GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure: Living Room Reveal

Today I am so excited to share with you the reveal of the room I put together as part of the GMC Hidden Treasures Adventure sponsored by GMC and The Cincinnati and Atlanta Habitat For Humanity ReStore.  I will share the full home reveal in a later post.  If you missed the first part of the adventure, be sure to check that out here:

GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure: The Journey

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12 Bloggers joined in the adventure to furnish and decorate TWO homes for two Habitat for Humanity families.  I will share with you the home that I was assigned to work on with the following amazing bloggers…who I now consider good friends!  You develop great friendships when you sweat, laugh, and work together for a week of adventure filled days!

Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies

Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers

Beth and Nick from Sawdust and Embryos

Allison from Two Thirty Five Designs

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I finally got to bed at 3:00 am on the morning of the home reveal.  I was up late spray painting a dresser in the hotel parking lot and hand painting a wooden sign in my hotel room.  We were up at 5:00 so we could get ready, eat breakfast and make it to the home in Cincinnati by 6:30 am.  Now, just so you can understand how this all works, this would be the first time we would actually see the house in person.  We had initially been given some blueprints of the floor layout in the home and some dark, small photos of some of the rooms, but that was the extent of our knowledge of the home.  I am a very visual person, so it was difficult for me to spatially visualize the finished room in my head.

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This was what the Living Room looked like when we arrived.  We got to unloading the trucks and helped each other carry in all of our furniture and furnishings.  Then we all got to work on our individual rooms.  We had some rushed and harried moments but we all were able to get the home put together and furnished by the time our family showed up at 2:30 pm.  Phew!

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We were so excited and anxiously awaiting TYC and her 3 year old son Ishmael’s arrival.  Did you know that TYC didn’t know that her house was being furnished?  It was a total surprise for her and her son and they were a bit overwhelmed at first as you can imagine.  They were also very grateful and super excited!

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We were only given a few insights in what our families likes and interests were.  I knew that TYC loved the color red and purple and that she loved bowling.  So I tried to keep that in mind while hunting the yard sale for the Living Room.

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Her last name starts with a “B” so I thought it would be nice to use this letter in the decor.  I intially thought to just use the “b” on the dresser as the decor because I thought TYC could place a TV on this dresser, and then as a group we decided we like the letter b on the wall in the frame.

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A couple of the other bloggers scouted out some bowling pins for me at my request and they found these for the decor.  I didn’t see one and was so glad the others looked out for them for me.  The dresser was a dark brown before and I gave it a fresh coat of gray paint (Rustoleum Granite Spray Paint) and love how it totally gave it a new look.  It also covered up a few deep scratches and worn spots on the dresser.

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I spray painted the large frame that I picked up from the Atlanta Restore gold.  I debated about what color to spray paint it, but because I was unsure of the wall color in the room, I decided to go with the gold to pick up the other yellow tones in the room with the chair and this blanket that was donated.

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I found some great wood pieces that were actually the leaves to a dining room table.  I took them and hooked them together with some wood strips and then free handed a map of the state of Ohio.  I added a little red heart where Cincinnati is located and then hung it up on the wall with Nick (from Sawdust and Embryo’s) help.

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The couch came from the Eaton Restore and I paid $70 for it.  I was able to run to IKEA and picked up this rug for $15 and the pillows for $3 each.  The yellow coffee table books and the books in the Coca Cola crate came from the Cincinnati Restore.

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The Coffee table was donated to us by a lovely gentleman who heard about what we were doing and was selling items in Kentucky along Highway 127.  He so generously handed it over to help us fill TYC’s home.  It ended up working perfectly in the room.

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I decided to create a little reading nook in the corner of the Living Room as soon as I saw the space in person.  It was the perfect spot for the Yellow Chair I had fallen in love with.  I added the stool which I picked up for $12, threw some more books on it and then added a small plant I picked up at Home Depot in an IKEA pot.

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Since TYC loved bowling, I added this bowling bag, complete with a bowling ball that I picked up along the way for $4.  I also spray painted the smaller frame gold.

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Here is a breakdown of the items in the room, where I found them and how much I spent on them.  Keep in mind that we were given $250 cash, a $50 Home Depot Gift Card donated by Rustoleum and shopped the World’s Longest Yard Sale, Restores, a Goodwill Store, and a couple of other retail stores.

Couch $70 (Eaton, OH Restore)

Yellow Chair $15 (Yardsale in Kentucky)

Dresser $65 (Yardsale in Kentucky)

White stool $12 (Yardsale in Kentucky)

Gray Metal Side Table $10 (Yardsale in Ohio)

Coffee Table $0 (Yardsale in Kentucky)

Bowling Pins $3 (Yardsale in Ohio)

Coke Crate $5 (Yardsale in Ohio)

Fan $10 (Yardsale in Ohio)

Wood Map $10 (wood from Yardsale in Ohio)

Books $3 (Restore in Cincinnati and Goodwill)

Bowling Bag $4 (Goodwill in Tennesse)

Flour Sack Pillow $1 (Yardsale in Ohio)

Lamp $0 (Cincinnati Restore)

Frames $0 (Atlanta Restore)

Yellow and Gray Pillows $15 (IKEA)

Gray Curtains $25  (Wal-Mart)

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I spent $248 out of our allotted $250 on the above and then pulled a little bit of money out of my lunch money to buy the rug since I thought it would be a great addition to the room ;)!

Gray Rug $15 (IKEA)

Curtain Rods $15 (Home Depot)

Spray Paint $12 (Home Depot)

Plant $4 (Home Depot)

a few supplies for painting and making the wood sign

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This was such an amazing, exhausting and emotional experience! It is not often that you get to spend a whole week thinking about someone else (that you don’t know) and putting your heart, sweat and self into creating something special just for them.  I made some great friendships and am hoping and praying for TYC and Ishmael from miles away…wishing them well.

Be sure to check in later for the full home reveal.  I worked with some seriously talented people and their rooms turned out amazing!

*Disclosure:
My trip to attend the #GMCHTA was provided for but I was not compensated to participate or to share my experience with you.



GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure: The Adventure

I just got back from an amazing “work trip” which ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date.  I was contacted by GMC to be a part of the their GMC Hidden Treasures Adventure.  I had heard about the trip the year before when I was invited but unable to attend due to a conflicting schedule, so I was super excited to have been invited back this year.  GMC’s and the Habitat for Humanity worked together to create the Hidden Treasure Adventure.
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They flew several of us (12 bloggers) in to furnish and decorate 2 homes for the Habitat for Humanity in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Each blogger was given a budget of $250 cash and The Cincinnati and Atlanta Habitat For Humanity ReStore locations also generously donated a few more items to help us complete our rooms and Rustoleum for providing us with $50 to Home Depot to help with supplies.

Then we drove over 700 miles along the World’s Longest Yard Sale where we were to find items to decorate and furnish the entire home.  Each blogger was given a room(s) to decorate on that budget.  I ended up with the Living Room.

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I was partnered with Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers (who had the Study and the Bathroom to decorate).  We were partnered up and given a brand new s 2015 Yukon XL Denali to drive, and we loved every second of it!  I had such a great time driving and working with Taryn.  You can imagine we were able to get to know each other pretty well with that much driving together in the car!  Loved it!!

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We flew into Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday and started on our adventure early Wednesday morning after learning about the families moving into our homes and getting acquainted with the vehicles.  We drove to Chattanooga, Tennesse and ended up staying in a Haunted Hotel, The Read House.  Supposedly, room 311 is haunted by a woman…good thing I stayed in room 501….  I am happy to report that nothing scary happened except for this bad photo of me by the haunted room.

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We headed out North along Hwy 127 and immediately began hitting up some of the amazing sales.  They were everywhere on both sides of the road.  Taryn and I were like giddy school girls.  It was actually a little bit overwhelming.  I knew I had to save up for the larger items that the Living Room would need…like a sofa, chair and a buffet (dresser) for a T.V.  So I knew I had to seek out these items first.  I knew that once I found them, I could plan the rest of the room around them.

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There were so many things that I wish I could have shipped home.  And the prices on most of the items were pretty amazing compared to what I had seen things for out in my neck of the woods.  I couldn’t resist these metal letters, so I ended up getting an “h” for my own home (and smuggled it back in my suitcase with no problems) and a letter “b” for the family.

