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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Far Side of the Sea Book Review

We love a good book here at the Cottage and are always excited when we have a chance to get a pre-release copy of our favorite author's newest work.  We were recently given the opportunity to review the latest book by the amazing Kate Breslin 'Far Side of the Sea'. Kate is a master storyteller and this book is a great representation of her art. This is the second book in the series. The first being 'High as the Heavens' but will work wonderfully as a stand-alone book.

Far Side of the Sea is set in 1918 in England. The first World War is raging and the bombing is fierce, not just in some far away field but in small country farms, neighborhoods and large towns. Paris is being destroyed, the innocent killed.

Enter Lt. Colin Mabry. After suffering terrible injury and losing his hand in the war he is lucky to be able to even still be in the military but his future brother-in-law secures his position in MI8 doing decoding of messages that come into the facility via carrier pigeon. One day he receives just such a message but it is from Jewel the lady that saved his life in France not long ago that he had presumed dead and she is asking him for help. What follows is a wonderful tale of military intelligence, murder, drama, spies, and the spark of hope in all the darkness.

This is a really beautiful story that keeps you guessing.

We really recommend it.

Here is the link to purchase. It is an affiliate link so purchasing through this will help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls as we are compensated by sales but it costs you nothing.

To learn more about this amazing author visit her page.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Beautiful Handcrafted Watch + GIVEAWAY

You guys know how much I love Jewelry, but my style is all over the place and the perfect watch has to be elegant enough to pair with a beautiful dress and natural enough to go with a pair of jeans because the truth is we never know what we are doing around here. Especially now that spring is here with all of the chores we had a break from over the winter.

One minute we are shooting a video, or hanging out in the office working (or planning our next road trip!) and the next we’re creating something fantastic (if I do say so myself!) in the kitchen, or heading out to check on the animals which has been happening a lot now that we have baby chicks at the Cottage.

So to be able to stay with me all day my watch has to sturdy, splash proof is an absolute must and be comfortable, this watch meets all of those requirements!

When we got our Frankie Zebrawood and Champagne watch in the mail I was so excited! This is such a beautiful and unique timepiece! Minimalistic enough to go with the simplest outfit and elegant enough to still wear when I dress up.

Frankie Zebrawood & Champagne Watch

  • Features

Sapphire crystal glass
Deployment buckle with push buttons
Case width: 45mm
Case thickness: 10.5mm
Lug ends: 55mm
Band thickness: 18mm
Band length: 160mm

  • Movement

Ronda Normtech Caliber 763
Display: hours - minutes - seconds
Jewel bearing: 5 jewel
Tuning fork type: quartz crystal
Frequency: 1.5 V
Battery: silver oxide No.364 (equiv)
Drive system: 2-pole stepping motor

  • Wood

The natural zebrawood is hand finished and pretreated with tung oils. The Frankie is splash-proof but should not be submerged in water.

A Watch That Tells A Story...

This timepiece is really a work of art, that tells a story. It’s beautifully crafted, sleek, and  I think my favorite part about it is the unique look of Zebrawood. The colors and pattern make it really stand out and go perfectly with clock face.

Most Jord watches can be engraved and customized just for you! They also size it for your wrist so you don’t have to worry about it not fitting. I absolutely love that these watches are each handcrafted from all natural materials!

Love this watch? You can check it out here, or check out their other beautiful timepieces!

Giveaway time!

Before you go, enter the giveaway to win a $100 discount code for a JORD watch so you can have one too! Everyone who enters will receive 10% off just for trying! Enter my giveaway here!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread

This bread is pure blueberry cream cheese delight! Super easy to make and need I say it tastes amazing! This is actually an adaption of our Cranberry Cream Cheese bread, but Brianna wanted to try it with blueberries this time.


1 1/2 Cup raw sugar
2 Cups organic all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon nonaluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
2 Cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Cup grass-fed butter softened
1 8 Ounce package cream cheese
4 pastured eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla


In a standup mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth, add vanilla and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between. In a separate bowl mix, flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Fold in blueberries with a spoon. Divide evenly between 2 3 1/2 x 8 bread pans. Preheat the oven to 350, bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Don't Trust Your Eyes, Trust His Promise.

The Israelites are way into their desert journey toward the promised lands, they've faced battles, and witnessed His provision, and have seen the glory of God come to rest on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24. They've got some experience under their belt, so it's little surprise when God gives the word to move on and enter the promised land. I picture a scene from the end of Wagon Train episodes where the wagon master tells them to "Load 'em up and move'em out"... can you tell I watch a lot of old westerns?

This is it! The end is in sight, they're almost there. Like pulling on to your street after a  long trip, relief begins to flow. They are almost finished how sweet those words must have felt! This journey is almost over! But... there always seems to be a but. Because the truth is life isn't easy, and the home stretch is rarely a cake walk. What lays between them and everything they have been promised is scary, it tests what they've learned along this whole trip. The bible doesn't go into great detail about this stretch of the trip, but it describes it as a terrible wilderness. How many of us, thought we had had it made, and just when we thought it was over, the battle was finished, we found ourselves in a terrible wilderness? We weren't expecting it and so it blindsides us, and it begins to chip away at everything we thought we knew. The experience we've earned seems small and everything we've been through up to this point pales in comparison to this place.

They can see their destination, what they have been fighting for, for so long is nearly in their grasp, and maybe in their heads, they thought this was going to be easier. Maybe they are still living off the high of winning the last battle, and they expect this place to be easy but when it's not their confidence wavers. We've won the last battle, we've seen what God can do and then suddenly our focus shifts and what we were so sure of begins to waver. Maybe we aren't even sure what caused it, but something's changed and we can't put your finger on just what it is, but it feels different.

We're tired, and just want it to be over. We want to be done and move on, we are sick and tired of trekking through the desert. If the devil can't make you quit along the journey and run back to what God's led you out of, then he will try to poison the very thing you've waited so long to reach. I think this is where the Israelites found themselves, so close and yet so far and they just want to be done. Like after a really long hike, your legs hurt, your tired, you can see your car and you just want to get there. You don't want to have to fight your way up one more hill, you just want to be done. But here they are traveling through yet another wilderness. They finally reach the threshold of the promised land- the Bible says that God had set apart this land for them, it had their name on it, all they had to do was follow Him in- but they hesitate.

No sooner has the Lord told them to go take possession of what He has given them then the people come to Moses begging to send some men ahead to scout out the land. They want to send some people on ahead to find the best route and some nice cities to visit (Deuteronomy 1:22), they are done roughing it, no more off-roading, no more hills to climb, no more wondering if God's going to come through. The pillar of fire they've been following is no longer good enough, they want more and just like that the lesson's they have learned slip away. They start to follow what they see instead of trusting the one who has sustained them every step of the way. It's easy to fault them but I think we often do the same thing, we refuse to move until we ask everyone's opinion, we need our friend's seal of approval before we can go any further. We need the whole agenda not just the next stop on this trip. We see the giants that stand before us, we set our focus on the walls that must be brought down and we doubt that He can do what He has been doing this whole time. Sure He came through back there... but what about this time? The age-old question pops back up, "Why didn't you leave us in bondage? It would have been better than dying out here trying to beat something we can't beat."

Their focus has changed and they are relying on their own understanding to guide them. Their eyes tell them it's too hard, the scout's report isn't what they wanted to hear and doubt creeps in. Have you been here? You were so sure, you thought you were prepared but then the doubt creeps in with all of the "What if's" and "I can'ts" to shift our focus from what is promised and crumble our faith. They stopped trusting the Lord to lead the way, that He knew the best route, that He would pick the best place for them to camp each night and so they strike out on their own and then blame the Lord when they don't like what they hear from the scouts. Where are you, God? What were you thinking? So often we find ourselves in this place, because of our own foolishness when we try to run ahead instead of trusting that the Lord will yet again provide.

