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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

Witches Hats Halloween Cookies


If you're in need of a quick, fun, & spooky Halloween treat, these Witches Hats will be just what you need. I whipped these together in about 15 minutes and it only took five ingredients. 
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Her First Pumpkin


Last night we carved Magnolia's first pumpkin. Actually Ryan carved Magnolia's first pumpkin, and we watched. Her facial expressions ranged from curious to excited, and suspicious to joyful! It's fun to live life through her eyes. We knew the highlight of the evening's project was the pumpkin carving, but the newspaper that laid upon the table was equally as interesting for her. It's easy to forget that everything is still brand new to her. If I had to guess I'd say her favorite part of the night was watching her daddy pull the guts out of the pumpkin.
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Halloween Traditions & A Few Favorites


We are only two days away from our baby girl's first HALLOWEEN! Honestly, I've never been one to pull out all the spooky bats and spiders and witches hats, but now that she's here all of that is going to change. I want every holiday to be a huge celebration. Today we are carving her first pumpkin and we cannot wait to see her reaction to all the pumpkin guts. Ryan wants us to start a tradition of having chili every Halloween and so we will. I want to make a spooky dessert each year as well, and this year I'm going to make this for breakfast. We both love a good homemade granola.


We did her nine month family photos last night and it was BRRRR cold, the coldest night of the season! Magnolia had a red nose, but she did great considering she was sitting in a pile of leaves with three adults acting like monkeys trying to get her to smile. Ryan and I like to joke that she handles the cold so well because she was once frozen in time, literally. Our photographer showed me the back of her camera so I could get a little peek and they turned out so well. I cannot wait to get them back!

If you're in need of some Halloween cookie inspiration look at these spooky four. You only need 15 minutes to make the witches hats.

Our favorite book of the season.

I'm already living in black leggings, long cardigans and mules. This blouson sleeve long cardigan is a fall staple. I'm so happy mules are back in because they are comfy, my new favorite pair here.

For our photos last night I wore a very bold plum lipstick called Rebel by Mac. I think every girl needs a few bold lipsticks in her cosmetic bag.

I tried this necklace on last week and now I want to add it to my wish list for Santa. It's dainty and pretty!

A home tour with the most adorable little girl's rooms here.

In case you missed it, check out my Mermaid Hair recipe.

Wishing you and yours the SPOOKIEST and loveliest Halloween!!! xoxo
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Little Feminist


Ryan and I got into our first heated parenting argument the day this Little Feminist t-shirt arrived in the mailbox. Coincidently it arrived the same day that almost every single lady co-worker I've ever worked with was writing #metoo on social media and sharing their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace. I had just relived my memories of sexual harassment in the corporate world as Ryan was telling me how much he dislikes Magnolia's new t-shirt. And then we got into a two day long fight over it. Ryan felt that it was too heavy of a subject for our baby girl to be flaunting. I thought it was adorable + meaningful and I didn't think that we needed to overanalyze the depth of the subject. I want to believe that if progress for women's' rights are made now, Magnolia will get to think about rainbows, cotton candy, and unicorns just a little bit longer than past generations! We both have the same vision in mind and we came at it from two different extremes. I feel comfortable promoting the topics & movement on our baby girl and he'd prefer to shelter her from it.





When Ryan and I finally calmed down I think we both realized how fortunate we are to be arguing over such a topic. We are passionate parents and we want only the best for Magnolia, as all parents want for their children. This won't be the last time that we get into a fight about her!




If you're like me and think this tee is total cuteness for your little girl OR boy, you can find this one and several others over at Love Bubby. The Mama Is My Queen 🐝  tee is a favorite of mine. The sweet pastel rainbow can be found over on Etsy by Sunshine & Pine.

Hugs & Love XO
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Mermaid Hair & Postpartum Hair Loss


Let's talk about HAIR! One of my favorite subjects.


