Valentine’s Day is over and gone, but these little treats can be made all year long! (If you end an argument with a rhyme, it’s convincing all the time. I learned that from “How I Met Your Mother.”)
Anywho! I brought these mini heart-shaped pies to a ladies Valentine’s event for my church and the girls all flipped for them! They were gone almost right away. I had to make another batch later that week so I’d have more to share with my family. Wrap them up in a cute little bag, tie it with a string, and you’ve got the perfect Valentine’s gift!
With a sweet jam center, golden flaky crust, and the cutest little heart shape, these babies are sure to make all your friends and family smile. Or, you know, make you smile as you eat an entire batch on your own. (I definitely didn’t do that. Or did I…….)
The best part is… they’re so super easy to make!!! I am no baker extraordinaire but I pulled these off, no problem. I promise you can too! (And let me know if you do, I would love to hear how much you love them too! Look at that, more rhyming.)
Mini Heart Pies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
One box of pie crusts (or homemade if you’re fancy. I’m not.)
Your favorite jam. (I used the Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserve for one batch and the Bonne Maman Peach/Mango Preserve for the other batch.)
Egg wash & a sprinkle of sugar
Heart shaped cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out your dough and cut out the hearts. (One pie crust yielded 10 total mini pies for me.)
Place a small amount of jam in the center of half of the hearts.
Gently brush a little bit of the egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water) around the edges of the jam. This will help the two crusts seal together.
Use the remaining hearts as the top crust. Place each one directly on top of the jam hearts and crimp the edges with a fork.
Brush more of the egg wash on top of each mini pie. Add a sprinkle of sugar on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
** Credit for the idea goes to Kristen Mittler (@oldjoy on Instagram) who shared a similar treat on her profile.**
Aaaand this post wouldn’t be complete without a few personal photos from our Valentine’s Day!
Ever since we bought our first house a few months ago I’ve been itching to start a little patio garden out back. It’s been a sort of dream of mine for awhile to grow fresh produce for my family…for health reasons, for teaching purposes (homeschool curriculum down the road?!), and just for the fun of it! I wanted to start while Jameson was young to make sure I got a handle on how things are done by the time he’s old enough to learn about it. And since Arizona has two growing seasons (spring and fall), October was the perfect time to get started.
We have this big old slab of concrete off the patio where the previous home owners had a hot tub, and it’s the perfect little corner for a raised vegetable garden. Good sun exposure, close to a water supply, and empty/ugly enough to need a little spruce up. (Eventually I’d like to add flowers and wall vines and other pretty things like that, but maybe in the spring.)
When I brought the idea of a raised garden bed to Alex, he had two criteria:
#1. It had to be easy to put together. And…
#2. It had to be relatively cheap.
(But not in that order. Ah, my sweet penny-pinching hubby. ❤ I love him so.)
Anyway, challenge accepted. We originally planned to build it completely out of wood, but why do things the easy way when you can find an even easier way? Laziness, my friends. This plan stemmed from laziness. When all was said and done, our raised garden bed was made entirely without the use of any sort of tool.
And it only cost us about $67.
This is way cheaper than any DIY raised garden bed kit you can find at the store. (The closest I could find was $88 and it wasn’t even as wide or as deep as I wanted mine to be). Following this method allows you to get creative with the size and even the shape of your raised garden bed without costing you a fortune. Plus it looks super cute! Sort of a mix between farmhouse style and urban industrial, which I really like.
We got all our supplies at the good ol’ Home Depot. Probably the only time in the history of our marriage that we went in and came out with everything we needed and avoided an angry whisper argument in the middle of one of the aisles due to our confusion and/or our inability to make quick decisions. (We’re really not the home improvement types.)
The supply list for this do-it-yourself project is very short. Our garden bed is 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, with a depth of 1 foot. In total, all we needed were six pieces of redwood (2in x 6in x 6ft each, four of them being full length and two cut in half) and eight planter wall blocks (two for each corner, stacked on top of each other).
After we decided how large we wanted our garden bed to be, the rest was easy. We chose redwood for our lumber because of its resistance to rot and warping ($8.27 per board, but there are even cheaper versions if you’d like). We had a guy at Home Depot cut two of the six foot boards in half, we grabbed two more full-length six foot boards as well as the eight cement blocks ($2.87 each), and we took it all home.
We stacked two cement blocks for each corner of the garden bed (making it about a foot deep), used a little heavy duty glue to keep them solid, and slid two boards in the grooves on each side. Tada! All done!
