DIY Faux Fireplace Mantle

I have been wanting one of these for a very long time and just yesterday I realized I had everything already on hand to make one! So I thought, Why not?

I am NOT even close to being a professional “carpenter” so if I can make this than anyone can. 😊

I started off with a 1/4 inch sheet of plywood which was cut to 4ft x 3ft,4in. So that seemed like a good size and so I went with it.

If you were to build one you would ofcourse make it any size you wanted. It’s super easy to change and make your own.

I then placed 2 1″x6″ boards 3’9.5″ long on each side.

Next I put the top part of the hearth down which is 3’10” & secured everything together to the plywood with screws.

Then, the top 2 boards below the mantle, 2’9.5″ were applied and secured in place with a few screws.

I put a scrap piece of wood at the bottom at the back to give it more support. Then I put on the mantle, which measures 3’10”.

Next I put the front piece of the hearth on.

I added 2 triangle supports to the underside of the mantle.

Once I finally had the whole thing built, I could start on the really fun stuff. I thought long and hard what I was going to do for the “inside” of the “fireplace”. I almost painted it black, until, I remembered leftover flooring I had from when we put flooring down in our office.

Without any hesitation I plugged in the hotglue gun and went to work.

Although they were already sticky on the backs, it just wasn’t enough to hold them up, so the hot glue worked great for that.

After sanding down all the rough edges, it was time for a couple coats of white paint!

Then, I noticed that the cracks where I put my planks against the wood weren’t very pretty. But that was no problem, because I had some caulking on hand.

In no time it looked great with nice clean lines.

For the final touch I added some rope to the base to hide an unsightly gap.

I am in love with the final result and it cost me virtually nothing. Everything I used I already had on hand! It can’t get any better than that.

I hope you enjoyed my the little project today. If you did please make sure you subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Much love,



Simple No knead Homemade Bread (Gluten Free & Dairy Free Option)

This is probably the most simple bread recipe I have ever tried. And for those of you who know me well, you know I love the simple things.

This recipe does not require any kneading. So no messy counters covered in wasted flour! 🙌

i try to cook as much gluten free as I can due to some health issues my husband had earlier this year. He’s so much better now, praise the Lord, but I still try to keep him from getting an overload of gluten. However, I believe we could all be better off without gluten anyway.

What me make this bread here☝

So i hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do 💕


  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour (I use Bobs Red Mill GF flour)
  • 1.5 cups milk (warmed) (can use almond, oat, coconut milk etc.)
  • 2 TBSP oil (I use olive oil but you could use coconut or any other)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP honey + 1 tsp
  • 2 eggs room temperature (I use 2 TBSP of freeze-dried eggs my parents made ❤ 🐔)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water


  1. Mix yeast, water, 1 tsp honey and set aside for atleast 5 minutes.
  2. Combine milk, oil, sugar and vinegar
  3. Beat eggs and add to milk mix and stir.
  4. Add yeast and mix for 1 minute.
  5. Add dry ingredients and combine for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour i to greased loaf pan. Smooth the top.
  7. Cover loosely and let rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat 350 °f
  9. Bake 1hr. – 1hr. 10min
  10. let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing onto wire rack. (Do not allow to cool completely in pan because it may make your bread soggy)

Happy bread baking!

Much love,

Hollie yang

How to Use Sage for Medicinal Purposes

It has been a few months ago now but i had an awful cold that I just couldn’t get rid of. I finally looked into trying herbs that i already had on hand (which wasn’t many) to treat my cold.

For those of you who know me well, you know I do not like using any kind of medicine, as far as pharmaceuticals are concerned. I’m just very skeptical of all of them. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, I am not very fond of the idea of putting any of it into my body. Maybe I’m a bit too extreme about it but i just know too many ingredients and side effects to the drugs.

So if there is a natural alternative to helping my body fight off a cold or any sickness or disease for that matter, I’m all over it!

So, as I was getting to the point where I needed to try something to get rid of this cold, I looked at my options in my flower bed. I have a pretty good sized patch of sage growing there and did some research. I was amazed at how many ailments sage was good for.

So i whipped up a hot steaming cup of sage tea and with every sip I could tell it helped open everything up. I’m sure the warmth of the steam helped tremendously as well.

After enjoying my tea I went to bed and finally got some rest!

You can watch my Youtube video about Sage below.

Below is a list of all that Sage is good for and how to make a tea for you to enjoy. 🍵

Sage contains vitamin A which is important for normal vision, the immune system, reproduction; and helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.

Sage has vitamin C, “which is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.” (webmd)

Sage has several other antioxidants (aside from vit C) which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer.

Sage is anti-viral & anti-microbial which helps promote healthy flow of mucus.

Sage is an anti-inflammatory which relieves sinusitis congestion.


Aside from helping you fight off cold and flu, Sage is also used for digestive problems, including loss of appetite, gas (flatulence), stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. It is also used for reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva; and for depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer (


You can use sage leaves fresh off the stem or you can cut large quantities to dry and store for later use.

I hung a large bunch of sage which I collected, cleaned and hung in my kitchen for about a week or so. Then, I picked off every dried leaf and stored it in a mason jar.

You could also crush the dried leaves finely to use as a seasoning in your favorite dishes; or to put into capsules, if you are wanting to take in larger quantities to fight any of the ailments mentioned above.


Boil a pot of water.

Poor into a mug over 2 fresh leaves (4 dry)

Steep for 5 minutes

Sweeten with honey or sugar to taste (if desired) you could also add lemon to add more flavor.

Enjoy 💕 🍵

Sage is an amazing medicinal plant that I have personally used myself with great success! However, I am not a licensed physician and cannot diagnose, treat or cure any disease. So make sure to use caution when taking herbs in large quantities.

Much love,

Hollie Yang

Planter Fasciitis and Essential Oils – Do They Really Work?

I’m going to be completely honest and say I have always been skeptical of essential oils. I’ve heard all sorts of miraculous stories of sniffing some kind of oil healing people of anything from runny noses to cancer.

But, now I know that there really is something to them. When used properly, with the purest oils you can get your hands on, they really can help your body heal itself.

Our Story (Planter Fasciitis)

My husband had been having foot pain for months and we never could figure out what it was. That was until I spoke to a friend who was having the exact same symptoms and she had been officially diagnosed with planter fasciitis.

We finally had our answer… but after researching we realized that not much could be done to completely take the pain away. Everything suggested was to minimize the pain or get rid of it temporarily.

I was discouraged and my husband, understandably, was more so discouraged. We pretty much felt like he would have this pain for the rest of his life…

That is until, I met a wonderful lady who was a nurse for many years and had decided to persue a career in natural medicine. We told her about Jason’s (my husband) foot pain and she was quick to respond with these 3 essential oils: Panaway, Raven & Copiava.

So, that’s where our oily adventure began. (There’s so much more to this story that I will have to share at a later time. Jason was having other health concerns that we are now beginning to really see some benefits of using oils for.)

I ordered a starter kit from Young Living which had 2 of the oils she had suggested: Panaway & Raven.

I decided to try the two by adding many drops of each into a roller bottle of olive oil and began rubbing the mixture onto his foot every evening before bed. It was such a simple thing to try and it had a huge result.

After almost a year of daily foot pain, within 2 weeks of using essential oils, he was completely pain free! That has been over a month ago and he is still doing great! I no longer feel the need to rub oil on his feet, although I still do every once in a while just because I know there are many other health benefits to these oils.

Now essential oils are a part of my daily life. I am just so excited to share my husbands testimony along with everything else I have been learning.

My pregnancy also brings me to rely on oils a lot for aches and pains. And I hope to be sharing that information very soon!

If you or someone you know struggles with Planter Fasciitis, please share this story with them. It just might change their life!

Plant a Beautiful Word Garden

“Words are seeds they do more than blow around
they land in our hearts and not on the ground
be careful what you plant and be careful what you say
You might have to eat what you planted one day.”

▶You never know what your words can do for others. The words we plant into someone’s life are more important than we probably realize.
They can grow into something beautiful… Giving someone confidence, the feeling of love or happiness or hope.

▶Or the words we plant in others can grow into something like a briar. Briars are a tangled mass of thorned plants that spread rapibly and wined through the branches of any tree nearby in a confusing and complex mess. Just like bitterness, depression and fear…
These things can consume a person to the point where they cannot function properly.

▶The Bible says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.”What we say really can make all the difference in someones life, good or bad, life or death.
I fear that I have not always been so careful with my words.I know that I have planted words that weren’t so kind in others, especially the ones I love.

▶I’m sure we are all guilty of planting a few briars… but we don’t have to keep planting the same negative seeds…
We can plant something beautiful in others and even in our own lives as well.
The words we speak to ourselves are just as important.

▶Let’s plant a beautiful garden today of uplifting, encouraging and lovely words and see how much it can transform others!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:31

#wordsareseeds #whatweplant #startingagarden #uplift #encourage #love #kjvbible #poem #becareful #watchyourwords #lovelywords #speaklife #benice #homemakers #lovelywords #bekind #flowers #planting #growingrace

Bread Can Predict the Weather

What did one slice of bread say to another after a long day?

Don’t worry—tomorrow will be butter.