We come to verse 30 and find Moses trying to reassure the people and remind them of who God has revealed Himself to be, of all the times He's provided in vain. Anytime we place people in a role only God can fill, we are setting ourselves up for defeat, we can't survive off of the faith of others. We can't trust our own eye to guide us. What started out as a simple "Here it is, go move in" has come to a screeching halt and not even the reminder of everything they have gone through can get it moving again. How often do we react like the Israelites off of what we see instead of trusting that He will make a way? We don't want to dive into the deep end, we want to dip our toe in first and check to see if the water is to our liking. And we look back to see how it compares to our life before while we were in bondage

We allow our focus to slip from the firm foundation that we've been building with each time we've witnessed the Lord come through to shifting sand and we need to see the whole path instead of just the next step. We want to do a little sightseeing, maybe make a reservation or two so we don't have to camp out anymore. The pillars of cloud and fire just aren't good enough now. If He can make the Israelite's win the battle because Moses is holding his staff over his head, why is it so different here. He's provided over and over again, what makes us think that it will any different this time. Look at the callouses you've earned, the battle scars that mark that you have survived, feel the salt water clinging to your skin as you walked through the parted sea on dry ground and remember. Look back and see all the places that He's come through and then recenter your focus on Him. It doesn't matter what people think. It doesn't matter how tall the walls are, it doesn't even matter how hard this leg of the journey is because He's already promised to go before you and He is bigger than anything you are going to face- and not one thing is going to touch you that hasn't already passed through His hands.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Farmhouse Spring Mantel

Spring is in the air around here, the Bradford pear trees in the neighborhood are about to burst into full bloom and the tulips we planted last year are poking through the soil to show off their own colors. Spring is probably my favorite season, I love the colors and the freshness of new beginnings so of course, I had to bring some of those same colors from outdoors into our living room. 

For this look, we placed galvanized buckets filled with light pink miniature roses on either side of the fireplace. I hung this sweet welcome to our nest sign we picked up on sale at Hobby Lobby last year from the center of the mantel I love the feel it gives this space. I strung our egg garland across the length of the mantel [Check out our tutorial to make your own]. In the center of the mantel, we sat this gorgeous framed porch shot.

To this side of the mantel, we placed crocks filled with gorgeous live flowers and a crown of thorns. It's getting close to Easter so I wanted to incorporate that into our decorating.

On this end, I filled a galvanized bucket with reindeer moss and hot pink hydrangeas, I also added a piece of garden art from our yard with a piece of greenery wrapped around it. On the inside, I placed a crystal cross and sweet little nest to keep with that spring look we've been going with around the house.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Keeping Backyard Ducks

Ducks are one of my absolute weaknesses, I love their sweet little faces. The ladies at our local feed store always chuckle when they see me because they know I have the will power of a bubble in a hurricane and if I even look something fluffy or fuzzy is coming home with me. I know, I'm horrible but honestly ducks are so much fun to keep, and they are so easy to take care of. They are actually super smart and have so much personality!

  • Pen  Most domestic ducks are bread heavier than their wild counterparts so they are unable to sustain flight, the ones that can generally stay near food and water. Your ducks will need about 4' of inside space and 10' of yard space. They won't need a completely enclosed shelter (as long as you have a predator-proof pen) as they are very hardy birds, just something to keep them out of the elements and tall enough that they can stretch their wings. If you have a small number of birds a large dog house will work. It will need to be well-ventilated, ducks create lots of moisture when they breath so air flow is important. Cover any ventilation holes with hardware cloth to keep out unwanted critters. Ducks also don't perch so you don't need a roost like you would with chickens. They also can't climb so keep your shelter low to the ground.

Ducks aren't super particular about where they lay their eggs, a 16" box will work perfectly.

Because ducks are so hardy, they don't need a heat source in their barn. It can be insolated but doesn't have to be. We found that using a light in the winter helps to keep up egg production. You can use either straw or wood shavings in the barn and run.

  • Food  Adult ducks can be fed regular layer feed or sometimes feed stores carry a special feed for them. Full grown ducks eat about 4-6 ounces of food a day (more in the winter). Use a wide bowl that isn't easily tipped to feed them. Wet food should be discarded. 

Ducks will also eat all kinds of scraps and greens, ours love sardines. They also love to forage and look for bugs, but they aren't as hard on your yard. They will also need access to GRIT.

  • Water  Ducks don't have to have a big pond (domestic ducks aren't as good swimmers as the wild ones and can easily drown) but they will need access to clean water that they can submerge their whole heads in. Water bowls should be cleaned regularly and sanitized. We use two 5 gallon water bowls for ours. If you want to add a pool to their pen a kids wadding pool is easy to clean and would work great.

  • Cleaning Coop Change the bedding in the coop regularly, and remove any bits of wet bedding. You should also sanitize your coop area several times a year. 

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