Posted in Random

Happy 2017… 2 months into the year

It’s not often that I take a step back and look in to see how many hats I am wearing, no wonder I am overwhelmed!

  • I homeschool 1st grade and preK on children with different learning styles
  • I am a Breastfeeding Counselor for the Health Department “on call” 7 days a week until 9pm, except holidays.
  • I volunteer as a leader for La Leche League and I am pretty much “on call” 24/7/365
  • I am the Director of Finance of a national nonprofit organization
  • I have a freelance business doing Virtual Bookkeeping and WordPress Websites and this time of year is the busy season
  • I am the webmaster and editor for a local homeschooling resource website
  • I am the webmaster for several non profits
  • I am a Beta reader and reviewer for several authors
  • My kids are now in a scouting group, while not super time consuming, it does add more things to the calendar.
  • I still have to keep the house from falling apart (laundry, dishes, cooking, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing toilets… you know how the list goes…)

So while I may stay at home 6 out of 7 days of the week, I am definitely not twiddling my thumbs!

Add to that a recent cyberstalking nightmare that makes me want to turn into an internet hermit…

So yes, no wonder I haven’t been able to keep my promise to update you more often. Lately there just haven’t been enough hours in the day. But I am here, we are healthy and eventually the dust will settle and hopefully the muses will visit me at the same time that I have some spare time to write.

Meanwhile I am using my little spare time on house projects and planning next year’s curriculum shopping list (spoiler: We are using The Critical Thinking Company products again!). In the meantime, you can get glimpses on our day to day on Facebook and Instagram, both updates show on the sidebar of this website.

Posted in Random

Gearing up for 2017

There have been a lot of changes for our family lately and that has been affecting my writing.

After weeks of stress and uncertainty we finally realized the American dream and purchased a house. The month of November was spent in the chaos of moving and trying to get settled in. I still have about 20-30 boxes to unpack in the garage but we are making steady progress.

My latest project, Treasure Coast Homeschooling, has been growing and I’ve been spending time on that. I also had to do some updates to my freelance website Florida Virtual Bookkeeper. And adding to my addiction for taking on projects, I am now a leader for my children’s Spiral Scouts circle. This meant that some time was spent working on their website and taking the mandatory leader training.

When I finally sat down to write I discovered some issues with the back end of this website that then took some time to fix (all good now!).

All of the above + trying to settle in and the craziness of the holidays barely left time for homeschooling so writing seemed to always end up at the bottom of the list. I have still been active on Facebook and Instagram so those of you that follow me there know that we are alive and well.

My youngest child

I want to introduce my new assistant, Reese. She is a 6 month old calico kitten that keeps my lap warm and relaxes me with her purring while I write. Sometimes she’ll edit my writing by walking across the keyboard so I apologize in advance if I miss a typo that she may have added after a final draft.

I usually don’t do New Years Resolutions because I know that I won’t keep them but my goal for 2017 is to be more steady with my updates. I am not going to be ambitious and promise that I’ll post weekly although that would be great if it happened but I will at least aim for monthly posts so we won’t have this 2+ month gap that just happened because life got in the way.

In a couple of days I’ll update with more info about how homeschooling is going and our holiday. In the meantime, I thank you all for reading and wish you a very happy new year.

Posted in Protection, Random

The Quest for the Perfect Holster part 3

Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

Continuing my search for a conceal carry holster, I tried 3 new options, the Femme Fatale Lace Soxxx, Flashbang Ava Hybrid IWB Holster and Alpha Belly Band.  Here are my thoughts below:

Femme Fatale Lace Soxxx

The only picture that I took of the Lace Soxxx, I disliked it so much and found it unsafe so I quickly packaged it up to mail back.
The only picture that I took of the Lace Soxxx, I disliked it so much and found it unsafe so I quickly packaged it up to mail back.

Pros: very feminine and cute, no bulk

Cons: sizing is not adjustable at all, tight fit if you don’t have skinny calves, difficult to adjust position once on, good retention but gun slid a little, better for smaller gun, it felt dangerous with my Ruger Lc9s.

When I first researched Femme Fatale I read reviews for the Ankle Soxxx that said that you put it on just like a sock so I thought that this would just be a lacy version of that, I was wrong. The hook and eye closure was very difficult for me, it’s like putting a corset on your leg but the angle is all odd and difficult and it’s so tight that you can’t just put on and then rotate.

I know that the holster has to be snug to work but it felt too snug. It fit perfect at the bottom where the measurement was taken for sizing but very tight at the top so I guess that it’s designed for women with skinny calves as I had a slight “muffin top” on my calf and it had left a deep indentation on the skin after only a few minutes of use.

I did not like that the safety on my gun was flipped off when putting it in the holster. The large difference in weight between my legs made walking odd, I felt like people could tell that I was walking differently. Due to me having bad knees from a previous injury I could tell that extended walking would be torture. Ankle holsters are not for me. It’s a shame as it concealed very well on yoga pants. It would be a good thing to try for someone with good strong knees and a very small gun.

 

Flashbang Ava Hybrid IWB

20160616_104926 I had been wanting to try a hybrid holster for a while. I had been torn between the Crossbreed Mini Tuck and Alien Gear3.0 IWB and had planned on buying Alien Gear due to price, reviews and awards but life had other plans.

When it was time to exchange the ankle holster the vendor that I used didn’t carry either of those options available so I chose the Flashbang Ava instead.

Pros: the leather is truly buttery soft, contours well to my curves, distributes weight of gun over a bigger area, good retention, height/cant/retention adjustable. Combat cut, Conceals better than single clip IWB holster.  Left hand version available.

Cons: clips feel loose and are big, time consuming trial and error adjusting clip position in 25 possible variations.

flashbang collageThe holster is very comfortable and conceals better than my single clip Rawdog Tactical or TWAW IWB. Not all positions were equally comfortable or concealable though. I still can’t carry on my back due to the same problem with my curves where there is a big gap between the gun’s grip and my back so I have a bulge on my lower back.

Side carrying is comfortable and conceals well as long as I am wearing a “regular” t-shirt and not a “women’s” t-shirt. Carrying appendix is the most concealable across the different outfits that I’ve tried but when I sit down the top of the leader “pinches” my muffin top which requires a quick adjustment; this is not a big deal at home but when in public that movement can draw attention to that area. I can’t lower the rise for deeper concealment because then I would stab my thigh when sitting down.

The holster overall looks very well made but the clips leave a lot to be desired. They are the worst clips of any holster that I’ve tried so far. Too flexible and pop off too easily for comfort even when using a gun belt. I have tried carrying around the house and one of the clips slides up and stabs me in the stomach, when I look at it it’s halfway off my pants. The clips are very big to accommodate a wide belt but that just means that there is about a 1/2″ protrusion that stabs my skin. This has happened repeatedly with both jeans and cargo pants. For this reason, I can’t wear this outside the house because I can’t trust the clips to keep the holster in place.

I will be replacing them with Ulticlips to fix that problem (waiting on shipment to arrive) and I expect that to fix those issues. Once the clips are changed I expect that will be my holster of choice for anytime that I wear jeans and pants with belt loops.

 

Alpha Belly Band holster

Pros: Inexpensive, good concealment, no extra muffin top, Made in the USA, ambidextrous

Cons: rough against skin, very wide, velcro on empty holster is noisy in completely silent environments

I had been planning on trying TWAW Breathable Belly Band Holster but due to money constraints I hadn’t been able to order. At almost twice the cost, the Crossbreed Modular Belly Holster was out of the question for the foreseeable future as far as my budget was concerned.

As I struggle with concealing in the horrible Florida heat I decided to search for a cheaper alternative that would hopefully tide me over for a couple of months. I came across an article comparing several belly holsters and the Alpha Belly Band had a pretty decent review talking about it’s breathable elastic and a price ($16.95 shipped) that couldn’t be beat so it was an inexpensive effort to try it out.  The fact that it’s sold by Amazon and I had account credit available was a plus.

Not bad for a $17 holster. I don't consider this a permanent solution but a good starter holster if on a tight budget
Not bad for a $17 holster. I don’t consider this a permanent solution but a good starter holster if on a tight budget

Some Amazon reviews complained about the inaccuracy of the sizing but I found it to be true to size. I measured to wear it above my natural waist as I am tired of hip and waist holsters riding up. The band is much wider than I anticipated but it still fits in my short torso and I don’t expect it would be too bad for other people.

The holster is designed as a “one size fits most medium and large guns” and my gun is on the smaller range of the scale so there is a lot of space for a longer muzzle. The velcro retention strap is something to get used to but necessary. It looks and feels like a medical brace and I guess it’s not too far off since the company that manufactures it a medical products company and they probably use the same materials.

The elastic feels very rough on my skin so I need to wear a tank top underneath, having that extra layer of clothing and the fact that it’s so wide makes it too hot for the Florida outdoors in the summer but it’s suitable for indoor use and the cooler time of the year. The elastic is supposed to be breathable but I haven’t haven’t found that to be very much so.

Magazine or knife holster is convenient
Magazine or knife holster is convenient

The holster is designed for “crossdraw” which isn’t as odd as I feared and it’s actually helpful to me since I’m cross dominant. Like with any other soft holster, re-holstering is a 2 handed job. I don’t know how well a Kydex insert would fit on this although the elastic is stretchy enough that it would probably work. The magazine holster looks too small to fit any magazine at first glance but it’s stretchy enough that it holds my gun’s magazine and knife.

As much as I love black, I ordered a beige one in hopes that what they say about lighter colors being cooler is true, there is no way that I could do white.

Concealing in a regular t shirt or loose printed top is great but I get too much printing on a juniors and women’s size shirts so I won’t be able to use this for those outfits.

Going to the bathroom is super easy, the same as not carrying. Draw time is much slower than carrying in the waistband but it’s better than not carrying at all.

After a long day wearing it, it started to ride up but it was stopped by my breasts so it mostly stayed in place although it bunched up a little at my bra line.  After many hours of wearing it felt hot and a little uncomfortable by the evening. By the time I took it off I was relieved and discovered a slight heat rash in my stomach that cleared up quickly after I cooled off.

While it won’t be part of my EDC, I’ll keep it on hand for occasions where no other holster will work for my outfit.

 

The Final Verdict:

After trying 8 different holsters, while I did not find THE ONE, I think that I have some good choices to wear with different outfits. I may try other holsters in the future such as the TWAW Breathable Belly Band but I won’t be in a rush to do so.

So what did I choose?

For jeans/cargo pants- Flashbang Ava Hybrid with Ulticlip
For yoga pants, leggings and skirts- Fancy Pants Original Holster
For when nothing else works with the outfit- Waist Holster Bag