Cross-Country Vacation 2016, Part 1

Well, howdy! It’s been a long few months with a lot going on!  Let’s catch up!

This summer, it was our family’s turn to visit extended family out west.  Naturally, we considered the most efficient way to get there, which would be air travel.  Eight-hour flight with cranky kids and strangers and germs (and hopefully not a seat right next to the bathroom) and you’re there!  Um, no, thank you.

Not to mention the prices!! Holy smokes have airline tickets gone up!  We were looking at nearly $2300 in fares for the four of us.  And then we would need to rent a car to accommodate our two car seats and all of our baggage.  And then we would be unable to travel the lengthy distances between friends and family in the huge state of Oregon due to mileage restrictions.

SPOILER ALERT: We ended up spending roughly $2500 total on this trip.  That included exposing our preschool kids to 21 days of travel through 15 states; several national park visits; laying eyes on the actual trail marks of The Oregon Trail; hiking in prairies, rainforests, creeks, and rivers; countless learning opportunities, etc.  This also covered all of our camping supplies (which we didn’t own prior to the trip), and all of our allergy-free (for us), organic food!  It also includes the one hotel stay in Chicago and the two Wendy’s meals we had when we were in a tight spot.

This flying thang just wasn’t cutting the custard — or is it mustard?  Whichever you prefer, I guess.

Too expensive, too restrictive.

I think that I’ve allowed my sense of my adventure to go to all-time lows after having the kids. I’ve just been focused on too many other things (read: the daily grind).

I’ve shared on this blog before that, as a kid, I spent every third or fourth summer traveling across the country in an RV with my siblings — both human and canine — and my parents.  I have such awesome memories of that all-American, low-frills vacation style!

As a kid, Matt, too, spent lots of time camping/traveling with his dad for mountain bike races all along the west coast.  He has some pretty great stories to tell about those days as well.

We want memories like that for/with our kids!

We both decided that 3 and 5 were great ages to get the traveling party started!

Master plan conceived!

Continue reading

We Are A Homeschooling Family!

So I’m wearing yet another hat around here.  It does take me farther away from sewing, blogging, cleaning (ha!), but it’s awesome and hard and frustrating and tiring and so, so super amazingly cool!

Homeschooling was something that I had always considered in a kind of throw-the-idea-around-here-and-there kind of way.

It kind of went with the progression of our parenting style – breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, ayurvedic medicine — oh, yeah, what the heck, maybe I’ll homeschool, too!

Whenever I’d mention it, I’d get a sort of common, generic response of how neat of an idea that was, but how few people are “able” to do it — oh, and, my favorite –boy, was I brave!  (I think sometimes it was a compliment, and sometimes it was just a filler when someone didn’t know what to say.  Once or twice it was delivered in a you’re-nuts-to-take-that-on kind of way.)

This general idea of us, as parents, not being “able” to teach our own children was really a soul-searching topic for me.   I made lists of pros and cons, did tons of research, etc.

But, mostly, I listened to my kids.

Continue reading

Happy Holidays!

Oh, my goodness!  It’s been so long; I wonder if I even remember how to do this blog thang?!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first shared some of our family’s holiday traditions.  (You can see the original post from last year right here.)

Continue reading

Cake Crafting Fall 2015

Hello!   I’m still alive!  Fall has started out rough, and we may still be sniffling and coughing, but we made it through the birthday season.  I want to share what went down!

The kids’ birthdays are a little over a month apart, and I am usually crazy(ier than normal) for weeks before the big party days.

Continue reading

Marriage Is A Practical Joke! (My Side of the Story)

You know, I haven’t actually been to a wedding as a married person.

Those few weddings I attended when I was young and single were beautiful and romantic and all that jazz.   They really were.  But there was something going on between all of the married guests that I just wasn’t a part of.   It was over my head.

Now that I am an old, married lady myself, I’d like to enlighten those of you who are considering getting in on this wonderful thing called marriage — while there’s still time to get out!

Continue reading

DIY Avocado-Honey Moisturizing Pre-Poo

Good Rainy Tuesday if you’re in the Northeast this morning!

I’m thinking swimming lessons at the outdoor pool will be a no-go today.

But that’s not what this is really about.  Let me get back on track.

A couple of years ago, when my kids were a year and three years old, I was dealing with lots of stress.  Staying home with two whiny (I mean, wonderful!) toddlers with postpartum anxiety issues left me slightly unstable.

One night, during that difficult time, I went to the bathroom and did a quick turn to view the back of my previously luxurious bottom-of-shoulder-blade length cascading ringlets.  I was mortified.  I hadn’t been taking care of myself, and it showed.   Oh, my stars, did it show!

Now, it’s been years since I adopted the motto “business in the front, party in the back.”  To me, as it pertains to hair, that always meant that if the front of my hair was presentable, I was all good.  I can’t see the back of my head anyway, so why sweat the small stuff.

Continue reading

Meet Our Peeps!

Hey there!

I want to finally introduce my peeps! We’re still not ready for another dog, and Mr. SewOldSchool and I wanted a pet (or five!) for the kids.   I researched frogs, rats (I’m sorry, I just can’t!), cats (I’m super allergic!), and fish.  None of those options seemed the perfect fit for our family.

After driving around our neighborhood and seeing coops popping up here and there, I researched chickens.  There had to be some kind of draw.

Continue reading

Dude, That’s Awesome Coleslaw

Good morning!

Yes, I know.  The name of this coleslaw.  I give full credit to Mr. SewOldSchool who believes in the philosophy that if something is named aptly, anyone will be willing to try it — and thus reap the benefits of its culinary splendor.

I’ve had a love affair with coleslaw since the beginning of time.  I remember back in the day when we’d be traveling cross-country in our jalopy Concorde RV with us kids, the ‘rents, and two or three Shih Tzus running loose as we drove down the Interstate.  Good memories!

Inevitably, we’d break down and get to order some take-out while my dad fixed whatever was ailing Ol’ Concordia.  When this would happen, my favorite spot was KFC.  I know, I know.   I didn’t know or care to know much about nutrition as an elementary-aged kid.  I cared about what tasted good.

Little Bro liked the biscuits and the chicken.

I honestly don’t remember what Little Sis preferred.

Me, I was all about the coleslaw.  KFC was putting out some really tasty ‘slaw in the ’80s!

Continue reading

Ramblings and Recent Projects

Grief is a funny thing.  It’s been a month since we lost Pop, and I’m finally starting to feel my groove coming back.   I expected to cry, to be upset.  And then I expected to kind of ease myself over it in a generally swift fashion.  I figured I’d be back to blogging and sewing, and just back to normal pretty quickly.  I just haven’t been in the mood for all of that.

Still, every night, when I get my dish rag out to clean my kitchen counters, I have the urge to call him and talk while I tidy up.  Routine, routine.  It’s hard to get used to.

But I’m working on new outlets, new routines, new normals; and it really is getting easier.

Continue reading

My Best Oldie Has Gone Away

You may remember about a month ago I gave myself (and maybe anyone else who read it and is/was going through something similar) a pep talk about navigating through the upcoming death of a loved one.  Well, I, unfortunately, along with my family, am there.   I’m glad it’s something I’ve been prepping for mentally, because it is so hard!

Wednesday, May 20th, was a beautiful sunny day, albeit a bit crisp in the breeze.  I had taken A.W. to visit Pop Tuesday morning, the day before, my usual, after dropping my oldest off to school.  He didn’t look good at all.

I told him I’d really, really like him to come over for Memorial Day.  He gave me a side-eye like I was half-crazy.

Continue reading

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all of you who entered and gave me great suggestions about my daughter’s friends perfect birthday gift!

The winner of the two head scarves featured in the giveaway is “brookechurch.”

Congratulations to Brooke, and thank you again for playing along!

As for the gift, I think I’m going to attempt a simple superhero costume.  I will be sure to post pics when it’s complete.  :O)

C

OMG! It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Again!

The day I have been waiting for, for months is finally here!  Today marks the start of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaways.   This event is full of handmade goods/gifts made by fellow bloggers and/or crafters.  It’s so much fun to enter to win items that someone poured their heart and imagination into.   I just love it!

