99% Surprised

I have been attempting to write since New Year’s, but it is surprisingly hard to be creative when there’s an alien creature inside you eating your brain. However, now that the two of us (2.5 of us?) are a little more used to what’s happening and my energy is coming back, I think I’m ready to dive in. 

Let’s all take a moment for the soap box; shall we? Now just picture me falling face first off of it singing Christmas carols because that’s basically what happened.

On Christmas Eve I had the bi-annual conversation with my mother that we’ve been having for years now.

Her: I know you’ve chosen not to have children…

Me: Just because we’ve made the decision to put my career before kids does not mean we will never have children. It means that women in this century don’t have to get pregnant as soon as they get married… … Women’s lib… Feminism… etc. etc. 

In fact, I was writing a post about this very conversation the day I found out we were pregnant. I was going to title it “Lessons & Carols,” and it went something like this:

Beginning your annual rendition of “Santa Baby” with a treatise on not needing a man to come down your chimney when you can buy your own presents is not as endearing at your family celebration as you may think.

Singing about ‘decking your halls’ with birth control will not make your mother feel better about the fact that you’re 30, and she still doesn’t have grandchildren.

I’d also made a note about “The Little Drummer Boy” song, but we can save that for the actual holiday season. So that’s where we were when we were surprised shocked baffled by this news. In fact, we were 99% surprised. And, as a little PSA for all of you sweet readers, I thought I’d post a chart from our doctor’s office.

Birth Control Effectiveness Chart

It is true to say that no one in our household was willing to make the lifestyle change to 100% prevent children, but had we seen this chart sooner, we probably would have picked a method with more than 1 FREAKING STAR.

So I suppose I’m writing this post to tell you this: People don’t always talk about the feelings you have when you’re surprised by a pregnancy. We’ve been watching our friends try to get pregnant, struggle with miscarriages and infertility, go through the laborious process of adoption–these people have such a beautiful desire to love children of their own. We just didn’t feel that desire quite yet.

So when we found out about this “joyous news,” we were so stunned that we went underground. For the first week, I couldn’t decide if my nausea was baby-related or caused by the fact that I’d be a mother before 35. 

This kid is coming into the world with an extreme desire to be the center of attention. And I’m happy to report that we are both finally more excited than shocked.

99% Surprised | Hannah & Husband

After all, a dose of crazy is the way some of the best things in our lives have started. 

Fear not—Hannah & Husband will not become (God forbid) a “mommy blog.” But, like today, I will be noting some baby-related things that happen every once in a while for posterity’s sake. Tomorrow, I’ll even things out; I promise. 

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Part 1: Tear Down That Wall

I instagrammed a picture over the weekend of day 1 of the Rivermont kitchen renovation. Since I’ve had several people ask about it since, I thought I’d share some more pictures.

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Phase 1: Demo | Hannah & Husband

Last Friday, a huge dumpster was delivered to our house. And in all our infinite wisdom, we thought, “Surely the kitchen alone won’t fill this up.”

We were wrong.

I snapped the pic above after day 1 of demolition. Saturday, I left Husband and his #squad* (if Taylor has one, we all should) at the house for 3 hours and went to teach a sketchbook workshop at our local art supply store. When I got back, they’d gotten everything out–cabinets, countertops, appliances–and were proceeding to knock down walls.

*It is definitely worth mentioning that if we didn’t have the amazing circle of friends that we do, we would not have been able to take on a project of this magnitude. Our kitchen is way too big to demolish alone–especially when I am no help! 

Anyway, one Saturday with the boys and several late nights since, the dumpster is now so full we’re wondering if we’ll go over the allotted 5 tons. What I’m trying to tell you is this: My husband is really good at tearing things down, and there is A LOT to tear out of a kitchen. 

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Phase 1: Demo | Hannah & Husband

If you look closely, you can see a piece of the 1950s pink border with little diamonds that used to line the first ceiling.

Did I mention that there were two ceilings?

The ceiling you would recognize from previous pictures was actually two feet lower than the ceilings in the rest of the house.

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Phase 1: Demo | Hannah & Husband

Once Husband got all the plaster down, the room was just covered in this wood lathe. You see that couple of bright spots near the floor? That would be OUTSIDE.

“Where in the world is that draft coming from?” The holes in the wall.

One cool detail: You can see how the plaster grabbed on to the wood in the picture below.

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Phase 1: Demo | Hannah & Husband

Rivermont Kitchen Renovation Phase 1: Demo | Hannah & Husband

And this is what it looks like now. Most of the lathe is down, and it’s time to move on to getting rid of that old insulation. I am so excited about these next steps because the kitchen will really start to take the shape we have in mind. I’ll update you when it does. In the meantime, here are a couple links that may be of interest…

Rivermont when we first saw her.

The kitchen remodel in our 1st home.

Tap, Tap, Is this thing on?

