The Best Moments of Pregnancy - ABC News Million Moms Challenge

Million Moms Challenge
...I never could have prepared myself for the incredible amounts of love and emotion that poured out of me the first time I saw those fragile little babies. Nothing in life is sweeter then those first amazing moments that you have with those precious little people once they enter into this world...
This is just a piece of my story from the post that I'm sharing today, as I join in on the Million Moms Challenge to share one of the best moments of my first pregnancy. It's a discussion that every Mom can relate to, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Click on over to read one of my favorite moments and share YOURS as well! Also, just by joining in the conversation and sharing your stories and thoughts, you will be entered to win some amazing prizes.


The House of Smiths Vinyl Designs Shop

*** Sit down and grab a drink... this might take a while***
Alright, so I've started the first sentence of this post about 20 times. If you know me, then you KNOW that I'm never at a loss for words, but this post has me really going in circles! I think it's because I feel so connected to what I'm about to write, that anything that I start with... just sounds so minimal or "played-down" compared to everything that we've been through in the past few years.


Aqua Striped Table - Scotch Blue Painting Party

Welcome to the ScotchBlue™ Painting Party! A group of fantastic DIY bloggers, including myself, all completed projects with the help of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector. Now we’re giving you the chance to see all of our fabulous projects and get some inspiration!! If you'd like to start at the beginning of the party and see more tutorials then head to Dina' s blog and follow the great projects one after another!
You'll also get a chance to win some ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape so you can create a project of your own.  Just read to the end to find out how!

This past Memorial Day you might remember that my friend Jen and I headed out to a few awesome garage sales that we knew were going to be going on this year. You know...those ones that never disappoint? :)
Well, while on our hunt to find some great new decor for our home I stumbled upon a lonely tiny table that I KNEW would be perfect for the small space under my curvy mirror by our back door.
My new little table only put me back about $7.00! That being said...not only was it painted the ugliest pinky-flesh color, but it had about an inch-thick-layer of some kind of drippy yellow based polyurethane on it. lol...yikes!
So here's how I took this little guy from drab to fab... with just some paint and a lil' blue tape!


WUSLU - Home Decor Deals

Happy Tuesday everyone, I hope Monday treated you well!
Today I want to introduce one of our newest sponsors that if you don't already know and love, you definitely WILL!
WUSLU is an exclusive online store that has ONE home decor daily deal EVERY day, starting at 10am. Their items are up to 85% off of retail prices, and not only are they ridiculously affordable, but incredibly adorable AND on trend. I'm kind of having a hard time telling everyone about them because more then once I've tried to purchase these fabulous deals, myself... and they have already sold out!!! gah! lol. Alright, so here are the kinds of things that you'll see on WUSLU.com.


Polka Dot Balloons, The Perfect Lip Gloss and More.

I'm sure you all know by now that I'm a sucker for appreciating the simple things. And lately I've been noticing a few more things that make life just THAT much more enjoyable. I even started jotting down a list. Is that weird? LOL. Well, I want to share with you some of my faves, in this completely random post
When I attended Kim's class at TCCE we got some of these adorable spotted balloons in our swag bag from Polka Dot Market. I couldn't help but love them immediately, because they were so cute! I wanted to save them for a special occasion, but these little chicks found them yesterday before church.


Master Bathroom Finishing Touches ... kind of

I feel like if I subtitle this post with "finishing touches" that it will make me feel like we're thaaaat much closer to finishing this bathroom redo, that money will automatically appear out of thin air, and all of the perfect decor for my bathroom will magically be nicely stocked in ONE store, at the same time... in a convenient location near my home.
PS: It's not working.

Reality is. Enough is never enough for us! First we were just going to paint some walls and slap up a few hooks. Now, besides ripping out the actual shower and tub ... we've basically undergone a full bathroom remodel. Electrical, trim, granite counter tops, new fabulous toilet and sink, and now...built-ins. gah! 
Really, it's all Cason's fault. While laying in bed one night he sketched up this baby.

Built in's? Whaaa? How can a girl say NO to built-ins?
Well, I don't know about YOU... but I can't. So we're Cason's going to build some built-ins!
We've got most of it assembled, except for the doors, and then we'll move onto painting and installation. That will probably take another good month or so... what do ya think?
(rolling my eyes) juuuust kidding.



I'm back from THE CREATIVE CONNECTION in Minnesota, and it was a blast!
I had quite the time recovering from sleep deprivation but other then that, it was an incredible event. ha! As I mentioned before, I was selected to be part of the blogger social media correspondent team, that included me, Cindy, Kami, Char, Kari, KimJen, and Amy. We were responsible for all of the social media coverage (aka: blogging, tweeting, facebooking...etc.) Thank you SO MUCH Jo! So besides a ridiculous amount of instagram-ing, you KNOW that I took about a thousand pictures as well, and totally want to share them all... so I'll stop yappin' and just SHOW you my TCCE journey through photos.

The blogger team flew in early, a day before the actual conference started, so once we were all settled in, of COURSE our first stop was to the Mall of America. I had my very first city bus ride. ha! It was quite the experience with 8 giggly girls all in one place.
We chowed down on some Bubba Gump Shrimp, and did some power walking to get in all the stores we could...



