Building Our Forever Home…Almost Done!

In true Smith fashion, things are nice and crazy right now (and exciting!) We’ve been traveling for the holidays- Atlanta last week and Savannah and Daytona next week. We’ve also been putting up our Christmas decorations. Oh, and we are moving into our new house the day after Christmas! Our original closing date was scheduled for February. That got bumped up to January, and while it was a little sooner than we had planned on, we went with it. THEN, our builder came to us and said they’d like to close before the New Year. Whoa! We quickly had to make arrangements with our current rental house, look for movers, and wrap our heads around moving over Christmas break. (We also negotiated a few concessions with our builder to compensate us for accommodating their expedited schedule!) Despite the stress that comes along with yet another move (our 3rd in the last 2 years) we are pretty giddy about the idea that we’ll be starting out the new year in our forever home.

The boys look forward to our weekly trips to the house on Sundays to check out the progress. It’s always a fun game of chasing Nolan around and trying to keep him from picking up rusty nails, touching wet paint, grabbing insulation, etc… Brady has the house memorized and has been able to give a tour since it was just framing and floorboards. He loves to show us where “his” playroom is going to be and always likes to remind us that we need to remember to bring the T.V. from the old house.

Here’s some pictures of the recent progress…

wpid-20141009_105557.jpg wpid-20141104_103820.jpg wpid-20141106_132143_1.jpg


Nolan checking out the new bathtub in the boys’ future bathroom.

It was really exciting when the siding started going up!

wpid-20141106_132244.jpg wpid-20141107_123712.jpg

Drywall really made it start to feel like a home!

wpid-20141114_164657.jpg wpid-20141114_164559.jpg


The original deck. They ended up re-building it because it was just all wrong.


The new and improved deck with the stairs moved to the side.


My favorite part of the process…seeing the kitchen cabinets installed. Not gonna lie, I almost teared up when I saw my kitchen. {The site of future Kids Cook Monday posts!}


Another exciting day was when the stonework started going up!

wpid-20141119_132607.jpg wpid-20141122_162804.jpg


Paint and trim- getting closer!


wpid-20141129_103324.jpg   wpid-20141129_103237.jpg


The driveway was poured this week and our fireplace has a mantel. I can’t wait to see the flooring and countertops go in next. It’s hard to believe that in less than a month we can unpack our boxes for good!

Vegetable SOUPer Stars! {Kids Cook Monday}

Today we whipped up a simple and tasty vegetable soup. This is the kind of soup that is perfect on a rainy, cool day, and utilizes whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you’ve maybe been overindulging in junk food or perhaps need to detox after several days of binge eating Thanksgiving foods!


We started our soup with a combo of fresh, frozen, and canned ingredients. And to really make our soup “shine” we used some awesome star shaped pasta in it.



2 Cups Frozen Vegetables (we used 1 cup peas, 1 cup corn)
1 onion (diced)
2 carrots (shredded)
1 can Italian tomatoes (don’t drain!)
1 box vegetable broth
About 1/2 box pasta


Check out these awesome star shaped pasta noodles. Brady was so impressed!



Brady asks for me to buy him a carrot practically every time we go to the store.


Using the box grater to shred the carrots is such a fun activity for kiddo helpers.

To make this simple soup, we started by cooking up our onions in a big pot in some olive oil. Once they were tender, we tossed in the frozen vegetables. Then we threw in the carrots and cooked them for about a minute. Next, we added the entire can of tomatoes (juice and all) and the entire box of vegetable broth. We brought the whole pot to a boil and then added about half the box of pasta. We turned down the heat a bit and let everything cook for about 10-15 minutes (until the pasta was tender.)


5 6 7 8 9 10

This soup thickens as it sits and the pasta absorbs the liquid. If you want your soup soupier, add less pasta. If you want it thicker, add more pasta. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these flavors.


Nolan- caught eating vegetables and he doesn’t have a clue. A win for mommy!

13 14


Vegetable Souper Stars! Easy, peasy, yum.


Yogurt Parfaits – Kids Cook Monday

We’ve been on a Greek Yogurt kick here in the Smith house. Or as Nolan calls it, “Yoyo.” We have it in the mornings with granola and fruit, but I got to thinking how fun and easy it would be for our afternoon snack. I decided to set out our yogurt and a bunch of topping choices to make it like our own self serve yogurt shop. Most of the toppings were super healthy, but there was just enough yummy stuff set out to make it seem like a real treat.

Here’s our ingredients…


We used honey flavored Greek Yogurt, but you could certainly use plain or vanilla and add a little honey for sweetness. We had berries, bananas, chocolate chips, granola, and peanut butter for topping choices. Other yummy options could be blueberries, slivered almonds, coconut, crushed pineapple, or chocolate syrup. The possibilities are endless!


Brady was such a big boy scooping out his own yogurt and chopping up his fruit for toppings.



Of course Brady opted for peanut butter in his parfait!



Brady’s finished product- delicious!



Rollie Nolie got in on the action too!



I went with a chocolate strawberry combo with a little granola for crunch.

This would be such a fun activity for a morning playdate or birthday party. We’ll be doing this for our afternoon snack again, for sure!

Pirate Party- Arrghh!!

Recently, a sweet little girl I know, named Ryley, turned 4. Her momma, Darrah, and I became friends in grad school, and have remained close since. It’s hard to believe we both have little ones now, let alone little ones who have turned 4!!


Throwback! This was baby Brady and Ry right before her 1st birthday. Where has the time gone?!

Darrah had a fantastic Pirate themed party planned for Ry’s big day, and asked if Chris and I could help her come up with some printables for the food and décor. Of course we obliged, and her party turned out so cute! Here’s some pictures from the party.

20141025_104654   20141025_104903 20141025_104935 20141025_104943 20141025_103803 20141025_104825


LOVE this Fleet of Cupcakes!

Darrah’s creativity teamed up with a few of these Pirate printables, made for an amazing party that any 4 year old would love to have! Here’s the links to the printables that we designed with Ry’s party in mind, but would be perfect for any Pirate themed event. There are game titles, thank you notes, and food labels. Just click on the link below the image you want to download and print!

O coconuts

O coconuts

Pirate option2

Pirate option2

Pirate photo op

Pirate photo op

Sail Away

Sail Away



Tic Toc Croc Toss

Tic Toc Croc Toss

Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank



Homemade Pasta- Kids Cook Monday

Few things in life are as yummy as homemade pasta. Nothing from a box can ever taste as fresh or light. For years, Chris had been saying he wanted to learn how to make his own pasta. Finally, last year he got his own pasta maker. Today he taught Brady to make pasta. It was somewhat time consuming, but really fun! And, Brady was SO into it!


Homemade fettuccine! (The finished product.)

Here’s the ingredients for a basic pasta…

3 Cups flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Tablespoon Salt


Here’s how the pasta came together…

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, and oil together.


2 3 4

Add 3 Cups of Flour to your mixer.


Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour with the mixer on low for about a minute, or until all the egg mixture is incorporated into the flour. Dough should be sticky between fingers. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water.

6 7

Roll dough onto a counter that has been dusted with flour. Form into a ball. Let dough sit under plastic wrap for about a half hour.


Cut dough into about 5 sections. Roll each section flat.

9 10

Carefully press each sheet of pasta dough through the pasta maker 3 times until it is very thin. (Each time you put the sheet of pasta through the machine, you decrease the width setting on the pasta maker.)


I love that part way through the process Brady had to go get his dinosaur and “Man with the Yellow Hat” hat.

Run the thin sheet of pasta through the pasta cutter to make your desired noodle shape. We made fettuccine.

Lay noodles flat to dry out for about 30 minutes. Turn the pasta over and let the other side dry for another 30 minutes.

13 14

Boil the pasta for about 5 minutes. (This part goes way quicker than dried pasta!)


Once your noodles are cooked, top with your favorite sauce, veggies, or meat. This fettuccine would be fabulous with a marinara or alfredo sauce. We tossed ours in some butter, salt and pepper, and threw in some green peas and Parmesan Cheese. It was super simple and the pasta was definitely the star!


Pasta with Peas and Parmesan!

Yay for homemade, fresh pasta! And, yay for time in the kitchen with daddy!