Simply Sweet Home

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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Organizing Round-Up: My Recipe Binder

Organizing Blog

This month's Organizing Round-Up Project was recipes. Last year I started printing out recipes from the internet, and placing them in a simple binder, complete with page protectors, as seen below:

(For tips on organizing your own recipe binder you can read my post from earlier this week.)

Back in January, in an effort to rid by computer of dozens of bookmarked recipes, I copied all the best recipes I had saved and placed them in a word document to be printed. I then sorted through all my recipes and divided them into categories.

I used colored tab sheets to divide the binder into sections. My categories are: Appetizers, Soups, Main Dishes/Casseroles, Breads/Sides, Cakes/Pies, Cookies/Candies, and Misc.

In addition to my recipe binder, I have two recipe boxes. And I decided to place my recipe cards into the binder so that all my recipes would be in one place. The Hershey's box shown below is now empty. (I haven't yet decided what to use it for.) And now I'm storing blank recipe cards in the green box.
Below are some recipe cards from one of the boxes. I sorted all the cards into piles so that they could be placed in the appropriate section of the binder.

And I used 4X6 photo pages to insert the recipe cards in. If you want you can place 2 cards in the same pocket back to back. But for cards that had a photo on one side and a recipe on the other, I placed a single card in a pocket, so that I can see the recipe and the photo, just by flipping the page and without removing the card from the page.

Head over to Org Junkie to see how others organized their recipes.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Newest Sponsor: Lavender Cottage

I would like to introduce you to my newest sponsor: Lavender Cottage.

Lavender Cottage is a jewelry shop owned by Cheryl from Tennessee. Cheryl's been creating jewelry for almost 20 years. She just celebrated the one year anniversary of her etsy shop's opening and is very happy to be a full time jewelry artist.

Cheryl describes herself as a "totally addicted metalsmith and rock lover in the happy pursuit of combining the two into lovely pieces of wearable art." This statement completely sums up the Lavender Cottage shop.

The jewelry at Lavender Cottage is uniquely designed and is of a high quality. Cheryl's pieces are entirely handmade. She uses mostly fine silver (99.99 pure, and less subject to tarnishing, but softer than sterling), as well as sterling silver, copper, brass, and sometimes gold, and the stones and minerals in her jewelry are usually natural and not heat-treated unless noted in the description.

Cheryl got her start in metal smithing a few years ago by learning how to fuse fine silver which got her over her fear of using a torch. She now has a big acetylene/air torch, and continues to learn more every year. This year she learned fold forming and anti-clastic raising, and has been using these techniques in new flower and leaf pieces. (these are over in her 1000 Markets shop) She is also going to be getting back to her Stones of the American West series of pieces which uses one of a kind stones found only in the US.

Each of Cheryl's pieces is literally a beautiful work of art! I hope you'll all go see for yourself and visit Lavender Cottage!



Organizing Your Recipe Binder

This month I've been gearing up for the recipe organizing round-up, and I've put together a lot of tips on organizing recipes. But since my round-up post will be centered on my recipe binder alone, (and for the sake of keeping the posts below novel length), I decided to just focus this week's tips post on recipe binders.

-Rather than printing recipes immediately or keeping them on your desktop forever, pick a day each month or every couple of months to have a recipe printing session.

-Only print the recipes that you'll definitely make. This saves paper and prevents you from cluttering your recipe binder with unnecessary stuff.

- To avoid cluttering your computer, delete the bookmarks after you've printed the recipe.

-Copy and paste all the recipes you have bookmarked to a word document. This saves you from printing unneccessary stuff from each webpage. And you can edit the whole document so that everything is in the same format and font/style. (plus you only have to click print once.)

-Use tabs/subject dividers to divide your binder into sections. Or if you have a lot of recipes, divide them into separate binders.

-File the recipes that you print behind appropriate sections in the binder so that they stay organized.

-If you make a recipe and don't like it, remove it from your binder.

-Go through your binder periodically and remove recipes that you never make.

