Focus and Simplify: My Words and Goals for 2016

words for 2016

Do you have a “word for 2016”  A word?  Yes, a word!  A few years ago, I first learned about the word of the year concept.  I think of it as a one-word resolution.  Your word can be anything.  It can be a one-word goal you have for yourself, a feeling or emotion that you want to feel in the new year, an action you want to perform in the new year, and above all just anything that you want to have as a priority in your life for the year.  Today I’m going to talk a little bit about that.

As you can see, I’m cheating this year and am selecting 2 words….is that allowed? lol. [Read more…]

Share Your Hero with Mrs. Fields and Win!

Disclosure: This post was written by me on behalf of Mrs. Field’s. The opinions are my own.

Share Your Hero with Mrs. Fields


Do you have a personal hero? This summer Mrs. Fields® is celebrating heroes near and far. They searching for America’s hometown heroes to appear on future boxes of Mrs. Fields cookies, and you can help! Just go online to and share your hero’s story for a chance to win a year’s supply of cookies for your and your hero!

And that’s not all!  As a proud supporter of the USO, Mrs. Fields® is also donating 25,000 cookies to our heroes in uniform. [Read more…]

Ultimate Blog Party 2012 + A Jewelry Giveaway

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Welcome to Simply Sweet Home! I’m so excited to be participating in Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom.  I’ve been joining this event each year since 2008, and it always a fun time for one and all!

For those of you who are stopping in from the party, my name is Jerri. I’ve been blogging here at Simply Sweet Home since 2007.  This blog features recipes, product reviews, giveaways, craft/decor projects, and basically anything else I can think of to help make your home a “simply sweet” home!

I also host a weekly linky party called Friday Favorites, where you can share your recipes, projects, or anything else you like!

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My Ultimate Blog Party Story

Ultimate Blog Party 2012
For those of you who do not know, there’s a party starting later this week! (April 13 to be exact!)  Each year the Ultimate Blog Party is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.

This isn’t my party post, but rather my own little Ultimate Blog Party Story that I’m sharing with you today! (And okay…it’s also my entry for a little contest they are having over at 5 Minute for Mom. If I share my story, I could win a little cash!)

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Ultimate Blog Party 2011!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

It’s time to get your party on at the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by the lovely ladies of 5 Minutes for Mom.  This is my 4th year to “attend” the UBP (my how time flies!), and it’s always great fun for one and all!  If you’re new to blogging or unfamiliar with the party, go check it out!

If you’re visiting from the UBP, welcome to Simply Sweet Home!  My name is Jerri, and I’ve been blogging here for three and half years.  The goal of my blog is to share recipes, ideas, and products that can help make your home a simply sweet home!
If you become a follower of Simply Sweet Home, here’s what you can expect each week:

Monday – Weekly Recipes
Tuesday – Giveaways
Wednesday – Craft Project / Home Decor / Jewelry / Misc.
Thursday/Friday – Friday Favorites Linky Party
Weekend – Product Reviews and Sponsor Spotlights


Friday Favorites Party
I’d love for you to come back and join in my weekly linky party!  I’ve been hosting Friday Favorites for 57 weeks, and each week we have 100+ posts linked up.  You can link up recipes, project, tips, etc.—-basically anything you consider to be your favorite post for the week.  And each week I feature 5 of my favorite ideas from the previous week!


Follow Me! I’d love to connect with you!
@SimplySweetHome on Twitter.
SSH Fan Page on Facebook.
JHRivers on Etsy.
Subscribe to my RSS Feeds.
Subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.
And I’m now on Pininterest!


Visit My Shop
I also have a shop on etsy called Simply Sweet Creations where I sell jewelry and accessories.  This week I’m offering a 15% discount to blog party guests! Just enter the coupon code: UBP11 at checkout!

Party Food!
Don’t leave without having a little dessert!
Today I have some Samoa Cookies for you!
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please leave a comment so that I can come and visit you too!

Assessing 2009 and Goals for 2010

Goals for the Home:
Last year I created a list of goals for 2009 with mixed results. My husband getting laid off from his job prevented us from doing a lot of the home improvement projects I wanted to do, although we did manage to get a couple of things accomplished.

For this year my goal is to come up with a regular schedule for household chores–nothing too exact–just a basic schedule of what I want to get done each week. And I also need to go through the entire house to do some assessing, reorganizing, and general maintenance.

Finally the room in our house known to us as “spare-oom” has recently become the “junk room.” So one of my main projects I need to work on is getting it cleaned out. And then I need to go through the stuff in our outbuilding and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. (I’m not looking forward to this at all, but I know it’s got to be done!)

Financial Goals:
Again the whole lay off thing prevented us from reaching our financial goals of paying off some debts last year. So we’re going to try again this year.

One goal we have for our business this year is to set up scheduled time. In the past, we haven’t kept a regular schedule, so for this year we need more consistency. And we also have a goal to set up at least one regularly scheduled meeting at our home or another location each week.

Cooking & Diet:
I did well with my goal of making at least one new recipe each month, and some months I was able to do more than one. I will try to continue on with this goal in 2010 because I love cooking, and I love discovering new favorite recipes for our family.

Also, I’ve gotten out of my meal planning habit, though I’ve managed to get back on it in the last few weeks. So this year I need to work on this more.

My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so this makes my need to meal plan a lot more crucial. And due to his condition, he was placed on a diet, which doesn’t depend so much on restricting foods as it does on restricting portion sizes, carbs, and calories, so this year I’ll be working on sticking to the diet that the dietitian has given my husband. And I also need to work on my own diet and take vitamins.

My husband has set some diet, excercise, and weight loss goals for himself. So I’m going to try to help him (and help myself) by exercising with him and doing some excercise on my own. My husband plans on exercising 5 times a week, so I’m going to shoot for 3 times for myself.

Last year I started making jewelry. I had planned on opening a shop a few months ago, but I never got around to it. So this year it’s going to happen for sure! I also want to try my hand at a couple of other craft projects this year, I have several different things in mind, one of which is mod podge. I’m always seeing the cutest decor projects made with that stuff. And then there are a lot of other things as well.

Blogging & Office Hours:
As I look at the blog, I think it lacks cohesion and is a bit unpredictable, so I’m thinking of trying something new for this year. Just as I do my recipe at the beginning of each week, I’m going to try to do regular features for the rest of the week. I’ve sorta tried to do this in the past, but I just didn’t stick with it. So now I’m giving it another go.

I also need to have scheduled blogging time. I often get on the computer for hours at a time and have no idea where the time goes or what I’ve even accomplished. So this year, I’m going to try to keep better track of what I’m doing with my time and to be more consistent with posting, commenting, twittering, etc.

Spiritual Goals:
In the past few months we’ve started going to a new church, and each week my husband and I discuss the lessons and sermons together. We want to continue with this in the new year and also work toward having a better relationship and just being better people.
Happy New Year! And Good Luck With Your Goals & Resolutions!


Blog Hoppin’ Tuesday: Why You Should Read Simply Sweet Home

For this week’s blog hop everyone is telling readers why their blog is worth reading. So here’s a few fast facts about Simply Sweet Home, and why you should come here ALL time!

1. Recipes – I always post a featured Recipe of the Week, and sometimes I post additional recipes or recipe links for you to check out.

2. Sweet Thursday – Each month I host a dessert carnival, complete with yummy looking photos and links. At the time of the carnival I announce a theme for the next month, and you can submit your dessert and be featured in the next carnival.

3. Giveaways – I host a few giveaways each month. You can win all kinds of prizes including jewelry, print/media products, website memberships, and much more. (In fact, I have 3 awesome giveaways going on right now and couple more coming up in honor of my blogiversary!)

4. Tips & Ideas – I post on a lot of ideas for home and family, including organizing tips, home decor, party planning, crafts, and money saving.

5. Personal Posts – This year I’ve worked to make the blog a little more personal: I share items from my home, shopping trip finds, and fun photos of my kitty cats. (And when hubby and I have a baby, there will be a lot more personal stuff featured here!)

6. Special Events – From time to time I host special events on my blog. In December I’ll be hosting my 2nd Annual Christmas Festival.
7. I strive to make Simply Sweet Home a fun and informative place for everyone. I’ve been blogging here for 2 years, and though the topics may vary from week to week, the goal is still the same: Sharing ideas on how to create a Simply Sweet Home!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Special thanks to Grace Jacobsen for sponsoring this blog hop.

Blog Hoppin’ Tuesday

I’ve decided to participate in the Mcklinky blog hop. I’ve seen a few blogs that I visit participating, and I thought it would be fun to try it out. If I enjoy it, I may even make it a permanant weekly feature here.

For this week’s blog hop, the theme is “3 Things You Didn’t Know About Me.” Here are my 3:

1. I started making my own beaded jewelry a few months ago, and I plan on opening my own Etsy shop in the next few weeks. (More details to come soon…)

2. I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter book series and the movies. (Can’t wait to see The Half-Blood Prince!)

3. I love collecting things! Some of the things I collect are mice figurines/ornaments, Hallmark ornaments, dolls, bears/animals (especially Beanie Babies), and antiques. I also have a China cabinet filled with figurines and other little treasures that I’ve collected over the years.


MckLinky Blog Hop

Camera Critters: One of my Office Assistants in Action

Camera Critters

Camera Critters has a very cute meme every Saturday. Since I’m obsessed with always taking pictures of our cats, I thought it would be fun to partcipate sometimes. For this post, I’m sharing some pictures of one of my office assistants, Miss Dixie Belle.

Anytime I’m at my computer, I usually have an office assisant cat nearby. Here is Dixie sitting at her my desk. Do you think she knows she’s having her picture taken?

Here she is posing behind her “name plate.”

As you can see, she is very sophisticated.

Here she is checking to see that her named is spelled correctly.

Here she is relaxing while pondering our latest post.

And here she writing a post or perhaps it’s a letter to the editor, explaining why she should get a raise.


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!