Friday, December 21, 2012

Finally, it Feels Like Christmas in Florida!


The last two Christmas' have been wet and gloomy... cold but gloomy. The few years before that were sunny but hot. This year, here it is, 4 days before Christmas and it was a bright sun shiny day filled with cold, crisp air! Finally, it feels like a normal Christmas for Florida. Unfortunately, I don't know how long it will last as we are supposed to get rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I am excited for Christmas to get here so that I can watch Katelynn's face light up when she sees all her new toys, especially her new rocking horse. Since she is only two, this is her first real Christmas where she will get to open her own presents and actually know what they are! That alone makes it worth all the time spent in lines, saving money, trying to find the perfect gift and pulling my hair out fighting crowds! I am so thankful for my little girl and all of my family!
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Crossfire Series: A Great Gift Idea for Fifty Shades of Grey Fans

[caption id="attachment_250" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day[/caption]

Do you have a Fifty Shades of Grey Fan on your Christmas shopping list? Well, have I got the perfect gift idea for you! If you thought Christian Grey was hot, wait till you meet Gideon Cross!

After my friend, Loren, insisted that I read the Fifty Shades of Grey, I finally gave it a try and could not put it down. Once I finished the trilogy, it was almost like I had just broken up with Christian Grey and now I needed another good book to get over him. I did a little research and found that the Crossfire Series, by Sylvia Day, was the next big thing according to the list of Top Books Like Fifty Shades of Grey. Boy, oh boy, were they right!

The Crossfire Series consists of three books. Bared to You is the first book, followed by Reflected in You, and in May, 2013, Entwined with You will be released.

This series follows the story of Gideon Cross, another hot billionaire, and Eva Tremell. The two meet and almost instantly, Gideon is on a mission to what he thinks will be nothing more than a sex-on-request relationship. Meanwhile, Eva has no intentions of a sexual based relationship, or any relationship for that matter.

After a few elevator encounters, Gideon and Eva finally agree to a relationship where they can both be sexually satisfied and still attempt to have a normal relationship like normal people. The only problem, as we all know, sexually based relationships rarely last without someone falling in love and ending up emotionally crushed.

I strongly recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a great book like Fifty Shades of Grey. This is a super-hot, erotica novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. If you know someone who enjoyed the Fifty Shades Trilogy, this would also make a great gift idea for them, too.

3 Reasons I Liked the Crossfire Series Better than Fifty Shades of Grey:

  1. Eva was not all whiny and dependent like Ana was. Eva is very dependent and not so needy.

  2. The BDSM isn't constant in this book. The erotica, hot scenes, and ‘oh honey lets go to bed’, is there… just not all the bondage and dark, sex slave type of passion. Very hot by all means, just more of a mutual passion, instead of the- ‘you will do it my way or do without’, like we saw in Fifty Shades.

  3. The book is not repetitive. One of the biggest complaints about Fifty Shades of Grey was that the words were repeated over and over, and over. The word murmur was repeated 199 times in the same book. A little too much if you ask me.

Don’t get me wrong I loved Fifty Shades, these are just a few reasons I actually enjoyed Bared to You and the Crossfire Series better.
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Best Ritz Chicken Casserole Recipe

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole Recipe
Granny Carolyn Made the Best Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

One of my favorite Christmas recipes is the poppy seed chicken casserole that my Granny Carolyn always made. She is the only person I ever seen make it and it was delicious. She passed away a few years ago so I have tried to make it from the ingredients I remembered seeing her use as a child. I found out a few years later, that I had added cream cheese when I should have added sour cream. Either, way, both are delicious. I will share both recipes for those of you who want to try them.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Mary B's Dumplings
My favorite Christmas recipe… I have to choose just one? I don’t eat many vegetables so that narrows it down to meat, potatoes, and chicken and dumplings.

Chicken and dumplings are one of my favorite things about Christmas dinner. Yes, I eat them throughout the year, but there is something about having them at Christmas and Thanksgiving that makes them so much better. Maybe it’s because of all the hearty fixins that go along with them during the holidays.

Being from the south, I have had chicken and dumplings several ways. Some were great and some were ‘uh… who taught you how to cook chicken and dumplings?’ There are some things you just don’t do to a pot of chicken and dumplings. Let’s go over those, shall we?
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NickMom? Nick Jr. Watch Your Mouth!

Nickelodeon's NickMom launching 4th Quarter.  (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

What in the heck was Nickelodeon thinking when they came up with the idea of NickMom? Yeah, it sounded great with their ads talking about sharing recipes and being nice little house mommies, right? Seems like they were trying to copy the Disney Channel and throw a little something in for the moms. The only problem... Disney's is a nice, clean, child-appropriate show, while NickMom is completely opposite.

