Friday, April 29, 2011

Orange Marmalade

I just can't stop canning! It must be my form of nesting, or something. Last week, I canned 13 (YES! 13) quarts of orange marmalade!

5 pounds of navel oranges, 2 lemons, 9 cups of sugar, water, and over an hour of stirring at the stove gave me my plentiful bounty.

Some jars became part of Easter baskets, some went to friends, and some went to co-workers. Who says only children don't know how to share?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Canned Chicken Stock Recipe

So, I stepped up my canning game from pickles (simple water bath) to chicken stock (pressure canning)! Since I had two leftover carcasses from whole organic chickens I had butchered early this year, I decided it was time to make some stock. The following recipe makes 4 quart jars of stock. Prep all jars, lids, and rings and set up your pressure canner according to the manufacture's instructions.

What you will need:
2 Chicken carcasses (This includes the back and wings with skin on. I cook the gizzards separately and give them dog and cat...they love them!)
4 Stalks of celery, roughly chopped with leaves
1 Medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Bay leaves
18 Cups water

Mix all ingredients in large stock pot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low simmer. Simmer for 2 hours.

Remove from heat and remove all large pieces of chicken, celery, and onion with slotted spoon or skimmer.

Allow to cool to room temp and then place in fridge for a few hours or overnight. After stock has fully cooled, remove all hardened fat with skimmer. Pour stock through strainer lined with two to three layers of cheesecloth to remove all solid particles.

Bring stock back to a boil. Ladle or pour into quart jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe rims with white vinegar to break down any oil that may have gotten on them. This will ensure a better seal. Place lids on and screw rings to finger-tight. Process jars for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Follow the proper canning instructions that were provided with your pressure canner.

And there you go! Yummy, healthy, homemade chicken stock to add to any recipe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicago and The Bean

I just got back from Chicago for work. While most of the time we were stuck in the convention center, we were able to get out the first night and see some sites!

We visited Cloud Gate, otherwise known as "The Bean." The Bean is a sculpture made by Anish Kapoor and sits in Millennium Park. It bends the cityscape beautifully in the seamless surface and creates a House-of-Mirrors-effect on the viewer's body, and is so large you can walk underneath it. With all the people visiting The Bean, it reminded me how much people, like birds, are attracted to shiny objects.

I was also able to go to a three-story Old Navy that had a maternity section! It was so nice to be able to try on clothes and just put them back on the rack instead of shipping them back. I ended up getting a pair of shorts—I hate buying shorts to begin with, so maternity shorts really had me bothered!

All in all, it was a good trip, but I was very glad to come home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

European Vacation - VMTeam Treasury Challenge

Who needs a European vacation? I DO!

The Etsy Vintage Market Team holds weekly treasury challenges that anyone can participate in—even if you are not a member of the team. So, if you have a love for vintage...come and join in on the fun. This week's theme is EUROPE.

Check out the Etsy Vintage Market Team's blog for more information.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

I am a couple days late to honor the first day of spring...but I just had to share the lovely daffodils that are coming up in our garden! Happy spring!

And, here is a matching vintage brooch to go along with the lovely daffodils...
Vintage Yellow Enamel Flower Brooch

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vintage Market Team Treasury Challenge - SPRING!

1960s Pink Mod Flower Brooch

I won last week's treasury challenge over at the Etsy Vintage Market Blog! One of my items (above) has been chosen to be featured in this weeks treasury challenge! Anyone can participate, so make sure go to this week's challenge instruction page—the theme is SPRING! And...good luck!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vintage Spring Flower Brooches

I planted my first seeds today—indoors, of course—and it has got me in the mood for spring! Grow, moss roses, grow!

Another thing that gets me in the mood for spring? Pretty pastel flower vintage jewelry!

1950s Royal Adderley Carnation Brooch and Clip-On Earring Set
1960s Pink Mod Flower Brooch
Vintage Green Flower Brooch
Vintage Yellow Enamel Flower Brooch
Vintage Pink Pleather Rose Brooch
Vintage Tiny Blue Flower Rhinestone Brooch
What gets you in the mood for spring?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nursery Furniture

As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we painted the guest room. It originally was a hideous pumpkin orange color...not very easy on the eyes. And, it was actually the nursery room of the previous owners! Not a soothing and nurturing color, at all. Well, we painted the room in Fresh Aire Choice Northern Pear Tree.
Much more soothing of a color!
The nursery will have to double as a guest room for a bit, so we are going to keep the dark wood futon in the room. Here's what we are planning for furniture...

Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser from IKEA in black-brown. Purchased last weekend and will double as a changing table.
Jenny Lind crib in ebony. I just love the heirloom feel of this crib.
The bedding will be cream. More pictures to come once it all starts coming together!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

18 Weeks Photo

So, I finally have a little bump to show off!
We did our registry this weekend, which ended up taking us to Babies R Us four times in three days! I think we are done for now :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sailing in the Sun - VMTeam Treasury Challenge

As you all know, I am part of the Etsy Vintage Market Team. The team hold weekly treasury challenges that anyone can participate in—even if you are not a member of the team. So, if you have a love for vintage...come and join in on the fun. This week's theme is SUNSHINE.

Check out the Etsy Vintage Market Team's blog for more information.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Featured on VMTeam's Blog - Photography Friday

The 1930s Bugbee and Niles Rhinestone and Gold Tone Screw Back Earrings from Virgo's Vintage was featured in the Photography Friday post at the Vintage Market Team's blog on Friday! 

Thank you to Amy's Old School for putting together a wonderful and informative post! Make sure to check out her Etsy shop, Amy's Old School Vintage, and her blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Natural Jewelry Cleaner with Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

For the past six months or so, I was getting a skin irritation around my ring finger. So much so, that I had to stop wearing my engagement ring (my wedding band seemed to be okay). I had attempted to clean it with soap and water and jewelry cleaner. I even took it to the jewelers to get a professional cleaning. All with no avail. I was still getting a rash around my ring finger within hours every time I wore it. I was worried I was allergic to my engagement ring, but since it is platinum I thought that was unlikely as I had worn it for almost three years with no issues. Maybe it needed to be replated? I really didn't want to spend the money on that. And besides, it is a Tacori...I would think that I wouldn't have to get a Tacori ring replated every three years or so.

After a little internet searching, I found what I believe is the best cleaning method for high-end metal and precious gem jewelry. I would never use this for costume jewelry.

Soak your ring overnight in 2 parts vinegar (I used white vinegar) and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. In the morning you will see all the loosened particles of soap, lotion, and other gunk that has been stuck in your ring. Boil your ring for 5 minutes. And, that's it! 

I have been wearing my ring for three days now with no itching or redness!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blood Red Amaryllis

Not only is our amaryllis strikingly beautiful, but I got the bulb and pot on sale at Target for 75 cents! Well worth it, I would say :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love This - Dansko Sanibel

The new collection by Dansko, called Sanibel, is the perfect mix of sneaker and clog. I saw an intro to these in last month's Living magazine (could have been Whole Living), and I fell in love! And, vegan options are available!

I am ordering mine today! The only question is...what color to get?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Three Old Keys on Etsy

I wanted to give a shout-out to another wonderful Etsy vintage seller! We connected through the Vintage Market Team on Etsy—a team we are both members of. See, we live in the same area and have been able to meet up and exchange thoughts, ideas, and even some items! It is so nice to be able to meet other Etsy sellers face-to-face...especially one so professional and nice!

Make sure to check out Three Old Keys Etsy shop and blog...follow, favorite, or put the shop in your circle!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Manchester United Protest Scarf

A long overdue project has finally begun! A friend of mine is a super soccer fan...specifically Manchester United. The American owners of the team, the Glazer family, has amassed hundreds of millions in debt for the team. Fans wear green and yellow—the previous colors of Manchester United, when they were Newton Heath—in protest of bad management.

Here's what I have so far....

It's a variation of the Simple Button Cowl. Hope he likes it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fall in LOVE with Vintage Sale! Etsy Vintage Market Team

The Vintage Market Team is having a SALE! Fall in LOVE with Vintage runs now through February 14! See each shop announcement for sale details. Search Etsy for "VMTeamLove" in the vintage section for great deals...or, just click here!

Virgo's Vintage is offering 10% OFF all items...even already marked down items! Make sure to check it out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Seed Starting Chart

Still longing for spring to get here. Doesn't seem to be happening soon enough for me.

As I have been thinking about what I am going to plant this year, I came across this handy-dandy Lazy Gardener's Seed Starting Chart on You Grow Girl. All you have to do is input your last frost date for your zone and, voile!, all your seed starting dates are changed! What a great tool!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweater Guard Madness!

It is sweater guard madness over at Virgo's Vintage. I got my hands on a whole bunch of very awesome, very retro sweater guards (thanks Mom!) and have finally added them to the shop. Sweater guards for all occasions!

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