Homemade Lemon Vinegar Cleaner

Do you love the idea of a more natural cleaner for your home, but dislike the smell of plain white vinegar? I know I do, but I have to use it all the time. Between cleaning countertops, coops, and rabbit cages, I find myself going through a lot of vinegar.

Vinegar is almost the only cleaner you would ever really need, and it is very cheap compared to brand name cleaners from the store. Research has proven that vinegar does clean as well as many anti-bacterial cleaners, but clorox and lysol will still kill a few things that vinegar doesn't. Overall, I think we really over use chemical cleaners, and should save them for specific uses. If you are cooking with raw chicken, eggs, or the flu is running through your household, I might still say use the stronger cleaner, but only in specific cases. I keep some lysol on hand for times like this.

So, if you want to start using vinegar to clean with, but dislike the smell, here is a strategy to combat that.  I totally forgot an entire bag of lemons in the back of the refrigerator. They were extremely ripe, but instead of just tossing them, I decided to make more cleaner. It is so simple. All you need is a citrus, whether it is a lemon, lime, or orange, or just the peels, a bottle of white vinegar, and a glass jar. (You can also use herbs if you prefer; I have a rosemary one aging right now.)

No, you aren't going to see a step-by-step because I didn't think to take the photos, but it is so easy.
All I did was cut the lemons into slices and stuff them into the jar. Then, I poured white vinegar into the jar, making sure to completely cover the lemon slices. I tried to remember to shake it every few days, and I kept it in a dark, cool area. After 2 weeks, I opened the jar, and the vinegar smell was completely gone!

I transferred the lemon vinegar to a spray bottle, and decided to pour more vinegar over the lemons and do it again. You can also use lemon peels, leftover squeezed lemons, oranges, limes, or grapefruit.
I try to purchase dairy milk, which comes in these beautiful glass jars, and they have so many great uses. I have a small collection of them, and I use those to age the vinegar.

I love using this cleaner, knowing that it is not full of chemicals that would be dangerous to my family or my animals. Plus, I think the jar is beautiful, and it looks lovely on my countertop. I also purchased these tiny spray bottles to keep in my car or purse for cleaning shopping cart or basket handles, and even restaurant table tops that don't look very clean.

Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie

Do you have a favorite dessert? A favorite restaurant? 
When it comes to North Carolina, the Angus Barn is one of the highlights. 
Every one who eats here falls in love with a simple piece of chocolate chess pie. But unlike other chefs and restaurants, the Angus Barn proudly presents each guest with a copy of the recipe. How much more could you ask? This pie is extremely simple to make, and isn't fancy at all. But, chocolate lovers beware, you will become addicted to the rich, smooth texture, with a slight crunch. Trust me, you need to try this.

1 Pie Shell
2 Eggs 
2 Squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1 Stick Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Sugar
1 Dash Salt

~Melt 1 stick of butter and 2 squares of baking chocolate in pan.
~Blend together the Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla, and a Dash of Salt
~Once the chocolate and butter are melted together & the sugar and egg mixture is smooth, begin by slightly tempering the egg mixture with some of the chocolate. (this ensures you don't end up with scrambled eggs when the hot chocolate mixes with the egg)
~Add more chocolate slowly, continuing to mix it.
~Keep adding until all chocolate is in the egg mixture.
~Thoroughly mix ingredients together.
~Pour mixture into pie shell.
~Bake in 350° oven for 35 minutes



When asked why we chose to name our farm, "Happy Days Farm," I paused for a moment. 
The reason may be different than you are assuming.  If you have noticed our farm photos, we surround ourselves with the word whenever we can, as a reminder.

Was it because all our days are happy?..........Most assuredly not.
Living a farm life is most definitely not always happy. There are usually more hard days than happy ones. Life is also no different here than anywhere else. We work hard both here at the farm, and at a regular full time job. 

So why did we choose "Happy?" It is something we strive for. "Happy" can happen at any time, in any place. "Happy" doesn't discriminate. "Happy" is neither rich nor poor. "Happy" is a choice, and sometimes, it is a hard choice. "Happy" is a state of mind. I choose, in this moment, despite all circumstances surrounding me, to be Happy." Sometimes, this means walking away and not having the last word in an argument. Doing this simply says, I am not basing my "Happy" on you. No one else can make you "Happy," and it is liberating to realize that it isn't their job to do so. Only YOU can choose "Happy" for yourself. It isn't a permanent state of being. It is a moment-by-moment lifestyle choice. 

Do I fail sometimes?..........Absolutely- more times than not.
Do I have days where I am anything but happy?..........Of course.
Is life always fair?............Absolutely not. 
Am I blessed?.............Most definitely!
Am I happy?...............When I choose to look at my blessings rather than my problems.

Reclaimed Wood: Farm Door Table DIY Project

I have been wanting a farm-style table for a very long time. I have looked around, and all the ones that I was able to find were extremely expensive. 
A few weeks ago, we managed to get an old farm door from an auction sale, and we decided to attempt to turn it into a table, but not just any table. We made a table with folding legs for easy storage.
As you can see, when the door is forward facing you cannot even tell it is a table! We left all the original hardware on it, and used a pallet to create the legs. (Not just pallet slats, these are the support pieces inside the pallet that are much more sturdy.) This means all the wood used is reclaimed, the only true purchase (other than the door itself) will be the brackets for the legs.  I love it when you can give an old piece of wood a new life.
These folding leg brackets are available on amazon (here), and easy to install.
Another piece of wood attached across the back side of the door will add additional stability if your door needs it to work as a functioning table.
So simple, but I think it is beautiful. Plus, I love how the original hardware adds to the character of the table.

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