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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

The Last Day of 2015


Today is the last day of 2015! Wow! What a year. I shared this on Instagram, as I was reflecting on this past year, just the other night. We had such a BIG and amazing year. 



2015! What a MEMORABLE year. I'm sure Ryan and I will talk about this year to our grandchildren often. We travelled to many beautiful places, and picking a favorite is hard, but my birthday trip to Charleston and Clearwater is definitely at the top of the list. My grandma gracefully went to Heaven with all of her family by her side. One word to describe the moment she slipped away from earth and into Heaven - beautiful - that moment will always be in my heart as a beautiful one. She wouldn't have done it any other way. She's my angel and I feel her with me always. The most loving, smart, kind, handsome man asked me to be his wife. I just asked him today, 'how did I get so lucky to be your wife?' I fall in love with him more and more everyday. And some days, like today, all we've done is lay around the house and watch the snow fall. And still my love grows deeper and deeper. That man I love so, he finished his Bachelors degree from UCM! I'm so proud of him. I had laparoscopy surgery and found out I have stage IV endometriosis. That day marks the beginning of our journey to Baby Smith. And, because we thought this year needed just a little more spice to make it one to remember, we bought a pink house in a cute little suburban neighborhood. Moving in January is always smart. Last, but certainly not least, my love, faith and connection to God has only grown stronger!



This was our Christmas and New Years card we sent out to friends and family. We loved the glow of the grass in this photo from our wedding day! 



This poem! It's perfect for 2016. 

PROMISE YOURSELF

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind. 
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity 
to every person you meet. 

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true. 

To think only the best, to work only for the best, 
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others 
as you are about your own. 

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile. 

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have not time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for
fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. 

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the
world, not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you. 

By Christian D. Larson

Here's to wishing you and yours all the very best in 2016. A year full of love, joy, health, and success! 

With love xo 
Wen and Ryan
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From a Sugary Christmas to a 48-Hour Detox



Our Christmas season was a SWEET one, literally. I love sugar and I love to bake. If I had it my way I'd have chocolate chip cookies in the house at all times. They are truly my biggest weakness when it comes to food! The week leading up to Christmas was all about baking yummy cookies. We are moving to our new home, starting this weekend (YAY!!!), and I started packing weeks ago. One day after packing I realized we had a lot of butter in the refrigerator so I thought, I should just bake as many batches of cookies as I can, to use up all the butter. 




On Christmas Eve before midnight mass, I spent the whole day in my PJs, and Ryan and I baked sugar cookies. They look like kindergartners decorated them, but we had fun, and they may not be professional, but I think they are cute. 



I've been really good about embracing a new diet - that after much research - will help my body heal from endometriosis, but I'm still eating a lot of sugar. I love a big cup of hot chocolate, but I will say I'm using vanilla almond milk instead of cow's milk, and it tastes better too. 



So after telling you all about my sugar addiction, I'll tell you all about our grand idea to do a 48-hour detox. I've always wanted to do one and surprisingly when I brought up the idea to Ryan, he said he was up for doing a detox too. I did a little bit of research and finally decided that the Dr. Oz 48 Hour Cleanse would be the best fit for us. I read all the recipes and made my grocery list. I set out to the store to stock-up on all the fruits, veggies, quinoa, tea, prunes, oils, etc. that we didn't already have in our kitchen. I spent a little over a $100 on all the stuff. 


We skipped breakfast on day one, we did have our morning coffee, and when I got home I made our "lunch" right away. Our lunch was sauerkraut with apples. It tasted fine. Then I cleaned and prepped all the fruits and veggies. I got the veggie soup going for dinner, you'll find the recipe here. All the other recipes are here. While the veggie soup was brewing we both enjoyed a pineapple, lemon, pomegranate, blend-free detox drink

The soup tasted okay. I can't say it was gross, but I can't say I'd ever say "hey, let's have vegetable broth for dinner!" again. 



