Simply Sweet Home

Recipes, Decor, Crafts, Product Reviews, Giveaways and more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cute Invitations for Halloween

I'm finally starting to get my house in order....sort of. And I'm going to try and get back to my postings...though they may be a little disjointed for a while. For something quick and easy I was looking on BHG and found these really cute Halloween party invitations. Handmade invitations are so cute, and the scrapbooking industry has made it so easy to make unique, professional looking invitations.
Lovely Leaves - I love the embelishments on the outside of this invite. This would be a good project not just for Halloween but for any Fall or Thanksgiving activity. I think it would also make a lovely pattern for a fall wedding or shower invitation.

Come Hang Out With Us - I like this invitation because it's a very simple pattern, but it's still cute and fun. This one's my favorite overall.

Shabby Spider Web - I think the shabby/tattered look goes great with the spider webs. It makes me think of a haunted house.

Dancing Skeleton - I really like the embellishments on this invite. It's very bright, colorful, and professional looking, yet it can be made with just a few simple pieces of scrapbook materials.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Requesting Help From All You Bloggers Out There

Hello bloggers! Unfortunately I've been in the middle of moving in to my house and hunting a job at the same, which has kept me from doing any posting. But hopefully I'll get back into it soon.

Now, I have a request for all you bloggers out there. A couple of days ago my computer crashed, and we had to totally reload Windows. Unfortunately when we reloaded the operating system, I lost all of my blog feeds. So I would like to ask for everyone to send me the URL to their blog so that I can get some of the feeds back.

Several of you who visit my blog, know that I also visit yours (as I leave comments with you often)....if you know that I've visited your blog before, please leave a comment on this post so that I can subscribe to your blog again.

Also, as I don't remember all the blogs I had subscribed to, I'm open to finding new blogs to read as well. If you have a blog or would like to recommend someone else's blog to me, that would be great. I mostly subscribe to blogs about Organizing, Food/Recipes, Homemaking, and Thrifty/Money Saving. So if you'd like to help me out, please leave a comment on this post, or send an email


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for September 22

This week Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie is hosting a Family Favorites Edition of Menu Plan Monday. Everyone has to post at least one recipe or link of a "family favorite." It's sure to be the week of all weeks to go by and browse the menus. I can't wait to check it out.

At first I was just going to post a link to the chicken & rice recipe I always use, but when I mentioned to my husband that it was family favorites week, he said, "Let's have chicken cordon blue." And I just happenened to take a couple of pictures the last time I made it, so all in all, it seemed like the perfect week to post it.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Monday - still moving in, eat out
Tuesday - One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake
Wednesday - Chicken Cordon Bleu (recipe below)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - club sandwiches
Saturday - Chili
Sunday - leftovers

Recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu:

2-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
thin sliced ham (2-5 pieces per chicken breast)
swiss cheese (sometimes I use American too) (1-2 slices per chicken breast)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet or casserole dish with cooking spray. Place meat and cheese on top of chicken. Fold chicken breast over and stick 3-5 toothpicks in the chicken to secure it shut. Top each chicken breast with your choice of season. I use a little pepper and/or Morton's Nature's Season, and sometimes I sprinkle a little Shake n' Bake seasoning on top as well. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until done.
Optional: 5 minutes before chicken is done, take out, and place half a piece of cheese on each chicken breast, or sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. Replace in oven and finish baking.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Poll: What is You Favorite thing about Fall?

Overall I'd have to say that fall is my favorite season. I love the weather, the changing leaves, and of course Halloween. There's also just something about the hay bails, the pumpkins, the corn, and all the little harvest symbols/decor that I've always liked. And of course it's a season of high school football, college football, and NFL football, which is a fun time for one and all.

And though spring is thought of as a time of birth and renewal, I've always got a sense of "newness" and "new possibilities" in the fall. As a kid I was one of the "strange" ones that actually looked forward to the start of a new school year, with new classes, new teachers, a new routine, and so on, and so I've always associated fall with the back to school season and the feeling that I'd get at the start of a new year. To this day, I still get excited when all the newly stocked school supplies items hit the shelves.

So for my new poll question, I'm asking everyone: What is your favorite thing about the fall season?

Back to school

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for September 15

This week I'm trying to get back in the swing of things with my menu planning. The movers will be bringing our stuff this week so we can move in to our home. Since we'll be busy unpacking, I won't have to time for a lot of cooking...but I don't want to spend our money eating out every day either, so we're gonna be doing a lot of *quick fix* meals. So here's my quick-and-easy, on-the-go menu!

Monday - Eating with my parents
Tuesday - Sub sandwiches
Wednesday - Tuna salad sandwiches
Thursday - Burgers & fries
Friday - Burritos
Saturday - Barbecue
Sunday - Pizza


Friday, September 12, 2008

Clash of the Titans: The Neat & Clean Mom VS. The Messy Construction Workers

I always knew that my mom was a little bit obsessed with clean, but for the past week or so, her love and *need* for cleanliness and order has reached new heights in my mind. Don't get me wrong. I love having a clean home, and of course, an organized home, but I don't let it run my life, and while having a clean home is important, sometimes I have other priorities, and above all, I like a house that you can live and be comfortable in.

Here's the situation: As you know, my mom and stepdad have been overseeing the renovations in our new house. What I did not realize is how much housekeeping work my mom has been doing for the past month or so. Basically there's been an endless cycle going on: The contruction workers work and leave a mess. My mom comes in and sweeps the floor, wipes the counter, cleans the windows, or cleans whatever they messed up, and the very next day there's just another mess. My stepdad told me that he's been telling her not to be going over there to clean anymore because it's pointless until they get finished working, but she won't listen.

On one hand, I see her point. I think after workers do a job they should clean up after themselves. On the other hand, these are construction workers we're talking about, not maids. I've worked with contractors and have friends who are contractors, and they're really great people, but they're messy. My husband also observed, "Even if they normally clean up after a job, there's no reason for them too. They know your mom's going to do it."

So basically this has been going on for the last several weeks. It's frustrating that the contractors are working very slowly (and delaying our move into house) but it becomes even more frustrating to hear my mom complain about how many times she's cleaned stuff.

Again, in my mom's defense, the workers have made some messes that were totally unneccessary and reminicent of the three stooges' work. But at the same time, we're not asking my mom to clean anything, and we kinda wish she would just chill out. It's good for a laugh but it's also a little crazy!

But we have learned something from the experience: My mom does not need to become a house "flipper" or take on any more projects that will put her in the presence less-than-neat construction workers for an extended period of time....I think it would be more than she could handle.

So organizers and good housekeeping moms out there, if you're ever doing any home improvements and don't want to see a mess, either do the work yourself or don't look at the progress until the job is done, and for the sake of your own sanity, leave the cleaning work till the end!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Little Miracle & Story of Hope

Between going around looking for jobs and waiting to move in to our house (yes, I'm still waiting) I haven't really had a lot of time or inspiration for posting, so I looked over a couple of articles & things that I had saved for a few *quick & easy* posts.

That was I when I re-read this story. So much of the time I watch & read news stories that I have tragic endings, even endings which make me angry, but occasionally I run across stories that make me happy and even inspire me. A few months ago I found this article about a mother and her baby, a baby who's survival by all accounts is a miracle. The story touched me, not only because the baby survived, but because of what the mother did to ensure her baby's survival. The story is very heart warming, so I wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

One-Time 10-Ounce Baby Well on Way to Terrible Two's, Mom Says

The tiniest survivor: How the 'miracle' baby born two weeks before the legal abortion limit clung to life against all odds


Saturday, September 6, 2008

National Preparedness Month

It's interesting that as kids in schools (and in the work place as well) there is so much emphasis placed on safety. In school each month we had firedrills and tornado drills. And we learned all about how we can keep our home safe and free of hazards, but unfortunately these lessons don't always carry over into adulthood because we just assume that the accident or emergency won't happen to us, and we take our safety and good fortune for granted.

And it's in these times when we're unprepared and we're least expecting it that something does happen. Personally I don't think you can ever be fully prepared for an emergency; nor can you ever be quite certain of how you'll handle yourself in emergency until you've done it. No matter how well you plan, there's always this chance that in the heat of the moment, you'll make a mistake or forget the protocol. But this all the more reason that we should at least try to be prepared.

I was cruising through some of the usual blogs I visit, when I ran across a post at Get Organized Now regarding National Preparedness Month. I remember reading about this in the past, but I had totally forgotten about it until I saw it on this blog. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is the sponsor of National Preparedness Month, which is an effort to inform the American people and encourage them to get their home and family prepared for any disaster or emergency that may occur. This includes everything from making a disaster supply kit to planning an escape route in the event of a fire. To learn more about National Preparedness Month and download emergency plans and supply lists and other information, visit


Friday, September 5, 2008

Contact Me

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me anytime. Please put something in the subject box relating to your query, such as "Sweet Thursday," "Sponsorship," "Question," etc. I usually respond within a few days.


Monday, September 1, 2008

A Brief Look At Our New Home

Above is a picture of our new house. Disregard the 2002 date stamp. The photo was taken a few weeks ago by my stepdad...I guess he wasn't paying attention. I've always liked houses built in this style, with the porch going across the front. It's very cute and simple, and sort of country looking, which I like. We still have to paint the porch and the shutters, and we're probably going to break up the "walk way" that comes out from the middle of the porch and just let the grass go over it. And we're going to build new flowerbeds, but we probably won't do that till next spring.

All in all, it's a very nice house, especially for a "starter" home. And of course it has its pluses and minuses.

Pluses: Big back yard, Huge outbuilding, Brand new laundry room (just added on to the house), Big kitchen/dining area, 3 bed rooms, 1 1/2 baths, Has a living room + the previous owner closed in the garage to make a den area (this room will be our office), Large deck area. Plus we'll have new appliances, fans, carpet, and paint.

Minuses: The bedrooms & bathrooms are small. Lack of closet space (I sense a post coming on this). The outbuilding needs some work. No garage/carport. (but we have room to build one off to the right of the house, or we could use part the outbuilding to park cars.) Also, not sure how energy efficient the house will be.

My Favorite Feature: The Kitchen Area or the den/office room.
My Husband's Favorite Feature: The Den/office. His second favorite feature is the outbuilding aka his "Man Cave" or "The He-Man Woman Hater's Club." (he's a Little Rascals fan)

I've been imagining where all the furniture will go and how all our stuff will be arranged in cabinets...but imagining just isn't quite the same as actually doing. I can't wait to move in!

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