Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Category: herbs and oils (Page 1 of 2)

Around Here

Hi Blog!

How do you follow up on a dramatic post about sewage? I don’t know… maybe a post about…

A car accident?!!

Yes, that would be little old me minding my own business on the way to work yesterday only to get caught up in a 3 car fender bender. Thankfully it was minor.

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But let’s talk about fun stuff.

This weekend was great. Things are pretty much getting back to normal at home. I have never appreciated plumbing so much. I spent Saturday and Sunday getting the house in order and catching up on fun stuff, such as:

… Baking ooey gooey chocolatey cookies with my boy.

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… Making homemade deodorant. They’re miniature which is not on purpose! I totally screwed up and ordered the wrong size containers. They’re good for travel or if you have tiny armpits.

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… Making magnesium gummies!

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I once wrote about the benefits of Magnesium on my health and wellness blog (which lasted for all of about 5 posts). It helps with a million things such as anxiety (check!), depression (check!) and insomnia (CHECK!) and most people don’t get enough of it. Anyhoo… I followed a recipe from Pinterest and made these. Aren’t they so cute? And super tasty. I’ll let you know if they actually work.

… Watching a lot of hockey. Does it ever get easy to watch your kid get slammed against the fence or wipe out on skates? Thank goodness for padding.

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… Secretly Snapchatting Tom and using funny filters.

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… Catching Charlie hanging out with his stuffed pal.

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Good Times. What’s new with you?

Around here

Hi Blog.

This weekend was action packed!

Biggest took the train into the city with his friends to visit the natural history museum.

Littlest learned to whittle a branch and carve a bar of soap.

I somehow got suckered into playing in a parents vs. kids soccer game.

Tom somehow got suckered into disassembling bunk beds and redecorating kids’ rooms.

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We entered a chili cook off at the fire station and lost, but ate a lot of chili and got to ride in a fire truck.

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Littlest talked me into making bath bombs with him after he watched a YouTube video and carefully wrote down the recipe. They worked really well!!!

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My blog got mentioned in the March issue of Bustle & Sew magazine!!!

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I still get really excited that people actually read my blog.

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And I continued to be the slowest stitcher of all times. Her peachy skin is finally finished!

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But there is still so much left to do.

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What were you up to this weekend?

A Simple Home

Hi Blog!

Where did this week go? Last night we had crazy thunderstorms. Thunder is kinda cool, but it keeps me up, which is not cool. Insomnia = baking.

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Stephanie and I went to an antique place last weekend. I got this.

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At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but the sales ladies were staring me down as I was making my decision and it was only $14, which is something a bargain shopper like me could not resist. It’s growing on me now, but I feel like I am walking that fine line between decorating my house with “vintage character” and decorating my house “like a granny.”

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I also made a second batch of deodorant bars. So far, they are working really well. The true test will be when Summer comes. They will have their job cut out for them.

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The other night, during a different bout of insomnia (do I sense a theme?), I wrote down all of the things that we have been doing towards our goal of living more simply and naturally. It included fun stuff like making our own deodorant and soap and cleaning supplies and basic but useful stuff like recycling old tshirts into rags and using cloth napkins. I felt really proud once I realized how many of these things have become part of our daily routines.

Speaking of daily routines, Sammy has found a new favorite napping spot… the hamper. He seems to prefer it when it is filled with the smelliest boy socks.

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And then there’s Charlie. This is his favorite place these days, sitting and watching the birds flutter by. I think he’s as excited about Spring returning as I am.

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And as for me, I’ve been sketching…

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And stitching. I finally tackled frogging and re-stitching the ghoulish lady.
Remember all that fuss over her skin?

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So that about sums up the latest around here. What’s new in your world?

Back at it!

I was super cranky and wanted to stay in for New Year’s Eve but Tom wanted to go out, so I did my makeup and put on pleather pants and we went to a friend’s house. Don’t say that I never take one for the team.

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On New Year’s Day, we headed to the beach house. The quiet and solitude was perfect after the busyness and overstimulation of the holidays and the city.

Sammy in the car. That dog knows how to work a scarf!

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Tom likes to get up super early and watch the sunrise. The boys and I prefer to stay in the warm comfort of our beds so he takes pictures of the sunrise to show us. It’s a win-win.

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The beach was relaxing. We went to the arcade, ate junk food, and did A LOT of walking. Good thing I got a new fitness tracker for Christmas, otherwise all of that walking would have been wasted! It doesn’t count unless you have proof.

Biggest took these terrific photos. I love the sun shining in the sky. If you believe in Spirit and the Universe and God and that stuff, that’s what it reminds me of.

