Saturday, December 24, 2011

Warmest Wishes

Sending love & warm wishes this holiday season.
We're off to Idaho for Christmas & our dear Katie's wedding and we're bringing the AZ sunshine with us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Granola Love

This year for Christmas, Derek & I decided to give our bosses a little something different. Usually sweets are the popular thing to give, but I felt like something seasonal and healthy might be a good idea. I stumbled upon this recipe from Ina Garten and thought it sounded fabulous. Later that week while cleaning, I had FoodNetwork on, and the exact episode of the granola was on. I knew it was fate. This delicious and seasonal granola is great topped on yogurt, or our favorite way, mixed in with some mulit grain cheerios for breakfast in the morning. Feel free to take the printable recipe card I designed here & share the granola love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Man Christmas List

Derek always cracks me up, so I thought I would share his Christmas list with you. And yes, that's a crossbow pistol & darts up there. Thanks to TV and the shows that make you laugh, but shake your head at the same time, he got this gift idea a couple months ago {Workaholics} On the show, the boys go on a "man trip" to hunt, but can't buy guns without a licence, so they decide on crossbows. Derek of course thought it was the coolest thing ever and was on the internet that night looking for his new toy. Thankfully, he has been very good this year, and since I am one of Santa's helpers as well, he might just see this under the tree. The other gifts are "usual's" for him; a track suit in leiu of PJ's, medical supplies, something with a remote control to play with for a few days, and a funny movie.
What do you get the man in your life for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Forced Christmas List

Santa & his elves have already been too good to me this holiday season. I had an early shipment of Christmas a couple weeks ago fly in from Carlsbad, California where, my Mom {AkA Santa's Little Helper} showered us with gifts. I already received my gifts- pieces to my cherished nativity & a humidifier- from her and they have been put to good use. After that, another helper in Oakley, Idaho {AkA my Mother-in-Law} slipped a check in the mail for vaccuum. Again, being put to GREAT use. Who knew fresh vacuum lines could make one so happy? But, alas. There is one other elf. A sneaky one who actually lives with me. He has been begging me to drop hints for what I might want this holiday season, and all I could give him was food storage. Well, as you can imagine, that didn't go over well. So I settled on the last piece of my nativity, sparkly Toms, tickets to "Wicked" {coming to ASU in February} & "Tangled" on DVD. Let's see what Santa's 3rd & final little helper has in store for me this year.
Derek's Christmas wish list coming soon. Stay tuned- his will crack you up.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Decking the Halls 2011

In the Smith home, we deck the halls, walls, shelves, and even the top of the fridge! Let me just tell you, I have been holding back this post because I wanted to seem "normal" and make it look like our house hasn't been decorated since the week before Thanksgiving. We are just a hop, skip, and jump away from Christmas day and I can't wait. We are heading to Idaho on Christmas Eve, enjoying the holiday, and then strapping in for a beautiful winter wedding for my sister-in-law & soon to be brother-in-law.
How are you spending the most wonderful time of year?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Christmas List

Okay, okay. So I have been seeing lots of Christmas lists floating around blog land, and thought it was time to share my opinion.

Some, I find quite practical. For example, not to toot my own horn, but I asked for a vacuum, food storage, and a humidifier. Yep. You know you are an old married woman when those are your top three things you come up with for Christmas. I really, REALLY, had to think hard when Derek asked me what I would like. I find it quite comical when I see some Christmas list "ideas". Now, maybe I am being judgmental, but, are you for reals?! Do you really need a triple digit designer watch & bag? And, I know some of you are reading this thinking, "She is just jealous." Let me answer that for you, I'm not. I honestly believe that Christmas is a time to be with family, enjoy the Spirit you feel during the season, and cherishing and remembering the reason we celebrate. A few years ago, my Mom asked us around the Christmas Eve dinner table, "If you could have the music, the decorations, the feeling, the Spirit, and family time, or all the gifts, what would you choose?" The honest reactions of a then 21, 19, and 14 year old: "The Spirit, feeling, family, and music." So what do I really want for Christmas this year?

