Spring Cleaning and Cottage Decorating

by Trenda

For the last two weeks we have been cleaning out landscape beds, training wandering Wisteria along trellises … and raking, raking, raking!  With our beautiful shade trees, there are a LOT of leaves! (:  This mountain of leaves is just one our many heaps we burned from the gigantic pile of leaves Richard raked up!  With all the debris we cleaned up, it’s hard to believe this is just the “remnants” or leftovers, after all our autumn raking!  After our day of work, we sat in the twilight and enjoyed watching the last embers glowing … gazing as the last visage of our winter went up in smoke!


Inside the cottage … spring cleaning and decorating continues. (: I love this time of year and bring out my collections of birds and little nests filled with eggs.  You can find them perching in unexpected places, peeking out of nooks and crannies, and on tabletop vignette’s.

A Saucer Magnolia swag drapes over the hall tree …

saucer final

A little nest nestles at the base of this Angel garden statuary …

front CupidDown the staircase is a favorite picture … “The Lord is my Shepherd” and a metal vase filled with fragrant eucalyptus and peacock feathers.

staircase finalA little alcove under the hall tree … another perfect nesting spot!

niche in halltree“Bird watching” (; … this vertigo green bird blends beautifully with the green shades of this collection of antique dishes from England.

bird sentinelAntique dishes on the lower deck … “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Currier and Ives.

left finalA nest entwined with spring buds and new leaves is perched on a miniature bird bath filled with millet.

milletLittle birds stand guard on a cake plate watching over two sweet eggs nestled on a bed of moss.  A mercury glass bird and a fairy tale toadstool look charming together, sheltered under the glass canopy.

cake plate

A blown glass cloche with a bird “finial” covers a little nest holding a glittered acorn.

bird clocheA silver bird perches on the edge of his nest … the perfect cache for a little treat of birdseed! (;  The color of the millet matches the hues in the painting above and the in-laid wood of the tea cart.

tea cartA beautiful azalea from our own front yard almost “glows” in an antique bird planter.  Under a “twiggy” lamp with a little wire nest ensconced in it’s branches, a cloche covers a pair of sweet owls and a moss-lined nest filled with speckled eggs.

owls and nestThe dusty red blossomed “trumpets” of  Crossvine cover our fence and are climbing over an antique variety of Boxwood growing nearby.  The buzzing bumblebees and bright blossoms seem to proclaim …

“WELCOME SPRING…!”

2 Welcome Spring!

“FLOWERS APPEAR ON THE EARTH: THE SEASON OF SINGING HAS COME.  THE COOING OF DOVES IS HEARD IN OUR LAND.  THE FIG TREE FORMS ITS EARLY FRUIT; THE BLOSSOMING VINES SPREAD THEIR FRAGRANCE.”  SONG OF SOLOMON 2:12-13

wisteria scripture

 From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

img_0452

Thank you for spending some time with me today!  Please click on the box marked FOLLOW in my blog above to have each new post delivered directly to your e-mail address.  I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate (click here) and Lynn from The Vintage Nest (click here) for other great decorating ideas and DIY projects!

 

Cottage Decorating for Valentine’s Day, Romance and Spring …

by Trenda

After seeing the first coral blossoms on a Flowering Quince … a row of blooming daffodils … and a bluebird in our backyard hunting for a nesting spot, it’s time for the interior decor of our cottage to shrug out of it’s winter garments and get “dressed” for Valentine’s Day, Romance and Spring!

2collage
My decorating transformation began on our mantle … using a collection of blue and white porcelain pieces … a favorite over-sized clock with a Carolina Wren painted on it’s face … and two matching crystal decanters (bought near the Czech border) and serving as bookends on either end of the mantle.  Then I took a swag that was covered with roses and eucalyptus and wove two strands of twinkle lights between the flowers – to add a little glimmer and magic (;  before draping the swag across the mantle.  I tucked in a few more grape clusters and moss covered bird nests “here and there” for additional cuteness!