🍞 Did you know that bread can predict the weather?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Well, at least that’s what these old wives tales claim 😄⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
▶To take the last piece of bread on a plate foretells rain.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
▶ If you drop a piece of buttered bread upside down on the floor, it will soon rain.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
▶ If, handling a loaf of bread, it breaks into two parts, it’ll rain all week.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Not sure if any of this is true or not but I will pay closer attention the next time I take the last slice of bread or drop a piece on the floor.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There really is something about rain and bread though. If I ever make a loaf when it’s raining, or about to rain, the bread never turns out right.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’ve heard other homemakers say the same thing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So, there really may be some truth to these weather predictions.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
On a side note: I learned something about homemade bread that I didn’t know until yesterday. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
▶You should always wait until the bread has cooled before cutting it. This will ensure a much more moist bread.⠀⠀⠀⠀

That really explains why the loaf of bread I had made the other day (pictured) dried out and got crumbly. I cut into it as soon as I pulled it from the oven. I was too impatient and was wanting a nibble.⠀⠀
From now on I will resist my impatient impulses and wait for the bread to cool. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Do any of you ladies have any interesting information regarding bread?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If so, I would love to learn more from you!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Please share your wisdom ❤⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#homemaker #homesteading #baking #breadmaking #homemadebread #oldwivestale #women #ladies #virtuouswomen #homemaking #homemakersunite #kitchen #food #bread #vintage #oldways #vintagelifestyle #create #feedingthefamily #weatherpredictions #oldwivestales #predicttheweather #engage #calltoaction ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Sent via @planoly #planoly

9 Ways to Use Egg Shells

Eggs have more uses than just cooking and eating. In fact, their egg shells can be quite useful around the house too🐥⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Feed them to your chickens

Roughly crush them and feed them back to your chickens. It will give them an extra boost of calcium and make for healthier eggs.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

2. Feed them to your garden

Finely crush them and sprinkle in your garden bed. Plants will love the calcium. This also prevents blossom end rot on tomatoes (I have tried this first hand and know it works).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

3. Use them as seedling starters

Fill half a shell with dirt, plant your seed and place back in the carton to hold them upright.

4. Keep away snails

Roughly crush shells and place around plants to deter snails and slugs.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Make toothpaste with them

Make a toothpaste powder with your shells to have a more organic and healthier toothpaste. Egg shells have many minerals our enamel needs to be strong. Studies have shown that using eggshells on your teeth remineralizes our enamel & can possibly REVERSE tooth decay!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

6. Clean your pots and pans

Use crushed egg shells to scrub hard to clean pots and pans.⠀⠀

7. Boost your calcium

Eat them! Crush them up and place into a capsule or put in smoothies. This is only best for those who may be low on calcium. Half an eggshell a day covers your basic calcium needs.

8. Use them in your beauty routine

Make a face mask using finely crushed egg shells and one egg yolk mixed together and apply to your face. Once it has dried wash with cold water. This treatment will nourish and tighten your skin.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

9. Make Chalk for your kids

Crush dried egg shells to dust. Add 2 tsps flour and hot water (enough to make a stiff paste) and add food coloring. Roll up in a paper towel to shape the “dough” into desired thickness. Unroll and allow to sit and dry for a few days. Then create a sidewalk masterpiece with your egg chalk.

So, the next time you bake a cake or fry up some scrambled eggs, hang onto those shells and utilize them. It’s amazing what we can do with items we would normally throw away.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

chickeneggs #fresheggs #fresheggsdaily #farmfresh #homestead #hobbyfarmer #cottage #eggphotography #poultryofinstagram #hobbyfarmlife #crushedeggshells #diy #egghacks #chickenfarmer #backyardchickens #americana #chickensofinstagram #eggs #eggenvy #homesteading #allotment #aneggaday #eggfacts #organic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Fun Lemon Printables for the Home

I hope you enjoyed this weeks lemon themed cleaning hacks! I’m ending our week with something fun. Type in your email below to get 4 free lemon themed printables!

Also, for those of you who follow Home Sweet Cottage on facebook and instagram: I had some great “When life gives you lemons” quotes but one I loved the most! I loved it so much in fact that I made it into a printable (available below) and will also be posting it to facebook!

Thanks to @julielouisy on instagram! Such a lovely quote! 💕


Have a SWEET weekend!

Much Love!

~Hollie Yang

20 Uses for Lemons in Your Home Cleaning Routine

Like the homemaker, from 2 posts ago, who was all out of cleaning supplies, she used what she had on hand, lemons and vinegar. However, her cleaning product took atleast 2 weeks to make. So, if you’re needing something to clean your home right away, you can use nothing more than a cut lemon.

