About Rose Marion

Rose manages the Smith & Edwards website & online store. When she's not here photographing new products or adding sections to the online store, she's reading, hiking around taking pictures, or trying not to sneeze at a rodeo!

How to make dried apricots & apricot freezer jam

How to Make Dried Apricots & Apricot Jam

- posted by Rose Marion

What do you do with a couple pounds of fresh Utah apricots?

Some of the best ways to preserve that fresh, tangy sweetness are dehydrating apricots and turning them into apricot freezer jam.

Maggie & Hannah are 10-year-old friends, cousins, and daughters of Smith & Edwards employees. They gave it a shot! Here's how they did - and if they can do it, YOU & your kids can, too!

Maggie & Hannah about to make apricot jam and dehydrated apricots

Making Dried Apricots

You'll need:

  1. Wash and dry the apricots. Then, cut the apricots in half. Lastly, separate the halves, and pull out the pit.
    Dehydrating Apricots: Pitting
  2. Now arrange the apricots on your dehydrator screens. You can actually place them closer together than this, because they'll shrink as they dry.
    Dehydrating apricots: placing the halves on the dehydrator screen
  3. Let them dry according to your dehydrator's instructions. This batch only took Maggie & Hannah about 1 hour.
    Maggie making dried apricots

Making Apricot Freezer Jam

We used:

  1. Cut and discard the apricot pits, then mash the apricots.
    Making apricot freezer jam: mashing the apricots
  2. Add sugar, lemon juice, and the Freezer Jam fruit pectin, according to the package directions.
    Making apricot freezer jam: adding sugar and lemon juice
    Making apricot freezer jam: adding pectin
  3. Stir, then ladle the apricot jam into freezer jam jars.
    Making apricot freezer jam: ladling into freezer jars
  4. This apricot freezer jam will keep in the fridge up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer up to a year!
    Maggie & Hannah making dehydrated apricots & freezer jamTheir grandmother has a secret about adding crushed pineapple to the recipe. Try it out and see what you like!

Your Turn!

What's happening in your kitchen? We love to see pictures of what you're making! Leave a comment, tag us on Facebook or Instagram, or send us an email.

Summer Stress Relief for Angry Mamas

- posted by Rose Marion

Are you an angry mama?

We get it! If you've spent the summer driving the kiddos to practice, camp, and sleepovers, all while thinking to yourself "Well, when do I get to take a vacation?".... you'll find some great ways to RELAX at Smith & Edwards.

Check them out!

Summer Stress Relief: 5 Fun Distractions

  1. Angry Mama kitchen goodies

    Scrubbing the microwave is one of my least favorite things to do.... maybe it's because I'm 5'2 and the microwave is literally over my head.

    Vickie, our Housewares manager, found this cute & hilarious line of kitchen goodies that no mama should be without.

    Angry Mama jar openers, microwave cleaners, and mats
    Check out the Angry Mama microwave cleaner (just add vinegar & water!), silicone lid opener, and mat.

  2. Adult Coloring Books:

    Did you know? August 2 is Coloring Book Day! Coloring isn't just for kids.

    In Ogden, I've even seen adult coloring book groups meeting at Grounds for Coffee downtown. Get a group of your girl friends together and have a coloring book night.

    Adult Coloring Books at Smith & Edwards - plus 99-cent crayons!

    We've carried kids' coloring books for a long time, and we've added fun floral, geometric, and designer adult-friendly coloring books. Plus check out the 99-cent pack of crayons - I love colored pencils, but you don't have to sharpen crayons!

  3. Lotions & Body Scrubs

    Your hands have done so much: held your babies, changed their diapers, pulled your earrings back from their little fingers, fixed meals, taken care of the dog, vacuumed, loaded load after load in the dishwasher - time to pamper them. Choose some J.R. Watkins (the same brand that makes high-quality spices) or Caldrea lotions & body scrubs to thank your hands for everything they do for you.

