Plum Fresh

Or should it be more appropriate to call it “Fresh Plum” today?share a bit of love DIY Plum Sauce1

I obtained a large basket of perfectly ripened Italian Plums this week from a colleague. To avoid the inevitable fruit flies that have run havoc around my kitchen this summer, I opted to make plum sauce.

Plum jam was really on my mind, but then I realized I was plum (ha!) out of my main canning staples. Enter Plum Sauce.  It just sounds decadent over vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, scones, goat cheese toast, or even as a glaze on a slow roasted turkey breast- doesn’t it?

Here is what is needed:

  • 4 cups of washed & halved Italian Plums
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice

In a large non reactive sauce pan, pour plums, sugar, spices and lemon juice. Simmer on low-medium for about an hour and a half while stopping to stir and to make sure the mixture doesn’t over boil.  220 (f) degrees should probably do the trick.  Your house will smell amazing. Meanwhile, prepare your jars for canning.  While the jars are still hot, spoon the sauce into each jar, and process using a water bath. Lick the delicious leftovers off the spoon and swoon at the late summer taste of beautiful Italian Plums.

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Late Summer Adventures

It is  my favorite time of year; September. Where summer and fall collide in a crisp morning, warm afternoon kind of way. The cool evenings allow for more adventuring, and there is just enough light to enjoy an adventure before it gets dark. I spent some time up in Okanogan County this week. I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous place and have been plotting how to uproot my current life and plop it on down somewhere up there. Here are a few beautiful things found.

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The Blue Octopus- Sips-n-Canvas

Hi, my name is Monica. I am a craftaholic.

I certainly can’t decide which skills I would like to hone in on in the craft world, so I’ve decided to dabble in them all- and I mean ALL. This week’s adventure brought me to The Blue Octopus in Tacoma, Washington.  My dear friend over at Mary Jo Photography recommended this adventure thanks to a quick snag of a Living Social deal.  I am so glad she did. This is soley a blog about my super excitement about the entire experience. So. Much. Fun.

Walking into the studio space- The Saint Helens Ave Mercantile, you will find a creative co-op run by 4 fabulous and entrepreneurial women.   Located there is the OCD Candy Company, The Tea Works, Wolf Bear Treasures & Orcal Card Reader- Gail Scott, and of course The Blue Octopus. It is filled will all things lovely, creative, and a bit eclectic. Something for everyone really. The painting class is taught by Kerry Cole, who quit corporate job permanently a few years ago to get fully immersed in her art. Luckily for her students and the community, she did.  Her art covers the walls and can be felt in every speck of paint on the tables.  Every piece feels like it is personal and has a story.

The Sips-N-Canvas class is an opportunity for those interested in painting to dabble (stipple) their way into the paint media.  Kerry starts everyone off by having them choose an image that speaks to them.  She gets you all the supplies and techniques needed to create a masterpiece including cheese, crackers, and wine. of course wine. During the two hour class, she is patient, knowledgeable and SO encouraging.

This was one of the best guided art experiences I’ve had in a while, and would highly recommend Kerry’s classes to anyone interested in painting.  Her art is for sale on etsy, in her shop, and at exhibits. Her painting classes are open to everyone, and she even offers private parties. Who’s in?

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From Portland West to Portland East

I needed a vacation. Like get away and discover something new- relax, sleep, and unplug kind of vacation.  I found myself driving to Portland Oregon to hop a plane east to Boston, Massachusetts.

I’ve been to Boston a few times over the last few years. It is the home of the tea party, the Red Sox, Paul Revere, and of course my best friend.  Knowing that she was a worker bee during the week, I opted for adventure and took a train to Portland, Maine.

I am so glad that I did- I found the town to be charming, friendly, and diverse.

Amtrak made it almost too easy to get there via the Downeaster. On my walk into town from the train, I found the Inn at St. James which provided lovely accommodations last minute for a heck of a deal.

I wandered through town, finding little gems around town, and more specifically in Old Port including places like Motifs,  Portland Dry Goods, and Toko Indo.

I snacked at the Salt Exchange for a watermelon & feta salad, Bam Bam Bakery, for a latte and the world’s gooiest macaroon,  and indulged in many beers and an authentic Lobster Roll at Boone’s on the 2nd floor deck. Evening indulgence was furthered with a cup of chowder at  Eventide and the most decadent scoop of hazelnut chocolate gelato at the Gelato Fiasco. Needless to say, it was a food lover’s paradise.

I walked every calorie off going up and down THE hill several times back to the inn and walking the Eastern Promenade.

Even with so much time walking, I certainly didn’t take a lot of photos. I think that was the point for me- I wanted some time to just unwind. Here are the few I managed to capture.

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Photo A Day

I did my first Photo-A-Day Challenge for an entire month. February didn’t bring a lot of outside activity, so I had to really stretch some of the assignments. This particular Challenge was prompted by my blog reading, and fatmumslim dared readers to step outside of themselves to really push their photography limits. I’m debating whether or not my March schedule will allow for daily photo posting on my photography facebook page, but I am going to really push to continue this daily practice. Also, check out my photog friend Mary’s FB page for her take on the challenge.

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My Daily/Weekly Inspirations

I read Blogs- EVERYDAY. I love the creative and intelligent women (and men) of my generation showing a world similar yet, so different than mine. I have decided seperate my personal blogging from my photography page, so changes they are a’ comin.

 

In the meantime, here is a great list of lovely links to help get your creativity kick-started:

From Me To You

kevin & amanda { blog }

Design*Sponge | Your home for all things Design. Home Tours, DIY Project, City Guides, Shopping Guides, Before & Afters and much more

Home – Creature Comforts – daily inspiration, style, diy projects + freebies

lovely indeed!

The Pioneer Woman | Ree Drummond

The Farmer’s Nest

Oh Happy Day!

Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard

Besotted Brand Blog

From Portland to Peonies.

allister ann

You Are My Fave

memory montage photography – BLOG

A Beautiful Mess

Lemon and Raspberry

rockstar diaries

Twig & Thistle

angela hardison.

maggie makes