Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Tween Room on a Budget ~ DIY Cage Lights
and saving money with GE Engergy Efficient Lightbulbs

Our eldest daughter is turning eleven and starting Middle School in less than 8 weeks.  So for our first project of the summer, my husband and I decided to give her room a tween upgrade.  We live in a wonderful, but very old and quirky Victorian home which presents plenty of decorating challenges.  Our three biggest challenges with this room were lack of space, lack of storage, and outdated lighting.

It must have been the exploding down comforter that finally pushed us over the edge!
Her room was very sweet before, but not at all practical.  The limited storage made it difficult for her to keep the room tidy and properly display her cherished collections.  The dated light fixtures were shabby (and not at all chic).

The timing of this project was perfect because I had just signed on with Collective Bias to do a DIY post featuring GE Energy Efficient Light Bulbs with supplies purchased from Walmart (#GELighting)!  You can see a full gallery of my path to purchase in my Google+ post HERE.

Solution #1: Storage ~ by making a few simple modifications to a set of bunkbeds and a dresser that we already had, we were able to create this custom loft bed without spending a dime. Now our daughter has a place for all of her clothes and accessories, and is able to store all of her big stuffed animals out of sight behind the dresser.

Solution #2:  Update ~ For the cost of a gallon of paint, we were able to transform the the mood of the room from faded and drab to cheerful and fab!

Solution #3:  Lighting ~ We were able to create our own vintage-style cage lighting using our existing fixtures and two hanging plant baskets from Walmart.  The only cost was for the blue spray paint, wire baskets ($1.84 each) and some new GE Energy Efficient Bulbs!  

Cage lighting has seen a resurgence in the design world, showing up in kitchens, in the office, bedrooms, bath and outdoors!  Here's how we created our version of vintage industrial chic lighting for less than $8. 


If you don't already have a globe light fixture, you can pick one up at most home improvement stores for around $6

($1.84 at Walmart)

Metal Snips (optional)

Paint (optional)

(To save money on electricity and change your bulb less often)

$12.96 for the 2-pack at Walmart, this 5-year bulb breaks down to less than $2 per year!  Plus, you'll save money on the cost of electricity!
 Step 1:   Remove coco lining and chain from the wire basket.

Step 2:  Test basket up against your light fixture.  If the basket fits in your fixture, you won't need to make any modifications.  To fit the basket in my fixture, it was necessary to use metal snips to remove the small center ring.

Step 3:  Paint  (optional)

Tape off the fixture and spray with paint (paint screws as well).

Step 5:  When paint is dry, remove tape from fixture and insert a GE Energy Efficient bulb.  You can see how much money we'll save over the life of the bulb in the chart at the end of the post.

Step 6:  Place painted cage around globe.  Place in the fixture.  Insert and tighten screws in place.  

This shoppertunity with GE and Walmart was perfect for my family since we've set a goal to replace all of our old incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFLS by the end of the summer!  What's not to love about CFLS (Compact Flourescents) -- they use less energy, don't run hot like incandescents, and save you money.  GE has a huge line of energy efficient bulbs at Walmart with special bulbs for ceiling fans, vanity fixtures, outdoors, and more.  Their "Bright from the Start" line features bulbs that have the look of incandescents (rather than the CFL coil), and are instantly bright from the moment you turn them on!

By using the GE Energy Smart® CFL Savings Calculator  we were able to instantly see how much money we were going to save simply by replacing those two bulbs in our daughter's room!

Find out how much money you can save HERE!
For the latest in lighting technology, energy efficiency and savings, stay connected with GE on Twitter and Facebook

Discolsure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting. #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.

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