In the NAVY

    As most of you know I am alone this week. Matt had to go underway and I definitely underestimated how lonely/bored I would be. I was sick all weekend and that took up a lot of time (especially since I spent two days watching both seasons of DOWNTON ABBEY and let's just say I'M OBSESSED), but now that I am well and more bored than ever, (NEED MORE DOWNTON ABBEY) what to do?!? Well craft of course. I finally took the sewing machine out of the box and my first project is to update my burlap table runner. The runner is from my wedding and is trimmed in fabrics that coordinated with my other colors, it is also a little wide for the pub table. I am going to go with a simple trim fabric, maybe something blue or ivory. My plan is for that room to have a nautical theme. After we put the map up I just couldn't see it being any other way. There is a lot of blue in the map and all my furniture is wood or wicker so it just fit. The blue in the map is much lighter than I will use. I am going for something much bolder. I have two upholstered chairs from IKEA that are currently a blank canvas waiting for me to cover them in something fun and nautically. I found a great website with tons of wonderful fabric choices. 

As nautical as it gets, folks. 
(all via pinterst)

   Since, we are in the Navy it is only fitting that I dedicate an entire room's design to it. The possibilities are endless and lucky for me I'm near the beach so I have plenty of inspiration :).

   Other craft projects on the agenda: I was intrigued by all the painted vases and jars I have been seeing on Pinterest so I decided I'd give it a try. I had a lot of glassware leftover from my wedding but really didn't have any ideas for it all. I found some small pieces and got some paint and just tested it out. They haven't dried out yet but they look pretty neat so far. They look less saturated in real life. I'll take a better shot once they are dry.
     Stay tuned for updates on today's craft adventures.

     I will end with this cutie. Who would have known she would be growing this fast. It makes me sad!! Our idea for little Scout was to keep me company while Matt is away this year(most of 2012)(my deployment buddy). Well this week she was put to the test and she is a little blessing. I have someone to talk to, cuddle with and take care of. She is the best. And will be even better when she is potty-trained 100%. Have a fab Tuesday everyone, xoxo.

----Mrs. B. Smith



     Sorry for the break!! This week has been a little crazy. We had a wonderful Valentine's Day, in and all my recipes turned out great. Matt ended up working until 8 Wednesday, and came home sick Thursday with some kind of stomach bug. I underestimated the bug and thought he was just exhausted. He left for an underway early, early Friday morning and I had to make sure to get him fully packed (since he was sick) before then. Before I finally went to bed, I realized I was SICK!!! UGH. So yesterday was spent trying to feel better. Also trying not to think about Matt being gone for a WEEK. I am such a sissy, I purposely stayed up late so I would fall right to sleep when I decided to lay down. He was suppose to email yesterday (and I'm sure he did) but I haven't received anything yet. 
    In the midst of my crazy week, we got Brittany and Rob's plane tickets booked for March! Lots of stuff planned for that week. Unfortunately, we just found out that Matt would be out to sea for 4 weeks and won't be here when they are here. It works out for me, because they will be here to keep me company :). The funny thing about their trip is neither of them has ever flown and the flight from Memphis to Norfolk is not direct so they will have 2 flights their first day of flying ha. I'm sure they will be fine (fingers crossed). 
    Scout has really been giving me a run for my money lately... I swear just when I think we are getting somewhere she disregards all her previous training. For example, this morning we got up and were going to go out, and before I could even get my shoes on, she walked through the kitchen (passed all her puppy pads) and went potty in my dining room floor, WHILE LOOKING AT ME, telling her NO!! You can imagine my frustration at that point. We got her as my 'deployment buddy' and hopefully by deployment she will be less of a handful. We have our next vet appointment Wednesday, looking forward to seeing how much she has grown. She looks so much bigger!! Her head is no longer the biggest part of her body ha (now her belly)!  
Here are some pictures & recipes from the week :)

Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

    The cheesecake bites were really simple... I wanted something easy&fast so I bought the no bake kit and only used what I needed. Delish!! And let me tell you, those mushrooms were to die for!! We could have made a meal out of those alone! So yummy!!

I need everyone's opinion on something... I think I am about to get a serious haircut.
This is the most recent (decent) picture of my current hair

This is the bob from 08-09.

And this is the happy medium I've found.

What do you think? Should I stay the same, go all the way with the bob or meet in the middle (kinda) with Sophia Bush's cute cut??

