Homemade Refrigerator Pickles {Recipe}


We love to eat pickles in our home, especially homemade ones. However, whenever I tried in the past to make pickles they turned out soggy. That’s not what I wanted … Then when I tried this recipe that my friend gave to me I was blown away. Wow, these pickles are perfect and crunchy!! Definitely a must try for any gardener or caner! Plus, they do not have to be canned traditionally. Added Bonus!

Easy Fridge Pickles
Ingredients: 
– Pickling cucumbers – about 8
– Bunch of Fresh Dill
– 1/3 c. White Onion (fresh or dried)
– 2 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
– 6 c. Water
-1/2 TBS Mustard Seeds
– 6 Garlic Cloves (minced or chopped)
– 1/2 c. Canning Salt
– 3 Large Canning Jars
Directions: 
1. Begin by washing and air drying about 3 large or 9 small canning jars. 
2. Wash cucumbers and choose to either slice them horizontally or vertically. I like to cut mine into little sandwich pickles like the bread and butter ones. 
3. Fill the bottom of each jar with fresh dill – you can use both the stems and the flowers.
4. Fill the jars to the top with the sliced cucumbers. 
5. On the stove start a pot of water, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, garlic, salt and onion. Bring it to a boil to dissolve the salt. 
6. Once the salt is dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool. 
7. After the brine is cool, pour it into your jars on top of your cucumbers. Seal with a lid and place the jars on your counter top for 3 days. 
8. After the third day, refrigerate 1 day and they are ready to eat!
9. You can store your pickles in the fridge for up to 1 year. 
Let us know how yours turn out and what you think about them!
<3 Dick and Jane

Dick and Jane Tour: Ann Arbor, MI

Some of the products featured in this post were provided to us free of charge. 
Our summer tour through Michigan is still underway, even though the weather has been making us feel like fall is almost here. So far on our tours, we have visited some amazing places and today’s post is about one of them. From the University of Michigan campus to the eclectic stores and restaurants, Ann arbor is quite a cool city. So cool, that many movie directors have chosen this location as the prime spot to film their movies. If you’ve ever seen the 5 Year Engagement you may have picked up on some of Ann Arbors most popular spots, such as the famous Zingermans Deli. However seeing Ann Arbor in the summer is so much better and that is why it is on our must see list for this summers tour. 
 Today’s trip we were focused on finding fun places to take the kids that we as the parents would like as well. Wowwee, let me tell you. We found it! Never before had I been to the Ann Arbor Children’s Museum, so when I walked in I was like a kid in a candy store. From your first musical steps into the building you are welcomed to touch, play, interact and experiment with all of the exhibits. They have a water room where kids can go fishing, an old ambulance that they can crawl through and even a room dedicated only to the littlest ones that has balls and toys made just for them. My favorite exhibit in the museum was a real functioning bee hive that had pipes going to the outside of the building so the bees could freely come and go as they pleased. The bee hive was enclosed within a clear glass container so we could watch the bees doing as nature instructed them to and producing their honey. We had a hard time getting the kids to leave, they just wanted to stay and play all day long. 
After spending the entire morning at the museum we finally talked the kids into leaving so we could get some food.  Luckily, food is not hard to come by in the city. Just take a quick walk over from the museum to the main street and you can find place to eat such as Afternoon Delight, Five Guys and PotBelly Subs. 
Once lunch is done be sure to set aside time to walk the downtown area. Ann Arbor has an abundance of culture and art that you will want to have your camera ready. You really never know what you are going to find just around the corner. 
Photos of Downtown Ann Arbor. Hidden Alleys, Fairy Doors (photo credit visitannarbor.org) and city life.
Ann Arbor turned out to be a wonderful place to spend time as a family. We had a fabulous time exploring the city and would like to thank all of the people that helped to make it happen. Check out the Visit Ann Arbor website and plan your trip to Downtown Ann Arbor this summer! While it may feel like fall is here, there is still time to get out and play! So get out there and do some exploring as a family. It is time well spent. 
Attractions to see in Ann Arbor: 
<3 Dick and Jane
Disclosure: We were provided with free admission to the Hands on Children museum in order to facilitate our post. 

No No NO. . Is That All You Can Say??

This post is all about the importance of sometimes saying “yes”.

 I want to start off by saying that I completely understand that it is sometimes just easier to say “no”. I too catch myself spouting off “no” to keep from having extra work to do in my day (Goodness knows we all have enough to do!). But once in awhile, it is good to force yourself to say “yes”. Try it. . you may be surprised at the reaction you get from your kids. 

We all want our children to grow up to be active, confident, and happy don’t we? Yes. So my thought is that if we are constantly telling them “no” to trying new experiences they will either (a) stop dreaming and loose their passions or (b) do them anyways and stop asking for our permission. 

Think about a time when you thought of a great idea and were super excited about trying it out. Now pretend that you, almost flying out of your shoes because you are so proud of yourself and your new idea, run to your significant other to tell them your idea only to be stopped in your tracks with a firm “no”. How do you think this would make you feel? Not very good. Also a bit angry I would presume. Our children feel the same way when their ideas are immediately shut down. Even something as simple as playing with play dough may have been a wonderfully imaginative idea they had of building a castle and bringing to life the story they had playing in their head. This innocent outlet of their talents may be being pushed aside to save 5 minutes of clean up time. Our kids have amazing ideas that we just don’t take the time to see or understand. Giving them a little bit of freedom to try new things may help them develop a talent or milestone in their lives. You never know, those piano lessons they have been asking to take may reveal a hidden talent that you didn’t know was there. 
The other reaction of being told “no” all the time is that the child may stop asking for your permission all together.  I know that this statement is true for many adults as well.  How many of you have stopped asking your spouse for permission when you want to buy those adorably expensive shoes you just found because you know that they will only tell you “no”. . but you really really want them? Do you buy them anyways before they have a chance to stop you?

Before I go any further:  I know that the word “permission” is not always well accepted in a marriage, but to some extent there does need to be a discussion held between partners when large amounts of money is going to be spent or there are life changing decisions to be made. “Permission” may not be the best choice of words, but it works within this analogy. . so go with it. Plus, the “permission” is necessary for both parties of a relationship <- not being sexist.   

It doesn’t have to be about buying shoes, it could be about taking that trip you’ve dreamed of ,getting chickens and starting a backyard homestead, going back to school or following a passion. Whatever it is, if you know that the answer you are going to receive is always “no” then you will just stop asking for permission. My mother always said about my father, “It is easier to get forgiveness than permission”. It’s true. Nobody wants to live a life where they can’t do anything. Now think about how differently you would react if your dreams and wants were carefully taken into consideration by your partner and you were able to discuss options rather than be told a strict “no” all of the time? I think that in this situation you would be more willing to talk things through with them and would respect their opinion even more. This is the same for our children. 

Taking the time to say “yes” when it is appropriate is something I personally need to work on. I want my kids to live their lives to the fullest and to experience everything good that they can. I also want them to appreciate and respect my opinion. I want them to come to me when they aren’t sure whether something is a good idea and know that I will consider both sides. Isn’t this what we all want? 
Before I close this post I also want to point out that there are many things to which I must say no to. Allowing our children to do something that is dangerous is just bad parenting. They need to be taught boundaries. Playing in the street is always a strict “no”, but having a cookie before dinner sometimes can be a “yes”. Try setting aside an entire day for your kids and let them choose what you are going to do. As long as it is safe for them to do, say yes. See what fun you can have! 
Tell me about what you’ve said “yes” to lately that has turned out to be a wonderful idea.. . in the comments. 
See ya next time!
<3 Dick and Jane 

Dick and Jane Tour: Mackinaw City & Across the Bridge

We are still trying to recover from all of the fun we had last week when we visited Mackinac Island as a family. However, while we were there to visit the island we also took a couple of days to explore the main land and the surrounding cities. The first place we visited was Mackinaw City. This is the city you will most likely come into before boarding a ferry to the island. Be sure not to pass through too quickly, there are many wonderful things to do and see on the mainland before you head on over to the island.
The first thing we did when we arrived to Mackinaw City was stop at Mama Mia’s pizzeria. This restaurant is a legend! I can remember stopping there for pizza back when I was just a kid. However, if its been awhile since you’ve visited the area you may find that it looks different. This is because the old Mama Mia’s restaurant burnt down and had to be rebuilt. Don’t worry though, the food is still just as yummy! After enjoying a pizza and their famous garlic bread head on upstairs and get a free museum tour of artifacts and a video of when the Mackinac bridge was built. This place is a #1 must see when visiting Mackinaw. 
Now that your belly is full you should have enough energy for some walking. Head just outside of the pizza parlor and find yourself among a city block of cute and eclectic shops. Just across the way is an outdoor mall full of stores, ice cream parlors, fudge shoppes and a place where you can get your picture taken in old fashioned clothes. Plus, if you stay around until dark the stores all host a free outdoor laser show every night in the main square of the plaza! My kids loved that. 

A few more must see attractions in Mackinaw City: 
If your feeling brave after visiting the mainland, a trip over the Mackinac Bridge is worth the drive. The Mackinac bridge connects the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan and is currently the third largest suspension bridge in the world! Yes, it is huge and it can even make my adventurous heart skip a beat. But once you make it to the other side you will find yourself in St. Ignas. A quaint little town with some amazing attractions. Our first stop was Castle Rock. This ancient rock rises over 200′ above the surrounding area and offers one of a kind views. Getting yourself to the top is a bit of a climb. Prepare yourself to hike 170 steps to reach the peak. But once you arrive to the top you wont ever want to come down. 

While your in the U.P. you will also want to find your way over to Clydes Drive In restaurant. This old fashioned car hop still offers car side service and food that will take you back in time. The burgers are a bit greasy, but unlike any other burger I’ve had before. The kids meals also come in cute 50’s cars which my kids swooned over. 
After lunch seek out the park and lighthouse on the water. It is a great place to relax and spend some time enjoying the sound of crashing waves. My only recommendation is to dress warm. Ha! We were there in the middle of July and it was 66 degrees. Maybe a fluke, I don’t know. . but it was COLD. 

That pretty much summed up our trip to the top of the mitten. Do you have any other great places to share when visiting Mackinaw City and the U.P.? Share them with us in the comments and if you decide to join us in our adventures to Mackinaw we would love to see those photos! Tag us on Instagram at @raisingdickjane.
<3 Dick and Jane

Vintage Vase via International Delight Creamer #spon

Do you remember last week when we featured using International Delights creamer in your milkshakes to create new flavors? If you missed it, check it out here. But besides using International Delights creamer in my milkshakes I also have newly become addicted to coffee. Not hot coffee, but iced coffee. Seriously, where have you been all of my life? It is like having a guilt free milkshake every morning! There is nothing better than getting up early on a warm summers morning and relaxing on my garden bench with an iced coffee to prepare myself mentally for my day. Now that International Delight has a Cold Stone Creamery series, my coffee tastes like ice cream! I mean, who can make it through summer without craving ice cream? Not me. Now that the two are mixed, Oh yeah. . 

With as much coffee as I have been drinking lately I have collected quite a stash of empty containers. As many of you know I hate to throw things away. I would rather find a way to reuse them and my International Delight containers are no different. There are so many different uses you can find for these great little containers, but today I am going to show you my latest creation. I was inspired by my new morning coffee routine and I decided to bring some of the flowers inside with me today.

 

Vintage Vase Using Empty ID Container

What will I need?

– Empty ID Container

– Acrylic Paint – White

-Modge Podge

– Paint Brush

-Computer & Printer

– Regular Printer paper

 

Directions:

1. Clean ID container and remove all labeling.

2. Carefully using a knife or scissors cut off the top of the container as shown in the photo.

3. Coat the outside of the container using your chosen color of acrylic paint. 

4. Allow the paint to dry and re-coat as needed. 

5. Once all layers of acrylic paint have dried, print a photo from your computer that you would like to use.

I use Graphics Fairy website to find my vintage images. They’re Free!

6. Using your modge podge paint on a thin layer in the area you want your image to set.

7. Cut out around your image and carefully lay it on the container over the modge podge layer.

8. Smooth out the air bubbles and work the image to lay flat.

9. Apply a thin layer of modge podge over the image and over the entire container to seal it.

10. You can also flake off a few spots of acrylic paint to distress the bottle prior to adding your modge podge seal.

Thats it! Now you can enjoy your summer flowers indoors along with your International Delight iced (ice cream) coffee. Does summer get any better than this? 

It does! 

 

Love ice cream + coffee? This summer, International Delight is bringing your favorite Cold Stone Creamery ice cream flavors to coffee and they’re celebrating by giving away five $400 grand prizes to throw this summer’s ultimate Ice Cream Social!  To enter, visit the ID + Ice Cream Pinterest board and pin your favorite image using the #IScream4ID hashtag. Good luck! 
 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.