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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guest Blogger: Leah from Happily Herring & Simply Made...with Love

***A special thank you to Leah for guest blogging for me today. I love trying her recipes and DIY crafts. She is very creative! Leah and I are actually sorority sisters. She is super sweet and I'm always in awe of her creations. You should be following both of her blogs. I know your tummy will thank you. And be sure you give her some love and support as she trains for her first 1/2 marathon. Thank you, Leah!

Hi everyone, I’m Leah from Happily Herring & Simply Made...with Love!

I’m so excited to be able to post on one of my favorite blogs today! Thank you Caroline, for allowing me the honor!

Fall is my favorite season and I LOVE everything that it brings. From weather to baking to spicy scents to football, I can’t get enough. Today, I’m going to show you a few of my favorite fall creations.

1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees. for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

2. Halloween Apothecary Jars

Materials:
2 Apothecary Jars, Festive Ribbon, Candy Corn, Candy Pumpkins, Hot Glue Gun

Directions: Fill jars with candy. One with candy corn and the other with the candy pumpkins. Use the hot glue gun to glue ribbon around the neck of the jar. You can add a bow, or other decorations if desired.

3. Pretty Pumpkins

All you need for this DIY project is a real or fake pumpkin (the smaller they are the cure they turn out). I bought the fake ones from a craft store so that I could use this decoration year after year. Next, take a beautiful fall ribbon and hot glue it around the pumpkin. That’s it, simple as that. These look great with a bunch together, covered in different ribbon in a basket or alone as the centerpiece of a table.

4. Apple Pie Dip

Ingredients:
1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 apple, chopped, divided
1/4 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp. finely chopped PLANTERS Pecan Pieces
WHEAT THINS Original Crackers

Make It!
HEAT oven to 375°F. MIX reduced-fat cream cheese, sugar and spice in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in half of the apples.
SPREAD into pie plate or small casserole dish. Top with remaining apples, Cheddar and nuts. BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until heated through. Serve with crackers.

If you’re looking for more fabulous recipes, crafts, or creative ideas...stop by and visit Simply Made...with Love. Thanks again Caroline for letting me be your guest today!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guest Blogger: Natalie from Life @ the Stickles House

***A special thank you to Natalie for guest blogging for me this week. She and I actually went to high school together. She is mom to two of the most beautiful children I've ever seen. She's also very talented with her stationary business. You should definitely follow Natalie and her super, cute family! Thank you, Natalie!!

Hey Ya'll! I'm Natalie from Life at the Stickles House.

With Mrs. Smithwick out of town this week, she asked a few of us to guest post. I have to admit, this is my VERY FIRST guest post.. and she gave me my mind's imagination for a topic - anything I want.. nervous doesn't even begin to describe it! ha! At first, I had no clue.. then it happened.. the temps in Memphis dropped down to the 70's literally overnight. So, I knew just what I wanted to talk about.. FALL! All my favorites about my favorite season of the year!! I have been patiently.. ok, ok very impatiently.. waiting for fall to finally make his appearance. And it's finally just at the tips of my fingers. This definitely makes for one happy girl!

First up... fall fashion. I am dying to break out my sweaters and scarves! I just love all the warm, rich colors of fall apparel. There's definitely a few things that I am just adamant to add to my wardrobe in the next few weeks to prepare myself for fall...

{be still my heart.. i just want this entire outfit! the belt, the cardigan, the ruffles, the scarf.. yep, just plain heaven!} pic via j.crew


{my oh my.. gotta have them! pair them with the outfit above and i'm just ready for a day in the fall leaves!} pic via j.crew


{WOW! LOVIN' the purple!} pic via banana republic

{and how stinkin' cute are these Cole Haan's??! i'm drooling.. shameful, I know.. but uncontrollable!) pic via piperlime

Now, that I've caught your attention with all those beauties, let's chat about the destinations that I'm dying to visit in the next few months... With the weather getting cooler and the leaves changing colors, I just keep seeing pictures of places that are far more beautiful than my own front yard! ;)


{Breathtaking Boston} pics via google


{oh, Martha's Vineyard... summer just isn't enough, you have to continue to amaze us even in fall!} pics via google

{Maine, Vermont.. the entire Northeast.. just plain GORGEOUS!} pics via google




{last, but certainly not least, beautiful Napa Valley} pics via google

Oh, goodness gracious... See what I mean??! I am just beside myself in anticipation for fall! I've slowly but surely been getting myself, my family and my home ready for fall. You can bet though that there will most definitely be one accent gracing my front porch...

{WHITE PUMPKINS!!! - they make my heart melt!} pic via google

And let us not forget about the most important and most exciting aspect of fall...


{Saturdays in The Grove in Oxford, MS! HOTTY TODDY, REBS!!}


Well, thank you all for letting me ramble on and on about my latest obsession with fall and all that it entails! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week.. and here's wishing safe travels for my sweet friend!

Natalie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: Aly from Analyze This

***A special thank you to Aly for being my first guest blogger. I always enjoy reading her blog. She can always make me smile. She is so sweet and such a talented blogger. And she might just be Knox's biggest fan outside of our family. If you're not following her already, you should. Thanks, Aly!!!

Hello BlogWorld! Aly here from Analyze This. I'm filling in for my good friend, mother to the cutest.weiner.eva, Caroline!!

Dreaming. We all do it. We all crave it. Ever wake up and think, what happened with my dream? Why did I have to wake up? It was getting to the best part!

I catch myself dreaming often. FORCING myself to dream of a special someone, something, or event. And it never seems to happen. I dream of the exact opposite. (That's so my luck) But what if for ONE day, you were able to live/fulfill your dream........ Do you want to know what my ULTIMATE dream is?!?! (Besides being Britney Spears AND Jessica Simpsons BFF..FFFFF (that's a whole lotta forever).....) It's THIS...

Move over being McDreamy's love affair on Grey's Anatomy ... or a sexy neighbor on Desperate Housewives ...

I want to guest star (in a minimum of three episodes - I have high standards) on Law & Order: SVU! I loooove this show! I don't care what they would have me be. The victim. The killer. The dead person laying on a gurney in the morgue (ok, I kind of want a role that I am not being cut opened or have my eyes shut) .... But how cool would that be?! It would thoroughly be a dream come true. I've been an avid watcher of this show since it debuted back in the early 2000's.

So ..... What dream would you love to fulfill? Or, if you could guest star on ANY show of your choice ... what would it be?!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Mouthfull

Monday, again?! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Friday after work, I got a wild hair to try something new. I'd heard about a place called Pure Barre earlier in the week and after some research, I decided to check it out. It's a workout that combines Pilates and Ballet.

Pros: I had a great workout and my legs, arms, and abs were shaking when I left. I worked muscles I hadn't worked in a long time. And I am still sore. Mats, weights, and balls are provided. The facility was very clean and nice and the instructor was super sweet. You are supposed to see results after 10 classes.

Cons: It was a bit expensive($20 for one 55 minute class). I had trouble understanding the teacher (the music was so loud, I couldn't hear her directions) and a section of workout did not take up an entire song; so, the teacher would switch songs mid-song. And it's a bit of a drive from my house and work.

I would definitely go back, but only on a special occasion. It was definitely worth a try. They have videos and podcasts to buy online. I may just do that to have at home as an alternate workout. Has anyone tried anything like this before?

On Saturday, we grilled out for my parents and grandfather. On the menu, two recipes from Kendall at Keeping Up with the Joneses :

Chicken Caprese
Chocolate Autumn Cupcakes


Both were absolutely delicious and a hit with my family.

Also, this weekend, the weather cooled off and we spent a lot of time outside. The cooler air was nice, but it makes me sad to see the summer heat go.

Last Monday, we had our 2nd Memphis Blog Girl's Meet Up. We went to a local Mexican restaurant and had a great time! Here's a pic of the fabulous women who joined me:

From L to R: Laura, Sarah, Angie, Emily, Meredith, me and Leslie.

Tomorrow, we're heading to Louisville for work. But in my absence, I will have three awesome guest bloggers! I can't wait to read their guest posts! I hope you all enjoy! See you Friday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Fall Frenzy

I don't know about where you live, but it's still hot and humid in Memphis. We're having record highs. I'm trying to make the best of it as I will miss the heat when it's 40 degrees in January.

I'm trying to convince myself that fall is here; so, I've started putting out a few fall decorations:

{new wreath for the front door}


{pumpkins on the piano}


I'll be adding more decorations over the next few weeks.

As I told y'all, I bought some Jessica Simpson jeans with my garage sale money. And I love them!!! I know y'all are thinking that I love everything Jessica Simpson and I do, but these are seriously the most comfortable jeans on the planet. I'm obsessed! I bought a pair of the Malibu Skinny Jeans. And I don't normally wear skinny jeans, but these jeans are totally awesome! They are so comfy and look so cute! You can also get them fairly cheap here. We're talking less than $35 for a pair of jeans.

I also signed up to participate in the "Snuggle Up Swap" hosted by Miss Chelsea and Mateya. The sign-up ends Sunday night. Click here for more details.


Also, if you're interested in being a guest blogger next week, please let me know. It's a great way to bring in more followers and get more exposure.

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cougar Town


Has anyone ever watched "Cougar Town"?
It might just be one of the funniest shows on tv. Well, last night was the season premiere and two of my favorite "Friends" were reunited.
Yes. Jennifer Aniston joined the cast of "Cougar Town" last night. She was hilarious. She played a eccentric therapist who used stories about her dog to relate to issues Courteney Cox was having. (sometimes I think I compare Knox to people's children...oops!)

It was hilarious and I loved seeing Jen and Courteney together again. I hope Jen will come back for more episodes. She looked beautiful and I am so jealous of her figure.

Definitely set your DVR to record "Cougar Town"!

To participate in Thoughtless Thursday, visit Life in the Fulmer Lane.

Also, I am thinking about having some guest bloggers next week while I'm away. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Week Modgepodge & Giveaway Winner Announced

It's finally Wednesday, y'all. This week is going by so slow and I've been SO BUSY!

Last night, I had my Junior League Provisional Small Group at my house and I made these delicious dips:

Hot & Spicy Corn Dip


A special thank you to Natasha at A Day in the Life for the recipes. They were a hit!

