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Showing posts from November, 2016

My Heart Responds 'I Am Coming'

So picture this... A woman is walking down a street late at night, puddles mar the pavement from a recent rain. Everything in her gut tells her shouldn't be on this street- not by herself and especially not at night. A figure steps up behind her and a hand wraps around her mouth-  she freezes as a knife touches her throat, the umbrella she is holding falls to the ground,

“The last thing you will feel is the tickle of my blade,” a cold voice hisses in her ear, a mental image of a snake plays at the back of her mind. She begs the man to take her purse, but he only laughs.


“Help! Please help!” She screams but no ones around. No one is there to hear her screams. She tries to wiggle free of her attacker's arms but he holds her firmly, the knife presses harder against her throat, she stills,  “I've been hunting you for a long time- now I finally have you," She knows she is going to die.

“Freeze,” suddenly someone stands in front of them. “Let her go. She's mine.” The kn…

Spaghetti Squash

For those of you who have never heard of this unsuspecting veggie, I will introduce you.   Friend this is Spaghetti Squash. This is a really easy squash to cook and it makes for a tasty meal. You can serve it plain with a bit of butter, salt and pepper or add it with your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe.


First, wash the outside and cut in half from the flower end to the stem end and just like a pumpkin scrape out the seeds.


Next get a stock pot and put some water in the bottom of it. We don't need much because we are steaming this baby. Place the squash on end and lean against the side of your pan and place the lid on it firmly.  Now turn on and let it steam.  
Once in awhile I open it up and take a steak knife and attempt to stab it.  When it is done, the knife will glide in easily.  
At this point, I take a fork and remove them to a large bowl and pull the water off of the heat (I usually add this to my soups.).  
Take a second fork and use it to hold the squash still by stabb…

Kitchen Remodel Week 17

Well hello again! Thank you for joining us on this 17th week of fun that we have called the D.I.Y. kitchen remodel. What have I learned on this kitchen rehab you ask?  What have I learned "installing cabinets" adventure?

That I'm a perfectionist, I'm a perfectionist until my shoulder and back are so out of whack that I can't sleep and have a massive headache, until my nails are shredded and my fingers are smashed. I'm a perfectionist to the point that there we've screwed, removed and re-screwed so many times I can't keep track of it.

 I am a perfectionist- the slightest space drives me CRAZY. I will sit there and glare at it until finally very reluctantly Mr. Cottage climbs the ladder and adjusts it one more time to get it perfect.


I hate the way "cabinet" is spelled.


That taking cabinet doors off before you install is way easier (and lighter), so if you are someone that can't follow the rules and has to try it like me- never mind if you…

Faith Or Joy?

This time of year it is everywhere, from songs on the radio to signs on our front lawns. Joy. Glittering lights, Christmas trees, cookies, caroling, time spent with family – and if you're lucky a sleigh ride. From outside it looks perfect, doesn’t it?

But once you open the door and step across the threshold a new picture meets you- a race for perfection, stress over the right gift, if only that family member will put in an appearance, traffic, grumps, and for some the question of “Will I be invited to the family get together this year?” “Will I be ignored again?” and the worst one “Will someone even remember me?”


In this season of ‘Joy,’ I think we often we forget the real meaning of ‘Joy’. A quick look in the dictionary reveals “a feeling of happiness” But if you look in the bible it gives you a completely different meaning. It’s an expectation of something great. It's a rejoicing, rapture- like Christmas, the birth of a baby that would save the world.

Joy is not happiness. H…

Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito

Ok, breakfast... who doesn't love a good breakfast to start off their day and when it comes to breakfast the big daddy is the breakfast burrito.  I love it with hot sauce slathered on it.. a little spice in the morning is Great, right.  So scramble those eggs and warm your tortillas because this breakfast burrito is top dog!