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Then in Kentucky somewhere, I fell in love with this yellow wingback chair.  I was super excited about the color of the chair and the condition it was in.  It looked really good and get this…was price at $20…when we told the owner what we were doing, he dropped the price to $15!!  I was so happy!

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Just a few feet away, at the same sale, I found the perfect dresser with great lines for a T.V. stand and spent $65 dollars on it.  It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but it was in great condition and was really well built out of real wood.  I knew it would make a great statement piece in the Living Room!

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What Taryn and I didn’t know was that there were two little field mice living in the dresser.  After loading the dresser into the GMC Yukon, they got out and were running around in the car.  It wasn’t until the next day that one was spotted by Kelly from GMC when she went to gas up the vehicles at night and saw one of them sitting on the front seat.  The other one was found an entire day later…  We are just so thankful that they didn’t decide to run across our sight while we were driving.  We might have FREAKED out!

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The next day we drove into Ohio and found some amazing items in an antique shop owned by the Mayor of a little town named Seven Mile.  Taryn found some great items that totally pulled her study together!  And we were so excited about our good luck!  The mayor was super sweet and gave us some great deals on our purchases!!

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I was getting VERY nervous about what to do for the couch.  The couches we had seen were in TERRIBLE shape (one that I LOVED was covered in black mold under the cushions (the owner wouldn’t have sold it to us anyways in good faith) but I was starting to feel worried that I wouldn’t find something suitable to go in the home.

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On a whim, while trying to find a Goodwill store (thinking we might find a couch there in better shape) we passed a Habitat Restore in Eaton, Ohio and decided to check in there!  And there she was!!  We took her for $70 and I finally felt like I would be able to pull this room together into something half way decent.

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While in Ohio, we ran into some of our blog readers!  It was so much fun to chat with them after running into them at a couple of different sales…the first one being the Antique Store in Seven Mile, Ohio and then later up the road (not exactly sure what city).  They were super sweet and it was fun to chat with them about what we were doing.  They were on a girls trip traveling the Yard Sale together…how fun is that?!GMC 15
You guys…I seriously could have come home with some great pieces for my own house…

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I found these Coca Cola crates and decided to pick up one of them for the Living Room to hold some decor items on the T.V. stand.  I paid $5 for it.

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On Saturday night, we finally had some time to work on any items that needed work done.  I spray painted the dresser a nice gray color in the hotel parking lot at 10:30 pm.  Haha!  There is always a first for everything I guess.  Don’t tell anyone…but I snuck a wooden sign into my hotel room (that I made out of the leaves of a dining room table) and painted the state of Ohio on it.

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I finally got into bed at 3:00 am only to wake up at 5:00 am to get ready in time for breakfast and to be at the house in Cincinnati at 6:30 am.  We were not able to see inside the house at all until Sunday morning.  We were then able to put our rooms and the entire house together and get it completely ready for the family to show up at the reveal at 2:30 pm that same day!

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We were able to help each other out and get everything ready to go on time.  It ended up being one of my all time favorite experiences…ever!  Can’t wait to share with you the reveal of the home and the family tomorrow!!  So be sure to stay tuned for that!

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Disclosure:
My trip to attend the GMCHTA was provided for
but I was not compensated to participate or to share my experience with you

The Vintage Pearl–Back to School Giveaway

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Vintage Pearl.  However, all statements and opinions are my own.

For the last two weeks I have been away from home on a couple of different adventures.  The first one, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia and then drove along the World’s Longest Yardsale picking up items to put together a home for The Habitat for Humanity with GMC.  Then I flew in from that and left 8 hours later for the Muscular Dystrophy Summer Camp that I am a part of.  I got home at the end of last week and am trying to catch up on sleep!  I plan on sharing with you what I was up to, but in the meantime, let’s do a fun giveaway to mark the end of summer…(boo)…my kids go back to school in one week!

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Today we have an awesome giveaway from one of my favorite handmade stamped jewelry stores…The Vintage Pearl.  Erin from The Vintage Pearl has generously offered to give TWO Idea Room Readers each a $50 gift certificate to her site.