Time with my busy husband. A night on the couch snuggling. Visits with family and friends. Sitting in the house with all the lights off by the glow of the Christmas tree reading Luke II. Getting ready each morning listening to Christmas music. Watching "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". Singing the Christmas hymns in Sacrament meeting.

Monday, November 28, 2011

T-Day 2011

{a} Table settings were ready the day before Thanksgiving. Soo me. I love being on top of everything.
{b} A full yummy table. Everything was home-made, except the turkey. There is NO way I could have made a turkey in our one oven along with the rolls, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. Thank you Boston Market for helping me out this year.
{c} Later that night we went downtown and experienced "Glendale Glitters". They turn on all the lights, have tons of food vendors, and activities for kids.
{d} This carmel apple was divine. We couldn't eat it fast enough. It went along well watching and laughing at the kiddos on the bungee jump and moon bounce.
{e} It was fun getting "bundled" up & seeing all the Arizonans wear winter coats, gloves, hats and sip hot chocolate in the mid-60 degree weather.

It was a fun and eventful Thanksgiving weekend. It was exactly what we needed! Now, our house is decorated for Christmas and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate the holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Just some stuff on my mind....
  • Christmas decor is already up in our house, and I love it. Twinkling fairy lights, bright & cheery ornaments, and my pretty nativity make me happy. [pictures and post soon to come]
  • Derek & I are having our "first" Thanksgiving alone. Yep. This means I will be cooking.
  • Okay, okay. I'm not cooking everything. Boston Market is providing the turkey, Pillsbury is helping the rolls, and good old Marie Calendar is doing the pie. This leaves me with stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, & maybe a jello salad the man has requested.
  • It's in the 60's & 50's at night and Derek is still requesting that the A/C be on. He is a polar bear and needs an ice cave to live in.
  • Derek is doing rounds at the hospital Thursday-Sunday morning. We might go visit and see some of his patients later in the day since they might be alone over the holiday. Kinda makes me sad :(
  • We found some really fun things to do over the long weekend! I don't know who is more excited about Zoo lights, a picnic in the park, seeing a movie, and Christmas shopping.
  • My sissy is presenting a case in front of a "moot court" [a "fake" court of judges and lawyers] and is helping represent BYU-Idaho. She is one of four students in the whole school! We are super proud!
  • Aside from our regular DVR shows [New Girl, Raising Hope, Always Sunny, Modern Family], I have added The Chew & Ellen- Obsessed? Yes. Ashamed? Heck no.
  • My baby brother [and by "baby" I mean 16-year-old, 6'4, football star] was moved up to Varsity last week. His team is in the semi-finals and hoping to get far so they can play in Qualcomm Stadium. Needless to say, Dad is beaming ear to ear.
  • Our daily "Thankful" board is getting full with great things. Yesterday was carpet. Today was machines of all kind- washing, drying, vacuuming. Basically, thankful I was born in 1988 rather then 1888.
What are you looking forward to this week? Family? Friends? Food?
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

DIY Thanksgiving Decor

Yesterday, I was featured on Ashley's blog. If you didn't get a chance to check it out, I have posted it on here as well!
Since I may be hosting Thanksgiving at our small apartment this year, I took some time after Halloween to cherish the season before jumping into Christmas. Here are 6 easy & cheap ways you can do to make your home beautiful for the Fall season.

1. Leaf Garland
This is something almost ANYONE can do. I live in Arizona, and although these are fake, you could easily do them with real leaves. All you need is some twine, leaves, and mini- clothes pins, or any other "fastening" device. It's really that easy! I hung one here on my seasonal shelves, and another above our kitchen window.

2. DIY Pointalism Tree Art & Free Printables
Okay, I feel like this tree needs a major introduction. No, one of my students did not do this. It was all me baby. Art has always been challenging for me, but when I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, I had to give a a whirl. It is so simple, fun, and easy. All you need is paint & q-tips! If you have children, this is a great way for them to help with your decor. Also, take advantage of free printables on other blogs! I get tons of cute sayings, pictures, and subway art & use those in your home.

