Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam

 This Summer, I learned a new skill and I have Ace Hardware to thank for that. I probably would not ever think of tackling preserving fruits or vegetables by canning out of sheer intimidation but I did it! I am so proud too. I worked with Ace Hardware to show how I would go about preserving some of my favorite flavors of Summer. I love, love mangoes so I thought why not attempt to make mango jam for canning? Well, I did and I will outline the process below:

Ball Fresh Preserving Canning Kit
After receiving the Ball® 21Qt Fresh Preserving Canning Kit from Ace Hardware, I was ready to get to work.

Ball Mason Jars

Since i would be preserving/canning the mango jam, before prepping the mangoes, I sterilized the Ball Mason Jars that i would be using for canning. 

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam

I sterilized them in the dishwater and left them on heated dry so they would be kept warm before filling with jam. Now it was on to the mangoes!

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam


Chopped Mango: 6 mangoes
Sugar: 21/2 cups-
Lemons : 2
 Since i already had sugar and lemons and ate all the mangoes our relatives brought for us from Florida, I had to go shopping for more. That was easy because mangoes are everywhere since they are in season.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam
I bought only six since this was my first attempt and my little helpers; Ian and Zion washed them  to wash them for me in preparation for the next step.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam
Next up was removing the peel and then the mango pulp from the seed of each mango. After pulp was removed I diced it into small pieces. I bought Langra mangoes which i found to be perfect for jam making because they were not stringy in texture.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam

While I was prepping the mangoes, I had the Bath Canner on the stove getting ready to boil for water bath canning. I followed these great tips for water bath canning

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam

 In a heavy bottomed pan, add the finely chopped mango, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well and cook on a high flame till the sugar dissolves. Reduce the flame to medium and stir well to prevent scorching- i found that i had to keep a keen eye and stir continuously, so i had to basically be over the pot almost the entire time.  Let it cook until it reaches the consistency of jam.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam

After the jam reaches desired consistency, turn off the flame and let it cool. After it cools, use the funnel from the Ball® 21Qt Fresh Preserving Canning Kit and carefully pour jam into jars. Close each jar tightly and use ball jar lifter also included in canning kit to carefully place jars into bath canner.

How to Make and Preserve Mango Jam
I was really pleased with the results and so proud that I can say I made that! I left out a jar to enjoy but the others are going to be stored for Winter consumption. I will be making more to give as gifts too!

Canning Cherries in a Light Syrup
I also canned cherries in a light syrup a few weeks ago as a part of the Preserving Summer campaign with Ace Hardware. Above is a snap of the process and you can read it all here.  I am officially hooked to this business of canning! Coming up later this week is a great Ace gift card GIVEAWAY of $150! How amazing is that? Stay tuned. 

Ace Hardware

*This post was sponsored by Ace but the opinions expressed are my own.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

An Exotic Apartment in Barcelona.

Farm house touches in light and bright living room.
With a farmhouse like sensibility, but still modern in its aesthetic, this apartment in Barcelona is filled with exotic wares and finds. It also boasts enviable art pieces sprinkled throughout, furniture that beckons, and an outdoor space that is swoon worthy...

White and bright living room with modern art.

Library with an organic aesthetic.

Add interest to wall with woven baskets.

A place to sit and relax.

Exotic pieces in living room.

Art and woven baskets on wall add wow factor in this dining room.

An Exotic Apartment in Barcelona.

A gallery wall in the kitchen adds personality.

A chalkboard wall in the kitchen is always a good idea.

Lovely patterned quilt on bed with cute cat.

Lush and green outdoor space.

Lush and green outdoor space.

Today was the first day of school and Zion is officially a second grader! They grow up so fast, don't they and where did Summer go? xx 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happiness Is...

A white and bright living room with lots of colors.
Happiness is life with lots of colors...

But first coffee.
Happiness is starting my mornings with strong, bold coffee...

Happiness is being the Mama of these two... 

{images: 1 2, }

What's happiness for you? Happy Monday everyone. xx

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Everything In Its Place Kitchen.

A Pristine Kitchen with Open Shelves and Lovely Marble Countertop
I've always admired those kitchens that seem to have it so together- everything in its place, no dishes in the sink, you can actually see the countertops, floors so clean you wouldn't need the 5 second rule if you dropped food on it...

A Retro Kitchen Painted Cabinets

Beautiful kitchen styling with lovely marble countertops.

Alas,  a clean kitchen always seem to be a fleeting goal in my home, and if i do get it clean, it stays that way for about five minutes! Ha! What does your kitchen look like right now? xx

images- 1, 2, 3,

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

It's our wedding anniversary month(next week to be exact) and since I didn't wear a traditional wedding dress on our wedding day because it wasn't in our budget- (in fact our wedding day was free of all the bells and whistles but most definitely brimming with love), I wanted to experience the feeling. I set out on operation wear a traditional wedding dress for our vow renewal last year. I thrifted a beautiful Alfred Sung wedding dress and everything, only to read that it was not proper etiquette to don a wedding dress at a vow renewal because it's not a wedding! Well, usually I am a rebel and break rules, but I decided to play it safe since our vow renewal would also be published in print in the local paper. 

 Well fast forward to today, a year later, still very determined to wear a wedding dress,  I added a second wedding dress to my closet. Now operation wear a wedding dress became operation wear these two wedding dresses-ALL. DAY.  I shared my crazy idea with my friend and  amazing photographer; Lea Hartman  (photographer for the entire shebang)who did not judge me for wanting to don a wedding dress all day. I also found a lovely and talented makeup artist, Brittany Taylor who had me looking pretty going about my day at home in my wedding dresses. Styling and hair by me...

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

Lovely Wedding Makeup

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

Wedding Dress

Beautiful Alfred Sung Wedding Dress Pops against the Greenery

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

Beautiful Wedding Makeup

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

Gorgeous Wedding Dress and Makeup

Beautiful Makeup and Styling

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...

I Spent the Day in a Wedding Dress. After being married for 17 years, I finally wore a wedding dress - all day...

Maintaining and watering the fiddle leaf fig

I Spent the Day In a Wedding Dress...
A day well spent for sure and mission accomplished! xx

images: Lea Hartman

Monday, August 15, 2016

Amara Interior Blog Awards.

love the mix of colors in this space designed by architect Daphne Serrado.
It's no secret that I am absolutely addicted to design and enjoy blogging about it, so I am thrilled when others find my addiction appealing enough to nominate me for an award- especially for the Amara Interior Blog Awards! I was nominated last year, but didn't get shortlisted, maybe this is my year?  If it's not too much trouble, I would love a vote from you to make it happen.

Click HERE to go straight to link to vote for me. Thank you so much! Happy Monday! xx

first image showcases the work of Daphné Serrado and was spotted on Desire to Inspire

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sleep Bohemia.

Bohemian bedroom with lots of layers

Copious layers, patterns, textures, splashes of greenery, a sense of adventure, and color abound in these bohemian bedrooms that i've dubbed,  sleep bohemia... This past week has been filled with completing projects(can't wait to share with you soon) and I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend and resting in my own sleep bohemia

Bohemian bedroom with beautiful rug and plants

Pretty textiles, color, and plants in this bohemian bedroom

Dark and moody bohemian bedroom

A fun and flirty bohemian bedroom.

images; pinterest