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I am sure most of you have seen her amazing jewelry creations…But if you are one of the rare few, be sure to check out what she has created.

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The Vintage Pearl has a beautiful selection of jewelry and accessories for men and women.  Beautiful hand stamped necklaces, bracelets, rings and accessories for the men in your life.  These pieces are all unique and personalized to make the perfect gift for someone special in your life.

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If you would like to be entered for a chance to win simple follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below.  *You may need to enter from a computer instead of a mobile device.  Sometimes it takes a minute for the Rafflecopter widget to load so please be patient.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Be sure to follow along with Erin on her blog to keep up with her new items and her beautiful family!

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 *Fine Print: Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (MST) on Monday, August 25, 2014. Two winners will receive a gift certificate as specified above.  Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.A. to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. One entry per person. Entry includes filling out the Rafflecopter form above. Winner will be chosen using random.org. and will be notified via email within 24 hours of the giveaway closing time. Winners will be announced on the post, not on Facebook. The winners must respond within 24 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary.

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Family Game

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Hello! Heather here from FamilyVolley.com. I am sitting at the computer, with a calendar in eye sight, wondering where in the world this summer has gone. How can it already be the middle of August? Anyone else feeling like the last two months have gone by way too fast?

If you are like our family, you are trying to get in every last bit of summer fun you can. Maybe you are taking a last minute vacation, camping trip with friends or family, or just trying to cross the last few items off your bucket list.

Regardless of your plans for the next few weeks, I have the perfect game for you and your family to play before you go back to school, and before the heat of the summer gives way to the crisp air of Fall.

It is called Raindrop Relay and will quickly become your family’s very favorite game.

Here is what you need.

Two empty Buckets (per team). One of the two buckets needs to have a “fill line” marked on it.

A Heavy Duty Plastic Bag (think Ziploc) for each team.

Water

How to play.

Take a plastic baggie and put small holes in it, all over.

Have players sit in a line behind one another.

Place an empty bucket at the front of the line (with the “fill line” marked) and another bucket at the back of the line, filled with water.

The person at the front of the line starts with the empty baggie and runs to the bucket at the back of the line.

They fill their bag with water and run it to the front bucket. BUT… the CATCH is they HAVE TO CARRY IT OVER THE HEADS OF EVERYONE SITTING IN LINE, DROPPING RAIN, or sprinkling them with the water that is coming out of the holes in the baggie as they go.

The player dumps what water is left in their baggie into the front bucket, passes the empty baggie, and sits at the back of the line.

The next person runs to the back to fill the baggie and take a turn. Dropping rain on everyone in their line and emptying what water is left into the bucket to try and reach the “fill line.”

The first team to fill their front bucket to the marked “fill line”, WINS!

Be sure you have your camera, because this game is picture worthy. Remember, one of the best ways to come closer together as a family, is to play together. The benefits are endless and the memories are priceless.

Have fun playing, and getting ready for school. For some of you, the school bells are ringing already.

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.

The Party Bunch–Linky Party

Before you link up please let me introduce to you The Party Bunch!
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Amy from The Idea Room, Mique from 30 Handmade Days, Heather from Whipperberry and Desiree from The 36th Avenue want to thank you for partying with us… You guys are the best!

Here are some of our favorite projects from this week!

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Heather’s Favorite

Baked Goods Gift Tags at Designs by Miss Mandee

These are so cute and perfect for an easy gift!

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Mique’s Favorite

Peach Skillet Cinnamon Rolls by Lemons for LuLu

I bet these taste amazing!!

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Amy’s Favorite

Grilled Fruit Salad at I Thee Cook

This looks so delicious! A great way to prolong those Summer Days!

Grilled Summer Fruit Salad

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Desiree’s Favorite

Cactus Sewing Pin Cushion by Sewing Lab

This is too cute and would be so fun to make!

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As always thank you for so may fabulous projects and recipes!

We hope you take a minute and button up HERE!

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Also we want to invite you to click here and follow

The Party Bunch Favorites on Pinterest.

We are featuring more of our favorite projects and recipes from the link party on this board!

Now it is time to party!

TPB Party Bunch Link Up... Every Friday to Sunday link up your projects over at theidearoom.net , thirtyhandmadedays.com , whipperberry.com or the36thavenue.com Four bloggers = ONE BIG PARTY! We can't wait to see your projects!

Here are a few things to remember before you link up!

Please make sure to share the love and grab a button here to let your readers know that you linked up with us!
By linking up with The Party Bunch, you are giving permission to any of us to feature your projects and recipes on our social media with a link back to you. Thanks!

The Party Bunch–Linky Party

Before you link up please let me introduce to you The Party Bunch!
TPB Party Info Banner

Amy from The Idea Room, Mique from 30 Handmade Days, Heather from Whipperberry and Desiree from The 36th Avenue want to thank you for partying with us… You guys are the best!

Here are some of our favorite recipes this week!

TPB-Heather-Favs

Heather’s Favorite

Preserved Lemons at Eliza Ellis

I would love to do this just for the pretty jars on the shelf!

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Mique’s Favorite

Candy Necklace Party Favors by Five Marigolds

These are so cute! I love a clever printable.

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Amy’s Favorite

Imperial Stout Coconut Shrimp at Confectionalism

I love coconut shrimp and these look so delicious!

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Desiree’s Favorite

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling by Some of This and That

Oh my! This looks so amazing!

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As always thank you for so may fabulous projects and recipes!

We hope you take a minute and button up HERE!

TPB Button Large

Also we want to invite you to click here and follow

The Party Bunch Favorites on Pinterest.

We are featuring more of our favorite projects and recipes from the link party on this board!

Now it is time to party!

TPB Party Bunch Link Up... Every Friday to Sunday link up your projects over at theidearoom.net , thirtyhandmadedays.com , whipperberry.com or the36thavenue.com Four bloggers = ONE BIG PARTY! We can't wait to see your projects!

Here are a few things to remember before you link up!

Please make sure to share the love and grab a button here to let your readers know that you linked up with us!
By linking up with The Party Bunch, you are giving permission to any of us to feature your projects and recipes on our social media with a link back to you. Thanks!

Raspberry Jam Recipe without Pectin

‘Tis the season for canning.  One of the easiest things (in my opinion) to can is jam.  If you have never tried canning before, this is a good thing to try for your first thing.  It can be done in your home without a lot of special equipment and the results are super yummy and rewarding.  Today I am going to share with you our favorite Raspberry Jam Recipe.  This is a Pectin Free Raspberry Jam.

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Raspberry Jam Recipe (without Pectin)
Ingredients:

  • · 5 cups of fresh, perfectly ripe (not over ripe raspberries)
  • · 2 ½ cups of regular granulated sugar

Materials:

  • Canning Jars
  • new canning lids (in the canning section)
  • canning rings (optional)
  • 2 large stock pots
  • jar tongs (or lifter)
  • potato masher

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Directions:
1. Put the small plate into the freezer. You’ll use it to plop a drop of your hot jam on when you think it’s ready.
2. Unscrew the lids from the jars and pop off the inner lids.
3. Sterilize the jars (lids off) by putting them in your dishwasher about an hour before you use them or by boiling them (lids off) in the large canning pot for about 10 minutes (you can put you jar funnel and lid lifter magnet with the jars to sterilize them too)
4.Fill the 8-inch saucepan or pot about half way with water, bring to a boil and drop the inner lids into the boiling water. Sterilize them for 10 minutes.
5. Wash your berries and crush to taste in a steel pot. If you like fruit-chunky jam, crush them about half way, for smoother jam crush them a little more, (raspberries will disintegrate quite a bit when heated so you don’t have to crush them all the way)
6. Once the fruit is crushed, add 2½ cups of granulated sugar and mix it up.
7. Turn the heat to high for the first 5 minutes stirring constantly.
8. Turn the heat down to medium and stir constantly for about 20-25 minutes.
9. At about 20 minutes or when you jam starts to look gooey, test the consistency by taking the saucer out of the freezer and dropping a small dollop of jam on it. If it doesn’t run or drip off the plate, it’s done.
10. Take the jam pot off the heat, set it aside and let it cool.
11. Using the jar funnel, fill each jar and leave 1/4 inch of space at the top. Put on the lids and tighten.
12. Fill your canning pot with water enough to cover the closed jars and bring to a boil.
13. Put the filled jars in the rack and lower into the boiling water and let it boil for about 15 minutes.
14.Turn off the heat, remove the rack of jars and let them cool to room temperature.

