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Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Bread

This bread is near and dear to our hearts. There is nothing like the smell of this bread wafting through your home... well, maybe the taste.  This harkens back to fall here at the cottage when the pumpkin patch is nothing but frosty leaves and the precious fruit of its vine is safely tucked inside the walls of the cottage.  We roast the pumpkins or steam them and make the mashed pumpkin from them that we use for this bread.  You can feel free to use canned pumpkin for it.  It will turn out just lovely. Grandma Cottage loved to make this with our mother.  It will always remind me of her and bring sweet memories of her to my mind.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  This is a wonderful recipe because you make enough for you and two neighbors. They will love it.

Related Post: Banana Nut Bread

Preheat oven to 350 F

3 1/2 Cups Organic Unbleached Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Organic Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Organic Nutmeg 
1/2 Teaspoon Organic Allspice 
2 Cups Organic Mashed Pumpkin 
2/3 Cups Spring Water
4 Organic Free Range Eggs
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla 
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Related Post: Cranberry Orange Bread

In large mixing bowl combine your dry ingredients. Mix well. In another bowl mix wet ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet until completely combined. If you want to add nuts in your pumpkin muffins do so now. Pour your batter into three bread pans. Bake your bread at 350 F. for an hour or until a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. For the muffins bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 9 - Desperately Seeking Beautiful Fire-clay Sink

Fireclay sink, fireclay sink - wherefore art thou affordable, beautiful 33" Fireclay sink.

I'm searching high and low for you, knowing you must be out there, but alas you are always just out of my reach. I thought I found you a couple times but it was always your distant cousin 29". Still, I pressed on- then I found you. Amazon.... can't you hear the angels sing? "Amazon".

There you were the beautiful Latoscana reversible Fireclay farmhouse sink, 33" LFS3318W ready to sit atop my cabinets (that I still haven't ordered because they are not in stock) and nestled with my lovely countertops I still haven't decided upon.

The price? $420 For once in this entire rehab nightmare renovation I am smiling. I email Mr. Cottage (the only way to get a hold of him these days as the frenzy of closing the company hits an all-time high). He is as excited as I am, and I do comparisons and find it other places for $700 to over $1,000. I am EXCITED -like jumping up and down excited!

I worry only slightly that this is not a good idea- what is wrong with it? Why is it so cheap? And something about the possibility of breaking, cracking, staining, or otherwise damaging a very $$$$$$ fire-clay kitchen sink. I can see it now, someone -who will remain nameless- will toss in a spoon, or a fork or some other object, it flies end over end and that sound effect they use in moves when time is slowed down and someone is trying to catch some priceless artifact before it crashes against the floor and shatters into a thousand pieces will play as I make a mad defying gravity and space-time continuum ninja jump at the sink arm outstretched to pluck that flying projectile from the air.

Mr. Cottage's emails come fast and furious, "Don't wait for me- ORDER IT NOW!".

I sit at the glowing screen of my desktop and head back to the sink. The picture pops up in all its glory, cue angel choir-

I go to hit the 'buy' button but see a note to contact them first before purchasing- "Uh oh!" That inner voice (you know the one that comes out whenever you are about to do something where the sentence "It seemed like a good idea at the time" is forever used after you did it) I'm fighting that sinking on the Titanic feeling as the strains 'Nearer My God To Thee' is playing somberly.

I open my email and type... I wait for a reply, having Mr. Cottage going crazy on his end.




The next day an email pops up. I noticed it ignored everything I had said and asked in my message (red flag #2) and it said:

I write Mr. Cottage and tell him my concerns and that I think it is a scam.  Then I contact Amazon.

At first they were confused but I sent a link to my pretty sink that was listed there and the text of the email and they were very concerned. As they investigated further it became obvious that it was fraud.  They told me that I was wise to be worried about it and that they were happy that I contacted them.  As they were looking into it the person that listed it pulled it off of their website. That was the nail in the coffin for them to know it was a scam.  Sigh... no pretty fireclay sink....

And with that titanic sunk.

I think I feel my soul dying... 

New to our remodel story? Check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7


Friday, October 28, 2016

The Captive Maiden Book Review

We grew up on a steady dose of fairy tales and the bible, if you take a look at our room you'll find the walls covered with sleeping beauty wallpaper.  To say we love fairy tales is kind of an understatement, so we were super excited to find The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson!


