datestampUSEThursday, July 31, 2008

Summer beauty

The heat has me going au natural on my face this summer. What's the point of even applying makeup if its going to be runny by noon? I've heard quite a lot about this Tarte Mascara, which is supposed to be more like a stain than a mascara. It boasts 4 days of wear, which is highly doubtful and more importantly quite unnecessary. But I'm willing to give it a try - seems to be the perfect product for 100 degree days.


datestampUSEWednesday, July 30, 2008

My mom wanted to know what to get Josie for her upcoming birthday and I knew just what to suggest. "The Princess and the Pea" by Lauren Child is one of the most gorgeous picture books ever. I bought one for my girls last year but ended up giving it away at a children's book exchange so they've never even had the chance to read it! If you are not familiar with Lauren Child, she is the creative artist behind Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean. In this particular book, however, the pictures are photographs of mini rooms she has created and decorated with miniature period furniture and rugs ... every last charming detail is perfect. If you need a gift for a girl of any age, this would certainly be a big hit. I can't wait to sit in our rocker and read it to Josie.


datestampUSEMonday, July 28, 2008

Beat the Heat

We went out on the lake with our friends the Moores last Saturday. What a blast we had. We jammed some serious tunes on Chad's playlist, the boys did some surfing behind the boat, and I think we crammed 6 1/2 people onto one tube (Heather's pregnant, hence the 1/2 :) That is the only way to spend a 100 degree Utah day. Thanks Moores for a great time!


datestampUSEWednesday, July 23, 2008

Four and Twenty

This dainty little Oilily top is just one of my finds at the Four and Twenty Sailor sale this week. It is the first year they have thrown a full blown sidewalk sale and I got much of my school shopping accomplished, along with some things for next summer. Make sure you work a stop into your schedule this week while the sale is still going on.


datestampUSETuesday, July 22, 2008

to all the good, honest, and decent people out there. I had a little incident where I lost a $45 check from one of my Craig's list transactions. The bank called the check owner, we got in contact and tonight she brought me cash for the stamps she purchased from me last week. Anyone could have just kept the goods and never paid me. I so appreciated her honesty and effort to get the money to me. Now its my turn to pay it forward.


Pizza Fresh!

We headed down to the farmer's market last Saturday and got some gorgeous produce and herbs which Bryce put on some homemade pizza that night - arugula for the blue cheese and steak pizza and fresh basil for the pizza margherita. Here is one of my favorite hints if you happen to live in my neighborhood: Emigration Market sells a pressed and perfect pizza dough ready to be topped and cooked for only $2. It makes homemade pizza night that much faster and that much easier. Now you can spend your dinner prep time on the fun part - experimenting with delicious and interesting toppings. Mamma mia!


datestampUSEMonday, July 21, 2008


Everyone in khakis? Not this season! Although the Gap can tend to get a little stiff at times, the designers have killed it this July (for baby girls anyway). How can I not want this lovely ensemble for little miss J? That color palette is delicious. Perhaps those darling little flats can be the shoes she wears for her first steps in the coming months...


datestampUSESaturday, July 19, 2008

FLASHBACK: Tis the season for pool parties and I thought about some great pictures I hadn't posted from Max's 4th birthday clear back in March. Although it was cool in UT, it was HOT in Palm Springs and fortunately for Max his birthday happen to fall during Spring Break so we were able to have a pool party. We had a lot of fun creating a tropical theme for his birthday and the menu fell right in place. Chicken teriyaki sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies, and sand cake. I wish I had more summer birthdays in my family because of the simple ease and summer fun of having an outdoor party.

The recipes are simple and are as follows:

Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich:
One Grilled and Marinated chicken breast (your choice of teriyaki sauce)
One slice of swiss cheese (place this on chicken breast and grill for the last minute or so to let it get melty)
One grilled pineapple slice
BBQ Sauce
Perfect artisan bun

Real Simple Sand Cake: (in my humble opinion, best sand cake recipe ever)

1 12-ounce box Nilla Wafers 1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 4-ounce package vanilla or chocolate instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the "sand" by crushing the Nilla Wafers with a potato masher or in a food processor. With a mixer, combine the Cool Whip, cream cheese, pudding mix, milk, and vanilla. Layer a fifth of the crumbs in the bottom of a large, clean sand pail. Top with a third of the pudding mixture, then a layer of crumbs. Continue layering, ending with crumbs. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8


datestampUSEThursday, July 17, 2008

Buzz Off

Today my friend and neighbor Jane is expecting her sister all the way from England for an extended holiday. I thought it might be fun to have a little treat waiting for her, so I wrapped up one of these with a note saying "Hope you enjoy your little "buzz" here in the Beehive state."

Now, what I wish I would have given her was one of these, with the same note of course. Maybe next time :)


datestampUSEWednesday, July 16, 2008

Tip of the Day

I am always so impressed with Real Simple's organizing tips and ideas. For instance, in this article on a media center makeover, they showcased a tool I've never heard of called discsox. This flip file with 50 plastic sleeves allows you to toss the bulky DVD cases in order to organize your discs neatly on a shelf in your entertainment center. Now, isn't that NEAT?


A Couple More...


