Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Reflections: Lounging Around

The Challenge
Let's talk for a minute about what one fills up one's time with when it gets close to Christmas. 
Are you a mover and a shaker, or in holiday parlance, a crafter and a baker?  

The Crafter
I.  Must.  Create.  Ha ha ha, I could leave it at that!  I start getting antsy if I don't have some project, or five, going.  For instance, in these photos, there is a round white ornament above my head with an elf in the middle.  Last year, I decided to add more elves to my tree and found an elf cross stitch pattern on Etsy and made a few of these--the round frame is a small embroidery hoop.  This year, some of the things that were made: 
1) Small stockings for the grandchildren (I made them standard-sized ones ages ago, but I wanted small-scale ones just for candy/trinkets.) 
2) Gift tags.  I had made them new every year, but lately, have been reusing the old ones.  What I have done for many, many years is make custom tags for each child.  When they were small, they'd get up at an outrageously early hour and comb through all of the gifts before DH and I got up.  Originally, I purchased an inexpensive pack of holiday-themed stamps and each child had a specific stamp assigned to them, and they didn't know which it was until I got up and told them:  Daughter #1 has the Teddy Bear, Son has Candy Cane, and so on.  The, now young adult, "kids," still like this tradition. 
3) Drop cloth tree skirt (seen best below).  These were all the rage a few years back, but I never got around to making one (I did make a grain sack tree skirt, though!).  Most of my fabric is packed up, but I didn't pack up drop clothes and have a few left from when I had my consignment store.  As luck would have it, there was a remnant that had just the right amount for this tree skirt.  Leaving it "as is" seemed rather plain, I had a Père Noël stencil from a previous project that added a nice touch.  For reference, it's 58" across (147 cm). 

The Baker
I've mentioned previously that since I've lost weight, my eating/cooking/baking habits have changed.  This Thanksgiving the only desserts I made were Rice Krispie treats for the grandkids, and for the adults me, Darling Husband and Daughter #1, I made pecan pie tarts.  The "problem" with Christmas baking is even when you aren't watching what you eat, there are so many good recipes, you can't make them all every year.  What is going to make the cut this Christmas?  Since the pecan tarts worked out so well and are easy to make, those are on the menu, again.  Since "mini" is where it's at this year, they will be joined by:  
1) Mini Christmas (fruit) cakes I haven't made a fruit cake in decades, but decided they sounded good this year.  (I already made one batch.  They were delicious, and although the fruit was soaked in Brandy, they didn't taste boozy at all.)  I packed up my regular muffin tin, so used my jumbo muffin tin and ended up with six.  
2) Mini chocolate cheesecakes  (Borrowing standard muffin tin from a friend!)  I haven't made these, yet, so I'm hoping they will be just as good.  A big advantage of making mini desserts is it's easier to stick to portion control.   From the recipes listed, I've found the overall batch is smaller, too, i.e. I've made cheesecakes in the past that use three blocks of cream cheese, the above recipe uses 1 1/2 blocks.

So, what does all of this have to do with lounging?  Since I'm not on a schedule, I can dress comfortably.  I am able to rest in between productive spurts, i.e., pace myself, enabling me to still get plenty of things done, or not.  There have also been many times when my to-do wishlist gets drastically truncated.  Creatively doing satisfies something in my soul.  Stopping let's me rest, reflect, and plan new projects!  
 

The Details
If you follow The Blended Blog, then you know today is getting cozy with "show us your pjs day."  Today, I have on my loungewear, a Ralph Lauren pj top (found on eBay while searching for a cotton leopard shirt, yes, I've worn it in public) the collar was "popped" to show the red matching my socks along with olive green sweatpants.  My Christmas pjs are a Ralph Lauren pair found at Stein Mart, shown in the widget, below.  The only jewelry (because everything else gets in the way!), a pair of Fossil earrings (similar).

The Takeaway
What about you?  How do you recharge and rejuvenate your mind or your body?  Do you have a "to do" wishlist?  What kinds of things have you done, or left undone?  



 



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