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Giveaway: Two Country Living Fair Weekend Passes


Join me next weekend as I chat about chickens at the Atlanta Country Living Fair on Saturday, October 25th. The fair is held in Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta from October 24-26th. If you have never been to a Country Living Fair, you should definitely put that on you to-do list.



There are awesome live demonstrations, talks, crafting, cooking, and vendors galore and all things country. Plus, it's always fun to meet the amazing staff behind the magazine. At this fair, you can also meet the Beekman Boys and Cari Cucksey too!



Here's the best part, I'm giving away two weekend passes to the fair! Click below to enter. Good luck and I can't wait to see you at the fair.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photos by Tilly's Nest from the Rhinebeck, NY Country Living Fair. Prize retail value $40 each.

Down Home Blog Hop~ Number 101 + Mini Pumpkin Lanterns



It's hard to believe that Halloween will be here in just about two weeks! Where has this year gone? A few weeks ago when I was hanging out at our local craft store looking for inspiration, I discovered that all the metal gardening hooks and planters were on sale for fifty percent off. Of course, I love a good bargain and I scooped up a few of these darling miniature shepherd's hooks. Surely, they were versatile for use in my crafting adventures and also in the garden.


My next stop was food shopping at Whole Foods. Outside there was a plethora of pumpkins. Of course if you know me, I am an addict of all things pumpkin- fancy gourds, white, greens, pinks, cinderellas, warty and all. I'll take one of each! I scooped up a few of these little cuties and got carving with the kids.


In no time, we had crafted a few carved friends to greet this year's trick or treaters.
For the full tutorial, please take a peek at my post over on HGTV Gardens.


Good morning friends!  Welcome to this week's hop. I'm so glad you are joining us again this week! I can't wait to see what has kept you busy.

Photo Credits: Tilly's Nest

Saying Goodbye To Autumn


This past week we said goodbye to Autumn one of our Silkie Bantams. She died unexpectedly.

Early last Thursday morning, I opened up the coop and found all of the girls happy, giddy, and excited to greet the cool fresh morning air. Then later around 10 am. I saw Autumn laying in the corner of the run. She was not moving. Dolly was near, seemingly curious about her sister and friend.

I opened up the run door and scooped up Autumn. She was lifeless. I dusted her off. The flock was curious too. She was of good weight and her feathers were gorgeous. Fluffy, shiny, everyone was perfectly in place. Her eyes were clear. It was as if she had just went to sleep. There were no signs of her cause of death. She was 4 years old. She lived an almost average life for a hen. She had stopped laying eggs about a year ago.

I decided to bury her in the shade garden near the hostas and the blue hydrangeas. I dug a hole- a very deep hole about two and a half feet deep. I didn't want any predators to dig her up. I placed her into the hole and said a prayer for her and thanked her for her beautiful eggs, her spunky attitude, and for being such a sweet girl. Next year, I will place a hosta where we buried her.

Autumn Leafhead (can you tell the kids named her) was one of those girls who didn't prefer human contact. She much preferred to be with those like her. Little did she know, or us for that fact, that she touched all of our hearts. She will be greatly missed.

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

Giveaway: Wonderbag + Butternut Squash and Carrot Curry Soup


Every once in a while, you come across a new product that can revolutionize the way we cook.

A few weeks ago, I received a Wonderbag in the mail. I was thrilled. The Wonderbag promised slow cooker results without any need for electricity or gas. Oh my goodness, as a family that uses our crock pot a few times a week in the winter, I had to try it!

The Wonderbag was created out of necessity by a woman, named Sarah Collins. Her vision was a simple one. Sarah wanted to ease the social, economic and environment challenges that come with bringing food to the family, especially places like Rwanda, Mexico, Turkey, Somaliland, and Nigeria. She has started a movement and has been able to get 650,000 bags into the hands of those in need. Now, for every bag purchased in the US, a Wonderbag will be donated to a family in Africa. Sarah's goal is, 1,000,000 Wonderbags around the world. You can read more about the global benefits here.


Here's how the Wonderbag works. Bring your recipe to a boil on the stove. Once it simmers, remove it from the stove and place it in the bag. Pull the string tight and allow it to cook. That's it! The best part is that all of your favorite crock-pot recipes will work with the Wonderbag. The Wonderbag will also act as a cooler too. I think this Wonderbag will be great for those times when we lose power due to storms.

For the past few weeks, I've made soups and stews and recipes from their website. Each and every time, I am amazed and in awe that this bag cooked me and my family dinner. Today I'm sharing one of my original soup recipes and proud to giveaway a Wonderbag to one of you!

Butternut Squash and Carrot Curry Soup

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash-peeled and cubed 
4 large carrots-peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion- diced
2 large cloves of garlic- minced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried coriander
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt 
Pepper
6 cups of chicken stock


In a soup pot of your choice, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and butter until translucent.

Next add the squash, carrots, coriander, curry powder, cumin, butter, salt and pepper and cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes on the stove.


In the meantime, prepare the Wonderbag. Open it up. For us, we leave it right on the kitchen table.


Remove your soup pot from the stove and place it right in the Wonderbag.


Leave it right there on the table until dinner time. That's it!
This soup is actually done in 2 hours of cooking time, but can remain in the bag for up to 12 hours.

To finish the soup, puree the soup with an immersion blender and enjoy.

"A portable, non-electric slow cooker with the power to change the world. 
Buy 1 on Amazon and 1 is donated to a family in Africa. Powerless is Powerful."
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Wonderbag, but the opinions and experiences are all of my own. I received no financial incentive to write these lovely thoughts.

Down Home Blog Hop~Number 100 + DIY Freshly Fallen Leaf Wreath


Happy fall everyone!  The leaves have certainly began to fall here. They are so beautiful! I especially love the sugar maple leaves- so many colors packed into just one leaf! This year, I could not let that beauty go to waste, instead I turned them into a creative wreath for the door.


While still fresh, we collected a bunch of gorgeous leaves. Then we strung them together.


We attached them to a wire wreath frame and decked out the door.


If you'd like to make this easy, low cost wreath for your door, then head on over to HGTV Gardens for the full step-by-step photographed guide.


Happy 100th blog hop to us!  I can't believe we finally made it and I'm so glad you all convinced me to bring back the blog hop. Thank you to for linking up each and every week. Sometimes taking a peek at your blogs is all I need to get me over the Wednesday hump.


Changing of the Guard


Fluffy our Easter Egger
It's hard to believe that in a blink of an eye, the babies are turning 18 weeks today.

I've spent sometime watching them all morph into a flock. Most of the girls are now all roosting side by side. No longer are the flocks separated on the far sides of the roosts when they sleep. Fifi, our Silkie, is no longer trying to control the little chickens' moves. Most of the babies are now double Fifi's size. These days we rarely get eggs. The old girls are definitely in henopause and seem happy to live out their sweet lives with the little ones. I think there is something about having multiple generations under one roof.

This past week however, I noticed the biggest change. It seems that Sunshine has stepped down from her flock role as guard hen. I thought that this was subtly happening. Sunshine is almost 5 years old and certainly a young whippersnapper like Fluffy can fill the role. Fluffy spends most of her day on the stump or on the upcycled ladder keeping one eye on the sky. Every once in a while she will step down, patrol the perimeter, take a nibble to eat, and return to her position. The entire flock respects Fluffy's new role. When she sounds the alarm, everyone freezes and waits for the all clear. It's truly amazing to see this changing of the guard. The torch has been passed. Fluffy is the new guard chicken and Sunshine is content spending her days napping in either the big dust bowl in the corner or perched on one of the outside roosts.

You see, there are lessons to be learned. Things to be taught. Mistakes shared so they are not repeated. Encouragement from those who have been where the younger ones are now. Everything seems to flow. The old girls have been wonderful teachers to the new girls. I think it's nice when someone or some chicken is there to guide you.

It's a rare thing these days seeing old people and old chickens living with their younger counterparts. Old folks are institutionalized and old chickens end up in the soup pot. Their value is not visible on the outside. They are frail. They move slow. They require more care. They are retired from what society values as productive- work and eggs. However, sometimes the lessons and stories shared from these later years in life are more than we can ever grasp in our own lifetimes.



Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

Giveaway: Treats for Chickens Fall Organic Bounty


I have had the pleasure of working with Treats for Chickens for almost 5 years. It is amazing how quickly time flies and companies grow. Still true to its roots, Treats for Chickens is a family run business out of California. Many years ago the owner, Dawn, had a vision of providing her flock with organic, non-GMO treats. At that time no one else in the market was even really considering that concept. In fact, keeping chickens as pets was only just beginning to take hold. I was lucky to stumble upon Dawn's business all those years ago, because, I myself was on a similar journey with my family and my flock seeking out an organic lifestyle. I call it a bit of kismet!

Today I am so excited to share with you some of my flock's favorite treats and be able to give them away!


One of Treats for Chickens' more recent products to market is Cluck Yea. It is delicious, organic, and chock full of healthy goodies for your flock. 


Sunflowers seeds, oats, grains and meal worms are found in practically every bite. There is no skimping on the flock's favorites! If you are trying to train or tame your chickens this is a great product to use.


For the past 5 years, we have been using Treats for Chicken's original Nesting Box Blend. It is an original signature product that first made adding herbs to the chicken's nests available commercially. Adding herbs to the nesting boxes is very beneficial to egg laying hens. 


The dried herb mixture promotes relaxation, provides aromatherapy, helps to keep mites and lice out of the boxes. Used in combination with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, sprinkled in the bottom of the nesting boxes, your flock will thank you. I think you will also love how the Nesting Box Blend makes your coop smell- fresh, clean, and ready for eggs. Can't you just smell it?!


Pumpkin Seed Snacks are a hot item around our coop. One of the original treats, your flock is sure to love this one. Did you know that feeding your flock pumpkin seeds helps to prevent and control worms? This one is such a favorite, that the girls devoured the entire bag before I could even snap up a picture for the giveaway!

Today's giveaway is for the following prize package. Worth $96.00! Cluckity Cluck!

1 pound 13 oz bag of  Cluck Yea
1 pound bucket of Nesting Box Blend
1 pound 13 oz bag of Pumpkin Seed Snacks
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