Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What? An Award? Who, me?

I was surprised and honored to receive an award the other day from KJ over at the eye-dyllic blog. KJ has a really great site, so you will certainly want to check it out!

The award is called the Brillante Weblog Award. It's given in recognition for blogs that stand out for one or more reasons

The rules for receiving this award are as follows:

  1. Post the logo on your blog
  2. Add a link to the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate seven (7) other people for this award and add links to their blogs
  4. Leave a message for the people you've nominated

Here are the blogs that I am nominating:

Harbor Hon - Carolyn is a dear blogger-buddy of mine and while her blog is fairly new, she is doing a FANTASTIC job. Her writing style, content and photos are top-notch!
Micah's Reality Tour - This guy is a hoot. His humor and photos make me laugh. And...he's a knitter. And that is TOO cool.
Knits with Balls - Jason cranks out the pointy-stick-projects and shares his comments with the world. Great blog dude!
Cabin Cove - Dave has a first-rate site and a HUGE following. He has helped me on several occasions. He also spins and dyes his own yarn and sells it. Go see!
Rusty Bobbin - Beth's site is one of the first blog-sites I visited back in the day. I think she may be the one who inspired me to start mine. Check out her site - she sews up a storm and offers all kinds of helpful hints.
JC Handmade - Mother of twin girls, Jennifer cranks out all kinds of handmade things while spending quality time with her kiddos. A must-see blog site for all kinds of inspiration.
Everyday Beautiful - Jody is a new mom and has a great blog. She has all kinds of fabric, fun and photos to brighten your day. Go take a look.

Congratulations to the nominees. Thanks for making the blogosphere a better place!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Strawberry Jam Forever

Alicia inspired me to make strawberry freezer jam. My mother-in-law used to make it and I remember how much I liked it so, I thought I'd give it a try.

After my trip to the grocery store to get strawberries (on sale for $9.99 for TWELVE pints), a five pound bag of sugar, two boxes of Sure-Jell pectin, and some new plastic containers, I set out on my adventure.

My first thought was: what in the hell am I going to do with TWELVE pints of strawberries? But...then I collected my senses and moved ahead.

One of the twelve pints of berries.

The recipe is simple to follow. But...may I suggest that you use a large mixing bowl [larger than you think you might need, okay]. Because I doubled the recipe that Alicia pointed me to and, lets just say the bowl was VERY full of berries and sugar and pectin syrup when I was done.

Fourteen cups of strawberry freezer jam.

The jam has to "sit" for twenty-four hours. Then it's ready to be refrigerated, frozen or ... eaten. I will be doing some of each. Guess what I'll be having for breakfast tomorrow? Yep: toast with strawberry jam. Yum.

Oh, and the rest of the berries? They are being used as (1) toppings for ice cream, (2) quartered and put in a bowl with lots of sugar on top. [And will later be put on top of short-cakes or biscuits.] And (3) some are just being washed and eaten, sort of like this:

Fresh berries and whipped cream.

UPDATE: Here's the link for the Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe from Kraft Foods.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Vacation Stories

The first night of our vacation, we spent the day at the Toledo Zoo and spent the night at the Hampton Inn at Toledo/Maumee, Ohio. It's a nice motel with an indoor pool (a requirement if you have kids that LOVE to swim as much as our boys do.) We've stayed at this motel on other trips and I highly recommend it. Their free continental breakfast is a tasty perk.

Hampton (owned by Hilton) has done a great job on their signage.
This is the room we stayed in.

My water-bug boys. As much as they are in (under) the water, you'd think they would grow fins and be able to breathe under the water.

Day Two of our vacation was spent on Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. It's a popular summer spot located on Lake Erie. We rented a golf cart and went all over the place. The Chicken Patio is a great place for lunch. It's our traditional eating spot and this year was no exception. Wine-basted chicken cooked on a grill is the best.

Perry's Victory and International (US and Canada) Peace Memorial on Put-In-Bay Island.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mining for Treasures

Part of the Cedar Point experience last week was mining for arrow heads. The boys each bought a bag of sand and 'hidden treasures'. Here's what they found:

Step One: empty your bag into the mining pan.

Step Two: with or without the help of the stream,
dig through the sand to see what you might find.

Step Three: hand over your treasures to your dad so he can get a close up shot of the great-looking arrow heads you can take home and add to your collection.

Ahhh, what fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My New Bracelet

One of my vacation highlights was buying this bracelet at a shop at Cedar Point.

Call me crazy, but I had to have it. And I really like love it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It is sooooo much easier

to create a blog post on Blogger. I really like Typepad, but....tell you what: I may be coming back to Blogger. I like to include several photos with my posts, and Blogger lets me do that a whole lot easier than Typepad (unless I'm missing something on the Typepad side of things).

Anybody have a thought on this subject?

More photos from our trip to the Toledo Zoo: