Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moist and Delicious Banana Bread....


Good Thursday afternoon!

I spent my late morning/early afternoon baking banana bread and thought I'd share my recipe with all of you. It's a big hit around here and doesn't last very long at all!

Banana Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter *
2 bananas
5 tablespoons milk

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Beat the egg slightly and mix into creamed mixture with the bananas. Add sifted dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in milk. Spread batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

*Unless otherwise noted, I use salted butter in all of my recipes because we prefer the taste.*

I hope you give it a try and come back and let me know what you think!

Many Blessings,
M.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Past Creations.....

Good afternoon!

I've been working on a scrapbook page this afternoon but it doesn't look like I'll get it done in time to post today. More often than not, if I force myself to create something I end up not liking the project and that's the last thing I want to do with a scrapbook page! So instead, I'm featuring a few of my past creations for St. Patrick's Day......enjoy!

Treat Holder and Small Basket Closed 2008

Treat Holder and Small Basket Open 2008

Door Hanger Treat Holder with Candy 2008

Small Box and Card 2009

Many Blessings,
M.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too Early?

Hi all!

In hopes of being inspired to create something for the sale blog for St. Patrick's Day, I pulled out the couple of things I have for the holiday. Do you think it's too early? I hope not! I've seen all kinds of things in the stores for it already and while green is not a color I would normally use in my decorating, I do like the little touch of springtime color. It reminds me that winter is on its way out and spring is on its way in....

I have no doubt that the green candy you see in here will be gone by the end of the week because I have a husband who LOVES Peanut M&M's! Once they are gone, I thought it would be cute to replace them with Rolos....kind of like the pot of gold at the end of rainbow!

My other piece is this lantern from Home Interior from a few years ago. It's hard to tell, but there's a candle burning on the inside of it. I love the soft glow it gives off in the evening time hours....

I think I'd like to make some kind of banner that I can use year after year and I promised a friend I would make one for her as well. I can't decide what it should say.....here are the ideas I've been kicking around:

1. Good Luck!
2. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
3. Erin Go Bragh!

What do you think?

Many Blessings,
M.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday....


"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Wishing you a fantastic new week....

Many Blessings,
M.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Before and Afters Day Four.....

Hi all!

Today I'm showing the outside of the house. It's amazing what a little clean up and paint can do isn't it?

House Before Purchase

House During Prep

House After Paint

House with Welcoming Red Door

This has been a lot of fun! I hope that you will be encouraged to take the leap and make something less than perfect into a retreat for you and your families. I'd love to see some of your before and afters as well so be sure to post them in the comment section of this post so I can visit!

Many Blessings,
M.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Before and Afters Day Three.....

Good morning!

It's a busy day as I have a class this afternoon. I'll be sure to post the cards that we make here early next week but for now, it's day three of the before and after shots of our home....

The most memorable part of looking at the house the first time was the smell....it was awful. I would breathe through my mouth while covering part of it for fear that a bug would fly in! I finally started carrying room spray with me when we would come over and walk through it. It was only after we finally got the house that I found part of the culprit of the smell....a rotting onion in a kitchen cabinet. It was an experience I'd rather not have to re-live again!

Unfortunately, we were left with a lot of garbage from the previous owners so clean up was a huge job. Here is the state the kitchen was left in....

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Left After

Kitchen Right After

I just snapped these pictures last night and had to take two because I chose the world's biggest refrigerator when we moved in. But in my defense, it didn't look that big in the store! While the kitchen has not been remodeled we do have plans to do so eventually. I find myself in there a lot these days as I do more cooking and baking and can't help but think of the other women before me that stood in the same place. I can imagine the original owner smiling as she prepared a meal for her family in her brand new kitchen in 1956....and that makes me smile too....even when I'm hand washing my dishes!

Have a good day!

Many Blessings,
M.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Before and Afters Day Two....

Before we moved, I went through all of our belongings and purged what was no longer used and/or needed. Goodness knows that when you live in a space that's technically just under 800 square feet, you have to pay attention to what comes in and out!

I tend to keep knick knacks and such at bay because they can quickly get out of control. I opt for things that I believe are beautiful and functional at the same time and it's proven to be a smart strategy for us. While our home isn't always picture perfect, we are almost always company ready because of the lack of clutter....

Living Room facing Hall Before

Living Room facing Hall After

This is kind of fun! What kinds of things do you do to keep clutter under control?

Many Blessings,
M.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Before and Afters.....

One of my favorites types of posts on homemaking blogs are before and after photos....so I've decided to share a few of my own!

Chris and I purchased our home in August of 2008. It was a long and grueling process and one of the most challenging times our marriage. I say if you can make it through a remodel, you can make it through anything! We moved in on September 30th, 2008 and then had a house fire on November 28, 2008 causing us to move into a hotel for two months. It was during that time that I realized that our little house had become my home and I've looked at it that way ever since.

