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! 

Maddie Dean Turns ONE

I can’t believe how fast time goes! Just a second ago she was tiny and couldn’t even lift her head, and now she is a bundle of energy, walking, talking, and exploring everything – I feel like I can’t keep up with her!

We had a sweet birthday party for her with family and friends a few weeks back and it was so much fun. She loved opening presents and eating her smash cake.

I wanted to share a few of the things we did for the party, in case any one is doing any party planning of their own!

Since it was at 11:00am, we had both sandwiches and donut holes, because…well…donut holes. We decided those could be dessert as well, so we skipped a cake/cupcakes and just had a little smash cake for M to “eat”.donut first birthday party
donut first birthday party - loveinamasonjar.com

I wanted to stick with a simple party and not really have a theme, but it is just so fun to have a girl so I decided to go with a color theme of gold and peach. I made a gold polka dot “happy birthday” burlap banner (available in the ETSY SHOP) and a “#1” banner for her high chair with gold, peach, lace and glitter tassels (also available HERE).

gold and peach first birthday - loveinamasonjar.com

For the rest of the decor, I just used mason jars as vases (surprise surprise) and got some peach and cream flowers from Trader Joes. If your looking for some mason jar vases in lace or gold glitter, I sell them too HERE!

Another thing I loved having was old pictures of M around, especially the monthly photos we took of her throughout the year. We hung them on a clothes line at the entrance so people could see how she had grown. I also made the ONE glitter letters as decor (also work as a great photo prop too!)
monthly photos - first birthday party - loveinamasonjar.com
For the smash cake, since M hadn’t had any real sugar yet, I decided to go with a carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. I used the recipe from the Modern Day Homemaker blog and it turned out great. It didn’t get eaten much, but it looked cute!

For the cake topper it was so simple – I cut out letters to form “ONE” from gold glitter paper I got at Michaels and used a needle (actually my husband did this part!) to thread through the letters. Then we tied it to 2 skewers and used peach ribbon on the ends. That’s it!

gold ONE first birthday cake smash cake topper - loveinamasonjar.com gold and peach first birthday - loveinamasonjar.com

The last fun detail I wanted to share was our photo backdrop! I am so glad we had this! It was an excuse to get photos of everyone at the party! We had a camera out on a table near the backdrop and people snapped photos! I didn’t come up with the idea for the backdrop (I found it on pinterest :)) but I followed the instructions from the Oh Happy Day blog.

gold and peach first birthday - loveinamasonjar.com

We had such a good time (and I think M did too!:)) and we were so thankful to all our family and friends who came! We are so blessed.

We’ve been celebrating

The past few months have been a blur, but definitely not short on fun! Someone in our house turned thirty (I’m not telling who) so we threw a party, and one of my best friends is getting married, so of course a shower was in order! And you’ve got to love a southern California winter because,  both parties were outside in our backyard! We thought we’d share some fun party photos for your enjoyment.

// Rustic Gold Glitter Bridal Shower //

rustic gold bridal shower - gold dipped mason jars - loveinamasonjar.com

I love the theme of rustic but fancy gold glitter and so I’m so excited to see what this wedding looks like! And of course, if you’re looking for some gold glitter dipped mason jars, you can find them in my ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - manicure kit favors - loveinamasonjar.com

Don’t you just love the sweet shower favors that my friend made? They are manicure kits in a mason jar. They have cotton balls, nail polish remover, file, clippers, and of course gold glitter nail polish. Good idea, huh!

rustic gold bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com rustic bridal shower burlap banner - loveinamasonjar.com

Another hosting staple in our home are the mason jar drink dispensers from potterybarn. So glad we registered for them for our wedding! I can’t tell you how often we’ve used them! We also purchased the galvanized drink dispenser stands from there too. Oh and yes – that banner can be made CUSTOM in our ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com

// Backyard 30th Birthday Party //

We decided to put the drinks in a wheelbarrow.

Backyard BBQ wheel barrow drinks - loveinamasonjar.com

Even the chickens wanted to join the party!

backyard chickens - loveinamasonjar.com backyard BBQ - loveinamasonjar.com

 

For dessert, we had to have chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies. My very favorite chocolate cake recipe can be found here and the cookies…well that’s a family secret 🙂

favorite chocolate cake - loveinamasonjar.com best chocolate chip cookies - loveinamasonjar.com

And of course, my husband figured out a way to hang these globe market lights we purchased for our rustic outdoor wedding 2 years ago, and I’m so happy that we can still use them for lighting in the backyard!

backyard BBQ party - globe lights - loveinamasonjar.com

outdoor globe market lights - loveinamasonjar.com

And thanks to my sister-in-law for taking these lovely pictures of the party!

Happy Spring everyone!!

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!

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!

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

Mason Jar Wedding Centerpiece DIY – Part 2

Last week I started a post on DIY mason jar wedding centerpieces and I’m here now to bring you Part 2! I mentioned before about collecting your supplies and making a plan, but then its a waiting game until the wedding weekend.

Then all you have to do is get your flowers and assemble! Schedule some time before the wedding and get some helpers! We assembled all our centerpieces and ceremony aisle decor on the Friday afternoon before the rehearsal. And since everyone was coming in for the rehearsal, my bridesmaids and friends and family were all there to help!

Have a flower assembly party! All you need is…

..water..

..bleach.. (to keep the water clean and flowers fresh)

..scissors..

..newspaper..

..vases and flowers!..

diy mason jar wedding centerpieces - loveinamasonjar.comdiy mason jar wedding centerpieces - loveinamasonjar.com

As you can see, we laid out all the mason jars and flowers to get an idea of what we had. We did a mock set up of each of the designs. We had 3 versions, the pint size jars for the aisle decor at the ceremony (which we had hanging on shepherds hooks), and the half-gallon jars and quart sizes in pairs for the reception centerpieces.

Then it was a mass assembly line! In the end, you might have left overs, or some will look slightly different, but you can’t really go wrong with fresh flowers and mason jars! Then we were able to leave the pre-assembled jars at the location over night, ready for set up the next day! By the way, did I mention who we had as day of coordinators?? Check out Megan Elise Events and Fox and Bear ! They were both amazing and we couldn’t have done it with out them!

Here is what we ended up with – photos courtesy of my wonderful photographer – Bethany Cissel