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…

Free Printable Ticket Style Party Invitations -- The Lego Movie

Our cost on these invitations? A mere 20-cents each!  Here's how you can do it too...

We are a family of Lego fanatics.  Our favorite lazy day activity is to clear the dining room table and build up entire Lego civilizations for hours.  The February release of The Lego Movie inspired my youngest daughter to have a Lego Movie themed birthday party.  I'll be sharing all of our ideas, activities and crafts in the coming weeks.

Our first step in the Lego Party planning process was to create an eye-catching invitation.  For my daughter's Toy Story Birthday Party, we purchased customized ticket-style invitations.  We wanted to do the same for this party -- they look great, are so easy, and are very affordable.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find one online that suited our needs.  So, I decided to design my own.  I saved a copy of the blank template so that I could make it free for others to use (for non-commercial purposes, of course, since I don't own the Lego images). 

Just right-mouse-click on this image and save to your computer.*
Disclaimer -- PLEASE READ -- I made these invitations for my family, not for sale or profit.  I'm sharing the template free of charge, but as such, am not able to provide any custom work or tech support for how to use photo editing software.  If you're new to photo editing and are ambivalent to try, there are many talented people selling similar movie ticket style invitations on Etsy.  They will personalize them for you for $8-$10 -- a great deal!

If you're ready to proceed with customizing your own invitations, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

Step 1:  Download the image ABOVE.

Step 2: Use a photo editing program like Picasa (free online) PicMonkey (free online) or the one you're comfortable using to add text.

Here are the names of the fonts I used:

  • Arial Bold (for the "VIP" and other block text)
  • Digital-7 (for Day, Time and Month)
  • OCRATTRegular (for the rest of the details)
Step 3:  Print.  You have two choices.  These invitations are formatted to be automatically centered on 4x6 photo paper.  This makes them easy to upload to a photo service (I used Costco.  15 invitations cost me less than $3) and have 4x6 prints made.  You will get one invitation per print and will have to trim away the left and right margins.  You can also print at home.  If you use your photo editing software to crop off the left and white margins, you can print the images (maintaining the 6" height) 3 to a sheet of glossy photo paper.

I couldn't find an envelope that I liked in my personal stash, so I designed an easy print, fold and glue option that perfectly fits the invitations.  I've made this available for free download too*.

For the "Emmett" Envelope, click HERE

For the Wyldstyle Envelope, click HERE

I printed these on a medium-weight semi-gloss paper and used an Elmer's Extra Strength Glue stick to assemble.

Stay tuned for more fun and creative ideas for your Lego party!

*If you use any of these printables and post about your party online, please share a link with your readers.

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