Goodbye Kit-Kat – 2000-2019

2000 – 2019

This has been a tough year. We had to say goodbye to our sweet boy on Sunday, 11/10/2019. Needless to say I am heartbroken and shedding tears even as I compose this post. Kit-Kat was a member of our family for nearly nineteen years. We adopted him from a shelter when he was three months old. Last week he became quite ill and began rapidly declining four days before we made the tough decision to say goodbye. He was put to rest at home, the last gift we could give him.

I know we were blessed to have had him for so long, and I am truly grateful for that. We thought we might lose him a time or two before this, but he always pulled through. That was the fighter in him—he never gave up. I often teased him about his incredible determination. He was my buddy and constant companion. I talked to him, hugged, kissed and loved on him each and every day. He tolerated me during those tender moments, being a cat, and I will continue to miss him terribly.

Thank you, Kitty-baby, for bringing joy and happiness to our lives for so many years. We sure did love you!!

Here’s a glimpse into Kit-Kat’s life with us…

Thank you for reading. ❤️

📚Mills & Boon Bookclub📚 A very special offer just for you!

If you’ve been following Cozynookbks for any length of time you know that I enjoy reading books written by British authors and set in the UK.

Well guess what? I’ve recently become aware that Mills & Boon (a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.) has a bookclub, and I’m so excited to tell you all about it.  It is the UK’s BIGGEST romance bookclub, offering eight themed series for members to choose from.  Each month members get very special goodies along with their books—from exclusive special offers, discounts, competitions and prizes, to the members-only Romance magazine and exclusive Mills & Boon merchandise.  Members also get a first look at monthly series titles before they hit retail stores and shops.  Best of all, prices start at as little as £11.98 per month, with the option to pre-pay for an annual subscription on the Mills & Boon website (MILLSANDBOON.CO.UK) and save up to 25%!  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

This is a sample of what a typical True Love series parcel looks like…

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A typical True Love series parcel

Isn’t that an amazing assortment of books and swag?!  It includes:

    • four books from the True Love series
    • some Mills & Boon goodies
    • a sample from the recent Regency Bestsellers collection
    • the most recent edition of a members-only Romance magazine and newsletter

Although the bookclub ships to the UK only, everything else on the Mills & Boon website ships internationally.  Would you like to save 30% off your total order at MILLSANDBOON.CO.UK until September 30, 2018?  Then use my special code, COZYNOOK30 at checkout.  (PLEASE NOTE, THIS DISCOUNT EXCLUDES BOOKCLUB PRODUCTS WHICH ARE ALREADY DISCOUNTED.)

I hope you find this information helpful booklovers, and that you may be able to take advantage of this very special offer.

Thank you Mills & Boon and HarperCollins for the AMAZING True Love series parcel.

Have a great day everyone!!

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Giveaway Winners announced!!

Jill. Congratulations Jill!! Jill has been contacted and has chosen prize #2:

Winner #2 is….

Holly B. Congratulations Holly!! You have won prize #1:

And the four runner-up winners are:

– Kathy’s Cottage

– Kentucky Book Lover

– Jennifer Tar Heel Reader

– Zahra Hassan

Each of you will receive a copy of The Rancher’s Second Chance:

Thanks for participating everyone. I’ll be contacting you via e-mail, and then getting your prizes out to you as soon as possible, so don’t worry..

Have a great day!! 💕

The Happiness Pact Giveaway Winners announced!

Cyn. Cyn, you have won this:

I will be contacting you via email shortly. Congratulations. 🎊🎉

But wait, we have two runner-up winners. I have two other books to give away by Liz Flaherty, who so generously provided them.

And the runner-up winners are…

Lghiggans

Lraines78

You will each receive a copy of Back to McGuffey’s by Liz Flaherty.

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I adored Back to McGuffey’s. (See my review of it here .) I will contact you via email.

Thanks everyone!! If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair. Winners of my other giveaway will be selected and announced on 7/9. Perhaps you’ll be one of them.

Giveaway Time!!

ADC65146-0D21-4961-A676-6E9411F938F4Many of you who follow my blog probably already know that I enjoy reading books set in the U.K., so I thought, “Why not do a little British inspired giveaway?”

So I put this together to give away….

PRIZE #1

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If you win, you’ll get:

  • The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant
  • Cute rooster hook bookmark
  • English breakfast tea
  • Book mug (my favorite)
  • English custard cream cookies (yum!)

But wait, I’m feeling generous, so because I value all of those who follow my blog, read my posts, and/or regularly comment, I wanted to offer another chance to win something. So I put together this too…..

PRIZE #2

If you win, you’ll get:

  • An ARC copy of My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley
  • Cranberry Pistachio Italian cookie
  • Cocoa Butter hand & body lotion
  • Radish mug (my favorite)
  • New England Breakfast Blend coffee

But I’m still not finished. For the four runner-ups I’ll be giving away one each of these….

PRIZE #3

(Winner #1 gets to choose prize #1, #2 or #3)

All you have to do to be entered to win one of these prizes is Like this post, and then tell me one or more of your favorite books in the comments section. That’s it. Winners will be picked at random. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. I’m so sorry. 😔

Winner will be announced on 7/9.

Thank you for following Cozynookbks and for reading my posts, commenting, and sharing so many wonderful things with me. I truly appreciate and value each and every one of you. Have a wonderful week! 😉

I made a Wacky Cake!!

Hi all! For those of you who recently read my review of Do or Diner , I included a picture of a Wacky Cake because I’d never heard of one before and took an interest in it after reading about it in the book.

So I attempted it Wednesday night and wanted to share my results with all of you. Ready?

One dish with all ingredients mixed together in it….

2 2/3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cups cocoa, 1 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 tsp vinegar, 2 cups water

Add dry ingredients to ungreased baking dish or pan. Make three wells in the dry mixture and put the vanilla in the first well, vinegar in the second well, and oil in the third well. Pour two cups of water over everything and mix with a fork until incorporated.

Bake on 350° for at least 40 minutes (mine took longer, but since ovens vary, look at the cake after 40 minutes).

My Wacky Cake after 50 minutes in 350° oven

It’s rather decadent by itself so I decided not to frost it. I just sprinkled a little confectioners sugar on top. I love that deep brown color from the cocoa (I used Hershey’s).

So there you have it. It’s rich, moist and delicious. In fact, I’m having trouble keeping myself away from it. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Seriously folks, you should definitely try it. No eggs, butter or milk, and perfectly respectable results. We loved it!

What do you think? Look good?

Have the best weekend ever everyone!!

It’s Giveaway Time Y’all!!

It’s an Upswing in Followers giveaway. To celebrate all of the new followers to Cozynookbks, as well as my long-time loyal followers, I thought it would be nice to host a giveaway. This is what I put together to give away….

If you win, you’ll get:

  • Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
  • Bookmark – “Books are better with a cup of tea”
  • Scented wax cubes – Banana Pumpkin Bread
  • Burt’s Bees glossy lip pencil-Outback Oasis
  • Comfy, soft slippers-size medium/large
  • Yankee Candle-Apple Pumpkin

Do you like it?  If you do, then all you have to do to be entered to win is Like this post, and then tell me why you enjoy reading. Or, what’s your favorite book genre, and why? That’s it. Winner will be picked at random. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry. 😔

Winner will be announced on 12/22.

Thank you for following Cozynookbks. I appreciate each and every one of you. Have a great day!!

Am I Normal? (for those of you who really know me, don’t answer that)…

September 30th, 2017 was my twenty-third wedding anniversary.  Yay!!  We decided not to venture out too far from home to celebrate this time, and so we settled on staying at The Ivey’s Hotel, which is roughly 30 minutes from where we live.  It recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and it is stunning.  Here’s some pictures of the interior…

Pretty ritzy, right?  It was pure opulence, and the epitome of luxury.  There was even a library on our floor that we had twenty-four hour access to…

This was my favorite place to go while we were there.  (That’s my hubby reading in there.)

fullsizeoutput_ac2So here’s why I want to know if I’m normal.  We were supposed to spend four glorious nights there, but after the third night I was ready to go home.  I told my husband and he was just fine with going home early too. So we went home, and we spent the next seven days that he had off from work in the comforts of our own home, occasionally going out to dinner or to the mall, the movies, or just wherever.  We had an amazing time just being in each others company, which is where we are happiest.   And I was thinking….

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That’s not to say we don’t enjoy going away on vacation.  There have been places we’ve gone where we’ve extended our stay.  But not this time.  So, I ask you, is it normal to want to leave a swanky hotel prematurely and go back home?  Have you ever gone away on vacation or for some other occasion and longed to go home?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Thanks for reading!!

Home Delivery Meal Kits – Yay or Nay?

We’re seeing them everywhere. Meal kits delivered to your door, ready to prepare. There are so many options you can choose from, including: vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, vegan, organic and so on. And since most companies offer your first box at a reduced price, I decided to try one. I settled on Home Chef since their meals seemed more suited to my family’s taste. There are times when I forget to take something out of the freezer to prepare for dinner, or I just want to try something new, so I thought this might be a good way to do it.

The following is my experience with Home Chef’s meals:

Bone-in Pork Chop with Candied Walnut Butter

My result:

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This meal was excellent! We were very pleased with the results. And bonus, I was introduced to acorn squash which was very delicious.

Four Cheese Baked Ziti


My result:


This dish was very good. I liked the addition of spinach in the pasta. It made me feel better that there was a healthy element to it. Granted, I could have easily made this myself, but adding the spinach and different variety of cheeses was new to me so overall I was happy about this recipe and the results.

Mongolian Beef with Ribeye Steak

 My result (minus the peanuts):

This dish was delicious!! I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I was preparing it. It looked like it might be dry, and I had no idea how Chinese broccoli would taste. It looked like green aluminum foil pieces when I took it out of the oven. But when it was incorporated into the dish, it was a perfect fit. One of my favorite meals.


These three meals were my favorites. I prepared three others that were *meh* at best, a bit too bland for my taste and I was like….


This is an example of how you receive your ingredients in the mail:

Four Cheese Baked Ziti contents:


And they give you this cool recipe binder to keep all of your recipes in:

So far I’ve cooked about six meals, and I’d say we loved 50% of them.  The others were just okay.

THE VERDICT….

Pros:

  1. Just about everything you need to prepare a meal in less than an hour at your fingertips. Convenient.
  2. Discovered new recipes that we enjoyed, including food items that I may never have tried otherwise.
  3. Ability to suspend shipments at will. If you don’t like meal choices for a particular week you can skip that week.
  4. Meal options are displayed on the website weeks in advance so you can plan out your deliveries accordingly.
  5. Decent meal variety.
  6. Good customer Service.

Cons:

  1. Thoroughly satisfied with only about half of the meals I prepared.
  2. Expensive—all things considered.
  3. Some meals were too labor intensive; too many steps, pots and pans.
  4. A massive amount of packaging material!!
  5. Limited time period to prepare meals once received.

Overall, my experience with Home Chef was pretty good. I don’t regret trying them out.  I had originally cancelled after my first shipment but they gave me an incentive to give them another shot so I did. I will probably discontinue my membership though. The pros ultimately don’t outweigh the cons. I’ll let you know if I change my mind after I prepare my latest meals.

Regarding all of that packaging material from my first shipment, I repurposed some of it into a cat bed for Kit-Kat (a.k.a. Kitty-baby). He LOVES it!! All you need to add is an old t-shirt, pillowcase, and a few safety pins.


I actually wound up double padding it so it’s really soft inside. It can be washed easily so that’s a plus. Just remove the t-shirt and pillowcase and wash them. To give you an idea of the actual size, Kitty-baby is about 12 pounds.

So tell me, have you tried any of these home meal delivery kits? What was your experience like? If you haven’t tried one, would you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Our 2017 RV Show adventure – Greensboro, NC

I have a confession to make. I love RV’s.  I’ve wanted one for decades but the truth is I’ll probably never own one. 


Fortunately, I can live out my fantasy of RV ownership at the annual RV show. This year we went to one of the largest shows, in Greensboro, NC. It was a sea of RV’s, and I got to ooh and aah at the largest RV’s imaginable, down to the cutest little pods that were basically meant just for sleeping. I had the time of my life!  I even saw a cute little RV that we could aspire to owning some day. Possibly. Maybe. If only we had the proper vehicle to tow it. 

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures from my RV show experience with you. Do you own, or have you ever rented an RV? Do you like RV’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to know what you think about them. 

Me in an RV’s dining area

The RV that was perfect for us

Kitchenette in the perfect-for-us RV

My dream RV

And another one I liked

Bed inside of a nice RV

Nice kitchen

Lunch time!! My husband’s chicken and waffles

My chicken and waffles – comfort food at its best

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our RV show adventure. 

Until next time…