Monday, April 27, 2015

Lessons From The Farm | Part 1

Over the years we have struggled with keeping crabgrass and wild blackberries out of our flower beds and garden (we try not to use poison on them because of the animals). These two plants grow like a wild fire, turning the best started gardens into a weedy mess after a good rain.
Let it go for one day and they have popped there nasty little heads above the soil and through the shade cloth and mulch (sorry Elsa but letting it go won't help this time). It's annoying on the best days heart breaking on the worst, and pretty much impossible to get rid of.  Try to pull it out and you quickly find it's easier said then done. If you aren't careful to get the root out too, its back poking through the mulch again with a vengeance after only a few days. Grab a handful of wild blackberries and the thorns will tear your hands up (trust me it hurts) and leave you picking thorns out of your skin.

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The black berries and crabgrass reminds me of the sin in our lives, left unchecked it will ruin our lives. We have to make an effort to weed it out to weed it out the sin in our lives. Its not easy- just like pulling blackberries out of the garden its going to hurt. As you weed out the "crabgrass" and "blackberries" in our lives its going to be un-comfortable, its going to hurt. Its going to take work every single day. But when its out you can again enjoy the beauty of the garden.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crate Coffee Table Thinking Outside The Box

Mr. Cottage brought home a large crate that a friend gave him.  Poor thing, he thought it would be used to store stuff in outside. :) Well sometimes you have to think outside the box with design and that is what we did here. 

The crate gives a rustic look to the slip covered white couches with their ruffled pillows and breaks up the white on white in the room.

I love it paired with this large flower arrangement that Mr. Cottage bought us on Valentines Day.

Here we have it with simple 1/2 Gallon Mason Jars filled with sand and candles and a small footed glass bowl with sand, shells and a candle.

The pillows are covered with a blue and white striped pillow slip (tutorial here) that give it a simple nautical look that is understated.
I love these simple candles.  They make me long to walk by the shore with the sand between my toes




















Home Decor, Beach Designs, Nautical, Ikea, Slipcovered Couches, .

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Carnton Plantation

The Carnton house was built in 1826 in Franklin Tennessee by Randal McGavock (the 11th mayor of Nashville). It was named after his ancestral home in Ireland. Originally on 1,400 acers (500 of which was used for farming)  Among the many people entertained here was Andrew Jackson. Randal McGavock's daughter Elizabeth married William Giles Harding owner of Belle Meade Plantation. Randal died in 1843 and by 1860 his son John & daughter-in-law Carrie took over.
When the American Civil War broke out John McGavock was too old to enlist but he helped outfit and organize groups of Confederate soldiers, while Mrs. McGavock sewed uniforms for family and friends. As the war grew closer John sent most of his slaves to Louisianna. When Union troops took middle Tennessee and learned what the McGavock's had been aiding the Confederate soldiers they took thousands of dollars of grain, cattle, timber and horses from the plantation.
November 30,1964 Carnton Plantation became the biggest temporary field hospitals for treating the wounded and dying of the Battle of Franklin. The wood floors within still bear the bloody stains of those injured and dying. More than 1,750 southern soldiers lost there lives at Franklin. On the back porch of the Carnton the bodies of 4 southern generals  were laid out after the battle. The McGavocks tended as many as 300 soldiers inside Carnton though at least 140 died that first night. Hundreds of others were scattered across the plantation. After the Union soldiers moved towRd Nashville the citizens of Franklin were faced with burying 2,500 soldiers.
John and Carry donated 2 acres of their property to be used as a Confederate Cemetery After the war McGavock continued to farm Carnton under sharecrop arrangements with his former slaves until his death in 1893.













Civil War, History, Plantation, Tennessee

Monday, April 20, 2015

Organic Blackberry Turnovers


1 Cup Organic Flour 
1/2 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Organic Butter Divided
1/4 Cup Ice Water 
1-2 Cups Blackberries 
1/3 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Tapioca Flour (or 2 teaspoon Cornstarch)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice 
2 Tablespoons Organic Free Range Egg (beaten)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Water
1/2 Cup Organic Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Water

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in 1/4 cup butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a ball forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle. 

Cut remaining butter into thin slices. Starting at a short side of dough, arrange half of the butter slices over two-thirds of rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges. Fold unbuttered third of dough over middle third. Fold remaining third over the middle, forming a 6-in. x 4-in. rectangle. Roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle.

 Repeat steps of butter layering and dough folding, ending with a 6-in. x 4-in. rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise and then widthwise. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, tapioca flour or cornstarch. Add blackberries and lemon juice; toss to coat. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until blackberries are tender.  Remove from the heat. 

In a small bowl, combine egg and water. Roll dough into a 12-in. square; cut into four squares. Brush with half of the egg mixture. Spoon about 1/4 cup filling on half of each square; fold dough over filling. Press edges with a fork to seal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with remaining egg mixture. With a sharp knife, cut three small slits in the top of each turnover.

Bake at 450° F. for 17-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over turnovers. Serve warm. Yield: 4 servings.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Installing Cabinets With Mr. Cottage


Well, Mr. Cottage is wonderful! Just thought I would let you know. He took our plight of having a small kitchen with not enough cabinets for our dish collection to heart and went to Lowe's to buy us some more cabinets.

He used a stud finder for the wall to find the studs to secure the cabinets. He decided not to make a toe kick for them but bought legs so that they will look like furniture instead.

He bought some golden oak stain and we stained the legs and he attached them to a piece of plywood.

He measured the base of the cabinets as we wanted them and then put that measurement onto the plywood cutting out a base. Then he used a drill and pre-drilled the holes for the screws to secure the legs to the plywood. He then screwed the plywood to the base of the cabinets and the cabinets to one another building as he went.
Next he added the shelves and the doors and Yeah! We have cabinets!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thick Crust Pizza Dough


1 Cup Water
1 Free Range Egg
1 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
3 Cups Organic Flour
3 Tablespoons Dry Milk Power (I used dry goat milk)
11/2 Teaspoon Yeast 

If you are using a bread machine add wet ingredients to bottom of pan then add flour. In separate corners add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk. Turn bread machine on dough and press "start". Leave it alone until It beeps and turns off. Then pull it out sit in an oiled bowl with oiled cling wrap over the top and let rise again until you are ready to use it.

If you don't have a bread machine get a big bowl and pour the water into it. Follow with dry ingredients. Mix until elastic and then cover with oiled cling wrap to rise in a warm place for about and hour or until doubled in size.

Roll out to desired size and bake for 8-10 minutes, add sauce and whatever you want on top and bake until cheese is melted.

For more of our pizza recipes click here & here. You can find our pizza sauce recipe here.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Our 2015 Bucket List


  1. Visit the Smokey Mountains
  2. Go To Sea World
  3. Go To The Drive-In Theater
  4. Swim With Dolphins 
  5. Visit Fall Creek Falls
  6. Have More Bonfires At Night
  7. BBQ On The Weekend
  8. Go To The Swapmeet
  9. Go to the 400 Mile Long Yard Sale
  10. Visit San Juan Capistrano 
  11. Ride The Colors Of Fall Train 
  12. Ride The General Jackson Riverboat
  13. Go To The Lots House & Museum
  14. Hang Out At The Lake More
  15. Go to the Beach!
  16. Have More Picnics
  17. Visit Shiloh Nation Battle Field (during the day this time, and more than a drive by)
  18. Go To More Reenactments 
As we go to the places/do the things on our bucket list we will update our list with photos!