Saturday, December 31, 2016

Monthly Reflections | December

What I'm currently up to in life and on the blog. #currently #takingstock #monthlyreflections - Monthly Reflections | December - A Simpler Grace



"Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow."

In just a few hours, we will in 2017. Let's just sit back and think about that a moment. I remember being a kid in the early 80's and thinking how far away the year 2000 sounded and here we are seventeen years beyond that! Somehow, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around it, but here we are.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dear 2016 | A Letter of Reflection

Dear 2016 | A Letter of Reflection - A Simpler Grace #dear2016 #letters

"Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often." - Susan Statham

Dear 2016,

As I prepare to close your chapter in my life and begin writing the next one, I first want to look back and reflect on the last twelve months. You have been quite a year, filled with many highs and just as many lows, but there have been a lot of opportunities to learn and grow from each experience and you have given so much that I can take with me into the future.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#Collaboreads | A Familiar Favorite

#Collaboreads | A Familiar Favorite - A Simpler Grace



This post contains affiliate links. Using one of my links doesn't cost you a penny more, but it supports A Simpler Grace and allows me to keep doing what I love. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info on affiliate links, please see my disclosures(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

I'm back for another installment of Collaboreads with Rachel and Amber. This month, our theme was a familiar favorite. I chose a book that I've read several times and always seem to get something different from it each reading.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

One Little Word | 2017

One Little Word | An Intentional 2017 - A Simpler Grace #onelittleword



"It takes a lot of courage to share your dreams with someone else." - Erma Bombeck

Every year, at the end of December, I sit down with a mug of tea and a notebook and reflect on the last twelve months. I think about where I've come from, the challenges I've overcome, the goals I've met in that time and where I see myself going in the new year. Then, I select One Little Word to be my guiding principle for the year. This word will be one I meditate on every day, one that impacts every branch of my life and encompasses everything I want to be and accomplish in that year. If you're not familiar with the One Little Word project, created by Ali Edwards, you can read more about it on her website.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Reading Wrap Up

A closer look at this year's bookshelf - 2016 Reading Wrap Up - A Simpler Grace #asgbookshelf



Although this was not a sponsored post, it does contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info on affiliate links, please see my disclosures(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

Reading has always been an integral part of my life. I can attribute my love for books to the women on my mother's side of the family, three generations before me. I have memories of being in my mother's lap and listening to her read the Christian Mother Goose nursery rhymes to me. I remember learning my first words from Dog Goes to Nursery School while with my grandmother and loving how animated my great grandmother, Gigi, would get when she read Nippy the Fire Dog to me. I actually still have all those books and many more from my first few years of life.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 57

Today I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog with @embergreyblog #gratitude - Simple Gratitude | 57 - A Simpler Grace




Merry Christmas week to those of you who celebrate. Happy holidays to those of you who don't. Happy Monday to all, regardless.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 7

A conversation over coffee #coffeedates - If You and I Had Coffee | vol 7 - A Simpler Grace



If  you and I had coffee...

We'd meet at the little coffee kiosk at the local chain bookstore, where we've both been spending a lot of time lately. I'd order the biggest hot chocolate - hold the whipped cream - and with our drinks, we'd wander aimlessly through aisles and aisles of bound tales from storytellers, both new and centuries old. I'd tell you about my passion for the construction of books. The binding, the end papers, the products used in the cover design and the beautiful spines that hold them all together. Oh, and the smell. Don't get me started on the smell of printed books! The older ones are always the best.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 56

Today I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog with @embergreyblog #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 56 - A Simpler Grace




Today's little moments become tomorrow's precious memories.  - unknown

Good morning!

I'm amazed at how quickly the weeks are flying by now. The new year will be upon us before we know it. In the meantime, I'm trying to live in the moment and celebrate the little things that bring me joy every day. These are some of those things.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

What I Read | November + FREE Winter Reading List Printable

 A look back at what I read last month + free reading list printable! #ASGbookshelf #whatIread



Hello, fellow bookworms!

