New Year Traditions

Do you have New Year Traditions?

I really don't have any traditions other than I like to be kissed at midnight... okay, well I like to be kissed at any time, but if I don't get a big sloppy kiss from someone at midnight I will pout for a long time. Ask my husband about this... someone is still remembering New Years Eve 1999, ringing in 2000. I wasn't old enough to drink so my husband (boyfriend back then) went out to a bar without me.  I didn't get my traditional smooch and I wasn't a happy camper.

I have been remembering New Years Eve's from the past today. Before we had a child we often went out to dinner together then wrapped things up at home, a few times we slipped away to a favorite hotel to ring in the New Year in romantic splendor.

My favorite New Years Eve celebrations have been simple.

 In 2000 my dear whisked me away, completely out of the blue for a New Year Escape to the Hampton Inn. We drank wine and went swimming, lounged in our room and watched movies, and just enjoyed the change of pace.

In 2008 we went for a late dinner at Red Lobster, then returned home to share a bottle of wine from my collection of prized bottles from a lovely vineyard in New York.

In 2009 I was pregnant with Rolf. We camped out on the sofa, dined on hummus and watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. That year we both fell asleep before midnight and woke up with our legs tangled together and our necks stiff from sleeping on opposite ends of the sofa. I got my kiss, but it was technically about 2 a.m. before we realized it was the New Year.

This year, Rolfie is already in bed. He woke up very early this morning and I really had to stretch to get him to stay awake long enough to eat dinner and sip Peach Kristin Regale with me. We crawled in bed with the Mickey Mouse toys my son carries around everywhere, we kissed the Mickey Mouse gang good night and cuddled. Rolf fell asleep in my arms and I hated to let him go! I wanted to hold onto to the moment forever.

I thought about having a Margarita made with Partida Tequila but the mood to drink has vanished. The husband picked up a 6 pack and that pretty much sums up the evening. I will be lucky to stay awake until midnight probably.

But, rest assured if I fall asleep before 12, my husband knows he had better wake me up and give me a kiss to avoid a pouty face Sara in the morning.

Mommy You Are Magical

Sometimes when I look at my child and I think that giving him the chance to be a big brother would be wonderful, a gift in a sense. I feel the biological clock ticking and I want to race against the clock and have another child before I hit my 35th birthday.

Then there are times, that motherhood leaves me quaking in my shoes. Is there any way I could manage another one? My son runs me ragged day in and day out.

With that in mind, today I salute you Mothers of the world that do manage a house with multiple children in residence, that work, spend time with family, and find time to pack lunches.

Mom is a magical woman, she can get less sleep than anyone in the house, yet look lovely and fresh as a flower in the morning. Mom can multi task like no other. Mom can cook a nutritious and delicious dinner while helping with homework doing dishes and balancing the checkbook.

Mom can kiss a boo boo and make it better and chase away monsters from the closet at night. There is nothing like your mothers touch. To this day I still remember how safe I always felt with my mother and how she could make anything seem better.

Now that I am a mother, I remind myself constantly of the magic of Mama. When I feel frustrated that my son is hanging on my legs and insisting I stop whatever I am doing to sing the theme song to Dinosaur Train, I remember how my Mom interacted with me, and how awesome and amazing she was in my eyes at such a young age. I know these moments are fleeting. I must hold onto these moments as they pass. One day I will wake up, and find myself the mother of a teenager who is probably too busy for his Mama.

There have been times, when I am so content with my life with one child, that I feel it would be unfair to have another baby, when the one I have still needs my attention so much. This leads me to wonder, the Mothers with several children, is it hard on your child when you have a new baby? How do you find time to spend equal amounts of time with your children while still managing everything else you must do?

As always I am thankful that you spent time with me today. I would love to hear your input on having another baby and  how it impacted your child to have another baby, and how you manage your time effectively as a mother.

My Wonderful Walls Review and Giveaway

I have been in a rut lately. I look around my house and think blah the same old same old. It would be fantastic to breath new life into the place without a time consuming redecorating spree. With the weather turning colder, my son and I play in his room many days. It is the smallest room in our home and it is always nice and toasty in there. While his little play room is adorable and attractively decorated I have often thought it  would be nice to add a little something to his room.

When My Wonderful Walls offered to send an item to review, I nearly jumped for joy! This is exactly what we needed!

I was impressed with their selection. They offer wall decals, stencils, kids wall murals, wall stickers and canvas art. While many of the available items were really too cute for words, I hesitated to invest a lot of my time in this project. We know we will need to move within  a year or so.

After spending about an hour browsing the site and leaning towards several different options, such as the Dinosaur Days Wall Mural Stencil Kit and the Dinosaur Wall Stickers I found the perfect addition to the                                                         decor in my little boys room.

The Significant Submarine Canvas Wall Art was perfect for my sons room. While it might not match his cars theme it added a touch of unique flair and the visual appeal of this work of art is undeniably strong. I love that it is personalized with his name and he can enjoy it for years to come, no matter where our journey of life takes us.

My husband I were both impressed with the quality of the canvas wall art. It is a nice touch for a child's room. I would love to invest in several other canvas works for my son in the future.

If you are looking for a great last minute gift idea, consider giving the gift of a unique bedroom or nursery. My Wonderful Walls offers an impressive line of nursery murals.

One lucky reader is going to win a $100 gift certificate for My Wonderful Walls.
This giveaway begins on 12/23 and ends on 12/31.

Connect with My Wonderful Walls:

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"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Cooking With Sara

I have a really easy recipe to share with you in this first installment of Cooking With Sara.

Today was one of those busy days where dinner didn't even enter my mind until 3 pm. I checked the kitchen to take stock of my supplies on hand and came up with this easy recipe that you will want to try.

