Thursday, February 28, 2013

{Thanks}Living, February Edition

Today is the last day of the month...
Do you know what that means?
It means it's time for a Thanks-living post!
And I haven't done one since December November!

This month flew right by...
but I think I'm okay with that 
because that means Spring is coming! :)

This month I am extremely grateful for several things.

I am so thankful for the instagram friends that I've "met."
Most of them I haven't met in person, but they have prayed for me
and sent happy mail.

Stephanie aka "Honey" (how neat is that?) got my name for the Valentine's Day swap that I was participating in.

A swap is kinda like having a pen pal, only better.  You get someone's name and buy them a gift (this particular one was Valentine's Day themed).  You wrap it all pretty and send it to them in the mail.  And someone else gets your name!  This allows you to "meet" other ladies around the US/world. 

Anyway, I had just posted my entire heart on my blog
and she happened to read it.
She also happened to receive my name as her swap partner.
She sent me this beautiful gift.
It not only looks beautiful, but the thought behind it all is so touching.



I can't tell you what it meant to me.
She is such an encouragement...I'm grateful to have her as a Sister in Christ. 
If you haven't "met" her yet, ya better get yourself over to her blog and introduce yourself.
Seriously...she's a gem!


Another thing that I'm extremely grateful for is how much God has blessed us!
At the beginning of the month, we were able to purchase a new-to-us car!
This is our first "major" purchase together, and we Tyler is sure enjoying it.
Sure, I enjoy it, too, when I get to ride or even drive it! :)
Tyler is thankful to have a more reliable car that he doesn't have to dump a quart of oil in every 2 weeks {and so am I}. :)


I am so grateful for the ways that God is working in my life.
I want to be used by Him, to be His hands and feet.
How can you be a blessing to someone today?

Today, I'm linking up with Leslie.
If you haven't met her, either, you need to!  
Go on over and say hi to her! :)


topofthepagewithleslie

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trust

A while back, my mom and I were talking on the phone as I was coming home from work.  That seems to be our routine...I call her everyday at 5:00 pm while I drive the 35 minutes home.

We were talking about different things in my life, and it got mentioned that I don't trust people.  That got me thinking...

It's true.  I don't.

You can ask my husband...I didn't warm up to him for a long time.  It took me at least a year of dating for him to see who I really was, and even now I have a hard time opening up to him sometimes.

As we were talking, my mom knew exactly why I don't trust people.  Every close friend I have ever had has hurt me.  So I close myself off to others.

Sure, I'll talk with them, tell them things they want to know, and try to get to know them.

But I build a wall.

A wall that is high enough to protect me from getting hurt, but it is also low enough that it lets me talk over it, so it will seem like you're getting to know me.

Sometimes I feel like I'm that way with God.  That I build a wall between us because I don't fully trust Him.  At the same time, I'm trying to get to know Him by talking with Him and reading His Word.  But there's still a disconnect between us sometimes.  

I'm too much of a "me-do-it" girl, that I tend to do life on my own.  Before long, I'm discouraged and depressed.  



Notice the verse says "Trust in the lord with all your heart," not just part of it.  ALL of it.  And it also says, "Do not lean on your own understanding."  So much harder to do than it is to say.  Being flesh, I want to be the one who conducts my life.  But I can't.  God is the ultimate conductor.

Without Him in the driver's seat, life gets messy.  I am miserable when I try to do it on my own.  But with Him, the pieces of the puzzle of life fall into place, as I sit back in awe of how He does it.

Is God in your driver's seat or have you built a wall that needs to come tumbling down?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Swoon, Swoon, Swoon

Just some things that I've been swooning over lately:


This necklace.
Oh it makes me really happy...



This print.
Isn't it truth?
I think I need this...


These adorable chevron hair ties!!
Um, who doesn't love chevron?!?


This adorable sign!
And I agree with it...
I am completely blessed.


These clutches.
Can I have one in every color, please?


I love handmade items.
Just knowing that someone put the time and care into creating it, makes it so special.
Check out these wonderful shops!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Miscellany Monday

Oh Monday...
Today I woke up feeling like I was ran over by a Mack truck.
But alas, I took some Claritin D and ran out the door.

