Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review: Undertones by Maggie Jaimeson

About Undertones by Maggie Jaimeson
Undertones by Maggie JaimesonAfter being asked to join the Sweetwater Canyon, a bluegrass band made of all women, Michelle finds herself on the right road to happiness with her dream of being a professional bass player coming together slowly. Nearly two years have passed since her painful breakup with her ex-boyfriend Jon, who left her with a broken heart and no
expectations of ever finding true love. Michelle is about to go on her first tour when she meets David Blackstone at a ticket booth while the two wait to buy tickets for an Allison Krauss concert. After David purchases the last two tickets, he insist that Michelle accompany him to the concert. She reluctantly agrees with no idea what fate has in store for her.

David is the typical career oriented bachelor looking for nothing more than a sexual relationship with no strings attached. He is constantly traveling as a computer consultant and does not have the time, nor desire, to start new relationships or get caught up in an emotional entrapment. He's handsome, charming and successful, and usually has his choice of the ladies. While Michelle's painful past holds her back from love, she can't help but find David incredibly charming. 

Knowing that she goes on tour in just three weeks, she knows there is no time for a relationship that will only end with a sad goodbye. David also has his reservations for not wanting a relationship, but the two can't seem to pull themselves from the connection they felt after spending a few hours together during the concert. 

Will the two be able to hold out? If they start a relationship would it survive a four-month tour, and even more, will it survive Michelle's painful past?

My Review of Undertones

Have you ever read a book that keeps you so caught up in the story that your eyes actually water when the characters are hurting, that you heart starts beating fast on their first kiss, where you can't put it down no matter how bad you need to get up and do laundry? This is one of those books!

Undertones, by Maggie Jaimeson, is the first book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series. Undertones is 'Michelle's Story' and tells the story of Michelle and David, and how simple concert blossomed into a fairytale relationship.

What can I say to describe Undertones? I can't seem to find the right words other than...BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! The first two chapters seemed a little slow, but like any book, the first couple chapters always sets the tones, describing the characters, their pasts and 'sets the mood'. Author Maggie Jaimeson did a fabulous job pulling you in and keeping you on the edge of your seat through the ups and downs, twists and turns. Her settings, tones and characters were very realistic and vivid, which made the story easy to connect with.

As for the romance and love scenes in the book, Maggie Jaimeson leaves no question about what's going on between their sheets. The scenes are very descriptive, very engaging and very well-written. Don't mistake that for a Fifty Shades of Grey, raunchy type scene. Yes, they are vivid and very expressive, but they are beautifully written with plenty of grace. While the scenes get hot like you would expect in an erotic novel, they are expressed with grace and professionalism and tasteful words. All and all, what I am trying to say is that it's not packed full of obscenities and raunchy words and when the characters 'make love', they truly {make love}. The scenes are hot and steamy but tactfully written so that if your grandmother were to read it, you wouldn't have to worry about the 'smut factor'.

 All and all, this book demands 5 stars! I would have to say that this has to be in my 'Top 5 Favorite Books' list and my absolute FAVORITE romance. I will most definitely be following the Sweetwater Canyon series along with any other contemporary romance books written by Maggie Jaimeson. If you are looking for a heart-wrenching romance then I strongly suggest read Undertones! But, be prepared to stay wrapped up for a day or two because it's hard to put down.
Books Rated 5 Stars

Where to Buy Undertones by Maggie Jaimeson:

{Click to be taken to the Undertones page at these retailers:}


Healing Notes Best Romance of 2013 I have also read the second book, Healing Notes, which is 'Rachel's Story'. Rachel is a member of the Sweetwater Canyon Band who experienced tragedy and pain in Undertones.  There will also be a third and fourth book released for this series in 2014. Each one featuring a different band member in the Sweetwater Canyon band. Both of which, I can not wait to get my hands on!

Check out more great books by Maggie Jaimeson at Amazon.com.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

DIY Crock-pot Liners for Easy Cleanup!


If you love your crock-pot, but hate the mess that comes with scrubbing hard-to-clean rings off, then try this little crock-pot tip! I can't take credit for it because I recall seeing it somewhere in a crock-pot recipe somewhere or another.

In addition to easy clean up, it's much cheaper than crock-pot liner bags. Why pay for expensive liners when
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So Simply Stephanie is Now on Bloglovin! List Your's So I Can Follow You!

Follow me on bloglovin'
For those of you who follow who have your blogs listed on Bloglovin', you can now find SoSimplyStephanie there, too. I am slowly making my way around the site and adding my favorite blogs. If your blog is listed on Bloglovin, feel free to add the link in a comment below and I will be sure to follow!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sweet Pork Chop Bacon Wraps Recipe!

sweet bacon wrapped pork chops recipe
Looking for great pork chop recipes? Then you must try my Pork Tenderloin Bacon Wrap Recipe!

My idea for this recipe originated from the Paula Deen Sweet Chicken Bacon Wrap Recipe, which I had slightly altered a few times and started using strips of chicken instead of the small chicken chunks. Next, came the idea to use pork chops cut in half. Oh my, it turned out great and this was the day that my Sweet Pork Chop Wraps Recipe was born.

If you like the Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps by Paula Deen, you will love them made with center-cut pork chops even more. The pork tends to hold the flavors better and turn out very moist. 
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Planning a Successful Year in The Blogosphere! My Blogging Goals for 2014!

My blogging goals
With the New Year just a few days away, it’s time to start planning my blogging goals for 2014! With all the changes I recently made to So Simply Stephanie, switching from WordPress to Blogger, changing my social media profiles and merging two blogs into one, I have a lot of work ahead of me to be successful in 2014! Setting goals will help me stay organized,  stay focused and keep me on the right track! In addition to my goals in general, some of my New Year’s Resolutions also pertain to blogging so the two will go hand-in-hand.

So, without further ado..


So Simply Stephanie’s Blogging Goals for 2014:

1.       Blog Schedule!

Honestly, I have never had much of a true schedule with So Simply Stephanie, and it has showed. I am a spontaneous person and I like to write when the urge hits me, and write about whatever intrigues me at the moment. (Another reason I was never able to turn So Simply Stephanie into a particular niche.)
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kindle Gifts & Gift Ideas for Kindle Users!

One of the top Christmas gift ideas for 2013 is a new Kindle!  Amazon has several devices to choose from including two newly released versions, and just like last year, the it seems to be one of the best electronic gift ideas for 2013. But what do you buy for someone who already has a Kindle? Well, buy them something for their Kindle, of course. There are several different gift ideas to choose from such as docking stations, gift cards, accessory bundles, a newer version of the device, covers and cases, screen protectors, and much more. Here you will find some of the best gift ideas for Kindle owners.The prices range from a few dollars to several hundred, so there is something on the list for any budget!  

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Best Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe

The search for the best red velvet cake recipes has ended!

I LOVE, LOVE , LOVE red velvet cake and have only found one person who can make the perfect red velvet cake. Yes, I have tasted some that were okay, and well, store bought just never seems close. I’m talking about a red velvet cake recipe that is magnificent! A TRUE red velvet cake with the 3 primary ingredients- vinegar, cocoa and buttermilk.

So what's the secret to a good red velvet cake made from scratch? One simple, ever-so-yummy, secret ingredient...

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

14 Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the 14 Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop!
This giveaway hop will run December 18th-31st, 2013 and winners will be announced on January 14th, 2014. What better way to start the new year than winning some awesome prizes.
There are over 30 awesome blogs participating in the hop and each one is hosting their own giveaway. That's over 30 awesome prizes!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies! Perfect for Quick Treat and Oh, So Yummy!


Just finished baking Pillsbury Ready to Bake Christmas tree cookies, with Katelynn (3 years old). They are such a quick treat, no clean up required and perfect for kids!
Yummy! Time to dive in with a big glass of milk! 

