Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome Great Pumpkin!

In honor of Chris' very favorite Halloween cartoon...

Have a great Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Faves

Run to Feed the Hungry ~

An event I did last year and absolutely loved! It is a Thanksgiving morning 5k/10k. This year I am running the 10k and couldn't be more excited because it is the kickoff to my marathon training program. For those of you out of the loop, I am still running a marathon, it will just be a little later than I originally anticipated(more on that later). While running last night I realized the run is exactly 4 weeks away, which means I am behind on sending emails for fundraising. Last year I was able to raise $500 for families in need...thanks to a lot of you! The really cool thing about Run to Feed The Hungry is that every single dollar donated means $10 worth of food products given to those in need! So if you think about it, a $20 donation would mean $200 of groceries!! I really appreciate what the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services does and love being able to support them in this way! If you would like to read more about it, check out their website! Here is the link to my fundraising page if you feel so inclined:)

What do you believe in? ~ I'm with Audrey on this one!

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
— Audrey Hepburn

Lovely food for the weekend ~

As usual, I have great plans for cooking and baking this weekend and I can't wait to share with you! Here's a little peek at what I have on the menu:

McDreamy ~

Oh yes, I am ridiculously obsessed with Gray's Anatomy right now! I don't know if I am just realizing this, but the writing is actually really good! Last night's episode was fantastic and all I can say is, if I ever have an inoperable tumor on my spine, I'd want Dr. Shephard to operate on it, too;)

Halloween ~

Have any great plans for this festive weekend? We will be having chili with family, celebrating my Dad's birthday and attending the 90th birthday party of Chris' great grandmother!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nice Dreams

How awesome is this mug?! I really want to buy them for me and Chris:)

Just When You Thought the Apple Fun was Over...

Last night I had a girl's night with two of my friends, Laura and Nicole and it was well overdue! Nothing beats good food, wine and caramel apple making! And to add to the girly merriment, Nicole recently got engaged so I FINALLY got to hear all the fun details from the extremely giddy and adorable bride-to-be!!

After planning to make a crock pot soup and then realizing yesterday afternoon that I forgot to put it in the crock pot, I went to plan B and made Whole Foods' Hearty Minestrone Soup. Thank goodness for my trusty online recipe box!

We even made an apple for each of our boys:)

I had so much fun with you girls!

Happy Thursday! Am I the only one stunned that November 1st is this Sunday?!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

Last night I experimented with my own applesauce and to my delight, it was a success! To do so, I used the Vita-Mix, which took a total of about 25 seconds! I heart my Vita-Mix!

All I did was quarter the apples and toss them in the carafe (skin, core and all) with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and blend on variable 6 for 20-30 seconds. And of course, top with a few teaspoons cinnamon to spice it up. Delicious!

Doing things like this makes me really excited to make my own baby food! That is not a hint, I'm juts sayin' when that time comes, you know what I'll be doing.

I realize I refer to my Vita-Mix a lot, but you just don't understand how amazing this machine really is! The past year we've had ours, we have made countless smoothies, hot soups, cold sorbet, applesauce, peanut butter, other nut butters, hummus, pesto, salsa, batter, sauces and marinades, fresh orange juice, honey butter and with the dry carafe you can even grind your own flours! Not only does it help to create healthy, simple meals and snacks, but it is a cinch to clean up! It really is the appliance of all appliances! Check it out. It would make a fantastic Christmas present:)

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Words To Live By

I am simply reposting this from an email because I absolutely LOVE it:

*It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it.

*Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

*Pay off your credit cards every month.

*When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

*Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

*Frame every so called "disaster" with these words, "In five years, will this matter?".

*Forgive everyone everything.

*Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

*However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

*If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we would grab ours back.

*Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

*No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

*Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Hill and Roasted Tomatoes & Garlic

This weekend we took our much anticipated trip to Apple Hill! We decided to go without our pup this year. It turned out to be a wonderful 78 degree and very busy day! We made our way to our two favorite places and brought home 8lbs. of apples, Chris' all-time favorite apple juice (unpasteurized, of course), apple butter and their famous apple pie! We also purchased a Christmas ornament, a seemingly new tradition of ours:)

I am so stoked about the apples we picked out this year. As always, I got several Granny Smiths for baked apples (my favorite!), caramel apples and other baking needs, a few Gravenstein apples for homemade apple sauce and Chris threw in some other less known red varieties for snacking:)

Sunday night was incredibly relaxing for us. As usual, I was a busy little bee after church, getting the house put together, Chris watched football and then we went for a run together. For dinner I gave into a craving I've had for several days: roasted tomatoes and garlic! I simply tossed them into whole wheat linguini and added freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano. It was nothing short of delicious!

And Chris felt like celebrating, so we popped open a bottle of Chandon's Brut and paired with a delightful slice of warm apple pie!