Our mid-week was a little crazy, because we had a half snow day!
My office closed down at noon, and I made the trek home.
It only took me a little over an hour (it is usually a 35 minute commute).
We got tons of snow in a matter of a couple hours.
I'm thankful we didn't get as much ice as they were predicting.
I'll take snow over ice any day.




Did y'all have a great weekend?
Ours was really busy.


Friday night, we went out for a spontaneous movie night.



I was on the fence about this movie...I'm not really into dark/scary movies at all.
Of course, I would not say that it's a "wholesome" movie, but it was better than I expected it to be.

Saturday mid-morning, we left for a quick trip to Dallas.
Tyler's company was having a Year End Party and paid for us to go!
It was actually kinda nice...


We stayed at the Gaylord Texan.
It was such a fun hotel!
About 8 years ago, my family went to Nashville for the Supernationals Chess Tournament, which was held at the Gaylord Opryland.
Don't laugh...one, if not both of my brothers came home with a trophy.
Anyway, the Opryland hotel was amazing...
And they say, "Everything is bigger in Texas."  
This time I have to disagree.
The Opryland hotel is way bigger than the Texan.
But both have an amazing atmosphere.



It was fun to get dressed up for a night.
My handsome date really knows how to look good!!
Oh, and the food was really good.

We got back Sunday around 1 pm.
So I had plenty of time to catch up on stuff around the house.
Except...I didn't.
I was so tired, I felt like a zombie and didn't do much at all.
We did, however, get our taxes done.


I hate taxes (says the girl with the accounting degree).

Okay...
Here's some other random things that I'm super excited about:

Have you heard of the Hope Spoken Conference?
It's going to be in Dallas next March.
I'm secretly hoping that I can attend since so many of my instagram friends will be there.
I would just LOVE to meet them all.
For more information, you can check out this website.
If you are planning to attend, leave me a comment and let me know!! :)



See that pink-ish button up there that says, "A Simple Kind of Love?"
That is my very first blog advertisement!!!
You can check it out here in person.
I am praying that God will open some doors through this,
and that I can use my shop for His glory!
Oh, and did you hear?
I updated my shop on Friday!
Check it out!!

I hope ya'll have a wonderful week!


Linking up with Carissa today!


miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shop Sale!

Get 40% off in my shop through Thursday night!!
Friday I will be updating my shop, and the things
that are in there now might not come back!
Take this opportunity to make sure you get what you want!

I have lots of new, cute items coming...
including lots of Date Jars!

Use code LUCKY at the checkout to take advantage of this awesome sale!
Check out the shop to see everything that I have to offer!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Miscellany Monday

So I wasn't too into Valentine's Day this year.
Tyler and I didn't give gifts; we didn't even get each other cards.
Now that we are married, I don't feel like Hallmark needs to tell
me when I need to tell my husband, "I love you."

About a month and a half ago, my mom had called and said that
she wanted to meet up for a weekend away.
Originally we had planned for it to be their anniversary weekend,
but it didn't work out.
So we went to Branson this past weekend.

We stayed in a very nice Bed &Breakfast.
It was our first time...my parents had been there before.
We decided this is what we would do for Valentine's Day this year. :)
Friday, Tyler and I took half days so that we would be able to spend more time with my parents.
However, something came up that needed their attention, so Tyler and I had the night to ourselves.  
We ended up eating Fuddruckers, playing mini-golf, and trying on weird hats.

Saturday, we went to several flea markets while waiting for our lunch cruise.
After the cruise, we went back to the B&B to play a new game Mom had purchased.
It was called "Kerfuffle," which is kinda like Scrabble with dice and a little Quelf mixed in.
That evening, we went to eat at the Hard Luck Diner.
Mom loves it because the waiters sing to you.
We went to see the Pierce Arrow Show after that.

Sunday, we went to church at Northside.
This is where Tyler and I went while in college.
It was so good to see old friends.
The church is growing, the people are {still} welcoming and friendly, and it just made me even more homesick. Ugh.
My cousin Molly was there, so after church we all went to eat at Panera.
Tyler's sister works there, and we wanted to see her while we were in town.
My brothers met up with us as well. :)

It was, overall, a nice, relaxing weekend.
:)

Friends, would you pray for our family?
There will be some tough times up ahead.
All I have to say about it is this:
We know the end of the story.
Satan can try to derail us all he wants, but he ain't gonna win.

If you don't know the end of the story,
please email me!  I would love to share the Good News with you.
You, too, will then know how it all ends.

