19 June 2024

Homemade Strawberry Jam

There's something deliciously sweet about homemade jam. And if you indulge a little bit more than you would with store-bought jam; that's okay? Right? Right. Ha! Below you'll find my tried and true recipe for homemade strawberry jam. You don't even need a water canner with this recipe - just a big, deep pot. Don't forget to have at least ten 8oz Ball jars with new lids on hand too. 


  • 5 cups fully ripe strawberries (get at least three 16oz containers)
  • 1 box of Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin (Original - yellow box)
  • 7 cups of sugar (get a 4lb bag)
  • 1/2 tsp butter (this reduces foaming)

  1. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water. Rinse with warm water. Set flat lids aside in a deep bowl. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour the boiling water over the flat lids. Leave them in the hot water until you're ready to use them.
  2. Rinse the strawberries. Remove the tops. Place in a food processor and process until they are completely mashed. Measure exactly 5 cups. Add to a 6 more 8 qt pot.
  3. Stir pectin into the pot with the strawberries. Add butter. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (on high heat) and stir constantly. It shouldn't stop boiling even when you stir it. This is the messy part; it'll splatter so be careful.
  4. Stir in the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil for exactly one minute while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
  5. Ladle immediately into a 2-cup measuring cup (this will make getting it into the jars a lot easier) and slowly pour the strawberry mixture into the jars, filling them to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe the jar rims and threads. Cover jars with the two-piece lids and screw the bands on tightly.
  6. Place a round rack in the bottom of your big, deep pot. Place your jars on top of the rack in the pot and add enough water to cover the bottom of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover the pot and bring the water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove jars carefully (you can use a jar lifter - it'll be easier this way - or you can use an oven mitt). Place the jars on a towel to completely cool.
  7. After the jars are cooled, check the seals by pressing the middle of the lids with your finger. If the lid springs back (makes a sound) the lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

16 November 2022

A little life update . . . 'cause it's been awhile.

Life has been pretty good lately. Our little one is almost four years old and I think it's safe to say that we finally have a hold on parenting (at least the way we want to parent). It's definitely been a learning curve - realizing our triggers and how to minimize them, discussing the type of parents we want to be, and figuring out what's best for our family. Becoming a mother has been such an eye-opening and worthwhile experience. 

 I never knew I could change as much as I have. I've leaned into it every single day. These years have gone by so quickly but I have no regret in how they have been spent. I've made it a point to be present, to focus more on homemaking, and being there for my family. It's really interesting how, once having a kid, your perspectives shift. 

 This year has been full of good things . . . Alex got a new job, which has truly been such a blessing for our family. I am forever grateful for his hard-work and determination to take care of our family. We visited Maine in late September (it was truly so nice to get away from the heat and all of the people here in Central Florida). And we're headed up to Savannah early next year and I'm looking forward to seeing relatives and spending quality time with them all.

 And now we get to look forward to the holiday season . . . I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to decorate for christmas right now but I'm going to hold out until the Saturday after Thanksgiving (which has always been our tradition). 


I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the year - I probably won't be on here again until then. 

24 June 2022

My Morning Routine As A Homemaker

My morning routine has definitely shifted over the last few years. Over the last year though, I've manged to regain my morning routine and also re-invent a more intentional approach to how I start the day. All while keeping in mind that having a toddler means being flexible and letting some things fall by the wayside. I used to try very hard to wake up before my son did but I found that I just valued sleep a lot more than anything else. Besides seeing his smiling face first thing in the morning is literally the best thing ever. So with all that being said here is . . .

My Morning Routine As A Homemaker

1. Wake up and eat a small snack. I try to have a small snack before breakfast to fuel my body after such a long time of not eating. A healthy trio of carb + protein + fat is a great way to balance my blood sugar, keep stress hormones away, and provide nourishment prior to eating a full meal. Plus it gives me a little more time to start breakfast. 

2. Put on some calming piano music and attempt to write in my gratitude journal. Unfortunately I am get stressed fairly easily but I've found that if I start my day slowly, and calmly I am in a much better mood for the rest of the day. And music helps me do just that. I also try to write in my gratitude journal but with a little one that isn't always possible.

3. Get a load of laundry going. Each day I do one load of laundry. For such a long time I hated doing laundry and I recently discovered that I only hated it because I was waiting until all of the dirty laundry had piled up. Which resulted in a literal mountain of clothes that we had to fold. It was torture! One load a day keeps the folding to a minimal and ensures that my family always have clean clothes.

4. Empty the dishwasher. If you aren't loading up and starting your dishwasher the night before I suggest you try it. Every night I clean the kitchen, start the dishwasher and empty it's contents every morning. It's a great way to maintain a tidy kitchen. And once breakfast is finished all the dishes get put into the empty dishwasher.

5. Start breakfast. Since my little one and I had a "wake up snack" the breakfast process is less rushed and more enjoyable. I often have my son help me with making breakfast for this very reason. We enjoy a limited revolving breakfast menu made up of eggs with homemade breakfast potatoes, Greek yogurt with raw honey and bee pollen, homemade waffles topped with Greek yogurt and fresh berries, or homemade pancakes with bacon. Sometimes we even made biscuits from scratch!

6. Get ready for the day. I'll be honest - if we don't have plans to go anywhere, I usually stay in my comfy clothes and leave the makeup untouched on the shelf. But when we do have places to go I end up taking my makeup basket out to the dining room table to get ready. I have two reasons for this . . . Number One: better lighting than the dark cave that is our bathroom and Number Two: my son is usually playing in the living room. He's really good at independent play but I still like to be near him in case he needs me or he feels like chatting.


So that's my morning routine. Super simple but slow, easy going and intentional. I'm a firm believer in how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. Running around like crazy doesn't make for a great day, at least in my opinion.

I do want to add that there's a big misconception when it comes to homemaking. Homemaking isn't the same as being stay at home mom. You can work outside of the home and still be a homemaker. You can not have kids and still be a homemaker. For some reason, homemaking got lumped in with being a stay at home mom and it's just not something I agree with. My mom worked full time outside of the home and she's one of the best homemakers I know. And surely there are plenty of stay at home mom's that don't view themselves as homemakers. I work part-time outside of the home and I 100% view myself as a homemaker. It's definitely two different terms that, for some reason, tend to intersect.

What does your morning routine look like? Any tips and tricks that you'd like to share?

13 April 2022

Meal Planning Made Simple - In Four Easy Steps

When Alex & I first started living together, he was really the one who made all the meals. After all, he was a chef, and me . . . well I was really good at baking. But over time, I started to take a more active role in cooking and yes, I even started to enjoy it. In the beginning, meal planning was definitely not on my radar. Once our little one made his way onto the scene I started diving into meal planning because sticking to a budget became a bigger priority. And let me tell you, once I got our meal planning routine down, taking care of the meals (and our budget) got a lot easier. So today I wanted to share four simple steps to make your meal planning simple.

Step One: Designate a grocery shopping day and determine what you already have.
Saturdays are my grocery day and because it's essentially set in stone it makes meal planning a breeze. I essentially have two days to get our meals for the week in order. First check to see what we already have in the fridge (including remaining leftovers) and the pantry. Now since our grocery store's flyer comes out on Thursdays, the flyer sets the tone for most of our meals because it makes it lends itself well to budgeting. Which leads me to the next step . . .

Step Two: Browse the flyer for ideas and sales.
If I'm stuck on what to make certain nights I'll use the flyer to come up with meals that coincide with any current sales. It's pretty straightforward - let's say ground beef and shredded cheese are on sale. Guess what we're having for dinner one night . . . you guess it, tacos! What's really great is when there are buy one get ones. I usually stock up on those and repeat a meal two weeks later.
Step Three: Keep a running list of favorite meals as a backup plan.
If nothing good is on sale, or I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas, I tend to rely on my running list as a backup plan. You could even have set days like meatless Mondays, Slow Cooker Sundays, etc. Or even a list of everyone's favorite recipes. Anything that you find that helps you with your end goal of setting a meal for each day and sticking to it.
Step Four: Use a meal planning template and laminate it.
This step has been an absolute game-changer. I used to use meal planner notepads but I always found myself scratching days out and rearranging the meals, which in turn wasted a lot of paper. One day I decided to laminate two sheets of the meal planner notepad and use Vis A Vis maker and viola! If I have to change a meal for a day, I just wipe it off and write the new meal in. I use the second one as a catch-all throughout the week if my family mentions any cravings and add it to a meal planner for the next week. That way I'm one step closer to having the following week filled out. If you'd like me to share one, let me know in the comments below.

What do YOU do to make meal planning easy? Do you do what I do? Do you have a tip that I didn't share? Let me know in the comments below.