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As you are cleaning up you should hear tiny little popping noises as your jars of jam seal one by one.  It is the best sound ever!  If you end up with a little extra that will not fit in a jar…or you have half a jar of jam…you can simply put that jam right in the fridge and use it because it will not seal properly to store on your shelf.

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To download a copy of the Raspberry Jam Printable Labels click on the link below and then select Previous Downloads:

{Raspberry Jam Printable Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” on the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Idea Room Downloads”.

Previously I had shared some different printable Jam labels.  So if you would like to print those labels for some different kinds of jam you can find them here:

Printable Jam Labels

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Interested in seeing some other Canning Recipes?  Check these out:

Bottling Tomatoes

Bottling Peaches

Freezer Jam

Apricot Jam

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DIY Fireplace Mantel

This month’s challenge, as a Lowe’s Creative Blogger, was to makeover a part of our basement.  I knew that it was time to finally give this fireplace a makeover.  We had been talking about adding a Fireplace Mantle to this plain brick face and this month’s challenge was the perfect excuse for us to get it done.

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I am so happy with how this turned out and feel like it really finishes off the basement.  I always felt like the room was a bit lacking and felt like the Fireplace could be a great focal point, but the weird shape of the bricks on the ends made it so that a pre-manufactured Fireplace Mantle would now work without us having to make some adjustments to it.  So…of course…we designed one based on some inspiration pictures and made one to fit our existing Fireplace.

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I will attempt to share with you how we made ours so that you can see how you could possibly use that to make one for your own individual home.

Material List:

3 – 2 1/2 inch wide x 8 feet MDF boards
1 – 3 1/2 inch wide x 8 feet MDF board
1 – 7 1/4 inch wide  x 8 feet MDF board
1 – 11 1/2 inch wide x 8 feet MDF board
1 – 11 1/2 inch wide x 6 feet MDF board
1 – 3 1/4 inch crown molding x 8 feet
4 – 2 inch wide x 8 feet MDF strips (1/4 inch thick)

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The two side box pillars were designed to adjust to the changes in the wall and brick depths. For instance, the outside of the boxes was 2 1/4 inch deep, and the interior of the boxes was 3 3/8 inch deep.  The front of the boxes used a 8 1/4 inch wide board with the side boards glued on each edge so the total with of the box was approximately 9 5/8 inches.

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I used the 2 inch mdf strips to cover the seams you could see on the front where I attached boards together. The boxes were 49 7/8 inches tall from the floor and 37 1/2 inches from the top of the brick seat of the fireplace.

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The mantel had a shelf of 7 1/4 inch deep by 78 7/8 inches wide. The width of the lower part of the mantel was 71 5/8. To ensure the same overhang of the shelf over the crown molding, each side of the shelf needed another 3 5/8 inches (71 5/8 inches + 3 5/8 inches + 3 5/8 inches = 78 7/8 inches of the top shelf). See picture below for further illustration.

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Clamp and stapled 2 inch mdf strips to cover seams on edges and for decoration (above 2 pictures and one below).

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*We ended up cutting the top 2 inches off the side boxes (to lower the mantel and to get rid of the top (mdf strip).

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We tested to ensure the mantel properly fit on top of the boxes before finishing the other parts of the mantel.

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After all the trim and the crown molding have been nailed on, you will want to caulk around all the cracks and nail holes with some painters caulk and wood filler.  Sand down everything to a smooth finish.

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Paint the mantle.  We painted it in a white paint color in a semi-gloss finish to match our Wainscoting.

DIY-Fireplace 1

Have you had a chance to sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine. It’s FREE and offers a bunch of DIY inspiration. Go ahead and connect with Lowes Creative Ideas to find a lot more fun and creative ideas.

fireplace-mantel

lowes creative ideas

*Disclosure–In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from Lowe’s for my time and participation in the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Influencer Network, however, all opinions and statements are mine and mine alone.

fireplace-makeover

 

Win a Trip to NY

giveaway

We are thrilled about this giveaway!

