Good Morning, Friends!
First of all, thanks to everyone who checked on me last week! It is so wonderful to be missed.
We were in California visiting our son. I truly intended to get my weekly newsletter out, but as my dad used to say, it was OBE (overtaken by events). It was a quickly planned trip as we recently realized that our daughter had a short period of time when she could take a few days away from her rotations. We jumped at the opportunity to get the four of us together. Sadly, I’m the worst at getting pictures of all of us, but here’s one of my kiddos and hubby.
We stayed in both Carlsbad and San Diego. We were in San Diego on the Fourth and enjoyed the gorgeous fireworks over the harbor! They put on quite a show which we could enjoy as our four-legged baby was far from the noise. As is our modus operandii when we travel, we ate ALOT! But luckily we walked a lot too.
We spent one afternoon walking through Torrey Pines State Park and enjoyed the different coastline and flora compared to what we typically see on our east coast.
We came home to the most adorable teenage bunny who noshed his way through my dahlias and zinnias! ARGH! That wascally wabbit!
So this past weekend, we not only mowed, edged, and weed-whacked two weeks of summer growth in our yard, but we constructed bunny-proof 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 barriers in the hopes of rescuing my flower garden this summer.
new on the blog
I baked two loaves of sourdough bread the day before we left and packed them in the suitcase for us to enjoy for breakfast one morning in California. I also took a jar of this rhubarb jam and two jars of this peach preserve, which I made the week before we left. My husband, Terry, was confident we could buy sourdough bread and jelly out in California, but I was adamant that it wouldn’t be ‘my sourdough’ or ‘my jam,’ so in the suitcase and across the country they went!
And let me just say; it’s a good thing they made the trip! Nothing in the world beats homemade bread, lightly toasted and schmeared with homemade jam…AMIGRIGHT? While everyone enjoyed both jams, the jars of my Peach Preserves went very quickly.
natural moth-repellent potpourri
This natural moth-repellent potpourri harnesses the natural moth-repelling qualities of cedar shavings, fresh eucalyptus, dried orange peel, lavender, bay leaves, mint, and cinnamon. This woodsy and fresh potpourri repels moths and leaves a pleasant scent throughout your entire home. I share a list of all the natural moth-repelling herbs, plants, and spices so you can pick and choose how to make your own moth repellent using what you have on have on hand.
from the knit studio
for new knitters or anyone looking for an easy knit project
- It doesn’t get much easier than this Garter Stitch Washcloth or Dishcloth. A great project to hone your knit stitch!
- Need a knitting refresher or some basic instruction? I’ve got you covered there, too!
If you want to learn how to knit or are looking to brush up on your knitting skills and knowledge, pop over to the How to Knit page, which houses all of the posts that teach knitting skills. Or, you could go ahead and visit each one by clicking the links below.
All About Knitting
- All About Yarn, including different fibers and weights, how to read a yarn label, and a Yarn Weights Chart
- All About Knitting Needles, including material, sizes, styles, and a Needle Conversion Chart.
- How to Cast On Using the Long-Tail Method, including calculating how much yarn is needed to cast on and how to make a slip knot.
- How to Knit the Knit Stitch
- How to Knit the Purl Stitch
- How to Knit the Seed Stitch
- How to Bind Off, including how to weave in your loose ends.
- How to Read a Knit Pattern, including a Common Knitting Abbreviations Chart.
- This simple Garter Knit Dishcloth will let you put all your new skills to good use!
- How to Block Your Knitting.
- Common Knit Errors; How to Prevent or Diagnose and Fix Them
- Join yarn using the Russian Join
- How to seam pieces of knit fabric with the Mattress Stitch (for sweaters, tops, pillows, etc…)
- How to Knit in the Round with Circular Needles
- How to Knit in the Round with Double-Pointed Needles
- How to Knit in the Round using the Magic Loop Technique.
- Organize Your Knitting with these free printables.
- Check out our Gift Ideas for Knitters.
if you are looking for a bit more of a knitting challenge…
This Cloverleaf Eyelet Baby Blanket is my OG baby blanket. The one that started it all and it still remains one of my all-time favorites. I mean, it has little eyelets all over it! How can you not love it for a baby? Don’t be intimidated by it. The pattern includes detailed instructions and videos to help you through it.
from the kitchen
jelly + jam making 101
If you are interested in making jams, jellies, preserves, and conserves, this post is a great starting place for you. It gives some basic background information about making jelly, jam, and preserves, including an overview of common ingredients and equipment. But all of my recipes give detailed information. If you are new to making preserves, the peach preserves recipe I mentioned above is a great place to start.
3-ingredient dog treats
A handful of articles on this blog are inevitably in the top 10 most popular articles. This 3-ingredient dog treats recipe is one of them, and I regularly receive fan mail specifically about these treats.
