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San Francisco

On Friday, I flew up to San Francisco for a girls get-away. I decided to leave my camera at home so I could be “off the clock” and enjoy the time more freely. But I did snap a few shots with my cell phone. We started with a visit to the Ferry Building where I bought a petite cake pan from Miette. Now my cakes can look like theirs but probably won’t taste like them. 😉


Our Saturday morning was spent strolling through Chinatown. I could have spent an entire day here, shopping all the trading stores filled with wooden kitchen utensils, unique soaps, brightly colored paper goods, etc., etc. I’ve been to Chinatown before, but it had been a few years, and it seemed almost new. Ever feel like that with a place you’ve visited before?



And of course, no visit would be complete without shopping the Alameda Flea Market. It was fun searching for treasures and getting the chance to meet up with fellow Country Living Contributing Editor, Cathe Holden. I noticed reclaimed wood pieces everywhere and thought this anchor light was really fun and clever.




I did purchase a few things that would fit in my carry on, too bad these olive harvest buckets wouldn’t fit. Up next, I’ll show you what I bought. Be prepared for small items. 🙂


Raspberry Picking & Jam Recipe


Recently, I took a few days off to head out on a solo road trip up the coast. One reason was to visit my friend Carol and the lovely farm she tends because it’s raspberry season! Here’s a peek into our day and a recipe for really delicious Lower Sugar Raspberry Jam at the end of the post!









Low Sugar Raspberry Jam

8 cups raspberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp butter
3 Tbs Ball Real Fruit Low or No-Sugar Pectin*
3 cups granulated sugar

Combine raspberries and lemon juice in large saucepan. Stir in pectin. Add 1/4 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down using medium high heat and stirring constantly. Add sugar and return to full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.

Ladle hot jam into canning jars that have been sterilized and are still hot. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and center lids on jars. Apply bands until fingertip tight. Place filled jars in canner filled with boiling water making sure jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water. Put lid on canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool completely. You will hear a popping sound as the jars seal. After jars cool, check lids for seal. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry, unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used quickly.

* I like using the no-sugar pectin because I can adjust the amount of sugar I add. Traditional pectin requires adding 6 or more cups of sugar. With this pectin you can add any amount of sugar you desire (or none at all) according to your own preferences.

Recipe Courtesy of Carol Smithback


Collecting: Sea Glass

 When The Man was planning an abalone dive trip up to the northern tip of California, I knew I wanted to tag along. I'd heard that some of the beaches were covered in sea glass and had always wanted to see them. I figured while he was diving I could do some beachcombing.


The sea glass is plentiful in the area because it used to be the city dump. The residents would throw their garbage off the cliff into the water. The broken bottles and jars have been tumbled in the sea for years, creating the soft muted tones. I suppose it's like "dumpster diving" in the ocean. Although, probably much more relaxing and beautiful than the real dumpster diving.



I didn't go into the State Park section of Glass Beach because I knew I didn't want to collect anything from there, so I ventured down south outside the park (fewer tourists) and was still able to find much of the beach covered with glass. 

I loved hiking along the trails…the coastline is absolutely gorgeous. There were a few surfers and hippies hanging out, along with lots of squirrels and wild blackberries. The bushes were wiped clean by said surfers and squirrels. But that was ok, I was there for the sea glass anyway, right?


One thing I love about collecting is when you get home and can sort them out by color. It kind of reminds me of sorting "pretty" rocks in egg cartons when I was a kid.
You can leave them all mixed up, if you're into that sort of thing. I'm not because I'm slightly ocd. But in the good way. 😉Glassbeach-202


Now I can't wait for another opportunity to tag along on an abalone dive.
Do any of you collect sea glass? Do tell!