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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.


Memorial Day Weekend

My first memorial day weekend as Mrs. Smith in our little pink house. It's officially summer, and days poolside can begin anytime. My heart is full of so much happiness and my thoughts often wander to all I have to be grateful for in this sweet little world. 
I'll remember our visit to the cemetery to drop off flowers graveside for my grandma and papa, this is the first year without my grandma here. She visits me in my dreams and they are vivid and real. It's amazing, especially when I can put the messages and signs together in the days that follow her dream visits. When I'm alone and driving, I look at the beautiful clouds and I'm full of emotion missing her, yet I feel so close to her at the same time. 
We went on a country drive and let the cool breeze and sun that was slowly setting lead our way. We listened to Willie Nelson and held hands in his truck, as the sweet summer air blew through the open windows. We saw farm animals and old barns and fluffy white clouds, and we felt blessed to be alive and together. 

We took naps and I fell asleep in his arms. Our little pup is always the happiest when she's nestled between us. 

I cooked an all American breakfast on Sunday morning before our trip to Powell Gardens. The day was hotter than I had expected it to be, and I drank ice cold water as I walked with my hand in his. We watched the babies play in the fountain, and butterflies dance in the flowers. We smelled white magnolia blooms and dreamed of our days ahead. We saw the water lilies beginning their new life. We came home to the cool air conditioner and watched the Royals win. It was a simple day full of God's miracles and so much joy. 

Our house has bunny rabbits and baby birds on every corner. I actually watched two baby birds on our front porch take their first flight and it was exciting. Sunday night, as Ry was working on the fence, we found a nest with the prettiest blue eggs on our back porch. 

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or hatch. -- Charlotte's Web

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Wishing you a joyful and grateful start to your summer! 

With love xo 
Wendy Correen Smith
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Nordstrom's Sunglasses Under $25

Did you know that Nordstrom has an entire section of chic sunglasses under $25? I've always been a lover of new shades, and normally I splurge on the pricey ones. I saw these on the Nordstrom website and ordered them without any idea how'd they fit. Sure enough they fit perfect and they are fun. I can't say they'll last forever because I can definitely tell they are lighter weight and not super great quality, but they are cute, cheap, and fun. The bonus is, I don't have to be paranoid about them getting damaged at the pool and I can get a few different styles to mix up my look this summer! I shared some of my favorites at the end of this post. Go snag a pair! 

This is the pair I'm wearing here

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm hoping to have an update about our journey to Baby Smith soon. We are still waiting and waiting, and trusting in God's timing. 

Yours truly xo 
Wendy Correen Smith
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Neutral Baby Nursery

As we are in the season of waiting for our baby and doing IVF, I am using my free time to do things like this. Dream up his or her nursery. We currently have two all white bedrooms upstairs that I don't want to decorate until it's time to make our baby's room. I went wild pinning last night on my BABY Pinterest board. One good thing about this time is that we are going to be very prepared once we become parents! I am pretty much in LOVE with this nursery by Sarah Sherman Samuel. She selected a light and whimsical palette for her baby boy, with a lot of natural materials in their raw state, like the bamboo mirrors, unfinished wood crib, and the natural reed baskets, and then she added color with the vintage peach rug, toys, and painted dresser. The wallpaper is custom from one of her own patterns. I have about 100 nurseries that make my heart skip a beat, so I'll surely be stealing ideas from all of them, but this one is pretty high on my favorite list. She did a wonderful job on baby Archer's room. Head on over to her blog to find more details about his room. 

Design and photographs by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Shop elements of this nursery below. 

Follow along for more baby inspiration on Pinterest here

Also, did you see this post from yesterday. This song by Garth Brooks makes me tear up every time I hear it. 

I'm on Instagram @wendycorreen, stay in the loop with our Journey to Baby Smith there. 

I plan to stock up on simple white knit swaddle blankets like this.

Thanks for reading! 
xo Wen
Wendy Correen Smith
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Waiting for you xo

Wendy Correen Smith
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Country White Bread

Hello loves. Today I'm sharing a super easy recipe for country white bread. If you decide to give this bread a whirl, make sure you read my warning at the bottom of this post. I'd hate for anyone else to do what I did last night. Despite my little accident, the bread turned out delicious. It's simple white bread, but from the waiting for it to rise, to the help Ry gave me in the kitchen, to the smell of bread baking in the house, it was a joyful process done with care (next time it'll be done with even more care). I love the rustic look with the crusty top and bottom. I plan to make more loaves to gift. This would be a great gift for your Mother's Day loves. Just wrap it in wax paper, tie with twine, insert a flower or leaves from the yard, and include a handwritten note. I'll instagram a photo of mine later @wendycorreen

It only takes three ingredients plus water. And no kneading. The last bread I baked took a lot of work, whereas this one takes a little patience. Something I'm learning to embrace each day. 

The orange measuring cup used to belong to my grandma. I can't tell you how many times I watched her using them in the kitchen as she baked for our family. 

