It is a shiny new year here at share a bit of love! I thought I would share a gift that I made for a gift exchange this year in case your new year’s resolution is to give a little more, make the world a greener place, or to spruce up your home or office.
I made this simple terrarium (two actually) for under $10 with some help from mother nature.
Here is what you will need:
- Clear glass vessel
- succulent plants
- potting soil
- activated charcoal
- rocks & sticks for added decoration
1. Start layering in this order: Gravel, charcoal, & potting soil.
2. Plant succulent in soil.
3. Pat in moss around to cover- You can skip this step, but it adds nice texture. I managed to peel some moss from our front yard. (thanks Pacific Northwest!)
4. Add stones/sticks (I used drift wood from a girls weekend at the beach a few months back, and stones collected from a camping trip)
Or should it be more appropriate to call it “Fresh Plum” today?
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.
I cook a lot. You probably already know that from the many food themed blogs of the last few years. Cooking a lot = lots of messes. Sometimes those messes end up on your favorite shirt and you find the need for an apron.
I’ve had this round table cloth- hanging out around the house for some time now. It was time it was put to good use. I don’t have a round table and its clearly too small to make curtains. Thanks to Martha, I found the right basic pattern to make even more simple. No pockets necessary for this gal, so I forgot all about the need to fold, add a couple extra seams, and just cut the entire pattern up about 6 inches. This made a plain front apron that hit me about the knees.
Cut out your pattern, alter as needed. Pin to ironed fabric. Cut to pattern. With a little ironing turning a hem that is about 1/2 inch wide. Turn again another 1/2 inch on all sides and iron. Sew each seam. Make you waist and neck straps in the same fashion. Attach and VIOLA! Apron City. No more splashes on my clothes any more.
I don’t make resolutions. I only make goals. This year, I’ve set the goal to be a happier, healthier me- mind, body, soul.
Food would be a big part of living healthier. I tend to go to lighter fare, but can find myself seeking sweets. All. the. time. Cold fruits get slightly monotonous for me, so I’m always seeking something healthy, easy to pack, and delicious. Finding myself without a dehydrator (would use too much counter space, I have to improvise. Baked Apple Chips. Recipe/DIY at bottom.
2 of your favorite apples
1 cup of apple juice
Cinnamon (for taste)
Tools: Mandoline Slicer, cookie sheets, cooling racks (parchment paper)
1. Slice your apples into the thinnest slices your cutter allows.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper (trust me, this will save sticky scrubbing later)
3. Soak in apple juice with cinnamon in a bowl for 20 minutes
4. Line apples onto cooling racks without overlapping.
5. Put cooling rack onto cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 25 Minutes at 350 degrees.
7. Turn heat off, open oven to cool it a bit, and keep an eye on the apples.
8. When apples are dry, take off racks and enjoy or put in seal-able container for fresh keeping.
I have a large circle of fabulous people that I work with. I have never been a big fan of buying gifts for colleagues for many reasons, but have found that my homemade gifts are much more memorable.
This year, I have all women (with exception of one great guy) that surround me professionally. All fun, friendly, and festive. I needed something that I could make a large batch of, please the masses, and acknowledge the hard work that happens daily.
Each jar was less than $2 to make with plenty of extract left over for another craft.
Homemade Peppermint Bath Salt
For 12- 4 ounce jars you will need:
.5 fl ounces of Peppermint Extract
3 lbs. of Basic Epson Salt
The Super Easy Instructions
1. Pour Epson Salt into a large bowl
2. Drop 12 drops of peppermint extract and mix together
3. Scoop into jars and seal
4. Add your own adorable touch (Cupcake Liners for a jar topper)