My name is Ari and I’m a work-at-home mom to a 3-year-old little boy, a.k.a. The Munchkin. In a previous life I was a professional educator, but these days I split my time between web design, writing and acting as the entertainment director for my son. Nice to meet you!
I started Sweet Happy Life in June 2011 to help me keep track of the recipes and activities my
toddler preschooler loves. In some ways I think of this site as prep-work for future children – whenever they come along I won’t have to wrack my brain for food or entertainment ideas, I’ll just delve into the archives of this site! But more than this I enjoy documenting and sharing some of our experiences at home. These years go by too quickly.
All the recipes on this site are vegetarian and family-friendly. The only exception is the “Just for Grown Ups” category, which indulges my obsession with coffee. :)
Why Sweet Happy Life?
The name of this site comes from a song by Peggy Lee called “Sweet Happy Life.” Just before we moved to Vermont the munchkin and I heard this song and it made me think about all the things I wish for him. Don’t we all want our children to lead sweet happy lives?
In the Press
Sometimes other sites write about what we’re doing here on Sweet Happy Life and I tell you, it makes my day every time! Here are some of the mentions that I know about. :)
- Disney’s Spoonful blog: “10 Beautiful Art Pieces That Kids Can Make.” (Our watercolor, glue and salt paintings.)
- PBS Parents: “Making Animal-Shaped Breads.” (Our turkey-shaped challah bread and our tiger-shaped cardamom bread.)
- The Times of Israel: “Challah, canned cranberries and ‘peanuts’ – Americans in Israel give thanks slightly differently.” (Our turkey-shaped challah bread.)
- Kveller.com: “Turkey-Shaped Challah for Thanksgiving.” (Our turkey-shaped challah bread.)
- The Huffington Post: Cardamom Tiger Bread & Honey-Vanilla Teddy Bear Challah
- Modern Parents Messy Kids: “Natural Place Spaces – Children’s Veggie Gardens.” (Our snacking garden.)
- Wired: “School’s Out for Summer: 10 Great DIY Craft Projects for Kids.” (Our superhero terrarium post.)
- Lil Sugar: “88 Indoor Activities for Rainy Summer Days.” (Our rock painting post.)
- Tori Spelling: “How to Build a Toddler Snacking Garden.” (Our snacking garden.)
- Apartment Therapy: “The Toddler Garden, Updated!”
- Gardener’s Supply Company: Shared our 1 month garden update on their Facebook page
- Apartment Therapy: “Ariela’s ‘Toddler Garden’ Balcony.”
- Lil Sugar: “How to Build a Toddler Snacking Garden.”
- DailyBuzz Moms Top 9: Growing a Garden (Our 1 month garden post.)
- DailyBuzz Moms Top 9: Kids and Art, Vol. 1. (Our painting with toy cars post.)
- MSNBC’s Today: “Not your bubbe’s Hanukkah.” (Our Hanukkah beignets for Kveller.com.)
For three years I wrote another blog called Baking and Books and briefly a vegetarian blog called The Vegetarian Family Table. The recipe archives for Baking and Books can be found here, while everything from The Vegetarian Family Table has been moved to this site.
Can I use your photos/text on my site?
Unless otherwise noted everything is copyright 2006-2013. However, you can share my photos on your site if you link your post back to Sweet Happy Life. (A visible link, not a teeny tiny one in white font that no one can see.) Please do not repost my recipes unless you have modified them significantly, in which case, a link back to this site is the considerate thing to do. You may not republish this blog’s feed elsewhere.
Do you take all of the photos on this site?
All of the photos with a Sweet Happy Life watermark on them were taken by me. The others are stock photos from sites like iStockPhoto.com. For the most part I use stock photos only in the toddler activities section. I think it’s important to have images to go along with a post, but I’m not too keen on putting photos of my son on the internet so stock images were a good compromise.
What kind of camera do you use?
Until recently I used a Nikon D70 for most of the photos on this website. However, I replaced my Nikon with a Canon T3i. I use an 18-55mm lens and couldn’t be happier. I love my camera. :)
Will you review our book/product/toy on Sweet Happy Life?
Although I used to write sponsored reviews I recently decided I wouldn’t offer that service any longer. Though we discovered some remarkable products this way, we also had a few duds that left me wondering: Um, how do I tell this company that we don’t like their product? Since I’ll only share my honest opinion here on Sweet Happy Life that always led to an awkward situation. Limiting our reviews to products that we’ve found ourselves just makes everything a whole lot simpler.