Jamming plums

In the Kitchen

I had been given some plums last fall.  I did not have time to do anything with them so I chopped them up and put them into the freezer.  So, I finally got around to making jam from them.  Last summer, I had a couple people ask if I had low sugar jams.  I did not make any low sugar jam but decided I wanted to try to make some for this year.  
I used Pomona’s Pectin to make the low sugar plum jam.  Basically, it uses less sugar (about half as much in this case).  For example, the regular plum jam used about  6 cups of plums and 6 cups of sugar.  The low sugar plum jam used 4 cups of plums and 2 cups of sugar.
Click on the picture to go to their website.  Here is some more information:
Jam Today! With Pomona’s Universal Pectin®
Our sugar free, preservative free, low-methoxyl citrus pectin is specially formulated for making low sugar jam & jelly.
Sweeten jam & jelly to your taste with low amounts of any sweetener: sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, frozen juice concentrate, stevia, xylitol, Sucanat, concentrated fruit sweetener, or Splenda and other artificial sweeteners.
I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed making the low sugar jam and I am planning on making a lot of our own personal jam this way.  

Decluttering

I had shared with Linda (my mother-in-law) that I wanted to concentrate on decluttering this year (2016 New Year’s Resolution).  So, she bought me this book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Here is a little YouTube video about the book:
I am almost finished reading it.  Mostly, the gist is that you first declutter and then you organize and only keep things that bring you joy.  I like the idea behind the book and the system that she uses to do this but it is not practical for the way I am decluttering.  I am literally, going through every single room and only spend about 15 minutes each morning on one small part.  Sometimes, in the evening, I will spend some more time going through things i.e. I am going through old pictures now so I will sit down in the evening and decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to send to grandparents.
I am using a monthly printable from Home Storage Solutions 101 to decide where to concentrate my 15 minutes a day of decluttering.
According to her printables, you basically spend January and February working on the kitchen.  I did the kitchen in January.  So, I am working on the March printable which is the laundry room.  Our laundry room is also a huge storage area for us.  I went through EVERYTHING and I am almost finished with this.  I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of paper we are saving!  So far in February, I have tossed more than 70 pounds of just paper!  I have spent many nights shredding too and even over heated the shredder one night.  One good thing is that I found a 2 drawer file cabinet that I had forgotten about.  It was actually in Henry’s office and I had totally forgotten about it…we have lived here over 4 years and I never once remembered that I had stuff in there.  There was over 10 pounds of paper in there.
I am very happy with the progress that I am making and have now tossed or donated over 345 pounds of stuff!  It feels good to get organized and know where everything is!

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