Who the heck puts this kind of stuff on a preschool channel? I don't need my 2 year old running around talking about 'weenies (in the male form)', 'punching people in the throat', 'pot heads' and 'bitches'. Really Nickelodeon?

I'm appalled that you think it is okay to air stand up comedy with amateur comedians trying to crack jokes about 'weenies', 'teeties', 'miserable bitches' and the list goes on.

Not to mention the song that you play over and over "Clean the Hell Out of This House". Yeah, not something I want my daughter running around dancing to. The fact that you have comedians saying they only had children for 'souvenirs' is another ballgame for another day.

I understand that the majority of American children raised in civilized homes are asleep by 10pm so I can see why you decided to change the program at that time. Did you ever consider that you chose 10pm  EST, so the kids who are just finishing their dinner on the West Coast at 7pm can no longer watch their favorite programs.What about the kids in Hawaii- 4pm? Instead of Team Umizoomi, they get to watch some lousy lady bash teachers and talking about calling someone an "A", a "B", and a "C" not that she would give an "F", cause she told us that, too. Seriously? Seriously Nickelodeon?

The last thing I expect is to go from Dora to ding-dongs when I am paying for a channel subscription just to insure she has something appropriate to watch.

It wasn't until it came on at 9pm tonight and I was putting my little girl to bed and realized it what it was all about. I was listening to it from the other room while putting her to sleep. Needless to say, the longer I listened the madder I got. As I write this, there is some lady on the show talking about sex and her grandmother.

I was looking up the NickMom website to see what they had on their site before I went on this rant, and I realized there is actually a website about taking NickMom off the air. In it's infancy, just a week or so old, it's already being bashed... and not just by me. You can read that petition on Apparently, major companies are not impressed and have began pulling their products and ads from the site.

I find it hard to believe that any children's channel would find it appropriate to go from educational preschool to amateur Andrew Clay Dice.

For the readers,

Please feel free to post your own thoughts on NickMom being aired on a preschool channel.
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Top Kindle Gifts & Kindle Gift Ideas for Kindle Users

Kindle Christmas Gift Ideas
Kindles are one of the hottest items of 2012 and no doubt they will be the top gift on thousands of Christmas wishlists this year. With that said, if you have someone on your list that you don't know what to get, consider getting them a new Kindle. If they already have a Kindle consider getting them something for their Kindle.

You can find several awesome gift ideas for Kindle users on the Christmas Gift Guide:  Top Kindle Gifts & Kindle Gift Ideas for Kindle Users. You will find tons of ideas, including some that I didn't even know existed. Out of all the gifts listed, I would have to say that my favorite would be the Kindle docking station or a new lighted Kindle cover so that I can read  night without the hubby complaining about the light keeping him up.

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New Blog Challenge: 12 Days of Christmas Dinner

[caption id="attachment_182" align="aligncenter" width="400"]12 Days of Christmas Dinner Blog ChallengeImage Source: Deep South Dish: Christmas Recipes 12 Days of Christmas Dinner Blog Challenge
Image Source: Deep South Dish: Christmas Recipes[/caption]

Up for a fun Christmas blog challenge? 'The 12 Days of Christmas Dinner' blog challenge is a great way to share your favorite Christmas dinner recipes, traditions, memoirs and more. This challenge is open to anyone interested so feel free to share this post with your friends. You can start at anytime, though you will want to start by December 14th, to insure you challenge is completed no later than Christmas Day. For the sake of those wanting to all start on the same day, SoSimplyStephanie will begin the challenge on December 6th.

12 Days of Christmas Dinner Blog Challenge

Day #1: My Favorite Christmas Recipe

Day #2: A New Christmas Recipe

Day #3: Who Made the Best What?

Day #4: My Favorite Christmas Dessert

Day #5: Ham or Turkey?

Day #6: The Best Christmas Cookies

Day #7: Where is Christmas Dinner?

Day #8: Holiday Beverages

Day #9: Pass the Mashed Potatoes, Please!

Day #10: My Most Memorable Christmas Dinner

Day #11: Christmas Dinner Must-Haves

Day #12: This Year’s Christmas Dinner

12 Days of Christmas Dinner' Blog Challenge Rules:

#1: Have Fun! This challenge is all about fun, sharing recipes and traditions, and getting to know each other a little more.

#2: If you would be so kind to link trackback to this post, it would be greatly appreciated. The reason for trackbacks is so that we can all enjoy each others recipes, traditions and ideas.

#3: Use photos when possible. If you use images from online sources please site them so that the original author gets the credit they deserve. You wouldn't want someone to cut and copy your blog post as their own, would you?