Definitely a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Million Dollar Idea

I've always wanted to be one of those ingenious minds who comes up with a really cool, practical idea or invention. Since we've been married, Chris and I have become huge fans of Redbox. Huge fans may even be an understatement! We will go through periods of renting 3 or 4 movies a week, especially when it's rainy and cold outside. And the best thing is, it is ridiculously cheap and right across the street from us. Although, if you know about RB, you know that you can rent a movie at one machine and return it at a totally different machine (more on that in a minute). Think about it, how brilliant: one movie, one night, one dollar! Who really needs a movie for more than one night anyway? Why didn't I think of that?!

You are probably thinking, "Yeah, yeah, Kate. We all know about Redbox." But here's where the real genious comes in. While we were traveling on Friday, I really wanted to watch a movie on the plane, but they cost a whoping $8! Seriously?! Obviously we didn't pay the grossly overpriced fee. But, while waiting for our flight on Tuesday Chris discovered a Redbox in the airport. Brilliant I tell you! So we were able to rent and watch a movie on the flight and return it when we got home. So next time you are traveling with your laptop, you know where to find cheap entertainment!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Today I received Crate and Barrel's Christmas catalog in the mail. I decided to cozy up with a cup of tea while I browsed through it. Not only did I make my tea in my new pretty mug, but I brewed one of my all time favorites, Aveda's signature tea! You know, the kind they give you a sample of when you walk in the store. It is so very good and I find myself saving it for special days. And friends, I consider C&B's Christmas catalog to be special! It means the holiday season is just around the corner:) Now all I need is some Christmas music...


Until I was a Freshman in college, I was an only child. Since then I have gained one brother, three sisters and have one more on the way. It always makes me laugh when I tell people these cute little kids are my siblings and they give me a double take! I absolutely adore them and savor each and every visit we get with them, and of course my Dad and Rebecca! :)

This visit was different than usual since they have recently moved from Chicago to the small, cute town of Danvillle, Indiana. This trip was our first since they moved earlier this year and we had a blast! It's always fun to switch it up and experience something new!

We couldn't have chosen a better time to visit as Fall has fully set in and the weather was amazing! Our visits get better and better each time because as the kids get older we become more familiar to them. In fact, this trip they didn't need any time to warm up to us. On Saturday morning (we got in late Friday night) they were sneaking in our room and excitedly discussing how to wake us up. Their conclusion? Turn on the loud saw on Nathan's tool bench and stare at us until we woke up...yep, that did the trick:)

My two oldest sisters, Audrey and Ava, are absolute dolls! They seriously couldn't be any cuter (and different). I love seeing how their personalities are developing as they grow up. This entire trip Audrey continued finding our similarities and calling us twins. I even wore my pink headband to match hers:) Ava is a hoot and definitely loves Chris! And then there's precious Madeline who is almost a year and a half and just takes it all in.

We also got the pleasant surprise of spending some time with my Aunt Lyn, Uncle Jim and cousin Samantha while we were there. My Aunt and Uncle live in Illinois and Samantha was visiting from N. Carolina for the week (I haven't seen Samantha in 7 years!). Needless to say, it was wonderful to see them! We drove to their house on Saturday and stayed the night, leaving Sunday afternoon. My Aunt made us a fantastic homemade meal, which was delicious, and we got to do some catching up:) I would also like to brag on my Aunt and Uncle who completed the Chicago marathon last weekend, which was also my Aunt Lyn's birthday! They're rad, I know! My Dad actually joined them, even though he hadn't run in 7 weeks (whatever...;).

Monday we went to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and got to tour the ground, which was fun! And now that I've been there, I may actually take some interest in the event:)

And we spent Tuesday in Indianapolis, which turned out to be an amazing day! A lot of walking, a trip to the Eiteljorge Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the NCAA Hall of Champions made for a fantastic day! Fun museums and perfect weather, right up my alley! Our flight didn't leave until 7pm, which gave us a full day.

I can't say enough good things about our trip and I am anxiously looking forward to visiting next year and meeting the new baby!

Chris helping Audrey with the monkey bars:)

Madeline and Audrey

With my Aunt Lyn and Samantha:)Can you tell we're related?


Chris is always so popular!


Chris "kissing the bricks" at the finish line of the Indianapolis Speedway!

The whole family!

Oh, happy times!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to The Grind

Good morning and happy Wednesday!! We're back and I can't believe I feel so alert today! After a very long and uncomfortable flight that arrived in Sacramento at 10:45 last night, getting home at 11:40 and finally sinking into bed at midnight, I never imagined I would wake up as easily as I did this 4am!

Our four day trip to Indiana was absolutely wonderful! But, given my lack of time this morning and my pictures still being on my camera, I think I'll wait to blog about our trip so it can get the full post it deserves. Keep you eyes peeled for it:)

The word today is BUSY! That's what happens when you take 2 days off work to have fun with your cutie little sibs!

Just a little glimpse into our weekend:

Nathan and Audrey

Talk to ya soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leavin' On a Jet Plane...

The Hansen's are headed to Indiana in t-minus 8 hours! We're packed, ready to go and literally bubbling over with excitement! Good luck getting me to focus on work today. Can't wait to tell you all about our trip next Wednesday. Until then, have a marvelous weekend!

Can't wait to see these cute little faces...

And this one, who has grown up so much since last November!

Much love!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That's A Lot Of Days!

Out of nowhere today I decided to pull up our wedding website. I had no idea it was still active! Anyway, I looked at the wedding counter and it says Chris and I have been married for 481 days! Kinda seems like a long time when you put it that way:) Naturally, I began reminiscing about that magnificent day...

I think I speak for both of us when I say we still feel this giddy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cardigan Love

I know, I know, you've heard it before, I am obsessed with Fall clothes! But take a peek at these cardigans from Anthropologie and you won't have to ask why! Simply darling!!

I am currently cozied up in my new sweater from Anthro, which I have completely fallen in love with!

Daisy Duo Cardigan

Chroma Kimono Cardigan

Tie-Dye Foliage Cardigan

Frilled and Thrilled Cardigan

Gumshoe Sweatercoat

Hmm...**pleasant sigh**. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

“I'll Be There For You”

How much do you love this?! The author of A Cup of Jo just posted it as one of the poems she had read at her wedding:) So sweet and cute!

I'll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind's in a mess and your head's in a spin
When your plane's been delayed, and you've missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you're looking your age
When your coffee's too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said, “Fine,” but you're out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident's bay

And return to discover you've been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don't reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear...
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you've got the flu, when you're in a stew
When you're last in the queue, don't feel blue
'cause I'm telling you, I'll be there.

by Louise Cuddon

In A Pinch

I like to believe I am a minimalist when it comes to food. Contrary to how I grew up, with a pantry always stocked beyond what we really needed for a family of three, I prefer to buy only what we need for the week. For one, it keeps the grocery bill down and gives me the ability to buy only the freshest and best quality ingredients. And secondly, it eliminates waste, which is a huge pet peeve of mine!

With that being said, I do believe in good sense and always attempt to have neccesities on hand (thanks, Mom!). For example, beans, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, pasta, oatmeal, etc. Basically, the things we always use and won't go bad.

On Sunday I went grocery shopping (my favorite chore) and bought everything we needed for the week, or so I thought. As I was pulling everything out last night to prepare the Turkey Sausage and Farro Soup I had planned, I realized I had just used the last can of diced tomatoes and forgot to put them on my "All Out Of" list. After all, why would I think to check the pantry when we always have several cans? Realizing I didn't really have time to go to the store before Chris got home, I rummaged through the pantry for a quick solution and to my relief found a box of Whole Foods brand Tomato Basil Soup I bought a few weeks ago "for one of those days". Phew! Thankfully, Tomato Basil Soup and Panini's is always a great substitute!

So the moral of the story here is that it's always a good idea to have simple go-to things like soup on hand!

Our dinner ended up being so yummy! And tonight I shall once again attempt the Turkey Sausage and Farro Soup:)

Delicious black forest ham, smoked gouda and roasted red pepper paninis!

BTW, this Tomato soup is fantastic!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Domestic Bliss

Today has been the best day off in a very long time. For one, I woke up at 7am! That's right, 3 more hours of sleep than a typical Monday. It was glorious and to top it off, I had a half pot of coffee all to myself. Secondly, my house was already clean, so I have actually been able to enjoy my clean house. And finally, I have had a chance to do all the things that usually get put off because everyday things always take priority. For instance, I totally cleaned out and organized our dresser this morning. Not only did it need it desperately, but I can finally cross that off my never-ending list! Oh, and how could I forget, I also got to work out in the morning, which always makes me happy. And currently I am scheming to re-decorate our bedroom:) So I've got my paint color picked out and unwanted goods posted to Craig's list. And it's only lunch time!

But I am quite sure the best thing about having today off was getting to stay up late with Chris last night. I think I've said before our schedules are pretty different since I have an early shift and he is naturally a night owl. I loved having no worries last night and NO bedtime! I even made our all time favorite banana bread, which we enjoyed for breakfast together:) Yep, it's been a wonderful long weekend!

Oh, and I almost forgot to share that we had a little pumpkin painting party on Saturday! The results were fabulous and I'm pretty sure this will be a yearly tradition. Here's a peek at what we did:

Family trip to the pumpkin patch!

Picking out just the right ones!


The two big ones are for Chris to carve later.

I loved the animal print that my Mom and Jeannine decided to do!

Happy Columbus Day!
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