In my experience, you can’t really prepare for the biggest changes in your life. You can try, but, for the most part, evolution is unexpected and slightly uncomfortable. You can, however, choose how you will deal with it. Us? We went underground for a few months. We took some time to get used to this very unexpected turn of events. And we found a new mantra.

Hannah & Husband Pregnancy Announcement, 2016


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Chatting About (how much I love) Chrissy Teigen on The Pop

Yes I know; it’s been a while. I’m a firm believer in not putting noise out onto the internet unless you really have something to say so I took a little break. We’ve both been busy with work and life and Rivermont but Monday, I’ll be back to blogging with lots of fun things to share. In the meantime, we were on The Pop this morning chatting with Abby about Chrissy Teigen. Well, Chrissy Teigen among other things… But really the how much I love Chrissy Teigen. Ok, just watch the video below! I’ll see you Monday.

The Golden Globes Best and Worst Fashion

This morning we got up bright & early, despite the frigid temps, to talk Golden Globes fashion with our fav–Abby Ham! Check out the video below.

Deck the Halls and Fa La La

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

This festive couple showed up to our Christmas party! Vintage gifts are always the best!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! Today I thought I’d share a few pics of the boughs of holly, etc. currently decking Rivermont. I didn’t expect how hard it would be to decorate this year. Our new (old) home has 3 mantles and very tall ceilings. It is such a contrast to our old house that it took me a while to figure out where things should go. In the end, we made quite a few decorations and added finishing touches of holly clipped from our yard. 

Perhaps the best perk of throwing a holiday party is the forced urgency it gives to finish already! So by last Friday, I felt like things were in a good enough spot to take a few pictures to share. Here they are.

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

I made this little Christmas tree lot in a terrarium one afternoon, and it’s had me smiling ever since.

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

I made these stockings, and I’m so happy we have a mantle to hang them on!

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

My mother-in-law made this tree out of blocks for us years ago.

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

The neutral vibes & yarn trees are inspired by a mantle I did for DIYNetwork.com

Deck the Halls at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband  


Make a sheet music garland

Make jingle bells for your front door

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Cocktails & Carols 2015 and the Recipe for Poinsettia Punch Parker

Our annual Cocktails & Carols party has become my favorite way to celebrate the season. Having all the people we love take the time to get dolled up and spend an evening gathered around our piano during the busiest season of all is such an honor! 

My new year’s resolution last year was to spend more time living in the moment. So while I didn’t take any pictures during the party, I did snap a few of our outfits that I think you’ll love. Husband’s midnight blue tux is custom, of course, and those slippers were acquired during his summer in New York. My fancy baubles first belonged to two of my favorite ladies—outfits with a story are always better, no?

Cocktails & Carols 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Cocktails & Carols 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Cocktails & Carols 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Cocktails & Carols 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Our friend Brian sent me a few fun pictures from the party including this one.

Upon the strong recommendation of #thetribe, we decided Punch Parker would be this year’s signature cocktail. However, I confess I changed it quite a bit because we had certain things on hand. So if you’d like the traditional Punch Parker recipe click here. Below, you’ll find my spin. 

Get the recipe for a Poinsettia Punch Parker from our Cocktails & Carols 2015 party! | Hannah & Husband

Poinsettia Punch Parker


Two 1-liter glass carafes (preferably with lids)

1 lemon
2 limes
2 oranges
12 pint raspberries

1 bottle Tanquerey (or other fairly smooth) gin
1 bottle (no sugar added) cranberry raspberry juice
1 bottle Prosecco

Make It:

At least five hours before, slice fruit and divide evenly between the carafes.

Cover the fruit with juice (about 1 cup)

Then, fill the rest of the carafe with gin.

Refrigerate until serving.

Serve the chilled gin mixture over ice and top with prosecco.

*Note: We went through the gin base very quickly even though we made a double batch so we simply refilled the carafes (that still had fruit in them) with the gin and juice mixture. After the first, no one really notices if it’s a little stronger 😉 


Click here to see highlights from last year’s Cocktails & Carols party!

Click here for more holiday cocktail recipes!

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Four Things from A Very Murray Christmas


Each year I set aside one day during the third week in December to catch up, buy those last few Christmas gifts, and add some final decorating touches before our annual Cocktails & Carols soirée. Today is that day and when I’m at home, I can promise you that A Very Murray Christmas will be playing the background. To say I was giddy the first time we watched it would be an understatement. If you’ve seen in or plan to, here are a few fun notes/facts to save you from the post-Netflix google rabbit hole!

Bemelmans Bar

A snapshot from our last visit to Bemelmans Bar | Hannah & Husband

Bemelmans Bar, located on the first floor of The Carlyle, has kicked off more than one magical evening for us in New York City. I’m particular to this bar for a few reasons but the main one is the incredible artwork that covers every inch of the place down to the lampshades.

