Monday, December 27, 2010

happy 2nd birthday logan!

i cannot believe two years have gone by.  you have accomplished so much in the last year.  you started walking and talking and cut just about every tooth in your mouth.  the curls on your head never cease to make me smile.  your shyness in new situations is adorable. i will cherish these days when you cling to me and tuck your head under my chin in any new situation.  you take five to ten minutes to warm up to any new person and sometimes even to people you know.  you are my early bird in the morning.  too much going on for you to sleep in even if you were up late.  you love to eat breakfast right when you wake up.  you have been slow to talk but between you and me little man, who could get a word in edgewise around brady?  most of the year it was "unt that" for everything but now the words are flying out of your mouth. especially the word "no" recently.  you cannot go to sleep at night with out your special blanket. your one sided dimple can melt any ones heart.  your daddy and i are so lucky to have you and can't wait to see what this next year holds in the world of logey roo.  happy birthday little man.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

grandma's cutout cookies

my grandma loved christmas.  i remember how magical she always made it.  growing up i always knew her cookies never tasted like any of the other cutout cookies around.  they have a magic ingredient you see....   i have put the recipe below and also my recipe for icing.  i hope you enjoy them as much as i do.


1 cup shortening
3 cups sifted flour
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

mix flour and shortening.  add sugar, salt, soda, nutmeg, eggs, milk.
mix thoroughly.

bake at 390 degrees for 5-7 minutes


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place butter in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and add the confectioners sugar, 3 table spoons milk, and vanilla.  Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated.  1 minute.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more.  Blend in up to 1 tablespoon of milk if the frosting seems too stiff.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

wrapping with fabric scraps

wrapping gifts is a perfect time to get rid of fabric scraps you have lying around from old projects.  (for the record my burlap fabric is almost gone.)  i think it makes your gift look that much more thoughtful.  i also made my own tag with a "have yourself a merry little christmas" stamp i had laying around. so when wrapping this season use up what you have or go get some fabric and have fun wrapping!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the boys room - almost complete

a little glimpse of the boys room.  i still have a few things to do but most of the major work is complete.  i got my inspiration from pottery barn.  we painted the walls a light blue (cloudburst) by behr.  My husband then put bead board halfway up the wall and topped it off with trim.  we painted that white.

the beds i bought at a garage sale for $50 for both of them.  they were solid mahogany wood.  they needed a lot of work but i absolutely loved the detailing on them and they were super sturdy.  i painted them super hero blue by behr as well.  we painted them with a paint sprayer on our compressor so we would not get any brush stroke marks.  we also painted the night stand in the middle super hero blue and we have a big dresser to paint that i tucked in the closet but that will have to wait until spring.  if you are running out of room in a bedroom remove the closet doors and tuck a dresser in the closet.  we painted our closet to match the room so it would blend.  i did not take a picture of it however since we have not painted that dresser yet.  but look for a follow up post.

the lamp i found at tj maxx.  i thought it looked like a train lantern and the little lantern has a night light in it.  it is perfect to leave on for the boys until they fall asleep.

i purchased the comforters from pottery barn.  i figured it was good to get something of quality for the boys as it will be washed a lot and i would like it to hold up.  the train sheets are from pottery barn as well and were a gift from grandma and grandpa.

the names on the wall were from the kids rooms before we merged them.  i did not change the theme on them because i wanted to keep a little touch of each boys room that they had before.  these letters are really easy to make.  all you need are wood letters from the hobby store and your favorite wrapping paper or scrap book paper.  glue it on, cut around the edges with an exacto knife and then file down the edges with a finger nail filer or sand paper.

to fill in the rest of the walls i printed pictures of the boys trip to the illinois railway museum this summer and put them in the frames.  some of trains and some of the boys on the trains.

we will be adding a shelf to the room and putting great grandpa howards's antique train that we were handed down as decoration above the closet.  it is a really old model railway metal train.  super cool!

the little red car used to be brian's when he was little it is made of wood and super cute.  we use it to hold all of our favorite dr. seuss books.

it was fun to put this room together and i tried to not get to themey this time.  the boys really love their big boy beds and always tell daddy and i what a good job we did on their room.  i am just glad we are finally sleeping through the night.  guess it is just what they needed.

