Category Archives: summer

Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles- Canning Recipe

So this year, we planted a garden and I planted regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.  We love pickles and my aunt was always making awesome pickles so I thought, I should be able to do this.  She sent me her recipe she used, and I found one online and this is what I cam up with!  I canned them 3 weeks ago and we just opened up a jar, YUMMY!  They taste great!

I found this recipe on the website Mama Economics and they are GREAT!

Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles
Author: Jennifer Williams
Recipe type: Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 quart jars
  • 7 wide mouth jars with lids and rings
  • fresh or dried dill
  • cucumbers washed
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 7 hot peppers (optional)
  • 8½ cups water
  • 2¼ white vinegar
  • ½ cup pickling salt
  1. Wash jars
  2. Fill stock pot about ¼ cup of water set on burner and turn to high heat
  3. In medium saucepan fill ⅓ way with water set on burner and turn to high heat, bring almost to a boil, remove from burner and put lids in saucepan
  4. In a large pot bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil
  5. Put garlic, dill, and cut peppers in jars ( I use kitchen shears to cut my peppers)
  6. Load cukes into jars tightly until you reach the neck of the jars
  7. Pour brine into jars, leaving ½ inch head space
  8. Add lid and ring to each jar and tighten
  9. Place jars into canner making sure water is JUST to the necks of the jars
  10. Bring water to ALMOST a boil, about 15 minutes
  11. Remove jars from canner, set on towel turned upside down
  12. Cover jars with a towel until cool
  13. Once cool, check for seal, label, and store in a cool dark location
  14. Pickles are ready to eat immediately, store in fridge once jars are opened

Here are some pictures to go along with the process:

Clean jars before canning

Clean jars before canning

Boiling lids

Boiling lids

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire.  This time I sliced them, next time I'm gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire. This time I sliced them, next time I’m gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Dill and Garlic

Dill and Garlic

Jars filled with dill and garlic.  This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they'd taste like.  You can also add red pepper flakes.

Jars filled with dill and garlic. This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they’d taste like. You can also add red pepper flakes.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal.  Boil for about 15 mins.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal. Boil for about 15 mins.

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops.  Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops. Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed.  They are now in the basement on a shelf.

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed. They are now in the basement on a shelf.

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WAHM vs Working Mom

I know that there are tons of discussions and posts about the benefits of a working mom, or the benefits of a stay at home mom out there.  I’d just like to take a few minutes and tell you what I feel like is going on in our household.  After moving back from Arizona last year, I finally found a job that was great.  But after 6 months I was laid off, and left without a job right before Christmas.  I had been crafting on the side for a few years now and decided, well, I’m gonna get unemployment for awhile, so why not PUSH sales to my Etsy Shop.  This started to grow and grow, and I decided that it was finally time to purchase the cutting machine that I knew would help me be successful at home too. Since I already had a Brother PE-770 Embroidery Machine, I purchased a Silhouette Cameo and never looked back again! silhouette-cameo

It has been a constant flow of sales from then on.  I finally registered as a business, have a Sales Tax ID # and buy things wholesale.  But deep down I still want to work out of the home.  I want to meet new friends, I don’t want to sit in my craft room all day and I want to find other mommies that like to do the same stuff as I do.  My youngest was pulled out of daycare when I was laid off, simply because we couldn’t afford it at the time.  But as time is wearing on, I’m thinking about sending him to 2-3 day part time preschool just for him to be able to interact with more kids and get him out of the house when I’m crafting.  He gets so bored, but I can’t really do much if I’m “working” at home too.

This is my struggle.  I went to school, got my Bachelors and I know that I’m using it with my own business, but it’s scary having your own business.  Your at the mercy of other people wanting or needing your products!  Just like last year in November, I did a craft show and I didn’t make anything.  But here on Etsy, I can sell like crazy.  I guess people want certain things at craft shows and I wasn’t what they were interested in.  But now I’m wanting to do more this year, just to get my name out there again in the local areas.

And then there is blogging.  I’d love to be a successful blogger.  I see so many mommies that blog about their daily lives, their DIY projects, they get sponsors to help them do giveaways and I am like, I can do that! I can write, post about DIY stuff and talk about my Etsy Shop too!  And then I see all these conferences that I’d love to go to.  One in particular is the Snap!Conference next year in April.  After hearing about it a couple years ago, I just want to go!  I think I’d learn so much stuff, but then again, it’s spending money on admission, plane ticket, and hotel, and what if???

For right now I guess I am content, working from home, doing things around the house to save on money, help us out in the long run, and maybe in a year when my youngest is ready for Kindergarten, things will change?  But then again, maybe not? 😉

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New Blog!

Well, I updated my blog a little bit! If you now go to you’ll get my blog!! I’ll be posting more updates on new products that I’m making/selling and along with some DIY and other things around my house!!

Thanks for all that read my blog and I’m looking to get more information out there for everyone to read!

I am running in The Color Run in Grand Rapids, MI this Saturday and I’m super excited!  I’ll be sure to post pictures to that too!

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JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores "Cape Discovery" Summer Crafting Challenge

I was asked by JoAnn Fabrics if I’d like to participate in a summer crafting project with my kids and add it to by blog.  My response “YES!”, I frequent JoAnn Fabrics at least once a week lately so with my kids home and in tow all the time, it was easy to get them to pick out something to do crafty!  Although a lot of the crafts are more on the girly side and I have 2 boys, we managed to find something to do!  Tie Dye Shirts! 🙂 If you’d like to sign up for a 20% off coupon, go to the link to do so!­‐connect 

 So we started the project with 2 shirts and the package of tie-dye.

 The package had 5 colors of dye (Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow) and 10 pairs of gloves and instruction guide.
 We looked up patterns in the booklet and we tried to do one of them.  I’m not so sure how well it looks like the pattern, but hey, it worked!
 Ready, Set, TIE-DYE!

 We didn’t read the directions as good as we should of because the shirts were supposed to be wet to start, so we had trouble getting the color to stick but it worked out in the end! Lesson learned for next time!

 You have to let the shirts sit til they dry, so we left them outside on the table to soak up the sun!
Time to see what they look like!
Caden wasn’t very happy with his, he wanted his to look like Brody’s and it had too much white he said.  I told him, it’s really hard to make 2 shirts look exactly the same, so we can try another time.  🙂
After they were dry, we washed them in the machine and they tried them on, they loved them!!  I think we are going to do more shirts this year at family camping!! Along with a few other patterns with our cousins 🙂

To view more projects to do with your kids this summer, visit the Summer of Fun Catalog at JoAnn’s website!

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Memorial Day Weekend

Summer is officially here and we started it off by heading to the lake house.  The weather could of been warmer but the boy’s done seem to care!
 Caden had fun fishing, he’s been talking about it since last year!
Brody played baseball with the kids next door.
Bring on SUMMER!!!  We can’t wait to go on our annual family camping trips, this year to Lake Charlevoix (Boyne City) and Ludington, MI.  
What kind of fun summer trips do you take as a family?

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House Party NERF Super Soaker Block Party

So I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the website
 But it’s pretty awesome.  We’ve won a few of these parties in the past and they are ALWAYS a good time.  You sign up to win on their website and if your selected, they give you the things you need to have a party.  Well I signed up for the Nerf Super Soaker Block Party and I WON! 🙂
I got all these amazing products to have our party this weekend.  My boys are going to be so excited and to be able to play with friends is gonna be even better!  What a perfect end of the school year party to have!  Go Apply and see what you can win! I know I’m gonna keep applying, we love to HOUSE PARTY!

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Spring has SPRUNG!

Spring is finally here! The warm weather, the birds chirping and the mosquito’s biting.  Yup, it’s here.  Time to get out those shorts from the closet and realize that “maybe” they are a little too tight.  Time to watch what your eating a little more and not shove your face full of food you’ll regret later on!

The sun and warmth also bring you in a better mood mentally.  After sitting home all winter without a job, you do get bored, you do get depressed and you do wish you had something fun to do.  Now that it’s warm out we can go for bike rides, play baseball and just enjoy being outside!  My oldest is playing baseball right now so he has his games this week.  It’s fun to see him doing something he enjoys.  My youngest wants to go on a bike ride everyday down the road.  But really I think he just wants to visit the older gentleman that gives him candy when he visits.

I am feeling very blessed with my Etsy Shop lately.  I’m 3 away from 250 sales and not that very long ago I was begging to pass 50.  It amazes me how I’ve done so well lately and that people enjoy my products!  Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook either! You won’t regret it!

Large Polka Dot Beach Tote

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Winter? It’s April in Michigan.

So yesterday was almost 70 degrees, the heat was off in the house, windows cracked to get some fresh air flowing and all was good.  Throw in some storms and then there is today, cold, heat back on, windows shut and SNOW! Yup I said it, SNOW!  It is April 19th, and we are having snow!  BBBRRR

I am really ready for spring.  I’m ready to see the sunshine, enjoy the outdoors, and even more let the boys play outside. 

We got rid of cable tv this week, in an effort to save money and get the kids from not watching as much tv also.  We won’t really miss it.  With Netflix, movies and local channels off the Antenna, not much you can miss.  You can watch almost any show the next day after it’s aired online too. 

Chris and Brody also built a little computer called a Raspberry Pi, it’s pretty awesome.  You just hook it up to your tv, load the software and it’s good to go! Cheap too!!  Brody built a Lego case for it, since it’s only about 3″ x 4″ long.

Hopefully we can do some yard work this weekend, we need to get our new mailbox up!

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