Thursday, February 28, 2013

Your Next Big Thing

Good Morning!

Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom can really get to you. Between the late night wake ups, constant nursing, and tantrums, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. It becomes easy to slip into your role of mom and neglect the rest of your roles. Your role as wife, friend, daughter, and even just the role of being you.

For the past year, my husband has been into reading self-improvement books. He finds it inspiring to read about how people became successful in their lives and enjoys looking for ways to apply their strategies in his life.

He is constantly telling me that I need to do things. To do things that make me happy and challenge me. My response is always the same.

"I have no time."


"When am I supposed to do that with two kids crying for me?"

And then he gives me a speech about something he has recently read and found enlightening. I'm not going to lie, it can get a little annoying always having to listen to his "light bulb" moments.  And I make no secret of it to him. Even though I know he is right.

Husband: "Babe, did you know that if you have a goal you have to work at it every day?"

Me: "Um, you didn't know that?"

I love to tease him. He gets so mad!

I made that conversation up. In case you couldn't tell :)

Well, the tables turned on me the other day when I burst into the living room excited to share with my hubby what I had just read in YOUR NEXT BIG THING by Ben Michaelis, PhD  a new book and Blog Hop that will hopefully change your life. I was invited to join sseveral bloggers who committed to join up to write about the new book YOUR NEXT BIG THING By Dr. Ben Michaelis and how we are each making and sustaining real change in 2013.

While I was reading the chapter about discovering your purpose, I read this:

Throughout the course of or lives, each of us has has an opportunity to do or make something that serves as a representation of who we are.

Hmmm...Ya, I am a former teacher and now a mom. What can I do? I pondered this for a really long time as I kept reading.

Imagine your great-great granddaughter...what does she know about you? What does she do to thank you for how you contributed to her life? Why is she lucky and proud to be your great-great granddaughter?


I knew when I read that that I needed to quit making excuses and figure out what my next big thing would be.
I have big shoes to fill when I think back to my grandparents and great grandparents, but today I am committing to write. To write more on this blog and to finally start writing my grandmother's story.

 Enough with the excuses.

 Ben Michaelis, PhD believes that a true commitment to personal change requires 3 things:

1.     Vision: It's wonderful if you know exactly what you'd like the New You to look like, but it's not necessary. All that you need is to be open to imagining yourself and your life as different than it is now. You can explore the particulars along the way.
2.     Promise: When you commit to change you implicitly make a promise. The promise is not to your husband, your sister, or even your kids. The promise you make is to yourself.

3.     Energy: Energy and work mean purpose. When you truly believe in something, when you are moving with purpose, you are throwing your energy at something you believe in to make a change and to make it the way  you want it to be. 

Here is how I will use Vision, Promise, and Energy for my own real change:

1. Vision: I will write my book. I will continue writing and growing Simply Mommies.

2. Promise: I commit to spend time each week writing. I am promising myself that I will do this. I will do it because I want to and I will do it because of the promise I made to my grandfather before he passed away. I will stop being afraid to write and stop making excuses to myself and others.

3. Energy: I will start slow, but steady. Organizing all my thoughts and ideas and make small goals for myself. I will spend time alone (no kids!) each week writing.

I hope you will join me and link up to my post and the other bloggers and take part in Your Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

Dodging Acorns
Don't Lick the Trash Cans

My So-Called Sensory Life
Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy

You can purchase YOUR NEXT BIG THING at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound and you can learn more about Dr. Ben Michaelis on his Huffington Post contributor page or on his website.

Sometimes the simplest concepts can change your entire perspective on life.

XOXO Sarah

*I recieved a free copy of this book to review, but all content and opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Project 52 Week 9: Glass

Happy Wednesday! 

This week's theme for project 52 is Glass. 

My girl looking at her reflection in the window

Thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Noodles of Fun

Hi friends!

I'm blogging from my iPhone since I'm having more computer problems. So frustrating!

It's warm here today and I am so tempted to open my windows to let in the fresh air. The only problem is that it is only about 46 degrees out. You know you're ready for spring time when 46 feels like 60!

March is so weird this year. St. Patrick's Day and Easter in the same month! I couldn't bring myself to bring out our Easter sensory bin just yet so I decided to use rainbows as our "theme" for a week or two. Rainbows tie in nicely with both holidays.

Here is what we are starting with. Noodles. Left over pasta that I dyed last year (I saved it in a ziplock bag).

 I added a few pipe cleaners for stringing, tweezers to promote fine motor skills, an sorting containers.

I'll add more and change it up as the weeks go by.

What's keeping your littles busy!?

XOXO Sarah

P.S. I'll do a little tutorial on how I dye pasta & rice (or you can google!) soon!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet Will

I am finally sitting down to share the newest addition to Simply Mommies.

Meet my precious boy, Will.

We named him William after my husband, who is named Guillermo, but call him Will.

All 5 pounds and 6 ounces of him was born on January 23rd at 4:47pm.

It was a short and easy delivery, much to my surprise.

I expected labor and delivery to be long and strenuous since Liza's was, but this was simple and I imagine, as pleasant as any delivery could be.

The day before Will was born I had a doctors appointment. I had been diagnosed with Interuterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) a few weeks beforehand and had been going to my OBGYN twice a week for an ultrasound and NST test.

All tests and exams had come out perfectly until this appointment where they noticed that my fluid levels were low. My doctor told me to go home and get my bags, take care of Liza and then head to the hospital for my induction.

I was upset. I really did not want to be induced again. I was sad that my body wasn't progressing on its own. I was scared of the Pitocin and long labor ahead of me.

I was a nervous wreck about leaving Liza because I had never been a part from her longer than a few hours.

My hubby and I dropped Liza off with my parents and then grabbed a quick bite to eat. I was sure I wouldn't be allowed food once I was admitted.

I was given a procedure and had a Foley Balloon inserted. My doctor was confident that this would get my body moving before I was administered Pitocin the next day.

It was uncomfortable.

I had a restless night between small contractions, hospital noises, and worrying about Liza and my baby boy. I didn't sleep much at all.

The next morning I was anxious to get to the labor room and get things going, but the triage and labor rooms were busy so I was pushed back. Damn all those women whose bodies naturally went into labor!

I walked the halls. We ate lunch. I sent a bazillion texts to my friends and family. I watched trashy TV while the hubby did some work on his laptop.

A big thanks to the Kardashians for the brainless entertainment.

I was supposed to start Pitocin a 5:30am, but wasn't brought down to the labor rooms until almost 2:00 that afternoon.

I felt giddy with excitement as the nurse walked me to the labor room.


I wanted to go home. I wanted my babies.

Our nerves made us a little chatty with the nurse as she hooked me up to pitocin. The contractions started quickly. We realized our nurse's best friend lives behind us. And we had never met her until she came into the room to say hello! Yup, my neighbor, who is a labor & delivery nurse, came in to meet me during labor. Small world.

Less than an hour after we arrived the shifts changed and we had a new nurse named Elizabeth. She was sweet and soft spoken.

My contractions picked up and hurt like hell.

I asked for an epidural.

My doctor came in once I was set with the amazing epidural and broke my water. This was at 4:15 or so. She told me to take a nap and she would be back in a few hours.

Yah, I was pushing fifteen minutes later. I seriously got my epidural just in time (although I was going through transition as they were setting me up for it).

Things happened so fast. And smoothly. It was such a different experience than my labor with Liza.

I pushed for maybe 20 minutes.

Will was born at 4:47pm and was placed right on my chest. He opened his eyes and looked at me.

It was amazing.

It was peaceful.

It was pretty perfect.

iPhone picture
I feel so blessed to have two beautiful babies.

You can see some more from Will's photo shoot here on the very sweet Sarah Pudlo's blog.

XOXO Sarah

Friday, February 22, 2013

What's In My Hospital Bag

I decided it was time to get my bag ready for the hospital. I am now 37 weeks so technically I could go at any time. I am so ready to meet my baby boy!

I wanted a bag that wasn't too small or too big. My trusty Adidas bag was missing, but I finally found it :) I am so glad I did!

Here is what is inside for baby boy:

  • 2 side snap onesies. I remember using these with Liza so I figured I might this time too. He'll be snuggled in this, a diaper, and a soft blanket until we go home.
  • Knit hat to keep his tiny head warm. Liza wore the same one in the hospital.
  • Nightgown just in case I want to dress him.
  • Going home outfit.
  • 2 pairs soft socks
  • Pacifier
  • Aden & Anais swaddle blanket (I am sooo excited to use it!)

