The Return of Blackberry Season

blackberry-summer-2Around here we eagerly await the arrival of blackberry season; watching for signs of ripening fruit like it’s a competitive sport. Today the neighborhood brambles yielded their first berries, and we are positively giddy thinking about all the recipes that we will soon be sinking our teeth into. I think we’ll be starting things of with some of the recipes shared in The Ultimate Blackberry Recipe Roundup that I put together last year! There are 75 recipes to choose from…we cannot wait!blackberry-summer-1 blackberry-summer-3

Spice Jar Organization with Free Printable Labels

spice-jar-organizationI’ve been meaning to post about the quick facelift that I gave to our spice jars for a while now…and hooray, today I’m finally doing it! I feel like I should first start out by saying that I don’t see anything wrong with anyone leaving everything in the original bottles. I’m not typically such an organized person, but because of the extremely limited storage space in our kitchen, I knew that I needed to streamline the hodgepodge of containers that were filling the space if I planned to hold anything else besides spices inside them. Plus, after painting the interiors I couldn’t really stand the thought of putting the old jumble of jars back inside.

spice-organization-beforeHere’s what I was working with. Not my fave.

spice-jar-organization-3And here they are now! The project turned out to be surprisingly simple! I picked up some glass spice jars and clamp-lid jars from World Market (I have to admit that it was a bit painful shelling out money for empty bottles), made up some simple spice identification labels to print onto adhesive paper, filled the new bottles up, and stuck each label on. Tada!

I have to say that the results really have made a world of difference for the functionality of my kitchen! I actually enjoy looking inside my less cluttered cupboards while cooking now, and everything is as easy to find as it is pretty to look at.

spice-jar-organization-5If this project sounds like something up your alley and you want to get a jump-start on things, I’ve made the printable spice labels that I used available as a freebie through the link below. Please note that they are not sized to fit a specific label template (I was too tired to try to figure that out when I was initially creating them for my project), so I just printed them onto full sheets of adhesive label paper, and used a circle craft punch to cut out the labels for the small spice jars.

download-spice-labels

Of course you might have a different assortment of spices in your kitchen than the ones I included on these labels. If so, you can use the free font Miso (the one I used for my labels) to create any additional labels that you need.

spice-jar-organization-4Juni gives this project two paws up!

And This is Why I’ll Never Do Laundry Again

never-doing-laundry-againOn laundry day last week, I headed out to my garage (aka laundry room), and began dutifully stuffing things into the washing machine. Suddenly I caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. I thought it was either my imagination or a mouse…both of which I can deal with. But to my horror as I turned my head to get a clearer look, I saw that it was not a mouse, or my usual paranoia…but a snake! A SNAKE! In my garage, no more than 2 feet from where I was standing! Worse yet, I’m pretty sure that it slithered out from under the washer (probably when it heard me open the garage door). I’m now certain that it lives under there with a nest-full of slithering baby snakes, and comes out to feed on unsuspecting toes, ankles, and the occasional fingertip or two. Obviously, I’m not up for becoming snake-bait, so I see three solutions before me:

  1. Declare a permanent end to laundry duty and see if I can pretend that we’re just taking the “grunge” look to a whole new level.
  2. Buy fishing waders or a hazmat suit so as to properly protect my legs and feet from imminent snake attack.
  3. Figure out some way to get the snake to leave…

I’m hoping you all might have some advice on how to implement option #3. Do they even make snake traps (I’m having a hard time visualizing what that would look like)? How would one even encourage a snake to venture into it? Somehow I don’t think that snakes are as gullible as mice with the ol’ cheese bait trick. I really don’t want to kill the thing…just encourage it to go far far away from me. Do any of you have experience with reptile wrangling? If so, this is your time to shine!

Snake image from BioDiv Library

Summer Print Sale – 25% Off Everything

summer-print-saleI’ve been sitting on a little secret for a while now friends. In just a short couple of months I’ll be relaunching my personal shop with a brand new name and some exciting new products. I positively cannot wait to share it with you. But before I can stock my virtual shelves, I need to make some room for the new products I’ll be offering. What better way to do that than with a Summer Print Sale! Use promo code SUMMERSALE when shopping and receive 25% off your entire order! This offer will end 7/20/14. Head on over to my shop and pick up some great deals before they’re gone!

In Good Company: Hooray Today!

hooray-today-papergoodsI recently fell in love with Hooray Today, a new-to-me paper company with the most charming line of products. I love their colorful approach to art and stationery…a perfect way to add pop of color to bland walls or cheery up a friend’s mailbox.

hooraytoday-paper-goodsSee more at Hooray Today!