Fun Finds and Tasty Treats

First off, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read my previous post. All the responses I have received are so supportive, it’s wonderful. So thank you.

Next, I apologize for failing to post last week. I have no excuse! Other than wanting to make sure I had some decent material for a post, that is.

The past few weeks have been very busy. We moved to an amazing new apartment, and I shifted back into wedding planning mode. Fingers crossed, but it does seem like things are progressing really well!

A few weeks back, on the way back from picking me up from my final dress fitting, we discovered a garden store that was (sadly) going out of business. With the growing season starting up, we thought we would check it out. I should clarify though–not only do we not actually have a garden plot, but neither of us is particularly talented at gardening. We both love to try though!

We picked up a couple of plants, as well as some unexpected finds…

Sparkly blue fun things that can be used in our wedding decor! (Why yes, that is our lovely new fireplace in the background!)

HUGE pine cones, called “Sugar Cones”. Wouldn’t want to be under one of those trees in a storm!

While I’m sure finding a use for the blue sparklies will be easy, I am unsure what we’re going to do with the giant cones. Although I guess with a bit of glue and glitter, they could join the blue sparklies party. And what a party it is…

I managed to also persuade my lovely partner to go to a yarn store with me, where I discovered that multi-coloured non-animal based yarn is a rarity. Fortunately for me, unfortunately for our bank account, they did have a few options.

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Isn’t it purdy? It also happens to nearly be our wedding colours! I’m thinking something crocheted and lacy at the moment, but…there’s just so many options!

This past weekend, the remaining baking stuff finally got unpacked! Mostly this was because I’d been craving brownies for at least a week and couldn’t take it anymore.

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You can find the original recipe over on Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog. But brace yourself–this recipe actually borders on healthy! You can barely tell when these lovelies are fresh out of the oven, I swear. The batch I made only had a couple of minor changes, that were really unnecessary in the scheme of things, but I can’t help it. Every little bit counts, right?

I used 1/8 cup applesauce (unsweetened) and 1/8 cup oil instead of the full 1/4 cup oil. I’m pretty sure the whole amount could be replaced with applesauce, though, after trying it. Also, with the addition of the applesauce, I dropped the 2 tbsp of sugar to 1 tbsp. And I definitely used the full 2/3 cup chocolate chips. Less chocolate is for crazy people.

Brownie craving satisfied, I’m not sure what I’ll make next, although fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies are sure sounding good…

What’s your favourite nearly healthy treat?

Many Marvelous Mason Jars

What I did not realize until recently was how many things were possible with mason jars. There’s the usual canning purposes, as well as cups/mugs because of their temperature tolerance.  This can be extended to being a cut little flower vase, or perhaps a pencil holder. What fascinates me most, however, is how they can be used as decorations.

At first, I fell in love with a mason jar chandelier on etsy by BootsNGus. The only thing that really stopped me is not having a place to put it, otherwise….

Then I saw some lovely garden decorations by The Country Barrel. My version would probably be to wrap some lower gauge wire around below the lip and twist it into little loops on each side and hook some chain to the loops. Certainly a slightly more rustic look, but it’d do the job. Then I might put some sand or sea glass inside, for a more beach-esque look. Nonetheless, I love the idea and am still secretly hoping I have the time to do it one day (and the deck space).

Then I saw some jars on etsy with little battery powered strings of Christmas tree lights in them, simulating fireflies. I did find similar short strings of lights available at canadian tire, but at $25 per string of 10 lights, it’s not a particularly scalable option. But I now have my heart set on firefly lights, so I will find a way to do it. The current, not-so-awesome-but-much-cheaper idea is to paint the jar as described here at Like a Cup Of Tea. It gives it a translucent look, so one could put either a candle or fake battery powered candle inside, achieving that flickery, slightly-obscured light that might pass for fireflies…but probably won’t. I am still in the market for other options!

This, of course, does not nearly cover the range of mason jars. They’re used as planters and picture frames, too!

So many good ideas to try, so little time…maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get to try the translucent blue jars this weekend. I might actually have some time since it’s a long weekend!