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The athleisure trend really benefits the mom on the go! You may find yourself having to be several places at once and one of those places may be the gym. Every morning, in lieu of my New Year’s resolution, I think to myself, “Maybe I can make it to the gym after morning carpool.” Since my day can go any which way, I dress in my athleisure-wear to motivate myself to get there.

Athleisure Wear for Moms

Oftentimes, an unanticipated series of events, like a mishap at school, or an unscheduled grocery run, prevent me from getting my daily cardio in. Sounds familiar, right? Athleisure serves two purposes — I can run around in comfortable attractive clothing and allow me to utilize the same outfit if I end up getting to the gym, seeing I am already dressed to go.

 The legging pant

Pants can go from carpool, the gym or to a lunch and mesh and lace inserts make these pants modern and ready to wear! I love the look of faux leather that can be worn to the gym or to a dinner, which makes my wardrobe versatile yet simple.

High Rise Lustrous Leggings, $89

Fishnet Ankle Leggings, $62

The basics

A simple t-shirt is perfect for layering in cool weather or as a basic at the gym. The ruched tube skirt is perfect for a walk with friends while pushing the double stroller or taking the kids to a play group, ensuring comfort and moveability. 

Basic Boy Tee, $96

Tube Skirt, $166

Hoodies and pullovers

Creating a sporty look with a hoody will keep you warm, layered and ready for action! Hoodies and pullovers are not just for your little one anymore.

Pink Long Sleeve Convertible Hoodie/Over the Shoulder Top, $128

Color Block Crop Sweatshirt, $58

Black and White Long Sleeve Pullover, $80

Accessories

We all need the perfect accessories that can be used throughout the day. 

Pink Longchamp Backpack, $125

Grey Faux Leather Backpack, $140

Matte Lip and Cheek Pencil, $24

Black Cat Activity Tracker, $98

Baseball Hat, $44

Studio Socks, $25

What are some of the athleisure wear items you use all day long?
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Love is in the air and whether you’re entertaining friends or spending the night at home with your loved one, these drinks will inspire love and create an ambiance for your romantic evening. If your palate enjoys sweet or tarte, these drinks will go with any valentine’s day meal!

Raspberry Peach Prosecco Punch

Raspberry peach prosecco

Ingredients (Serves 10)

Directions

Place frozen raspberries in a large glass pitcher or bowl. Top with the peach nectar and Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Fill remainder of the pitcher with ice cubes. Stir and serve cold.

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

A tart drink make my our palates go wild! We are always up for a refreshing glass of lemonade, with a sweet twist. This drink concoction is at the top of our drink list on many occasions! 

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients

Directions

Combine sugar and juice in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon rind and ½ cup of mashed raspberries. Combine mixture and Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore in a pitcher. Sprinkle remaining lemon rind raspberries among the glasses

Grapefruit Rosemary

There are so many delicious flavors all mulled together is this refreshing drink. With a cocktail like this on your Valentine’s day menu, you will have your guests heads spinning wondering when you became a bartender extraordinaire! 

Grapefruit Rosemary Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz vanilla syrup
  • Sparkling Ice Essence of Water
  • Rosemary sprig, for garnish
  • Grapefruit slice, for garnish

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Combine vodka, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, and vanilla syrup- shake until cold. Strain into an ice-filled glass and float with Unflavored Sparkling Ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and grapefruit slice then serve.

Pomegranate Champagne Punch

Pop a bottle of bubbly and say cheers to the season on L-O-V-E! Make it a sweet one with Sparkling Ice pomegranate blueberry and top it off with a handful of blueberries to make it look good and taste even better!  

Pomegranate Champagne Punch

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Sparkling Ice Pomegranate Blueberry
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne

Directions

In a large pitcher, combine Sparkling Ice Pomegranate Blueberry, pear nectar, and orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add Champagne. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint and blueberries.

Which drink will you make this Valentine’s day?
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Every new year brings mixed emotions about what the year ahead will look like. Many of us use the new year as a new start to meet goals that we have set for ourselves. Some are old, some are new, but for most of us, at least one of them involves fitness. We’ve got the top 9 tips to make sure this is the year you meet them!

1. Find a workout buddy

You don’t have to do it alone! Step up your chances for success by finding a workout buddy. Having someone to workout with will make the whole process more fun. You can hold yourselves accountable to each other, because sometimes, you are own your worst enemy! Let’s be honest, it’s a lot harder to cancel your plan to go to the gym at the last minute when you have someone else relying on you to go. When you have a workout buddy, you have someone who will push you to run that extra mile or lift those extra 5 pounds only making your chances for success higher!

