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So sorry I haven’t been posting much on here this year but there’s been a lot going on.  My Mom and I decided it’s a good time to start a new chapter in our lives and are closing our Italian Market after 7+ years of being in business.  It was a great experience, we learned a ton and did well.  But after all that time we are ready for a change!  This was the last month of retail business and then I’ll be busy wrapping up all the loose ends of owning a business.

mom&i

Those 7+ years sure flew by!

Other things that are keeping me busy are gardening, foraging, hosting a monthly food swap & starting a special diet for… preconception!  My husband and I are super excited to start down the path of starting family.  🙂

We also are taking a road trip in early July to see my husband’s side of the family.  It will be nice to take a long break and get out of town.  I’ll have to take some pictures of all the food we are packing as eating on the road with a special diet can be challenging.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far and I should be posting more in the coming months.

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It’s time for you to be put into the spotlight!

♦ 2011 Pantry Round Up ♦

It’s that time of year again!  Please e-mail me pictures of your pantry/freezer/dry goods/etc so we all can swoon over the food you’ve preserved this summer.

If you’d like to contribute, please e-mail: nicholeati (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Please include: pictures, your name, blog/website if you have one & what’s in the pictures! I’ll compile them all and show them off here and on my Facebook page.

Check out last year’s album is here: 2011 Pantry Round Up

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I’ve been going to auctions with my parents and Grandma for as long as I can remember.  The smell of an old fairground building and a cold, metal folding chair bring me back to my childhood every time I encounter one.  Looking through all the tables of old items was an endless adventure and learning how to sit still in a chair without raising my hands suddenly was probably a great skill to learn at a young age 😉

My Grandma’s house is full of antiques and she loved to collect items from an early age.  Her parents and grandparents came to the US from Holland with a few material possessions so the history and story behind items was very special to my Grandma.  She was given items to keep in her hope chest as a young lady and she never stopped collecting.

Estate auctions and antique stores were a couple of the ways my Grandma collected her prize possessions.  When I was over the other day giving her some beets from my garden she got very excited when I told her of the treasures I got at an auction last weekend.  She is almost 90 and her eyesight is not the best so she can no longer enjoy going to auctions.  But she does get a kick out of me taking after her in that way.  But the main difference between my Grandma and I?  I like to get items that I can use, not just pretty items to collect.  At least that’s what I tell my husband, but I do have a few collections that are just for looks: orange carnival glass and silver on crystal come to mind.

The auction I went to over the weekend was an estate sale of a family who has lived in Livingston, MT for 150+ years.  There were many beautiful pieces of history that were in great condition.  I bid on a lot of items but since my Mom said I can’t store anything else at her house (I’m still living in an apartment until my husband & I get our dream farmhouse) I didn’t go too crazy.  I picked up some cute colored plates, two sauerkraut slicers, a 3 gal crock, a few cast iron pans that need some work, a skinny wood door, and 10 boxes of glass jars/bottles.  The last item made me smile for a couple days straight!  It was like Christmas when I unwrapped all of them.  Most exciting for me was the Kerr jars from 1915; there are enough of them that they will be perfect for storing dry goods in my future pantry.

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My Dad also got some beautiful items for my Mom!  A crock bowl that is extremely light so it’s probably 100 years older than the other ones she’s collected, a nesting bowl set that came to Montana in a covered wagon and was in The River Runs Through It, and some crock handles to replace lost handles on their crocks.  I’m glad my Dad went during the day when I couldn’t be there as he was there when they auctioned off the crock I wanted 🙂

Over the winter I’m going to have to organize all of my collections.  I have boxes and boxes of items that I’ve gotten at auctions over the years.  It’s time for me to clear out some items that don’t interest me anymore and get a better inventory of all that I have.  That should be a fun wintertime project!

Do you collect anything?

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Sorry it’s been a little quite on here lately, this month has been crazy busy and posting what I’ve been up to has taken a back seat.  August was full of harvesting, gardening, canning, foraging, swapping & celebrating!

Bozeman Food Swap

My friend and I hosted our 4th Food Swap and there was a great selection of goodies to trade.  Above is a grouping of pictures from the swap and here’s a blog post from a first time attender: Food Swap.  If you live in or near Bozeman please join our Facebook Page to learn about upcoming events: BZN Swappers.

A harvest from my small garden.

It’s amazing how much food comes out of a small garden, for my first one it’s been going really well.  I harvest once or twice a week and if anything is super ready my Dad picks it for me and sends it with my Mom to our store.  We’ve mostly been eating the produce fresh but I’ve also froze and dehydrated some.  Coming up I’ll have lots of tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, sugar beets, brussels sprouts, leeks, kale, cannellini beans and popcorn.

Smore Party!

And last but not least, it’s been my birthday month (what fun to be born at the end of the month and celebrate all month long)!  I received a beautiful steam juicer early in the month and then this last week has been a full on celebration.  I had a smore party in the mountains for my family and friends, my husband has been showering me with presents each morning, I’ll be going out to dinner on my actual birthday, and then we’re going on a quick road trip over Labor Day weekend with my parents.  I have to say my 30th Birthday has been grand and I’m sure each year after this will only get better 🙂

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

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I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted!  Here’s a quick post to keep you all up to speed on where I’ve been.  🙂

The lease on my retail business (All Things Italian) came to an end and we decided to move into a new location that is in a more visible area of town and is shared with another business.  We are very excited about the move and it’s a double bonus that I get to be around delicious desserts all day long – check out our roomies: Sweet Pea Bakery.

Our New Digs

Now that we are all settled in and it’s getting closer to harvest season you should be hearing more regularly from me!

I started my garden last weekend, plan on foraging a little this weekend & I might build a few raised beds as the garden space my Dad gave me to use is almost full (and I’ve only planted my cool weather crops, eek).

How have you all been?

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Some of you already know that my husband, Jared Joyce, is an independent inventor and tonight he is going to be on ABC’s hit TV show, Shark Tank!!!

You can watch on ABC at 8/7c or if you’re in Bozeman join us for the live airing at MSU’s Procrastinator Theater at 6pm (more info here).  There will also be a livestreaming party starting at 6:30pm MST where Jared will have special guests and announcements (livestream here).
..
I hope you can tune in!  🙂
~ Nichole

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I was recently honored with The Liebster Award (to be honest I had never heard of it, probably because I’m fairly new to blogging).  Liebster is a German word which can be translated to ‘beloved’ or ‘dearest’ in English.  Canadian Dommer’s Blog gave this award to me and what fun I’ve been having looking over her blog.  I can agree with many of her sentiments like, ” I’m a… committed doomer who stockpiles food and supplies, manages well without most convenience foods and electrical appliances, and dreams of a solar-powered shack in the middle of remote wilderness.”  My dream isn’t so much of a shack  in the woods but a sustainable farmhouse in the middle of a beautiful valley is high up on my list!  Thank you for the award Canadian Dommer’s.  🙂

The rules to the Liebster Blog Award are as follows:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger that present said award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present this award to 3 to 5 blogs with under 200 followers that are beautiful, funny, good, and or sparkly.
  5. Let them know they have won by commenting on their blogs.

I admit that many of the blogs I follow have large subscription bases but here are 3 that I follow that are on the smaller side.  Every day I read tons of blogs and Facebook pages so if I didn’t mention you and you know that I read your blog, I’m sorry.  I love you too!

  1. Preserving the Harvest – I met Jane online and she has a blog full of beautiful recipes… plus she’s a very talented artist!
  2. Hillbilly Mom – here’s a new one on the block!  I’m excited to follow this blog, many of the posts will come in handy when I finally get ahold of my homestead!
  3. cooking all the thyme– this is my cousin’s blog and no it does not make me biased!  She posts great recipes and craft projects… we decided to start our blogs at the same time 🙂

If you have any blogs you think I’d enjoy reading please link to them in the comments.  You can also check out some of the other blogs I follow on the list on the right side of my page.

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