The Art of Coziness

Published December 24, 2020

Dedicated to everyone we have lost this year. We miss you!

The last issue of 2020 is here!!❄️🎄

Can you believe that the New Year is in one week? This crazy year will soon be done. Happy winter holidays and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! We hope this is a good Christmas gift to our readers. 

We have changed our logo to be more representative of us. We hope you like it and would love to hear your thoughts on it! 

Lastly, we would like to note that, thanks to several more extremely generous donations we should have enough money to continue with another year of color printing!! Thank you again to EVERYONE who donated (and those who gave paper)!

Happy Holidays,

-Adalia and Leeya

The Art of Coziness: An Interview About Coziness and Landscaping With Robin Moore And Nilda Cosco

Go to to see more about Mr. Robin and Ms. Nilda’s design programs and projects!

“Coziness depends on the person who is going to use that space and what coziness means to them.” ~ Nilda Cosco ~

We interviewed Nilda Cosco and Robin Moore to see how they interpreted coziness and what they do in their job on human interaction with landscaping. 

Who is Nilda Cosco?

Nilda Cosco teaches undergraduate students at the College of Design at NC State. Her class on introducing the concept of environmental behavior is taken by students across the campus. She has a degree in the psychology of how children learn. Nilda studied Jesuit University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started working in environmental behavior and earned a PhD in landscape architecture. 

Who is Robin Moore?

Robin Moore teaches higher level college courses about understanding the connection between environmental design and human behavior at the College of Design at NC State. He says it takes about five years to learn about architecture, which he began studying at the University of London before he realized he wanted to look at the bigger picture and decided to pursue an MCP (master of city planning) at MIT in the US.  

What is landscaping and architecture?

Landscaping is the design of the environment. There are many different types of architect and landscaping jobs. Robin and Nilda helped explain the differences to us. At the College of Design at NC State different types of design you can learn about include: urban design and city planning, architecture, landscaping, graphic design, industrial design and art and design. In landscaping alone, there are several different types of jobs like landscape architect (highest level of certification), landscape designer (un-certified level) and landscaper (the person who does the actual landscaping work). 

What do Nilda and Robin do specifically in their job?

Nilda and Robin look at how people, especially kids, interact with the environment. They work together with many different companies and institutions and with their team to bring people’s ideas to life. They are focused on understanding how the space works for the users. In their job they teach, research, write and publish studies. 

Their job also requires lots of creativity and an open mind. Robin says creativity is having a good approach to any given problem even though you may be limited by materials, obstacles or money. Nilda adds that creativity is the capacity of bringing constraints and opportunities, while making the most of what you have. To sum it up, creativity is being able to find many solutions to your or someone else’s problems and narrowing it down to the best option.

What is their favorite part of their job? 

Robin says his favorite part of his job is going to the area once the design is finished to see how it is being used and if it works. He especially loves doing that with kids. Robin has observed that kids often find a whole new set of ways to use their environment that he had never thought of. Nilda says her favorite part of this job is working with the people or institution. She thinks it is especially important to value their ideas. 

What is their least favorite part of their job?

Working remotely with the pandemic has changed their jobs a lot and they both agreed that it made it harder for them. However, it was also hard working in a big institution, like NC State, where there is a lot of bureaucracy. They understand that administration is important but sometimes it distracted them from what they had to do. 

What was Nilda and Robin’s favorite project?

When we asked Nilda and Robin what their favorite project was, they had very different answers. Robin said his favorite was the Teardrop at Battery City Park in Manhattan in which they had a large team and many resources. On the other side of the spectrum, Nilda said her favorite project was the small Charcoal Center in downtown Raleigh built for families with low income. She liked all the creativity put into that project and how, even though they didn’t have as many resources, they were still able to make it work.  

What is coziness and how can you create it?

Coziness begins with you. Nilda says you have to see what the client wants and what coziness is to them. In other words, coziness is different for everybody! You have to create it how you want it to look. Coziness is about your comfort not the aesthetics. Unless, of course, aesthetics, add to the comfort of your environment. 

Even though coziness depends on the person, there are some basic things you can look at and do to create coziness. When trying to create coziness outdoors, look at the temperature, how much wind there is and the light and orientation of the sun. Bringing in color and lights is very important. One way of fixing this is by adding colorful and lively plants. In the indoors, coziness is usually easier to create because the time of year doesn’t matter much and you don’t have to worry about the weather. You mainly need to look at the comfort level and lighting. Who you are and what your favorite things to do are can also play a big role in your level of comfort. In the end, it is important to remember that something as simple as an uncomfy chair could be a big factor of the coziness in the place. 