Before I had Magnolia I heard a lot about postpartum hair loss. I tried not to get too caught up in it and figured if it was going to happen there wasn't much I could do to stop it. Thankfully I didn't notice much loss, but I did make sure to do a few things to take care of myself and my hair after having her. I found this article on hair loss to be very helpful and it explains WHY it happens. It's actually because you have thicker hair during pregnancy, so technically your hair shouldn't be much thinner than it was BEFORE getting pregnant. And good news, by 6 to 12 months postpartum you should be back to your normal hair growth cycle.

Here are my tips for healthy hair:
1. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet and drink water all day long.
2. Take a multivitamin every single day. I take these postnatal/lactation vitamins before bed each night.
3. Use a quality shampoo & conditioner.
4. Limit washing and heated appliances. I wash my hair twice a week and I do blow dry and either straighten or curl with each washing. In between washing I use a dry shampoo on day two or three.
5. Brush your hair and massage your scalp daily. I can't do this if my hair is curly, but if its straight I like to take the time to brush it morning and night.
6. And, last but not least, apply MERMAID HAIR. The recipes and application details are below.


Mermaid Hair Oil 

In a two oz amber glass bottle
5 drops Lavender oil
5 drops Rosemary oil
Fill bottle with fractionated coconut oil

Apply to scalp and massage in for two to three minutes. Leave on for a few hours before washing. I do this once a week.

Mermaid Hair Leave-In Conditioner

In a two oz amber glass bottle
5 drops of Lavender oil
5 drops of Rosemary oil
Fill bottle with unsweetened coconut milk

Apply to scalp after washing and before drying. I do this after each washing. The spray bottle should be left in the refrigerator and the cold spray feels incredibly refreshing.

Rosemary oil when applied over the scalp helps stimulate hair growth. Many people also claim that it can prevent baldness, slows graying, and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp. More about it here.

Lavender oil possesses hair growth-promoting effects. It can also deepen the depth of hair follicles and thicken the thermal layer. More about it here.

I have a recipe that I've been using on my eyelashes and I'll share it here soon. Mermaid Hair will work on your eyebrows too!

Please let me know if you have any questions and to read more about joining the Young Living community click here. I love my oils and all the usage possibilities are endless, safe, and very beneficial for our entire family.

XO


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New Foyer Light


When we first moved into our home two years ago we changed almost every light fixture. We still have a few hall lights plus the bathrooms to update. The entry had a large gold crystal chandelier and I wanted to love it. I thought having a touch of the 90s would be fun and so we kept it. One day it dawned on me that no matter how much I try to love the darn thing, I just CANNOT do it. And this weekend with much delight it came down!

Ryan installed this black carriage style lantern and it's truly like a breath of fresh air now!


This is the 1990s chandelier that came down on Saturday morning.


The open frame makes the entry feel larger and I am a big fan of the dark clean lines. The way the light is casted on the ceiling now is a great focal point.






I debated between several lights before finally deciding on this one. I've linked all my favorites at the end of this post. If I could have convinced Ryan to get this one I would have!

XO


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A Weekend With Our Babe


This weekend we ate a bunch of tacos and drank whipped cream topped hot chocolates. We spent time outside soaking up all the fresh air and watching the sky rain with autumn leaves. It was a normal weekend, with nothing grand going on, but memory filled still. On our long walks we stopped at the elementary school and Magnolia went down a slide for the first time. We also stopped on the trails by our house so that she could see and feel all the crunchy leaves on the ground.
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October


Here we are right in the middle of October already. Our first autumn as parents, our first season of baby giggles + pumpkin spice everything. It's hard to believe that our little girl is going to dress up for her first Halloween in just a few short weeks. Each weekend we've marked items off of our Autumn Bucket List and we are simply grateful. Grateful for our little family, for our marriage, and that God blessed us with our Magnolia Caroline.


On Sunday we started our morning with pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls and then we took Magnolia and my mom to the Louisburg Cider Mill. The weather was a perfect sixty degrees with the fresh breeze smelling of cinnamon and apples. We listened to a live bluegrass band and drank hot apple cider and ate warm cider donuts. Magnolia danced on the table and clapped her little hands. And we managed to get home just in time to watch the football game and enjoy Oktoberfest beer.


