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eSalon Review Update: Still Awesome 9 Orders Later!

It's been nearly 18 months since I visited eSalon headquarters for a behind the scenes tour and in-house color. In that time, it's been the only brand I use for hair color. I just visited my eSalon account and found I've colored my hair 9 times since my trip! Touching up roots is easy with a brush and bowl If you've read my blog, you know I used to try all the store brands to test them out and post reviews, but eSalon has been so good for my hair, I don't want to use anything else. My eSalon color My family has signed up and tried eSalon. My sister-in-law's hair looks awesome every time we visit! Now, my coworker who has been longing to do her outgrown roots for months, is ready to try. As soon as she tries it, I'll post before and after pics. I got her some products to try on her light blonde hair in the meantime: Since I'm a huge fan of eSalon, I wanted to point out a few products I enjoy, remind you that you can get $10 off your
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Keeping Busy with the Family

You won't find fancy food photography and beautiful lighting here. Keeping it real - I just don't want that to be what I spend my time on right now - but reassuringly, everything looks way better in person. Today, Miss Penny cranked out her mandatory schoolwork early in the day, then did some research for an Outschool class on Thursday and took a class on grey wolves that she absolutely LOVED. I can't say enough for her experiences with Outschool ! She's caught up and I'm not behind at work, so what should we do? Bake, of course! Inspired by a neighbor who bakes muffins all the time, we made pumpkin muffins stuffed with cheesecake.   The Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe comes from Julie at Lovely Little Kitchen . She designed it for mini muffins, so we just cut the recipe in half and made 6 larger muffins. I probably should have stuck with the cheese on top method she used, which resembles a Danish, but we decided to make the cheese a filling instead. Th

Two years is a long time

Two years. Has it really been that long? I can think of a thousand excuses for not writing, but when it comes down to it, I just didn't allow myself time to be creative. And when I look back at all those review posts, it's not like what I was writing was all that inspiring before I needed a break. In two years, I made an overdue career change, became more deeply invested in volunteer work, prioritized time for me and my family, and most recently decided we should suck it up and finish our giant, open, raw basement. Sitting at Bounce World, writing doesn't come easy. Thinking back to when I was younger, recalling the hours spent writing hundreds of pages of creative fiction until college research papers led to writing burnout - I wondered if I still have any writing passion left. I overthink now and was far more carefree as a teenager. That's probably just a part of growing up and getting older. The past few weeks were loud, hectic, and exhausting, but seeing how

Pattern Review: Jane's Little Boxy Bag

I make time for sewing more than any other hobby. If I could spend a week off from work sewing all day, I would. There's nothing like the feeling of making something useful from fabric! Sometimes, I create my own design, sometimes I adapt a pattern, and sometimes I work from a purchased pattern. With bags, I prefer to buy a pattern. I feel more confident that the results will hold up if I work from someone's tested idea. When Penny signed up to take dance classes with a friend, I decided to make each girl a little bag to hold their shoes. I wanted a bag that could stand on its own, would be small enough for the kids to carry, and could fit in a larger bag on occasion. Jane's Little Boxy Bag Pattern from Projects by Jane was just what I was looking for. I made the two bags at once, one exactly as instructed, and the second bag using thin fusible fleece to underline the exterior. Both bags came out cute. The shape is the same and the style is the same. The main diff

Review: Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box

I obsess over Penny's lunch. While I am not a mom who worries about a beautiful, fancy experience of gourmet school lunch delights, I do care about using a box that is easy for her to open and close, keeps food where it needs to be, and holds the right portion sizes for a young kid. We've tried individual boxes that fit together, sandwich bags, wraps, and other random equipment, but it all has annoying drawbacks. Just picture a little girl pulling out 6 individual boxes with removable lids. Guess what happens after lunch? It's all piled back in the lunch box with sticky leftovers flying around on the ride home. It's gross. Bags, plastic wrap, and foil are all well and good, but our school is very green and doesn't want unnecessary lunch trash. As a recycle first family, I do my best to avoid those options. There are adorable bento kits on Amazon, but the best ones seem to cost more than $35 and I wondered if there was something out there under $30 that was

All-Time Favorite Sewing Patterns

Embroidered dupioni silk underlined with organza Sewing is how I relax after a difficult day, what I enjoy during a quiet afternoon, and is definitely my favorite hobby. As a kid and in my 20s, I sewed a little, but starting around 2006, I got into it more seriously and now, I'm confident that I can make a dress, create doll clothes from scratch, and come up with cool pattern modifications for my daughter's outfits. Here are a few of my all-time favorite patterns. Be sure to check them out if you're looking for new ideas! Crepe by Colette Patterns I've made the Crepe dress twice, once for my mom and once for myself. I loved the detailed instructions and a pattern that is quick to sew. With both dresses, I underlined, which isn't part of the instructions. The dress for my mom is a cotton vintage Betsey Johnson print. I wanted a more stiff shape, so the underlining helped the skirt look more full. For mine, the fabric is a lightweight cotton batiste that wa

Penny Makes Yogurt Butter Cups

Penny loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. It's genetic. I'm addicted. My mom's addicted. And I bet, grandma was too. I've made homemade peanut butter cups but they aren't the same as the yumminess of Reece's. It's all about the peanut butter. Since Penny also loves yogurt, she asked if we could make yogurt butter cups. At first, I kind of giggled because it seemed kind of unusual, but then I thought we ought to experiment and see if chocolate stuffed with yogurt actually works. Penny provided all the direction for this experiment. I just did what I was told. First, I made the chocolate "wet," meaning I microwaved some chocolate chips she pulled out of our baking cabinet. Next I put some melted chocolate in a mini silicone mold, topped it with a little Activia, and poured more chocolate on top. Penny didn't want to add sugar, butter, or other ingredients. Keeping it simple! To speed up the setting process, I popped it in the