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Recipe: blackberry merlot jam

imageThis wonderful jam features plump blackberries with just a touch of Merlot to round out the flavor. Be sure to use a low sugar pectin for a perfectly set jam. As far as jam goes we are using a relatively low amount of sugar.


  • 1/2 cup merlot reduction*
  • 5  cups crushed blackberries
  • 1 box low sugar pectin mixed with 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 cups white sugar measured into a bowl

Combine merlot, berries and pectin mixture in a large heavy bottom pan. (You can also add an optional 1/2 teaspoon of butter to help
Reduce foaming) Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Once to a boil add remaining sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a full rolling boil for one minute.

Place into jars and process.

To make a merlot reduction gently boil 1 1/2 cups of wine until it reduced down to 1/2 cup.

Yields approximately 7 cups.

Easy Burp Cloths 2.0

easy burp cloths 2.0

I found some pre-made cloth diapers in these irresistible colors. So I decided to customize them to make them just a little more magical. Most of the burp cloths I have been making are homemade. I just love the shape and size of these flannel lined ones, and they are very inexpensive to make. However, I had a coupon that made these premade ones pretty inexpensive so I decided to go for it! This is also a great project to use up all those little strips and scraps you have in your fabric stash.

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New Year, Old Me, Real Me

I love the New Year.

The New Year my time to take stock of my life, to reflect and renew. But this year I really didn’t feel then need for the whole “New Year New You” deal you see at the beginning of a new year. At 42 years old, I’m getting to the point where I am really beginning to like me!  For me, my 2016 “resolution” is simple.


That’s it. With that are all my little goals of course – being more organized, learning some new skills, being more healthy by being more committed to exercise, so on and so forth. All of it with the simple end goal of being able to simply enjoy more of this lovely little life of mine. More date nights, more laughter, more game nights, more weekend getaways… less sweating the small stuff, worrying about things that really don’t matter, or stressing over the superficial. To take time to not become a “new” me, but to rediscover the real me inside. To let that happy go lucky adventurous me out a little more. To nurture the part of me that is ambitious and capable. To get more organized for a ink-ler day to day. To develop the many talents and skills I’ve been blessed with. To learn some new skills. To help my body match my spirit. To become the most authentic and honest me ever. To share the blessings of my life with those I care about.

As look back and reflect on 2015 I am happy to say it ended even better then it started… There is always room for improvement and the start of a new year is always refreshing.  It’s a good reminder of what is truly important. Sure, we all have a life to live. Laundry needs to be done, bills paid so on and so forth. But that is NOT it. There is more, so much more. And this year…I want to live it!