Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Big Girl Briefs and a Discount Code!

I recently tested a pattern for SergerPepper called Big Girl Briefs. Emmy just took a growth spurt so having a pattern I can just use old t-shirts and knit scraps to make new under pants is a real pleasure!

Some of my favorite things about this pattern are:

  • No serger needed, though it can make it easier
  • Only 7 short lines of stitching needed!
  • Easy to upcycle old clothes and scraps
  • No elastic! (Emmy is allergic)
  • No side seams
  • Regular and high rise waist options
I went to the thrift store and picked up a bunch of cheap shirts, they're in the washer now. I can't wait to make some more tonight!!

Now go snag your copy of this awesome pattern- Etsy Shop or Serger Pepper Shop


And get a 20% discount! The code is good until Friday, June 27th, 2014.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why I Strive To Parent Gently

I never thought any different than how I was raised when raising Emmy... I was spanked. Then she arrived and of course I didn't want to hit her but of course I didn't want a "spoiled brat" either. I started reading. I discovered AP (attached parenting) and gentle parenting. I learned that discipline doesn't have to be painful to be effective. Children need boundaries that can see and understand. They're going to push them because they need to see those boundaries, the boundaries which show them they are surrounded and safe. 

I learned that about 99% of the time the action Emmy is taking is in response to an unmet need. Maybe she's screaming in the store for a toy. Could this be because she is hungry, or tired, or just hates shopping? Is she allowed to have these emotions? Yes. She is. Is she allowed to have the desire for a new toy? Yes. In all of these she has a valid need to be filled to her child mind and this toy can either make her forget it or answer it. 

She is a human like me. She is allowed emotions. Patience is learned with time and you cannot expect a child to just suck it up. Even we get impatient often. Would a spanking fix her issue? Teach her not to scream in the store? No. Just like us when we have an outward problem, try to find an inward issue. 

When I show her that I can meet her needs then we can talk about how to handle next time. Tell her a better way to let me know next time. This doesn't mean she always gets her way. It can simply mean us leaving for now and coming back to shop at a different time.

This is the process I put my mind through daily with Emmy. No, I don't not always keep my cool. No, I can't always keep up this mentality. That's when I apologize to myself and to her and I do better next time. I find showing this to her also shows her that everyone is wrong sometimes, we just must try harder next time. 

It takes a lot of patience to be a parent. It takes a lot more patience for them to be kids who know absolutely nothing of this world. Guide them gently so they know you will always be there with love, even when their 2, 9, 16, 25 year old world is falling apart because they broke their toy or their boyfriend broke up with them. It's all big things to them and they have to learn just like we did.

This is just bits and pieces on how I see gentle parenting. It's not the lack of boundaries or disciple, it's the use of calm words and love which doesn't hurt for little ones who are scared of this world anyway so they can understand. This shows them their safe place.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Apples Are Rubbish!

The Doctor: Can I have an apple? All I can think about. Apples. I love apples. Maybe I'm having a craving. That's new. Never had cravings before. Woah! Look at that. 
The DoctorThat's disgusting. What is that 
Amelia: An apple. 
The Doctor: Apple's rubbish. I hate apples. 
Amelia: You said you liked them.   
The Doctor: No no no. I like yogurt. Yogurt's    my favorite. Gimme yogurt.

So I made apple sauce tonight....

It was simple and I'm going to tell you how to do it too. It's also a very healthy option as it has no added sugar.

Here is most of what you will need, plus cinnamon, a pot, spoon, and a potato masher, blender, or food processor-

I used organic apples so I knew it had no extra nasties in it. They cost like $0.50 more than the non-organic ones.

Then I peeled them all, used my apple/slicer to cut it, then cut it further into small chunks to make it cook faster.

Put it all in a pot with 1/2 cup of water or so to cover the bottom of the pot. Add as much cinnamon as you like. That part is totally up to you. Bring it all to a boil then put on the lid and simmer until it's all soft. Keep it stirred. Took 15-20 minutes.

Next part is also to your preference. Take the pot off the fire. You can either use a potato masher for chunkier apple sauce or do like me and put it through the food processor or blender. I make some popsicles for Em a healthier cool treat and put the rest in the fridge for us to snack on.

See, super duper easy. You can do it too.  :-)

Dear Single Parents...

Dear single mamas and daddies,
You probably didn't wake up to breakfast in bed, maybe your little one isn't even old enough to understand. You've gone about your Sunday as you would any Sunday. There is still work to do and a child to be cared for.
I see you over there.
I see you everyday, doing it all alone. I'm proud of you. You're doing it and doing it well. Needing to cry sometimes doesn't mean you failed. I know it's hard but I also know that sweet baby's smile is worth it.
So in honor of all the hard work you do, thank you.
Love always,
A fellow single mom

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Making Myself A Healthier Life

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

 So yeah, it's 4 am and I'm sitting here eating a brownie and thinking about healthier living. Yeah, a bit counter productive. Not feeling very good though. I've really cut back a lot lately though and I'm proud of me. My ultimate goal will be to cut out all processed foods and make everything I possibly can. I am well aware this is a daunting task, especially being a single mom who will likely soon be working full time. (Finding a job I can take the kiddo with!) But hey, why couldn't I do it? It's only our health.

 Starting next week I'm going to be blogging about adding in healthier practices to my life. I'm going to be adding in even more healthy personal care to my routine.

I already-

  • Use baking soda in place of shampoo
  • Use apple cider vinegar in place of conditioner
  • Use coconut oil in place of hair styling products
  • Clean my face with coconut oil/grapeseed extract/orange eo mix
  • Use cloth pads for my period
I will be adding in homemade, healthier-

  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Hand soap
And I will also be oil pulling with coconut oil.

In the future I plan to add-

  • Dishwasher soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Un-paper towels
  • Cloth toilet paper
  • Cloth napkins
  • Cloth tissues
I think the most "weird" of all these for people is the cloth toilet paper. For me, I use cloth pads and used cloth diapers with Emmy so it's really not that much of a farfetched idea. I will be using a peri bottle (like you come home with after a vaginal birth) in conjunction with the cloths. They will go in a special lidded bin beside the toilet. I will also have actual toilet *paper* for visitors who wish to use it.  

I'm looking into a Y membership. I'm going to see how much assistance I can get for Emmy and I towards the membership because I think it would be a great benefit to us both. 

So yeah. I'll get there. I AM getting there. It's a work in progress, not an overnight change. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yes, I am crazy.... Making a sweet heart bodice pattern

So I volunteered to make my 13 year old cousin a dress for her upcoming dance. She and her mom sent me several pictures and then we went to the store and chose McCall's pattern M6893.

The next weekend we went to Joann's. She decided she wanted the dress with the 3/4 length sleeved lace overlay and without the ruffles on the skirt. We searched through fabric for two hours until she decided she wanted it in navy kind of like this.

When we got home I decided to go ahead and test out the bodice pattern. The results about made me want to puke almost. What had I gotten myself into? She was so tiny the pattern didn't fit at ALLLLLLLL.

So I jumped online looking for ways to shrink the pattern. Of course there is nothing so I realize I must make my own pattern. I'm going to try to go over how I made it, mostly so I can remember if I ever need it again and maybe it will help someone else.

How I made a sweetheart bodice pattern:

What you will need-

  • Normal sewing stuffs (Sewing machine, scissors, coordinating thread)
  • Lots of cheap fabric to test your pattern with. A yard or two will work. Maybe you will be luckier and not need as much as I did. Cotton is easiest to sew. Do NOT use your dress fabric.
  • Hem gauge
  • Some kind of paper to draw your patterns on. I use freezer paper so you can iron the wax side onto the fabric and don't need to pin it. (You're welcome for that tip!)
  • Pencil. Don't use a pen like I did.
  • The bra you will be wearing with your finished dress.
I'm not going to really tell you how to make a finished garment, this is just how I made my pattern. You can use this pattern to make whatever you like, maybe even a corset.

I found this nifty post on Anny Clark's blog. I put in all the measurements it asks for (make sure to click away from the input box after each entry) and started drawing it out. Your bra needs to be on for these measurements.

After a bit I decided I didn't barely understand a thing with this without pictures to go off of. I started to go searching for a YouTube video. I found this one. I used it in conjunction with the measurements from the spreadsheet. 

Somehow it worked mostly... The front I got on the first try, just about. The sides I had to redo a few times. Just added a little here and there, holding it up against her and looking. I made about 3 samples of the sides before I got it right.

I actually ended up using part of the back from the original pattern to make the back of my pattern. This is one way you can do it. Sew the front and sides together from your pattern that you have made. Measure from the top corner of the side to the middle of you/her back on the top. That's your top measurement. Then, measure from the bottom corner of your side piece. Finally, measure from the top measurement to the bottom. Take your side piece edge measurements and make it your blue measurement. Now you should have an odd shaped rectangle.

