Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Thankful Tree...

I have sooooo much to be thankful for...
A warm, cozy home, a loving & supportive family, an amazing husband (& chef), and a son who lights up my life. 
We started this month with making our own Thankful Tree in our dining room...each night, after dinner, we talk about what we are thankful for in life, write our thoughts down on tags, and hang them on our tree. 

"Thankful Tree"
aka ~ branches in a vase
A few of our tags read:
Earth, Basil (our black lab), Church School, Family...
This is a family tradition that we will continue for years to come!!
Happy Thanksgiving my thankful for the little things in life!
xo Sarah

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friendship, good food & drink...

We shared laughter, stories, and wine....
We sipped cider, and soups that made our insides warm...
We discussed hobbies, photographs, and tried on soft-winter-scarves...
And most of all...
We thoroughly enjoyed one another's company! You are all such an amazing part of my life...
Another Soups, Sauces & More success story!
We'll have to do that again SOON!
xo Sarah

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Soups, sauces & More Party...

Love, love, love it when we have a Soups & Sauces Party!!
We're planning, prepping, shopping, cooking, printing labels, and filling our frig and freezers with many varieties of soups & sauces for our friends and family to order.  We are having a sampling of soups & sauces, and of course some wine...
I love watching my husband do what he does best in the kitchen ~ cook!
I'll post some pics of tomorrow night's party!
Here are a couple pics of my handmade cards, with my favorite photographs on them...
Pamet River, cape cod dinghies, hydrangeas, garden flowers, just to name a few. 
These are for sale at our home party, also.
Looking forward to a night hanging out with friends & family...not to mention sipping some amazing soups!!
xo Sarah

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween decorating

Hello...I've been swamped with first grade ~ making lots of games, learning new curriculum, and basically doing a great deal of cutting and laminating at night instead of posting to my blog!!

My son has kept me focused on our new home, as he loves Halloween, and all of our decorations have managed to appear just about everywhere.  Our porch is decorated, our staircase, mantle, and living room too.  We have these neat, yet simple, ghosts in a few of our windows.  We call them Toohil-ghosts, for our friend that first introduced us to them.  Simply cut window sized ghosts out of large white paper, and hang them in your windows.  I must say, they do look great when you drive by our home!  I'll try to post more pics of what they look like from the outside. 
Happy October!!

xo Sarah

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall mantel~

We decided this weekend to bring out our fall decorations, go pumpkin picking at our local nursery, purchase some cornstalks, and plant some mums...

I should have taken a close up too, but didn't...
                                       I decorated with baby pumpkins, ghords, my aloe plant, bunches of faux leaves, and a needlepoint of wheat that my mom made back in '74 ~ love it!!  I love mixing the old with the new. 

How are you decorating for fall?  I'll share pics of our front porch soon!
~xo Sarah

Saturday, September 1, 2012

abundant garden!

These beautiful veggies are from my dad's garden.  Aren't they amazingly beautiful?!  I think I'll put this platter on my dining room table tomorrow as a centerpiece for our family gathering.  LOVE summer veggies ~ what do we do without them over the winter? 

Hope you're enjoying this labor day weekend...we certainly are!  We've accomplished some yard work, organized the play room & found items to donate to our church auction.  Tomorrow we host family at our new home - can't wait to have everyone over!

xo Sarah

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cape Cod Map

My grandparents purchased this map a looong time ago, and used to have it in their Cape Cod home.  When my grandparents passed away, it was the one item that I asked for.  We hung it in our last home in our den/computer room, but I couldn't unroll it all the way because we didn't have a wall that was large enough...well, now we do! 

After hanging it in our spare bedroom, I got a little teary~eyed & wished my grandparents could see it hanging in our new home.  (don't mind the bed...all the tools are laid out for hanging the map just so)

Thinking of you Gram & Gramp!!
xo Sarah

Friday, August 24, 2012

being a team...

Every fall (I know it's not technically, but for some reason I call it fall as soon as school begins), for the past couple of years, we've made a new "chore" chart together.  This year my son & I talked about how our family is a team, and we all have things to do to help one another out. 
This time around, our chore chart is called "Michael's Responsibilities"...I think it sounds better than chores, and the reality is the list is what he's responsible for.
When he completes a responsibility, he puts a check mark on his list ~ I love that his checkmarks are backwards!  :)
Anyway, after 3 checkmarks, he earns 25cents.  Basically, when the chart is full Michael has earned $1.25.  All of these responsibilities don't get accomplished everyday.  For example, we only get the paper delivered Thurs. thru Sunday.  He also has to take some of his earnings & put them into his savings each month...
I'll let you know how this goes!  Hopefully well - we're off to a good start!

PS~ for some reason it's hard to see, but his responsibilities are:  getting dressed every morning, getting the newspaper (from the front walk), setting the table, feeding the dog, & cleaning up toys.
xo Sarah

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Tomorrow is my son's last full day of summer, so we are declaring it "Michael Day!" 

Let me preface this by saying that it was an extremely busy summer:  my husband had surgery in June, we moved out of one home & into our amazing new home, I moved from 4th grade to 1st grade, and our wonderful son rolled with it all!

So...tomorrow is Michael Day!  We will be playing outside, playing inside, sketching out our plans for his new science room, walking to get ice cream after lunch, and much much more ~ all revolving around my one & only. 

Can't wait!  Here's to summer, spending time with our children, and making memories...

xo Sarah

Ps- Here's a sneak peek to my classroom theme...owls.  My girlfriend painted this owl, and he's my inspiration for "Whooooooooo's in 1st grade?"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Bucket List...

Every summer, my son & I make our list of things we'd like to do together...sometimes this list involves day trips, or simply things like collecting bugs.  Last summer, I blogged about our summer list and we wrote out our wishes on sticky notes.  This summer, we wrote our wishes on clothespins and clipped them around the rim of a beach pail ~ hence our Summer Bucket List.

I wish the photo came out better.  The clips contain things like:  Museum of Science, firefly collecting, building a new swingset, out for breakfast, ice cream for dinner, hanging out with friends...
Well, here's to summer's unofficial end.  School begins this week for my little (big) man.  Wonder if I'll be a teary-eyed mom as he hops on the bus?  I'll wear my sunglasses that morning, just incase!!

Happy back-to-school!
xo Sarah

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I can see clearly now...

I was singing this song today..." I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..."  This is how I'm feeling at the end of summer vacation.  We are all settled into our new (old) home & loving it, my classroom is just about all set for open house in a little over a week, we've laughed, played, unpacked, and made our house our HOME!

I feel as though I've been away from blogging for an eternity, but I certainly needed the break & the focus to be on family & home.  Isn't it wonderful that I am admitting that?  This summer evokes those 2 wonderful words:  family & home!!
I'll leave you with a peek at my new front porch (more to come).  Today we planted 3 Endless Summer Hydrangeas and 2 beach grass.  The Holly bush has been taken down, and beachy plants have taken its place.  Next up:  new paint on the front door!
Hope summer has been good to you all!

xo Sarah

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lisa's jewelry!!

Love is my Anchor BraceletLove, love, love Lisa's jewelry!!  I believe this bracelet will be my "welcome to summer vacation" gift to myself.  Am I allowed to do that?  You betcha!!  I love the write up that goes along with this bracelet too..."With love as your anchor, it’s incredible the storms that can be weathered."  Amen to that!  Check out Lisa Leonard Designs. 

Happy Wednesday tomorrow...we're half way to the weekend!
xo Sarah

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello Monday...

What are you saying hello to today? 

Hello Monday...
Hello to summer vacation being right around the corner,
Hello to my little man finishing his kindergarten year - yikes...
Hello to being busy packing boxes,
                                        changing our mailing address on everything,
                                                                                changing over all of our utilities...
there's so much involved in moving, but we can't wait!!

Here's another little sneak peek at our new home! Can't wait to share more...

Happy Monday!
xo Sarah

Sunday, June 10, 2012

wonderful weekend~

This weekend flew by...but we enjoyed every moment! Soccer (only one more game to go this season), family visits, packing lots of boxes, doing a good deed and we found a new home for our swingset (we're getting a new one for our new yard - easier than moving this one), being a part of 2 friends getting baptized, packing more boxes, and putting together our teacher gifts as school ends this week - yikes (for my son...not quite for me)!!

Here's a sneak peek at our teacher gifts. I found the little tags online, bought the cool cups at TJMaxx (my favorite store to poke around in), filled the cups with iced tea packets, and a gift card for each teacher. Hope they enjoy their summer vacation ~ they certainly deserve it!!

Have a fabulous week!
 xo Sarah

Friday, June 1, 2012

New-to-us home...

This is almost our new home ~ and we're so excited...ecstatic to be exact!!  It's an antique colonial from the 1880's, and used to be one of my 5th grade teachers home's.  I have my paint chips picked out for the front door:  a periwinkle blue, pruning the Crabapple tree out front & taking out the Holly bush will be one of my first tasks as well...making some curb appeal!  Wouldn't this home look great with hydrangeas out front, or beachy looking rose bushes!? (Aly, like the ones' you found in Maine!)