A bird stands near his nest amidst the delightful setting of roses.  A stack of gardening books is a base for a collection of blue and white porcelain pieces and a Delft Ginger jar bought and brought all the way from Holland!


Atop a porcelain box and tucked at the base of the clock are little nests filled with ferns, prickly statice, Scottish heather, and green speckled eggs.

Large Ginger Jars in blue and white porcelain.

img_0568

I love the patina of this mirror!  It used to be a gaudy-gold until Richard and I painted the entire mirror frame with white paint.  After it dried, we “distressed” the surface with sand paper to let a little bit of the gold “peek through.”  Now, it’s “one of my favorite things” and one of our keepsakes – it’s been with us since we bought our first home! (P.S. I love this picture showing the beautiful patina of our mirror and the reflection of our dining room chandelier and our kitchen in the background.)

chandelier

Now, for the hearth!  Same colors and spring mood are reflected in both the mantle and hearth.  More blue and white porcelain and the “outside is brought in” with a green wreath bursting with white blossoms and sheltering an intricate obelisk.

1hearth

       A tiny birdbath is filled with mossy stones and more speckled eggs … a chunky white urn holds a white gardenia on a bed of moss … and two antique books serve as a base and staircase to a blue and white peacock plate.  I love the blue and green book on the top of the stack; everything about is darling! … from it’s jacket covered in dainty flowers and blue and green striping, the green oval “cameo” of a ladies profile encircled in gold, and it’s charming title … Haps and Mishaps Blackberry Jam  ❤

hearth-disc

Well, here in East Texas, the ground hog did not see his shadow.  It was 80 degrees today with warm weather predicted for the next 10 days!  Here on the lake it definitely “feels like” spring and adding to my list and sighting’s of spring harbinger’s … today I saw Saucer Magnolia blooming … a beautiful red-violet blossom unfolding on my Encore Azalea … and my White Lady Banks Rose Bush is covered in buds!

bigger.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

I’m delighted you read my blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in the post above or on my site cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all posts delivered directly to your email address.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave those in the COMMENT section!  (:

 

Score with these Super Bowl Snacks … “Pass Interference Pinwheels” and “Peanut Cluster Blitz!”

by Trenda

With the Super Bowl only a week away, I’ve been making finger foods and snacks to see which will “make the final cut” for this last football game of the season.  Here are two delicious recipes, one savory and one sweet, that will “score” with your family and friends.  Pass Interference Pinwheels made with bacon, cheddar and cream cheese, topped  with Salsa Verde and Peanut Cluster Blitz a decadent candy made with 3 chocolates … semi-sweet, milk chocolate and white chocolate.  You’ll love how quick and easy this candy recipe is to make … in a crock pot!

Pass Interference Pinwheels with Salsa Verde …

pass interference pinwheels.png

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 10 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese (Tip: How to soften Cream Cheese – place unwrapped pkg. of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl.  Microwave on high for 10 seconds; repeat if necessary, until softened.) 
  • 1 cup shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (plus extra for topping)
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 cup Salsa Verde – or more according to taste! (Salsa Verde is found on the same aisle as other Mexican hot sauces/salsas)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Unroll crescent rolls on parchment paper or foil covered cookie sheet and press perforated seams together to make one sheet of dough.
  3. Spread softened cream cheese over entire sheet of dough.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheese, bacon, green onion and Salsa Verde over entire surface, and roll up dough, lengthwise.
  5. Cut into 3/4″ slices and place 2″ apart on parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet.
  6. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees, for 12-17 minutes, or until edges are deep golden brown.
  8. Cool slightly before removing and serving.

Peanut Cluster Blitz …

collage.png

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz jar of dry roasted peanuts with salt
  • 1-12 oz pkg of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 1-1 lb.8 oz block of chocolate flavored almond bark (I used Plymouth Pantry)
  • 1-12 oz pkg of white chocolate (I used Wilton Candy Melts)

Instructions:

  1. Lightly spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Put in the peanuts first, then add all the chocolates.
  3. Cook on low for 1 hour.
  4. Stir, bake 1 more hour.
  5. Spoon out candy on parchment paper or wax paper.
  6. Cool, until hardened (mine were firm enough to place on serving dish in less than 1 hour)

blitz.pngRegardless of the team you’re cheering for, or if your favorite team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl … I know you’ll enjoy these easy and delicious snacks!  Hope you have a “super” Game Day!

scripture.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

fish

 

 

 

Romantic Valentine Table for Two

~ written by Trenda

On a day celebrating L-O-V-E, there’s no limit to the amount of lace, flowers, hearts, or pink I use in setting and decorating our table for Valentine’s Day.  Richard and I begin our celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 13th and go out that evening for a special dinner.  Then, the next morning I make omelettes and “Berry Sweet Valentine’s” (recipe and pictures in a subsequent post!) and later “when twilight descends and evening begins”  we have a lovely dinner seated at a romantic “table for 2” at our favorite “getaway” … Cottage Green on the Lake! (; 

pink setting.pngA little table right next to the fireplace seems like the perfect spot for our Valentine reservation with the coziness of a fire, the glimmer of twinkle lights and the romance of candles.

twighlightcoffeeontable.png

 Nestled next to  the fireplace, I wanted our Valentine table to blend in and be a part of the little nook and romantic backdrop I decorated and wrote about in my last post. (click here to see)  I love the way the mantle decorations look like they’ve tumbled over onto the table!

fp lside full mantel table.png

The whimsical piece that visually ties the mantle and table together is a cement statue of “Cupid.” The same roses, eucalyptus and twinkle lights I used on the mantle, wrap around the base of the angel, entwine the statuary and encircle his wings.

img_0628

For our dinnerware, I chose Kaiser Porcelain in the Marseille pattern that we bought when we lived in Germany; it’s a fine  porcelain china and the white background trimmed with pink floral garlands and rosebuds is named “Romantica” and seemed the perfect choice for a day all about hearts and flowers!

I love these white scalloped plates with their painted garlands and rosebuds and the Valentine look of the pink, doily-like charger beneath each plate.  White napkins with a bit of crocheted lace and a sweet pink flower and Kaiser Porcelain roses are scattered about the table and adorn each place setting.

Kaiser.png

Crystal “King Edward” Waterford glasses and pink blush stemware.

The King Midas touch … gold chargers and goldware add “gleam” to each place setting.

KingMidas.png

The drape of roses, eucalyptus, grape clusters and twinkle lights adorning the mantle and Cupid, adds subtle lighting and enchantment to the table.

swagtwilightborder.png

Ready and waiting for a party of two … our Valentine table is set.  All that is needed is to light the fireplace and as Neil Diamond sings, it’s time to  … “Turn down the lights.  Turn up the music.  Let’s just be together tonight.  And turn down the lights.” ❤

lights dimmed.png“Love is patient, love is kind …”

love never fails.png

From my cottage to yours  ~ Trend

from my cottage.png

I’m delighted you read my Blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in my post above or FOLLOW on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all Cottage Green on the Lake news delivered directly to your email address.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave those in the COMMENT section!  For some other great ideas, please join me (click here) for “Share Your Style Link Party #104 with host Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest.

 

 



 

Lakeside Picnic and Recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup …

by Trenda  

I already have “spring fever!”  I “caught it” from the birds who have been “twittering and flitting about” hunting for the perfect place to raise their little families! (:  Friday and Saturday were “zip-a-dee-do-dah” days with spring-like temperature’s … “My oh, my, what a wonderful day” … and  taking our cue from the birds, we took advantage of our warm day with …”Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way” and worked outside and enjoyed a picnic by the lake.

img_0442

Welcome to our lakeside picnic!  Everything always tastes better when dining al fresco (: and our lunch of Turkey & Swiss Wraps with roasted red peppers, Red Delicious Apples and spiced tea, was no exception!


After our picnic we were “energized” … we sat a little while longer, enjoying the sunshine and the day then we were ready to get back to work.  By late afternoon the wind started picking up and the water started getting choppy.

Dark blue-gray clouds began rolling in … 


And we began to hear rumbles of thunder, as we hurried to finish our work …

1.png

We finished … just in time with thunder distinctively warning us to get inside, as the first raindrops began to fall!

2.png

3.png

Later … feeling cozy and clean and hearing the gusty wind and the sound of the waves crashing against our retaining wall, our “gift” of a spring day in January was over and our stormy night seemed the perfect time for some homemade soup … Stuffed Pepper Soup.

picsoup.png

 Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe …

recipe final.pngLater, as I drifted off to sleep, the last lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Under A Spreading Chestnut Tree” came to mind.

“… Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;

Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night’s repose.”

verse.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

fish.png

I would love to read any comments or questions you may have!

 

 

“Easy Potato Soup” Recipe with Garlic, Parmesan and Cheddar topped Crostini

Trenda

birch

Downshifting from the accelerating month of December, I’m going to “ease” into January by giving you the delicious recipe for …”Easy Potato Soup” that I wrote about in my last post, “Love and Joy Come to You” (click here)and our dinner for two on New Year’s Eve.  This soup is so easy … no prepping is necessary and it is just a matter of opening cans, stirring, seasoning, and warming! (:

  • Easy Potato Soup by Trenda at CottageGreenontheLake.com 
  • Makes 4 – 6 servings
  • Level of difficulty – Easy

nosalt

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 10 oz. can Diced New Potatoes (drained)
  • 1 – 10 1/2 oz. can Cream of Celery
  • 1 – 10 1/2 can Cream of Potato
  • 1 and 3/4 cups Half & Half
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients into large saucepan, stirring to blend.  Warm over low to medium heat, stirring often.  Be careful not to scorch soup mixture, but heat thoroughly.  Serve soup in bowls and garnish with desired toppings.  I top our soup with grated cheese and cooked and crumbled bacon.

birchtucked

I love soups any time of the year but this soup is a wonderful “comfort food.”  I first “created” this recipe when our son was sick and he asked me to make him some “Magic Soup” and I searched our pantry, seeing what magic there was to be found. (:  Now, it is one of our family’s favorites and it is so easy to put together!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  AND … if tomorrow is your first day back to schedules, car pools, work, and life in general … I hope your day is “gentle.”

saltAnd tonight, thankful for another day the Lord has brought us safely through … “On my bed I remember you;  I think of you through the watches of the night.  Psalm 63:6

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

collage.png

Thank you for spending some time with me today.  I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave any questions or comments you have under “COMMENTS.”

 

Texas-style Winter and the last of Thanksgiving … Recipe for Delicious Thanksgiving Soup

Trenda

It has been another delightful autumn here in East Texas but today’s temperature never “got out of” the 30’s and tonight, December 8th, we are finally expected to have our first freeze!  Fall is certainly a Southerner’s reward for surviving summer!

fall.png

Just a peek at Cottage Green on the Lake during the winter … 4the seasons!

leaves.pngPresuming it will freeze tonight, I gazed a little sadly at our still blooming Encore azaleas, roses, begonias, impatiens, coleus, and ferns.  However, Richard (forever surprising me) brought in one last winter rosebud he found blooming in our yard, put it in an antique vase that belonged to my grandmother, and set it on my vanity, where I happily discovered “it” after I showered! (imagine a picture of a heart, here!)

rose.png  Getting ready for “winter-on-the-lake” comes with a long to-do list … filling bird feeders, decorating the outside of the house with Christmas decorations, putting the potted begonias and impatiens away in their winter residence -our cedar greenhouse (: and last, covering the boat and draining our sprinkler system (which our son came over and helped his father with. PLUS … he also helped his father with our latest DIY project, the remodeling of our upstairs bathroom (pictures upon completion!)

Winter Twilight on the Lake …

porcupine.png

Thanksgiving Soup …

A delicious and easy soup that is made with Thanksgiving leftovers!  After enjoying our Thanksgiving leftovers for several meals, one of the simplest things we enjoy is making a big pot of comforting soup that uses all the “bits and pieces”still left from our Thanksgiving.