Despite being super busy with the Thanksgiving holiday, November brought along the opportunity to read a lot of books. A lot of really good books. I don't think I've ever rated this many books with four or five stars in one month as I have in November and I'm ecstatic about that. Below is the run-down of all the books I read and what I thought of them.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 55

Sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog this morning with @embergrey - Simple Gratitude | 55 - A Simpler Grace




Good morning, friends! Today, I'm going to keep this post short and share a happy little thought to start your week. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hello December | Goals

A monthly series tracking the goals I've set both in my personal and blogging life. - Hello December | Goals - A Simpler Grace



I'm not gonna lie. November was a really hard month for me. I switched up some of my medications in the early part of the month and had some major adverse reactions to them and spent most of November feeling weak and exhausted and not wanting to do anything but sleep. It was tough to get stuff done, but I did have a few days where I was able to push myself (probably a little too hard, in hindsight) and get a few items checked off my list. With that being said, I'm giving myself some grace as I look back on my goals and realizing that none of these are life-or-death necessities and that it's ok if I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I had hoped.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#Collaboreads | A Foodie Book

#Collaboreads | A Foodie Book - A Simpler Grace

Although this was not a sponsored post, it does contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info on affiliate links, please see my disclosures(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

I'm back again for another installment of the #Collaboreads linkup. This month, we read foodie books. Click the link below to check out what the others read this month!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monthly Reflections | November

What I'm currently up to in life and on the blog. #currently #takingstock #monthlyreflections



November, you came and went too quickly. You left us with just one month remaining in the year. Thirty-one days left on the calendar. You were a different kind of month. Not what I was expecting. Not even what I was hoping for. Just different. And now you're gone, leaving the blustery thrill of December upon us.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 54

Sharing my #gratefulheart Simple Gratitude | 54 - A Simpler Grace #gratitude #feelingthankful



Well, that week went by quickly. It's so hard to believe Thanksgiving is already over and we are well on our way to Christmas. Holiday music is playing. Decorations are going up. Cookies are being baked. It's times like these when I am reminded of how much I have to be grateful for.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 53

Sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog with @embergreyblog - Simple Gratitude | 53 - A Simpler Grace



Hi, friends!

It's going to be a quiet week around here because of the Thanksgiving holiday, I plan on spending a lot of time in the kitchen getting ready to help feed about twenty people, so I'm going to be a busy girl! What are your plans this week?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Seven Personality Tests

Seven personality tests and what they can tell you - A Simpler Grace



Today we are talking about a topic that I think is so much fun - personality tests. No, not those silly ones on Facebook that tell you which color your aura is or which movie star is your doppelganger. I'm talking about real, legit tests that give you information about your personality that you can utilize to understand who you are and what you need in life to be happy, productive and successful.

What I love about these seven tests is that they are all available online, they are free, and they can each be taken in about fifteen minutes or less. No sweat, right? You are probably familiar with a few of them and might have even taken them yourself and know your results, but a few of them might be new to you. Read on to learn more about each.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 6

 A conversation over coffee #coffeedates - If You and I Had Coffee | vol 6 - A Simpler Grace



If  you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up at your place and hang out in your living room getting cozy by the fireplace that you've kept crackling for the last week. We'd enjoy some homemade gingerbread chai lattes and I'd admire the mantle that you've already adorned with Christmas decor. I'd comment about the sweet cinnamon notes I smelled coming from a new candle you'd lit on the coffee table and you'd tell me that the spicy fragrance of cinnamon always makes the house feel warmer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dear Santa | A Letter of Hope for the Holidays

Dear Santa | A Letter of Hope for the Holidays - A Simpler Grace



Dear Santa,

It's been a while since my last letter - almost thirty years - and I'm sorry for not keeping in touch better. I could make excuses about being busy or the time getting away from me, but we both know the reason I haven't stayed in contact is because I have lost a little faith as I've grown older. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 52

Simple Gratitude | 52 - A Simpler Grace  #gratefulheart with @embergreyblog #gratitude #feelingthankful



I have to admit that I've struggled with writing this post. It's been a tough week for me. Having a grateful heart has not come easy for me this week. Even after practicing gratitude and keeping a gratitude journal for so many years, there are times when gratitude is not something that comes naturally. Without wanting to sound ungrateful, I'll simply say that sometimes it's a struggle to pick out the positive. When you are feeling beat down by life, the negative readily presents itself and it's difficult to break the cycle and find those little things that stand out and make a difference.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Psalm 147:4 | Bible Journaling

Psalm 147:4 | Bible Journaling - A Simpler Grace #illustratedfaith #shepaintstruth



Good morning and happy Sunday! I thought I'd hop on today and share a recent Bible journaling passage I worked on. Something simple, but still really fun to create.

This passage has been speaking to me over the last few days. Since the election on Tuesday, my heart has been breaking. Many groups of people are being made to feel very small and insignificant and I thought we all needed a simple reminder that we are loved by a God who doesn't label us but instead sees us all as his children. A God who, with over seven billion souls in this world, remembers each and every one of us and cares for us all. This might not mean anything to some, but it gives me hope. Hope for a better tomorrow and a world with more loving, open-minded and compassionate souls and fewer hateful ones.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites #glutenfree #vegan - A Simpler Grace
I don't know about you, but I get so frustrated when I don't have a quick and easy snack to grab when I'm rushing out the door. Some days, I don't have time to prepare something and I end up resorting to fast food, which we all know leads to nowhere good. Today, I'm sharing my recipe for these delicious peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites that take just a few minutes to prepare and you can keep them in your fridge for easy access when you are on the go.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

What I Read | October

A look back at what I read this month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread - What I Read | October - A Simpler Grace
The month of October was all about crushing some reading goals. I topped my highest number of books last month by reading a grand total of twenty-one! I read quite a few for Dewey's 24-hour readathon and a whole lot in the down-time I had. Some were fantastic, some not-so-much, but here's the official line-up for October of 2016.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 51

A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 51 - A Simpler Grace



Happy Monday! This is truly the happiest Monday I've had in a long time and it's because of one of the things I'm grateful for below - that hasn't even happened yet! Needless to say, I'm very excited and felt like a kid waiting for Santa last night while I tried to sleep.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hello November | Goals

A monthly series tracking the goals I've set both in my personal and blogging life. - Hello November | Goals - A Simpler Grace


Hello, November! It's going to be a very busy remainder of the year and it's good that I just spent the last few months simplifying my life. Although I have a lot more to do, it's cleared the way for me to keep my head down and work my rear off and accomplish some of these goals. Here's to finishing 2016 on a good note!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 50

A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 50 - A Simpler Grace



Happy Halloween!

It's the last day of the month and I'm sad to see October leaving but excited to start a new month. November is my favorite month of the year. It's when the weather finally turns cold here in the mid-east, it's my birthday month, and there is always Thanksgiving and lots of time with family and friends. It's also the beginning of the 30 Days of Gratitude and the start of National Novel Writing Month. It's going to be a busy one!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monthly Reflections | October

What I'm currently up to in life and on the blog. #currently #takingstock #monthlyreflections - Monthly Reflections | October - A Simpler Grace




Where did the month of October go? Strike that. Better question, where did the year go?? I am frantically looking for the pause button and trying to slow the last few months of 2016 down, but it doesn't seem to be working. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title

A bookish linkup with friends - #Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title - A Simpler Grace



Hi, friends! After months of planning to join in on the #Collaboreads linkup with Amber and Rachel and not being able to swing it in my editorial calendar, I am finally participating! It's a great month to do so because this month's prompt is to choose a book with "fall" in the title. I actually pulled several books (five, to be exact) that fit the bill, but when all was said and done, only one made the cut.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 49

A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 49 - A Simpler Grace



"I  want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible."  - Oprah Winfrey

