The life-changing magic of adding water to cornstarch

The snow wasn’t stopping and the kids had already played outside. They’d also played Barbies and LEGO, read books and played with the container of Moon Sand I keep hidden away for “special” occasions. Lunch was hours away, or is that just how it felt?

The kids needed another activity, so our seven-year-old daughter asked if we could make a batch of “oobleck.” I had no idea what she meant until she described it.

“Oh, you mean ‘magic mud,’” I corrected her, smiling at the memory of my mom making magic mud for me and my sister when we were kids. It was just cornstarch and water, but something about that combination was magical — squishy and firm, but dripping and oozing a second later.

I paused for a second. “Maybe later.”

I was hurrying to clean up the kitchen in between phone calls, since a snow day for the kids doesn’t mean I get snow day from my work. I was flustered and already thinking through my next task for as soon as I could escape back down to my home office.

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What it’s been like going off my antidepressants

Heather Laura Clarke

I posted back in September that I was officially going off my antidepressants, after a little more than four years of taking Sertraline for depression and anxiety.

My decision was pretty rash, to be honest. I had zero plans to stop taking them, and suddenly it was like a lightbulb went off and I was DONE WITH THEM. I wanted to see “what like would be like” without them. I wanted to see how I’d feel, how I’d cope. Part of it was plain curiosity, I think.

Once I got it in my head that I was done, I talked to my doctor and he agreed that I could try it. I was on a VERY low dose (50mg/day, and 25mg is the “starter” dose that you begin with, so really I was on the lowest actual dose).

I wrote that post, and I never came back with an update.

I have been procrastinating this post. A lot. People have reached out to me privately and asked how it going, and I’ve been honest with them. But writing a public post about it? Totally freaked me out.

I didn’t want to write this post because I didn’t want to influence anyone to go off antidepressants or NOT start taking antidepressants if they’d been thinking about it.

It’s one thing to write blog posts like “I take antidepressants and I’m proud of it! You should be, too! No shame! Woohoo!”

It’s another thing to write about coming OFF antidepressants. That’s why you don’t see as much of it on the internet. No one wants to be the blogger who accidentally influenced someone negatively.

But it’s been four full months, and I felt like I owed you an update. An honest update with lots of disclaimers …

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DIY Harry Potter quilt

DIY Harry Potter quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}

Ah, that feeling when you’ve spent $300 — and countless hours of your time — sewing your child a one-of-a-kind Harry Potter quilt … and they quickly toss it aside for the next Christmas gift. Ouch.

Let’s back up, though. I decided back in the fall that I wanted to sew a Harry Potter quilt for our nine-year-old son. He loves Harry Potter and he’s been using the same red-white-and-blue plaid bedding set since he was a year old, so it was certainly time for an upgrade.

I spent ages browsing online for different Harry Potter fabrics and ended up deciding on 12 different ones. Actually, 10 were official Harry Potter fabrics and two were just fabrics that coordinated: red bricks for Platform 9 3/4, and swirly dark clouds to represent Dementors. 

I like easy math, so I purchased a half-yard of each of the 12 fabrics.

Since a half-yard of fabric is 18” long and 44” wide, this would easily give me 24 quilt squares — two squares cut from each fabric.

After the fabric was washed and dried, I cut two 16” squares from each half-yard.

Then it was just a matter of deciding how to arrange all 24 squares.

I decided to make six 4×4 squares, each with two fabrics, trying to balance the lights and darks as much as possible.

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

Yes, this DIY Harry Potter quilt was expensive to make, but it’s king-sized so it will grow with our son as he upgrades to bigger beds as he gets older. Plus, it’s a one-of-a-kind handmade quilt made with love from his mom. Can that really compete with a Nintendo Switch? Well, let’s not ask him to choose. ;)

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …