10 Adorable DIY Valentines for Boys

Category: DIYDIY + Home DecorFamilyFreebies Comments: No comments

10 Adorable DIY Valentines for Boys

Valentines Day is such a mushy holiday. I love the romance and the sappiness, but at the same time, I am a mom on two very boyish boys. And little boys should have a snips and snails and puppy dog tails type of valentine.

Last year, I made these Super Mario scratch-off valentines for Scotty’s class. I do have a free printable here if you would like to make your own.


As I’m trying to decide what kind of valentines to send with both Scotty and Hayden to school this year, I am coming across a lot of really fun designs. Here are a few of my favorites:

10. I love these interactive Play Doh valentines from The Nerd’s wife.


9. Boys are sure to love the sweet noise from these Pop Rock valentines at Hip 2 Save.

pop rocks


Read More

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Category: AppetizersCookingMain DishesRecipesSide DishesTips & Tutorials Comments: No comments

One of my favorite dishes at PF Chang’s is their Chicken Lettuce Wraps. So delicious! Unfortunately, the nearest Chang’s is 2 hours away, so we don’t get to eat there too often.I found this recipe at Food.com and it is the perfectly fresh, light, and delicious. I usually make it as a main dish with fried rice. The leftovers are great for Jathan to take as lunch the next day because they don’t need to be heated.

 Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe from thecozyabode.com
To start, make your “special sauce” and stick in in the fridge so it will be ready when the chicken is cooked. I like using a small jar because you can just dump in all the ingredients and shake it up. Start with 1/4 cup of sugar.
Add in 1/2 cup of water
Put the top on the jar and shake to dissolve the sugar.
shake jar 
Take the top back off the jar and add tw...
Read More

Menu: Week 40

Category: CookingMenus Comments: No comments

I am especially excited about one of the items in this week’s menu. My friend, Sue, is from Mexico, my absolute favorite food region, and also happens to be an amazing cook. She was sweet enough to share her recipe for tamales with me. I love tamales, but have never attempted them before, so fingers crossed that all goes well and I have a nice photo tutorial from it!
Here’s what else is on our menu for the rest of the week.
Day 1:
Italian Sausage Tacos
Day 2:
Buffalo Wings (in the oil less deep fryer)
Crispy Oven Fries
Day 3:
Easy Fried Rice
Lumpia (Filipino Fried Egg Rolls)
Day 4: 
 Creole Black Beans & Sausage
Day 5: 
 Pork Carnitas
Spanish Rice
Day 6: 
Pork Tamales (use this link for tutorial on rolling)
Spanish Rice
Photo Credit: © Scott...
Read More

Menu: Week 39

Category: CookingFamilyMenus Comments: No comments

 So, the week is almost over and I’m just now getting my menu up. Hey! Don’t hate! I’ve been too busy cooking delicious meal s for my family! heehee! Speaking of family, Monday is a big day for a very special family member – it’s Jathan’s birthday! I love this guy to death. Thank you, baby,  for being so incredible, so sweet, for being a man of integrity, for being faithful,  for treating me like I’m the only girl in the world. Thank you for putting up with all my hair-brained schemes and endless list of projects, and for supporting all my dreams. Thank you for being such a great husband to me and a great dad to our kids. Thank you for working so hard every single day to provide for our little family...
Read More

Menu: Week 38

Category: CookingMenus Comments: No comments

In spite of all the cold weather we’ve been having, I have a little bit of springtime on my window sill. Last Easter I bought some hyacinths for my table. Once they died, I stuck the pots out by the gardening shed and forgot about them.  A few weeks ago, just as the freeze was about to settle in (this is Louisiana –  it doesn’t happen too often in a winter) I happened to see them sprouted and getting ready to bloom. I brought them inside to set in my kitchen window and they have been blooming magnificently ever since. Now I am so ready for spring so I can get my hands in the dirt, however non-green my thumbs are. 
Anywho, here’s my menu for the week. Hope you get some inspiration and share yours with me! 
This Week's Menu
Day 1:
Crawfish Pie
Mixed Greens Salad

Day 2:
Huevos Rancheros

Day 3:
Read More

Menu: Week 36

Category: CookingMenus Comments: No comments

At long last, I am back with a menu plan. Trying to get my groove back with the new year. Happy 2014! Got anything new and exciting cooking in your kitchen this week?