    With scents such as Lavender, Grapefruit, Coconut Milk & Honey, Pear Blossom Agave, Pomegranate Acai, and even Peppermint rejuvenating foot lotion, you'll finally start experiencing the relaxation you deserve.

    You'll find Watkins, Caldrea, & more kinds of body scrubs & lotions by aisle 12 in our Housewares department!

    You'll find Watkins, Caldrea, & more soothing body scrubs & lotions by aisle 12 in our Housewares department!

    For those aches that won't go away, we also carry pain relieving creams, sprays, gels, and menthol camphor vapor rubs & mists.

  4. Aromatherapy

    That's right, Aromatherapy is coming to Smith & Edwards! In September we'll be carrying the Airome line of essential oil diffusers.

    Airome Essential Oils Diffuser

    You'll find essential oils at Smith & Edwards soon as well as these ultrasonic essential oil diffusers. These diffusers use ultrasonic vibrations to create a soothing mist of water and essential oils. All the benefits of essential oils plus a wonderful room scent in an elegant LED-lit diffuser.

    In the meantime, check out our deliciously-scented line of McCall's candles.

  5. Take time for yourself!

    No mama should have to feel like she's in it alone! Take time for yourself - you can't give & care for everyone on an empty tank.

    Leave the kids with Grandma while you check out a pickleball league, comedy show, First Friday Art Stroll, yoga class, bike ride, or a craft night with friends.

How to Freeze Beets

How to Freeze Beets

- posted by Rose Marion

Beets are a yummy vegetable packed with nutrients like manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin B6. They're a delicious Utah summer crop, and you can freeze beets to enjoy them year-round.

Our produce experts Vickie Maughan, our Housewares manager, and Jean from Pettingill's Fruit Farm, teamed up to freeze beets last week and here's how they did it.

You'll need:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Kitchen knife
  • Pot of water
  • Ziploc freezer bags

How to Freeze Beets

  1. Put on your gloves!
  2. Wash the fresh beets and cut of the beet greens, leaving 1" of beet green stems. Don't remove the tails or beet green stems, because if you cut them off, the beets will bleed out and lose their color.
  3. Boil the beets in a pot of water until tender. Then, set aside and let them cool off.

    Boiling the beets with their stems & tails on will keep the rich purple-red color from bleeding out!

    Boiling the beets with their stems & tails on will keep the rich purple-red color from bleeding out!

  4. Peel the beets. You don't need a tool: you can massage the beet skin, tail, & beet green stems and they'll fall off the beet in your fingers.
    Rinsing and peeling the beets
    Whole peeled beets, ready to slice and freeze
  5. Slice, dice, cube, quarter, or halve the beets any way you'd like. We love mandolines for slicing vegetables!
    Slicing peeled beets
    Chopped beets ready to freeze
  6. Put in a freezer Ziploc baggie with as many servings as you'll want.
    Putting fresh cooked beets in freezer bags
    You can freeze them individually like cherries (click here), or if your family loves beets, you can freeze them all together.
    Beets ready to freeze
    Tip: Flatten the bag when you put it in the freezer so they stack nicely and will thaw evenly.

This winter, you can take the bag out to enjoy garden-fresh beets at the peak of their flavor. Microwave or lightly simmer them in a covered pan with butter, when your family's ready to eat!

If you liked this, you will LOVE our other frozen food storage tips! Make sure you check out How to Freeze Cherries and How to Freeze Corn.

Lauren Clark's summer 2016 adventure

Lauren's Summer Adventure: Exploring Oregon

- posted by Rose Marion

Lauren Clark wrote in with her Summer Adventure:

Adventure is in the eye of the beholder. There are many adventures around every corner. An adventure can be as simple as a picnic with the family, to something more complex, such as a vacation or a new living location. We can choose whether what we are going through is an “adventure” or something else.

This summer, my adventure included spending time with my family while in Oregon USA. We were able to go on a family trip for the first time in 3 or 4 years. It was great to reminisce about old times and build new memories together. We were able to see some beautiful sights and enjoy the surroundings of nature.

