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November 14, 2015

Make a Succulent Wreath

I just adore succulents. 
To make wreaths like this, I borrow bits and pieces from larger plants in my garden.

During the summer, these succulent wreaths catch the sun's rays hanging from the garden sheds, the house, the outdoor showesr, and they even make a lovely centerpiece during entertaining. 

When choosing succulents mix them up to create a beautiful array of greens, purples and reds.

As the fall ushers in the chillier weather, this wreath will come inside and grace the Thanksgiving table. I'll simply place a hurricane lamp with candle in the center.

To make a wreath of your own, check out my post on HGTV.

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

November 5, 2015

Hug A Chicken Day 2015 Giveaway Bonanza!

Oyster Cracker and I this morning!
Welcome friends and fellow chicken keepers to the 5th annual Hug a Chicken Day.  I am so glad you are joining us in the hugging fun! I am thrilled to see that each year this amazing event celebrating our love and appreciation for backyard chickens continues to grow. This year, we have had some amazing companies join us in celebrating this wonderful event. So take a peek below and good luck! And don't forget, join us on the Facebook Hug a Chicken Day event page so you can share a picture of you hugging your chickens!

Order your Hug A Chicken Day Merchandise with the above graphic for this year. Celebrate with free worldwide shipping and $5 off everything you order by clicking here now through Nov. 8th.


Use code HUG$5 to receive $5 off your order now through 11/15/15

Chicken Art
Use coupon code for 20% kitchen items: Enter FALLBACK at checkout thru 11/8/15

Randall Burkey Company
Free 3.5 oz bag of Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy on all orders over $25 use code: HUG

The BriteTap feeder’s unique shield blocks chicks from standing on the feed tray and contaminating their food with droppings. The height of the shield is adjustable so that it can be raised as chicks grow -- allowing them to feed comfortably while still blocking them from standing on the tray. It fills easily from a lid in the top so there’s no spills or wasted feed. When the chicks grow up and move outdoors, the feeder converts to an adult chicken feeder for scratch, grit, oyster shells and mealworms because the shield now prevents rain from entering the feed tray and spoiling the food.

 Brass Belle

Hobby Hill Farm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

By entering the above giveaways your email will automatically be signed up for the Tilly's Nest newsletter and if applicable the company's email. You can opt out at anytime from the emails simply by unsubcribing to them. All items ship to US shipping addresses only.

October 27, 2015

DIY Teak Succulent Planter

As you know, I have confessed before that I have a terrible addiction to succulents. I love all types and find myself collecting them during the summer to integrate into the yard, garden, and landscape. Earlier this season, I was sent this amazing teak carving. It looked like a bowl to me, so I decided to make a planter out of it- filled with succulents of course!  It naturally had a few holes in the bottom, making it perfect for planting. You can use this beautiful bowl inside or out to fill with things like pine cones, magazines, or anything else. It is that versatile. But, here is how I made this beauty. It came together in about twenty minutes.

Teak Planter
Succulent Soil
Sphagnum Moss

-Add a bit of soil the bottom of the planter.
-Remove the succulents from their pots and arrange them to your liking in the planter.
-Top off the plantings with soil and then add a bit of sphagnum moss to finish the look.
-Water sparingly.

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

Disclosure: I was provided an assortment of complimentary beautiful teak things from in exchange for writing a blog post. However, the opinions shared in this post are all mine and I have not been compensated for them. 

October 13, 2015

What's Your Chicken Story?™

This little henny girl is Molly. She is an Australorp that we purchased after our beloved Tilly passed away. She has those same big beautiful brown soulful eyes that Tilly did and just like Tilly- she "mutters" to herself during the day. She is curious, silly, delightful, and even carries herself like our Tilly. She has fixed a hole in my family's heart since she came into our lives. I'm so grateful that she found her way into our flock. I think Tilly is too. I like to think that she had something to do with it from heaven above.

As I've been traveling around the country meeting so many people on my journeys, it never ceases to amaze me that lots of you have chicken stories and are quite eager to share them.  From people who grew up on or nearby a chicken farm, those who recall them wandering around the yard, those who kept a small flock years ago and even today,  I love hearing about them. Chickens are universal. They are found everywhere around the globe and on many levels connect us all.

