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Showing posts from April, 2015

Keeping Rabbits - Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Rabbits

Over the years we have had quite a few rabbits, and if I really tried I could probably name everyone. Don't believe me? Well lets see there is Rabbs the 1st (I know very imaginative but hey we were little!), Rabbs the 2nd (ahem), Sugar, Caramel (We had a sweet tooth when we named them), Midnight, Smokey, Shadow, Thumper (like the bunny in Bambi), Monarch, Patches, Midnight the 2 (ok what can I say? Black rabbits just get named Midnight around here), Jonah (it had a wale or a big fish over its eye), Snowball (she was an Albino), Dragonfly (can you guess why she was named that?), Hazel and Bluie (ok for the record it's fur was a bluish tint and I didn't name it),  Told you there was a lot!
Rabbits are ESCAPE ARTISTS!!!! Make sure your cage has plenty of ventilation but that they can't get their heads or feet stuck especially if you have a small baby bunny or a mini rabbit (gee that sounds funny). They are also very fragile, so make sure if you are buying a bunny for the…

Cottage Charm Part 8 - Table Manners

Ok, the next installment on our manners post is short and sweet.  Table manners.

I had a friend that made a point to remove all of the from her plate that she disliked and literally tossed it across the table. We would dine out, and across the table would go the tomato slices followed by the lettuce and the pickles and anything else she didn't like as she disgustedly announced how much she hated these food items. I was shocked, this was a grown woman! And well I was embarrassed.

If we are in a situation where we don't like what is served to us just let it sit to the side on your plate. If  you are ordering a meal it is fine to ask for no lettuce or tomatoes, etc. If the meal is burned, too salty or cold that you ordered it is ok to tell someone. But. If you are at someone else's home it is not ok to tell them the food is bad.  And please! Do not throw your food on the table! Act your age, not your shoe size (wink).

Ladies, do not put your purse on the table.  It can go on…

I Have Refined You...


Waves that seem unending...


                                                                                            A thousand little pieces...

Spread like sea glass on the shore.

                                                         Polished smooth and corners rounded.

                                                                                                      Like driftwood from a far away shore.

Sanded clean.


                Like a never ending hurricane season...

Storms that seem t…

Lessons From The Farm | Weeds

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 wildfire, turning the best-started gardens into a weedy mess after a good rain.

Let it go for one day and they have popped their 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 heartbreaking on the worst, and pretty much impossible to get rid of.  Try to pull it out and you quickly find it's easier said than 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.


The bl…

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, .

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 acres (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 tem…

Organic Blackberry Turnovers

Ingredients: 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
Directions: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 the dough, arrange half of the butter slices over two-thirds of the 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. rectangl…

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. Mr. Cottage decided not to make a toekick 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!

Thick Crust Pizza Dough

Ingredients: 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 
Instructions: If you are using a bread machine add wet ingredients to the bottom of the 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 an 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 fin…

Beef Taquitos

Ingredients: Leftover pot roast shredded 17 Corn Tortillas Lettuce Can of black olives Sour Cream Diced Tomatoes Guacamole Organic Cheddar Cheese Salsa Coconut oil (Refined if you don't want the coconut taste.)
Directions: Take your cooked pot roast and shred the meat using a fork to pull the grain of the meat apart.
Set aside.
In a small pan put your small amount of coconut oil.  Set to about medium heat and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and place a small amount of beef down the center and return to heat cooking until crispy.  Place on a tray in your oven to keep warm. Continue until all have been done.

Remove from oven to a plate or tray and then serve with  cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  Enjoy!

A Day At The Cottage - After The Ice Melts

 We finally got out to do some much needed yard work today.  The ice was so bad! We had several ice storms and our big cedar tree really took a beating. This is one of the big limbs that fell during the last storm.  It was sure beautiful, but deadly. I am glad no one was under the branches when it fell.

We put up some arbors up for the climbing roses that we transplanted last fall. This is the area that we are putting together in memory of grandma. Man, it is so strange having her gone.  

A beautiful bowl of eggs from our girls sits on the table.  The girls are starting to lay a bit more now that the days are getting longer and warmer and that all the ice has melted.  

Beautiful pear trees are all in bloom.  I hope the weather holds up and these don't experience anymore ice or freezing weather. 

 The chickens before the storm.  They are enjoying the sunshine.

 Mr. Cottage starting up the chainsaw playing with his toy. Our poor tree died in the ice storm so it is going to have to …

Easter Traditions

Easter has always been a special time at the cottage.  From earliest memories it was a day full of  happiness.  

It is a day that always has a special place in our hearts. 
There was church and and pretty baskets Mrs. Cottage made us full of Christian books and music, lacy socks for church and things for our hair.  Yummy organic snacks and pretty stickers.
Around Easter the year we turned 3 mom said we were in a debate over the movie we were watching. We had on 'The Prince of Egypt' and were watching the burning bush scene.  Mrs. Cottage was alone in the kitchen and just tuned in to listen. Here is the dialog. B: So, is a burnin bush a Jesus or God? C: A burning bush is Jesus.B: But Jesus is God, so a burning bush is Jesus.C: No I fink a burnin bush is a Fodder (Father). B&C: Mama!Momma tries to explain...B&C: Momma, will you a call gampa Bob? (our pastor friend.)Mom: Yes grabs the phone and dials.B&C with ears together listening on the phone while Grandpa Bob exp…