I used everything that I packed and sent the hubby home for another swaddle blanket and another outfit. We were in the hospital during the coldest days we have had in a long, long time so I wanted some little pants and extra socks to help keep Will nice and warm.

Here is what is inside for me:

Pair of pj's in a size up from what I normally wear. I remember feeling so bloated last time.
  • Nursing tank, a few pairs of "granny panties" (the mesh ones from the hospital never fit me), and socks.
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Sweatpants and a hoodie to wear home.
  • Makeup Bag with just the essentials-cover up, blush, mascara, eyeliner, elastics/bobby pin, contact stuff, etc. (Don't forget your moisturizer like I did!)
  • Toiletry Bag with my shampoo, conditioner, brush & mini blow dryer, body wash, and deodorant.
  • Nook and charger (I plan on sending the hubby home at night to be with Liza so maybe I'll have time to pretend I am reading?)
  • Big sister gift for Liza

I used everything I packed. I am very proud of myself for not overpacking! Woohoo! If there is a next time, I will be sure to have a water bottle with me for the hospital room. I hate drinking out of those flimsy plastic cups. Oh, and I did regret not bringing my Boppy with me. Thankfully, my hubby grabbed it on one of his trips home. I didn't use it with Liza, but it was very helpful this time around with Will.

I think I'll leave my purse and take a small tote bag with me to the labor room. Here is what I think I'll take with me:
  • Small case with chap stick, glasses, contact case, bobby pins & elastic.
  • Baby book for footprints
  • Camera
  • Phone charger
  • Possibly a few snacks for my husband & an extra shirt
  • Wallet (at least my ID)

I was in the labor room for less than 3 hours (thank you, God!) so I didn't need much. We used our cell phones, camera, and baby book. If I would have been in there longer than I am pretty sure I would have used everything in the bag!
What did you take with you?

XOXO Sarah

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY Matching Game

Hello friends!!

I am back to blogging regularly! Woohoo!

I plan to write up a pretty post introducing my new baby boy, but it is a post that I want to have the time to sit and take my time writing. It will come soon :)

I thought I would share with you a project that I made months ago for Liza. I originally came across the idea on my old friend Pinterest. You can find the original source here.

This project was right up my alley: simple and cheap. Perfect for me!

Shape & Color Matching

  • 12 Wood disks from craft store (I paid about .30 for each circle, I think)
  • 6 Different colors of felt cut into 6 shapes (you could use any material)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Craft paint (optional)
Wooden Disks
  • Gently sand the edges of the wooden disks (if edges feel rough)
  • Paint disks the color of your choice. If you feel like it ;)
  • Cut 6 pairs of matching shapes (2 pink hearts, etc.) from felt
  • Hot glue felt to the center of each disk
  • Play with a cute kiddo!
My finished product.
I didn't try to be perfect. I would have tried a little harder I was making this as a gift. I'm not lazy...just always in a rush!

Imperfection just adds character! Hehe :)
Here we are playing! 
Apparently, it's not a good idea to take a picture while nursing!

I plan to paint the other side one of  these days!

XOXO Sarah

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love/Hate Stay At Home Mom

We haven't done a "10 Things" post in a while and thought it was about time!


I feel very blessed that I am able to stay home with my Liza and Will. Here are 5 reasons why I love it :)
  1. I love the flexibility of creating our own schedule.
  2. I love being a involved in every moment of my babies' lives.
  3. I love being the person to teach my girl (and boy!) life's little lessons during random moments. 
  4. I love wearing yoga pants when I feel like it. 
  5. I love that play dates are just as good for me as they are for Liza (maybe even better?!).

Even though staying home with my children has been my dream for as long as I can remember, there are still times that it is hard and there are still moments that I hate it!
  1. Sometimes I get bored. {Gasp!}
  2. Sometimes I hate that I want to wear yoga pants...
  3. Sometimes I wish I could have a little more adult interaction.
  4. Sometimes I miss having "me time." 
  5. I miss the little bit of extra money we had when I worked. I miss things like pedicures and new clothes whenever I felt like it. 


I am very blessed to have the opportunity to be a stay at home Mama to my three loves.
Here are the reasons I love it:

1. I don't have to report to a boss ( except the hubs hehe)
2. I don't have to get three children ready and myself in the morning and run out the door. This makes it a lot easier!
3. I get to be apart of every moment of my little ones lives.
4. I love being home for my big girl when she gets off the bus.
5. I love the flexibility

Here are the reasons I hate it:

1. I get bored sometimes and feel like my college education is going to waste.
2. I wish I had more adult interaction especially when I catch myself singing kids songs. lol
3. It would be nice to have extra money
4. I would like a reason to get dressed up
5. I am concerned about what I will do when the kids are grown without working and obtaining work experience for a while.

You can check out our other "10 Things" posts herehere, and here.

Tell us about your love-hate relationship with being a mommy!

xoxo Sarah & Katey

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Cookies

My girls enjoyed cutting out heart shaped cookies. I used the pillsbury ready made cookie dough. Then they devoted the cookies with icing and sprinkles!

They had so much fun! :)


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #Project 52: Week 7 Symmetry

This weeks theme is Symmetry: 

I enjoyed the challenge! 

Did you do Project 52 or Wordless Wednesday on your blog? 

Link up below!!

I look forward to viewing your pictures! 

Hugs, Katey

Monday, February 11, 2013

The "wicked' Storm

Hi there!

It sure has been quite a weekend here in the New England. We got quite the blizzard, leaving myself without power for a few days. There are still others in the region that are still waiting for it to be restored.

Before the start of the blizzard
The storm started in the evening on Friday and didn't end until Saturday afternoon. We had met our neighbors a few times but don't really know them. One if them reached out and lent my husband his snow blower. The other gave us some homemade soup, and later he installed a generator for us at no charge.

After my husband dug us out we ventured to my in laws and stayed there along with my my hubs brother and his family. It was quite an adventure! Thankful to them for opening their house to all of us!
 We are also extremely thankful for my husbands employer for dropping a generator off at our house. All in all it was a "wicked" storm but the kindness of others helped us get through it.

Just about 2feet of snow

You can't really see our street

Thank you for letting us borrow a snow blower! 

How was your blizzard experience? Do you have power yet?



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: #Project52 Week 6 Texture

This week's suggested theme for Project 52 is texture. It was tough to think outside the box for this one, but fun! 

I look forward to seeing your pictures! Link up below!! 

Hugs, Katey

Tasty Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

My husband the one who cooks in our family recently made Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. He found this recipe on The Food Network's website. It was delicious and so I thought I would share the recipe with you for Tasty Tuesday. I am linking up with The New Modern Momma and her Tasty Tuesday #Recipeswap. So check her out to get more recipes to try. 

Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese on the Food Network


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour creamuntil smooth.
Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.



P.S. Please be sure and link up tomorrow on our blog to Project 52! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sticky Heart Window Decoration

Happy February!

Did I ever tell you that I love contact paper?! There are so many fun and easy little activities that it can be used for.

Here is one of my favorites! I usually set this activity up for Liza every season and we display the finished products on our living room window.

  • Contact paper cut into a heart shape (or whatever shape you want!)
  • Bits of torn tissue paper
  • A busy little kiddo

Torn up tissue paper

  • Cut the contact paper into whatever shape you want. We did a heart for Valentine's Day
  • Place on a table or flat surface so that the sticky side of the paper faces up
  • Tear some small pieces of tissue paper (you can also let your kiddo do this if you'd like)

I love this project because it's simple, not too messy, and my 2 1/2 year old can do it independently.

Don't try and be perfect, your kiddo won't care! Look how horrible my heart looks!

See how pretty it looks in the window? I just stuck it up there and pressed down to make sure all the sticky parts of the contact paper stuck to the glass.

Once the heart was done and hanging in the window, Liza decided she wanted more. This time I gave her a paper heart and a glue stick and let her go to town.

The glue stick and torn tissue paper have kept her busy for two days now. No joke. She is busy making everyone "special hearts."

If you want to fancy this project up a little, you could add a border to the contact paper using construction paper (simply cut out a heart outline out of construction paper beforehand and then stick the contact paper over it). I'll admit that this looks prettier with a border, but I'm happy with it regardless :)

Can you believe we're thinking about Valentine's Day already?!

XOXO Sarah