Sparrow in the Tree Top

find your song and sing it

Halloween Festivities

seasons, FamilyEmily KellyComment

The first year is full of so many firsts. They're all piled one on top of the other and come so fast that sometimes it's hard to stop and keep track; the first long nap, the first time we rode in the car without a complete meltdown (winning!!), the first rolls, creeping and reaches. There are really too many to name. I think that's why as parents we get so excited about those first holidays - we can use the events as benchmarks. I can't even begin to put into words how excited we are for Christmas, but first, Halloween! It's never been my number one favourite holiday, but I mean come on, babies in costumes... there's something wrong with you if you don't just wanna. I bought Juney's from Costco in the summer thinking she needed to be dressed up as some form of "Bug" since by day, she's our June Bug. And I have to admit, it was pretty adorable to see her all dressed up as a lady bug. It was pretty short-lived but we went to the neighbour's house to say Happy Halloween and since my parent's were in town, it was fun to take some pictures. Things didn't get too crazy from that point... considering we have only gums and no teeth, I'm thinking Halloween is something that gets a bit more exciting as we grow older ;) 

It was a pretty grey day, but warm enough and a Saturday no less, so we got to really embrace the holiday, complete with pumpkin patch and jack-o-lantern carving. I insisted on a pumpkin family of three and mike indulged me which is why I married this wonderful man :) I always feel so bad throwing out the pumpkins afterwards - it seems like such a shame to only have them carved and lit on one night. I always make a point of looking away on the garbage day after Halloween so I don't have to see all the discarded pumpkins. Bit of a bleeding heart over here!

Five Things: Political Edition

Five ThingsEmily KellyComment
Watching the inaugural speech ^^

Watching the inaugural speech ^^

Since Monday's election I get a little bit giddy inside when I remember that we have a new Prime Minister! I'm an Anne of Green Gables type of optimist at heart, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that this next era has the potential to be such an exciting time with so much promise in our wonderful country. My heart has been heavy the past while when I think about the state of things that are really important to me - like our failing democracy in Canada (our Access to Information, our collection of information and our Freedom of Press has left something to be desired), the erosion of scientific values and research (Climate Change? What Climate Change) not to mention the carving our of our natural resources, and our reputation on the international stage where quite frankly, since we lost our seat in the Security Council a few years ago, has been a bit of a laughing stock. 

Politics in Canada can be a bit frustrating at times because it can feel like you don't actually get to vote for the candidate you'd like to be in power. But I'm really, really looking forward to watching some big changes unfold in Canada. Obviously a certain degree of caution is necessary - let's just hope that he's able to do what he's promised.

Other things that also make me happy: Trudeau speaks (eloquent!) French AND English - two things that don't make a great PM, but honestly, considering we call ourselves a bilingual country, with two official languages, AND we expect it of our public service, I think it's an awesome advancement.

And so, Five Things: Political Edition because I hope that the snowball of participation we've seen on social media throughout the past campaign continues; from both sides of the spectrum. 

1. Having been invested in our Foreign Affairs policy professionally, I'm particularly stoked about reclaiming a bit our our real-estate in terms of humanitarian affairs. This is a great snapshot from some experts on Seven Foreign Policy Wishes for Canada's New Government

2. Canada elected a record number of indigenous and female MPs this week!! Woo! Go Progress! There's a long way to go, but this is a great step in the right direction to a stronger democracy.


3. Canada might actually be a player at COP21! Not holding my breath but eagerly anticipating some strides to be made on our country's contribution to climate targets.

4. Living out a real-life Disney fantasy:


5. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau seems pretty awesome. In this interview here with This Mom Loves Blog she talks about advocating for girls through Plan International becoming a yoga instructor, and seems pretty down to earth (I mean, what other potential First Lady would do an interview with a mom blog?) This was my favourite quote:

"This mom loves: Seeing my children glancing at me from their backseats through the car mirror when I'm driving and seeing joy and love in their eyes...pure bliss!"

If nothing else, she seems like a candid lady. And I appreciate that. 

Happy weekend!! xo

four months

BabyEmily KellyComment

We welcomed four months with our first frosty weather here in Ottawa. It reminds me that Christmas is creeping up on us. As in, BABY's FIRST CHRISTMAS. And I feel like I'm going to lose myself in creating CHILDHOOD MAGIC people. If I was born for one thing, it was with the purpose of seeing Christmas through a child's eyes. Lord help June. I'm not sure how living your Christmas dreams vicariously through your children affects them in the long term. This is a human experiment in the making! Check back here in 20 years ;) 

Month Four has been the most challenging month so far. When you have a baby, no one tells you that in fact it's not the first 8 weeks that are the hardest. Looking back we had a relatively breezy summer. I was ignorant to the fact that Month Four brings on a host of challenges - there's so much growth and change going on, but with it, we've also had some of our fussiest days, and longest nights. But dare I say we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel? We had a great sleep last night and the only reason I'm able to be here writing this right now is we're going on a two hour nap which has been unheard of since the second last week of September. 

From what I hear, sleep regression and irritability (in both mom and baby, ha!) is a very common symptom of all the new skills babies learn around the fourth month. And seriously, looking at how much June has changed over the past month puts that theory to the test. She's rolling from front to back & now back to front. We've seen her up on all fours in the crawling position. CRAWLING. And even though she can't crawl yet, she's creeping like crazy -  which I suspect is half the trouble we've experienced with sleeping; she creeps in her sleep and ends up hitting her head at the top of the crib. Of course this wakes her up and getting back to sleep on her own isn't something that nature teaches you in the first month.

But I do have to say, in the past week, we've seen just a whole heap of personality coming out of our beautiful little girl. She's smiles pretty much non-stop right now; she turns to find us in the room and just gives us the biggest gummy, lopsided smile that you've ever seen. And I haven't even done anything to earn it. She's just smiling, just because. And that makes me so happy inside, you have no idea. And the laughter - oh if there was a sound I could bottle up and take with me until I'm 95 it would be the sound of her first laugh. Which was at Cliff by the way, go figure! How is it that I turned myself into a human sized marionette trying to get her to laugh, and out of nowhere, over-thankgiving weekend, she decides that CLIFF is the worthy one of her most beautiful sound yet. I'll never forget that moment as long as I live.

