Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Homesteader Blog Hop #37

This is the Homesteader Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention every Wednesday at The Homesteader Hop!
Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! …we are here to entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long.
Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite!
If you are a blogger you can submit up to 3 articles, visit other blogs, leave comments and enjoy your stay here on the porch…
Here on the Homestead we are all about living a self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining lifestyle in as natural, organic & frugal ways as possible.

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

Homesteading with Heart

(Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter) Hello, and welcome to my Blog! I’m a busy Farmers wife, Homeschool mom, chef Chief, Craft Enthusiast, animal loving blogger and homemaker!
 

Rosevine Cottage Girls

Hi, we are the Rosevine Cottage Girls. A mother / daughters team, living in middle Tennessee on a "mini" farm. We love sharing our favorite recipes, crafts, DIY projects, travel, hair styles, fashion, reviews, faith, raising animals, and life in general.

A Chick and Her Garden

Hi All! In 2013 my husband and I purchased our home and have been transforming it into our dream homestead. Follow along at A Chick And Her Garden and see how our little slice of heaven grows. I'll be sharing our experiences, animals, crafts, recipes and more!

This Whole Home

This Whole Home is a blog about the simple things in life: homesteading, homeschooling and homemaking. Hi I'm Kirstee, a suburban homesteader in Australia with a passion for helping families live simply and sustainably.

Salt in my Coffee

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter) I'm Anna - foodie, research-addict, and mini-homesteader. I'm married to a man who can learn to do anything from a book (sailing! changing shocks & struts! making perfect cheesecake!). And I'm also Mama to one delightful little lady, who keeps me on my toes!  

Featured Authors From Last Weeks Hop:

21st Century Simple Living

 

Homemade Convenience Foods Recipe Hacks Directory

Convenience Food is anything that comes in a box, bag, pouch or container of some kind at the grocery store. Baking mixes, cake mixes, flavored rice & pasta side dishes, seasoning & flavoring packets, herb & spice blends, condiments, hamburger/chicken/tuna helper dinners, and more are all considered “convenience foods”. Read More >>>

A Chick And Her Garden

 

The Perfect Plant Markers From Re-Purposed Canning Lids

We’re full swing into winter now, with blizzards and low temps! That also means that the canning cupboard is emptying pretty quickly. The canning lids are piling up again, and are really getting on my nerves. Read More >>>

What Can I Post on this Blog Hop?

Anything and everything related to: Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Homeschooling, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!

Some Simple Rules Y’all

This is a family friendly Blog Hop! Absolutely NO profanity or suggestive material at all – your post will be immediately deleted.
  1. Please link up only posts pertaining to the suggested topics.
  2. No advertising, giveaways, carnivals or contests.
  3. You may link more than one post, original content only, older or archived posts are A-Okay!
  4. Only real-food recipes please…no processed junk in our recipes or our tummies!
  5. Want to know when the Blog Hop opens? Follow us by email & get notified IMMEDIATELY!
  6. Please place a link back to this edition of the Blog Hop in your post. That way your readers can benefit from all the great ideas here on the Blog Hop AND this helps everybody by drawing more traffic to your site.

How Do I Do This Blog Hop Thang?

If you’re new to blogging OR just new to Blog Hops, (or need a reminder), here’s what you do: (after the hop)
The post that you want to submit to the Blog Hop needs to have a link back to the Blog Hop. For example you might say in your post…”This post was shared on The Homesteader Hop”, or “I participated in the Homesteader Hop” and this would generally go at the end of your post.
Please link the URL of your actual BLOG POST and NOT your blogs HOME PAGE. Most blogging platforms show a URL or shortlink at the top of your post when you are in your dashboard area. Highlight this URL, it is what you will place in the Linky Widget.
Homesteading/Prepping bloggers, please visit other blogs posts and comment…share the love!

How Can I Be a Featured Author?

Every Blog Hop, you the reader gets to “Like” the posts and from those tallies we get the Featured Blogs of the week-of which 2 are chosen! There are a few extra steps to be done, to be considered for Featured Blog of the Week:
1. You must link back to the Blog Hop (any of the host’s sites) with the Button or a Text Link.
2. Visit at least 2 Blog Hop posts and comment letting them know you found them here, don’t forget to “like” their Blog Hop Post Article too.
3. By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way.

Grab Our Button!