Sew it all together. Front, sides, back. Might want to use basting stitches (Your longest straight stitch on you machine and don't back stitch at all) because you're going to be pulling it apart a lot. Add a little here and there. Take some away. One you get it perfect, take it all apart. Trace very carefully around your pattern pieces. Then add a seam allowance. This video will help tell you how. Standard seam allowance is 1/2 in but check your specific pattern. This lady works in cm.

After this is done and you've gotten your pattern cut out you need to test your pattern once last time. Use the video to know how to sew them together.

Sew it all together and try it all on. Remember you need to have on the bra you're planning to wear with the dress this pattern is for. It should overlap about a half an inch or a little more on the back. If it all looks good, you're done! If it isn't... go tweak it just a little. You're almost there!

Congrats! You made a pattern! I hope I didn't muddle that up too much. If you have any questions you can comment and I'll do my best to answer it. I'm no magician. I'm just figuring it out as I go too.  :-)  Will post more as I get the actual dress made for my cousin.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Testing Out Colgate's New Whitening Pen!

I signed up for Influenter and shortly after was eligible for the Influenster VoxBox for the new Colgate Whitening Pen. Was super excited because I had been thinking of trying to whiten my teeth anyway. I had neglected myself a bit in the stresses of the last few years and wanted to wipe it away a bit. The claim for noticeable whitening in two days seemed a little far fetched but I was certainly willing to give it a try.

When I received my box in the mail it contained toothpaste and a toothbrush containing the whitening pen. After reading the easy instructions I brushed my teeth and applied the whitening gel to my teeth. The gel has a slightly minty flavor that's not at all unpleasant. One thing I did notice is that the whitening gel make my lips slightly numb but it didn't last long and wasn't too bad. It did make my lips super soft though!

Not too long, I noticed a big change in my teeth. My smile was whiter and I felt more confident. I had tried Crest Whitening Strips a few years previous and I still cringe at the thought of how sensitive they made my teeth. They also didn't work. I have noticed absolutely no sensitivity or pain from this toothbrush/whitening gel/toothpaste system. Love it!

I think my biggest suggestion would be to not use the whitening gel on an empty stomach. The one time I did I got slightly nauseous.

Really thankful for the chance I was given to try this! Thanks Influenster!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Society and Conceite and Self-love

Something that's really been weighing on my mind lately... That line between pride/self-loving, and being conceited. I'm reading a book about self affirmations and healing your body, mind, and spirit through them. This sparked a huge thought chain.

Our society is so focused on perfection and it is really bringing us down as a species. It is definitely true for me. Physically, a lot of this is having grown up with a mom who struggled with her weight and body image which led back to people in her life desiring perfection in her. Mentally, I find trouble due to a teacher I had in elementary school who wouldn't accept anything less than perfection either. It really pushed me to expand my boundaries, but in a more militant fashion and not a place of loving and learning through mistakes. Spiritually, I have been beat down due to the way society looks at women as a lesser to men. Almost every religion places men at the head, the one to make all final decisions, who leads with pride and chest beating and grunting. Religion has had a huge impact on society thinking.

I was in an abusive marriage to a man who was abused growing up and only saw women treated,  and was treated as a child, as he treated me. Part of the failure of our marriage was due to the cycle of abuse that has come down through his family generation after generation. Part of it is I was taught, as was he, that women are second to men. In the end I left because I have a strong family who gave me a safe way out and I didn't want this cycle to continue in my daughter's life- the cradle to the grave abuse.

That is only the background for my Journey now.

It is so hard for me to speak affirmations to myself. I find there is a pride > excitement > fear of conceitedness > doubt cycle going through my mind. Society. It's thoughts are so built into us. It's not ok by Social Standards for people to be openly proud and self-loving, at least very often, because of conceite, jealousy, and the desire for acceptance. It does not stick to the uniformity that has been built into us as human beings.

So now I find myself searching for a way to cleanse myself of Society's thoughts. I don't want anyone to tell me what I need to do to accomplish. That's more Society in this case. This is a personal Journey. I want to see myself as less of a caretaker, nurturer, one who lives to care for others. I also KNOW I am not conceited or looking for Society's acceptance. I am more, but what?

This is not about me being a better parent, sister, daughter, lover, or friend. It's about being a better human being for myself. I am aware this will have an affect on every single person around me but whether it's positive or negative is up to them. That's what needs to be focused on. Stop being better for everyone else, be better for you and that will bring better to you.

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