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Our Country Home

Weekend Wrap Up and Highlights: Berries, Jams and Best Friends

Kids, Our Country Home, PersonalJill AdamyComment
Starting to pick the blackberries, along with a couple of extra little goodies from our new garden.

Starting to pick the blackberries, along with a couple of extra little goodies from our new garden.

Each day we’re outside, we’ve got an audience of wildlife that watches us as we work around our yard. This little sweetie was out watching me as I picked green beans.

Each day we’re outside, we’ve got an audience of wildlife that watches us as we work around our yard. This little sweetie was out watching me as I picked green beans.

In the Garden

As the summer winds down and the hot days seem to be coming to a close, we’re slowing down on our blueberry picking (only about 4 quarts per day now)! Next up are all the vegetables from our little mini garden. We have never had a big veggie garden so when we decided to start one earlier this summer, we started small. Just a small little 4x4 raised garden that we found online. Figured it was a good, manageable start for me and the kids to tend to and see if it was something we could keep up with. We didn’t plant too much, just your standard: green beans, peppers, peas and tomatoes. So far, I’m happy to report, the green beans and peppers are flourishing! We’ve got quite an abundant crop going on over here and the kids run out there each day and joyfully pick what’s available. The tomatoes on the stalks are getting bigger and hopefully will be turning red pretty soon, as we patiently watch them grow.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that this house has 25 blueberry bushes that are quite mature, so the crop that we’ve been picking at since July has been nothing short of plentiful! If I’ve calculated correctly, we’ve picked over 60 pounds of those juicy little blueberries! They’re gorgeous, sweet and plump! Funny fact: We actually call the blueberry patch “Frannie Farmer’s Blueberries” because our oldest pug, named Frances, loves hobbling out there in the mornings to watch us pick and to be gingerly fed some sweet berries here and there by her favorite boy!

My 7 year old has the magic touch when it comes to our old pug, Frances. She’s a little picky about who feeds her by hand and loves it when he is out there picking blueberries because then she’s able to enjoy quite a few handfuls of her favorite treat!

My 7 year old has the magic touch when it comes to our old pug, Frances. She’s a little picky about who feeds her by hand and loves it when he is out there picking blueberries because then she’s able to enjoy quite a few handfuls of her favorite treat!

Blueberry Jam

We’ve never made jam before, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at canning. It’s evaded me… til now. We just happened to move in next door to a lovely woman who is an expert at canning pretty much everything! So on Saturday, my 9 year old aspiring baker and foodie was invited to visit next door for a jam making lesson. And let me tell you, it came out DELICIOUS! And I’m not a blueberry fan! Talk about sweet and scrumptious. She was able to make 15 jars of jam and very proudly has labels for these jams so she can sell them and give them away to friends and family.

Beautiful and plump blueberries from our patch. So far, nearly 60 pounds picked (but we’ve also left a bunch for the birds who love them!)

Beautiful and plump blueberries from our patch. So far, nearly 60 pounds picked (but we’ve also left a bunch for the birds who love them!)

Here’s my little beauty getting ready to go pick more blueberries in the morning. She even got a little floppy hat to shield her from the sun on those super sunny mornings!

Here’s my little beauty getting ready to go pick more blueberries in the morning. She even got a little floppy hat to shield her from the sun on those super sunny mornings!

Learning to can and make blueberry jam with our lovely next door neighbor. She’s totally hooked on making jam now!

Learning to can and make blueberry jam with our lovely next door neighbor. She’s totally hooked on making jam now!

The rest of the weekend was spent with all of my favorite friends who we both unexpectedly ran into and stopped by for a visit. First off, my very best friend came over for a visit with the kids (who absolutely ADORE him and his son) so we had a great time, laughing and eating berries in the yard as the kids chattered on and on about school, summer stuff and then talked the 18 year old into reaching the higher berries on the trees!) What’s wonderful is that they love my BF almost as much as I do!

Next up was Saturday night with my best high school girlfriends for a BBQ and game night. So many laughs (how did I not piss my pants!) and always such an easy and relaxing time, sitting out on the porch swapping stories from the week and making plans for upcoming fairs and such. These are the aunties that my kids love spending time with (and getting spoiled by).

Finally, a nice quiet lunch out yesterday when we run into a wonderful friend of our family… and it’s the guy who we’ve always purchased our cars from. Nearly 10 years ago we met and he’s fondly known as “Uncle Teddy” now. It’s like we ran into Elvis! These kids were so so happy to see him yesterday and visit with him (we haven’t seen him much since he moved). It was an unexpected surprise that we all loved!

What I love about seeing all these wonderful people over the weekend is that each of them have embraced my kids as their own. None of them are related to us, yet ALL of them treat the kids as their own nieces and nephews. We’re so fortunate to have that and that these littles are growing up surrounded by such loving and positive people who adore them. They are the Uncles and Aunties that pay attention, play games, go to softball, baseball and field hockey games and just plain show their love and affection to these kids. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and I’m thankful for them everyday.

So that’s it in a nutshell for our weekend wrap up. We’ve only got a few days left til school starts, devastating this mama by leaving me home alone without any little kids around. I will anxiously await the bus to arrive home that first day and hear all about the stuff that went on during the first day! Bags and backpacks are ready to go. Now I just need them to come home on the first day with smiles and giggles telling me about their day!

Have a great week!

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Happy Fourth of July! Here's How We Decorated!

Our Country Home, PersonalJill Adamy

Sadly, I don’t have a ton of 4th of July or Americana decorations to put up. Our old house was more of a contemporary colonial with a very open floor plan and not a ton of personality so just the bare minimum of decorations worked. But this house is a completely different story. It’s full of charm and character and I’m off to the races decorating it in the farmhouse theme.

As I retrieved the box with the 4th of July decorations in it, I realized that I really don’t have that much to decorate with. Well, (note to self) that will have to change! But for now, I worked with what I had and also made a banner for the mantle out of card stock and and image I printed off the internet (I just needed to distress it a little bit).

I’m happy with how everything turned out but now I know I have to stock up on more stuff for next year in order to make it a truly Americana 4th of July!

Since this is our first year in our new town, we’ve never celebrated a fourth of July here and weren’t sure what to expect. My girls were to participate on the Softball Rocks parade float so we got them to their drop off point and then staked claim to a nice shady spot in the downtown common to watch for the parade. Not sure what to expect, we didn’t think it’d be a huge parade so my 83 year old mom sat with us in what was turning out to be a pretty hot day!

Much to our surprise and total happiness (as if we could love this town more!), the parade was absolutely adorable and fantastic. All the town committees and groups as well as a bevy of old antique cars, farm stand floats, emergency personnel vehicles and candy being tossed from all the participants (which made for a very excited little boy of mine!) were so much fun to watch. And to top it off, my little ladies loved being on their softball float with their teammates and coaches, singing to lots of tunes as the live band of dads played on from their stage on board the float. Adorable! Fun! And totally small town America. What a town! My husband and I just sat there watching it all like two idiots with dopey happy grins on our faces. Neither of us can believe what a wonderful little town this is to live in, raise kids in and enjoy life in. It’s just full of such nice, friendly and family-oriented families that want to enjoy their kid’s childhoods like we do our own. It’s like we’ve all got the same ideals and morals towards how we want our kids to grow up. It’s wholesome. It’s quaint. And it felt like home from day one.

Farmhouse Decorations for Our New Country Home

Our Country Home, PersonalJill Adamy

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a decorator. I love to look at what people do and admire everything they create in their homes to make them look so beautiful. The past two homes we’ve lived in have been newer builds with the typical builder grade finishes. Not much imagination or specific details to either, but I loved them both just the same. They were perfect when we lived in them and we loved living in both for the time that we spent in each.

Moving to this home has been a dream come true and has allowed us to create our own sense of style. My husband and I have always loved the farmhouse theme, and now that we live in this older, country house in such a beautiful and idyllic setting, we’ve put ourselves full force into decorating it in the farmhouse style.

The couple that we purchased this home from took immaculate care of it, so it’s definitely not a challenge to find things that work in this house. So last week, while my kids were knee deep (not kidding) in cow shit on my mother-in-laws farm, I went and raided the clearance racks over at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. And boy did I find some great stuff!! Check it out:

What I’m finding that works for me is looking at various photos online and in magazines and saving them to a notebook or to my phone so I can emulate the pics that I see that I really like. For instance, I found this photo on the Hobby Lobby website and really loved it. But I didn’t want to pay full price for everything in the photo, so I used some artistic license and found a few other decorative pieces on the clearance rack at Michaels that I think work just as well for my living room! (The photo on the left is the Hobby Lobby version; the photo to the right is my interpretation using the clearance rack!)

Well, that’s it from here today! Kids just got home from the farm last night so we’re spending the day chilling out and enjoying being at home after 13+ hours in the car yesterday!!!

Have an awesome day!

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Front Garden Tour! These Flowers are Epic!

Our Country Home, Personal, FlowersJill Adamy

Never in my life have I had such a gorgeous yard with blooming flowers that are so gorgeous they nearly make me cry every time I see them!

The lady who used to own this house had an incredible green thumb! There are just beautiful flowers, trees and bushes all over this yard. I notice new things each day like a little treasure hunt gift! So this morning I wanted to share with you some of the beauty that surrounds my house.

Since it’s raining here today, I clipped the peonies and one of the irises because the weight of the rain on the peonies and irises was forcing them to the ground. Now they sit in my favorite vase in the kitchen, brightening up my windowsill and putting a smile on my face!

Thursday in the Garden

Our Country HomeJill Adamy

When we moved to this house back in March, I never thought I’d love this yard as much as I do. I just can’t get over how beautiful everything is. From all the fruit trees (blueberry, cherry, blackberry, apple, pear, peach, apricot and plum) and flowering shrubs to the adorable wildlife that frequents it, the entire family just loves being out there, enjoying every moment.

Everyday, when I go out with my little 4 legged babies, we walk around the yard, checking out how the fruits are growing. I’m definitely learning a lot and can’t wait to see what turns into what and how they all ripen. Never having owned any fruit trees in the past, this is a big learning curve for my hubs and I. But it’s just the most fun we’ve ever had, seeing what sprouts and what treats are coming. The kids are convinced that we need to open a fruit market!

There’s also a lot of beautiful flowers in this yard as you’ll see above. That Rhododendron bush… do you see the size of it?!?! It’s almost as tall as the back of my house!!! And the adorable little birds nest that the robins have set up in it give us all a constant joy to watch the babies grow, eat and then fly the coop. We will all sit out on that back screened in porch that is in back of that gigantic Rhodie for hours on end, reading books and watching the little birds. My son even has a little table set up for his Legos out there! In fact, my high school girlfriends and I have deemed this porch the meeting place and we’ve loved every moment of relaxing out there with a glass of wine and laughing our asses off! Definitely one of the favorite parts of the house!

Anyhow, just thought I’d share with you the wonderful growings that our yard has going on in it right now. I’ll be sure to share as things ripen and we start picking, using and baking.

Enjoy your day! Get out there and create something!

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