We’re hearing a lot about essential oils these days, right? If you’re not using them, you probably have a friend or family member who is! :) Or, if you’re like me, maybe you are fascinated by them, but just didn’t even know where to begin learning about them! I love to learn about natural ways of health and how I can better my family’s health and home through natural products. But quite frankly, sometimes I’ve been a little overwhelmed about where to start!

A sweet friend, Nicole Neesby, contacted me some time ago as she began her own journey with essential oils, and Young Living brand especially, and I’ve loved to follow along with her precious family (two of the cutest little boys ever) and learn with her! She has a way of making learning fun, and has some great YouTube videos as well about the different oils that are super helpful. And, she’s been so generous and is giving away a bottle of oil to my readers, so stay tuned at the end of this post! :)

Nicole is guest posting for me today, and I know you’ll love her and her excitement too!

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Hey sweetest girls!  So have you heard about the essential oil hype that is spreading like wildfire in the mama blogging and Instagram world?!  Ahhh! It’s a little overwhelming, right?

If you are like my husband and I in the beginning, are you asking yourself how one drop of any oil can make any difference?!  To be honest, the more I learn about essential oils and the way they can support our body’s health and wellness, the more I am in awe of such a wonderful Creator.

So let me shoot you with a few bullet points on Young Living’s essential oils before I share why we love them so much.

 

// Essential oils are the ‘life blood’ of plants.  This is what they use to ward off infection and disease and stay healthy.

 

// When oils are 100% pure, as Young Living’s are, they have the ability to work with your body to bring about change in your health.

 

// Young Living has been a pioneer in essential oils for 20 years and they own farms around the world to insure the highest quality control on what goes into each bottle.

 

// Young Livings oils are ‘beyond organic’ because no pesticides have been used to treat the plants or soil.  You can read more about their Seed To Seal process here.

^^ an amazing seasonal allergy trio that everyone raves about!! ^^

Essential oils can be an intimidating world to step into, but it doesn’t have to be!!  Here are just a few simple ways we incorporate essential oils into our daily life. . .

 

We love Peace & Calming and Cedarwood for deep, restful sleep at night

 

Thieves for boosting our immune systems

 

Stress Away and Joy for helping to balance my postpartum hormones and 

 

Digize for our little guy’s upset tummy.  

I love that I am able to build a natural medicine cabinet and step away, little by little, from the artificial, chemical-infused culture we live in.  This makes my mama-heart so happy and grateful.

So today, I am really really excited to be here sharing about one of my all time favorite oils, Purification.  This is an essential oil blend of citronella, lemongrass, lavandin, rosemary, tea tree and myrtle essential oils.  It is wonderful for cleansing everything from cuts to facial pores to stinky shoes.  I am going to share 10 simple ways you can use this oil and then you have a chance to win your own bottle over on Clarita’s Instagram feed.

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10 Simple Uses For Purification Essential Oil 

1// Acne: 1 drop rubbed directly onto pimples to help reduce inflammation and pain.

2// Odor Neutralizer: 1-2 drops on a cotton ball to reduce odors in your garbage can, car, or other stinky places.

3// Cuts and Scrapes: 1-2 drops directly onto cuts and scrapes to help sanitize and clean the area.

4// Laundry Freshener: Several drops into your washing machine water or onto a damp cloth thrown in the dryer.

 

5// Air Freshener: Diffused with lemon essential oil to purify the air in your home.

6// Stinky Feet: 1-2 drops on a cotton ball and wiped onto stinky feet to reduce bad odors.

7// Smelly Shoes: 1-2 drops on a cotton ball and put into smelly shoes.

8// Reduce Itchy Bug Bites: 1 drop applied directly to bug bites to reduce itch.

9// Carpet Freshener: Add 5-10 drops on a cotton ball and place in the canister of your vacuum for a pleasing, clean scent every time you vacuum.

10// Germ Protection While Traveling: Inhale a drop from your hands while traveling to keep you healthy from all the recycled air on airplanes

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Ahh!!  I wish I could give you each a bottle because I literally use this on a daily basis.  But since I can’t, you can always purchase your own here.   Also, if you have been intrigued by essential oils but feel too overwhelmed to know where to begin, I would love to walk alongside you and share what I am learning.  You can visit this page to learn more about essential oils or you can email me directly at nicole.neesby@gmail.com

Either way, I’d love to get to know you better because any friend of Clarita’s is a friend of mine!! xoxo

Nicole Neesby

www.nicoleneesby.com

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Isn’t she great?! If you have any questions about any of the oils, Nicole is super helpful and would love to answer!