Linking up with Carissa today.

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, February 15, 2013

Slow-Cooked Pork Chops

Wow!  Thank you so much for all your kind words on my last post!
I appreciate everything you guys said...it was so sweet of you!

Since today is Friday, I thought I would share another recipe with you! :) 
This one has quickly become a favorite of ours because it's so yummy!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 6 lean pork chops
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 (10 oz) can of Chicken and Rice Soup
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
Here's what you do:
Coat the pork chops in the mixture of flour, salt, dry mustard, and garlic powder.

I put the dry ingredients in a baggie and shake it to mix.  


Then I dump it out on a plate to coat the pork chops.  I buy the porkchops at Aldi (discount grocer) and can get this many for about $4.00.





The directions say to brown in oil in a skillet.  However, I skip this step because it saves me a lot of time and just go right into putting them into the crockpot.


Pour the can of soup over the pork chops.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 hours.


They are so tender you can cut them with a fork.  They are also very yummy!


Happy cooking, friends!
Do you have any big plans for the weekend?



  Friday'sFabulousFoods

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine

Valentine's Day...
I used to yearn for someone to share this day with.
I wanted so badly for some boy to send me flowers or a balloon to school like all the other girls had.
But that isn't in my love story.

Instead, I have a lot of tears, "whys," and prayers in mine.
My parents had told me that I couldn't date until I was 16.
When I turned 16, I thought I would have boys lined up at my door just waiting to date me.
WRONG!
I had a ton of guy friends and very few girl friends.
But I liked it that way.

During my junior year of high school, I promised myself that I wasn't going to date anyone that year...even if the chance arose.
I was happy with my decision.
I didn't need a boy, but it would have been nice to have.
My best friend at the time had a couple of boyfriends, so of course I was a little jealous.

High school came and went.
Whew, I was outta that small town with lame guys.
(I apologize to my guy friends that I still talk to...you aren't lame, but most everyone else is. ha!)
I was on to bigger and better things...attending a school of 20,000 students.
There just had to be guys there.

My freshman year of college, I connected with 3 other girls.
That was a first...we were best friends.
During that time, I learned a lot about myself.
We shared our lives with each other and truly got to know one another.
During that time, God was shaping my heart.
I had learned so much from them and their experiences.
I learned what I wanted and what I didn't want in a guy.
I learned what it looked like to be completely broken.
I learned what it looked like to have an unhealthy attachment to a significant other.

Of course, I still wanted to have a boyfriend.
Satan loved to get into my mind, and the thought of "What is wrong with me?" always came across my mind.
I always was asking myself, "Why?"
I cried lots of tears at the thought of no one wanting me, and I prayed lots of prayers because the desire of my heart was to be married to someone who truly loved and cared for me.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college.
A suitemate of mine had told me she had met my future husband.
Of course, I was intrigued.
A few unfortunate events happened between her telling me that and actually meeting him.
But I finally did meet him.
Boy was he cute.

I didn't have texting at the time because my dad thought it was unnecessary, so that Christmas instead of texting me to wish me Merry Christmas, he had to call me.
Now, since I had never had a boyfriend before, I was a little blind at what was happening.
My mom teased me relentlessly that he had a crush on me.
I told her he was just being friendly.
But we talked via facebook every day of Christmas break.

When we got back from break, we continued our friendship.
We hung out every night together.
Did I mentioned he lived in the room above me on campus?
But a few more unfortunate events happened...
and through that, we became friends.
Good friends...


It wasn't until May 1st, 2009 that we went on our first date.




The rest is basically history.

He proposed July 2, 2010 and we were married July 30, 2011.


As I look back on the last four years, I couldn't imagine my life without Tyler.
As I look back to the years before him, I realize that I didn't miss a single thing.
I have no regrets from past relationships.
I have no regrets, period.
He was my first boyfriend.
First kiss.
First love.

God knew what He was doing.
I may have cried many tears, but they were out of loneliness when I wasn't relying on Him to meet that need for me.
He knew the desires of my heart and brought me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
I look forward to our future together and what it might bring.
There's no one else I'd rather share it with.