2. Make it convenient

Take a few minutes to think about your schedule and create a fitness plan that’s convenient. Join a gym that is close to where you live or work, based on the time that will be best for you to work out. Do you have free time in the morning, during your lunch break at work or does it vary each day? Join a gym like Fit4Less and pick a location that you are most likely to workout at, either near home or near work. At just $4.99 every two weeks plus a joining fee, you won’t be digging in your pockets too deep!

3. Make a schedule

Your fitness goals aren’t going to meet themselves! At the beginning of each week, make a schedule for when you are going to workout and stick to it!

4. Set realistic goals

We know you have big goals in mind for 2017 and we want you to meet them. Start by setting realistic fitness goals. Begin by going to the gym once or twice a week, do a workout at home (when you can squeeze it in), or use a short amount of time efficiently with a 30-Minute Express Circuit ™ at Fit4Less. It always makes the transition back to the gym easier when you know you have a workout plan.

5. Plan variety in your workout

It can get pretty boring doing the same thing when you work out over and over again. There are so many fun workouts available to you online. Search the internet for a few workout plans that you can bring with you to the gym. Add variety into your workout plan by using different machines on different days or try adding a workout class into your schedule.

6. Early bird gets the worm

We know you value your sleep, as moms, we do to, but getting up early to workout when the kids are asleep has been amazing! As they say, the early bird gets the worm, and we couldn’t agree more! Getting a workout in first thing in the morning makes for an awesome start to your day and ensures that you won’t be too tired or get too busy later on in the day!

7. Look the part

Sometimes, looking good is half the battle! Help yourself become committed to your new plan by grabbing some cute workout gear. Pick out styles and colors that make you feel good and that you love so that you look forward to getting dressed for the gym!

8. Reward yourself

Work towards a reward! After a hard week of working out, you deserve something great! Treat yourself to something you have been craving. You deserve it!

9. Set yourself up for success

Make sure that you set yourself up for success. For example, if you know you are working out early in the morning, make sure you are going to bed at a reasonable time and pull out your clothes the night before so that you can get ready quickly and quietly in the morning. Keep a gym bag in your car so that if you find extra time to go to the gym, you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have your workout gear. Lastly, remind yourself that you are doing this for you. You are the only one in control of your success (well, your workout buddy will help a bit too). Keep it up and you will feel great about it!

Are you ready to make your workout plan?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fit4Less. The opinions and text are all mine.

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I’ve tried more planners than I can count. I adore each of them for a while but just can’t find one that does everything I need. I’m tired of losing my lists, goal statements and meal plans. Maybe you feel the same — or maybe you’re just dying to exercise your artistic side a little more.

No matter why you’ve decided to give bullet journaling a try this year, we curated some tips and tricks to help you get started — and to stick with it. You don’t need a bunch of fancy materials to get started with your bullet journal — and you don’t need to be a budding artist. Sure, you can layer up colored pens and pencils, stickers and washi tape if that’s your thing, but you can also choose an empty notebook leftover from your latest school-supply run and make that your journal.

Start with a blank journal

New notebooks make me swoon, so I purchased one just for my bullet journal adventure. After checking out several online resources, I chose a Leuchtturn1917 Notebook with a dotted layout. I felt it offered the most options for different page and layout options. Something to keep in mind with the dotted layout: you might need a ruler nearby when you’re doing layouts. If you don’t want to worry about that, a Moleskine Grid Notebook or even one with regular lines, like this adorable Kate Spade Initial Notebook, might be a better option. If you have a super steady hand? A blank MUJI Sketchbook could work, too.Bullet Journal Tips - Pick a Layout That Works for You

 
Choose your layouts

Layouts can take you down the rabbit hole of bullet journaling, never to return. Remember, creating a journal that works for you means embracing what you need and shedding the rest. When I began researching bullet journals, layout options overwhelmed me. I looked through Pinterest, made lists and fretted about it all. In the end, I chose the things I felt I needed — a year at a glance, monthly layout, weekly layouts, a section for goals, a reading layout, and a few other pages. I figured I could add things later if I found I needed them, rather than trying to cram everything in the world into my journal, just because something caught my eye in someone else’s.

 

Photo credits:

The Best Bullet Journal Pens

Pick your pens

Like the rest of bullet journaling, you can use pens you have in your drawer at home or choose a rainbow of colors to color-code and decorate every spare inch of your journal. Colored pens make me happy, and I chose this Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen Set. I found the colors don’t bleed through the pages in my journal — and the triangular case keeps everything I need together. However, they do create a “shadow” on the next page. If that bothers you, you might want to use pens with regular ink, like these classic Bic Ballpoints in fun colors. If you prefer colored pencils, try this InnoArt Colored Pencil Set with all the colors of the rainbow.

Number one rule of bullet journaling

Your bullet journal only needs to work for you! Don’t let the options and possibilities overwhelm you, or you’ll stuff the journal in the back of a junk drawer before the beginning of spring. Remember, you can change layouts, change pens, and cross out things you don’t need. You’ll make mistakes, and that’s OK. No two bullet journals look or function in exactly the same way, which is why they appeal to so many people. So, grab your supplies and get started. You’ll love having all of your information at your fingertips.

Fantastic bullet journal resources
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Eggplant and Butternut Squash Bruschetta

Our friends from Bite Me More are back with another holiday recipe that you won’t want to miss. (Did you catch their White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Blondies last week?) These are the ultimate appetizer to bring to this weekend’s holiday party or to serve on Christmas Eve. Plus, they are quick and easy to make, which is a must in our book when it comes to holiday recipes!

The Eggplant and Butternut Squash Bruschetta recipe can be found in our 2016 Holiday Guide on page 15, along with tons of other holiday content including more recipes from Bite Me More, interviews with some of our favorite celebrity moms, kid gift ideas and more.

Thank you to Lisa and Julie of Bite Me More for contributing such yummy holiday recipes for us to share!

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A lot of planning goes into your Thanksgiving meal. For weeks you curate the perfect menu, you schedule the exact time to wake up to cook the perfect bird and you pay homage to your great-great-grandmother by making her infamous pumpkin pie recipe… from scratch. The big day finally arrives — you pay your thanks, you eat turkey like it was your job (because it was) and after you’ve come out of your food coma, the clean up begins. And, then, you carefully survey the damage and assess just how many days you will be eating turkey sandwiches post holiday. (Spoiler: It’s weeks, not days.)

Even with the most calculated of plans, we can drastically over estimate the amount of food we might need for Thanksgiving. Don’t get discouraged. Turn those boring Thanksgiving leftovers into anything but boring with these 10 delicious turkey recipes.

10 Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

10 Ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes by SkinnyMs.
Who doesn’t love a cupcake? These Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes, complete with mashed potato topping, are bite-sized perfection. Not to mention perfect for packing later in your lunchbox!

Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas by Little Dairy on the Prairie
Now this almost feels like cheating since we are putting two leftovers to good use. These yummy Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas will reinvent your view of how a quesadilla should really be done.

Turkey Bacon Sliders by Wine and Glue
Bacon. Turkey. Need we say more? Okay, we will. These Turkey Bacon Sliders sounded so good we had to taste test them ourselves. Trust us, you’ll be wishing for more leftovers just to make another batch of these.

The Best Healthy Turkey Chili by Ambitious Kitchen
After a day of glutton-filled eating that is Thanksgiving, healthy is just what we are looking for. This Turkey Chili recipe is also perfect for freezing — the leftovers that keep on giving!

Turkey Orzo Soup by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
This simple soup is the perfect way to make great use of your leftover turkey and vegetables, not to mention this healthy recipe is a great option to warm you up after a cold day.

Turkey and Mashed Potato Casserole by Olivia’s Cuisine
Another recipe to double dip and knock out two leftovers from your Thanksgiving table. This yummy turkey dinner might even turn out to be a bigger hit than its predecessor.

Turkey Turnovers by Ann’s Entitled Life
Leftovers never tasted so yummy. This quick and easy all in one dinner recipe is sure to be a crowd pleasing favorite.

30 Minute Lighter Turkey Tetrazzini by Savory Nothings
Quick? Easy? Light? We don’t know about you, but that is exactly what we are looking for after a Thanksgiving feast. We can’t wait to test this recipe out on our leftovers.

Turkey Gnocchi Soup by Wholefully
After creating a magical Thanksgiving dinner, easy is what we are looking for. Wow your leftover holiday guests by turning your leftover turkey into this easy, yet super yummy, soup recipe.

Turkey Pot Pie by Sugar Spun Run
If it comes in a cast iron skillet… we’re in! This mouth watering Turkey Pot Pie is just the leftover comfort food we are seeking after a busy holiday.

10 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

What creative recipe do you plan on using for your Thanksgiving leftovers?
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With the winter holidays right around the corner we are trying to hold on to every last bit of fall that we can and that includes our favorite fall flavor, pumpkin spice! We decided to put a fall twist on one of our favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule. Not only do we love the fun copper mugs these drinks are served in, but we also love the taste. Kick off your Thanksgiving with family and friends with this seasonal pumpkin spice Moscow mule.

Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule Recipe
Adding a fall twist

The basic recipe for a Moscow Mule includes vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. With the popularity of this cocktail comes many variations making it versatile enough for every season. By adding pumpkin spice syrup, it adds a fall twist on this cocktail and becomes perfect for all of your fall gatherings.

Pumpkin Cocktail Recipes

Ingredients
2 ounces vodka
6 ounces ginger beer
1 ounce pumpkin spice syrup (found on the coffee aisle at your grocery store)
Squeeze of lime juice
Cinnamon stick to garnish

Directions 
1. Combine vodka, ginger beer, pumpkin spice syrup and lime juice.
2. Shake well and pour over ice.
3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes
All about the mug

While the pumpkin spice Moscow mule could certainly be served in any type of glass, we personally think it tastes better in a copper mug. And, by taste better we actually mean looks better. You know that you will feel a little more festive with one in your hand so go ahead, mix up a few while you’re cooking all day with your family on Thanksgiving, and thank us later. Cheers!

pumpkinspicemule-square

What are your favorite fall cocktails?
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Disclosure: Post sponsored by Sunbeam Products, Inc. but all opinions are my own. 

Last spring I began going to a local barre studio and discovered how much I love working out in group classes. For years I spent my workout time in solo pursuits, running on the treadmill, ducking into the small weight room at the gym running through our neighborhood or on nearby trails, and I was a little surprised by how much inspiration I found by surrounding myself with strong, enthusiastic women. Their energy and support make getting up well before dawn worth it, and the classes are a part of my morning that set the tone for my day. I can’t imagine giving them up.

How Heat Therapy Can Help With Your Workout

Adding workouts meant adding muscle soreness

I missed running, though. I missed checking off miles for a training schedule, seeing the sun rise over the horizon and matching the pounding of my feet to the beating of my heart and the music in my earbuds. Slowly, I began adding runs after my classes and on the weekends. The combination of classes and running provide the balance I crave in my days, but they also push my body to limits I haven’t felt in many years. As I contemplate training for a half-marathon, I know I’ll be adding more and more miles to my schedule, and my muscles are already complaining a bit. 

Heat therapy for pain relief

My foam roller and I are developing a close, personal relationship, but I also find heat to be a huge relief, especially on my lower back. Heat has been found as an effective, fast and natural way of helping to alleviate muscle pain and soreness, and for that same reason, Sunbeam® pain relief products use heat as a solution to assist with pain and discomfort, helping increase blood flow to sore areas for muscle relaxation and faster healing. Sunbeam® heat therapy will help you “feel the ahh,” and you can combat your aches and pain in a quick, non-invasive and drug free way. Like me, you might discover heat therapy will be the key to #FindYourAhh. 

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The benefits of the Sunbeam® King Size XpressHeat™ Heating Pad

The Sunbeam® King Size XpressHeat™ Heating Pad now lives next to my couch, because the XpressHeat™ Heating Pad technology helps provide fast heat in 30 seconds for quick relief. The heat-therapy helps increase blood flow to sore areas for muscle relaxation and faster healing. I don’t always know when I’ll have time to sit with the heating pad, and the super quick heat time means I can turn it on and grab a few minutes of relief without waiting much time at all for the pad to get warm. In addition, I appreciate the following qualities of the Sunbeam® King Size XpressHeat™ Heating Pad:

  • Soft microplush, fully washable pad
  • Can be used with dry or moist heat
  • Digital controller with LCD display
  • 6 heat-settings
  • Select hour auto-off
  • XL size for more coverage
  • Measures 12″ x 24″
  • 5-year limited warranty

Are you interested in trying heat therapy for any aches and pains you’re experiencing? Use the code SASSYMOM to receive 20% off Sunbeam products through 10/10/16. We’re also giving away a Sunbeam Heating Pad to one lucky reader. Enter for your chance to win. Official rules can be found here.

Sunbeam

Post sponsored by Sunbeam Products, Inc. Opinions are 100% my own.

