Friday, December 31, 2010


Hi there! Whew, this last week of 2010 has flown by and I haven't even gotten to share about Christmas. What with Chris working like crazy, family in town and attempting to get even more done to our house before Chris' birthday and my Pampered Chef party in a few weeks, blogging has been a bit difficult. Don't worry though, that won't stop me from sharing a few pics!

I am always so thankful for the holidays. In addition to the obvious reasons we celebrate Christmas, I am always grateful for the opportunity to spend time with dear friends and family! And of course, it was wonderful having my Grandma and aunt here to celebrate with us!

I think it's safe to say that my husband made out like a bandit this year with the thoughtful and generous gifts from our family! Everything he received was perfectly suited for a new homeowner. As his power drill completely died just after we moved in, he got a brand new one, plus a Little Giant ladder system, a shop vac and a dremel. And not to mention all the other useful gadgets like a new level and such. And let me assure you, I've already had him put it all to good use working on a new project each night...and slowly, but surely it's all coming together!

I can't wait to share new pics of the house as we received some beautiful additions that I've been wanting like glass amber lamps from Crate and Barrel, a console and matching side tables for the living room and a beautiful stainless faucet for the kitchen {which is so amazing!}. Plus, Jeannine (Chris' mom) made pillows for the cozy room that say "warm" & "cozy", with her own drawings of a nest and "love birds"! It's wonderful to see everything come together and really feel like ours!

With out further ado, here's a glimpse of our holiday. Including Christmas Eve at Pop's, my parents for a crab feast {YUM}, Christmas morning at our house, then at each of our parents house's and Christmas brunch!

Now that you're all caught up, how are you planning to ring in the new year? We are having family over for some yummy fondue! Can't wait to toast to a brand new year! Have a good one!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, friends! Hope it's filled with friends and family, love and happiness, delicious eats and wonderful treats! See you next week!

The Hansen's

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Beauty Sleep...

I'm not entirely sure my dogs appreciate me being home during the day. It seems to interrupt their beauty sleep:

The huge pile of laundry didn't deter Abby.

Nor did the made bed bother Max, he just tucked himself right in.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Homemade Christmas

I have always been a sucker for homemade goods! The fact that someone would think about me in advance to get creative with presents is simply wonderful! But I come from a long history of very crafty people, so I guess it's in my blood.

This Christmas, in addition to the gifts I picked out for friends and family, I wanted to add my own element of homemade. And since I know my friends love a good chai tea, I decided to make a big batch of dry chai mix, and can it in individual jars. Just pop a piece of fabric between the lid, tie a note with twine around the top and call it a day! So simple, yet cute and useful! I love how it turned out and am now brainstorming some other great things that would make good gifts for next year!

That is, of course, in addition to the homemade cookies, fudge and peppermint bark that I also give away every year!

What about you? What are some lovely homemade gifts you've done or received?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

She Came Bearing Gifts

Leave it to Grandma to complete my Christmas decor. When they stopped by yesterday morning, she came bearing this lovely! Exactly what our front door needed to say, "Happy Christmas!". I love it!

Well, I'm off for a shopping date with my mom and grandma-isn't that the best combo?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chalk it up to Paint

Hello and happy Monday! As I shared Friday, I am off work the next few days {yay!}, but I wanted to share a fun little project I recently completed.

With the new house, we have a new found bar area-a wonderfully unexpected little addition! And so, I felt it necessary to define the area, and also found it a perfect excuse to finally make these delightful chalkboard platters!

I have been seeing these everywhere and am totally smitten!

So here you have it, my own rendition of two $.99 silver platters from Goodwill and a can of chalkboard paint!

What do you think? I'm in love!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Comfort in Familiarity

I know I've been seriously slacking in the recipe department these past weeks, but have some patience as moving and the holidays have me cooking tried-and-true meals rather than experimenting as much as usual.

I promise that with the new year I will have plenty to share in the way of recipes. But for now, I wanted to share {again} my favorite granola recipe that comes from my lovely friend Lael. It has been a great comfort of familiarity these past weeks and never gets old in my book!

Blessings Granola
Makes 4 cups

¼ c. honey or agave nectar
¼ c. canola oil
2 T. orange juice
2 T. brown sugar (I consider this optional-it increases the sweetness and chewiness only slightly)
¼ t. vanilla

Separately mix:
½ c. pecans
1 ½ c. rolled oats
¼ c. slivered almonds
¼ c. pumpkin seeds

Mix both together. Thinly spread onto rimmed baking sheet. Bake until toasted in 325°oven.

Remove from oven. Stir in:
¼ c. coconut flakes
¼ c. golden raisins
7 dried apricots, chopped
¼ c. dried cranberries

Let cool before transferring to storage jar or container.

Gram is Coming to Town!

Happy Friday! Excitement has consumed me today because:

1) Christmas is in one week from tomorrow and there are so many fun, festive activities going on!!
2) I only work two out of five days next week!
3) My grandma is coming to town Sunday and staying through Christmas!! It should be so fun to have her and my aunt here for the holiday-since I haven't spent Christmas with them since I was about 7? Honestly, besides all the fun things that come with having my Gram in town, I'm also hoping to pick her brain a bit with sewing knowledge-she's seriously so amazing at it!

While the weekend itself holds our annual baking extravaganza, the tea party held every year in memory of Chris' granny and movie/dessert night at the Van Unen's! So much fun to be had!

And in the spirit of Christmas cheer, I wanted to share some of my favorite ornaments this year:

Every year we get a new ornament and I felt this year it was appropriate to recognize the Giants Worls Series victory as well as the addition of our new pup!

My parents brought this moose back from their Alaskan cruise earlier this year. Isn't he a cutie?

My ballet slippers are a contender for my all-time favorite ornament. Lots of sentiment in them!

This is one of my husband's childhood ornaments-Go Ninja Turtles!!

And a gift from our moms 2 years ago-The perfect depiction of us:) Love them!

Have a merry and bright kind of weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Wrap

Let me just start by giving a great, big HOORAY! I feel that I can officially sit back and enjoy the season because my Christmas shopping is done and most all the presents are wrapped!

I wanted to share how I decided to wrap this year. Last week I shared this photo that was my main inspiration. It caught my eye mainly because of the lovely layered effect. And secondly, I adore the addition of natural elements to packages {no surprise there} -I’ll take it all: twine, jute rope, burlap, muslin…

I also am of the mindset that presents are special and their packaging should be too! So last weekend I set out for some things to put my own “natural” flair on gifts this year. Between what I already had on hand, some goods I found on sale at Joann’s, a few pieces my mom contributed {thanks Mom!} and a hot glue gun, this was my end result…

I tried my hardest to get some natural light in these photos, but you know how it goes with getting dark at 4pm these days:(

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Perfectly Stuffed Stocking

Wanted to share a few delightful finds that would make lovely stocking stuffers-and all {mostly} under $25!

The newest from the talented duo, She & Him!

While anything from Lush would make a heavenly gift, this cinders bath bomb would be particularly wonderful to take the chill off a cold winter night!

Because ballet slippers always seem to complete a chilly, lazy Saturday afternoon-especially if you have hardwood floors!

This perfume stick comes from a wonderful little collection at Anthropologie! I can't decide on a favorite between Hamarikyu Gardens and Taverns & the Haugue, but both would make a perfect little accessory for a gym bag or purse-you know, for that little freshen up!

Pretty little studs to class up jeans and a cute tee.

My favorite way to eat chocolate-poured over caramel and sprinkled with a touch of gray salt like these-be still my heart!

And finally, the skeleton of any good magazine collection, Real Simple, where Martha indulges us with useful tips of every kind. The only tricky part is finding the time to read the whole issue!

Happy stuffing!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend Warriors

When I realized Christmas was a mere two weeks away, I knew Chris and I had to get our butts in gear and accomplish a list of tasks we wanted done before the holidays. And so, we were definitely weekend warriors these past few days! We got the house to a spot that makes it feel good, even if not yet complete. It was necessary, both for our sanity and the number of friends and family who want to see the new place over the holidays!

We now have two rooms that are so close to being complete-for now anyway! May I present to you:

The Dining room! My husband is so handy-he was able to fix an electrical problem we were having that prevented our new pendant light from actually turning on. But look at that baby now:)

And the "cozy" room , as I like to call it because it's such a snugly, warm room, especially with a fire going! This room had been lacking window coverings because I just could not make a decision. At last I found these roman shades that pull in all the colors I wanted! Aren't they pretty?! There are a few unfinished details we need to get to, but it's definitely looking less and less like we just moved in:)

Sunday afternoon I made these aprons for my little siblings, in hopes they might inspire their little minds with culinary genius;) Little kitchen helpers are the best!

Hope your weekend was fabulous! Merry Monday!

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