Friday, August 31, 2012

Looking Forward, Looking Back

We all have a list of things we are looking forward to when September comes.  Perhaps you are looking forward to cooler weather after a hot summer, or a little "me time" once the kids are settled back into their school routine.  But, I also suspect a number of us are looking forward to .... estate sales!!  Am I right?  I found it to be slim pickings during the summer months and I can't wait to go digging through a box of musty old linens or routing through the kitchen cabinets and drawers of a kitchen that has seen better days.  
The few finds I did come across this summer were at local thrift shops.  It is always hit or miss, but every so often something will catch my eye.  A favorite is this vintage Evenflo baby formula pitcher.  I have used Evenflo products over the years, 
but had no idea that the company dates back to the 1920's.
I love the bold red graphics.  
Very similar to my old Pyrex measuring cup.
Looking back, I have to say that Evenflo products got me through the early years of raising my kids.  Back in the 1920's could they have even imagined a future of manufacturing car seats, plastic high chairs, or my oldest daughter's much beloved pacifier?   
It's nice to see a company last for so many generations 
and so fun to have come across this little pitcher.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simple Summer Fun

While on vacation, we've been enjoying playing board games at night.  Some friends came to visit and introduced us to Bananagrams.  It has quickly become a new family favorite. It is very similar to Scrabble, but without a game board and it moves along quickly.  It's a great after dinner game and my 6 year old has even been using the letter tiles to work on her spelling during the day.  But, I couldn't resist sharing these pictures of our second favorite game this summer-good old fashioned checkers.
We discovered this homemade checkerboard painted on
 the outdoor picnic table and it has kept us busy.
So simple and charming.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Taste of Summer....Part 2

I came across another honor stand down the road from our vacation house
 and couldn't resist stopping.  This adorable wagon looks like it has weathered 
quite a few summers selling homegrown flowers and tomatoes! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Taste of Summer

It is back to school time for a number of people around the country, but we don't go back until after Labor Day, so I am trying to keep my head firmly planted in vacation mode.  In case you are trying to do the same, I wanted to share a peek at this local farm stand that says to me summer is still in full swing.  This honor stand is about a mile from our vacation home and we visit it daily.  It's old fashioned charm could be on the pages of Country Living magazine and I think that it is rare to find an "honor stand"
 at the end of a driveway these days.
Having lived in New Jersey for the past ten years, I will always support the argument that Jersey tomatoes are the best, but this local Massachusetts corn is tops.  It is super sweet.
And fresh picked flowers just within reach.  This honor stand is one of my fondest summer memories and one of the many reasons I am happy that my summer is still in full swing.

Fridays Unfolded
Also linking with: Potpourri Friday

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I bought a roll of raffle tickets at a party store a few years ago and they have served me well.  I promise you, if you pull out a roll of raffle tickets, you will have an instant audience and willing participants whether it be adults or children.  Young or old, everyone seems eager to take a chance and accept their fate at the hand of lady luck.  A quick raffle has helped us settle seating assignments at Thanksgiving, decide who gets to open presents first at our Christmas gathering with the grandparents and lay claim to the first or last slice of cake when necessary.  Beyond impromptu "games of chance", our roll of raffle tickets is most often used as reward tickets to motivate the kids to work towards a goal.  My son is still chipping away at his summer reading and math sheets, and the raffle tickets have come to the rescue to motivate him to keep going.  He happily plops a ticket in the jar each time he finishes an assignment and gets one step closer to winning his reward!     

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wild Blackberry Jam

We are spending the last few weeks of summer on vacation in Massachusetts.  We did bring some modern day necessities like our iphones and laptop, but we are trying to disconnect a bit and enjoy the beauty and simplicity around us.  We went for a walk the other day and discovered this beautiful country road.
Ripe wild blackberries were growing within our reach.
I couldn't resist a photo of my 6 year olds little hand filled with ripe berries.   
We were eating them as fast as we were picking them.  
We did manage to save enough to make some Blackberry Jam when we got home.  A quick google search gave me lots of choices for recipes without pectin and I settled on this one from Alice at Savory Sweet Life.  I tried a little too hard on my first attempt and burnt the whole batch.  I was trying to follow the recipe exactly and let it boil too long.  
I decided to relax (it is vacation after all) on my second try 
and took it off the heat when the jam looked ready.  
I think we have found a new summer tradition!  

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Honey Harvest

Did I ever mention that we are beekeepers?  Actually, my husband and 10 year old son are the official beekeepers.  I mostly enjoy watching all the activity out our back window.  My husband has always been a gardener and I think beekeeping fills his need to tinker outside and be productive.  It has been a 3 year learning process and a fun father son activity.  
Our friends and neighbors are intrigued, curious, and all asking for a jar of honey come harvest time. 
They harvested the honey the last weekend in July.  
I was the lucky photographer taking these pictures without a bee suit.  How many times do you think I heard "get closer, get closer, you've got to get a picture of this"?
I was more comfortable taking pictures of the finished product.
The boys were so proud of their fancy labels.  
And it's back to business for our little ladies.  A girl's work is never done......