ended up doing this several times) 🙂

…about 12 pounds of apples..

… 2 cups apple cider…

That’s it! It’s so easy and so tasty! It ended up making 7 pints of apple sauce. And no sugar added! The apples were perfect by them selves. We had a mix of jonagolds, pippin, braeburn, fugi, and others that I can’t even remember! It helps to have a mix of sweet and sour.

You can also add cinnamon if you like that flavor (we did for one or our batches) about 1 tbl was perfect!

It also helps if you have an apple peeler/corer and of course if you are canning it, you will need a canning pot and jars.

canning applesauce - old scale - loveinamasonjar.com

All we did was peel, core, and slide the apples…

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

IMG_3773

And then put them in a giant pot!

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

We added 2 cups of cider and just let them cook down! It think it probably took about 30 minutes to cook down. We continued to stir and then when it looked like a smooth consistency and there weren’t many chunks left we scooped it into the sanitized jars to can!

We filed the jars with 1/2 inch head space and processed for 15 minutes.

So tasty!!

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

This also makes a great hostess gift or holiday party favor!  Happy canning oh and Happy Halloween!!!

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!!!

Fall baking fun!

I love fresh fruit and berries (hence all the jam I make) but I also love to bake with them! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE baking in the fall. Just something about the smells of cinnamon and sugar and the warmth of the oven… and though I’m not usually a cooking blog, these all turned out pretty good so I thought I’d share. Most of the recipes I found on Pinterest or cookbooks I have, so I don’t take credit for them! Enjoy!

fall baking fun - loveinamasonjar.com

Blackberry Scones (recipe is for blueberry, but I used blackberries)

blackberry scones - loveinamasonjar.com

Peach Cobbler

peach cobbler - loveinamasonjar.com

Apple Crisp (sorry we ate it before I got a photo!)

Pomegranate Muffins

pomegranate muffins - fall baking - loveinamasonjar.com

Blueberry Crumble Muffins  (recipe below)

blueberry muffins - loveinamasonjar.com

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in a cookbook I have called Food For Family and Friends by Ryland, Peters and Small which can be purchased here.  Makes 12 muffins.

Muffins:

2 1/4 cup flour

3 Tbl baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 stick unsalted butter melted

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cup  raspberries (I used blueberries)

Crumble:

3/4 cup flour

5 Tbl butter, chilled and cut into pieces

2 Tbl sugar

3 Tbl slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 375. Line the muffin pan and grease the surface of the pan where the muffins will rise and stick.

For the crumble, putting the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse briefly. Put in a bowl and add sugar and almonds and crumble it together.

For the muffins, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the eggs, melted butter, sour cream, and milk. Wisk. Pour the wet into the dry and and add the blueberries and fold until combined.

Pour into the prepared muffin pan and fill to the top and then add the crumble. Bake 25 minutes at 375 and then Enjoy!!

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!

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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Simple and Easy Spring Home Decor

Want to do a quick and easy decor update for spring? Life has been so busy lately, but I still wanted to put a little spring in our home, so here are some super easy and quick things we did that had a big effect!

…hydrangea and an old ice cream bucket for the front porch…
spring flowers in ice cream bucket | loveinamasonjar.com
…burlap wreath with welcome bunting for the front door…
burlap wreath with welcome bunting | loveinamasonjar.com
…daisies in a galvanized bucket for centerpiece…
daisies in a galvanized bucket spring centerpiece | loveinamasonjar.com
spring centerpiece daisies in galvanized bucket | loveinamasonjar.com
…spring chalkboard art…
consider the lilies spring chalkboard art | loveinamasonjar.com