Instructions:

(So simple and delicious!)  In a Dutch Oven, add the last of your Thanksgiving leftovers.  (You’ll want to add only those leftovers whose flavors will compliment each other, when combined … no dill pickles from the relish tray or pumpkin pie!)  The leftovers I had which blended perfectly together were … dressing, a little turkey gravy, squash casserole, some leftover Rotel and Velvetta cheese dip (from football snacks!) and some turkey, I diced into smaller pieces.  To this mixture I added 6 cups of water and 6 teaspoons of dried chicken bouillon granules, stirring to mix.  Turn heat to high, until broth boils, then add uncooked pasta (I used 8 oz. from a 1 lb.box of Fideo Spaghetti.)  Return to boil, then lower heat “to simmer” until pasta is done.  That’s it!  Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated mild cheese and buttered breadcrumbs (leftover from my squash casserole!)  Delicious!  My husband and son had 2 bowls!


I ladled our soup into these favorite Fitz & Floyd “Tis the Season” mugs.  These mugs are “jumbo size” and hold 4 cups of liquid, each! Since they are so large, I only filled each mug, half full, topped with grated cheese and buttered bread crumbs

Wherever you are while reading this, I hope … you are nice and warm … have lots of sweet birdies twittering around your bird feeders … a pot of soup is simmering on your stove, beautiful Christmas carols are playing in the background!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

matthew

 

 

 

Our Week of Thanks-giving

by Trenda

After all the shopping, decorating, cleaning, and cooking … I hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be!

For us … it was a wonderful, blessed week of our family “gathering together” again.  Days of mishaps and bruises … laughter and tears … “simmer’s” and smiles … indulgences and exceptions … understanding and camaraderie – all experienced with the blessed assurance that the emotions and remembrances shared were sheltered under the wonderful umbrella of Love … the halcyon days of our family!

family.png

Beautiful autumn days …

autumn.png

Park days & pizza …

parknight.png

crafts with Grandma …

crafts.png

A day at the zoo!

zoo.png

 Feasting and football …

feasting&football.png

golf cart rides … grandkid-time … and late night snuggles!

j&j.png

and during it all … I was Thanks-giving! (: 

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

Next … (:  I know you’re going to love this recipe I’ve included below!  It is one of my family’s favorite side dishes … Apple-Cranberry Salad and it is delicious, beautifully showy, and it is so easy to make!  I found this recipe years ago in the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Taste of Autumn” which was submitted by Carla Hyde from Fletcher, North Carolina.

sidedishes.png

 I’m always collecting vintage dishes and planters and I love using them in unexpected ways in my home and on the table. This ruby colored salad is always the “crown jewel” setting on the table, but I think it looks especially beautiful in this petite Carnival Glass Punch Bowl that I was thrilled to find in an antique store, complete with 5 darling punch cups!

Apple-Cranberry Salad

  • 6-oz. pkg. of red colored gelatin (I use cherry)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 16-oz. can whole cranberry sauce 
  • 16-oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans and add more to taste!)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (I omit these)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  Add cranberry sauce and stir until berries are separated.  Add remaining ingredients; chill until set.  Makes 12 servings.

TheEnd.png

What a blessing it was to be “gathered together” once again …. “to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known;  The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;  Sing praises to His Name, He forgets not His own.”  ~  Adrianus Valerius, 1597

We gather together.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

I am delighted that you read my blog, today.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments you have, below.

 

 

“We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing …”

scriptureby Trenda

As I woke and began preparing for the blessing of sharing “Thanksgiving” with our family, I kept recalling different events of our past year. My heart and soul couldn’t help but soar with thanksgiving as I began recalling all the Lord has blessed us with … helped us with … brought us through, and for His strength and blessed peace throughout the good and sad times of  our year.  This wonderful verse I read this morning “sums up” my feelings well.

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.  The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.  Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.  For you, my Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling …”  Psalms 116:5

Grateful for each of you; I hope you had a blessed …”Thanks-giving.” 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda