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Monday, April 30, 2018

Mint Chocolate Pudding Tea Cups

Need a quick and delicious recipe to treat mom to on Mother's Day? We had some extra pudding leftover from our Flower Pot Pudding so we made these cute teacup pudding cups. These are so cute and tasty, the Graham adds the perfect amount of crunch.  


Graham Crackers
Chocolate Pudding
Tea Cups

Related Article: Mother's Day Outdoor Breakfast


We used Jell-O Chocolate Pudding mix but you can use whatever you want. The recipe on the back said to mix with 3 Cups of cold milk for two minutes and then let it sit for 5. Use an icing bag and tip pipe the pudding into the teacup, sprinkle with graham crackers, add a sprig of mint and serve. 

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help us to bring you great articles. 

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mother's Day Outdoor Breakfast

After days of rain, we finally had a gorgeous day without rain so we decided to set up a Mother's Day breakfast/tea party under the trees. This is one of my favorite spots in the yard, and probably one of the places we've worked the most on. You probably recognize it from our backyard movie party [check it out HERE] and Mother's Day brunch [check it out HERE]. I love the canopy affect the trees have. Fun fact - we planted all of those trees! 

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

We covered the table with mismatched lace tablecloths, some of them were our grandmother's and others we picked up at yard sales and estate sales.  I love how it softens the outdoorsy garden feel and adds a touch of vintage.

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

Around the table, we used the folding chairs we spray painted for our indoor garden party last summer [didn't catch that party? Never fear! Find it right HERE]. I love the pop of color it adds to the table.

Related Article: Mother's Day Flower Pot Pudding

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

Over the table, we hung Chinese lanterns also from the garden party and a chandelier we made over to use outside.

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

For a centerpiece, we used these two galvanized buckets filled with hot pink hydrangeas we picked up at Lowes.

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

On this end of the table, we used a chippy antique chair. I love how it looks with the lace tablecloths!

Related Article: Spinach Egg Breakfast Cups

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

We used flower plates and a pink tulip tea set to continue the garden feel of the table and draw in some of the colors around the table. 

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

We strung string lights around the trees to add a fun party feel, we did something similarly for our garden party last year and it just added a magical feel to the party.

Related Article: Dutch Baby Pancakes

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

We picked up these fun peony napkin rings at Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago, it adds the perfect touch of color to our white napkins.

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

#mothersdayparty #breakfast #mothersdaybreakfast #gardenparty #brunch #breakfastparty #outdoorparty

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Keeping Chickens

Those adorable little chicks you scooped up at the local feed store are going to be too big for the brooder all too soon. It's kind of a bittersweet moment when it's time to move them from the brooder into their new house. Our little birds have hit that awkward teenage faze mom calls them velociraptors, so we moved them out (watch the video HERE)into the coop we built (find the tutorial and see pictures HERE or check out our other design HERE)

You probably caught our cutest chicken coops post a bit ago (If not catch it HERE), so this time around we are going to share what you need to know about keeping chickens at this age.

#KeepingChickens #backyardpoultry #chicks #chickens #farm #hobbyfarm

The first thing you need is a chicken coop! When picking out the perfect coop for your feathery friends ready to leave the brooder, find something that will work for your weather. We live in the south, which means we have hot muggy summers, our winters are pretty mild compared to some states up north. Our coops have to have good ventilation so it doesn't get super hot in them (and be able to stand up to Tennessee storms). 

Related Article: Raising Chicks

#KeepingChickens #backyardpoultry #chicks #chickens #farm #Buff Orpington #Americana  #hobbyfarm

They also have to be able to keep wandering critters like raccoons opossums, hawks, and even neighborhood dogs out and our birds safe and sound on the inside. Chickens are little Houdinis, experts on finding their way out of the coop. If there is a way out, they'll find it. 

Chickens should have at least 2 feet of floor space (but the more the better!) and enough yard that they have room to stretch their wings, get some sunshine and dust bathe. Every coop needs someplace to roost, secure doors (we use clip locks and padlocks to ensure no critters or people open them), ventilation and one nesting box for every three chickens. They're also going to need access to shade for hot summer days. 

#KeepingChickens #backyardpoultry #chicks #chickens #farm #Buff Orpington #Americana  #hobbyfarm

Related Article: Hatching Chickens

Chicks should be fed starter feed from hatch to 16-20 weeks, then gradually switch (like how you would change a dogs food). Chicks should have access to food and water all day.

#KeepingChickens #backyardpoultry #chicks #chickens #farm #Buff Orpington #Americana  #hobbyfarm

We use wood shavings and sometimes straw or leaves in our coop. Our old neighbor was a gem and would rake all of his of his lawn and bring them over in big trash bags for my coop. Coops have to be cleaned regularly, we put it in compost bin until its aged enough to use on the orchard or in the garden (chicken manure is higher in levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than other animal manure, it takes about a year before its cool enough not burn your plants).

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mother's Day Flower Pot Pudding

Mother's Day is just a couple weeks away so we thought we would whip up this fun and tasty recipe in honor of all of the mother's out there and the women who have become like a dear mother. These cute little cups are the perfect thing to say "thanks mom". Crusty cookie dough filled with creamy pudding for the perfect bite of sweet. 

#MothersDayRecipe #MothersDay #Desert #Pudding #CookieDough

What you will need:

Cookie Dough
Chocolate Pudding
Graham Crackers

Related Article: Mother's Day Brunch

 Flower Pot:


2 Cups Organic All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Non-aluminum Baking Powder
1/3 Cup + 6 Tablespoons Grass-fed Butter
3/4 Cup Raw Sugar
1 Free Range Egg
1 Tablespoon Organic Whole Milk
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla

#MothersDayRecipe #MothersDay #Desert #Pudding #CookieDough


Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter for 30 seconds, add sugar and beat until fluffy, then add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat well and then add flour a bit at a time until combined. Form into inch size balls and press into an oiled mini cupcake pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Once done press the dough back down while it's still hot. Allow to cool completely.

Related Article: Spinach Egg Breakfast Cups

#MothersDayRecipe #MothersDay #Desert #Pudding #CookieDough

 Filling & Topping

We used Jell-O Chocolate Pudding mix but you can use whatever you want. The recipe on the back said to mix with 3 Cups of cold milk for two minutes and then let it sit for 5. Use an icing bag to pipe a bit of pudding into each pot, sprinkle graham crackers over the top.


Use the glue gun to secure toothpick to the flower. Insert into the pudding and serve. 

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help us to keep bringing you great articles.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Plunder Jewelry Review

 We've been spending every spare minute out in the garden getting flowers planted and the yard cleaned up. It's been absolutely gorgeous here! The super hot and muggy temps haven't rolled in yet so the days are nice and mild. The gardens are beginning to come together and look beautiful, we still have a lot to do- let's face it there will always be a lot to do but I'm so happy with how it is coming together. 

#PlunderJewelry #jewelry

The other day we trekked down our huge hill to the mailbox and was greeted by this little gem from our dear friend Christina with Plunder Jewelry. Check out this dear lady's shop HERE.

I love this piece so much! The chain is nice and long, and sturdy. I love the vintage look to it, and the scripture "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. Jonah 2:2 NIV The whole necklace isn't heavy and so fun to wear.

#scripturejewelry #plunderjewelry #jewelry


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Farmhouse Spring In The Dining Room

If you've been hanging out here at the Cottage for any length of time you know we like to switch things up and redecorate often. Now that Easter is over we thought we would throw together a fun farmhouse spring tablescape. 

Since we've been doing lots of work on the yard and garden we wanted to add a touch of the garden to our table. We found this amazing galvanized piece at Burkes for an awesome price and decided it would be perfect for the table (and a million other things)! We filled it with potted flowers and plants, nests, and chicken figurines. #spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

We used a piece of muslin as a table runner to lighten the table a bit.

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

Related Article: Spring Decor At The Cottage 

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

We decided to use our pink / purple hydrangea plates to soften the galvanized look. We alternated between chicken wire napkin rings (Tutorial HERE) and cute jewel ones from Hobby Lobby.

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

At each end of the table, we used lace placemats to keep that creamy look.

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

We found these adorable milk jug placeholders at Hobby Lobby! I love how it pulls in the centerpiece.

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

Have I ever mentioned that we found this gorgeous table at a yard sale? Same with most of the chairs around the table!

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

 Related Article: PrestoPhoto Review

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

Related Article: PrestoPhoto Review

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

What is your favorite thing about spring? Tell us in the comments! 

#spring #diningroom #cottage #farmhouse #decorating #hydrangeaplates #flowers #nests #galvanizedchickenfeeder #chickens

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Berry Matcha Tea Frap

Warm temps have begun putting in an appearance here in the south, which means the cold drinks are coming out too! One of our absolute favorites is this berry matcha tea frapp! It's the perfect mix of lightly sweet, green tea, and refreshing berry topped with fluffy whipped cream. 

