Smith Family Renovations

Small town Nebraska does thoughtful, realistic renovations


November 2015

A letter to people with imperfect homes

When I started this blog I had intentions of documenting all the fun renovation and decorating projects we would do to make our home beautiful and uniquely ours.

That started out okay with our kitchen update and the master bedroom, but friends let me tell you, renovating is expensive. Even the two rooms we have redone were done on the cheap. Not to mention, who has the time?! (Click the photos below to see these rooms.)


I would have loved to jump right in to our bathroom remodel and the living room, and design an awesome bedroom for Ivy as soon as our last project was done, but the funds are currently not there.

(photo: pixabay)

Instead we have been just living our lives with old carpet, a pink-walled bathroom, and un-designed rooms.

If you’re wondering where this is going, here is my point: That is all perfectly fine. It’s fine that there’s carpet in half of my bathroom, and the fixtures are old and ugly. It’s fine the living room isn’t perfectly designed and the carpet is stained. It’s fine Ivy doesn’t have the perfect bedroom (she stills likes it :))

We are fed this baloney that everything in our homes must be new (cabinetry, flooring, appliances, fixtures). We’re shown that the old stuff isn’t good enough and must be torn out and demo’ed with sledgehammers and reciprocating saws.

the not sexy property brother? (photo: pixabay)

We get this picture in our heads of what we want our house to look like- a perfect version of each room, painstakingly designed and organized. A page out of a magazine. Enough to make the whole block peanut butter and jealous. 

(photo: pixabay)

Instead I’m here to tell you, put that perfect vision aside if it is driving you crazy, be content with what you have. Be thankful your home has kitchen appliances, even if they’re not the newest models. Be glad to have running water in your bathroom, even if the tub that it’s filling has seen better days. Make do with what you have for awhile.  Enjoy it rather than despising it for not being shiny and new.

okay maybe if your house looks like this, get new stuff. (photo: pixabay)

My plans to go room to room remodeling everything in sight have been put on hold. In the meantime you better believe I am pinning all my ideas on my Pinterest boards, but I am also practicing a contentment that comes from within. There’s such a feeling of relief when you learn to be content. It is something I am still learning. I have good days and bad ones, but I try my best to be thankful for it all and enjoy life for every messy moment.

That’s not me. (photo: pixabay)

Two quotes come to mind when thinking about this subject. First, from author and social media phenom Mandy Hale, “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like, and celebrating it for everything that it is.” Replace with ‘life’ with ‘home’, and you’ve got exactly what I’m talking about.

And second, “What I love the most about my home is who I share it with.” Amen to that sister. My kiddos are happy in our home. They love taking baths in the little bathtub, and we all play on the carpet in the living room. I am so glad when my busy husband is at home with me, sitting on our old couch. Those are the things that matter.


Thanks for reading, friends.





Healthy and Fresh Chicken Parmesan with Spinach

Pasta is really a weakness of mine. Spaghetti, chicken alfredo, mac n cheese, pasta salads, yes please and keep it coming.

When making pasta recipes at home, I like to use whole wheat pasta. I think it is delish. It isn’t much different than regular pasta, but has a richer flavor. Admittedly, Tim is not crazy about it, but he still eats it no complaints.

The recipe I am sharing today is a lightened up chicken parmesan made with whole wheat noodles, sauteed chicken rather than fried, and spinach for a delicious veggie boost.

Healthy and Fresh Chicken Parmesan with Spinach

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Wednesday (P)inspiration | Fall Tablescapes

While I was planning my wedding I fell in love with attractive table place settings and beautiful centerpieces. The right flower arrangements and  runners and napkins and plates. Everything working together to create inviting tablescapes.

Continue reading “Wednesday (P)inspiration | Fall Tablescapes”

Meal Plan Monday | Country Style Mashed Potato Bowls

Happiest of Mondays to ya! 🙂 Can’t wait to share this week’s recipe with you! Here’s the rundown for the week.

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like their food on their plate to touch, this recipe is not for you. I on the other hand like to mix it up. Especially when mashed potatoes are involved.
I was working at KFC when they debuted the mashed potato bowl. People kinda lost their minds for awhile. Or they were totally grossed out because their chicken was touching their potatoes which were touching their corn…
For a  limted time you could get white country gravy on your potato bowl. And let me tell you that was delicious – and it’s the inspiration for this week’s #mealplanmonday recipe.

Warning: every part of this recipe is processed. Someday I would love to take a more whole food approach to this meal. But today I’m using instant potatoes, frozen popcorn chicken, a package of instant gravy, and canned corn.

Country Style Mashed Potato Bowl

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Thursday Top Three : slow cooker soups to try this weekend

I really love a good soup – warm and wholesome, they totally hit the spot. I also really love a meal that practically cooks itself. Cooking soup in the crock pot just makes sense.

Soups are perfect for the weekend. Eating chili while watching football is a fall time favorite of mine. Plus soups are great because I only plan to make one meal for Saturday and Sunday, and living off soup leftovers the rest of the weekend is a treat, because they get better the longer the ingredients have to meld and develop.

1. Chili

Continue reading “Thursday Top Three : slow cooker soups to try this weekend”

Transformation Tuesday : Aluminum and Wood Folding Chairs (photo gallery)

Meal Plan Monday | Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie

Hey friends! I’m so glad you’re here. After falling back this weekend, and not getting any extra sleep, Reid and I are up nice and early again today.

Yesterday I was in the kitchen most of the day. I baked and pureed sweet potatoes, and prepared a banana and white grape juice mixture for my Reid. Ivy and I made a strawberry banana cake for Tim. And I made cornbread muffins to eat with our leftover chili. A busy and blessed day.

Here is what’s on the menu for the rest of the week.

Crock pot chicken pot pie
Chicken alfredo
Bbq pork roast cheesy potatoes
Grilled cheese and ramen
Bacon cheeseburgers & fries

And today I’m sharing a family favorite, a creamy and delicious “pot pie”. I make the filling in the crock pot and serve over biscuits. It just takes a few ingredients, and I’ll bet you have some of them on hand now. Let’s get to it.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie

Continue reading “Meal Plan Monday | Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie”

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