And to enter the giveaway, here over to my Instagram and look for the picture of the oils for details on how to enter! Thanks so much, Nicole! XOXO

If you already use Young Living oils, I’d love to hear what your favorite oil is in the comments, and how you use it!

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We have been so enjoying the renovated attic for almost four months now, and I’m excited to share this last part of it!

textures of whites

As I’ve talked about before, all three kids shared a bedroom until this attic renovation, which worked (you do what you have to, right?), but it has been SO wonderful to have a bit more space and be more organized now! The two girls have moved upstairs to the new bedroom.

I did tell them that I would be so happy to trade with them; they can have the master suite and Ben & I will take the new attic bedroom, but they were happy to stay in their new room. :)

[Before]

A brick chimney from the kitchen and dining room came up through the middle of this room. Thankfully, the fireplaces were already not functioning, so we were able to take down the bricks to the floor level without disturbing the looks of the kitchen and dining room fireplaces.

We also put in a beautiful big window where there was only a wooden vent before.

bedroom #2 bedroom #1

[ After ]

a white attic bedroom

a cottage bedroom

This room turned out almost as I had pictured in my mind; only, better.  As with the office, I was inspired by whites, clean empty space, and Norwegian-style simplicity. I don’t know that I nailed the beauty of the Norwegian style , but I have loved this darling space!

There is something about the white that is so refreshing, and makes my whole brain feel clean. I love to come up in the office to do my emails and business. I love to snuggle with the girls in their bed at night or in the morning. I think I could live upstairs if someone would only bring me food. Personal chef, anyone?

For the bed and bedding, I chose just a bedrail underneath with no headboard or footboard. The window serves as the headboard, and the shams and bedspread are the perfect accent piece to bring a bit of elegance to the room.

  white ruffled bedspread

The end tables were found at a local antique store, and I spray-painted them white. I wanted a touch of modern in the room, and after looking everywhere online and in stores, I finally found lamps like I was wanting at Lowe’s, of all places, and they were the most reasonably priced I’d seen too. The baskets are the perfect catch-all for the dozens of papers and pens and Little Tiny Objects that little girls just seem to collect like magnets.

  a cottage christmas 128 a cottage christmas 107

Ben made this piece for me, inspired by a similar design from IKEA. IKEA sells them inexpensively but we live far from one, and shipping would have brought the price to a ridiculous amount. There are amazing perks to have a husband who can create anything with wood. :) This is one of them! It houses books in the little boxes, and toys, stuffed animals, and games in the baskets underneath.

  book shelf and baskets

[obviously these pictures were taken at Christmastime :) ]

a little girls' attic bedroom

This little corner was Ben’s idea. Rather than having a long closet with difficult access to the end of it, the closet was cut a bit shorter and this nook created. The girls love it. It’s become like a little dollhouse with beds and rooms and furniture set up.

(artwork from Aimee Weaver Designs ♥)

  happy girls are the prettiest

There is no door on the closet. This was intentional, giving more space to the actual room because of not having a swinging door. I love the touch of texture that the curtain panel gives to the room.

looking into the office

Aren’t these beams beautiful?! I swoon.
They are not original beams, although they are original wood used from the attic.

elements of wood and sparkle

doorways of the attic

Another sliding barn door is in this room, used for the bedroom door. I swoon again.

  wooden barn door

The bedroom has a cathedral dormer window as well, which was my brother-in-law Chris’ idea. I love it! The cathedral style adds such character, rather than a flat-topped dormer. We kept the knee-walls fairly low outside of the dormer for the illusion of more space. It’s just a head-banger if we’re not careful. :)

  cathedral dormers

Ben humored me again with having white floors, and white walls, and white ceiling…. white everything.  He is so kind to me, going along with my ideas so much of the time, and then coming up with so many great ones of his own. He is the brain behind the structural design of the remodeling we’ve done. This attic was just one giant room, that he created three rooms from (office, bedroom, and foyer). I can hardly believe this is the same space; it is just SO beautiful!

The room is very simple and understated, but here are a few of my favorite little touches…

cozy little spot

  bedroom vignette

a bit of whimsy
Funny story about the ‘simple and understated’: Zoe was so excited when she learned that she and Olivia would be sharing a room, and having a GIRLS’ room. She immediately began dreaming of all the COLORS (!!!) she wanted in there.

“Red on the ceiling! No, actually, red and white STRIPES! And I want aqua and lots of color!

I felt a little guilty, because well, a little girl does like color, and here I was going with not only limited color but NO color except white, so I told her that, “Sweetie, you know what? It’s actually going to be a white bedroom, because it’s in an attic, and red and white stripes just won’t really look good up there.”

“WHAT?! A white bedroom? I don’t want to be a little girl that looks back on my childhood and has a WHITE bedroom. I mean, white doesn’t even mean anything. I want something with color, and especially RED. It would be soooo boring to have a white bedroom!”

I don’t know what she was picturing, but clearly she and I were envisioning completely different things. I was beginning to feel like a terrible mother in forcing my child to have a terrible childhood and have a white bedroom, or all things!!

After the room was completed, however, she came to me with a sheepish grin and said, “Mommy, it’s okay if my room is all white. I actually REALLY like it.” :)

And a few weeks later when we bought her a red winter coat, she said that makes up for the red stripes in the bedroom. Whew. At least we got that covered.

Seriously though, I love to be a steward of that which Jesus has entrusted to me. My home is my little spot on earth’s surface, and I love how Edith Schaeffer says it:

“A Christian, who realizes he has been made in the image of the Creator God and is therefore meant to be creative on a finite level, should certainly have more understanding of his responsibility to treat God’s creation with sensitivity, and should develop his talents to do something to beautify his little spot on the earth’s surface.”
Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking    

Sometimes, in a world of ISIS terrorism and starving children and four blood moons, I stop and wonder why I even care about pretty things or home renovations, or why a beautiful new arrangement makes me so excited, or why I’m so passionate about helping people to better health. I DO care about the first mentioned things, but I also care about seemingly small things.

And then I remember… just because I love the sight of a freshly made bed, or cry happy tears at an email with good health news, or get giddy at before & afters, it doesn’t make one less spiritual. It is learning to see the beauty of God in the middle of a broken world, and taking notice of these things is actually worshipping Him and thanking Him for the ways we see Him. Edith Schaeffer says it beautifully again:

“If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.”  

 Responding to and appreciating His creation… with the goal of bringing Him glory: that’s what I want to do.

  a simple attic bedroom

 Happy Hump-day, Lovelies!

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 Sources:
Desk Lamps: Lowe’s, Allen + Roth
White Waterfall Bedspread and shams: Ebay, similar here (they must have been running a special the day I purchased, because I paid less than half the price for the one I found)
Wall and ceiling color: Dove White, by Sherwin Williams, eggshell finish
Floor color: White Exterior-grade paint
Chandelier: IKEA, purchased from Ebay

It’s no small secret that moms with young children don’t have a lot of down-time. It’s just part of life these days, and you know, it’s really okay. It’s a pouring out into these precious little lives, a giving back of all that I’ve been given by so many people and especially the Lord throughout the years.

One thing that has been a big change is in my reading. I’ve always been an avid reader, from the time I first learned to spell. My mom instilled in us kids a love of learning, and a love of education, something I want to pass on. Back in the day (i.e. before children) I would read scores of books a year, dozens upon dozens. And well, that has changed. :)

My love of reading has not, however. I still love to “travel the world” through written word, imagining the story in my mind. But because my time is a lot more limited in “free time” segments, what I do read has to be worth the time spent there. My goal is to read 2 books a month, which for me is a lot at this stage. :) And it doesn’t always happen, but when it does I feel very accomplished! Ha!

winter book list

This winter I’ve read some exceptional books, and I’ll share a few of them. Some were recommended by my sister, one was given by a friend, and some I just discovered along the way.

My favorites from the past few months are:

-Heaven is Here (by Stephanie Neilson)
-The Insanity of God (by Nik Ripkin)
-The Clouds We So Much Dread (by Sharon Stoltzfus)
-Lessons from Madame Chic (by Jennifer L. Scott)

Not pictured but read via Kindle:
-Choosing to See (Mary Beth Chapman)
-The Secret Garden (Zoe and I read together, by Frances Burnett)

I didn’t even realize it until now, but all of these books, with the exception of The Secret Garden, are real-life stories. I’m not sure why I’m gravitating toward that type of genre right now, except that I am incredibly moved by great men and women, people who rise above their circumstances and choose to learn and grow even from the most devastating situations (The Clouds We So Much Dread, Choosing to See, Heaven is Here). Or people who enter another country (Madame Chic), and view its culture and people with curiousity and delight. Or people who engage with those who have nothing, even at their own risk (The Insanity of God).

My soul has been stirred and deepened, and I am amazed at the strength of the human spirit, fueled by the Creator.

Sharon Stoltzfus, author of ‘The Clouds We So Much Dread,’ has offered a book to giveaway on my blog.

In reading through her story earlier this year, I was so deeply moved at the strength and courage of she and her husband and their four precious children as they walked through one of the most difficult things anyone could possibly face: a terminal illness,

The heartbeat of God that comes through made me cry on nearly every page. The response of raw honesty and gripping pain combined with open-hands surrender to the sovereignty of God is unlike anything I’ve ever read. The writing of Spurgeon and other great men of God were often quoted, and brought strength and perspective. The book follows their journey through the discovery of the illness and the walking through some of the darkest days anyone could face.

 I was so challenged in my own walk with God and my view of God through reading this book, and I highly highly recommend it to anyone who is facing or has gone through terminal illness or loss of any kind.

Shortly before the time that Sharon’s husband passed into eternity, my dear aunt Freida also reached Eternity. But before Freida passed, she had a passion for widows especially, and her heart and passion birthed a beautiful thing called “Handyman Ministries.” This is a businessmen-funded operation that employs men to care for widows and do household maintenance and repairs (and now other people in need) free of charge. The idea was so beautiful, and the carrying out of the idea into reality has touched so many lives and been an incredible blessing to hundreds of people through the past years.

All proceeds from the book, ‘The Clouds We So Much Dread’, go toward Handyman Ministries, at Sharon’s request.

the clouds we so much dread

The ways of God are so mysterious… Sharon is now married, to my uncle who was widowed upon the death of my dear aunt. She is a beautiful person and my life is richer for knowing her. Although she and we would never have wished the circumstances that brought us together, we are grateful for the fresh mercies of God and the way He can bring beauty from ashes. Only He is capable of doing that.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment about one of your favorite recent reads!
This giveaway will go from now until next week Wednesday, with the winner contacted on Thursday, April 2.

This giveaway is now closed, and the winner is KRISTA! Congratulations!!

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One of my sisters and her husband spent a week with us in January! They were escaping the cold of the north, and happened upon a beautiful warm week in the south!

It was a wonderful time with them. Of course, with living far away from my family, it is always so special to be able to spend some time with them! We dream of the day of living near each other!

lovely ervina

One of those days was exceptionally warm, even for us in the south, and so we could not pass up a chance to go to the ocean together, in January of all times! It was a lovely day, and while not exactly toasty, it was very comfortable and the kiddos didn’t even seem to mind the frigidly cold water. Why do children never seem to mind icy water, I wonder?

My children are so blessed with their aunties and uncles. The are so involved in our children’s lives, and intentional about relationships even with these little people. It’s no wonder my children adore them!

best auntie ever

As my daughters grow, it is so special to see a sister-bond develop between them too.
Having a sister is such a precious gift!

little sisters

sisterhood

And my very own sister, one of three treasured gifts.

sisters

 

The day at the ocean was also to celebrate 100 days of school for the girls – Kindergarten and 2nd grade. That day always feels like a milestone, and very throwing a party about! :)

This is a beach we have gone to very often, but never before have we seen sand dollars like we did this day. There were literally hundreds of them, buried just below the surface of the sand. The little guys had so much fun finding them from the tell-tale little air holes in the sand, and collected quite a pile! They were all living, so we did make sure we returned them to the ocean before we left. :)

finding sand dollars
“Wook, mommy! It’s a BABY one!” Hudson was so delighted.

baby sand dollars

100 days of school

Hudson took along his little stick horse – why,  I don’t know. But a lot of energy was burned galloping along the seashore.

Ocean day in January 003

And Zoe, little bookworm, brought along a book. Long-gone are the days when I am able to read a book at the beach (3 kids?!), but I remember how I used to love it, and I love to watch her.

book worm beach girl

 

As you can see, Ervina is expecting a precious little baby! Two of my sisters (Claudia and Ervina) are expecting new babies this spring, and we are just over the moon excited for them! We come from a long line of baby lovers, and we absolutely cannot wait for these precious children to join our family!!
And of course, we had to take a few pictures… The evening was a glowing, golden sunset, and it was so fun to be able to capture this precious time of pregnancy!

beautiful pregnancy

ocean maternity pictures ocean pregnancy pictures maternity picture at the ocean ocean maternity picture

maternity ocean pictures

beautiful pregnancy 20 weeks maternity 20 weeks 20 weeks maternity at the ocean

beautiful maternity

Isn’t she beautiful, and radiant? I love to just watch her, her peace and joy.

Those qualities are fascinating to observe. It’s something intriguing, curious;
making you wonder what is going on within to produce the outward character.

If you have followed my blog for some time, you will remember that a little over a year ago I did a maternity shoot for her, and then that her sweet little boy awoke to see the face of Jesus, rather than the faces of his mommy and daddy.

This past year has been one of incredible sadness and sorrow, of walking depths of pain no parents should ever walk. No parent should ever lose their child, not as a baby, not as a young man.

And more recently, there have been some months of such joy as a new baby is being formed with her, and she feels his/or her kicks and hiccups.  There is no way possible that this baby can ever replace little Kenneth, or take away the loss of their firstborn baby. This is a baby all his own, with his own place to fill, his own joy to give, his own life to live. This little baby is so loved already!

It is truly remarkable what the heart can endure. How it can feel such depth of grief and yet new joy, at the very same moment. I have been in awe of the spirit of Jesus that’s been in my sister and her husband, in the darkest hours of their lives. I cannot even pretend to know what it’s like to lose a child, except I can imagine it must be one of the most agonizing experiences ever to walk through. To see two people I love go through such pain was one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced.

I think of the quote by Corrie ten Boom, and it reminds me of what I’ve seen in them this past year:

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

It is true. The depth of God’s mercy and grace can never be exhausted.  That doesn’t mean life doesn’t hurt, that the pain isn’t real, that the loss isn’t felt. But it means that God’s grace is there, and HE is there. He has proved His faithfulness to us over and over again, in spite of our own lack of faith, and our times of weakness and despair. We have no boasting of our own to talk about this past year; we’ve been a mess of tears and pain sometimes. But we can tell you about Jesus, and about how He has gently carried us. About His goodness, and how He is a kind Father. We have an amazing God!

This month of March, on the 22nd,  will be one year since Kenny & Ervina’s little son was born, and went on before them. Would you be so kind as to remember them in prayer especially this month? Dates are difficult, and the one year anniversary especially so. I would be so grateful if you did…

Happy weekend, friends!

 

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So! I am over the top excited to show some pictures of our renovation process! Last fall felt like a whirlwind of action and work as we began the attic renovation and completed it in 10 weeks, just in time for the Christmas Tour of Homes we were scheduled for.

We thought our following two months would be slow(er), but they’ve also been filled up with some unexpected events, bringing us almost to March and I still haven’t shown the attic reveal!

There are several rooms that have been changed around here at the Cottage as a result of two additional rooms upstairs, but today we’ll begin with the attic, and the Office Studio on one side.

attic office

 

I have told people that if someone would bring me food and water, I could literally live in these two rooms upstairs. I absolutely love it!

I (I saw “I” because my husband very kindly let me choose the colors and style up here, but he did 99% of the work) went with whites – white on the walls, white on the floor, painted white wood on the end wall… A lot of white.

I was inspired by Swedish and Norwegian homes of much white space, and therefore minimalistic décor. I wanted a very simple look with clean lines. I couldn’t be happier with how this space turned out!

But first! A before shot. No windows, no insulation, not even a floor. Just dark.

We were working with a small-ish space, with very steep roof lines, and so wanted to use the fullest potential of this area.

bedroom #1 before
And the same space, after:

a white attic office

 

I know!!!!! Can you even believe it’s the same space?! I feel like I’m walking into a dream every time I come up here.

Our basic game plan for this room was to add a dormer window toward the front of the house, a big double window out the side, add electric and A/C, add knee-walls and then dry wall on the walls and ceiling, add flooring, add wood to the end wall. It was a LOT OF WORK. My husband did most of the work himself, along with working a full-time job. He put in so much time and hard work! And the way he transforms a place is simply amazing. His German work-horse roots come out in full force during something like this. :) I am simply in amazement of his vision and then the way he reaches his goal. There’s a reason he is wanted in the construction business!

The ceiling is high, about 13 feet at the peak. And this room is sized about 10 X 12, so we weren’t looking at a huge area, but because we only have two bedrooms on the lower level of the house, having this additional space was going to be wonderful! This room could be a bedroom, but we are using it as an office studio for now.

Ben and I share this office space. It’s simple, it’s white, it’s clean. I LOVE IT! Long-term our set-up probably wouldn’t be ideal, but for now we have a table for a desk, some filing cabinets hidden to the side, and a closet which holds any extras for us.

There were two brick fireplaces going up through the attic, due to two double fireplaces (that equals four) in the four front rooms of the house. I was so thankful we were able to place the rooms so we could save one of the chimneys going through the roof. I love the warmth it brings to this attic space, and gives it such a studio feel.

He also MADE (insert a million heart eyes) this sliding barn door, or actually three of them, for the upstairs. The closet uses one of them.

sliding door in the office

 

This table I found for super cheap at a thrift store, and my husband thought it was so ugly and couldn’t believe I would pay money for it. So he added the reclaimed lumber to the top and it turned into a gorgeous piece!

farmhouse style desk for the office

 

The sofa (which I found for $35 dollars on craigslist (and now I a.d.o.r.e. craigslist all the more) adds the perfect touch of warmth and texture to the room.

tufted sofa for the office

vintage sofa with modern pillows

 

The décor is minimal, but this little area is a favorite of mine:

floating shelves

floating shelves with simple decor

 

I’m learning, when having a palate of white, that texture is essential. So while most of the décor is white, here are a few ways I’ve added texture:

- the Eiffel chairs add a modern element [wooden legs, smooth chair]
-the table [white painted legs, top made of reclaimed lumber - thank you, dear Husband!]
- the shelves [floating style, shiny finish]
- wood boards on the end wall, and painted
- wooden floor, also painted but slightly different color than the walls
- metal pendant lights, painted black for contrast
-metal distressed ampersand

Each thing is a slightly different material, or color, or texture. And putting it all together with the slight differences but similarities are what give it a clean but warm feel.

an attic office

 

I think the work of restoration is so amazing. And such a picture of the redemption of Christ in the life of a person! He takes what we think is ugly, useless, beyond hope, and turns it into a masterpiece. If we as humans can do physical repair, how much more can the Great Restorer work on a deep soul level! I love that picture.

Be blessed because of the work of the Restorer in your life today!

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Sources:
Wall and Ceiling Color: Dove White, Sherwin Williams, eggshell finish
Floor: White Exterior Grade Paint
Eiffel Chairs: Amazon, similar here
Floor Lamp: Target, found here (and they are 10% off now!)
Floating Shelves: Lowe’s, found here
Metal Pendant Lights: we found them free!
Swiss Cross/Plus Sign Rug: Urban Outfitters, here
Table: thrifted, and Ben added the reclaimed lumber to the top

 

Some time ago I had a giveaway that included A Farmer’s Daughter cookbook.

And let me tell you, this cookbook has quickly become one of my favorites! Each time I try a new recipe from there, I know it will be good. Because Dawn is just a fabulous cook, that’s why!

