Friday, August 31, 2012

Mud Hen Bars: Contributing at, Inspired By Family!!!

Happy Friday!
Today my article for "Delicious Mud Hen Bars" is being featured at Inspired By Family online magazine!!! Please check out this recipe, because it's pretty much to die for! We just finished the last of them off last night with milk, and my husband said they're definitely one of his new favorites.  :)  That makes me a happy little wifey! 
 Also, I'd love it if you 'd browse around to check out some of the other cool things going on at Inspired By Family.  I really enjoy reading the different ideas that are insightful and creative on all things home, food and family!  When you're there, be sure to look at the digital Fall issue that is everything Autumn!  It's loaded with seasonal ideas!!  (It's located on the side bar with the picture of the fireplace.)
I hope you all will forgive me for working on my blog's appearance over the next few days.  I'm not savvy when it come to the design and all of that, so it always take me a while to get things perfected when I want a change.  So if my sidebar appears to be wonky, there are different colors/back grounds every day, or just anything seems to "just not look right",  that's just part of this process!  I'm beginning to put away summer decor at home, therefore the blog is getting a face lift for fall, too! 
Have a very blessed weekend, and be safe with your Labor Day plans!  Mr. Cozy is off, so I probably won't be sharing anything else with you until next week. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Morning Thoughts In My Nook....

Good Morning!
I've been awake since early this morning.  Some days when Mr. Cozy leaves for work--before I'm even out of bed!--it's hard for me to go back to sleep.  I usually just lay there as relax for a while longer.  As the bedroom gradually becomes a bit bright, usually by 6:45 or 7, I'll roll out of our comfy bed.  First thing I like to do is stretch, and open the shades in my "favorite window" in the bedroom.  This window is in the little sitting area part of our bedroom and overlooks the neighborhood.  Our bedroom is on the second floor.  I have yet to show you our bedroom.  It's not by any means the most updated part of the house, but I love it!
This morning I'm showing you some snapshots of my nook just as the sun came up.  It's the sitting room but somtimes I call it my nook or nook room.  This is where I happen to be right now, blogging.  I love this room in the's so peaceful.
I have made just a few changes since I posted on this room last.  Small changes, like this basket.  I found it at a yard sale with 2 large flower baskets that are in perfect condition.  Each one only 50 cents!!  In this one I have a pretty yellow checked water carafe with flowers on it.  A gift from my grandmother, and another gift from a friend of delicious Paris hot tea.  It was a housewarming gift--she's so thoughtful! 
I think this card is one of the prettiest I've ever seen!  It's from my beautiful--inside & out--sister for helping to throw her a Bridal Tea  that she had a couple of weeks ago!  I was taken back when I opened the envelope to see such a lovely card!  If only I really had that bouquet of roses....but the card does just fine!  Her words were so heartfelt and meant the world to me. :) 
 Love you, Sissy!
Here's one of the new baskets!  I have some books in here that I'd enjoy reading in this room.  The Downton Abbey one is mine! 
(Mr. Cozy surprised me with this, the first two seasons and a cd of the soundtrack!  I'm in Heaven!  He's just the best husband to me!!)
The other books are on tea and tea parties.  I checked these out from the library, and they've been delightful to read.  I always want some new inspiration for luncheons and showers, and there are some good recipes in them.  So glad I have a library card, and it's so close that I can walk there!
My desk where I'm trying to get things organized.  Now that I'm not working, it's much easier to keep everything in order at home!!  I have no excuse not to anymore!  I have all my stationary, pads of paper, lavender hand lotion, coupons and I keep the laptop charged here.  This is where do things like write letters/cards, business with worship team music, and write out my grocery list.   
I've been using this for years to keep cards on!  I love displaying cards that I get in the mail and from loved ones.  I think they're pretty, and it keeps me thinking about those sweet people in my life!  I'm a big snail-mail fan!
Well friends, here I am, slowly waking up with my coffee. God is good!
Oh, I can't forget to tell you....
I'm still in complete bliss over a discovery of the very best food ever-- that I've eaten in my life! The Original Impellizzeri's Pizza in Louisville has some amazing pizza (homemade Italian sausage, lots of cheese, etc.), but last night we found The Best. guilty pleasure. that exists. 
Their breadsticks!!!!!!
Not just any ole breadstick,  but they are completely homemade, enormous, so soft and chewy, seasoned with lots of parmesan, and literally swimming in a pool of garlic butter!!!!  I'm not kidding here.
I was a very bad girl last night.  I can't believe I ate those sinful things!  Okay, very likely they are the best thing I ever ate!!!  So. I'm having a salad for lunch.  Or maybe just some carrot sticks. 
Have a blessed day!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Irresistable Peanut Butter-Graham Cracker Balls

