DIY Armchair Slipcover

We moved this old chair while cleaning out our boys’ playroom to make room for more bunk beds. The bright yellow flowered fabric didn’t fit with the decor in our home anymore. I couldn’t bring myself to send this chair to the curb. One because it was still in pretty good structural shape and two because I have so many wonderful memories of nursing and cuddling with my boys in this chair when they were babies. So I decided to make a slipcover with fabric that fit our decor. Here is the process I used to revamp this cozy chair.

Step 1: Find an upholstery fabric you like and estimate how many yards you’ll need to cover each section of the chair. This chair took approximately 5 yards with some scraps left over. Buy a matching upholstery thread. I made fabric covered buttons and used piping for this chair. I’ll link the materials I used.

Step 2: Drape the fabric over each section of the chair, follow the existing seams of the chair and cut with a 1 to 2 8 inch seam allowance. When cutting the fabric for the back of the chair, you’ll cut two pieces. Allow them to over lap significantly.  This will give you the opening and flexibility to take your slip cover on and off. 

Step 3: Lay the fabric right side down and begin pinning two sections together using the existing chair seam as your guide. I like to pin one or two sections at a time and then sew it rather than pinning all of the sections before sewing. This will be easier to handle instead of a mess of fabric and pins. For example, here are three pieces of fabric pinned together. The piece for the front of the chair and the two back pieces. You will also pin and hem the back flaps. This will most likely be your starting place and first seam sewn for your slipcover.

Step 4: Continue pinning and sewing together. After sewing a section together,  I turn the fabric right side out and place on the chair to make sure everything is fitting correctly. That way you can make adjustments along the way if needed.

Step 5: If your chair has piping, you’ll want to replicate this same look by adding piping to that section before sewing.  Use a foot for your sewing machine that allows you to to sew closely to the piping. This way your piping won’t be floppy.

Cotton piping: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002PXR65C/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I decided to add buttons to the back of the chair to keep the back flaps closed. I used the fabric covered piping to make button loops and sewed these on by hand with a large needle to get through the thick fabric. I made the buttons using a button making kit. I added hot glue to the button closure before pushing the button closed to help keep the button together with the thick upholstery fabric.

Fabric covered buttons kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0051EP7AS?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

This was a reclining arm chair, so the cushion you sit on is connected to the whole chair. Therefore, I left the seam where the back of the seat cushion and the bottom of the back cushion meet unsewn and simply tucked the longer seam allowances into the crack of the chair. This allows give in the fabric when someone sits down on the cushion. If this was not a reclining chair. I would recommend sewing the bottom seat cushion separately from the rest of the slip cover. I finished the chair by putting a simple hem around the bottom. Here is the finished product! Follow along our journey @homesteadonlakeside .

Sourdough Waffle Recipe

We often eat pancakes because it takes one extra step to take out the waffle maker. But every time I make waffles, I wonder to myself why I don’t do it more often. These sourdough waffles are so delicious with the perfect crispness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fed room temperature sourdough starter. (If you need a starter, check out my post on How to Make a Sourdough Starter)
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of baking powder

Recipe:

  • Preheat your waffle iron.
  • Preheat oven to 250°.
  • Mix ingredients.
  • Grease waffle iron. I just do this once before the first waffles.
  • Use 1/4 cup to measure waffle mix and add to each waffle square.
  • Once the waffle is crisp and golden brown, place the waffle on a baking sheet and keep warm and crisp in the oven until ready to serve.
  • Serve with warm syrup or a warm berry compote.
  • Enjoy!

For more sourdough recipes follow along @homesteadonlakeside

Strawberry Apple Jam

It’s strawberry season in Florida and we love to go strawberry picking. I’m always looking for delicious recipes to make with our fresh picked strawberries each year and jam is a staple. I love this particular recipe because it uses honey to sweeten instead of white sugar and has no pectin. The pectin in the apple skins and the citrus juice will help thicken the jam. This jam is so good on anything, but I particularly love it on homemade sourdough English muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2 large apples peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp of honey
  • The juice from 1 orange

Recipe:

  • Peel and chop apples. Remove the peels in large pieces to be used later.
  • Add strawberries to large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add chopped apples and large pieces of apple peals to the pot.
  • Simmer on low to medium heat until strawberries and apple begin to fall apart. I cooked mine for about an hour and a half.
  • Remove apple skins.
  • Continue to cook the fruit mixture down until it begins to thicken.
  • Add honey and and orange juice, incorporate well and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Blend well.
  • Return blended jam to pot and simmer on low, stirring often, for another 30 minutes to reduce extra water released from the berries after blending.
  • Add jam to Mason jars while warm put lids on the Mason jars and as it cools on the counter the lids will pop and seal.
  • The jam with thicken as it cools.
  • Store jam in the refrigerator.
  • Enjoy!!

