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My Style

June totally flew by! It's hard to believe that tomorrow is July. Holy buckets! Happy last day of June to you :)

Here's another Summer Blog Challenge post!

June 30 - Post a photo of an outfit that is either your style or you wish was your style.

I know my style. Heck yes I do!

It's a little preppy and a lot polished.

It's a little sparkly, but mostly I'm a pearl kind of girl.

It's a little classic but a lot feminine.

It's a little bit of ruffles, but a lot of lace.

I feel prettiest in a dress rather than trousers.

My style icon? Gotta be Duchess Kate. I mean, really. Have you see that turquoise lace back dress she wore recently?! Ugh, so good. So. Good.

My wedding dress was a lot polished, a little sparkly, a lot pearly, pretty darn feminine, and a heck of a lot of lace! It wasn't altered correctly for me so unfortunately I don't have flattering photos of me in it, but it's just as well - I like the picture I have of me wearing the dress in my head better than the actual pictures I've seen.

But there's a runner up for my favorite outfit! This dress is classic, lacy, feminine, and polished - I love it!!
(find it here)

Oh I am swooning over that eyelash lace fringe! And the scalloped lace edges! And the pattern, oh the lace pattern.

Be still, my heart, be still.

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

High Five For Friday

Another week down!

My top five from this week:

1) We cleaned out our basement Sunday evening. And by clean out I mean we took out boxes of stuff, threw away a ton of crap, and packed up papers we're gonna burn at the cottage later this summer. We're not completely done combining our stuff (I know, I know, we've been married for over a year... it should be done by now) but we're getting there. I feel lighter just knowing that all that school stuff from as far back as eighth grade is out of our basement. We never have to move with it again! Woohoo!

2) I'm taking a summer online class and got another two chapters knocked down this week. I love that I can work at my own pace with it so if I'm stressed from work I can ignore it but if I have a day off I can tackle as much of it as I want. The class doesn't officially end until August 10th, but I have another giant test I'm taking on August 9th so ideally I would like to be done with the online class by the end of July so I can spend 9 days studying for The Big Kahuna.

3) We made homemade pizza for dinner one night. It was the bomb diggity.

4) We've been saving a box or two of clothes and random stuff to take to Goodwill for a couple of months. This week, my mom let us know they were having a huge garage sale this weekend and just took all of the boxes to her house. Then she priced them. I didn't have to lift a finger, it was awesome. And just from the sale yesterday, we made over $20. Now, if you knew the random crap we had in those boxes you'd be amazed at the $20 too!

5) I have met some really sweet patients at work recently. I wish I could tell you all about them and how they've inspired me but privacy don't allow it. I really do love working with patients and their families - they bring more joy and satisfaction while doing my job than anything I've ever done before. It's great to see them come to us so sick, allow us to help them and teach them about how to keep themselves healthy, and then send them home once they're better. So satisfying. SO humbling.

What are your top five from this week?


How To Get Rid of Carpet Stains - Fast!

I think you're gonna like this one... it's pretty great...

June 29 - Write a "how-to" post.

Chances are, if you breathe, eat, drink, or live with others, there's a stain or two on a carpet in your home. Maybe it's soda, maybe it's food. Heck, maybe it's vomit - who knows! In our home we {had} a nice dark beer stain on our living room carpet.

And it stared at me No matter what I tried I couldn't get the darn thing out! It was stubborn. Dark, stubborn beer stain. Take note if you are feeling helpless about stains in your home:
And that, my friends, is bound to happen when your husband is a dark beer snob.

So here's what you do to get rid of your beer/food/vomit stains:

Move your furniture so you have enough space around the stain to get around. Vacuum the part of your carpet you'll be cleaning. Keep that vacuum near by - you'll need it again soon!

Moisten a dishtowel/washcloth/sponge and blot it on your stain. If your stain is still wet, you can skip this step.

Sprinkle baking soda over the moist stain. I rubbed it in with my fingers because my baking soda came out all clumpy. I think it worked better this way.
You should wait at least 10 minutes so now's the perfect time to go do something else - like some anatomy and physiology homework! 
Once your time is up, vacuum the baking soda paste up. You don't have to get it all but make sure there's not a lot left on the carpet.

In a small bowl or mixing container, combine about a cup of bathtub warm water with a splash of white distilled vinegar and a touch of dish soap. Like how precise I was there? Fine, if you really want a specific measurement I'd say it was a cup of water, a quarter cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon of dish soap. Happy? Good. For the record, I used the cheap distilled vinegar and the blue Dawn. Don't worry - you use so little of it that the blue color doesn't matter.

