What I’m Lovin’ in May

Read on to hear all about what I’ve been lovin’ this month!

1. Me-Made-May

Have you noticed? The recaps have basically taken over the blog this month! 😉

In case you missed them, you can read my #MMMay17 recaps here: Week 1, Week 2Week 3 – stay tuned for Week 4!

2. Avocado Dye

Somehow I ran across the photo below from Ute on Instagram and fell head over heels for the hues created by Avocado dye.

Top to bottom: cotton gauze, linen, raw silk, raw silk 2x, stretch cotton. {source}

Ute recommends Rebecca Desnos’ eBook and I’ve since found a few other sources:

Have you ever used natural dyes? What was your experience like? Any tips?

My friend Shanika uses natural dyes quite often so I’m hoping maybe I can talk her into holding my hand for some avocado dyeing 😉

3. Trailer Stash Fabrics visited my local quilt guild!

A vintage trailer full of fabric, sewing notions & patterns is my idea of heaven. Gina and her trailer visited the Devine Quilters of SC (a local guild I’m a member of) for our May meeting. I purchased a new pattern and 3 colorways of Essex Linen along with some other sewing goodies – stay tuned for my Me-Made-May Week 4 recap to see what I got 😉

I wish I had more photos of the inside of the trailer – it was fabulous! You can read all about Trailer Stash Fabric here and follow along on Instagram here.

4. The ability to “hide” old embarrassing Instagram posts

I was an early adopter of Instagram so there are some photos from way back when that don’t necessarily mesh with my aesthetic now. I haven’t put this into practice yet {so if you want to see those embarrassing photos, better go search now 😉 }, but I’m planning to!

If you want to learn how to hide photos from your profile on Instagram without losing them forever, check out this post from Refinery 29.

5. The Hubs

He’s pretty cool! And this week we celebrated our 5th anniversary!

Five years later, I still don’t regret not having a wedding {read more about that in this post}. I know some people love all the pomp and circumstance [I’m lookin’ at you Mr. President!], but the idea of everyone staring at us during such an intimate moment makes my skin crawl.

Instead we’ve invested in experiences together. Traveling with your partner to a totally unfamiliar place is something I strongly recommend. Better yet, go somewhere that you can’t rely on your phone’s GPS to bail you out {like that time we got off the plane in London and the Hubs thought I had researched how we’d get from the airport to our airbnb…HAHAHA. Seriously not funny at the time, but it taught us a lot about we’d navigate tough situations together}.

low quality vacation selfie because formal photos are not our thing 😉

We’ve got a trip back to Canada planned next month so follow along on Instagram for road-trip photos!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Me-Made-May 2017: Week 3 recap

We’re on the home stretch! Week 3 of Me-Made-May has come and passed and now we’re on the downward slope of a month full of sporting me-made garments. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far 🙂

In case you missed it, you can catch up on Week 1’s recap here & Week 2’s recap here. Read on to see what I wore for Week 3!

 

Day 15: My 1st Out and About Dress

This is the first dress I ever made! The seams are kind of embarrassing. It was before I knew how to use a twin needle so it’s all zig-zag stitch which is fine, but I’m pretty sure I used a larger stitch than I should’ve and the thread is starting to show in spots and I’m always worried it’s going to “bust at the seams:\ Nonetheless, I still love it.

  • Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: fawn printed jersey knit from Girl Charlee {my colorway appears to be out of stock, but here are 2 similar prints: rose & aqua}
  • Blogged: here!

 

Day 16: My 2nd Out and About Dress

Variety is not a trait I’m known for so repeating patterns on back-to-back days happened a lot 😉

  • Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: a luxuriously soft mint colored knit I picked up at my local JoAnn’s
  • Blogged: here!

 

Day 17: Refashioned Housedress

My first repeat {from Week 1}! I have told y’all many times that this dress is one of my favorites…and it’s true. It’s so comfortable and I really do wear it almost weekly. #NoShame

I’m running out of steam for selfies (especially for repeats) so I shared a picture mostly of my pup Charlotte. She had surgery earlier in the week on her ear and recovery was rough. She’s doing much better now, but for a few days we were all kind of a wreck. The Hubs found her 8 years ago – she was in heat and appeared to have recently had puppies. I could go on and on about her, but I’ll just say: She’s the most amazing dog. ❤

 

Day 18: my 1st Fen Dress

Another repeat from Week 1! One of my projects launched this week so work has been a little crazy. It’s nice to be busy and it’s neat seeing something you’ve worked on so hard move out into the world. However, nothing ever goes as smoothly as planned. I needed my favorite outfits for comfort and reassurance which explains the repeats this week 😉

Also needed this week: yoga

 

Day 19: my 2nd Tank Dress

Another repeat from Week 1. It’s one of my favorite dresses. On this 2nd version, I moved the elastic casing on the back up to “petite-ify” it and it makes the fit just so much better!

Also, fun fact: My sister bought me this necklace when we were in high school. She got it from one of our favorite local shops that personalized everything which was all the rage in the suburbs where we grew up. I love it and still wear it almost every day. It’s so special and makes me think of her (and the sweet way she calls me “Jord“) every time I put it on.

  • Pattern: The Tank Dress by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: quilting cotton from my local JoAnn’s {I actually really love this pattern in quilting cotton}
  • Blogged: Not a stand-alone post, but it is a part of My most worn garments of 2016 list

 

Day 20: my navy blue Parkside Shorts

My friend Shanika just became a certified cycling instructor so I attended one of her spin classes with my friend Addie on Friday. I’ve forgotten how intense cycling is and I thought I would pass out several times (ha), but I loved it so much! I loved that my friend’s passion for this sweaty torture was contagious and that I had my other friend to my right willing to tell me stories about sewing and her latest research projects (and my new friend Jernell to my left who was singing along with every song which was pretty appropriate considering her latest podcast). They’re the coolest.

After class Shanika surprised me with a Lepidolite stone. It’s a great stone for anxiety and depression – something she knows I struggle with. My heart felt so happy that she thought of me and wanted to share her stone-love with me (and it’s really pretty!). She’s been talking all about stones on her podcast lately which I’ve been really enjoying – you can listen here!

  • Pattern: Parkside Shorts by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: some mystery fabric donated from someone’s attic. I don’t even know what to guess for it (I really need to learn more about substrates).
  • Blogged: not this specific version, but you can read my thoughts on the pattern in this post!

 

Day 21: sewing a Montlake Tee

Full disclosure: I spent the entire day indoors sewing {that’s what happens when the Hubs goes out of town} and did not wear anything cute or me-made. However, I did start sewing another Montlake Tee from some really thin, soft, super stretchy fabric that was kind of a nightmare to sew. My friend Addie reminded me about putting tissue paper under the fabric which helped some. I made it to the bottom hem before I ripped a hole in the shirt after it got stuck in my feed dogs. Then I chopped the hem off and it’s raw now (which I should’ve just gone with from the beginning to save myself the headache). I threw the shirt in time-out so I didn’t even try it on to see, but I’m afraid it may be a crop top now 😦

  • Pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs
  • Fabric: Rayon Spandex Jersey Knit in mauve from Fabric.com {similar fabric}
  • Blogged: no, but you can see my first Montlake Tee in Week 2

 

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. Fat shaming is never okay & we can all stand to be a little (LOT) more supportive of each other

This Woman Was Shamed for Wearing Shorts and She’s Speaking Outwas shared in a sewing group I’m a part of as a post of gratitude because the group has been and is so supportive of all shapes & sizes.

In fact, I have found the sewing community at-large to be one of the most supportive groups I’ve run across. Particularly garment sewists – perhaps because we see our proportions as measurements for a pattern rather than size labels from big-box-shops?

Whether you sew or not, the post is worth a read. We could all stand to be a little more supportive. I find the outfit in question very flattering for this curvy chick. Personally, I think she looks amazing.

#mmmay17 posts I’m lovin’ this week

Week 3 Reflections

This week the Hubs said “I like seeing you in clothes you make. You seem so much happier wearing those.” (I can’t guarantee those were his exact words because I have the memory of a peanut so I’m paraphrasing 😉 ).

There are so many benefits to sewing your own clothes: 1) you can customize the fit – well-fitting clothing will naturally make you feel much better, 2) you can customize the fabric/design – aka: you can make a dress with peaches on it or any other print that tickles your fancy/makes you smile, 3) wearing something you made with your own two hands is a serious confidence booster.

So, he’s right.

Wearing clothes I’ve made makes me feel more like ME. They are a true creative expression. I’m looking forward to growing my handmade wardrobe and exploring where it takes me!

Me-Made-May 2017: Week 2 recap

I’ve survived TWO Weeks of Me-Made-May which is so exciting! So far I’ve identified several holes in my handmade wardrobe (basic t’s, cardigans, work out clothes…). I have patterns already for the missing areas, but have yet to sew them. Finishing a dress for work is about a bajillion times more fabulous than sewing loungewear.

Check out Week 1’s recap here!

Day 8: my Popover Poncho

Plus, a pair of corduroys from Loft that had a gaping waistband until I tacked it – so does that count too? 😉

 

Day 9: Out and About Shirt

This might be my very-first-EVER [wearable] handmade garment. I was working on an Out and About Dress & had butchered a few already {word to the wise: don’t begin your adventures of garment sewing with knit…or maybe that’s the best part about being a beginner: You have no fear or knowledge of what you “should” fear. Whatever, just go for it}. I was feeling defeated until I was able to squeeze a shirt out of the leftover fabric. I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt afterward.

It took me a few months to recover from the experience, but I LOVED the Out and About Dress I finally [successfully] made {see it in this post}. I loved how it fit. I loved the fabric. I loved how I felt wearing it. I was hooked…

  • Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline {affiliate link} – modified by lengthening the bodice (but I’m not sure by how much. This was light years ago. I barely knew how to turn on my sewing machine) & omitting the skirt.
  • Fabric: some kind of knit. I think I found it at my local Hancock Fabrics.
  • Blogged: of course not.

 

Day 10: Peachy Fen Dress

Have you ever tried to take a photo with your dog? Geez, Louise.

Charlotte dog really couldn’t care less that we were wearing matching “outfits” which is really unfortunate because Mother/Daughter outfits are the coolest.

 

Day 11: Upcycled Montlake Tee

May 11th would’ve been my grandpa’s 82nd birthday. It was our first celebrating without him. My grandmother let me browse his closet a few weeks ago and I knew I wanted to refashion a piece of clothing to wear in his honor.

I transformed one of his shirts into my first Montlake tee. This refashion was so fun…and very therapeutic! Ironing clothing really brings out the scent. I love upcycling family member’s clothes because the scent fills my sewing room and brings a flood of special memories. I’ll blog all about this one day, but for now, here ya go:

  • Pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs
  • Fabric: entirely from my grandfather’s old shirt (it had little stretch like jersey but the feel of a ponte knit).
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

Day 12: my Parkside Skirt

  • Pattern: Parkside Skirt by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: mystery fabric that was donated to me from someone’s attic…I think it might have been a tablecloth at one point 😉
  • Blogged: mentioned in this post, but you can find a full review of the shorts from the pattern here!

 

Day 13: my Parkside Shorts

The Hubs & I got to spend Saturday with my sister and nephew which was wonderful! He’s now 2.5 months old and learning to smile which melts my heart {see a little grin in this picture}.

  • Pattern: Parkside Shorts by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: it was donated to my stash from someone’s attic, but it’s a lightweight denim & vintage floral scraps for the pocket accents.
  • Blogged: here!

 

Day 14: Tammy’s Tulip Shorts

I’ve been keeping these shorts a secret after testing the pattern a few weeks ago. They are a total favorite!! I wore them walking all around town on Sunday with complete comfort (to all my thigh-touching-sistas: there was no awkward riding up which means these are a total win). I made mine with self-made bias tape, but you can use lace or decorate trim for a little extra flair.

The BEST part about this pattern is that 1) it is one SALE – 25% off through midnight on 5/21 {shop here!}, and 2) you can buy the girls pattern too to make a matching set with your mini-me! In Sew Caroline’s collaboration with Simple Life Patterns, they released SIX ladies+girls matching patterns for Mommy-and-Me outfits which included these shorts. Shop the collection.

  • Pattern: Ladies Tammy’s Tulip Shorts by Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: more donated fabric from someone’s attic + self-made bias tape for trim.
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. Repair inspiration

Found a hole in a beloved sweater and not sure how to repair it? Check out how Fiona used tone-on-tone embroidery for mend her sweater! This may motivate me to spruce up my embroidery skills.

2. Pipe-cleaners [yes, those fuzzy wiry things we all played with as kids]

Less of a resource, more of a tip: Keeping a pipe-cleaner in my machine’s “drawer” (is that what the little case under your machine is called?!) is my new favorite thing. A sweet lady gave a wonderful demo at my last quilting guild meeting on how to clean your machine. I took mine apart a few weeks ago {proof here} and was surprised at the dust I pulled off. I’ve been using the pipe-cleaner for dusting each time I’ve used my machine since.

3. Allie J’s me-made wedding dress

It’s PINK!! If I’d had a wedding {read more about that decision here}, I would’ve definitely wanted a pink wedding dress.

I heard Allie talking about her dress on the latest Maker Style podcast episode and had go to searching for a photo. It sounded lovely – and it is.

4. Wardrobe Edit – this is a great post from Becoming Minimalist with 4 easy-to-follow tips on editing your wardrobe. Not only is this handy in paring down your handmade wardrobe to give you a good idea of styles/fabrics you most enjoy wearing {aka: what patterns & fabrics are worth your time & financial investment}, it’s also useful for non-sewists – anyone who wears clothes & is interested in enjoying what they’re wearing!

#mmmay17 posts I’m lovin’ this week

Week 2 Reflections

While my ready-to-wear [store bought] dresses are banned this month, I have been reflecting on those I miss most. My RTW clothes are very neutral – lots of black. While I love a good floral print or bold design, I really want to incorporate more neutrals into my handmade garments. I have been admiring the look of loose-fitting linen dresses lately. Linen can be quite an investment so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for oversized thrift store dresses that I can cut up and use 😉

I also have a maxi dress that I particularly love. It has an elastic waist, an overlay with full lining and no closures. It’s also the perfect length for me (I can even wear it with flat sandals). It’s one of the most comfortable dresses I own that still looks fancy. Being that I know how to sew which affords me the opportunity to make a dress any length, I should really consider a maxi!

Are you participating in Me-Made-May? What have you learned/discovered about your wardrobe?

Me-Made-May 2017: Week 1 recap

It’s my first year participating in Me-Made-May and if I’m being completely honest, I started stress sewing on the last day of April because I was already worried I was going to run out of clothes.

THEN I remembered this post from Heidi Parkes (a hand-quilter / creative mender / yoga teacher I discovered through QuiltCon & admire very much). Clothes are meant to be WORN. They’re meant to be loved and repaired. Repeating outfits just means I love my clothes enough to wear them again and again 😉

This reminds me of the quote “all my secrets are hidden in my seam allowances” 😉 {source}

All that said, you’ll definitely see some repeats this month…

For those of you not following along on Instagram [and also for those who want to know more about the outfits posted], I’m going to try to share a recap of my Me-Made-May posts each week on the blog so stay tuned!