----Mrs. B. Smith


Weekend Update & Valentine's Dinner :)

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone 
I had the best weekend with Matt's parents!! It was just perfect, except for the fact that it was probably the busiest work week(end) Matt has had in a long time. He ended up working late Friday and then half a day Saturday and ALL DAY Sunday. But we made the best of it and it was truly a pleasure having his family around. Ready for them to come back already. Scout even enjoyed them. She has been quite a handful this morning. GEEZ. 
Okay so on the menu tonight:

Spaghetti and meatballs: I have gathered a recipe for both separately from different websites. I really didn't want to make 40 meatballs so I found a recipe that was just for 2 and I am doing a homemade sauce.
Garlic bread & Salad
Cheesecake stuffed strawberries ( for  2 ): Found a recipe online too. I am only making a few so we aren't left with tons all week. 
WINE: Whatever he picks up.

I ended up getting creative with my funds and getting him a wonderful Valentine's day present. See his Birthday and Christmas all landed fairly close to the wedding so I skimped out big time. I am making up for it this holiday. I'm not sure how often he is keeping up with the blog so I won't post until tomorrow. Just in case. Okay dog's barking at me. Time to go out.. Yeah, we started going potty outside, BIG GIRL!!!! XOXO

----Mrs. B. Smith


Sore mom, needy dog, yummy turkey ;)

Good Morning everyone!
   I am so sore from the gym... hahaha. I figured I would be but OUCH! No pain no gain! I did some cardio and then switched from workouts I learned at Pure Barre and CrossFit. I was all over the exercise map. For dinner, I literally just threw together leftovers from all weekend. We ended up with a feast but all the extra food is gone so it was a success.
   The turkey we fried this weekend was OUTSTANDING. If you have never had a fried turkey ( like I hadn't ) go fry one now! So juicy and tender. I'll never eat a non-fried turkey.

Let's break it down:
Turkey: $21
Beer & Butter: already had it :)
Fryer: $50 (used 3x now)
Prep time: 30 minutes and maybe overnight if you do a rub
Cooking Frying time: 45 minutes
Feeds: 10-20 easily

So however you wanna do that math, it adds up to totally WORTH IT!

   I chose Tuesdays to clean my sheets and bedding.. Oh joy, my dryer gets to work double time today. By the time Matt gets home from work I'm sure it will just be drying its second load. Luckily it is chilly here today so the extra heat won't be such a bad thing. I also have to get to the grocery store. I attempted to get some recipes from Pinterest but I just get so ADD. I think I am going to do stuffed shells (a recipe from my mom), still looking for some other yummy, easy recipes for all meals. One of my distractions was looking at chocolate mousse... I think I was just craving chocolate but I may have to try my hand in that. I'll update all recipes later. The curtains. still. aren't. HUNG. I am being a good, quiet wife about it, until today.. haha I am going to try to do it myself first and then he can will hang them. So with that said, I am going to go get the drill and get to hanging. Pictures to come when they are finally up! Geez! 

Scout update: Her vet visit went something like this:

naive 1st time pet owner (me): We love our baby dog sooo much!
vet: well she will cost as much as a baby.
N1TPO(me): (puzzled) oh. We love our baby dog sooo much!
vet: yeah, she has this this this and this all wrong, BUT don't worry that's NORMAL for a French Bulldog and we can do it all for this $$$$ on this day. 
N1TPO (me): oh great, wonderful, tears. . . .we (sob) love (sob) our (sob) baby (sob) dog 

  Of course I was the most dramatic pet parent that had ever walked the halls of Virginia Beach Veterinary Hospital but still being told your dog has a weird leg, a hernia, and a unformed skull or something less dramatic than that... it can be a little overwhelming. 

   The look on my face was at a constant wide-eyed state as he kept reassuring me that 'everything is fine', 'totally normal', 'nothing to worry about, yet', 'we will keep watching it', 'just don't let anyone accidentally kick her' )#(&*$(#*&%!!! Other than the doomed cost of pet ownership, we love our vet very much and are glad we have them to take care of little Scout and all her genetic health probs. She really is our little baby. We get up with her at night, we clean poop off of other surfaces besides her diaper(puppy pad), she whines, crys, screams (barks), if she isn't getting attention and she is a little clumsy. Oh and we are exhausted and this is what I hear only a fraction of a real human baby. Well the baby store can keep its babies for a LONG TIME. We are barely hanging on with the baby bulldog. **As mommy writes about her parenting woes, baby bulldog sleeps (snoring/grunting) not so soundly next to her. **

Off to take care of home & pup. xoxo.
----Mrs. B. Smith


Weekend Recap

    We had a very busy weekend. Game night two nights in a row and then the ultimate game night, the SuperBowl. Needless to say, we slept in this morning and by we I mean me and Scout. ha. The best way to recap the weekend is by the food I made. First off I whipped up some of the most delicious chocolate chip cookies. I basically had everything to make them and I was having a need to bake moment so 30 minutes later I had 45 cookies ha. Luckily we had plenty of people in and out all weekend to eat them up, so now there are none for me to snack on. I also made the Smoky chicken pasta and it was as good as ever! Saturday morning I made pancakes for the first time. Very easy and so good. I even added some mini chocolate chips. Saturday night I made ham and cheese sliders and some 'healthy' potato skins.' Both were so simple and so tasty. Sunday I made a little chocolate cake in my 7'' cake pans and took it to the Superbowl party. Remember this is the day I start fresh, I knew this all weekend and I ate like it was my last, especially last night. I went to the gym today as promised and am looking forward to tomorrow already. Once Matt gets home it's HOME IMPROVEMENT time for real. We attempted curtains this weekend and it was a disaster, we are going for round 2 today. Fingers crossed. I also have to make a grocery list/meal plan for the week and modify it for our company!!! So excited. 

Smoky chicken pasta & delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Scout's first walk!!

Most favorite picture that has ever happened.

Chocolate chip pancakes!!

In all the excitement of game night I didn't take any pictures of the sliders or the potato skins but here are their recipes:

Ham and Cheese Sliders

24 good white dinner rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip
[I used 20 rolls, provolone and no miracle whip]

Poppy seed sauce 
1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
[ I didn't have any onion to mince still tasty though]

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Broccoli and Cheddar Skinny Potato Skins
2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dry
Spray oil salt and pepper
2 oz Cabot's 75% Light Vermont Cheddar, shredded 
1 cup cooked broccoli florets, chopped

Pierce potato with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook about 5 minutes per potato. When finished, allow to cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes leaving about 1/4 inch thick wall. 

To Make In the Oven: 
Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Fill with cheese and broccoli, place on a broiler pan and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Try them out!!! YUM! :) xoxo

----Mrs. B. Smith


Happy Friday!

   Happy Friday to everyone!!! 
   I'm not even working but I feel such relief when the weekend comes. It means Matt is home and can watch Scout while I do other things beside watch Scout. ha. Speaking of Miss Scout, she has her vet appointment today so we gave her a bath last night and had to put her collar on her today. She has been trying to itch it off all morning.She wore herself out over it. 

     We chose our vet because he actually has a French Bulldog and he is the owner so another plus. This is going to be so helpful especially when I am left to care for Scout all by myself later this year. Vet on speed dial. Our breeder, Becky, is also amazing. She has tons of cheap tips since she has so many dogs she can't front high med bills so her vet tells her all the at home remedies and she has no issues sharing with us! Great woman. If anyone is in the market for a new French bulldog or English bulldog, OR just wants to see the cutest puppies on the planet in one place check out her website here. I promise you will die a little from cuteness overload. If I wouldn't have been in a cute coma the day we got Scout I would have snapped a picture of all 8 Frenchies in the pen together, laying and jumping on each other... precious doesn't even begin to describe. Okay seriously check it out, just for the pictures at least. Start your Friday off right!
     On the docket for the weakend: we are hosting our first Game Night tonight with some of our friends. Since we got engaged, plans have been in the work for weekly/bi-weekly game night. It's all we talked about when we all got together up here. SO tonight is the night. Of course, we have NO games, so a friend is bringing some ha. I'm making that delicious Smoky Chicken Pasta we had earlier this week. I am tweaking the recipe a little bit to make a bigger batch. No science or math involved here. Just adding 3 extra chicken breast and kinda doubling the sauce. No plan yet, except the chicken is marinating in the crockpot all day. YUMM. My mom is also making it tonight too. I'm telling you all, it's the BOMB. Saturday is reserved for home improvements. One set of my curtains came in yesterday so we are going to go ahead and hang all the rods (in both master and guest room). I managed to iron all my old brown curtains to begin pinning the burlap on today so maybe a little sewing in the further. Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath. And then Super Bowl Food Sunday. Turkey is in the fridge thawing now. The checkout lady was curious as to why I would be buying a turkey 'this time of year'. I explained to her that a $20 turkey feeds a lot more people than $20 worth of hot wings ;). She agreed. Fried, beer, butter turkey coming up. 
     Last night I was going to make the cheeseburger pie, UNTIL, I cut my finger. I got some pretty awesome (dangerous) knives for a wedding gift from my grandparents, just the ones I wanted, BUT they are a killer if you aren't careful. The knife barely hit the tip of my thumb, like a graze, but since this is such a serious blade..SLICE.. BLOOD. No cheeseburger pie. SO meatloaf instead, easier and Matt mixed it since both his hands are in tact. I mashed some potatoes and roasted asparagus (our go to veg). And we finished off the cheesecake last night... very sad to see it go. That was the best cheesecake I've ever eaten! 
     As I finished off my last piece of cheesecake, I decided that MONDAY, no sooner, it's gym and healthy time. Since I have been here I have been cooking with real butter... a lot of it too. Dinners are the killer around here. I don't eat throughout the day much but I make a big dinner and I'm still going to have fun cooking just healthier (much healthier) meals. Matt bought the most intense juicer you've ever seen last year and I thought about kicking it off with a little juice fast, but honestly I don't think I could handle my own mood if I did that. I may do some substituting though. We juiced last year a good bit and I enjoyed it, I just love a hot meal too much to give it all up, even for just 10 days. By Monday I will be a member at Matt's gym and my PLAN is to hit it up everyday (during the day) for their classes. They have classes all day, every day. One hour a day. Hold me accountable friends!! 
    Alright folks, I have a sleeping puppy that leaves me wide open until she decides to wake up and need my full attention for another couple hours. 
Must be nice :)
And a big thanks to Whitney at That's Influence with the wonderful blog name tip :)!! She has blogging down to an art!
----Mrs. B. Smith


blog name???

Guys, I need a blog name. I am far too indecisive to come up with something that is plastered on the internet forever. HELP. All suggestions will be helpful. All the ones I've seen are so dang clever and I have "The Smith's" blah. So let me know what you think. 

----Mrs. B. Smith

Crafting, finally

   Yesterday was a fairly productive day. I left Scout for the first time in her crate, in the kitchen. I was gone for over two hours and when I got home I swear she was just waking up from the nap she was taking when I left her. I'm telling myself that at least. I managed to make it to Michael's and get my craft on for a bit which is always good. I realized though that I left a lot of my main crafting tools/twine (twine is one of my go to craft favorites. I buy in bulk) back in Memphis and it made me very sad. I managed to finish a project or two with what I had. I'm just going to have to rebuild my stock up again. This is what I did: 

    A moss covered wreath. This project should be done outside. Moss is a very messy material. (I learned the hard way and will be vacuuming all morning.) I was going to do an "S" but I decided a wreath would go better in my guest room. My plan is to hang it in between the two windows. I rigged two curtain rods into one super long one to hang across both windows. I have some simple brown tab curtains that I am going to spruce up on the machine with some burlap and buttons. My guest room has my old bedroom furniture that I adore, it just needs some more love to make it perfect. Going to pick up some hardware tomorrow and get the curtain rod hung and then maybe bust out the sewing machine to work on the curtains :). Deadline of course is when the Smith's come to visit next Thursday. Whatever I can get done will be a big plus. I have some other frames that we will probably hang this weekend. Hoping to see the UPS guy before Friday with my new bedroom curtains. Matt needs to go ahead and hang those rods, today.. ha. After curtain/guest room project I plan on working on the dining room. It is in serious need of some TLC. I love the table, chairs, rug and now my big awesome map that I love more each day but it needs more. The room lacks in lighting and also furniture. I am hoping to get this cabinet soon and it will double as kitchen storage too. 
via o.co
    Isn't it perfect?? And it's under $150!!! The doors slide to close off the front completely. They have a solid glass front one too that I want for the kitchen once Scout moves out ;). In the meantime, I have some white curtains that I've used in my other apartments that I'll hang in there until I make some of my own. I just need to pick up some rods. I've decided to use what I have until I am absolutely positive I want to invest on a particular style. 
    After reading (skimming) the big book about cleaning and housekeeping it has inspired me to invest in a deep cleaning regiment. I am looking for a type of chart to break it down for me to just check off day to day, week to week, and then every month. Until then I was wondering if any of you have a favorite cleaning product? One of my favorite products to do quick cleaning with is Clorox wipes. They are wonderful and safe on all surfaces. We buy in bulk at Sam's. 
    For dinner I made the Hasselback potatoes, delish!!! You can find several recipes on Pinterest for them. 

Hasselback Potatoes
  • Basically, just slice your potatoes almost all the way through. 
  • Place garlic and butter slices in between the layers. 
  • Sprinkle with pepper, salt, fresh rosemary, and drizzle with olive oil. 
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 40-60 minutes. I did about 45, but I may try for a solid hour next time. 
We also had a bunch of veggies and salmon (for me) & tilapia (for Matt). Tonight I am going to make a hamburger pie. Matt's mom, Susan, gave me a rather tasty looking recipe. 

     Quick update on Miss Scout last night. We moved her crate into our bedroom (genius) and when it was time for bed I brought her in the room and placed her in her crate. She whimpered just a second until she saw that I was right next to her on the bed. She slept soundly until 2:30a. She took a potty break and then right back in the crate and right back to sleep until daddy woke up at 4:30 and another pee&poo and back to bed until 7:30. Good Morning to me! I slept wonderfully. I know I said earlier this week that it was 'great' that she was sleeping with us... I didn't know how great, great could be and her being in her crate is truly great. We are so proud of little Scout. Everyone have a great day :). xoxo.

----Mrs. B. Smith


The dog days are not over...

Little Scout is quite the handful these days. She still had an upset stomach last night and I found out the hard way on my bedroom and dining room floor all in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, we will be exercising our right to use the crate. It's best for all of us. I spent all morning researching tips on how to control biting and chewing too... so as you can see we mean business now. Heading out to PetSmart today to pick up some Bitter Apple and spray it on all her favorite chewing spots,which include but are not limited to the corner of my rugs, her doggy gate, kitchen chairs, crate, shoes, and my feet. After Friday she will get to explore the great outdoors, once she is all checked out at the vet. Hopefully that will get her excited about training. Wishful thinking probably. We love her, she is just lots and lots of work. 

So dinner got derailed because of puppy probs, so we went with the always easy toad in the hole (egg in the hole) with bologna this time!

1 piece of bread ( I used a big wheat slice )
1 piece of bologna 
1 egg
butter, salt, pepper, paprika(optional)

  • Butter one side of your bread and place your bologna on the other side. 
  • Use a cup, biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or anything that gives you about a 2in hole. 
  • Lay the bread and bologna, bologna side down to fry. 
  • After you think it is fried enough flip it over, bread side down now. 
  • Crack your egg in the center, salt and pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  •  Flip it one last time, being careful not to let it all fall apart. A big turner will do the trick. It only needs a minute on the other side to finish any cooking. 
  • Once it's done, plate it up sprinkle a little paprika if you want and whalaaa, toad in the hole. 
Don't forget about the center you punched out, that can be fried up too :). Try it out, so easy and so fun to eat! next time I'll post a picture but here is one I made a while back, sans the bologna. DELISH. No time for pictures but I did spruce them up with my heart shaped cookie cutter!
   The cheesecake was amazing! I don't think I could ever make a no-bake again. It was so delicious I had 1.5 pieces. haha. Looking forward to an appropriate time to eat some more, after lunch maybe? I've decided to post picture of the less than pretty (compared to the beautiful picture) cheesecake. No judgements!!
   Superbowl Sunday is approaching and as always I am more interested in friends and food than football. Matt purchased a turkey fryer over Christmas and enjoys the occasional fried turkey, this weekend would mark one of those occasions. Picking up a turkey today and thawing Thursday-Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing how it's all done. The last two turkeys I missed out on but got some sweet video footage. I'll make sure to post some pics/vids for all your viewing pleasure. I am also planning on making the fabulous Chocolate/Pecan Pie I made two weeks ago. I have all the ingredients, including the pie crust and it was such a hit I thought why not?? I am looking for one more dish to make, maybe something savory. Side note, we are going to a friends, and NOT eating an entire pie and fried turkey alone. ha. 

I'm off to PetSmart to hopefully buy some of my sanity back. Wish me luck. xoxo

----Mrs. B. Smith