Using your wet towel/washcloth/sponge, soak up some of the soapy vinegar mixture and dab it onto the stain. It may get foamy, depending on how much baking soda you left on the carpet.
Keep blotting at the stain with your liquid mixture until the stain comes out - which for my pesky stain, wasn't that long.

Grab a dry towel and pat the carpet as dry as you can.

Your carpet should be looking a heck of a lot better! Vinegar and baking soda for the win! Again!
Stare at your now-brownish, gross colored liquid and think about how happy you are that you didn't have to go out and rent one of those expensive carpet cleaners.

Finally, if you're anything like me, you'll find about six gazillion more stains that you'll want to do the same to! I seriously spent an entire afternoon blotting my carpet. Furniture was everywhere, I used a pound of baking soda, Trevor must have thought I was nuts, but hey, at least my carpets were stain-free!

So, tell me, what are you gonna do with all the money you're saving using this method rather than hiring professionals? Seriously, try this and let me know how it worked for you!

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Shared at : Sassy Sites, 504 Main, Homemaker in Heels, tatertots & jello, Stuff and NonsenseFamily Ever AfterLittle Inspiration, Natasha in Oz, A Pinch of Joy, You're Talking Too MuchI {Heart} Nap TimePetite Hermine, My 1929 Charmer, Sweet Little Gals, Marvelous Monday & Whipper Berry!

Laundry Tips and Tricks

Oh me, oh my. I hope I don't bore you too much with this prompt!

June 28 - How do you do your laundry? Give your laundry tricks.

So there are only two of us living here which means that laundry only really needs to get done once a week or so. I usually do it on my Friday off of work or sneak it into a Saturday or Sunday morning. The nice thing is that I only have three loads to do, so it goes relatively quickly!

I separate our clothes into 3 piles: darks, lights, and crap-that-needs-germ-killing.

Darks are mostly my scrubs from work, jeans, and some t-shirts. Lights are all of Trevor's work shirts, some undershirts/camis, and our daily shirts and khakis. Basically everything else gets tossed into the germ-killing pile: towels, washcloths, underwear, socks, etc. If it got moist or sweaty or just generally gross, it goes in the germy pile.

I wash my darks and whites on cold/cool/lukewarm temperature settings in my front loading washing machine. The germ-killing stuff goes in on warm or hot - depending on the load. All three loads get the same detergent, but I use a splash of white distilled vinegar (in the fabric softener slot in the washer) with my towels to make them more fluffy and to keep the mildewy smell at bay. More on my detergent in a bit.

Then, my darks and lights go out on the line to dry. If it's nice out, they go outside. If not, they go on the lines we have hung in the basement.

The germy stuff gets tossed in the dryer to heat it up and hopefully kill the gross stuff.

Because I hate folding and putting away clothes, I try to do that as soon as they're dry... because I can tell myself that it will be over faster that way! However, we still sometimes have piles of laundry in our room. We don't have enough space for everything despite my best efforts to get as much as possible in the closet.

Ok, enough rambling, you want to know about the detergent!

I use Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent (I love the lavender smell) because it works well, smells great, and is freaking natural! Have you ever looked at what's in traditional laundry soap... I hadn't... and then I did... and now I only buy this stuff. End of story. Anyways, this is what's in the soap (taken right from their website): 100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil based surfactant, horsetail plant, essential oil of lavender (NOP Certified Organic), purified water. Yes, please! All opinions are entirely my own - nobody paid me to write all these nice things... but if they wanted to send me jugs upon jugs of laundry detergent I wouldn't object ;) I also just want to throw this out there: I've used vaska detergent in the past and have had great results with it as well. It just so happens that a jug of Ecos is cheaper and easier to find than the smaller jugs of vaska.

I don't use fabric softener because it's full of nasty chemicals and I don't really feel like our clothes come out stiff or lacking. Not even when they're line dried. 
On a similar note, I pass on the dryer sheets. To be honest, we haven't had an issue completely forgoing them but I am thinking about getting some dryer balls to use to speed things up.
I also don't find myself needing a stain remover. Everything that I've tried to get out comes out with either baking soda and water or some of the Ecos detergent. Easy peasy.

 So that's it. That's my simple laundry routine. I hope I haven't bored you and that you're still awake (heck, I hope you made it this far in the post!) after reading all those details.

What does your laundry routine look like? Any tips you can share with me?

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Shared at: Fingerprints on the Fridge


June 27 - What's the best gift you've ever received?

