My Favorite Time of the Year

Chai + a workbook =  happiness.

Chai + a workbook = happiness.

If there is one thing I know how to do, its wind myself up. Thinking of what I should be doing, could be doing, want to be doing and have coming up. So right now is pretty much the perfect time to get worked up. To tell the truth, the first draft of this blog post was much longer. It was a detailed account of what is going on and what is stressing me out. But boring friends and strangers with all that crap during a season of celebration seems in bad taste. Plus, the things I have to get worked up about are classic first world problems and therefore, not real problems. So here is fun stuff I have been up to.

I know I already mentioned this, but I finally set up my Etsy shop. I haven’t done much in the way of promotion yet, but I plan on really diving in after the new year. I’m just really proud of myself for just following through on one small step.

My husband said this reminds him of Invader Zim. I will take that as a compliment.

My husband said this reminds him of Invader Zim. I will take that as a compliment.

The creative momentum is starting to work in my favor again. Little Q is taking longer breaks in between feedings and sleeping longer at night, so I am getting more breaks for drawing and painting. I currently have three paintings in progress in my studio, all of which should be listed in my shop pretty soon. I have also been getting some ideas rolling for an upcoming art auction. One of my high school art teachers passed away a few years ago, and her student organized an art auction in her memory. The money raised went to scholarships for art students. This coming February, they are running another auction and I have to have my contribution in by the end of next month. Last time I made an altered book (which I really liked) but this time, I am doing a painting. I am hoping that will make it appeal to more people and raise a bit more money.

My last Christmas gift is done. A week earlier than last year! But next year I want to try REALLY hard to get gifts done before Thanksgiving. I can dream, can't I?

My last Christmas gift is done. A week earlier than last year! But next year I want to try REALLY hard to get gifts done before Thanksgiving. I can dream, can’t I?

I've been holding onto this hot pink felt for about six years. Now that has finally been justified.

I’ve been holding onto this hot pink felt for about six years. Now that has finally been justified.

I have been thinking about the past year and the year ahead. Part of me knows that the New Year is nothing more than an arbitrary mark in time that doesn’t actually mean anything when it comes to change or growth or progress. It’s significance is assigned by people. Buuuut since it’s also my birthday and everyone gets so worked up about it, it is a darn good time to reflect and rethink. Plus, I love worksheets. I was wandering around the internet and found the workbook pictured above. I’m about halfway through, and it’s really fun. The writer created a great balance between serious insight and fun exercises. And none of them are really over-the-top strange. As long as I am not asked to draw and name a spirit animal, then do an interpretive dance about that animals feelings about the year 2013, I am happy. In working through the exercises, I am gaining some interesting insights on how much progress I really have made in my life. In mapping out the next year, I am feeling excited and light.

And it wouldn’t be a holiday blog post without a mention of food. My daughter’s birthday party was on Sunday, and I made Oreo cupcakes. If you’ve ever eaten a cupcake and said “Hey, this needs cookies!”, then this recipe is for you. I did the math, and there are 2.5 Oreos in each cupcake. In simple terms, they are hella delish. Really, really killer. It is worth mentioning I did half the frosting though. I am not a fan or huge piped piles of sugar. Besides sugar, I have also been getting back into the swing of cold weather cooking. Chicken pot pies, tortilla soup, mushroom walnut stew. Wonderful. As much as I love brats and onion rings in the summer, I love roasting and slow cooking so much more. On that note, if you need a new cookbook and aren’t sure what to get, I recommend Jamie’s America. I won this earlier in the year and just now got around to trying it now. So far, so good. I love all of his cookbooks because they are accessible recipes, but not boring. So many recipes claim to be easy but have ingredients you will never find. Or they have so many stupid steps when things could be easy. His books are always a win.

So I didn’t make this post any shorter, but it’s a whole lot happier. Talking about food and paint is a much better thing for a mid-week read, isn’t it? Hopefully now you feel like going to the grocery store to get Oreos and cream cheese for a mid-week pick-me-up of your own.

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