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Showing posts from June, 2015

Homemade Laundry Soap

This is super easy and fun to make. It lasted over a year for our family of five and a friend who was living with us. You can use it full strength on your stains as a stain remover. Let us know what you think!

 Ingredients:
1 (5 1/2 OZ) Bar of Laundry Soap (I use Castille Soap, but my neighbor uses Fels Naptha)
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)
1/2 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
50 Drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
Essential oil you like (optional)

Related Article: How To Save Money On Fabric Softener
Directions: Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full of hot water. Grate the bar soap into a pot and add 4 cups water. Heat on the stove until completely dissolves the soap. Then pour into the bucket. Add the dry ingredients to the bucket and stir until everything is dissolved.  Fill up the bucket the rest of the way with warm water and stir. Let it sit overnight. If it thickens break it up and stir it around. Use a funnel to get it into the bottles with less mess. You may have to …

All American Roundup

I love Independence day, probably about as much as Christmas! I love the food, the music, the fireworks, BBQ's, time with friends and family, and call me cheesy but I love the colors! Red, White & Blue. I have outfits for every day of the week leading up to this holiday (and yes they all involve those colors. Some even have stars & stripes on the, what? I told you I love it!)


Every year we have a big BBQ (Think Thanksgiving but tell the turkey to wait its turn and add Mr. Cottage's top secret BBQ Sauce- we take our BBQ very seriously), sometimes friends join us other times its just our family, but we always have a great time. Usually while everyone else is asleep you can find at least two of our family around the neighborhood hunting out summer blackberries in the woods until our hands are stained purple and our arms are scratched up from an overzealous attempt at a very large berry that simply could not be left behind. If we're lucky no one has fallen in a patch …

Lessons From The Farm - Find Your Spot And Bloom

Spring! It is a time of new beginnings, new life.  A time to get your hands dirty and to end the day with sun in your hair and the smell of growing things.  To enjoy the beauty of flowers after the bleakness of winter.  Every flower blooming where it is planted, unique, beautiful, in the exact place God meant for it to be.


Blooming where you are planted- it is so easy to get caught up in where you want to be in six months, a year, twelve that we forgot to bloom where we have been planted.  We forget to do what we were meant to do.  God has a purpose for our lives... we have been called and there is a job we need to fulfill.  Our pastor used to tell us to get into "our spot".  "Don't worry about what Aunt Sukie is doing over there in her spot but worry about what you are doing in your spot."  Before we can move on to greater things, greater blessings, sometimes we just need to bloom where we are planted.  Don't worry if your stem seems small, if the roses …

Strawberry Preserve

Canning is a big part of our summer here at the Cottage and we always do it as a family. We all cram into our kitchen (which always seems tiny during the summer) . Some of my favorite summer memories happened in the kitchen with a boiling pot and bowls of anything from tomatoes to peaches.


One year we were canning apples and Brianna woke up and came down to the kitchen, we had a big stock pot full of apples ready to be canned. Brianna happened to not see it and long story short she and her Winnie the Pooh PJ's ended up sitting in the pot... It was so funny! This is one of our favorite preserve recipe. I don't normally like strawberries unless they are fresh, but this is so good!


2 Pounds (4 Cups) Fresh or Frozen Strawberries  4 Cups Raw Sugar  1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice


Remove stems and slice strawberries. Combine berries, sugar and lemon juice. Let stand until it gets really juicy (about 10 minutes). Slowly bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly almost to g…

Keeping Turkeys

Ok, I LOVE turkeys! Seriously they are so sweet and cute and little- well little for awhile. They are so sweet and loving and they "need" you.


We had them one very cold spring and it was too cold to be outside.  Mrs. Cottage let them stay in the living room in a tote. They would trill a gentle peep peep peep when they saw her.  But if we would walk away the peep peep peep got louder and more panic stricken each time.  Then when we walked back to them they would trill the gentle peep peep peep.  They were so adorable!

When they grew up they still were sweet and gentle, just a bit bigger...

And bigger.  
This is the male turkey as it is doing it's gobble, gobble gobble and it makes the snood (the long piece of skin on its snout grow longer and it's face turns blue.  It will puff itself up and hold out his wings to look bigger.  Then it will slowly prance around.

Turkeys don't have the best eye sight and they are heavy.  See this little uh, er big lady standing on …

Cottage Charm Part 9 - Treat Others Homes As You Want Your's Treated

This can be a hard one because it seems many children today don't treat their own homes with respect, so why should it be any different elsewhere. My adopted grandpa used to love to have children come to visit  him, but unfortunately the joy faded away as the sweet children got there and proceeded to tear the house apart. They would break lamps, electronics, books and furniture. It was like the locusts descending on a well tended crops and leaving chaos in its wake.I remember helping him clean up the messes and not understanding why they thought it was ok to climb all over furnishings, run in the house and cause general mayhem. 
 Lets begin that someones home is not a playground. We do not run, climb, or scream in it but treat it with respect. If things are old or new, shabby or fine makes no difference. We never speak with outside voices like we would at the playground but talk quietly as you would at the museum, or at church. We walk not run around, because in running we could b…

To My Hero

To my hero. Thank you for every second Thank you for always putting us first. For serving your country, And instilling in me my love for my country. For leading by example. For being excited with me when I succeeded and holding my hand when I failed. For allowing me to fail.



For praying for me.






 For treating my friends like members of the family. you spent with me. For teaching me to fish, For giving me your love of travel (thankful I grew out of are we there yet),





For playing basketball, soccer, hide and seek, badminton, croquet and so many other games with me. For flipping my socks inside out when I couldn't stand the feel of the seam




 .

For letting us swim with dolphins. For bandaging skinned elbows and knees. For carrying me to bed when I fell asleep in yours. Thank you for asking me in that slightly annoying way of yours if I wanted to go to the E.R. after I get hurt (even if I always say NO!). 



You have taught me so much over the years "Charming". Thanks for every l…

Keeping Faith In The Chaos

There are times when life is going well, great... it's as smooth as a calm lake. 

Everything is perfect. It couldn't get any better, and then there are times like these... 




We had been trying to adopt a baby and found out that the young lady that was pregnant decided she didn't want to be pregnant anymore so she got an abortion.  We were all heart broken. We prayed for this young lady and her child and they were like family in our hearts.  The abortion went badly and the girl had to be rushed to the hospital for surgery.  They said she would never have children again.  Our hearts broke for her and the baby.



Weeks later a friend called us with another woman that was pregnant and needing a loving family for the baby.  Needless to say, it was a bad situation and she was forced into an abortion.



Mr. and Mrs. Cottage were driving to take Grandma Cottage to a doctor's appointment and we were hit by a lady as we sat at a red light. She never even slowed down.  We had decided at t…

Influenster Nurture VoxBox

A company called Influenster chose our blog to be its voice by trying products that they send us and giving our opinion- we were so amazed to hear we were chosen and excited when we received the package -we have never Vlogged before an we were so nervous! But here is our first one.



Okay, if you didn't catch it the short amount of time I stayed in from of the camera before running for the hills one of the products are RedVines Candy - These were okay. We don't eat candy here and I have never eaten licorice before.


Next was Oreida Easy Fries- we don't normally eat fried foods we try to eat more naturally and avoid additives like hydrogenated oil and things like that. But when you are in a hurry well they would be a tasty option in a pinch!


The next product was Uncle Ben's - We got the brown rice an quinoa. We don't normally buy mixes like this but it was good. The flavor was tasty and I liked the texture. It was good in our dish


They also sent us Attitude Shampoo. B…