Monday, March 21, 2011

Meaningful Mondays (LINK UP) Week #9

Good Morning.........It is a Meaningful Monday!!!

Because He has made me glad...that was the tune going through my head all day yesterday.
"He has made me glad, He has made me glad, I will rejoice for He has made me glad."

And truly He is the only one that can make us glad, nothing bought, nothing here on earth.....just Him.

Today is meaningful because my Mama is coming for a visit and I am spending the next two weeks with 5 lovely young ladies....all sisters.  We will be visiting the park, walking trails, make our own ice-cream sundaes (with nerds on top, I have never put nerds on my ice-cream....WE are going to try this one!!!), have a bon-fire and more. Looking forward to the fun ahead.

Today I pray you have a day that his meaningful.  Please share your wonderful recipe, idea, craft project below using the inlinkz and as always thank you so much for linking back here, we have a button on the right to make it easy. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simplicity Saturdays (LINK UP) #6


Hope you all are wonderful today!!!

As we are travelling along on our adventure of simplicity, there are so many things in our lives that we want to simplify.  And you FREEDOM!  Freedom to make decisions that you feel God wants in your life......and right now our hands are bound.

Proverbs 22:7

"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender"

As we have not used any debt in three years, we are still paying for past "stupid tax".  We have not been as intense along the way as we should have been.  This year we are adding a gazelle intensity that is sure to make a difference.

This week we cancelled ATT cell phones, we had been with them for 11 years and were paying $180/month for three phones. One was a friend. We explained to our friend that it was time to say goodbye to this plan.  We paid the cancellation fee...which will pay for itself in 3 months and totally simplified.  I no longer have a cell phone. Only hubby which is our business phone as well.  We are taking advantage of the $30 straight talk plan/no contract!  

And at home we are using the magic jack.  One of my friends and my parents use this and are happy with it.  Using the $30 straight talk and magic jack together will meet our needs and save us $150/month.  That is $150 we can put back into the rest of our debt.  I really hope to be saying good bye to it this year!!!

And as we hadn't had a home phone in AGES.... :) we got a basic V-Tech phone.

I realize the magic jack is not the answer for everyone, if you don't have fast internet i.e. broadband, high-speed, cable internet, dsl, or wireless you can't use the magic jack.  But for now and this time in our life it can save us some serious cash!!! :)

Can't wait to hear about your Simplicity Saturday!!!!  Please be sure to LINK BACK HERE!!!! :)  I have a button on the right to make that easy. Blessings to you all!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meaningful Mondays (LINK UP) Week #8

Hello, it's Meaningful Monday.

This Monday will be made meaningful by

*Writing out a menu plan for four weeks, that I can keep on hand to grab and alternate as I need it in a pinch.

*Write down our short term and long term financial goals, they have been in my head spinning around but it's time to get them on paper so we can act them out. I am praying that 2011 is the year we are finally out of debt.  We have not used debt for 3 years but are of course paying off and paying for those past mistakes, or stupid tax as Dave Ramsey calls them.

I am eager to be financially free so we can help others!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simplicity Saturdays (LINK UP) #5

Hello, it's that time again, Simplicity Saturday.

Before you post, Please be sure to link back to here, I have a button on the right here to make it easy!!! :) Just copy and paste the code below it and it will link back to here! :)

Ahhhh! I believe today is going to be a wonderful day. My spinach arrived from Baker creek Heirloom seeds, so today I'm gonna do some diggin' and some plantin'. But...... first things first.  The sun is shining and it's a simply marvelous day so I'm going to open up the windows here in the cottage and clean away before I get to have fun in the dirt.

On the note of simplicity I would love to mention an amazing book that we discovered this week, it's called Compact Cabins, you may have seen my link on the right already or you know about it.

My dream: to purchase a piece of land and build one of these compact cabins, there are so many ideas and possibilities in this book.  And I was thinking about larger families using compact living, possibly you can put two designs together to double your space. Now when you look at this book you'll think oh my thats small! The smallest cabin design in the book is 162 square feet. Can you imagine? Well, as the purpose of the book is mainly for get-a-way cabins, lake houses, or camps....however I think you could still apply it to homestead living as each design is either composed to be off grid or adaptable to such!

It even has designs to make a "cabin" from a shipping container and in one part puts them together to "double" your space.  Unique ideas on storage, sleeping, and storage closets for your solar batteries or camping gear.

I found the design that would best work for my family on page 88 it features the Clerestory windows (which I fell in love with) and the other reason I fell in love with it as unlike most of the designs it actually had 2 separate bedrooms. Most of the cabins have open floor plans so eating/sleeping/living is all in one room. 

It also mentions front porches could later be closed in for more additional space. Start small and build up as you can afford it.  Great ideas, wonderful book, fun read! I completely enjoyed it, and I don't even own it yet, a customer of ours discovered our similar interests and let us borrow it. Definitely on the list of books to buy!!! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meaningful Mondays (LINK UP) Week #7


To the Seventh Week of Meaningful Monday

Today is meaningful because

I am free

God is Good

and in the words of Dave Ramsey, "I'm better than I deserve"

I made baked oatmeal for breakfast this morning and I am going to enjoy a wonderful school filled day with my daughters. Thank you Lord for all your blessings.

Share your meaningful Monday, it can be a poem, new book, meaningful thought, Scripture, reader once had a meaningful Monday (Modern Vintage Homemaking I believe) by having "phone coffee" with her mother, I thought it was sooo special.

