Saturday, January 29, 2011

World's Easiest Chicken Casserole

This is one of the very first casseroles I learned how to make, and Mr. Smith still loves it years later! 

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

You'll Need:
Cooked Chicken Breasts (or Tenders, whatever's easiest)
Long Grain & Wild Rice
2 Cans Cream of Chicken
1 Can Chicken Broth

Cook your chicken first... the standard 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 
Cut into bite size pieces.

Cook rice per directions (I always use the handy 90 sec Uncle Ben's packets... they are so good!)

Mix together chicken, rice, Cream of Chicken, and Chicken Broth.  (With the Chicken Broth, I usually just use half a can...)

Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

We usually have it with some sort of veggie.

This recipe is very easy to double or freeze and put away for later use...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 26

Baby Smith
"Your baby's eyes — which have been closed for the past few months — are now beginning to open. Your baby's brain-wave activity is also kicking in at this stage in fetal development, which means your little one can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them." says  He also grows to 2 pounds this week!  Craziness!

Momma Smith
Ugggghhhh.... the tiredness of the third trimester is coming.  I can feel it, creepin' up on me, I swear.  Mornings are a little bit harder to get up for, and evenings are a little bit more sluggish. 

And with Richard Simmons doing his thing, dancin' away in there, I can sense the uncomfortableness people have been mentioning.  Particularly in the bladder region.  And when he lunges forward and catches me off guard while I'm standing up.  Not cool, Little One.  Catch me at the right time and you can feel either a head or booty with your hand on my belly.  And then maybe a swift kick or punch from the Karate Kid to say get off my Momma!  :)

Having about 1-2 Braxton Hicks contractions per week now, and I'm sensing these will only continue as time moves on, right?  Anyone? They are a little panic-inducing at first, I will admit, but then quickly subside. 

Also feeling a little abdominal achiness in the side muscle - or where there used to be muscles - department.  I suspect this is from the growth spurt of Little One and how this constant workout is making me a little sore.  I tried to explain to Sister after last night's Bible Study that it's like an intense ab workout, except with no benefits whatsoever to the fitness of your ab muscles. 

In Other News

Um... how cute is this sign? 

It's an awkward photo, because taking it directly in front was causing the flash to give it a glare, but you get the idea. 

Picked it up from Lifeway this week, and it was love at first sight.  This was the nightly prayer my brother and I did with our parents every night!  A tradition Mr. Smith and I can't wait to start with Little One.  

Curtains are coming in from Target at some point in the next few days, but that's about it with nursery development.  After slinging out painting and furniture assembly so fast, we're taking a breather. 

Third trimester starts next Friday!  Who's excited?  You may even get a belly picture.


I'm not making any promises.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Burrito Pets

They are not spoiled.
Not in the least.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Meanderings...

Once again I find myself thinking, How is it Monday morning already?  After a busy weekend, here we are again, ready to begin another week.

Friday night Mr. Smith and I, along with the Carrolls, had a double date at the dollar theater to see "The Social Network."  It was suprisingly good!  Who knew so much drama went behind facebook's history?  What was so funny is seeing how facebook has revamped and modified over the past few years, and remembering how "it used to be."  Sigh.  The glory days, right?

Saturday, Mr. Smith was off to another day of hunting, while I did things around the house and made my 2nd Publix run armed with coupons and bargain shopping list.  Total spent: $100.  Savings: $51.  For 2 weeks worth of groceries!  Not bad, peeps.  Not bad at all, if I do say so myself.  I also snagged some "bonus" items outside the usually grocery list like shampoo (5 for $5), dog food, etc. that were having too good of deals to pass up on.  I'm all about hoarding stocking up these days. 

Saturday night I had a dinner date with two of my fav's: Mrs. Bremmerman and Mrs. Shepherd.  We are so excited at her return to The Ham!  Nothing feels as good as dishing about all things girly with these two.  Might I mention we also tried Flip Burger?  After an hour wait, this pregnant lady was rearing to go with that menu.  Their mushroom & swiss burger, with fries and fried pickle chips are to die for.  Finish it off with one of their famous milkshakes - all three of us had the Krispy Kreme, which really did taste like a donut.  Wonders upon wonders!