Here is a new favorite from there, called Farmer’s Skillet. It’s in the breakfast section of the cookbook, but I’ve made it for breakfast, for lunch, for supper… It’s filling and easy and delicious! So here is Dawn’s recipe, all credits to her.

farmer's breakfast skillet

 

 Farmer’s Breakfast Skillet

1 pound pork sausage
2 1/2 cups red potatoes, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
6-7 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried chives (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Additional toppings:
Salsa
Sour Cream
Cilantro
Avacado

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and potatoes until potatoes are soft about 8-10 minutes. Drain most of the drippings from the skillet. Return skillet to the heat and add peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lightly beat eggs with the salt, pepper, paprika, chives, and parsley. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and reduce heat to low: cover and cook until the eggs are set. Sprinkle cheese on top. Garnish with additional parsley and toppings of salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and slices of avocado.

Serves: 6

A few changes for healthier choices: turkey sausage could be substituted for pork sausage. And sweet potatoes can be substituted for white or red potatoes. My favorite was to use half the amount each of red potatoes and sweet potatoes – it had excellent flavor!

 

This cookbook is available in printed form, and also on a Kindle format! I just downloaded it to my iPad because I love having easy access to recipes on there!

And the Kindle download is on sale from February 19-28 for only $6.99 at this link! Here is a small sampling that Dawn says you will find in it:

Wouldn’t it be fun to make Baked Peach French Toast for breakfast or French Puff Cinnamon Muffins?  For lunch, Santa Fe Chicken Soup or Apple Pecan Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing would make your innards happy!  Dinner could be as simple as Baked Rosemary Chicken and Whipping Cream Potatoes.  There are also some fun recipes for Pumpkin Spice Latte, Swiss Cheese Quiche, Homemade Bread with Wheat Flakes (you can always sub oatmeal for the wheat flakes) and Chocolate Meringue Bars.  Some of these items you will have on hand if you’re snowed in.  Some of them you will not.  It’s ok, substitute.  You really can’t hurt these recipes.  They are very simple with basic ingredients!

So, that is the perfect answer for what in the world am I going to cook?? this weekend! :)

 

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So I thought it would be fun to do a little series on my blog from time to time called “My Favorite Things.” It might be things around my home, or featuring a theme, but a way to share with each other things that we love! That’s what women and friends love to do, right? Tell each other all about the latest best most wonderfullest things we’ve discovered! :)

I have quite a few friends that are such talented small business owners, and I want to show you their darling shops today! Many of them are on Etsy, and others are on another website of their own. But since I began My Faire Lady Designs a few years ago with some friends, I have absolutely loved to see and hear about other small businesses too.

For those of us that have chosen to take up a small business, I’ve noticed it’s often come through a hobby, a gifting we already have. It’s an overflow of something we already love to do, and out of that we love to bless other people. It’s our way of loving them, by giving them something we’ve created. It’s a personal gift, something that has taken our time to create, and time is precious. Sometimes it feels risky and vulnerable, because the things we create are so much a part of us, and what if the work isn’t valued? Sometimes we can view (wrongly) that we ourselves are rejected then. The artist is almost inseparable from his work.

But then we want to offer our gifts to other people too, so that the giving can be passed on. That’s what’s happened with many of the small businesses that I’ve known about and seen – and I love it! It’s exciting to support people that I know, men, women, some of them parents, some of them single, loving the Lord, their families, living fully, and “playing”/creating for their business.

So while I don’t buy exclusively from small business owners, I definitely have been more intentional to support them. It makes me happy to know that something I want or need is being purchased from someone that will truly benefit from it, rather than a huge corporation or website getting all the cash.

Christmas is over, I realize, but perhaps there are birthday gifts you are needing and might find just what you are looking for here. :)

So here are a few of my favorites! I’m happy to introduce you to my friends –  whether I’ve met them all in real life or whether some of them are yet to be met, they are all my friends. :)

Across Fields

Custom Watercolor Art by Grace

Watercolor Custom 11x14 Painting - Made to Order

Grace is a friend that I met several years ago at Ellerslie Training, and what a dear sweet woman she is! Her name fits her perfectly!

Her Etsy shop is so beautiful, the detail on her work amazing, and she can create almost any custom painting requested. If you are wanting a painting of meaning and sentimental value or to remember a precious time of your life, notecards, calendars, custom paintings, special projects, illustrations, invitations, personalized gifts – these are all things she can mentioned that she would love to do with! Grace would be a wonderful person to talk to.

100% of the proceeds from her etsy store (whether paintings, prints, notecards, etc) go toward paying for surgery/ongoing treatments that she needs for her health challenges.