My #MMMay17 pledge:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

As I warned in my first #mmmay17 post, get ready for an abundance of work-bathroom selfies this month! Somehow the new YMCA does not have any full length mirrors in the women’s locker room [can you even believe it?!] and I’m too awkward to ask fellow gym-goers or coworkers to assist…and I’m too impatient to wait until I get home for the day in hopes the Hubs could assist {because let me be honest, my PJ’s come on ASAP once I’m through the door from work so evening pictures would not be a great plan anyhow}. So, forgive me for these unprofessional documentations 😉

Day 1: My 1st Tank Dress

Day 2: My 1st Fen Dress

Day 3: Refashioned Housedress

Day 4: My 2nd Tank Dress

  • Pattern: The Tank Dress with optional elastic casing in the back (moved up a few inches to better match my natural waist) from Sew Caroline {affiliate link}
  • Fabric: quilting cotton from my local JoAnn’s
  • Blogged: On My most worn garments of 2016 list

Day 5: My long-sleeved Out and About Dress

Day 6: My London Backpack

I KNOW what you’re thinking. I’m already cheating by posting bags I’ve made instead of outfits. BUT I was totally honest in my pledge 😉 – I USE my bags [and accessorize with them] daily! Plus, I LOVE this bag. It’s one of my most used – especially for traveling or walking around town on the weekends.

PS: This photo was taken in front of the new Indah Coffee shop. If you’re local, go visit! Their coffee is great {also served at the Soda City market} & the shop looks like a delightful place to hang out [we were only there briefly before heading to the market but we’ll be back!]

  • Pattern: The London Backpack by LBG Studio
  • Fabric: Mostly scrap upholstery from my stash along with this Cath Kidston fabric I picked up when we went to England in 2014
  • Blogged: I’m embarrassed to admit that I have almost an entire post drafted but for some reason I haven’t shared it. Le sigh. I’ll add that to my list of things to eventually do (so stay tuned 😉 )

Day 7: my Day Tripper Top

How cute is this mug?! My sisters-in-law got it for me for Christmas & it’s a definite favorite.

  • Pattern: Day Tripper Top {short sleeved without shoulder tabs & bottom band} by Shwin Designs
  • Fabric: floral knit from my local Hancock Fabric before they closed. I wish I had a thousand yards of it – it’s so soft & beautiful!
  • Blogged: here!

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. These tips for custom fitting a pattern / handmade garment

Straight Stitch Designs mentioned this post in her recent newsletter about Me-Made-May and highlighted the same quote that jumped out at me:

Ego has no place in a well fitting garment.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on making more advanced fitting alterations to garments I’m making. After viewing most of this Intro to Fitting video from the Blank Slate Patterns team, I realized there are many more fit options out there that may be applicable in helping me love my handmade wardrobe even more.

2. The Reggie wrap dress pattern just released by Seamwork Magazine

I’ve already used a credit to claim it. My Spring/Summer to-sew list just grew by one very cute, loose-fitting wrap dress…those sleeves make the 90’s child in me so happy!

3. The Self-Created Podcast with Jernell & Shanika

One of my favorite things to do while sewing is to listen to podcasts. My favorite right now is the Self-Created Podcast. My creative bestie (Shanika) is a co-host and I could listen to these gals talk forever. They discuss some really interesting topics. Browse their episodes and find one that speaks to you – I think you’ll love it. {PS: I got multiple shout-outs in the last episode so it gets my recommendation 😉 }

Week 1 Reflections

I’m really enjoying participating in Me-Made-May. It’s giving me a whole new outlook on my handmade wardrobe and forcing me to take a second look at some of my less-worn handmade garments to think about how I can incorporate them back in or alter them to be a favorite (or cut them up for a new project 😉 ).

Posting pictures of myself day-after-day is pretty awkward. I’ve really appreciated all of the positive feedback and encouragement on Instagram. I’ve also loved seeing everyone else’s photos and browsing the #mmmay17 hashtag.