I love dressing her up in fuzzy sweater tights and tutu dresses and I'm pretty darn happy to throw on a soft cardigan with a comfy pair of mules!



Last weekend we decorated our front porch for autumn with milo, white and pastel pumpkins, and the biggest mums I've ever seen. It feels warm & inviting and I'm so happy we took the time to spruce up our front porch for the coziest season of the year.


The old door & wreath were part of our wedding ceremony and we had saved them in our basement to use someday again. I think a touch of vintage looks good on fall decor.







Magnolia and I go to a weekly music class called Kindermusik and I do believe I enjoy it as much (maybe more) than her. I love to see her interacting with all the other little boys. Her class just happens to be ALL boys and we joke that one special boy is her boyfriend. The first few classes she sat close to me and was unusually quiet. By the third class she had warmed up to her friends and was talking and moving around with excitement and an adorable sense of comfort. When we are at home we are in our comfies, but when we go out I like to get her all dolled up!




I think we can start the countdown to Halloween now and all things SPOOKY. Our favorite book at the moment is Vampirina Ballerina, it's too cute! We just got it a few days ago and we've already read it about ten times.

XO


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Five Things Magnolia Will Grow Up Experiencing At Home


We had the best October weekend. On Saturday, Ryan and I went on our first date since Magnolia was born. My sister and niece came over to watch our baby girl so that we could go out to lunch for our two year wedding anniversary. We had one cocktail before our food came out, it was called The Bees Knees (I was quite fond of the name), and it had us both feeling pretty good. We don't drink often so it doesn't take much. We held hands, laughed about life, reminisced about all that we've been through in the past three years, and dreamed about our future together.







On Sunday we went to the pumpkin patch and bought all kinds of fall goodies to decorate our front porch. We actually went to the pumpkin patch three times, because we realized we needed more gourds once we got home, and we also went to the grocery store and two nurseries hunting for just the right white and pastel pumpkins. We drank pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas as we drove around town on a mission. During all this driving and hunting around, we noticed something about Magnolia that brings me to my writing this morning. When Ryan and I are in the front seat talking, when we start laughing, she starts laughing with us. It's the most adorable thing Ryan and I have ever heard. She does it all the time, when others are laughing, she'll wrinkle up her nose, squint her eyes, and then do an inhalation laugh (just like her momma and aunt Hay).









As Ryan and I are celebrating our two year wedding anniversary with our miracle baby girl, I'm reflecting on us and her. I realize that every single thing that we do affects her. She senses our emotions, she hears our conversations, she sees our affection, and on the contrary if there is tension or harsh words or negativity, she'll experience all of that right along with us. Of course Ryan and I are very aware of this and thankfully we don't have bad days often, but we do, just like anyone else. It was when she laughed with us in the car, when she had no idea what she was laughing about, but she heard her parents laugh so she did too, that it did something to me. It moved me to be even more conscious of myself and us. I want more than anything in this world for her to have more days of laughter and happiness than anything else. And it's on us for the most part; it's on Ryan and me to make that happen. It's our responsibility to make sure she experiences all the joy that is in this world. Instead of us focusing on the tragedies and the pain and the fear and the terror that fills our news stories, I want us to be present and show her the love that always surrounds her. All of that love starts at home, even on the simple Sunday mornings when it's just a coffee brewing kind of morning, when all we do is hang around the house in our jammies. I want her to see so much love & gratitude she doesn't know any better.

There are five things that Ryan and I do regularly, that I hope she'll look back on someday with gratitude.

1. Laughter. There is quite a bit of laughter shared between us and I didn't realize how often we laughed until Magnolia started to imitate us. I woke up Sunday morning to the Letter Board on our fireplace quoting a rap song. I sent a photo of it to my sisters who couldn't hold back the crying tears. Ryan is good about making sure his girls are always laughing. I want Magnolia to grow up knowing that moms & dads and husbands & wives spend more time laughing than anything else.