Follow her on Facebook at Paintings by Grace Lyn

Handmade Soap

Heritage Soaps is a family owned business that makes quality, handmade soap.

Within the past months I’ve begun to care more about what goes into my body, and when Beth surprised me with a lovely gift of their soaps, I was delighted!! Now that I’ve used their handmade soap, I can’t imagine going back to the “normal” body wash again. I love her these, and the scents!

This is a little excerpt from their website:  All soaps are made by hand using only the finest ingredients. Our oils are chosen for their qualities to moisturize, for hardness and luxurious lather. Our soap is made by the cold process method, which retains all the naturally occurring glycerin of the saponification process. The oils we use are all food grade which ensures you are receiving the best quality ingredients that are available.  

The presentation was darling when it arrived, and there are all kinds of scents to choose from on the website. I love some of the names – Green Irish Tweed, Morning Glory and Honeysuckle, Christmas Cabin, and so many others.

 The Parcel Post Company

This Etsy shop is so fun – the inventory is constantly changing and you never know what fun new things will pop up next! From baby hats and bibs to clothespins to banners… Nicole from Today is my Favorite blog is sure to delight!

Hipster Baby Bib

Knotted Baby Beanie // Navy Scallop

Floral Clothespins

La Bella Prints

Inspirational and Decorative Prints

This darling Etsy shop has beautifully designed art prints in fun colors and designs! There is a wide variety of styles, from birth announcements to scripture to humor. Some of them are available for instant download which is really nice! And her prices are unbeatable.

Here are just a few that catch my eye:

Why Hello

Why Hello - Instant Download - Typography - Printable

Nursery Art

Custom Nursery Art - Birth Subway Print - Anchor Art Print - Instant Download - Printable

Quite possibly my favorite:

Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Can't Heal - Instant Download - Printable - Typography

 This one is pretty awesome too :)

INSTANT HUMAN Just Add Coffee - Kitchen Print - Instant Download - Printable - Typography

Earthy Elegance Design

I met Lauren several years ago, and what a beautiful woman! She is now a mother of a beautiful little baby girl, and has been studying midwifery. She has a wonderful eye for design and style and these little headbands are darling! Her shop changes inventory so keep checking by.

Pink Rosettes Baby Headband

Tangerine Rosettes Baby Headband

White Rosettes Baby Headband

Southern Grains

Quality hand-crafted wood products

Solid Cherry Circle Cutting Board | Serving Board

Solid Maple Cutting Board | Serving Board

I’ve followed Hope’s blog for a few years and love her inspiration – for cooking especially. Her beautiful pictures and recipes have often been the reason I chose a particular dish for our dinner.

But her talents extend beyond the kitchen! She and her husband have created these beautiful wooden cutting boards and serving utensils, and I think they are just so beautiful!

Pearls N Joy

Unique and meaningful hand-crafted jewelry

Hope as an Anchor

Hope as an Anchor Scripture Necklace

Give Me Jesus

Give me Jesus

Be Grateful

Be Grateful {circle}

These pieces of art as are beautiful as they are unique. I love the different variations of hymns, Scripture, and all that point to Jesus!

Wanda is the mother of six children through adoption, and has one of the biggest, most tender hearts I’ve known. Each month a percentage of her sales will go toward adoption expenses of a family working toward ONE less orphan and ONE more family.

December Caravan

December Caravan creates unique & beautiful scrapbooks, cards, artwork, memory pieces, and family treasures out of everyday materials to inspire joy and hope in every part of your life through handmade creations!

Vintage Map Quotes

Vintage Map Quote- Be Brave with your Life (Mini- Greens)

Take Note Journal

Mini Multi-Colored Altered Journal

Custom Storybook Bunting

Custom Storybook Bunting Order (6 foot)

Rebecca is a brave and beautiful soul who has undergone very difficult health challenges, including Lyme Disease and cancer at the same time. Every purchase will go to support Rebecca’s Medical Expenses.

Are they not all simply DARLING? I am so wowed by the talent of so many people, and this is only a sampling. I love how God gifts people with creativity, and how they share it with us.

There are more shops that I’d love to share, but perhaps that can be for a Part II. :)

Happy browsing!

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