This weekend Mr. Cozy and I invited some new friends that he works with over for a relaxing evening of homemade dessert and coffee. It was a small casual gathering, and we had a great time!  I love getting to know people over a bit of sugar and coffee.  One bite at a time!  
I had to serve a little bit of savory, too.  Enter the cheese and cracker plate!  Smoked cheddar, Havarti with dill, crackers and apple slices.  (The cheese was amazing!)  I think sometimes it's nice to have a bit of salty to accompany the sweet.
I captured a few snapshots of the kitchen just before everybody arrived.  The water pitcher and cheese and crackers were out in the living area, and all the desserts were together in the kitchen with the coffee. 
The afternoon sun rays were beautiful streaming through the kitchen window!
I love my cafe lights!  They're staying up until we put a new light fixture in the kitchen.  We haven't found the right one yet, but that's okay since these lights are so much fun!  I like some whimsy in my kitchen!
We still have a few updates to do in the kitchen.  In the meantime, I'm loving my butter yellow walls and the cottage feel a cozy galley-style kitchen provides!
 As you all know, this was a perfect time for me to try out a couple of new recipes. Everyone agreed they were delicious!!!  I made homemade peanut butter & graham cracker balls--rolling some in crushed salted peanuts--dark chocolate covered Fleur de sel caramels, and unbelievably delicious mud hen bars!  The bars will be featured very soon at Inspired By Family magazine!
The peanut butter-graham cracker balls are scrumptious!  The graham cracker crumbs give these a nice texture that's different than the usual buck-eyes. (Don't get me wrong I love those, too!) This treat fun and so easy to make!  I have a feeling this recipe is going to pop back into my kitchen at Christmas-time!  They would be a lovely gift to package up in some cute Chinese take out containers and give to family and friends! 
I have a couple left over right now in the fridge.  Hmmm.  If you'll excuse me, the smooth dark chocolate covered peanut butteriness is calling my name....
Hope you'll try these delicious treats out soon!
Peanut Butter-Graham Cracker Balls
Adapted from: Baby Gizmo Blog
1 c. Peanut Butter
1 1/2 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs, finely ground
1 1/4 c. baking chocolate, chopped
(I used equal parts semi-sweet and bittersweet.
Here it really helps to have a baking/melting chocolate versus chocolate chips.)
Optional: 3/4 c. chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, Heath toffee bits
(Used to roll the balls in.  I'd love to try the toffee bits, but my favorite were the ones simply dipped in chocolate.)
Take your graham crackers and grind in a blender or food processor until you get 1 1/2 cups.  Add graham cracker crumbs to the peanut butter.
Mix it up well.  You want the mixture dry enough to make balls.  Here, I decided to add a heaping Tbsp. of powdered sugar.  The original recipe doesn't call for this, and you can do whatever you want.
Form 24 even sized balls with your hands and place on an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Freeze for 30 minutes.
Melt half the chocolate in a double boiler until just melted.  (I used a glass bowl sitting over simmering water.)  Once melted, add the rest of the chocolate and stir until melted and glossy.  The more you stir, the glossier it becomes. 
 Place toppings in smaller separate bowls.
Using a toothpick, dip the balls in the chocolate and allow for some of the excess chocolate to drip off.  Proceed to roll them in the topping or place them back on an aluminum foil or wax paper lined baking sheet. 
Refrigerate until firm.  Keep in the fridge in a tightly sealed container.  Will keep for several days.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Come Stay a While!

So glad you can come and stay for a while!  Welcome to your room!...
As we step inside the small guest bedroom, you'll notice the white chest Mr. Cozy and I "created".  We bought an old, plain wooden chest of drawers from an antique store that we decided to paint and distress.  It's just right for the small room!  Where it was lacking in appearance, I knew it would make up in size.  It's petite frame fits perfectly in the room.  There are several drawers for our overnight you!

We used about 3 coats of satin paint.  Once it was white, we both took sanding blocks and went at it!  Mr. Cozy was the best at this part.  He was creative in knowing to look for the already worn parts of the wood and play them up by distressing where it was naturally distressed already! 

I think the hardware is charming! 

