Girl’s Night with Nina!

My SIL Nina is great. She just is.

She is so thoughtful and is a great friend to me. I was lucky to get an invite to a girl’s night in party at her place last weekend, where movies, nails, games, etc. were on the menu.

I thought this was going to be a low key night by the sounds of it, but man Nina went all out! Once I walked in and saw all of her decorative goodies I was instantly in the mood to party. First off she had this amazing popcorn bar set up with all kinds of toppings to mix in with your popcorn.

She also had this big batch of “Pink Panty-droppers” made for us…these are dangerously good (thus why frats serve this at parties, giving this drink it’s name – wink wink), proceed with caution. It is usually made with light beer, vodka, and pink lemonade concentrate.

Oh, and there were also these bad boys:

To top it all off she even mad us all little goodie bags:

Inside was a mini-tiara, Disney princess tattoos, beads, and a wine glass which we later decorated with paint pens.


"Big Red" is my alter ego :)


It was an awesome set up for a great girly night.

Until I got one of my infamous stomach aches. Long story short I have had these since I was like 5 or something and they pretty much put me out of commission for 1-2 hours and don’t go well with Pink Panty-droppers. Boooo. And no I’m not lactose, don’t have a gluten allergie, and have seen an gastro doc all to tell me they don’t know why I have this. So the rest of my night was spent in the b-room with the girls passing me notes under the door. Hah! Is this TMI?? Lol, sorry it is the truth and this picture is too funny not to share. :)

The San Diego Safari Park

Have you ever heard of the San Diego Safari Park?

It is so cool! It is an extension of the San Diego Zoo only it is like 20 times bigger, less crowded, and cooler if you ask me. I got invited to join my sister and Step-dad the other day and we had a blast checking out all the exhibits and taking pictures of the animals.  The safari park offer lots of ways for you to get up close and personal with the animals, you can even feed Giraffes! If you live nearby it is a MUST DO!

Brotherly Love

I got to stop by and have a quick visit with my brother Spencer over the weekend and we decided to go harass my husband at work. It was overcast but beautiful out and Spencer had a blast just rolling in the sand.

A Quick and over due Christmas re-cap

It seems every year I approach Christmas with my feet dragging.  Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my famil(ies) and giving/getting presents but I just hate shuffling around for 5 days and never feeling like I can just relax and get “quality time”.  This Christmas was especially challenging since Jon had to work the entire time, leaving me to pack, drive, and unload by myself everywhere we went. We made the best of it and actually had a lovely (but fragmented) Christmas.

First up we did “fake Christmas” at my Mom’s house, which was extra special since my brother Dustin was home visiting from the Army. My Mom always makes things special for all of us and it was great to be ALL TOGETHER for once.


My brother Dustin and I snuck off to get a sunset cocktail just the two of us.


We made homemade Cheese Soup and Pretzels too!


Meet "The Tower of Power" - this is a tradition we do where the night before Christmas everyone gets two gifts to open, one of which is always some new Christmas pajamas


We spent actual Christmas with my husband’s family this year and it was such a treat to get to play with my niece and nephews while visiting with all the siblings. My niece wanted to take a picture of me and we made a deal that I would let her if I could take a picture of her too:

The Smith family went all out this year and even made family T-shirts (we are dorks, but fun dorks).

Oh wait! It gets better. We also have matching pajamas:

On Christmas morning it was time to head to my Dad’s house.  My Dad is so thoughtful, he totally rearranged things and made it so we could go and visit my husband at work on Christmas day (tear).  It was a pretty brilliant idea too with the weather being mid 70′s and sunny on Christmas day. We had a picnic and watched Jon in action for a few hours before going home to open presents.

All in all it was an excellent holiday and we feel super lucky to have such great family in our lives.

Jon’s trip to Miami

Jon got invited to join my best friend’s fiance Renny and his best man “Johnny” for a BOYS TRIP to Miami for the Raider game on Sunday. I think they had a great time but is is hard to tell based on the total randomness of the photos I received via text over the weekend.

Shall I illustrate:

My weekend with the kiddos

I had a great time hanging out with my brothers and sister this past weekend just having a nice mellow Saturday and Sunday.  We rented three movies (the best being Water for Elephants – it is a MUST SEE).

This photo was hanging up in my Dad's house and I could not resist sharing it, if you have not taken a fake 'old West' style photo at least once in your life you have not lived!


We ran all over town on Saturday, 2 soccer games and a basketball game – they all won their games too. We played LIFE, read books, did some chores, cooked dinner together, went to In-N-Out and waited for my parents to come home with our new puppy Sheila!