I'll keep you posted.  I believe I'll have lots to blog about this summer, between switching grade levels at school and moving to a new home!  Until then, if I'm absent from my blog for a while, I'm packing boxes!!

xo Sarah

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A new blog that I follow...check it out!

Be Different, Act Normal by Lorie...

You've got to check out Lorie's blog, and follow her on Pinterest.  I don't know Lorie personally, but her posts are fabulous.  LOVE this one...I should make this sign for my home.  Hmmmm, how long would my son last before he owed me a chore or two to gain back a toy?! 

Hope you enjoyed your Wednesday...16 more days of school for me.  I'm looking forward to summer vacation!

xo Sarah

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art from the Heart...

I went to a benefit Saturday night, that one of my best friend's was a part was only a couple of hours out of the house, but it was a blast!  Many amazing artists were there.  I enjoyed checking out art work, sipping a beverage, chatting with my friend & her husband, and listening to some great live music. 
The chicken paintings...


Live music~ if playing an accordion wasn't amazing enough, her voice was incredible!!

Thanks again for a great night out, Dana!  Love ya & glad I was able to help a great cause!

xo Sarah

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gone, but I've been checking in...

Hello my friends~  I have had to let my blog go momentarily, but I promise this summer to be posting...there's lots to post about!  I've been busy, & for my own sake have needed to let this blog slide a little!  My family has had our home on the market since New Year's, and it is finally selling.  So exciting!  We LOVE our home, but it's time for our forever home ~ one that accommodates my husband and his diabetic foot problems, and a yard that accommodates our energetic son & dog. The home we're in now does not work for all of the surgeries my husband has gone through...
We have also found our dream home!  Let the packing of boxes begin!!  No stairs to get into this house - great access for my wonderful hubby- and a fenced in yard for our son & Basil, our black lab.  It also has the charm of being an older home, yet it's been flipped with many updates. 
I'm also packing boxes at school - yes, I am a bit of a crazy lady for taking this all on at once!  I will be switching from fourth grade to first grade, so I'm busy packing & purging at school, too!
Lots & lots to share soon, I promise!!

Now, to sip my coffee, enjoy the view of my backyard for a moment, & then get my little man ready for school!
Count your blessings!

xo Sarah

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"This moment, & who you are, is absolutely perfect"... email post that I look forward to receiving each week.  This one was too good not to share!

The 39th Lesson

Post written by Leo Babauta.
Today (April 30) is my 39th Un-un-birthday, and as usual, the day is a good day to pause and reflect.
Last year I wrote 38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years, and people seemed to find some use in it.
This year, I thought I’d share an additional lesson I’ve learned:
You’re not missing out.
Our lives are often ruled by the Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO. (Never heard of FOMO? You’re missing out.)
Some ways we let the fear of missing out rule us:
  1. We check email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks often, in case we’re missing something important.
  2. We try and do the most exciting things, and are constantly in search of exciting things, because we’re worried we might miss out on the fun that others are having.
  3. We constantly read about what other people are doing, and try to emulate them, because it sounds like they’re doing something great that we’re not.
  4. We often want to travel the world, because it seems that other people are living amazing lives by traveling all the time.
  5. We miss what we don’t have, miss places and people who we aren’t with.
  6. We work constantly, because we think if we don’t, we might miss out on opportunities other people will get.
  7. We feel like our own lives are poor in comparison with the great lives others are leading, and so feel bad about ourselves.
I could go on and on, but I have a birthday breakfast to eat (Eva and the kids are baking something delicious), so I’ll stop there.
We fear missing out, but why?
The truth is, we could run around trying to do everything exciting, and travel around the world, and always stay in touch with our iPhones and Crackberries, and work and party all day long without sleep … but we could never do it all. We will always be missing something.
And so, if we cannot help missing out, what is a saner alternative than letting this fear drive us? Let go of it, and realize you have everything right now.
The best in life isn’t somewhere else. It’s right where you are, at this moment. There is nothing better than exactly that.
Pause for just 10 seconds, and notice where you are, what you’re doing, who you are, at this very moment. Notice that you are breathing, and how lovely that is. Notice that you can smile, and feel the joy in that. Notice the good things around you. Give thanks for the people you’ve seen today. Celebrate the perhaps not altogether insignificant fact that you are alive.
This moment, and who you are, is absolutely perfect.
You are missing nothing, because there is nothing better.
You can breathe, and let go of all that fear of missing out, and be happy with what you have. Be grateful, and each moment think not about what you’re missing, but what you’ve been given.
This past year has been my best ever, because each day I have celebrated my Un-birthday with a smile and warmth in my heart. Today, I celebrate my non-un-birthday, and it is perfect. This moment I have spent talking to you is a gift. Thank you, my friends.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

busy, busy, busy...& fitting in some fun!

Phew...I've been gone a while, but I'm back!  We took a wonderful family vacation to Disney (much needed time together), enjoyed our first week back to school after vacation, finished the 2 paintings below this week, went to soccer bright & early this morning, took a class after that, and then went to my twin niece & nephew's birthday party.  Now, I'm finding some me time...laptop, uploading photos, cup of chamomile by my side & my husband on my other side.

Take a look at these paintings that I finished this past week...they were a first birthday gift, along with a gift bag full of Eric Carle books.

Happy Sunday everyone!  xo Sarah

Monday, April 9, 2012

Zen habits~ great posts to follow... Enjoy!!

zen habits: How to Meditate Daily

Posted: 09 Apr 2012 08:00 AM PDT
Post written by Leo Babauta.
The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever learned.
Amazingly, it’s also one of the most simple habits to do — you can do it anywhere, any time, and it will always have immediate benefits.
How many habits can you say that about?
While many people think of meditation as something you might do with a teacher, in a Zen Center, it can be as simple as paying attention to your breath while sitting in your car or on the train, or while sitting at the coffee shop or in your office, or while walking or showering.
It can take just one or two minutes if you’re busy. There’s no excuse for not doing it, when you simplify the meditation habit.

Why Meditate?

Why create a small daily meditation practice? There are countless reasons, but here are some of my favorite:
  • It relieves stress and helps you to relax.
  • When you practice mindfulness, you can carry it out to everyday life.
  • Mindfulness helps you to savor life, change habits, live simply and slowly, be present in everything you do.
  • Meditation has been shown to have mental benefits, such as improved focus, happiness, memory, self-control, academic performance and more.
  • Some research on meditation has indicated that it may have other health benefits, including improved metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and more.
Actually, some of the best benefits of meditation are hard to define — you begin to understand yourself better, for example, and form a self-awareness level you’ve never had before.
Most simply, sitting for just a few minutes of meditation is an oasis of calm and relaxation that we rarely find in our lives these days. And that, in itself, is enough.

How to Do It Daily

There are lots and lots of ways to meditate. But our concern is not to find a perfect form of meditation — it’s to form the daily habit of meditation. And so our method will be as simple as possible.
1. Commit to just 2 minutes a day. Start simply if you want the habit to stick. You can do it for 5 minutes if you feel good about it, but all you’re committing to is 2 minutes each day.
2. Pick a time and trigger. Not an exact time of day, but a general time, like morning when you wake up, or during your lunch hour. The trigger should be something you already do regularly, like drink your first cup of coffee, brush your teeth, have lunch, or arrive home from work.
3. Find a quiet spot. Sometimes early morning is best, before others in your house might be awake and making lots of noise. Others might find a spot in a park or on the beach or some other soothing setting. It really doesn’t matter where — as long as you can sit without being bothered for a few minutes. A few people walking by your park bench is fine.
4. Sit comfortably. Don’t fuss too much about how you sit, what you wear, what you sit on, etc. I personally like to sit on a pillow on the floor, with my back leaning against a wall, because I’m very inflexible. Others who can sit cross-legged comfortably might do that instead. Still others can sit on a chair or couch if sitting on the floor is uncomfortable. Zen practitioners often use a zafu, a round cushion filled with kapok or buckwheat. Don’t go out and buy one if you don’t already have one. Any cushion or pillow will do, and some people can sit on a bare floor comfortably.
5. Start with just 2 minutes. This is really important. Most people will think they can meditate for 15-30 minutes, and they can. But this is not a test of how strong you are at staying in meditation — we are trying to form a longer-lasting habit. And to do that, we want to start with just a two minutes. You’ll find it much easier to start this way, and forming a habit with a small start like this is a method much more likely to succeed. You can expand to 5-7 minutes if you can do it for 7 straight days, then 10 minutes if you can do it for 14 straight days, then 15 minutes if you can stick to it for 21 straight days, and 20 if you can do a full month.
6. Focus on your breath. As you breathe in, follow your breath in through your nostrils, then into your throat, then into your lungs and belly. Sit straight, keep your eyes open but looking at the ground and with a soft focus. If you want to close your eyes, that’s fine. As you breathe out, follow your breath out back into the world. If it helps, count … one breath in, two breath out, three breath in, four breath out … when you get to 10, start over. If you lose track, start over. If you find your mind wandering (and you will), just pay attention to your mind wandering, then bring it gently back to your breath. Repeat this process for the few minutes you meditate. You won’t be very good at it at first, most likely, but you’ll get better with practice.
And that’s it. It’s a very simple practice, but you want to do it for 2 minutes, every day, after the same trigger each day. Do this for a month and you’ll have a daily meditation habit.