-When you try a new recipe, make notes of any changes you make to the recipe and/or any changes you want to make next time. (different ingredients, change of cooking time, change of recipe size)

By being extremely selective about the recipes you choose to print & getting rid of bad or unused recipes, you can ensure that you have a clutter-free binder filled with ONLY the most delicious recipes!

This post is featured on Rocks in My Dryer and Tammy's Recipes.


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Monday, February 23, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Chicken & Rice Bake

This week's featured recipe is one of the first things that I ever made for my husband when we were dating. He loved it, and it's become a dish that he requests quite often. And even though I'm branching out and trying to make different things, I still love this. In my mind it's one of those "old faithful" recipes. If I'm running short on time, or ingredients, or if I can't decide what to put on the week's menu, I can always turn to the Chicken & Rice Bake!

Recipe for Chicken & Rice Bake
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 cups water (or 2 2/3 cup for extra-creamy rice)
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp pepper (or more if desired)
salt to season (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese (as much as desired)

Coat a 2 qt shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Mix soup, water,and rice together. Mix in some cheese (optional). Season with pepper and a little salt (if desired). Place uncooked chicken breasts on top of mixture. Season chicken with additonal pepper. Top chicken and rice with cheese. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 375°F. 45 min. or until done.

Tips & Suggestions:

- This is a great recipe to cut in half or double, depending on how many people you'll be serving. You can also make the rice without the chicken on top; it's a great side item!

-I often make this with 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (rather than using the chicken). You could also use 2 cans of cream of chicken, if mushroom's not your thing! Or try other flavors of soup that are to your liking.

- Change the size and taste of the recipe by adding a single canned or frozen vegetable (green beans, peas, broccoli, or carrots), or add some mixed vegetables.

-Or try substituting another type of cheese for the cheddar.


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip
Tuesdays is hosted by Tammy's Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by
Forever Wherever.
I Am Blissfully Domestic is hosted by Blissfully Domestic.


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday for February 23

Last week's menu totally went out the window, as I was not only sick and not feeling like cooking, but because my sickness kept me from going to the store to get all the supplies I needed. So we ate what we could round up fairly quickly or else ordered out for a few days last week. For that reason, some of the dishes from last week are being moved to this week. (They're not repeats.)

Also, I've had comments and questions about whether I post the recipes from my menu. So I wanted to address that here. I do provide links to the recipes if one exists, and if I use a convenience food, I try to point that out. In recent months, I've begun photographing the things that I cook, and I intend to post a lot of these in due time.

So if an item is listed on the menu, chances are the recipe will be posted in the near future. In fact, I encourage everyone to leave comments about the items that interest them most, because this will effect the order in which I post the recipes in the future.

Also, feel free to ask any questions that you may have. I read all the comments that I get, and I visit everyone who comments. I also try to give as many answers as possible in my comments section.

Now onto this week's menu:

Breakfasts - Cereal, French Toast Sticks, Bacon & Egg Sandwiches
Lunches - Beef Stew, Salad, Mini Pizzas, Turkey Sandwiches, Leftovers

Monday - Shake & Bake Chicken
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Smokey Mountain Chicken w/ Cheesy Potato Foil Packs
Thursday - Chicken w/ alfredo pasta side, garlic bread, & salad
Friday - Chicken Poulet
Saturday - Chicken Poulet
Sunday - Leftover Buffet

Visit Org Junkie for more menus, recipes, and fun.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

300th Post and a Giveaway!

Welcome to my 300th post! Yay! Hard to believe it's been that many already, but that's what my blogger dashboard says, so I'll believe it!

I've been working for the last couple of weeks on arranging a giveaway, and I thought it would be just perfect to have the giveaway in celebration of the 300th post.

The giveaway is being sponsored by little T studio. The winner will receive little T studio's love in bloom all 4 seasons greeting card set. It’s a total of 8 pdf templates and is valued at $8.00.

Here's a picture of the prize:

This Giveaway is Now Closed. Thank you for participating!


