Do you hear your friends talking about an area of their house that is hard to keep clean and uncluttered? (I’m really looking forward to Nester’s 31 Days of Housekeeping coming up in our October 31 Days series.)

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Ambush their space for an hour and help them organize – they will love it!

When my friend Steph came down from Portland with her family, we were on a mission to make early Christmas gifts together, Sweet Onion and Pepper Relish.

When Steph opened my hall closet, and most everything fell out, she wanted to get in there and organize it for me. I said, no, no … you don’t want to do that. But she did want to.

And I reluctantly let her.

Now look how beautiful and organized it is? (Sorry, no before pictures, it all happened so fast) :)

It is much easier to help someone else than work on your own troubled areas. It is super fun, satisfying and it motivates you to organize your own house. Steph also walked away with a few new (to her) tablecloths of mine, which I was happy to pass down to her.

Another good thing: She made me get rid of stuff I never knew I had.

Now moving on to the canning process … spending a few hours together in the kitchen–chopping and chopping and more chopping–gave us hours to get to know one another, which was awesome time spent. Remember in this post how I told you we prepared a lot of jalapeno peppers?

Today I’m sharing my special homemade Christmas gift recipe I’ll be giving away this year (sh-h-h, don’t tell my friends!). In a future post I’ll show you how to package it for the holidays.

One of the things I love about building relationships with friends is the memories that last forever!

So very wonderful!

Have you thought ahead to homemade Christmas gifts to give this year? I’d love to hear what you will be giving? And what about doing it with a friend?


Recipe: Sweet Onion and Pepper Relish {}

Summary: If you love Harry & David’s relish, you’ll love this sweet and savory homemade relish.


  • 12 tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 large red bell peppers (remove the seeds, you can use a variety of colors)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 jalapeno peppers (remove the seeds, chop finely, use plastic gloves)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 4 small boxes powered pectin (1.75 oz)


  1. First chop all ingredients or use a food processor.
  2. Mix everything together in a large, except the pectin. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour.
  3. Add in the pectin and boil for 1 minute.
  4. Jar the relish into hot sterilized half pint jars. (You’ll need about 24)
  5. Place lids and rings on jars. Process jars by placing them in a large pot of water. Water level should be an inch over jars. Boil for 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove jars from water and allow to cool. You know jars are sealed when there is no give in the lid.

Preparation time: 40 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)


The winner to the DesignzDivine jewelry is Teresa from Whatever blog. Congrats, Teresa!