A Boy Without a Dog Is No Boy At All

Hello. Notice anything different around here? Look up!

That’s right we have a new addition to The Smithocracy! Austin, introduce us to Kona.

meet Konasitting prettyMeet our new dog, Kona. Kona is a Husky/Shepard mix and a perfect fit to our family.

Now those who know me best are sitting there in stunned silence thinking, “Tannie got a dog! Do pigs fly? Are hot places frozen over?”

Yes yes, it is amazing, Tannie has a dog. I the “we will never have pets” proclaimer. The “dogs are gross and belong outside” enthusiast. Yes, that person has a dog. And as you can see in the photo above, said dog lives in the house. And has quite comfortably for a few weeks now.

So how did this all come about you ask?

It all began shortly before Christmas when a very little annoying dog (Chihuahua) got lost at our house. Now I may not love dogs, but I also don’t believe in animal cruelty. So while we tried to find the owners we cared for said little lost rat. Unfortunately this was the cutest little lost rat we have ever laid eyes on and every male in my house was smitten. Austin gave me his best eyes, similar to this…

puppy eyes…and said the following.

“Mom, he just needs a family to love him. We could love him, and I would name him Stryker.”

FYI it turns out the Chihuahua’s name was Woody. I told him that this dog already belonged to a family and he already had more than enough love. Logan was a little more wary. He is unsure about dogs, but he did give me eyes as well and proclaim that he needed a pet to help him cuddle.

A valid point, I had to admit.

Soon Dan was also giving me the sad “I never had a dog” face. And I knew I was in trouble. Not soon enough we found the owner and Woody was returned to his rightful home.

But the Damage had been Done.

Pretty soon Every Boy in the house was moping around looking like they lost their puppy. Which in this case, they had. I was determined to stay strong. I was not letting a hairy beast into my perfect home. I was not going to deal with one more responsibility. I was NOT going to get a dog. However I did not want to be the total bad guy. I have mentioned before that we are a Smithocracy not a Smithtatorship. So what was I to do?

Call my mom of course!

If anyone would take my side it would be her. She is also a firm believer of no animals in the house. But she does love dogs and has owned many. So I knew I could get her to side with me.

Sidenote: Dan’s prerequisite was dog in-house. Also our yard is not fenced. That is why it was a foregone conclusion that the dog was going to be inside.

So I told my mom my problem and I thought for sure she would say “Hold your ground Tannie, no animals inside.” But is that what I got? No. Here is what she actually said.

“Stop blocking your children’s love! They have love to give and you are stopping it! You have the rest of your life to keep a clean house, but boys needs a dog.”

It turns out that a boy without a dog, is no boy at all. And also I am a “murderer of love,” not just succulents.

Well what can a girl say when faced with that?

About an hour later Dan and I were on our way to the Humane Society of Williamson County.

On the way I gave Dan my long list of all the things I did or did not want. The two nonnegotiables were.

  1. Must be small. I don’t want to have some giant dog running around my house. (also I thought I could ignore a small dog easier, as in my mind I wanted nothing to do with it ever.)
  2. Must not shed a lot. I don’t want to spend my life cleaning up fur.

And as soon as we got there that list went out the window. We walked into the shelter and I instantly saw Kona. She was the only one not barking, she didn’t jump at the cage. But she did look excited to see us. I walked up to her and read her card. Husky/Shepard. Oh no. Large-check, Sheds-triple check. Moving on.

But we couldn’t move on. We had to walk her. Then we had to pet her. Then we had to adopt her. We had no choice. Look at that sweet mug.

nobleKonaSo now I am stuck with a largish, extreme shedding Husky in my house…and I love it! Having a dog is the best! I never would have thought I would think that, but who knew?

Tannie’s can love a dog too.

Now Austin can put all his love on something.

aboyandhisdogLogan can practice his cuddles, which he does. It has also helped him not be so timid with other dogs. Dan can have a running buddy as well as his first dog. And I get the best behaved, cleanest dog that adores me and keeps me company all day. :-)

So welcome Kona. You are an official Smithocrat!

playful Kona


Living Room Update

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I enjoyed mine, at least as far as enjoying my new succulent center piece. I feel so happy each time I look at it. :-)

Time to update you on a couple things, or thing. Depends on how you look at it.

Remember this room?

beforeYep, that was my living room when we first moved in. Yawn. But then I added curtains as shown in this post. But I wasn’t satisfied with that addition and had to go ahead and PhotoShop a Dream Room if you will. See below.

dreamroomeh. Not my best work.

Fast forward to a year later and I have now taken the room one or two more steps to something that looks more complete.

Living Room: The SmithocracyTaDa!

Yep we now have a rug, much to the rejoicing of my cold feet, and some art on the wall.

For my facebook followers, remember this sneak peek?

canvasWell it became this.

Worldmap by Tannie M. Smith: The SmithocracyI was inspired by all the cool maps you see popping up these days. So I decided to make it my next art piece. The world with a Tannie twist.

Here is my signature, so no stealing it.

signatureAnd no DIY on that guy. I don’t DIY my original art. Hope you understand. Anyway, I love it! It added just the color I needed for that room. Then I found the perfect popcorn rug online and now the room feels  much more lived in. Adding the Living to Living Room. ;-)

Lets do some before and afters shall we?

The Empty Before.


The Kooky Dream Room.


dreamroomThe Fabulous After!

aftershotHere is what you see from the front door.

WholeRoomSo we are coming along. It could still use a little, and I mean little (minimalist here, remember?) more layering and then we could be looking at our first all the way complete room. How exciting!

So what do you think? Love it, hate it? Either way I would love your opinion.

Happy Monday!

P.S. Did that bother you that facebook people got a sneak peek into my map project? Well you can be a facebook person too. Head on over and like The Smithocracy!


Succulent Killer at Large

So sometime before Thanksgiving I got this beautiful pot of succulents to decorate my new table.

The real deal: SucculentsSo cute.

However, it turns out that I am a Succulent Murderer. Before Christmas came and went, each and every one of these guys was knocked off and sent to live with the fishes. It turns out that I am not so great when it comes to Indoor Greenery.

So what do you do when you are a Murderer of Succulents?

Get fake ones of course!

I normally prefer ALIVE things. But for the safety of all plant species it was time to wave the white flag. A quick trip to Hobby Lobby put all my troubles behind me.  And to tell you the truth I can’t much tell a difference.

fake succulent successHere is the full view.

Succulent in actionSo now I have the look I wanted, without causing Death and Destruction Galore. It is also nice to not feel so guilty every time I look at the table. However when I look at my fireplace mantle…that is a different story. Lots of Plant Death Guilt there. I will have to remedy that!

Happy Weekend Friends!


Goals, Not Resolutions.

Wow, I am really finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. Anyone else know what I am talking about? It is funny how easily our schedules can get so easily messed up. A few weeks with the kiddos at home and doing all sorts of things, and suddenly I can’t seem to get back on track with stuff I do consistently my entire life. Maybe that is why we need New Years Resolutions so badly! Something to help up focus and get back to how we should be. Recently I heard someone mention that they prefer making New Years Goals, rather then resolutions. This person said that when they make a resolution they feel as if they should already have mastered the resolution and just start doing it!

I hear that!

When I resolute to eat better, I feel as if the very next day I should be doing exactly that. Eat better NOW!  When I resolute to be kinder, I get mad when I am not kinder instantly. See what I mean? I don’t leave any room for mistake. I unrealistically expect myself to Just Do It! On the other hand, when you make a GOAL, it is something you know you have to work towards. Something you know you have not perfected, but would like to be better at. To me that difference makes a whole lot of sense!

With that in mind…

Here are a few of my New Years Goals.

  1. Blog at least once a week.
  2. Learn how to remain calm, even in stressful situations.
  3. Enjoy the moment. Stop looking towards the ending of things.
  4. Be a better wife.

Why those goals you ask? Well I will break it down…but later. That way I can keep my first goal and have something to write about! ;-)

Anyone else out there feel that way about Resolutions vs. Goals? If so, I challenge you to make your resolutions into goals! Work towards something rather then deciding you should already be doing it.

Good luck for 2013!

Chevron Tree Skirt Tutorial

Happy Wednesday all. We are mid week and feeling good! If you recall from this post, I promised a tutorial on that tree skirt. I know it is pretty much after the fact (the fact being Christmas of course.) But I am still going to provide the tutorial. Just Pin it and save it for next year!

Speaking of Pinterest, that is where I received the inspiration for this project. I am sure many of you Pinterest People saw this image floating around. (Not my image, it belongs to the site mentioned below the image.)

Inspiration by Project Run and PlayWhen I pinned it, the text read “Chevron Tree Skirt Tutorial.” However when I followed the link over to Project Run and Play, I discovered that it was NOT in fact a tree skirt tutorial, but a circle skirt tutorial. Like to wear…for people.  Not trees.

My first thought was, no problem, I will just adapt it. However I felt that the directions seemed a little time consuming for what I had in mind. Perfect for a skirt you might wear frequently, but not perfect for something you get out once a year to sit on the floor. So rather then adapting, I decided to just do my own thing and make it up as I go.

So here is my, FOR REAL, Chevron Tree Skirt Tutorial.

Chevron Tree Skirt Tutorial by The Smithocracy As established in my Christmas Tour Post, I was going grey and red this year. And probably will for the next few years. I am not one to mess with what works.

I happened to have some leftover fabric from some pillows I made.

Red and chevron materialLots of fabric, but no pattern. So I decided to grab my old tree skirt and make one.

cut out the shapeI measured, and folded until I got something that looked like this.

folded downThis gave me the basic shape I needed to work with. And since I was never going to use this skirt again, I went ahead and cut it down to size. Once cut, I set it on top of some newsprint that was to be my future pattern.

place on paperI knew I wanted the grey chevron on the inside and the red solid on the border. So first I traced the material and cut out the general shape.

Paper stencile for tree skirtThe I used the original fabric as a stencil to mark where the border and the top come in.

mark where the seam istrace the curve

curve on stencilecut stencilcut curve awayVoila! I know had a pattern for the inside, and the border. I set aside the small half circle shape and used the large cone shape first.

I needed to make sure each section looked the same. In order to do that I lined up the center of my pattern with the down line (I am sure there is a better word for that) of the chevron.

line center of chevronThen I pinned it in place and cut away.

piecesAs I cut, I set each piece down so I could keep track of my success. Soon I had the right amount, which is 9 btw, and already it was looking cool. :-)

all the piecesWorking with chevron was tricky. I had to use more fabric then I thought, because of the pattern. One way to offset that was I would alternate the direction. So if I cut one panel with the small end of the pattern at the top, then I would cut the next panel with the small end facing down. That way I could take full advantage of the material I had. Does that make any kind of sense?

stencile on fabric

Now time for the Red. This time I folded the fabric several times before pinning. That way I could cut more then one section out at a time.

pin the curvecut the curveOnce those were cut out, it was time to sew, sew, sew. You know what that looks like right? Well I hope so, because I couldn’t take a picture of myself doing it. First I sewed the red panel to the chevron pattern. This was tricky since there is a curve involved. But I found that if I just treat it like a straight line and go super slow, it works just fine.

sew curve to chevronOnce the two colors were together I began sewing the panels together. I would take two panels and lay them on top of each other, pattern facing inward.

Then I just kept on keepin’ on. sew panels togetherSoon I had all 9 panels sewn together. However remember, it is a tree skirt. So I did not connect the front and the back. That is left open in order to go around the back of the tree.

Next I seemed up all the edges using the ‘ol turn and flip that I show here.

seam all edgesThen I stole the velcro from my old Tree skirt to use on the new one.

velcroThen Ta Da! A tree skirt was born.

Chevron Tree Skirt Tutorial by The SmithocracyChevron Tree Skirt Tutorial- by The SmithocracyChevron and Red Tree Skirt - The SmithocracyI was pretty happy about it, especially considering how I literally just made it up in my brain. I will be honest, it most likely can be done better. I would not do a super close up inspection of anything. But for what it is, it totally works.

Phew! Glad to have that out-of-the-way. I always feel like I go through the process again when I write these tutorials. I feel as if I should have a second tree skirt sitting here on the counter! Oh well. :-)

Hope you enjoyed it and maybe will want to try it for yourself next year.

Hasta la Pasta!

Lets Hear it for the Boy…

Dan the ManWell today is the day. My Main Man’s Birthday! Dan has turned the sweet Three Five and it’s times to show him the love. For those that are new, you can read about the tradition of Birthday Love here.

1. I love Dan because he is a man with integrity. Dan always does the Right thing. ALWAYS. Even if it is inconvenient, hard or threatening. He does not back down from what is right. You can count on Dan to be the Man every time!

love forever.2. I love Dan because he uses his weaknesses and makes them strengths. A good example is his running. He hated running and vowed never to run. Now he not only runs, but just finished a double, yes DOUBLE, marathon. How did he do this? Well Dan is stubborn. VERY stubborn. He could teach some Donkeys a lesson or two on being stubborn. He used this to help him overcome his hatred of running. Now he loves it. He used the Power of Being Stubborn to make himself an amazing athlete once more. (For those who don’t know, Dan is a former soccer player, thus the “once more.”)

Soccer Dan3.  I love Dan because he loves me!

“Whoa Tannie, that is a pretty selfish reason.”

Hold on Reader, let me explain. Dan loves me and he shows it.

He shows his love everyday when he lays his pillow next to me when he leaves early for work. That way I feel like he is still there.

He shows his love by greeting me first before anyone else in the room.

He shows his love by being an amazing father.

He shows his love by putting up with my crazys.

He loves me by using the most obnoxious pet names ever. No Babe, or Honey from him. It must be Gorgeous or Senorita Sexy Pants, or Love Bunny. He also must proclaim those silly pet names for all to hear. I tolerate it and love it. I Tolerove it.

He shows his love each day by working long hours, putting his family first and setting aside his own dreams to help others achieve theirs.

So yes, I do love him for loving me, because his love means so many things!

Thanks for being my Best Friend Forever! I love you and Happy Birthday Dan!


Want to join in? Leave a comment saying why you love Dan too!