I’ve been a little busy this weekend and thought I’d try something new. Over the years I’ve made jelly and jam for canning but standing over a pot worrying about it burning or trying to remember when the boil started took away the fun. The past week I saw a couple of video’s showing how easy it is to make jelly with an automatic jelly maker. So I did a little research and picked up my own Jelly Maker Needless to say I’ve been on a jelly roll since it arrive on Saturday! My first test was an easy blackberry jam (recipe book included). I picked up some berries, sugar and pectin on my grocery trip. My first batch (4 – 8 oz jelly jars) was done in about 45 minutes. The jelly maker made it so easy that I wanted to do more! Since that first batch I’ve made some Irish Breakfast Apple jelly and some scuppernong jelly. I called one of our local wineries and they had extra scuppernong juice left over from pressing a few days earlier. The scuppernong jelly was a test since I did not have a recipe. Instead I used the apple recipe from the guide and used scuppernong juice instead. The first batch turned out awesome! The second batch did not set so I will reprocess it later today. I was going good until I ran out of pectin and used a different brand. Lesson learned…if a recipe calls for a specific pectin don’t swap it for a different brand. Well swap if you’d like, but you’ll be doing twice as much work when re-batching time comes around. Take a peek at all the jelly!
In my previous post I gave you a little tease of our trip to Ireland. Now I will try to fill in all the details but overall my mind is still spinning from the wonderful trip we experienced. Ireland itself has always been on my list of places to see but this past year I was drawn in a little farther. I’d always heard stories of my mothers family being Irish, but it wasn’t until doing more genealogical research that I began to feel the pull. The cherry on top was finding out via DNA testing that I was in fact 51% Irish! I’ve not been able to narrow down the exact part of Ireland that my family came from but was able to come up with a general area.
Searching and planning for the trip started slow, but after a few weeks I was in information overload! I finally decided to try and plan a trip that would cover several areas of Ireland. This way we could see different places and get a better idea of what makes Ireland, Ireland. Read more
Homemade Travel Sheet – Instead of purchasing a travel sheet and spending anywhere from $15 to $60 I decided to make my own. I picked up two flat sheets for $2 at a local thrift store. The sheets are like new and I didn’t have to orphan any of my existing sheet sets. One flat sheet was solid white and queen size. Mine is a vintage gold and yellow stripped full size sheet. Both are percale and feel great! I folded one flat sheet in half on the long edge with the right side (the pretty edges) on the inside. Laying it on the floor I measured where my waist would be if lying on the sheet. Using my sewing machine I stitched across the bottom and up the side to where my mark was placed. I reinforced where the stitching ended just so it wouldn’t pull apart. Once complete I turned it right side out. It’s like a sheet sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner. Fifteen minutes later I was done and now we have our own personal travel sheets! I did not shorten the top so there is plenty of room to cover my pillow as well as covering the bed so that I don’t have to lay directly on the mattress. I repeated the process with the white sheet since hubby wasn’t too keen on something so brightly colored as my yellow sheet.
Counting down the days until we travel to Ireland with everything we need just in our backpacks! I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out but I’m excited either way! Backpacking Ireland and staying in hostels…who would have thought!
Do you pack light or take enough clothes to clothe a small family of five when there are only two of you? Last week I started planning a 10 day your of Ireland. Budget in mind we will be carrying everything we need in our back packs as carry on luggage. A first for us as a forever young couple…but it will give us freedom from lugging suit cases as we explore my great great grandparents homeland.
Since we are on a budget we are foregoing hotels as well and will save our Euro for the fun stuff like a wool shawl and several pints of Guinness. Where will we stay? In a hostel of course! I guess you can say it is one more thing to check on my bucket list.
No rental car this trip either. Public transportation and day tours will take us where we plan to visit. Are we crazy? I like to think thrifty. It’s our chance to be a local for awhile and not a tourist. Life is short and tomorrow is not promised.
Oh, I’ve had three eye exams since January. My Fuchs Dystrophy is still present. I’m in glasses full time now and have started using eye drops to relieve the pressure. It’s helped with the haze I would see sometimes. This is another reason for our special trip…I just don’t know what my future holds but I most definitely want to see Ireland with the man I love.