2 Eggs scrambled
Himalayan Pink Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
2 Pieces nitrate free bacon
1/4 Cup cheese
1 Tortilla (check out our recipe here)

Related Post: Breakfast Sausage & Egg Muffin

Scramble eggs in a bowl and season, fry bacon, cook eggs and then add bacon and cheese. Heat tortilla and spoon on one side, fold the end over and roll the tortilla up.

This post contains affiliate links.


What Is The 'Christmas Spirit"?

This week a lot of hate has come out, a lot of anger has erupted. We've allowed our "worst" to come out instead of our best, as we slip ever closer to Christmas. In this month we are supposed to thank God for what we have, for the many blessings He has graced us with all we seem to be able to find is anger because we didn't get our way, greed because we need more and un-thankfulness.

Yesterday a post from one of my friends popped up on my Facebook feed, every day she posts something she is thankful for in a #gratitudechallenge. It read something like "Today I'm thankful for my life," you see yesterday she survived a 7.8 earthquake. We forget so often that our lives are a gift- a gift we aren't entitled to. As Christmas rolls, closer this world seems especially dark. So many need a good dose of Christmas spirit. I was talking to a friend last week about how nasty everyone was being and mentioned that to her. Her response was interesting- "What d…

Homemade Hot Chocolate

There is nothing like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold night, whether you're sitting around the bonfire with friends or watching a movie with the family it's the perfect treat!
Related Post: Chocolate Bark Recipe

4 Tablespoons Agave, Maple Syrup, or Sugar (you substitute these for a few drops of stevia) 1 Cups Milk (Can use a nondairy milk if you don't drink milk) 1/8 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla  1 Tablespoon Carob Powder or Organic Chocolate Powder Whipped Cream or whipped coconut cream Peppermints (optional)

Heat milk in a saucepan, add sweetener, vanilla, and carob. Wisk until combined, and allow to heat. Ladle into your favorite mug and top with coconut whipped cream and peppermints. 

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 16 - Installing Cabinets

The arrival of our cabinets was heralded by a Deputy Sheriff arriving at our doorstep. The dog being the smallest and able to squeeze through the many piles of boxes to make it to the door first, and greeted our visitor with a tirade of barking. When the rest of caught up, we just stared out at him for a moment like that split second when the headlights fall on a critter attempting to cross the road as we tried to figure out why he could possibly be here. Did the neighbors finally make good on their threat (our craziness is quite famous- according to them things like keeping chickens isn't done in "polite" company)?


We quickly informed the very nice officer that we hadn't dialed 9-1-1, everything was indeed ok and no we didn't know where our phone was. After he was well assured that no tom-foolery (except Brianna yelling she didn't do it- me thinks someone has a guilty conscience) was about, he bumped back down the driveway (Sorry!) and we were left with our…

An Autumn Hike

I love this time of year! The colorful leaves, cool air, gorgeous days- heaven! We took Faith on her first hike in Bledsoe Creek State Park, she loved it.


We chose a beautiful trail by the lake, we didn't realize it also had a very long, very steep stair case. Also I forgot to mention that Brianna and I had a cold. Probably not the best idea but we couldn't resist.


I love how the light dances through the trees.


It was the perfect day for a hike! Look at this view!



Faith eager to continue our hike, she met lots of other dogs while we were here. It seems a lot of people had our idea. She did amazing, and we can't wait to take her hiking again.


Related Post: Bledsoe State Park




Related Post: Cragfont Plantation



Related Post: Bledsoe's Fort 8th Annual Colonial Fair


I love this shot of Mr. Cottage and Faith, it's a miracle I got them both looking at me.


We ran into these fellows near the end of our hike, they just stood there and looked at us. It was amazing!







The Silent Songbird Book Review

Today we have the great pleasure of reviewing Melanie Dickerson's newest book The Silent Songbird! We were SOOOO excited when we opened the mailbox and found a package from one of our favorite authors! And so with no further ado our review,

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wait, no! It's over? This was an AWESOME read! I've read almost every book by Ms. Dickerson and this was no letdown. It had me on the edge of my seat through the entire story, I laughed and chewed my nails down- definitely going to need a new manicure. The characters are lovable and inspiring! The storyline is full of twist and turns! This is a beautiful story of a girl desperate to get away from a political marriage to her cousin the king's closest advisor- and true love.