Oh Monday, we meet again. At the beginning of every new week, I always feel both excited and a little resentful. Excited, for the feeling of a slate wiped clean and a chance to be better than I was yesterday, but resentful because I wish the weekend had lasted just a little longer, so I could enjoy the sunshine and family time and relaxation a fraction more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Things To Do When You Aren't Feeling Inspired

5 Things To Do When You Aren't Feeling Inspired - A Simpler Grace



Confession. There are days when I can sit down at my laptop to write a post or pick up my phone to share a photo on Instagram and I am feeling so inspired, the words just flow out of me, almost like they are burning and the steam must escape me in the quickest way possible. And there are some days, they don't. Sometimes, the inspiration just isn't there. The good ideas have dried up and the barren desert of creative emptiness is all that looms.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 48

Sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog today - Simple Gratitude | 48 - A Simpler Grace #gratitude #feelingthankful



"Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it." - Karl A. Menninger

Good Monday morning to ya! I hope you were able to enjoy a gorgeous fall weekend like I was. We had absolutely perfect weather. It was cool and breezy and the leaves are FINALLY starting to change color. I looked back to last fall and we were already in full color by the first week of October and this year, we are just barely starting to see some golds and crimsons peeking from the treetops. A bit slow this year, but I plan on taking some photos once the change is more visible.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Apple Brown Betty

An autumn dessert with warm apples, cinnamon and hearty oats served with ice cream - Apple Brown Betty - A Simpler Grace



Tis' the season for warm, hearty desserts and today, I'm sharing a recipe I recently made for my family that was a sure hit. Fall is the perfect time to do some baking using seasonal fruits, warm spices, and lots of other comforting ingredients. Today, it's all about apples, cinnamon, and oats.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 5

A conversation over coffee #coffeedates - If You and I Had Coffee | vol 5 - A Simpler Grace



If  you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up at the little organic farm stand down a winding country road, far away from the city. The place always bustles with activity in the fall with people picking out pumpkins and chrysanthemums or grabbing freshly made jars of apple butter. We'd sit at a picnic table right outside the stand and sip hot apple cider from paper cups and marvel at the beautiful day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

James 1:2-8 | Bible Journaling

James 1:2-8 | Bible Journaling - A Simpler Grace #illustratedfaith



Hello and good morning! So, if you follow the blog regularly or if you read my monthly goals posts, you'll remember that I haven't been the best about keeping up with my Bible journaling goal. In order to help myself accomplish this task, I decided to add a few journaling posts to my editorial calendar for the month.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 47

A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 47 - A Simpler Grace



Happy Monday, everyone! I hope this morning's post finds you well and those of you who were in the path of Hurricane Matthew are safe and sound.

This morning I wanted to share with you, two little bits that have been encouraging me lately. Sometimes, it seems like the obstacles that fall in our path are too large for us to conquer. Heck, Mondays can sometimes feel like that, and when you have this feeling, all else seems impossible. I hope you find encouragement in these and you start your week off on the right foot.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Double-Stuffed Potato Skins

Double-Stuffed Potato Skins #foodiefootballfans - A Simpler Grace



This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans - and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.

Football season is here! In celebration, I've joined a group of bloggers from all over the country - all of whom are big football fans - to bring you football-inspired recipes this season. Last month, we shared our favorite tailgating recipes and now we are sharing more than 60 recipe ideas for celebrating on game day. Click on their links below to join in!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

What I Read | September

A look back at what I read this month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread - What I Read | September - A Simpler Grace



Good Tuesday to ya! I'm checking in early this October to share what I read in the month of September and what I thought about those books. I'd love to know what you are currently reading and which book you enjoyed last month. Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 46

 A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful - Simple Gratitude | 46 - A Simpler Grace



Hi, friends! It's the first Monday of October and I'm back on my normal blogging schedule again. I'm so glad to be able to jump in every week with my gratitude posts and truly missed the few weeks I shared other posts for blog-tember.