On Dr. Oz's grocery shopping list he had Flax Seed Oil which I could not find at Target. I thought about going to Whole Foods to get it, but then I decided to buy the Avocado Oil instead. I've heard great things about avocados and fertility (just a little side note). For the veggies we couldn't use any type of processed dressing (NO RANCH dressing permitted), but we could use an oil. I made our veggie dip with the avocado oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. It was yummy!


The almonds and avocado weren't on Dr. Oz's list either, I added it anyway. Mixing avocado and almonds together is very delicious! 


I wish I could say that night one of our detox went great, but it didn't! I thought for sure Ryan would be the one to jump ship and give up on the detox, but I was out before he was. By bedtime I was SICK! I took a hot shower and got into bed, and my head was pounding and my stomach hurt in a way it's never hurt before. I ended up throwing up! I couldn't believe it. I'm pretty sure all the sauerkraut combined with the large amount of cabbage in the soup is what made me sick. I ended up taking an Advil for my headache and I ate Ritz Crackers with peanut butter. I finally started to feel better by midnight and was able to go to sleep. By morning I felt fine and was able to continue on with the detox foods, but with major modifications! I pretty much gave up on Dr. Oz's recipes and did my own thing with all the foods I knew were nutritious. 

Instead of making quinoa with prunes for breakfast, I made flax seed toast with avocado and almonds. I also made a smoothie with blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, pineapple juice, flax seed powder, almond milk, grated ginger, and lemon. It tasted great. 

Lunch was even better. I had a whole thing of mushrooms in the fridge, so I sautéed them with the zucchini in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper. I made the quinoa and mixed in the sautéed veggies. I also added a fresh avocado and almonds. We used hot sauce and soy sauce to our delight. It was delicious and we both decided we'd eat it again anytime. I might even crave it! 

We snacked on fruits and veggies throughout the day. 

For dinner, on night two, I found this vegan pasta Alfredo dish on Pinterest and I wasn't quite sure how it'd turn out with rice milk (substituted for almond milk) and I couldn't use the parmesan we had in the fridge (no dairy) and I didn't have a vegan option in the house, but it turned out GREAT. Ryan loved it! I actually think Ryan enjoyed it more than I did. Oh, and instead of using peas I used broccoli. 

Ryan had a headache by night two! He never gets headaches, so I'm guessing it had something to do with the detox diet we were doing. 

I can't say I'll never do another detox, because I do believe in the many benefits of fasting and eating super foods, but I think I'll take it a little slower next time. I think I jumped in too fast with all the sauerkraut and prunes and juices --- and I didn't even give my body a chance to figure out what it liked and what it didn't like. We have a lot of fruits and veggies in the house still, and the teas, spices and oils, will be used. It wasn't a waste of money, and it was a good learning experience! 

I just ordered this vegan cookbook from Amazon and I cannot wait to start cooking some of their recipes. They all look amazing and healthy! 

If you decide to do a detox, just take it slow. Don't overdo it like I did. 

xo Wen
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Endometriosis | Ingredient Conscious Cosmetics



I've always been a health conscious person, but since finding out I have Stage IV endometriosis, I've been researching the disease a lot. Women with endo have an estrogen dominance, the xenoestrogens found in our food and beauty products are the main culprit. My fertility doctor has me on a medication to help my body block the estrogen, but I'm taking this fact a step further by making lifestyle changes to help my body in the healing process and to hopefully keep this disease at bay. 

Here are just a few of the changes I've made, and fortunately these have come pretty easy for me. 

  • No more animal products in my diet. I'm done with dairy products and I'm done with meat (with the exception of fish a few times a week). I could eat hormone-free meats, but eliminating them from my diet is easier for me. I've also found out that coconut milk at Starbucks actually tastes better than the cow's milk!
  • My body lotion is from Whole Foods, I'm currently using Everyone Lotion in the Coconut Lemon scent. It's a non-GMO project verified. 
  • My body soap is also from Whole Foods, I'm using their 365 Everyday brand in the Mint scent. 
  • Each day, after my shower I apply a drop of Castor Oil to the palm of my hand and then a few drops of lavender and frankincense oil. Then I rub it on my abdomen. I do this instead of applying lotion to my stomach area. Sometimes at night I'll use the castor oil mix and then use a heating pad. There are many studies on the benefit of castor oil and endometriosis. I don't actually do the castor oil packs, but I feel this daily ritual is better. 
My biggest challenge has to do with my beauty routine! I love my cosmetics and I've been using most of the brands for many years. The thought of changing out all of my make-up has stressed me out a little bit. I've been reading and trying to find organic, ingredient conscious make-up, but I've yet to start switching it all out. I just found out that Anthropologie has a whole line of ingredient conscious cosmetics. I've read all the details and now I have a shopping list of products I want to try. This swap will be a gradual process. I'm not going to go buy all of this at once, first of all it would cost a fortune, and I want to replenish my make-up as I run out with the new pure ingredient cosmetics. 


You can shop the cosmetics by clicking on the product image below. 

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. xo Wen







xo Wen
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Our Christmas Season



Our Christmas season has been an eventful one. After we got married in October we sold a house and bought a house! Now we get to start our new married life, in a new home, in the new year! If you missed our wedding post you can check it out here. And all the fun details about our new pink house are over here

On top of the wedding and buying a new house --- Ryan finished his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Central Missouri! I'm so very proud of him!

He was finishing his degree when we met and somehow he always had time for work, school, and our relationship. I don't know how he managed to do it all, but he did it with all the devotion, attention, and love you could imagine. While going to school full-time, he also travelled for work. He helped me during the entire wedding planning process and he helped his parents prepare the land for our big day. He was by my side when my grandma passed away. He took care of me after my surgery for endo with so much tenderness and compassion. He always gave his all while we house hunted! During all of our life craziness he still manages to be my best friend and my devoted husband. He's pretty amazing and I thank God for him every day! A huge CONGRATULATIONS to my baby!




Since the wedding we've had some memorable dates...we attended a wedding, we got Thai food, we shopped in the West Bottoms, went to the Country Club Plaza for seafood and to see the Christmas lights, and we ate Mexican in Westport (twice). 






 

We've celebrated several birthdays!







A large portion of the house is already boxed up. Ry and I got a real Christmas tree this year --- it smells amazing --- and we decided to keep it very simple. All white lights and that is it! We figured moving would only be that much easier if we didn't have a whole house of Christmas decor to pack along with everything else. 




Our fur babies are just as spoiled as can be. I had my surgery for endometriosis the week before Thanksgiving, and I believe Mrs. PB is really enjoying all the extra sofa cuddle time she's gotten over the last few weeks! On the topic of my surgery, I plan to share another post about our fertility journey. Documenting these days of waiting and all the emotions that I've been experiencing is important to me. There have been some pretty rough days mixed in with all the beauty of this season. 








The day we signed the contract for our new pink house we celebrated with Starbucks lattes and Big Daddy's Donuts



This kitchen is an inspiration for the kitchen in our new house. We are probably going to do the butcher block countertops. We cannot wait to start all the renovations in our new home. We talk about it all the time!


I've been on a major health kick lately. I'm going to do a whole blog post on my lifestyle changes. 


This is one of my favorite Instagram photos of the season. Ryan is my sweet laid-back hubby, and he rarely gets worked up about anything, but the mall parking lot the Saturday before Christmas was a mad house. You can see the look on his face reflects his thoughts of the mall this evening! 


We are going on a date tomorrow, one of the things I'm planning to get on our date is a Lavender Hot Cocoa from Dean and DeLuca. Doesn't that sound so good? Before Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday we are going to bake and decorate sugar cookies! 



Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! 

