Isn't she a beauty?
I have to explain the cut in between her eyes.
We had a teachable moment....gone very wrong.
One day we were at the grocery store and I decided to be brave and put Betsy Grace in the big part of the cart, in her car seat. She's gone from being in the Ergo, to being held this was a big step for me. 

She was actually happily sitting in there, I was whizzing through the store marking items off the list. Anna Ruth was in the front part of the cart, helping me open the produce bags, count things, etc.  Then I went to reach for the chicken broth off the shelf and heard a Betsy puppy squeak. When Betsy is REALLY mad or upset she cries so loud and high it sounds like a puppy yelping. It would break anyone's heart.

Long story short-Anna Ruth was helping in the way I've taught throwing a can of beans in the back of the cart. Only this time it was Betsy's face that caught the can. :( The cut bled and her nose swelled up..and I called Brett in tears. It was so, so sad. It was totally an accident, although I did explain to Anna Ruth that we can't throw things back there when Betsy's in her seat. 

Everyone I talked to about it said these things just happen, which I know. It still didn't make this little accident any easier.  Betsy will be one tough gal if she wasn't already born that way!

Have you heard?

Have you heard?  If you follow Sunshine by Sara (my handmade business) on facebook than you have.  I'm hosting a sale! I've been trying to keep Sunshine by Sara pretty separate from this blog.  I know that not everyone is interested in that kind of thing.  But today I wanted to show you a peek at what's to come at the first ever Handmade Market!  You can RSVP to the sale here.

I'll pop in here every now and then and keep you all updated on what's to come at the sale!  Want to see what you can purchase from the Sunshine by Sara booth?  Here's a peek....(check out the For Sale photo album on the Sunshine by Sara facebook page for more!)
Some of my favorite photographs from the blog will be for sale, in 4 x 6 size.  You can string them up, or place in a frame in your house!  Leave a comment if you'd like to see other sizes! 

 Hand-painted signs will be available.......
 so will a few bouquets of handmade flowers.
 Embroidery hoop art,
 and tin magnet boards will be for sale also!
Banners and bunting,
and fabric-wrapped frames available! 

{I also have plans for book page bunting, fabric chandeliers, and more!}
I hope you'll join us. 3 other awesome handmade sellers are participating too!

A peek into the good moments of mama

Anna Ruth and I love to paint. Do you create alongside your kids? 
I try to.  I would hate for the girls to grow up not knowing how much I love paint, glue, tape, etc.  
One day Anna and I painted and I quickly taped out the word "love" and painted over it with watercolors. This was on a whim, based off some much more difficult pinterest projects I've seen.

It worked! I was so pleased with the final product. And pleased Anna Ruth got to see what fun it is for her mama to create as well.

Recently we had a first! I was sitting at the table, drinking my coffee and basking in the morning light. 
I decided to organize my TONS of pages ripped from magazines because the girls were actually peaceful on their own for about 15 minutes. (this is like 15 hours in mama time)

From a short distance, this is what I spotted. And my mama eyes were so distracted/pleased/filled with happy tears I hardly got any magazine page sorting done. Who cares! Anna Ruth was playing with her big box of cookie cutters from her Aunt Mikayla. I caught her teaching Betsy Grace the shapes and being so, so gentle with her. No shaking the jump-a-roo and giving Betsy the ride of her life, which is what usually happens...(NOT a good thing!) 

Just a peaceful, sweet moment between the girls. Love :) A very good moment as a mama.

I try to make sure that Anna Ruth has access to great items for being creative too! Sometimes if I'm feeling lazy about getting things out for her to work with (admit it-you do it too) I'll ask myself-What is the end result I want for our kids? 

If the end result is creativity, then they must be provided with teachable moments and free play,
WITH creative items! This day we made little tape collages. I made stripes on mine and Anna Ruth kept saying "Mama Stripes". We hung them up on her art wall. You would have thought she created a piece as famous as Picasso's. :)

Thanks for peeking into the good moments of being a mama. 
There are so many. 

I used to think I was boring: and other confessions/facts

(Anna Ruth took this pic!)
Isn't that a funny/awful title? It's true though.  Once upon a time I thought I was boring and couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why friends would want to hang out with me. I remember one particular friend wanted me to hang out with she and her daughter...We actually hung out quite often.  At first, I kept wondering why on earth she would want to hang out.  Self-concious anyone? 

I soon got over myself and realized I am NOT boring at all. Getting over a fear of wondering how interesting I am to other people and becoming confident in myself has resulted in lots of friendly acquaintances and a handful of best friends. Boring/self-concious thoughts? Kick 'em to the curb. 

Other confessions/facts about me:
1.) I like to eat dry cheerios. 

2.) As much as I love my country life, I love big cities and sometimes still wonder what it would be like to live in one.

3.) On the other hand-my big dreams for the future include a chippy red barn, airstream trailer, and a big old rambling farm house.

4.) My favorite t.v. shows are: Parenthood, The Biggest Loser, The Voice, and Shark Tank

5.) I love magazines. Some favorites are: O Magazine, Mary Janes Farm, Artful Blogging, and Mingle (both published by Stampington)

6.) I can build a fire in the stove by myself

7.) I am as happy with myself at a weight 10 or 12 pounds heavier than I am now. I have learned the art of being pleased with my overall health, rather than going off a number on the scale.

8.) I've traveled to Italy and dream of going back. 

9.) I love to daydream and drink coffee. 

10.) I don't like talking on the phone. (unless you're someone I talk to frequently on the phone and then I like talking)

11.) My best friends all have something in common-they're all passionate about a hobby or interest.  I like people who are about something......I have a hard time connecting with people if I'm not sure what their interests/dreams/passions are.  What do people do when their kids nap/go to bed? How do they like to spend their time? What excites them?   I connect best with people who can answer all those questions, beyond just sleep and t.v. 

12.) I worry about being a good mom and sometimes wonder if I'm doing things right. I have frustrated/want a break days just like everyone else. Overall though-I love being a mama. It's the hardest job I've ever done in my life. But-the most rewarding.

13.) Lastly-I LOVE things with a theme or catchy name. Examples-Rosy Retreat, Sunshine by Sara, Rate the Rugs (an e-mail from my sis recently! ) I don't just love the names though-I love planning/seeing my mind's eye picture come to life.

{What do you want to know about me? Got a question-email me at}

Front Porchin'

 Spring is here and we are front porchin' it a lot! 
Okay, so I made that phrase up...but it seems like a good way to describe all the wonderful play time we get on the porch! Not to be confused with the back deck...that's a different kind of play. The front porch is for cool concrete, the whirring of the fan, waving at the cars driving by, and watching life go by at a slower pace.  
 Look at that chubbiness! I just adore it...
 I think Betsy Grace has a lot of my personality in her.....often I'll notice she's sitting almost perfectly still, happy as can and just taking everything in.  I think she's a bit of a day dreamer like her mama.  
 And then there's Anna Ruth...and she certainly doesn't have time for daydreaming!  There's too much to do and see and climb on in a day for idling around. This girl likes to go, go, go.......all day long. She must have a lot of her Daddy's personality. :)

 Anna Ruth got to wear her first pair of shorts of the season recently......
I told my mom I just couldn't stop staring at her long, pale little legs. So, so cute :) 

 Anna takes her job of drawing with chalk VERY seriously...every color must be used, and every rock/concrete space chalked. 
My sweethearts! 
Oh what joy these two bring to my days......I look forward to getting up with them in the morning,
and sit and reflect on how much I love them at night. 
We look forward to days and days of front porch fun! 

Treat yourself: DIY Cake stand

 One day the girls and I went on an adventure to Rick's Bakery, a local place. I needed to run an errand close to the bakery and thought why not make a fun stop? I wondered how it would go by myself with both girls but with hopes high I told Anna Ruth how I expected her to act.  She held my hand tightly in the bakery and thoroughly enjoyed looking at all of the delicious treats. 
 We picked an M & M cookie to share on the drive home,
and several treats to have when Brett got home.  Delicious! This was a fun outing for the girls and I....
The cake stand is also a DIY. I have this beautiful plate from my great-grandma, and this candle holder I never used.  I dipped the bottom of the candleholder in paint and let it dry for a day or two. Then I set the beautiful plate on top, making a new cake plate!
I was very pleased with how it turned out.  
Some of you are probably gasping in surprise or displeasure that I dipped a good candle holder in paint so if this doesn't suit you check out a local thrift store for something you feel you can dip more freely. :)

Meet Kitty-Cat, our new cat. (sorta)

Friends-meet our new to us, cat-Kitty Cat.  Yes, Kitty Cat is the cat's name.  At least that's what Anna Ruth likes to call her so seems good enough to me.  Kitty-Cat showed up around the house a while ago which isn't that big of a deal.  We have cats come and go here and there........part of living in the country I suppose.  But for some reason-this cat stayed. She meowed on the back deck all through the night, rubbed on our legs, and nestled her way into Anna Ruth's heart quickly. 

Anna adores Kitty-Cat.  She chases her around the yard, saying "Hi, Hi!"....and when she finally gets to pet her laughs and laughs.  I'm talking the biggest, most joyous belly laugh.  What joy Kitty-Cat has brought to our family. Although I do sorta feel like we're harboring an illegal cat, we love our Kitty-Cat!

Let's Eat.

Food. One of my top favorite topics. I sure appreciate a good meal, and conversation about the meal almost as much as the food itself! With warmer weather that means smoothies.  I was so proud to whip this up one afternoon, using ingredients like bananas, plain greek yogurt, almond milk, and cocoa powder (oh, and peanut butter too!).  I poured Anna a cup and even gave her a special striped straw.  She wouldn't go near it!  Wouldn't even touch the cup, silly I drank every last bit myself.  
Delicious :)
We like to have salad for dinner when it's warm out too. I like to challenge myself to see how much variety I can fit in one salad.  From looking at the color in this photo, I'd say I do pretty good most days.  
Back to the smoothie-doesn't this look like it's begging to be drank through a delightful straw?
Attempt at being "cool mom"-failed. 

It's a known fact around here that I'm not any good at making pizza. Don't get me wrong-I love pizza. I just can't make it right.  Yet, the forever optimist that I am, I always decide to keep trying.  So this was another attempt at homemade pizza. It was quite good, but still needed a bit more of something. Just not sure what. 
Any tips?
These little beauties were a surprise! I'd never had a turnip and decided to go for it. They were lovely!
I blogged about them over at Thrice the Spice, so watch for the recipe there. It's a food blog my sisters and I write. You can find it here:

What have you been up to in the kitchen?  I hope you've been having as much fun with your food as I have!
 A happy, colorful mess in the kitchen one night....
 One of my favorite things to cook are burritos-we like to use seasoned chicken, avocado, onion, cheese, 1 container greek yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. taco seasoning...etc, etc.etc.
I'm not very creative in the kitchen, I admit.  But-I'm trying.  One night I made mango pico de galla for dinner, along with our burritos. The next day I put it on top of brown rice, with black beans, cheese, and green salsa. SO delicious!

{Are you creative in the kitchen naturally? Any tips to learn how to be?}

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...