Copy and paste the code below to your blog post or to you website's side bar to show your support for The Homesteader Hop!
The Homesteader Hop
Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
So let’s get hoppin’ y’all!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Soy Free Broccoli Beef

All right who's ready for some soy free Chinese food? This is a simple recipe that we all love.

Ingredients: 

1 lb of grass fed top sirloin steak cut into slices
1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca
1/4 cup cooking sherry
2 tablespoons water
2 heads of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces 
olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a large saute pan) 
2 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon honey 

Related Article: Soy Free Fried Rice Recipe

Instructions:

In a Ziploc bag toss the beef with cornstarch or tapioca & sherry, then let set for twenty minutes. Heat oil in a large saute pan and saute broccoli until just slightly firm, then remove them from the pan and set to the side. Add your sliced meat to the pan, season, and sear on high heat 1 minute on each side. Add some of the marinades from the bag the beef was in, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes Add the broccoli back into the pan. Add the honey toss until it melts and combines then add sesame seeds for garnish (optional). Serve immediately with rice.

Related Article: Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

This article contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls so we can continue bringing you recipes, travel posts, garden and farm posts and so much more. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

I'm Done Being Afraid

I care what you think about me. I care too much. I see you eyes staring at me down at me across the aisle, see your smirk as I get out of my car. I see your glare and sneer as I chase after my kids- I could let you control me, let what I think you are thinking to shackle me in shame and fear. Or I could ignore you, and find my inner kid, I can chase after my kid and laugh with him. My kids are only small for a little while, they'll only want to play a superhero at the store or tag at the park for so long.

I can let your negative expressions, whatever made you so cranky affect me or I can swing with my daughter. I can pretend to be driving a race car instead of a cart with my little one or splash through the puddles in the parking lot or I can let your scowl hold me fast. Afraid of what others will think.


I'm taking that power from you, no longer will you control me, no longer will I stress about what you think. I'm tired of being afraid, and I'm done. The only person I need to worry about what they think is my heavenly father. No mom sitting on the sidelines, critiquing my every move and casting judgment from her bench throne while she clings to her iPhone will make me be afraid, she won't make me ashamed because I chose to make memories with my kids.

Related Article: Kissing Fear Goodbye And Making A Splash

My worth is not measured in what others think of me, I'm not perfect but it doesn't matter. I'm here, I'm facing my fear and becoming a kid for just a moment. Because one day my kids will have to face another their own fears, and maybe another glaring sideline mom. They'll remember the fun we had and not your disproving scowl. You see mam I don't need your approval, my approval comes from God. My job is to raise these little ones the best I can, and today that means being a kid.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
 Today I'm leaving my fear behind and being a mom, fearlessly playing with my kids while they are in my arms because they won't be here forever. You will not control me. I'm taking back the power I gave you, to make me feel less than God made me.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

American Guy In Germany

Well it is Monday morning and we are headed to Franklin KY to meet the group that is flying to
Germany ( Even though I live 25 minutes from the airport, I have to travel 50 minutes to meet the group and then drive about an hour to the airport. Who knows the answers to questions like this). There are 20 of us in all. We were separated into groups and then sent onto different flights. Mrs. Cottage thinks that it is so if one plane goes down, the other one makes it and they don't lose us all. Possible but not all that comforting.


My group is headed towards New York, JFK. But of course, there always has to be an issue when you travel, right? One of the group, not me luckily, had lotion with glycerin in it and of course it sets off the alarms. He got frisked twice and his carry-on got completely emptied and checked.  Note: Check your ingredient list on your lotion before going to the airport. Soft hands are not worth the embarrassment.

Getting Ready To Leave For Germany

So, the first leg went well except for the young kids behind me screaming the whole time and doing loops outside of JFK for 45 minutes.

traveling to germany

Oh. and also not having any leg room... and I am a short person.

Well, we land (and no Cheyenne didn't get a picture of the Statue of Liberty). Then we waited for almost 3 hours for the flight over the big pond. Can we say we are having fun now...

landing at JFK airport
During the wait, They moved our terminal from 37 to 33 go figure. 

We started loading- now I have a question why don't they load planes from back to front instead of front to back? I know they pay more but still, it would prevent me hitting everyone with my duffle bag and computer case on the way back to my seat. Do they realize just how many times you have to apologize on one trip to your seat? Don't get me started on having to squeeze up the row again to use the bathroom.

The people up front are probably groaning every time they see me coming. It's like a game of whack-a-mole. Oooops! there goes someone's head- "Sorry," Yes, I said I am sorry but am I really? Ok, I am.

plane

With the plane finally loaded (The only thing that moves slower than an airport line is a post office line at Christmas time.), and then we find out that we have to wait for some luggage, and because that's kind of necessary we waited, and waited, and waited some more.  An hour later we finally take off. I finally doze off- only to be rudely awoken by a food cart running my foot over. So, I left it in the aisle and you'd think they could see it, maybe kick it out of the way but no, roadkill it is. They served us ravioli -at least I think it was ravioli- salad and a brownie. And if your wondering I did save the brownie for last... I do have some manners.

The little TV had issues so I tried to sleep to get some sleep but my neck kept cramping and waking me up. And then it was Tuesday and we were still flying, unannounced to me Cheyenne was tracking my flight and keeping Facebook entertained with "Well the flight hasn't turned into a cruise yet..." Thanks for that Cheyenne.

We got to Frankfurt but of course, we had to do laps again to wait our turn for 25-30 minutes. Go figure, after a 7-hour flight just let me out! We disembark the plane and get on a shuttle bus that takes us to our gate and then a walk what seemed like a mile (Well at least for a short and out of shape man, who has been sitting for since 11 AM yesterday morning).


Luckily there were no issues with customs or meeting our bus to the hotel... and again we rode for about an hour and of course I cannot get comfortable to nap, just my luck. I can hear you girls laughing stateside- apparently, I can't sleep everywhere like you thought. 


We get here they give us our rooms and then we had about 30 minutes to go to our rooms (mine is the Rapunzel themed one) and put our stuff in them before a special lunch with our mentors from the plant is ready. They took pictures afterward and then walked to the plant to get our lockers and uniforms. When were done they walked back to the hotel, I guess they thought we'd get lost. There you have it my first day in Germany, of course, that day lasted 36 hours and spanned two continents but hey not too bad. Now for some shuteye- hopefully...


Signing Off,

Mr. Cottage
End Of Log.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kissing Fear Goodbye And Making A Splash

I’m not afraid of water, I’m afraid of not being able to touch the bottom. I’m afraid of losing control. The only thing I can attribute this fear too is this one time my twin and I were playing in the kiddy pool on a hot southern summer day and my sister fell on my back making it so I couldn’t get up. I wasn’t in any danger of drowning mom was right there and she was only there for a few seconds. I really never noticed it until this summer when my family went to the lake. We moved to the deeper part so we wouldn’t disturb the younger swimmers in the shallows. Suddenly my foot slipped off the rock and I was distinctly aware that I could no longer touch the bottom.


Quickly on its heels clawed panic, all around me, people were having fun swimming, diving, splashing and there I was afraid of not being able to touch the bottom and keep my head above water. Pretty silly huh? I don’t remember ever feeling like this before, I’ve been in friends pools and ours hundreds of times and it never bothered me. But a few years ago Grandma Cottage passed away and just before that our two foster kids left our care along with the passing of a very dear dog. That year I struggled with feeling like everything was out of control- I think that’s really where my sudden fear of not touching the bottom stems from. The world was spinning out of control and for some reason, I decided I could control it, I could make the chaos stop. But it was all an illusion, kind of like how standing on the rock meant safety. I could paste on a smile and fake that I was having fun from my safe little perch while the others stepped off.

See I was never really in control, I was kidding myself the same way I was kidding myself that I could have fun watching from where I thought was safe. It wasn’t until I decided I wasn’t going to be afraid, that I was never meant to control it and stepped off that rock and let go, trusting God to handle this out of control chaos called life, trusted that I, in fact, could swim (I have pictures to prove I had lessons) that I was able to have a good time. Sure there were moments that I desperately wanted to thrash back to my rock, and in truth, all I had to do was reach out and grab the buoy and I would be safe. But there was something freeing about letting go, refusing to be afraid and trusting that He has the answers.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime--until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4

It’s hard not to reach for that buoy- spring back for that unseen rock of my safety, to rip the reigns back out of God’s hand. Instinct tells you to lunge for it, your heart pounds in your chest, step back onto the rock, your fingers burn to grab that buoy to ensure your head doesn’t slip beneath the water- but maybe that’s just where God wants you, maybe letting go and hanging on to him is the lesson your supposed to learn.

