Morning loves and Happy Fourth of July! It’s going to be a scorcher, so we’re packing up the coolers and beach bags and heading out on our boat with some friends today. I’m going to soak up every minute of sun, freedom and good company! Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday. xo
Happy July everyone! We’re in the full swing of summer here on the East Coast and I’m loving every second. July is a month of celebrations for us and I look forward to it so much every year. Shawn and I both celebrate our birthdays five days apart, the Fourth is our favorite holiday and we between the two we usually end up making a couple of beach trips. All in all, it’s a good month. Since I’m enthralled in the full summer spirit, I’d thought it’d be fun to do a little round-up of beach bag essentials. These are a few items I’ve been coveting and total must-haves for a beach day! Toss in a few summer beauty essentials and you’re good to go. What can’t you live without for a day in the sun and sand?the bag | sunnies | flip flops | panama hat | towel | Bain de Soleil (this stuff is amazing for a golden brown tan)
It’s my favorite day! Yes, Friday is a partially why but most importantly, it’s Mexican fiesta day over on SMP Living! This al fresco fete is so gorgeous (thanks to Abby and Jess, those crazy talented ladies I get to work with!) that I just had to share. Plus, if you know me well, you know that a classic margarita and a huge bowl of guac are my entertaining go-to’s and that I’d pretty much eat Mexican food everyday if it was acceptable. (Sorry French Canadian heritage, but I should have probably grown up somewhere on the Southern border!). With that said, there will most likely be a cute pink margarita in my near future. Happy weekend and don’t miss my faves from this week!
Strawberries + rhubarb are two things that really mark the beginning of summer for me. My rhubarb comes in the earliest, yielding nice big stalks that are ready just in time for strawberry season. Each June I look forward to making a nice big batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam and usually a juicy pie (I’ll share that recipe later!). I use the small 4 oz. jars, which are perfect as a hostess gift or party favors for summer BBQ’s. Pretty them up with a bit of fabric and/or twine and your good to go! Keep reading for the recipe and simple instructions on how to can.
4 cups diced rhubarb
4 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
3½ tbsp powdered fruit pectin
4 cups sugar
12 quarter-pint (4 oz.) or 6 half-pint (8 oz.) jars with lids and rings
Combine rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and fruit pectin into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, stirring to get the juices flowing. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and surface bubbles, 10–15 minutes. In the meantime, sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. You can also wash your jars, lids and rings in the dishwasher prior to canning and keep them warm in there until you’re ready to fill with jam.
You’ll need a large stock pot (like the one we use for cooking lobsters). To make things a whole lot easier, I bought the Ball® Canning Utensil Set (at your local grocery store in the baking aisle) which includes a jar lifter, magnetic lid and ring lifter, jar funnel and bubble remover stick. These simple tools were SO helpful.
When your jam is done cooking, fill your jars using the jar funnel, remove any excess bubbles with the bubble remover stick and seal with lids and rings.
Depending on your jar size, you’re going to fill your pot with water high enough to sit about 1 inch above the top of your jars. Once water is brought to a boil, place your jars one at a time into the pot with a jar lifter. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove jars with jar lifter and place onto a dish towel for cooling. Within a few hours of cooling, your jars will go through the sealing process and you may hear them ‘ping’ as they seal. I usually wait until the jars have completely cooled before I press on the lids to make sure they have sealed properly.
That’s it! Now wrap with twine or top with some fabric and hand these babies out to your family, friends and neighbors as a sweet summer treat!