Love xo 

Ry and Wen


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The Smiths are Moving to a Pink [soon to be Navy] Home



Before Ry and I got married, we had this great idea to put our house (his former bachelor pad) on the market. We thought, how perfect would it be to have a new home to start our new life? We thought the house shopping part would be so much fun, just like House Hunters on HGTV. And quite honestly, I was dreading the thought of having people walking around our house for months. Not mention, little Mrs. PB is a nut job when people come over, she's kind of like this one (not really, but chihuahuas are very protective of their owners and homes). Well, our thoughts and expectations on the process were completely backwards. Within one week of our house being on the market we had a showing, and that night we got an offer that we accepted. We had one showing and it sold! Lucky for us, and Mrs. PB, we didn't have a ton of strangers snooping around our home. Once we accepted the offer we started shopping, we were excited and energetic, we couldn't wait to find our new home! Well the process started to drain us by the time we had made three offers and none were accepted. Then we were so very close to buying a new construction home that was still being built, and we changed our minds right before signing the contract. The changes I wanted were driving the price up so fast I started to get nervous about the costs. We were down to the wire with time, and I had started to call around for apartments. We did not want to waste our money on rent or storage units, we didn't want to move twice, but that was where we were headed when we couldn't find a home. We weren't willing to settle, and we had our hearts set on a specific neighborhood. We stalked this neighborhood! Ry and I joked that the residents probably thought we already lived there. One day we found a house that was for sale by owner and we called. We got the details and found out it was in need of some TLC. We were cool with that because we were planning to paint the whole house, pull out flooring, and change light fixtures, tile, countertops, and all that stuff, anyway. We figured we'd rather pull out crappy carpet than brand new carpet! We looked at it, and we loved it, but truthfully we didn't get excited about it at first. At this point, all emotions were out of the game. We looked at it from a very rational perspective, which I guess is a good thing from a business/financial perspective, although I believe house shopping is supposed to be an emotional experience. After the contract was signed and dated, we finally started to think about it as our new home. We also started to think about how great it was that all the other offers made weren't accepted, because with this home we will have the funds to make a lot of the changes from the very get go. Whereas the other homes we wanted were so much more expensive we would have had to live with other people's design choices for a while. And that brings me to this post. I'm going to share each room and the design ideas and renovation plans we have for it. I cannot wait to share this renovation process with you over the next few years (yes, it's still going to take a few years) as we bring the new Smith home to life! 

Exterior

I'm currently saying my hubby bought me a "pink house" because it sounds so sweet, like he bought me a real life Barbie Dream House or something. I think it's cute with this pastel pink stucco, but we do intend to paint the exterior and add some curb appeal with cedar touches and landscaping. 



Ry has his heart set on a dark blue house with cedar elements. We both love the look of this dark navy with the white trim. I was initially thinking about a bright yellow front door, I never dreamed he'd like the idea of a coral front door. I brought it up and he said he likes coral better than the yellow! Yippee for me, I'm going to keep a touch of pink on this house. We'll probably add stone elements around the garage doors. Of course we'll update the exterior lighting. Ry is the best at landscaping and keeping a green healthy lawn, so within a few years our curb appeal should be looking pretty fabulous! We plan to plant a magnolia tree or two and our backyard is huge, so we may need to add a white Labrador puppy to the mix someday. 



Entry/Foyer

All the trim is going to be painted white, Benjamin Moore's Super White. I've got some better plans for the handrail that you'll see below. Imagine that front door in the Coral Gables color, super fun! I think most people will think I'm nuts to say this, but I actually like this 1990s gold chandelier in the entry. I may clean it and make it sparkle again, and see what it looks like after everything else is finished. I have a few other entry lights that would look fabulous too, and Ry really hates this light in the entry, but I am thinking maybe it should stay. We shall see. I like a touch of shiny gold! This house was built in 1999, the year I graduated high school, I feel like a few of the original elements should be appreciated. 


