Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Blue Blouse for a Kilt

Years ago, my sister brought Genevieve a little red kilt from Scotland.  Now it's Phoebe's turn to wear the little kilt. Since most of Phoebe's clothes are hand-me-downs from a very clever group of mamas, she didn't really have a top to go with it.

I bought this blue fabric at JoAnn's because the blue scrap I had in my stash just wasn't big enough and I really wanted that strong, bright blue for my strong, bright girl. Phoebe and I poured out the buttons and put our heads together; I love the combination of ladybugs and little vintage flowers!  Then I found this scrap of woven ribbon in my ribbon drawer and scratched my head good and long over where to use it.  I put it on the mandarin collar and divided it evenly down the sides of the placket (it doesn't actually reach the hem), making little black machine-embroidered welts to finish the tops and bottoms.

The blouse is from this pattern, and I do actually still have the flowered blouse that I made Genevieve. It's hanging in Phoebe's closet and we'll see if I can get her to wear it.

The blue blouse turned out so cute, and Phoebe wears it, so that's a win, too!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Favorite Hair Product is Water

Ok, that title is kind of click-baitish, I know, but I'm here to update you on my curly-girl methods and it's true: water is my favorite product! I started trying the curly-girl method about 2 years ago. I finally feel like I have a handle on what my hair can do and what I'm willing to do for it.

I love the DevaCurl shampoo and conditioner the best - I've tried several different brands by now. My hair is thick but fine, so it can easily get weighed down by the heavy moisture in lots of curl-recommended products. I never skip shampoo, and I do put my hair up after a shower in a regular towel for a few minutes so it's not dripping - I don't rub or pat my hair with the towel, so it doesn't make it frizzy. 

Then I put on some DevaCurl Wavemaker and gel and clip up the roots to help hold up the weight of the wet hair so it doesn't dry flat. I use about 5-7 clips, mostly on the top of my head; one key clip pinches a cowlick in the back so it doesn't show so much.  I give it as many hours as I can to dry, remove the clips, and scrunch a little to break up the crunchy gel.  When this bottle of gel is done, I'm going to try something else that doesn't give me the 80s rocker look.  Not my look.

So at bedtime, here's when I use my favorite hair product: I spray my hair thoroughly with water and go to bed with a wet head. Overnight, my curly waves bounce back into soft, generous curls.  In the morning, I ruffle my hand through the curly waves and that's it! I used to try spraying my hair with water in the morning, but it never did much except dripped on my neck.
Bedhead! Still in my jammies so I can show you
I don't know exactly why sleeping with a wet head makes such wonderful hair, but at my fall haircut, the stylist said that's what she does (locals, let me know if you want an amazing DevaCurl stylist who is totally cool with low-maintenance girls like me and a desire to be environmentally friendly).

 I only wash my hair every three days, so I get two days off from everything hair-related except for some squirts of water at bedtime.  See? Water is absolutely my favorite hair product.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Magic Elderberry Elixir

My friend and neighbor Jess told me elderberry was great. Rebecca told me it was great and sent it with her kids to college. I finally thought I would try, too.

I used Wellness Mama's very simple recipe; I bought dried elderberries at a local grocery store, $4 for the amount needed for this recipe (locals, email me and I'll hook you up). The other ingredients are raw honey, water, cloves, cinnamon, and gingerroot, making this much less expensive than commercial versions. 

I figured it would be like taking vitamin C or putting extra garlic in the chicken soup when we had colds - just another tool to possibly shorten the length of the cold.  But no! I am convinced that taking elderberry syrup has literally killed several colds in our family already this fall! No one has taken to bed with a cold. No one has gone through more than a few hankies before we upped the dosage of elderberry and pow, the cold has entirely disappeared. 

For general maintenance, we take a half teaspoon or a teaspoon a day. We either take it straight or mix it with a little water.  When we feel cold-like sypmtoms, we take that dosage several times a day. We all like the taste of the syrup except Ben, who falls on the floor in dramatic horror every time I force him to take some. Whatever, Ben. You haven't missed out on any fun because of elderberry syrup, so your protests are in vain.