For more recipe inspiration follow @homesteadonlakeside

Peanut Sauce Noodles with Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Everything is better with peanut butter according to my husband. While I don’t fall into that camp, I do make the exception for a good peanut sauce. This peanut sauce recipe has such a nice balanced peanut flavor that isn’t overpowering and works perfectly with roasted vegetables. This recipe fed our family of five. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of coconut aminos (you can substitute soy sauce)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (you can substitute water)
  • 2 to 3 tbs of sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 tbs of garlic oil
  • 2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs of honey
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper

Sauce Recipe

  • Finely chop 1/2 onion and saute in sesame oil in medium sauce pan until onion is translucent.
  • Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, saute until softened.
  • Add 1/2 cup of coconut aminos
  • Add 1/2 cup of peanut butter, stir over medium heat until well incorporated.
  • Add 2 tbs of honey
  • Add 2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the noodles of your choice according to their instructions. Drain water and add the noodles to your sauce. Stir well to coat all of the noodles with the sauce.

Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Chop carrots and green beans. Place on roasting pan. Toss the vegetables with garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Add water or chicken stock to the pan to help the vegetables steam a bit before they start to roast. Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Top peanut sauce noodles with roasted vegetables.  Enjoy! For more family recipes follow along @homesteadonlakeside

Join us for: The Great Backyard Bird Count

We are so excited to be participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year with our Forest Adventure Homeschool co-op. The count starts this Friday February 12th and goes until Monday February 15th. Anyone can participate! All you have to do is take note of the types of birds you observe and how many for 15 minutes a day. Then enter your bird counting data at birdcount.org .

I love that so many countries and people participate!

Great Backyard Bird Count results from 2020:

  • 268,674 Estimated Participants
  • 27,270,156 Total Birds Counted
  • 6,942 Species of Birds Identified
  • 194 Countries

We made pinecone bird feeders to entice birds to our backyard during the count. We went for a nature walk collected the biggest dry pinecones we could find, slathered them in peanut butter, sprinkled them with bird seed, and topped them off with a pipe cleaner to attach the feeders to a tree.

“We all need an incentive to get outside mid-winter and look for birds beyond what we can see from our windows. It’s fun to see the little flashes of light on the map when we submit our counts, among the thousands around the world, and we know our data matter.”

— Barb Gorges, Wyoming, United States birdcount.org

I’d love for you to join us during the Great Backyard Bird Count! Leave a comment if you end up joining in the worldwide count. Follow along with us @homesteadonlakeside

Coconut Curry Chicken

A test of a good meal to me is if my 5 year old gobbles it up without a single complaint and asks for more.

I often hesitate when making dishes with coconut because so many times the coconut is too over powering. Not the case with this recipe. It is the perfect blend of sweetness from the coconut and earthiness from the spices. Serve over white Basmati rice. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.75 lbs of chopped chicken

1 can of full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce

3 TBS of coconut oil

1/2 an onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 sweet bell pepper, diced

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cumin

3/4 tsp of coriander

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of cloves

1/4 tsp of cardamom

Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

Melt the coconut oil in the skillet. Sautee the onions until translucent. Add garlic and bell pepper, sautee until softened. Add all of the spices and incorporate well. Add tomato sauce. Add coconut milk and chicken. Simmer on low for an hour to an hour and a half. As the mixture simmers the sauce will thicken. Serve over rice. Hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious dinner as much as we did! For more recipes follow along @homesteadonlakeside

Sourdough Cornbread

You can’t eat chili without cornbread. It’s like cereal without milk. It just doesn’t work. I was an avid cornbread from a box maker for years, assuming cornbread was too much work. I’m so glad I was wrong. Cornbread is super simple and doesn’t take more than 45 minutes from start to finish. Here is my favorite recipe for sourdough cornbread.