If we're taking materialistic things here, the best gift I've gotten may be my bread maker. I am in love with it and the things it can do (pizza dough! cinnamon roll dough! yummy warm bread!). Plus, it makes my house smell heavenly. A bad day doesn't stand a chance when you walk through the door and are greeted by that yeasty, warm, delicious aroma. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Hands down, without a doubt, I prefer gifts of experiences to gifts of 'things'. If we're talking experiential gifts, the best I've had was our trip to Jamaica for our honeymoon. Technically, it was a gift because Trevor paid for most of it... but it was the. best. week. of. my. life. EVER. I have another post lined up to tell you all about it so, for now, let me just tell you that there is not a day that goes by without me thinking of our week spent in paradise. I dream about going back... and it physically pains me to think that we don't have plans in place to visit again. As pathetic as it sounds, there are days that I could cry just thinking about how bummed I am that we don't have Jamaica on our travel radar quite yet.
(You can't blame me for wanting to go back to that, right?!)

What's the best gift you've ever received?

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

My Hunny, My Sweetie, My Valentine

Sorry in advance if this post is a little too sweet for you, because today's prompt is all about what makes my heart melt!

June 26 - What does your significant other do that makes your heart melt?

Trevor is a pretty great husband, I can't lie. He constantly surprises me with romantic gestures like setting up our dinner on a cutely decorated card table in the one room of our house that is air conditioned on the hottest day of the summer (uh, yeah, that totally happened last week!).

He vacuums the house without me asking and he checks the oil in my car because I don't know left from right when it comes to engines.
My husband listens to show tunes when we're driving together and I'm singing at the top of my lungs (and he may even sing along a little bit, but don't tell him I told you that).

Trev and I laugh so much together. So. Much.

He promises to love me forever and even writes me notes on the bathroom mirror to remind me of that. It's always wonderful to stumble into the bathroom first thing in the morning and be greeted by a "Good Morning! I love you!" note.

Trevor offers me his hand as a tissue when I'm sad and crying - or even better, I'm happy and crying!
He dreams big dreams with me and wants our future together to be as perfect as can be.

So many things, there are so many things that he does that make my heart melt.

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Rest and Relaxation

Uh oh, a Summer Blog Challenge prompt that I'm not looking forward to.

June 25 - Ideal day of "me" time.

This is a hard prompt for me to answer because I hardly take time for myself. I can handle being busy, being stressed, and being selfless without feeling like I need time for myself. In fact, if anything, I feel like I need more time to catch up on things at home (running errands, laundry, writing blog posts, etc)!

If I try to imagine a day where I'm completely selfish and only do what I want it would include getting enough sleep (read: more than 5 hours), chatting with some girlfriends over a yummy cup of coffee, browsing the aisles of Hobby Lobby, Target, & Ulta, maybe getting a massage and pedicure, and cooking a scrumptious meal with my hubby. There would be no 12 hour days at work, and I wouldn't have to worry about having enough time to pee.

Let's pretend that money didn't matter (woohoo!). I'd spend my day shopping for - and buying! - a new car and planning a long vacation to a tropical beach resort... all while a service deep cleaned my kitchen and bathroom. Heck, I'd have 'em deep clean the whole house - yeah, I dream big!

A girl can dream, can't she?

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Being Eco-Friendly

Today's Summer Blogging Challenge post is one that I am passionate about and am very interested in what others have to say.

June 24 - Favorite eco-friendly thing to do

I fully believe that if there's something I can do to reduce my carbon footprint on our Earth, I should be doing it - I try my darnedest! Because I can't pick just one, here are a few of my favorite eco-friendly things to do!

1) I love buying locally. Me driving a mile and a half to a local farm to buy produce is a heck of a lot better for the earth and the local economy than if I drive to a WalMart and buy their overpriced fruits and veggies.

2) I hang my laundry on a clothesline to dry. I'm posting about my laundry habits in a few days so here's a quick overview: The exception to line-drying are the loads of towels, underwear, and socks. I want to make sure all of the gross stuff that's on those dirty clothing items are killed in the washer and the dryer by the heat. In the winter, I put everything else on a line that hangs in our basement. The air is dry enough that the laundry dries within a day. When it's nice out, I hang stuff on a clothesline in our backyard. Saves us money because we're not running the dryer, but it's also a help to the environment.

3) We recycle as much as possible. In fact, most of the time we recycle so much that we don't have too much garbage to take out on our weekly garbage day. We can easily go two weeks on one garbage bag, but we often need to put out our recycling bin on a weekly basis.

