Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All About the Ocean

Ocean animals, that is.

Liza has been crazy into all the different sea animals ever since her music teacher started a unit about the ocean. Since she is so interested in them, I knew I had to buy her some little sea creatures (thanks to the 40% off coupon at Michael's Crafts) and make a new sensory bin.

The day we bought the animals was one an absolutely gorgeous sunny day so I knew playing outside in the water table would be more appropriate than playing inside.

And my girl has not stopped playing with them for a week. "Mom, where are my animal oceans?"  or "Mommy, ocean animals in my water table? Please?" Yes, she sometimes says, "animals oceans." How cute is that?

Some of these sea creatures have even made it into the bath tub. Thank goodness that she is so into them I can now sneak away some of the yucky Dora toys she had in there!

Today I decided it was time to get back to my plan and actually make her a new sensory bin because I had some cleaning to do inside.

Here is what I came up with.

I put the bin on our porch since it is a little cooler out there than it is inside. I just stuck in some sand, a few ocean animals, and a tiny bit of sand from her sandbox. I also added a net, magnifying glass, and some wooden boxes. Oh, and a little cupcake pan in case she decided to sort out the sea shells (I might have encouraged that a little bit).

Pigtails, anyone?

I cannot seem to get rid of those darn plastic Easter eggs. They show up everywhere!

"Look mom, a daddy, baby, and mamma!"

Scooping, pouring, and transfering.

Listening for the ocean, just like she does in music class. I love watching her make all these connections!

For real, you will be seeing a lot more of these pigtails! SO CUTE!

Hope you enjoyed today's little post! Have you done anything fun with your kiddos? I'd love to hear about it! Inspire me with your ideas!!

XOXO Sarah

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

I hope you all had a Happy Memorial Day and a wonderful long weekend!

This weekend was a long one filled with tears and a lot of laughter. We tried to spend some time with just our little family because we really never do. It seems like anytime we spend together is always with our extended families. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful, but sometimes you just need to concentrate on your own family. Know what I mean? So, we did yardwork,went out for pizza, and took Liza to the beach!

For as long as I can remember, my dad would drag me out of bed early Memorial Day morning to head to the bridge at the bottom of our street. Every year, the military would come and do a salute to our local soldier that was killed in WW2. For some reason, they stopped coming and that really pissed my grandfather off! Being true to his character, he decided to continue the tradition himself. Now that he is gone, my aunt and the rest of our family will follow in his footsteps.

My family (and my brother's dog!) 
We took Liza to our town's parade. It was so hot, but she did a fantastic job! The lemonade might have helped :)

She drank it for about twenty minutes straight! It was pretty cute. Actually, right now she is trying to lick the computer screen saying, "I like lemonade mommy!" Hehe :)

After the parade, we headed over to my grandparents' house, where we were having a ceremony and burying their ashes. Of course, we marched through the woods. Just as my grandparents instructed us to do.

Only family and a handful of my grandparents best friends were there (We missed you, Trevor!). It was simple and sweet. Some tears and some giggles.

It wouldn't have been complete without a whiskey toast. The kids had juice and some of us had white wine because my grandmother wouldn't have liked the whiskey we had!

Then we marched back down to the house to eat and have a little fun with our family at my favorite place in the whole world.

How was your weekend?

XOXO Sarah

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Julie Project

Recently I came across the documentary of a woman told through pictures and a text. It moved me and made me realize how much I am blessed.

I want to share this with you our faithful readers and it is my hope you will take the time to share it with others.

It will probably take a few minutes of your time to read through, but it is well worth it.

I think we sometimes forget about the less fortunate people, whom are homeless and have to count on soup kitchens to eat, and shelters for sleeping and showering. So please take the time to read The Julie Project by Darcy Padilla.

What are your thoughts after reading this documentary?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On My Mind

Good Morning!

Today is hump day and I have a million things running around in my mind. I am planning my girl's second birthday party, organizing my house, and preparing myself for a busy weekend that will probably be filled with a lot of emotions! We have a memorial service for my grandparents and are spreading their ashes. We also are excited to spend lots of time with family and go to our local Memorial Day parade!
So, here is a look into my mind :)
I'd really love to DIY a dollhouse for my girl. I might be running out of time though. My grandmother had three awesome dollhouses and as a kid I loved to play with them. I always felt so special when she would have me decorate the houses for the holidays!

from younhouselove blog
We are having a bumblebee party this year and I am really behind with my party planning! Here is some of my inspiration.
I am really excited to have all her little toddler friends running around! I am also hiring my girl's music teacher to come do a little entertainment for them! Should be super cute!
I am making this and if it comes out cute, I'll be making them for gifts too! How cute would they be as party favors?! If I have a small amount of kiddos at the party, I might think about that! Sorry, I can't get the picture to work.
Her Mimi bought her a bike for her birthday. Shh! Don't tell!
It's raining again, so I will be sure to set up some kind of sensory play for Liza. I am thinking the shaving cream might make another appearance and we will be making an ocean themed sensory table. I'll be sure to post some pictures.

Oh, wait! The sun is out! We might be bringing the new ocean animals outside to the water table instead. I'd also like to get my window boxes all planted today.

And one more thing. I have yet to read the article, but this cover really rubs me the wrong way! I actually love Dr. Sears and consider myself to mostly follow the attachment parenting style, but the way the media portrays it is ridiculous. And STOP trying to make moms doubt themselves. We do it enough on our own. I should read the article before commenting about this any further ;)
Have a marvelous day my friends!!!

XOXO Sarah


Monday, May 21, 2012

May two four weekend

Hi there! It has been a beautiful weekend here in ontario! It is a long weekend, today is Victoria Day
It is a holiday in honor of Queen Victoria's birthday. That is Queen Victoria of England.  It is informally called the May two four long weekend, or the kick off of summer. 
This our second May here and I have noticed the weather seems to turn warmer during this holiday weekend. Many Canadians begin planting their gardens and flowers this weekend as well. It truly is a beautiful time of year up here. 

We took advantage of the beautiful weather. My girls enjoyed some water fun! 

It stays light out here until about 9:30pm. So it was nice to sit outside on the patio and watch the neighbor light off fireworks. The only issue is they didn't stop until 10:30pm and my little girl was very afraid of the loud noise. 

Do you have special plans for the upcoming long weekend in the U.S.?



Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Friday Again!

It's Friday again and I have no clue where the last week went! It was a crazy, crazy week. Make that weeks. Two weeks of hospital visits and stays is exhausting.

The rain has been replaced with gorgeous sunshine and perfect temperatures for potty training. Yup. Bring it on.

My girl looks pretty darn cute in her new panties. After nap we decided to play on the patio with some water. It is my intent to cause her to need the potty chair as much as possible. I figure that the water play and lots of water, juice, and watermelon will help keep things moving.

By the way, I hate the word potty. I just always have. I hate using it! I really try to say toilet before I say potty, but it seems that I cannot get away from it :) 

Here it is. The center of our world right now! I decided to lug it to whatever room we are in even though the plan I am following says not to.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! I promise lots of good posts for next week!!!

XOXO Sarah

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Things My Mother Taught Me

Hi friends. We are a little behind on our blog posts because of some travel and hospital time. We'll try and get all caught up today. Here is Katey's part of our belated post honoring our mothers:

In honor of Mother's Day, I would like to share a few things my mother has taught me thus far in my life.

My mom and three of the five grandchildren

1. My mother taught me to love God.

2. My mother taught me not to worry about what other people think, not to let things build up inside , and to say what is on your mind.

3.  My mother taught me to always try my best and never give up.

 4. My mother taught me to love myself because if I don't love myself first I can't fully love others.

5. My mother taught me how to forgive easily.

She has taught me so much more, but these are the ones I remember often. Thank you Mom!

What has your Mom taught you that you always remember?


I am lucky to be able to say that my mother is also my best friend and I would not have been able to get through the past few days without my mom's support and help. It was such a relief to know that my girl was with her and I didn't have to worry about anyone but the hubs. I'll fill you in on that story later on.

Five things my mother taught me.

1. She taught me to trust my instincts.

2. She taught me to stand up for myself. To not let others walk all over me. This was detrimental for someone like me. I used to be pretty shy :)

3. She taught me the importance of taking care of myself. Beauty and health. Inside and out. She taught me to have class (I hope!).

4.She taught me to show love to others. My mom and dad always took in people who needed help or a place to stay, they always made us feel special, and they were always willing to help family out. This helped to teach me Jesus' most important commandment: Love one another.
5. She taught me the importance of family and that family should not be taken for granted. Family should come first. Even before work.

Like Katey, there are many, many more things that my mother has taught me. I wouldn't be who I am now without her.

I will update this post later on and add a picture, but I have to run before my toddler takes over the house!!

XOXO Sarah

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Second opinions

Happy Monday! Also to all our mommy readers a Happy belated Mother's Day!

How did you spend your day?! Hope it was relaxing!I had a lazy day!

I feel tremendously blessed to be a Mother.

When I was about 18 years old I was told by one doctor I may not be able to have children due to the severity of my endometriosis.  Now here I am 12 years later with three beautiful children!

So thankful I got a second opinion. I went to Boston to see a specialist and he was able to help! Although it was not a cure and endometriosis is likely to return, I am grateful I was able to have children.



Friday, May 11, 2012

My Grandmother

Happy Friday!

It's been pretty crazy in my house the past few nights with my husband being ill and I finally have a second to sit down and put up a quick post. I'm sorry that this post will be lacking pictures because I don't have any on this computer and I am sort of rushing today :)

I have been very blessed with two very wonderful grandmothers. And I am so lucky to have been close with them both while growing up. My father's mother, who we called  Mari, passed away just about six months ago. With Mother's Day this weekend, she has been on my mind even more than usual.I thought I would share with you something that I wrote for and read at her memorial service last December.

This is just a little something for my grandmother, Dorothy May, who I miss very much.


When you're a kid there are certain things that become really important to you. Things like your grandmother's collection of dolls and her love for Shirley Temple and heart shaped rocks. Things like knowing exactly where to find the nail polish that she had just used to paint her nails and the dollhouse that her brother made for her. Stories about her years dancing and performing and knowing that her old costumes were packed away in the attic, and knowing that no matter what, I could walk into her house and things would be just as they should be.

My Mari was stubborn and determined. She liked to do things for herself and she liked things done her way; even the recycling. She hated being bossed around, but boy did she like telling my grandfather what to do. She'd yell, "Raymond, comb your hair and fix your eyebrows!" and then she'd look at you with that twinkle that was always in her eyes and you'd know that she loved it. That she loved him. She was proud. Often too proud to ask to ask for help, but mostly, she was proud of her family.

My grandmother was kind. People liked her, babies liked her, even the wild turkeys and birds were enchanted by her. She loved to do things for others. Like taking in my dad's garbage cans and folding my cousin's laundry. She loved to feel needed.I imagine that her desire to take care of my grandfather kept her alive. It kept her healthy. Even when she became ill herself, she stayed as strong as she could in order to care for him.

She always pretended that she hated being the center of attention, but I never really believed her. She would roll her eyes and protest when my grandfather declared her Queen of whatever it was we were celebrating that day, but then you'd see her little smirk as she led the parade. She played hostess to many events, and when she welcomed people into her home, magical things could happen. Strangers became friends and friends became family. No one ever left her house and forgot about it.

My grandmother taught me that despite our small size, we should stand tall. She showed me that with quiet confidence I can accomplish great things. She showed me the importance of being loyal to the people you love. But most importantly, she showed me never to forget about my inner child. I know she never did.

I love you, Mari. I love you a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with a special Mother's Day post.

XOXO Sarah

Monday, May 7, 2012

We love you all, but...

Dear Friends,

We both dig this.

We dig you reading the random stuff we write and we wholeheartedly love writing it for you.

It makes us want to be better. Better mothers, friends, writers, photographers, and basically, better at life :)

It makes us happy that you like us. That you comment on our posts, tell us on facebook, and in person that you think what we are doing is great.

Hey, we even have a few guys and non-mamas who regularly read our posts! We think it's pretty awesome.

So, what gives? Why do we only have 28 official followers?!

We know more than 28 people read our ramblings. So come on, and become a follower! This is the one time that it is good to be a follower!

We need the followers so that we can eventually do cool things with our new little blog! If we can build up our readership and follower we could do things like product reviews and real giveaways!

Wouldn't that be fun?! You know it would be!!

If you haven't already, we are begging you to officially follow us. Yes, it's pathetic, but we have no shame! Hehe :)

Here's what to do...

On the right side of the screen there are two ways you can follow our blog. You can follow by email (enter your email address and you'll get updates when there is a new post) or subscribe through Google. Both are super easy to do!

What are you waiting for? Go do it!! Please and thank you!!

We love you!


Friday, May 4, 2012

The Weight on my Mind *UPDATE*

Hello followers!  Happy Friday!!!

Back in february I wrote about my little man, Baby J, and his issues with gaining weight. Next week he will be 14 months.

Since my last update we changed pediatricians and ditched the specialist. The old pediatrician labeled him "FAILURE TO THRIVE". Did I mention he never lost any weight? He just didn't gain it at a rapid speed after six months. I didn't NEED to go see a specialist, I felt the doc could have told me how to increase his fat intake. I felt he was way to eager to send me to a specialist. I am pleased to tell you he has gained 4 pounds since February! We put him on a higher fat diet, cheese, olive oil. avocados, etc. 

I NEVER stopped nursing. I honestly never thought he wasn't getting enough. I certainly was not going to let the doctor bully me into starting formula. We began whole milk at meal times in March after he turned a year.  He was a little late with the crawling and pulling up as well. But now he is a normal active 14 month old boy!

What do you think about doctors and their labels on children?

Hope you enjoy your weekend!



Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Being a Stay at Home Mom

Good Morning!

Before I do anything else, I must send a huge shout out to Melissa of Filling our Bucket because she has been so kind to our little blog and has helped us out so much! So, THANK YOU, Melissa! Make sure you stop by her blog and show her some love!

I recently met Carla, another local blogger, and I am loving her blog. She has started a discussion about the "mommy wars" that are so frequently discussed by the media. You know, the typical working moms vs. stay-at-home moms and who is better!? It really is so silly.

Anyway, she asked her readers to share their stories and experiences with her and I thought I would answer her questions and share them here. I wrote this a few days ago and it's not perfect, but it is all the things that were in my heart that day.

So, here it is.

It took me six years to earn my Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education/English. I started off at a community college and then worked my bum off studying and bar tending my way through college so that I could become a teacher.

 By the way, they lied to us. Told us there was a huge need for teachers of young children, but that's another story. I was lucky enough to always find work, but never in a public school and never in one of those awesome union teaching jobs. Let's just say that I was lucky that my husband made decent money because early childhood teachers make crap. And that's pathetic because we work pretty damn hard to teach and care for other people's children.

All that to say, that I knew even before I became pregnant that I would not go back to work once I started having my babies. The only thing that I have ever wanted to do was be a mama. I would have gotten married and had babies at 10 years old if I could have. I was meant for motherhood. And secondly, if I did go back to work I would have been working just to put my kids in daycare. And what's the fun of that? So really, there was no question. It wouldn't have made any sense for me to work.

My mom stayed home with my brother and I when we were young. She would babysit other children during the day to help earn extra money while my dad worked days and went to school at night. When we were a little older, she got an administrative assistant job at our school. So, basically, she was always with us. We ate breakfast together, drove to school together, ate dinner together, did homework together, and so on. I liked it that way.

 I know it isn't possible for everyone to stay home with their children, but I know it is the right thing to do for me and my family. And honestly, working in daycares and teaching in schools really helped me to solidify my decision. It erased all my doubt. I always felt so sad that some families had to drop off their babies super early in the morning and not see them until dinner time. I used to think about how I was actually spending more time with these babies then their mamas and daddies and it made my heart break for them.

Don't take that the wrong way. I do not judge families that have their kiddos in daycare at all! I know it is necessary sometimes. And for different reasons too. Moms and dads have to work for all different reasons. Some can't live without the income, some might need the health insurance, some need the sanity of going to work, and some have a passion so strong for what they do that it would be a shame for them to not be doing it! It's all okay :) For real.

I feel lucky that my husband has always been supportive of me staying at home to raise our baby. I do think that he had all the usual kinds of doubt about money and stuff for a while. I also think that at the beginning he really thought it would be so easy. I'll be honest here, I even thought it would be easy. I thought I could take care of my girl, keep up with the house, make incredible dinners, and have a social life. What a joke! I was delusional to think that and I am thankful that my wonderful husband has really started to understand that it will not be that way. Not with a toddler in the house anyway! He will sometimes make comments like, "So, what did you do today?" as he looks around the untidy house and I try not to punch him as he quickly makes up for it by saying something like, "It must have been a rough day" or something like that! Hehe :)

Being a stay at home mama is not easy. It's challenging every single day. It can be stressful. It can be boring. But, it is so rewarding. Even on those days when my kiddo won't nap and I want to rip my hair out, throw things, and drink beer (I may or may not be having one of those days right now), I still go to bed with a smile on my face and a very thankful heart. And the best part is when my husband looks at me and tells me that he is thankful I can stay home too. That it's worth not going out to dinner and doing all the things we used to. That's how I really know that what I am doing is the best thing for us.

XOXO Sarah

**Just so you hubby makes decent money, but not enough. We have dept and I sometimes feel super guilty that I am not working. I try not to let it get to me though because I am pretty confident in two things. 1. If I was working, our money situation wouldn't be too much better because I'd be spending the majority of my check on daycare. 2. It's worth the sacriffices. I don't mind all that much that I am wearing clothes that don't really fit (I always feel bad spending money on myself, which is also dumb, but it happens) or that we aren't going on family vacations, or even that my house is so darn tiny. What we have I am thankful for. We are never hungry, we are never without. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for this opportunity that I have to be at home. I soak it up. because it may not last forever. Aaaand I also want to re-state that I do not think that there is anything in the world wrong with mom's that work. I actually have great respect and admiration for them because they have two full time jobs and they are super heros in my book :) I just don't want anyone thinking I am a snob or judging or anything like that. I am not. I promise. xo

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Outrageous Brownies

My husband the chef made some delicious brownies for a ladies potluck lunch we had today. The recipe can be found here for Outrageous brownies by Ina Garten on The Food Network.


  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups diced walnut pieces ( in place of the nuts we added peanut butter chips)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

This picture doesn't do them justice, I took it with my webcam

The recipe makes a ton of brownies so it was perfect for a group! They are so yummy! 

Do you have a favorite dessert?