#Frapp #Drinks #SummerRecipes #MatchaGreenTea #BerryMatchaTeaFrapp


1 Cup organic milk
2 Cups ice
1/2 Teaspoons matcha green tea powder in 1/4 c hot water (use to taste) 
1-3 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (or another sweetener)
¼ Teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or to taste)

Related Article: Smore' Mocha Frapp


Berry syrup
Whipped cream


Add all ingredients in the blender, blend until the ice breaks down. Pour into a cup and top with whipped cream, drizzle syrup over the top. Drink imedietly. 

Berry Syrup: 

1 Cup berries
3 Tablespoons honey
1/2 Cup water

Simmer water, berries, and honey until it cooks down to a syrup. Cool and store in an airtight container. 

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Monday, April 16, 2018

He Is Our Hope


Like a knot at the end of a rope, it is something to cling to.

Hope... so many hurting around us that need it.

The thought that they are not alone in the middle of the night when the darkness closes in and all hope seems to have fled. Evaporating when they needed it the most.

I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. Jonah 2:2 NIV

I called... and He answered me. How amazing is that? That a big God that literally spoke everything into existence finds the time to bend close when I call out in the midst of my pain and hurt and anger. He bends close and listens to the tears, the heartbreak the sorrow. He doesn't just hear me, but he listens to me and He answers.

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:2

He is our hope when the world has passed us by, leaving us in the dark hurting. He sees us in the dark of night when all you want to do is give up. When the devil creeps in close and whispers his lies to our heart. He hears us when we sit in the waiting room of a hospital crying out in agony "why". He hears the quick prayer to look after your children as the race out the door to school or to hang out with friends. Not one moment has he ever left you, ignored you, not hear you. He hears...

Captain, I have known my Lord for more than 50 years and there is not one instance that I have failed to have an audience with the King Get up, captain for you will find the fog has gone... ~ Muller

A few weeks ago our pastor was preaching about the woman at the well in the bible (if you aren't familiar with this story check it out HERE), in his sermon prep, he talked with a friend that is one of the leading Hebraic teachers in Israel. He believes that the American translations miss the meaning of this verse Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,  “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did... John 4:28-29, that it should be I've met a man who's told me everything that has ever been done to me. Wow! Doesn't that change how you look at that woman? As she ran to the others, those that despised her so much that he had to go and get water at the hottest time of the day just so she wouldn't run into them. I can almost see her now...

Her head poking through her door as she quickly checks both ends of the street ensuring no one is in sight before slipping out into the street clutching her waterjug tightly. Dust swirls around her sandals as the sun beats down on her head. Her scalp tingles under its searing glare, so much like her neighbors. Finally, she reaches the well only to find she hadn't waited long enough but it takes to much energy to return home empty handed and so she approaches that well her mouth longing for a cool drink. She tries not to make eye contact so she won't have to see his disgust.

The jug nearly slips from her hands as he asks her for a drink. Her words tremble as she answers him “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (V9)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water" John 4:10

He spoke to her, not judging, not condescending but spoke to her. He saw the dirt and the mistakes, the ugly and the broken places. The things she locked up tightly so that no one would see, He saw the words seared into her soul like a brand Worthless. Unloveable. Garbage. He saw her, and he opened his arms to her all the same.

John only tells a bit of their conversation but can you imagen how that went? As piece by piece He pulled those words and the abuse, and the ugly broken places from her "closet" and told her things that no one else but her could know. Before he set the moon and sun in the sky and separated the land from the water he saw every man that would abuse her and throw her away as garbage, every word that would crush her spirit, every sneer she received as she made her way to that well from the "good girls". He saw every tear in the dead of night. He saw it all and brought it into perspective. He made sense of the pain, he took everything and brought it to a point that He could restore what the locusts had devoured. He became hope in her hopeless life.

Restoration doesn't happen overnight, Job didn't get his same possessions and the same children back. Restoration doesn't always look like what we think it should. I think sometimes restoration looks like you racing after God, and pointing all those people who despised you back to Him and crying come meet the one who told me everything that has ever been done to me, everything I have ever done that I never wanted the world to know and loved me all the same.

