Well, I ordered some clothes. One top, two colors, three sizes. Am I the only person who does this? With free or flat-rate shipping and in-store returns, I get a bunch and see what fits. Sometimes the people taking the clothes back look at me like I'm nuts, but it makes perfect sense to me.
So here's the top:
in blue, and in purple:
We'll see which one wins. And while one top may not seem like any great shakes, I'm kinda pumped because it's a start.
As for the handmade, I'm still planning on the scarf, and then I remembered this awesome idea from Susan B. Anderson (love love love her blog; hers was the first that I followed and I am still in awe of her work). I was a little panicked about where I would find so many colors of yarn without spending a fortune, and then I remembered this project from the always-awesome Purl Bee, which uses this--a little different gauge, but I think I can make it work. So now I just have to keep an eye out for a cardigan. And when I order the yarn, I may have to get some more, or maybe some fabric, so as to amortize the shipping costs, of course. And I'm definitely making one of those trees, if not for this Christmas, then for next.
After my ordering "frenzy"--I did get some fall clothes for Alex, too--I got started on my Tuesday-during-school cooking day. Love having this big block of time set aside for this purpose. It's fun to cook with no distractions, it's efficient because I can do a bunch of things at once, and it's a great feeling to have so many things made and frozen or pantried.
Today, because I used some of the time otherwise, I did just 2.5 things: I made 20 cups of quick bread mix, and 2 loaves of banana bread, both from Make-a-Mix. This is officially the Best Idea Ever (am I the only one who didn't know about it? Got an inkling from this post and maybe everyone is already doing it, but it sure was a lightbulb for me). I did use whole wheat for half the flour and cut the sugar by a bit, but now I've got 2 excellent loaves of banana bread:
and 13 cups of the mix in my pantry.
I also did my own version of "making a mix"--I've been doing this for a while--by cooking the base of this chowder from an old, old Cooking Light. I used 3.5 lbs. of chicken breast (an especial bonus of making a big batch of this recipe is that I only have to endure the gross task of cutting chicken breast once rather than 3.5 times) and scaled the rest of the veggies, etc. accordingly. Cook that up (in olive oil; I do the bacon later on--oh, and put some celery in there, because soup needs celery), add broth concentrate, divide, and freeze. Then, I just thaw each bag, add water, and move right along with the recipe. Tastes like I made (rather than thawed) it that day, and I'll probably get 5 or 6 meals out of it. And, it's...