Mr. Smith and I ran errands on Sunday, such as exchanging the crib mattress at Babies 'R Us, and crossed several "To Do" items off our household list, like putting up updated smoke detectors.  You know - the stuff you don't think about until you're bringing a life into the world.  :) 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 25

Baby Boy Smith
He is about 9 inches long and a little over a pound this week!  And his lungs are beginning to develop. 

Baby Smith is also a dancing machine.  He likes to dance in the mornings (after I start sipping on my one rationed Coke), right after lunch, during our Childbirth classes (maybe he's getting excited?) and at night in bed when I'm lying on my back.  Mr. Smith also felt him - that's twice now! - last night as Baby Smith gave him a resounding high five. 

Momma Smith
I'll give you one guess who I am in this video: 

Beware if you make me wait any amount of time before serving me my food.  "Hangry" is the term I like to use.  Hungry + Angry = Hangry.  Some might say it resembles The Hulk right before he turns green with rage. 

In Other News
We just returned home from our 3rd Childbirth Class.  Where we watched The Video.  I may never be the same again.  Sometimes it's better not to know, yes?  The girl beside me recommended watching some more at home... just Google "Live Birth" she said.  Rather joyfully, I might add.  Kudos to her. 

Mr. Smith arranged a tour of the new UAB Women and Infants Center with our moms (& my dad) this week, and it was fabulous.  I have to say that the facility is beyond impressive... and I don't just mean their updated Room Service Menu with dishes by renowed Chef Frank Stitt.  Who is from Cullman, might I add.  Gotta brag on the ole hometown whenever possible....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up with some Favorite Gals

I'm a little behind in schedule with yesterday's Holiday, so bear with me. 

After a fabulous weekend catching up with some of my favorite gals, I realize how lucky I am to count each of them one of my nearest and dearest.  Mr. Smith was off in New Orleans with Groomsman duties of Mr. Mooty's Bachelor Party - no worries - he returned safe and sound Sunday morning, albeit a litte tired and mumbling something along the lines of "I'm not as young as I use to be." 

Saturday morning was spent over a relaxing brunch at Jackson's with my C-Town BFFs.  As mentioned previously on this blog, we get together twice a year to rehash, review, and refocus with each other.  And by this I mean gossip, dish details of married life, and inquire about all things pregnancy. 

Group Pics are a must!  See that burgeoning belly? 

Later that day, I visited a dear friend from grad school, Mrs. Lybrand and her newest addition, Miss Libby, to bring them some dinner and get some snuggle time (read: practice time) with that 6 lb. bundle of joy. 

Please note how "big brother" Gehrig sat protectively by me while I held her the entire time.  Most of the time he was in my lap as well.  Fingers crossed Cooper doesn't get any wild hairs about pulling this routine come Spring time. 

At his annual vet's visit yesterday, the Beast was up to 76 lbs.  Not exactly "lap dog" material, but don't tell him that.

Special thanks to Mrs. Lybrand for putting up with my 2 hours worth of The Spanish Inquisition.  I just like to get all the facts, folks.  Especially when it's about to happen to you, in say, a little over 3 months. 

Saturday night was spent with another favorite gal of mine - Sister.  She swung by and picked me up for some delicious Mexican at Iguana Grill before having a movie date with her Husband. 

And since we're talking about favorite gals, this sassy lady wanted to make sure she as included: 

Doesn't she just beam love and adoration at you? 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Easy Pork Chop Dinner

Mr. Smith and I tried a new dinner this week - Easy Pork Chop Dinner - from the super savings of the Publix shopping spree.  It was delightful!

You'll Need:
Pork Chops
Idaho Baking Potatoes (2 were plenty for us)
1/2 - 1 onion (depending on what you like)
Can of Cream of Mushroom
1 cup water

To peel, or not to peel, that is the question.  I peeled one and left the skin on the other potato, to see what would happen.  I recommend to peel.

Put peeled, cut potatoes and onion in bottom of crock pot.

Place pork chops on top, like so.

In another bowl, mix together Cream of Mushroom and Water. 

Pour over pork chops.

Cook on Low for 6 hours in crock pot. 


Frugal Friday Tid Bit:  Tried my hand at the Walgreens couponing tonight, and racked up lots of Buy One, Get One 50% off and Buy One, Get One Free prizes - even matching them with coupons!  I'm on a role, people!  Savings: Approx. $38. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 24

Baby Boy Smith
We're THISCLOSE to a name, I promise. 

This week, Baby Boy Smith is weighing in at just over a pound and is about as long as an ear of corn.  His face is almost fully formed, just really skinny right now. 

Momma Smith
I'm pretty sure I'm starting to have Braxton Hicks contractions.  Like, 75% sure.  These can start anywhere from 20 weeks until D-Day.  Either that, or our first childbirth class has got me paranoid.  Just to be on the safe side, I laid on my left side and drank some water.  They went away, and I hope it will be awhile before they visit again.

Let's see what else is going on... I have a new development, although I don't want to freak anyone out.  But, I'm going to try and remain honest on here and I've already googled this to remain calm myself.  But.... apparently you can start lactating during your pregnancy.  I'm not talking a lot, so don't freak out or anything.  But Sunday morning I woke up, and Mr. Smith & I were both like, "What the crap is that?"  Hello, colostrum.  Please to meet your acquaintance.  A little warning might have been nice.  And as if I didn't have anything else to worry about....

In Other News
Speaking of Childbirth Education classes, Mr. Smith and I had our first one last Thursday.  We learned lots of fun stuff like 3rd Trimester facts, preterm labor signs, important phone numbers, etc.  The most important lesson:  always be prepared.  My sentiments exactly. 

I also need to have a "Just in Case" Plan in case I go into labor at work.  Going into labor at work - ranging from my water breaking to my co-workers seeing me in pain from contractions - is about Numero Uno on my Biggest Preggers Fears list.  To add to "To Do" list:  bring change of clothes in car to work in case of said water breaking and already have a driver ready to take me to the hospital in case of said contractions beginning. 

This Thursday we get to watch "The Video" in class.  Our teacher has already warned us that these women have opted for the natural childbirth route, so not to be alarmed. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

I'm at home enjoying a Snow Day today, but Mr. Smith is hard at work at the Hospital.  He went in last night for the Night Shift, and is still there.  Such a hard little worker, right? 

Thought I'd share with you my updates on New Year's Resolution - Couponing.  Yesterday was my first time back in the saddle with couponing, and I approached it with the usual Type A attitude.  Armed with my coupons from both Sunday's newspaper and, I approached Publix like a women on a mission.  A Mission to Save, that is. 

If you haven't before, check out's website.  You can easily review their Weekly Ad, Buy One Get One deals, and "add" your desired items from the Weekly to your shopping cart for a printed out list before you hit the store.  Me likey. 

For over 2 Weeks Worth of Groceries (give or take some staple items to be picked up, like milk): $183.83. 
Coupon and Store Savings: $42.79
Total Spent: $141.04

I might add that $17 of this was diapers, because I've been trying to pick up some whenever I have a coupon.  So, with my $3 Huggies coupon plus my $2 Publix Baby Club coupon, that was $5 off of diapers.  Again... me likey.  It never hurts to be prepared, people. 

So, about $124 of actual moola spent on groceries.  That's a little over $60/week. 

Pure.  Bliss. 

I might also give a shout out to Doug my Publix Cashier, who cheered on my New Year's Resolution, and gave me some insider trading tips, such as that Publix doubles any manufacturer coupons starting at 50 cents (like those coupons printed from or and that Publix honors any competitors' coupons.  So, if you've got a grocery coupon to Target that Publix isn't running, then you can use that Target grocery coupon at Publix. 

I know what you're thinking.... why hello there, lovah. 
Me too. 

It did take a little bit more time, I'm going to be honest. 
But the thrill of the hunt was well worth it.
And my well-stocked pantry on this Snow Day doesn't hurt either. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Smith!

Happy Birthday Mr. Smith!

Today my darling husband turns 27, and we've spent our day snuggled up and watched the Winter Storm Weather News and movies together. 

Last night we enjoyed a fabulous birthday dinner at Satterfield's, a local treasure, with the in-laws, Sister, and Sister's husband.  Um.... Mouthwatering, is all I can say.  I had the filet, and Baby Boy Smith thoroughly enjoyed it as well. 

After a morning jaunt to Krispy Kreme, I delivered Mr. Smith's favorite Kruellers to have with his morning coffee.  (I then made my way to Publix armed with a pre-shopping list with coupons...more on this later). 

Mr. Smith,  you are a wonderful husband, best friend, and father-to-be.  As I watch you help me get ready for your son to make his appearance, I can only imagine the awesome father you'll be.  I can't think of anyone better to go on life's adventures with me. 

Love, Mrs. Smith, Cooper, and Abby

Mr. and Mrs. Smith on our Honeymoon in the Dominican Republic (where we wish we were right now whilst it is sleeting outside...)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 23

Baby Boy Smith
Is still nameless, although we're getting close, I swear. 

He also is about eight inches long and a little over a pound this week. says that "this week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain."  I'm hoping they mean the Baby, since Week 5 of this adventure has meant for this Momma "the beginning of some serious weight gain." Baby's weight in the next 4 weeks should DOUBLE.  You read that right - DOUBLE.  I think I'm reading between the lines here of when the Momma finally "pops."

And apparently Baby is pumped about it, because right now as I'm typing there's a Dance Party USA going on in my belly.  Dance Parties are becoming the custom over the past week; usually they make me smile.  The one at 2am on Saturday night; however.... not so much.  Strong enough to wake me up... I mean, who is in there, Richard Simmons? 

Momma Smith
I heart my Tummy Butter.  You should get some, even if you're not pregnant.  While I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it keeps the stretch marks away, it feels so nice to my dry and itchy skin.  

In Other News
Mr. Smith has assembled our nursery furniture... all by himself!  It looks so nice!  We're pumped about it.  I would show you a picture, but the room looks like a tornado hit it, so pics to come once the room has been straightened, I promise.  I also wanted to take a picture of Mr. Smith in his "Tim the Tool Man Taylor" mode, but he wouldn't let me.  I think it was the super sexy Christmas Jingle Bell fleece pajama pants he was wearing.  But I could be wrong.

We start our Childbirth Education classes this week!  The nerd in me is super excited about this new learning task at hand.  I was warned not to take a notebook - insert sad sigh here - by a pal, so I'll resist for Week One.  But I can't make any promises after this week! 

We've also completed our Registry at Target.  Mr. Smith gave it the final approval and thumbs up last night, so yet another thing's been crossed off the To Do List. 

I actually feel ahead of the game.  This could also be the calm before the storm, I know, I know. 

I've broken down all of our 'To Do's" on handy little post-it notes in my 2011 planner, up until Baby's arrival.  It ranges from the mandatory (have car seat properly installed) to the more leisurely (have house professionally cleaned - I scored a Groupon for this, so I'm still being frugal) to the downright pampering (get manicure and pedicure - again, another Groupon for this!). 

So far for January, we're ahead, which I think is a perfect start to the New Year. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh, What a Year.... We're Gearing up for Another Eventful One!

Wow.  I cannot believe 2010 has come and gone, and we're sitting on Day 3 of 2011.  2010 was overall pretty good to our little newlywed home, let's review, shall we?  Forgive me if I speak in financial nerdy terms:

The Good
Cooper the Pooper joined our family in January for Mr. Smith's surprise birthday present.  He's been both a joy and handful ever since. 

We watched oodles of our nearest and dearest tie the knot, and loved celebrating with them.  (Count it:  we were in 5 weddings total in 2010!)

We celebrated our One Year Anniversary with a relaxing weekend trip to Ellijay, Georgia.

We also watched more friends welcome babies and started talking about our own future family plans... for approximately one second.  Then SURPRISE!  The Big Man decided Mr. and Mrs. Smith were ready for a new adventure - Baby Smith.  (All prayers are requested in advance for this adventure.)

We met our Savings Goal and paid off our credit cards, only to be hit by Murphy (or stabbed in the back by Murphy, whatever you prefer...) near the end of the year.  But we're still starting our year with our Savings Goals met. 

We also diligently put moola in our Retirement Accounts every month, even though I thought of about a bazillion things more fun to do with that money.  I know, I know... compounding interest and all of that. 

The Bad
Murphy's Law hit us several times this year with some nice little surprises .  A fallen tree in the backyard, a new roof, leaking dishwasher (still dealing with this Drama), new brakes for both our vehicles...ugh.  Murphy set us back a little in some of our goals, like my highly anticipated goal of paying off my car at year's end, but we're back on track now.

Goals for the New Year
Rather than bore you with the "To Do Lists" on each month's page in my planner (roll your eyes, I've already admitted I'm a nerd), here are some of our Goals for the New Year:

1.  Have baby.  (Duh)

2.  Start a Christmas Club account to be better prepared for next Christmas's spending (check it off the list - already started it!)

3.  Couponing - I use to be pretty good at this, then I became lazy and comfortable with my weekly Wal-Mart runs.  But I get inspired by Budget Buddies like Mrs. Searson and her Couponing Prowess, so I'm dusting off my skills in this department, ready to get it moving again.  I figure this will come in handy when Baby Smith and all his money demands arrive as well.

4.  Pay off Car by May 1st.  There - I've said it.  It's out there, now I must make it happen.  My goal is to get it paid off by the time Baby Smith arrives, so it's one less monthly payment - just in time for daycare right?  :)

5.  Remain diligent in monthly payments to Retirement accounts. 

6.  Mr. Smith has stepped up to the plate and declared he will be cooking dinner at least once a week.  This may or may not have anything to do with what he's currently reading - "The Expectant Father."  I also receive a lot more hugs this weekend, which I KNOW is in that book.  I'm on to you, Mr. Smith...

7.  Research and start College Savings Fund for Baby Smith.  ESA?  529 Plan?  I'm new in this department, so any suggestions are welcome. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crowd Pleasers...

Need some easy crowd pleasers?

Here are some easy favorites that are sure to please a pregnant friend who has weird cravings any crowd!

Ham  & Swiss Finger Sandwiches

You'll Need:
Dinner Rolls
Swiss Cheese
Yellow Mustard
Poppy Seeds

Mix up yellow mustard, worcestershire, and poppy seeds in a bowl.

Cut your dinner rolls in half, and smear that delicious spread on both sides. 
Place ham and swiss in roll.

Smear some butter on top, then bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hmmm.... looks good, right?  Easy for a crowd or just at home for an easy dinner.

Baked Brie - a fav in our house!

You'll Need:
Crescent Rolls
Wheel of Brie
Topping (if you prefer)
Also optional:  pecans, walnuts, brown sugar

Roll out half of your crescent rolls and mash together seams, so it forms one continuous sheet.

Place brie wheel on top.

If you like, you can add your topping here, on top of the brie.

We usually add apricots to our treat, put I've heard pecans, walnuts, other fruit preserves as yummy as well.  It is just as good without any topping, especially if you're serving it with fruit.

Put your other half sheet of crescent rolls on top, like so.

Then, fold up your edges at the corners. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 

Yumm......  serve with crackers.

Or if cooked plain, serve with fruit.

We've been perfectly lazy this long New Years weekend... catching up on things like assembling nursery furniture, de-cluttering, cleaning out the fridge, laundry, etc.

Hope you all have a helper like I've had with all your household chores!