We read it within two days (ok, so nothing else got done in those two days but it was so worth it!), this is Brianna's favorite in the series. The characters are loveable, the story line is fun and believable, it's a fresh retelling of a classic tale.  If you love fairy tales we highly recommend you pick up this book. You can find it on Amazon here.

This post contains an affiliate link.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Secure your own mask

Secure your oxygen mask on your face before putting it on your children…

It sounds funny when you first hear it.  I am a parent and if things go wrong I want to protect my kids first but if you ponder it, how can you protect your children if you are unconscious or dead? Well you can’t, right?

The same goes for us and our faith.

We can’t expect our children to develop the habits of faithful Bible reading, memorization, prayer and walking out their faith if they are not seeing that in our lives.
They will not just do what we say but will do as we do. We must remember to be faithful before them!

Moms and dads, they have to see that we make it a point to put God and our relationship with him first.  Before our jobs, the stacks of laundry or a having a perfectly clean house (yeah, right), getting all the dishes done or the huge TO-DO list gets tackled. They need to see that we make him a priority so they can see the steps we take to do that same thing.
 Pray. Not only is it urgent that we cover our family in prayer but it is also just as urgent for them to see us on our knees practicing the habit of communication with the Lord.
James 5: 16 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Study your bible.  How are we to know the precepts and promises if we do not spend time in the Word of God daily? How are we to teach them to our children? So many of us leave this to the church, the youth pastor or youth leaders but mom and dad, this is OUR job.  I know we are exhausted. But, we wonder why we feel so empty inside, why that it feels like everyone needs a part of you and nothing is filling you back up.  The answer is time in the bible.  I know it sounds strange but it is true, time reading and meditating on God’s Word refills our empty tank and allows us to then fill others without feeling depleted ourselves.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

Read Good Quality Christian Books. We need to surround ourselves with what is good and right. Our eyes and ears are bombarded with sights and sounds and ideas and we need to be careful just like our children do with what we take in because it becomes what we believe and our worldview.

I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. Psalm 101:3

Practice sharing your faith.  Write out your testimony – your story.  Who you were before, and how you have changed. What God means to you and what he has done in your life.

1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…
Exercise your faith. Live it, your kids will notice, believe me. Days and nights are filled with teachable moments and when we know God’s word we share with them day and night, home and away as we live life together.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 (Message) Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.

Then, encourage other moms and dads.  We need one another. Life is tough.  Be a light in someone’s life today.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 so encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Texas Cheese Fries Knockoff

If you're like us you like to cheat every once in awhile and order a plate of something fried (if it has cheese and bacon its even better), so when we ran into fries covered with cheese and bacon at a restaurant- lets just say we fell in love. So today we're going to show you how to make this treat in a way that isn't as bad for your body.

Related Post: Pizza Rolls

Mild Cheddar Cheese
Nitrate Free Bacon
1 Bag Frozen Organic French Fries (You could make these yourself but we just by them because we usually make these at an ungodly hour while watching a movie marathon. Less dishes!) When we make them ourselves we use the Yukon Gold Potatoes in the food processor with the french fry blade.
Coconut oil
Himalayan Pink Salt
Black Pepper

Related Post: Chili Cheese Ore-ida Totchos

Cook bacon until crispy. Heat coconut oil in a pan, toss fries into oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove to baking sheet and cook (following instructions on container for store bought). Flip them regularly and cook until golden and done. When done cover with cheese (it's really good if you toss in some organic pepper jack) and top with bacon. Return to the oven to melt the cheese and serve with ranch dressing.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hero's And Princesses: Author Of My Story

She was a princess, she didn't have to cook and clean and wash and sew. But she chose to. She excepted these seven crazy misfits, she loved and cared for them expecting nothing in return. She had nothing and no one. She was on the run for her life. But she won people over, not with her pretty face or popularity or a great sense of humor or dazzling smile. Not by having her life all together and knowing exactly where she was going, but by loving people. In all their broken beautiful forms. She met the evil in the world with kindness. Her name was Snow White. She'd lost everything, but she still had love.

Related Post: Hero's And Princesses: Have Courage And Be Kind

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 NIV

When life is hard it's easy to curl up in a ball, suck our thumbs or stuff our face with chocolate and push the world away. But Snow White didn't do that. Instead, she didn't let her circumstances define her. She didn't let her present define her tomorrow. She didn't change because she'd gotten hurt. She reached out and met people who were hurting and she changed their lives. She was a light in the broken places so that when she bit the apple and fell asleep, even Grumpy realized how much he had changed because of her. Even though her own pain, her brokenness she was touching others.

Related Post: Hero's And Princesses: Shield Of Virtue, Sword Of Truth

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Don't let your current situation define you. This is just a chapter, not the end of the book. This isn't how your story ends- the author is just working on the next page. Be patient. No good story is complete without some trials. It's through these trials that the characters discover who they are. What they are made of. Trust Him...

Related Post: Hero's And Princesses: Heart Of A Hero

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:1-4 NIV


Monday, October 17, 2016

Pulled Pork Tacos


1 Pork Butt
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce
2 Tablespoons Molasses
1/4 Cup House Salad Dressing
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

Related Post: Green Chili


Place pork butt in a pan and season with all the ingredients. Cook at 200 degrees for 4 hours or until done (should me 160 - 145 degrees inside- make sure you check it at the thickest part of the meat). Remove from oven and shred. Serve with lettuce and your favorite salsa.

This article contains affiliate links.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Collection Review

About a month ago we won Influensters Not Your Mother's badge and got these great products as a prize. We thought we would go ahead and review them for you. Over the last weeks, we've been trying them and have to say we LOVE them!

Related Post: Glam Voxbox Review

The dry shampoos work wonderfully, perfect for those moments you're about to walk out the door and realize you need to wash your hair, like the Saturday we went to Remembering World War II.

Related Post: Jingle Voxbox Review

The shampoo and conditioners are awesome! They leave our hair soft and shiny, and it isn't really harsh on it like some other products we've tried. The best part? They're sulfate, paraben and dye free. This is wonderful for our family because we have very sensitive skin.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

French Script Door Number Tutorial

Hello everyone! Today we are painting our house number on the front door. Mrs. Cottage has wanted to do this for years, but we just never got to it. Last week the weather was perfect for painting so I decided to slap on a fresh coat of paint before winter. 

What you will need:
Rounded carving tool
Fine paint brush
White paint

It had been a few years and it really needed it. 

So after a quick wash and taping around the windows because I'm notorious for getting paint where it doesn't belong (please tell me I'm not the only one!) I hit it with a fresh coat of semi-gloss black paint.

Related Post: DIY Faux Shiplap Tutorial

Right, about now I was feeling brave and happened to have white paint for the back porch. So I decided to bite the bullet and paint the numbers on it too. I mean how hard could it be- right? (Insert Mr. Cottage's worried frown).

So I hopped on the computer and headed over to Picmonkey. If you haven't tried it yet, I use it for EVERYTHING! From editing the photos you see on our blog to making the template I'm using in these photos. For this project, I went in under design, selected other and made a white background. Then I used the font Princess Sofia, adjusted No. to 543 and 1127 to 1020 with No. slightly higher. Then saved it to my computer and printed.

I cut away the extra paper, and while Mrs. Cottage held her breath and covered her eyes I taped it to the door in the place I wanted it to be.

Related Post: DIY Seaside Cottage Sign

Then using a rounded carving tool (yep- still don't know the name) to leave an impression of the script. If you try this be careful not to let it slip.

When I untaped the templet it looked like this.

Then I filled it in with white paint using a fine paint brush.

Related Post: DIY Collage Art Work 

It took about three coats of white to get it really crisp, then I went around the edges with black just to make sure my lines were straight.

This post contains affiliate links.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why My Kids Skipped Children's Church

Oh! Mommy! We guess what? We taught the class today!

This is what welcomed me the last time my girls went to children’s church. The teacher admitted they did indeed teach the class and helped her with the facts of their story that she herself didn’t know. I don’t fault her, maybe she was a new believer, but from then on the girls stayed with us.

Thankfully that our pastor was smart and engaging, the girls sat and learned under him as we did and learned more at home under their father and I the rest of the week. Before the twins could write, I bought colored pencils and drawing pads and had them listen to the sermon and draw out the message. Then at the end of the service, I asked what they learned and had them show me their pictures and explain it. I was struck by how much kids really get the deeper things and how their little hearts interpreted the powerful message.

We underestimate our children so much. We let shows talk down to them, people talk down to them , give them a dumbed down watery message that is spoon fed to them and then rush off to coloring pages and a snack.

Since this time I have to admit that the girls have gone to youth group with a friend or children’s activities with a cousin but it is mostly the same. I am proud of the “baby Christians” that have such gusto that they are the ones that volunteer for Children’s Church, and vacation bible study.