Continue reading

Time Doesn’t Change Everything!

Good Wednesday morning!

I’ve been M.I.A. again – for some very cool reasons.  Mainly, though, this past week I’ve been lucky enough to spend my time nourishing a 20-year-old friendship.  How cool is that?!

Growing up military-style has some perks, and some non-perks.  One perk, moving around and getting to see other parts of the country and meet new people.  A non-perk, moving around and always having to find your place with new people.  Yes, the pros and the cons are so closely related that it’s hard to differentiate sometimes – especially if you’re in your teenage years when it seems like high school could very possibly be the real world.

Continue reading

The Reason I Choose Not to Fear Death

I had a great childhood.  We traveled and moved a lot as my dad was in the military.  My parents had great senses of humor (which, I think, they gave me) and were young and vibrant.  We all laughed all the time and made fun of each others quirks.  We had dogs, a goat, and even a pig at one time.   My mom rotated three of her signature dishes for dinner every week – chicken and cheese enchiladas, Texas beef skillet, and spaghetti.  Sometimes, we got a piece of chicken breast with a couple sprinkles of salt and pepper on it if she was feeling fearless in the kitchen that night!  (I know you will get a kick out of that description, Moose.  Love ya!)

Continue reading

Say No, Thank You, to Cavities With Homemade, Two-Ingredient Toothpaste!

The title says it all!  I haven’t used any other toothpaste besides this homemade version I’m sharing with you in over five years.  (That’s around the time Matt and I decided we were ready to start a family.   I wanted to have a clean and healthy body, so the search for all things natural began then and there. That’s why many of the posts I write about have that magic number in the timeline somewhere, in case anybody is wondering what the heck is so magical about “five or so years ago”! Ha, ha!.)

I guess that cavity bit in the title may be an exaggeration, as I did have my first cavity last year.  But I’m an old lady, so it was probably bound to happen at some time or another anyway – regardless of what toothpaste I was using.

I’m telling you, though, even when I go on vacation, I make myself a little bit of this stuff just to get me by.  Fluoride just isn’t my thing, I guess you could say.  I like to keep things simple and as chemical-free as possible.   I also really like being able to replenish supply without running to the store. And you know by now that if there’s a way I can make it, I’m all over that, too!

Continue reading

The Rat Race Called Easter Eve

Well, in five minutes it will officially be Easter Sunday.  It has been a crazy day around here.  Matt and I took shifts hanging out with the kids so that the other could get done what we had planned for today.  Matt was out working on our in-progress chicken coop during the day – the chicks are coming in less than two weeks! (More on that later.) – and I am now on the night shift taking care of details for dinner and festivities for tomorrow.

In the perfect marriage of being busy and procrastinating, I had pretty much nothing done for Easter until after dinner this evening.  If I’m honest, I actually just called/texted dinner guests tonight as to the time to arrive tomorrow.  I know, I know – I’m the definition of classy (and so are my dollar store Easter dinner paper plates!).

Continue reading

Spring, I Hope You’re Real!

Oh, my goodness! Not only do I hope (and pray) that Spring is real, but I really, really – we really, really need it to appear! Thanks to my good friend Zhong Gan Ling (disclaimer: I don’t use this brand; I get whatever my acupuncturist carries), cupping, along with some other natural/dietary helpers, we are finally nearing the end of acute bronchitis and sinus infections.

First it was A.W. with a couple scary asthma-like attacks, and then it went right down the line.  A.S. got it; I got it; and, finally, Matt is the last of us to get it, too.   I am sick of being sick and the worry that goes along with nursing the family back to health!  Spring!?  I need you!

Continue reading

So You’ve Got Yourself a 66?!

Hello! Hello!

The title really says it all!  If you really did just score yourself a vintage Singer 66, congratulations, and welcome to your new addiction!  (Now hold on.  Give me a minute to let me fix myself up so no one can tell I was just doing the happy dance for you!)

I do like most of the old, iron, ornate machines that Singer put out; but the 66 is definitely special.  As I’ve mentioned before, it was the first machine I ever used (after my ten-minute run with a new, plastic, made-in-China Singer that had me proclaiming that sewing and I were not right for each other) — and it’s still one of my favorites.

Time and time again, I see someone purchasing one of these babies as their first vintage machine.  And, as they should, they decide that they’re not going to just use it for display; they’re going to actually use it to sew.  At first, you’re nervous and fear you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

Relax! Chances are, if you have one, it can be cleaned and oiled and used for many years to come.  You can even pass it down to your kids.  (My kids will get all seven, whether they like it or not! LOL) I promise, it’s not as intimidating as it looks.

Sew (I’m sorry, couldn’t resist!)  let’s talk it out!

Continue reading

VSM Talk – The Fam is Growing!

As the T-Rex bed we made the kids has lost some of its nostalgia, there is no more sleeping through the night around here.  Currently, the first kid shows up at 1:30 a.m. and hops in bed with us, and the second rolls in around 3:45 or 4:00 a.m.  This has been happening for the last month or so.  Every parent reading this understands that while the idea of cuddling with your kids through the night sounds good, that’s not exactly how it works!  It’s so much better to cuddle them up in the morning, after a full night’s restful rest.

We all have our rough patches when it comes to little ones and sleep, so I’ll leave it at that — yes, we’re in a rough patch here at our house.  Ha, ha!

Continue reading

The Cheap, (Ridiculously Easy) Way to Make High-Style, No-Frill Curtains (Tutorial)

Good Wednesday morning!

Let’s start today with one of my favorite things – a tutorial that will help you create something that will personalize your space in a major way!

Of course, since I am fabric-obsessed, I appreciate the perfect curtain to complement a room.  Matt and I moved out young and didn’t have anything beyond mini-blinds for years.  When we bought our first house in our early 20’s, I was so jazzed to go curtain shopping!  Finally, we’d be decorating a place the way we wanted to decorate it.

The curtains I wanted were gorgeously out of budget, but,oh,  so nice to look at.  They were long and flow-y, and pattern-y.  All great qualities in window decor.  But as a college student (me) and a five-years-out-from-college youngster (Matt), the curtains that we actually ended up getting were nothing special and weren’t all that nice-looking.  (And they still weren’t cheap, either!)

I had always loved the long, flowing, fancy style curtains and was sure that’s what I’d have someday.   And then I fount out I’m severely allergic to dust mites.  (They are everywhere, and they love to live in dusty, flowing curtains, of course!) And then I had children – children who like to rip and tear tug and pull and roll themselves into long, flowing fancy curtains. (Animals!)

Continue reading

Primary Parent Guilt (PPG) Decoded

Shhhh!  Do you hear the crickets?  I kind of wish I could hear them in real life!  ;O)

As is the norm, life has been busy, but cyber-life here on the blog has been the opposite.  From birth and by nature, I’ve always been a person who struggles with balance (not usually with physical balance, but sometimes even that! lol).  It’s hard to stay away from my people-pleasing ways, and it’s standard for me to take on more than I can handle just to prove to myself that I can do it.

Continue reading

How Do You Hold on to What You Will Inevitably Lose?

First, Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope today finds you, number one, loving and approving of yourself; and, number two, having someone special to love and love you back!

As for me, I have to say that time has been getting the best of me this past week!  Lots of changes going on around here.   All positive, don’t worry!

I was really happy to get back to doing some quick tutorials, which are really my favorite thing about blogging; but I have missed blogging about my deep-thinking shenanigans, too!

I wrote the title of this post, literally, about three weeks ago, and have been itching to get back to it ever since.  I’d love to share mine and hear your thoughts on this topic, and tips and tricks to hold on to what must be let go.  Because, really, in the grand scheme of things, nothing is under our control.   There is birth; there is life; there is death.  It is all a natural cycle –  independent of our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  And we all have to cope with some aspect of this cycle at one time or another.

I remember when I was preparing for the birth of my first child.  One of my sweet friends, who is also an alternative healthcare provider, told me that the biggest thing to remember during labor was that I would have to relax and just “let go.”  She said that that would afford me a much more relaxed and quicker labor.  She said that symbolically asthmatics (which I am) have trouble letting go.  (Something about holding on to precious air in a subconscious fear that this breath may be your last.)  It made perfect sense to me, and I’ve applied this thought process to many things in the last five years.

