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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sea Side Living Room

I have been working on a project in the living room since August.  I was trying to make the living room a bit nautical like a sea side cottage. Cool colors and white covered sofas and some home made wide striped cushion covers.  I may not live by the ocean anymore but I can pretend, right?  Well, life got crazy, then horrible, then sad and now it just sort of is. A blend of sad and hope that the future will be better.   Well anyway, I decided to finish what I started.  I am so sorry it is so late and now on the 2nd day of fall here in the U.S., I am doing my summer living room post.I actually started with the couches.  I found them on the Ikea website and loved them.  They are the Ektorp white slip covered sofa and love seat.  I had been looking for awhile on Craigslist for these sofas or something similar but I could only find a dark gray or a reddish color and that was not at all what I wanted for my seaside shabby chic kind of cottage feel. 

These sofas are great. The slip covers can be thrown in the wash and hung out to dry in the sunshine as they get dirty and it is as easy as can be.  The Table in the first photo is a set of wicker plant stands with a wooden shelve from the cabinet in the master bedroom that was extra.  It makes a great little table. 

The end table I got at an auction that friends of ours had when they moved to Africa.  I used Annie Sloan's paint on it and you can see the process that I used here.  The lamp I found at a thrift store and bought the plain lamp shade for it and dressed it up with fabric roses that we made and applied.  I have a post here about how we did it. The shell frame we bought at Ross and the photo coasters we got at Belk for my mom for a Christmas gift.  The slipcovers we made with white and dark navy blue striped fabric that we had in the house.  We usually use the fabric for bunting at the 4th of July but I thought I would use it for these to make the room a bit festive for the summer. Under the table is a fabric lined basket full of books to read as you sit and relax on the couch. The back wall is covered in 8x10 photographs of the family.  

I went through and picked the ones that made me smile or had a sweet memory attached to it.  The frames are mostly a mismatched batch of oak frames that I spray painted to look similar.  The last four are frames that we bought at Ross and painted. The oar we bought at Burke's.  We bought one for the baby's room as well but it is red and is holding his sailor hat and his nautical towels. The large brown side table is from a yard sale.  It is a restoration hardware table I believe.  On the table is a drink holder that looks like a large canning jar.  We bought this last summer at Sam's Club. There is a basket on the table with sea shells from a long past trip to the sea and a picture of our family apple picking in the orchard. The wall unit holds some of our favorite things,our love of many books and beautiful nests that we have found while gardening with blown out quail eggs.  

The jar at the top of the wall unit has blown turkey and chicken eggs topped with a nest of quail eggs. The table is a piece we found at a yard sale and the chairs we found a listing online on Craigslist.  The end large chairs we found at Ross.  The candle holder on the table came from Kirkland.                On the fireplace, we have a garland of shells and star fish that we got at Big Lots a few years ago.  On the mantle, there is a sailboat that we found at Burke's that added the sea side feel.  The large framed mirror above the fireplace we found at a yard sale in our neighborhood.  It used to be gold but I used Annie Sloan's paint and made it shabby chic. Click HERE for the post on how I did the mirror.  The paint on the walls is called Crocodile Tears and if anyone is interested in using it I will find out the brand name (I can't remember right now). We know that we use the no VOC paint.  

We bought a vinyl piece for the photo wall. It was sort of the inspiration for that wall.  We bought it at Hobby Lobby. You can sign up on the website for coupons and they will notify you of sales.  The coupons are on average 40% off.  Love that store! You can get some really beautiful things there on sale for great prices.  We have a couple of them locally so we have never used the online store.  This was our first time using the vinyl lettering and although we were a bit nervous it was really pretty easy to do.  Just make sure that you lay out the wording as it goes before you do it on the wall so you don't get confused as you are putting it up on the wall.  


Rose Lamp
Shabby Chic Table
Shabby Chic Mirror

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Stuffed Bell Pepper's With Mr. Cottage

One dark and stormy October night

Oh! Hi there, sorry about that. Today I'm mastering the grill with my trusty sidekick Tongs to show you how to make Stuffed Bell Peppers. Ready? Well then, here we go,


Bell Peppers (I made six)
Celtic Sea Salt 
Onion Powder
Mrs.Dash Lemon Pepper 
Garlic Powder and what ever else sounds good to you.
1 lb. Grass Fed Ground Beef (Use what you have, this can be made with ground chicken, turkey, bison,`1 what ever sounds good to you.)
2 12 Oz. Cans of Hunts Tomato Sauce (I like Hunts for the flavor, if you have a favorite... by all means use it or... HOME CANNED! YUMMY)
2 cups Precooked rice Rice
Coconut Oil

Step 1: Wash your peppers and slice off the tops.  Remove the stem but reserve the tops.  Remove seeds. Rub peppers with oil (I use coconut oil) coating inside and out. 