I am really enjoying Junior League. It's a lot of meetings the first year, but it's not too bad. I've already met a lot of great women and I am so excited to help out in the Memphis community.

As promised the winner of the "Show Me a Sign" Giveaway is....


Melissa from Me & Mine!


Congratulations, Melissa! I loved that you picked the "Home is Where the ARMY Sends Us" sign. Please email me at carolinesmithwick@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway. There just might be another one when I hit 300 followers! Only 40 more to go! I truly appreciate all of you!

And I found out yesterday that I will be heading to Louisville next week for work. Is there anything I should see or do?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday: Hair Products

Top 2 Hair Products

1. Tigi Dumb Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner: It works wonders on my hair! I love the soft texture and hold.

2. Chi: I could not live without my Chi. It curls. It straightens. It's a lifesaver!

What are your top two hair products?

Visit The Undomestic Momma and tell us!

***Don't forget my Show Me a Sign giveaway ends at midnight tonight. You can enter here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Round Up

Happy Monday, everyone! Our garage sale was a success over the weekend. I made enough to buy all of the things I wanted plus some! :) It was a lot of hard work, but we did it. It made me a little sad to see some of the items go, but I know someone will enjoy wearing some of those clothes as much as I did.
After the garage sale was over on Saturday, I went to the mall to gather my new clothes. I must say that Jessica Simpson makes some comfortable jeans! And I even had to get a size smaller because they stretch. That made me incredibly happy. They are also reasonably priced. Have you tried them?

Sunday, we were pooped. We managed to get a few errands ran, but that's about it. I had a meeting to go to last night and when I got home, Fred blindfolded me and took me into the backyard where he'd set up a candlelit dinner for 2 (well, Knox was there too). It was a great surprise!
I wanted to thank all of you for participating in my "Show Me a Sign" giveaway! If you haven't entered, click here. The giveaway closes at midnight on Tuesday. Stay tuned for the winner on Wednesday morning!

Also, I am so excited for the 2nd Memphis Blog Girls dinner tonight! If you haven't RSVP'd, please do so or email me at carolinesmithwick@gmail.com if you'd like to go. Our first one was so much fun and I can't wait to go tonight!

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Show Me a Sign

A few days ago, I hit 250 followers! (Today it's 257...I am a little behind) So, in honor of all of my wonderful, beautiful, loyal followers, I've decided to do a little giveaway!

Jennifer at
The LaJeunesse Family has been so sweet to devote her time and talent into creating you you're very own custom sign! Yay!!!

Don't they make a cute couple?!

It's a small world, but I actually went to high school with Matt, her husband. Well, Matt and Jennifer are in the process of trying to adopt a baby. Her Etsy shop, Show Me a Sign, was actually started to raise funds to pay for their adoption. They are such a sweet couple and I want to help them bring home the baby their hearts desire.


So, here are the details for the giveaway:

1. Check out her Show Me a Sign Etsy shop and look at all of her fabulous signs!

Here are a few examples:

Jenn is currently creating new designs for the fall and the Christmas season
Who doesn't love their wine?!
Go Tigers! Go Vols! Don't see your team? Jenn will custom make one!
Perfect Initials
I'm in love with this crackle frame! Isn't it beautiful?!

2. Now that you've chosen your sign, enter the giveaway!

  • One entry - Become a follower of my blog, if you're not one already!
  • One entry - Become a follower of @csmithwick on Twitter!
  • One entry - Leave a comment with which sign you love and your idea of what to put on it!
  • Extra entries - Blog or Tweet about this giveaway!

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. Drawing closes at midnight Tuesday (September 21) night!

And follow Jennifer and Matt at The LaJeunesse Family!

And don't forget, if you live in the Memphis area, we are having our 2nd Memphis Blog Girls Meet-Up this Monday (the 20th). Email me at carolinesmithwick@gmail.com for more details!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Out with the Old & In with the New

***There is a "Big Brother" spoiler at the end of this post!***

Starting tonight, I will be participating in one of Memphis' largest garage sales. My in-laws live in the subdivision in which this massive garage sale takes place and they've been kind enough to let me sell some things.

I have two reasons for spending two entire days selling my old stuff:
1. I need to get rid of the clothes I can't wear anymore. I don't need them taking up room in my closet. And I have promised myself that I won't let myself gain the weight back. If I haven't put it back on in 2 1/2 years, why would I do it now?
2. I want some new items for my fall/winter wardrobe. And they are:

UGG Classic Cardy


Jessica Simpson Winsy
Jessica Simpson Sunset Boot Cut Jeans


Jessica Simpson Malibu Super Low Skinny Jeans


Just to get these four items, I need to make about $350. I hope I can do it. I'll be out there again bright and early tomorrow and Saturday morning. In a perfect world, I'd sell it all by tomorrow and be done! Wish me luck!

Did y'all watch the "Big Brother" finale last night? I was so happy that Hayden won. I loved Lane, but I think Hayden deserved it more. And I am super happy for Brittney winning "America's Favorite Player"! I am really going to miss "Big Brother"! I'll be ready to watch again next summer!