Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vintage Sewing Machines



I have been collecting vintage sewing machines for quite a few years. 
Packratting runs deep in my genes. As with many old things, these don't all work 100%. 

My  most recent project has been a Coronado Select-o-matic.




Tell me that doesn't look like a car from the 50's!

Right now, it doesn't sew yet. The hand wheel doesn't move the needle. 
I hope to get it working soon.


Here are some of my other vintage sewing machines.
All of these, as well as the Coronado, were made by Brother.

Meet the Electro Grand:


Atlas Deluxe


This is a bad photo, but this one is actually Brother branded.


I also have a lovely hundred year old treadle that does function fully.
And maybe another couple of portable machines from the 50's to 70's.
;-)

If you sew, what is your favorite sewing machine?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Travelling Smoothie



I have a favorite smoothie I make especially when travelling. 
It's yummy, portable, and keeps me filled up a long time. 
But the best part is it is diet-friendly! 
So, here is my "recipe" for Low-Carb Berry Smoothie:


To a strong blender add equal portions of frozen strawberries and frozen mixed berries.
Add to that enough heavy cream or coconut milk 
to allow the blender to blend.
Blend.


I know it's a complicated recipe, but it is worth it. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of homemade vanilla extract, too. At first this is so thick it's like fresh made ice cream. Later, it is drinkable. But it is always thick and rich. This is so cold and satisfying, I could have one everyday except I don't enjoy washing my blender that much. 

 You'll know it's done when it looks like this-



Enjoy! I know I will!


-Susan

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Harcombe Diet

The Harcombe Diet.

Ever heard of it? If you are like most Americans, you probably haven't. I hadn't either until earlier this year. Even then, I didn't look into it.

Yes, I weighed more than I did before I had kids, but so what?
Well, my sister (who has consistently been shown to be smarter than I) tried the diet.
Not only did she lose weight, she felt great! And she looked great. Her skin looked great even without makeup, and she was practically glowing! No, she's not pregnant.
She strongly encouraged me to get the book,
Well, I did, and boy, am I glad!

I have been doing the Harcombe Diet for a little over a month now and have lost 16 pounds without portion control, calorie counting, fat counting, or exercising.
I couldn't be happier!

The question is,
why isn't the world doing this?
Who would prefer cardboard-flavored meal replacements over real food?
Who would prefer tiny portions over eating enough to be pleasantly full?

I suppose the answer is that, outside the UK, Zoe Harcombe is virtually unknown.
What a shame.


I wish I had the money to buy the book for all my friends.
All of my friends would be happier if they were healthier.
Nearly everyone could stand to lose a few (or more) pounds.

The benefits of this way of eating go beyond weight loss.
I'm not depressed anymore. I still take my St. Johns Wort because the days I don't I do feel more anxious, but this is the first time in my adult life that I am not battling depression. I'm having fewer headaches. I have more energy. I am eating only real food. No junk. I can have strawberries and cream after most my meals if I so choose. But I don't crave them, and I don't want them that often.
I actually have a good appetite for the first time in years.
I look forward to meals now.
I feel so much better.

One month of no wheat, no caffeine, no sugar (except what occurs naturally in fruit),
and this is the result.
Most of the first week was hard, but, honestly, for the first time in my memory,
I don't crave sweets anymore!
Even as a kid, I was a sugar junkie.

I used to live in fear that I would become a diabetic. I no longer worry about that.

It is sooo freeing! This isn't a diet anymore, it's a new way of eating.

I hope to lose about five or ten more pounds, but even if I didn't lose a pound on this diet,
I am MUCH healthier than before.

I know I sound like an ad. Sorry. I'm just so happy. I wanted to share with as many folks as I can.
No, I am not getting paid for this. I don't care. Get the book.
You know you have wasted more than twenty bucks before, but what if this isn't a waste?
What if this is the book that will change your life, too?
I HIGHLY recommend Zoe Harcombe's book,

Zoe Harcombe even has a forum for support and tips. It can be read for free.
You can find it at

That's the end of my public service announcement.
Have a great weekend! I know I will!
-Susan