There is something about an antique or vintage piece of furniture that draws me in more than a new one.
I haven't completely figured out what to keep on the top of the chest, but it won't be much.  I want to leave guests with some space to sit their belongings on.

We painted the room Valspar Summer Cottage.  It's difficult to get a true color from the picture of a regular camera like mine, but take my word for it when I say it's a beautiful serene color!!  Pale blue with just the slightest tone of green.  Mom says it looks like antique blue.  Thank you, Mom! 

I hope this room feels like a cozy Bed and Breakfast with all the warm woods and soft quilts around.  You all know I love history and the charm of a by-gone era. 
The quilt that covers the bed is one my Granny gave me years ago. It's a double wedding band pattern, which I find so romantic. I've paired it up with white eyelet shams and bed skirt. I love eyelet! I think it's beautifully reminiscent of a simpler time.

This gorgeous headboard is a new addition to the house!  Mr. Cozy made this with his Pa from reclaimed barn wood they pulled off of Nana and Pa's old barn!  You wouldn't believe how old this wood looked when they first pulled it off.  He worked so hard to plane it, cut every plank just right, and stain it to create this stunning headboard for me!!! 
 I'm so proud of this because it was made by my Love's hands.  It means so much to us, because it was a project with his beloved Pa, who is a carpenter by trade.

I think it really makes the room!  The rich walnut wood jumps off the pale blue walls.  It looks like an antique bed that perhaps Laura Ingalls or Jo March would have slept in. :)
Of course you have a soft rug for your footsies when you get out of bed in the morning!  Frosty winter mornings can be chilly on wood floors.
This dry sink is a find of ours when we went to Versailles, Ky. a few years ago.  We got it at an antique store, and I really love this piece!  I've also used in my kitchen for extra storage.  It's just a great versatile piece of furniture.
The lamp is new from Home Goods.  I have an antique bowl my Grandmother gave me--which I'm proud of--sitting upon a Eurpoean lace pillow cover that I received as part of a wedding gift.

 The bouquet of dried roses was one I carried in a friend's wedding a few years ago.  They dried too pretty not to use!  I think this vignette is rather feminine and lovely.

Here's the wash bowl I was telling you about.  It has a rose pattern on it, and it's lined in gold.  Quite Victorian looking!

I tried to get a good picture of the bottom.  I think it says "Wood & Sons" England.
A pretty print I've had for years hangs on one of the walls.  I flanked it with two sweet plates that I've picked up along the way.
This one is my new favorite.  I just bought it at --gasp! an antique store, I'm full of surprises--in Glendale, Ky.  It's delicate pattern drew me in and the pale wash of colors are breath taking.  The back says "France", and has a French name on it. I should have taken a picture!  It's clearly an old piece.
Here's the view from the bed when you wake up in the morning.  Out the window you'll notice a picket fence with a canopy of trees hanging over.  I think it's a nice view.
(Underneath the window looks a little disheveled in this picture!)
  The flower arrangement is sort of stuffed in the corner here.  I like the luggage rack I found, and underneath is I keep a basket of books with a devotional for my guests to read. 
I want to find some curtains to soften the windows and make it a little darker in the room for sleep.  Maybe just some soft cotton-y shears??  Not sure yet.

As you walk in and to the wall at the right, beside the closet, I hung a simple shelf.  It's nice to have some pegs to keep a purse or jacket hung on.  Mr. Cozy usually hangs his white coat here.
I love this lantern Mom gave me!  I'll probably move it into the living room in the fall and winter.  I wish I had more of them!
I promise I didn't do anything at all special or change anything for this post!  I simply saw how pretty the morning light was coming through the windows a few days ago and decided to snap some pictures. 
Actually, it's not uncommon when my guest come for me to have a tray on the bed filled with things such as rolled up washcloths with magazines and chocolates or a welcome note.  I want y'all to feel more than welcome in my home!!!
Once again, Thank You, for coming over for a visit!  I humbly share my home with you.  There are no bragging rights here or thinking anything about my home is better than anyone else's!!  Please remember that anytime I share with you.  I am inspired by so many beautiful blogs out there, and I have a mom that's really into decorating herself.  I think it's rubbed off onto me! 
My style may be abnormal for a 20-something, in that I love and appreciate older things.  I like to tie in new things of course, but I don't have a particular "style" in my home.  I just want things around me that I like, make me happy, and my home cozy and welcoming to others.  I like an abundance of texture and family photos in every room!  A lived-in home is a well-loved home for me!

That was the nickel tour!  Please come back and visit us anytime! 
God bless your day,

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