Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monogram Door Hanging

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This craft is a bit time-consuming but well worth the effort.  It's a great alternative to a wreath. 


All you need is an inexpensive, flat mdf letter, a glue gun, some holly and some burlap. 

Here is the time-consuming part!  Remove the berries from the plastic holly and hot glue them to the letter.  Be sure to fill in all the spaces.  Attach the ribbon to create a hanging device. 

Depending on your initial, you may have to get creative placing the ribbon to make it hang straight.  If all else fails, consider hot gluing the ribbon to the back of the letter.  Give yourself enough ribbon to make a large bow. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Vases

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There is no end to things you can use to fill glass vases or apothecary jars!  Anything Christmasy, anything, red green or white.  Arrange the vases together as group to get a beautiful table top or centerpiece. 

Today I Wore...

Sweater: Ann Taylor
Pants: Gap

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If I Ever Build a House...

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This is a great way to put that under-the-stairs space to use.  I've seen closets or storage space added in, but these pull-outs make the space utilized to maximum capacity. 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Today I Wore...

Sweater: NY&Co
Pants - Anne Taylor

Best Pudding Cookies Evah!

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These are supposed to be some of the softest cookies you can make!  I can't wait to give them a try.

1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1-2 cups chocolate chips (or whatever add in you would like)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together flour and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
Add in pudding package and beat until well blended.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.
Add chocolate chips or whatever add-in you chose.
Roll into 1″ balls and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 8-12 minutes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Disneyland Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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One of my favorite soups is a potato soup.  It's so filling and even though I love it all year round, it's warm and cozy on a chilly winter night.  This recipe comes from Disneyland's  Carnation Cafe.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Serves 6

1 pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3/4 cup diced celery
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 medium red potatoes, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups heavy whipping cream
Optional garnishes: chopped chives, bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
  1. In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
  2. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving half for garnish. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Whisk in flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and half of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Soup should have a creamy consistency.
  6. Season to taste, and garnish with toppings.
Cooks’ notes: Soak diced potatoes in cold water until ready to use to keep them from turning brown. To make bacon easier to chop, lightly freeze.

Today I Wore...

Shirt - Old Navy
Cardi - Target
Pants - Limited
Shoes - Toms

Quick and Easy Holiday Centerpiece

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It's amazing what you can do with a tiered serving tray!
Add a few glittered balls and some garland, alternate on each tier and voila!  You've made a beautiful centerpiece for your table. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Morning Crepe

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When I was a child, I can remember sleeping in the room that my 2 sisters shared on Christmas Eve so that we could all be together on Christmas morning.  The three of us would barely sleep at all, so excited and anxious about running into the living room to see what Santa had brought. If we fell asleep at all, we only slept for a few hours, waking up at 1 or 2 am.  We believed it was morning and would be ready to go and see all of our rewards for being good little girls.  My parents, therefore, had to set a rule that we weren't allowed to get out of bed until we saw daylight.  Those were excruciating hours!

I love this idea of the crepe paper door tie!  This would be a great way to keep kids snug in their rooms until Santa has finished all of his business and has made it safely back up the chimney and out of sight.  I also love the thought of my little one busting through all of this paper, excited to see what Santa left for her. 

I got this idea from

Friday, November 16, 2012

Silver and Green

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I love the look of silver with this shade of green.  The beads serve as a great color base for the silver tin tin and touches of evergreen in the mix.  This same idea could be carried out in many different vases or bowls.  Great for decorating tables or surfaces without being overbearing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cornbread Salad

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Yesterday, while at a work meeting, I was told about this salad.  It sounded so good I immediately took to Pinterest (while paying careful attention to my meeting, multitasker that I am!) and found the recipe.  I can't wait to try it out for Thanksgiving.  Of course, I will be leaving the onions out of mine but I've included them in the recipe for those of you without the allergy!

  • half a batch of cornbread (2 to 3 cups when chopped)
  • 1 packet buttermilk ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 16 oz can of whole kernel, drained
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Cut cornbread into 1 inch cubes and place in the bottom of a large bowl or trifle bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine ranch dressing mix, mayo, and milk. Mix well and refrigerate.
  3. Topped cornbread layer with rinsed pinto beans.
  4. Next, layer drained corn.
  5. Top with chopped green bell pepper.
  6. Add chopped sweet onion.
  7. Next, add chopped tomatoes.
  8. Add shredded cheddar.
  9. Pour ranch dressing mixture on top; refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Christmas Decoration

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I love this idea for a Christmas decoration to sit on a side table, kitchen counter, or as a table centerpiece. 

Wrap staggered boxes in complimentary wrapping paper and arrange on a cake stand.

Top with a bow.  How simple is that?

But look how elegant!  I love this.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Cake Stands

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Wouldn't this make an awesome Christmas Gift?  DIY Cake Stands!

Terra Cotta pots and plates can be spray painted, decorated, and personalized to fit any gift recipient you may have on your list. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

I consider myself lucky, I don't really get sick often.  I'm not one to catch viruses or colds.  Not that it never happens, it just doesn't happen as often as some other people.  For about a week now, I've had some sniffles and sinus drainage.  I believe it's because of the weather fluctuation.  One day it's 75 degrees and the next it's 50! 

I found this on the Eating Well website ( and thought I'd share it!


The much-dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. How can you bolster your defenses against the germs lurking in the common areas in your office, the mall where you do your holiday shopping and the rest stops you encounter in your holiday travels? Include these 5 immunity boosters in your diet, plus make sure to wash your hands, take a multi-vitamin and try to get enough sleep too.

1. Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

It turns out there is something to chicken soup after all. In one study, hot chicken soup was more effective than hot or cold water at making noses run—a good thing since nasal secretions help rid the body of pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Like any hot liquid, soup also helps you to stay hydrated and raises the temperature of the airways, both of which are important for loosening secretions. Adding a few hot chiles to this Chicken Noodle Soup with Dill recipe might help loosen things up even more.


2. Yogurt


Regularly eating probiotics, so-called “good bacteria” found in foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, may help your immune system work better and improve digestion. Kefir (a yogurt-like beverage) is also a good bet. Look for products labeled with a “Live & Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association, which signifies that the yogurt contains a set minimum amount of two particular types of beneficial bacteria. (While it’s not a guarantee of probiotic power—the bacterial counts don’t differentiate between added probiotic organisms and the bacteria that’s used to ferment the yogurt—the seal is a helpful start.) With the new “probiotic” cereals and granola bars on the market now, it’s not always clear how much good bacteria the manufacturers actually add to the products or whether the strains included are effective. If you really want to know about the science backing a product’s “probiotic power,” contact the manufacturer.


3. Green Tea

Green Tea

Polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, are what’s believed to give green tea its immune-boosting effects. One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses. To maximize benefits and minimize bitterness, use just-below-boiling water and steep green tea no more than a minute or two. A little lemon and honey can also help blunt the bitterness. But don’t add milk, because the proteins will bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective.


4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D

In a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who took daily vitamin D supplements (1,200 IU) were 40 percent less likely to get a common flu virus than kids who took a placebo. Laboratory studies indicate that the nutrient may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us sick, says Adit Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., a public health researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. Since the majority of Americans don’t get enough vitamin D, most experts recommend a D supplement. You can also get it (in small doses) from fatty fish, such as salmon, and fortified milk—and your body makes vitamin D from the sun.

5. Soluble Fiber

Mice that ate a diet rich in soluble fiber for six weeks recovered from a bacterial infection in half the time it took mice that chowed on meals containing mixed fiber, according to a recent study in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. Soluble fiber—abundant in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, beans and oats—helps fight inflammation, says lead author Christina Sherry, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Insoluble fiber—found in wheat, whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables—is still important for overall health, but it doesn’t seem to have the same impact on immunity. Strive for 25 to 38 grams of total fiber a day, Sherry says, paying extra attention to getting the soluble kind.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Roasted Veggies

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I have a house full of picky eaters, and I include myself in that description.  I admit that when it comes to veggies, I am just as closed-minded as the rest of the Hannah clan.  I'm getting better, trying new things, and making an effort, but I'm taking it slowly. 

I seem to like veggies more when they are roasted or grilled, or even raw.  This tip for roasting worked great and every member of my family (even the 2 year old) ate their fair share of vegetables at this dinner. 

I cubed some potatoes, sliced some zucchini, and added baby carrots to a zip loc baggie.  You may also add sweet potatoes, whole garlic cloves, onions, squash, or even tomatoes depending on the veggies you like.  I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few shakes of grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 teaspoons of minced garlic.  After squishing them all around to make sure they were coated, I put them in the oven at 350 for about 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan or Swiss (or both!) for the last 10 minutes.