4) On a related note, I try and buy recycled goods as much as I can when I'm doing household shopping. I think it's important to buy things that are packaged in recycled content and I will happily support businesses that do it.

5) We have lights on light switches. This way, we can turn off whole rooms of lights/TV/stereos with the flick of a switch. Doing this reduces the amount of ghost energy usage that our small appliances use when they're turned off. We also use florescent light bulbs in every part of our house that we can. I found a bunch of them on sale a year or so ago for less than a dollar and I snatched up as many as I could. We have replaced 90% of the traditional bulbs in our house with energy saving florescent bulbs!

6) In the winter, we cover our windows with plastic to reduce cold drafts. This also saves money with our heating bill. It takes a few hours to do in the fall, but it pays off when the heating bills come all winter long. I'd imagine that this isn't something you need to do further south, but in Wisconsin's climate it's a big help!

What about you? What do you do to be eco-friendly?

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Favorite Blog Post

Today's Summer Blogging Challenge prompt is pretty self explanatory:

June 23 - Favorite blog post you've written before this challenge

Because I don't have a heck of a lot of posts to draw from to answer this question, my options are limited. However, I have chosen my Green Thumb post as my favorite! It is a post about a fun summer project that my mom helped me with and I'm pretty proud of it! The post itself has gotten the most views out of all of my posts and I've shared it at a bunch of link parties.

Also, it's completely crazy to look at those pictures and see just how much my garden has grown in a few weeks! We've picked a bunch of the lettuce, the carrots are taking over their entire container, and I think we're going to have some beans and peas to eat very soon!

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Career Options

Today is another day in the Summer Blogging Challenge! Here goes nothin'!

June 22 - When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For the most part, when I was younger, I didn't change my mind too much about what I wanted to do with my life. I've totally made up for that now that I'm older, have two (unrelated) college degrees that I'm not using, have a small alphabet of letters after my name, and am planning on going back to school again!

My first career goal was to be an ambulance driver. I didn't want to be an EMT, didn't want to deal with the hurt people, but I just wanted to be able to drive fast and make traffic lights turn green for me!

My second, long-lasting career goal was to be a marine biologist. I even started looking at colleges when I was in middle school that are located in Hawaii and on the East Coast and have great marine biology programs - I was that passionate! In third grade, I would walk to the local library after school with a friend to read books about dolphins and whales and all sorts of marine life. We kept notebooks with all of the research we did. Bottom line: we were marine biology nerds.
Who wouldn't want to have this be their office?! (source)

I dreamed of swimming with the dolphins but never had the chance to. I dreamed of going on whale watching boats but we don't have those in Wisconsin. I dreamed of learning to scuba dive but I couldn't risk getting water in my ears.          
So many reasons {excuses} why my passion fizzled.

I still love science and every career choice I've made up to this point has been science related. Guess that's the one constant in my hopes and dreams!

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

High Five For Friday

1) I hit up Victoria's Secret for their semi-annual sale and found some really cute stuff! I was hoping to find more of their Biofit bras because I am in lurve with them but sadly, they only had a strapless style. The other things I did get helped make up for my disappointment, though! It's funny how cute undergarments can make your whole day brighter :)

2) Last Saturday was the first day of our local Farmer's Market and you bet your bottom dollar that I went! I was looking for zucchini to make some zucchini bread but most of the stands were either sold out or totally overpriced. I'll look again next Saturday! I did, however, manage to buy some squeaky fresh cheese curds!
(Oh, and side note, going to the Saturday Market totally got another thing checked off my Summer Bucket List. Woohoo!)

3) We went to dinner with my dad and my brother on Saturday night to celebrate Father's Day. He lives on the other side of the state (about 4 hours away) and we don't get to see him much. It was nice to catch up and enjoy some good food together. No matter how old a girl gets, she's still her daddy's little girl, that's for sure! This is the yummy turkey avocado something-or-other sandwich I got; looks good, right?

4) Earlier this week, we had a handful of storms move through our area (in addition to the muggy 90+ degree days - ugh.) that woke us up at 3:30am and interrupted post-work milk runs at 5:30pm. It's funny how things like mid-day rainstorms make me realize that I really am a four-seasons girl. No, not like the hotel chain Four Seasons, but like the actual four seasons - summer, fall, winter, spring. I love my rain and I love my heat but I feel so lost without both. Wait until September rolls around and you'll see that I'm itching for some orangey-yellowy-redish leaves and pumpkin patches!

5) Our first wedding anniversary was this week! You can see what I wrote to my husband on our anniversary here. It's hard to believe it's already been a year since our big day. Time certainly flies when you're having fun and living life! Trevor loved all of his gifts and we got to spend quality time together over dinner at the fancy shmancy place that catered our wedding. I had also ordered a cake from the baker that made our wedding cake so it was nice to reminisce over the first meal we had as husband and wife. I have the most supportive husband and I am so grateful for him! One year down, many many many more to go!
See the huge piles of food in front of us? It was SO. GOOD. I had freshly made pasta tossed in marinara sauce, topped with prosciutto, chicken breast, and crunchy eggplant. Trevor had peppercorn dusted sea scallops on top of mushroom risotto. To die for, seriously.

Have you checked out my Summer Blogging Challenge posts yet? Why not! Go here to see them all!

Words of Wisdom

Today's prompt is one that I am so excited to share with you because I want to share it with the world and shout it from the rooftops!

June 21 - Most recent words of wisdom you heard that stuck with you

My sweet sister in law made some amazing paper flowers for my bridal shower and asked the guests to write words of wisdom on the leaves. The bouquet of paper flowers came home with me and I now enjoy looking at it and rereading the leaves every once in awhile. Some people wrote funny stuff and others wrote serious advice - but I really do cherish them all.

One of the leaves has this written on it:

Take your marriage seriously but take everything else in stride.

Oh how helpful that advice has been. Truly, you do have to respect the union and relationship between you and your spouse but when it comes to everything else it helps to have a sense of humor. I can just imagine how horrible it would be to be married to someone you can't have fun with. Oh.My.God.

Are there any words of wisdom that you recently heard that have stuck with you?

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

When I Was Young...

Ready or not, here's another Summer Blog Challenge post!

June 20 - Photo of you as a young child

Finding an acceptable picture for this post has proven to be quite difficult! I don't really have photos of myself from when I was younger than late middle school - and let's face it, the years from age 12 to about 17 are just super awkward and weird which means any photos I have from then are not in the least bit flattering. I scrounged around Facebook and found a little beauty I'd like to share with you today.

Can you find me? Eh? No? I'm the cutie with the braids and the semi-smile on the left! And, this is proof that I already had a double chin before I lost my baby teeth. *sigh* I think it's here to stay...

I believe I was 6 when this photo was taken - for sure not older than seven - and we were all at a friend's birthday party. Also, please note the phenomenal party dresses we were sporting! Children of the eighties :)

I still keep in touch with the adorable girl behind me who is giving us all a big hug {her name is Maya and she blogs at Charmingly Styled - and whose Facebook page the above photo came from} but I haven't spoken to the other two in almost 20 years. Man, that makes me feel old.

Anyway, at this point in my life I was just barely a big sister. My little brother is five and a half years younger than I am so he was still teeny tiny when this photo was taken. I was about to move away to a much smaller town and start public school. I was a little awkward (aren't we all?!) and had tons of energy.

Oh, how times have changed. Thinking back to my childhood has meant the return of memories long forgotten. How sweet it is, really, how sweet it is. 

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Cleaning With Vinegar and Water

I'm warning you now - this post will not be filled with pretty pictures because... *dun dun dun* I'm here to tell you about cleaning my microwave.

Natural (or reduced chemical) based cleansers have totally caught my eye recently. I've been questioning the use of nasty chemicals in our house because it was zipped up tightly all winter long to save on heating costs and I know that the air doesn't move around a lot in our home unless the windows are wide open.

I have been using a bleach cleanser in the bathroom because 1)bathrooms are gross and 2) I can never seem to get rid of the 'bathroom smell' but the bleach does the best job at it. With that said, I always have my eyes peeled for a good natural cleaner than is inexpensive, easy to make/buy, and (most importantly) does a great job getting my home clean.

I came across a vinegar and water cleaning solution on Pinterest - I think - and I filed it away in my brain to do 'someday'. However, when I was cleaning my kitchen the other day I decided to give it a try. I didn't have a 'recipe' to follow so I made it up as I went.

I put about 1.5 cups of water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and added about 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar. Then, I tossed it into the grimy microwave and heated it up for 3 minutes. I wasn't sure if 3 minutes would be enough, but I figured I'd try and add more time if I needed - which I didn't.

You'd think that after heating up a vinegar mixture your kitchen would smell like a pickling factory but it really didn't have much of a smell at all. I was able to get right in and scrub!

I used the vinegar/water to wipe down the inside of the microwave and most of the junk came right off. I had to scrub a bit harder on the ceiling of the microwave but it wasn't anything back-breaking.

It took me maybe 10 minutes, start to finish and my microwave looks better now than it has in years!

Seriously, if it can make my microwave sparkle, it can clean anything. Seriously... just look at these before and after pictures. They're gross. In fact, it's kind of embarrassing how nasty we let our microwave get!

Try it in your own microwave and let me know how it works!

Know of any other good (read: actually works) natural cleaning 'recipes'? I'm looking for effective but inexpensive and always love to see what other people come up with!

Linking up to Natasha in Oz, My 1929 Charmer, Singing Three Little BirdsA Little Knick KnackYou're Talking Too MuchA Pinch of Joy & Tater Tots & Jello!

Something I'm Proud Of

I decided to hop on board a summer blog challenge to expand the content that I write about. I'll be aiming to post at least once a day - once a day with the prompts and sometimes more for me to add my own content in! The posts won't be novels or anything too long, just a little insight into my life. Click on the button to the right for more blogs who are doing the same.

June 19 - Something you're proud of from the last few days

 I know I talked about it already, and I have another post in the works that mentions it, but I am so seriously proud of my marriage. They aren't kidding when they say it's a lot of work! Since we've been together (a little over 7 years) we've had our share of hard times. We've had to forgive a lot of little things. Heck, we've had to forgive a lot of big things! My grandma and grandpa celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier this year and have set the bar pretty darn high for us. They function so well as one that you can't imagine them apart. I hope and wish and dream and aspire for Trevor and I to be that way. I really hope that when we have grandkids, they look towards our marriage as a source of pride and aspire to be like us. Forever is forever and I can't wait to spend forever with my groom.

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Happy Anniversary

Today is our one year anniversary! Time has flown by and I couldn't be any happier to being sharing my life with Trevor. He makes me want to be a better person but at the same time he comforts me when I have bad days. How much luckier can a girl get?! I didn't think much would change when we got married because we had been together for six years before the wedding... but it did - and in a good way! I love knowing that it's just me and him going through life for the rest of forever. No matter what, I can count on him to be there for me and he can count on me to be there for him. He is my constant.

We've been on quite a few adventures together in the 7+ years we've been together and I've had the time of my life through it all. I can't wait to see where the future takes us!

Trev, as I said a year ago, I promise to fully share my life with you through days of happiness or sadness, abundance or want. I love you, always and forever.
(courtesy of LMP - our fab wedding photographer)

Making Strawberry Freezer Jam

Last week, I spent a couple of hours at a local pick-your-own strawberry place. It was a relaxing way to spend a morning alone.

So I hopped on a wagon that takes you out to the field...

And I started picking along with a bunch of other people. We were each given our own rows and picked to our little heart's content.

My berries soon started to pile up...

There were a lot of these...

And a few of these prickly little fellas...

Eventually, I decided I had enough berries. I was having a hard time not eating them while I was still picking!

I knew that I wanted to make freezer jam with some of the berries because I had done it last summer and the jam turned out so delicious! I ran to the store and got the low/no sugar version of SureJell. Sorry I didn't get a picture, but it's the only one in a pink box!

Making the jam was really simple. I smashed up a bunch of washed strawberries to get 4 cups of mush. It looked somethin' like this:

Then, in a separate pot, I mixed the SureJell and 3 cups of sugar (yes, this is the low sugar version!) then added 1 cup of water and mixed it all up.

On medium heat, I brought the mixture to a boil for one minute making sure that I was stirring the whole time. Once my 60 seconds were up, I removed it from the heat and added the strawberry mush to the sugar/pectin liquid and stirred that for a minute. Once that was well mixed up, I poured the goo into the containers that I had pre-washed.
Once the jam is poured into the containers, you let it sit for 24 hours and then you put it in the freezer. It will stay good for up to a year frozen and up to a month refrigerated.

It's an easy and quick recipe that makes scrumptious jam for toast. You'll thank yourself when you use it in the middle of January and haven't had fresh strawberries for months, trust me.

You know what else is pretty awesome? I was able to check this off my summer bucket list! Yeah!

Here's a link to Kraft's SureJell recipe, but it's the same method that I used and posted about.

Have you ever made freezer jam? How'd it turn out? Are there any pick-your-own places near you so you can enjoy fresh berries like I have been doing?

Linking up to Sweet As Sugar Cookies, Mandy's Recipe Box, and Natasha in Oz!


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