Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Sewing

for years I've had this idea in the back of my head... that I would sew & sell clothes and eventually have people help me to sew and sell those clothes. And something clicked this spring and I decided to jump in and see what would happen. So with a friend I created "Whigs & Tories." Then my friend got promoted, found out her baby has some immune challenges and pretty much: bad timing for her to start a new project. So now it is me, and a lady named Heather who does about 1/2 of the sewing.

We have quite the little collection going:

 you can see  more on Instagram

some of our things are only being shown in local locations: Sugar & Spice and Revibe Co. are both businesses in Williamsburg that are showing pieces from Whigs & Tories.

You can also find us on Etsy:

For summer we are offering comfort waist shorts, JonJon's, Pinafore sets with ruffle diaper covers, and classic sundresses. As summer progresses we are starting to plan for fall; A-line jumpers and capris and Holiday clothes are being planned.

and I'm joining Bev's Pink Saturday link-up:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wet dogs - Happy dogs

We are *supposed to be at swim practice. But yesterday logged in at 100+ degrees out and we didn't get out too much so today we skipped the pool to take the dogs to river. It is only in the 80's so they could swim & play and still be able to walk 1/2 mile home without getting too hot.

We are keeping an eye on a friends Malinois this week. I think he is 8 years old. He still has the energy level of most puppies. Luckily he is very happy as long as he has a toy in his mouth, so he runs in circles with his ball while my dog fetches hers. My big black doesn't play fetch much anymore. He'd rather just survey the games from the shade. Honestly, I think the big black is a reincarnated southern gentleman. He would love to spend his day on my front porch, front paws crossed, watching the world go by. In my mind's eye I see an older gentleman in his rocker, with a cigar and his bourbon, sitting on my front porch doing the same thing.

Taking the Malinois to the river was funny. I know he plays in water but maybe not deep water very much. Once he got deep his paddling was very huge splashy front paw movements - he much preferred to stay where he could feel the bottom.

At any rate, all three are quiet for the moment.

it has been ages since I was on the blog so it seems silly to link up, but I'm going to anyway :)
Outdoor Wednesday

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


So it has just been a mad dash lately. I'm at school volunteering in fourth grade every other week, and in first grade on alternating weeks. We've transitioned to spring sports and my husband is back on the road which makes the driving a bit tough. Happily my mother helps out twice a week and drives the boys to soccer. My left shoulder is still not healed so it's been off to the orthopedic, and PT, and an MRI (for which they drugged me and wow - I was loopy all day!). I see the ortho tomorrow for results. I was supposed to leave for Fl tomorrow and take the little sister to Disney but there has been a change of plan and we are headed to NJ this weekend instead.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A sweet summer dress for M

Ah, pretty lavender check dress! How sweet! And Mlyons loves it, says it is so comfortable! I haven't sewn in a while and this little pattern, that ought to be straight forward and take less than two hours, gave me a run for my money.

This bit here:

 that illustration 13, they are sort of lifting it up and I just couldn't figure out what it meant.

the pattern tries to tell the sewer that although you've turned the lining and bodice right side out, that you are going to sew front of bodice to back of bodice by turning that section inside out again. I had to sew and rip stitches 4 times to get that. 4 times! Following written directions is not my strong suit to begin with, and I was sewing late on Friday night, but still... 4 times.

She is pleased with it though. So of course it is worth it.

summer dress, lavender, check, seersucker, handmade, dress, children's clothes

kathleen, summer dress, seersucker, whigs & tories, children's clothes, williamsburg

Thursday, April 9, 2015


ah! It is spring in Virginia! *sigh*
I have friends in the North East letting us know it is still snowing and I am grateful that my lawn is covered in cherry blossom petals from the rainstorm last night.

My teenage track champion is not so pleased. "I am trying to run" she complained gasping "and everyone has giant pollen power puff bombs planted in their front yard. I can not breathe."

In truth she cannot. I finally convinced her to let me take her to Urgent Care as she has been sniffling and having sinus headaches for weeks and her mile times are showing that she is not 100%.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

So this happened, and then there was a chicken.

March 17th. Car Crash. Nasty Leprechaun's I *was wearing green!

this is my car! my poor car!

The 8 year old was in the car.
The 5 year old was in the car.
The German Shepherd was in the car.
The Black Lab was in the car.

I dropped my oldest off at Patriot Driving School, just behind the veterinarian there on the corner by the light near Eastern State Hospital. I was driving back towards Newtown and a car came out of one of the cross roads and hit my car. I have never been in a real car crash until now. Fender benders, yes. Air bags deploying, no.

So there I was just driving along. I noted the runner on my left, I'd passed him on my way to the driving school and I saw him again, now on my left, on the way back from the driving school. He was skipping sideways, had longish socks that came half way up his calves, and was wearing ear phones. I'm telling you all this so you know I wasn't off in a dream world not paying attention to my surroundings. And suddenly out of the corner of my eye to my left I see a black fender and it feels like this thing just came roaring out of nowhere and I had enough time to register that and then it hit. Holy Smokes. I kinda wonder what all happened in those nano seconds, I wish there was a camera in the car. Because I literally registered, black vehicle to my left and it is going to hit me, and then the physical sensation of being hit, and then my car was stopped and the horn was blowing and I registered some vaporish thing off the hood of my car and thought "get out." My door was smashed in so I climbed across to the passenger door and got out, and then tried to open the sliding door to get my kids. That wouldn't open so I had them climb into the front to get out.

People materialized out of thin air. Someone called 911. That runner I mentioned came over to see if I needed help. Someone in red/maroon colored scrubs told me I was bleeding, but it was just a small cut probably from the broken glass. There was glass all over my car. I couldn't find my phone. I used someone else's to call my husband in Florida. Thank goodness he answered, he so often does not. He sent a local friend to come pick us up. The woman in scrubs took the laces out of her running shoes to act as leashes so I could get the dogs out. A woman who lived across the street had already scooped up Bitsy into her lap while I was getting Little Hawk and she scooped up Little Hawk and just sat holding them while I got the dogs, talked to police, talked to EMTs.

The EMTs wanted to know who hit the windshield. I think it must have been the dog. Everyone else was in seat belts. Of course they offered to take me to the hospital but I was in full "mom" mode and was not going to be able to calm down until I had all 6 kids back at home. I had already called our neighbor and asked her to pick up the boys from soccer. And I had found a ride for the oldest home from driving school but the middle child was at home getting ready for ballet and expecting me. I needed to get home.

So I did get home. Thanks to friends and coworkers.

The next day my husband asked a coworker to go to the tow yard to get some more photos of the car.

being guarded by a rooster

B. sent pictures of this rooster guarding the car, and hilarious accounts of literally being chased around my car by said rooster. This rooster was absolutely guarding my vehicle.

Then he sent this video which possibly explains why the rooster was guarding the vehicle. If you are sensitive to foul language (no pun intended) be aware that the f-bomb will be said.


He later stated that it appeared that the chicken had found her way into the van and gotten comfortable on top of my bin of dog training items, but couldn't seem to find her way out. So B. literally had to shoo her out and help her along the way!

Tim (husband) was receiving all of these videos and photos while he was out of town at a clients. He happened to see the Geico Commercial with the Free Roaming Chicken and decided to edit his own version. 
When I look at these photos of the car I am amazed that we walked away with only soft tissue injuries. 20 years ago I would not have been able to get out of that car on my own. I can attest that the crash rating on this vehicle is every bit as good as it says it is. The children were not physically hurt. Frightened yes. But the 8 year old got away with only a little neck pain, they did X-rays and her neck was fine. Motrin for a few days and no more complaints. The 5 year old is having nightmares, understandably, but will hopefully work his way through that. As for me, it is taking longer to heal. I'm to see an acupuncturist Friday - I've never done that before. We haven't received the final from insurance as to whether they intend to total the car (and perhaps donate it to the chickens) or attempt to fix it. If they do total it, I'm likely to buy another Honda.

Oh, the man driving the car that hit me seems alright. Do you know how lucky he is?!? Head on collision and no seat belt! But he walked over and shook my hand and asked me if my children were hurt. So I believe he is okay. I hope he is okay. He was on his way to work.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kat's vegan chocolate chip cookies

Kat loves to bake and she's in the kitchen all the time. At one point we even had a little cookie business she experimented with "Kathleen's Kitchen" today she's headed over to her friend's house for a 17th Birthday get together and even though the invite stated "no gifts" Kat didn't want to show up empty handed. So she decided to make cookies. Her friend is vegan. Normally when I bake I substitute flax seed for the egg but we didn't have any in the house. So we did a search on "vegan egg replacers" and found this list on vegan baking first on the list is flax seed but second is chick pea flour. Seriously. Chickpeas. And yes, we actually had some. On occasion Tim visits the Indian Grocer in Richmond and picks up all kinds of stuff, lentils for dahl, amazing rice, and apparently chick pea flour also called besan flour.

So Kat proceded to make chocolate chip cookies following the regular recipe and substituting coconut oil for butter and chickpea flour for eggs. (1/4 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup warm water = 1 egg) She noted that the batter was very moist and thought about adding more flour then decided to cook up 4 cookies and see what happened before she adjusted the recipe.

vegan chocolate chip cookie, vegan cookie, coconut oil, chickpea flour, egg substitute
looks like a chocolate chip cookie

tastes like a chocolate chip cookie... but like it has nuts in it. It does not have nuts in it.
Both taste testers said it tasted just a little bit "healthy" or "wholesome" but overall it was a good cookie.

vegan chocolate chip cookie, vegan cookie, coconut oil, chickpea flour, eggless
all ready for gifting

we found an old cookie tin in the pantry and she wrapped the lid in pretty paper and off she went to celebrate with her 17 year old, vegan, best friend.

Happy Birthday Anna!

It just occurred to me that it is Saturday. I have not participated in a Pink Saturday link up in sometime. I wonder if they are still happening? A quick look at "How Sweet the Sound" blog and yes, yes they are. So I'm joining the pink ladies today: