Happy Saturday friends! I’m glad you’re here. I’m so honored to be joining a lovely group of ladies who are opening up their hearts and homes for the cozy living series created by my sweet friend Jennifer from Town and Country Living. Each month we’ll be sharing a little glimpse into our homes and what makes them cozy to us and our families. I hope you’ll be able to take some cozy fall inspiration with you today.
If you’re new to my little corner in blog land you may not know that fall is my absolute favorite season. Between the warm colors outside, the cool temps and the delicious foods it’s the season from heaven for me. Our home always feels a little bit warmer and more joyful this time of the year. My husband and I along with our four year old son, Charlie have many things we love about this time of the year. We spend a lot of evenings outside beside the fire pit roasting marshmallows and chatting about all kinds of things. We’re also in the kitchen more baking all kinds of fall goodies. We try to take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the now in a time when life can get so busy. I wanted to share two traditions that my little family has that has really made slowing down that much sweeter.
Cozy Living Tradition – Fresh Flowers
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I don’t remember a time that I have not adored fresh flowers. As a little girl I remember picking little flowers, more like weeds, from our yard and stringing them into necklaces and crowns. They’re all beautiful in their own way and what I think is God’s way of showing off. Each week while I’m picking up groceries I make sure to grab a bundle of flowers. It’s a gift I give myself for getting groceries. Does anyone else shared my dread for grocery shopping? Fresh flowers have become synonymous with cozy in our home the last two years. I can be having a really rough day and I walk into a room with some pretty blooms and it will change my whole disposition.
I recently shared how I arrange my grocery store flowers on the blog. What I love doing after Halloween is over is to use a couple of my heirloom pumpkins as vases for my flowers. You just cut out the top of the pumpkin, scrape the inside out and set a small vase or glass inside with water. I typically start with eucalyptus around the outside and fill in the middle with roses, mums, stock flowers, etc.
P.S. I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. I HATE being in front of a camera. I would much rather be behind it! I tend to be a very private person as well as a perfectionist. Being photographed is a struggle! I never really share photos of myself here but when I really thought about it I just knew it was important. What is a home without ourselves anyways? I’m going to try and be better about stepping in front more often and really letting you guys in.
I find few things as pretty as fresh flowers sitting in a Cinderella pumpkin! How about you?
Cozy Living Tradition – Homemade Caramels
Oh caramels, the best creamy, chewy candy ever! My family has always made homemade candy this time of the year. I remember going to my grandma’s for the holidays and enjoying all the fresh candies that my aunts had made. It’s something that takes me back to my childhood. It’s now something that I do with my son and It has become one of our favorite treats to make. I’ve made a few different kinds of caramels but one of my absolute favorites are apple cider caramels. They’re the perfect blend of apples, cream and spices. This is a recipe that is really simple if you’re new to making candy!
Here’s what you need:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
3 cups apple cider
3/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt
Bring the cider to a boil in a heavy sauce pan over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the cider has reduced to 1/2 cup.
Line an 8 inch baking pan that has straight sides with parchment paper, allowing the sides to over hang so that you can lift it from the pan later.
Remove the cider from the heat and add the butter, both sugars, and cream. Stir the mixture until combined. Return the pan to high heat and bring it to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the sauce pan and boil for about 10 minutes without stirring or until the mixture reaches 245 to 250 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and 1 tsp. salt.
Pour the mixture into the pan lined with parchment. You can sprinkle the top with the left over sea salt if you choose. Let the mixture cool until just warm and then place into the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or until firm.
Once they’re cool and firm, they’re ready to cut. I typically cut mine into about 1″ squares using a ceramic knife. The sharper the better! The caramels can be very sticky. I normally cut small squares of brown parchment paper to wrap them in. You can store these caramels in the fridge up to two weeks.
Homemade candy is such a great gift for neighbors and loved ones during the holidays as well! Line an old metal baking pan with a tea towel and fill with caramels. Wrap ribbon around it and tie into a bow. Your loved ones will thank you. I promise!
I’m thrilled you stopped by today! The home is so much more than the stuff we put in it. It’s place that should be filled with cherished memories, family traditions and full of those things that bring your family joy. I’m striving to make my home our cozy retreat each day and I hope that we can inspire you to seek out the special in yours. I can’t wait to see what my friends have in store for us! Grab your coffee and hop on over to see each of their beautiful homes that they’ve poured their hearts into. Have a lovely Saturday friends!