Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Stitch Fix

A while back, I did an internet search about how to choose my clothing. I used to be good at choosing stylish clothes, but I was 10 lbs. lighter, too! So I read a blog post about Stitch Fix (sorry -- I can't remember who wrote it). After some time deciding, I gave it a go.

Well, my 5 pieces arrived and I have to say, I really liked all but one. Really?

I didn't know what to expect, but found myself falling in love with Stitch Fix.

Each piece was hand-picked especially for my by my own personal stylist. What?

So now, I'm a Stitch Fixer for as long as they're around. I hate shopping for myself! I can't stand to look at myself in those dressing room mirrors, & if I don't try on the items in the store, I get home and feel like I have to keep them because it's too much trouble & too far to go to take them back!

They do charge a $20 stylist's fee, but if you keep your items, it is credited toward your purchase. You can check out online, and if you decide not to keep something, they include a mailing bag (postage paid).

I haven't convinced myself it's a good idea to sign up for a monthly "fix" yet, but I love the flexibility they offer to schedule one when it's convenient for me. It can't get better than that, except maybe for them to do a Kids' Stitch Fix. Ha!

So here's a link, if you want to check out what they have to offer:

You won't be sorry -- this is awesomeness in the making fixing!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Homemade toothpaste like salty cake with a side of bum wipes, anyone?

So lately I've been trying to do more making & crafting for myself, instead of buying so much stuff. You know, I figured that we spend roughly $200 a year just on toilet paper. Are you kidding? That's a lot for something you soil & flush!

So I got an idea from Sara's blog post about Toilet Cloth. I had some old fleece left over from a project for my kids, plus a blanket that one of my kids cut a hole in. So I cut all that fleece up, and Baby, I ended up with oodles of what we call "Bum Wipes"! By now I was hooked. What else could I get rid of, or at least buy less of?

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013

So I checked out some of Sara's other posts, like Reusable Disinfecting Wipes (Everyone's got some old t-shirts hangin' around, right?)

No Sew Cloth Napkins (This one, I had kind of already done, but with the sewing, and backed the fabric with a pack of cheap white washcloths I bought at Wal-Mart.)

And Cloth "Paper" Towels (I haven't tried this one. . . yet.) Sara had lots of other great tips, but this is enough to start on, right? Wrong!

After using Wen (which I loved, but it got too expensive), Biolage by Matrix, and other shampoos that promise good things. I was feeling jaded & without a go-to for my dry, frizzy hair. My hair also has a lot of gray in it (and I'm only in my thirties - it's hereditary), but I refuse to color it because it will end up worse than before!

So, by Sara's recommendation, I visited "Empowered Sustenance" & tried Lauren G's Honey Shampoo. Love it! The first day, I could tell a BIG difference. My hair was so soft. My wiry grays. . . not wiry! So I've been using it for 4 days now. Hair is still shiny. No scalp flakiness. No ill effects. Just clean, heavenly-scented hair. Tangles? Nope. Wide-tooth comb glides smoothly through the locks. I did change the recipe a hair (no pun intended), by adding some Tea Tree E.O. & Lavender E.O.

The other thing I've done is started making my own toothpaste. You can make a gob of it for next to nothing! I used Trisch's recipe (check out the video here), and tweaked it a bit. My daughter & I did some mixing in the kitchen & came up with a recipe that tastes a lot like salty cake. = ) We added vanilla, Stevia, & cinnamon to the mix & doubled the amount of coconut oil. Even my kids like the toothpaste -- and that's saying something!

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Robin's posts on Homemade Laundry Soap
Toxic-Free Bathroom and Vanessa Brady's Body Wash. Am I obsessing? Absolutely not! Well, maybe just a little. But I feel entitled. With the expanding technology these days and machines that can take the place of an actual human in the workplace, why must we feel stuck in the days of harsh chemical cleaners and things we know are not healthy for our bodies. . . did I hear someone say refined sugar & corn syrup? Just because that's the way it's been done for generations doesn't mean it's the best way.

God gives us common sense & expects us to use it. Not only that, He has called us to be good stewards, not only of the world around us, but of our families, our time, our money, and our bodies (which are His temple, after all). So let's take care.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Project Noah

Today I'm all into "Project Noah." Have you heard of it? Well, with my new iPhone, I was able to get hold of some really neat apps, including the "Project Noah" app for FREE!

Basically, it's a way to document wildlife all around you, wherever you go. People all over the world are getting involved. The information you supply is shared by all users and gives aid to scientists and conservationists.

I think it's such a neat idea -- it even has a special log-in for students & teachers! Joining missions & earning patches (think Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts merit badges) is only part of the fun. There are discussion boards, too, where you can connect with other nature enthusiasts. To top it all off, you can even create your own mission(s).

I just had to -- couldn't resist. So here's my mission info:

name: Southeastern Home School Nature Walk

mission statement:  This mission is for any home school family interested in documenting the nature that surrounds us on a daily basis. Take a nature walk and document as much wildlife as you can. Enjoy God's creation, get some exercise & fresh air, and learn at the same time. Let's get walking!

Sound corny? It's really not -- it's heaps of fun & it'll have you looking at the world around you like you never have before! So c'mon, grab your friends & family and let's go take a walk!

Image Copyright The Blueberry Bee 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Decorating

Here are some pictures of how I have decorated my home this Fall. Last year, I didn't do much. I've been battling depression & even Christmas was a stretch. This year, I'm feeling better & I'm decorating like crazy! 

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
I've had this wreath for my front door for a few years. It usually gets prime time, 'cuz it's usually the only thing I put out! =)
Image The Blueberry Bee 2013

This is my mantel -- simple, yet elegant & fun! Note the squirrel to the left of the pumpkin. =)

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
 These adorn my bookshelf. I haven't got a candle . . .yet! Isn't that sad? These & the mantel pumpkin were gifts from my mom. = )

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
I made an appliqued & quilted table runner for my kitchen this year (took me a couple days). And then I added a canning jar ring pumpkin. (The original idea was not mine, though. I saw it on Google+. Sorry I don't know where the original idea came from -- super cute, though!) 

I tied about 20 canning rings together & rolled some brown print fabric for the stem -- just poked it down in the middle. Then I added a couple of crocheted leaves that I made. Voila! A neat silver pumpkin for the table.

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
This hangs by our most-used door. You know, the one we exit to put shoes on. =)

Image The Blueberry Bee 2013
This "Welcome" pumpkin-shaped sign (Michael's Art Store) hangs on the outside of our door. Don't tell me, I already know -- the door looks terrible & needs to be replaced. Another time, another day. 
= (

There are so many neat items, ideas, & projects for this time of year. Have fun decorating!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What do you say when you don't know what to say?

I just read this quote today.
"My daughter, Grace, was not killed by a gun. She died suddenly at age 5 from a virulent form of strep. As I stood stunned in a church at her memorial, one of the hardest things I heard someone say was, 'I'm going to go home and hug my child a little tighter.' 'Well, good for you,' I thought.' 'I'm going to go home and scream.' "                       -- Ann Hood

That's tough isn't it? How many times, I wonder, have I said something that sent shockwaves through someone without meaning to.

Trying to say the right thing always is impossible.

Making everyone happy is impossible.

So what do you say when you don't know what to say?

Nothing. Simple? Not really. It's hard to have nothing to say, because I feel that I'm not being sensitive if I don't have the right words to say to someone, especially if they are really hurting. In my mind, I'm letting them down.

The best advice I ever got was from my husband. He told me, "If you don't know what to do, just don't do anything." That's good advice, and it also works for words. Now I'm not as concerned with not knowing what to do or say -- I just don't do or say anything.

Sometimes the best we can offer someone who is hurting is a hug, our presence, a listening ear, and a silent prayer to God.




What do you think? What do you do when you don't know what to do? What do you say when you don't know what to say?
My daughter, Grace, was not killed by a gun. She died suddenly at age 5 from a virulent form of strep. As I stood stunned in a church at her memorial, one of the hardest things I heard someone say was, 'I'm going to go home and hug my child a little tighter.' 'Well, good for you,' I thought. 'I'm going to go home and scream.'

My daughter, Grace, was not killed by a gun. She died suddenly at age 5 from a virulent form of strep. As I stood stunned in a church at her memorial, one of the hardest things I heard someone say was, 'I'm going to go home and hug my child a little tighter.' 'Well, good for you,' I thought. 'I'm going to go home and scream.'


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Newest Thing

My first sewing pattern. Aren't you proud of me?

Well, I've done it again. As if I didn't have enough things I enjoy doing -- I'm adding another to the list. I have begun making my own sewing patterns. I hold a B.S. in Home Economics (no wise cracks, please), and wanted to teach it -- until I graduated and found out it was being phased out of schools.

I use my education every day, so it's not wasted. But I never really got to teach it -- until now! YouTube is my new favorite tool, besides my blog, for getting my how-to's out there. They may not be great or super clear, but I'm working on that, one tute at the time.

I'm focusing on easy, quick, fun beginner sewing patterns. When I was a beginner, I was very impatient to see my work completed. My teacher (the best there is) was not of the same opinion, however. She is one of those people who will take as much time as she needs to make whatever she's working on perfect.

My Mom was that way, too. I remember nights that she would stay up into the wee hours of the morning sewing clothes for me. Unfortunately, she doesn't sew anymore. =( Mom has Alzheimer's Disease. It's wrecking me mentally and emotionally. I want Mom, you know? Want her here with me, encouraging me, laughing with me, playing with my kids, and helping me along the way. She was always my biggest fan, until I got married. My hubby is the best! But Mom runs a close second. And I love her so much!

So I hope you will tune in. I've been trying to upload a new tutorial once a week, but I may have to play around with the timing a bit. Home life has been really busy and I've been focused on writing patterns, so I haven't had as much time to turn out my tutes.

See how happy I am that you're watching my tutorials?

My patterns will be available to the public in my Etsy shop: Come on over & check it out! I have crochet patterns available, too!