My Dad is My Best Friend: A Tale of Independence and Self Definition

It’s funny referring to him as that: my best friend. He’d never say the same about me, but not in a it’s one-sided way, more like, it’s just not the way his generation would refer to their kids kind of way.

As I worked on building my sewing/craft desk, I realized how I wouldn’t have been able to do any of what I was doing without my dad teaching me how. I think I was only like eight when he taught me how to change drill bits in a power drill. He’s also the reason I remember “righty tighty and lefty loosey” when I’m trying to remember which way to turn a screw.

My dad is also the same man, who, when I was about ten, promised he could fix my sewing machine when it broke. I didn’t believe him. I was thinking, “You’re a boy. Boys don’t sew.” However, my dad, with his distinctive deep voice, told me, “Sarah, I’m a machinist! I can fix anything.” And wouldn’t you know it, he did! He fixed my sewing machine.

He’s also the same man, who every Mother’s Day would say, “In order to be a father, you have to be able to mother a little bit.” Maybe he was half kidding, but the way he approached things… The way he taught me and my brothers, he showed the truth in that funny saying.

If he can plant beautiful flowers around the yard AND lay the bricks that surround them. Then I can sew something amazing AND build the desk my sewing machine sits on. I learned I don’t have to fit into someone else’s box; I can build my own.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Or define what being a woman, a man, a daughter, a son, a human looks like. You do you. I’d wager you’re the only one that can.

I’ll tell you like my dads told me time and time again (he has the tendency to tell the same stories over and over, luckily they’re all good), you can do anything, it’s just time that’s the barrier, that’s limited. So budget your time and achieve something great; whatever great means to you.

Stay sweet, Sweeties!

Move Binder

My First Move Went Poorly – Your Next Move Doesn’t Have To

You might be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while.  Well, I’m moving!  Isn’t that exciting?!?  Yes, it is, but moving is also stressful.  My last move was a nightmare.  I left myself with too much stuff and too little time.  It was in those moments of pure stress and fighting the clock that I promised myself never again.  Never again!

However, I bet you’re wondering, “How exactly should I prepare for a move?”   Don’t worry I’m here for you.  I struggled so you didn’t have to.  I’ve spent the past months leading up to my move scouring the internet for moving do’s and don’ts to make the ultimate moving templates and an informational Pinterest board!

Click HERE to view and print my Move Binder pdf and click HERE for a Moving Pro Con List Excel file.  I love the Excel file, because it’s great for any big decision you need to make.  The link to the Pinterest board is below plus there’s a sneak peak of what’s inside the Move Binder Template.  Enjoy!

See you in a few weeks, Sweeties.  Moving day is this Friday, so I might be out of pocket for a while.  However, be sure to let me know what you think of my moving templates in the comments!  Stay sweet, Sweeties!

How I Started Sewing

Bear with me, Sweeties, because it’s been a while. But today I’m going to tell you how I got started sewing…

I think I started around 8 years old. It’s funny how as you get older you may still remember things from years ago, but time has a way of messing up the timeline in your head.

However, my earliest memory of sewing is my mom getting me one of those little sewing machines that are meant for little kids (me). I loved that thing! It was super loud and so tiny, but for 9 year old me, it was everything. I used to take it with me to the summer camp (daycare, lol) I went to that was inside a woman’s house. Me moms coworkers daughter and I along with some others there, would spend the day sewing. I honestly can’t remember anything I made, but it was tons of fun.

Sometime after this I went to “Camp Mary,” my Aunt Marys house for the summer and enrolled in a week long (?) sewing camp with another girl my age (around 12) from my Aunt’s church. I had so much fun that week making a beach bag, cup coozie and other beginner items. To this day I credit that beach bag for inspiring me to get really serious into sewing and even start creating my own patterns.

A little while later my mom let me use her old sewing machine. It was a beautiful old Singer. We had some good times together, that machine and I, until one day I was sewing and it broke! I still feel guilty, but it’s hard to say if it was me or the machine was old… Luckily my mom wasn’t too mad.

My mom mustn’t have totally given up on my sewing because that Christmas she gifted me a Brother Project Runway sewing machine that had so many stitch choices I didn’t know what to do with them. Sometime after this I took a Home EC class at school with one of my friends. I think that class is the reason I still don’t like making clothes. Ugh!

Sometime after that, circa 2013, I entered the dark times of my sewing hobby. A friend of my brother asked me to do a sewing job for him that seemed simple enough, but OMG it was not. He sent me about 20 ties and asked me to turn them into bow ties. Simple. Not! I’ve always had sewing talent, but this project tested me. Not to mention my procrastination, which I recently realized was my anxiety taking form (can’t mess it up if you don’t start, right? Not!)