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Easy dinner ideas

By the end of the week, the last thing I want to do is make dinner — especially during the summer. If you try one of these amazing recipes each Friday this summer, you’ll be set until it’s time to go back to school in the fall! We know you’re going to love these easy dinner ideas!

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Berry-Basil-Salad
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Light summer meals

On hot summer nights you might not be in the mood for a heavy dinner, or you might feel like putting together several lighter dishes for your own little tapas night.

Caprese Avocado Toast from With Salt and Wit is easy enough to be a snack and filling enough to be a meal. If you have a garden, you can use some of your own ingredients in this one, which makes the dinner just a little more special.

Call Me PMC took the classic flavors of a Cuban sandwich and reimagined the sandwich as an appetizer. Cuban Sandwich on a Stick is adorable — and filled with protein. Kids will love the little pickles, and eating finger foods for dinner is always a hit at our house.

The Berry Basil Salad from Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen takes full advantage of summer’s berry abundance. The homemade dressing really brings out the flavors of the berries while keeping the fruit salad light and fresh tasting.

The Easy Steak and Vegetable Flatbread Pizza from Cotter Crunch is gluten-free, making it a fabulous option if you keep a gluten-free kitchen. Summer’s fresh veggies truly make this pizza a nutritious, flavorful meal.

Food Fanatic offers a Quinoa Chicken Salad that will quickly become one of your favorite dishes — and maybe the most versatile. You can make it with leftover chicken from a meal earlier in the week, or you can make a double batch and use the leftovers for lunches. The recipe lets you tweak the ingredients to meet your food preferences, which is wonderful for exploring the variety of summer produce available.

Easy dinners from the grill

Not only is grilling a simple way to pack a punch of flavor into your meal, spending time outside while you’re cooking makes the most of summer weather.

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Pizza is quick and delicious. It uses chicken instead of ham, and grilled pineapple is one of the tastiest ways to serve the fruit. You’ll love the added sweetness offered in this simple pizza, courtesy of Real Food by Dad‘s secret ingredient.

Natalie’s Food & Health suggests a Turkey burger with greek yogurt topping that’s both beautiful and packed with healthy flavors like dill. Even her husband approves of this one, making it perfect for grilling for friends who are hesitant to try a healthier burger.

Put a twist on taco night

Taco night stays on our dinner menu all year; it’s one of the meals each of us can customize to our liking and leave the dinner table happy. Changing the ingredients and flavors slightly this summer will keep things fresh without abandoning a favorite meal.

Living Sweet Moments makes Baked Chicken Taquitos that might take the place of traditional tacos at our house. Salsa verde is a fresh taste for summer, and the avocado crema is an amazing addition you’ll want to use on everything in your refrigerator.

The Buffalo Chicken Tacos from Spiced incorporate the ever-popular buffalo chicken flavor with the ease of tacos. Cook the chicken in your slow cooker and make dinner time even easier. We think the blue cheese crumbles are a perfect topping, but offering shredded cheddar to kids never hurts.

Taco night isn’t complete with guacamole, and i heart eating offers a flavorful treat in her Roasted Garlic Guacamole. Let’s be honest, on some summer evenings, a hearty guacamole, chips — and our favorite Champagne Margaritas — can be an entire dinner.

Add international flavor to start your weekend

Whether you’re mimicking your family’s favorite takeout location or trying something new, sampling new cuisine is a fun way to change up your meal plan.

Once you try the Sesame Chicken from It’s a Sparkly Life, you might never go back to take out again. You can create this in under 30 minutes, which will actually save you time unless you have a lightning fast delivery service in your area.

A Duck’s Oven tempts your tastebuds with her Slow Cooker Haitian Pork. This amazing dish does take a little prep time earlier in your week, but once it’s ready to go, the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you.

Stir fry is definitely one of our go-to meals for simple dinners. The Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Roasted Broccoli from Foolproof Living will quickly become part of your weekly meal rotation. The peanuts are optional, so you can easily adapt the recipe if you’re working with a food allergy.

