Word for 2019: MORE

Last fall I began thinking about what my word for 2019 would be.  I started thinking about my goals and plans for the year, and it all came down to one word: MORE.


Cook More. Clean More. Blog More. Do More household projects.  Make our home a more organized and efficient space. (That’s a big one on my to-do list!)

Where I’m Coming From

Since having our baby, I’ve been just a wee bit consumed by that!  I love spending time with him, and it is so hard pulling myself away to do actual housework, blog work etc.  As a result, a lot of projects and daily activities just fell by the wayside last year.  Now that he is out of the infant stage, I still struggle to pull myself away, but I know I have to get things done!  I have to do MORE and be MORE!

I still believe that being present for my son and our family is MY MOST important job!  And I definitely don’t want to compromise that for the sake of mopping the floor!  But…I know that in order to be a leader and teach my son about being a responsible person, I MUST show that in my own life each day, so I am strategizing and working on ways that I can do more in our household and make sure we are running more efficiently.  At the same time, I’m also working on ways to get back to my blogging, to be more disciplined with that and to maintain a more regular schedule.

Hopefully this will help me to accomplish MORE this year.

I started journaling in my new planner, as I have done the past two or three years, and I decided I would share some of my notes with you.  Normally I don’t share things like this, especially as it is just total stream of consciousness, but I’m trying to “put myself out there” more.  Also, I thought my notes might inspire someone to write similar notes to themselves.

Be More…

do more, expect more, be more.

  • Be the good. Be the positive force.  Be the change you wish to see.

Know that you are made for more and you ARE MORE than you think you are.

Positivity: Find good things in every day through every challenge.  See the good. (It’s never that bad!)


  • You are strong.
  • You are brave.
  • You are smart and confident.
  • You are a mom, a wife, and a leader.


  • in God.
  • in Self.
  • in those you LOVE.

Accept Challenges.

  • Strive and Rise Above.
  • Thrive!
  • Never settle.
  • Always Be More.

So those are my notes: My mental challenge to myself to BE MORE!

And I hope through all these positive affirmations, I can challenge myself to DO MORE this year.

I’ve already started working on new strategies: I’ve started making changes to my daily routine and being more conscious and intentional about what I am doing.  And I am also working on ways to make more concrete plans for my weeks.

I, for one, struggle to come up with an exact daily or weekly schedule for myself.  For example, if I say, “Okay, on Mondays I will work on posts, either Monday will roll around and I simply won’t feel inspired to write.  Or else, I’ll have more pressing things to do in my household, and writing just will NOT be a priority.”  Similarly with housework, I often find sometimes I need to do a task only once a week.  Other times that same task may need to be done two or three times in a week.  Even with our cooking, I generally have a rough idea of what we are going to make for the week, but it is hard for us to nail down an exact meal plan for the week.  I’m working on being okay with that and understanding that it is okay to do what works, as long as I am getting things done!

BUT to help myself be a little more intentional, I made this daily planning printable.  In my planner I’m also making a list each week of projects I want to work on.  And I also have a printable goals planner to provide a quick overview.

What About You?

Do you have a word for 2019?  I’d love to hear about your goals and plans!

And if you have any tips for doing more each day or keeping a more efficient daily schedule, I’d love to hear your tips and ideas!  Please share your thoughts in the comments or give me a shout out on social media!

Happy 2018 + Baby Announcement and Story

Hello all!  And Happy New Year!  With 2018 here, I just wanted to check in and write a quick post.  I’ve been a little bit absent the last couple of months, but if you follow me on Instagram or read my first little mini announcement, you know it’s been for a good cause!


I’d like for you to officially meet little Charles Saban Thaxton Birdwell.  (You may call him Thaxton.)  He was named after 2 great men.  The first is my dad, Charles Thaxton Holladay, and the second is Coach Nick Saban.  We wanted to name him Saban, because my stepson’s middle name is Bryant (after Bear Bryant), and it was actually my husband’s idea to use my dad’s middle name, Thaxton.  Then we had a gender reveal ultrasound, where we learned that HE was going to be a HE, and on the way home from the appointment, my husband suggested calling the baby Thaxton, rather than Saban.  At that point, I suggested we throw the Charles in as well.  So there is the story behind his name! [Read more…]

Friday Favorites – Week 307 – Call For New Co-Hostesses – And Valentine’s Day Projects

Hello everyone.  Today on top of posting some great features and linky, we have something else just as big and important, and that is a call for new co-hostesses.  If you’ve ever wanted to host a linky party, and especially if you ever wanted to be part of a co-hosted party, this may be a great opportunity for you.  Please read the following announcement, and if you’re interested, I invite you to fill out the brief form to apply.  (And as always, I invite you to scroll down, enjoy this week’s features, and share your recipes and projects using this week’s linky!)

Do you blog about food, decor, mommy or other lifestyle topics?

Do you love making new blogger friends? Are you looking for a way to add traffic and interactivity to your blogging community?

Do you have time to do a blog post each Thursday night? Then We Want You!

We currently have an opening or two for Friday Favorites co-hostesses. To be considered, simply fill out the form below. [Read more…]

Top Commenters, Referrals, and Other Thank Yous for 2012

At the start of a new year I always like to assess what I did last year on the blog.  Today I FINALLY wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who supported my blog in 2012.  I was given a lot of great opportunities last year, and I couldn’t have that without great blog readers and friends.  I couple of weeks ago I got my “2012 Report” from WordPress, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank and recognize my top commenter, referrals, and some other folks who really helped out last year!

Merry Christmas from Simply Sweet Home

Merry Christmas

 I want to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for all your support this year!  I wish you all the best of luck and happiness in 2013!


2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Owners, Reserve Your Spot

Are you thinking about the holiday season yet? How about now??  

With the end of October in sight, it’s time to start planning my Thanksgiving and Christmas line up, and this means sharing yummy treats, fun decor, and of course great gift ideas! If you have an Etsy shop or other online business, I’d love to spotlight you and your products!

I’ll be taking resevations for product reviews and giveaways, and I’ll also be offering ad space and general spotlight posts.  And all sponsors will also be promoted on the social networks!

To reserve your spot, please fill out this form or just email me.  And I’ll get back to you with more details!

Also, while I’m in “announcing mode”  I want to go ahead and tell you that I’m in the process of making plans for the 2012 Holly Bloggy Christmas event!  Dates and details will be announced late in November, but I wanted to go ahead and mention it, because I will be coordinating a giveaway on my blog for that event, and I may be lining up a giveaway for some of the other sponsors as well.  The event was hugely successful last year,  so if you’d like to sponsor, I’d love to have you!


Celebrating 5 Years of Blogging! And Seeking Giveaway Sponsors

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to announce that I will be celebrating 5 years of blogging next month! Yay!  It’s so hard to believe I’ve been blogging for this length of time, and I am amazed at just how far this blog has come.

If you would like to help celebrate the event by being a giveaway sponsor, I’d LOVE to have you!  There’s no fee to be a giveaway sponsor,  and all prizes including physical items,  shop credits, and free ad space is welcome!

I’m also looking to book some giveaways for my own shop on other blogs, and I may be interesting in “swapping” giveaway sponsorships with you.

I’ve created a form, especially for blogiversary sponsoring.  If you already have a prize in mind to give away, feel free to fill out the entire form with your prize information, social network links, etc.  And I will get back with you in the coming days to let you the exact dates and details of the giveaway.

If you’re not sure of a prize yet, or if you’d just like to get more information on the event, you can go ahead and use the form as well. The only required fields are your name/email, and you can feel free to submit any questions in the last field of the form.



Also, if you’re “booked up” for your fall sponsoring, I’ll be seeking a couple of sponsors in December for my annual Holly Bloggy Christmas!  This is a 5 day linky party event hosted by myself and 4 other bloggers. (Giveaway spots for this will be limited, so email me if you’re interested in booking your spot early!)


Call For Sponsors – Great Summer Opportunities


Want to be a  sponsor on Simply Sweet Home?  I have a couple of fun giveaway sponsorship opportunities available this summer,  along with my usual advertising opportunities.

[Read more…]

New Ways to Follow Simply Sweet Home

In case you haven’t heard Google Friend Connect will only be available to Blogger blogs after February. The way I see it, this affects everyone who’s in one or more of the following categories:
1. A blogger using WordPress or other blogging platform other than Blogger (obviously).
2.  A Blogger user who may switch platforms in the future.
3. A blog reader who would like to follow WordPress or other blogs that do not have GFC.
4. A blogger who wants people (including those who are no longer using GFC) to follow their blog in some form.

As for myself, I’m in category 2, 3, and 4.  I’m seriously considering a swap to WordPress, and although many people have said that your existing followers will still get your updates, and not to panic, because people can continue to subscribe to your RSS feeds and follow you in other ways, I’d really miss GFC.
And after giving it some thought, I realized that although it seems exhausting to consider building completely new networks from scratch, we should try to make it easy for people to follow our blogs in whatever way they prefer.
As social media seems to be everchanging, there’s no telling what the next big thing will be, but to try and keep up with the trends, I decided to create a profile on Google+.  If you’re already on Google+, please add me to your circles.  And if you’re not on it yet, please sign up and add me.
And then there’s also a new Linky Follower application, which I just added today.  This was created by Brent Riggs, the founder of Linky Tools, and it’s completely free to join.  So please sign up for this app, and if you’d like to follow me, let me know that you’ve followed, and I’ll come by and follow you too!

And by the way, if you’re not already following me on Twitter and Facebook, please do so! Links are in the sidebar! Also, please subscribe to my RSS feeds, so you won’t miss any of the great things I’ve got planned for this year!


A Holly Bloggy Christmas Thank You!


On this day-after-Christmas, I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks to everyone who helped out or participated in this year’s Holly Bloggy Christmas Event!
It was so great seeing all your recipes, decorations, and other Christmas ideas! I found so many inspiring things to try out, and I hope you all did too!  And I hope you’ll all be back next year to participate again!

And I have to say a BIG Thanks to the co-hostesses of the event: Staci at Just Sew Sassy, Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage, Nikki at Chef in Training, and  Jen at Tatertots and Jello

These ladies were so great to work with, and they put together some really fun parties for us.  If you have a minute, please stop by their blogs and say hello!


And another BIG thanks to our giveaway sponsors!  Thanks to these great ladies, we had some fantastic prizes to give away!  Please stop by their websites for a little after-Christmas shopping!






I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! And I wish you all good luck and blessings in the new year!