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At long last, we finally went home… HOME(!)… i.e. the best place on Earth. I jumped right into a fit of domesticity, making elderberry syrup…

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And deodorant bars (I know… same boring mold shape for EVERYTHING. Snore.)

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Littlest decided that he wanted to write his life story. He worked really hard on it.

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My favorite is Chapter 2.

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There were sad parts too.

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But overall it’s been a pretty good 9 years.

And finally, in unbelievable stitching news, this one came back out!

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It feels good to be stitching again. Here’s to more stitching in 2016!

The Christmas Spirit

Hi Blog. T minus 3 days until Christmas. Let’s not discuss if we are ready yet. It’s a sore subject.

I’m practicing the “fake it till you make it” philosophy by pretending to have the Christmas spirit. Perhaps if I keep pretending, it will come for real. Am I right? Who’s with me?

So, in an effort to invoke the Christmas spirit, we have…

picked out and wrapped gifts from the school store…

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gone to look at lights…

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made s’mores in the fireplace… (All we had were mini marshmallows but they made do.)

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relaxed in bed with the best books ever…

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made some stocking stuffer lotion bars… (I am an angsty 17 year old girl inside who still likes the smell of Patchouli and Sandalwood on a guy.)

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and soap…

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Do you love my pig cutting board? I drew it on an old piece of butcher block and made one of the Dads at Scouts cut it out for me. I like to wield my power as Committee Chair sometimes.

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enjoyed a lazy (sleepy) Winter Solstice evening in front of the fire.

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Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Wishing you a magical and peaceful holiday with your family and friends!


Summer fun

Hi Friends! How was your 4th of July weekend?

Ours was action packed! We had some:

Cross stitching with cat time

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Guitar playing with cat time

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Apple pie baking with kid time

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It was our first ever attempt at baking a lattice top pie. I was pretty proud of the results.

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There was also some parade watching with friends time.

When you live around Philadelphia, a parade is not complete until you see some Mummers…

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and the Philly Phanatic.

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There was a lot of hanging out with Charlie time.

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I mean, how can you resist this adorable mug?

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On Sunday, the boys left for overnight camp. What is a bored Mom to do but think up some new hobbies?

First up… Whipped Body Butter

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Coconut Oil + Shea Butter + Almond Oil + Rose= this!

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Next was soap making! That was SOOOO FUUUUUUNNNN! (Thanks to my friend, Linh, for expert advice via text!)

The recipe I used had Olive, Almond, and Coconut Oil in it. It also had a bit of Castor Oil and Shea Butter, but somehow they didn’t make it into the photo.

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I felt like a straight up Scientist, what with my safety goggles and digital scale. Tom helped me with the Lye because that stuff FRR— EEEKS me out!

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Linh recommended the hot process crockpot method which is perfect for an impatient person like me.

Check it out… I’m making SOAP!!!

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Mixing in some honey and oatmeal. Wheeeeee!

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Here’s what it looked like this morning after curing overnight. I am dying to slice it up!

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Are there any other soap makers out there? What are your favorite recipes? Any tips for a newbie? I have a feeling that everyone will be getting soap for Christmas this year.

Random thoughts on a snowy Tuesday

Hi Blog!

We got more snow! It is the pretty fluffy kind. School was canceled, but I went to work anyway because I’m dedicated like that. Haha. If you knew me in real life, you’d be laughing too.

I had my style consult and it was a little disappointing. She mostly said the stuff that I know already or could read in any article titled “how to dress for your body type.” Oh well… guess no life changing style makeover for me.

Last night, we ate chicken wings and onion rings and then felt sick. I know, not the wisest food decision, but they are so delicious while you’re eating them. It’s so hard to make good life choices.

I forgot to tell you that last weekend I made homemade laundry detergent! I felt like such a homesteader! I am pleased with it so far, but the clothes don’t come out with that fresh laundry smell. People online say to add those Downy scent things, but I’m not too keen on adding chemicals back after making homemade soap in order to take the chemicals out! I’m thinking about adding essential oils for some scent, but am super stingy with my oils (some of those suckers are expensive!), so we shall see.

Are you bored with looking at this project yet?

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It’s almost completed! And then you can hear me lament about how to finish it… and what fabric would look good on the back… and should I try piping around the edge and yikes… how do I sew a zipper. Bet you can’t wait! 🙂

Did I forget something?

Today is a pretty good day. Why? Because it’s the last day of work before Thanksgiving vacation.

Tomorrow I have a gynecologist appointment and it doesn’t even bother me, because… vacation!

I am starting to get in a Christmas-y mood. We refuse to get a tree before Thanksgiving, but this weekend I did drag out an animatronic Santa that Tom and I found in a house that we bought. Biggest thinks that he’s creepy but Littlest thinks that he’s cool. I think that he’s a little bit of both.

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It was really cold but really sunny so we spent a lot of time outside. The boys and their friends discovered how fun it is to jump on a trampoline full of leaves.

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It was all fun and games until Sammy went missing. We walked all over looking for him. You would think that a tiny black dog in a red sweater would be hard to miss, but no one had seen him. The positive was that we met two new neighbors. The negative was that we were really upset and worried. It turned out OK because we eventually found him. Can you guess where?

INSIDE THE HOUSE! Under a blanket by the heater vent! Sammy!!!

I guess I don’t blame him though. Inside was pretty cozy.

We lit our first fires of the season and I made a batch of these Homemade Shower Soothers. They smelled really good. I put extra Rosemary in ours because Rosemary is supposed to be good for memory and mental clarity and some people in our house are very forgetful. I’ll let you know if they work.


Why hello there! Happy November! This year just keeps spinning by!

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We had a really great Halloween. I love that Halloween was on a Friday this year. Even though the timeline is the same as always, I felt a little less rushed and easy going because, you know, not a school night.

My first foot selfie (footsie?)

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I think that I outdid myself with our pre Trick-or-Treat meal this year…

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Might I interest you in a steamy cauldron of tomato sauce? (Yes, those are spiders in my hair.)

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A shot of bloooooood in my drink? Don’t mind if I do.

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Brains for dessert…

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Do you see that Oujia board behind the cupcakes? I found it in a thrift store last week. I did a little research and it’s from the 1940s which only makes it spookier! Stephanie warned me that it might be possessed but I couldn’t resist. That only adds to its allure.

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I don’t know if Halloween dinner is more fun for me or the kids. Biggest refused to eat the Sneezer Salad (really Cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s) because he was too grossed out. Halloween is all about grossing out, if you ask me.

This year was a first where the boys decided to trick or treat separately, each with their own group of friends. I went with Biggest and we had a lovely time, especially since one of the Dads who came with us brought along a rolling cooler of beer. Haha. Genius!

Do you know how hard it is to get 6 kids still enough for a photo?

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Saturday was rainy and lazy. Really lazy. Activities were canceled and we had no where that we had to be. I laid around reading. It was pretty awesome. Then we ate Chinese food IN BED! It doesn’t get much lazier than that.

Sunday was just the right amount of lazy and busy. I made chili and homemade bread which are good lazy but busy meals to cook. After the initial prep work, you basically just have to leave the dough alone to rise and give the chili a bit of a stir every once in awhile. That leaves a lot of time in between for other lazy day endeavors, such as stitching and reading and eating Halloween candy (but we won’t talk about that).

My year long herbal course is winding down. It ends in December (hard to believe it’s been a year already), but there’s a bit of an intensive “boot camp” that’s going for the next few weeks. Of course I had to sign up for it. This part deals more with reflection, writing, and ritual. I’m loving it so far. I mindfully ate an apple.

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Hope you all had spoooooooooky Halloweens!

Down by the river.

My office is next to a river. I found that if I squeeze through a gap in the overgrown bushes in just the right spot, there is a tiny beach.

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It’s not much to look at and is, unfortunately, strewn with trash, but I like to go there at lunch time. It’s a good place to take a breath and decompress. I suppose people know it’s there, but I like to think of it as my secret beach. I like to hear the waves crashing or just watch them ripple softly, depending on the day. I like listening to the leaves rustle overhead and the birds chirping. I like feeling the wind on my face. It even smells beachy. If I close my eyes, I can pretend that I’m at the ocean instead of just standing behind the bushes outside of an office building.

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Sometimes I go for a little walk. Lately, I’ve been trying to notice how the plants and trees are changing through the seasons and work on identifying them. For instance, this week I noticed that all of the Honeysuckle is gone and has been replaced by bunches and bunches of Queen Anne’s Lace. I guess it’s technically a weed, but I’ve always been a fan.

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Did you know that Queen Anne’s Lace is also called a wild carrot? I pulled one up to look at the root and it did indeed resemble a white carrot and it smelled like one too.

Did you also know that there are a few tiny purple blossoms on each flower? They almost look like a squished bug in this picture.

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Those purple blossoms are one way to tell the difference between Queen Anne’s Lace and Hemlock (which is poisonous!). The other is that Queen Anne’s Lace has hairy stems. See the things you can learn by taking a lunchtime walk?

Last night, I went to my first ever stitching group meeting! The ladies were so welcoming and I really enjoyed it.

We learned some specialty stitches and worked on Christmas ornaments. Here’s where I got with mine.

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I tried to use nontraditional Christmas colors. We are supposed to complete stitching by the next meeting so that we can work on finishing techniques. So fun! I think I will enjoy being a part of this group.

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