Merry Christmas
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

So Simply Stephanie is Changing!



While I am excited to change over to Blogger, I will miss the prestine look of WordPress.com and my many followers. However, the features and extra capabilities just aren't here, but the restrictions are.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Garden Series: How & When to Plant a Fall Vegetable Garden





Image

When to Plant a Fall Garden

Planting a Fall Garden

Fall gardens can be planted any time between late August and Mid October. The exact planting time depends on the vegetable and the where you live. Most seeds have the planting dates by region on the package. The goal is to have the seeds planted and ready to harvest before the first frost, unless it is a cool weather crop such as leafy greens, asparagus, onions and other vegetables that also do well in the winter. Consider your region, the 'days to harvest' and the probability of the first frost. If you are not sure you can contact your local Extension Office or read the directions on the seed packets or plant stakes.
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Garden Series: What to Plant In a Fall Vegetable Garden


Fall Vegetables
A variety of vegetables that you grow in the spring can also be replanted in your fall garden. Cool season crops require fall planting and some, such as greens, sprouts and asparagus have a much better taste when they get a slight frost. Below you will find a list of vegetables that can be planted in fall gardens.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Garden Series: Planting a Fall Garden

Fall Vegetable GardenNow that the summer is almost over and your spring vegetable garden has fulfilled it's duties, it's time to start planning your fall garden. Fall is the perfect opportunity to grow another beautiful garden that will produce a variety of vegetables that don't always perform well in the spring and summer.

Aside from another great harvest, a fall garden has many added benefits that don't come with a typical spring or summer garden. One of my favorite thing about fall gardens is the season itself. The temperatures are perfect, at least here in Florida, the trees are beginning to change colors and the crisp air makes it a great time to be outside and enjoy all the God has given us.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Top 10 Books Like The Hunger Games

books like the hunger games

For all you Hunger Games Fans out there, I thought I would share the list of Top 10 Books Like The Hunger Games.  It wasn't until the release of The Hunger Games that the previously quite world of dystopian fiction came alive and it didn't take long for it to become one of the bestselling fiction genres. Kind of like the same affect that E. L. James had on the 'racey' romance list. (Avoiding the correct term for young readers.)
Check out a list of awesome books like The Hunger Games at: The Top 10 Books Like The Hunger Games

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Monday, July 8, 2013

So Simply Stephanie is Now On Twitter!

So Simply Stephanie is Now On Twitter!
Tweet, Tweet! I finally set up a Twitter account for my blog! For those of you who follow my blog and would also like to follow me on Twitter.... you can find me at https://twitter.com/so_simply_steph !
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Not So Sunny Sunshine State...

sunshine state

Florida, aka the Sunshine State, is not living up to it's name right now. After nearly 20 inches of rain, and more to come, the Sunshine State has became the Liquid Sunshine State.


Now, to make it even better, we have an 80-90% chance of rain for the next few days. By then, the tropical disturbance out in the Gulf and the 2 off the coast of Africa should have made up their minds where they may or may not be headed. Hopefully somewhere far, far from here.


We are going to float off that map if Mother Nature keeps this up!


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Changing the Colors of Hydrangeas

how to change the color of hydrangesAs most of you know, I love gardening. Unfortunately, my dry,dusty soil mixed with the Florida heat and no shade to rest in, leaves me with few options for beautifully blooming plants.

One of my favorites have always been hydrangeas but unfortunately due to my poor soil and bright sun, I can't seem to get them to grow. My grandmother on the other hand, had huge hydrangeas growing in her yard, she had a nice shaded yard full of plants but the hydrangeas are the one thing that I always adored and remember the most.

Back then they didn't have all the hybrids so the standard plant that was either white, blue/purple, and pink is what you got. The actual color depended on the soil acidity and whether or not you did what grandma did... add Kool-Aid packets to the soil.

Adding lime and other nutrients to the soil to adjust the pH is the simple trick to turning hydrangeas the color you want. My grandmother would add the Kool-Aid packets and water them in. When the plant absorbed the water it was also absorbing the powdered dye from the Kool-Aid... turning them a variety of colors, and rarely two blooms would ever be the same.

How to Change the Color of Hydrangeas

To obtain a pink Hydrangea blossom maintain a soil pH at or near 6.5 For blue or purplish colored blossom, maintain a pH at or near 5.0. If you want to change the color of your hydrangea then you will need to alter the soil accordingly.


How to Grow Hydrangeas has lots of information on how to properly grow, care for and change the color of hydrangeas. The pictures are beautiful and includes the new varieties that have the multi-colored blossoms. If you would like to know more about propagating hydrangeas, changing the color or anything else hydrangea-related you can find it all at: How to Grow Hydrangeas
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Topsy Turvey Terra Cotta Planter

Topsy turvey planter made out of terracotta pots. 



I have wanted to build a few of these adorable topsy turvy terra cotta planters for quite some time now. I even purchased all the supplies last year but got around to it. I have decided since I have everything I will be getting it done this week! It has rained all day or else I would be out there putting it together right now.
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Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Favourite Bible Verse

Praise God!
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How to Grow Canna Lilies from Seeds


Red Canna LilyImage by gohomekiki @flickr
Red Canna Lily
Image by gohomekiki @flickr
Super excited! My canna lilies are starting to bloom!!! I know this doesn't sound like much for a typical canna lily grower, but- last year I started them from seed. No, not rhizomes- but SEED! They typically take 2-3 years to start blooming like the ones in this image. Nice, huge, full blooms don't immediately come from canna lilies that are grown from seed. So, in general, patience is required, or so they say. I did get a few blooms last year, but this year they are coming out of the kinks!

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Homemade Weed Killers- How to Make Organic, Homemade Herbicides thatAre Safe for Your Famliy, Pets and the Environment


Homemade weed killers!
With spring comes lovely flowers, chirping birds, warm sunshine... and weeds! Yes, weeds. Now is the perfect time for all the weed seeds from last year to start popping up everywhere you don't want them.

So, how can you get rid of weeds without spending a fortune on herbicides? Looking for organic weed killer ideas?

The nifty post at Homemade Weed Killers has several recipes for great weed killers that are safe for your family, pets and the environments. It lists concoctions such as vinegar and water, lemon juice and several other mild, chemical-free weed killer recipes. You save money, protect the environment and protect your family!
For a list of homemade weed killers checkout:

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Attract Hummingbirds and the Perfect Hummingbird Food Recipe

attract hummingbirds
Ruby Red-Throated Hummingbird
Image Credit: Calypte anna
Hummingbirds are amazing little creatures! Attracting them to your yard is more simple than you think. While geographical location does play a big role, if you provide the right environment you can attract hummingbirds to your yard in no time.  
They key to attracting hummingbirds is knowing and providing what these delicate little creatures need to survive; food, shelter and water. Sounds rather simple, huh? 

Well, yes and no. You need to know that they don't eat bird food, don't live in bird houses, and that birdbaths are not a sufficient water source. 

How to Provide the Right Environment 
to Attract Hummingbirds


Food Supply:
Hummingbirds get their food from plant nectar. Plant bright colored flowers and/or provide a nectar alternative. Check out The Perfect Hummingbird Food Recipe for an easy recipe that will attract them in no time!

Water Supply: 
Hummingbirds require a freshwater supply where ever they are lodging. Not necessarily for drinking but bathing and entertainment. Providing some form of fountain, sprinkler or other source of fresh, running water will attract hummingbirds. They not only enjoy bathing, but actually enjoy 'playing' in the water.

Shelter:
Hummingbirds do not stay in birdhouses. Instead, they build tiny little nests that house themselves and their young. For obvious reasons such as weather, security and protection, they build their nests in densely wood bushes and trees. Make sure you have a few shrubs or bushes close by so that they can build a nice and cozy little home.
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