Step 2:  With a POW! and a BANG! Sprinkle salt and pepper and what ever your favorite seasoning is over the peppers (Feel free to make sound effects, it makes life so much more enjoyable and it keeps the neighbors questioning.)
Step 3: Place them on grill as seen above or you can even roast them over the eye of your gas range. Make sure the peppers are the ones on the grill and not your fingers and shut the lid. 
Step 4: Meanwhile, back in the kitchen... begin cooking your rice and cook the ground beef seasoning well.  I use a bit of Lemon Pepper Mrs. Dash, and Celtic Sea Salt to taste. When meat has been browned, mix with your rice.  Taste for seasoning.  You want this seasoned well.  

 One dark and frigid [Artistic license taken in force -The Cottage Girls] October night I intrepidly started the grill of intrigue and insanity, as lightning split the sky around me [Again artistic License Was Taken Liberally -The Cottage Girls]. Pop! In an insanely fast move I dropped a pepper on the grill and reached for the next...

Step 5: Open grill.. check your peppers and turn.  It is ok that they get a little black. These roasted peppers are going to give your dish so much flavor.  Turn them on every side until they are well roasted.  

And I waited. The storm intensified. 

Then in another blinding move I wrestled the peppers from the evil lord grill [Mmmhmmm... - The Cottage Girls] and flipped the peppers. 

Step 6: Bring inside and place them in a baking pan (like the one for your lasagne) [Insert Dramatic Music Dun-Dun-Dun {Who didn't see that coming?}] when done and spoon the beef and rice mixture into your peppers, 

Step 7: Pour over your peppers a large can of Hunts Tomato Sauce . Cover with the lids of the peppers and add more tomato sauce over the top.  I like to use two large cans because the sauce is so great with these roasted peppers in it. Top with salt and Mrs. Dash to taste.

The storm stopped. The grill had been defeated! Quickly I removed the peppers and stuffed them with pure deliciousness.

Step 8: Well there really isn't a step 8 unless you consider EAT! as a step like I do in which case step 8 is- EAT! 

And that is how I defeated the Evil lord- the grill of intrigue and... (Wait for it)


Join Tongs and I next time as we defeat another vicious tyrant! 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Ikea Couch Review

I've been meaning to get this up for awhile, several months ago we purchased these couches from Ikea. They were super easy to put up and we absolutely love them! They look nice and are very comfortable. This couches will go with so many different styles and being white they really brighten the room. There have been more than one stormy night spent on these great couches. If the slip covers get dirty all you have to do is pull them off and throw them in the wash and line dry. Mr. Cottage and I put ours together and it was so easy! I think we had both put together in a half hour. 

The pieces to the couches were delivered in giant boxes for us to assemble.

Then you take them out of the box and following the directions attach the arm of the chair. 

Then the other.

Screw on the legs.

Slip on the slip cover.

Slip the pillows into the slip covers and put in place. That's it! 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Banana Nut Bread

We use organic ingredients here at the Cottage, but feel free to use what you have.  Everything is measure for measure the same as normal ingredients so use what you have.
This is a recipe our grandma Cottage used to make a lot.  It brings to mind sweet memories as the sweet smelling breads wonderful aroma wafts through the house.  Mr. Cottage likes to take it to work and share with his co-workers who love it.  I am making a loaf of it today for one of the men to take home. I hope that you enjoy the recipe.  Tell me what you think of it and let me know how you make it your own.


2 Cups Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
1/4 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt (this salt has lots of good minerals in it)
2 1/3 Cup Organic over-Ripe Bananas Mashed
1/2 Cup Organic Butter
2 Organic Free Range Eggs
3/4 Cup Organic Raw Sugar 
2/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
Obviously if there are nut allergies in the family it is simple to just omit this part of the recipe.  It will still make wonderful bread.


Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl put your bananas in and mash them with a fork, potato masher or in your mixer until smooth. In medium bowl cream Butter and Sugar together, add Bananas (mashed) and eggs. Combine wet ingredients with dry and mix until combined, but do not over stir.  It will be a sort of lumpy batter,  Next you can add in your walnuts or other nuts as desired again, it will not ruin the recipe not to add the nuts.

Pour into bread pan and bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remembering Them...Infant / Child Loss Remembrance

 I'm not really sure how to write this post. My mom said to share my heart so here goes... today is pregnancy and infant loss day. Today we remember all the little ones gone to soon and pray for the families who have lost their precious bundle of joy. Some of us will be lighting candles tonight in a "Wave of light" at 7 PM. Other I'm sure will be doing other things.

Its cold here, I can hear the rain pinging against the top of the chimney. Ping. Ping Ping. It's a lonely sound. Christmas carols play softly from the kitchen. Yes it's early for it. But I'm just in the mood for it tonight, a group of geese fly over- I know because I can hear them honking as they fly toward the lake. Its almost dark now. There are eleven in our family we will be remembering tonight. Eleven of my siblings, a few cousin's babies, my dad's navy friend's child, a friends nephew, a friends... so many.

My heart breaks for each one. Each family.  7 O'clock...

We pray for you as you continue you on.

Leave your loved ones name in the comments below and we will remember them too. 
As we do Lucy Marie, Tjaden Eli, Brendan, Carter Lee...

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Broth With Mr. Cottage

Hi there Mr. Cottage here. How are you all doing? I hope you brought your aprons because today I'm going to show you how to make broth.

What you will need:

Crock pot or slow cooker, raw apple cider vinegar, veggies (I used carrots, celery, squash, zucchini, onions, and mushroom), 1 gallon bottle of water, salt, and last but not least... bones (Cue the spooky  music) Dunt-Dunt Da, (You can use chicken, beef, pork ect. You can also throw chicken feet in if you have them.  Yes I know, that sounds gross right? But they are really high in collagen and make a very healthy broth.) I like to add some extra collagen in my broth too.  

First Chop your veggies.

Put your bones in the crock pot. Well not your bones- Oh you know what I mean. And add the veggies.
. Pour the water in until full. Add about a tablespoon of Celtic sea salt. Cook on low for two days, then strain all the veggies and bones out, depending on the state of the veggies you can either keep them and make another batch or throw them away with the bones. Store in the fridge or can it. And your done! Now you can make soup or anything else that you think of.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY Lamp Shade Re-Do

We decided to re-do this lamp and shade we picked up at a local thrift store. This was super easy and actually pretty fun- that is if you like making things. What you will need:

Strips Of Muslin
Glue Gun
Lamp Shade 
and a bit of burlap or other fabric.

Start with a circle patch of fabric and begin sewing the strips in tiny circles branching out until you reach the desired size.

When your done tuck the end under your rose and stitch in place. Knot your thread and snip. You can add a leaf of burlap if you want but be careful because burlap frays a lot. 

Figure out where you are going to put the roses and heat your glue gun. 

Dab a bit of glue either on the roses or the lamp shade itself. Either will work. Press the roses quickly onto the lamp shade and hold in place until the glue hardens. And your done! You have a brand new lamp. 

Shabby Roses, Burlap, Muslin, Shabby Chic, Cottage Chic, Feminine, 

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Mama's Loco Beans

2 Pounds dry pinto beans Rinsed, soaked and cooked.

2 Onions Chopped

4 Garlic Cloves Chopped

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Mrs. Dash South West Chipolte

1/2 Teaspoon Celery Seed

2 10 Ounce Cans Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies

Approximately 8 Cups Water or Broth

1 Sweet Pepper Chopped

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

2 Bay leaves

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

3 Organic Sausage

1/2 Teaspoon Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime

2 Teaspoon Celtic Sea or Himalayan Pink Salt

Rinse your dry beans in a colander to make sure they are clean and the bag does not have any stones or other debris. Next, pour the dry beans in a pot and cover with enough water to cover the beans plus a few inches.  Let set overnight.  In the AM drain your beans and replace with fresh water.  I used about 8 cups of broth.  I chopped up the onion and garlic and put them in with the beans with my bay leaves.  I let this cook for an hour or so until the beans are done and tender.  

I then added my spices, the tomatoes and green chilies, peppers, and sausage and simmer so the seasonings can mingle.  

This dish was amazingly good,  It is spicy and wonderful.  Can be served on a bed of rice but it does not need it. 

Try this with some homemade cornbread Click picture for the recipe.

Spicy, Pinto Beans, Mexican Food, Spicy Beans

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Friday, October 3, 2014

DIY Shabby Chic Mirror Re-do

We found this great mirror at a yard sale for $5. Isn't it pretty? 

The only problem was that the gold didn't match the house... at all. So we decided to paint it. We took paper and spread it over the glass then taped it down to keep the paint off of it.

Then we took a dry wash cloth and dusted the frame just to make sure there was no dust or dirt on it. (don't worry we did put paper down under the mirror so we wouldn't get paint on the floor)

Closer shot of the details on the mirror

We used Annie Slones white paint, it took about two coats to cover the gold.

After the paint was dry we applied the clear Annie Sloan's wax to the frame and let it dry.

Here are some closer shots of some of the details on the mirror.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Annie Sloan, Shabby Chic, Chalk Paint, Furniture Make Over, White Mirror, Crafting, Decorating, DIY,  Furniture Re do, decor

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