Day 1:
Chicken Noodle Soup with Handmade Egg Noodles *I sprinkle a little Tony Chachere’s Dry Roux Mix into this to make it heartier and more flavorful. Yum!

Day 2:
Chicken Burrito Bowls

Day 3:
Meatball Hoagies with Homemade Rolls

Day 4: *Carb loading for our half-marathon tomorrow! Nom nom!
Penne Rustica
Baked Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
Rosemary Bread with Olive Oil & Spices

Day 5:
Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Photo Credit: © Marion Pringinger | RGBstock

Read More

Menu: Week 35

Category: CookingMenus Comments: No comments

I was so excited after grocery shopping this week! If you read my post from last week, you know that I planned my menu around the sales at Super 1. It worked out great and I paid much less for groceries. This week was a bonus, because most of the meat I got was in such large packs that I had enough left over to use for this week! Plus, a couple of  the meals I didn’t make, so I just rolled those over to this week’s menu.
The next step is to get a deep freezer so I can stock up on meat and be a little more flexible while buying what’s on sale. Plus, I can try to do a little more freezer cooking. How do you save money on groceries each week? 
 This Week's Menu at thecozyabode.com
Day 1:
Salisbury Steaks with & Rice & Gravy
Day 2:
Pork Chops with Mango Salsa
Couscous Salad
Day 3:
Vietnamese Pork Noodles Stir F...
Read More

Menu: Week 34

Category: CookingMenus Comments: No comments

I was doing really good this week. I had caught up on my couponing and made the drugstore rounds to get this week’s deals. I know, I know – it’s one of the basic couponing strategies, but I have yet to plan my grocery list around the grocery sales and decided to start trying that this week. I went through the Super 1 sales paper and matched up recipes I could use with the meats they had on sale. I had my week all planned out, my menu and grocery list written and was planning on going to get groceries yesterday while Hayden was at Mother’s Day Out.
But, of course, that’s not how it happened. Hayden got sick and Scotty had to get his immunizations...
Read More

Menu: Week 33

Category: CookingFamilyMenus Comments: No comments

We just returned from a Labor Day trip to visit my grandparents in Missouri this past weekend for a family reunion. They are some of my favorite people in the world and it was such a treat to be able to spend some quality time with them (and the rest of my big, loud family of course!) It is amazing how much in love they still are with one another after so many years! Here’s a shot of me and the boys with them that Jathan took right before we left. Happy Grandparents’ Day to this sweet couple! 
After a quick stop in Memphis to meet our dear friends’ (Alan and Heather) adorable new baby, we are back home and into our routine. Today Hayden started going to Mother’s Day Out two days per week, so I am getting some alone time for the first time in two years! :) Whoop, whoop!
Read More

Shrimp & Andouille Pot Pies

Category: CookingMain DishesRecipes Comments: No comments

I found this recipe at Martha Stewart, and made a few changes and added a little cajun seasoning to spice it up a little. They are best if you let them cool a little bit before serving.The filling gets thicker as it cools (and doesn’t burn your tongue like mine did!)

shrimp & andouille pot pies recipe from thecozyabode.com

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Chop a large onion and sauté in the butter until soft but not brown, about 7 minutes.

saute onions

Quarter half a pound of andouille sausage and chop into small pieces. Add it to the pan with the onion.

add sausage

Add 4 garlic cloves, diced, and cook about two more minutes.


Stir in half of a cup of all-purpose flour

add flour

and 2/3 cup of red wine. Let it cook for one minute.

add wine

Add two medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


and 4 cups fish or seafood stock...

Read More