What I’m Lovin’ in March

Same old story…I’m late again! But this list was worth sharing ūüėČ

I’m working on changing the format of these monthly posts (again) – I’ve tried to limit text and pictures in an effort to share more content. Let me know what you think!

Now on to what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

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What I’m Lovin’ in January

Oops! It’s the 1st Friday of February (instead of the last Friday of January) so please forgive me ūüėČ I still wanted to share what I’ve been lovin’ since the list was¬†so¬†good!

 1. Audiobooks

My sister “taught” me how to access audiobooks with our library membership and I’m hooked.

I’ve been using the Libby app

Books I’ve listened to so far:

  • The Magnolia Story¬†– It was neat to hear the story of Chip & Joanna, but overall not life-changing.
  • A Higher Loyalty¬†by James Comey
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair¬†by Phoebe Robinson – recommended by my friend Shanika!
  • Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living – inspired me to revisit the savings-calculating-budget-worksheet I created 6 years ago that’s been collecting dust…
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo¬†by Amy Schumer – Amy reading her own book was hilarious!
I’m looking for recommendations – share your favorite books/audiobooks with me!

 2. Pete The Bear {Free Pattern!}

Andy’s first birthday was this month (all.the.tears.) which means all of her daycare friends are also passing the big milestone. I whipped up Pete the Bear for one of her friend’s birthdays and was delighted at how quickly it came together!

Pete the Bear made by yours truly

I’m definitely planning to make more bears – they’re a great scrap-buster and kid-friendly gift to have on hand. Warren the Charity Bear is also on my “to-sew” list – so cute!

 3. These Parenting Hacks

This list of parenting hacks are genius!

Definitely picking up some 3D paint on my next trip to the craft store…

¬†4. That buying bulk doesn’t have to break the bank

I¬†love Rosewood Market and was thrilled to see their post promoting buying in bulk. Buying in bulk doesn’t have to cost a fortune or require a garage for storage.

You can read more about buying in bulk at Rosewood Market here.

¬†5. NM Organic’s¬†No Mo B.O. Pit Cream

I met Bex and DeAnna at a conference last summer and was thrilled to discover that they make and sell body care essentials. I have been using their No Mo B.O. Pit Cream since the holidays and absolutely love it! I have tried a few “all-natural” deodorant options and couldn’t find any that I liked. The consistency of the No Mo B.O. Pit Cream is thick but goes on light and works really well. I’m a convert.

Visit the NM Organic shop!

 6. This post about being inclusive

Race and my own privilege is something I’m still wrestling with. As a mother now I feel even more motivated to¬†do.the.work.¬†I want Andy to grow up even more enlightened and accepting than I can hope to be.

I found this post really moving and am working through the recommended resources.

 7. Plastic-free Packaging

Like many folks, I do most of my fabric and supply shopping online. As a working-away-from-the-home mom, every second counts. The less time I can spend driving to a store, cruising the shop to find what I’m searching for, and waiting in line to pay, the more time I have to spend squeezing my favorite little squishy human.

BUT I acknowledge the wastefulness of online shopping. Disposable packaging makes my heart sad. I always try to reuse what I can, but that’s not always possible.

So, finding this list of sewing shops who use plastic-free packaging when shipping orders made me so happy!

Find the list of shops here.

 8. These tips for sustainable decluttering

My husband and I have started watching¬†Tidying Up With Marie Kondo¬†on Netflix and I am fascinated. While I love the organizing tips, the magnitude of “stuff” in these homes and watching the “stuff” get bagged and tossed does concern me quite a bit. I do wish the deeper causes were addressed more to focus on prevention (of accumulating stuff in the future) and sustainability (to remain tidy) as they relate to our consumer culture.

I really liked Kate’s perspective – specifically the five things she recommends thinking about instead of¬†joy. Give it a read!

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What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

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{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in December

 1. This lovely post about handmade gift-giving

I really loved this reflection on what it is like to make and give a handmade gift.

There is love in the decision to make by hand, love in the choice of project and love in the hours spent making. Our handmade gifts are infused with many gorgeous thoughts and feelings and we often seem to simply trust that the recipient will comprehend this…

Jess of Willow and Stitch for Seamwork

 2. This Comb Quilt

I love quilts with meaning and this Bicentennial Comb Quilt has a really neat story!

 3. Becoming a more conscious fabric lover

I didn’t realize that the seemingly innocent act of¬†washing clothes (or fabric)¬†can send plastic into the ocean (source).

As you may know, I’ve been following the zero waste movement and working to reduce my family’s impact on the environment in any way I can. I recently ran across a claim that synthetic fabric leaches microplastic particles with each washing. These microfibers weave their way through the water supply and into rivers and ultimately the ocean.

Now there’s a scary realization.

As a garment sewist, I have slowly become more knowledgeable about the different fibers and the benefits of each (and which I prefer to work with and wear). I know that synthetic fabric is readily available both as yardage as well as ready-to-wear garments so the opportunity for impact is there for all of us whether we realize it or not.