They offer to wipe little bottoms and runny noses but where are those of us that are not babies in the faith? We need to stand up and do our part to help those that may not know as much. We need to volunteer more and wipe a few noses while teaching the gospel to the little ones.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Fruity Hot Oatmeal

1 3/4 cup of apple juice
1 cup of old fashioned oats
1 apple chopped
1/2 cup blueberries fresh or frozen

Related Post: How To Make Yogurt In A Crockpot

Boil the juice and add your fruit and oats to it.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring.  Add cinnamon.

Spoon into bowls and serve hot.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 10

Come on home stretch! We are SO ready for this to be done. Now that the floor is in we're patching the walls and deciding on a sink and dishwasher this week. We still need to sand the patched places and paint it again, but its starting to come together. 

We couldn't resist any longer, so we pulled the fridge and stove back into the kitchen. It's so nice to cook on a real stove again! You never know how much you appreciate being able to boil water even. Ha ha! If I never have to cook on another hot plate again I would be very happy!

We're ordering cabinets this week! Yes, we are excited and doing happy dances. Hopefully, in the next two weeks, we'll have a kitchen again! Then we need to just get our counters picked out and ordered. Stay tuned! 

Check out last weeks post here


Thursday, October 6, 2016

DIY Jean And Daisy Napkin Rings

Today we are making these adorable daisy and jean napkin rings! 

You are going to need:                               Paper Towel Rolls

Step 1. Cut paper towel rolls in the size you need for your rings.

Related Post: DIY Burlap and Gerber Daisy Napkin Rings

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

Step 3. Using the hot glue gun, run a strip of glue across the roll continue laying rows of glue and pressing the blue jean 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. Press flower onto the glue and hold until it cools.

Related Post: DIY Collage Art

This post contains affiliate links.

Faithful Homestead


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Love Of A Mother

Morning dawns on another day –sunlight piercing through finger print smudged- windows-, for now all is quiet and still.

As if life is holding its breath for the chaos that will no doubt ensue far too soon.

You make your way across the floor using your mad ninja skills to avoid the spill of Legos booby trapping the walkway behind the couch and the fire truck that will wail if it moves.

The collection of miniature kitchen utensils and cups that you could swear you put away a thousand times and reach for the prize…

The Love Of A Mother


Read the rest of our article over on The Laundry Mom's!

Oak Hill HomesteadFaithful Homestead


Monday, October 3, 2016

Spinach Egg Breakfast Cups

The Crust

2 Cups Organic All Purpose Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Organic Raw Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Grassfed Butter
2/3 Cup Organic Milk

Stir together in a medium size bowl flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add milk, and stir until combined, but don't over stir. Roll out and mold into a muffin tin (this should make 4-5)

The Stuffing

4 Eggs Scrambled eggs (seasoned how you like it)
3 Tbsp Diced Ortega Chilies
3 Tbsp Of Spinach
2-3 slices Nitrate Free Bacon fried and chopped

Cook the eggs seasoned how you like them, add chopped bacon and cheese. Spoon into Muffin Tins. If you want you can add a little (or a lot) more cheese.

The Chicken Chick's Clever Chicks Blog Hop

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 9

Week 9, I can't believe it's been this long, but alas it has. This week has been rainy and chilly (very untypical for a southern September but we'll take it.

This week Mr. Cottage has been cutting holes in the walls to run the wires so we can swap the stove and refrigerator. Insert crying face as he messes up our shiplap. We think he takes way too much pleasure in cutting open the walls.

The tile guy finally came, ripped out our loose tile and regrouted! Sorry about the horrible lighting but he showed up at 6:00 at night while we were eating dinner. We are so ready to have your kitchen back! I don't think I can look a chicken in the eye again.

This was my view yesterday morning, floor finished. Mr. Cottage finished wiring while we girls headed out to look at appliances. Today after church we'll be mopping, and putting drywall back in place. We're praying the place we are getting our cabinets from will be able to deliver them this week and that counters will not take an eternity. 

We have our final designs in and have decided to use a blind corner on the bottom cabinets instead of the ones with the Lazy susan.  The size was just better on the blind corners. We are thinking that we are going to get the taller cabinets that go up to the ceiling instead of having the gap at the top. Grandma loved to put her Christmas village up there, but this way it will make more storage for dishes. 

New to our construction story? Check out weeks 1,2,3,,6,7,