Expanding Your Practice

Sitting and paying attention to your breath is really mindfulness practice. It’s a way to train yourself to focus your attention. Once you’ve practiced a bit while sitting in a quiet space, you can expand your mindfulness practice:
  • When you feel stress, take a minute to pay attention to your breath, and return your mind to the present moment.
  • Try taking a walk, and instead of thinking about things you need to do later, pay attention to your breath, your body’s sensations, the things around you.
  • When you eat, just eat, and focus your attention on the food, on your feelings as you eat, on the sensations.
  • Try a mindful tea ritual, where you focus your attention on your movements as you prepare the tea, on the tea as you smell and taste it, on your breath as you go through the ritual.
  • Wash your dishes and sweep your floor mindfully.
This, of course, is just a start. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including with other people, while you work, and so on.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Decorations are out, Michael's Easter basket is full of shredded paper grass & eggs that he chose for the Easter Bunny...

Along with some spring decorating & spring cleaning...I've been changing some displays that I've got around the house.  Changing things around makes me feel refreshed...does this happen to anyone else?  I put this lovely oversized tea cup on my nightstand, filled it with coffee beans (mmmmmm...), and when you light the tea light it smells delicious!  It's such a pretty aqua blue ~ I wish the color showed better in this pic.  Oh well...looks great on my nightstand. 

Organized some family photos, wrote on my bedroom wall ~ my song for my son.  I'll never forget dancing with him at my brother's wedding to this song.  One of my favorite necklaces says "my wish", too. 
~My wish for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, you never need to carry more than you can hold..." 

xo Sarah

Sunday, April 1, 2012

taking time for ART...

Framed some of my son's art work this weekend...this one's called "Birches", done with watercolor and pen & ink.  He loves art as much as his mom does.  ;)  We painted together this weekend at the dining room table.  I was working on a painting for my nephew's upcoming birthday, & he was working on a sea serpent painting - his favorite thing to paint & draw lately.

This is my son's latest sea serpent drawing with new metallic pens that we bought this weekend...on our trip to TJMaxx.  I love sharing this hobby with him - it's some of our most memorable together time!!

Here's to a wonderful week ahead!  xo Sarah

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday fun...

My little Irish~Italian leprechaun was in a creative mood this weekend!  Here's his picture of a leprechaun finding a pot of gold!

Then, he was creating a plane that the Easter Bunny flies around the world in...that's the bunny himself in the cockpit!   Love it!!

Finally, here's his paper chain to help count down the days until our special vacation!  29 days to go (we are counting)!!!

Tomorrow:  church, and bringing out the Easter decorations.  I'll post pics. soon!  Oh, & we'll definitely be spending some time in the yard...the weather is supposed to be amazing this coming week!  Happy weekend!

xo Sarah

Monday, March 12, 2012

How are you saying hello to Monday?

Hello Monday...
Hello back-to-school, doctor appointments, & correcting papers...
Hello to beginning report cards for the end of 2nd trimester...
Hello to our art museum class coming to an end ~ until summer.  
Hello to a 4 day school week (for kids anyway).
Hello to our count-down to our very special month to go!!

Hello to being creative with my little man...any excuse to break out the craft buckets!
  Our tissue paper shamrock, laminated & hanging in our kitchen window.  It looks beautiful in the morning with the sun shining through it.

Here are our foam shamrocks, decorated with stickers, glitter & markers, and strung together on our front door.

I love making decorations for the holidays with my son...hope he never outgrows it!!

Happy Monday!!
xo Sarah

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekend away~

Breathtaking...walking around the ocean's edge, and checking out massive ships is simply amazing.
Beautiful...can you imagine when people put in these cobblestone roads?  What work this must have been, and so beautiful to look at now.  The cars sound neat driving over them.
Anchors away!!
Mmmm....lunch!  A croissant filled with fresh lobster and Boston spiced french fries.  I could eat that meal over again!
Yum...Cupcake Charlie's!  These cupcakes were scrumptious - I'm lucky they made it home to share. 
Homeward bound...finally, we took the bridge home to see our families again.  Going home always feels wonderful, after enjoying time away!!

 xo Sarah