Thursday, January 31, 2013

Project 52: Week 5

Well I am a day late on my project 52. Its been busy around here. Better late than never.
If you participated in Wordless Wednesday feel free to link up below!

Princess Mady with her baby Isabella

Link up to Project 52 if you did Wordless Wednesday. Its never too late to start! :)



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mom before Mom: My favorite childhood meal

I am linking up to Carla this week at All of Me..Now to continue the Mom before Mom series.

Writing Prompt: What was your favorite home cooked meal as a child? Did you help make it? How did it make you feel? Share the scents and sights and flavors.

When I was a kid my Mom worked nights and my dad worked days. So most of the the time my dad did the cooking. However once in a while on a Sunday my Mom would cook and make a nice meal. I always waited with anticipation to see what she was going to make. It usually made Sundays feel better than any other day of the week. It was the best day! Today as an adult I still love Sundays. 

My favorite Sunday dinner was a boiled dinner. I loved the aroma of the ham cooking with the potatoes,carrots, and onions. It was heavenly!  I hated eating onions but I loved the smell of them cooking in the big pot. If we were lucky sometimes my Mom would make an apple crisp for dessert! This was also my favorite, topped with vanilla ice cream or cool whip! The sweetness of the apples topped with the nuttiness of the oatmeal mixture, YUM!  I didn't usually help make dinner but I loved the time we spent as a family around the table. It made me feel closer as a family. 

On weeknights when my Dad cooked my sister and I loved to have tacos for dinner. When I was old enough to use the stove I would sometimes prepare it. I am thankful for the childhood memories even if its just the little things like home cooked meals. Tacos were so simple but we loved them, and still do! 

What was your favorite meal as a child? 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Funny Friday

I saw this YouTube video a few times already and can't stop laughing. Perhaps you have seen it already, but its worth seeing again!  Enjoy and Happy Friday! 

Enjoy your weekend,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 52; Week 4

Hello there and happy Wednesday! This week's suggested theme was weather. 

Last night it snowed here in Massachusetts, and it is bitterly cold. 

Today I have decided to post two pictures. I just couldn't decide which one I liked better. :) 

Settings: 50mm SS: 1/500  FSTOP: 3.5 ISO:200

Settings: 75mm SS: 1/400 FSTOP: 3.5 ISO: 200

Link up below so we can see your pics this week! 



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mom Before Mom: Childhood Bedroom

Once again, I am linking up to the lovely Carla at All of me...Now as part of her Mom Before Mom series. I encourage you to hop over to her page and check out her blog and all the other lovely ladies who link up!

Writing Prompt: What did your childhood bedroom look like? Give a tour. How did it change as you matured?

I remember moving to our new house when I was ten years old. Only one tragic thing happened during this move. Somehow, my Saved by the Bell posters were all lost.Ya, I'm pretty sure it was my mom who "lost them." Sigh.

I've never fully recovered from this ;)

I had the bigger bedroom that had two closets and three windows. I wish I had that closet space now!

The walls were sponge painted pink and purple by my mother, who also made big, pink balloon curtains for my window. My bed frame was a pretty wooden antique piece and a pink hand-made quilt covered my matress.

I had a shelf over my bed that held porcelain dolls. Most of them gifts from my grandparents. Most of them are in my basement today. I am not good at throwing things away.

There was a lot of pink. It was the early 90's. You get it.

I grew out of the pink and by the time I made it to high school, I was dying for a change.

The makeover started with a hand-made Amish quilt that we found while vacationing in Lancaster, PA. I am fairly certain that my parents spent way too much money on this.  It was hunter green and sunflowers. Totally different then the pink and I loved it.

My mom re-painted the walls with a faux painting technique called ragging (she was into faux painting). They were a lot more neutral this time around and they stayed this way for many years. Actually until it was painted for my niece not too long ago! I love that my niece now has my old room (and a lot of my old stuff!).

I decorated the walls with those awesome Kim Anderson prints that were all the rage. Most of mine were greeting cards that I would get from my friends. We were super cool and would write each other cards back and forth and then frame them.

Oh, to be in high school again! Actually, I don't wish that. Not even a bit.

After high school. I moved my room to the attic and painted the walls purple and filled every nook and cranny of pictures of me and my friends. Or me and my boyfriend (who is now my husband). All those pictures are still in frames and in boxes in my basement.