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Amber teething necklaces



I "discovered" amber teething necklaces relatively early in my career as a mom. Luckily for me, the first ones I discovered were from Inspired By Finn. Amber necklaces help with teething NOT by giving your child something to chew on, as with plastic teethers, but by releasing succinic acid as it is worn against your child's skin. The succinic acid is then absorbed into the body and that is scientifically how the pain relief occurs. Practically, however, a fussy child wearing an amber necklace is less fussy. And a child with mild teething symptoms may not be fussy at all.
Baltic Amber is supposed to be the best type of amber for pain relief. That is what they use at Inspired By Finn. Since I am a do it yourself kind of gal, I looked for Baltic Amber beads on ebay only to find that they aren't cheap. Not by a long shot. That being said, the prices at Inspired By Finn are really quite reasonable. I recently discovered the "Inspired By Finn difference." As I said, when my daughter was just a few months old, my mother bought her a teething necklace from Inspired By Finn. Since then, Mom has bought Stinkerbaby a few other necklaces- all from Inspired By Finn. Well, Mom thought she had found a deal on amber necklaces. She asked my advice and I told her it looked like a great deal. She ordered them and what a disappointment! The seller is a great WAHM who primarily runs a cloth diaper store, so I know this wasn't an intentional scam or anything. The difference in quality is stunning!

Here is a photo to illustrate my point:
The necklace on the left is from Inspired By Finn, the color is cognac. The one on the right is from the other seller. I think they call that color butter, if I remember correctly. Since amber being in contact with the skin is what makes these necklaces work for pain relief, the smaller beads and larger gaps between the beads really could make a difference in the effectiveness. The other major difference is that the necklace from the other seller lost a bead almost immediately. Of course, the other necklace is not nearly as pretty either. I suppose that shouldn't matter in a teething remedy, but it does matter.
I am not attempting to fault the other seller, but their product is simply inferior. So, the "great deal" turned out to be quite a learning experience. I still buy cloth diapers from her, but no more amber.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a very nice discount on my next purchase of a necklace from Inspired By Finn,
BUT I honestly don't think that influenced this blog post as I was already shopping and had a necklace in my cart before I read about the discount for bloggers.

I really do wholeheartedly recommend Inspired By Finn.

Baltic amber teething necklaces work for us.
Do they work for you? Have you tried them?

-Susan





Saturday, March 26, 2011

Selfie Saturdays


While I don't think these are "good" as photographs,
they are good for my own journey.
Hopefully, the photographic merits will improve as I get more comfortable in front of the camera.
I had great plans today for shooting myself with an "I am beautiful" sign. But it's raining and the light inside is not that good. So, that will postponed for another day.

Photos where my face is clearly visible are the hardest for me.
I have always been especially self-conscious of my face. Of course, since I have had kids, I have a whole new set of body issues.
My purpose is not to complain, but just to talk.

I know I am not the only woman out there who has been through this.
I am determined to stop second-guessing God.
He knew what he was doing when he made me.
He made me on purpose.
The same is true for you.

So, here are my long-arm selfies for today.






-Susan

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Warming up



Well, I'm warming up to a selfie. Here is a photo taken just minutes after my son was born. Baby boy was cropped out of this picture as a matter of fact.
Not a bit of makeup. It was about twenty after two in the morning, but here it is.


When I can get a moment without kids this morning, I'm going in front of the camera!

-Susan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I love me.



I have been inspired. I have been inspired by Courtney and Robin to do something I don't like. To do something that is scary. No, no needles are involved. The thing that makes my palms sweat is self-portraiture. Yep. It wasn't until I read Courtney's deep post that I realized I really am not totally over all the self image stuff I dealt with as a teen. While I'm no longer super self-conscious like I was back when I was younger and thinner, I'm still shy and unsure of myself. I'm old enough now that it didn't matter to me, until I thought of my daughter. I want her to realize that she is beautiful on the inside and the outside and that God made her the way she is intentionally. Why did I think that it was unreasonable or vain to think that way about myself? Since I have had kids, I have come into existence as a mother, but somewhere along the way I lost my pre-baby self. And I really didn't care.

What's more wonderful than being a mommy?

After four years, I'm starting to care. I need to care about me for them. I don't just mean eating reasonably well and trying to stay healthy. I need to teach them that it is okay to love yourself and think yourself beautiful. By doing that, you are acknowledging God's handiwork. I need to teach by example. I need to do this, and I am afraid. But I trust God to help me. And I trust friends to support me in this.

Not liking photos of one's self has been a family tradition. My great-grandmother would scratch herself out of photos whenever possible. My grandmother (her daughter-in-law) used to cut herself out of family photos. My mother avoids the "business end" of a camera like the plague. I suppose I have been learning this my whole life. All the more reason to correct it before I teach my daughter any more self-dislike.


Here is a photo of me I've never been fond of, but I'm trying to look at it in a new way.

So, be warned, self-portraits are to follow soon.

-Susan