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Friday, July 29, 2016

Softcover Inspire Bible Review

We got the Softcover Inspire Bible by Tyndale Publishers for our opinion in the mail a few weeks ago, and we were SO excited to try it out. We had the pleasure of trying the Inspire Bible earlier so we were super excited to try this one. This wasn't a letdown. We LOVE it! 

It has plenty of room to take copious notes and to freestyle draw and it has beautiful pictures to color in.  I am a huge note taker and so I love that I can take down important notes in my studies and not lose it as I am reading later or in another study.  It is really helping me to keep it all organized and to have it on hand if I need it for a blog post, a bible study or if I am trying to dig deeper in my own devotions.  I love putting notes for the Greek and Hebrew, other verses etc. down to help me understand or remember important facts.  Click the link above and check it out further.  It is really wonderful!

This post contains affiliate links but the links cost you nothing.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our Favorite Southern California Eateries

Travel and food, we love both of them so we thought we would share some of our favorite places to eat in Southern California!


This is the best Mexican food I have eaten. It's amazing! Whenever we are Huntington Beach we stop here. I can't wait to get back out there to eat there!

Related Post: Through The Canyon (CA. Trip Day 4)

Del Taco

We are suckers for good burritos, so this is one of our favorites! I wish they had one near where I live (my waist line however is very happy I don't), but alas I can only have it while on vacation. The last time I was in CA. I think I ate here about every day of the trip. Oh so good!

Related Post: Mission San Juan Capistrano (CA. Trip Day 6)

El Polo Loco

This was the first place we went after arriving in California. The food is SOOOOO good and its not just because you got off a six hour flight and the only thing you had was crackers and peanuts. It is truly delicious.

Related Post: Sea World (CA. Trip Day 5)

The Soup Plantation

If you love a good bowl of soup you are going to LOVE this place!

Related Post: How Far Is Heaven? (CA. Trip Day 7)

The Soup Exchange 

Soup, soup and more soup. Who doesn't love a good bowl of soup?

Related Post: What We Pack On A Road Trip

Tommy's Burgers

Craving burgers? Try this place!

Roscoes Famous Deli

This place has some delicious food! Try the prime rib, it's the best!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Is War

We're all struggling, all fighting the same battles, facing the same ugly lies. We're all in the same boat. We think we are the only ones facing it- but were not. Yes, the attacks against you are personalized, wrapped up with a bow especially for you, but the attack is nothing new. No new battle plan was drawn up specifically to tear you down. To rob you of your joy, to divide your family and scatter them to the wind.

It's nothing new, at one point or another we've all been there. Right in your shoes, our feet just as tired as tears spilled down our cheeks... One of my biggest attacks is against my confidence... every time I am about to do something I hear a kid from this church dance program, it had been my first day. I was super shy, almost cripplingly so. But I was there because my twin sister really wanted to do it. It had been a really long Wednesday and I still had choir afterward. I guess my ballet or tap dancing lessons messed with what the teacher was asking us all to do because I kept messing up. This girl had never liked me, I usually tried to avoid her. But that day she was parked right next to me as my six year old feet messed up the moves.

She of course noticed and said “Don't you even know what you're doing?” those few words crushed me. That was the last class I went to. Several months after that I dropped out of choir too. Every time I go to hit 'Publish' every time my finger hovers over the 'send' button I hear her voice. “Do you even know what you are doing?” Since then through the help of some amazing people I have grown less shy. It still hard sometimes, but the hardest part about trying something new, reaching out is banishing her voice.

Not all of the devils attacks are black and white- you don't always see them as what they are - attacks. Sometimes they just look like a few mean words. But words stick with you, long after bones heal and bruises disappear.