So month four has been so full. So much trying of patience and running on fumes. But we've just gained so much, as if I didn't already think I had the world before. When we pick her up and she leans back in our arms so that she can get a look at Mike and I, and then she lets out the biggest smile you've ever seen, it's all we can do to keep the tears of happiness from popping. Life is beautiful folks. And it's beautiful because it's not perfect and it's messy and it's the moments while wearing sweatpants, without having showered, done your hair or brushed your teeth and sitting and playing on the floor with your baby who's just so happy to sit and stare and smile with you. 

Highlights: Four-month shots were a breeze, we lost more sleep in the first three weeks of October then we did in any other month combined, rolling in every direction, laughing, smiling and a fleeting moment of making it into the crawling position. 

Where we went: To visit my parent's for thanksgiving and Applefest, road trips down the 401 galore!

Biggest moments: Hearing her first laugh, Waking up with her in our bed and having her blow raspberries into the quiet dark at 5 am in the morning, Singing Disney songs in the car to keep from (further) melting down. 


Cake Sunday: Boterkoek

FareEmily KellyComment

Besides gardening, baking is one of the things I am most excited to do with Juney. I think it's a great way to help her grow and develop, but mostly, what's more fun than baking with your mom? At least that's what I'm hoping she thinks anyway ;)  There are a million cakes to explore making, so I thought I would make Sunday our official cake day. This week's cake was actually made this past Thursday. It's a Dutch Buttercake (Boterkoek)  and growing up, it was one of my babysitter's staples. I describe it as a mixture between a big cookie and biscotti and it is perfect with tea in this Fall weather. 

Here's the recipe I used via Love Foodies


  • ½ cup or 150 g butter
  • 1 cup or 200 g regular sugar if you cannot get caster. (recipe suggests "superfine" but I used regular)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups or 200 g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Handful of flaked almonds (optional)
  • You can swap 75 g / 1/2 cup of the flour amount for the same amount of ground almonds or desiccated (flaked coconut) This will also give a lovely flavour.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F Grease and line your tin.
  2. Mix together butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the beaten egg to the mixture but LEAVE a teaspoon or so in the bowl for glazing at the end. Combine egg with the mixture, and add the flour and baking powder. Combine until smooth.
  4. Place mixture in the baking tin and gently push evenly with your hands or back of a spoon. Get it level.
  5. Use a sharp knife and score the surface of the mix in a criss cross pattern, like the photo.
  6. Mix the teaspoon of egg with a teaspoon of water, and brush on top of the buttercake.
  7. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, and bake for 25-30 minutes until just golden and test with a toothpick it comes out clean.

Happy Cake Sunday!

Five Things

Five ThingsEmily KellyComment

2. I made this recipe for a "natural home deodorizer" (because dog, baby, we eat a lot of fish....) and it was AMAZING. My house smelled like a mixture between a lovely spring day and a cookie that you could just crawl up and live inside. I'm telling you; worth the three minutes it takes to throw together. Bring to a simmer: One lemon sliced, a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary and two teaspoons of Vanilla Extract. Add water as the water level drops; you can use the same pot for a couple days.

4. Lately I want to make all the cakes and it reminded me how I have yet to actually own a bunt pan. I've gone to walmart no less then three times over the past few years with the sole purpose of purchasing one and they are ALWAYS without fail out of stock. So last night I took matters into my own hands and I found this beautiful one that will hopefully be making it's way to our front door presently. 

5. Finally, this article by blogger Ashley Gadd is excellent. A good reminder that not all things need to be accomplished & to do lists are made to be scrapped when you've just had a baby ;) 

1. We're currently in the middle of transforming our dining room into what we've affectionally dubbed a "Whiskey room" and I've decided that I need to hang a plants from the ceiling. Enter - macrame plant hanger!! I found this tutorial I'm thinking this could be a pretty easy solution. 











3. I know Christmas is still far away (and for the record, I'm OK with that) but I saw this Advent Calendar on the Land of Nod website and it's $50 - I'm wondering if I could recreate my own version? 






Favourite Room + Thrift Store Chair Makeover

House, Love VintageEmily KellyComment

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably noticed how most of my pictures take place in our kitchen. In person, I'm always dreaming about how I'd love a bigger kitchen with white cupboards and a white oversized farm house sink and ours is certainly none of the above. But really when it comes down to it, our mismatched, tiny kitchen nook has become my favourite room in our house. Whenever we sit down to eat a meal or have a coffee, I just find myself feeling so thankful for the cozy, colourful space that is so decidedly us - that I think you would have a hard time convincing me there was something better out there otherwise (... I mean I wouldn't say no to a massive stainless steel fume hood, beautiful backsplash and an island ..... a girl can dream after all!!). In reality, it never really matters what a kitchen looks like - it's always the room that ends up with the party. It's some kind of unspoken phenomenon, I'm sure of it.

My latest addition to our favourite little space are three green chairs! We were in need of a few more - we had acquired four from a table + chair set that was my grandparents. We upgraded the table to a large oval one from Ikea in the Spring because we were always eating on top of each other when family came over, and instead of buying new chairs to go with it, I took the ones I bought at a thrift store for 2$ each and painted for our wedding last year, and painted them a nice shade of Kelly Green from Benjamin Moore. Mostly Kelly Green because our last name is Kelly so really how can we not? Also! I've decided that Green is my new favourite accent colour. 



I tried to copy a picture I saw on the internets but it turns out it's much harder to pile chairs then you would expect. ^^^ And all of this while Juney was napping in the room behind that wall.





I'm so happy we've resurrected these from my sister's garage where they spent the better part of a year following last year's festivities. And now it's neat to have saved our seats from the head table to keep in our everyday. I'm super happy with how they turned out and I'm loving the pop of green! 

Thanksgiving Roadtrip + a Little Film

Family, seasonsEmily KellyComment

We're coming off of a beautiful long weekend in Ontario - although you wouldn't know it by the weather today (although honestly I don't mind the rainy and gloomy weather once Fall hits; it helps make the house feel cozy!) Either way, it was like mother nature wanted to give us one last hurrah - it was so warm and the colours on the trees were just starting to turn their spectacular shades of reds and oranges. When we weren't fighting the long weekend traffic heading out of the city for the weekend, we did our best to soak it up walking everywhere we could. 

Despite the busy roads I do have to say how much I love a road trips in the Fall. A few years ago Mike and I drove down to visit his sister in Rhode Island at this time of year and the colours through Vermont and New Hampshire were just spectacular! We've been lucky to do some other cool trips together but this one always sticks with me. We were hoping to do a road trip with June this Fall, but she hasn't exactly embraced driving in the car like we have yet. I'm sure this won't always be the case, we just have to convince her in the meantime that there's nothing better then hitting the road with a warm drink and a Bruce Springsteen album. For now, we're trying to persuade her by sticking to the Disney Classics, which have a freaky ability to talk her off the ledge - I'm not one to talk however; I know how she feels about the magic of Disney. 

We had a great thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house with nearly every member of my extended family which was awesome to have us all together in the same room at the same time. In between we spent a lot of time sitting on the couch watching our baby grow. I just can't stop kissing her beautiful cheeks! We hit two huge milestones this weekend; she laughed for the first time! I've literally been dancing like a show monkey trying to get it out of her the past few weeks and in the end it was Cliff who brought out the most sweetest sound I've ever heard. Leave it to that loveable guy to just read our four month old like a book. As soon as I heard that sound, I fell in love all over again and I didn't even know that was possible! She also figured out how to roll over from tummy to back which is incredible because she would flip herself over and beach herself. Whenever she hits a new millstone or trick, she smiles so big and looks so pleased with herself. It's so amazing watching her learn and grow. 

We celebrated my dad and my sister's birthday and it was nice to be there to see them blow out the candles on their cake. All in all, a really great weekend. I put together a little video of some of the highlights - so much fun to have all these memories in one place. 

On Sleep (or Lack THereOF)

BabyEmily KellyComment

Happy Friday everyone! We're feeling a bit sleepy over here. And you know how I'm hesitant to label any of these "phases" were going through, since every baby must be so different, but whether it's made up or not, suddenly my happy little sleeper doesn't really like to sleep anymore. UG. Why do there have to be experts and WHY do they have to be right - especially about this?! I was really hoping we'd just glide through that whole "my baby doesn't sleep thing." *sobs into her cup of coffee, after removing foot from her mouth*

I remember before we had June, sleep deprivation was something I was really nervous about, but now that we have her, I'm not sure why I ever needed that much sleep to begin with; I mean, I've obviously proven it to myself that I can go on relatively NO sleep at this point ;) And to my credit, Mike says that I take the whole "small amount of sleep thing" better then he does, so while I'm pretty cranky at points throughout the day (I yelled at Cliff because he wouldn't back up out of the doorway while I was holding a full laundry basket this morning) I guess so far, we're surviving. 

So what does sleep regression look like? Well for us it was a baby that used to go to bed at 6:30, wake up around 1or 2 am, have a small feed and then sleep again until around 7 am. Dreamy right? Yes, there were many dreams because I managed to have adequate REM cycles. 

Contrasted with current sleep schedule: Bedtime around 6:30 - wake around 7:30, wake around 10:30, wake around 1:30, wake around 3:00, wake around 3:30 - OK OK YOU CAN COME IN OUR BED. 

Enter "co-sleeping" except ok, not CO sleeping, because really only 2/3 of us are actually sleeping. True "CO" sleeping implies SHARED sleep. Except nobody is sharing with me. 

6:00: let's start the day! 


Evidently, little sleep makes me slightly sarcastic and a just a teensy bit cynical.... 

In all seriousness, I find it completely understandable. Logically, it must be so scary to wake up in a dark room behind bars, with no warm bodies next to you, and you're tired because you want to sleep, but you just. can't. fall. back. asleep. without. help and love. I secretly love that I am help and love. And logically, my rational heart breaks when I think about not being help and love anymore at some point. Probably way sooner then I would expect. Already, she's fussier when I try to "rock" her to sleep at bedtime; I find more and more often then not, she just wants to be put into bed and stretch out on her own and fuss before falling asleep. At the same time, I'm bracing myself for what could be a loooonnng couple months. I don't think I can bare letting her "cry it out" when she wakes up. When you are fighting the battle it feels so long, but when you come out on the other side, you're like, that wasn't so bad... That's how it usually goes, doesn't it? (Please tell me that's how it usually goes.) 

Wish us luck that we find a middle ground!! And that I find a nap or two this weekend. 

Which reminds me: Happy Thanksgiving!! I'm looking forward to warm dishes of food and family members with open arms this weekend! Giving thanks for this beautiful family of mine. So sleepy, but so incredibly happy. (<--- 100% not exaggerating). As usual, I have all the feelings at once, all the time. 


Thrill of the Hunt

HEARTEmily KellyComment

I go around the corner and my dad is bent on one knee, flipping through the stack of records. I have a pile of knick-knack type things and a few clothes thrown over one arm. 

Can I get this stuff?” I ask him. He looks down his nose over the top of his glasses to get a better look at what I’m talking about. 

Sure, ok.” 

We’re at the Salvation Army in Belleville Ontario and I'm about 11 years old. It’s at the back of the Industrial Park. Beside the bay where the store is located there’s a garage. The parking lot is a mixture of people who have dropped off their cars to be fixed, and people with cars they can’t afford to fix.

My mom will shake her head when we get in. Me with my thrifted over-sized clothes that I thought to be cutting edge. Him with a stack of records that would make their way into his record stash. Later on I’d sit in my room and take out my finds; try on the shirt I’d scored. The coolest kid in grade seven, that was my aim. I might have missed the mark a bit. But it was the thrill. The thrill of the hunt. And honestly, looking back, who is cool in grade seven anyway?

All over the area we’d traipse. Draw a 360 circle in 100 km circumference around my parent’s house and any Goodwill, Salvation Army, thrift store, junk store, used book or record store you hit, my dad’s been there. Him in search of records, and me, tagging along for the ride. 

I’m not exactly sure how old I was when he started collecting. He’s always had records, as most people from his generation do, but the precise date of the big bang that led to his collection of today is unknown. You could probably say it happened organically but I’d love to go back in time to that moment - to the first record purchase that kicked it off. If you asked him I’m sure he’d come up with a memory for it. Because that’s my dad: he has a good way of marking all momentous occasions in his mind, even before they are known to be so.

The first particular record memory I have from my early childhood days (aside from the Roger Whittaker or Bony M Christmas Albums of course) is of a Mannheim Steamroller album. It was a collection of nature inspired songs called "Saving the Wildlife." The record kicks off with an eerie piece of wolves howling. Then, the synthesizer picks up with low beats. While the other kids were listening to Mini Pops, this was me: "Play that wolf song daddy!" Having had the memory recently, I dug my own copy of the record out and listened to the piece not too long ago.... it’s... eclectic to say the least. 

