In Which I Fall in Love with Grey Gardens and Go Down the Rabbit Hole

I did a lot of things in art school. I stood out in the middle of Circle Park pretending to be the tree so that I could draw the tree. I learned how to weld. I figured out a way to turn every project in drawing class into a cloaked feminist message just in time for critiques. But I never managed to do one very important thing: Watch Grey Gardens. You know the seminal 1975 documentary made by the Maysle brothers? Yep, I never watched it.

Little Edie with Grey Gardens poster | Hannah & Husband

I don’t really know why except that, with marriage and a career, my college experience was a bit busier than that of some of my peers. Then again, it may just have been that the Edies were so engrained in the art school rhetoric that none of my peers had actually seen it either.

When we moved to Rivermont, the references to the duo and their unbelievable house multiplied. I choose to blame the paint colors of our house and not the hoarder habits on display in my studio.

Edies in the pink room at Grey Gardens | Hannah & Husband

Finally, about a month ago, a designer friend of mine finally managed to talk me into YouTubing the old doc when he told me that Angelica Huston had cited Grey Gardens as inspiration for her portrayal of one of my very favorite characters: Morticia Addams.

“I was fascinated by the way they’d found a certain serenity in their eccentricity,” Huston explains. “You realized that it didn’t matter if everyone else thinks you’re highly peculiar. You accept your own eccentricity.” [LA Times]

Sold! From the “best costume for the day” to the feeding of the raccoons, I was hooked. If only we all could ‘accept our own eccentricity’ with such pride.

Grey Gardens Little Edie's Best Costume for the Day via Hannah & Husband

“…then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for today.” [Little Edie]

So fast forward to this weekend: Husband and I were flipping through Netflix and stumbled upon IFC’s Documentary Now.

IFC Documentary Now's Sandy Passage via Hannah & Husband

Episode 1: Sandy Passage is perfect, comedic eye candy for every Grey Gardens lover. Fred Armisen and Bill Hader play Big Vivvi and Little Vivvi and nail the details of the original doc.

Little Edie dancing in Grey Gardens via Hannah & Husband

So, without giving too much away, if you’re a fan of the original Maysle brothers doc or have a love for mockumentaries in general, this one is worth Netflixing tonight.

And Hader’s flag dance? It may be my new favorite thing.

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New Art from Hagar Vardimon

New Art from Hagar Vardimon (aka Happy Red Fish) | Hannah & Husband

Even her packaging was perfection!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may know that we are really passionate about collecting, seeing, and supporting the making of art. In fact, last year I wrote a set of 4 posts to help you start your own art collection. Well since then, we’ve acquired a few new pieces that we absolutely love so today I wanted to share one of those with you! Our newest piece traveled all the way from Amsterdam, which is where collage artist Hagar Vardimon resides.

I first heard of Hagar on The Jealous Curator’s Art for Your Ear podcast. The artist in me nerds out when Danielle discusses the materials and process of the artists she interviews, and I found this discussion particularly inspiring. Hagar’s personality was so much fun, and that immediatley comes through in her work. It’s playful and witty just like I suspect she is in real life. I immediately started following Hagar on social media and a few weeks later, I saw this instagram pop up in her feed.

Isn’t it perfect? I was especially smitten because of Husband’s marching band background. So I shot her an email, and, while it wasn’t available in her shop, she agreed to sell it–score! I’ve been tracking the little package as it passed through customs and the USPS for a couple weeks, and Monday it finally arrived. I can’t wait to get it framed!

New Art from Hagar Vardimon (aka Happy Red Fish) | Hannah & Husband

So if you’re looking for a fun new artist to add to your instagram feed, follow Hagar’s feed: HappyRedFish. You can see more of her work on her website.

Learn how to start your own art collection. 

Find your inner art lover.

Spring Blooms at Rivermont

Hello & happy Monday! If your weekend was anything like ours, you may find yourself wanting to escape to the yard for a little quiet time after work this evening. In case, like me, you don’t get that chance, here are a few pics I snapped on Saturday morning around Rivermont. We have so many things popping up and blooming! One of my very favorite things about the past few months has been discovering what Nancy planted around the yard. Apparently she had quite an affection for the space.

We saw Rivermont for the first time in the waning weeks of March last year. But, to be honest, we were both so overwhelmed by the house itself and that feeling you get when you just know something is meant to be, that it’s hard to remember any of the details about the yard. It’s been fun each season to see what’s come back to life!

Spring Blooms | Hannah & Husband

One of the 4 varieties of purple flowers I found popping up this weekend. I’m hoping that this lovely plant can replace the copious amounts of monkey grass currently acting as ground cover on our side garden. Fingers crossed!

Pink Dogwood, Spring Blooms | Hannah & Husband

Click here to see this same tree last Fall.

Spring Blooms | Hannah & Husband

The plant type is a mystery to me, but they look ever so elegant.

Hackberry Tree Bark, Spring Blooms | Hannah & Husband

The bark of the hackberry tree looks like a topographic map at close inspection.

Forsythia, Spring Blooms | Hannah & Husband

I was lamenting our lack of forsythia the day this guy popped at the corner of our lot. Score!

More Pretty Pictures to Take Your Mind Outside:

Late Summer at Rivermont

Late Fall Foraging



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

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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