Received this book from the Author.

View all my reviews


This article contains an affiliate link. We received this book from the Author, but all opinions are our own.

A Different Kind Of Peace...

Peace. Everyone wants it but few truly have it. When most people think of peace it involves world peace, Christmas, everyone getting along, or just a day laying on the beach.

The word ‘peace’ is used 429 times in the King James Version, but what does it mean? I can mean tranquility, harmony, security, prosperity or well being. In the Old Testament the word used is “shalom” for peace. It is often tied to covenants or promises kept or in some cases a familiar friend. So technically peace is something like a best friend… that one person who holds your hand and walks through life beside you.

Shalom – completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. In modern Hebrew the word is Shelem which means to pay for, and Shulam meaning to be fully paid.

Paid for. The only way for us to find Peace is embracing the one who paid for us with His life. Its the only way to complete. To be …

Elderberry Muffins

Ingredients:2 cups of organic all purpose flour
2 tsp. Non-Aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 cup of Organic Butter
1 cup Organic Raw Sugar
2 Organic Eggs
1/2 cup of Organic Milk1 tsp. Vanilla1/2 cup of elderberries (fresh or rehydrated)
Topping Ingredients:1/2 cup Organic Sugar
1/3 cup Organic Flour
1/4 Cup butter (cubed and room temperature)
2 tsp cinnamon

Makes 12 regular size muffins
Directions:Pre-heat oven to 375 FTo make the topping place your dry ingredients into a small bowl and add the butter cubes.  Use a fork or pastry knife to cut in the butter.  It will be in little clumpy crumbles. Sit aside.

In your mixer mix your butter and add sugar and mix until nice and creamy. Add to this mixture your eggs one at a time and continue to mix.

Add milk and vanilla

In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients.  Add this a half at a time to your wet ingredients. Don't over mix, muffin dough should be sort of lumpy. Add to this your berries.

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 15 - We Ordered Our Cabinets

So I suppose you can tell by the title that we ordered our cabinets.

WE ORDERED OUR CABINETS!!!!!!!!

After 81 days, 3+ months and days of craziness, we finally have ordered cabinets! You may have noticed over the last aforementioned time that we shared a TON of designs. Yeah, sorry about that. We've been to 7 different companies, all with very different ideas of what our kitchen should look like. (90% of them didn't like what we wanted. I've not heard so many "buts" since my kids didn't want to go to bed.

We use our kitchen to cook, preserve, bake, as a photography studio, for our blogs, etc.  It needs to be a place that is bright, pretty, functional and sturdy.  I want the cabinets white with light counters.

Why can't you tell me the price?  Too many variables? Well, tell them to me.

No, I don't want these dark cabinets and dark soapstone counters.

No, I don't want to spend $100 a s.f. on these black granite counters that I've never even seen…

Remodeling The Kitchen Week 14 - The Truth About Buying A Sink

What is the truth about buying a sink you ask? I mean how hard can it be?

You're so adorable, let me pop that little bubble for you.


The truth about buying a sink is your going to want to pull your hair out. They'll be "buyers remorse", did I buy the right one????????? What if I'm disappointed? (I do love a white sink) Is it too big? I mean I don't think my teenager will be bathing in the sink at this point...What if it doesn't fit? What if it's too small and I can't squeeze my cookie sheets or cutting board into it and I feel like a giant T-rex with teeny tiny arms trying to wrestle the huge cookie sheets and cutting boards under the water trying to rinse off the soap all because my sink is too small.  What if the world ends, and the galaxy goes spinning off because I didn't buy that stunning white fireclay sink? What if, what if, what if!

And then the I wish stage hits, where you second guess all of those decisions you made when buying afore…