Link up to the link tool below and please be sure to link back to here, I have a convenient Meaningful Monday button on the right to make it easy. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Simplicity Saturdays (LINK UP) #4

Welcome to the 4th week of Simplicity Saturday........share your simple Saturday with us. The link up tool is at the bottom of this post.

This includes: new recipes, a new favorite tea, ideas for a simple life, and more. Be sure to link back here to us, we have a button available on the right here to make it easy. :)

Today I would love to share that our Big Berkey arrived today with much excitement from us.  We have been buying water at the store, or people were filling up jugs for us.  This was both expensive and inconvenient. Right now the Berkey has a special with free shipping and you can receive for free the shower filter or the sports bottles. We chose the shower filter.

I was so excited to take a shower tonight, and my skin did feel different (softer) when I was finished. Hubby was able to install it very quick and easy, and the same for the Berkey light, before I knew it we had four jugs of filtered water ready, I cannot believe it filters four gallons per hour. That is amazing!  

To read even more about the amazing Berkey click HERE or click the banner on the right.

For a few days now I have been enjoying my Resolution tea from Bulk Herb Store.

The tea is so reasonable priced.  There is also a fiber mix which I ordered but have not tried it, it says it is best with orange or cranberry juice and as I do not have either right now I don't really want to try the fiber mix with just water.  Mom is trying it and says it works really well.

I love that the resolution tea contains nettles, alfalfa, corn silks, green tea and more.  I love the energy I get from green tea and nettles. The benefits in nettles is quite amazing. As mentioned at Bulk Herb, Nettles: are a significant source of vitamin C and vitamin A, bio-available minerals, including calcium, silicon, and potassium chloride; protein, and dietary fiber. 

They also have a new full color brochure which tells all the health benefits of all the herbs they carry, I take this on long car trips and read up on all the uses for different herbs.  Did you know Hawthorne is great for your heart? I didn't until I started reading their pamphlet.....just one of many gifts from God! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Multi-grain Bread using hand crank mill

As I mentioned in my earlier post I got my hand crank family grain mill in the mail. This is my first grain mill ever so I was pretty elated.  I got it used on ebay for $80.  Last night we all took turns, we ground some wheat berries and some flax seed.

After the kids went to bed I cracked some wheat and this morning we enjoyed hot cracked wheat cereal.  It was very tasty, I added some ground flax and butter, and threw in some chocolate chips too. :)

I was wanting to try out a multi-grain bread with the flour I had ground, and actually tried out a recipe I found on All-recipes, it is for a bread machine, but since I don't own one (we don't get along) I adapted it for my oven.

It makes a very small round loaf, so you will want to double it if you have several to feed.

Hearty Multigrain Bread

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk

I simply dissolved the brown sugar and yeast in warm water and added the rest of the ingredients, kneaded some and let rise for an hour and a half.  Then I shaped into a round loaf, let rise 30-45 minutes and baked @ 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

We enjoyed this as a wonderful afternoon snack with butter, the kids really liked it, and I did too!!! :)

You can also purchase organic flax seed from the Bulk herb store for $5.95/per 1/2 lb. Click here

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hello! Cabbage :)

(our cabbage plants)

"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good."

~Genesis 1:12

How wonderful are the seeds that God has given us, how wonderful that something so small can come to life and grow..........from the tiny seeds that develop into plants and trees that we eat, to the seed of life, the beginning of human life, all very precious.

Today when I noticed the cabbage plants were making themselves known I jumped for joy. The amazing gift God gives us to reproduce food for ourselves and others. I cannot express enough my thankfulness to Baker creek and their heirloom seeds. 

Another Scripture verse brought to mind when I am watering my precious seeds and taking care of them, nurturing and loving them is found in Psalms..."He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Precious seed here is speaking ones coming to is a time of rejoicing to see your sheaves (bundle of believers)........just like the excitement when we bring in the produce from our garden.  One is temporal and one is eternal and both important here on this earth. Random thoughts through my mind as I admired my seedlings today.

This week we have been clearing a little path to a big tree in the pasture. Future home of two tire swings for the children.  Great time to clear the way before annoying weeds and such take over! They are very excited!

I said I'd let you know how the soaked buttermilk biscuits turned out, recipe compliments of Prairie Homestead, oh they were simply amazing!

Wonderful flavor and soft texture with a flavorful crispy bottom from the butter!

You can check out her wonderful blog and get the recipe by clicking the button below:

The Prairie Homestead

I had mentioned that we purchased the family grain mill used off of ebay. We set it up and had fun grinding tonight.  First we did wheat flour, then flax seed, and then I cracked some wheat for breakfast in the morning. Honestly, it isn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I really like the family grain mill because 1. the burrs are replaceable, 2. it doesn't overheat the wheat and damage it, 3. the kids can even operate it, and trust me, they all tried!!!  I noticed that when you buy them new they also come with a lifetime warranty, all of this info really makes me feel that I made the right decision. And even though I don't have an instruction manual it was very easy to figure out. Schwew! :)

I pray you all have a blessed day, thanks for stopping by my little Cottage Homestead. I am happy to link up to the Simple Lives Thursday this week, always look forward to it!


Oh yes, and before I forget I also received my Resolution tea and fiber mix this week from the Bulk Herb Store!  Mom and I went halves on it, and I really really love the tea, smells lovely steeping because of the cinnamon chips in it.  Full of goodness to give you energy, help in weight loss, and more!

You can check out there site by clicking HERE.  Just type resolution tea in the search box! :)