Ohio Bird Sanctuary {Traveling with Kids}

Located in Richland County, Ohio is a sweet little spot that my bird loving family really loves. The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is tucked away in a scenic setting. Upon arrival, you may be greeted by a friendly chicken, who knows, you are going to feed him.

Entering the building, you can buy limited souvenirs and little cups of worms! Buy these! It makes the trip into the aviary amazing.

You can enjoy an enclosed area of assorted birds that will come to visit the most patient hand with a cup of worms. Benches make for a great setting for a moment of relaxation, in the heart of nature.

As a family, we greatly appreciate the trails. It is nice to allow our 5 year old the chance to stretch his legs and run!

After a stretch of the legs for the boy, we like to check out the Bald Eagle, assorted owls, crows and other birds that call this spot home.

It is a short visit always, in and out in under an hour, but this is one of those places in Ohio that is a must visit. It gives children a chance to learn about birds. You can learn about rehabilitation for injured birds, and you can actually get hands on with them via the feeding opportunity.

We visit this place at least once a summer. Should you visit, be advised I do believe they are closed on Monday. If you are traveling with kids, this is a location that will please, not only for the experience, but for the simplicity of a visit... especially if something short and sweet is your pleasure. Please remember to be quiet and courteous while you are there. These birds are peaceful creatures.

Easy Banana Pancakes

We love Post cereal in my home. We are thrilled to have the chance to share another recipe on their behalf with you!

Easy Banana Pancakes



  1. Beat egg with milk and oil in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add pancake mix; beat until well blended. Stir in cereal. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Ladle batter onto hot griddle or into hot skillet, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on tops, then turn over to brown other sides.
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Grape-Nuts Crunchy Curried Hummus

If you like hummus you are going to love this recipe inspired by my friends at Post!

Grape-Nuts Crunchy Curried Hummus


2 cans (15 ounce each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds*
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Grape Nuts Cereal
Cauliflower florets and carrot sticks


In the bowl of a food processor add chickpeas, garlic, curry powder, cumin seeds, tahini, water, lemon juice and salt. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, stream in olive oil and process until smooth.
Remove from food processor and place in serving bowl. Fold in Grape-Nuts cereal. Top with a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with additional Grape-Nuts cereal for added crunch. Serve with cauliflower florets and carrot sticks.

*Note: To toast cumin seeds, place seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast until golden brown and fragrant.

If you like Hummus, you have to try this awesome recipe. It is flavorful and perfect for parties! I would love to hear about your favorite hummus recipe if you have one!

30 Days to Move : Day 8 The Dream House

On Day 8 I found my packing mojo again. I started stuffing things into boxes at the speed of pack! Just seeing the pile of boxes grow bigger motivated me to keep going!

And behold, a call came in! We had a second viewing at a house, that like all others, I got a crush on from photos. I looked again and again. I was ready to make an offer on this house. Forget renting it. I wanted it NOW.

Funny how this works out.  Feast or famine and all.

As we are headed over to look at the "dream house" a call comes about viewing a third house. We make an appointment, options are good!

As we look at the Dream House, my heart pitter patters. I see my family growing up here. Oh, this house. This charming old house with modern updates. Be still my heart.

The catch? It was way out of budget. However, that heart was willing to do what it had to do to get this house... for 20 minutes we discussed dropping this, selling that, blah blah... it was going to happen.

I shared photos of the house with tons of friends, I gushed. I really had a crush on this space!

This made me ready to start packing with purpose. This was the house....

30 Days to Move: Day 7

By Day 7 I had a viewing! The house was cute, but bland. White and gray everything. But, it had lots of closets. As we walked through I liked it... a lot. 

We approached the subject of pets. He said "People with dogs won't be my first choice... but go ahead and fill this out. Let's meet Sunday morning to discuss." Huzzah. A Prospect. 

As we drove away, the mixed emotions played in. The location was not prime. It had no fence, neighbored a car wash and was on Main Street. With Kids and Dogs, this was an issue.

We talked about installing a fence with his okay. End of discussion. Or was it.

We had no more prospects in order so we saw the application out and went back Sunday. The guy wasn't there... he was at Sam's Club. He forgot... 

Not one to waste time, we scouted out several other houses. In no time, we found 2 lovely possibilities and one so so option.

The game continued.

As this was one full week in, we were starting to worry... just a little. 

I continued searching and Adam networked.

As the day continued on, I gave up on packing... I really got discouraged. My stress levels were high. I basically had a mini relapse of Day 6.

A letter To My Son On His 5th Birthday

My Dear Roo,
As the days crept closer I felt a chunk of my heart breaking. How could you be 5 years old? How could you get so big on me so fast? When I tucked you into bed for the last time as a 4 year old, I clung to you I begged "Roo, don't grow up too fast!" Tears welled in my eyes.

Sweet Roo jumped from bed and brought me a tee shirt. You wiped my face and said "Mommy, all clean! Now be happy!" I smiled and said "Oh, I am happy, but I am also missing you as a baby.." You stroked my cheek and said "I am a baby!"

Oh that boy, that boy...

We have had a lot of ups and downs in the past year or so. We have had power struggles, arguments, general pettiness that plagued us. But, no matter how ugly it got... he still stands by me. Loyal to me like no other.

Parenthood is hard work. Many days I lay my weary head on my pillow only to feel that I have failed. The guilt of how I damaged his sweet spirit by yelling at him, or expecting too much from a child. I stress about time, quality time, time in general, time wasted. I want these days to amount to something. I want you, Roo to remember me in good ways, not the ways I think of myself.

In order for that to happen I need to step up my game and be the best mother that I can be. No matter what is going on in my disaster of a life. You and Harper both deserve that.

Instead of just pointing out to you in all the ways I stink. Instead I want to share my favorite moments in the life of Roo as a 4 year old boy.

My Roo, My Goofball, My Blonde Child with Eyes So Beautiful...

Every morning that I woke up with you Roo, and you would kiss my face or say Good Morning Mommy! Was AWESOME.

I loved some of the little things we did together in the last year. Like visiting an indoor water park, exploring the Mansfield Reformatory together and branching out on our own, no fear-only insatiable curiosity!

I loved the secret lunch date I went on with you and Harper the day before school started. I felt like we needed a change of pace to end the summer on an awesome note.

I loved watching you learn to write and spell. I loved hearing you talk more and more! I loved watching your imagination and sense of humor peek through.

At bedtime, it is pretty common for you to tell me everyone is going to be a different animal, you are a turtle, I am a dolphin, one of the dogs is a crab. We laughed about that many nights.

I loved seeing you take an interest in crafting with me. We have had so many fun projects!

I loved hearing your speech develop into conversation.

I loved seeing your good nature develop. You are polite, sweet and well mannered. People always smile when you say "Good Morning!" despite the hour of the day.

With this birthday letter of how special you are to me, I make you a promise. The year you are 5 is going to be amazing. I set out with a goal to make this year great for you! One to remember forever. Filled with love, adventure and opportunities to grow and learn!

Happy Birthday my son, my baby.

30 Days to Move: Day 6

On Day 6 I had good intentions. I was going to call a few numbers. I was going to pack up some kitchen things...

Well, the calls happened. I called and called number after number. No luck, nothing worth checking into further. No one wanted to accept dogs. End of the line.

A dark feeling settled over me as I realized, in 24 days we need to be out of this house. I admit, I let depression take hold. I started to give up a little. So, on this installment I am going to give you advice on what not to do on Day 6 of 30 Days to Move.

Do not grab the remote.
Do not get suckered into watching episodes of Roseanne on Netflix.
Do not act like a ziggy piggy with gourmet popcorn.
Do not put on your pajamas at 1 pm.
Do not feel so sorry for yourself that you have no choice but to have a nap with the baby.

On Day 6 of 30 Days to Move, if you have not found a few prospective houses or apartments, prepare to make a worst case scenario plan. While wallowing in self pity I did devise a pretty comically lame plan. I decided that if I couldn't find a house for my family I was going to get a storage unit, stash 95% of our possessions in there. From there I was going to the near by state park campgrounds to rent a primitive camp site for 6 nights a week and a cabin for one night a week. This would buy us time to keep looking without going broke living in a hotel, and best of all the kids would think of it as a vacation... the cabin was justified by the $26 a night rate and the luxury of a bed,  a tv and electric one night a week would be much needed.

My friends and family laughed. "Oh how silly you are Sara!"

But at least I have my Alamo. A real plan. Even if it is funny to some, lame and not really a great one.

Find your Alamo. Do you have someone that can let you stay with them for a week if needed? Can you afford a hotel room to act as your residence if you can't find a house? Spend Day 6 of 30 thinking out what you will do if the house hunt is harder than expected.

30 Days to Move : Day 5

On day 5 of 30 Days to Move, I gathered all of the stuffed animals in our house and put them on the sofa. I asked my kids to pick their most favorite toys out of this pile. The ones that remained on the sofa were safely tucked into an under the bed storage container. The kids insisted on keeping about 20 plush toys out. I chalked it up as a win.

After making progress I checked ads for houses for rent. I made calls. I felt discouraged, but I kept going. I gathered half o the play food, half of the puzzles and half of the trucks into boxes. The kids were okay with the half situation. They like having options for play time.

If your kids are anything like mine... that amounts to hours of work and an embarrassing amount of boxes filled with kid stuff!

So, on Day 5, if you have kids, start with picking out half of their toys. If there are toys that are not in great shape, very carefully dispose of these toys without a fuss or scene. Trust me, the less crap you pack and move, the less crap you have to unpack! Get rid of broken toys, outgrown toys, toys that are not played with.

If you don't have kids, on day 5 you could spend your time sorting through some of your toys! Do you have a lot of books? Do you hoard magazines like I tend to? Look through stuff like that, eliminate what you are not going to read, use, etc.

This makes the move much easier!

Home Owner's Guide to Buying Venetian Blinds

Home Owner's Guide to Buying Venetian Blinds

We all want to live in the perfect home, and this means paying attention to every last design detail. For example, if you want your property to exude class and sophistication, you’ll need to select the ideal window dressings. All too often, people see their curtains and blinds as a mere interior design afterthought, when in fact they have the power to transform the look and feel of entire rooms. If you’re keen to make a style statement, it’s hard to beat Venetian blinds. As well as looking great, these products provide you with impressive control over light levels in your rooms. Read on for some top tips when it comes to choosing these blinds.
Get the look spot on
As any blinds buying guide will tell you, Venetians are usually made from wood or metal, and they feature horizontal slats that can be tilted, lowered or raised. Choosing the right type can be difficult, as they come in a range of different styles. For a traditional look, timber versions can be spot on, as they have a timeless appeal and a natural elegance. However, if you’re looking for something a little more modern or bold, perhaps painted aluminium designs would be a better bet.
Make sure you measure up
Once you've chosen a design that you think complements your interior design scheme, it’s time to measure up. If you want your blinds to fit inside a window recess, take care to measure the height and width of the space at several points; and always use the smallest reading. Alternatively, if you’d like to hang your blinds in front of the recess, you can position them as far above your window as you like. When it comes to calculating width, simply take the measurement of recess and add a centimeter. This will mean your blinds will overlap with your walls by half a centimeter on each side.
Focus on those all-important finishing touches
Once you’ve ordered these striking window dressings, it’s time to think about completing the look. Let the blinds set the tone for your rooms and select accessories that complement them. For example, you could echo their color in your choice of cushions, rugs and throws. By paying attention to detail like this, you’ll be able to achieve stunning results.
Venetian blinds make a superb focal point in rooms, and they could give your home extra character, so it’s well worth getting the low-down on these design features.
Image by mendhak used under the Creative Commons license