Monday, November 30, 2009

Giveaway Alert

Who doesn't love a Giveaway?! Check out this super cute calendar giveaway from Jessica at Chasing After Fireflies. Her blog is totally cute and I just started following her.


I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday weekend. I am sad to start back to work, but this is our last full day of work until 2010. Now, that's something to get excited about, right? And Tuesday starts the "Twelve Days of Caroline" (aka 12 days until my birthday).

I just wanted to share some exciting news...

Knox and his uncle (my brother), Willie, made the Kelsey Canine Animal Center's 2010 calendar. The boys will be co-Mr. July's. Here's a pic...Knox is on the left and Willie is on the right. Aren't they cute? To see all of Knox's pictures that were submitted, click here. First a local calendar and on to stardom...

And I had to share this picture that my friend, Kendra, snapped while at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. It made me smile. It's always been a dream of mine to go to the parade. Maybe one day. We spent the majority of the weekend getting decorated for Christmas. That will be a whole other post. Have a great Monday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did, but we were tired once the two dinners were over. I don't want to see that food for a long time. Here are a few pictures from yesterday...

The Smithwick's on Thanksgiving:
Look how much Knox has grown:
Fred and Knox:
Knox and me:
Knox modeling his new Christmas collar:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks!

Today is going to be a LONG, busy day (Jazzercise's "Huff N Puff Before You Stuff, Thanksgiving lunch at my great-aunt and uncle's and dinner at my in-laws), I am not sure if I'll have the time tomorrow to post about giving thanks! I am thankful for so many things in my life. I feel truly blessed to live this life. I am thankful I am for being saved by God's grace, my wonderful husband, Knox, our families, our friends, our wonderful jobs, our house, and our lives in general. I could keep going, but I don't want to bore you. I am just so thankful for everything in our lives.

Although tomorrow is the day we designate for thanks, we should all remember to give thanks year round. Happy Thanksgiving.

Now, someone please pass the cranberry sauce...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Day Eve

Yay! I am so excited. I've bought three Christmas presents in two days. This is an accomplishment since the other day I had no idea what to get anyone. Now, I just have like 20 more presents to get. Ha!!!

Have you heard that stores like Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Hobby Lobby are going to be open tomorrow? Sounds weird to me, but I might just swing by just to see if there are any ridicuously, good sales going or if anyone is there.

Speaking of Hobby Lobby, I tried to make the wreath last night, but I can't get it to make a perfect circle. I will have to work on that this weekend. And I have no idea where I will hang it once I make the circle. Oh, well.

At the location where Fred works, they ordered BBQ and had a pot-luck today. I made this cake and Fred just called to say that it was absolutely delicious. I hope there's leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Preparation Begins

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Only one more day of work after today! Yay!!! I just wanted to share a few things that I ran across this morning...

1. Tuesday's Trainer Tips from Love Is the Sweetest Thing - portion control and exercise are a must for Thanksgiving. I am planning on exercising on Thanksgiving before all of the festivities began. Every year, my Jazzercise center has a "Huff N Puff Before You Stuff" class. And I plan to watch my portion control except for the cranberry sauce. It'll be easy since I don't really care for turkey.

2. DIY Ornament Wreath from Thrifty Decor Chick - I want to make this wreath. It looks simple enough. right? You can also click here for another tutorial. Thanks to Lindsay at The Rowland Family Blog for posting this.
Thankfully, I don't have to cook anything for Thanksgiving. So, all of my focus is set on finding Christmas presents. I love shopping online for gifts. It's simpler and "safer". But the question that gets me every year is, "What do you get for the people who have EVERYTHING? One present down and who knows how many to go...

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Thanksgiving Week

I think I've jumped on the "Twilight" bandwagon. Friday night, Fred and I watched "Twilight" and Saturday night we went to see "New Moon" with some friends. Last night as I was watching the AMA's (love Taylor Swift), I decided that I was going to read "Twilight", but when I went to look for it, I couldn't find it. I asked Fred where it was and he said that had given it to his sister to read. Darn. Just when I was about to break down and read it, it's gone. Hopefully she'll get done with it before this weekend. :)

I am super excited about it being a three day work week. Yay! But, I am not looking forward to eating two Thanksgiving meals. One is enough for me, thanks. I hope we have some crandberry sauce. I better put a can in my purse just in case. Thursday is going to be crazy between my family's lunch and Fred's family's dinner. I may have to take a nap on someone's couch.

And I wish Target would stop teasing me with their Black Friday ads. I am wondering what's on sale at 5am. I am not one who gets up early to get a bargain, but I do love Target and they've got me wondering. I usually go out sometime after lunch when all of the people are at home resting. It's actually quite pleasant at that time. Do you go out on Black Friday?

Anyway, it was three years ago today that Fred and I had our first date. It was Thanksgiving that year and we weren't doing anything with our families that night; so, we went on our fist date. We went to see "Stranger Than Fiction". And from there, the rest is history...

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Us Your Life: Pets

Today is "Show Us Your Pets" over at Kelly's Korner. You all know how much we love Knox and how much of a part of our family he is.

It was around this time last year when we decided to get a dog. We visited a local breeder and walked out without a puppy because we didn't connect with any puppy there. I cried all night. So, that weekend, we drove three hours (south of Nashville) to a breeder and we found Knox. He was so cute and so sweet. He was actually the first dog we picked up. We had to leave him there because he wasn't old enough to come home, but two weeks later, we drove back up there and brought our little boy home.

Knox Barksdale Smithwick was born on November 1, 2008 (but I think he was born at 12:01am because he seems like a Halloween baby).
the day we met Knox

the day we brought Knox home

I knew when we got Knox he would be more like our child than our dog. Boy, was I ever right. Knox is definitely a HUGE part of our family. He brings so much love and joy. He is spoiled, but sweet at the same time. I would take him everywhere with me, if I could.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much, Knoxie!last week

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Favorite Things

In honor of Oprah's Favorite Things, 320 *Sycamore is hosting a "Favorite Things" Party! So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite things:

1. In Style Magazine: I love reading this every month. They have fashion tips, health tips as well as things for the everyday woman. I will definitely be renewing my subscription.

2. John Mayer's "Battle Studies" cd: I just downloaded this on Tuesday. I love it! He has such a sexy voice! He even has a duet with Taylor Swift. Phenomenal artist!

3. Origins Ginger Souffle Whipping Cream: My must-have lotion for the winter. It is creamy and absorbs right into the skin. The fragrance is amazing.

4. The Ruffled Scarf: This picture came from Ann Taylor Loft. I love how girly these are. They are super cute with jeans.

5. "Stella" by Stella McCartney: This is the best smelling perfume. I wear it daily and have for years. I basically love anything Stella, but this is a must-have.

6. Recipe Cards by Notably Krystal: I had Krystal make some personalized dachshund recipe cards for me and they were absolutely adorable. She's fast and so sweet. She also does invitations, note cards, luggage tags, etc. Visit her site here.

7. Cut Paper Fashion Prints: I ran across Mary Lynn Blasutta's work in Miami. I love her Ladies with Dogs prints (especially the dachshund ones). She is such a talented artist and so nice. I forgot to buy the print below while I was in Miami; so, I called up her husband and he was very helpful and shipped the print out that very day. Visit her website here.

8. Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart Tees: These super cute 100% organic t-shirts are available at Wal-Mart. Who doesn't love looking cute without spending a fortune?

9. Shutterfly: The best place to upload pictures, make calendars, and spend countless hours online. Click here to get started.

10. Jessica Simpson's "Leve" Shoes: These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet. Your feet will love them!

It's Makeover Week

As you can see, Simply Smithwick got a MAKEOVER this week. How appropriate since the Biggest Losers had Makeover Week too!

Don't you just LOVE it?! I do!!!!! And it's all thanks to Jamie Kuzbecska at Designs by Jamie. You can click here to visit Designs by Jamie. Or here to visit her personal blog. (Doesn't she have the cutest little family?)

She has super cute designs. She is so sweet. And she's extremely fast. I really enjoyed working with her. I just cannot say enough great things about her!

She helped me find the right background and she came up with a design that I believe compliments my personality or blogality. She can help you too. She even has a fun little client questionnaire for you to fill out while you search for your new blog.

THANK YOU, Jamie, for all of your hard work. I truly appreciate it and I absolutely love, love, love my new blog. You definitely made my day!!! :)

And if you ever forget where to find Jamie, just click on her button at the bottom of my blog.

Since it's makeover week, Kassandra at Not Your Typical, Average, Ordinary College Girl has inspired me to get rid of my old clothes. She's definitely had a remarkable journey.

So, I am thinking about hosting a "garage sale". Gently used items at garage sale prices. I have lots of Silver jeans, Polo Tops, White House/Black Market clothes, etc. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wishful Wednesday: Genre

Wishful Wednesday

'I wish' .... my life was a movie, and I would want it to be a romantic comedy!

I would be played by Reese Witherspoon and Fred would be played by John Krasinski (Jim from "The Office". Knox would be played by himself because he's just that cute! I actually asked Fred who he would want to play him and we both picked "Jim". I would have picked Jessica Simpson for my role, but she's not that great of an actress, but she'd definitely be on the soundtrack as well as John Mayer (loving his new cd). I guess we'd title the movie...Simply Smithwick!

I'd say our movie would be the ultimate chick flick. We're definitely a couple in love and there's always humor and several blonde moments. Think Legally Blonde meets "The Office" meets Father of the Bride. We're those people that sometimes look around and say, "Are we on Candid Camera?" If it's going to happen, it'll happen to us. And we just laugh about it.

Aren't we cute? I know all of you would pay the $8.50+ it costs to see our movie and make us millionaires. Ok, maybe I'd give all of you a free pass and make money off of your family and friends. :)

If you want to play along, visit The Seattle Smith's. What kind of movie would your life be?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Double Zero

Simply Smithwick now has 100 followers!
Thank you all so much! I feel so loved and blessed. Thank you for your continued support!
Now I'm off to listen to the new John Mayer cd while I buy my tickets to "New Moon". Should I read the "Twilight" books?

I'd Like to Thank...

Jenny DB over at So Say I gave me the Sugar Doll Blogger Award. Jenny and her adorable pup, Bondi, are so cute! And Candice at The Perfect Pair. Her family is so cute and she has such a sweet spirit about her. I always enjoy reading their blogs.

The rules for the Sugar Doll Blogger Award: name 10 things (or "tid-bits") about yourself. So, here I go:

1. I have an obsession with Chapstick. I have to have it. If I don't have it, I freak. Hold on. I have to reapply. I'm back. Much better.

2. When I was younger, I wanted to be Gloria Estefan. She was even the subject of my book report. I dressed up like her and everything. In my elementary library, her biography is dedicated to me. I think I am a Latina at heart!

3. I am actually excited about going to see "New Moon" this weekend. I haven't read the books and I thought "Twilight" was ok, but I think I want to see it because I think Taylor Lautner is hot. Does that make me a cougar?

4. My parents are pretending to be us. Before they left for their vacation, they printed off a free Red Robin burger for Fred's birthday and took it with them. They used it and my dad posed as Fred. Then, they went to dinner at Fleming's and told the waiter that it was our anniversary (keep in mind they are in California and we are in Memphis). Glad to know my identity is on vacation!

5. I started addressing my Christmas cards last night. I know it's not even Thanksgiving, but if I don't do it now, it may never get done.

6. I am starting a new class at Jazzercise tonight and I am so afraid that I am going to hurt tomorrow. It's called Lower Body Boom. It's structured to work your lower body intensely. I am scared. But I have to get rid of the saddlebags.

7. I am jealous of Knox today. I left for work early this morning and Fred left him sleeping in the bed. That boy is one sleepy puppy. I hope when I get home he'll be ready for a nap.

8. In case you forgot, my birthday is in 25 days!!! And the 12 Days of Caroline start in 13 days!!!

9. I have a sweet tooth like no other. I keep warning everyone not to try Oreo Cakesters. They are so delicious and you want to eat the entire box. So, don't even try them.

10. Do any of you ever look over at your significant other and think, "I am so lucky"? I do all of the time. I love you, Fred.

P.S. Thanks for making me feel better about Lexi. It just makes me sick.

Thank you again, Jenny!! Now, I am nominating all of you because I have a conference call to get to right now!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad Things Come in Three's, Right?

Don't you hate it when your day goes from good to bad all in the matter of a few hours? Well, it happened to me today.

When I was 23, I graduated from college debt free two years before. I was living at home, rent free. And I didn't have any bills. So, I decided that I needed a new car. Instead of buying something that I could afford the maintenance on years down the road when I was married and had a mortgage, I sprung for the best car I had ever seen, a Lexus IS 250. Now, Lexi, my car, is the most wonderful car. I love her so much, but sometimes her tastes are just a little out of my budget. But, I am thankful that she is paid for.

At lunch, I took Lexi to get an oil change. After I had eaten, I get a call saying that Lexi needs 2 new tires, new roaters and new brake pads. Nice!! The man said that he was surprised that I hadn't had a blow out yet. Yikes!

So, Fred and I go to the place and they say that it will be about $1,100 to replace everything. Nice. Who knew I'd be having a $1,110 lunch? I mean, Subway wasn't that great.

My Lexi is high maintenanced. She likes the Manolo Blahniks of tires. The price you pay to make your children look good.

Last week, our washer was leaking; so, we had to get the repair guys to come and fix it. Thankfully we did not have to buy a new one. And our refrigerator also needs a new water filter.

Bad things come in three's, right? So, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas to us!!!

And if you didn't think I was crazy with all of my Knox stories, now you should.

***In other news, the Spinach Ravioli Bake was awesome. You must try!!! And for dessert, try these yummy cookies!! It was a great way to end a good/bad/good day!

Monday Morning Non-Sense

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!!! We did. We didn't do much, but that made it even better. But, I have two stories...

Saturday night, Fred and I went to Bahama Breeze for dinner. We were seated behind this couple, who were sharing the same side of the booth. (Pet peeve of mine). Once seated, Fred and I heard some background music, but it wasn't coming from the restaurant speakers, it was coming from their phone. It got louder and we realized that they were listening to R. Kelly while eating. Fred and I were dying laughing at this point. This was a new one for me. After they left, we told our waiter how much we enjoyed the R. Kelly concert and he proceeded to tell us that they bypassed the hostess stand and sat themselves. Wow! Some people never cease to amaze me.

I do have to tell you a story about Knox. We took him to PETSMART yesterday afternoon to get his nails trimmed. He was still and quiet until other dogs started coming in. Then, he got ancy and another one of the techs had to come and talk to him and pet him while his tech finished. Yes, my dog is spoiled and thinks that all the attention should be on him. We've created a monster.

This morning I was watching the news and they announced that John Mayer is coming in March. I am so excited!!! I tried to call and win tickets, but I couldn't get through.

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just 10 days away? That scares me a little. I did buy my Thanksgiving outfit this weekend which excites me! Usually, I am further ahead on my Christmas shopping. Eeek!

So, I'm cooking this for dinner and my mouth is already watering. Happy Monday!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Naked Baby

Happy Friday! Thank you for all of your gift ideas. I think I wrote all of them down. You guys know me! I did find it funny that at least three of you said, "Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer". I've always wanted one, but I don't do a lot of mixing. But every time I do, I think, "Man, I should have put one of those mixers on our registry." Maybe it's time.

So, you all know how CRAZY IN LOVE we are with Knox. So, this story shouldn't shock you...

Last night Fred decided to give Knox a bath. Knox hates baths. He's so pitiful. He just stands there and cries. But, when he gets out of the bath, it's a whole other ball game.

He shakes and runs around like a crazy dog. We've started calling him "Naked Baby" (pronounced neked baybee). He loves it and goes crazy. He'll just run up, in a sprint, and start kissing you. I guess there's something "free-ing" about running around without your collar on. Here's a picture of Naked Baby.
In other news, not much going on around here this weekend, which is nice. Last night when I was painting some ornaments, I decided that I didn't have enough Thanksgiving decorations; so, I painted these.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm excited because we're supposed to have great weather again!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gift Ideas

Ok, my birthday is exactly one month away and 13 days after that, it's Christmas!! I can't really think of anything that I really want or need other than long-sleeve tops. And I think my mom has that covered. So, this is where you guys come in...

What are the must have things this year?

I love Tiffany jewelry. I am asking for new Philip Stein watch bands. And what else needs to be on my list? I can think of things for the house, but not things for myself.

I found these awesome dachshund earmuffs at Cracker Barrel last night...My grandpa took the pic; so, it's a little blurry. And pardon the "run over by a Mac truck" look. I'd been up since 4:45am and it was a stressful day. Too bad the earmuffs hurt my head.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wishful Wednesday: Chores

'I wish' .... I never had to clean the entire house ever again!

I despise cleaning the house. That's why I have maids. They come every other Monday and it's wonderful. I love walking in the house on Monday afternoon and smelling the nice, clean house. My girls are very trustworthy and they do a great job. If you live in the Memphis area and you're looking for housekeepers, let me know.

I think my least favorite rooms to clean are the bathrooms and the kitchen. Gross! I don't know how you even clean a shower. We have hardwood floors on the first floor of our house and keeping them clean is a task in themselves.

I am not very good at sweeping or mopping. I don't think I hold the broom or mop correctly. Or maybe I am just lazy.

Our vacuum is ok, but I would like to upgrade to the $500 Dyson (one day). Does anyone have one? Is it really as great as it looks? My mom loves her's.

