Fall into the aromas of the season.

There’s nothing quite like the clean and crisp outdoor scents of autumn. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Using these simple recipes, bring those olfactory delights indoors with these all-natural simmering-pot recipes courtesy of Angie Holden of The County Chic Cottage.

For all of the recipes below, just add the ingredients to a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer on your stove.  Add more water as needed to keep this simmering for as long as you would like.

TIP:  Try this method in the crock pot as well!  Remember to use caution with these recipes and never leave your home with something on the stove!  Who needs chemical air fresheners when you have these all natural versions to try?

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Spiced Citrus Blend

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 apple (cut into large slices)
  • 1 orange (cut into large slices)
  • 1 lemon (cut into large slices)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Apple Pie Scent

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 apple (cut into large slices)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Spiced Orange Blend

  • orange rind
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of water

Inside Country Living’s 2017 Lake House of the Year

Located on Alabama’s scenic Lake Martin near Birmingham, this stunning lakefront home represents the ultimate in indoor-outdoor living.

According to Country Living Style Director Page Mullins, there’s only one nonnegotiable rule of lake house design: Don’t block the view. And that’s certainly understandable when you set foot on the waterfront property of the Country Living Lake House of the Year, a collaboration with Nashville architect Jonathan Torode (Pfeffer Torode Architecture), builder Chad Calhoun (Classic Homes), and Russell Lands On Lake Martin, a high-end real estate developer on this Alabama lake, just two hours from Birmingham, and roughly 2.5 from Atlanta.

“The design is less about being ‘timeless’ and more about creating a place where people lose track of time,” says Jonathan. And because some Russell Lands residents choose to live on Lake Martin year-round, Page fought the urge to “lake it up” indoors and instead designed a space that counterbalances more rustic elements (wood beams, a stone fireplace) with effortlessly elegant furniture, finishes, and fixtures. Or, in happy hour-at-the-lake speak: the “sauvignon blanc” equivalent of a lake house as opposed to the “six-pack” interpretation. Still, thanks to durable materials (nubby linens, performance velvets, sisal and rag rugs), nothing feels particularly precious or too formal. Here’s how the Country Living team, with the help of our partners, brought a dream lake house to life.



Save up to 80% and enjoy free shipping at houzz

This year’s Memorial Day sale at houzz features discounts up to 80% on bar stools, outdoor dining furniture, outdoor lounge furniture and more.

But hurry. The sale ends May 31, 2017.

Here’s a great example: Malibu Eco-Friendly 7-Piece Wood Outdoor Dining Set With Stacking Dining Chairs, now $498.99 with free shipping.


Rumor has it you’ve been to the strawberry patch

Nothing but nothing beats those plump little jewels of summer, bursting with sweet nectar and wearing shades of rich red and crimson. If your picking or buying a bushel or bucket, here is another great way to enjoy them.

Strawberry Slab Pie


  • 3 recipes Buttery Piecrust
  • all-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. fresh orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 large egg white

Buttery Piecrust

  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 2 to 4 tbsp. ice-cold water


  1. To make the piecrust, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal with several pea-size pieces remaining. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, using a fork to pull dough together into a crumbly pile (add up to an additional 1 tablespoon of water, if needed).
  2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Use the plastic to flatten and press dough into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. To make the pie, preheat oven to 425°F with the rack in lowest position. Line a baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll 2 recipes of dough to an 18-by-13-inch rectangle. Transfer to a jelly-roll pan and trim to a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under and crimp; chill.
  4. Roll remaining dough to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough with assorted flower-shaped cutters. Transfer flowers to prepared baking sheet, and chill.
  5. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, and salt in a bowl. Add strawberries and orange juice and toss gently to combine. Transfer to bottom crust, packing tightly into pan.
  6. Whisk together egg white and 2 teaspoons water in a bowl. Brush dough flowers with egg wash. Arrange dough flowers, slightly overlapping, on top of strawberries. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Freeze 20 minutes.
  7. Bake on a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here comes the bride. Without any bites.

Susie Marries Jonathan

There’s nothing like a tropical setting for a destination wedding. Crashing waves, warm breezes, the sand beneath your toes…and buzzing mosquitoes! No one likes a wedding crasher, and a biting mosquito can be the worst kind. So, what’s a beach-loving bride-to-be to do? We’ve got you covered with the best ways to avoid mosquitoes at your wedding.

First things first: Provide your guests with repellent. “I always recommend using insect repellents that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency,” says Nancy Troyano, Ph.D., entomologist for the family of pest control brands Ehrlich, Western Exterminator, and Presto-X. “An EPA registration means that the product is safe and effective if used according to the label directions.”

Avoid Products Containing Fragrances

In general, heavily scented body fragrances, shampoos, hair spray, lotions and soaps—particularly those with floral scents—are known to attract mosquitoes, says Troyano. To avoid mosquito bites, it’s best to switch to unscented products.

And here’s another reason to stay nice and fresh: Human body odor is a highly attractive scent to mosquitoes. “To stay off the radar of bloodthirsty mosquitoes, it is important to wash after exercising to keep body odor to a minimum. Avoid masking body odor with perfume, as this will only serve to increase attraction by mosquitoes,” says Troyano. You may want to consider something like a citronella soap when you know you’ll be outdoors.

Choose fragrances that mosquitoes do NOT like. For example, Isola’s lavender and vanilla bean perfume body oil (above) is nourishing, hydrating, vegan, and wards off mosquitoes—the pure vanilla extract and the lavender are both natural insect repellents!

Order Counts

The general recommendation is to apply sunscreen first, then the insect repellent. “Use both products as directed by their label. Be aware that certain insect repellents may decrease the efficacy of sunblock, so be prepared to reapply sunblock with more frequency than if you were to use sunblock alone,” says Troyano.

Modify Your Behavior

Mosquitoes are attracted to human scents such as carbon dioxide, body odor, and lactic acid (emitted through your skin after eating certain foods or exercising). Therefore, the wedding guests cutting a rug on the dance floor would likely be among the most desirable targets for hungry mosquitoes.


Mosquitoes are highly visual creatures, and research shows that insect behavior can be influenced by color. “Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colors, so it’s always better to lean toward light-colored attire or accessories when you’ll be outside,” says Amy Lawhorne, vice president of Mosquito Squad. Bugs in general are attracted to ultraviolet, florescent, and blue light. It’s best to avoid these at your wedding, along with dark colors like blacks and blues, says Lawhorne.

Take Your Vitamins

“Take B complex vitamins for one month prior to the summer holidays. And continue throughout the summer. The B vitamins give off and odor that mosquitoes do not like,” adds Francis.


If you don’t follow this advice, this can happen to you.

For more, visit Brides.com.

An easy way to enjoy barn wood mania


If you’re an avid watcher of home renovation TV shows, no doubt you’ve seen screened porches, bedroom walls and even kitchen accent walls covered in an interesting pattern of barn wood. artis-wall-3

Easy to install and removable in minutes, Artis Wall™ can bring you that popular rustic look many desire.

This short video will walk you through the Artis Wall™ installation process. You can also follow the simple step-by-step instructions on their website for installation and removal of your Artis Wall™. A calculator is provided for you to measure the square footage of your space and to determine how many boxes of Artis Wall™ you will need to purchase.