I had a can of crescent rolls, Lipton Veggie Soup Mix, sour cream, fresh veggie medley and cheese that jumped out at me, so this is what I whipped up:
First I unrolled the crescent rolls and made them into a crust. I baked them at 350 for 14 minutes.

While they were baking I mixed the 16 ounce container of sour cream with an envelope of Lipton Veggie Mix. I placed this in the fridge to allow the flavors to blend while the crust baked and cooled.

When the crust was completely cool I took 3 baby food spoons of the sour cream mixture and spread it over the crust.

Then I chopped carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in a small food chopper thingy.

Then I spread the chopped veggies over the crust.
Then I used one handful, rough estimate of one and a half ounces of shredded cheese to sprinkle over the top. You could use more cheese or skip it all together.

And it is finished. I guess you could call it a Veggie Pizza. It was yummy, but I wish I had used more sour cream mix, as it was a touch dry in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy this really easy treat that made a great appetizer for our dinner tonight. 

Wax Vac Review

When I heard about the wax vac I really wanted to try it.  I am always looking for a quick and effective way to keep my ears clean. I was thrilled when the opportunity presented itself. I had high hopes that this would be one of those products that would be used and loved by the family.

When it arrived I was ready to be the guinea pig. I knew my ears were a little waxy. I placed the bottle of mineral oil in very warm water for 6 minutes and then I placed several drops in my right ear. I got comfy and allowed the oil to remain in my ear for 6 minutes. I then used the Wax Vac as directed. I felt like nothing was happening. I followed the directions as best I could but this thing flat out didn't work. In fact, it did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do. It made the ear wax issue worse.

I thought maybe it was a fluke. Maybe I didn't do it right. I tried again. Using the mineral oil, which was as warm as I could stand it to be, I allowed it to stay in the ear a little longer, I tried the Wax Vac again. Again I had no results. I had to use a q tip to  get the oil out of my ear. This made the wax impact into my ear. I went thru an entire process to remove the impacted wax in my ear after 2 uses with this ineffective product. I won't give you details on removing impacted wax as I am not a medical professional, however I will suggest you look this up on the Mayo Clinic site.

This led me to try another test. I took a tiny little sliver of notebook paper, you know the little stuff that comes off after tearing a piece of paper from a notebook? The Wax Vac didn't have the suction to lift a 1/4 inch of notebook paper. The paper didn't budge, not even a tiny bit. If this thing doesn't have the suction to life a sliver of notebook paper how in the world can it effectively suction and remove ear wax?!

I hate to write a negative review. I almost didn't write this one, but I have hopes that my brutally honest feedback can help make this product better. I feel that the idea behind the wax vac is fabulous but... the unit I was supplied with simply didn't have any suction to it.I honestly feel that this is a dangerous and ineffective product. The light has been handy however. It made a great impromptu flashlight during a power outage. Simply put, while the product idea is great, the product doesn't work as it is supposed to.

Connect with Wax Vac:

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Perfect Day!

Today was maybe the best day I have ever had with my son. As I recall the day, it seems ordinary and much like most days in the life of Sweet Silly Sara. With a few exceptions.

More often than not, my day begins around 4 am, give or take a few moments. Today, was destined for greatness. My son and I stayed in bed, asleep until 7:12 this morning. I am instantly happy when I am well rested.

Rolfie and I got up bright eyed and bushy tailed. He has a cold, but he seemed to be feeling a little better. We skipped the standard milk and cereal breakfast and went with juice and eggs on a biscuit. Rolf loved the change in pace, and it is so much easier to slip the dogs eggs and biscuits, so the dogs were tickled pink. They love handouts. Rolf loves to share. Win-win.

We tackled the laundry that had piled up over the long weekend. I was in a turkey coma and had no interest in tending to the laundry, so I knew today was the day. It had to be done. Who knew folding laundry for an hour could be so fun? With Rolfie helping it was fun, we giggled, we played. It seemed like the laundry folded itself. 

We spent a great deal of our day doing artwork. In the later part of the morning, we drew with markers, we both were very colorful when Daddy came home for lunch. Then we moved into Rolf's room, which is basically a play room. We lounged in his bed reading stories, we played with puzzles while we were in there. 

Then we began Bean Art. I had a few bags of dried beans that begged to become art work. So we made a mess with glue and beans and got creative. It was really fun for both of us, and it relaxed me. I haven't felt so zen in a long time.

Finally, we snuggled on the sofa with the Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas. That is the perfect end to a perfect day. Rolfie fell asleep in my arms, but he woke up crying within minutes of me tucking him into our nice warm bed. So, I hopped in bed with him, stroked his hair and calmed him down. I have stayed at his side typing for about an hour now. I don't want to leave his side. I want to hold onto this day for as long as possible.

It has been wonderful to slow down, to enjoy the things I must do and to enjoy my son. I stay busy, cramming at least 19 hours into each day, every day. Maybe I need to prioritize and not set out intending to be Super Sara. Maybe I need to focus more on the Sweet Silly Sara within, and leave Seriously Sara behind more often. 

Teton Sports Celsius Jr Sleeping Bag Review

My husband loves the great outdoors. He is athletic and adventurous. He loves hiking, fishing, swimming and camping. I am an indoor girl. I appreciate the beauty of nature and I am not afraid to go out and get dirty from time to time, which makes things work well. I don't always want to tag along on Adam's great adventures, but I will go along when the timing is right.

When we found out we were going to be the proud parents of a little boy, my husband had a twinkle in his eye. He instantly started talking about taking him on a camping trip. When Rolf was 6 weeks old, my husband was ready to go camping... 

Well, as you will probably guess, the camping adventure didn't take place at that time. I have honestly been less than ready to send my little boy out to sleep under the stars. I know I tend to get a sore throat when I camp, and without a proper sleeping bag, I knew the same would happen to my son.

Teton Sports sent my son a Celsius Jr Sleeping Bag. This is a fantastic sleeping bag! I expected it to be much shorter than it is. It was in all honesty the ideal size for me to use. I am only 5'2" tall and I swim in the standard size sleeping bag.

My husband knows outdoor gear, and he was most impressed with the quality, function and portability of  this sleeping bag. It weighs about 2 and a half pounds, so it isn't too heavy for carrying to a campsite. The zipper is durable and easy for little hands to pull up and down. We loved the design of the sleeping bag, it has a very attractive pattern. My favorite feature is that you can unzip at the bottom for sticking your toes out if you get too toasty. This appeals to both my son and myself. Neither of us like to have our feet covered while we sleep.

This is a great sleeping bag for spring, summer and fall camping. It will keep your kid toasty and looking stylish in the process. We didn't get to test it out in the great outdoors, but we did have a semi-camp out in the living room. We popped up our play tent and tossed the sleeping bag inside for a nap. It was comfortable, warm and a super fun way to rest for my son.

You can buy this sleeping bag on Amazon, it would make a great Holiday gift for a little adventurer on your shopping list.

Connect with Teton Sports

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Snotarator Nasal Vacuum... Does It Work?

My son is under the weather, with every sniffle, cough and sneeze, I feel my heart break a tiny little bit. With his age in mind, there are not many medications that we can offer him to help him fight the symptoms that are making him so miserable.

We had been relying on a bulb syringe to clear his snotty nose, and as all parents who have tried this will agree, this is not a fun task. My son fights, runs, hides and cries every time. I feel like the worst Mama in the world when I have to pin his arms with my knees and straddle him to actually use the bulb syringe. I roll my eyes every time my husband reminds me "That is what the doctor said to do. It doesn't hurt him." While it might not hurt the little one, and it is necessary, it doesn't make me feel any better about the process.

The Snotarator  is a simple plastic device, it is clear, it has removable parts for easy clean up and it sounded like a great option for Mama's like me that feel guilty about wrestling their kids to use a bulb syringe. When Rolfie came down with his cold, I pulled the sample out and I told my husband... I think it is missing a part. He said "Really? Let me see it." He shook his head and asked if I read the directions... uh no. I am one of those people that tries first then falls back on instructions if needed. The wise, instruction reading hubby explained it just goes in the vacuum hose. I threw my hands up in the air. No, no way. I am not looking to traumatize my son any more than the bulb syringe does.

Well, then my son starting sniffling and sneezing again. I sighed in defeat and went for the vacuum cleaner. I expected this to be a huge deal, I thought my son would scream, possibly freak out and maybe cry. I set everything up and called for Rolfie. He generally likes the vacuum, but how would he react to me coming at him with the hose?

Geez, did I make this into a huge deal for nothing? The prospect of Mama sucking his face with the vacuum delighted my son for some reason. He laughed and had a twinkle in his eye as I approached him. The Snotarator is non invasive so really all I had to do was wave this little gadget under his nose. Whoosh, everything that was in there, was out of there in the clear chamber. I liked that I could see that it worked before my eyes.

It was easy enough to clean up with hot water, soap and a nipple cleaner left over from baby bottle days. It worked better than anything else would have. My son seems to enjoy the experience. He howls with laughter every time I use this on him. Maybe he is a goof ball? Maybe he knows it is helping him? Maybe it is just plain hilarious to have someone slurp your nose with the vacuum?

Regardless, this cold has been easier on the whole family. We can easily clear his snotty nose, he can breathe easier, and no fighting over the bulb syringe. I love this product Every family with small children should have one. It is easy to use, it is easy to clean, and it is super effective. 

Okay, here is a moment of truth. I was curious, how does it feel? I have a touch of a cold too, so when no one was paying attention to me, I tried the The Snotarator Nasal Vacuum. Oh my gosh. It feels neat. No wonder my son howls with laughter. It is not painful, it is quick and unlike any experience I have ever had. 

Trust me, get this! You will be glad you did. Visit
and use coupon code BREATHE17 to save 10% on your order.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Magic Cabin's Pinto the Pony Review and Giveaway

While childhood becomes endangered Magic Cabin is a pioneer towards protecting this special time in life by conscientiously selecting products that are beautiful and enchanting, sturdy and safe, and best of all, FUN. 

Magic Cabin has a fantastic assortment of toys to inspire a child's imagination.  I was super impressed with the selection of toys available in a variety of age ranges. I admit, I saw a number of toys I would have loved to have played with while checking out the website.

My son, the lucky kid that he is, received a sit on Pinto, ride on horse. This is a super awesome toy for a little boy! My son likes to ride the pony (the knee of Mom or Dad) and pretend he is John Wayne, so this is the perfect toy for Rolfie.

This pony is sturdy, it will hold up to 150 pounds. It has a removable saddle and bridal to complete the imaginative experience. The horse is adorable. I would have jumped through burning rings of fire to have something like this when I was a little girl.

Pinto is 28 inches tall, he is a fun toy for pretend or one heck of a neat seat for your little one. I would recommend this toy to anyone looking for a unique toy to encourage imaginative play for a special child on their shopping list.

One very lucky Sweet Silly Sara reader is going to win a Pinto Pony from Magic Cabin!
This giveaway begins on 11/25 and ends on 12/ 10.

Connect with Magic Cabin:

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or

services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Zutano For My Baby Model

My husband and I often hear comments that our son should be a baby model. He is quite the cutie and he knows it. We were very thrilled to give him the chance to be a baby model in an adorable outfit from Zutano.

Zutano offers colorful, uniquely versatile and whimsical clothing designed to encourage the individuality and imagination of your baby or toddler. The softest cotton and the brightest colors create a superior quality product.

The Zutano stylist picked the perfect outfit for my blond haired, blue eyed boy.

I couldn't believe how soft the material of all 3 items was. They felt like a cottony cloud. The outfit was vibrant and perfect for a little boy.

I loved the apple cozie hoodie it is a perfect addition for layering and it lives up to its name as it is very cozy.

The Multi Stripe Toddler Pants were a great match with the hoodie. They fit my toddler very well and seem to be a comfortable fit.

The T Rex Toddler Tee was perfect for my dino loving son. The material was super soft and the shirt was a perfect fit for my son.

We were impressed with the outfit. The quality was fantastic, the material was soft, the print on the t shirt was great. The clothes are stylish and durable. I have browsed their selection and I think my son would look fantastic in any number of items from the Zutano line.

I would recommend Zutano to other parents that are looking for quality and style for their little ones.

One lucky reader is going to win a Zutano Gift Certificate valued at $75. This giveaway begins on 11/25 and ends on 12/09.

Connect with Zutano:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

I Am Thankful

Happy Turkey Day to you and yours!

In honor of this day I would like to take a few minutes to share with you what I have to be thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my son. Everyday is an adventure filled with twists and turns. I acknowledge the alternative of having a rambunctious 2 year old. I am thankful he is happy, healthy, filled with curiosity and mischief. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I am thankful for my husband who listens to me (sometimes), who reassures me when I need it, who strokes my ego when I need it, who loves me all the time.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for my family. They might not live next door, but they are always in my heart.

I am thankful for the modern conveniences that make my life easier. Inventors of the dishwasher, coffee pot, electric range, I salute you!

I am thankful for the people who read my blog, leave comments and share my giveaways and posts. The reality that you spend a few minutes of your day with me touches my heart.

I am thankful to have shelter, clothing, food and running water. I realize not everyone has that luxury.

I am thankful for the people, the products and the places that have helped me in my journey (motherhood).
My friend Kristy who tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. My Mom who listens to me grumble for hours on end. Huggies Baby Wipes, please never let me see a day when I can't get Huggies Wipes. Sebastian Signs Dream Essence Spray and Dream Essentials Sleep Masks, for creating a much needed feeling of relaxation for me when the day is done.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for this year.

I Am Not Really A Cat Person... Am I?

I am not a cat person per say. I have always favored dogs, but that doesn't mean I don't find cats charming, fun and to be all around lovely creatures.

But then one day I began desiring a cat. So I batted my eye lashes and looked at him with my big blue eyes, my husband, who was at the time my boyfriend, promised me we could get a cat. Oh the power of eyelashes.

I wanted to be specific about my cat to be. I know this is ridiculous. But, I had already given my cat a name, I wanted a black and white or gray and white cat.

Well, I worked with a lady that had black and white kittens. Well, I didn't want one of her kittens even though they met my request in terms of color. Adam said "Why not?" I sighed and said "I don't like that (insert nasty word here) and if I get a cat from her I will always have to be reminded that I don't like her."
Yeah, I was younger and feisty. This was pre motherhood days.

We went to one of our favorite places, the apple orchard. It was winter, but they have the best cider there. They had a sign, Free Kitten. We inquired. The kitten was a little boy, gray with a white spot. I said "I want him!" The lady promised to bring him in the next day if we could return to pick him up.

So, that is how we got him.

He is 4 years old now. In the past few months our relationship has really taken on a new level. My cat and I have a moment together every night after the kid is in bed, the cat curls up in my lap to be adored and stroked. I have come to look forward to this special time with my cat, my lovely Maurice. So maybe... yeah I guess I am a cat person.

Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Sebastian Signs

Just in time for the holidays I am sharing a super fragrant review with you! Sebastian Signs offers a fantastic line of fragrances sure to sweep just about any woman off of her feet.  Created by Sherri Sebastian, who has a background in chemistry, wine making and business management, this line of fragrances is simple exquisiteness. 

The first perfume I tried was a perfume oil called No. 35.  This perfume has three layers to it with different fragrances. This pure perfume oil features top notes of bergamot, coriander and fresh greens. Whispers of white woods, ambers and a hint of vanilla bean. If I could only use one word to describe this fragrance it would be sophisticated. This fragrance was very complex and lovely. 

I tried Purusa Root Perfume Gel next. This has a very earthy tone to it. I thought it would be great for men or women. It has hints of black pepper, bergamot and lemongrass. The perfume gel has a very strong tone of patchouli.

Purusa Seed Perfume Gel has hints of sandalwood, cumin, cardamon, and coriander. It has a very natural scent, it is pleasant although a little heavy in my opinion.

Purusa Leaf was my favorite of the perfume gels. It smells light, lovely and natural. I liked the orange, violet and bergamot hints in this fragrance.

The last item I sampled was my absolute favorite of the group. Purusa Dream Extract Pillow Spray is amazing. It smells clean, crisp, slightly masculine and insanely sexy. I had a hard time falling asleep after using this because I couldn't stop sniffing my pillow and blankets. 

Connect with Sebastian Signs to learn more or to order from this amazing line of unique and elegant fragrances.


"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Complexity Of Marriage

When I first started dating, Adam, my husband, I told one of my friends "I am going to marry him", very seriously. She gave me an odd look and said "Oh, really..." I knew she thought I was crazy. I had really only went on one date with this guy. Sneaking off to make out didn't count. But,  somewhere deep down inside I knew that I would marry this guy.

It took a long time. In fact, it took almost 11 years, but I did marry Adam. In our long and sometimes dramatic relationship and our marriage (3 years now) we changed. We were no longer those young silly people that were crazy in love. We were just crazy, busy, focused on new and different goals. We had a child. We slowly had faded into older people. In our thirties maturity and immaturity  had crept up on us. It was weird. 

There were times when I wondered... Why Did I Marry Him? That sounds so odd to admit. But it is true. I have wondered that. It seems like there are times when all of the fun vanishes from life and I no longer take pleasure in hanging out with him, and in all fairness it is not like I am always a barrel of laughs. I know there are times that my husband doesn't really enjoy my company either. I am grumpy, I am frustrated and sometimes lonely. I don't always react to things in the appropriate manner. There are times when I am a mess at best.There are times I wonder if the ups are worth the downs. Not just for me, but really is it worth it to him too? 

There are times when I wonder if we will be able to survive marriage. Or if marriage can survive us. I have tried to imagine my life without my husband in the picture. I feel like my life would go on, but it wouldn't be the same. Yes, the ups and downs are worth it. He might not be perfect, but that is okay. I am not either. 

Knowing that a marriage is a lot of work, I have tried to do things differently to make it better. My favorite of all the things I have tried is increased contact. It sounds silly, it really does, but it works. I don't expect my husband to be attached to my hip, but I do expect him to set aside 5 minutes a day to hold my hand or hug me, or put his arm around me while watching television. When we make time to connect in this way, we communicate better. One hug leads to more hugs. We are happier to see each other. Face it a hugging, cuddly wife is a welcome site compared to a frowning, nagging wife.

I used to think 'Oh, we are married, I have to love him. He has to love me. It is easy we don't have to try anymore.' Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn't until my son was born that I realized something vital. Unconditional Love is reserved for your children. You do have to try, you have to keep trying, you have to keep things new.

I had no idea that marriage was so much work for both parties. A promise to make someone fall in love with you over and over again while you remain open to the experience of falling in love with the same person for the rest of your life is...yeah.

I have listened to advice, I have read books and magazine articles and searched the internet. I really want to have a good marriage, a happy marriage, a lasting marriage. Of everything I have learned, heard and read, the key, the secret to having the good, happy, lasting marriage was never mentioned. 

Over the weekend, I finally relaxed a little. I let the laundry pile up and the dishes sit in the dishwasher. I went back to bed. Sleep is amazing.

 I closed the laptop and actually talked to my husband. No distractions. I just listened to him and enjoyed the sound of his voice. We smiled at each other. 

When I saw his smile, not forced, not practiced, his natural happy face, his eyes twinkling with delight and heard his deep rich laughter, all of those moments that led up to falling in love with Adam became apparent again... Remember earlier I admitted there were times when I wondered... Why Did I Marry Him?! I began wondering... Why Didn't I Marry Him Sooner?

My husband has a great smile. I somehow forget just how wonderful his smile is over time. Maybe I hadn't taken the time to get him to smile, or maybe I was oblivious to it.

I think that is it, the secret to a happy marriage is to smile at your spouse. To genuinely, sincerely, happily smile at your other half. Finding ways to make your spouse smile is the challenge. 

Seeing my husband smile led me to wanting to talk to him. I found myself sitting closer on the couch, leaning my head on his shoulder and realizing Wow... My Husband Smells Seriously Good. I don't think I had noticed he is wearing something different and it really works for him... 

In 120 Languages

The I Love You In 120 Languages Pendant is a lovely gift idea for a special lady on your holiday shopping list! When mine arrived I could barely resist ripping the package open to inspect this treasure.

What is it? It is a onyx pendant that has the words I love you written on it in 120 languages. This is a gift of the heart  and for the heart.  Oh, and did I mention that I love you is engraved in 24 K Gold? Now you tell me, what woman wouldn't love this necklace? I think this necklace is a great way to remind someone just how much you care. In any language the meaning is the same.

I loved that the necklace came with a little magnifying glass for closer inspection of the detailed necklace. I liked that I could wear this for any occasion and with any outfit. It is a lovely and stylish piece of jewelry.

Nano Style really impressed me with this unique piece and I was blown away when I saw their selection. There is truly a necklace or pendant for any woman on your shopping list and Nano Style hasn't forgot about the men. Be sure to browse their site and be prepared to be blown away by the lovely items they have to offer. I saw a few things I wouldn't mind receiving as a gift this holiday season.

Connect with Nano Style Jewelry

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

My Very Own Pirate Tale Book Review

Reading is one of my favorite activities with my 2 year old. Story time is always fun with Rolfie. We are especially fond of personalized books. When we received a copy of My Very Own Pirate Tale from I See Me, we couldn't wait to read it.

As you can see my son really liked this book!

In My Very Own Pirate Tale Sea creatures bring letters one by one to spell out your child's first and last name in rhyme. At the end of this adventurous story, your little buccaneer is named an honorary captain with a ship of his or her own

Rolf really liked hearing his name in this book, and he loved the colorful illustrations. It was a really fun book to read to my son. The story is cute and sure to please any toddler. I liked the durability of the book. My son can be rough with non board books.

I See Me offers a variety of personalized books. These books make a great gift that will be treasured for years to come. Not only is the story special for kids, but the book is a gift that keeps on giving.

I am considering a few other titles that I think my son would like. I love the idea of creating a special gift for him, complete with details of his life and a dedication.

One lucky Sweet Silly Sara reader will win a copy of My Very Own Pirate Tale from I See Me. Come back from August 9-22 for your chance to win.

Use the code MATEY to get an awesome 15%discount on pirate products from I See Me. This coupon is good throughout August 2012.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Lovely Bone

The Lovely Bone

Fru Fru is sweet, kind, patient, he makes me laugh everyday. He is loyal, and never leaves my side, he is without a doubt my best friend forever.

He is the Lovely Bone.

Frugal Tip: Dishwasher Cleaner on the Cheap!

I have a tip for those of you with a dishwasher.

Once a month, as you know, it is important to use a cleaner in your dishwasher. I have tried several varieties. They all work fairly well.

However, I found a great alternative at a fraction of the cost. Instead of spending $4 or $5 on a bottle of dishwasher cleaner. I spend 30 cents on 2 packs of Lemon Koolaid. Simply open the packets, sprinkle into the dishwasher and run the dishwasher (empty) on a normal cycle.

It deodorizes and sanitizes and is much cheaper.
My dear friend Harold lost his battle with Lung Cancer last night. Harold was elderly, 88 years old I believe. He was old when I met him years ago, but his wit and kindness drew me to him, and we formed a friendship that I will always cherish.

I knew he was ill, but I held onto hope, foolish hope I know. No one lives forever.

This morning a sadness fills my heart. The worst part about growing older is that you have to say goodbye to the people you love before you are ready. At 32 I have lost so many friends and family already.

Harold, I miss you dear friend. I mourn for you, while I know so many people are rejoicing at their chance to see you again.

The Laundry Mat Friendship

My washing machine, made in 1978, has died. I tried to get my Dad to fix it, but he told me to give it up and buy a new one. Well, we are shopping around for a washer, but we haven't committed to one yet.

This has resulted in a trip to the laundrymat to wash my clothes, then I bring them home to dry.

I was fully prepared to be unhappy about this, but we have a decent little laundry mat here in our town. A 4 load machine is $4, and it takes 20 minutes to do laundry. The place is fairly clean too, which is a bonus!

Today we stopped to do the laundry, instead of walking to the park we just waited it out for 20 minutes. A Little boy came in with his Dad. He instantly went up to my son and gave him a hug. We all laughed, it was adorable.

My son was hooked! This little boy was awesome! They ran around together, they made dinosaur sounds together, they hugged each other. They kissed each others cheeks. It was heart melting. When the little impromptu play date was over my son cried, he liked his new little friend so much, he didn't want the fun to end.

It made me feel great to see my son having fun and playing, and letting his sweet little personality shine!

I feel like my son has been at a disadvantage socially. I have been trying for 2 years to set him up with play dates. The parents I have met with children of a similar age are usually much younger than I am. I have handed out about 40 Mommy and Me cards, but we have not had any play dates. We go to the park several times a week, but there are never any little kids at the park at least not that we have seen. It gets discouraging. Maybe I have unfortunate timing, but even when I take him to the mall to play, there are very few little kids there, with the exception of the older school aged kids.

At this point I feel desperate to help him develop friendships and to have a playmate. It caught me by surprise to find the laundry mat would help solve the problem. When you least expect it, what you seek will find you.

Make Your Own 'Fabreeze'

I have 2 dogs, a cat and a toddler. There are a lot of times that I really need to refresh the fabric surfaces in my home.

I could use 2 or 3 bottles of Fabreeze easily,each week, as I try to keep a clean, fresh and fragrant home. This lead me to feeling guilty about my environmental impact, and I despised that I was reliant on chemicals.

Well, today I tried a DIY fabric refresher I want to share the recipe with you.

You need an empty spray bottle, such as an empty Fabreeze bottle. I used a 33 fluid ounce bottle that I had on hand. (I cleaned it very well first).

I filled the empty bottle with 30 ounces of hot water.
I added 2 ounces of Fabric Softner, Downy Orchid Allure.
I added 3 teaspoons of baking soda.
I mixed this well. And there you have a DIY fabric refresher, at a fraction of the cost! This is a great way to save money and reduce the amount of plastic that is thrown into the garbage.

It smells amazing, although I think I will reduce the amount of baking soda,as I thought the surfaces I had sprayed felt just a tiny bit gritty.

I will never buy Fabric Refresher again, and I can't wait to try another fragrance of fabric softner soon!

Fathers Day- A Memory

For Fathers Day 2012. I wanted to give my Dad something special, beyond the standard tools and movies I normally give him.

It took a while to find the perfect gift, something he did not already have.

A relative, who I consider to be a dear friend too supplied me with the perfect gift.

From left to right:
(Front)Leroy and Anna Six
 Back Row: Roy and Wilfred Six

This photo is my Dads Grandparents, his Uncle Roy and His Father, Wilfred.
My grandfather, Wilfred served during WW2, he lost his leg at the Battle of the Bulge. I never met him or any of the relatives in this photo.

When I gave my Dad this photo, his eyes misted over. He said "I have never even seen this photo before! Sara, where did you get this?"

I said "Oh, I know people."

Pictures of Our Summer

My son is a future Olympic swimmer! He has been floating on his back at 2 years old! Needless to say, his pool is a hit. Who would have thought a 30"x12' pool would be so much fun for our little family!?

The poor dog wants to get in the pool too! He has been cracking us up, while we are in the pool he circles it, and all you can see is his tail. It seems like we are being circled by a big, beautiful red shark! LOL

If you get near the edge, the dog (Fru) stops to give you a smooch. 

I can't resist sharing this one, from our trip to the Little Buckeye Museum. 

And one of us cuddling up on the Carousel. 

                                                            Gotta love that face!

Getting his face kissed off by Daddy at the park.

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my husband Adam.

It has been 3 eventful, exciting years, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Summer Days

My husband is enjoying his 3 months off of work for summer break. I love having him around too!

It has been strange though. I cannot seem to figure out why my routines are so off track now. I guess it will take time before we establish a new routine. The little one is thrown off too, he has been waking up between 5 :20 ish and 6 am ish every morning for the past week. I love to get up early. The morning is the best part of the day. The quiet of the morning does it for me. I bask in the silence of my neighborhood.

I hate to say it, but the summer seems vapid so far. I have not really had any adventures worth mentioning. I went to the library, and of course my daily walks. Other than that I really don't even know what day it is without looking at a calender. I have just been hanging around.

I have been trying to plan activities, but it seems as if the great community things don't start until mid summer. We have been trying to fight boredom off by renting movies, playing outside and reading tons of books. Rolf has been waiting for several weeks, but finally his bouncy room comes in this week!

My Mother in Law has offered to buy a pop up pool for the backyard, and we are looking forward to that. My husband and I both love to swim. Rolf loves the water too. I admit I am a little nervous about a toddler and a backyard pool, but my husband assures me Rolfie will be fine, we will buy a swimming vest/suit thingy for him as soon as the pool is delivered and of course we will have a pool cover.

See, I told you. What a vapid summer!

Will You Carry Me? Review

My son Rolf loves to read. We love to encourage his love of books by offering a variety of titles on assorted subjects.

When Kane Miller sent me a copy of Will You Carry Me? Heleen van Rossum I couldn't wait to read it with Rolf. At 2 he is great at walking, but he sometimes would rather have Mommy or Daddy carry him around. This was a perfect book to share!

I thought the book was really fun, and contained a story that my little one could grasp. Rolf loves to play at the park and is often too tired to walk home, much like the little boy in the story.

I loved the illustrations! Mommy has a creative approach in the book and the  illustrations add an element of additional fun.

I also love that this book is from the Netherlands. I like to expose Rolf to other cultures at an early age, and Kane Miller books are always a great way to achieve cultural exposure at a young age.

Kane Miller offers many fun books to delight your young reader. My son thoroughly enjoyed Will You Carry Me,  and I did too! This book retails for around $4 and in my opinion is a great investment as your child will enjoy reading it many times, much like my son has!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Butterfly Garden by Insect Lore Review and Giveaway

Insect Lore was kind enough to send me a Butterfly Garden kit with live caterpillars a few weeks ago to facilitate the coolest review I have ever completed! I can’t wait to share more info with you about this really cool company and their educational products.

About Insect Lore:
I found this on their website.
“Insect Lore was founded in California's San Joaquin Valley by Carlos White, an entomologist working with insects in the agricultural industry. In 1965, he had an idea to create a kit through which people of all ages could witness the metamorphosis of a real, live butterfly. It seemed like a great idea - but the key to its success would be to create a recipe for caterpillar food. This would enable the caterpillars to eat and get enough nutrition to become healthy adult butterflies. How hard could that be?

As the next three long years of trial and error proved, quite hard indeed. Mr. White finally came up with a successful dietary formula for the Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars in 1969. It was then that The Butterfly Garden was born. The concept was simple but revolutionary at the time: butterfly lovers would go into a store and purchase a kit which included a certificate that could be mailed to Insect Lore's "butterfly nursery" in order to receive live caterpillars by mail.  The caterpillars would be shipped to the customer in a special jar that included Mr. White's unique caterpillar food. In time, the caterpillars would eat the food, change into chrysalides, and finally emerge as adult butterflies in The Butterfly Garden hatching box. After a few days of observation, the butterflies would be released to benefit nature - delighting both the customer and the butterflies.

The special diet made all this possible, and the Insect Lore "butterflies-by-mail" magic began. The first Butterfly Garden kits were wildly colored (this was the 60's, after all), and the habitat was a box with round plastic windows. Groovy!”

When my kit arrived, my husband and I were really thrilled!  We couldn’t wait to watch the caterpillars metamorphosis into a butterflies!

The process was unbelievable easy. I placed the caterpillars in their plastic container in a cool dark place and observed them each day. I loved watching them grow and work their way to the top of the container. Once the caterpillars were inside their chrysalis I used a safety pin to attach the top of the container to the butterfly garden.

Within 16 days of arrival, I had 5 gorgeous painted lady butterflies peacefully fluttering around in the garden, which is a pleasant mesh container that zips at the top.

We kept the painted ladies for 5 days. We offered them carnations and slices of oranges and apples sprinkled with sugar water as food. When the time came to set them free, my family was sad. We enjoyed this project so much!

Insect Lore has many amazing kits for sale. You can hatch butterflies, moths, jelly fish and fish to name a few. You can also grow lily pads, which sounds quite fun! My family is already discussing trying our hand at raising moths.

I loved that the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden was so easy to use. There is virtually no work and all you need is water, a tablespoon of sugar, a flower and a safety pin. I loved that we learned about how caterpillars turn into butterflies and we could watch their development. I also loved that the kit is affordable, at under $20. This is a perfect summer project to keep the family learning.

I would recommend Insect Lore to anyone, from parents to educators. There are many kits available to meet a variety of interests and budgets.

One very lucky reader will win a Butterfly Garden of their own, thanks to the kindness of Insect Lore! To enter via the rafflecopter form below!

This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older.
I want to take a minute to tell you about a really fantastic project I learned of via the Insect Lore Facebook page. In honor of the 1.5 million children who lost their lives during the Holocaust, The Holocaust Museum is collecting handmade butterflies to display. You can create a butterfly and send it to the museum to be included in this meaningful and moving display. My family is going to work on our butterflies this week.  This would be a great way to teach your children about the holocaust while paying a tribute to the children who perished, and keeping their memory alive.

You can learn more by visiting 

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2!? Yes Indeedy!

My goodness! It is practically Friday already!I hope your week has been great! Mine has been busy! Kind of crazy, but that is nothing new! My husband is counting down the days until his summer vacation- one more week. Rolf and I are looking forward to it too! I like having my husband around! We haven't made huge summer plans, other than the Evil Dead the Musical and a day trip to Kelley's Island, and a week long visit with my niece. Do you have any exciting summer plans?

I want to go on a vacation, but I don't want to leave my dogs, as the little one is nervous as it is. I think taking them would be stressful, but on the other hand leaving them behind would be just as stressful  I love the boys and hate to be away from them! They are my kids too!

I really don't care if we do a whole lot of anything, truth be told. It will be nice having Adam around! He is really busy with working and going to college, and while I admire his dedication to our family I feel bad that he misses so many great moments in Rolf's life.

Rolf is amazing at 2 years old! He is really a wonderful child, and I wonder how I ever got so lucky. He is fun, he is adventurous, he loves to share. He can be very kind and loving, he is as handsome as any boy could ever be, he is hilarious, and he is very bright. He loves animals, he listens really well for a 2 year old, and he has the best sense of humor, if he gets the giggles, you will not be able to keep a straight face, he will have you cracking up too!

He had a nice birthday, the party was kind of a disappointment, with the exception of hanging out with SUSIE for a few minutes. Sunday, the actual birthday- was amazing!

When Rolf woke up, Adam and I had his Hungry Caterpillar play tent and tunnel assembled and waiting on him, we gave him more gifts, the Lettersaurus, 3 Cat in the Hat books, clothes, a few other really cool books, (A Winged Migration Jr Edition!) of course clothes and little dinosaurs.

After playtime and breakfast we went to this fun little place in Mansfield, The Little Buckeye Museum, where Rolf had a blast. He loved the water and garden display areas.Then we took 2 rides on the Carousel, at the park downtown, this is a favorite place for our family. After that we went to lunch, and took a trip to the Toy Store. Rolf wanted a new Cat in the Hat dvd and a broom. So, that is what he got! His final gift wont be here for another week or so, a little bouncy house thing for little guys. We decided at the last minute that this was a much needed toy, he can safely bounce in there.

This week has been fun as a Mom. Rolf is really into playing now, we play trucks, little people, we stack blocks, we play tag and a version of hide and seek. Rolf learned puzzles this week. He is growing up before my eyes, and every day he astonishes me.


I survived the weekend! That is an accomplishment, or so it seems!

We had the birthday party, which had its ups and downs. I loved seeing my family, I hated that a certain someone didn't give my son a chance to see my family. I really feel like he wasn't even at his party, which is a whole other thing for another day.

On Sunday we took him to this little 'museum' for kids in Mansfield, he loved playing in the water and running around where other children were.

Then we took 2 rides on the carousel, went to Bob Evans for a really, uncharacteristically bad lunch. From there we hit up Toys R Us, where I indulged Rolf a little more, cause you only turn 2 once!

Rolf of course was showered with gifts from the family, he has a ton of cool things to play with. He melted my heart when out of all of the great things he received he picked out the books and Lettersarus that we got him and happily played with that stuff. He at one time included one of the outfits we bought him into this pile of stuff. I felt like, either he knew it was from us or we know him so well that we knew what he would love the most.

Aw, what a great kid!

Now, don't get me wrong, my son is wonderful! However, he is in the terrible 2 phase, and he is every bit as rotten as he is sweet. I know I gush about Rolf, and I just want you to know, don't be disillusioned, he is into everything these days!

For the past few weeks, I have been consumed by the birthday, the trip down for the party, the party, and personal drama surrounding the party. I feel relieved it is all over. So many things have suffered at my hands due to my focus of attention to things that in retrospect, didn't deserve much time at all.

Well, thanks for sticking it out with me! I am going to have some great reviews and giveaways starting this week. To give you a preview I have a personalized book review, a candy review and giveaway, a pet food review and giveaway, and a post on green cleaning products coming very soon!

Bye Bye Binky~

My son Rolf, as you might already know, is turning 2 on Mother's Day.

Rolf has been a binky baby from day 1. I really have no issue with pacifiers, and in fact, I found a binky to be a great help at times while he was a baby. Binky helped to soothe him, it made sleep easier for Rolf, and it entertained him.

When Rolf began talking, I wasn't as thrilled with the binky, because if he has that thing in his mouth, he simply doesn't talk. Rolf has the sweetest voice, and I want to hear him talk!

I expected that when it was time to get off the binky, it would be hard. I had planned this whole thing. I would tell Rolf he is a kind boy, and he had to help! Another baby couldn't sleep and that baby really needed a binky! We would then tie the binkies to balloons and release them.

In my mind, it was perfect. It would work! I was kind of excited about this day.

Last weekend I noticed we were down to 2 binkies. This kind of made me panicky. I asked my hubby to drop by and get another pack after his Spanish class let out.He forgot and I was definitely not happy! Shoot! What am I gonna do without binkies?!

On Wednesday, I tossed one binky in the dishwasher, as it was running, I kicked the other binky and it went under the fridge. Oh No! I can't move that sucker so what did I do?

I did nothing. I laid Rolf down for a nap, he fell asleep and slept fine! No binky needed. When he woke up, he wasn't fixated on finding binky.

For days, I observed him. He was talking more! He was not frantic about binky. In fact, he really has not noticed Binky's absence. Feeling triumphant, I tossed the remaining binky(from the dishwasher) away yesterday!

We are off the binky! No more pacifiers! I am happy! My son with the sweetest voice in the world...hasn't stopped chattering in days!

I will admit, my perfect fantasy didn't come true, I didn't release the binky, or my son from it. I kicked the darned thing under the fridge, but it worked out well!

Moms! Did you give your kids a pacifier? How old were your kids when they gave it up? How did you get the binky out of your kids mouth?

I am 32 years old. I remember when I lost my binky. Around the age of 3 my Great Uncle Howard took it from me and wouldn't give it back... Yeah, to the date I am still not crazy about him and I still remember that he took it, in vivid detail.

Party Time!

Today my son and I are hanging around the house while my hubby is out fishing. We are glad to see the sun is finally shining. Not only for the husband but also so that we can go outside to play soon! It is too wet right now, but we hope the warm sun takes care of that shortly.

We have many preparations for the birthday party which is in one week! I found a ton of stickers, book marks and an edible cake topper of the Cat in the Hat. The bakery where my Mama works has plastic decorations for the cake, so my son will have his The Cat in the Hat party!

Of course we will go with red and white plates, cups, utensils, napkins, tablecloths and balloons. I have a few other ideas too.

I know there won't be as many kids as there will be adults, so  I am trying to find fun activities that everyone can participate in at the party!

Any ideas? I am testing make your own bouncy balls and lava lamps this afternoon- that should be fun for everyone I think.

My son! 2 years old next week! I can't believe it!