The most challenging and most expensive part of this project really came after everything was built. We invested in some good, organic soil (in addition to some soil amenities) to make sure we’d have rich, healthy crops. This is where things can get pricey. But that’s for another post. 🙂
This project was really so easy and so much fun. And we already have cute little sprouts popping up all over the veggie garden! Jameson loves to look at all the plants and even give them kisses, and I’m so excited for our first harvest!
Good luck to anyone planning to give urban gardening a try! Trust me, if Alex and I (two of the least handy people on the planet) could get this project rolling…you most certainly can too. 🙂
Ohhh my friends. Is your skin getting super dry this winter? Are you looking for a great homemade gift for the holidays? Do you need a snack while you shower? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your search ends here. I present to you the simplest, most moisturizing, most delectable homemade body scrub on the inter webs.
Only three ingredients and ready in five minutes. This stuff is about to blow. your. mind. (And your taste buds, oh man it tastes just like a cookie.) You might already have all the ingredients just chillin’ in your pantry, waiting to be combined into pure magic.
I don’t know about you, but I love body scrubs. I love how they exfoliate, I love how they moisturize, I love how they smell. But I really can’t justify spending $25+ on one little tub. It’s over too quickly and then I have to shell out more money for another one. This handy sugar scrub recipe, however, takes care of that problem. It’s quick, easy, and made from all natural ingredients…so natural that you can literally have a quick taste while you’re using it. (Or two tastes. Or three.) Yum! That’s my kind of body scrub. 🙂 Homemade beauty products for the win.
Stick it in a cute mason jar ($8 for 12 at Target), add some ribbon and a cute tag (or make one out of cardstock paper and fancy tape like I did), and you’ve got yourself a great holiday gift for your friends and family. Yippee! (Speaking of which, if you’re reading this and we’re friends in real life…act surprised when you get your scrub for Christmas.)
Brown Sugar Body Scrub
Yield: fills one 8oz mason jar
Total time: 5 minutes
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (soft but solid)
Splash of vanilla extract
Optional add-ins: cinnamon, a little honey, essential oils, vitamin E oil, etc.
Soften coconut oil in microwave for a few seconds, if necessary.
Add all ingredients into a standing mixer, food processor, or mixing bowl.
Whisk together on medium-high speed for a minute or two until the coconut oil begins to break down and mixture resembles creamy cookie dough.
Place in mason jar and make it look pretty. 🙂
Note: If you mix it for too long, the coconut oil will start to melt and your scrub will be almost liquid. No worries, though, just put it in the fridge or freezer for a few, wait for it to solidify, and whip it up again.
Store your scrub at room temperature. I keep mine in the shower and so far our bathroom has stayed cool enough for the scrub to remain in its creamy/solid state. Over time, though, it may melt down and become runny because of the steam in the shower. Again, just pop it in the fridge for a bit until it returns to the consistency you prefer.
Wow, okay. This post is super late. It’s November and I’m blogging about Halloween. Stuff came up, things got busy, I was needed for a top secret mission. But I really do like documenting all the major holidays for future me to look back on, so here I am…blogging about Halloween in November. Hope you don’t mind.
Halloween isn’t really a big thing for us. Never really has been, especially for me (I’d actually never even trick-or-treated until this year). But something about dressing a baby in an adorable costume is just too fun to pass up! So we made it a thing this year.
It was a Monday, our day for playgroup, so all the mamas decided to bring the kids in costume for a little photo shoot. Oh it was so cute! These are some of my favorites. ❤
Alex and I chose a monkey costume for Jameson this year just because he knows what sound a monkey makes (“ah ah!” he says) and we knew it would be hilarious to see him walking around trying to sound like a monkey all day. It was. 🙂 I wanted to dress up with Alex as something along the monkey-theme, but we didn’t want to spend any money because…what a waste. So we ended up just pulling stuff out of our closet and borrowing a couple of hats from Alex’s parents and dressing up as safari explorers.
All in all, our family costumes ended up being very ambiguous haha. Jameson’s costume was kind of poorly made so the headpiece made him look like a bear rather than a monkey, and Alex and I kind of looked like zoo keepers instead of explorers. But whatever, it all kind of worked anyway.