Restorations don't always look the way the did before they underwent the demolition, but that is ok. Because something new has been created. The broken places fixed, the missing pieces filled, because the restorer is a master craftsman with a vision. Come to the well and let Him restore you, let Him be your hope, so you can be a light in others storms. The townspeople would never have known to come to the well if she hadn't come first.

We are to be the salt and light in this world. To light the darkness like a city on a hill and to give flavor to the world. But if we do not do our jobs but dim our lives so that we blend in with the world and not give flavor, what use are we to those that are hurting? We are vessels of the truth, the good news. Let us not be ashamed to share it. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV

Do not forget to love those he brings to us and pray for those that are hurting around us.

It is a battle out there. There are casualties all around us. Shall we walk over the wounded or shall we bend down and lift up our fellow


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ducklings For Beginners

Last week Mr. Cottage and I stopped by our local feed store (a very dangerous thing in the spring) to get some stuff for the raised beds we've been working on- and ended up coming home with 3 ducks. I regret absolutely nothing and Mr. Cottage has sworn off taking me to the feed store (just kidding, he's as bad as I am). I admit it, I can't resist their adorable little faces! I just love them. So here we are the proud owners of three baby ducks, two Pekin one Welsh Harlequin.

#Ducks #Ducklings #BackyardDucks #Farm #FarmLife #HobbyFarm #raisingducks

Ducks have a bit of a bad rap, people accuse them of being messy, loud and smelly, which is true they are all three of those things- but they are so much more too. They also have the most personality of all the birds I've had, their probably my favorite too (shh don't tell the chickens). They are more disease resistant than chickens. They are great foragers and help to cut down on mosquitoes. They are reliable layers, depending on the breed they can lay between 100-300 eggs a year. Their eggs are higher in protein they chicken eggs, and only slightly higher in cholesterol and fat. They are hysterical to watch and super easy to care for.

#Ducks #Ducklings #BackyardDucks #Farm #FarmLife #HobbyFarm #raisingducks #pekinducks #welshhalequinduncks

Ducklings eat the same food as chicks but make sure you buy the nonmedicated feed because ducklings eat WAY more than chicks and they can overdose on the medications. You'll want to find a food that is high in protein to support their fast growth. At around 3 weeks they really begin to grow and you'll want to switch their feed to a lower protein feed (16 -18%) if you can't find a lower protein feed mix in raw oats to replace 25% of the food. Ducklings can't climb so keep their food and water low to the ground.

Related Article: Raising Chicks

#Ducks #Ducklings #BackyardDucks #Farm #FarmLife #HobbyFarm #raisingducks #pekinduck #welshharlequinduck

Ducklings require a deeper water dish than chicks, they should be able to dip their entire heads under the water. This allows them to clean their bills, eyes, and nostrils. Ducklings can actually get eye infections without the ability to wash out their eyes. They also need the water to properly digest their food.

#Ducks #Ducklings #BackyardDucks #Farm #FarmLife #HobbyFarm #raisingducks #pekinducks #welshhalequinduncks

Ducklings need 2-3 times the amount of niacin than chickens if they are deficient it can cause bowed legs and joint issues. You can supplement their feed with small amounts of brewers yeast, liver, sardines, or salmon.

#Ducks #Ducklings #BackyardDucks #Farm #FarmLife #HobbyFarm #raisingducks #pekinducks

Duckings don't require heat as long as chickens, start the brooder off at 90 degrees F using a heat lamp or Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder. Decrease the temperature 1 degree a day. By the end of the first week aim for the temperature to be around 83 degrees F. By the end of week two aim for the temperature to be around 76 degrees F. By the end of week three the temperature should be around 69. If you are raising your ducklings inside you are eventually going to reach the temperature of your house, when this happens you can simply turn off the heat light. They will let you know if they get cold when that happens just turn the light back on.

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We use a plastic tote as a brooder, or you can get something like this and cover the bottom with shavings.

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Ducklings can technically swim at about a week old, swim time should be short 10-15 minutes of supervised time. You can use a painters tray filled with water or a bathtub slightly filled. Our upstairs tub is a shower tub combo with a nice egress that allows them to "swim" but easily take a rest. When their swim time is up, remove them from the water, gently dry them off and return them to the warmth of the brooder. After week 5 they should be ok to swim for longer. Domestic ducks are not great swimmers, unlike their wild counterparts.

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By week 3 you can begin introducing them to the great outdoors on warm days (at least 65 degrees F) Make sure they are in a secure pen so no predators can attack them. They can be moved outside permanently anytime after week 4.

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