If you want to join in on the Wishful Wednesday fun, visit The Seattle Smith's blog. We all understand your frustrations.

As for Wishful Wednesday, I just booked our family vacation to Cancun this morning!!! I am so excited! I've been all around Europe, to Hawaii and Tijuana (yuck!), but I have never been to the pretty part of Mexico. I can't wait. The trip is my annual birthday trip/family vacation. You gotta love being the only child. Yay!!! We leave in less than a month! Adios!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I Grow Up

Thanks for all of the lunch tips. I can't wait to try some of them!

So, I'm sure you've all heard by now, but Sesame Street is 40 years old! Can you believe it?! I can't. That makes me feel really old. I know it started 13 years before I was born, but still. Forty? Really?

I loved watching Gordon, Maria, Big Bird, Elmo and everyone else on the show. It was so educational and fun at the same time. That's where I actually learned to count from one to ten in Spanish.

I am so glad to know that it's still on and that kids are still watching it. I hope that it will still be on the air by the time Fred and I have kids!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sesame Street!

Speaking of childhood favorites, have you seen the "new" Mickey Mouse?

He looks scary to me. Almost more "rat" like. Ewwww. Why change a classic? What will Minnie look like?

What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Boating Is Fun

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We did! The weather was beautiful and we took advantage of the warmer temperatures by going to the lake with my parents and grandfather.

Here are some pictures:
Knox and Mommy
Fred and IFred and Knox driving the boatWillie looking out at the waterAnd when we got home, Knox looked so tired

So, I am struggling to lose the last bit of my weight. I feel as though I need a nutritionist and personal chef. My biggest struggle is lunch. Can anyone give me some healthy lunch choices? I am so tired of Subway and frozen meals. It seems like I have breakfast and dinner under control, but all inhibitions go out the window at lunch. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Help Make a Little Boy's Wish

I found this and thought it was interesting. I am mailing my card tomorrow.
Noah Biokman is in the final stages of a cancer that he has been fighting since he was 3 years old. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February of 2007, went into remission six months later but relapsed in September of 2008. The boy is currently in hospice care and his family is asking for help in making this Christmas special for him by sending Christmas cards.

Santa is also scheduled to make a visit with the South Lyon Fire Department this weekend to the family’s home. Cards can be sent to:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI, 48178

I hope Noah gets a million cards. What a special little boy. My prayers are with Noah and his family.

For more info, click here or here.

Show Us Your Life: Thanksgiving Recipes and Traditions

This week's "Show Us Your Life" from Kelly's Korner is all about Thanksgiving recipes and traditions. My all time favorite Thanksgiving treat is Cranberry Sauce! Yummm!
Yes, I know it's not the turkey or dressing, but I love cranberry sauce. I love the chunky and regular kinds. Yummmmm!!!! I could eat it straight from the can and skip out on the rest of the holiday treats.

As far as traditions go, my mom and I go to the yearly "Huff 'N Puff before You Stuff" class at Jazzercise on Thanksgiving morning. Then, for my side of the family, we always go to my great-uncle's house for Thanksgiving lunch. He's a great cook, but he knows to always have cranberry sauce on hand.

Now that Fred and I are married, we have to go to his parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. Her cooking is good, but not as good as my family's. I think she forgot the cranberry sauce last year. I was sad. So, by the end of the day, we're stuffed and we don't want to see that food for a long while!!!

Most of my neighbors are from out of town and they were talking about how hard it is to visit their families and their husband's families for the holidays, but I think it's harder to eat TWO Thanksgivings in the same city. Thankfully, my dad's side of the family and Fred's mom's side of the family doesn't get together for this holiday. I couldn't imagine eating FOUR Thanksgiving meals.

Three years ago on November 23 (which was Thanksgiving night), Fred and I had our first date. Fred's family used to do Thanksgiving lunch until I came along. We both were free that evening; so, we went on our first date to see "Stranger Than Fiction". It was the best Thanksgiving yet!

For better recipes than a can of cranberry sauce, visit my recipe blog here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Fred!!!

Happy 28th Birthday, Fred!!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! I love you more than life itself. You are an amazing husband and father to Knox. You light up my life and I am eternally grateful for your love. You make my life a better place and I cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you for all that you do and for your love. You mean so much to me. I thank God daily for you. I am truly blessed. Happy Birthday!!! XOXO

Fred's BIG present was a sound system for our living room. I gave it to him last night and he already installed it and had to watch something with it on. Guess it's a man thing.