Monday, April 28, 2014

Turning Negative Mind Chatter Into Positive Discourse

Walk Away from Negative Mind Chatter - The Cozy Nook

Negative mind chatter. Sometimes it’s easy to come by. Our minds are triggered by an emotion or an event in life and soon enough, our minds are spiraling downwards, into the abyss, with an endless chatter of negativity that carries us nowhere good.

Negative chatter gets us nowhere in life. In fact, it causes us to move downward, away from our goals, desires, and responsibilities.

The first step in walking away from negative chatter is to RECOGNIZE it.

Make yourself aware of the thoughts that are going on in your mind so you don’t just accept what is happening. Don’t be passive to what is going on in your mind. Realize that you are in a spiral downward so you can do something about it.

Once you recognize your state of mind, be active in refreshing your mind and changing your thoughts.

The Bible says this:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things…” Philippians 4:8

Good thoughts don’t just happen. We need to force our minds to think about the good things in life. We need to think about and meditate on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.

Want to have a more positive outlook on life?

Walk away from negative chatter and fill your mind with a good flow of positive discourse!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Piccata

Crockpot Chicken Piccata - The Cozy Nook

My mother-in-law introduced me to chicken piccata years ago. Her chicken piccata is divine – tender, juicy, tasty, with that delicious lemon and caper sauce. It definitely takes some love and effort to produce such a wonderful dish.

I decided to make chicken piccata for Easter, but I wanted it to be fresh. Since we are at church for several hours on Sunday, I knew it wouldn’t work well for me to come home and make it. I searched for a good-looking crockpot recipe and found this one.

My chicken piccata turned out absolutely lovely, just like my mother-in-law’s. It was tender, moist, and held the most delicious of flavors.

The only “hard” part about this recipe is browning the meat ahead of time, which I actually did the night before. Other than that, you just throw everything into the crockpot and let it do its work!

Crockpot Chicken Piccata
Printable Version

Original recipe found here.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the original recipe used thighs)
(See Note)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1 3.5 oz jar of capers, drained
2 T dried parsley (or 1/3 cup fresh, chopped)

NOTE: I used five chicken breast halves. First, I fillet them in half down through the midsection to create ten chicken breast halves.

Put the olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Coat the chicken breasts with flour.
Brown the chicken breasts in the oil, approximately a couple minutes per side.
Place chicken breasts in crockpot.
Combine remaining ingredients in mixing or glass measuring bowl and pour over chicken breasts.
Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
When you serve the chicken piccata, be sure to scoop out some extra sauce on top. YUM!

Chicken Piccata - The Cozy Nook

Monday, April 14, 2014

Raising Children: Balancing Correction with Praise

Balancing Correction with Praise - The Cozy Nook

One day I was wholeheartedly into the day, fulfilling my motherly role.

“Stop chewing with your mouth, full.”

“Be nice to your sister.”

“Don’t do that.”

“Please be quiet.”

The critiques were flying quickly out of my mouth, and my heart was starting to feel a bit weighed down. I could feel the heaviness of all of the correction. UGH.

Even my husband noticed and said something to me, “You need to relax a little bit.”

My heart testified. I knew I needed to relax, but I also knew that our children needed a lot of direction, and we are the ones who provide it.

It’s true. Parenthood involves giving a lot of correction. Children need us to train their immature, sinful hearts.

Their habits rub us the wrong way.
Attitudes disappoint and hurt us.
Actions dishearten us, causing us to wonder where we are going wrong.

When it comes to raising children, correction is necessary, but praise is what enables our children to change.

When our children feel loved, approved, and needed, they will be more motivated to follow our lead and respond to the things we are teaching them.

When our children feel secure and noticed, they will more easily gravitate towards positive change.

With every dose of correction we give, we should be seeking to give twice the amount of praise.

Are you praising your child enough?

Create a positive relationship with your child.

Don’t forget the praise! Lather it on, and ask God for grace to hold your tongue when your child is doing something that irks you. Maybe it doesn’t need to be addressed for the 10th time that day.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Chicken with Gravy - The Cozy Nook

This is an easy and great way to cook a chicken! One chicken feeds our family of six well, with some sides.

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy
Printable Version
Rinse and dry whole chicken. Take out giblets if necessary. Place chicken in crockpot.

If you want to flavor the chicken and gravy more, you could place onion, carrot, celery or other vegetables in the crockpot also.

Put 1 cup of water or chicken broth in the bottom of the crockpot.

Pulled Chicken - The Cozy Nook

Cook chicken on high for about six hours.

Pull or carve the chicken, as desired.



To make gravy, strain the liquid from the crockpot into a saucepan and heat on medium heat.

Thickening Agent - The Cozy Nook


Combine a couple tablespoons of flour with approximately the same amount of cold water. Mix until thoroughly combined.


Gravy - The Cozy Nook

Add the flour and water mixture to the hot gravy liquid in the saucepan. Cook and stir for a couple minutes until the gravy is boiling and thickened.

Season gravy with salt and pepper.


Serve and enjoy!

Chicken with Gravy - The Cozy Nook

Friday, April 4, 2014

Homemade Hand and Foot Soak

Homemade Hand & Foot Soak

This hand and foot soak is simple to make, contains pure ingredients, and would be great for gifting.


1 cup Epsom Salt
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup pink salt, optional (great for a hint of color)
Essential oil of your choice. I added a handful of drops of lavender oil and a few drops of lemon oil as well.

Mix well.

When using to soak hands or feet, scoop 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the soak into warm water and combine well.

Soak, relax, and enjoy!