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Oct 17, 2012

I feel so accomplished!

As the years have gone by, I have gotten more into the idea of canning my own sauces, and other things. I have wanted to make more foods from scratch and can what I can for times when items are just not available, but also to save a little money. I guess some could say canning was on a bucket list of sorts for me.
Now I can cross it off that list too! Monday was the day I finally made applesauce and then I canned it. It felt great to make and can something.
I did learn some things from all of this.
The size of my first batch was just right for me. I only got a small basket of apples and I am glad I didn't get more. The jars are actually half pints. I thought we had gotten pints, but was wrong. The batch I made filled ten half pints with a little to spare for our fridge.
I should have flipped my pots around. I used the larger pot for making the sauce when I should have used the smaller pot for the sauce and larger then for canning. As it stands, I quickly cleaned the large pot and got it going for canning the second batch of jars after learning my lesson.
I am very glad that a wonderful lady from church lent her food mill to me for making the sauce. It went so quickly and you better believe that a food mill is now on my Christmas list. :)
I also learned that I need to put an actually canning pot with rack on my Christmas list. I am too cheap (especially with our big trip coming before Christmas) to spend the money on the mill and pot, so on to my Christmas list they go.
I am now hooked! I loved making the applesauce, filling the house with nice apple smells, and I loved canning it. Now I am just thinking of things we eat that I could can. I felt so good at the end of the day about what I had gotten done. Two things I have wanted to do for ages, but thought is was harder than it really was.

Until next time.... Happy Canning!

Oct 15, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Image Courtesy of scottchan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cancer is a nasty, nasty thing. It affects too many families. This month is all about Breast Cancer Awareness.  I now have breast cancer on both sides of my family. As some of you may know from one of my last posts, currently my mom is fighting this terrible beast. I also have at least two women on my father's side who battled with breast cancer, many years ago. I learned about cancer at an early age, but the women I knew fought it and survived, so until I was six, cancer didn't have bad connotations really.
According to Breastcancer.org, an average woman has a 12-13% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. While there are factors that can increase this number, there are also ways to reduce it.

What are some risk factors? (As found at BreastCancer.org)
  • Being a woman
  • Age 
  • Family/Personal History
  • Certain Breast Changes
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Being Overweight
  • Pregnancy history
  • Breastfeeding and Menstrual Histories
  • There are even more factors that can increase your risk, but I don't want to focus on the negative too much. 
How to reduce your risk:
  • Maintain a Healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't smoke (or quit if you do)
  • Reducing your exposure to certain chemicals
If you are 35 or over, there is a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment tool you can use.

What are some things you can do this month?
  • Be aware of your risks
  • Perform a self-exam
  • Go and get a Mammogram done - If you have never had one, or it has been over a year, get checked.
  • Help support research/awareness - you can make a donation to an organization or purchase Pink Ribbon products. One thing, when purchasing pink ribbon items, I always like to make sure that part of my purchase is going towards research or awareness. 
  • Wear Pink! If you have pink in your wardrobe or pink ribbon items, wear it. 
Until next time... Know your risks, and love on those in your life...

Oct 12, 2012

Can I have your Autograph?

Our trip to Disney World is getting ever closer. I can't believe it really. There have been a few things that I have wanted to make for the kids for this trip. One was a quietbook. We are driving down with the in-laws and that is a long trip. We are taking two days to drive down. Things to keep little ones occupied are a very good thing.
From the get go, I knew both kids would need an autograph book. Of course if I were to go to like a disney store or something, I am sure I could find some really cute books for the kids, but how much would they cost? Too much, in my opinion.
I decided I was going to make customized books for each child. I would find some form of a book with blank pages, and some cute fabric to cover the book. After searching long enough (like, every time I went to a store that had any form of fabric) I found two cute patterns for Disney. A quick trip to Michael's gave us our books. Hubby and I decided to use small sketch books. I had found some colored scratch pads at Big lots for a buck, but decided I didn't like them as much. The sketch books are spiral bound, whereas the other was just glue. Glue can easily fall apart and lose pages. Not Good!
Today I finally got around to making the books, and I am so happy with how they turned out. What took the longest time (once we had the materials) was figuring out exactly how I was going to put everything together to create the finished product I saw in my mind.
I love them! The kids seems to like them too. ;-)  Next I will have to share about their matching wallets...

Until next time... Happy Crafting!

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