Through my research spiral I found Patagonia’s GuppyFriend Washing Bag – it’s claim to fame: “protects synthetic garments and reduces the amount of microfibers that may enter rivers and oceans from washing”

GuppyFriend Washing Bag from Patagonia

This bag is on my wish list!

You can read more about microfiber pollution here.

 4. Instagram Stories

It took me a little while to jump on the Instagram-Stories-Train, but I like them! AND Buffer now has a free tool you can use to create graphics for Instagram stories! Try it out here.

{Click the image to hear How to Make an IG Story: 10 Great Instagram Tools to Use}

5. Craftfulness

I loved this article about craftfulness and how creating can positively impact mental health.

6. The Experts on Experts podcast

My husband sent me a link to this episode of the Experts on Experts podcast.¬†From the discussion of our call-out culture to Jonathan Haidt’s view on parenting independent children, I was holding onto the edge of my earbuds the whole time – such thought-provoking viewpoints.

I also enjoyed this interview with Jerry Buting and this one with Dr. Drew.

 7. A Holiday Break

I have been soaking up time lately with family and lots of holiday festivities. I hope you have been having a lovely holiday season as well!

Happy New Year!

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

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{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in November

Winter trampled all over Fall this year and we went straight to freezing. Between the crazy weather shift and having a germy baby this season, I spent most of the month sick ūüė¶ I’m feeling better now and excited to share what I’ve been lovin’ with you!

¬†1.¬†This 5th grader who wrote a children’s book about depression

A fifth grade student at one of the elementary schools in the district in which I work wrote a book for children about dealing with depression.

Once I saw the story, I immediately ordered the book.

¬†2.¬†My sewing tip was featured in Maker’s Journal

I recently submitted a tip and it was chosen to be featured in Closet Case Patterns‘ Maker Journal (vol. 14).

{Click the image to read the full issue}

A friend of mine is actually to credit for this tip Рshe told me about it many moons ago and now I trace all of my patterns with freezer paper! You can find freezer paper pretty readily at most grocery stores (this is what I use).

Submit your own tip here & sign up to receive future Closet Case Patterns newsletters here.

 3. These holiday rules

I know I’m not the only one that gets stressed out at the holidays. On that note, I saw this and¬†had¬†to share.

Be kind to yourself this season.

 4. Tips from Waste Free Living

Earlier this month I stumbled upon Waste Free Planet on Instagram and fell head-over-heels for their posts!

They share lots of tips on reducing your waste as well as waste-reducing DIYs. A few of my favorites:

 5. #icareaboutwaste Challenge

This month I participated in the #icareaboutwaste Challenge on Instagram hosted by Sew in Love and Sustainable Wraps.

Click the image to read more about this challenge

 6. This post about sewing for an insulin pump

I really appreciated this post about sewing for an insulin pump on the Sewcialists blog. Sewing allows us a lot of “flexibility” with modifying and constructing clothing to fit our needs – something I often take for granted.

 7. Slow cooker vegetarian chili

This is perhaps¬†THE EASIEST¬†recipe I have ever made. For years I’ve been searching for the perfect chili recipe that did not require me to pre-cook my vegetables. Well, folks, HERE it is!

Top it with avocado – DELICIOUS!

¬†8. These¬†7 Things That Shouldn’t Impress Us Anymore¬†from becomining minimalist

My favorite quote from the article:

But I’m starting to wonder if we have been using the wrong measure. Maybe the number of dollars in a bank account is not the greatest measurement of success. Maybe instead, the amount of good we are able to accomplish with our lives is a truer measure of success.

 9. A system for managing sewing waste

In Sarah’s post¬†How I Am Learning to be More Sustainable¬†on the Sewcialists blog, she mentioned a 4-bin system for waste in her sewing room: recyclables, fabric scraps to recycle, things that cannot be recycled, and thread scraps and bits of material to reuse for stuffing a pillow (brilliant!).

I loved her ideas and hope to implement them in my sewing room too!

 10. Holiday Gift ideas

In case you missed it, I shared 10 Environmentally-friendly gifts and a few of my favorite DIY lip balm recipes.

Are you planning to DIY any holiday gifts? I’d love to hear your ideas!

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

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{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Environmentally Friendly Holiday Gifts

As you know, I’ve been on a mission lately to reduce my waste and impact on the Earth (I’m currently participating in the #icareaboutwaste challenge hosted by Sew in Love & Sustainable Wraps). That said, I’m sharing some gift ideas with you today – some¬†to make¬†and some¬†to buy – your choice!

{Bonus points: wrap your gift in fabric with this tutorial}

To Buy

 1. Beeswax wraps

Beeswax wraps are a great way to replace your use of plastic wrap – use them to cover dishes, wrap cheese, contain snacks, pack a sandwich, etc.

Buy: Sustainable Wraps

 2. Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets are not only wasteful, but toxic. I love my wool dryer balls and have been using them consistently for a few years.

{Click the image to read about how to use wool dryer balls and why you should}

Read more about how to use wool dryer balls here.

Buy: Woolzies seem to be very popular, but you can find dryer balls from many different shops (like Amazon).

 3. A reusable mug or water bottle

By now, everyone likely has a reusable mug or water bottle, but not everyone has invested in a high quality version that will last them for years to come. Rather than treating them to a bottle whose cheesy quote will rub off on their hands before next Christmas, pick out a glass or stainless steel mug/bottle.

Buy:

  4. Locally Made Soap

Stop by your local farmer’s market and you are bound to find a local soapmaker to support. My local favorite (and good friend!): Penny’s Naturals.

Pictured here: “Carolina Coast with real ocean water. Wadmalaw with green tea from SC’s tea plantation. Palmetto Rain made from rainwater.” – Penny’s Naturals

Buy:¬†Shop Penny’s Naturals online here.

 5. Glass lunch container

The Hubs and I switched over to using glass containers to pack our lunches in a few years ago and they are great. This frego container is on my wish list Рthe silicone sleeve is the selling point for me (the Hubs has dropped and broken one of our glass containers already and it also protects your hands from the heat of the glass).

Buy: Shop Frego containers here. {You can find more ideas in this list of Best Reusable Lunch Containers from Mindful Momma}

More gift ideas:

To Make

 1. Reusable shopping bag

Here’s an easy tutorial from Sew In Love on how to make a shopping bag from a pillowcase.

 2. Reusable sandwich/snack bags

I really like this tutorial because it doesn’t require any extra hardware/closures (no zippers, velcro, buttons, etc.) so you likely have all you need already in your stash.

Here’s a great article on how to choose food-safe fabric for your bags (also, cloth napkins from the thrift store are a great source!).

 3. A catch-all bag

Technically, this is a sock knitting project bag, but the size is super handy. I made one with oilcloth as the interior fabric to use as a wet bag for the baby. The tutorial includes an option for two fabrics on each side of the bag so it’s a great scrap buster.

I’ve made several version of this bag (including the one above!) – you can read about another one I made in this post.

 4. Gifts in a Jar

I absolutely LOVE gifts-in-a-jar! To make this gift environmentally friendly, use recycled jars (save your salsa/marinara/jelly jars, remove the labels with hot water+soap+lemon essential oil & a good scrub, then run them through the dishwasher). Buy your ingredients in bulk for extra environmentally-friendly-credit!

When reusing jars, you can paint the lids with chalkboard paint to disguise any labeling (& make the space usable for the future).

Inspiration:
For more ideas, check out my Gifts in a Jar Pinterest Board!

 5. Lotion Bars

Making your own lotion bars eliminates packaging entirely! Bonus: Make a drawstring bag (that can be reused!) for the lotion.

{Click the image to view the tutorial from Melly Sews}

Here is a tutorial from Melly Sews for lotion bars and a drawstring bag!

Looking for more DIY holiday gift ideas? Check out my guide from last year!

What I’m Lovin’ in October

Libra season is officially over (le sigh), but I was really¬†feeling it¬†this year! Proof: I purged my sewing room to the point of justifying a formal¬†destash, I started reading¬†The Curated Closet¬†and have been thinking¬†way.too.much.¬†about “my aesthetic,” and unsuccessfully attempted to start a meditation routine.

1. We need changing tables. Everywhere. For everyone.

Last month I told y’all about my brilliant idea that all changing tables need a coat hanger for your diaper bag.

BUT what we really need are actual changing tables... In places where everyone can use them.

Proof: This Dad

2. These tips for great photos

This post is super comprehensive and has tons of wonderful photography tips.

3. This gorgeous {FREE} cowl-neck hoodie pattern

The cool weather lately has me really feeling this hoodie!

4. French seams

Not a new discovery, but I love French seams. And I appreciate this tutorial from In The Folds on how to sew in-seam pockets with French seams (because I also love pockets!).

5. Serial is back!

Somehow I totally missed that Season 3 of the Serial podcast was happening! My sister and stepmom told me about it last weekend and I’ve been binge listening ever since.

So far, the discussion has me feeling really fired up. I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

6. Science says we need crafts

The research in this article about why our brains need craft more than ever is fascinating.

7. Destashing

In case you missed it, I shared all about how to host a destash on Instagram!

I’m a firm believer that by freeing up physical space, we free up mental space (for creativity!).

 8. I passed a big milestone

It’s my birthday month & this year I passed a big one! You can read a quick snip of my reflections in this post, but also–this:

LOL.

9. Shopping local for the holidays

One of my favorite things to do as the holidays approach is stock up on local, handmade gifts! My sister and I will be selling handmade bags at an upcoming market – if you’re local, come visit!

My husband said he was confiscating my wallet the morning of the market (Ha!) – he knows how much I love to support my fellow vendors at events like this ūüėČ Hope to see you there!

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What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

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{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}