When I came up with the name “smith happens,” it was meant to be a funny mix of sh*t happens and a happenings or goings on blog. That’s my sense of humor in a nutshell.
I started our blog as a way to tell our story. Although, in the beginning, I didn’t really know what “our story” was. Justin and I met during undergrad about 11 years ago. Since then, we have had many ups and downs with going to graduate school, my health challenges, our many moves, job changes, etc. At first, I thought that was the story.
Then I realized that the two of us are a couple of weirdos. We’re anti-consumerism; we focus on small-space or right-space living; we care about the environment; we’re frugal; we are forever devoted to our kiddo and dog. This is what you’ll find here.
I publish new content most Wednesdays. These posts, more often than not, reflect our values (aka our weirdness). I’m still a professor at heart and have a tendency to bring in research whenever I can. Consider it a quirk. At least once a month, I post a spending update and our journey to financial independence. It’s a fun post where I share updates on our current projects and what our money is doing.
Every Friday (or Saturday depending on how crazy things have gotten), I post our week in pictures. These are random snapshots that I’ve taken throughout the week that show what we’ve been up to. There isn’t usually a theme. I just like to take and share pictures.
My “Monday Musings” posts are usually quick updates or thinking that I’m doing on a particular topic. These are usually pretty short posts. I don’t post a Monday Musings every week, but when the mood strikes me. I’m not quite ready to commit to three posts per week, but maybe in the future.
As for who we are:
I’m Amanda. Right now, I’m in a period of transition and answering the “what do you do?” question is a bit tough. I have a PhD in sociology with an emphasis in criminology and was a professor of criminal justice, but now I’m transitioning to being a stay-at-home wife and mom. (It’s strange even writing that.) Lately, I’ve been working a lot on our blog, my etsy shop, and figuring out how to do the whole homemaking thing. I enjoy gardening, crocheting, my fur-kids, learning about and implementing zero and less waste strategies in our home, and reading as much as possible.
Justin is an actuary. He very much likes his work and is often the brains behind solving my spreadsheet problems. He is an avid video game player, reader, and chief Sisko cuddler.
We’ve recently added a baby boy to our life through adoption. I’ve written about our path to adoption in a number of posts, but this one is a good place to start if you’re curious. At this point, we’re not sharing his name or pictures of him for a whole host of reasons.
A word on privacy, particularly for my friends and family:
Given that I blog about my life and it’s posted on the internet, I am well aware that once something is posted it is available for all sorts of people to see. That being said, I will not be revealing places of employment or other people’s names (unless I receive permission first!). I ask that you do not include this information in your comments as well as I will delete/edit out this information. Otherwise, commenting is open to all who visit my blog!
All of the pictures and videos on this blog were created by me unless specifically credited to someone else. If you would like to use one of my pictures or videos, please include credit (SmithHappens) and a link to my blog — smithhappens.org.
Many of my posts contain links to products I use, interesting sources of information, and the like. As a recovering academic, I include the links as a way of citing where some of my information comes from or where you can learn more about a particular product or service that we use. These are my personal opinions about these products and in no way do I profit from your use of the links. If I do provide a referral like, I’ll be upfront and tell you how I may benefit. Check out my transparency page for more about what we share about our numbers and what we’ll do when/if the blog makes any money.
Page last edited December 26, 2019