Recipe

1 cup of warm chicken or vegetable broth

1.5 cups of corn flour

1/3 cup of sugar

2 TBS of honey

1 tsp of salt

Mix these ingredients together and allow to cool before adding remaining ingredients.

1 cup of oil

1 cup of active sourdough starter

Check out my post on how to make a sourdough starter

2 eggs

1.5 tsp of baking soda

1.5 tsp of baking powder

Mix together and add to a greased medium cast iron skillet. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes until the center is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing. Top with honey or crumble over your favorite chili. Enjoy!

For more sourdough recipes follow along @homesteadonlakeside

Homeschool Science with the World’s Most Famous Veterinarian

Most of our homeschool lessons come from literature.  Good literature,  that has stood the test of time. Literature that builds character and reveals beauty.

One of my favorite authors is James Herriot. His stories are heartwarming and embody hard work, kindness, and humor.

We start our lessons by reading one of his many children’s books. Only One Woof, Smudge the Little Lost Lamb, Moses the Kitten, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from.

Then, depending on which animal book we’ve chosen to read, we look up different breeds of that animal. We look this up in the dictionary or kids encyclopedia.  We discuss where the different breeds come from and what they are known for.

Next, the boys draw their favorite breed of the topic animal in their journals. We make a comparison chart. We chart wild cat breeds vs. domestic cat breeds or race horse breeds vs. work horse breeds. I’ll write the chart on the chalkboard for them to copy in their journals. This usually concludes our lesson. We sometimes follow it up with other pieces of literature that discuss the animal if the boys have been particularly interested in the topic. For example, horses are always a favorite and we love reading Billy and Blaze books by C.W. Anderson to accompany our horse lessons.

We’ve also all been enjoying the new PBS Masterpiece family show All Creatures Great and Small where we can see James Herriot’s stories brought to life.

Follow along @homesteadonlakeside for more homeschool activities!

DIY Bug Spray Perfect for Misquitoes and Tics

As the weather starts to warm in Florida, tic season is right around the corner. Living next to the forest we have an abundance of beautiful deer hanging out in our yard daily. However, deer tics are not something I want crawling on me. The first year we lived in our house, I didn’t realize the tics were so abundant and our whole family ended up many tics throughout the season. We tried many types of organic bug sprays. These helped with mosquitoes, but not as much with the tics. So I was on a mission to make an organic bug spray that also worked well for tics. Here is my recipe. Hope it works great for you as well! Some of the items are linked to Amazon.com

Recipe:

4 oz brown or blue plastic PET spray bottles

1/2 cup of filtered water

1/2 cup of witch hazel

1 tbs of rubbing alcohol

30 drops of organic citronella essential oil

30 drops of organic lemon eucalyptus essential oil

20 drops of organic geranium bourbon essential oil (this is the key ingredient to help repel tics)

I mix the rubbing alcohol, water, and witch hazel together, then add to the bottles. I add the essential oils individually to each bottle. This is to make sure that each bottle gets the correct amount of essential oils. Each bottle gets half of the allotted amount of essential oils specified in the recipie. The recipe makes enough for 2, 4 oz bottles.

Shake well before each use. Always check yourself for tics, even when using bug spray!

Camelia Garden

“My camelias would be the perfect flower if only they had the fragrance of a gardenia. Their petals look like they were made of porcelain, but they have no scent.”

Tudor and Brown The Private World of Tasha Tudor

I quite agree with Ms. Tudor, camelias are nearly the perfect flower. Their beauty is unmatched. When we moved into our home two years ago, I was to blessed to inherit the most amazing camelia garden. We have nine camelia trees and eight different varieties.

We live next to a large forest with a canopy of oak and pine trees, giving us acidic soil, a perfect home for camelais.

I look forward to the season every year when our camelias start to bloom in late November. The varieties of trees bloom from November to February and it’s always a feast for my eyes. Their delicate petals, large size, and bright colors are hypnotizing.

Hope you can enjoy a bit of their beauty as well! Follow along @homesteadonlakeside for more camelia appreciation posts!

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