christmas musical at pre-school 2010

today was the annual kingdom kritters christmas program. i always admire how all the teachers and staff here manage to get all these kiddos ages 12 months to 5 years to stand in the same area and sing for a short period of time.  we started out with jingle bells and as you can imagine, brady knew all the words and motions.

we then went on to away in the manger.  all the kiddos were so cute, especially doing the hand signs along with the music.

then they brought out the little guys 2 and under.  you can see logan in the front row six kids over from the left of the picture.  he looked stunned seeing all these people looking at him and for the most part sat there.  i was proud of him he didn't cry and i thought for sure he would.  note what is going on with brady 2nd row right hand side of the picture.  he had a little friend of whom i don't know i don't even think the kid is in his class.  however this little boy was very lovey and kept touching brady and trying to hold his hand even hugging him.  every once in a while when the music got quiet you would hear brady yelling... stop it!  it was pretty funny to watch and it continued on throughout the whole program.

at the end of the program they wheeled out the little guys back to their class.  i love that they take logans class everywhere in wagons.  how else would you get a bunch of 18 to 24 month olds from one place to another?

sorry no video this year to my family.  but brady would probably do a private concert for you if you just ask.

merry christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

and the stockings were hung....

i have been struggling to come up with something to hang my stockings from.  our mantel has rounded corners and does not like the stocking hangers that you set on the ledge.

then i read amanda joy's blog.  she had a lovely idea for a mantel.  so i copied it and made a few changes in color.  the end result is below.

it was fairly simple i took some twine rope and cute red, green and white linen fabric.  i used about a half a yard of each.  you then cut a little into the fabric and rip the strips off.  then start tying.!  i then used clothes pins to hang the stockings with.

the stockings are now just waiting for santa to come.  thanks amanda joy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

today i took a breath

today i sat at my sticky kitchen table.  caught up on blogs, talked to friends and maybe even stared into space a few times.  this time of year can be so fast paced it is nice to just sit, take a moment and breathe and remember what this season is truly all about.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

my new favorite cleaner

first of all let me give a shout out to my favorite blogger the nester for talking about this cleaner so much that i decided to try it.  i bought the dish soap (lavender scent) and the counter top spray, which works on more than counters, in (basil scent.)  oh my....... i love these products.  they smell fantastic and the smell lingers in your home for hours.  in a home of three boys a dog and two cats you can use all the help you can get in the smell department!  if you go to her blog on this page you can print out a coupon and read her reviews on the product.  thank you nester and thank you mrs. meyers for making my home cleaner and smelling awesome!

Monday, December 6, 2010

diy - wall art

two old wood frames - painted black.

post board for backing and burlap fabric for matting (yes i still have some).

8 X 10 photos for the big frames from our napa trip and my favorite winery.

another multi picture frame ( i did not make this one.) and more photos from our favorite trip.

instant wall art.  one of kind and just what this room needed.  i love that i can walk by here and dream of the porch of frogs leap winery in napa every day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

visit with santa and grammy's birthday

yesterday we visited santa.  brady sat on his lap and told him all that he wanted for christmas.  logan is noticeably absent.  he wanted nothing to do with santa and i mean nothing.

we then went to white fence farm for grammy's big 6-0!  happy birthday grammy!

brady fed the goat by hand and when the goat was done he said, "good job lamb!"  we will have to work on our animals.

this little guy peered through the fence, never said much but "wow" and waived goodbye as we left.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

learning new things with old things

before i start in about our day today, i have to tell you.... my grandparents house is a house of many treasures....

we learned how they capped bottles back in the day.  no fancy machine, just a simple piece of metal with a few moving parts and some good old fashioned elbow grease.  this bottle capper is a little rusted but after papa and great grammy showed brady how to oil it ( and he really did ).  it was back to working in no time.

logan spent his time popping some corn on the back deck in the warm sun.  side note: can you believe it is december?  it was 60 degrees this afternoon, no coats needed.  did i ever tell you how much i love colorado?

p.s. the imaginary popcorn was fantastic.... tasted just like air.

here is the special magic about thursdays.  my boys get to play in the dirt and rocks and discover all kinds of treasures at papa and great grammy's.  they get to eat as many oranges and hot dogs as they want and when they are done they get as much ice cream as their little bellies can hold.  my grandparents slow down with them and show them how to fry french fries and oil bottle capping machines. the things as a busy mother that i forget to do. when we visit them i watch my boys relish in the fun experiences that i did as a child growing up on the side of this mountain.  thank you papa and great grammy for all you do for us on thursdays.  we love you so much.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

trimming the tree

lesson one when decorating for a holiday.  if you can't find what you envisioned.... create it.