We were able to go zip lining.
Ziplining in Oregon - Lauren's Summer Adventure
I loved walking along the beach for miles and miles. It was amazing to see the vibrant green color, and the enormous size of the Redwood Trees.
Lauren's family in the Redwoods

The highlight of this adventure was finally being able to see Crater Lake. It was a beautiful sight that will not soon be forgotten.
Lauren at Crater Lake

Everything from seeing these beautiful sights, to having our car overheat and the AC not work, made this trip the perfect Summer Adventure.

This Oregon adventure was a well timed event, because just as life seemed to be getting settled, it threw us another adventure.

No matter where life takes us, we have to embrace the adventure. I am so happy that I got this time with my family and was able to make those memories that will last a lifetime.

How to freeze cherries

How to Freeze Cherries

- posted by Rose Marion

Here in northern Utah we're lucky to get large yields of cherries in late June & early July! While there's no end to what you can do with fresh cherries - cobbler being my favorite! - freezing cherries is a wonderful use for these short-seasoned juicy treats!

Freezing cherries will let you taste that sweetness even in January. Plus, you can use these for your shakes & smoothies.

Vickie, our Housewares manager, and Jean from Pettingill's Fruit Farm, got together to show me how to freeze my own cherries. Take a look!

You'll need:

How to Freeze Cherries

  1. Wash the cherries and remove their stems. Tip: use a colander!
    Washing cherries and removing the stems
  2. Pit the cherries. Jean & Vickie like using the OXO cherry pitter, and collecting the pits in an extra jar or measuring cup.
    Pitting cherries with a cherry pitter - and GLOVES!
    Cherry pits go in an extra jar!
  3. Place the pitted cherries on the cookie sheet.
    Cherries on the cookie sheet, ready to freeze
  4. Secret Tip: Double decker your cherries! Place short drink cups or tupperware on the cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. Then, fill another cookie sheet with cherries and place it on top of the cups to freeze twice as many cherries!
    getting-ready-to-freeze-cherries freezing-cherries-in-layers
  5. Let the cherries freeze overnight.

    Freezing cherries in a chest freezer

    A chest freezer is GREAT for freezing cherries...

  6. The next day, take a spatula and release the bottoms of the cherries from the cookie sheet.
  7. Gather the cherries and place them in freezer Ziploc bags. Quart, gallon - your choice!
    Frozen & bagged cherries

Questions we get asked about Freezing Cherries

Q: Is it messy?

YES! Wear surgical gloves so it doesn't stain your hands, and wear a work shirt.

Cherry pitting stains & gloves

Pitting cherries is messy business! Wear gloves.

Q: Why not freeze them in bags from the get-go?

By freezing them individually first, they don't get stuck to each other. Then after you put them in the bag, they break apart easily.

Q: What can you do with frozen cherries?

Vickie LOVES to make smoothies with frozen cherries. YUM!

Eat these fresh-picked as a treat when the snow's flying in January, just like you were eating it fresh in July!!

Do you have more questions for us? Leave a comment & let us know!

 

If you liked this, you will LOVE our other frozen food storage tips! Make sure you check out How to Freeze Beets and How to Freeze Corn.

Looking for more food preserving, dehydrating, or canning supplies? Click here to see canning supplies on our online store!

Chaser, the 2016 limited-edition Ty Beanie Boo, has landed at Smith & Edwards!

Chaser has Landed! (Limited-Edition Ty Beanie Boo)

- posted by Rose Marion

Look what just landed - We've got "CHASER" the Limited-Edition Teeny Ty at Smith & Edwards!
Ty's CHASER has landed at Smith & Edwards!
Chaser cannot be purchased at any store, so we’re giving him away - FREE! Even his tagging is super special and sparkly.

Careful, Chaser's still teething - he might nibble your finger!

Careful, Chaser's still teething - he might nibble your finger!

Just follow the 3 steps below to enter to win this cute red dragon Beanie Boo before July 30th, then stop in to see all of the Teeny Ty characters we now carry.

We've also got Beanie Boos in a variety of sizes and characters - come check them out! Shop for Ty Beanie Boos & Teeny Beanies online at Smith & Edwards here.

Or, visit us at Smith & Edwards off I-15 at exit 351, at 3936 N Highway 126 in Ogden, Utah.
You could WIN your own Chaser!

How to Enter the Chaser Beanie Boo Giveaway

1. Click here to enter the Giveaway on Facebook by July 30, 2016.
2. Name/Tag the Ty® Beanie Boo lover in your life as a comment under the post! You can enter more than one person (or multiple people can enter the same person), just make sure each entry is added as an individual comment to the post.
3. Make sure you “like” and share the giveaway post.
That’s it! Giveaway ends at midnight (MST), 07/30/16, so enter and share!

Enter to win CHASER, the Teeny Ty Beanie Boo!

*NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Tell us about your Summer Adventure - and enter to win!

Tell us about your Summer Adventure: You could win!

- posted by Rose Marion

Tell us about your 2016 summer adventure in 250 words or more - include a picture or two. We LOVE a good story!

If we publish your story on our blog, you'll receive a $25 Smith & Edwards in-store gift card!
Tell us about your Summer Adventure - and enter to win!

To enter, email us at info (at) smithandedwards.com with the subject line "My Summer Adventure" with your pictures & at least 250-word long story. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Time to get outside!

Iceolate Cooler Tray now at Smith & Edwards

Keep your Camping Food from Getting Soggy with the Cooler Tray!

- posted by Rose Marion

Bryan stopped by and showed us how the Cooler Tray can keep our food from getting soggy while camping.

(yikes, who films in portrait mode?!)
When you're camping, you want to keep all your food cool overnight or over the weekend. But that doesn't have to mean soggy buns, soggy grapes, soaking-wet beverage cans that have gunk on them - ick!!

The Cooler Tray by Ice-Olate has arrived at Smith & Edwards!This is an easy & economical solution to that summer problem.

As one of our managers said, "I'm sure gonna miss scooping the hamburger labels out of the water when I empty the cooler.... NOT!"

What a cool invention! You can get yours in the Sporting Goods department of Smith & Edwards as well as right here in our online Camping Coolers section..

The Ice-Olate Cooler Tray is designed to adjust to fit practically any size coolers: from 45 up to 100 quart ice chests & coolers, by Igloo, Yeti, Coleman, and just about any other brand. It holds up to 80 pounds of food & drinks.

Thanks for coming by, Bryan!

Tactical Clothing and Shooting Range Gear

Tactical & Concealed Carry Outfit for Him

- posted by Rose Marion

This spring we visited the Perry City Three Mile Creek shooting range to show off some of the new Tru-Spec® tactical clothing that Ryan, our Surplus manager, has added to his department, as well as the tactical & range bags we've just added to the Smith & Edwards online store.

Who else could we ask to model this cool gear but Tyler? Tyler works at our Gun Counter and has a first-hand grasp of what a shooter needs, both from a military and recreational viewpoint.

Tyler at the Three Mile Creek range in Perry, UT

Tyler at the Three Mile Creek range in Perry, UT: Showing off his Tru-Spec sweatshirt and tactical pants, and 5.11 drag bag.

Tyler got to stand around looking tacticool while I snapped photos, and then we got to shoot some video (and he got to shoot some targets). Nothing better than seeing it in action!

Tactical Pants

One of the most popular items Ryan's added is this line of tactical pants. While we stock both BDUs and tactical pants, these are the ones our customers strongly prefer. These Tru-Spec® tactical pants fit better and have great pockets. Plus, they hold up really well - whether you're bending and lifting a lot, lying prone to shoot, or wearing them for chores outside.
Tyler's Tru-Spec tactical pants
Tyler's wearing the Khaki Tan Tru-Spec® 24-7 Series Tactical Pants.