How do you find inspiration?

Inspiration can come from all over. Sometimes taking a simple walk and looking at the way the sun sparkles through the grasses can encourage your imagination to strike up an idea. Taking photographs are Nilda and Robin’s favorite things to do to remember beautiful or inspiring things. They also like to read, listen to NPR and observe the world around them to find out what is most important. News from what is happening here and in other countries can encourage them to look at all the possibilities. In order to find inspiration it is important to look at the world and see through all of its layers to find what is at its core and what is most important.

What do we (A and L) think?

After talking to Nilda and Robin, we both had some new ideas about our environment and how we could control it. It was important to hear that coziness begins with you and is about you. The idea of this will definitely stick with both of us and continue to remind us that we will always be able to control how we interact with our surroundings.

We also began to realize that the environment is so much bigger than what we can simply touch and feel. The environment is our surroundings and interactions with it.

The Years’ Discussion

By Leeya

Christmas Movie Reviews

Home Alone

Kevin isn’t the sweetest little kid, but he learns how to be over one thrilling, wild journey on a crazy Christmas time. His family is getting ready for a trip to Paris the very next morning, when Kevin loses his temper of a cheese pizza. The next day, Kevin’s family leaves on the trip, without him!! What will Kevin do in his time alone? candy, a scary movie and a trip to the store. That night, two men come to raid the houses in Kevin’s neighborhood. Kevin recognizes one of the men: the homeland security officer, visiting the day before…but is that who he really is…Watch Home Alone to see what Kevin will do to protect himself and learn what family really means!


Klaus is a heart-wrenching movie about the story of giving gifts. It begins with a pompous kid, whose father is the head of the mail service. As punishment for being so lazy, Jesper is sent off to set up a post office…but not exactly in the nicest town. In fact, in Smeerenburg, two families, Ellingboe and Krum, have such a deep rivalry they are ready to get rid of the other family in whatever way possible…And unfortunately for Jesper, they hate mailmen. But it turns out not everyone is happy with the way things are going in the town. One day on his mail collection walk, Jesper finds his first piece of mail…a drawing of a sad little boy. When he heads to the other side of the island, he drops it in a hurry to escape a huge man…But is he really a bad person? The man comes back with a gift for the child! Soon more and more children are begging for gifts from the mysterious Klaus. What will this one act of kindness do to the world? Who will it touch and change forever?

Puns n’ Recipes

*Thank you Mr. Rob for the recipe and suggestion!

Did you hear about the weightlifting vegetable? He was a muscle sprout!

We have a new recipe for … sautéed brussel sprouts!

Serves 4-6; takes about 15 minutes


  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • balsamic vinegar (the thicker the better)


  1. Rinse your brussel sprouts. Cut away dried stems and spoiled outer leaves, if necessary.
  2. Use the slicing utensil on your food processor to cut your brussel sprouts in many thin slices. You can also use a knife to slice them into coin-like pieces.
  3. Melt your butter and add olive oil to a pan at medium-low temperature.
  4. Once hot, add your sliced sprouts. Toss frequently to avoid burning.
  5. Liberally add salt and pepper. Sprinkle your balsamic vinegar on top.


The dish is done when some of the slices start to brown around the edges. You can taste test a slice to see if they are cooked enough.

Virtual Voyages: Welcome to Raleigh!

We have decided to begin a new segment of our magazine…Virtual Voyages! Here we will “take” you on a fun trip to an interesting place where you may have never been. We will begin with Raleigh, the City of Oaks, because it is our hometown and has lots of neat facts!!

*For a Scratch video presentation of the information below, visit our Virtual Voyages under Interactive Items

  1. The cardinal is the state bird. It officially became the state bird in 1943. Cardinals can be seen year-round in North Carolina and are especially visible during the grey winters. These birds are known for their “cheer cheer cheer” calls, their crowned heads and gorgeous red down. In addition, cardinals represent hope, health and joy.
  2. The North Carolina capitol building can be found in Raleigh…North Carolina’s capital. The capitol building first opened in 1840. However, this spot had been chosen more than 100 years earlier! Due to the government failing to establish itself, what was then called the ‘Governor’s Palace’ wasn’t finished until 1771. This was soon enlarged and built to hold the legislature and congress. When the building burned down in 1931, they rebuilt what we now think of as the North Carolina capitol building.
  3. The Raleigh skyline is particularly beautiful to see from Dorothea Dix Park, near the Boylan Heights neighborhood. This park has a seasonal sunflower field and great dog park, as well as sloping lawns and a nearby Greenway trail. On one side of the railroad tracks, are the old buildings of a mental hospital. This is a great place to take photos and enjoy your green surroundings.
  4. Historic Oakwood, a neighborhood very close to downtown Raleigh, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Raleigh. This neighborhood is known for its 100-year Victorian houses and the leafy oak trees lining the sidewalks. The Historic Oakwood Cemetery, nearby, is a final resting place for many of Raleigh’s confederate soldiers.
  5. Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University, home of the Pack and one of the leading public research schools in the area. NC State is also the largest university in the Carolinas. Founded in 1887, this school now offers over 100 majors and almost 600 different clubs and societies across more than 2,000 acres of greenscaping and city. The North Carolina State University Memorial Belltower on Hillsborough Street is a neat experience, when visiting the university.
  6. The beautiful, uniquely-petaled dogwood flower became North Carolina’s state flower in 1941. Apparently, it took the people demanding for the flower to become a state flower for North Carolina’s government to change things around! Similar to the cardinal, the dogwood is one of the most commonly found trees in North Carolina and can be found in all regions of the state.

Fun Facts (Christmas-themed!)

Who came up with the idea of the Christmas Tree?

You might want to brew a cup o’ tea when trimming your tree this year to pay homage to its origins. When Prince Albert of Germany introduced a tree to his new wife, Queen Victoria of England, the tradition really took off across the kingdom and country. A drawing of the couple in front of a Christmas tree appeared in Illustrated London News in 1848 and, as we say, the idea went viral.

Jingle Space!

As a prank, astronauts broadcasted Jingle Bells from space…but this prank almost went too far. Nine days before Christmas in 1965, the two astronauts aboard Gemini 6 sent an odd report to Mission Control that they saw an “unidentified flying object” about to enter Earth’s atmosphere, traveling in the polar orbit from north to south. They interrupted the tense report with the sound of “Jingle Bells,” as Wally Schirra played a small harmonica accompanied by Tom Stafford on a handful of small sleigh bells they had smuggled aboard.

Package Frenzy

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day last year, the U.S. Postal Service delivered an estimated 910 million packages – in addition to almost 15 billion pieces of mail! That includes gifts for faraway loved ones, cards, letters to Santa, and those credit card bills.

New Year’s Movie Reviews

Back to the Future!

One small-town California kid and his mad scientist friend are ready to test a machine that will send them through time! Has Doc Brown connected and built everything correctly..? You will soon find out! Marty arrives in the past, only to meet his teenage parents through a series of crazy events, including a fight and a speeding car. He ends up messing up his whole future by making his mother fall in love with him. Marty must set everything back in order and find the right amount of power to ride back home! Watch the movie to see what happens when he arrives back! How will his actions have changed the world and his family?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Meg Murry is a clumsy girl with a lot of despair in her heart. Her father disappeared and won’t return their letters and she is teased and bullied at school about her little brother, Charles Wallace. But one stormy night, a peculiar and mysterious Mrs. Whatsit appears through Mrs. Murry’s laboratory with a warning. The next day, Charles Wallace takes Meg to visit a second of the Misuses: Mrs. Who, another strange and mysterious woman. That evening they begin a journey to save Mr. Murry and perhaps the world. Their journey won’t be easy and sticking together will be essential if they want to stay alive…even as forces so dark they cannot be named want to destroy the happiness in the world.

A and L’s 2020 Time Capsule

Leeya: 2020 has definitely been a crazy year with lots of ups and downs, however, I feel fortunate to have had more ups than downs in this weird year. First, I got to start this great magazine and wrote a cookbook with Adalia! These are some things that would have never been created if it wasn’t for the pandemic. In addition, I have gotten to improve my skills in many areas such as debate, piano, soccer, math, and have been cooking a lot more. I have grown closer to my family members and friends (including Adalia!) My uncle even bought a house here in Pittsboro because he loved NC so much after quarantine-ing here. However, 2020 hasn’t been all great as for many of us, the pandemic did separate me and my grandparents for one whole year! But likely, they will be able to come back in time for New Year! My dog of 14 years also passed away in September which was a roller coaster of emotions. I miss him so much but downs also have their ups which, in this case, will be the new puppy that we are getting in June! I am grateful for all of my blessings and lucky to have all of my family and friends safe and healthy. Thank you to everyone who has helped us fight the pandemic and get through this crazy year. Happy 2021! 

Adalia: I wanted to begin my time capsule by thanking Leeya for being my friend for over 10 years. Every second of it she has helped me grow in so many creative ways. Thank you Leeya for being AWESOME, AMAZING you!! I love how much closer the two of us have grown because of this pandemic and the work we have started to do during it! One of my other favorite things about this year is great how much we have been able to connect with out-of-county family members via technology. I am so grateful for the technology and internet age we are living in! In addition to allowing us to see our loved ones, technology has allowed us to continue our education, fun activities and so much more. One of the non tech-related things that I have also gotten to work on is my orienteering skills. This is a great outdoor activity, safe for me to do away from others (and computer screens!). Lastly, thank you to our readers, who have helped both of us grow in SO many ways. Thank you to our parents for supporting us in this crazy time. And THANK YOU to Leeya for finding ways for both of us to express our creativity! Welcome to the new year, everyone!

Fill out your very own Time Capsule:

*If you would like a digital copy of the Time Capsule, go to our Interactive Items page for the file and directions.

Our Logo Change: The Steps!

Old logo
New logo

We were thinking about our logo and we noticed that it doesn’t really represent us. We are a team of two young women who are friends and love creativity. So, how would we represent that better?

  1. We decided to have two different sets of logos. One logo would be more detailed for us to use on the cover of our magazine and whatnot, while the other would be less detailed for our smaller logos, like our website page and account icons.
  2. For our small logo (not available yet), we drew some pictures of ourselves to make a logo similar to the one on the right.
  3. We used a computer program to set up the more detailed images for our big logo (the logo above).
  4. Lastly, we inserted ‘A and L Magazine’ onto the background of our new logo (which we made transparent so we could change the colors around). And our logo was done!!

Die Geburt de Glücks (the Birth of Happiness)

By Adalia

The Duke and Duchess of the Raerian peoples lived in a castle in the midst of the Forest of Angst. Their castle was built of flaming ice, burning brighter than the sun…but if you knew what lay inside, you would know the light was the last thing the Tower of Tod could be compared to. Some nearby villagers told tales of dungeons colder than the snowy Wastelands of the North, full of traps and a slow death. Others told of a burning heat, hotter than the burning fires of Hell, that could melt the skin of your bones and burn even the strongest heart to ash. More claimed a gorgeous princess lived in the room in the tallest tower, awaiting the man who would win her heart, unable to leave because of a disease that attacked her from the womb. And yet, everything they gossiped of was not even close to the horrors that would and had been conceived within the walls of the Tower of Tod within the Forest of Angst.

Our story begins one evening, when a young Healer from a far-off land ventured into the Forest of Angst to gather the seeds of a unique herb, only found on the hilly ground of that very forest. When she heard the wind calling her into the woods, she decided to veer off her path into the darkness of the brush ahead. The Healer had heard the trees calling for a savior from a land pure and free of the evil that inhabited the Forest of Angst. As a Healer, the young woman had been gifted by Heila, the goddess of healing, and she had made a vow never to ignore the cry of one in need. Now was a chance.

As she walked further, another force began calling to her. This force came from the very center of the woods. It was not a pleasant force and, yet, as a daughter of Heila, she could not ignore it. The unseen force began to pull her along and though the Healer did not notice the supernatural change in the trees and air, the wind had begun to pull her along at inhuman speeds, faster and faster till it shoved her to the ground and she could move forward no longer.

The girl had fallen at the bottom of a reentrant. The hill above her seemed to reach miles up and when the Healer finally got up to walk on she wondered what could possibly be at the top of such a hill. After hours of climbing, a tower began to emerge, the rest of a castle following soon after. The sky had darkened and the branch coverage blocked the light of the stars and the moon. Again, the Healer felt an uncomfortable twinge in her heart but a cry of the wounded pierced the air and she didn’t dare ignore it.

The Tower of Tod inside the Forest of Angst was utterly still. It seemed like a place of impossibilities. Though the building seemed cold and hot at once, the Healer’s fingertips were not burned when she knocked upon the door.

Silently, the door opened and the Healer gasped at the sight inside. An evil feeling penetrated the very walls of the place and for a moment it was impossible for the Healer to take a single step forward. The fear she felt had an infinite depth and the lack of love that filled the pit could have shriveled her heart had the Healer not had a purpose and a pledge to help the crying one.

The daughter of Heila, goddess of healing stepped into a room lit by a single flame floating on a base of ice in the center of the room. Quite suddenly, a fireplace appeared, sitting directly below where the candle had just been. In the fireplace lay a naked woman with skin as dark as the sky outside and luxurious twists of hair falling from her head. A wreath of flame and ice, floating like an angel’s halo, sat upon her curls. The woman’s belly was swollen with a pregnancy. A man with skin as translucent as ice and eyes that seemed to glow kneeled over the woman. The man had a crown identical to that of the woman’s. The woman let out a grunting shriek of pain and the Healer immediately jumped to action.

The man of ice seemed shocked at the sight of the Healer but she simply ignored his stupor. The fire around the woman of night never ceased to fade despite the blood and liquid leaking from her womb. Every few minutes her body would shake with the force of her contractions and though her face was a mess of tears and grunting pain, the Healer could tell the woman of night and fire was a strong woman.

The Healer took herbs from her messenger bag and prepared a concoction to rub between the woman’s thighs to soothe the heat of the pain. As the contractions got closer and closer together, the woman and Healer pushed together and between her legs emerged a baby boy with coiled hair as white as the man’s and golden-brown skin that seemed to glow in the light of the fire and ice castle. The baby let out a shriek that made the Healer’s heart bloom with happiness. Her tired and worried face lit up like a glowing fire-beetle against the night.

Mein Sohn,” whispered the woman of night and fire, “du wirst großartig sein. My son, you will be great.”

When the Healer left early the next morning she had forgotten everything of the encounter except the glowing golden-brown skin of the baby and the utter joy and fulfillment her heart seemed to be blooming with.

The Duke and Duchess of Raeria were not pleased with their son. His powers of magic were strong and brilliant, yet, the sight of a blooming Earth and musical joy in the world was not something that brought happiness to the woman who could control fire and the man who could control ice. This was not something that brought joy to the parents of the boy who gave life and love…yet this never seemed to sadden him.

But the two parents understood the necessity of a sacrifice in times like this and knew the time had come when one was absolutely necessary. The Duchess had pledged to make her son great and her goals were being destroyed each day she let her boy run amok, letting his powers of life and love fly behind him. The Duke wanted his son to pass down the great name of Duke of Raeria and giving life to the world was not a goal of this line of Dukes. Things shouldn’t be changing like this now.

They must frighten the child’s loving and spirited heart.

The boy who gave life and love was trapped in a cage of ice and fire that writhed with a hatred and evil similar to the one that would have made the Healer’s heart shrivel. But this child was born of life not death and something as trivial as hatred could not drown out the love he had for his world.

The musical joy this child had for life was a strength no heart containing hatred could imagine. The laughter of this boy was something no one could touch, let alone push away. The singing of this child was like the joy of a billion smiles lighting the chimney of a dusty shack.

The trees of the Forest of Angst had found their happiness born in a place of impossibilities. As the wind swirled through the air, the trees shook out their roots and lifted their long downturned faces towards the sky. The thunder of thousands of branches moving woke the birds, who in turn shook out their plumage and pierced the air with joyous shrieks of delight. The once dried grasses began flourishing and the long dull-colored flowers bloomed into full brilliance despite the autumn chill in the air. The child who gave life and love had lifted the burning chill the Tower of Tod had cast over the Forest of Angst.

As one, the life and soil of the forest lifted the boy who gave life and love out of his cage of ice and fire and drew him into a world of light and stars. For the first time the boy who gave life and love was able to set his power free…from his fingertips grew a carpet of color and light that spread outward as far as the eye could see.

As for the Duke and Duchess, their lifeless beings perished. The Duchess, a woman of night and fire, crumbled to ash within seconds, blowing this way and that in the wind that the boy who gave life and love had stirred up. The Duke, a man of ice, melted into a water vapor that twined into the Duchess’s ash. What remained of their bodies became transparent and they drifted into the world beyond our own.

The boy who gave life and love fell asleep under the canopy of stars, so unlike the canopy of darkness and tree branches above the Tower of Tod in the Forest of Angst. In his dreams, a young woman, daughter of the goddess of Healing, stood in the heavens. The stars seemed to swirl around her, whirling and whirling until she was swallowed up by the speed and brightness. The boy could do nothing as he watched and waited.

The girl emerged, glowing with a shapeless ball of pure light in her hands. A naked woman grunted in pain as a child emerged between her legs and the young Healer placed the light inside of his body. As the child let out his first shriek a bloom of color and joy emerged in the dark, growing and spreading across the universes and stars, until every being knew that true happiness had been born.

The boy who gave life and love had been given a gift. He would not let his gift be taken from him…This was a gift he must share with the world. 

Tech Tips: How to Reopen a Closed Tab!

Do you ever accidentally close a tab on your computer without meaning to? There’s a simple trick to get it back…

  • If you are using a computer with a Command button, click Command+Shift+T to open the old tab.
  • If you are using a computer without a Command button, click Ctrl+Shift+T to open the old tab.