(For the record, my first labor was 21 hours of natural intensity and insanity; and then three hours of glorious epidural-induced calm.  Letting go was HARD!)

Continue reading

Pre-Schoolers’ Valentine’s Day Craft (Tutorial)

So last week A.S. decided that instead of buying Valentines for her friends at school, she’d like to use her new snazzy sewing machine (1934 Singer 99-13 hand crank) to make something for them instead.  Of course, like any crafty mom would be, I was thrilled!

Continue reading

Dino Chin-Strap Pattern Tester Winner!

Our winner is Sara Jones!!!  Sara, please keep an eye on your inbox tonight for a message w/ the subject SewOldSchool Pattern Tester!  You will be giving the Dinosaur Chin-Strap a test-drive!

IMG_0932

Thank you to everyone who joined in with us!

And, of course, stay tuned for more patterns to test!

Are Your Hands Cold Yet?! Let’s Make Some Upcycled Mittens! (Tutorial)

Do you ever see these gorgeous, boutique-style wool mittens that people are walking around wearing in the cold winter months and wonder where they get them?   Want to make some for yourself?!IMG_1022

Well, last year, when I was seriously considering selling some up-cycled cloth diapers I had made, I came across a consignment shop where someone was making them by hand and selling them.  They were absolutely beautiful, and I wanted to buy a pair so badly; but they came with an out-of-my-range price tag.  $45 a pair!  Continue reading

A Walk-Through of My Vintage Sewing Machine Collection (with Video)

I love making things.  There’s something about doing something completely by yourself that exposes and highlights all of your talents and shortcomings.  It’s a really humbling thing.  In this technologically-driven world we live in, it’s nice to come back to those things that are more simple.

I can’t really explain in words what happened to me once I taught myself to sew on my first treadle.  It changed the way I looked at all things handmade and gave me a passion about something that I really can’t describe.

Continue reading

We Have Another Pattern to Test!

Good Morning! You know something good is coming up the pike when you see the picture of Toinie, my 66 Red Eye at the top of the post!  Yes, it’s that time again — more pattern testing!cropped-singer66.jpg

Continue reading

Ditch Disposables and Make Your Own Un-Paper Towels ( a Close-To-My-Heart Tutorial)

For our family, it just made sense for us to transition to using only cloth paper towels.  I was already using cloth diapers on the kids and cloth pads (search The Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution in the search box at right for more info on that) for myself.  Let’s just say it was a journey,  an evolution towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle – one baby step at a time.  Luckily, everyone in the house was on-board (with a little resistance from Matt, who doesn’t do the laundry!).

Continue reading

Mystery Pattern and Winner Revealed!

Calling Ms. Merritt T.!!

You are our Mystery Pattern Tester Winner!  You will be testing the SOS Reversible Six-Panel Fleece Hat with Ear Flaps (and optional visor) Youth Size!

IMG_0870 IMG_0871Keep an eye on your inbox tonight for email from me with subject title: Mystery Pattern Winner!

Exciting!

C

The Best Ashy-Skin Bath Soak is Probably Hiding in Your Kitchen Right Now!

I know this is insane, but I kind of feel like we are still struggling to get back to a sense of normal after the holidays.  I know, I know, you’re thinking we’re in mid-to-late January now and what the heck is wrong with me.

Well, I’ve been in a cloud of transferring my scratch notes to computerized sewing files, teaching myself to quilt, secretly searching online for another treadle for who knows what reason (hopefully Matt won’t read this!), chasing after my two crazy kiddos, and kind of, sort of catching up on Parenthood episodes (the only show I watch)!

But, I guess, in short, the holidays are just a whirlwind that takes weeks to recover from around here!  And in my defense, lots of people do still have those inflatable Christmas lawn decorations still up and we’re approaching Valentine’s Day now.  I think we should focus on what’s wrong with them… Continue reading

Guess What?! It’s Time to Play Mystery Pattern Tester Again!

We’re changing things up a little bit this time, though.  Instead of three testers, I would like to select just one person to test my next PDF sewing pattern and tutorial! I am hoping to get feedback as to how I can improve my pattern/accompanying literature, pictures of finished product(s), and your thoughts on what you would expect to pay for a pattern of this type/quality.

cropped-singer66.jpg

Continue reading

The Shop is Open!

Oh, my goodness!  Remember the Mystery Pattern Tester Contest we had going on last week? Well, our awesome tester did a really nice, thorough review of the tutorial and pattern.  I took all of her suggestions to heart and decided to offer the very first Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution pattern for free in the online shop!

Continue reading

What Am I Doing Up So Late?

Well, I haven’t been to bed yet; but I guess, technically, I should be saying good morning instead of good night!  Ever since the Mystery Pattern Tester Contest started, I’ve been spontaneously jittery.   Ha!  How crazy does that sound?

Continue reading

MYSTERY PATTERN WINNERS AND MYSTERY PATTERN REVEALED!

Jodie! Debra! Marina!  Are you ready to have some fun?!

You are my fab three pattern testers for the mystery pattern this month!

You will be testing a pattern for our curvy, one-snap version of The Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution!

IMG_2316

Keep an eye on your inboxes for a message from me containing your pdf sewing pattern along with instructions!  (Subject line: mystery pattern winner!)

Thank you so much to everyone who played along with me!  :O)

My Love/Hate Relationship with Ingredient Labels

For years I’ve been diligent in making sure that most of the food I put in my body is beneficial in some way.  It always made sense to me to take care of my body so that it would take care of me.  To this day, I always read labels and buy organic this and that and try my best to fool my family by sneaking veggies into everything!

But, to be honest, somewhere along the line, I lost my trust in the labeling in our country.  The wording must be written by some of my not-so-favorite attorneys from back in my court reporting days or something.  It’s downright sneaky! Continue reading

One Day Left…

Where’s the time going?  I can’t believe it’s almost Friday!   Tomorrow we reveal not only who our three mystery pattern testers will be, but what they are testing! The suspense is killing me!  It’s like Christmas all over again!

If you know someone who’d be interested in joining the fun, pass it on!  Until then, wishing you good luck and genuinely admire the blind jumpers who are willing to have some fun with me! (Have you ever read a blog post with no periods, just exclamation points? Um, yeah, I guess I’m a little excited!)

Stay warm (if you’re in the Northeast), and have a great day (wherever you are)!

C

In Search of Some Friendly Pattern-Testers!

Oh, my stars!  I cannot even believe this is happening right now! I am up way too late and up to all things good tonight!  I did the usual reading of 27 books while A.W. vehemently refused to close his heavy little brown eyes.  That’s okay, because Mama’s got Dr. Seuss stamina! Ha! Continue reading

Happenings Behind the Scenes and a Glimpse at What’s to Come

Hope everyone had a great New Year!  I didn’t even do anything, and I still feel like I’m struggling to get into the swing of things! It’s part my crazy-hyper-crafty personality and partly my crazy-hyper-crafty (where’d they get that from?) kids — and, I suppose, partly the chaos that comes with the holidays.  I wanted to pop in and reveal what’s been going on in my world, because there’s a lot.  Continue reading

Are-You-Kidding-Me? Pesto

I hope everyone had a great holiday with lots of good eating, drinking, and family time!  We had a great time hosting Christmas dinner this year!  I am surprised at how busy I have been this past week, but I guess that’s just my nature coupled with all the festivities this time of year.

I have a new quilt (my second ever) that I’m working on sewing-wise, a homemade dinosaur sleigh bed that my husband and I are working on craft-wise, and a notepad sitting next to my computer full of notes of topics I want/need to write posts about.  I keep telling myself in due time all will come together, and I really do believe it will.

But today we must discuss pesto.  Continue reading

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

I guess the anticipation of my children meeting the day has me over-the-top excited! I am up earlier now as a parent than I was as an anxious child on Christmas Day! Continue reading

Choco – Cherry Banana Ice Cream

I know it’s the wrong time of year for it, but we still love our “ice cream” in this house! This recipe is quick, easy, and tasty! At the same time, it’s allergy-free (for us).

image

Continue reading

Transitions and the High of Giving

Leaving my yoga class this week, I turned on the radio to keep me company for my very rare solo ride in the car.  I have my kids with me 99.9% of the time, so I’m not really used to being able to listen to the radio freely.  I’m that mom that doesn’t like the mainstream club/pop music played for my impressionable toddlers while we travel anywhere and everywhere.

This night, I was excited to put the radio on and listen to whatever I wanted, not having to worry if there was bad language or topics that my four-year-old would be asking me to explain.  Man, it’s been a long time since I have listened to the radio.  Continue reading

Jazzy Homemade Makeup

A couple years ago, someone gave me a link to a blog that had instructions on how to make homemade makeup — from crayons!  If you know me in real life or are good at reading someone from what they say or do or how they talk, you should know that I hate unnecessary harsh chemicals.  Makeup was one thing I could never see myself getting around.  To be honest, I am of the age now where I regularly wake up looking “busted”! Ha, ha!  But, really, I mean it.  I need a little help in the morning, and coffee’s not going to cut it!

Continue reading

Slow Cooker Squash Soup

This is a recipe that I actually wrote down! I’m impressed with myself that I wrote it down and a dated it, too.  It’s from 2010, before I had kids with allergies in the house.  That being said, it’s not dairy-free, but could probably be adapted pretty easily.  I used to adore this soup and will have to make it again now that it’s found it’s way back to me!

Continue reading

Convertible Car Seat Poncho (Discussion and Tutorial)

Good morning!

I think today is the special day that I will finally write up the tutorial for the latest car seat poncho that I made.  Both kids are sleeping in, and I have a few quiet moments to construct a tutorial that makes sense!

I adore these ponchos.  First off, I love them because I get to make them.  A very close second is the fact that my kids just drool over them.  A.S. would have one for every day of the week if she could.  (And I might be crazy enough to sew that many if I didn’t anticipate my husband questioning all those extra fabric purchases!)  As for safety, they are just so much better for car seat use than a big, bulky winter coat.  Both A.S. and A.W. get in their seats, hold up their ponchos for me to buckle them in, and then drop the ponchos down to snuggle in.  The fact that they’re reversible and fairly water-resistant when you use fleece are just added perks to their cuteness!  I have seen many of these popping up from other crafty moms, so I think it’s a trend with some staying power.

Continue reading

Shepherd’s Pie, Turkey Style

Traditional Shepherd’s Pie has been one of my favorite dishes for a long time.  A few months ago when I found out I had a sensitivity to beef, among many other things, I thought of how hard it would be for me to eat “normal.”

Luckily, everything is adaptable.   And this looks and tastes pretty “normal” to me:

IMG_2290 Continue reading

Easy Rapunzel Braid (FREE Tutorial)

Happy Saturday!

This morning started like many mornings in our household.   A.W. and A.S. were fighting like cats and dogs about something in the playroom while I was making breakfast. I gave it a minute or two to see if they could resolve it themselves, but no such luck.  When I stuck my nose around the corner to see the cause of the drama, I saw the tell-tale sign of loose strings of yellow yarn.

Continue reading

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations, comlisa*******@gmail.com!

Please check your inbox and respond with your address so that we can get your package to you ASAP!

Very excited for you to receive your hats and pattern!  Thank you so much for entering and supporting SewOldSchool!

The Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution! (Discussion and FREE Tutorial)

For most women, having your period is a fact of life.  Handling it with disposable products that end up in landfills and have fine print warnings of possible Toxic Shock Syndrome don’t have to be how you deal with it.   There’s another option that no one is talking about! Let’s have some girl-talk!

IMG_2316

Continue reading

The Best Christmas Tradition Ever (Warning: Potentially Budget- and Environmentally-Friendly and a Tutorial?!)

My daughter (A.S.) and I started making cookies as gifts two years ago.  It seemed like the perfect way for our family to avoid wasting time in the mainstream money-spending, time-sucking Christmas traditions (sorry for painful honesty!) that have taken the light from what I want my children to feel is most important this time of year. (If that’s sounds straightforward, I mean it to; if it sounds nasty, that’s not what I’m going for.)

Continue reading