To those of you single ladies out there, God truly knows the desires of your heart.  He knows the perfect time to give you what you need.  He may be saving you from heart break.  He may be saving you from making stupid decisions.  Before you ever ask yourself, "What is wrong with me," you should know that you are loved by Him...the only one who truly knows how to love us.  You may be at a rough spot, and believe me I know how hard it is, but God has such a perfect and beautiful plan for you.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

P.S.  Get 50% off in my shop today only!  Use code LOVE50.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Miscellany Monday

This weekend flew by waaaaay too fast.
It was pretty low key...


Saturday, I quickly finished some Date Jars to send out to some fantastic Instagram friends that had ordered in time for Valentine's Day!  I can't believe how fast those flew out of the shop!


With that said, I got some new jars for Date Jars that will be coming out in a few weeks. (Please excuse my messy table...I have a million projects going on at once.)  I am excited to offer a couple different varieties!  They are holding some pretties for the time being, though.

Saturday evening, I did some sewing.  I'm hoping to have a shop update in the coming weeks! :) Be on the lookout for that!


Sunday, we drove Tyler's old car back to his parents' house and took his Christmas present with him.  He's been wanting to shoot it for soooo long now, and he finally got the chance.

Tyler got my first time shooting on video, so for your viewing pleasure, here it is:


And here's my target after I put a few rounds through it.
I'm pleased. :)



I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
What did you do?

P.S.  This is my 200th blog post! :)  Woo hoo!



miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, February 8, 2013

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

My husband hates red velvet.
For some strange reason, he just doesn't like it.
So when we got invited to our Small Group's Super Bowl party, 
I knew it was the perfect excuse to make red velvet something.

I was scouring Pinterest to find something new to make

and I found this recipe.
I thought it was easy enough for me to try, 
so I gave it a shot...

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 oz red food coloring


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. 



In another bowl (I used my handy, dandy Kitchen Aid), cream together the brown sugar and butter on medium-high until light and fluffy.


Beat in the egg.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition until it has been incorporated.  Repeat that step one more time, until all the buttermilk and dry ingredients are mixed in.  


Then blend in the food coloring.


Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (if you don't have one, use a ziplock baggie and cut one corner off).


Here's where I stopped following the rules and made my own up. :)  Surprise, surprise.
Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, pipe the batter onto the paper and fill in the heart.  (The recipe said to cut out heart shapes, and I thought that would take way too much time.)


Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops are set.  Make sure to rotate the cookie sheet halfway through.  Allow the cookies to cool before transferring them to a wire rack.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.


Ingredients:
For the frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Directions:
Using a mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid again), beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.  Mix in the vanilla.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until it is all mixed in.  The increase the speed and beat until smooth.



Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag and round tip.  Match the cookies up by shape and size.  Flipping one cookie over, pipe the frosting onto the cookie.  



Sandwich the cookies together and press.


To store, refrigerate in an air-tight container.

These turned out delicious, if I do say so myself.  They may not look beautiful, but the taste makes up for it! :)

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Happy baking!






Friday'sFabulousFoods

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day Offer

Are you looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift?
You've come to the right spot!
I am taking orders for Date Night Jars until noon tomorrow (Friday, February 8th).
I have offered them in my shop, but they sold quickly!
They are great for all couples and a perfect gift! :)

Here's the description from Etsy:

This date jar has 52 dates in it. It was created with newlyweds in mind. Most newlyweds don't have much money, so these dates are creative in the way that they are cheap or free. There is one date per week for an entire year!

I came up with the idea when I wanted to spend time with my husband but didn't have a whole lot of money for date nights out. These dates are geared toward spending quality time together rather than on spending money.

The dates come already printed on paper in a craft jar. This jar is great for both dating and married couples! It would make a great gift for a bride and groom or just any couple looking for money saving, date night ideas!

**IF YOU ARE WANTING TO ORDER:

The cost is $16 shipped and will arrive in time for Valentine's Day. Please email me at asimplekindoflove {at} gmail {dot} com with your (2) color preferences if you want a custom one made or you can look through the sold orders in my shop and have one recreated. I also offer "love" themed jars. Please leave your Paypal email address, as I will invoice you there. All invoices will be sent out by Friday, the 8th, by 1:00 pm CST. Please pay by 3:00 pm CST on the 8th or your order will be cancelled. All orders will be mailed out on Saturday, the 9th!

I am happy to be extending this special offer to you! :) If you have any questions, please email me at the email address listed above! Happy Valentine's Day!! :)