Planting Herbs- Kids Cook Monday

Us Smiths have had a busy couple of weeks. We have now been in our new home for a little over a week. So far we are loving our rental home and all that the Raleigh area has to offer.


We are especially loving the warmer temperatures and being able to hang out on our back deck. It’s great because it has a screened in portion that provides shade and an open area that leads to the backyard.



I recently decided to use a little corner of our deck to plant some herbs.


So many of the recipes we make call for fresh herbs so it just made sense! I wanted Brady to be a part of the planting so that he could see exactly where the ingredients he was cooking with and eating came from and have a little ownership over our meals.

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I love the idea of having fresh herbs on hand. Chris and Brady planted chives, basil, thyme, and cilantro. I can’t wait to add them to our meals! I love to take something store-bought and throw a handful of herbs in it to make it taste fresh. An easy one that is always a hit is basil mashed potatoes. I use store-bought mashed potatoes and fold in a handful of fresh, chopped basil leaves. It gives it a fresh, Italian flair that is so good as a side dish to just about anything!


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=   Delicious!

I can also picture me throwing some cilantro into a pot of rice for a Mexican side dish, chives on a bowl of soup or baked potato, and thyme sprinkled in a bowl of buttered noodles. Let’s hope I have a little, tiny, morsel of my grandma’s green thumb in my genes and I can keep these little guys alive!


Grow, grow, grow!

Nolan’s Hole In ONE Par-tee!

We had a busy, busy weekend full of family, friends, and celebrating Nolan’s first birthday! This year has truly FLOWN by. I can’t believe our baby is now a one year old…a one year old who had an absolute blast at his party! He loved seeing all of his little friends, eating cake, and most of all, balloons! Or as he called them, BALLS!

His party was a golf theme that was put together with the help of Pinterest and Etsy. Seriously, what did we ever do without those sites….wander the craft store, trying to muster up inspiration?? Psshh! Here’s a little glimpse of the party set up, decor, and food…

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We were so thankful that so many of our playgroup friends were able to make it to Nolan’s big day. The kids had a blast running around, decorating hats, and of course, eating!

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Nolan was also blessed to have his Grandma, Uncle Charles, Aunt Gift and cousin Chloe at his party. We did our best to get group shots with everyone looking!

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Not surprisingly, Nolan was a fan of his birthday cake.

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Thanks to our friends and family who sent messages, cards, and gifts to our littlest man. His birthday was so special thanks to all of the people who love him. Nolan is such a sweet, fun-loving, little guy who is bursting with personality and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!


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Nolan’s First Year

What a year it’s been! This time last year, we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our littlest man. My due date came and went and we started to wonder just how long this little guy of ours was going to make us wait for his arrival. Then, in the middle of the night (going into the day after my due date) my contractions started. Chris and I were up all night timing my contractions, eating peanut butter sandwiches AND peanut butter crackers (it’s what my loving husband whipped up when I requested a snack) and we watched some awful Jessica Simpson movie on TV. Apparently there was nothing else on at 3AM. My contractions slowed down around 5AM and we figured it must have been a false alarm so we went back to bed. By 9AM we were back up and on our way to the hospital. Our baby boy was on his way!! After a pretty uneventful day of labor that turned into a quick, rushed, scary emergency C-section, we got to meet the little guy that had, and would continue to, always keep us on our toes!


From finding out that we were pregnant two weeks after moving 6 states away from our family, to the full head of black hair that he was born with, I’m constantly surprised/amazed by our lil’ Bubba! He’s been a character from the beginning and has never lacked in personality! He’s the little brother that Brady never knew he wanted, but now, couldn’t live without. He completed our family in the best possible way and solidified my very proud status as a “BOY Mom.”


It’s hard to believe that we’ve had Nolan in our lives for an entire year now. I’m partly in denial as he makes his transition from an infant to a one year old…he’s had his last weekly picture, nursed for the last time, is cruising around the furniture (desperately trying to walk to catch up with Brady), is out of his infant car seat, and got his first hair cut. As much as I would love to freeze time forever, we are having more fun than ever as a family now that Nolan is becoming his own little person.


To celebrate Nolan turning one, I did a little make-shift smash cake photo session for him. His little buddy Elliot got in on the action too…they’re just 5 days apart! After a little Pinterest research, I made a paper bunting banner, rearranged my couch so I had a blank wall for my backdrop, and Elliot’s momma Lauren brought two cakes for our little guys to indulge in. I’m not gonna lie, it was messy. We really could have used a third adult to help corral the kiddos, and it would have been great to do it outside (temps in the 30’s didn’t allow for that!), but all in all, we got some really great shots!


His face says it all!


There was a lot of excited grunting going on here!


I just love this shot with the frosting covered feet and hands…

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Yea, that frosting was EVERYWHERE.

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate Nolan’s big day with a golf themed birthday party (expect a blog post on the party soon) -Chris couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Masters Week! He’ll officially be ONE. As usual, this milestone will be bittersweet. My little guy will be even less little, but he’ll always be my forever baby!

Check out the video below for a glimpse of Nolan’s first year through the weeks…