Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Ruth and by some miracle you’ve landed on my very own corner of the web. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend and a geek who is in love with books, music, movies and my hobbies. I love photography, doing DIY projects and scrapbooking. As of late I especially love playing around with camera drones that I use to record high quality video from the air.

Vacations are important.

So starting this year I’ve decided that I should take a vacation, just me. It’s important for a mommy to take some time just for herself and refill the batteries, as the old saying goes. Picking the right destinaton for me has however proven to be very difficult. I didn’t expect that there’s so many cool places to visit. For example, a friend of mine suggested to me that I should definitly visit Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. After looking up some pictures online, I fell in love with the place imeaditly and I knew I had to go there. The problem that I however came across is that I have a lot of friends, and if was about taking all of them with me there – it would cost us a real fortune. Luckily, there are some more budget friendly options, like staying in Zagreb, Split or some other city in Croatia and then visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park with an organised tour from those cities. I did some basic research and looks like there are dozens of local companies that are offering exactly that – scheduled tours/day trips to the National park. One of those companies is Zen Travel which is located in Split, and that should work fine for us, at least for now.

What I’m trying to say is that my other friends suggested that I should visit the usual places like the Baja, Fiji and the Bahamas. There’s a lot of places that are interesting that you can visit out there in the world, but the destination that my friend Linda suggested, Croatia, was love at first sight for me. After snooping around a little bit on the web, I also discovered other vacation hotspots in the tiny country in the south of Europe. For example there’s the ancient town of Split, and the million sights and things that you can do in Split Croatia. Here’s a nice guide by Zen Travel Croatia that will come handy if you plan to visit this beautiful city on dalmatian coast. What am I saying, we’re talking about Europe, everything there is ancient. I ended up taking my vacation there and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The people were lovely and since I visited the country at the start of March, there wasn’t really that much people there, the crowds were minimal, which really made the experiance that much better. You can read about the full experiance on my blog.

What is Sunnybrook?

But let’s not get into the specifics of what I do right away but rather talk about why I started this website and what my plans are with it. Well as you can see, Letters from Sunnybrook is a blog, a personal blog of mine. Sunnybrook is where I’m from, Sunnybrook, California. The name Letters from Sunnybrook seemed kinda cool name to give this website seeing how this is where I’ll be writing my “letters” to the world. Like a lot of other personal blogs, this one too will cover a wide range of topics, but I will mainly try to stick to dishing out my opinions and experiences on parenting and just giving advice about life in general. There’s also going to be talk about my hobbies, mainly about photography and my DIY endeavours. I’m really starting to like my cool new drone and I can’t wait to post some photos of Sunnybrook that I’ve recorded with it. Being a mom doesn’t really give me much free time for doing everything that I want to do, but still I try to keep myself busy, and I hope you join me in my exploits.

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I love being a mom, but at the same time I can’t help not to admit how hard it is to raise kids, at least raise kids properly. All parents mess their kids up in some way. Trick is not the mess them up so much so that they have a chance at least some semblance of a normal life later on. I think that I’ve managed to do just that up until now, but seeing how my son and daughter are only 8 and 9 years old now, there’s still a chance for me to do a number on them. I’m always talking about parenting with me and other moms who are friends of mine. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to also talk about parenting on the website here……..

Author: Ruth Simmons                                           Read more


I guess there is no need for me to talk about how bad it is for pretty much everyone these days, financially speaking. If you are lucky enough to make enough cash in order to save some for a rainy day, that’s great. We’re kinda sort of in that position now, I mean I did just mention that I bought a high quality drone. But there was a period of time when we had our second kid that things were tight. That’s when I learned extreme budgeting, as I liked to call it. I used anything and everything at my disposal to stretch our paychecks and I will try to share some of the tricks that I learned here with you, my readers. Stay tuned to learn more……

Author: Ruth Simmons                                            Read more


Just because you are a mom and a housewife on a budget that doesn’t mean that you can’t live with pazzaz. Over the years I’ve picked up tons of tricks on how to spice up your life on a budget. It’s not something that is overlay complicated and it doesn’t demand a lot of sacrifices. You will however have to be creative and put in some time into it. For example if you want a fancy evening gown for a restaurant visit with your husband, instead of spending lots of money on a finished dress, buy a used one and give it new life, DIY style. Don’t worry, I’ll be here to guide you every step of the way with tutorials and resources on how to live with style on a budget…..

Author: Ruth Simmons                                            Read more


Food is something that is universally liked by everyone, good food at least. I learned how to cook from my mom. Obviously over the years I’ve picked up a couple of tips and tricks of my own. One of the things that I especially love doing is making food that’s healthy for my family, but which can also be prepared fast. As I’ve already mentioned, being a full time mom to two small kids can be time consuming, which is why I have to maximize my time. Fast food and other types of junk food is popular because most people think you need to spend a lot of time behind the stove in order to eat healthy. I’m will try to bust this myth once and for good…..

Author: Ruth Simmons                                             Read more


DIY mentality is something that I got into only recently, in 2015 I think. That was when we moved into a new house which needed some work to get everything the way we wanted it. I was mostly in charge of furniture, which is why most of my DIY projects revolved around IKEA hacks. IKEA hacking is an activity where you take IKEA furniture that was built for one purpose and with some slight modifications you start using it for a completely different purpose. For example, I’ve used a modified Ivar shelving unit which is aimed at use inside a pantry as a behind the bed shelving. I also do scrapbooking, which is very relaxing and fun. Oh, my husband Tom might help me with some of the posts here.

Author: Ruth Simmons & Tom Simmons             Read more

Subscribe, visit often and join the discussion

Well that’s about it as far as what Sunnybrook is going to be about. Come visit my website often, subscribe, and get in touch. I’d love nothing more than to hear from my readers, to find out what you think and to answer any questions that you might have. It’s my dream that I help someone with this website. It the famous words of Mr. Bruce Wayne to Mr. Barry Allen in the recent Justice League movie, “save one”. If just one person finds something useful here, I’d me more than happy. Oh yeah, you might see an occasional movie review/rant? Whose excited about the Avengers? Uh, I’m getting sidetracked again. Anyway, to sum up , checkout my latest posts, browse website categories, and send me messages. All the best.

Ruth Simmons