Lemons are antibacterial and can inactivate bacteria, even the ones that cause Salmonella and E. Coli.

The Lemons acidity neutralizes odors, whether in the air, on your sofa or in the trash.

Lemons contain D-Limonene which is a powerful degreaser and solvent.

AND its acidity can remove stains of all types from many different surfaces.

So, it is safe to say that lemons really are a great option for cleaning. Not to mention it is a much more natural alternative than your typical store bought cleaners.

So, curious to know how you can use lemons in your daily cleaning routine? Then, let’s begin.


1. GARBAGE DISPOSAL: Remove that nasty stinch from your garbage disposal by dropping in a slice of lemon.

2. AIR: If your home is smelly, but not sure where it’s coming from, simply boil lemon peels to get the fragrance into the air.

3. HANDS: Strong food smells on your hand? (such as garlic, fish etc.) Rub your hands with a slice of lemon.

4. FRIDGE: Absorb nasty fridge odors by cutting up a lemon in small pieces, place on a small shallow plate, sprinkle with salt and put in your fridge.


5. MICROWAVE: Clean your microwave without scrubbing by cutting a lemon in half, squeeze into a microwave safe cup of water (about 1/2 cup of water) drop i. both halves into the cup and microwave on high for about 3 min. Do not open the door for another 5 min. After time has passed, open and wipe down all areas. If there is hard to remove crust use the half lemon, sprinkled with salt, to remove.

6. CUTTING BOARD: Clean your cutting boards by sprinkling kosher salt onto the board and scrubbing with half a lemon. It will remove stains and odors.

7. BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERS: Use the same method as with your cutting boards. It works great!

8. FAUCETS: Remove faucet stains by rubbing them with half a lemon.

9. DISHWASHER: Toss a lemon rind into the silverware compartment to clean and freahen up your washer. Plus it will make the kitchen smell wonderful!

10. DISHES: Hard stuck-on foods? Use a cut half of a lemon dipped in salt and scrub away.

11. KNIVES: Use lemon juice and a sponge to get rid of rust on your kitchen knives.


12. TUB & TILE: Clean soap scum off of your tub and tile by scrubbing it with a half cut of a lemon.

13. TOILET: Make your own easy toilet tablets (recipe here) with lemon juice.


14. BLEACH ALTERNATIVE: Lemon is a great alternative to bleach and is also safe to use with colors as well. Pooring one cup of lemon juice into the wash with your regular detergent, is a great way to help remove stains and smells much better than bleach as well.

15: RUST STAINS: Boil some water in a kettle. Poor lemon juice on the stained fabric and carefully hold over the steam for a few minutes. Wash as usual.

16: JUICE STAINS: Soak stain in a mixture of 1/3 cup lemon juice & 2/3 cup water and wash as usual.

17. MILDEW STAINS: Make a mixture of salt and lemon juice to create a paste. Spread over the stain and place in the sun to dry. Then wash as usual, preferably hot water.

18. LEATHER: Dampen a cloth with lemon juice and use to wipe down leather shoes, jackets, etc. to clean and shine……


19. ANTS: Sprinkle lemon juice along ant routes and around baseboards to keep them away without using dangerous chemicals.

20. MOTHS: Place dried lemon peels where you want to repel moths such as your closets.

I believe we can all agree that lemons are an amazing versatile fruit created by an Amazing Creator!

I hope you get a chance to try out this powerful cleaning fruit in your daily cleaning routine and let me know how it goes!

Much love,

– Hollie Yang

Homemade Toilet Tablets with Lemon

Today is the continuation of our lemon themed cleaning hacks! I used lemon juice in these easy homemade toilet tablets and I am now going to try to keep these on hand at all times.

These are some great little cleaners and so simple to make. Not to mention there are no harsh chemicals or odors to worry about.

1 cup Baking soda
4 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 & 1/2 tsp Vinegar
1 Tbsp Hydrogen Peroxide

You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

(Makes Approx. 30 tablets)

1. Stir all ingredients together.

NOTE: Be careful when adding the liquids to the baking soda. Add together slowly so the reaction will not be as messy.

2. Spoon out using a tsp. You may need to roll the scooped mixture between your hands to make sure it sticks together well and form into balls.

3. Let the tablet dry over night.

4. Place carefully, so as not to cause any crumbling of the tablets, into a glass jar. Store near the toilet.

*Use once a week to prevent any grime build-up*

For best results: Let your tablet sit in the bowl throughout the night before flushing or scrubbing.

I’ve already used mine a couple times and they did a wonderful job. You can tell by the photo above that my bowl desperately needed a good cleaning and it did a great job.

I hope you get a chance to try these tablets out and let me know how they worked for you! Also, I hope you try the All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner as well!

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