Shop Cottage Bits & Bobs

Check out our store,  Cottage Bits & Bobs ! We offer coffee mugs, travel mugs, clothing, phone cases, computer skins, bags, throw pil...

eShakti Dahila Crinoline Review


A couple weeks ago eShakti asked us to review another one of their beautiful outfits! And so with no further ado, we present their Dahlia crinoline. We are absolutely in love with this gorgeous skirt.


 This skirt has a zipper and elastic which makes this wonderful skirt easy to get on and off and it is really well made. It is fully lined and it also has pockets!!! That is one of my favorite things about this company they put pockets in their dresses and skirts. As photographers, this is soooo helpful and if you wear it out to a dinner party, you could carry your ID and key in your pocket if you wanted to not carry a purse.

Related Post: eShakti Anchor Embellished Colorblock Dress Review


The color is more a peachy pink than I thought it would be, but we LOVE it.


I love how full the skirt is! Seriously, who doesn't love being able to spin and having your skirt arc out with you?


I chose to pair it with a vintage top and added some fun jewelry, but I think you could easily dress it down (though I tend to overdress for things like grocery shopping and church so I'm all good with some extra bling).


This is definitely going to be one of my favorite skirts for a long time to come! What do you think? You can find them on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.


Here are some more of our favorites from eShakti, Red Chelsea Dress, Cotton Knit Fit & Flare Dress, & Grace Dress. By the way, this skirt comes in copper.  Received this skirt free for our honest review.

Seaside Cottage Sign Tutorial


Today we're making this beautiful Cottage sign! Ready? 

What you will need:
1/4" Wood
Chalk Paint (We used American Paint Company in Uncle Sam to paint it)
Paint Brush
Pencil or Rounded Carving Tool 
Tape
Starfish


I painted the board white, I wanted it to look really crisp so it took a view coats. 


Related Post: DIY Collage Art Work

Using Picmonkey I found a font and using a blank canvas and saving each letter of the word on to your computer. I think I used a font size around 2000 and print the letters so that they fill one regular printer size page. 


I trimmed away excess paper and then laid the letters out on the sign and taped it in place so it didn't slide around.


Using a pencil or a rounded wood carving tool (yeah, I don't know what it's called) I traced the outline of the letters pressing hard.

Related post: DIY Faux Shiplap Tutorial


Then painted over the traced lines filling in the letters.


Using the hot glue gun  I squeezed glue onto each leg.


 Then pressed firmly onto the sign.


Follow that by placing felt pads on the back of each corner of the sign.

Related Post: Hydrangea Wreath Tutorial


I tied a knot at the end of the wire and stapled it to the back of the sign. and did the same on the other side. 

When Loving Is Hard

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’  The whole Law and the [writings of the]Prophets depend on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36-40 (AMP)
I consider myself a pretty nice person on most days. I mean I get grumpy and I have days when I am sick or times when I am not happy, but all in all I think I am nice.

I moved from sunny southern California to the idealistic small town in the rural south with dreams of life being like Mayberry and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Friendly neighbors greet you when you pull up with loaves of fresh baked bread and greetings of “If you need anything, you just let us know” were all still fresh in my mind as I am driving with my two-year-old twins over the mountains and into the storms that made up the journey.

We traveled across the country with severe storms and tornadoes ahead of us and more behind us. If we got too far ahead of the storm behind us we were stopped and in the middle of tornadoes to our left and right and not able to see anything in the middle of the desert. We huddled in Winslow Arizona in front of an old television in an even older Motel trying to watch the weather when the lights and air conditioning went out with a pop. 

Another time we were stopped at the only gas station in the only exit along the lonely route 66 to take refuge when the radio screamed tornado warnings along that town's railroad tracks and the highway and looking over to see our precious caravan of a minivan and moving van is following along the said railroad tracks. We were huddled in the van surrounded by diesel trucks when there was no place to take refuge from the storms. 

I cried all night wedged between the children’s car seats as rain sprayed from what seemed like a fire hose in every direction at once every window in the van and the wind blew and shook the car violently. I prayed, and cried and prayed some more… This trip was not what I dreamed it would be. It was not turning out like I hoped it would be and I found myself just praying…Lord! What am I doing here?


We made the very tough journey and to our friends home where we would stay until we found a home. When we did my mother and husband fell in love with the house but it was not my dream. It was not where I wanted to live but we bought the house and we moved in. I met the neighbors and I remember telling her how excited I was to get to know people and how we wanted to have the neighbors over to a barbecue like we did back home in Southern California. The neighbor looked at me like I was a talking squirrel and then proceeded to tell me that this was not THAT kind of neighborhood and THAT is exactly why we moved here. 