I made these “cookies” last week for my dog. He loves them. If I ask Jackson if he wants a cookie, he comes running over and sits at my feet to get it. I have a multi-purpose oven that dehydrates. It took less than an hour to dry the cookie out. One recipe made a big bag of dog bone size cookies. Thank you for an easy, safe and low cost treat to make for my dog. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.Dianne
If you have a favorite four-legged (or 3-legged) baby, treat them to these easy-to-make, 3-ingredient treats. In all likelihood, you have the ingredients in your kitchen right now, but if you don’t, they are easily substituted. I give some ideas for substitutions, as well as ingredients to avoid.
shrimp + grits
Shrimp + Grits is a dish with humble beginnings that has been elevated to fine dining. The dish even appeared in a 1985 Craig Claiborne column in The New York Times after Claiborne tasted the dish in a Chapel Hill, NC restaurant. Needless to say, you can now find Shrimp and Grits on the menus of fine dining establishments throughout the United States. This Shrimp + Grits recipe is from a local, well-known chef and was his restaurant’s featured dish. Not for nothing, this recipe uses green tomatoes, so if you have some tomatoes that fall or get picked before they are red, then you have a great excuse to make this dish!
jalapeño cheese spread
I bent the rules a bit and made a pimento-less pimento cheese spread. In this case, jalapeños are perfect in this jalapeño cheese spread and bring some heat to the game.
snickerdoodle cookie bars
All the deliciousness of the Snickerdoodle cookie without the work…let’s go ahead and call these Snickerdoodle Cooke Bars the Lazy Girl’s Snickerdoodle Cookie!
from the craft room
Turk’s head trivet + coasters
I like these Turk’s head knot trivets better than their coaster version, but that’s my preference. The printable diagram and video walk you through the process step by step.
in the garden
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust.Gertrude Jekyll
As I said, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can rescue and rehabilitate my dahlias to have more flowers this year. Time will tell. We also discovered that our zucchinis were finally hit by those d@#$ed Squash Vine Borers. We haven’t made it this far in a season for a long time and we did harvest quite a few good size zucchini before the inevitable, so I’m rather ‘c’est la vie’ about it.
We tried everything to avoid bird-netting around our tomatoes. I bought rubber snakes and twisty shiny things. The birds laughed. So we finally succumbed to that dreaded bird netting. I really dislike that stuff for several reasons, not the least being that we’ve rescued more than one snake and had others meet their maker in the netting. But, we are keeping it off of the ground, so that should help avoid that.
Our cucumbers are producing, and I’m putting up jars of refrigerator dill pickles. I love this recipe because I can make the dill pickles as the cukes ripen, jar-by-jar.
garden maintenance checklist
This garden maintenance checklist has two parts; one is suggested tasks to do each season. The other is a helpful log for when to fertilize and trim your plants. Pop over to check it out and download it.
in the home
avoid the heat + declutter your home!
Join the 2023 Declutter Challenge to receive weekly emails focusing on specific areas of your home to declutter. Each email has a printable checklist with items found in those areas that you can most likely discard and never miss!
ideas to decorate a kitchen hutch
All too often, a hutch can be overlooked if not properly arranged with plenty of thought and care. I will share some ideas and suggestions on decorating a kitchen hutch.
some good finds!
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amazon prime days
Amazon Prime Days are July 11-13. Ensure you have your prime membership to take advantage of all the great sales and discounts.
Even before the ‘event’ starts on the 11th, Amazon is rolling out some great deals. Here are a few that caught my eye:
- In our home, we have six lamps on Smart Plugs, and I can’t imagine not having them. We have extras for the holidays. Setting a schedule for when they turn on and off is invaluable. Right now they are 48% off of the regular price, so $12.99. They link with Echo, FireTV, Fire Tablet, Sonos One or just the Alexa app on your phone (that’s how I use mine).
- I use my enameled cast iron Dutch Oven regularly. Some colors of the Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven 7.3-quart size are on sale for $46.62…that’s a great price. There are two smaller sizes as well.
- The 4-pack of these clear storage bins is 36% off.
- Calphalon Slow Cooker is 41% off.
- A Food Dehydrator is not something I thought I needed, but I use it regularly. This one is 50% off.
- I’ve had a bamboo drawer organizer on my ‘want’ list for a while. This one is 39% off. Hmmm….
- I couldn’t cook and bake without my kitchen scale! This one is 50% off, but there are a limited number that will be sold at that discount.
- Load up your Kindle with a slew of titles starting at 99 cents!
Well friends, for a variety of reasons, we haven’t been home for a full week in quite some time. I’m looking forward to marking some to-dos off of my list. I hope you do whatever it is you want and need to do this week!