What I’m Lovin’ in April

This month’s list crosses a wide variety of topics – I hope you enjoy 😉

1. Making Facebook more pleasant

Like [probably] everyone else, I try to limit the time I spend aimlessly scrolling {see, I haven’t forgotten my New Moon intentions!}. However, because I run social media accounts for several groups/organizations including my office {where I’m known as the “Twitter Guru” ha!}, it’s important that I stay plugged in most of the time. The best solution for me is to ensure I am using the platforms efficiently.

Earlier this month, I found an article titled How to Customize Your Facebook News Feed to Maximize Your Productivity in the latest Buffer newsletter and put the tips into practice. I’m happy to report I’m loving the results.

I learned how to…

  • set my Facebook News Feed to show posts chronologically rather than just by popularity {I wish I knew how to do this for Instagram…}.
  • ask Facebook to show less posts like one currently in view if I don’t care for the topic.
  • “hide” that obnoxious 3rd cousin whose posts are really annoying without him finding out.

2. Smiling with people who matter to me

becoming minimalist shared this quote on Facebook the day the Hubs and I set off on our way to visit his family {perfect timing!}. I always love roadtrips together – no matter the distance – because of the time we get to share with just the 2 of us.

Spring is always a little crazy for us. Lacrosse season picks up in spring and the Hubs is coaching on weekday afternoons…along with his own hockey games sprinkled in, I often only get a few hours during the weekdays to see him. Having his undivided attention [even while stuck in a car] is something I don’t take for granted 🙂

3. Free Patterns

I found Passion and Pins via Maker Style‘s Monthly Edit newsletter then stumbled across her post: Sewing the Trends with Free Patterns.

Usually I find myself browsing free pattern lists feeling totally uninspired. As Anna Maria Horner said about a free pattern during one of her workshops I took “You get what you pay for” which is often how I feel with those.

BUT not with Katie’s list! The patterns she found for Spring/Summer 2017 are lovely!

4. Maker Style’s Monthly Edit newsletter

I mentioned it above and wanted to circle back so I can tell you how great it is. I have been loving listening to the Maker Style podcast while I sew so it’s no surprise that I love Rachel’s newsletter too. I thought I had signed up for it until I saw her post on IG and realized I hadn’t so I hopped on over immediately and am glad I’m in the know now!

Rachel gives shout-outs in the newsletter to fellow makers. I always love seeing patterns “in action” so finding other sewists making styles I am interested in keeps me inspired and I appreciate Rachel gathering them up to share!

You can read all about the Monthly Edit here and sign up!

5. Visual lines your clothes draw

My gosh! This post from Feathers Flights about why she half-tucks her shirts created a major a-ha! moment. I don’t often wear separates, but when I do I often find myself feeling so frumpy [aka: even-shorter-than-usual] if my shirt is un-tucked. I usually opt for the full-tuck {because I’m 90}, but I’ll definitely be trying the half-tuck out!

If you often take pictures of yourself modeling clothes, you will want to check out Heather’s post!

6. Me Made May {sign up here!}

For a few years now, I’ve been following along and admiring everyone’s Me-Made-May posts on Instagram and contemplating participating. Well, I’m excited to say I’m officially signed up!

Here’s the challenge I’ve made for myself:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

My pledge isn’t as creative as some of the ideas Zoe suggested, but I really love seeing the daily posts from everyone else and I wanted to stick with something I knew I could handle 😉

If you want to see my daily posts in May, follow me on Instagram!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Vegan Breakfast: A protein bar to kick start your day

This is literally the best breakfast bar I’ve ever made!

I’ve been making them weekly since my friend Leesa brought a batch to QuiltCon {her version involved dried cranberries & were probably healthier, but I believe in eating dark chocolate by 9am everyday so mine are slightly more dessert-ish 😉 }.

While I’m not entirely vegan, I don’t eat a lot of dairy and I struggle with high protein breakfast options (or breakfast options with much protein at all…). I also start my day at the gym so preparing my breakfast at home isn’t conducive to my morning routine.

Thus, these high protein energy bars [that just-so-happen to be vegan] are amazing!

Warning: This post is going to be short and sweet. I’ve always dreamed of posting really beautiful recipe photos documenting the entire process and all ingredients, but let’s face it – I’m impatient and you need this recipe more than you need pretty photos. 

I used the No Meat Athlete’s Ultimate Vegan Energy Bar formula to construct these. I love the options – if you don’t have something I’ve used, try replacing it with one of the other options. BUT if you have all of my ingredients, use those! I’ve tried a few different combinations and the one I’ve landed on below is pure bliss. 

Best Ever High-Protein Vegan Energy Bars Recipe

Makes 12.

Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350 because the prep work doesn’t take too long.

FIRST

Wet Ingredients (combine these in your food processor)

  • 1 can Great Northern Beans (or white beans) – rinse & drain the beans using a sieve
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 mashed banana (you want it to be a few days old so the peel is starting to speckle/turn just-a-bit brown so it’ll be sweeter 😉 )
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I’ve had the most success with Trader Joe’s peanut butter which contains the bare basics – peanuts & salt. You can also make your own PB with some peanuts & a Magic Bullet/food processor)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

SECOND

Dry Ingredients (compile these separately and add to the food processor after the wet ingredients are smooth-ish-ly blended)

  • 1.5 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter flavored Protein Powder (I use this kind)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I have been using Pink Himalayan Salt because it’s what I had closest. Sea salt is recommended, but I’m sure you’d survive with table salt)

THIRD

Once the wet ingredients are smooth and you’ve added the dry ingredients to your food processor, add 1 cup dark chocolate chips and pulse a few times. Go easy! You do not want to chop your dark chocolate chips, you just want to attempt to evenly-ish distribute them. {If you’re not lazy like me, you could stir them in by hand…but that mix gets sticky and my arms aren’t exactly muscular so I pass on that}

FOURTH

Line a 13×9″ glass pan with parchment paper.

Dump mixture onto the parchment paper in the glass pan.

Flex your arm muscles and spread it as best you can in the pan (have I mentioned it’s really sticky?)

FIFTH

Bake at 350 degrees for about 17 minutes.

SIXTH 

Let it cool then cut into 12 bars.

Store in the fridge.

To make your life easy, go ahead and put the bars into individual zip-lock bags so you can quickly grab-n-go.

I try to keep it healthy as often as I can (and I do like yoga..), but this chihuahua sums up my true feelings…

Enjoy the recipe, y’all!

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Sewing Wish List: 10 Patterns for Spring/Summer

There are so many patterns floating around right now that I’m lusting after! Today I’m sharing a few that are on my sewing “wish list” that I think would be perfect for spring and summer.

1. Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson

I have been dreaming of a v-neck, wrap top dress for a while and haven’t found one that caught my fancy until Allie of Indie Sew released the Highlands Wrap Dress.

A flowy version – perhaps a large-print floral rayon? – is on the short list of dresses I’m considering for a wedding I’ll be attending this summer.

Highlands Wrap Dress inspirationThis long version is pretty sexy and has me wondering if I should try the maxi length. Also totally smitten with Leslie’s nani IRO version!

2. The Orla Dress – Free pattern from French Navy

Y’all know my love of a cinched waist dress so as soon as I saw this pattern I knew it was one I’d want to try!

Orla Dress inspiration: I am completely smitten with Rachel’s plaid version and her floral version.

3. Off-the-Shoulder Dress – Free tutorial from Megan Nielsen

I’m really not one for trendy attire and have been particularly detesting most of the cold-shoulder trends as of late, BUT one iteration of this trend has me swooning: a ruffled off-the-shoulder dress.

I absolutely hate strapless bras + have gotten pretty conservative in my dress-ware as I’ve aged so I’m not totally sure this is a style I’ll embrace…however, Megan Nielsen has what appears to be an incredibly easy tutorial for making this dress that I just might give a try because it looks so stinkin’ easy and I think it might be appropriate for that summer wedding I mentioned earlier 😉

4. Dottie Angel Frock / Simplicity 1080

I picked up this pattern on sale at JoAnn’s quite a while ago. The pattern looks fairly simple and I love a dress with pockets.

5. Darling Ranges by Megan Nielsen

I picked up this pattern from Five Eighth Seams on a trip to Charleston last year. I finally got the nerve up to start the pattern over my holiday break. I got about half way done and hung it in my sewing room closet where it has been gathering dust for a few months. This is such a bad habit of mine. I’m planning to get back to it very soon so I can wear it for summer (it’s made from a beautiful voile – see it here! – that’ll be delightful during those hotter-than-hot summer days that await).

6. Montlake Tee from Straight Stitch Designs

I’m in need of some basic shirts. I purchased the Montlake paper pattern from Straight Stitch Designs a while ago knowing it would be a staple. From the scoop neck to flowy body of the shirt, I love this simple flattering design.

I also have Kimberly’s View Ridge pattern. It’s not a style my closet is in dire need of right now, but it’s definitely on my to-sew-soon list!

7. Watson Bra by Cloth Habit

I don’t have this pattern in my stash yet, but I’ve been admiring it pretty intensely for over a year now. I bought a beautiful bra-making-kit from Mercer’s Fabric while visiting Boston last year that I’m planning to finally use 😉

Watson inspiration: this simple gray version by Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs, this pretty blue lace version by Grainline Studio, basically all version on the #WatsonBra hashtag on IG. Very impressed with how Erin turned it into a Nursing Bra!

Other bralette patterns I’m loving:

Resources: Ohhh Lulu has a great post on how to take your own measurements. Cloth Habit has a sew along for the Watson bra that I will certainly utilize. According to Sarah’s FAQ video, bralettes are totally wearable for almost all bust sizes!

8. Shoreline Boatneck Dress by Blank Slate Patterns

I’ve already made a tunic and I wear it as often as possible because it is so stinkin’ comfortable.

Shoreline Boatneck inspiration: I really love the pattern because of its versatility and I’ve been dreaming of re-creating Melissa’s cinched waist version which reminds me a little of the Fen Dress, but I really prefer the comfort of a set-in sleeve so I’m leaning towards the Shoreline Boatneck for this upcycle plan…

My grandmother gave me a few of my grandpa’s shirts the other week and I have an idea bouncing around in my head that I can’t wait to get started on!

I’m planning to follow this Shoreline hack using his white linen button up shirt for the top of the dress and some army green rayon I found at JoAnn’s when testing the Auberley dress for the bottom.

9. Maxi Circle Skirt – By Hand London has a calculator!

I’m not huge on maxi dresses because 1) I’m so short, 2) I rarely have enough fabric, 3) the summer humidity where I live is best suited for uncovered legs 😉

BUT I have some Birch Floral rayon from Rifle Paper Company’s Les Fleurs collection that I think would be so lovely as a circle skirt! If I end up not having enough for a maxi, I’ll go with a midi or mini.

Maxi Circle Skirt inspiration: Mac of Harper+Lu made a gorgeous maxi circle skirt and has some tips for using By Hand London’s circle skirt calculator.

10. Sleeveless Auberley Dress by Blank Slate Patterns

I participated in the first round of testing for the Auberley, but unfortunately couldn’t move to round 2 because I was going out of town so I don’t actually have a finished version 😦 It’s been on my list for a while – the construction of the bodice was actually pretty neat and I enjoyed it quite a bit (it was my first time lining a bodice!).

Auberley inspiration: I really love Melissa’s sleeveless version! Plus, you know I’m a sucker for a cinched waist & pockets 😉 Also head-over-heels for this embroidered version!!

Limiting myself to 10 patterns was tough! There are loads, loads, loads more on my list. Perhaps this is why I have such a hard time focusing on / finishing a project?! Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed the list!

Tell me what you’re sewing for spring/summer in the comments below {because – let’s face it – I need more patterns on my wish list! 😉 }