Author: Jess

I sew, I mom, I wife, I drink coffee.

Our Homeschool Room and Play Room Tour

We’ve lived in our 1880s farmhouse for about two and a half years now, and in that time, I’ve rearranged the bedrooms about fifty bazillion times. Seriously. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my sewing room shift from room to room. It had become pretty clear that while I wanted to have my own sewing space, it just isn’t the season for it. Our family needed and would get much more use from a playroom/school room. So my sewing space is once again shared with our master bedroom, like in our previous home. And the brightest room in the house is now our playroom/school room. It’s probably the best room swap we’ve done yet, and I’m excited to show it to you!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

We recently got an IKEA, making all my organizational dreams come true. ;) I knew I wanted to have one wall with books, toys, and learning materials. We have other books throughout the house (because I’m a firm believer that reading needs to be part of your family culture), but here we’re housing our non-fiction reference books, my teacher’s manuals, and some picture books.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

Since we have a toddler in the house, I put the learning materials that have small pieces up on the higher shelves. We used to have a lot of these items in bins, but I love having most of them in baskets now – they’re a little more open and easier to access. I kept some of the choking hazards in bins with lids, because of aforementioned toddler. ;)Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This is nearly all the toys we have in our house. We have legos and a few Star Wars toys upstairs, since they have small pieces. Our play kitchen is in our family room, where we tend to do our Morning Time and read alouds. It’s nice to have some toys nearby for the littles who get easily distracted. We also keep board games in a closet and bring them out only when we’re playing them. I’ve been working hard to declutter and keep our home more minimal. To be honest, this isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but it’s definitely better for my mental health and for our family in general.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

I knew I wanted some ALEX drawers from IKEA, and this size was perfect for all of our craft supplies, papers, coloring books, and blank books for story writing. Storage for papers and art supplies was the biggest problem I needed to solve. I love that this gives us a confined space for it (meaning, we can’t go crazy and buy all the things – we can only fit so much!) and it’s so nicely organized. Remember that storage cushion?? It’s currently filled with the boys’ sweatshirts, which makes it nice and comfy. :)

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This room had some little shelves in this random spot when we moved in, and since we haven’t done anything to change this room (including the wallpaper… which I have mixed feelings about) they seemed like the perfect spot for our Nature Shelf. We spend a LOT of time outside and in nature study, so this was a must have. And yep…. those are skulls. Life with boys!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

The other corner of the room has a table we found in our basement when we moved in, plus the rest of our art supplies and school books. In this smaller set of ALEX drawers, the boys each have a drawer for their personal school books. The top drawer houses things like rulers, erasers, tape, etc. The baskets hold chalkboards, extra paper rolls, dry erase boards, and clip boards. The shelf on the wall is my toddler proofing… markers, scissors, glue, and pencil sharpener. Basically a mom’s worst nightmare if a toddler gets their hands on them. ;) Having this dedicated creative space is awesome for my kids – they’re always creating, drawing, and writing. We tend to “do school” all over the house, so this won’t necessarily be used primarily for formal lessons, but it’s nice to have some options. I’m searching for some new kitchen chairs, and when I find ones I like, our current chairs will move in here to replace the hodge podge of stools. But hodge podge works well enough!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This sweet little spot is one of my favorites. I recently found a little vintage table and chairs, and it’s PERFECT for my youngest. The other kids actually like it too. I keep my vintage sewing machine here (next to my sad attempts at having a green thumb), mostly because I don’t have another place for it right now, and I hate to keep it hidden away.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

Someday I’ll have my own sewing room again, but for today, I’m happy to have this beautiful space where my kids can learn and play. I know this room will evolve as we use it, and I have some plans for some wall decor that will come eventually. But I really love how it turned out, and it’s actually becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house. When it’s clean, anyway. ;)

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Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe

With five boys in the house, we can go through a lot of yogurt. Unfortunately, most yogurts you find in the grocery store are either filled with sugar and other icky additives or really expensive. Spending $6 for a tub of yogurt that my kids will go through in one sitting is NOT my idea of a good time. So when I bought my Instant Pot a few years ago, I made sure to get one with a yogurt function. Can you make yogurt without an Instant Pot? Absolutely. But if I’m honest, it intimidated me for years, so I never tried it. Using the Instant Pot has made it incredibly simple, so if you’re looking for an easy button when it comes to homemade yogurt, go with this Instant Pot version!

This post may contain affiliate links

If you haven’t tried homemade yogurt, you are seriously MISSING OUT. There are so many reasons to love homemade yogurt vs store-bought! The most obvious, of course, is taste. There’s really no comparison – homemade is the way to go. Next, let’s talk ingredients. When you buy yogurt in the store, you aren’t in control over what you’re eating. There are so many unnecessary additives, many of which you can’t even pronounce, and flavored yogurts have an insane amount of sugar. When you make food from scratch, there’s no wondering what’s in it and you can feel confident in what you and your family are eating. We chose to make our yogurt with raw milk, since that’s what we drink in our house. But I’ve made this recipe with store-bought milk as well, and they both work great. And of course, the price is a game changer. I can make a gallon of yogurt for the price of one gallon of milk. As a mom of many, that is a MAJOR win!

I’m fairly obsessed with my Instant Pot – we use it several times a week for all kinds of meals. It takes all the guess work out of yogurt-making, which I really love. Plan to spend about an hour in the kitchen when you’re getting the yogurt started, but then you’ll walk away and let it do its job. Take note: when you are making yogurt, it is not under pressure. This means you can remove the lid at any time. I purchased a glass Instant Pot lid to use while making yogurt so that I can keep it covered in the refrigerator also.

Ingredients:

  • one gallon milk (whole milk will work – and taste – best, but you can choose whichever fat content you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt starter (store-bought yogurt made with ONLY milk and live active cultures)
    **Note: If you prefer a thicker yogurt, try using less starter. You could use as little as 2 Tablespoons of starter.

Supplies:

Recipe:

  1. Press the yogurt function button. Press adjust until it reads “boil.” Pour 1 gallon of milk into the inner pot. Boil yogurt until it reaches at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit (up to 185 degrees), checking the temperature with a digital thermometer. I whisk the milk throughout the boiling process, as I find this helps it heat up faster. Occasionally my milk doesn’t reach 180 degrees before the timer beeps. If this happens, I just re-start the boil process and it will usually reach the right temperature fairly quickly.
  2. When your milk has reached 180 degrees, remove the inner pot and place it in a cold water bath. I add ice to the water to cool it down quickly. Keep the pot in the water until the temperature has reached 110-120 degrees, whisking the milk occasionally to help it cool faster.
  3. When your milk has cooled, remove the pot from the water. Add your yogurt starter, stirring it fully into the milk.
  4. Once the starter has been thoroughly mixed into the milk, put the inner pot back into the Instant Pot. Cover it with a lid and press the yogurt function button again. Press adjust until it reads 8:00 (8 hours). I find 8 hours to be perfect for the taste we prefer. If you like a slightly more tart yogurt, try the 10 hour setting instead. The timer will begin and all you have to do now is walk away! It will beep at the end of the 8 (or 10) hours.
  5. When the timer beeps, remove the inner pot and put it in the refrigerator – COVERED – for at least 6-8 hours. I usually do this overnight, so it’s ready and waiting for us in the morning (this also helps make sure none of my kiddos accidentally dip into it before it’s ready ;) Don’t disturb the yogurt at all while it’s in the refrigerator.

When your yogurt is ready, stir it up, and add any flavorings you want. We prefer to stick with real maple syrup, raw honey, or pure vanilla extract. We also like to eat it with granola, fruit, chia seeds, hemp hearts, raw cacao powder… well, basically we add anything yummy we have in the house!

Since we try to avoid added sugars, we don’t add any sugar to our homemade yogurt. If you or your kids are used to very sweet yogurt and you need to transition to something with less sugar, start with maple syrup, vanilla, and lots of fruit. Make up some small jars adding frozen fruit and maple syrup and leaving it in the fridge overnight. This will help the flavors really mix together!

You can store your yogurt in the large inner pot with the glass lid, if you’d like. We actually purchased a second inner pot so that we can still use the Instant Pot while the yogurt is in the refrigerator, and because we use our Instant Pot so often that it’s nice to have an extra. But the pot takes up a lot of space in the fridge!

Lately I’ve been storing my yogurt in these large wide mouth mason jars, because the two jars fit a gallon of yogurt perfectly. You can also fill smaller jelly jars and flavor them individually. This is perfect for on the go, like sending them with your kids to school, quick breakfasts, or taking them to work. The flavor possibilities are really endless, so you can really go nuts!

Happy eating, friends! Enjoy. :)

Leather Bottom Tote Bag Tutorial

I recently realized I was in need of another tote. I mean, can a girl ever really have too many tote bags?? I needed something that would fit my computer easily, plus a few other essentials for heading out to a coffee shop or on a road trip. But I wanted something sturdy enough (and cute enough!) that I could even carry it with me on everyday outings. I found a scrap of leather large enough that I could make a leather bottom tote bag, and I love how it turned out!

I designed this tote with a few specific features in mind, but you can easily customize it to your needs. Here’s what I wanted: sturdy fabric, wide straps, lined inside with one small and one large inner pocket, leather tabs on the straps, and long enough that it would fit my computer comfortably.
The bag came together quickly and easily (I cut the fabric out one afternoon and sporadically sewed it over the next two afternoons, because #momlife). I can already see this becoming one of my favorite tote bags!

Here’s what you need:

  • denim or other sturdy fabric (I recommend that your denim not be very heavy)
  • lining fabric (I used quilting cotton)
  • leather scraps (you could also use fake leather or suede)
  • sewing machine (serger optional), scissors, etc.
  • I highly recommend a leather needle

Cut your fabric pieces:

pockets: 17in x 18in (1), 13in x 5.5in (1)
inner lining: 19in x 14in (2)
outer fabric: 19in x 14in (2)
leather for bottom: 6in x 14in (2)
leather for tabs: 2in x 3.5in (4)
straps: 26in x 7.5in

1. Sew the pockets: you can choose the size that fits your needs (I made my smaller pocket so that it would easily fit my phone and maybe a few other small items). Fold them in half, right sides together. Sew the two sides and the bottom, leaving an opening at the bottom to turn them.

2. Turn the pockets right side out. Press the seams and press the opening closed. Pin the pockets in your desired location on the lining – the folded edge should be on the top. Topstitch the three edges, attaching the pocket to the lining. (Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing!) Repeat with the second pocket on the second lining piece.

3. Cut the straps – If you want narrower straps, cut them smaller than 7.5in wide. Fold the straps in half, right sides together (you should have a long narrow strip). Sew the raw edges of only the long side together.

4. Turn the strap right side out. The seam should be in the center of the back of the strap – press this seam open so that it lays flat. Press the whole strap down and topstitch the long ends together. This is an optional step, but will help keep your straps from twisting, especially if they are wider straps like mine.

5. Take the two lining pieces and sew them right sides together. Sew three sides together, leaving the top open.

6. Pin and clip the straps and leather tabs in place on the outer lining (note that ONE strap goes on ONE side of the bag – be sure your strap doesn’t get twisted as you lay it in place). Pin the strap in place. DO NOT pin the leather (this will leave permanent holes in your leather). Clip them to the strap. I like these clips (affiliate link), but if you don’t have them, you could use binder clips. My strap ended about halfway down the leather tab.

I recommend pressing the top edge of the denim down 1/2in at this point. You will open it back up later, but this helps you with you strap placement. **You should test out the length of your strap at this point to see if it’s in the most comfortable spot.**

7. Carefully topstitch the leather tabs on top of the strap. I recommend using a leather needle and lengthening your stitch a little. Go slowly so that your leather tabs don’t shift out of place. Repeat for all four tabs.

**If you prefer not to have leather tabs, you could attach your straps like I did in this tote tutorial.

8. Clip the larger leather pieces to the bottom of the tote (the bottom of my tote fabric lined up with the bottom of the leather).  Carefully topstitch the leather to the denim. Repeat for the second piece.

9. Place both denim pieces right sides together (make sure you unfold the top before you sew!) – make sure the straps are carefully tucked inside, out of the way of where you will be sewing. Sew the two sides and the bottom together – leave the top open. I used my serger, but my serger does not like leather, so I went back over all that with a tight zig zag stitch.

10. Fold down and press the top of both the lining and the denim 1/2in.

11. Turn the denim layer right side out. Use a chopstick or something similar to poke the corners out as much as you can.

12. Keep the lining fabric inside out. Put the lining inside the denim. Pin together.

13. Topstitch all around the top of the bag. You can also sew the straps down as you topstitch. I didn’t do this at first, but I went back and added it, because I found that when I put my computer inside the bag, the top edge flopped down. I didn’t like how that looked, so this was a good fix.

Now you have a brand new, sturdy tote to take around with you!

I really love how this turned out, and it is the perfect size for exactly what I needed!

 

Isn’t this the perfect tote bag for taking to the coffee shop on a Saturday morning to read?? Hmm, I think I need to make that happen soon…

I really love the combo of leather/denim/graphic print lining! There are so many fabric combination possibilities, too! What fabrics would you use to make this tote??

Happy sewing, friends!

Flowy Tank Top and Me Made May

Do you follow along with Me Made May at all? It’s a challenge to wear something handmade everyday for the month of May. I’ve done it before, but honestly, I’ve rarely committed to wearing solely handmade the rest of the year. My body has changed a lot over the years (hello, five kids will do that to a girl ;) and I’ve gotten rid of many handmade that just didn’t fit my body well anymore. This year, I shared in my Instagram Stories about how I decided to wear almost completely handmade this May, so that I can really see the holes in my wardrobe and finally commit to a handmade wardrobe. 

Of course, there are a few caveats: I only have one or two pairs of handmade pants that fit my body well now. That’s on the list of things to sew, but obviously they’re a little more time consuming, and this season of my life has been all about quick sews. I also don’t currently have any handmade pajamas.

Since I’m home with my boys all day, homeschooling and doing all the mom things, I wear a lot of knit shirts. I’ve already discovered that I need to sew a few more short sleeved T-shirts, since that’s what I tend to wear the most.

This tank top and cardigan have been in regular rotation for awhile. The cardigan is a free pattern here on the blog from awhile back, and I wear it several times a week.

The tank top is a modified version of this free dress pattern from last summer. I cut the back yoke on the fold instead of adding the keyhole to the back, and I actually love it even more than the keyhole version! Plus, it’s really fast.

I had a remnant from Joann’s that I absolutely loved and have been hoarding for awhile now, and it was the perfect size for this top.

The fabric is flowy and super comfy, though the color hasn’t held up incredibly through many washes, which is a bummer. I think I made this one at the end of last summer, but never blogged about it, so it’s been worn quite a lot already.

The thing I love the most about Me Made May is that it challenges me to look closely at my wardrobe. Even though I’ve been making myself clothes for years, all the body changes have made it difficult to fully commit to a mostly handmade wardrobe. But maybe this is the year?? You can follow me on Instagram to see all my handmades this month.

If you make your own clothes, how’s your handmade wardrobe coming along? Happy sewing, friends!

Five Tips for Sewing with Young Kids Underfoot

I’ve been in a season of slow, simple sewing. Have you been in a season like this? I’m a homeschool mama with five young kids, including a toddler whose favorite pastime is coloring on the walls and climbing onto everything he shouldn’t.. some days I barely have time to go to the bathroom, let alone sew an entire handmade wardrobe. Most of the projects I’m sewing lately are things I can complete in one sitting, generally a pattern I’ve sewn a dozen times, with slight variations here and there. I’ve sewn a bunch of garments recently that haven’t made it to the blog, for myself and the kids. None of them earth shattering in their execution, but all of them well-loved and well-worn.

I’m learning a lot these days about taking seasons as they come. I’ve had years and months where my sewing machine has been in constant use, and others where carving out time seems a bit trickier. Recently I was talking with some friends about how disappointed I was that I hadn’t been able to find the time to sew myself jeans, so I had to buy them instead. At first, it felt a little like a failure. I know how to sew jeans – I’ve done it several times, and before I got pregnant with my youngest, I had drafted and sewn a pair that I’ve been dying to tweak to the point of perfection. But my jean-sewing season will come back, I just need to give it time.

If you’re in a season like this, here are my best tips and encouragement for you:

1. Find a way to sew alongside your kiddos: For me right now, this means a shared space. I have my sewing tables set up in a corner of the room, the kiddos have an art table on the other side, and there are toys for my toddler and younger kids to play with as well. This could mean that you have a special bin of toys for your kids to play with only while you sew or that you give them a bucket or art supplies and let them create something alongside you. There’s something beautiful about creating together!

2. Use pockets of time: five minutes here and there to put a pattern together, cut it out, and prepare your fabric. When you need longer stretches of time, sew during nap time or after they’ve gone to bed. During some seasons, late night sewing isn’t an option, though (hello middle of the night feedings and teething toddler, I’m looking at you!), so make use of times when your kiddos are content to play.

3. Keep it simple when needed: What I’ve found is that small, simple sews can be deeply satisfying in a season where it’s hard to accomplish much. Pillow covers, simple tees, and pajamas are the way to go if you need to keep it simple, but still feel accomplished. When you start sleeping through the night or your toddler is more content to play alone and not demand every second of your attention, more complicated projects will return to your table.

4. Babywear, Pack ‘n Play, or highchair: find a way to safely contain your baby or toddler nearby. I’ve definitely worn my babies and toddlers in a sling or Ergo while sewing or put up a Pack ‘n Play next to my sewing machine. I had a “duh” moment recently when my friend Jodi shared an Instagram story with her toddler eating in a high chair while she sewed – brilliant!

5. Give yourself grace and remember it’s a season: this has been a constant mantra in my mind lately, and I’ve been so encouraged by friends reminding me of this. It won’t always be like this, and I don’t want to wish away these years when my kids are at home with me. Whether you’re a homeschool mama like me or you volunteer daily in your kids classroom or you work in or outside of the home, it can be hard to fit in time for hobbies and passions when you have littles! Embrace the season you’re in and prioritize the things you love, even for just a few minutes at a time.

Whatever season you’re in, whether you’re cranking out projects or looking longingly at your serger when you pass it by, remind yourself that each season has it’s time. Be present. Remind yourself that seasons change and kids get older. Let yourself be okay with whatever sewing time life has for you right now. And be intentional to carve out more time when you can.

Some nitty gritty sewing notes: this is my go-to sewing pattern (quick and easy!) – the Alex and Anna pajamas from Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I did make a matching pair for my six-year-old (mostly because he desperately needed pajamas, and I found a pattern in that size already cut and ready to go), but he refused to comply with my adorable matching jammie photo shoot that I had in mind, so I have proof of his pajamas over on Instagram too. These are jammies are the ultimate in comfort, since they’re sewn with jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. All the RCF love and heart eyes over here, y’all.

Speaking of heart eyes….

Gah!! I can’t handle the cuteness of this age, even if he does color on all my walls.

Happy slow sewing, friends. :)

 

DIY All Natural Surface Scrub

I’ll be the first to admit that cleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do. But being a mom of five kids (and a human being who makes messes without the help of those tiny people), I have to clean a lot. But chemical cleaners are not my jam. So I buy and DIY non-toxic cleaning products, like this all natural surface scrub, that can be used on sinks, tubs, basically anywhere you need an extra oomph of cleansing!

So throw out your chemical scrubbing cleaners, and whip this up:

Ingredients

1 cup baking soda

1/4-1/3 cup liquid castille soap

20 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil

10 drops Lemon essential oil

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl – it should have a pasty consistency. Start with 1/4 cup Castille soap, and add more if needed. You could also sub Thieves Household Cleaner for castille soap. Will make between 6-8oz (2 4oz jelly jars will work perfectly to store this!)

Here’s my kitchen sink on a normal day. It’s an old porcelain sink that stains really easily.

Spread this around your sink, tub, anywhere that needs a little extra scrub. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Spray with Thieves Cleaner, wipe down, and rinse! This will smell amazing when you’re done!

Look at the difference!!

So easy, and now you don’t have to worry about all the side effects of toxic chemical cleaners!

Want to get the same oils I used in the video? You can find them here.

FREE Women’s Beanie Hat Pattern

Hey friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted! Life has gotten busy, with homeschooling, the craziness of having five kids (and a climbing toddler – oy!), and all the things of life. I meant to share this women’s beanie pattern months ago, but blogging and sewing took a back seat to life. So I’m back with this free knit hat pattern to help you forget my long absence. ;) This one is great for upcycling an old or thrifted sweater (like the one in the photo!) or using any knit or french terry fabric.

All you need is a scrap of knit or french terry fabric that has good stretch and a sewing machine/serger. A sweater headed for the donation bin is a great way to make this hat look hand knit, even when it isn’t.

Let’s get started!

1. Print out the Free Pattern. Cut on the fold. If you are using a sweater, line the pattern up to the bottom edge of the sweater. Instead of cutting on the fold, cut two (one from the front of the sweater, one from the back).

2. Unfold the fabric and re-fold as shown below.  Sew along the long, curved edge (the new fold should be on the left). Use a serger or a zig zag stitch.

3. Fold in half, so your seam is inside.

4. Your enclosed seam will be inside now (you can see it in this photo below on the left). Your hat will be laying flat so that each triangle lines up. Sew the longest outer edge together as seen below. You’ll have four layers to sew together (unless you are upcycling a sweater).  If you’re sewing with a zig zag stitch, make sure that you sew backwards a bit at the ends of your stitches, to secure them in place.

5. Now you will turn the hat and sew the next set of raw edges together.

6. Continue turning the hat and sewing the raw edges together as shown below.

7. Do this until all raw edges have been sewn together. It should look kind of like a star inside your hat (as seen below).

8. Sew across the top and trim to avoid having a point at the top of your hat. Tie or otherwise secure and serger threads and trim them.

Tah-dah! You have a cozy new hat! It goes great with this free cardigan pattern too. ;)

This is a great pattern for using up knit scraps! You could also match with your itty bitty and make a matching newborn baby hat!

Make sure you download your FREE pattern!

 Download your FREE Women’s Beanie Pattern

Happy sewing!

 

Create Your Own Craft Room Art

When you have your own craft or sewing room, or even your own craft corner, it’s great to be able to decorate it in a way that inspires you to spend time there creating! I recently got the chance to play around with the Posh Coloring Studio and used it to make my own art for my sewing room. It was as easy as taking and printing a photo – but with a little twist!

The Posh Coloring Studio is a super easy tool that takes any photo and turns them into coloring pages. Those pages can then be turned into anything – cards, wrapping paper, wall decor, or even a full coloring book! I really had a lot of fun making unique art for my sewing room. Here’s my original photo:

I didn’t edit the photo at all, and maybe should have just lightened up the background a bit. But it really wasn’t necessary, so if you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry!

The Posh Coloring Studio is SO easy to use. I even tried it out with some photos on my phone! Simply upload your image, edit the page, and then download it. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can use the image in any editing software you have to manipulate it any way you want to make gift tags of a certain shape, art, or whatever you want. Or just print it out to use as is! Here’s my image turned into a coloring page:

 

I added some text to my page to turn it into art for my sewing room and printed it out:

Then the really fun part… the coloring!

I think it would be awesome to print this out on watercolor paper and paint the picture for a really unique piece.

I also printed out a photo of my kids and their cousins, to see how pictures of people would look. These are SO cool, and I’m scheming up a lot of ways to use them. Wouldn’t it be great to make coloring books of family members to have at family reunions so that family members can color together while talking about who everyone is?? I just love that idea. Now I need to plan a family reunion I guess. Ha! My son snagged this and colored it while waiting for Christmas dinner. ;)

I debated coloring the background of this picture, and I might go back and do it, since it didn’t end up as bright as I would have hoped. What color do you think I should make the background??

Head over to Posh Coloring Studio to create your own sewing room art, or come up with your own fun idea!

Embroidery hoop snowman

This super cute and ridiculously easy Embroidery Hoop Snowman will make a great addition to your home this Christmas/winter season! Need a last minute gift? You can whip this up in just a few minutes! I always get a little bummed when we put away the holiday decor, but winter lasts basically forever in Wisconsin, so this one I may leave up until spring. ;)

embroidery-hoop-snowman-tutorial

This is our first Christmas in our new house, so I wanted to add something fresh to my Christmas decor. You can embellish your snowman a lot or keep yours on the simple side like mine. I was planning to add more detail, but as I was making it, simple felt like the way to go.

Supplies:

  • 3 embroidery hoops of varying sizes
  • white fabric
  • black or dark grey felt
  • fabric scrap for scarf
  • two small branches
  • hot glue gun

1. Stretch your white fabric over your three hoops. Trim the excess fabric. Use your hot glue gun to glue the three hoops together in size order.

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2. Wrap and tie the fabric scarf between the top two hoops.

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3. Cut out a hat, buttons, and whatever other embellishments you want on your snowman. Glue them down.

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4. Glue the branches onto the back of the middle hoop for the arms.

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Now you just need to find the perfect place for your snowman. Hang him on your wall or prop him on your front porch to greet all your holiday guests!

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I’m excited to have this cute little snowman in our Christmas/winter decor!


This post was originally posted on I Heart Naptime as part of the Crazy Christmas Event in 2016.

A Journey of Wellness

Last week, I took the boys to the pediatrician for a well check. The doctor came in and commented that it had been such a long time since she’d seen us. I told her we are generally pretty healthy, so we have no reason to come in, and as she was looking over the charts, she agreed.

I don’t take for granted for one second that my boys are healthy. I have friends whose kids have struggled with health problems, large and small. Before I even got pregnant with our oldest, I started making big changes in our life. I started by dramatically reducing the amount of sugar we were eating. I slowly kicked the majority of processed foods out of our diets. I began searching for natural alternatives to the products we use in our home: cleaners, soaps, shampoos, etc. The more I learned about the toxins that are in our everyday products, the less I could ignore it. Every single thing we’re putting into or onto our bodies, all the things we’re breathing in, they have an impact on our health and wellness.

If I think back to what was inside our refrigerator and cupboards when we were first married, the difference is incredible. Not only that, but the difference in my own health is amazing. Before becoming pregnant, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Many women who have PCOS struggle with infertility their entire lives. We did struggle to get pregnant early on in our marriage, which was the catalyst for making many of these huge changes. The Father blessed us so richly with our five boys (and one who we’ll meet someday in Heaven!), and I want to give them their best life: for them know how loved they are by God, to teach them how to love generously, and to keep their bodies healthy and strong so that they can live out the purpose for which they were created!

Preparing most meals from scratch, buying local and organic foods, and using non-toxic products in our home can sometimes be inconvenient.. it takes more time to make yogurt at home than it does to buy it at the store. I can’t run to Target and find non-toxic laundry detergent. Buying local and organic meats and produce costs more money, but if our bodies are healthier and we’re rarely visiting the doctor, it’s worth every penny.

Ridding our home of toxic products, laden with chemicals that are unregulated and proven to cause countless health problems wasn’t an overnight task. I tried brand after brand, DIY recipe after DIY recipe. But the so-called “non-toxic” products you buy in the store still have ingredients that I wasn’t happy with, and the DIY recipes were okay, but time consuming. And how can you DIY things like foundation and lipstick??

About five years ago, I discovered essential oils. My sister-in-law introduced me to them, and I was intrigued. It seemed like such a good fit to my sorta-hippie lifestyle. ;)

So I started my hunt for the perfect essential oil… I tried countless brands. I purchased from mom and pop shops, big name brands, and everything in between. I even bought many oils on Amazon (which I later found out was a BIG no-no… they can be easily tampered with and adulterated!). About two years ago, a friend introduced me to Young Living essential oils, and immediately I abandoned all other oils and became a member with Young Living.

The purity and potency of Young Living essential oils – especially when compared to all the other oils I had tried and been using – blew me away. I could tell a difference as soon as I smelled and applied the oils. I researched Young Living as a company, and discovered that their growing practices are amazing, their standards are incredibly high, and their seed to seal guarantee means that their oils remain 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils. I got my Premium Starter Kit, became a wholesale member for life, joined Essential Rewards to earn points back on all my purchases, and never looked back.

It’s been over two years since I made the decision to exclusively use Young Living essential oils. But Young Living is more than just oils. Nearly all of my frustrations for non-toxic products have found answers in Young Living. I know exactly what the ingredients are that we are putting on and in our bodies. Everything from toothpaste to household cleaners, supplements to makeup… it’s all free from toxins, fillers, and added junk!

Keeping my family well and being proactive about our health is one of my highest priorities. What we eat, how we take care of our bodies, and what we have in our home has changed dramatically over the years, and it’s made me so passionate about sharing our wellness journey with others! Helping other people find natural solutions and non-toxic alternatives is something that’s incredibly important to me, because I want everyone I know to live in a place of freedom and wellness!

I would love to help you and your family get started on a journey of wellness! I’m a giver at heart, and if I had the means to give oils away to everyone I meet, I would do it. But until I can do that, I want to offer you support in your journey: a community that will help you learn about essential oils, natural living, and removing toxins from your home. I also have a free gift for you!!

I’m offering you your choice for a freebie with the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit!

The first choice is an absolutely beautiful handmade essential oil pouch! My friend Beth at WeePereas makes the most amazing handmade items – I carry one of her oil pouches in my purse everyday! These oil pouches will hold all 11 of the oils that are in the Premium Starter Kit, plus there’s room for quite a bit more in there!

But if you would prefer (or if you live internationally), you could get $20 cash back on your Premium Starter Kit purchase instead!

By purchasing a starter kit, you will receive a wholesale discount of 24% on everything you buy from Young Living. There’s no required monthly fee, you never have to sell anything, and you’ll gain a community of friends who want to help you in your journey to wellness! After you purchase your Premium Starter Kit using my member number (3181679), fill out this form to receive your free gift!

*This offer is valid for new accounts only*

Grab Your Premium Starter Kit!

If you’d like to get more info or ask more questions, feel free to email me at ifonlytheywouldnap at gmail dot com or join my Facebook group for members and non-members! I can’t wait to help you get started on your journey of wellness!