Sometimes, I am approached by older folks who remember keeping chickens in their backyard as a food source. Now as adults they are revisiting the idea of keeping a small flock of chickens. They are interested in doing it as a hobby and enjoy seeing how chickens are popping up in the backyards of homes around them.

I also have discovered that a lot of nurses keep chickens! It must be our natural tendencies to care and nurture things. I get it!

I meet many who fill their "empty nests" with flocks of chickens after their children have gone away for college and plenty of folks like me who started out with a backyard flock for my young family.

As us chicken keepers know, there is so much more to keeping chickens than the eggs. The companionship cannot be beat. We connect with the chickens at such an amazing level. We get to know their personalities and their quirks. We name them. They look forward to seeing us and we look forward to seeing them. I'm really not sure who gets more excited on some days.  They are complete treat addicts. They make us laugh. They touch our hearts. They surprise us in so many ways and on so many levels. They are magical and you can even learn their language if you just give it a go! Being a backyard chicken keeper allows you to connect with them in ways that you never thought possible. I love it when things take our hearts by surprise!

For the past five years I have been sharing our chicken stories with you and now I'd like to ask you, What is Your Chicken Story?™ Please feel free to share your favorite chicken thought, memory, or something that touched your heart with us in the comments below or via email. Did you grow up with chickens?Why did you get chickens? What are your favorite breeds? What did they do to make you laugh? How did they make a bad day better? I'd love to hear from you. Each month I'll share one of your chicken stories.

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

October 7, 2015

DIY: Rustic Mason Jar Utensil Holder

We try to maximize our time outdoors for as long as we can. We enjoy dining al fresco from spring until early November. When we dine outside I love having real plates and silverware outside but sometimes keeping everything organized and getting it outside can be the most difficult part.

I came up with the perfect solution to keep all the silverware organized and in tow. With three mason jars, a birch slice, and a branch, this rustic utensil carrier was born! Necessity is the mother of invention and this sure was the case!  I love it because it is durable, hand-washable and adds a fun touch of whimsy to our time spent dining outdoors.

The best part is that you can even switch out the utensils for fresh flowers! What a pretty way to display blooms from your garden as a centerpiece.  For the full step-by-step tutorial, take a peek at my post over on HGTV.

Photo Credits: Tilly's Nest

October 1, 2015

The Attitude of a Geriatric Chicken

Since getting started with chickens in 2010 we have always had Silkies. I selected this breed because of their gentleness, small size, ease of handling, and their undying desire to mother. The breed lived up to all of its promises and more. I have to say I love Silkies.

We have always had at least 4 Silkies in the flock. However as half of our flock continues to age, we have had to say goodbye to some of our favorite original girls including two Silkies.

Now that we have an old flock and pullets. I like to tell people that I consider myself as having a chicken nursing home and a nursery. We like to let our chickens live out their natural lives. After all, it is our way to repay these family pets for their years of gifting us with beautiful eggs. Old hens are funny though. The attitudes of geriatric hens are polarizing. They either completely mellow out or become crotchety old ladies.

The Silkies in general were always easy going. They were content to be at the bottom of the pecking order and never showed any signs of aggression. Feathers is a black Silkie Bantam who is one of our original girls and boy is she one of those crotchety old ladies!

For her miniature size, she has become a bit of a terror. She pecks at anyone who comes near her during morning treats, choosing to hoard the cracked corn in the area immediately around her. She chases anyone out of the dust baths who wish to partake in becoming boneless chickens with her. She even pecks at other chickens half her size just for checking out what is in her zip code.

I call her a tyrant.

My son tells me if she was an old lady, she would be bopping people in the head with a cane! That made me giggle.

I guess like with people we can all chose how we would like to age. Do we choose grace? Do we become more tolerant and accepting? Do we not sweat the small stuff anymore? Do we let things go? Do we develop a deeper understanding of life around us? Oyster Cracker has done all of these and more even though she lost her sister just a few short weeks ago.

It's interesting how aging affects all of us. I love that we have a choice on how we treat those around us and how others see us. We are all in control of our destinies. I will always chose kindness.

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest