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A little at a time

So many things these days are BAD for you it is overwhelming when you try to make a change.  So, last year, we resolved to do a little at a time and just take on one area at once…and it has been working!

We started with FOOD.  I am so grateful that Wes and Rand have taken up healthy eating habits too.  Wes even reads labels and looks for organic when he is picking up things for us at the grocery store and I’m so grateful.  Better yet, he even now knows what to avoid now and does it!

Next up was products…we cleaned out the shower and bathroom cabinets and replaced it all with Beautycounter.  That was easy, once we found it.  Now I can’t get enough!

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Following beauty products was home/cleaning products.  We are about 75% done with a few bits of research for me still to do (I may possibly be part germaphobe…), but dish detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, etc. is switched over.  We went with Honest, Shaklee and homemade recipes for most things.

Now we have moved on to our kitchen and have cleaned out all our scratched teflon pans and replaced them with stainless steel.  I got rid of all our plastic cups that were questionable and am researching the ones that claim to be safe – although it is looking like it will have to be glass or stainless.  Over the next week I hope to go through each cabinet and drawer and make any other switches needed.  We are also going to need 1 or 2 more pots/pans because I got rid of most of the ones we had and already had two dishes to prepare that both needed the same pan…

We do have a keurig, but it may need to retire when I finish my decision making on what stays/what goes.  Apparently all those little k-cups are a massive trash issue and, as we all knew, expensive.

On a positive note, something cool happened today!  After being inspired by a friend who has great ideas, we gathered up all the paint we had in our garage and posted it on our online garage sale facebook group.  Within 1 hour 11 people asked for it and it was out of our garage within 3 hours of posting it this morning.  We thought we’d have to wait until the next toxic trash collection day (Only 2 a year here) and instead, someone is able to put it all to use for their home and business.  It was encouraging.  And so are those empty, clean cabinets in our garage!

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If you haven’t already

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Go check out (and enter!) the giveaway I’m sponsoring over on the fabulous blog of Sarah Tucker.   1 day left to enter to win the following:  cute striped makeup bag, the body collection (shampoo, cond, bodywash, lotion) and a peppermint lip balm!  Also, if you don’t already read Sarah Tucker Styles, check out her blog you will just love her thoughts and personal style!

If you are interested in building a personal business or joining the mission email me: & read more about the mission here!

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Liking lately…

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1.  This new children’s collection by Jessie Mackay.  A few of these paintings mix/matched would make the sweetest collection in a nursery or “big girl/boy room” –  When Rand was born, a family member offered to buy him something special for his nursery and we chose a piece of art – specifically a horse drawing!  He’s already outgrown his crib and changing table, but his horse sketch he can use in his own home forever – thankfully, that day isn’t here yet!

2.  New recipes I’ve tried out:  This fried olive recipeThis roasted cauliflower recipeThis Miso Wonton Soup recipe (p.s. you can find the cilantro chicken wontons at…Food Lion!  In the frozen organic section!  I used White Miso, from our local natural foods store)

3.  Getting ready for spring/summer…this rashguard and these shoes!

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4.  The #3 Lustro Face Oil  – Ylang Ylang and Wild Chamomile, from Beautycounter.  With my acne-prone skin I would have never guessed putting an oil on my face would work so well!  I find myself looking forward to washing my face and then applying each morning and each night (and maybe I’ll sneak another drop or so during the day…)

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5.  FROZEN! Rand’s been home sick all week with a fever and croup.  While I hate seeing him sick, Wes and I have both enjoyed lots of extra snuggles.  Yesterday, while Wes was at work, Rand and I fixed ice cream cones (his idea) and watched Frozen for the first time, my idea.  It was really cute, although I would warn, for parents of other young children it is rated PG (we try to stick to G around here as much as possible) and it had 2 scary scenes with a giant snowman monster, but we just fast forwarded that part!

Also, if you haven’t seen this, probably the best lip sync job ever…clever, clever parents:

Happy Weekend!


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Beautycounter: safe skincare


Over the last year, we’ve really improved our eating habits here in the Smith house and made a resolution to make the same renovation in the products we use on our bodies.  In my search to find a safe shampoo & conditioner (ones that would also be effective and not require using a handful just to get a good lather…) I stumbled upon Beautycounter.  After trying the products and falling in love with the mission of the company, I decided to join the movement to get safe products into the hands of everyone!

Check out my site here and, of course, feel free to ask questions or let me know if you’d like to try anything!

Beautycounter also offers a great opportunity to start your own business – one where you can put in as little or as much time as you’d like.  I have learned so much and would be happy to share my thoughts on the biz side of it all with you if you’re interested. Just contact me.


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Insert sigh here

Vacation is about to begin! It has been pretty major to get to today and we are so thankful for all that has been accomplished.

We stopped mid-way to get some BBQ at one of our favorite spots – The Happy Tomato in Amelia Island (it’s kid-friendly too…although we just realized this year for the first time).

And now, this week, we look forward to showing Rand some new-to-him things about the world we live in!

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Merry Christmas!

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I’ve joined instagram.  Find WAY too many photos there…  @annafranklinsmith

From the past 24 hours:


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Emerald Isle in June

In June, the “Franklin/McWilliams/Smith” Family went to Emerald Isle.  We stayed in an incredible beach house and had some fun times.  Rand was super-spoiled because he was the only kiddo and so of course he got all the attention.  I have a few photos to post too from the trip, but in the meantime, I’m just going to steal Kristen’s photos from her facebook page because they are AWESOME.

A view from the marsh near the Aquarium:

Me pretending to paddle on our kayaking adventure

Thanks to my really strong husband, this is usually how I kayak,

Nobody capsized, Kristen has a cool water-proof camera

Flotilla in the waterway

Beach view

One of the best things about the house we rented…it had a POOL!

It was a wonderful week.  I am so blessed to have these sisters (plus one more – we missed Claire in this shot!).

Ok I’m off to work on perfecting a peach cobbler recipe.  If I ever nail it I will post it for you!!!


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Back again…

And we’re back. As I’m looking around at an unpacked cooler, suitcase and sandy beach bag filled with who knows what (I’m looking forward to cleaning that one out about as much as Rand’s carseat), I realize that I need to Step. Away. From. The. Computer.

So come back on Wednesday okay? I’ve got a few photos. Oh, and I came out from under a rock and joined instagram – so check me out there too.

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Random things from today

Okay so a few more things I’m liking lately…

Hanging out with my little buddy who all of a sudden is a big boy!  Unfortunately he’s not been feeling well and is cutting more teeth.  Molars?  The bad news is he doesn’t want to play much and has been running a fever.  The good news is he has only wanted to cuddle with me on the sofa or in the bed and today he learned where his ears are on Sesame Street.  This is the first time he’s ever felt like sitting still long enough to watch something for more than a minute.

This tea Tazo Organic Iced Green Tea with Spearmint and Lemongrass is on sale at Fresh Market for $1.  It is still a splurge so I probably need to find tea bags and make it myself.  For this week though, I’m treating myself to 1 per day:)

Also on sale at Fresh Market is the Mrs. Meyer’s line of cleaning products.  In particular, the liquid hand soaps are 2 for $8 AND there is a hanging coupon on most of them for $1 off 2 which makes each one only $3.50.  Obviously not as inexpensive as some other brands, but if you like Mrs. Meyer’s stuff, this is a deal – it makes it even less than it is at Walmart!!  I like the Lemon Verbena scent the best.

One more super deal is this Groupon that landed in my inbox today. I just got a cute pair of sunglasses, but if I hadn’t I would love a pair of these (a $425 pair of sunnies for $85):

or these…

This weekend is going to be full of fun. We are going to have dinner al fresco tomorrow night and then Saturday, we are going to attempt to make pickles!

My fridge is full of cukes and I’ve got the jars and the canning utensils but need to do a little more research to find the perfect recipe. Any suggestions?

Also this weekend, we are going to be celebrating Wes and Father’s Day! We don’t have many father’s left on either side of our families, but we will sure celebrate the heck out of the ones we still have here with us! I think I might be trying to attempt one of these funny things for “Pops” and “Bebo” (Rand’s grandpa and great grandpa)…

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Picnic Table

Rand got a really cute Kid Kraft Picnic Table for his birthday and we LOVE IT.  It was easy to put together and Wes even painted two coats of Thompson’s Water Seal on it.  Several folks have asked where we got it – we got it from BUT it is on SALE right now for much less on Rue La La for the next 2 days.  There is also a striped umbrella version with chairs.  We have the blue umbrella with benches. I noticed there is also a cute canopy sandbox too.  Check it out (when you get to the site, go to “Invite the Kids Over” section under the “Kids” tab.

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Beach Bums

Thanks Aunt Samantha for such a sweet pic from a fun week at the beach with the family.   I love my beach bums!

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I’m back…sort of

This keeps happening – all of a sudden a month has blown by!  We’ve been up to a lot, but one of the highlights was that Shelley and Jackson came to stay!  Eventually I’ll get around to writing about it but, in the meantime, you can read up here on Shelley’s Blog here and here.



I have to tell you that the #1 baby item of the summer has to be the $8 plastic pool we got from Walmart.  In the evening, I’ll even add a little soap to it and let Rand bathe al fresco. I couldn’t find a photo of it online, but it is in the photo above.

We’ve also been up to a little of this…


and this…

Wes and I were fortunate to escape to NYC for a quick weekend getaway (our first one since Rand joined the family) thanks to Aunt Mary Devon who kept Rand and our dear friends Eleanor and Brad who let us stay in their fantastic apartment.

More photos from NYC to come. At some point!


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new toys, new friends, new shorts and a flower

Rand’s new toys = anything in the house that is NOT a toy. Everyone told me this was coming and now it is here. Rand is fully mobile (army crawling) and his favorite things are doors and drawers. The tupperware drawer is his usual hangout.


Last week we took a break from the pantry and the tupperware drawer and hung out at the park with Dillon and his sweet mom, Kenzie. Dillon and Rand made a deal to hang out a lot this summer. And they shook on it.

Also, Rand just got some really cute shorts from Walmart.  While I have never been too impressed with Walmart in the past, for $5, these shorts rival some Crewcuts y’all.  They are really soft too.  They also come in blue, but I thought the red would be fun for summer/4th of July.

I couldn’t find them online, but I also got a few pairs of plaid shorts for $3.88.  If you go to Walmart, they are on the tables in the baby boy section.  They had lots of different colors to choose from.  I have a feeling Rand will live in those shorts (and swimsuits) this summer.

The BIG NEWS from our house (yard) lately is that my peony finally bloomed AND it smells amazing.  I got it for free 3 years ago when I ordered some plants online and this is the first time it has ever bloomed.  In fact, I had no idea what color it would be and am thrilled that it is a stylish neon salmon color – very current.  Hopefully we’ll get a few more blooms…
I’m backtracking slowly with the photos…eventually I’ll get to our Texas trip!

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web surfing

reblogged from bloom

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Making some changes around here

Can’t post the “after” photos yet because I’m still in foil. But hoping it turns out well and if not, well, it’s only hair! Stay tuned…

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Do 9 month olds suddenly combust? Why is this on all Rand’s clothing? Last time I checked we don’t have any open flames anywhere and thankfully uncle James and uncle Sam haven’t taught him the magnifying glass trick yet…

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Rug Love

Our home currently is in need of several rugs…so I’m always on the lookout.   Saw this one on Overstock a while back and hoping it is still there when I’m ready…

and this one (in Navy, of course) – we just added to the “play area” in the kitchen.

Saw these on OKL today…they would be super cute for a kids room or play area:

Or these…

Some other hotties from One Kings Lane:

I wish I had a room in my house for this beauty




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Sweet peanut

Several readers asked where I got Rand’s outfit that is on our Christmas card…it is ON SALE TODAY on Zulily for $13.99 along with all the other cute Sweet Peanut deals that are going fast.  Check it out if you have time.

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Merry Christmas!

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