2. Affection. Ryan always opens the car door for me (unless his hands are full 😉 ) and when we are out shopping he'll jump in front of me to open the door for me and everyone else. He's a gentleman in this modern world. We often hold hands in the car and he hugs me all the time. He rubs my back and tickles my neck when we are waiting in line at places. He'll give me sweet kisses out of the clear blue sky. This weekend he was hugging me tight, for one of those extra long types of hugs, and Magnolia was watching us. I could see her taking in the love that we were sharing in that moment and I'm grateful that she'll grow up knowing that moms & dads and husbands & wives show sweet affection to one another.

3. Household chores. Ryan works very hard for us so that I'm able to stay at home with Magnolia. There are no words strong enough to express how grateful I am to be at home with her each day. Our roles within our marriage are very clear. I know that the household duties are my responsibility. I don't ask for help often, although Ryan often tells me to. Magnolia will grow up seeing a very traditional style of man & woman roles. The great part about all of this is that when Ryan comes home from travel he jumps in to help around the house without me even asking. There are mornings that I wake up and the dishwasher is completely emptied and all the towels are folded and ready to be put away. If I make a list of things I want to get done around the house on a particular weekend, it'll happen. He's a hard worker and when the weekend comes around he's here to take some of the weight off my shoulders. Magnolia will grow up seeing that moms & dads and husbands & wives help one another.

4. Dinner. We sit down to eat dinner together (without our cell phones) and we thank the Lord above for all of our blessings. It's a such a simple habit, but one that I believe can easily be taken for granted nowadays. Magnolia will grow up with this tradition engraved into her soul.

5. Communication & Gratitude. Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship, of any kind. Ryan and I have always been good at connecting and talking and just understanding one another, whether it be casual or serious. Being able to talk about the serious stuff from finances to work, morals, expectations, disappointments, goals, and dreams, is so very important. In my anniversary card Ryan listed the profound blessings from above that we've experienced since being together. I find that being grateful brings more happiness into life, than anything else. Being able to talk about and share our gratitude really takes it to the next level. Think about how great it feels when someone gives you a sincere "thank you," it sets the tone for the day. I woke up to Ryan thanking me for baking his mom's birthday cake. I didn't need a thank you, not at all, I loved making it and celebrating her birthday. I feel grateful for his sweet note of appreciation. It's really the most beautiful cycle. Magnolia will grow up in a home that overflows with gratitude and thanksgiving. I'll never tell her to say the words "thank you," but she'll surely witness and feel the love that comes from it. I hope that her heart is always full of gratitude.


This is just a very short list of all that I hope Magnolia witnesses and learns at such a young age. Ryan and I aren't perfect, we have bad days, and we argue and disagree and get frustrated like anyone else. I simply chose to focus on all the good stuff, and we have so much of it going around that I'm forever grateful. We are best friends and that is the first thing we'll teach Magnolia about life & love and husbands & wives.

XO
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Easy Crockpot Dinner | Sun Dried Tomatoes and Chicken Pasta


My baby brother is a chef or more like a culinary artist, and I'm more along the lines of a crockpot artist! In my opinion there's nothing better than prepping dinner in the morning, cleaning the kitchen, and then smelling the meal cooking all day long.

My current favorite is a sun dried tomato and chicken pasta dish. It's delicious + easy + and it has a warm feeling perfect for fall.


Ingredients

Jar of sun dried tomatoes
Two large chicken breasts
One yellow onion
Olive oil
Thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
Fresh basil
Seasoning, such as: salt, pepper, lemon pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder

CrockPot

In the crock pot add about two to three tablespoons of olive oil, two frozen chicken breasts, sliced onion, about 2/3 jar of sun dried tomatoes with the oil (save the rest for later), fresh basil and seasoning. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until the chicken can easily be shredded.


When you're ready to eat make the spaghetti in a big pot. Once cooked & drained add olive oil, the remaining sun dried tomatoes, and more seasoning. Lastly add everything from the crockpot, including all the oil and juices.

For a little extra you can add asparagus or mushrooms. Finish with more fresh basil and parmesan cheese. I like to have a big salad with mine and the leftovers are just as delicious.

xo
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