Range Bags

One of Tyler's favorites from the stack of tactical gear was this American flag Victory rifle case from Allen Tactical:
US Flag tactical rifle case by Allen Tactical

From rifle and handgun cases to duffel-style range bags and even backpacks with handgun compartments for the shooter who takes 5 handguns at a time to the range... we stock what you want!

GPS Tactical Backpack

Fit up to five handguns in their own individual cases in this G.P.S. tactical backpack!

Fit your ears, eyes, and ammo in a range bag from 5.11, US Peacekeeper, and Voodoo

Fit your ears, eyes, and ammo in a range bag from 5.11, US Peacekeeper, and Voodoo. Get yours here.

Do you also hunt as well as shoot targets? You'll find a HUGE range of rifle slings, in tactical styles as well as basic and Muddy Girl prints, at Smith & Edwards.
Gun Sling

As well as scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars.
Rifle scope

Don't forget your eyes & ears! Get your shooting hearing and eye protection here. You can also get shooting targets and snap caps on our website.

MOLLE Gear

Whether you've served our country in the armed forces or not, sometimes the best tactical bag is the bag you build yourself. You can find mil-spec MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Looad-carrying Equipment) gear at Smith & Edwards from trusted names like Voodoo and 5.11. We also carry dump pouches, magazine pouches, medical pouches, and even grenade pouches for any configuration you can think of. Click here to explore MOLLE gear.

Concealed Carry & Tactical Shirts and Jackets

Tyler showing the Atlanco Concealed Carry Shirt

Tyler wearing his white Tru-Spec Men's 24-7 Series Short Sleeve Concealed Holster shirt. Get yours here.

This shirt is also available in black.

Tru-Spec Tactical Clothing at Smith & Edwards

Make sure & check out Tru-Spec's whole line of tactical shirts, jackets, and apparel at Smith & Edwards!

Tyler wore the Tru-Spec® 24-7 Series Tactical Softshell Jacket in Coyote, the Grid Fleece hoodie in black. Click to see the jackets yourself!

Paracord

Tyler made his own paracord survival bracelet - make your own with one of the 150+ colors we carry. Click here to see all colors of 550 paracord.
Paracord survival bracelet

Want more tactical?

Want to see all our tactical and shooting range gear? Want your own DOWNLOADABLE Smith & Edwards target? Click the link below!
Get your Range Accessories & Tactical Gear at Smith & Edwards! Click to shop.

Photography by Rose Marion.

Make your own DIY Bucket Washing Machine with Smith & Edwards - watch Melissa's video!

How to Make your own Laundry Bucket Washer (video)

- posted by Rose Marion

Pig muck-covered overalls? Horse leg wraps? Greasy shop rags? There's no way those are going in the nice front-loading washing machine.

Here's a neat way to turn 5-gallon buckets into a shop washing machine that keeps the mucky things out of the clothing laundry. We saw this on Pinterest and HAD to try it out!

Plus, you can also keep this on hand for emergencies: the Zombie Apocalypse or when the power goes out.

Thanks to Melissa in our Housewares department for showing us how to do it, and Marty for cleaning the leg boots!

Tip: Did you just buy a new pair of dark-wash denim jeans? Add a cup of vinegar and don't add soap. Then, add your new jeans and let them sit overnight. This will help set the dye, and you won't get as much indigo rub-off on the rest of your laundry!

Make your own DIY Laundry Bucket at Home

You'll need these supplies:

Directions:

  1. Drill holes in one of the buckets, both the bottom and 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the sides.
  2. Drill a hole in the lid with a 2" hole saw. Then, insert the bushing.
  3. Now drill 1/2" holes in the rubber plunger.
    You're done!

Get everything you need!

Want to make your own, but don't want to gather the materials? We've put together 2 kits for you!

5-Gallon DIY Washing Machine Bucket kit
Get the 5-gallon DIY Washer kit for $19.99
6-Gallon DIY Washing Machine Bucket kit
Get the 6-gallon DIY Washer kit for $19.99