Five Guilty Pleasures

When compared to other people, I’m not a horribly busy person, save for school days and weekends (ha!), but like anyone else, there are things that just make my silly heart happy. Some trendy, some not. Mostly not.

I absolutely love keeping up with Youtube channels I’m subscribed to.

My subscriptions have a wide range, too. I follow a few beauty vloggers, a few mom-based DIY channels, some home decor inspiration channels, and a few channels that made it big with “clean with me” videos. Yes, that’s totally a thing. And, though it sounds downright ridiculous, sometimes you learn things and sometimes it makes great background noise when the house is quiet and I have a job to do. I’ve always been one to stay busier if I know someone else is busy, too and those videos give the great illusion that you’re not alone in the tasks of a tired homemaker.I also follow a lot of crafting/sewing and gardening channels. Those are the ones I typically watch while I have my morning coffee. Or my third morning coffee. Whatever.

When I am alone, I like to browse Amazon for no reason at all and look at all the things I may or may not buy one day. I don’t think I’m the only person who does this. I try to check out the Daily Deals and look at different lists of collections. It may be weird, but nothing makes me smile more than looking at funny coffee mugs on Amazon.

Recently, I have discovered Grove Collaborative, a website which specializes in cleaning products. I’m a lazy person–I’d rather order than go to the store and buy. The cool thing is, there is typically some kind of a discount or a big list of freebies they send you when you make your first order. I got a ton of free stuff for spending only $20. I’ve received my first shipment and am surprisingly delighted at the array of products. Prices–mostly–are comparable to big name brands you can get at Wal-Mart or dollar stores. There is usually a sale or discount being offered on their website, too. I already have a few favorites that I plan on reordering. One, Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap in lavender. It’s really nice. Two, Method all-purpose cleaner in honeycrisp apple. It’s probably my absolute favorite thing ever. And, three, Method Glass + Surface cleaner in mint. It seriously smells like mint. *Disclaimer* I am not affiliated with Grove Collaborative, nor do they compensate me for this post. A lot of bloggers out there DO receive products from them for review, but I review books, not cleaning supplies. Though, one day I just might…

Weigh-in days have become my favorite days… For those who follow my blog or Facebook account, you will know I’ve been on a weight loss journey since June. I have lost over fifty pounds already, though I did take a diet break from Halloween through Christmas. I’m at it again and I’m loving my results. I have become half-mom, half-scientist because I now read a lot of health and fitness articles whereas I used to just not (ha ha). Weigh-in days have become much needed confidence booster days. I am enjoying my success to the fullest and I think I probably really deserve it. I’ve worked hard to come this far and failure is simply not an option.

Ibotta and Retail Me Not. Those are apps I keep on my phone. I just got Retail Me Not, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue to enjoy the coupons and discounts it finds for me, but as of right now I love it. And, as for Ibotta, who doesn’t like a rebate on things they’ve already purchased? Both of these apps save me money on just about everything. Both are easy to install, easy to navigate, and I like money–I’d like to keep as much of mine in the bank as I possibly can. After all, I have kids to raise and a family to feed. And cats. Those little buggers are expensive, too.

Obviously, reading is another guilty pleasure, but I didn’t list it because I feel like you probably already know that about me. I’m reading something awesome right now, as we speak. Review to come tomorrow! Until then, tell me what your own guilty pleasures are? I could have seriously listed ten more, but I probably would have lost you all after six or seven.

Things to keep in your sewing kit…

Sometimes I sew instead of write. I’m creative like that. It keeps my mind busy and produces things I can actually use. So, I thought I’d do a few sewing related blog posts this summer since I’m in the editing phase of a novel and really need a break from vampires. They’re jerks, ya know…

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1) The first thing you’ll need are hand needles for sewing by hand (duh) and extra machine needles if you use a machine. I buy them at the dollar store most of the time because for a dollar, I can get a big book of needles and for some reason, I lose needles everywhere, so for me, this is practical lol. However, you can also buy little round circle thingies (see photo) at Wal-Mart and Jo-Anne’s Fabrics. They’re sturdier than a paper book of needles from the dollar store, but you don’t get as many needles and also the packaging is the devil. I hate them. But, to each his own!

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2) Scissors. I have several pair in several sizes. HOWEVER, if you live near a family dollar store, you can buy a set of three for cheaps and they cut great. The scissors in my photo are missing a pair. I have no clue where they are. Remember, don’t use fabric scissors to cut things around your house (paper, etc) because it will dull your scissors.

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3) Stick pins and a pin cushion. You can always keep them in a little jar, but a cushion makes more sense for me and it helps. Also, my next sewing post will be how to make a pin cushion, so if you don’t have one, don’t fret. I’ll list the materials at the end of this post so you have them for the next post.

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4) Thread. Again, the dollar store can be awesome for your materials list. Three spools of thread for a dollar and packs usually come with one white and two black or two black and one tan or any variation of the three. Colored threads are found elsewhere usually, but you can buy multipacks of small spools at the dollar stores on the cheap, too.

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5) Measuring materials. I have a measuring tape and a ruler and these work for beginner projects. Later, I’ll show you some other things, but I swear it’s best to learn with just the basics. These are mine. And FYI, my kids brought that ruler home from school the other day. It’s flimsy, but it would do lol.

6) Marking pens. You can buy fabric marking pens from the fabric store or the craft section of your local department stores, but most of the time I use an ink pen, permanent marker, pencil, or a highlighter. I use permanent markers with caution, though! Always mark on the wrong side (the side you won’t see once finished) of your fabric and if you use a marker, make sure it doesn’t bleed to the fabric. Permanent markers work well only on thicker materials–I use them on denim only. I’m not showing you a picture because we all know what office supplies look like…

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7) Seam rippers! These are the best things ever. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You can just rip it out with a pair of these. The yellow pair in the photo came with my newest sewing machine (A Singer Simple, which is the model I advise beginners to buy if they’re in the market), but the red pair came in a sewing kit I was given. The dollar store usually has seam rippers, but only if you buy a *prepackaged sewing kit.

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8) Extra bobbins (for machine sewers). The case in the photo came with my Kenmore machine. It’s an older machine, probably older than I am, but it was a gift from my dad and I use it just as much, if not more, than my Singer.

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9) A container for extra buttons or safety pins. I have a coffee can full of these types of things, but in the photo you can see any old thing will do. I’ve been known to save tiny sour cream containers, wash them out, and keep them for sewing materials lol.

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10) NOT a necessity, but a lighter can be used for heat sealing. Certain projects, like hair bows, require a heat seal so ribbon doesn’t fray.

You can keep your sewing kit in any container. Shoe boxes work well, plastic caddies from the dollar store also work well and are inexpensive, but you can also buy a sewing box from the fabric store or craft store. I strongly suggest not spending a fortune on them, though. Containers tend to get beat up a lot lol.

Next time I blog about sewing, likely before next week, I’ll show you how to make your own pin cushion because they’re easy and inexpensive to make and also because they make a great beginner project. You’ll need the following items:

1) A little bit of fabric
2) A bowl or round item to trace
3) A marking pen
4) Needle and thread
5) Scissors
6) A little bit of stuffing

TIP– Your material can be anything you have on hand. An old pillow case, an old shirt you can tear up, or material bought from the store. Wal-Mart often has fabric on sale cheap, as does Joanne’s Fabrics. Stuffing is pretty cheap, too, and you can buy large amounts at the store, but you could also dart down to the dollar store, buy a cheapo pillow, and tear it up to use the stuffing for other things (I do this often and the case the pillow comes in can be used for scrap fabric also).