What seemed simple enough at first got so stressful and complicated. I made a few prototypes to start and asked for the requesters approval. He had many requests. One of which, was to make sure the design of the tie was horizontal so it wasn’t turned on it’s side when it came time to tie. Maybe it wasn’t impossible, but it was impossible for me. There’s only so much fabric to work with when you’re taking a necktie apart, not to mention the fabric constraints and working with the bias.

Honestly I’m nauseous just remembering the disastrous saga that was the bow tie project. I’m embarrassed to say it took me a year to finish. And oh boy was the guy heated. I was too far into the project to stop and too far from finished to find it worth it. Long story short. I did it! I even still got paid too. Check out the pics. I may be embarrassed of the journey, but the final product is definitely something I can be proud of!

The Before

Anyways, I was downtrodden for a while. During that whole year with the bow tie project I found myself unable to sew anything else knowing I had that huge project looming over my head. Ugh, but with the completion of that project came inspiration to really start sewing.

I’ve never been a real beach person. Like the beach is awesome, but it’s not really my thing. However, I do enjoy time spent outdoors and the fashion that comes with going to the beach. This inspired me to create a pattern for a beach bag and make my own.

Of course this meant I had to head straight to Pinterest. I love Pinterest and Pinterest loves me, haha. The great database that Pinterest is inspired me to get creative with the fabrics I chose.

Burlap is an awesome fabric. It’s seems so boring and rough at first. But you can really make a bag stand out using it. I have the very first beach bag I made using burlap and duck cloth somewhere… Here’s some low quality pics for your enjoyment. Ignore the mistakes. Just kidding, they made me the BA sewist I am today. *flips hair*

The burlap accented beach bag led to the tote bags I started to make that use the same idea of wide burlap ribbon with a duck cloth binding. Here’s one I made one of my aunts.

I love these bags! I left a gap where the strap crosses over the burlap so you can stick your sunglasses through.

Well, it’s been fun taking a look back at my sewing journey with you Sweeties! There’s certainly more I could say. But I’ll leave that for another post. This one was about how I got started sewing after all and I’ve already taken you through my first ten years of sewing.

Hope you enjoyed reading how I got started sewing. Leave a comment and let me know how you got started sewing or if you don’t sew, what you’d like to see me make next!

I Tried a Silicone Toothbrush

The Foreo Issa Mini 2 Toothbrush to be exact.  Silicone is one of my favorite materials for skin and oral care right now.  I love how easy it is to clean, how long it lasts and it’s waterproof.  And of course, recently, my Phillips Sonic Toothbrush died… Right after the warranty ran out.  It was time for a change.

If you read my previous post where I reviewed the Luna Foreo FOFO you’ll know that was my entrance into the Foreo brand.  While browsing their site I noticed that they also had silicone toothbrushes, so with a 20% off coupon in hand I thought it might be worth a try.

There are a few different brush designs and colors to choose from on their site.   The Issa 2 that is marketed towards adults (Millennials, if you ask me) and the Issa Mini 2 that is marketed towards children or those with small mouths.  However, to me, the Issa Mini 2 screamed to me that it had a cheaper price and offered my favorite shade of yellow.

I’ll name a couple differences between the Issa 2 and the Issa Mini 2 in my review, but just keep in mind that some of the features I mention are specific to the Issa Mini 2.  Now let’s get to reviewing!

Long battery life between charges: “ISSA mini 2 puts the power of improved pulsations into a combination brush head sonic toothbrush and a 265 day charge that can keep up with the busiest schedules!”  This has yet to be tested, but as someone who has used an electric toothbrush for 10+ years I can say that I’m already impressed with both the time to full charge and the battery life.  It used to drive me crazy how long it took my Phillips Sonic brush to charge, 12+ hours!

Sonic Pulse Technology: After my first brush I could already feel the difference between using a standard manual toothbrush and the Issa Mini 2. My teeth felt sparkling and my tongue plaque free and fresh.  Comparing it to other top of of the line brushes it might fall a bit short, the Issa Mini doesn’t give you the option for increasing the pulse intensity like the bigger version, but it’s certainly more quiet which is a major plus.  Nothing was more awkward than brushing my teeth in the dorm with my standard electric brush and people popping their heads into the communal bathroom to see what that suspicious noise was…   That woudln’t be a concern with the Issa Mini 2; you can barely hear it!

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Long Lasting & More Hygienic Brush Heads: The Hybrid brush head that comes with the toothbrush can last up to six months!  If you decide to go for the all silicone brush it can last up to a year!  This definitely beats out the standard electric toothbrush. Those heads barely last three months and are super expensive to replace.  Issa Mini 2 wins here, hands down!  There’s also a little extra bristle going on to the neck of the brush that’s great for brushing your tongue.

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The Design:  It’s much easier to hold on to than a standard toothbrush, electric or manual and looks great while you hold it.  Now I made my choices, so I can’t complain, but if you have big hands you may find there’s not quite as much to hold onto as you might like with the Issa Mini 2.  However, all in all it’s not a bad size for an adult.  I have large hands, but after some adjustment in grip the small size of the Issa Mini 2 hasn’t been a problem.

In Conclusion:

Pros: Fast charge time and long battery life.  Fun colors and non slip grip.  Brush heads that last a long long while and are super hygienic at the same time.  Awesome for tongue cleaning.  Vibrations to remind you to switch sides of your mouth and make sure you get in the recommended brushing time (the mini even frowns at you when you cut brushing short or smiles and lights up when you hit the recommended time).

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Cons:  The price, even though the battery life and brush head replacement cycle are unreal the price still seems a bit too steep.  However, with the right coupon I think the value is definitely there.  Brush head size, with the mini this wasn’t a problem, but I can only imagine how big the brush head on the full size Issa 2 must be.  Processing time before shipping, they have a couple different ways to pay.  I decided to use Amazon Pay and had to confirm my order with a screenshot of the confirmation email.  The approval didn’t take long but it took a day to get that email and a day after that for my order to say shipped.  In a world of 2 day shipping (including processing time), it seemed to take eons for my brush to arrive.

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All in all I give the Issa Mini 2 4.5 stars and would definitely recommend.  The brush works great; I certainly expect it to much outlive the warranty.  This isn’t an endorsed post (Foreo, please love me, lol), so I don’t have some nifty personal promo code to share, but I do have something for you.  You’ll be seeing another post about this soon, but I can’t recommend the browser add-in Honey enough.  Honey scans the inner-webs to find you the best deal and promo code.  Below is a screenshot of the code it found me and how much it would have save me on a Foreo Issa 2.  Give Honey a try!

Foreo Coupon

My Sewing Bucket List

Every sewist, or anyone that does any kind of DIY, needs a Sewing Bucket List! Creating a Sewing Bucket List has been on my, well, bucket list, forever.  So here is the day!  I bring to you, Sweeties, my Sewing Bucket List!

I’ll put the list here, but if you want to see what is my inspiration for completing this list go see the Pinterest board I’ve linked to this blog post.  I may have colored outside the lines a bit as the list includes sewing, embroidery and related DIY projects.  Sew here’s my list…

  • An avocado backpack
  • Guitar shaped backpack
  • Convertible backpack purse (can you tell I love backpacks?)
  • An applique tote bag
  • An embroidered wool cape
  • A tote bag with wood handles
  • A rolling tote for my Designer Ruby Royale
  • A full skirt winter coat
  • The ultimate sewing table (check out the My Creations page on my website for my current sewing table)
  • LBD (Little Black Dress)
  • A high-waisted swimsuit
  • An ombre quilt
  • A high neck, low cut back wedding dress
  • Festive Applique Fabric Banner

Be sure to follow my Pinterest board to see what else I add to the list!  Let me know in the comments what’s on your Sewing Bucket List.

 

I Made Travel Themed Luggage Tags!

Look at me go! Almost a month in and I am absolutely loving my Designer Ruby Royale Sewing/Embroidery machine. It was made with the sewist at heart and it showed on my latest project! Be on the lookout for a comprehensive video and blog review of the machine soon.

Anyways, my machine is awesome and I’ve been feeling inspired to try new things! I’ve always wanted to do an in hoop design, all or most of what you are making is created in the hoop, I just never got around to it. It just still seemed too complicated. Boy was I wrong. In the hoop embroidery is the stuff!

I decided to make travel themed luggage tags, because they’re the perfect gift for my friend who’s retiring and vacationing in Paris. Not to mention they go hand and hand with the big launch I have been working towards for my Etsy shop.

I downloaded the designs from Embroidery Library’s website. You can download the luggage tags here. They can be purchased separately or in a design pack.

They fit in a 4 by 4 hoop if you leave the design as is. I decided to make mine a little bigger, so a business card would fit. However, don’t fret if you decide to keep them as is; there’s a link they give you to contact card printouts that we’re made for the tags.

I used my Brother Scan and Cut to cut the fabric for the project. Highly recommend! This made the already simple in the hoop project ten times easier. Then I just followed along with the detailed instructions and watched the magic happen. It’s like appliqué on steroids!

For extra depth be sure to go over the final design elements more than once. If you want the appearance of even more depth pick a slightly lighter shade the second run over the design. It really makes the design pop!

The whole design only took about 15-20 minutes to complete when I had all the materials prepped and ready to go. My machine even allowed me to add an eyelet hole right on screen on the design, so I didn’t even have to use any metal hardware. How cool is that?!?

Pictures are below. Let me know what you think. I’m pretty sure once you take a look you’ll have the travel bug. Do not fear! My tags will be here in my Etsy shop. Stay tuned and remember… Not all who wander are lost.