The carpet is BAD! We are debating between installing hardwood in the dining and living room, or putting in new carpet. We've got several factors to consider. Either way, the existing wood will be refinished with a dark stain mix of 50/50 Ebony + Jacobean. I thought about doing an all white house again, but I decided we needed some color in our lives. The entry, living room, and kitchen walls will be Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue. I'm really excited about this color and I know we'll love it for many many years. It's a soft, airy blue that combines the blue of the sky with a touch of mother of pearl. Awww....doesn't that sound beautiful?



Dining Room

I'm really looking forward to our formal dining room. I've never had one before now. We are already daydreaming about hosting Christmas next year, in our new home! This room will be the white room. I want it fresh, airy, and simple. Some of my favorite places to dine embrace the color white with bright sunlight and that is what I envision for our dining room. The ceiling fan has got to go! I already own the chandelier that will go in here. 



I very seriously considered having the bookcases in here removed, but then I changed my mind. I'm going to have them painted bright white, the same color as the rest of the woodwork. They are actually nice quality and real wood, so I think I can fill them up and make it look really nice.



My style and plans for the dining room cannot be explained. I'm attracted to mid-century modern, farmhouse, vintage, artsy, all of it! This room will probably end up being the most creative space because I have no "real plan" other than to pull in all the things I love. We don't have the dining table or chairs yet, unless we use the set we already have and then we'll have to get a new set for the eat-in kitchen. I'm not quite sure how it'll all work out yet, but I'm excited to see how it turns out without a plan! This room will be the first impression room, as it's the first thing you see to your left when you enter the home. 

Here are just a few of my favorite dining room spaces that will be part of my inspiration. As you can see I'm all over the board with ideas. It'll come together! 







Living Room

The living room has exceptionally high ceilings and it's full of bright sunshine that I absolutely LOVE. The main changes in here will be: 

  • Paint: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue 
  • Remove the ceiling fan and install a new chandelier
  • Fireplace woodwork will be painted BM Super White like the rest of the trim
  • Change the fireplace tile to marble subway tile
  • New flooring, either carpet or hardwood
  • Remove the window coverings, I think we can go without in this space
  • We'll probably need some new furniture, but that'll be down the road
  • All the plate covers, throughout the home, will need to be changed to white





Our TV is not going above the fireplace which makes me very happy! We are going to use the huge wall that faces the kitchen for our entertainment wall. We both love how Emily Henderson did her living room with the TV console from Ikea in the center, flanked by two white shelving units. This is our current inspiration and we'll probably try to do our layout like this. I already own that rug, and it may go in the living room or under the table in the eat-in kitchen. 







Kitchen

A few people that I've talked to about our renovation plans think that we are crazy to paint the kitchen cabinets white, but you know what, I don't think there is anything better than a white kitchen! It's just my thing. I think the stained cabinets in this home are nice, but I simply can't do a dark kitchen. 

The main changes in the kitchen will be: 

  • Cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Super White
  • We are thinking about butcher block countertops, see below
  • White subway tile backsplash
  • New cabinet knobs and pulls (possibly gold)
  • New sink and faucet, we both like the farmhouse sinks
  • We have our hearts set on GE's retro appliances 
  • New lighting above the sink and kitchen table

This is what it currently looks like. I'm thrilled to have a window above the kitchen sink, it was actually on my must-have home shopping list! 





Here are the kitchens that we'll be pulling ideas from, they are beautiful and I can't wait to use different elements from each one to make our bright airy kitchen! 










I'm going to save the bedrooms and bathrooms for a future post. Also, we have grand plans for the full empty walkout basement that we look forward to finishing sometime down the road! We will start moving in the first of the year and our projects will start right after we close in mid-January. Stay tuned as we bring our new home to life! 

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

With love xo
Wen 

p.s. all the inspiration photos are from my Pinterest board called Suburban Home and you can find all the sources here

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