i went to four different craft stores looking for burlap ribbon or something like it.  could not find it anywhere.  after wasting an afternoon going in and out of four different stores (if you know me, you know i like to get in and get out when shopping.) i remembered the roll of burlap sitting at home (bought for a project i no longer am doing.)  so i went home and cut strips off the roll and looped them around the tree. 

i think it turned out quite cute and made the tree!

of course if you have boys in the house you know no tree would be complete with out the christmas train underneath!  toot!  toot!

now if i can handle the noise it makes for the next four weeks.....

happy tree trimming!

Monday, November 29, 2010

the start of the season

this weekend we set up the christmas tree and daddy strung up the lights outside. We went to dinner with dear friends and then bundled up and headed out to watch the lighting of the lights and santa driving down main street in littleton.  the boys waived and cheered while we sipped on our tasty hot cocoa.  creating more memories for years to come with the boys.  it was priceless.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the pea express

the pea express stopped by our table after dinner.  someone recently started liking the little green things.... so when he was done eating he loaded up his train and took the leftovers for a ride.  maybe snacked on one or two more. it was rather cute.

at least one of my kids eats something from the family of green in the garden.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the words from my back seat driving home from school

this moment was almost surreal to me yesterday.  was i really having a conversation with my son about a girl on the way home from school?  isn't it a little early for this kind of talk?

brady: mommy, so there was this grill (girl in brady talk) at school today.

mommy: oh yeah brady?

brady: yeah mommy.  the grill asked me how old i was.  i told her i was free (three in brady language).

mommy: did you ask her how old she was?

brady: (he chuckles a little) yeah mommy she was free and a half. (he chuckles a little more and then it is quiet for a minute.) mommy she asked me to sit by her for snack.  (then a little more silence).  i told her no and then i sat by sammy.

mommy: why did you sit by sammy instead of sitting next to the grill?

brady: yeah because i can.

i smiled and laughed the rest of the way home.  i forgot that we will have the grills are yucky stage for a few years before we really get into the swing of things.  this mommy feels a little relief.

happy tuesday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

decorating style - finally settled on one...... urban country

gone are the days of toile....... decorating tip:  if you don't like it at first sight... looks to busy to you..... it will not grow on you.....

not that toile isn't pretty or these drapes weren't pretty... they just weren't my style.

welcome more warm tones and less busy work on the fabric.

i found this fantastic burlap colored fabric. (fabric is not burlap it is super soft and you can see the knit through it.)  it is super heavy and soft and adds that simple country feel to my most favorite table and chairs.

i then took black ticking strip fabric and made tie up drapes.  i tied them up with white linen fabric which i simply just cut and washed the ties so they would fray.  adding to my simple urban country feel.

it is hard to get the feel of the room from these pictures but the room feels warm and welcoming and a lot less busy.  more importantly it is more in line with my husband's and my style.  thank goodness for good fabric deals, coupons and ambition to spend a whole day hunched over a sewing machine and ironing board..... love the urban country feel.  love simple.

Friday, November 19, 2010

how to cook a turkey by brady smith

brady made this at school.  the teachers asked each kid how to cook a turkey and they each had different responses.  this was brady's.  i think it is so cute.  just a little more thanksgiving fun for you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

decorating with what you have - thanksgiving craft #2

so i would be lying if i said i did this with only stuff i had around.  i did not have this cute fall material, i had to go buy it.  good news is it was 50% off so i only paid $2 for it.  (procrastinating on the fall decorating has it's advantages.)

i had the burlap fabric and also the linen fabric left over from prior projects.  even if i had to buy them, this project would have only cost maybe $7 more.

i cut place mats out of the burlap fabric and then i pulled threads out of each side (5 or 6 each) to make them fray on the ends.

i then found a picture of an acorn online and pasted it into word to change it's size to the size i wanted on the place mat.  i then used that as the pattern and cut the acorns out of my new fall material with my rotary cutter.

i glued them on  to the burlap place mat with some craft spray glue i had laying around. (make sure you crack a window if you are using this glue.)

i then cut napkins out of some left over linen fabric i had.  (i paid $1.50 a yard for it when i bought it for a past craft.)

