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Christmas at the Smied House + A Goldfish Swim School Giveaway!

Happy Christmas season!  I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks have felt really crazy for us here – we celebrated Isla’s first birthday (post coming soon!), celebrated Thanksgiving, and have been trying to decorate for the holidays.

The rule at our house is no Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving.  Last year I had a baby on Thanksgiving day, so we hardly decorated; this year I was ready to go ALL OUT on November 24th!

But my toddler had other plans.

She is so active now, that it’s hard to carve out time to get much done.  It took me over a week to get the Christmas tree setup (1 day), get the lights on the tree (4 days), and get the ornaments and tree topper on (another 3 days).

But now it’s done and she loves it!  She was only a few weeks old this time last year, so it’s really fun now to see her enjoying the snow, and looking at all of the Christmas lights.  It’s so precious watching her experience the magic of Christmas for the first time.

“Decorating” the tree = ripping bows and ribbon off presents and stuffing them into the branches.

We taught her right away that we don’t touch the tree – and she loves showing us the things she’s learned.  So she’ll crawl up to the tree, make sure we’re looking, and then wag her finger at the tree and say “no no!”.  Not touching the tree is pretty serious business to her.


Considering how long it’s taken me to get my decorating done, you can bet that I don’t have my Christmas shopping done yet.  How about you?

On that note, for my Metro Detroit readers out there – I have a great idea for a gift this year!  We have had an awesome experience this year at Goldfish Swim School of Ann Arbor, so I am really excited to give away one Goldfish Swim School Holiday Package to one lucky reader!  These packages are *adorable* and are a wonderful way to give the gift of experience (the best kind of gift!) and water safety.

This giveaway isn’t just for Moms & Dads, I’m also looking at you Aunts & Uncles, Grandparents, any of you out there with a special little one in your life!

The package contains:

  • 2 Months of Swim Lessons
  • Waived Registration Fee
  • Family Swim Passes
  • Fleece Blanket
  • Winter Hat

The winner will pick up their prize at Goldfish Swim School of Ann Arbor, and it can be redeemed at any of the 7 Metro Detroit area Goldfish Swim Schools:
Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Canton, Clarkston, Farmington Hills, Macomb, Rochester


Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway!  If you cannot see the Rafflecopter widget, you may need to reload the page (or if you’re viewing this in an email, click over to the post).

1 winner will be chosen randomly on December 15th at 12AM EST, and will be notified via email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck (I secretly hope you all win), and Happy Holidays!

Favorites Holidays

Easter + Spring Decor Favorites

Oh hey, April.  It’s almost Easter, and it’s my birthday month!  7 years ago last week, this happened:

Our Proposal: March 2010 | Sunset Celebration, Key West

I can’t believe it’s been that long since we got engaged in Mallory Square, it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.  I’m ready to go back to Key West, get some sunshine, and celebrate again – this time with our little lady!  People watching on Duval Street is THE BEST.

Speaking of warmer weather, I’m so excited to say that it has been consistently around 50 degrees for over a week now.

We’ll just skip over the fact that we’re supposed to get snow tonight.  It’s fine.

That means we throw the windows open, put on some jams, do some Spring cleaning, and my favorite part: DECORATE!  At least while the baby naps.  We’re right in the trenches of the 4 month sleep regression, and we are so tired – but still trying to be festive!  Does anyone remember that Toys R Us commercial from years ago, with all of the singing bunnies?  I always pull that up this time of year and watch it just to laugh.  Seriously, it’s adorable – here’s a link.  You’re welcome.

For decor, think bunnies, eggs, tulips, and pastels all over the place. So cheerful and warm after a long, gray winter season.  I’ve been scouring my favorite stores for some deals on great Spring decor, and came up with a list of my favorites to share with you.

1.  Antique Sign from Sugarboo & Co.
Super cute, not over-the-top cheesy Easter sign.  I love the simple colors and cute message.  But then again, I’m pretty obsessed with anything Sugarboo.  Her items are a splurge, but also timeless and so unique.

2.  Forsythia Wreath
I found this artificial wreath at Target – their Smith & Hawken line has the best seasonal wreaths.  I love the little pops of yellow, and the fact that it doesn’t *look* artificial.

3.  Rae Dunn Easter Serving Tray
So, I knew that Rae Dunn had the sweetest little line of coffee mugs, but it wasn’t until recently that I found out she also makes serving trays, dinnerware, cookie jars, you name it!  Her work is simple, and charming, but also really hard to find.  You can usually get lucky with Rae Dunn finds at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, and Amazon/Ebay – but not always.  So if you find something of hers you like, snatch it up!

4.  Wire Farmhouse Basket
Don’t you love everything at World Market?  This basket reminds me of those antique egg collecting baskets that you’d see on old farms – it would be perfect to store your own eggs in your kitchen.  Or if you’re just using it for decorative use for Easter, you could fill it with these wooden Easter eggs, also from World Market.

Source: Cost Plus World Market

5.  Woolie Ball Garland

Let’s face it: I am addicted to garland + bunting.  Whether they be pennants, flag bunting, or ball garlands, I love them and want them all over my house, all of the time.  Hooray Everyday makes THE cutest felt woolie ball garlands, for every season/holiday/occasion imaginable.  This Hello Spring // Woolie Ball Garland is so appropriate for the season, and would look adorable hung just about anywhere.  If you’re looking for something a little more neutral, this pottery barn ivory garland looks like little bunny tails.

6.  Green Plaid Easter Bunny Doormat
Another World Market find.  The green plaid looks like a green gingham, which I love.  Plus, BUNNIES.  It’s also made from coconut husk, which means it’s super durable and will last for many seasons.

Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons Blog

Finally, if you’re in the mood for some serious organizing on top of your Spring cleaning, you need this book. Toni is one of my all-time favorite organizational bloggers out there – and her book is a must have.

Happy Spring!

Family Holidays

March Comes in Like a Lion (+ Free Printable!)

Happy March!  It’s been a while, readers!  A whole month, to be exact.  I’ve had my hands full with a sick little baby for the last few weeks.  Daycare with other babies leads to germs and viruses being spread like wildfire.  Isla had her first cold  over 3 weeks ago, which lasted a week, turned into another week of coughing, and then ramped up again week 3 as baby bronchitis and double ear infections.  It’s been a month of runny noses, scary coughs, fevers, sleepless nights, and an extremely fussy baby.  We’ve just been trying to keep up – which is why projects and blogging have been mostly on hold.

Luckily, she’s on the mend now and getting back to being herself.

Baby in March St. Patrick's Day Onesie lying on faux-sheepskin rug.

Isla-doodle. Happy Go Lucky.

This week we hit a major milestone: she slept in her crib for the first time!  It was a big deal for all of us, and she did great!  She was outgrowing her bassinet in our room, so it was time.  We have a very talkative little lady who lost her voice from all of the coughing last week, but tries using her voice almost every minute she’s awake, which makes her now sound like a growling cat.  She thinks it’s pretty hilarious (we do, too.).

Can you believe it’s almost SPRING!?  We got a few inches of snow dropped on us this week as a final “see you next year!” from winter.  It really hasn’t been that bad of a winter so far, so I can deal.

(Almost) Spring = St. Patty’s Day!  In honor of that, I’ve created a free printable of my Green Beer chalkboard sign.  I loved creating this sign last year and hope you love it, too!

Paper straws are the cutest.

March Printable – Click on the PDF to download:
Green Beer Chalkboard Sign

I formatted this print to fit a 8″ x 10″ frame – just print + hang + enjoy.  Maybe have a beer while you’re at it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



Halloween at Smied House!

I’ll be honest here – with the anticipation/midwife appointments/hospital tour/nursery prep of Baby Smied’s impending arrival, I haven’t been as festive as I usually am for Halloween.  It is right up there with Christmas for me, I LOVE it!  But I’ve been a little distracted.


I’m not dressing up this year, mostly because nothing fits at this point, but that doesn’t mean I won’t decorate!


dsc_2334Can we just take a look back at my most favorite couples costume that Jeremy and I ever wore: 1950’s husband and wife.  We actually won a $100 costume contest that night, it was SO much fun.  Jeremy got a lot of comments on how he not only looked like a 1950’s husband, but also a 1950’s NASA scientist.


I also want to play the following movies on a loop:

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Hocus Pocus
Practical Magic

dsc_2339Pillows: Amazon

Target Pumpkin Candy Bowl

Pumpkin Candy Bowl: Target | Similar HERE

Jeremy and I are already daydreaming about what we’ll be dressing up as (as a family!) next Halloween.  If Jeremy has his way, it will definitely be Ghostbusters-themed.

What are you dressing up as this year?
Smied Watermark