And then, it must have been sometime between my 6th and 10th birthday, he started The Search. His collection slowly started to grow. As a carpenter and photographer, he had a workshop and studio separate from our house where we lived; on a dirt road in the country, about a 10 minute drive from town. The attic above the studio slowly began to house his collection. I’d go up there to look through the stacks. The plywood floor was covered in crayon drawings that I had made when the shop was being built and he let me go to town. “Emily and Dad Fort” was what one of my childhood scawls read as you climbed the set of drop-cieling stairs. 

I’d like to say I helped him with the collection but really I was just along for the ride. More often then not, I’d be whining within 20 minutes if I had exhausted looking through all the racks of clothes. Of course you need more then 20 minutes to sift through the dusty stacks of records. If you’re a true collector, you discern! You pull each prospective record out and inspect it for scratches. The jacket shouldn’t be too dusty with mildew from the previous owner's garage, mildew being the hardest of the scents to get out. My dad quickly perfected the search process; Usually the shop will have the records in some sort of box or crate so you can flip through the pile. He’d first quickly flip through the stack, pulling ones that looked "collection worthy" along the way. He would then go back and inspect each one separately. Finally, he’d flip through his own pile and assess it’s value so that when he got to the cashier, he’d have a number in his head he could haggle with. It might seem rude to haggle at a charity shop, but some of them were acting as if these were CD’s! And honestly in 1995, there weren't too many people hitting "Beyond the Blue Box" for vinyl. 

By my 13th birthday, he was DJ’ing my party with the "Golden Oldie" hits I'd come to love via his influence. He set up a pair of big speakers and amp on our deck so the music was pumping around our above ground pool and we listened while swimming in the dark. Afterwards, as the night got cool, we wrapped ourselves in our Umbro hoodies, wet hair dripping down our shoulders, and had ice-cream sundaes beside the still water and floating pool noodles. My birthday is at the beginning of September and I remember that particular night feeling like a farewell to summer. 

And it was probably shortly after that that it became less cool to tag along with my dad on his hunt. These were the days before “vintage” was in. I had other things to do and was admittedly moody and embarrassed at the prospect of heading into a Salvation Army with my father. Somehow I'd acquired the high and mighty opinion that it looked poor to be seen frequenting the thrift shop. We weren’t poor, we were treasure seekers! But how would I explain that to the potential group of teenage girls from high school should they see me? And of course today, thrifting has become a multi-million dollar business, having built the back-bone of Ebay and Etsy (in it's early days.) That's why I like to say now, I was part of the original "vintage" wave. But that's just to make myself feel better having not stuck my neck out when it counted. 

I would still go on occasion of course - but usually when we were on our way home from somewhere like soccer practice or basketball practice or a track meet or piano lessons or dance class…… (there was a lot of shuttling with Taxi Dad Service aka the original Uber) and my dad would suggest “let’s just stop by the Goodwill first.” I would reluctantly follow him in not wanting to sit in the car. But the days of used clothing were falling behind me; I was favouring the Quinte Mall with friends for my treasure finds at this point. 

But still, I turned to my dad when I wanted to give my first “love” a birthday present. A framed copy of Neil Young's Harvest album. It was one of my favourites at the time and I wrote him a letter on the back of the nicely matted and custom wood framed record jacket that my dad made for me to give to him. 

Those were the days when he’d try to pull my sister or I into the studio where he had a record player, amp and stereo system set up. He’d pull together a line up of music and try to get us to listen. 

Try being the operative word.

"Ok just listen to this one,” he'd say to us, referring to one of his latest finds.

Daaaaaddd” we’d say. "This stuff is weird!" My sister's favourite song at the time was Mariah Carey, Always Be My Baby. I think mine was the Mighty Mighty Bostones, The Impression that I get. Clearly each having much more of an imprint on our minds then the piece of Jazz or Celtic Folk - whatever the flavour of the week was. 

But somewhere between the days when my most prized possession was my Mickey Mouse bedspread, and me graduating high school, my dad amassed his collection; Anything from classical to old country to rock to 60’s punk to folk to bluegrass to jazz to you name it. Everything - except gospel, which I don’t think he’s ever really had an ear for. If you can think of it, he’s probably got it. Some of it's worth something and honestly some of it you might have to pay somebody to take. But nevertheless it’s alphabetized and organized into genre, and each one has been catalogued for “market rate” in a spiral notebook. 

When I was 16 we moved out of my childhood home. On a really hot day in early August we loaded an entire U-Haul truck with only records and books. I’ll just say that again: An ENTIRE U-Haul - the big 3 bedroom house size - with ONLY books and records. You see, as the movers began to fill up the 18-wheeler truck and it was nearly full half-way through the day, we realized that we hadn’t even gotten to the attic with the records. My neighbours showed up to help us as we battled a 40 degree heat wave, moving apple crate after apple crate of records out of Emily and Dad Fort and into the Uhaul, and then unloaded them at our new house in town. When we went over the train-tracks the undercarriage of the truck nearly scraped the tracks as the shocks struggled to bear the weight. 

these pictures show only a few aisles of what the actual collection entails

these pictures show only a few aisles of what the actual collection entails


In my parent’s house now, you’ll find my dad’s record collection in the basement. Obviously, having moved into town, there wasn’t room to build a separate building from the house. So the basement is where my dad, like so many other men around North America, retreats. I’m just not sure how many of those other men are listening to vinyl.

After dinner, around 9 or 10 pm when the dishes are done and the garbage is taken out to the garage, he heads down with a glass of white wine, to clean records and listen to music. When I was a University student, home for the summer, that's where you'd find him. Tucked away in the back corner, patiently pulling the vinyl out of it's sleeve, diligently cleaning the smooth shiny black surface with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, my childhood dog Bessie, curled up at his feet, snoozing away. He places it on the record player and looking down his nose over his glasses, he softly drops the needle. 

"Now just listen he says." And we did. After it's finished, I head up to bed, faced with the lawns I was due to cut in the summer heat the next day. Tanned and tired and well on my way to heading out on my own in the world, it was still nice to know that he stayed up a bit longer in our otherwise quiet house, the dull thud of the bass drifting up the stairs as he listened to some more of his music. 

If you talk to my dad about records, he'll tell you that there's just something in the sound - something that can't be replicated with a CD or digital wave. "It's warmer." I've heard him say that before. And it's true. I'm all grown up now and starting my own family but our treasure seeking days and the sound of his record collection have stuck with me. This past summer, I stumbled across the most amazing kijiji find; A mint condition Garrard Stereo system, complete with phono, circa 1970. It's a beautiful piece of furniture. But what's more, it's a house for my records. When I told my dad that I'd bought it, he excitedly said to me, "Oh good! I've got some doubles you can have!"