Ludwig  his wife Madeleine (source)

Ludwig his wife Madeleine (source)

The murals were painted by Ludwig Bemelmans, best-known for his Madeline series, in exchange for lodging when he and his family lived at the Carlyle for a year and a half. My very favorite scene in the bar depicts winter in Central Park complete with snowing and ice skating. Bemelmans hand is unmistakable.


While I would argue that A Very Murray Christmas is best enjoyed while sipping champagne, here’s another idea. Maya Rudolph refers to her drink as a “soiled kimono,” and being the cocktail hour devotees that we are, we needed to know what that was.

The Soiled Kimono cocktail from A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

The drink is a reference to one of the original writers and creators on SNL: Michael O’Donoghue. It’s a cocktail referenced in one of his “Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales,” and when Bill Murray announced his death on stage at SNL, he toasted with a Soiled Kimono. The drink is meant to be garnished with a butterfly but Maya’s is garnished with olives. To each his own.

The Soiled Kimono

Mix 23 glass costly French champagne

With 13 glass Japanese plum wine

recipe from season 3 episode 8 transcript

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

He’s the taxi driver.

If you spent the first half of the movie looking at the bartender (& his fabulous hair) wondering, “Why do I know that guy?” It’s because David Johansen played the taxi driver in Bill Murray’s other holiday hit circa 1988: Scrooged.

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband


Real Life Conversations Between Hannah & Husband

Me: */gasp/* This is what the inside of my brain looks like.

Husband: Everyone is wearing either red or sparkly, and there’s a bari sax playing.

Me: And George Clooney serving cocktails.

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

Obviously I will be needing everything Miley is wearing. And silver glitter reindeer antlers.

Alright, I’m off to run errands. If you’ve seen A Very Murray Christmas: Did you love it as much as I did?

Treat Yo Self (This Blogger’s Anti-Gift Guide)

Happy Holidays! Today I created an anti-gift guide to help you treat yo self. Because while it’s important to get just the right thing for that cousin-once-removed-who-lives-in-Poughkeepsie, my main concern is that you, my dear friends, are enjoying the holidays. So in the spirit of that creepy classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” I suggest going home tonight and distracting yourself and the one you love with mistletoe, libations, and vinyl. Here are a few suggestions to get things started…

Put some records on while I pour... | Hannah & Husband

Mistletoe: I made this mistletoe years ago, here’s a link to the how-to if you want to make your own!

My favorite sparkling rosé, Moët & Chandon, looks festive this time of year. But if you’re looking for something stronger, High West Whiskey has a smoky flavor that is perfect to sip by the fire!

Hers: Lingerie Set by Clo Intimo (bra / brief)

His: Santa hatHappy Head Tees and Wood* underwear hip brief

Records: Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ella FitzgeraldChristmas Gift For You


I apologize for my absence last week from the interwebs. Between work, colds, and an oh-so-necessary staycation, I found myself taking time away from the cellphone and the laptop in favor of cut paper, yarn, and lots of books. But, I’m happy to report that I missed you! So this week we’ll get back on a regular blogging schedule. I’ve been thinking about Christmas content a lot so please consider yourself warned!

*While I usually don’t have sponsored posts, you should know that Wood Underwear called me up about including them this season. We met them on our last trip to NYC and genuinely love their stuff. Thank you for sponsoring the links that are included on Hannah & Husband!  


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like December

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

It seems like the first week in December is the busiest for me this year, but I have no complaints! Holiday designer-ing is in full swing as exhibited in this little snapshot above. So here are a few peeks at the week so far.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Monday night I made Joe’s Leftover Turkey Gumbo while sipping martinis and dancing in the kitchen. With Husband playing Christmas tunes in the parlor, I confess that I was in such a blissful state I accidentally doubled the roux. So I just made twice as much gumbo! That little happy accident is now safe in the freezer waiting for another rainy Monday.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Hanukkah Coloring Pages for DIY Network by Hannah B. Slaughter


If it is cold and rainy where you are, might I suggest spending tonight cuddled with bae watching Netflix and coloring? Hanukkah begins on Sunday, and I doodled a couple of Hanukkah-themed coloring pages for DIYNetwork.com. The one above may be my favorite yet!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Speaking of the holidays, I sent out the invitations to our annual Cocktails & Carols party today! Fa-La-La-La-La!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

I’ve had so much fun making holiday pretties using different mediums lately. I painted this little couple on a mini canvas for the AIGA Knoxville ornament auction on Friday night. If you’re in Knoxville, come on down to The Basement Art Studio and bid on ornaments from local artists!

The Crafty Lumberjacks for DIY Network by Hannah B. Slaughter

Finally, if you’d like a little more crafty inspiration, I profiled The Crafty Lumberjacks for DIY’s Made + Remade blog this week. This pair make me want to spend an evening drinking whiskey and crafting in Queens!