3. Mix & Match
This might seem really simple and obvious, but it's important to know that you don't need to be 100%matchy, matchy. I scored this lantern at a rummage sale and paired it with all types of seasonal decor. These metal stars were actually a Target $1 bin find. I dug them out for the fall & winter months. The old frame was actually found in the trash-score! Now, none of this really screams "FALL", but tied together with some pumpkins, it works. Never doubt your gut instinct, just go with it!
4. Thankful Board
This is something I pulled together last weekend. I took an old frame & hot glued some ribbon to the back. I then made a small burlap banner that reads "thankful", and strung it to the top. We have this hanging in our dining area, and every night at dinner, we write down something we are thankful for and put it up o the board. It's fun to see what we come up with everyday! This is also something kids can help out with.
5. Oatmeal Canister Vase
Early this week we finished off some oatmeal and I just couldn't toss it out. I covered it with some scrapbook paper, stuck some twigs inside, and called it good. Seriously, the easiest project ever!
6. Burlap Banner
We actually made & used these banner for our Ward Halloween party. They were so simple to make. We just cut a ton of triangles, and then painted on some cute little orange polka dots. When they dried, we glued it on some twine, and ta-da! A simple banner that would make any home look just a little more festive.

Well, there you have it! Hopefully these ideas are all something you are willing to try out. Trust me, none of these projects cost more than a couple dollars. When you are on a med school budget DIY & cheap is the only way to go!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Golden Ticket

This months VT message is special. We are able to choose a conference talk from the recent October 2011 General Conference and present it to our sisters. I decided to choose President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk entitled "Forget Me Not". In his talk, he focuses on ways to help the sisters of the church focus on themselves and what is truly important in life. He uses the classic {and somewhat creepy} childhood story of Willy Wanka & The Chocolate Factory. Instead of focusing on finding our "golden ticket"- which can be anything from a perfect birthday party for a child, impressive Christmas decor/gifts, or even cramming our days full of un-important tasks- we need to focus on the " and sweetness of everyday moments." For the month of November, Derek and I are writing things we are thankful for down and putting them up on a Thankful Board. It's a great way to think and cherish the moments that we take for granted everyday. I challenge you all to think about the moments in your life that you are grateful for this holiday season and see what happiness and joy it can bring into your life.

{To find out more about General Conference, Visiting Teaching, or President Dieter F. Uctdorf, click the "I'm a Mormon" button on my page}

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Waldo & Wanda Smith
{the boy looks thrilled, doesn't he?}

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Student Doctor Derek

{Derek looking handsome in his scrubs. White coats are not that attractive..}
It has been a very exciting week so far at our house. Last Friday night, all 4th year Clerkship applications were due. For his fourth year of school, Derek has a CORE location, and then 4-5 months at hospitals around the country to clerk at. For those who don't know, our CORE is in Tuscon, and we will be moving down South in May! Derek applied right on time, and come Monday morning, was the one of the only people in his class to get calls for him to start visiting next September! So far, he has 3 months scheduled, and still waiting on a possible two others. He is so excited, and I am so proud! All his hard work the past 2.5 years has really paid off with his good grades, research projects, and volunteer experience. This morning he was up early to get to his first clinical rotation at the VA. I was able to snap a few photos of him, even if I he was embarrassed {he he!}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seal Beach Love

My sweet, innocent, adorably cute & perfect hometown was struck with horror, sadness, and fear yesterday. Please keep the dear people of Seal Beach in your hearts & prayers the next few days. Pray especially for the families of the 8 individuals whose lives were taken from them. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, and many more things. In a place where I thought nothing would ever go wrong, the worst came upon us a cool day in October. Sending my love, hugs, kisses, and many thoughts and prayers to the people I know and love in Seal Beach. It will forever be one of my favorite places in the world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Easy Fall Decor