"You think!?" was my initial reaction.

Because while I can't corroborate this, I don't think it would be a stretch to say that he's amassed one of the biggest private vinyl collections in Ontario, so surely he's got a few to spare.

And as I sit here sifting through a stack he's just given me from our last visit, I can't but help remember: a young version of me hopping out of the car, heading into the thrift shop alongside my dad. Excited for the prospect of what we might find. 


It’s my dad’s 70th birthday today and because we live three hours away, we won’t be able to celebrate in person until this weekend. Boo! But to mark the occasion I wanted to put together some words on time I’ve spent with him and highlight just one of (many) reasons I think he's so awesome! Thanks Dad for teaching me that everything old is new again, and sometimes it's the thrill of the hunt that will stick with you. Happy 70th Birthday!! May you find the time today to listen to a really good record :) 

**photo of my dad is a self-portrait he took a couple years ago.

So Much Bounty

FareEmily KellyComment

The area I come from used to have a sign on the main highway of a woman with a basket of veggies advertising the attraction to the county. When Mike and I started dating and driving to my parent's place for visits he'd say "SO MUCH BOUNTY" and it became a bit of a running joke to watch for the lady dressed in early nineties jeans, a la Rachel on Friends, holding her cornucopia basket of goods, as a landmark on the road trip. 

Anyhoo, this week I found a basket and filled it with my own bounty. It was my first year growing beets and carrots and I was so happy to have any of them grow - but I actually got two crops out of my garden of each! I need to learn how to properly thin out the vegetable seeds though (and figure out the right stage to do this at). I'm contemplating setting up a "Pop Up Market Stand" on my front stoop next summer. That's a thing right? Like pop up vintage clothing shop except less clothes and more eats. 

I'm wholly aware of how odd it might be to take pictures of your food in a basket; except for I get an immense amount of satisfaction out of the fact that I actually grew edible food. Holla!! 

Happy weekend!! May yours be full of bounty!!!

Chili Chili Sauce

FareEmily KellyComment

Towards the end of September my mom came to visit and we tackled a humongous batch of Chili sauce. Two things about chili sauce - it doesn't taste like "chili" and also you have to chop an exorbitant amount of veggies and fruit. The recipe that we used was my Grandma's - it was one of the earliest recipes I actually blogged about and you can read about it here (spoiler alert; I stole that photo above from that post because it was just so much better than all of the pictures I took while we tore my kitchen apart in the process). 

It's cumbersome but pretty simple to make. And we use it as a substitute for anything you might be inclined to slather in ketchup.

While my mom and I were going through the process of chopping all the veggies and the steaming and sterilizing of the jars, it definitely dawned on me how much work canning is. I can completely understand why we've turned the process into a more efficient and less labour intensive one with the grocery store shelves stocked and supplied by someone else who has done the work. This took a lot of effort. But man, there really is something about having a part in the process. Is it just me, or isn't the best part of the meal sometimes making it? It might sound cheesy, but as I get older, I'm finding the moments of satisfaction in efforts like this. It's just so neat to put a jar of food on the table that you made, from start to finish. Next year it would be really great to have a hand in growing most of the ingredients too - I doubt I'll be growing pears, apples and peaches by next September, but maybe tomatoes and peppers. 

I'm also really in love with taking this recipe and preserving it. There's something to be said about finding a recipe that your grandmother turned to year in and out, and bringing it back into the rotation. I think it keeps a part of them alive with you. And also, I'm excited to share these sorts of traditions with June. What is it about becoming a mother that makes you so nostalgic?! SNIFF SNIFF. Anyway, before I turn to a puddle of chutney:


                                                                        This year's finished product^^^^

We'll be thinking of you as we make our way through a few of these jars nana! <3

Fall Fest and Focus

Baby, HEARTEmily KellyComment

I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized how September had already slipped away from me. Tiny secret; one year ago today is the day that Mike and I found out we were expecting. We decided we wouldn't tell anyone for three months... And then of course I immediately texted my sister and best friend. Because, carrier of LIFE! And also because no matter what stage, we wanted to celebrate it from the first possible moment. There has been much celebration since, even despite the fact that we've wandered into what they call the "four month sleep regression." I read all about it on my Wonder Weeks APP, realized that we were in the midst of "a leap" (<--- the expert's way of saying... "things could be a bit hairy for a few weeks") and promptly deleted the APP. I am so over pre-empting stages and milestones. I just want to let them come as they will, in June's own time. Plus, when I found myself bracing for "fussy stages" I was getting anxiety. So see ya later APP!! We're just gonna go into uncharted territory on our own.


Over the weekend we went to APPLEFEST --> It's THE festival of my hometown. (For more about the holiday see this post here.) I was pretty excited to introduce June to the event and a few members of my extended family were joining us at my parent's place. Which is awesome - to see aunts and uncles and cousins. Now the cousins and their kids are playing together and it's like my childhood all over again and really just the best thing ever. When I stop and see us all together I'm reminded how strongly that family is the point of life, it gets me right in the 1985 home-video feels. 

                                        (^^^My parents kitchen, all ready for Sunday brunch. Home is Sweet <3)

It's hard to travel with a baby, yes? Or is it just me. I feel like some babies love the car. June really doesn't. "When they're screaming, take them for a ride," they said. "The car makes any baby sleep," they said. Well really, really, no. Not in our case anyway. Considering my parents live three hours away, the drive is a bit of a struggle. When things start to really break down, I crawl into the back and play Disney Songs on my cell phone from youtube (good-bye data!) and honestly, Disney to the rescue. She loves the music! I can't get over how this little tiny human ALREADY has razor sharp focus when a Disney song comes on. It's crazy. I'm also just amazed at how many of the words I remember to "Kiss the Girl" (Little Mermaid) and every song from the Lion King. Mike was also amazed at how I could carry on for a solid half and hour, (very) out of tune car Karaoke. That's the thing about marriage friends, you should just never stop looking for ways to stoop your partner ;)

Anyway, when we got back to Ottawa on Sunday night, I was ready for bed. Evidently, singing takes it out of me. I went to bed at 8:30 which might be the earliest I have gone to bed since I was 8.5 months pregnant and I made sleeping my hobby. 