I've been here this week in "Minne'soooda" at THE CREATIVE CONNECTION Event helping out as a social media correspondent and basking in the knowledge, creativity and sheer fabulous-ness of the ladies here. The classes have been fantastic, the decorations are top notch, and the food... well, it's just pretty!
(is it okay to describe food as "pretty"? ha!)


DIY Homemade Vintage Wood Crate Storage Boxes

We've been really busy around here, working on all of the small projects that complete the BIGGER projects that we are excited to show you soon! One of our projects came to a screeching halt when we realized that we needed some very specific sized storage boxes for something. Silly us, we didn't think to build our project around an existing storage box or container, so we had to improvise and come up with our own solution.

We knew for these storage baskets/boxes we wanted a really unique, rustic, vintage look. We checked around online for something that would fit the bill, but everything was either too small or too expensive! So I had the idea of whipping up a few vintage looking boxes on our own. Here's how they turned out!

And this is how we did it!


Plum District - Mom Based Deal-a-Day Site

Happy Monday everyone! I'm excited to welcome our newest sponsor to The House of Smiths,
Plum District!
I'm sure that a lot of you have already heard of Plum District, being that it's such a great site, but for those of you who haven't, here's the skinny!...

Plum District has been around for about a year, and is the leading deal-a-day site geared directly toward savvy, smart Mom's! They are unique in this way, because they are solely focused on Mom's and deals that make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
For me, I know that a week doesn't go by that I don't at least see one or two deals that make me go... "Ooo! I totally need that!" Right now, it's the Dwell magazine subscription for only $12 bucks! If you already subscribe to this magazine then you KNOW how great it is for the Home Remodel'er and DIY'er. And you ALSO know that only $12 bucks for a full years subscription is a steal!


How to use Picnik.com + Quick Picnik Tutorial

One of our awesome readers, Diane wrote me an email a few weeks ago and asked this question:

"I don't have a DSLR camera, nor do I think I'm going to get one in the near future, because they are quite pricey, but I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about this Picnik site that you use all the time. I have tried it out and I like what I CAN use, but it wants me to pay more to use ALL of the cool detailing and editing stuff. Is it REALLY worth the $25.00 a year? What am I missing out on?"

First of all, yes... I said she sent this email a few weeks ago. I'm terribly behind on email and trying to claw my way back to the top of at LEAST the second page of crazy-ness, known as my inbox :(
Sorry if it's taking me forever to get back to you. I also feel like I'm not commenting back as much as I normally do because of this time of year (heading into the busy months of the holiday seasons).  It is gettin' CA-RAZY for me, and I'm really trying hard to answer all the emails as they come in, plus post regularly AND deal with all of the "behind the scenes bloggy business stuff". Bear with me people. lol

Okay, so to answer your question Diane...
YES! The $25.00 extra each year is TOTALLY worth it for your Picnik.com upgrade. Whether you have a point and shoot or a DSLR, the upgraded version of Picnik completely rules my socks off!

I have talked a little about this before, but you can do lots of Photoshop type editing right in Picnik. From covering skin blemishes, to brightening eyes, rounding corners of pictures and also making awesome, blog ready collages! Picnik has pretty much turned into my one-stop-photoshop-spot.
Oh, and PS... it's SO EASY TO USE! Let me show ya.
This tutorial MAY be a bit elementary for some of you, but I am a huge fan of step by step instructions when learning something new.
First, log onto Picnik.com and create an account. Then, if you feel so inclined (and you should) upgrade to the better version for the one time payment of $25 bucks. Then, you're going to see a screen that looks similar to this. Go to the "Upload Photos" button, and upload the photo(s) that you want to edit.


Back to School w/ Cherokee USA & $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Tis' the season for back to school!
The twins have been doing the Kindergarten thing for about a week now...


Happy Labor Day!

Hope that you're making some fun memories with people you love!


Canon Rebel T3i & Betsy Jototes Camera Bag

I like to hear good news last, it always makes the bad news seem not so bad. Agreed?
Okay, so the bad news is...
My camera has a cataract in it's lense. lol.  It actually sounds pretty funny once I type it out and not much like bad news... but in all reality it definitely IS bad news... Check it out:
Let me tell you how MAD I was when I noticed that half of my current photos had this lovely little black mark through them. Grrrrr. So I took my camera apart (the most I could) and cleaned everything like good ol' youtube told me to.
It didn't work :(
So I put it aside for a day. Went back the next day and guess who's camera now didn't turn on at ALL?.
Let me preface this by saying that my camera had been acting up for some time now. Giving me error messages, not focusing like it should, battery dying faster, and the flash not popping up like normal. So needless to say, I had quite the freak-out session. I even called Cason at work (poor guy) and did a little crying....yes, about my broken, cataract infected camera. lol
I hate to admit this, for the sake of sounding a bit dramatic and crazy, but my camera is like my left arm! It's a  HUGE extension of me, and I use it daily!
Well, come to find out, after we took it to the "camera doctor" ... my baby was on it's last leg. You should have seen the look on the guys face when I told him my normal download of pictures each day is about 300-400 on average. ha!
My camera has been SO good to me throughout the last 6 years, and with the way that I use and abuse cameras, it was definitely time to retire the old one and purchase the "newer model".

So I want to welcome our newest addition to the family!...