Our friends from church hosted a dinner and trick-or-treating party that evening and a bunch of people ended up going. We all ate together, walked the kids around the neighborhood to get some candy (I still feel like this tradition is super weird and awkward), and then sat around the fire and passed out more candy/ate that candy. As I said, this was my first year ever going trick-or-treating. But we actually didn’t even get candy because I think it’s weird for adults to have their babies collect candy when everyone know that the baby isn’t going to be the one eating that candy lol. I just felt shady about the whole thing. I think it’s fine when you have older kids too, but I would feel like a total fraud walking up to a stranger and being like, “This is my baby. Yeah uhh…he says he wants your candy.” So we mostly just went to walk around with our friends who have older kids.
We had a great time anyway. 🙂 Even though we don’t really “celebrate” Halloween, it’s still a great excuse to get together with friends and eat a bunch of sweets. So I approve.
By the way, here’s my sister and her adorable family as Mike Wazowski, Sulley, and Boo. All hand-made!
Two Saturdays ago we celebrated the Jimmiest Jam turning ONE with some of our wonderful friends and family! I’ve actually been trying to write this post for several days now, but my site has been acting up and it’s been taking forever to get it all finished. But I think we’re good now. 😉
We decided a few months back to host the party here at our new house, something we’ve never been able to do because we were renting tiny apartments for the first couple years of our marriage. I was kind of nervous, but mostly just so excited to plan everything and decorate and welcome everyone into our home. We went with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme because that show (and Mickey Mouse in general) are two of Jameson’s most favorite things. I scoured Pinterest for weeks finding inspiration, pinning decor ideas, and planning out the menu. I ended up making a lot of the decorations myself (saved us some mula) and the rest I bought here and there at Party City, Target, and Walmart in the weeks leading up to the parry. Then the night before, I basically just told Alex to stay out of my way so I could put my OCD to good use and get everything decorated the way I wanted it to be, ha! (Okay he helped blow up some balloons. And cleaned up the yard too.)
We had everyone over on Saturday, September 10th (two days before Jameson’s actual birthday). I think about 30 people were able to come! We wanted to invite more but our house is only so big haha. It ended up being perfect, though! The whole party went so smoothly. Jameson had taken two good naps earlier that day so he was in a fantastic mood (hallelujah!) and did really well even with so many people crowding his space and passing him all around (surprising to me because he tends to get overwhelmed with large groups of people). I think he liked seeing so many of his friends all in one place. 🙂
We all just mingled and chatted, had some dinner (pizza because that’s something Jameson actually likes haha), and then it was time for cake! I’d been stressing about how the song would go because, like I said, Jameson is not one for large crowds or a bunch of people staring at him (especially when they’re loud). But he loved it. 🙂 It might’ve had something to do with the fact that I’d been following him around the house for weeks singing “Happy Birthday” really loudly at him haha. I was trying to get him prepared, okay?! So when everyone started singing to him he was kind of like “What are you all doing” but then he was like “Oh cool, I know this song. Carry on.”
After we got that whole mess cleaned up (I actually ended up sticking Jameson in the bath to rinse all the frosting off ha!) we opened some presents. Jameson wasn’t super into it (I think he ripped off one itty bit of wrapping paper from one gift), so I ended up opening most everything and then showing it to him. He was so excited to see all the new toys! Everyone was so generous and he got some really cool stuff that he’s been playing with every day since.
I think my favorite memory from the party was when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to my baby. Somehow I knew in that moment that I’d remember it forever, that it would always be so special to me. Our first baby, his first birthday, his first year of life in the world. I never want to forget it.
I also loved watching him eat that cupcake. 😉
We hope you had a wonderful first birthday, Nugget! ❤ You are our greatest blessing. We had SO much fun celebrating you!
Yay!!! I finally finished my first home improvement project for our new house and I’m so excited about how it turned out! Ever since I can remember it’s been a dream of mine to live in a house with a red front door. And even though our new house has almost everything on my dream home wish list, the front door was definitely in need of a face lift.
Sad. It just looked so sad. First of all, it was painted this weird creamish color (terribly done, by the way, streaks just everywhere) which faded it completely into the side of the house. No character or charm to report there. And second of all, the previous home owners had a large dog who apparently liked to scratch at their front door and lay right up against it, so it had taken quite a beating (not to mention it was filthy and it smelled like dog, ew). I couldn’t just leave it like that.
So, I did a some quick Pinterest research, looked at a few front door painting tutorials and thought to myself, I can fix that. (“Holes” quote, anyone? Anyone?) And so I did! And you can too if your front door is as desperate for some personality as ours was.
I’m putting together my own DIY tutorial now to add what I’ve learned to the mix. There are some things that worked great for me and some things I wish I had known beforehand, both of which I’ll share with you today. But first, here are the supplies you’ll need:
120 grit sandpaper
High density foam rollers (at least two) – make sure they’re relatively small so you have more precision with where you get the paint
Small foam paint brushes (at least two)
Primer (we got about one quart)
The red paint! (about one quart)
**Optional: spray paint for the hardware
We went to Home Depot for everything. I picked up some sample paint chips a few weeks prior, went back and forth a zillion times on which color I liked best, and finally settled on a gorgeous shade called Red Delicious (by Glidden). Make sure you ask for the exterior version of whatever paint you choose, as your door will be exposed to the elements.
Your first step will be to remove all the hardware and tape up the holes from the inside so that no dust/dirt can get in your house. Then, if you’d like, remove your entire door and place it somewhere you won’t mind dripping paint on (I laid out a few garbage bags on our back patio and put the door on top). I’ve read that you can do this entire project with your door still in its frame, but we chose to take it out completely because #1, it’s summer in Arizona and we couldn’t have our door just hanging open while the paint dried all day… #2, I didn’t want to spend all day trying to keep Jameson away from it… and #3, I didn’t want to take any chances with paint dripping and ruining the project. But it’s entirely up to you! If you’re using the foam rollers you probably won’t have issues with dripping anyway.
Once your door is ready, you can start to sand it down. I guess sanding isn’t necessary for everyone, but for us it was. I wanted to get off that top layer of ugly cream paint (plus nasty dirt and grime) and give my new primer and paint a clean surface to grab onto. No need to break your back over it, though! A light overall sanding (with special focus on any rough parts or imperfections) will do the trick. When you’re done, wipe the door down with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust.
Next, prime your door using a foam roller. I used this deep gray primer that was recommended to me by the nice men at Home Depot. (The can says “white” but it was actually the gray version.)
Our door only needed one coat of primer but the original paint was pretty light to begin with and, again, I was using a deep gray shade of primer. You may need a second coat if you’re painting over a dark color door, or if you’re using a white primer. The guys at Home Depot told me that red is tricky in general to get thick and even coverage with so it’s better to be liberal with your priming than to get stuck doing like six coats of red later on.
Give your primer an hour or two to dry and then break out the red! There is a particular order you need to follow when painting a six panel door to get that smooth finish. There are a couple of slight variations, but I found a general example online to follow and I love how my door turned out. Here are the steps (shown as I painted on the primer, which isn’t necessary but I did it to give myself practice before starting on the red):
Paint the insert parts using a paintbrush or a small foam brush. (I used a paintbrush but in hindsight I wish I had used a foam brush because the regular paintbrush leaves brush strokes. Not absolutely crazy about that, but oh well!)
Paint the raised panels using a foam roller.
Paint vertically between each set of panels, stopping when you reach the end of a set.
Paint horizontally between each set of panels, stopping when you reach the end of a set.
Paint vertically along the two edges of the door.
Give your door a good 3-4 hours to dry really well before you start on the second coat of red (advice given to me once again by my friends at the Home Depot). I only needed to do two coats of red total and I still had a little bit of red paint leftover from the quart I bought (I actually ended up using some of that to touch up around the peephole). After you’re done with the second coat give the door a few more hours to dry again before you reattach it to the frame and close it. Otherwise it will stick to the weather stripping and mess up your beautiful work!
Once the door was done and lookin’ real purty, I knew I couldn’t just leave the hardware all brassy and outdated. But I also didn’t want to buy all new stuff either because $$$. So I did a little more Pinterest research and found a great alternative… spray paint! Seriously, so cheap (I think the can was like $7) and so easy too (I just sprayed the hardware, let it dry, and screwed it back in). And the results look awesome and super professional! I used an oil-rubbed bronze shade and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.
I left a little gold on the deadbolt because I was afraid of tampering with the lock’s functioning, but I may go back and touch it up carefully. And when we repaint the outside of the house (hopefully this winter), we’re planning to fix up the door casing as well. For now, though, the front door makeover is complete! What do you think??
I’m absolutely loving it. Makes my heart so happy! I also added a couple of pretty plants to make the patio more welcoming, and eventually I’d like to replace that light with something to match my newly bronzed hardware (because right now it is yeesh). But that’s for a later time! For now, I live in a house with a red front door and I am happy. 🙂