February 16, 2020

• READING NOOK • What I've Read, 12 pt.2

VIRGINIA WOOLF - "The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at the liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions — there we have none."
Hello there! Well here I am with part 2 of a post that was written/posted in 2018 and was reposted HERE.  I'm going to share few of the books I'm currently reading/listening too. If you would like to see my full list of books read to want to read visit my Goodreads profile.

LISTENING & READING: (no affiliation to any of the Businesses provided in links) 

Audio Books 
  • Magpie Murders (love a good who done it)
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
  • If You Tell (I finished this one the other day. WARNING this book is very disturbing)
No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Gregg Olsen's shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother's house of horrors...

  • The Haunting of Hill House (read this a long, long time ago, decided to read again)
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

  • Cozy Minimalist Home: more style, less stuff

Cozy Minimalism isn’t about going without or achieving a particular new, modern style. Nope. It’s simply a mindset that helps you get whatever style YOU LOVE with the fewest possible items.You want a warm, cozy, inviting home, without using more resources, money, and stuff than needed. Why use more if you don't have to?

  • Dwelling: Simple Ways to Nourish Your Home, Body & Soul 
Melissa Michaels wants to show you how meaningful it can be to live a life that nurtures both your home and body. By making a series of small, intentional choices—from what you bring into your home to how you shape your daily habits and mind-sets—you can create a more rejuvenating environment that equips you to go into the world and accomplish all you set out to do.

Finally a book that's more for reference...Last year I was reading an article or post somewhere, can't remember where and I apparently didn't save it, but a book was mentioned that peaked my curiosity; I clicked the link, read the summary and bought this book HERE (no affiliation)

Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that’s as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.
Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

When I  received the book I quickly scanned it and in the back of the book is a checklist of all the books mentioned within. I grabbed a pencil and started checking off the books I've read. After that I started reading, plus making a "bucket list" of the books that I was interested in reading. My goal, starting alphabetically, is to read one book off my list every month until complete. I'm going to try to borrow as many books as I can, if not,  then I will buy second hand and then donate them when finished.

Back in February, after neglecting my goodreads profile for almost two years I decided it was time to give it some much needed attention. I'm slowly adding the books on my bucket list. So I will have a paper copy and a digital copy also.

What do you think about a reading bucket list? Have you read any of the above books? Are you interested in any of the above books?

Thank you for visiting.
Enjoy your day,

sharing: (sunday) silver pennies sunday  snickerdoodle create bake make  (monday) inspire me monday  all about home  make it pretty   (tuesday) tuesday turn about   tuesday at our home  (wednesday) wonderful wednesday blog hop  artsy fartsy party (thursday) home & garden thursday  thursday favorite things (friday) friday favorites  (monthly) best of the month

February 9, 2020

• PROJECTS • Large Wood Star

I love the look of metal stars. In fact, I have couple around my house. But out of all of them this star is my favorite. I bought it and a smaller one about 25+ years ago at an antique fair in Nashville, TN. I have always wished that I would have bought the larger one, but I didn't! Oh, well!

Anyway, after seeing one of these wooden stars.

This one is made out of tobacco lathes 

I decided that I wanted one to hang somewhere in my home. I looked and looked. I  found a few, but the price seemed to high. So I decided to make one. They really aren't difficult to make; you just need to make sure it's aligned properly, or it will be lopsided!


  • 5 - thin wood strips (I found mine at hobby lobby, DH didn't have anything in his stash)
  • Wood stain of choice 
  • 5 - clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper
  • Polyurethane, matte finish (optional)
  • Paper towel 
  • Drill with small drill bit (optional) 
  • Twine
  • Small brass nails

  1. Determine how large you want the star to be. (Mine is 24" because that's the length of the strips)
  2. Sand to round off the edges and corners.
  3. Stain and let dry completely >> (If using polyurethane apply once stain is dry. Let polyurethane dry completely before going to next step)
  4. Lay out star, making sure it's not lopsided and clamp in place
  5. Remove one clamp carefully and glue strips together then replace clamp. REPEAT THIS STEP UNTIL DONE. 
  6. Wipe away excess glue, carefully and let dry
  7. Once dry, hammer in nails >>> at every cross section<<< 
  8. (OPTION: drill small hole in top of star and add twine to hang) or DO NOT add twine and just lean on shelf or tabletop.

And here it is:
Cute, huh?

Thank you for visiting!
Enjoy your day,

February 5, 2020

• RECIPES • Mint Brownies for Valentine's Day

TARENLEY COTTAGE - www.tinaathome.com

Before Christmas many bloggers were posting cookie recipes. One of those recipes was from Sara at Twelve on Main. I bought all the ingredients, made the cookies, we ate the cookies (YUM! They were good) and I didn't get a chance to take pictures!! So if you want to try the recipe is HERE

Well, I had some extra 'Andes Mints' (no affiliation) left over and I thought, why not make some extra special yummy brownies for my loved ones this VALENTINE'S day? So I grabbed my favorite brownie mix and got to work.





  1. Make your favorite brownies.
  2. While brownies are baking unwrap however many mints you think you may need, (I used 20 for an 11x7 pan) placing them on a plate.
  3. Immediately upon pulling out of the oven quickly place ANDES MINTS (no affiliation) on top.
  4. Once they start melting, start spreading. 
  5. Then cut and enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thank you for visiting,
Hope you enjoy,

www.tinaathome.com - tarenley cottage

sharing: (sunday) silver pennies sunday  snickerdoodle create bake make  (monday) inspire me monday  all about home  make it pretty   (tuesday) tuesday turn about  tuesday at our home  (wednesday) wonderful wednesday blog hop  artsy fartsy party (thursday) home & garden thursday  thursday favorite things (friday) friday favorites  (monthly) best of the month

February 2, 2020

• RECIPES • Welcome to Sunday Supper - Beef Stew

property of www.tinaathhome.com - tarenley cottage

Welcome to Sunday Supper! How many of you gather around the table on Sundays? We do 95% of the time, but I never really paid attention that we did this until "Our State", a magazine for NC only, wrote an article about the return of Sunday Suppers. So, I decided that it would be fun to write a post, that has a recipe (either my own or a link to one I've tried) for the main dish and maybe a dessert, that I find my self making on Sundays.

What do ya think? It beats randomly posting recipes here and there.

Today was cool, not cold, but a good day for a pot of Beef Stew + slices of french bread to sop up the juices, Yum!

I have posted this recipe before, HERE, but decided to update it.



  • 2lb stew beef
  • 16oz bag Baby carrots
  • 1.5lb bag Baby dutch potatoes (do not cut)
  • 1/3 cup Dried onion flakes (for those that do not like big chunks of onion)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • McCormick Beef Stew seasoning
  • optional vegetables: celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 table spoons water
  • french bread


How to cook BEEF STEW

  1. Turn crockpot on low to preheat during prep
  2. In measuring cup mix seasoning with 11/3 cup water, then stir in 1 cup broth. I always pour about 1/2 of prepared seasoned broth in bottom of crockpot.
  3. pour in meat, sprinkle in some black pepper
  4. stir in onion flakes
  5. add carrots and potatoes, then pour in the remaining seasoned broth
  6. cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until meat + veggies are finished
  7. WHEN FINISHED, whisk corn starch and water in measuring cup
  8. ADD corn starch mixture to crock pot, stirring well
  9. TURN crock pot on HIGH and cook an additional 30 min
  10. AFTER 30 min turn to warm, sauce will thicken more while you're slicing the french bread.
  11. Serve and enjoy.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thank you for visiting,
Hope you enjoy,