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Monday, February 16, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

I've had a huge headache all day, so I'm running a little behind with my recipe post, and since I'm still not feeling very well, I'm keeping it short tonight. But I do want to remind everyone to stop by for my 300th post and giveaway.

Now for this week's recipe I picked something a little less fattening than last week. I imagine everyone could use a little broccoli in her life after a weekend of chocolate eating, so I'm posting this chicken broccoli alfredo recipe. It's great for an easy, quick, and healthy meal.

Recipe for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

6 ounces of uncooked fettuccine (I used a cup of rotini instead, or you can try a cup of spaghetti noodles)
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1/4 teaspoon pepper to season

Directions: Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli for last 4 minutes of cooking time and drain. Add soup, milk, cheese, chicken, an pepper. Heat mixture throughout, stirring occasionally


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip Tuesdays is hosted by
Tammy's Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by
Forever Wherever.
I Am Blissfully Domestic is hosted by
Blissfully Domestic.


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Menu Plan Monday for February 16

After a long day, I finally go around to planning my menu. Usually I like to think ahead about a few things that I want to make, and then after I get everything at the store, I finish making the plan, but I didn't get to go to the store yet, so I'm having to use my imagination a little. So this plan is sort of tentative.

By the way, I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day. Ours was pretty good. We went to Cracker Barrel to eat. (I know it's not that romantic, but I love that place!) Then Sunday afternoon we worked at the the annual chocolate festival. It's a very fun event. Representatives from some of the local restaurants come down, set up booths, and hand out coupons/menus and serve samples of their best desserts. They also have musical entertainment and door prizes, as well as prizes for the competing restuarants. Visitors pay $10 at the door to get in to this all you can eat dessert extravaganza, and all the money goes to the The ARC. My mom sets up the O'Charley's booth every year, and for the second year in a row my husband and I have helped her set up and serve. (Last year I wrote a post about the chocolate cake and The ARC. Here's a link if you want to read it: Why Eat Cake When You Can Eat Chocolate Chocolate Cake?)

I wish you could have seen our table! We served chocolate cake, key lime pie, and Magic Fluff (a secret recipe known only to a privileged few and served exclusively at this festival). And the decorations were very pretty. But since SOMEONE (me) forgot to bring her camera, I have no pictures! (urgh) So just imagine, a lovely light green table cloth with a big light green flower arrangement in the middle, some glittery red hearts, red heart garland, a spread of Valentine napkins, and three tiered-trays (two clear glass, and one ruby red) of yummy sweets! It was very nice!

Now onto this week's menu:

Breakfasts: Biscuits, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Bagel-Fuls.

Lunches: Grilled Chicken Salad, Baked Potato, Spinach Dip w/ chips, Spaghetti Os, Leftovers from dinner

Monday - Pepper Fried Chicken w/ leftover sour cream gravy, alfredo pasta sides, peas
Tuesday - Shake & Bake Chicken w/ peas & corn
Wednesday - Red Beans & Rice, corn, & crescent rolls
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Chicken Stir-Fry with Asian Fried Rice (homestyle bake)
Saturday - Beef Stew
Sunday - Chicken Poulet

To post your weekly menu, head over to Org Junkie.

Reminder: Don't forget to come back later in the week for my 300th post & giveaway!



Friday, February 13, 2009

Celebrate Valentine's Day with See's Candies

Still shopping for Valentine's Day gifts? Consider buying a delicious box of chocolates from See's Famous Old-Time Candies for that special someone.

I recently tried an assortment of milk chocolates from See's Candies, and I was very impressed.

See's Candies was founded in 1921 and is wildly popular in the West. The company is known for its friendly, old-fashioned service and its tradition of using only the finest ingredients to make their delicious chocolates.

Being a Southern girl, I had never had the opportunity to try See's Candies until recently. When my package arrived in the mail I was thrilled, and I was even more excited when I looked at the contents.