Realize them for what they are, attacks meant to pull you to your knees. To drop you in your tracks. Whenever you are moving forward in your faith he is going to attack you. He will do whatever it takes to take you out and neutralize you as a threat. And that is exactly what you are, a threat. Every time you reach out and share the gospel, every time you hit publish on a blog post, every time you hit your knees for a friend or family member or someone hurting. Every time you cover a missionary in prayer you are picking up your armor and going to war and the devil doesn't like that

He likes you weak, broken down and hurting because when you are focused on the pain; on the hurt you can't be reaching a broken world.

Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere Ephesians 6:18-19

Stand your ground. Realize these attacks- and who is behind them and then run for your heavenly father's arms. Because even when the whole world is crumbling down, He is right there. Ready to battle with and for you. He is there to pick up the pieces when you get knocked down and put you together again.

So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. James 4:7Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.” Exodus 14:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Caesar Salad

This is such a wonderful recipe! It is tasty and is a great light meal in itself.  You can add some grilled chicken for a more hearty meal.

In advance, we soak some smashed garlic cloves (about 7-8) in olive oil 1 cup and store this in the fridge for a couple of days before we make our salad dressing.

Caesar Salad Dressing
1/3 C. Garlic Infused Olive Oil
2 pastured eggs
Juice of 1 Lemon
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce

We take about a third of the oil and put it in the base of our bowl. In a small pan boil water.  Place 2 eggs in a heat safe bowl and pour the boiling water over the eggs.  Let the eggs set in the water for 60 seconds and then remove.  Cool and then crack into the oil. Add 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 Tablespoons Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar  and a dash or two of Worcestershire and whisk well.

Related Post: Auntie Betty's Pizza / Pasta Sauce

Head of Romaine Lettuce
Can of Ripe Olives
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Black Pepper (fresh grated)

Related Post: Thick Crust Pizza

Take your croutons and place them in the bottom of your chilled bowl. Add the salad dressing and toss well coating them with dressing.  To this add the rest of your ingredients.  Toss again and serve.  Goes wonderfully with a meal or serve along with delicious breadsticks. Click photograph below to find the recipe.

This post contains affiliate links.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Canning Peaches

I love these peaches.  Not only are they amazing tasting but they bring back such great memories.
My friends would come over and mom would open a jar for us and we would eat and eat these things. We would go through several jars. There is no sugar in it but they are sweet and really tasty. 
This is a great way to capture summer fruit at its peak and enjoy it all year long.  We use these just for eating, for a topping for yogurt, ice cream, peach crisp, dice them up and put them in your oatmeal, etc. Trust me, you will love them!

White Grape Juice
2-3 lbs Peaches 

 Related Post: Apple Orange Preserves

Wash, peel, and slice peaches into a large pan filled with water and citric acid. This will keep your peaches from turning brown while you are working.  Place the finished peaches in the heated juice long enough to warm them. Ladle warm peaches & juice into warm jars leaving 1/2" head space. Using the handle of a long wooden spoon slide the handle down the inside of the jar and press the peaches to the center of the jar so all the air bubbles can escape.Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth. Place the lid on top and screw down the ring. Place in a boiling water canner, processes pints 20 minutes and quarts (pictured above) for 25 minutes 

This post contains affiliate links.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Have You Thanked God In This?

At first thought this question is strange, perhaps leaning more toward dumb. Your world is crashing down around you and some blogger on the other side of the internet wants to know if "Have you thanked God in this?".

Of course not! Why would I thank God for the trouble? For the mistakes that got my son on his way to jail. The lost job that has led to financial problems. The lost loved one. The deserted friend. The leaking roof and the broken down car. Why would I?

An old friend of mine liked to say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That's not quite right. Its your reaction to the pain that makes the difference. I love the idea of working out, but the second day when I roll out of bed and my legs don't want to work because they are so sore, and all I want to do is stay in bed- here is where your choice lies, press through the pain or give up and maybe grow bitter.  I have to say I am very guilty of the latter.

No one likes pain, if change didn't require pain well lets just say we'd all look like super models. But alas it does (Kissing the image of me strutting down the runway- and the face plant I would do when my heel got caught on the carpet goodbye). Pain means you are challenging yourself. Your striving for better.