All Dressed up with No Where to Go

Last night I had the kids all dressed up with hair done, clothes ironed, no detail left undone for a photo session at a local photography studio. We arrived right on the time and there was a little suspicious scrambling going on in the backroom as we were checking in. One girl was sent out to tell me the photographer was not going to make it due to an "emergency." (Which I later found out was not true at all.) Needless to say I was furious because we were literally "all dressed up with no where to go." So I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and go have my own impromptu photo session. I got some pretty cute shots, so I thought I'd share a few.


p.s. The manager called with a sincere apology and offered to waive my sitting fee if I would come in again. We're going to do it because I need to get Ella's baptism picture before she gets her braces on next week. Do you think that's enough compensation for my trouble?

datestampUSETuesday, July 15, 2008

Golden Caramel Corn Nuggets

These are a favorite new snack. We munch them during movies, I put them in cute containers and give them to friends...they are even good enough to save for dessert. I have only ever been able to buy them at our local neighborhood market. I am so excited to share that I have found them online for half the price and now I'm off to order several bags to go stash in my food storage.



I have to be honest - it's a little overwhelming to write a post on my hometown and the memorable and cherished moments it has provided me my entire life and now does the same for my children. Most know that I am from the best little western town in the entire country, Cody, Wyoming. It was a wonderful place to grow up and provided me with the best childhood I could ever imagine. Summers were especially exciting because the town doubled in size with tourists from all across the world coming to experience Yellowstone National Park. Now each summer I get to go back and be one of those tourists and experience all Cody has to offer AND share it with my family. Of course, many of our experiences are not available to the public - only to those who either are or know and love the Smiley Family.

Each visit to Cody includes a trip to our cabin up the near the Wood River. It is always such a highlight of the trip and the kids eat up every minute of it. Poor grandpa has a little family of ducklings who follow him around ALL day, usually asking for rides in the truck or on the horses, Buck and Bandit. Sometimes we paint river rocks or fish in the pond. Add in a campfire, smores, lasso golf, 4 wheeling, and hiking and we've indulged delightfully into pure Wyoming bliss.

Cody is known all across the state for its fabulous 4th of July celebration. I've only missed it twice in all my 33 years - once I was pregnant and delivering within 3 weeks and the other because my parents were in Pakistan serving a mission for our church. Each 4th of July celebration includes an outdoor breakfast (homemade ice cream on pancakes; now who can pass that up?) and flag raising ceremony, a parade, a serious rodeo (we're talking REAL rodeo here, folks - even occasionally televised on ESPN), a BBQ, and of course a fireworks show. If you're really adventurous, you can sneak in a river rafting trip, a trip to our world famous museum, or a swim in the amazing new rec center.

In this small town girl's humble opinion, a person hasn't lived fully lived until they've experienced a warm July day in Cody, Wyoming. Click here if you want to see the rest of our trip this summer. Oh, and if you ever plan on going, drop me a line and I'll give you the address of the best meal in town (my parents' house).


datestampUSEMonday, July 14, 2008

We *heart* S.L.C.

For family night tonight we went down to Temple Square and listened to the Christus presentation and marveled at that beautiful statue up close. What a magnificent and reverent place to be. We adore having so many enriching experiences right in our own backyard.


The California Finale

My last installment of the California pictures...we ended our stay in San Francisco and then up to Occidental, CA at Mark's (B's business partner) house. We had the OATV summer party in their backyard. All the children swam, we had a fabulously prepared BBQ (see previous post), and all though it was a bit of a gray day, we had an all around enjoyable afternoon. The next morning, we woke up early to drop off our rental van and hop on a plane back to home. It was quite the adventure...I think we logged over 20 hours of driving which is pretty remarkable taking into consideration we didn't even drive from UT to was quite the kick off to what so far has been a crazy, exciting, and busy summer.


datestampUSESunday, July 13, 2008

The Guillotine


OK OK, that may not be entirely true, but Jane might just die if she knew I posted this picture so lets keep it our little secret - he he. I will honor her, however silly this picture may be (taken at Warrick Castle on our trip to England last year), with a few kind words. Not many people get to say their next door neighbor is also one of their dearest friends. Jane is talented in so many ways - sewing, quilting, canning, cooking, shopping...she's quite the domestic goddess and she does it all with whit and charm while looking after her 4 children. You just might want to come and live on our street so you can share in our crazy neighborhood shenanigans.

Now onto sharing an amazing pizza she makes and I'm sure will one day become quite famous for : SPANAKOPIZZA

I promise you, you're going to want to make this pizza. Thanks, Jane.


Santa Cruz

Of course we had to add some beach time to the California trip. The kids and I spent a day in Santa Cruz (6/11-6/12) while Bryce took some meetings. They were in absolute heaven - talk about a cheap date! Sand, kelp, and salty water was all it took for these great big smiles.


datestampUSEFriday, July 11, 2008

Reclaimed Art

Talk about going on a recycled road trip. Each state is represented by an authentic license plate. I love it! I think it belongs on the exposed brick wall in B's San Francisco office. What do you think, B?


p.s. The artist is Aaron Foster


I am constantly looking out for design inspiration. I find that I am drawn to several different styles of home decor and the challenge is incorporating them in an eclectic, yet cohesive, yet personal way. I can't say enough how much I've enjoyed perusing this flickr set titled "rooms I *heart*". Not every room is a personal favorite, but there is much to appreciate and inspire in these photographs. Go ahead, click on and let the brainstorming begin...


datestampUSEThursday, July 10, 2008

Destination Monterey

Our stop in Monterey (June 9-10) was an absolute delight. We went to the aquarium (as previously posted), went swimming at the pool, walked Cannery Row (John Steinbeck ring a bell?), enjoyed all the spectacular views of the ocean, and enjoyed a little down time in our wonderful room at the Clement.