I told you, I'm not good at getting rid of things ;)

I was always so jealous of my friends who had bedrooms plastered with posters and teen magazine cutouts. They were so cool. My mom would never let me be cool. I was never allowed to tape things to my wall or even have a real "themed" room. I am actually not a fan of overly themed rooms as an adult. My babies don't have a typically decorated nursery and probably never will.

I guess I take after my mom!

What was your childhood room like?

XOXO Sarah

Friday, January 18, 2013


Hi friends!

I thought I would share another super easy, cheap, not too messy activity with you!

You all know how much I love Target, right? Well, in addition to all the bathing suites that are out right now (why must they put them out in January?!) their Dollar Spot aisles are full of new and fun things. It makes me happy.

Anyway, I grabbed a few things for Liza to do for Valentine's Day. One of them was a pack of $1 foam heart stickers.

Dear foam heart stickers, I love love love you for providing my toddler so many hours of entertainment! xoxo

  • Stickers
  • Paper
  • Crayon
  • Make a bunch of x's (or any mark) all over a piece of paper.
  • Let your toddler place the stickers over the marks.

This such a simple activity, but it does have benefits! Your kiddo is using his/her fine motor skills with each step in the process. Peeling the backers from the stickers and placing them on a specific marks supports fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Look at that concentration!

You could also take this activity a step further and have create a color matching game. Simply draw your x's in the different colors of the stickers and have your kiddo match the sticker to the correct color x.

Have fun! And remember, you don't have to shell out a lot of money to create simple learning experiences for your kids!

XOXO Sarah

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Project 52: Week 3

Hi there,

We are in week three of Project 52. I can't believe we are been three weeks into 2013. 
This weeks suggested theme is Shallow Depth of Field. Please feel free to link up below, you can link up all week! 

Hugs, Katey

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How Did You Get Your Name?

Today I am linking up to one of my favorite RI Bloggers, Carla at All Of Me Now. Carla recently started a series called Mom Before Mom that asks mothers to write about who they are/were before becoming "mommy" and I have challenged myself to join in the fun!

Prompt #1: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

Sarah Elizabeth

According to my mom, my name was chosen because she wanted a name that was old fashioned and not trendy.She didn't know of anyone with my name and apparently she received a lot of funny looks and comments for picking a name so grandma-ish.

My dad liked the name Elizabeth and she loved Sarah so I became Sarah Elizabeth. 

I laughed at my mom the other day for telling me that she picked my name because no one else had it because there were always other Sarah/Sara's in my class or at work with me. 

Her answer to this is that she started the trend. 

And I don't doubt her.

I've never hated my name, but I can't say that I loved it growing up. I did hate that I didn't have an automatic nickname like most of my friends. My mom and some family would call me "Sarah-Barah," my childhood best friend referred to me simply as "Sa," and my grandfather always called me "Sadie." I never knew why he called me Sadie until I was an adult and learned that it is actually a very common nickname for Sarah! Who knew?! I kind of wish Sadie would have stuck so that I wouldn't have had to be called Sarah H  or Little Sarah or some variation of my name/last name because that totally annoyed(s) me. 

I won't lie and tell you that I never wished for a name like Amber or Tiffany or Kelly, but I am thankful that my name never embarrassed me or caused me any grief. I am so glad I grew out of that stage and into my name.

Yes, I was obsessed with Saved by the Bell. I'm not ashamed to admit it :)

For years I could never find paraphernalia with my name on it and as a kid, that was very frustrating. I didn't get a license plate with SARAH on it until I was much older. I might even still have it somewhere in my basement! I loved the book Sarah Plain and Tall because it was about a girl with my name (and bonus, I have an autographed copy since my grandfather was a professor of the author!) AND because Sarah was spelled the right way

Uuuuugh, to this very day it frustrates me that I have to spell my name for people or say, "Sarah with an H" so that they don't put me down as a Sara.

Shudder ;)

I am thankful for my name. Even though it is not even close to being a unique name (one of my very dearest friend's shares my name....she just doesn't spell it right and I feel bad for her. Hehe.), it has grown with me and I have grown with it. 

It's simple and classic. The exact things I look for in naming my children (although this poor baby still has no name!).

I'd love to hear how you got your name too! Be sure to share your story in the comments!

XOXO Sarah

P.S. My name always had the best meaning...PRINCESS. Can't beat that :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shaving Cream Paint

In case you haven't noticed, I've got my soon-to-be-born-baby on my mind. It's been hard to think of much else. I have this whole mentality that I have to get my house and life in order so that bringing a new baby into our lives will be a bit easier. I'm sure it's not true, but it's helping me anyway!

Because I've been in this crazy zone, I felt like I was neglecting Liza a tiny bit. Not in a bad way, but I hadn't planned or done any activities with her in weeks. So, we broke out some paints. And shaving cream to keep things interesting :)

I know I've done similar painting activities before, but I am not sure that I've ever broken down this simple way. So, just in case you are unsure...

Cast of Characters:
  • shaving cream (I always buy the cheapest white foam I can find)
  • Crayola washable paints
  • paintbrush
  • paper

  • Mix paint with shaving cream
  • Paint away!

It's so fun to get a little messy!

Here are the paints before she started. They look so pretty and made me wish for the Spring!

I need to get back into the groove of planning activities for Liza. It struck me the other day that she could start preschool in the fall (omg!) so I really want to do some more activities that promote preschool skills! There is a part of me that totally wants to homeschool, but I'll cross that road in a year or two.

Are you and your kiddos doing anything to keep busy during the cold weather?!?
XOXO Sarah

Wordless Wednesday: Project 52

Theme: Silhouette

Link up to our Project 52 by submitting below! We look forward to seeing your pics! :)



Friday, January 4, 2013

Getting Ready for Baby

I am SO glad today is Friday!

I have been on a nesting kick since the day after Christmas. I have almost finished tearing apart every.single corner of my house. One last trip to Ikea tonight and I should officially have a spot for everything.

There will be no more hiding crap in closets when people come over.

I cannot deal with it anymore. This house is too small for us and the only solution is to simplify what we keep hanging around.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about :) Back to my nesting...

I *think* I can officially say that I have everything that I need for the new baby. He will hopefully make his appearance this month! Eeeek!

I've been thinking a lot about baby stuff and thought I should re-share this post from last year that lists some of our favorite baby gear items. Check it out and leave some comments with your favorite baby gear.

I'm also curious to find out what your favorite things for a new baby are. Not necessarily big gear items, but what are the little things that you couldn't live without? I need to know! I feel like I must be forgetting something :)

XOXO Sarah

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sight Words

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2013?? It's going to be a good year, I can feel it!

This post was inspired by a friend of mine. Erin from City Mouse in a Country House was looking for ideas to help her kindergarten daughter to learn her sight words and I thought I would put a few ideas together here. 

Sight words are words that your children will see the most in texts that they read. They are words that cannot always be easily decoded (or sounded out), which is why it is important for them to be memorized.

You can find lists of sight words broken into grade levels here

Your student will need to be able to read and write these words in a variety of contexts so when you practice with them, keep that in mind! 

Here are a few ideas that I have used in my classroom or have seen other teachers do throughout the years.

  • Most elementary classrooms have a Word Wall. You can make one at your house too. It can be as simple as a list of words on a piece of paper and taped somewhere for your child to access easily.
I used to make one out of file folders for each student to personalize. Throughout the year, add their new words to it. Or add words they want to know how to spell. 

  • Flash cards. Simple enough to make out of index cards or torn paper. You can help make flash cards fun by playing games with your student. 
Source (and some game ideas)
There are millions of things you can do with flash cards so google around and I am sure you will find some better ideas than what I post :) 
  1. Use a flashlight to point to the words.
  2. Make a pointer together and point to the words.
  3. Use special site word sunglasses.
  4. Cut up the flashcards and have your kiddo put them together (you can even make it into a puzzle).
  5. Tape the flash cards around a wall and toss a bean bag at them as they are read. Or turn it into a game of Hop Scotch or even Twister.
  6.  Use a fly swatter and when you say the word your kiddo has to swat the right word. How fun if you wrote the words on bug shaped paper and swatted them with the swatter?!
  7. Play Go Fish with the flash cards.
  8. Turn them into a Memory/Matching game.
  9. Turn them into Popcorn Words. I did this a few times and the kids loved it! Check out this blog as an example. I did some similar activitites.

  • Practice site words by writing them in different ways. Remember that your kiddo won't just be expected to read their site words, but write them in their journals. Use stamps, chalk, markers, magnetic letters, white boards, a salt tray, etc. Let your student fill in the missing letters.
  • Use clothes pins and let your kiddo make site words with them. 
  • Create site word sentences and have your student fill in the missing word. Or come up with notes and silly stories using all the words they know how to read.
  • Create a site word Bingo game.
  • Play Hide and Seek. Hide the words around a room and have your child read them to you as he/she finds them.
  • Here are some cute games using a muffin tin and other simply household items.

Okay, that seems like a good list to start with! I don't want to bore you.

There are SO SO many ways to help your student at home.

 Just remember these three things:
  • All people learn in different ways so be sensitive to your child's learning style(s).
  • Your student will need to practice their site words so that they can easily identify/read them AND write them.
  • Learning should be FUN! Keep it simple and keep it fun.
I hope this was helpful to some of our readers! You can start practicing with your kids even in preschool :)

Do you have any fabulous ways that you help your kids at home? Please share in the comments!

XOXO Sarah

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Project 52

Happy New Year!

This year I have decided to join a group on a photography forum called Clickin Moms, we are doing a Project 52. Which is when you take a picture a week. It can be theme based but it will make me use my camera more often. I am excited to go outside my comfort zone with this project. 

I will post on the blog my picture each week. Please join in if you are interested in doing this with me! Just post your photo on on our Facebook page found here. If you are not on Facebook you can follow us on twitter @simply_mommies and tweet us the picture. In any event I am excited for the adventure and to see what 2013 has in store!

Below are a list of suggested themes:

Week 1 (January 1-8): New Year

Week 2 (January 8-15): Silhouette

Week 3 (January 15-22): Shallow Depth of Field

Week 4 (January 22-29): Weather

Week 5 (January 29-February 5): Low Light Photography

Week 6 (February 5-12): Texture

Week 7 (February 12-19): Symmetry

Week 8 (February 19-26): Shadow

Week 9 (February 26-March 5): Glass

Week 10 (March 5-12): Motion

Week 11 (March 12-19): Night Portrait

Week 12 (March 19-26): Signs of Spring

Week 13 (March 26- April 2): Blue

Week 14 (April 2-9): Bloom

Week 15 (April 9-16): Reflection

Week 16 (April 16-23): Animals

Week 17 (April 23-30): Household Item at an Unusual Angle

Week 18 (April 30-May 7): Nature

Week 19 (May 7-14) Motherhood

Week 20 (May 14-21) Negative/White Space

Week 21 (May 21-28) Child's Play

Week 22 (May 28- June 4) Emotion

Week 23 (June 4-11): Sky

Week 24 (June 11-18): Macro Flowers

Week 25 (June 18-25): Pets in action

Week 26 (June 25-July 2) Friendship

Week 27 (July 2-9): Fireworks

Week 28 (July 9-16): Abandoned

Week 29 (July 16-23): Water

Week 30 (July 23-30): Flowers/Floral

Week 31 (July 30-August 6): Haze/Lens Flare

Week 32 (August 6-13): Sunrise/Sunset

Week 33 (August 13-20) Butterflies/ insects

Week 34 (August 20-27): Golden Hour

Week 35 (August 27-September 3) Labor

Week 36 (September 3-10): School

Week 37 (September 10-17): Color

Week 38 (September 17-24) Autumn

Week 39 (September 24-October 1) Bokeh

Week 40 (October 1-8): Boudoir/Self-Portrait

Week 41 (October 8-15) Orange

Week 42 (October 15-22) Fence

Week 43 (October 22-29): Leaves or Buds

Week 44 (October 29-November 5): Halloween

Week 45 (November 5-12): Imperfection

Week 46 (November 12-19): Thankfulness

Week 47 (November 19-26): Food

Week 48 (November 26-December 3): Macro/Close Up

Week 49 (December 3-10): Stillness/Calm

Week 50 (December 10-17): Winter

Week 51 (December 17-24): Lights

Week 52 (December 24-31): Christmas or Hanukkah

I leave you one of my favorite pictures from our holiday celebrations. 

My big girl excited for her Barbie Dream House on Christmas

Cheers to a happy, healthy, New Year!!!!