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I only used flour)

Step 1
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Step 2
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Step 3
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Step 4
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. I used our deep multi-purpose Calphalon pot. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. With oven mitt on shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

This is my warning portion. I hate that a beautiful post about rustic country bread has to end like this, but I made a really dumb move as I was getting ready to put the dough in the oven. Ry and I were in the kitchen together, and he was helping me get the dough from the towel into the pot that we had just removed from the 450 degree oven. I had taken my oven mitts off at this time. We got the dough in the bottom of the pot. I was reading my recipe from NY Times and it said to shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed. You'll notice the warning I added to the recipe above. Ry had just said, "now don't grab the pot." And within seconds of him saying that I read the directions again and grabbed the pot handles with my bare hands to shake the dough in place. He had said that to me because he knew instinctively an empty pot could be grabbed with bare hands, and I've never put a pot like this in the oven to pre-heat before. It was a dumb move, but we both understood how it could happen. As you can imagine there was some hysteria in the kitchen at this point. I was freaking out. I thought I needed to go the hospital at first. Ry broke off some of the Aloe Vera plant that is in our kitchen window. We smeared the Aloe juice all over both of my hands and I was trying to figure out what all was burnt, because it felt like all of both hands were on fire. Ry got the dough in the oven, per my panicked request, and as that was baking he ran to the pharmacy and talked to the pharmacist about what to do. He came home with a bag full of gauze, burn spray, and Neosporin. He forgot the gauze tape, but he wrapped my fingers with the worst burns and tied it in a knot. I only had the gauze on for a few hours before taking it off to reapply the burn spray and then more Aloe. This morning I have small burns on the tip of most of my fingers, a blister on my thumb, and a bigger burnt area on my right hand. It's not as bad as I had originally thought it would be. I guess this comes with the territory of baking. Just make sure you are careful if you bake this bread, as I hope you do, because it's really easy and fun and delicious. 

With love xo
Wendy Correen Smith
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Recipe | Brazil Nut Protein Balls

Good morning to you! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I did. My nephew was born Saturday morning and we are all in love. I'll share photos and details about him in an upcoming post. 
Today's post is for my Trying To Conceive (TTC) Sisters, or anyone that wants to enjoy a nutritious ball full of protein + vitamins. All the ladies going through IVF right now probably know that we should be consuming nutritious foods, especially pomegranate juice, avocados, pineapple with the core, and brazil nuts. There are plenty of studies on the benefits of these specific foods and fertility. I'm writing about the brazil nuts today, and sharing this recipe for the protein balls, because I think the brazil nuts are kind of gross alone. I was trying to choke them down each day and I just couldn't do it. I like to enjoy what I eat, as do most people. I went on the hunt for a recipe that would make these things enjoyable, and I found this one and it's so easy and they truly taste delicious now. Ry ate one and agreed, they are good! 
Before I share the recipe I want to share WHY they are good for you, just in case you are like me and want to know the reasons you should be eating certain foods. 
Carley Mendes, the blogger behind Oh Baby, shared the following information about Brazil Nuts. 

"Brazil nuts are an incredible source of selenium, which is a mineral that helps to thicken the uterine wall, and a healthy lining aids implantation.
Selenium also works as a mild anticoagulant that can increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, which may also increase the chance of conceiving. 
The anticoagulant properties in selenium can also help to prevent blood clotting. Sometimes the lining of the uterus and a developing fetus can develop a blood clot, which may lead to an early miscarriage. Aspirin is commonly recommended to women who have suffered from multiple miscarriages, because aspirin thins the blood and can greatly reduce the likelihood of a clot developing.
Selenium also works as an antioxidant and can assist in creating a healthy environment for a developing egg by decreasing damaging free radicals in the body."

To find more information on pineapple for conception & brazil nuts for implantation, visit Oh Baby.  
WHEN to start eating Brazil nuts?
A fellow TTC sister asked when the pomegranate juice, pineapple, avocados, and brazil nuts should be eaten and I didn't know the answer. I simply started eating all of these goodies after doing my research on the benefits. I figured it'd be good to eat them regularly starting now versus trying to time it based on the IVF calendar. 
I did look into her question. A fertilized egg burrows into the uterine lining about a week after ovulation, so consume 2-3 brazil nuts per day, from the day of ovulation until 10 days post ovulation. You can adjust this information according to your IVF calendar. 
Brazil nuts must be fresh and raw only, not roasted or cooked. I found raw brazil nuts at Trader Joe's and on Amazon. 
Brazil Nut Protein Balls
1 1/2 cups Brazil nuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup protein powder (I used this from Whole Foods
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of Brazil nuts, chopped (to roll into the balls)
Add 1 1/2 cups of Brazil nuts to a food processor and process for about 20-30 seconds so there are still chunky pieces of nuts. I don't have a food processor so I used the blender and it worked just fine.* Then add in the remaining ball ingredients and process until it is well mixed. 
*the remaining ingredients didn't mix well in the blender, so I moved everything to a bowl and just stirred it all up
Next, roll the balls into the chopped Brazil nuts and refrigerate until ready to eat. 
Then enjoy with a glass of pomegranate juice! 
Wendy Correen Smith
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