24 March 2011

So you know...

For a while, I have been posting every Monday, and then again later in the week if I could manage it.  Unfortunately, even just this is taking too much time away from my family.  So now I'll just post occasionally.  I hope you keep reading my blog, though.  I recommend you follow me via e-mail.  (See where it says, "Follow My by Email!" right above my followers?  That's where you sign up.)  This way, you'll get an e-mail each day that I post something (and no e-mail when I don't).

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blog, and I hope to keep adding fun things...just less often.

21 March 2011

Fresh Homemade Strawberry Jam

Yummy goodness.

Sweet and natural perfection.

What am I talking about?  Fresh homemade strawberry jam, made the day after the berries were picked.  Is there anything better?  Mmmmmmmm..........

All you need are strawberries, sugar, pectin, jars, lids, and ... the things you screw onto the top of the jar that keeps the lid on.  Bands?  Anyway...the recipe for the jam is in the pectin box, so I won't write that here, but here are some tips from my experience:

Fresh picked-when-they're-ripe strawberries are the best, but remember that you really do need to make the jam immediately.  (Or the pie, or the ice cream topping--whatever goodness you have in mind.)  The strawberries you usually see at the grocery store were picked green and put out when they are nearly ripe--they last longer than strawberries that are allowed to ripen on the plant.  (You can put whole, unwashed berries in the refrigerator, and they last longer.)  The strawberries we jammed the first day were a lot happier with life than those that had to wait until the second day.

Don't buy three flats of strawberries all at once, as amazing as that may sound at the time.  That was too much jamming to do so quickly, before the fully ripe and wonderful berries turned into, well, you know--less than wonderful berries.  (Although I admit I will not be complaining as I'm eating the jam all year long...)

The recipe in the pectin box probably says you have to process the jam, that is, boil it in a canner for a while.  But you don't.  Follow the directions up until the jars are full and the lids are screwed on, then just flip the jars upside down, let them sit  for five minutes, them flip them back over.  You should soon hear little pops that let you know the jars sealed.  (You can check to make sure the button on the lid is down if you don't hear all the pops.)  Any that for some reason didn't seal can just go in your refrigerator, but we didn't have that problem.  If you're worried, go ahead and follow the directions in the box; that will of course work, too.  But my mother-in-law has never had a problem with this method.  (This is my first jam-making experience, but she's done it a lot.)


14 March 2011

How To Make Custom Navigation Tabs

(Once again, the evil laugh of success.)

I told you in my post about adding navigation tabs (aka Pages) under your blog's heading that I had an idea for how to make these customized.  Well, it worked.  (Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!)  I'd read other tutorials about how to do this, but they involved all this html stuff that I really didn't understand.  So I just kept thinking about it and hopeing there was an easier way to accomplish the same thing.

Then it occurred to me--What is the difference between a blog button and a navigation tab?  Nothing.

So here's what you do.

First, whip up some completely awe-inspiring Pages.  (You do not have to have added the Pages gadget to do this.)

Then, use your favorite image editing software to design your new, unique tabs (one for each page).  Upload the images to Photobucket or some similar website.

Next, on Blogger, go to Design-->Page Elements (Update:  It's under "Layout" now)-->Add a Gadget right under your header, like in my other tutorial.  This time, add the HTML/JavaScript gadget.  (If you already have the Pages gadget, you can delete it.  Don't worry, your pages won't disappear.  I tried it just to make sure.)

Now paste this into the space for "Content," and replace the red text with your own info.

<a href="the url of the page you want this tab to take you to" mce_href="the url of the page you want this tab to take you to"><img src="the url where the image is hosted aka Direct Link on photobucket" mce_src="the url where the image is hosted aka Direct Link on photobucket" border="0" /></a>

(I don't know why everything is there twice; all I know is that this does work.)

Do this for each of your tabs (in the same HTML gadget--you don't need to add multiple gadgets).  Click Save, and you're done!

Here are my tabs.  What do you think?  I'm not completely in love with them, myself, but the'll do for now.

07 March 2011

Swap Followings @ Homemaker On a Dime

The blogger at Homemaker On a Dime is hosting a Swap Followings Linky Party.  As part of the party, I am featuring two of the other participants.

First up is Homemaker in Heels.  This is who she is in her own words:

Hi! My name is Crysta and I am so glad you stopped by! Here you will find a random mix of posts on crafting, cooking, decorating, faith, random domestic tips, any bargains I find, along with any other random thing that comes to mind, all with a Southern twist. 

I will update this post later this week with the next featured blog.  I hope you enjoy the blog hop!

The second blog I am newly following is Lisa Made It.  (I like her blog's name.  You know what they say about great minds...)  This is what her blog is in her own words:

Welcome to my BLOG where I will be sharing all of my creations such as recipes, sewing and crafts. There may even be the odd post about my kids cuz I made them too! 

Have a great day, everyone!

How To Add Navigation Tabs Under Your Header with Blogger

Here's a really simple trick to make your blog much easier to explore:  add navigation tabs under the header.  (Like on my blog, I have tabs for Home, Tutorials, etc.)  I was really excited when I found out how to do this, and it's so easy, too!  Here's how you do it.

In Blogger, click on the Design option.  From there, choose Page Elements, and Add a Gadget right under your header.  Add the "Pages" gadget (under "Basics").  You probably want to have the "Automatically publish new pages" option checked.  Save changes, and you have your navigation tabs.  :)  See?  Super easy.

Now for adding pages (and tabs).  You will automatically have a Homepage (of course--this is where all your amazing posts go!), but you probably want more than just that, which is why you're reading this post. Let's say you want to add an About Me page and tab.  Just go to Posting, then Edit Pages.  From there, you can add new pages, edit the ones you already have (but not the homepage--it is what it is) or click on "Learn more" to (are you ready for this?) learn more.  So, click on New Page, and then write all about yourself!
And there you go!  Super easy.

I have an idea about how to make customized navigation tabs.  I'll let you know when I get it all worked out!