In the water you can trust only one thing, your ability to swim, in life, we can only trust one thing Him. In the water our arms may fail us, he will never fail us. He is standing there, ready to take the fear holding you on your man made rock. Keeping you from diving into the water of your destiny, shackled by what others may think, or that you aren’t good enough.

Related Article: We Aren't Worthy

The truth is he’s put that water in front of you to prove that it isn’t impassable; he’s assigned that mountain to you to prove that it can be moved. You hold the key to your shackles, give it to him, lay it down at his feet and dive into the water trusting Him to catch you. He’ll be there. He will never leave you, his plan may not be yours- keep trusting. Even when the waves roll over your head, lean into him and let him take you deeper.


Are you struggling with fear? Maybe you’re like me and it’s the fear of losing control, or maybe it’s something else, check out Kellie Balarie’s book Fear Fighting and let's start a new chapter of our lives fear free. This is a wonderful book, that will change your life! Kellie shares about how she overcame her fears and encourages you to do the same and rise up and be the woman he wants you to be.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you... Isaiah 41:10

Being afraid takes up way too much time and energy. Time that we could be using to shine His light to a dark world that we could be using to invest in our families and making memories that will last a lifetime. Time we could be reaching out to our community or a hurting friend or fulfilling the mission He has laid on our heart. Let’s kiss fear goodbye together and open a fresh page, are you with me? Then let’s make a splash! Let's dive off of our rock leaving behind our illusion of control and let's find peace in Him. Let's let Him revive our hearts that were once desert wastelands and make them beautiful places once more.

Related Article: Revive Our Hearts In This Desert Place

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. Isaiah 35: 1-2
Break the door from your self-made cage, your rock above the waves and embrace His plan. And when fear comes creeping back in again look to Him. Don't live with regrets, dragging around the extra baggage to hold your chains. Drop them at the cross, let them clank to the ground, nail that fears to the cross and follow Him.

Related Article: Fear Fighting: Are You A People Pleaser?

Find #FearFightingBook on Amazon and check out her websites Fear Fighting Book on Purposeful Faith

This article contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls so we can continue bringing you recipes, travel posts, garden and farm posts and so much more. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kitchen Remodel - Oh The Wonderful World Of Countertops

This week it's all about counter tops! The mind numbing, detail-filled, contradictory world of quartz, laminate, butcher's block, porcelain, granite, marble we've looked at them all until our eyes were bleeding. Please no more!

So for your sanity and ours, after all, we have to do something with our self-taught knowledge of the counter top world we'll share a condensed version of our crash course over the last 6 months. Ready? Neither are we. But before I hide in the pantry and eat the last of the potato chips let me tell you what we've learned.


Marble - we quickly ruled this option out due to the fact that it is such high maintenance. It's not a practical choice if you like to actually cook in your kitchen. It "mars" if you spill oil or high-acid foods such as tomatoes, lemons, coffee you get the idea. Who has time for that?

Granite - Beautiful and they have lots of marble like options but it needs to be sealed regularly to protect it

Quartz -  Quartz is less maintenance in the long run and does not need sealing.  

Laminate - The cheaper option if we were to get it precut at Lowes or Home Depot but if we delve into the "Order Me" kinds. It is not really all that much cheaper. Funny, but this is where Mr. Cottage drew the line in the proverbial sand and said that someone else is installing this and not me so that ruled out the off the shelf variety and had us searching elsewhere for our countertops.

Porcelain - Porcelain is not just the little tiles anymore, they grew up! They now make it in great big sheets. It is supposed to be stronger than the other options, stain resistance and heat resistance is higher than the others but the options for installation were few and far between and the cost was the highest. 

Butchers Block - Beautiful and imperfections and stains can be lightly sanded out as needed. It is not heat resistant and needs to be sealed or oiled regularly. 




We're currently planning on using quartz in the color of "White Lace", we fell in love with the white color with flakes of sparkle. This week we have a company coming in to measure the kitchen for the granite and give us a quote. We bought a piece of butcher's block to finish off our island, and I have to say we love the way it looks!

We are kind of running out of time to get all of this done before Mr. Cottage heads for Germany for three months- which will leave us girls to finish. He's brave, isn't he? He leaves us for a day and we launch a full-scale kitchen remodel, what trouble could we get into in three months?

Oh Pinterest, Craigslist...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Homesteader Blog Hop #36

This is the Homesteader Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention every Wednesday at The Homesteader Hop!
Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! …we are here to entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long.
Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite!
If you are a blogger you can submit up to 3 articles, visit other blogs, leave comments and enjoy your stay here on the porch…
Here on the Homestead we are all about living a self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining lifestyle in as natural, organic & frugal ways as possible.

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

Homesteading with Heart

(Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter) Hello, and welcome to my Blog! I’m a busy Farmers wife, Homeschool mom, chef Chief, Craft Enthusiast, animal loving blogger and homemaker!

Rosevine Cottage Girls

Hi, we are the Rosevine Cottage Girls. A mother / daughters team, living in middle Tennessee on a "mini" farm. We love sharing our favorite recipes, crafts, DIY projects, travel, hair styles, fashion, reviews, faith, raising animals, and life in general.

A Chick and Her Garden

Hi All! In 2013 my husband and I purchased our home and have been transforming it into our dream homestead. Follow along at A Chick And Her Garden and see how our little slice of heaven grows. I'll be sharing our experiences, animals, crafts, recipes and more!

This Whole Home

This Whole Home is a blog about the simple things in life: homesteading, homeschooling and homemaking. Hi I'm Kirstee, a suburban homesteader in Australia with a passion for helping families live simply and sustainably.

And Our Newest Co-host....

Salt in my Coffee

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter) I'm Anna - foodie, research-addict, and mini-homesteader. I'm married to a man who can learn to do anything from a book (sailing! changing shocks & struts! making perfect cheesecake!). And I'm also Mama to one delightful little lady, who keeps me on my toes!

Featured Authors From Last Weeks Hop:

Skip The Bag

 

National Drinking Straw Day Jan 3rd

I'm not sure if you are familiar, but just about every day is used to celebrate and bring attention to something. In fact most days have 3 or 4 things that they help to celebrate. One of the things tomorrow, January 3rd, is that it is National Drinking Straw Day. Read More >>>

Oak Hill Homestead

Homesteading: Where on Earth Do You Start?

The turning of a new year is when many of us feel the urge to make resolutions or set goals. Whether or not you're a new homesteader, you might be wondering "where do I begin" or "where do I go from here?" Read More >>>

What Can I Post on this Blog Hop?

Anything and everything related to: Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Homeschooling, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!

Some Simple Rules Y’all

This is a family friendly Blog Hop! Absolutely NO profanity or suggestive material at all – your post will be immediately deleted.
  1. Please link up only posts pertaining to the suggested topics.
  2. No advertising, giveaways, carnivals or contests.
  3. You may link more than one post, original content only, older or archived posts are A-Okay!
  4. Only real-food recipes please…no processed junk in our recipes or our tummies!
  5. Want to know when the Blog Hop opens? Follow us by email & get notified IMMEDIATELY!
  6. Please place a link back to this edition of the Blog Hop in your post. That way your readers can benefit from all the great ideas here on the Blog Hop AND this helps everybody by drawing more traffic to your site.

How Do I Do This Blog Hop Thang?

If you’re new to blogging OR just new to Blog Hops, (or need a reminder), here’s what you do: (after the hop)
The post that you want to submit to the Blog Hop needs to have a link back to the Blog Hop. For example you might say in your post…”This post was shared on The Homesteader Hop”, or “I participated in the Homesteader Hop” and this would generally go at the end of your post.
Please link the URL of your actual BLOG POST and NOT your blogs HOME PAGE. Most blogging platforms show a URL or shortlink at the top of your post when you are in your dashboard area. Highlight this URL, it is what you will place in the Linky Widget.
Homesteading/Prepping bloggers, please visit other blogs posts and comment…share the love!

How Can I Be a Featured Author?

Every Blog Hop, you the reader gets to “Like” the posts and from those tallies we get the Featured Blogs of the week-of which 2 are chosen! There are a few extra steps to be done, to be considered for Featured Blog of the Week:
1. You must link back to the Blog Hop (any of the host’s sites) with the Button or a Text Link.
2. Visit at least 2 Blog Hop posts and comment letting them know you found them here, don’t forget to “like” their Blog Hop Post Article too.
3. By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way.

Grab Our Button!

Copy and paste the code below to your blog post or to you website's side bar to show your support for The Homesteader Hop!
The Homesteader Hop
Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
So let’s get hoppin’ y’all!