#4: The daily titles are the topic... you can use that title or tweak it so that it goes better with your post. For example, Day #3: Who Made the Best What? Could be titled, Aunt Sally Always Made the Best Pecan Pies...

#5: If you use recipes found online, please link to them... again, give credit where credit is due!

#6: Every post may not have a recipe.You may not have Aunt Sally's recipe but you can still talk about it, how you loved, what was so special about it, and well, tell us a little about Aunt Sally.

#7: Keep in mind, some of are new to blogging and some of us are experts... I, myself, do a lot of online writing and freelance work but never was able to get the hang and dedication required for blogging. With that in mind, I decided to come up with this challenge in order to have fun and create a routine to keep me going on my new blog. I hope you guys and gals all have fun!

#8: Have fun again!

Okay, that about sums it up. No special rules, just give credit where credit is due and have fun! Linking is not required but appreciated so that others can join the fun and see the requirements. You may post links, ping backs and trackbacks to my post for that day. If you are on a different day, please link it to the appropriate day. If we are on day #3 and you are on day #1, please link it to day #1.

Questions or suggestions? Post them here! If you plan on joining let me know so that I can be sure to follow your blog!
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Should You Give Your Kids a Kindle?

[caption id="attachment_203" align="alignleft" width="375"]Should kids have Kindles? Should kids have Kindles?[/caption]

So, for those of you with kids, grandkids, and other munchkins to buy for, I'm interested on hearing your thoughts about Kindles and kids. With all the hype of the new Kindle Fire, kids around the globe are adding the new Kindle Fire to their Christmas wish lists. Do you think Kindles are appropriate for kids?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the whether or not kids should have Kindles. Are they appropriate for all kids or just certain ages, too advanced for kids, great learning tools, dangerous since they can access the Internet? What do you think about kids with Kindles?

Share your ideas, as I am sure those looking for the best Kindle for their kids would appreciate others feedback and suggestions.
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Posting for the Octonauts Fans: Octonauts Toys!

For those of you like me, who have children who love Octonauts, I am sharing this for you guys. I can't find Octonauts ANYWHERE locally. I have compiled a list of all the available Octonauts toys, books, DVDs, plush dolls, and much more. Hope you guys enjoy it, and your little Octonauts fans get the items on their lists for Christmas! :)

[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="250"]Octonauts Toys for Kids Octonauts toys and more![/caption]

Octonauts Toys, DVDs, Books, Games, & More.

via Posting for the Octonauts Fans: Octonauts Toys!.
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-by-Step

How to prune crepe myrtlesI found this article last year while looking up info on pruning my Crape Myrtles. It's a great guide for both new and experienced gardeners! Reblogging it from Southern Living for those of you who like to garden like me!  does a great job teaching you how to prune your crepe myrtles without being a 'Crepe Murderer'. 

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Criss Cross Ribbon on a Christmas Tree Instructions

How to Criss Cross Ribbon on a Christmas TreeLooking for elegant Christmas tree ribbon ideas? Consider this beautiful criss crossed ribbon Christmas tree.

I had posted it last week on one of  my blogs and on Pinterest earlier in the week and got several requests for instructions. Since I was doing this on my own tree this year I took pictures and put together instructions for the criss cross ribbon Christmas tree for those of you who were interested in doing it themselves.
You can find the a step-by-step tutorial at:

UPDATE: After doing my own criss cross Christmas tree last year, I received several comments from visitors at home, as well as my online readers. Each year I do a 'theme' on my tree and try to make it simple but very elegant and tasteful. I will be doing this again this year but using a ribbon color that matches my theme. I can't wait. Only a few more months and it will be time to decorate again!
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My niece, or should I say snowman!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Craft Room Ideas, Designs and Organization

Tips and Ideas for Designing, Organizing and Decorating Your Craft Room

Design you craft room layout with the inspiration of others!

As many of you already know, I wrote for Squidoo for a couple of years prior to starting my own blog. One of my best performing lenses {a.k.a. articles} was Craft Room Ideas, Designs and Organization. It has been repined thousands of times, received hundreds of comments and receives thousands of views weekly. I wanted to take a moment to share these awesome craft room ideas with you over here at So Simply Stephanie, but to avoide reinventing the wheel, I decided to just link back to my original article over at Squidoo.

Depending on your budget you can create a functional craft room that helps you get the job done or you can go all out with a shabby, chic craft room that would inspire others. You will find several ideas, tips, pictures and more for designing your own craft room of any size. It include craft room storage ideas, organization tips, and even closet craft room designs. Whether you are looking to create a craft studio, craft closet or just a small work center, you will find plenty of ideas over at Craft Room Ideas, Designs and Organization.
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2012 Top Christmas Gifts for Men

[caption id="attachment_126" align="alignleft" width="300"]Christmas Gift Ideas for Men 2012 hot Christmas gift ideas for men.[/caption]

Choosing the best Christmas gifts for men can be a challenge during the holiday season. If you have a husband, dad, brother, uncle or adult son on your shopping list this year then you need to check out the 2012 Top Christmas Gifts for Men. This Christmas gift guide gives you several ideas for the top Christmas gifts for men this year.

The 2012 Top Christmas Gifts for Men shopping guides offers tons ideas for a variety of men. Find gift ideas for men in general, along with ideas for men who like to golf, hunt, play video games, cook, read, and other hobbies.

So, what are you thoughts on Christmas shopping for men? Share your own suggestions for the 2012 best gifts for men this year along with what you will be buying for the men on your Christmas list. Men, feel free to post your ‘wish lists’ to give the ladies ideas for the best gifts for her man this holiday season! Who knows, you special woman may just happen to walk buy and catch a glimpse and come up with a few ideas for you! :)
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Books Like Fifty Shades of Grey

Books Like Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Any Fifty Shades of Grey fans out there? Only a few million right? I must admit, I am a huge 50 Shades fan! I read the books in about a week and absolutely fell in love with Christian Grey.

Like the majority of women who came across the path of E. L. James and fell in love with her characters I had to have more! More awesome romance novels and more hot guys like Christian Grey and I found them! Yes, there are more- they really exist! Maybe not in real life but in more wonderful fantasy-tales. I have created my list of  Top Books Like Fifty Shades of Grey. I dare you to read them and then tell me that you didn't find Gideon Cross just as hot, if not hotter, than Christian Grey!

And just a little side note for all my male blog subscribers...  I sincerely apologize for subjecting you to more Fifty Shades of Grey tidbits. I'm sure you only hear it mentioned about 293 times a day. On the plus side, I just wanted to share these few books and  I promise for all my men readers out there, I will not subject you to daily posts about Fifty Shades of Grey! :) Just on occasion for the once in a blue moon post that I must share! :)
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes!

[caption id="attachment_31" align="alignleft" width="300"]Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving
Image by Jeannie Benedict
@ Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes[/caption]



Cute turkey cupcakes for Thanksgiving I found on Pinterest.

I think these would be simple and easy for kids. All you need is a cupcake, chocolate icing, a Nutter Butter cookie, an almond slice and candy corn.

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Beautiful Blue Christmas Tree with Criss Crossed Ribbon

[caption id="attachment_119" align="aligncenter" width="200"]How to Criss Cross Ribbon on a Christmas Tree How to Criss Cross Ribbon on a Christmas Tree[/caption]

While I love the beautiful blue Christmas tree, it's the criss crossed ribbon that really does it for me! I love how unique this is! A simple, inexpensive idea to create an expensive, lavish looking Christmas tree.

Find a tutorial for creating your own criss cross Chistmas tree at:  How to Criss Cross Ribbon on a Christmas Tree.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Doc McStuffins Christmas Gift Ideas for Little Girls

Doc McStuffins is the latest and greatest Disney show for little girls. It started airing on Disney and Disney Junior this summer and has become a hit for little girls around the globe.

With a 2 year old at home who loves Doc McStuffins, I am having a real challenge finding Doc McStuffins toys in the stores. Luckily, I have found several online at Since there are several dealers on Amazon including Disney and major toy stores, the prices are very competitive Amazon also gives free shipping for orders over $25. You can find all the currently released Doc McStuffins Toys on Doc McStuffins Toys Christmas Gift Guide.

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Oreo Cookie Balls Recipe


The Holidays are just around the corner and Santa will be here before we know it! With that said, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

Three of my best, most requested, most talked about dishes are my Oreo Balls, chicken and dumplins, and green bean casserole.

Oreo Balls are always a classic! They are sweet, rich and have a truffle like center with an almond bark coating on the outside. I decided that this year, I want to decorate them. I tried my hand with a few sprinkles and some that were drizzled with homemade icing. I could not believe how simple the homemade icing was to make and color. I will be making some ‘fall colored’ ones using brown, orange and gold colored drizzle, and then the green and red for Christmas. You can find this easy recipe on one of my mini-blogs, Oreo Cookie Ball Recipe.

Now that you know three of my Holiday dishes, what are yours? Feel free to share your recipes, tips, and ideas for holiday recipes.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

So Simply Stephanie

Welcome to So Simply Stephanie! Here you will find the latest, most random posts you ever read. From gardening tips, Christmas recipes and my random- personal opinions... it will all be found right here!
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