His team lost all season, but they WON on Saturday so Spence was stoked!

In the gym at Cody's game


And last but not least, here is the newest member of our family SHEILA!!

Hubby Sunsets

One of the perks of having a husband who is a lifeguard is that I get a consistent feed of great sunset and beach pictures, here are a few from the past week:

The pelicans were having a field day with a massive bait ball at Strands!

And here is me shooting him, shooting the sunset.

Soo Proud.

My sister in law Krystina (along with her BFF) completed a 60 mile walk for breast cancer in San Diego over the weekend.  She walked for 3 days, 20 miles a day. I followed her journey all weekend on facebook and it was so inspirational, I thought I would share a few of her pics:

Congrats on this HUGE accomplishment Nina!

A Birthday Brunch

This year for my Mom’s birthday I asked her if she would let my husband and I take her out on a “Mommy Date Day”, where we would surprise her with a day full of fun on us. She agreed and we got straight to work trying to plan out something to do that would be new and memorable for our family. This is what we came up with:

Fancy brunch at home

Horseback riding in Julian

Picnic Lunch at Lake Cuyamaca

Picking Apples at Raven Hill Orchard

Champagne Chicken Dinner with cake and presents

{My sister, who is 9, wrote an itinerary for her}

I picked up my sister on Saturday to give my Mom some R&R and to get help on all the crafting that needed to get done before the brunch on Sunday.  We spent the day running around picking up items, then we spent the night watching Harry Potter while cutting and glueing.

We ended up with this:

Let’s zoom in

These napkins were the inspiration for this table, I found them at Cost Plus and loved the orange, pink and green with the grey.  The plates I had already but for what it is worth I found them at Marshall’s.

I used my mason jar cups with some polka dot straws I had also gotten at Cost Plus.  I added the “Cheers” tags with some hot glue and card stock.

I picked up some baby pink roses from TJ’s and arranged them in tight bunches in some square glass containers I had laying around.

The mirror over my dining table was decorated with various shades of orange ribbon and paper crafts.  We made a paper chain the night before and a ribbon accent swag that turned out super cute.

These were easy to make, I simply cut short strips of thick ribbon and put some hot glue on one end and rolled it to form a sort of tube.  Then I hot glued the individual tubes to make a flower leaving a hole in the middle so I could slide them down the ribbon.  It was actually pretty easy and made a unique looking garland.

I found this great ribbon at Micheal’s that is wired with fuzzy silver and was able to use it to line this cake topper:

I also used it on the sign for the OJ:

As for the food, I ran to Marie Calendar’s and picked up some muffins and a Bacon Quiche (who could cook and do all this decorating, I mean let’s be real here!). Then we made some fruit skewers with Strawberry, Pineapple, Kiwi, and some Clementines.

The cake stand I used to display this feast was from Pier One, they have 3 sizes of glass cake plates ranging between $8-$11, score! I bought the two smallest sizes and just placed them on a larger one that I already owned.

I just had to show you the cake I got too, it was too cute!

This was a lemon cake bought from Trader Joe’s and some of the lemon muffins I had gotten from Marie – they were soo giant! I don’t bake so this worked out perfectly. I lined the cake with more clementine’s and found some fun swirly candles.

All in all it turned out adorable and made Mom feel special on her Birthday, mission accomplished!

Stay tuned for part 2 on our day in Julian…


The Darth Vader Dilemma

My neice Madison is adorable.

She has very eclectic taste, she loves stuffed animals, tea parties, dress up and STAR WARS. Yup, STAR WARS. Aaaaand, she does not love Luke, or Chubacca, or R2 – - she loves DARTH VADER. Hilarious.

We weren’t sure if we wanted to encourage her turn to the dark side but we could not resist buying her this for her birthday:

Clearly it was a hit. :)

Get this game, it is a hoot

My Mom got Jon and I this game as an anniversary gift and we played it last night…soo fun! The cool part is that it is great for all ages, my 10 year old sister played and actually came in 2nd place.  It is not that complicated to learn, it essentially is about answering a question anonymously and then trying to guess who said what. Very fun.


Goodbye Little Brother

My brother Eamon is heading back to CU Boulder today to start his Sophomore year of college.  Summer really flew by and I feel like I hardly got to spend any “quality” time with him, but I suppose that is just how life goes as you get older.  He and his roomie Dylan (seen below) are moving into their fraternity house this year (fingers crossed they survive). Eamon almost got straight A’s in his Engineering program during his first year so he has set the bar pretty high.  Love you bud.