My little amount of hope that this would work out like a windsock that lost its wind fell. I smiled and made excuses and headed back home. She was right; this is NOT that kind of neighborhood. I remember praying again; Lord… what am I doing here?

Over the years living here I have tried to teach the girls and to live out the scripture where we are called to love our neighbor. We have baked bread for the new neighbors; we have made cards for people and cooked meals when they were ill or injured and have mowed lawns, babysat pets, and watched over children, but that neighbor lady’s words still ring true. This is the most unfriendly neighborhood I have ever seen. Someone here has maligned us, they have spread rumors, injured and killed our pets, stolen from us, and outright ignored us. It has been hard to live through and not get bitter. I wonder often why we ended up here and I still ask God why I am here.

The truth is even though it has been more awful than good I have to believe that we were brought here for a reason. That maybe we were a light in the darkness in this strange place and when we leave, I pray that the light we showed will remain. I think that is all we can hope. That our lives, no matter how small, how insignificant to us and our own eyes; that in the light of eternity it will make a difference.

Tortoise Shell Bread


This was such a pretty bread. It was crusty and great with jelly.

2 2/3 cups of organic flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp organic sugar
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 Tbsp Coconut or Olive Oil

Add to your bread machine 9 oz of spring water.  To this add your dry ingredients reserving the yeast. Make a well in the top of the flour and place your yeast there.  Set to dough.

Related Post: Blueberry Preserves

When the cycle ends remove onto your lightly floured countertop and shape it like an oval.  Put onto a greased baking pan and cover with oiled saran wrap and place someplace warm and draft free.  When it has doubled in size (about an hour) preheat your oven to 425F.

Related Post: Apple Orange Preserves

Dust the loaf with flour and slash the top with your sharpest knife.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a knife on the bottom.

Related Post: Strawberry Preserves

Sit your bread on a wire rack to cool

Enjoy!

DIY Faux Shiplap Tutorial


If you've been following our Kitchen Remodel you probably saw the faux shiplap that we did in the kitchen, and as promised, here is how we did it! We've always loved the look of shiplap, but frankly didn't want to go through the hassle of nailing boards to the wall, especially after Mr. Cottage's run in with a table saw- but that's another story (trust me you don't want to hear it). PS. I may or may not have actually painted in that outfit.


You will need:

Painters Tape
Thin Paintbrush
A Ruler (longer the better)
Gray paint (we used Valspar zero VOC Gravity in satin)
Pencil
And last but not least coffee- ok so you don't really need that to do this but hey, coffee is always good right? Check out our sponsor Lifeboat Coffee while you're at it! They have the best coffee we have ever tasted and its a family owned business for a great cause! Ok back to our project.


Related Post: Fix Them Drawers With Mr. Cottage


First, you are going to want to decide how wide you want your panels, we made ours 6 inches apart. When you figure this out start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up faintly marking lines across the wall with the ruler (check the paint department for their nice long ones!) or something else with a straight edge, I used a ruler and a left over tile. I wouldn't recommend the second one- my arms were killing me the next day.


Related Post: DIY Throw Pillow Slipcovers


Once this is done take the painters tape and apply it to either side of the line at your desired thickness. Mine varied a bit on size but I wanted it to look like 100-year-old wood so I was fine with that. Keep your lines as straight as humanly possible. Yes, I realize this is very hard, your talking to the queen of I-Can't-Make-Straight-Lines-To-Save-My-Life. Hopefully, I never get pulled over.


Related Post: DIY Collage Artwork 


Now that you have your lines done its time to paint! Stir up the paint and slap it on over the tape. Give it a few seconds to dry and then remove the tape before it has time to really stick to the tape. Touch up around the edges if needed and you're done!


Quick, easy and no big power tools needed!


The Chicken Chick's Clever Chicks Blog Hop www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

It Didn't Go My Way


How often I have felt like this, how often I have lain awake and whispered those words to the darkness. It Didn't Go My Way. Why did it have to happen this way? Why? Why? WHY? How much like small children stuck in the why stage we must seem. "Why mom?" "Why dad?" "Why God?"

For as long as I can remember Job has been my favorite book of the bible - it all started with a horse study and Job 39:19-25.

“Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against its side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground; it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’ It catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
Poor Job, he was a man after God's heart. He had been blessed richly, as he sought God in everything he did. The very text as we are introduced tells us he was blameless and upright. To say God was the center of his life is an understatement, this is what Job 1:5 says,

Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
 Then in a matter of mere moments, his life was forever turned upside down, he lost all of his worldly possessions- yet can you imagine his horror as his eyes fell on the final messenger? As the words left his mouth like the gavel in a judges hand, your children are dead. Before he'd only lost things, but now? Now the children he had raised, held their hands as they grew to adulthood, the ones he continually went to the throne room for we're gone.

He lost everything in the time span of just a couple verses- with no apparent reason. He hadn't changed. He still served God faithfully and yet it didn't go his way. Job never knew about the conversation in Job 1:6-11. His suffering was a mystery. He never heard the devil's slander against him, he didn't know that God was trying to prove his character.

Many, myself included I fear would find ourselves crumpled on the floor our faith shattered into a million pieces shouting "Why God?" at the heavens. But not Job- Job fell to his knees in his grief and praised God. He didn't know that through the centuries God would use his suffering, his heartache to encourage, and comfort.

God used his pain for good even though he may never have seen it, he'll do the same for us. We may never know the "why". But we do know that God He loves us and has our best at heart, sometimes that includes pain. His own son suffered and died a horrible death on the cross for us. So while we may not understand, we also can't see the whole story. We don't know how the next page will end much less the chapter, trust Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Rosevine Cottage Girl's Fajitas


Ingredients:

1 1/2 Onion sliced
1 Bell Pepper
1 Tomato
3 Tablespoons Lime
Splash of Lemon Juice
4 Cloves Diced Garlic
3 Chicken Breasts
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Slice peppers in strips. Sauté in a pan with a bit of oil (keep them moving so they don't stick) Season with 3/4 teaspoon garlic 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lime juice and a couple grinds of pepper. Cook until soft and can be cut with a spoon. Remove from pan and set aside. Slice onion and repeat process. Cook chicken breasts until almost done (they should still be pink inside but easy to cut with a knife). Season them with 3/4 teaspoon garlic 1 teaspoon salt, a couple grinds of pepper and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Remove from pan and slice in strips return to pan with tomatoes (cut in strips) garlic and a splash of lemon juice. Cook until done and serve.

Kitchen Remodel Week 7



 This week at the Cottage it's shiplap, shiplap, and more shiplap! We've wanted to do this for a very long time and finally bit the bullet and did it (tutorial here), and we are so glad we did! Absolutely love how it turned out!


This is part of the wall that we finished, the opposite wall will have floor to ceiling cabinets so we didn't bother with it.


Walked into the makeshift kitchen This morning to find the freezer leaking all over the wood floors, "AHHHH!". Opened it up only to discover that everything is thawing. Thank you, Lord, we have another fridge freezer combo and a chest freezer (unfortunately there are a few 50 lbs turkeys taking up most of the room).

We managed to get everything but a large ice chest moved into the other freezers and are borrowing freezer space from a neighbor. Mr. Cottage is going to have a nice surprise when he walks in the door from his Men's Breakfast at church this morning.

We're working on shiplap today, the plan is to finish this wall.  


Brianna and I decided to stay home from church this morning, Mr. & Mrs. Cottage were gone for fifteen minutes before we had to call them because the freezer was leaking all over the floor again. They got home and we were able to get the water up but by that time we were done it was too late to make it to church so we painted the pantry from Sweet Annie to Gravity while Mr. Cottage worked on moving the plug to the stove to the opposite wall. What do you think?


Our tile guy finally texted and said someone would be out this coming up week to fix the tile! Praying that he actually shows up and that it all gets resolved and we have cabinets by next week (although we were told that it will take over six weeks to get the counters in after we order them)!


New to our remodel? Check out weeks 1,2,3,4, & 6

DIY Burlap and Gerber Daisy Napkin Rings


Today's DIY project are these fun fall napkin rings! These are going to be perfect for all of your fall table settings. Are you ready? Let's get started!


 You are going to need:

Paper Towel Rolls Cut To Size
Related Post: Hydrangea Wreath


Step 1. Cut paper rolls in the size needed for your napkin holders.


Step 2. Cut a burlap strip to cover the roll.


Step 3. Using the hot glue gun, run a strip of glue across the roll.

Related Post: Fall Decorating Ideas


Step 4. Press burlap against glue, continue laying rows of glue and pressing the burlap until you reach the end. Please be careful it will burn your fingers if you touch it.


Step 5. Squeeze a circle of glue into the center over the raw ends.


Step 6. Press flower onto the glue and hold until it cools.


This post contains affiliate links.

Oak Hill Homestead