January 2021 Creativity Challenge Outcome

Like I’ve done every January for the past few years, last month I completed a creativity challenge. A lot of artists do creativity challenges, and each one looks a little different! For me, my challenge was to design one print every other day through the month, and to find inspiration for the next print on the other days. It’s the exact same format I followed last year.

Some days it was super easy to get it done, other days it was simply unmanageable – either because of time restraints or a lack of inspiration/motivation (hello, winter and life during COVID). Either way, however, I got. it. done. Yes, I fell a little behind a couple of different times throughout the month, but I always managed to catch up, and I’m so glad I did. I now have fifteen brand-spanking-new prints to start off the year and boost my portfolio. I’ll be adding them to my Spoonflower shop soon!

I’ve grown a lot as a designer in the past year and a half, and one thing I’ve found to be so true is quality over quantity. I used to think the more prints that I cranked out, the better – but, truth be told, most of them were very poor and didn’t help me in my career at all. Now, I see that it’s better to spend more time on one print and to really make it amazing, rather than to settle for overly simplistic prints in the name of productivity.

I will share that I wouldn’t say I love every print I made during this year’s challenge, or even that all of them are solid designs. That being said, there are still a few that I do love, and I’m sharing them below. Here’s to many, many more designs and lots of growth this year!

Amazon Finds January 2021

This month’s finds feel especially random… but then, isn’t that the point?

$23 Kettlebell – Worth every penny to not have to haul it home from a store! 😉

$16 French Press – We recently bought this and I love the vibrant red color!

$28 Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm – Another clean beauty find on Amazon! I love how cool it feels when I apply it on my skin

$8 Kitchen Bowl & Counter Scrapers – My husband got me these in my Christmas stocking and they work so well!

$5 Real Simple Subscription – This is a steal for a year’s subscription to my favorite magazine

$9 1-lb Dumbbells – Perfect is your toddler is obsessed with working out with you, like mine is!

$25 Baby Layette – Perfect for a baby boy or girl

$27 Girls’ Gingham Jumpsuit – Way too early to be buying for spring but I can still think about it!

$35 Maxi Dress – Okay, I’m definitely thinking about spring

$23 Bikini – I bought this suit 4(!) years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! The quality is top notch.

What I Made in 2020

At the risk of sounding like an overeager 4-Her, I wanted to share what sewing projects I completed this past year! I’m doing this in part for me to review and see all that I made, and also to share with you so that you get the itch to start making something. It’s sew rewarding!

To put it in perspective so you know how much I usually sew: 2020 was a blockbuster year for me. I don’t usually sew as much as I did this past year, mostly due to placing priority on other projects, but this year I found that I really enjoyed it and don’t regret one single moment that I spent sewing. Also, shoutout to covid for giving me more time at home to sew. 😉

An important note is that I will never think of myself as a seamstress, and I say this because I will always love the design part of projects more than the construction. I don’t usually use patterns when I sew (although I did for three projects this year because they can be helpful), because there’s really no design involved when you’re just sewing something from an existing pattern. Instead, I value the creative process of making something from scratch over the speed of using a commercial pattern – and that’s one reason why I will never be a super prolific sewer, aka seamstress. And I am okay with it!

One last thing – this was a great sewing year for me but not a great photography year – whoops! So we’re working with some less-than-stellar photos for many of my projects, but you still get the point.

PROJECT ONE: Baby Blanket

If you can see past the gigantic pillow in front of it, that’s the double-sided baby blanket I made for our baby boy. I actually made three of these this year, all with different fabrics, and for different babies. Pattern: none.

PROJECT TWO: Baby Gown + Hat

This was super fast and super adorable to make, so I made two sets. Also, WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT TINY BABY BOY?? Pattern: here.


I’d bought this beautiful suede-lined mint leather years ago and was tired of it wasting away, so I made a cute tote bag out of some of it and now use it as my teaching bag. Pattern: my own.


I’ve made several of these, using different patterns, and BLAH. But it looks like I’ll keep making them for awhile. Pattern: various.

PROJECT FIVE: Halloween Costumes

This was, by far, my most time-consuming sewing project of this past year, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out! I made elements of my children’s Halloween costumes (Madeline and the tiger!): a Madeline jacket, baby cap, and sewing and attaching a tiger tail to a purchased footie pajamas that I’d painted as well as a black ribbon to a straw hat. Patterns: my own.

PROJECT SIX: Baby Baptismal Gown

Oh, the time I spent on this one for it only to be worn for a couple hours ever. Still worth it! I used white silk for the gown and fine english netting from my bridal veil for the sleeves and ties at the hem, and then paired it with a baby blue pater pan collar. Pattern: my own.

PROJECT SEVEN: Christmas Stockings

I had made my daughter a Christmas stocking last year, but I didn’t really like how it turned out, so I made a new one this year, and made one for our baby son as well. It was fun to pick out different fabrics to pair together, and I think these will grow well with them. Pattern: here (not quilted).


I made zippered dopp kits for a few of the men in my family for Christmas, and failed to take a single photo of any of them. Whoops! They were pretty easy to make and I think they’ll last awhile. Pattern: here.

Amazon Finds December 2020

This post is for all of you Prime members who still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping! 😉 If you’re not a Prime member, then you’re probably going to have to finish your shopping in person because shipping is so s-l-o-w right now from most retailers! Anyways, enjoy scrolling through my current favorites, and have a merry Christmas.

$10 Facial Scrub – I like this brand and exfoliating is always a good idea!

$19 Skin Cream – This is so good that it has a cult following

$13 Cat Eye Sunglasses – These are in my cart right now!

$12 Meal Planner – The perfect gift for moms everywhere

$25 Gold Necklace – Love how dainty this is!

$30 Teddy Coat – So cozy

$18 Motivation Water Bottle – Because we all need a little extra motivation from time to time

$24 Double-Sided Puzzle – This is a good gift for someone who’s hard to buy for

$22 Lined Slippers – I don’t think I need to explain these…

$25 Foot Peel – I’ve heard good things about this, even if I can’t personally bring myself to pull the trigger on them quite yet, haha!

Amazon Finds November 2020

Welcome to this month’s Amazon Finds post! You’ll find products ranging from $5-$110 – and let me warn you, most of them are kid-related this month. Must be the stage of life I’m in! 😉

$110 Toddler Tower – It’s not cheap but we have one similar and have used it DAILY with our toddler for the past year – a must for the kitchen!

$36 Balloon Sleeve Sweater – Love this simple but feminine design

$10 (each) microfiber cloth – These have over 12k positive ratings so they must be good!

$5 Sticker Book – Because my toddler is obsessed with stickers

$6 Lids + Straw Set For Munchkin Cups – Perfect for our morning smoothies

$10 Food Scissors – These might be the one thing in our baby boy’s stocking this year, haha!

$17 Slippers – My definition of cozy

$13 Retro Cateye Sunglasses – Love the shape and size of these!

$12 Headbands Pack – I literally never wear headbands but I kind of really want these!

$12 6-Pack Washing Machine Cleaner – I’m way overdue on these

Can Sweatsuits Actually Be Stylish?

Today, as you may have already guessed from the title, I pose a question of high significance to you. 😉 Can sweatsuits actually be stylish?

I’m not here to answer the question, I’ll let you do that for yourself. All I want you do to is to think about it for a bit – we’re currently seeing sweatsuits on all the major retailers’ websites, which is probably the first time ever that sweatsuits are actually trending. The pandemic has taken the type of clothing formerly only worn around the house (or to the grocery store, if you’re me), in private, and not even ‘grammed about, and instead made it front and center style. I’m seeing bloggers post sweatsuits more than nearly any other type of clothing, and I guess that makes sense if most of us are still at home most of the time.

But practical or not (which they certainly are in a time like this), are they actually stylish? Comment below with your thoughts, I’d love to know them! In the meantime, here are a few cute (stylish?!) sets I found from recent browsing.

This basic jogger + oversized sweatshirt combo

This subtly ribbed combo

These are also ribbed, but short-sleeved

If you’re looking for basic, here it is

This combo is my favorite! So cozy and still cute

The color on these is so soft and feminine

If you’re feeling like just going for it…