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What did one helmet say...

Let’s talk about family vacations... #gifted I struggled for years with the amount of time it took to pack up to go back home. There were always dirty clothes all over the floor and while I tried to pack it all into those hotel provided plastic laundry bags, 1) they were plastic and we are trying our best to do better for our planet and 2) they rip so easily, so we often wound up with dirty clothes spilling out in the car (yuck). A couple of months ago, I was watching a friend’s Instagram stories and she was talking about the @swoopbags she uses for her son’s toys. I immediately had an idea and knew I had to get one. 
On our last vacation, I opened up my large swoop bag and left it flat in the corner of our hotel room. We used it as our “laundry corner”. We instructed the kids (and ourselves) to drop our dirty laundry in the middle of the flattened Swoop bag. When it was time to pack up, I just swooped the bag, tied it and voila… it literally saved me all of the aggravation of finding and picking up all of the clothes and trying to find something to carry it all in. Don’t forget to check out the blog for more family travel hacks and a quick video on how I fit all 5 of our clothing into one small suitcase! I put the link in my bio! .
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Let’s talk about family vacations......

Anyone else super excited that today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day?! Elle will be going through a few wardrobe changes today. 🙈 What will your pet be wearing?
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Anyone else super excited that...

As a family, we road trip quite a lot. It's a ton of fun, but also a lot of work (for me at least)! Over the years, I've found a variety of ways to save time and money and I'm finally sharing those family-friendly travel hacks with you on the blog today! Click on the link in my bio or swipe up in stories! How do you save time and money when you travel?
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Growing up, I always wanted a sibling. I wished over every star and every birthday candle. I even asked my magic eight ball constantly if I would ever have one but as many times as it told me “all signs point to yes”, I remained an only child. I look forward to the days when my three girls appreciate that they have best friends for life... two women who will always have their back, lend them a hand or provide a shoulder to cry on. In the meantime, I make sure to create fun reasons for them to “work” together without bickering. So, I’m excited to announce that Iyla and Falynn are starting a new venture together, @thesuperkidlife and I hope you’ll follow along and show them some love. Although I will run the IG page for them for now, Iyla will be in charge of content and stories, so you’re in for a treat! They already have their first sponsored posts lined up! Stay tuned. . .
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Growing up, I always wanted...

C O L L A R D  G R E E N S 
If you’ve never tried them, this is your reason to. If you’ve tried them and aren’t really a fan, this recipe is going to change your mind! I haven’t met a person who wasn’t a fan after they tried my collard greens. After years of keeping this recipe all to myself, I’m finally sharing it to change the minds of all of those greens-haters. So no preconceived notions about whether or not you like collard greens. Instead, I challenge you to try this recipe out and tell me you aren’t a fan! The recipe is on the blog (link in bio or swipe up in stories). Will you try them? .
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C O L L A...

I was going through an old post on the blog, sharing funny love quotes and this one had me rolling. If @thesuperdadlife and I had to describe our text convos, this pretty much covers it. Swipe to see the proof 😂🤣😂 Do you and your spouse do this too?
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Is it just me or is the weekend before the kids go back to school after a break, the absolute busiest?! AD: While it felt like we were go-go-go, we did make some time to visit our local park so Falynn and Iyla could play with their new favorite toy, Stomp Rocket! Have you seen this yet? Swipe to see it in action and check out our stories for even more fun! Stomp Rocket is pretty much the coolest toy and it teaches STEM principles, which is a huge plus! It comes with three different stunt planes designed by aeronautical engineers to do a variety of amazing tricks. The rockets soar up to 400 feet in the air, so it keeps them running after the rockets (amazing exercise)! @originalstomprocket reduces screen time with a toy that’s 100% kid-powered by jumping on the launch pad. The girls love to see who can make it go the highest and the farthest! I love that you can play with it in your backyard but it’s also portable and light enough to take with you. It makes the best gift and is available at your in @target stores and online! 
#gostomp #stomprocket #targetrun #targetfinds
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It didn’t take me long to find my word for 2020.... COURAGE. Courage to try new things, courage to continue on even when I’m afraid of the “what if’s”, courage to grow as a person, courage to get out there more, courage to fight the anxiety that kept me locked up on most days in 2019, courage to make our dreams come true... this year, I’m going to let my courage shine. Make sure to check out our newest blog post where we are sharing our 2020 family goals and how many of our 2019 family goals we achieved. Link is in our bio or you can swipe up in stories. What is your word for 2020? .
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It didn’t take me long...

I Made Mixed Berry Jam! You CAN too!

If You Love It, Share It!
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This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About a month into Summer we were already scrambling to find things to do in my house.  Crafts are fun but messy. Going on adventures is fun but those can get expensive.  Napping is awesome but my kids don’t seem to want to get on the bandwagon with that one.  So I decided to try something brand new, something I thought I could never do, but something that the girls and I could do together… small-batch canning.  And you want to know a secret? It was actually easy and FUN!

I CAN do it!

Our home is surrounded by sweet, kind people that we love like family.  Every Christmas, my daughters and I bake cookies and deliver them to our favorite neighbors.  That got me thinking… why don’t we do something nice for them more than once a year? So, in partnering with Ball® Mason jars, we have decided to start a Summertime tradition of gift giving. Each year, starting now, we will try a few small-batch canning recipes and the one we like the best will get delivered to our favorite neighbors.  It’s our special way of saying thank you to them for caring about us.

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What is Small-Batch Canning?

When you think of canning, you may think it’s something that your Grandparents and Great-Grandparents did in the good ol’ days.  But, it’s actually making a comeback!  It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, but I was afraid I wouldn’t get it right.  Small-batch canning is actually a great way to save money.  You can preserve foods to last longer and it can be conveniently stored for future meals or to be given gifts, as we are going to do.  

There are so many recipes to choose from.  My 8 year old went through the Ball® Guide to Preserving and made a list of recipes that she wanted to make this Summer. Her list had my mouth watering with recipes including Basil-Garlic Tomato Sauce, Dilled Green Tomatoes, Maple Walnut Syrup, and one of our family favorites, Green Mangoes.  After great deliberation, we decided to start with a classic, the Mixed Berry Jam. 

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My youngest was in charge of choosing the berries.  She chose fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and it was the perfect combination!  My oldest helped to crush the berries.  One thing we learned in the process was not to crush them too much, or your jelly will be a little on the runny side.  Aside from that, we found it to be very easy, especially with the Ball® Canning Starter Kit which included almost everything you need to get started.

The jam was ready in 24 hours and I couldn’t keep my kids out of the jars.  They loved the sweet, fresh flavor of the jam even more so, because they helped to make it.  Teaching my kids to love cooking is so important to me.  I love that we can pass the recipes and traditions down through future generations.

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I can honestly say that canning is addictive! Once you get started you’ll discover all types of fun recipes to try! We are working our way down the list right now and can’t wait to see how they all turn out! Next on our list is the Dilled Green Tomatoes (yum!).

The girls are having a hard time parting with their Mixed Berry Jam, but they are excited to see the looks on the faces of their neighbors when we hand deliver the jars this week.

Mixed Berry Jam

Yield: About 6 (8 oz) half-pint jars

Mixed Berry Jam

Ingredients

  • 4 cups crushed berries, mix and match your favorites such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries
  • 4 ½ tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Tools Needed:
  • Ball® Half-Pint Jars with Lids/Bands
  • Water bath canner
  • Jar lifter
  • Common kitchen utensils
  • Large saucepan or Dutch oven
  • Canning Funnel

Instructions

  1. Prepare boiling water canner.
  2. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use.
  3. Do not boil.
  4. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  5. Combine berries in an 8-quart saucepan.
  6. Gradually stir in pectin.
  7. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  8. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  9. Return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  10. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Skim foam, if necessary.
  13. Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace.
  14. Remove air bubbles.
  15. Wipe jar rim.
  16. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight.
  17. Place jar in boiling water canner.
  18. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  19. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
  20. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes.
  21. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours.
  22. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
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https://thesupermomlife.com/small-batch-canning/

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Want to make your own Mixed Berry Jam, here’s a handy list of tools and where to purchase:

Click here for more Ball® recipes and canning ideas!

Have you ever tried small-batch canning?  Comment below and let us know! 

Not ready to try small-batch canning now? Pin for later >>

Small-batch canning is making a comeback. Learn how to make Mixed Berry Jam with this easy step-by-step recipe by Ball®.

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51 Comments
  • Boniface Muriuki
    September 3, 2018

    Excellent tips here. This is a must try!

  • Sharon
    August 24, 2018

    This berry jam looks so good! A great way to keep those summer berries preserved to use through the year.

  • cassy french | blissfully her
    August 24, 2018

    i had no idea they had starter kits! definitely makes it easy. i’ve always wanted to try canning, but was intimidated by the process. this gives me some motivation though! the jam look delicious, but i’d love to try the tomato sauce too since we use a ton of that in my house!

    – cassy | blissfullyher.com

  • Laura Liira
    August 23, 2018

    THis looks delicious and such a fun activity for kids! pinning this for the future, thank ya!

  • Mariah
    August 23, 2018

    This would make such a good Christmas gift for neighbors! It looks so yummy!

  • Rachel
    August 23, 2018

    This looks INCREDIBLE! I’ve been too afraid to can anything, but I have three pressure cookers so I should just give it a shot!

  • Olga Zak
    August 20, 2018

    That jam looks super yummy! I feel hungry on seeing it. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • Kate
    August 17, 2018

    As a child, I used to make jam with my nan and it’s definitely something I would love to try again. Your photos are amazing, Heather. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Suzanne
    August 16, 2018

    OMG I love jam! This is the perfect summer activity with kids too! So berry delicious! 🙂

  • eliza
    August 16, 2018

    This is one of our favorite tasks, making a jam. Either its a fruit or mixed jam – my niece would love to be involved. And this is one of the ways I bond with them. Great share and thanks for the recipe!

  • Maddy Gutierrez
    August 15, 2018

    I love making jam! I’ve never made the kind that uses pectin, but “cheater freezer jam” is my jam! 😛 Using mixed berries sounds amazing!

  • sammi
    August 15, 2018

    The jam looks great. The kids did a good job. It’s not easy to make children have berries otherwise and they are so good for health.

  • Ada
    August 15, 2018

    Omg this looks so good! I love jam! I definitely have to try and see if I can make my own now.

  • Shilpa Bindlish
    August 15, 2018

    My mom in law loves making jams and I am gonna share your recipe with her so that our family can also enjoy the taste of this yummy berry jam ?

  • passportofawanderwoman
    August 14, 2018

    I would love to make this recipe!!! Your photos are amazing

  • passportofawanderwoman
    August 14, 2018

    I love this recipe…I like berries but usually find them to be very sour…but if I can make this…that would be lovely

  • Maysz
    August 14, 2018

    I never heard Mixed Berry Jam before but it is looks perfect to made. I will try to make that mixed jam thanks for sharing!

  • Lavanda Michelle
    August 14, 2018

    This looks like so much fun to do! I totally want to make my own jam.

  • S. Dallas Prevost, MD
    August 14, 2018

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    As an Anti-Aging & Wellness Consultant, I always encourage my clients to eat a diet high in antioxidants and to supplement with high-potency vitamin that’s also high in antioxidants. Below is some reasons why I particularly like your recipe:

    Strawberries are an excellent source of fiber, folate and potassium. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ranked strawberries third out of more than 1,000 antioxidant-rich foods. Strawberries also contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the nervous system and blood vessels.Studies have shown that strawberries can help protect against several types of cancer, including breast, colon and leukemia. Research has also found that strawberries help decrease inflammation and control type 2 diabetes.

    Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Research has found that blueberries may help prevent prostate cancer and protect against heart disease. Blueberry extract may help improve memory, balance and coordination—potentially promising for those with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Raspberries are a good source of fiber, phosphorus and selenium. Raspberries contain anthocyanins and another phytonutrient called quercetin, found to help slow cancer growth. Studies have shown that raspberries may be useful in preventing esophageal and liver cancer. Raspberries have also been shown to help control blood sugar in diabetics and help prevent liver damage.

    Blackberries are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C and K and manganese. Other all the above mentioned berries, blackberries have been found to have the highest amount of antioxidants. They’re also bursting with all types of phytonutrients, which have been shown to help fight or prevent cancers like liver, colon, lung and esophageal. Blackberries also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may help decrease the risk of heart disease.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    August 14, 2018

    I haven’t made jam in years. This looks so much fun! I totally want to make my own jam now too!

  • Alexa Ivory Bristow
    August 14, 2018

    I’ve never tried small-batch canning before. But that jar of mixed berries looks absolutely tasty!

  • Farrah Less
    August 14, 2018

    I’ve been wanted to do this since we love picking fresh fruits from a local family own farm. Now I think I found a great recipe for Jam. My family and I are very thrilled with this.

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    August 14, 2018

    I really must give jam making a go – we go through a lot in my house and we do love homemade jam so it seems like a logical next step. Your jam looks so delicious!

  • Becca Wilson
    August 14, 2018

    This jam looks like it would be so good. I absolutely love a good tasting jam on english muffins or biscuits.

  • Lisa Favre
    August 14, 2018

    You used all of my favorite berries! Also, great that you used them because they are easy to find at grocery stores – some fruit are really only in-season so it’s more of a challenge to get them year-round.

  • Vyjay Rao
    August 14, 2018

    There is nothing to beat homemade jams. They are always so fresh, organic and free of any chemicals. The mixed berries jam looks really yummy and something we need to try at our place too.

  • Chubskulit Rose
    August 14, 2018

    When I was in highschool, making jam is my favorite thing to prepare not in my kitchen but in our school kitchen. This reminds me of those memories.

  • Karen Morse
    August 14, 2018

    Such an awesome way to use up all the produce that we have and make sure we have some more for the colder months! I love the concept of canning. Definitely something we should all try!

  • Tamalyn
    August 14, 2018

    This is such an adorable post!!! We love making homemade strawberries too! We just finished fermenting two giant jars of sauerkraut – with Kate working hard to “massage” the shredded cabbage with salt. And we use BALL jars for everything – even for organizing their homework cart.

    I want to try making Dilled Green Tomatoes – that sounds so so delicious! Your neighbors must be so happy with their summertime gifts – what a way to teach your kiddos about giving around the year!

  • kumamonjeng
    August 14, 2018

    I like how you used all the fresh ingredient to make these jam. It didnt look so complicated at all so going to try this out in the weekend. Lastly, I love the cute jars you have.

  • Sundeep Bhatia
    August 14, 2018

    The way you explained this , seems very simple and doable. Going to try this very soon.

  • Ricci
    August 14, 2018

    That jam sounds pretty easy and super delicious! I need to try that for myself ASAP!

  • blair villanueva
    August 14, 2018

    My Mother is a huge fan of making jam and canning. She shares it as gifts to her friends, and even host a jam-making party. It was fun and delicious!

  • Carol Cassara
    August 14, 2018

    I used to make jams at home! I don’t remember why I stopped! I think it’s awesome that they have a kit and that they encourage people to start canning. It’s healthier and it’s not difficult at all.

  • Suzanne Melton
    August 13, 2018

    Making jam with my mom was one of my favorite childhood memories. I can’t wait to pass that same love along to my little one. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Amber
    August 13, 2018

    I have never tried canning! I really want to though! Would be great to make jams like this and big batches of marinara sauce and whatever else! This looks like a good recipe to start with.

  • Pam
    August 13, 2018

    I used to can all the time with my mom. I love that it is making a comeback now.

  • Julie @ openwidetheworld.com
    August 13, 2018

    Yes, yes, yes to intergenerational traditions! And even better when those traditions are delicious. Love that you did this with your girls… now to get the courage to try with my own…

  • Melissa
    August 13, 2018

    My sister makes jam. We are on a special eating plan and can’t have it though. It looks delicious!

  • Julie
    August 13, 2018

    I made this jam too and it turned out SO good! Seriously my favorite jam EVER.

  • Tara Pittman
    August 13, 2018

    We have lots of blueberries in the fidge and the youngest was asking for me to make jam with them. Now I have a recipe to try.

  • Scott Gombar
    August 13, 2018

    My mother in law does this with other foods. I might have her do this too.

  • Susan
    August 13, 2018

    I LOVE mixed berry jam and have never made it from scratch…but after your post I am going to give it a try! pinned

  • Vicky
    August 13, 2018

    I have been wanting to try canning. I think they would make wonderful holiday gifts for teachers and neighbors. Thanks for the easy and clear instructions.

  • Jeanette
    August 13, 2018

    That looks absolutely amazing! I used to make freezer jam a lot but I have not done that in years. I need to try this one it has all the fruits that we love in one jar.

  • Melissa Chapman
    August 13, 2018

    It is so great that you can stretch out the summer fruits with this jam you can have later in the year. It makes it more fun when you have your kids helping.

  • Tasheena
    August 13, 2018

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve always wanted to try canning and this would be the perfect start.

  • Terri Steffes
    August 13, 2018

    I’ve made jams before, and I used the same jars. I love that they are pretty, and functional. I save mine from year to year. I have had to replace ones I have broken but I am able to find these year after year. Great product.

  • wendy
    August 13, 2018

    This looks so good! I remember eating homemade jams that my mom made. I always loved the flavors.

  • Alli Smith
    August 13, 2018

    I haven’t canned any jam this summer. I have in the past and I need to try your mixed berry jam. It looks so delicious and you just can’t beat the fresh taste of homemade jams and jellies.

  • robin rue
    August 13, 2018

    I have never made jam (well, actually we call it jelly around here) before. I use jelly almost every morning so I should try making my own one of these days.

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