A Productive Day

It's funny what constitutes a productive day around here.  Something crossed off my to-do list.  A small corner of the house cleaned up and organized.  A sewing project finished.  I've actually had a couple productive days around here lately.

And while getting car in to be serviced this morning (oil change, sunroof and wiper blade recall) let me check something off my to-do list, I was even more excited to finish my first sewing project for Christmas.  Yes, 10 days before Christmas and I am just starting those sewing projects.  But that's how it works around here.  And they are all relatively small projects.  And none of them are necessary - except for the giant sheep cushion which I will start tonight.

Back for Ollie's birthday, I started a pair of sheep pajamas.  They weren't finished in time.  The bottoms were ready so I paired them with an appliqued T and he was happy.  He has been waiting, though, for the complete set.  I finally made the top.  Now I just need to sneak the bottoms out of his closet (they have jumped into his regular pants rotation) and wrap them up for Christmas Eve.  Check Handmade Gift #1 off my list.

** I actually made the top and bottom from two different Oliver + S Patterns.  The bottoms are from the older Bedtime Story Pajamas pattern and the top is from the newer Sleepover Pajamas pattern.  Love them both - and still learn something new everytime I sew with one.  Understitching?  Who new?!

Moving Forward

The sun has been missing around here for a while. It's been grey and pretty gloomy.  But I have been plodding along.  Feeling like I am getting things accomplished but at a slower rate than I would like.  I will focus on the 'getting things accomplished'.  Including multiple trips to get things out of the house.  So while I don't feel like I'm checking things off my list, I do feel like I am moving forward.  And for that, right now, I am happy.

Here are some of the things happening around here this week:

On my kindle: Buddha in the Attic  This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own, but I am loving it.  It is heartbreaking and fascinating at the same time, told in a style I couldn't imagine a whole book in that somehow works.  Now I want to go learn more about this whole wave of Japanese mailorder brides.

In my kitchen: Super Natural Every Day  I made the two cookie recipes last weekend.  The carnival cookies (with peanuts, chocolate chips, and popcorn!) were healthy and fabulously yummy.  The Dad is already asking when I am going to make the Ginger Cookies again.  Yum.

In the shop: Posting is going slowly since we are so short on great light.  I did manage to get the velveteen and voile scarves posted.  And a great sheep dress that I had actually made for Art Star.  When I packed up for the show, I couldn't figure out why I was short a 12 mo. dress.  It drove me crazy trying to figure out where I miscounted.  When the show was over and I returned home on the third evening, Ollie took me by the hand up to the office.  He wanted to 'show me something'.  He pulled the missing dress, this sheep dress, out from under the bed.  He loved the fabric too much and didn't want me to sell it.  "Ollie, you can't wear this dress."  "I know, but you can cut it up and make me something."  Um, No.  This boy loves sheep.  Wait 'til he sees what Santa is bringing him.

Conversations about Santa: Ollie is convinced that Santa is going to bring him a machine that makes stuffed sheep.  One with a pedal that you push.  That screws to the wall.  I tried explaining that Santa probably couldn't bring that for him.  In tears, he cried "But Mama, Santa can make anything.  And he has his elves to help him."  The Dad is convinced that we can come up with something...  We still have two and a half weeks.

A Yummy, Treaty Recipe

Last night we were all wanting something "treaty" after dinner.

This has become my go-to, ready-in-a-moment treat over the last couple months.

Adapted from the Happy Herbivore's Instant Cookie Dough recipe, it is just that perfect combination:

1 cup rolled oats
2 T cocoa powder
2 T almond butter (or any other nut butter)
2 T maple syrup (even better with the dark Grade B)
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries or raspberries are our favorites - the photos are of a batch with crushed up

Mix the oats, cocoa, almond butter, and maple syrup together until fully blended.  Then stir in the frozen berries.  Great both right away and later after sitting in the fridge.  The kids like it as a treat in their lunchboxes, too.