[DIY bats, potion bottles/labels, leaf garland, potion books]
[A collection of skulls seated on Spanish moss, spooky bats, and eerie spider]
[$1.00 bottles filled with "potions" & labeled to match. Book covers and sign made from brown lunch sacks]
This year for Halloween, I took a very simple approach. I focused on having fun coming up with DIY ideas to make our home festive for my favorite time of year. Ceramic and real pumpkins in the colors of fall, large twigs in vases with tangles of Spanish moss, and fun little sayings around the house make us smile in every room. One of my favorite and most simple things has been hanging leaves from windows and even my shelves. Since we don't have fall foliage here in Arizona, I scored these last year for pennies. Strung on some twine with baby clothes pins makes for a simple and classy look that makes me envy those who live near the beautiful fall leaves.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

Our long weekend to Vegas was filled with a lot of fun and excitement. Derek & his classmate were awarded a $1,000.00 cash prize for winning the student research contest they entered at the conference, and even more from the organization for even attending the conference. Derek learned a lot of new information, and while he was at the conference, I spent time reading by the pool and exploring the beautiful shops of the Wynn hotel.
{a} Waiting and watching the famous Bellagio fountains, while hearing sermons about Jesus by street performers.
{b} Inside the Bellagio gardens, which were decorated for Fall and made me so happy. The other thing that made me happy, the amazing gelato shop right next door.
{c} Derek rubbing the giant Buddha belly in the Planet Hollywood. I guess it was good luck since we won lots of $$$! [or Derek is just incredibly smart and had it in the bag the whole time :0]
{d} Visiting the Hoover Dam on the way home. We took the big bridge on the way over and decided it would be fun to stop. This is us on the AZ side of it- gotta represent!
{e} At the fashion district right across from the Wynn. Speaking of fashion, yes, my stripped sweater might be my new favorite thing... also the only "jacket" I brought. And, yes, I found a way to get cold while we were there. :)
{f} Derek at the dam. He had way to much fun making up jokes the whole time we were there. Like walking in and demanding "The DAM tour!" Or wanting to see the "...whole DAM thing!"

All & all, our trip was super fun and nice to just have a little get-a-way weekend. We are looking to heading back in March with another research presentation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I spent my birthday working, which wasn't ideal, but totally fine. The weekend before, Derek spoiled me with a mini-shopping spree, a nice dinner, and frozen yogurt. I woke up the day of my breakfast and blew out my birthday pancake, and enjoyed a yummy breakfast with Derek. The most fun was coming home from work to a home-made card {which was hilarious and sweet at the same time}, bouquet of flowers, and dinner waiting. Thank you all who made my day so special- calls, texts, visits, cards, or even simple Facebook posts. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year.
And yes, Halloween decor is already up at our house. I've even been wearing sweaters in the early morning and evening because it's in the 70's/80's. Oh, happy day!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Last night I was making our new blog header {do you like it? hope so!} and I asked Derek if he thought I should add anything in. He then preceded to tell me exactly what he would want on his
OWN banner.

Oh, have I forgot to mention that he's hilarious?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Idaho Vacation

A few things I learned on our summer vacation this year:
{a} An evening at the golf course with Whitney really means that I get to play caddy and drive the cart. Golf just isn't my sport.
{b} Overlooking the valley of Derek's picturesque hometown was eye opening. I have had a soft spot for Idaho since college, but this blew me away.
{c} Lots of laughs and smiles during a family photo shoot. I don't even want to tell you how many fish heads were in that water right there. Nasty.
{d} Check out that golf swing. Better yet, that bum. All mine. :)
{e} This is on a street in Oakley. Seriously? Look at that green. It was gorgeous. Besides that, don't slide you hand on a wood bridge. You'll get a nasty splinter.
{f} A dirty, thumb aching, 3 hour exploring adventure with only 3 freak out moments was good for me. My panicking days are over! (until chillen's come)
{g} A cute couple photo. Minus the fact that I have a pigment change above my left eye causing light to catch and giving me a permanent bug bite in photos. Oh, and don't wear super textured sweaters in family pictures- adds major poundage.