What’s your favorite Friday night dinner?
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Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Canning Tutorial and LabelsIt’s officially strawberry season across the country and everyone is going strawberry crazy these days. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a pick-your-own strawberry farm, we highly recommend you take your kids on a fruit picking adventure. Dress them in clothes you don’t mind getting stained and let them run wild and eat their hearts out right there in the fields. Hopefully you’ll end up with a basket full of fresh strawberries that you can easily turn into homemade strawberry preserves, which we’ll help you perfectly make, package and label, ready to present to any friend, neighbor, co-worker, or party hostess.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesNot your mama’s canning tips

If you’ve never made jam or canned before, it can seem intimidating. However, I’m here to walk you step-by-step through the process and reassure you that it’s much easier than it sounds. Making preserves is super simple — you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store. And, canning doesn’t require hours of sweating over your stove or take all day long, either. This is the modern mama’s method of canning jam. Trust me… try it once and you’ll be surprised just how easy it is.

The only products you really need for canning are the jars, lids and rings. For jam or preserves, I personally love using the small 4 ounce Bell quilted crystal jars. These are such a cute size for gifting and come in a box of 12 for about $9 (includes the jar, lid, rings and labels). There are also a few tools that are helpful, but not necessary for canning, including a canning funnel, a magnetic lid wand and liquid fruit pectin. A wide-mouth canning funnel is the perfect size for the mouth of canning jars and a magnetic lid wand is nice to have so you don’t burn your fingers, but neither or necessary. Liquid fruit pectin is a kind of preserved apple syrup, which helps set up jams and jellies. This is sold in your local grocery store and comes in a box with two 3-ounce pouches for about $5. It’s helpful for jams made from fruits (like strawberries) that are naturally low in pectin, but not necessary and if not used, you’ll just have runnier preserves (they’ll still taste great).

Easy Ideas for Using Freshly Picked StrawberriesSterilizing your jars

Before you put anything into your jars, you need to sterilize them. Years ago, when my parents canned fruits and vegetables from our garden, they would boil the jars in a giant pressure cooker on the stove, then carefully remove them with tongs, trying not to spill boiling water all over the place. These days, most of us have a giant sterilizing machine in our kitchen — the dishwasher. All you really need to do to sterilize your jars is run them through the dishwasher on high heat.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or just want to do it the old-fashioned way — break out your biggest stock pot and submerse the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Either way you do it, place the clean jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel until you’re ready to use them. This should be done the day you will be canning and no earlier. Lids should be boiled in a small sauce pan on the stove top for 4 minutes, right before canning begins.

Making Jam is Easier Than You Think!We’re jammin’

You’re going to be shocked how easy it is to make preserves. Once you have your fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled, throw them in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. It might sound like a lot of sugar, but the sugar is the preservative and helps thicken the juices. Let the mixture sit covered with a kitchen towel for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture sits, the more the strawberries will break down, so if you like super chunky preserves, stay on the shorter end. Transfer the mixture to a large stockpot, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the liquid pectin, then boil for an additional minute. Skim off the foam, if desired.

How To Can Jar Homemade Strawberry Preserves stepsHot seal

Getting a proper seal on your jars is the most important and trickiest part of canning. While our parents may have used a hot water bath or pressure cooker method for sealing jam, us modern mamas have a new and improved (and super easy) technique called the hot seal method. This method works best on jams, jellies and other high acidic items that have been cooked. While your preserves are still hot, fill the sterilized jars with the preserves, leaving about ½ inch from the top with the mixture. Take a damp paper towel and wipe all the way around the rim of the jar, making sure there is nothing on there to prevent a proper seal or allow bacteria to grow. Place a sterilized lid on top of the jar and tighten with a ring. Flip the jar upside down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. The heat of the mixture will suction the lid right to the jar and you’ll start hearing the lids pop seal themselves. Turn the jars over and check the seals. If the small circle in the middle of the lid isn’t depressed, push it down to seal. If it doesn’t seal within a few hours, put in the fridge and eat right away. Otherwise, sealed preserves can last 18 months to 2 years unrefrigerated (the more sugar you use, the longer the shelf life). Once opened, the preserves should be refrigerated and should last about a month.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesStrawberry Preserves Printable Lid LabelsFree printable homemade strawberry preserves lid labels

While homemade strawberry jam is incredibly delicious and your kids will beg you for more, one of the best parts about making homemade preserves is being able to gift it to others. The feat of canning alone is impressive, but throw in a beautiful label (link below) and some baker’s twine and you’ve got the sweetest gift around. This is perfect for teachers gifts, hostess gifts, holiday gifts, party favors, or for welcoming a new neighbor. Strawberry preserves can be used on biscuits or toast, served over ice cream or waffles, mixed into yogurt or on a cracker with cream cheese. Enjoy!

Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Card

Click here for the free full-page printable lid labels

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