As you know, when you open a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to find. I carefully chose my first piece and was very pleased. It was a Milk Chocolate Butter, a milk chocolate coated confection filled with a sweet, smooth chocolate buttercream. I could have eaten an entire box of these!

Next I tried a Milk Pattie, which was filled with yummy vanilla caramel. (The caramel ones are always my favorite!) And I was more than pleasantly surprised to find another caramel treat, a Milk Butterchew, filled with vanilla, brown sugar caramel. I can't even describe how good these were! From here, I went on to try the Milk Peanut (yum!), and a Milk Molasses chip.

Then, in order to prevent myself from eating the entire box, I had to offer some to my husband. Hubby heard me rave about this array of yummy sweets, and I suspect he was a little skeptical, thinking they can't be THAT good. Judging by his reaction, I think his skepticism instantly disappeared. "MMM!" he said biting into his candy. "That IS good. And I don't usually eat chocolates. Wow!"

I absolutely concur with his quick assessment. And I must confess, while I eat my fair share of cookies and cakes, I don't usually eat a lot of candy. Most of the time if someone gives me a box of candy, I pick through it and find about two or three pieces that I like and the rest is given away to a friend or thrown away.

This was definitely an exceptional box of candy! For the first time I was actually eager to try each and every piece. After trying just a piece or two, I was convinced that each treat would be delicious, including flavors that don't generally appeal to me, or to put it another away, flavors that I didn't even know I liked. The candies were perfectly fresh, sweet, and smoothly textured. They weren't overly rich and heavy like so many other chocolates I've tried. And the taste was simply unbeatable!

What makes this company even better in my book is that you can go to their website and purchase your own custom mix. You can choose up to ten of your favorites from their list of 102 candies to be included in your custom mix and even adjust the proportions. This is a great option whether you are buying for yourself or a friend.

In the future when I choose to order chocolates I'll definitely shop See's Candies. And I strongly recommend them to everyone.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweet Thursday: Happy Valentine's Day

Today we have a great collection of Valentine Sweets from our fellow blogger friends. These will definitely make your mouth water!

Thanks again to everyone who submitted or gave permission to use their stuff!
As for next month's round-up, I have had the most difficult time deciding on a theme and corresponding date. Finally I decided on two themes: St. Patrick's Day & Mardi Gras. And the due date to send in your goodies will be March 11. This date will be a little early for St. Patrick's Day and a little late for Mardi Gras, but hopefully they can meet in the middle, and we get at least a handful of delicious treats.

To be featured in next month's Sweet Thursday round-up, contact me at For rules and guidelines, click here.

Sweetheart Jamwiches from Sherry at Lamp Unto My Feet.

Chocolate Covered Heart Shaped Vanilla Cookies from Nina at Nina's Culinary Creations

Valentine Cupcakes from Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline

Licorice Love from Meaghan at the decorated cookie

Red's Ultimate M&M Cookies from Monica at Lick The Bowl Good

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake from Kristin at Alpine Klein Bunch - One Day at a Time


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Monday, February 9, 2009

New Sponsor: little T studio

I am proud to announce that we have a new sponsor! It is the little T studio. You can find some of the little T studio's products featured in my sidebar, and I hope that you will all visit the shop.

Tonya of the little T studio is based in Arizona. Her shop features high quality, print-ready PDF templates and digital art. All of the templates are original, one of a kind, and hand drawn by Tonya!

Tonya accepts special orders and offers her customers Dollar Deals on newly listed collage sheets, as well as free self-mailers with your order. Her images are perfect for scrapbooking, jewelry making, stickers, stationary, and more!

Please stop by the little T studio, via the links below or the widget in my sidebar!


PS - I'm also hosting a giveaway sponsored by Tonya in the near future. Come back soon for details!

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Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Cookies

Dieters, look away! (Just kidding!) Since Valentine's Day is this week, I just had to post something sweet and chocolately. Over the weekend I tried out this new recipe for Chocolate Cookies, which definitely fits the bill! Bet you can't eat just a dozen!

Recipe for Chocolate Cookies:

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Directions: Beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt alternately with milk, beating until well blended. Cover and chill for an hour or until dough is firm. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip Tuesdays is hosted by Tammy's Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Forever Wherever.
Life as a Mom is hosting a cookie exchange on April 16.


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday for February 9

I'm putting this week's menu together at the last minute. I quickly looked through my recipe binder and picked out some things that I could make with stuff I already have. So today when I went to the store, I only had to pick up few items. It was great to get to go to the store and only spend $36! Yay! The other good news this week is that my husband has now requested Baked Chicken Salad for every lunch. This is going to be a part of his new weight-loss effort. He told me today that he gets excited when he sees all the stuff that I make for him, and the only solution will be for him to have a salad every day for lunch. So being the supportive wife that I am, I am complying with this request. (Besides that, salad is one of the easiest things you can make!) My dinners won't change much, except that I'm supposed to limit the portion sizes. Wish me luck!

Here's my menu for this week:

Breakfasts: cereal, oatmeal, chcocolate chip muffins

Lunches: Baked Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad Sandwich (for me), and leftovers from dinner


Monday - Taco Chicken Foil-Packs (new)

Tuesday - Hamburger Pizza

Wednesday - Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

Thursday - Paprika Chicken w/ Sour Cream Gravy, Chicken Flavored Rice, and English Peas

Friday - Leftover Night

Saturday - Eat Out for Valentine's Day

Sunday - Eating with my Parents

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to view other great menus.



Advertising, Sponsorships, Reviews, and Giveaways

Hello! Since receiving my first sponsorship offer from an insurance company called Castle Cover, I decided to officially announce that I am offering advertising space to other online retailers and small businesses.

My blog currently has a pagerank of 3, and we get between 1300 and 2000 hits a week and between 1600 and 2500 pageviews a week. And I expect this number to grow in our third year of production. Here's a little bit of information about my sponsorship options:

Advertising/Sponsoring: If you would like to advertise on Simply Sweet Home, you can email me at, and I'll send you more information. I offer a variety of adspace sizes and packages to suit your needs, and all sponsors get a complimentary post written about their site. I also have a number of special benefits that I offer. (also, see examples of Write-ups I've done for sponsors.)

Reviews: I love trying new products, and I'd be happy to introduce your product to my readers. All reviews will be written within a week of receiving the products unless otherwise stated, and I keep all products that are sent to me for review. (See previous product reviews.)

Giveaways: Giveaway sponsors will be responsible for providing a giveway prize and shipment of the prize. If you'd like to sponsor a giveaway on my site, I'd love to work with you on that. It is great advertising for shop owners, and it's fun for the readers too. I run most giveaways for about 2 weeks, and I list them on a number of sites, so you are sure to get a lot of exposure and advertising for your business! (Example of a previous giveaway)

Testimonials: Here's what a couple of my sponsors had to say about their sponsorship experience.

"I am so thrilled!! Thank you so much for posting such a Great write-up about my jewelry!! I love that you added so many links and everything you wrote was very nice!! I truly appreciate you taking the time to do that as well~definitely worth more than what I paid for the advertising alone!" -Amy at Our 2 Peas in A Pod

"Jerri is a joy to work with, and I am very pleased with the results from both my ad and my giveaway. I have seen an increase in views of my shop and several sales!" -Cheryl at Lavender Cottage

If you're interested in advertising on this site, sponsoring a giveaway, or getting a product review, just email me at for all the details.


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Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Love Story

Laura at Heavenly Homemakers is hosting an event this Saturday, where everyone will share their love story. I thought it would be fun to participate and tell the story of how my husband and I met and started dating.


My husband and I met in college in the fall of 2004. At this time, I had been in a relationship for a few years, but it wasn't going so well. Riv and I first saw each other in dramatic lit class, and though it took us a while to actually get together, it was truly a "love at first sight" moment for both of us. On the first day of class our professor was taking attendance and everyone had to tell their major. Most everyone in the class was either an English major or a language arts major, but then the teacher got to my husband's name and he pronounced that he was an English and history major. I immediately turned around to look at him because I was a double major in history and English as well. When I looked back, he was looking at me too. (I had already called out my major, so he also knew at that moment that we were doing the same course of study.) It was just a look at that point, but I'll never forget it.

The next part is funny. Most people who read my blog probably don't know this, but I am very shy. In fact, most people, unless they actually get to know me well, would swear that I'm the quietest person they've ever met. In some quarters I've even been nicknamed "the quiet girl."

So a couple of days later, I'm sitting quietly in dramatic lit, just trying to blend in as usual, when Riv comes up to me before class and asks me what I could tell him about our program of study. First of all, I'm taken totally by surprise that he's talking to me at all, and second, I've only just transferred to the school the semester before, and I really have no information to tell him! So panicking on the inside, I told him that I didn't really know anything, and then I told him to "talk to his advisor." (Could I be a bigger nerd? Is it possible?) Months later I would ask him about that day, and he would admit that it was all just an excuse to talk to me and possibly ask me out. And to this day, my husband still jokes about the first time when he tried to talk to me, and I blew him off!

Over the next few months, Riv and I had a couple of classes together each semester. Finding him attractive, I'd often look his way, but I never really said much to him, unless he spoke to me first. I just sort of watched and listened. In class he was very thoughtful and always had something interesting to say or ask the teacher, and when I'd see him talk to his friends, I could tell he was a fun-loving guy. But the thing that really got me to admire him happened one day in the dramatic lit class. We were discussing A Raisin in the Sun, and a student was making an observation about the play, and I sort of agreed with his observation, as cynical as it was. But then Riv spoke up and explained to the student that he was missing the entire point of the play, and that point was that you can't buy self-respect. He spoke with such strength and authority that I couldn't help but admire him, and his insight also showed me that he was a person of integrity.

The following spring, he made a few more attempts to talk to me during class, but being both shy and a bit paranoid that this was just some joke and ploy to "get the quiet girl to talk," I only gave him answers that were short and to the point. (Example: How are you? Good. Are you ready for this test? I think so.) You have to understand that I was very shy and self-conscious, but also he had this way of joking with me and teasing me, such that I never knew if he was flirting with me or making fun of me. I hoped that he was flirting because I really liked him.

And I thought about talking to him before or after class, but there was always other people around him, which kept me away. Finally the following summer I decided it was time. (Occasionally I do have moments of courage.) Some things in my life had changed dramatically, and I decided that I had nothing to lose. So one day after class, I walked outside and waited for him. When he walked out, he seemed very surprised to see me. All he could say was, "What's up?"

When I told him that I wanted to talk to him, he looked stunned. We walked over to a bench and sat down. I can't remember how the conversation went exactly, but I basically explained to him that I felt bad because he had tried to talk to me so many times, and I had very little or nothing to say, and I didn't want him to think I didn't like him. He said he figured that I was just shy, and then he told me that he had wanted to ask me out for a while but he wasn't sure what my situation was or whether I'd be interested. He also told me that he had even asked around to see if anyone else knew how to get in touch with me. (It was so good to know that I wasn't the only one who had these feelings, especially considering how very little we actually knew each other.)

That evening we exchanged phone numbers and made plans to go out. I wanted to be "realistic" and keep my expectations low because I had been burned before, and yet I couldn't help but feel hopeful and think of the possibilities. And sure enough, within the first few weeks of dating, he exceeded even my greatest expectations. Everything just seemed to come together perfectly. Just when it seemed like I might be entering a period of doom and gloom, he saved me. He showed me what it was like to have someone who truly cared for me. There was a strong connection between us immediately and we fell in love. Since then we've been inseparable.

After dating for about a year, we graduated from college, and four months later we got married in December of 2006. Since I've known my husband, he's brought so much joy and happiness into my life. He's been my best friend, and every day I thank God for bringing him into my life!



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Best of Simply Sweet Home: February Edition

Time for another edition of the Best of Simply Sweet Home! I meant to get these out last week so that I could include some Super Bowl links, but I just didn't make it! But I did manage to pull together some links for this cold winter weather and of course Valentine's Day!

Liven Up Your Decor This Winter (The Cheap & Easy Way)
Tips to Prevent Cold & Flu - Part 1
Tips to Prevent Cold & Flu - Part 2

Hot Cocoa
Mini Almond Bundt Cakes

Valentine's Day
Easy & Cute Valentine Crafts
Sweet Thursday: Valentine Treats That Say I Love Your
Valentine Cookie Boquets


This post is featured on WFMW at Rocks in my Dryer.


Talk to Me Tuesday: Favorite Post of 2008

I know it's Wednesday! But this morning I was over at Tip Junkie and saw that this week's assignment was to tell your favorite post of 2008. I already posted a list of my favorite posts a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be fun to participate. So here's a link to my favorite post from last year: Cake Mix Cookies



Monday, February 2, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Spoon Bread

Just a reminder: If you'd like to submit a dessert for my February edition of Sweet Thursday, you have until this week to do that. You can send your stuff to: For more information, click here.


This week I decided to share one of my new recipes. I tried this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn't exactly sure how it would turn out or how it would go over with my husband. I'm pleased to report that he liked it, even though I cooked it a little longer than I was supposed to! It's supposed to be mushy, kind of like oatmeal or pudding, but mine was a little more solid than that. Still tasted pretty good though!

I actually tasted this for the first time when the singing group that I was in, in high school, went to Virginia. We ate at this really nice Revolutionary period resturant, and I swear it was the best meal I've ever eaten! We had fried chicken, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, biscuits & rolls, and of course spoon bread. (And I think we had ice cream for dessert.) Anyway, I'm sorry to say that I don't know the name of the place, but it was fabulous!

I think I liked the chicken and mashed potatoes the best, but I was also rather impressed with the Spoon Bread; I'd never had it before, and I never would have thought I'd eat something like that, but since they put it in front of me, I tried it out. I think theirs was a little better than the stuff I made, but mine was good too, if I do say so myself! Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe for Spoon Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
5 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Combine cornmeal and salt in a bowl and stir in boiling water until smooth. Let mixture stand for several minutes. Stir in milk. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and cook for 25-30 minutes. Serve while still warm with LOTS of extra butter.

Tips & Suggestions:

-Be sure that you serve this with plenty of butter. It makes a HUGE difference in the taste.

-I've also heard of people serving this in a bowl and pouring a little extra milk over it. Could be good, if you're an old fashioned kind of person...then again, it's already an old fashioned recipe to begin with, isn't it?

-My husband said that this reminded him of grits, and so I thought that this would be great to serve as a breakfast food. You could serve it with bacon & eggs. Or you could serve it by itself, as you would with grits or oatmeal. And I think it would be great with butter and sugar on top! Maybe a little cinnamon too!


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip Tuesdays is hosted by Tammy's Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Forever Wherever.


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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday for February 2

Nothing much to banter about tonight, other than to say that things are looking up this week! I'm happy to say that my hubby made it home safely, and I'm happy to say that his team won the Super Bowl. Go Steelers! And best of all, my husband is starting his new job this week, so please join me in wishing him good luck!

And now for this week's menu:

Breakfasts: Cereal, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Fruit, and Honey Buns
Lunches: Chicken Salad, Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches, leftovers

Monday - Cheeseburger Macaroni
Tuesday - Smokey Mountain Chicken w/ fries and pork-n-beans
Wednesday - Chicken Tetrazzini & Garlic Bread
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Lemon Pepper Chicken, green beans, corn
Saturday - eat out
Sunday - Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-Up & Fries

Visit Org Junkie for more MPM.

Reminder: If you'd like to submit a dessert for my February edition of Sweet Thursday, you have until this week to do that. You can send your stuff to: For more information, click here.