When life gets rough, all it means is God's at work, and He is going to do something big. You just have to trust Him. So... have you thanked Him in all of this?

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Blackberry Crisp

Summer is the time for blackberries here at the cottage, and it is a tradition to brave the southern summer heat and humidity and pick blackberries. We head out early with Mr. Cottage and go to our favorite woodsy spots that are full of these wild gems and pick until our fingers are stained and our backs are sweaty as the sun creeps ever higher in the sky.  We head home with our buckets and baskets full of treasure to Mrs. Cottage and Grandma Cottage. One of the tasty summer treats we like to make is this blackberry crisp.  We try to use all organic in the recipe, but you use what you have.  It is the same measure for measure.  


5-6 cups blackberries
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup organic flour
1/2 cup oats
8 tablespoons organic butter


Pour the berries into a casserole dish or like we did here in a pie pan for a smaller treat, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. In a bowl mix oats & flour cut in butter until crumbly. Cover top of berries. Bake at 350 F. until the top is golden.

Let us know how you like it! Find us on Facebook HERE and send us pictures of your own creation. 

Shared at the Homestead Hop


Friday, July 15, 2016

Cottage Garden Tour

Welcome to the Cottage Gardens!

Fairy Garden, filled with iris, a hydrangea, lemon balm, mums and border with a rock border.


The rose garden.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

4 Of Our Favorite Tennessee Dining Gems

Snow Whites Drive-In

This fun drive in (Come on who doesn't like to order from the car and have it delivered to you?) located in Lebanon is one of our favorites. On top of friendly service, wide selection, and family friendly atmosphere they have great food and a huge selection of shakes. They have indoor and outdoor dining as well as drive in service. 

Old Glory 

This little restaurant found in Gallatin had us at the name, but throw in tasty food and great service and it makes it one of our favorites.

Speedy Burrito

This little place in Lebanon has some of the best Mexican food in the state. We've stopped a few times on the way home from church, and it is so tasty!

Top Hog

If you love BBQ your going to like this place! Found in Gallatin, you are greeted by the smell of BBQ before you even enter the restaurant.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fabulous Soy Free Egg Drop Soup

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2-3 eggs, beaten
4 green onions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot, plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon himalayan pink salt, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, adjust to taste

Related Post: Soy Free Fried Rice

Combine broth, ginger and fish sauce in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together the arrowroot and water and pour into the soup. Stir to combine. When slightly thickened slowly pour in the beaten eggs, while stirring the soup in one direction. Remove from the heat and add the green onions. Taste once more and adjust seasonings as needed.

This post contains affiliate links.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jalapeno Cheese Hamburger Buns

These are such good hamburger buns. They are soft and add some zing to your burger. We served them at a horse competition and they were a huge hit.

1 1/8 Cup Water
3/4 Tbsp Organic Raw Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
1 1/4 Teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt
3 Cups Organic Flour
2 Teaspoons Dry Yeast
Chopped canned jalapeno peppers, we used what would probably be 2 peppers but do this to your taste
Red Pepper flakes approx 1/2 tsp or to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used organic cheddar)

Bread Machine Way:

Put water, sugar and oil in the bread machine. Then add flour, salt, and yeast. Set the bread machine  "dough" so you can make them into buns and not bread loaf shape.

Related Post: All American Burger

Dice up several Jalapenos and put them in your dough.
Add in 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese.
You Can make just round pieces of dough or here make a knot out of the dough.   After you shape it into the desired shape leave it to rise in a warm draft-free place until it looks like it has doubled in size. I like to put a flour sack towel over it and set it in the kitchen under my under the cabinet lights. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Related Post: Cottage Ranchero Bread

Please let us know if you try these.  Come over to our Facebook page and send us a picture of your creation.  Let us know how you made it your own.  Find us on FB here.

This post contains affiliate links.