September, I apparently missed blogging you, but we had a lot of fun. We started the month out with a heat-wave, and here I am on the last day of the month, dressed in my cozy, cozy socks, leaving my half-finished mug of tea in which-ever room I entered last, and making a list of people to pawn my huge stock of chilli sauce, pickles and peach butter off on. 

Van Morrison Live

Around Ottawa, around the house and cityEmily KellyComment

OR the one in which we left the house without our baby!

On Friday we had our first date night in over three months! We went to see Van Morrison who was in Ottawa as part of the City Folk Festival. Mike and I fell in love over Van Morrison and Astral Weeks was our wedding song so when he surprised me with tickets for our one year anniversary in August, I  was pretty much blown away (and "Paper" is the one year anniversary gift so I'm not sure how he's going to top that one next year). We had to wait a month for the concert but it worked out to be perfect timing in terms of having a night out on on the town without our June in tow. I would have loved to have brought her - and I saw a number of moms wearing their tiny babies sporting noise cancelling ear phones - but it was in the end, really refreshing for Mike and I to have some time to ourselves. My parents came to babysit, and since I was able to get her to sleep before we left, and she ended up sleeping the entire time we were gone (!!), it made it easier on me knowing that she wasn't crying or making it hard on them. And how do I know this? Because I checked in multiple times :D 


(In the capable hands of my mom, my dad, and of course Cliff, who oversaw the entire operation from start to finish ^^)

The concert was amazing. We're having an Indian Summer in Ottawa and it felt like a hot July night. Van Morisson DGAF - as in he played no encore, was pretty mellow and resisted playing songs as you would remember hearing them on the radio. Obviously not all musicians can get away with super subdued vocals or variations on their "classics", but in my opinion,  I think  the greats like Bob Dylan or Van have earned it. And it made for a really unique show; he played a really interesting line-up including two of his more obscure songs which just happened to be two of his most memorable songs for Mike and I and we went never expecting to hear them! Cleaning Windows was one of Mike's favourites and he remembers listening to it driving to his first real "Adult" job, and In the Garden was basically part of the soundtrack to my life for the first year I lived in Ottawa. So all around, amazing show since I'm 85% sure he knew we were there and he was playing just for us.  

(Blurry concert photo for posterity ^^^ ;) )

Three Months

Baby, SnapshotsEmily KellyComment

We're on a nap strike (ok we just don't nap really at all) but I'm about two weeks behind with this post and I'm determined this will be posted while Juney swings away beside me. (She is also on a swing strike making this much harder then it sounds.)

I watched this youtube video of elderly women saying how much they wished they'd savoured holding their babies, and the late nights and early mornings yesterday and it nearly brought me to tears. Does life really go by that fast? And if so, how can we freeze frame these moments so that I can just live in them forever? 

June is three months. THREE MONTHS. She's rolling over, and getting stuck on her stomach. It's made for some pretty interesting nights of Mike and I just watching the monitor to ensure she doesn't get stuck in the bars, or stuck on her stomach. Yesterday I wised up and went out and bought the mesh bumper pads (thanks friends for the recommendations!) and last night after she had a feeding and insisted on flipping to sleep on her tummy, I just let it happen. Because I've watched it enough times to know she freaks out if she can't handle it. Plus she was sleeping like a dream a baby and ain't no sane momma gonna mess with that. 

Speaking of sleep, she's the best little night sleeper. I'm talking 7-2 or 3am, feed and then sleeps again until 6 or 7 am. I can't complain about the lack of daytime napping when she's letting me get solid nighttime zzz's. And can I just say, I thought the nighttime nursing would deplete me? But it is the best thing ever, and I mean that with so much sincerity. It's the moments I want to just keep (see above ^^^); it's the quiet time, the soft time and it's our time. 

Every morning when she wakes up she looks a little bit bigger. Everyday her eyes catch something new and I'm just captivated by her. It's still such beautiful weather here so we've been going to the park and laying on a blanket because, I just have to get outside at least once a day and because the leaves, I'm pretty sure they just blow her mind (I'm already dreading the winter months... we're going to have to find some really good indoor activities outside of the house!). 

I'm beginning to see the appeal of the monthly sticker. The blocks are going to prove an extra challenge in the months to come. The antics that these pictures involved could be part of a circus act - from Mike standing about one inch out of the frame to be close enough to intervene if necessary, to the "QUICK SHE"S ABOUT TO KICK THE BLOCKS AGAIN" (see first photo for the "M" which we managed to put back crooked but in time to get her only smile...) to "Juney. Juney Juney, look over here. Where's your smiles?! Where's your smiles sweet girl?! A Booooo: A bug-a-bug-a-booooo!!" The window was open and you can definitely hear everything from the street. That's ok. We're those kinds of people. 

Yay for three months and everything that has happened in-between. Life is a treasure. Also this face, this face is a treasure:

Getting Out

around the house and cityEmily KellyComment

The first time Mike and I took June “out” by ourselves we talked strategy for about half an hour beforehand. I think she was about two weeks old at the time. I had been out with my mom before that but when my parents left after their stay with us, Mike and I decided to go out for breakfast for the first time as a family of three. It was a lot of “Ok, well... and we’ll put the bucket on the seat beside us at the restaurant.” and “If she starts crying I’ll just take her and walk her around outside,” also “it’s not too far, she should be able to make it there in the car without too much of a fuss.” It sounds maybe a tad silly I’m sure to read it like this, but it was our way of psyching ourselves up. Anyway, I was thinking about how far we’ve come after the summer; on the weekend Mike had a work retreat North of Ottawa at Camp Fortune which is a ski hill in the middle of Gatineau Park. It’s about an hour from where we live and we made the drive and the meal and the socializing without really doing any strategizing beforehand - and that’s when I realized that we’re doing this! We’re totally being parents now and going out into the world (more) confidently with our baby! Most of his team decided to do the zip line course but Mike has a bum ankle (…. and a crippling fear of heights), and I had a baby so that wasn’t in the cards for us (we haven’t come THAT far ;) ). We did manage to get out for a hike on a nicely groomed trail (which was key since I wore floppy little no-name Toms that had absolutely no traction... way to plan ahead Emily). ALSO, deer sighting from the car on the way in!! All around successful day!

It was spitting rain and the old trees reminded me of the Redwoods we saw on our honeymoon. I carried Juney end to end and she didn’t wake up so I think the fresh air agreed with her. It was so enjoyable to be out there together. It’s that sigh of relief “ahhh” feeling when you realize that you are much more equipped for this whole parenthood thing then you originally assumed. And that park is absolutely beautiful - any time of year, particularly in the Fall when the canopy of Maple trees starts to turn colours. It was still green and lush on the weekend but the light rain made everything so soft and muted and you could just sense in the air that the crispy fall feeling is about to erupt as soon as we turn our heads and look the other way.

As an aside, I can’t believe how big she’s getting already. She’s not the little newborn squish anymore. She’s got personality behind her eyes and she is so eager to take in everything around her. Right now her feet and her fists are her favourite and I’d say she spends about 90% of her waking time with either in her mouth. I’m still constantly fighting the battle of “I know I need to get her to nap” so I’ll put her down, and then I’ll just walk around not knowing how to fill my time, and wishing she was awake and with me again. If I wasn’t sure before, I’m positive now that I was born for this. I just love being her momma so much. 


Words, FamilyEmily KellyComment

Holy. I'm 31! When I was fourteen, 31 was absolutely ANCIENT. Luckily, now that I'm here, I can say it's really not. Although, I did do a 5 km run yesterday that just completely wiped me out by 9 pm. (And when I say yesterday, I really mean last thursday because that's when I started writing this post... because let's be honest, with a 3-month old baby one does not simply sit down and and tackle this in one sitting.) 

So far, 31 looks a lot different then 28, 29 and even 30. And to be honest, I can't believe how fast these years have gone by. I feel like it was just yesterday that Mike and I moved in together and I started writing this blog because I wanted to separate my "work life" from the stuff I did on the side. When I started the 9-5 it was important to me to intentionally keep track of non-work activities and thoughts because it seemed like the well oiled machine of the work week put a blanket over "really living." Now of course, it's all blending together; there's no work life, there's no "DIY time or writing time" it's just, life. Right now life is a mess of day to day activities, and I've realized that even if I'm not documenting it, it's still "really living." 

But that being said, living with intention is so important. And I think that's why I'm really excited for this year. I'm excited to grow into my role as a mother more. I'm excited that I've stepped away from the judicatory I was on before I left on maternity leave. I've heard it before from other people but I know now what they meant by "you'll evaluate your priorities when you become a mother." I'm looking at my time differently and how I want to invest my energy (when I have free time and energy to spare that is). So I'm trying my hardest to be intentional - to not spread myself so thin and to take into consideration what it is really that's important to me and to my family and to my role as a mother. 

I'm not at a point where I can tell you specifically a list of items I want to accomplish over the next year, but I can tell you what I want 31 and the years that follow, to look like.  

1. Family - I have specific goals for our family. For the way I want us to get along, to support one another and to lift each other up.  I think that's why I've made this list up in the first place; all the ways I lead my life will affect my family, which is why I feel so strongly that I need to know where my priorities lie. 

2. Fitness  - I've dreamed of specific fitness goals since I was a little girl and I've done a pretty good job in the past of reaching them. I'm proud of the personal bests I've reached in the half-marathon and I would like to keep these benchmarks and add others like daily yoga practice and reach further with races. I believe that fitness is so strongly tied to health and well-being and I'm super excited to announce that I'm a now Fitfluential Ambassador. I'll be writing more about this in the future but for now you can click on the button on the side for more information. 

3. Food  - Some of my earliest memories are of toddling along the garden rows, following after my babysitter as she pulled enough potatoes and vegetables for their winter cellar. Food doesn't have to be idealistic - it's easier then we think to maintain a positive relationship with where our food comes from and how we work for it. You just have to want to be involved in the process. I believe in the benefit of watching our food grow and in gathering our food ourselves. This is something I want to pass along to June and any other children that come into the Kelly family and I'm so excited to get started with our garden plot were next summer (I will probably be frothing at the mouth by the time next spring comes around.)

4. The environment - I can't capture exactly how much stuff you realize you have, that you don't need, after you have a child. Mike and I spent the better part of the past year purging our house of excess, mostly motivated by my intense desire to nest when I was pregnant with June. It hasn't really gone away and I'm on a mission to continue to cut back on the amount of things we buy and bring into our home. In my mind, consumption is one of the biggest problems we have in terms of environmental degradation - on top of the fact that I want June to believe that people are more important than things. I also don't want to be "owned" by our possessions any more then we already are. So I'm making an Ernest effort to buy used where possible - there are so many amazing resale groups for our neighbourhood and for children's items on Facebook, and I've been watching all summer thinking, it's more fun to go on the hunt for something anyway. 

5. Creativity - I can't really pick between my creative outlets; and I've turned at one point to either writing, design or photography to feel fulfilled from a days work. Since none of those categories make me money (and I'm not sure I want them to) I'm going to continue to blend them together here on my blog. 

6. Community - Maybe it's because I'm a transplant in Ottawa but seeking out a community and becoming an active member of one it really important to me. It doesn't take 31 years to realize that you get more out of a place, the more you put into it, and so I'm on a mission to find my place in this city that I've been calling home! 

7. Integrity- I've always been a bit of a passionate red-head sort... And it's been known to backfire on me in more then one occasion. But it hasn't stopped me from speaking out when I feel the burning desire to be heard. Like so many people, I was affected very strongly by the images of little Syrian boy on the beach last week. I've been feeling convicted about the conflict in Syria since I've spent the past 7 years off and on working in humanitarian affairs with our government. When you work for the government you tend to censor yourself if issues become political. Whether it's this issue or another, I want June to know that she can stand-up and speak for people when she feels compelled to, even if it's political to do so. And I realized she's going to be watching me and learning from me, in all aspects, but particularly in how she views the world. I don't want her voice or beliefs to be narrowed by what she's afraid other people might think. 

So those are my seven line items that I've been toying over tirelessly when I'm holding my sleeping baby, dreaming of what I want for our lives together. In most ways they've always been those things that I've been striving for, but I think because 31 comes with new responsibility, I feel so much more compelled to make it happen for us. 

I'm motivated by this proverb which, of course not surprisingly, is Proverbs 31:

"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household   and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently,  but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,   but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands,   and let her works praise her in the gates." 

Farewell Summer

seasonsEmily KellyComment

I know summer's not over until later on in September, but there's something about labour day weekend and seeing all the school buses out on the road again that make me feel like summer is "over". While I was getting a bit nostalgic going through photos from the summer last night, I do love this time of year something fierce - and this year I'm completely and totally ready for Fall weather after the crazy, hot humidity we've had here over the past couple weeks. Ottawa has been turned into a sweaty mess of frizzy hair (me) and I've never been to the bayou but I'm pretty sure I know what it feels like. So as they say, bring on the sweater weather. 

I'm sad to say good-bye to summer and all the firsts we've experienced - June is officially 3 months today (!!!) and she's started rolling over. It's been my first summer looking at the season through the eyes of a mother - summer nights that are warm enough for just pi's and no blankets makes my life easier, and I'm dreaming of outdoor movie nights in a few years with a growing Junebug. 


There's been so much going on the past week; so much so that I don't really know where to start. I'm percolating like a cup of coffee on plans for the Fall, on things that are getting me all fired up and passionate, on where we go next. We're working on a road trip plan (which may or may not be crazy with a four-month old), and some redecorating plans for our master bedroom and turning the formal dining room we never use into something that's much more fun. But before we get into that, I wanted to say good-bye properly to summer. 

Seriously, summers always go by so quickly. Those nights where the crickets put you to sleep, when you wear tank tops out to pick up the mail at 10 pm and you can feel the humidity cloaked around you. The stopping and a moment's notice for an ice-cream, the flowers you splurge on for your kitchen table. And maybe because we had a baby, and everything goes in fast motion when you have a new baby, but this was the summer on warp speed. There's been many a good summer, but I'm leaving this one feeling like I would do every moment over again. Even the one where Mike passed out after he hurt his ankle and I called 911 because I didn't know what was happening. Yes, even that one :)


Cottage Getaway

Family, TravelEmily KellyComment

And then all of a sudden it was September and I'm looking at these photos from last week going, that was in the "summer" (I know summer isn't officially over until later in the month, but for me summer is basically over when September hits.)

We really did have such a good week away as a family of three for the first time! It was a good way to ease into "travelling" with a  baby - the road trip wasn't all that long and obviously it's easier when you get somewhere and stay put for a few days. Mike was working during the day so June and I spent a lot of time laying around and gurgling and taking some really great walks along the shore of the lake. I even managed to get out on my own for some runs which was amazing to keep up with my training (that half-marathon is seriously encroaching on me quickly... I need to decide imminently if it's going to happen!) 

We had a pack n' play for sleeping but June didn't really take to it; we ended up co-sleeping most of the week and as a result I didn't get the best sleeps. But it was worth it. We consumed many a gourmet cottage meal, drank our coffee on the dock and watched Cliff chase the frisbee; we didn't feel a huge need to wander too far from the house but we did make a quick trip to a local brewery one day and a really cute cafe another day. Mostly we just lounged and did what we would do at home, except against the most beautiful backdrop... After spending most of the summer inside, it was a great way to feel like we're leaving the season soaked in a bit of sun. 

I've totally become that cheese ball parent with the camcorder, except luckily, unlike the camcorders of my youth,  you don't have to carry it on your shoulder- thankfully my iPhone is a bit more discreet. Anyhoo! A little video on our first week away together! 

Farmer's Market and University Bound

FamilyEmily KellyComment

We spent the weekend with my family in my hometown and it was one of those perfect end of summer weekends -  We were celebrating my niece leaving for UNIVERSITY (oh my word, how do I have a niece heading to University?! I remember rocking this child to sleep!) The highlight had to be sitting around talking with everyone after dinner. I love my big family and my mom always pulls out all the stops - I don't know how she does it sometimes! Never-ending energy!

I was a bit nervous to disrupt the "routine" for June again after the week of being away from home, but she was an all-star - for sure this girl does not nap but we've been lucky to have her sleep through the night on more then one occasion in the past few weeks so I think we're close to hitting a milestone here folks! Also, can I just say that I feel strongly like life should not end when you have a baby? I know it's still early but it's been our goal to try to keep pushing out of our comfort zone even though we're "new parents." When we bought our stroller off of a couple from Kijiji last Spring they looked at us like deer in the headlights and told us quite seriously that "you don't leave the house for four months." It hasn't always been easy or pretty - and there have been melt downs (both June and I) but we've almost reached 3 months and managed to leave the house. That was a bit of a tangent but hello, is it not true that you get SO much advice when you are having a baby, but it's really just about finding your own level of comfort as a family when you start to venture out into the world. 

On Sunday we went to the cutest farmer's market in a little town just outside of town. All the produce is just overflowing right now and it made me remember how much I love gardening and growing food; I wished I could have had my own booth. I know it's such a huge job to do that, but it's got me thinking about what I want to do after my year of maternity leave with June Bug is up. Isn't that flower stand down there just the cutest thing? Hard work, but so much reward when you put it all together like that. 

As we were driving out of town I remembered why it's so hard to visit my hometown. It never gets easier to leave the place you grew up. It's the landscape, the people, the familiarity - its just that feeling of home that you don't get, even after years of putting down roots elsewhere. But the strangest part of it is, my heart is in two places; when we got back to Ottawa I remembered all the feelings I have about this city that I now call home. This is Juney's hometown now and when I drive around this place and I see all the landmarks that make me feel at home here - all the memories Mike and I have already made together. I think if I've learned one thing about marriage in the past year it's about doing things together; forging our own new path that's ours. So that's what I'm thinking about heading into the Fall - all sorts of thoughts for the first day of September. Holy cow, where did the summer go?!

Peach Butter

FareEmily KellyComment

I'm still in vacation mode but I wanted to share this recipe before peach season was over! I had plans to do canned whole peaches for the first time but alas I think I've missed my window of opportunity! I did however get to try out this recipe for Peach Butter from One Sweet Mess that I found on Pinterest. I'm trying to put my money where my pins are so I've been making my way through some of the ones that I had on my "summer" board - this one in particular caught my eye because peaches and also butter ;) 

I decided to do these in the middle of the heat wave earlier this month - heat wave while wearing a baby makes for a sweaty mess of a kitchen. It was fun though and super easy (if a bit cumbersome because the canning process is always a bit of a to do what with the boiling of the jars and the sterilizing.) Essentially all it involves is cooking the peaches down on the stove with a large amount of sugar and then blending the liquid to make it smooth. My only comment would be the volume I got out of what was originally a large batch of peaches - I guess I should have divided the batch up into smaller jars. 

I'm so excited to try this in the winter when a little bit of summer in a jar will go a long way!

Next stop; SALSA!!

Happy weekend!! Get out and enjoy this last bit of August while we can!