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Today we have trim around all the windows and doors thanks to my very hardworking and handy husband. Please join me for the rest of the week as I share more pictures from around our home!

Many Blessings,
M.

Monday, February 15, 2010

So Very Blessed.....


Good morning everyone!

As I reflect on our special day yesterday, I can't help but feel blessed. It's not because of the sweet and thoughtful gifts my husband gave me (although I appreciate them greatly), but more so because of the people in my life. We spent the afternoon with special friends, ate awesome PW food and ended the evening with Fireproof.

Isn't that what love is really all about? No matter your situation.....married, single, divorced, widowed......open your hearts and celebrate the relationships you have!

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13

Many Blessings,
M.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love.....

Valentine Card for Chris 2010

I love this time of year.....maybe it's because I'm a pink lover, or maybe it's because I think celebrating the love you have for the people in your life is a great reminder of blessings bestowed upon each of us. Whatever the reason may be, I encourage you to tell someone that you love how much you care about them today! Have a fantastic weekend!

Many Blessings,
M.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Attitude and Perspective Matter......


Photo from Joys of Home

I'll be honest here....I'm not naturally a glass half full kind of gal. But the beauty of being saved by grace is that I don't have to be perfect! And that when I'm weak, my God is strong.

We live in a world full of death, injustice, abuse and neglect but if we really open our eyes and look for it, beauty can be found all around.

As homemakers, we set the tone in our homes. I believe that no matter what your circumstances may be, you can create an atmosphere of calmness and comfort by taking a little time to make your house a home. Light a candle, put on some soft music, spray on some sweet smelling perfume, greet your mate (or pets!) with a smile and thank God for all you have been blessed with!

At the end of the day, attitude and perspective matter.

Have a good day!
M.

PS - Thank you for your permission Joy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's the Little Things.....

Dining Room Table

After all the Christmas decorations are taken down, the house can seem a little bare so sometime in mid January I jump right into Valentine's Day! While I don't have a huge amount of stuff for this particular holiday, I do have a lot of red stuff around the house so I pull it all out and see what I can come up with using what I already have on hand. This is where a woman's touch is most apparent! After all, it's the little things that make a house feel like a home.

What have you done today to make your house a home?

Many Blessings,
M.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Babies, Bags and More....

Good morning!

Before I get carried away with my long to do list today, I thought I'd share a project I worked on last week.

I was not able to attend a baby shower for a friend who is expecting her first child on March 1st but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a little something to celebrate this special time!

Her colors for the nursery are chocolate brown, hot pink, light pink and a sage green. SO CUTE! I decided to use those colors when choosing my gift bag, tissue paper and card. Anyone who knows me knows that presentation is a big thing for me....yes, this is just one of many quirks you'll get to learn about me this time around! I discovered a long time ago that I can get carried away with bags, bows and wrapping paper so to make things a little simpler, I choose papers and bags that can be used for many different occasions. And since I refuse to pay $5.00 or more for a card I always make my own. In the future I'll show my gift wrapping solutions, but for now here is the card...

and here is the card attached to the bag.....

I don't believe you have to spend an arm and a leg to create something beautiful. The gift bag was $1.49, the hot pink tissue was .99 cents and I made the card with supplies I had on hand. For under $3.00 I was able to give something beautiful that came from the heart. How can you go wrong with that?

I'd love to hear your gift wrap solutions!

Many Blessings,
M.

Monday, February 8, 2010

An Introduction......

Above image from bhg.com

Hello blogging world!

I'm excited to be back after a six month break! Before I go any further, there are a few things I'd like to talk about....

If you were a reader of Simply Pink, you know a lot about my passions already! While I love stamping and scrapbooking, I have a much higher calling...to love my God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. With that I also desire to be the best wife I can be. Am I perfect? No! All you have to do is ask my husband and he'll tell you so! However, I do the best I can each day and if I fail, I get up the next morning and try it all over again.

My plans for Kaufman's Cottage are pretty straight forward. While I intend to showcase my stamping and scrapbooking projects from time to time, most of my posts will be about homemaking. I'm open to lively discussions but will not tolerate any vulgar or demeaning comments. I try to live my life by the golden rule....

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

I am also excited about another venture I'm diving into this week....a sale blog! After much encouragement from friends and family, I'm going to have a place online where you will be able to purchase some of the items that I feature on this blog. I love creating and believe that it glorifies God when I use the abilities He's given to me as best as I can!

I think that's all for now.....if there are any topics you would like to see discussed here on Kaufman's Cottage, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll see what I can do to accommodate your requests!

Many Blessings,
Melissa
My photo
Wife, sister, daughter and friend....God is good! Welcome!



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