It was a good week with a few lows but lots of highs and I got to spend the weekend with the people I love, so you can't beat that!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Hello October | Goals

A monthly series tracking the goals I've set both in my personal and blogging life. - Hello October | Goals - A Simpler Grace



September flew by because I was so busy blogging and it's hard to believe we are already talking about goals again. This was not a good month for my to-do list. I really thought I'd have more time to do these things but I was preoccupied with blog-tember. It's a new month and I have a fresh, clean slate so I hope to do better in October! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Monthly Reflections | September

What I'm currently up to in life and on the blog. #currently #takingstock #monthlyreflections



The end of September is upon us.

Lately, I've been...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 4

A conversation over coffee #coffeedates - If You and I Had Coffee | vol 4 | Blog-tember Day 28 - A Simpler Grace




If you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up at Starbucks, not one of our usual "locals only" spots, but we do have a tradition to go once a year for one thing and one thing alone. We both order a venti pumpkin spice latte, the one trendy drink we allow ourselves, and choose a little wrought iron table at the corner of the patio farthest from the door. We enjoy the late September sunshine and cool breeze as we sip our seasonal drinks.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 45

A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful #blogtemberchallenge
Happy Monday, friends! I'm jumping back in on my weekly gratitude post. Y'all, I have so much to be thankful for and I've missed sharing my gratitude on the blog the past few weeks. So glad to be back today!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Always, Sometimes, Never

Always, Sometimes, Never - A Simpler Grace

Today, I am sharing a fun post. It's been a busy month and I needed to break up the monotony with something that would cheer me up and maybe encourage someone else to try it too! Here are twenty-one random things I always, sometimes, or never do.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cheese Broccoli Soup

Cheese Broccoli Soup | Blog-tember Day 23 #blogtemberchallenge



I've been excited about today's post because I get to do something I love and that is share food with you! This is a soup that my family has been making for years and it is so delicious. It's the perfect way to kick off the first full day of autumn!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Self-Care on Stressful Days

Eight ways to care for yourself on a stressful day - A Simpler Grace #blogtemberchallenge



Today happens to be a not-so-great day, so I can speak from experience on this topic because I have used all of these eight tips I'm going to share with you over the last few days. Here's how I invest in self-care when I'm having a bad day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Love on Instagram | Fall 2016




It's a new season and it's time for some Instagram love! I've written several other posts like this (you can see them here, here and here) and everyone seems to love all the inspiration, so let's have another dose, shall we?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

What I Read | August

What I Read | August + 5 Things That Bring Me Joy | Blog-tember Day 7 #blogtemberchallenge



Happy hump day! Here are the highlights of what I read in August!

Monday, September 05, 2016

Simple Gratitude | 44

Simple Gratitude | 44 | Blog-tember Day 5 - A weekly series focusing on practicing gratitude.  #gratefulheart #gratitude #feelingthankful #blogtemberchallenge

Happy Monday and happy Labor Day for those of you who live in the States! I wanted to give my mama a shout-out because today is her birthday! Happy birthday, mom!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Hello September | Goals

A monthly series tracking the goals I've set both in my personal and blogging life. - Hello September | Goals - A Simpler Grace #blogtemberchallenge



I love setting monthly goals because it gives me an opportunity to look at the big picture and break the goal into smaller steps so I can actually achieve them. Since starting my goal-setting posts here on ASG, I've been a lot more productive when it comes to work time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beer & Brats Bake

64 Tailgating Recipes - Beer & Brats Bake - A Simpler Grace #football #tailgating #recipes
*This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans - and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.*

With the official start of football season around the corner, it's time to tailgate! In celebration, I've joined a group of bloggers from all over the country - all of whom are big football fans! - to bring you 64 tailgating recipe ideas for a terrific football party. Click on their links below to join in!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monthly Reflections | August

What I'm currently up to in life and on the blog. #currently #takingstock #monthlyreflections
August... Oh, August, where did you go? The end of this month is so representative of my life right now. A month is ending. A season is ending, but a brand new month and season are beginning and it's one that is filled with hope and brightness. I am truly excited about what the future holds.