Win a trip to NYC to watch Wicked on Broadway.

Win one for you and pick a friend to win too.

It’s super easy to enter. See below. This is going to be fun!

friendnyc

how to enter

Thanks to all the sites for donating to make this Instagram giveaway possible.

(Winners will receive $500 each to plan and purchase a plane tickets and Broadway show tickets. Any travel expenses beyond $500 is up to the winner.)

Wicked in NYC

Rules:  Giveaway will end on August 12, 2014 at 11:59pm MT. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen to receive $500 to be used to buy a airline ticket and a ticket to see Wicked (or similar show) on Broadway. Hotel accommodations and food will not be provided. Winner will be responsible for planning trip. The winner will also choose a friend/spouse or significant other to win. Can not redeem for cash. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. Winner will be chosen using random.org. and will be notified via email within 48 hours of the giveaway close. If winner does not respond within 48 hours another winner will be chosen. Winners will be announced on the post. Good Luck!

Apricot Jam and Printable Jam Labels

We LOVE a good homemade jam at our house.  Don’t you?  Homemade Jam tastes so much better than the Jam you buy in a store…and because you made it, you know it does not have any strange chemicals or preservatives in it.  One of my favorite jams, is Apricot Jam.  Today I want to share with you how we made our Homemade Apricot Jam.

Apricot-Jam

I recently found this recipe for a pectin-less Apricot Jam on food.com and made a few adjustments to it.  It is a little thinner than the pectin Apricot Jam I have made in the past…but it still tastes just as yummy…and personally, leaving the pectin out is preferable to a thicker jam for me.

how-to-make-apricot-jam

The jam tastes amazing…and better yet…and looks absolutely beautiful canned in some pretty canning jars.  Seriously!! I love looking at my storage shelf lined with these pretty orange jam jars.  It’s like bringing the sunshine of the summer into your home.

fruit-jam-recipes

Apricot Jam Recipe (without Pectin)
Ingredients:

  • 8 cups diced apricots
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 cups sugar (I used 4.5 cups)

Materials:

  • Canning Jars
  • new canning lids (in the canning section)
  • canning rings (optional)
  • 2 large stock pots
  • jar tongs (or lifter)
  • potato masher

Apricot-Jam 10
Directions:

  1. Get all your materials and ingredients ready and organized before you begin so you are not rushing to find something when you need it.
  2. Sterilize your canning jars by boiling for 10 minutes in a hot water canner.
  3. You will need 5 pint jars or 10 half-pints.
  4. Crush apricots to the size of chunks you desire and then mash them with a potato masher.  Do not process in a blender or food processor.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.
  6. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Once mixture reaches a rolling boil, continue to boil it for up to 30 minutes (mine was about 20 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking.  The higher the altitude the longer the canning process may take.
  8. Test the jam to see when it is ready by placing a small plate in the freezer.  When ready to test pull the plate out of the freezer and then drop some of the jam on the plate.  If it jells then it is ready to remove from the heat.
  9. Remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 head space.
  10. Wipe rims clean and put the 2-piece metal canning lids in place.
  11. Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes and be sure the jars are completely covered with water.  I process mine in a large stock pot.  Never place a cold jar into the boiling water.

Apricot-Jam

Canning is a fun process and is actually pretty easy as long as you have the right materials.  It can seem pretty scary to someone who has never canned before, but I promise you…you can do it!  And the results are totally worth it!  Especially in the middle of the winter and you pull out some sunshine in a bottle to spread on your morning toast!

easy-apricot-jam

To download a copy of the Apricot Jam Printable Labels click on the link below and then select Previous Downloads:

{Apricot Jam Printable Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” on the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Idea Room Downloads”.

Previously I had shared some different printable Jam labels.  So if you would like to print those labels for some different kinds of jam you can find them here:

Printable Jam Labels

Strawberry-Jam-Labelsgrape-jelly-label.pngPeach-Jam-LabelsRaspberry-Jam-Labels

free-jam-labels

Interested in seeing some other Canning Recipes?  Check these out:

Bottling Tomatoes

Bottling Peaches

Freezer Jam

Apricot-Jam



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