i then took out my sewing machine and hemmed around the edges in a zig zag and in brown thread for a contrast.

i took the left over scraps from the acorn fabric and used it as a tie around the rolled up napkin.

here is the end result that will be on my table thanksgiving day.  the whole project maybe cost me less than $10. (if i had to buy everything to complete it today.)

now on to figuring out the centerpiece.  come back for a final picture of the whole table in a couple days!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

decorating with what you have - thanksgiving table craft #1

for my first table decorating idea i decided to let the kids help.  we need place cards for the table.  i had some old paper stock laying around so we made place cards out of that.  you can do any size or shape your table will allow.  i cut squares out and folded them in half.

i then found pictures of turkeys online and cut and pasted them into a word document and printed them.
i cut them out and then brady helped me glue them onto the place cards.

i then wrote the names of all our guests on the place cards and then let the kids color all the turkeys and place cards.

below is our finished product.

(i love how purple became the primary color if not the only color on most of them)

over the next week i will be putting my table together with crafty projects using what i have laying around the house.  i have some old material scraps i will be using to make place settings and napkins... stay tuned!

what ideas are you using to decorate your table?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


last night we watched the cma's down in the theatre.  we rocked out to our favorite country singers and even performed a few numbers ourselves.  my personal favorite was twinkle twinkle little star.  it amazes me how many songs brady knows almost all the words too and even when he can't remember the words he still keeps the melody and just makes them up. one talented boy.  logan is just debuting in the singing arena.  he did a great job keeping up with big brother.  as for the actual cma's i have to say i was quite shocked at some of the award winners.  quite a few under dogs stole an award or two.  one of our family's favorite bands won though (lady a).  we were so happy.  rock on smith boys!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

family movie night

a much needed quiet weekend we had.  saturday we picked up our very own copy of toy story three.  we settled in for some popcorn and a little buzz and woody time.

this is all i have time to write as brady is only taking 30 minute naps and is now up chattering in my ear.... can't concentrate, can't write.....

happy tuesday folks.  hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, November 5, 2010

a little art

so i am really missingg my camera.  it should be fixed soon.  my old little camera does not shoot nearly as fast so i am missing all the cute shots :(

so today i thought i would share this afternoons craft project with you and tell you how different my boys are when it comes to color of choice.

below is brady's picture.  he always picks vibrant bright pinks and purples and yellows and blues.

below is logan's art for the day.  notice the darker choice of colors.  logan prefers blacks, browns, dark purple and dark blues.

 it is so fun to watch the personalities come out in my boys.  it is amazing to me how different they truly are.  right down to the color of their hair.

hope you all have a great weekend.  see you back here on monday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the grateful month

here it is again, that month that reminds us to be grateful.  here i am today only a couple of days into it remembering all the things i am ungrateful for.  i won't bore you with our drama.  i will tell you a spent a lot of time today trying to talk myself back into the positive zone. sometimes successful  and other times not. the chocolate candy bars in my kitchen drawer from halloween offered some kind of comfort, then my extended work out later for eating them helped me burn off some of my guilt for eating them.  then i watched the boys playing in the front yard and reminded myself of this.  my life is beautiful in so many ways.  i have so much to be grateful for and it starts with these two beautiful boys.  they represent so much simplicity.  so this month i remind you to get back to the basics.  be grateful for all that is surrounding you, even if it is a thorn in the rose bush.  share with me.  what are you most grateful for this month.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Night - Trick or Treat!

what is thing one and thing two without the cat in the hat pumpkin?  special thanks to auntie who is the master pumpkin carver!  logan picked out a dinosaur for his pumpkin and brady picked out sally the car.

dinner before our trick or treating.

the rest of our little clan eating in the other room.

we had a great night with friends walking the neighborhood.  i will say the little ones certainly got it down after the 3rd house.  it became a mad dash to the rest to see who could ring the bell and collect their goodies.  happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

halloween school party day!

today we partied with our classmates.  some of us had a bad start to our morning.  running to say bye to daddy and putting our fingers in the door just as it was getting shut.  poor logey roo.  rough start to our day but was happy by the time the afternoon rolled around.

others of us had a great time picking out pumpkins in the patch and losing our hair to a giant wind gust.  it rolled across the pumpkin field like a tumble weed but was rescued by a teacher... thing one hair lives on!

a little trick or treating around school and then back to our classes for crafts, games and of course.... cupcakes.