Party Hair How-To

Today I’ve put together a little Party Hair How-To just in time for your weekend festivities. I get so many questions about how I put my hair up, and it’s really pretty simple. Just remember: Dirty hair works best and dry shampoo (which I spray on in the beginning) is really what gives it that big-hair-don’t-care look.

Let me know if you try the ‘do yourself! I’d love to see a pic.

Sheet Music Garland

Sheet Music Garland | Hannah & Husband

Husband and I are both musicians (for example…) so over the years we have acquired a lot of sheet music. While I absolutely adore old sheet music, some have unfortunately been tattered beyond repair. So, in those instances, I say “Repurpose!” As you can see, last week I made this sheet music garland to hang above our archway. (Incidentally, I made too much and it now encircles most of our front room too!)

Sheet Music Garland | Hannah & Husband

It was super easy. I simply trimmed off the tattered edges of the music using a metal straight edge and an xacto knife. Then, I cut the music into 114 inch strips and used a stapler to connect the circles.

Sheet Music Garland | Hannah & Husband

Bonus: Because it’s not straight up jingle-linging, it will probably stay up through the winter.

December Essentials

December Essentials:

1. Festive Decking for your Halls.

2. Hannah’s Holiday Playlist

3. Hot Cocoa

We always have a lot of music in our house, but this time of year whether we’re cooking, reading, or making pretty things, there is a 24/7 holly jolly festival of awesome emanating from our speakers. So posted below, you’ll find a Christmas playlist that I would argue is best enjoyed while sipping Alton Brown’s hot cocoa. (His instant cocoa mix recipe is so easy, and we always have a jar on hand this time of year.) Enjoy!

Gift Guide for the Black Sheep

To the black sheep of the Internet: this gift guide is for you! While I may be a sparkly, falala-ing jingle belle this time of year, even I have grown tired of Blog Land’s shiny, monogrammed gift guides. Is it just me or do they all start to look the same after a while? Sure Kate Spade, minimergency kits, and cable-knit pom pom hats will always be a fab choice but, in my humble opinion, gift guide season has turned my blog feed into an indistinguishable sea of pretty pink lipstick and bubblegum. So today, I offer  an alternative for your snarkier friends and lovers–those with a little bit of punk in their soul and just enough of a rebellious streak to endear them to your heart forever.

Gift Guide for the Black Sheep | Hannah & Husband

Sex Pistols’ Spunk, 1977 :: “I am an anarchist.”

Jonathan Adler’s  White Lies Canister

Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout :: Looking for a dark brew? My friends and I are absolutely in love this seasonal milk stout.

Cards Against Humanity

Onyx surrounded by pearls :: Ok, yes it is stunning and super femme, but there’s something about onyx that I’ve always found fixating. This ring from Tiffany & Co. is no exception.

I Wear the Black Hat :: Read Husband’s review here.

The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)  by Peter Sagal

“Coal Rice Krispy Treats” :: As a side note, these will definitely be on my holiday party table this weekend. OMGyouguys.

Holy Blues Brothers Prayer Candles :: “Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don’t fail me now.” – Elwood

In all seriousness, if you need more ideas, here are my favorite gift guides this year:

Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo always has the best ideas, and her descriptions for the recipients are perfect!

Esquire’s 10 Best Gifts for Foodies is pretty killer.

And if you want the pretty blogger land list, Carly’s “A to Z Gifts” is absolutely fabulous!

 

The Prayer of St. Francis

A

A quick snap from NYC.

There has been so much tragedy in the news lately and as I watch people dealing with things that I can’t possibly fathom, my mind keeps going back to the prayer of St. Francis. The prayer has been in my head (and bookmarked on my nightstand) for months now so when a friend posted one line (highlighted in green below) of this last week in light of the news from Ferguson, I thought I should share the prayer in it’s entirety. During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season perhaps this will inspire you as well.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Thanksgiving Conversation or Let the Games Begin

Thanksgiving conversation: That delicate annual dance between cheerful fodder and high blood pressure. There are rules to be embraced at times like these–lest you and your (insert your scandalous statement here) be the topic of conversation at the next family prayer meeting. So here are a few ideas on avoiding missteps during this annual foray into family front.

Topics to Avoid:

While it will be painfully obvious as guests eat their meal in peace and quiet that you have not blessed your parents with grandchildren yet, I would suggest that this is not the right moment to bring up that you also vote democrat.

No one cares about Scandal as much as you do. No one. And no, I don’t want to binge watch it so we can talk about it. No. Really.

Aunt Ivy may not have invited Clara Sue to that reunion, but who knew her address changed after the divorce? (Everyone but Aunt Ivy apparently.) All families have tiffs. If you are neither Aunt Ivy or Clara Sue, this issue is not yours. Sit there quietly and daydream about the Nora Ephron movie of your choice. (For me, it’s always the street fair scene in You’ve Got Mail when Rockin’ Robin is playing and Tom Hanks is in the turkey.)

Topics to Embrace:

Projects that involve just enough skill to be impressive to Uncle Bill. For example: An outdoor project involving a drill or shovel. Warning: Avoid projects involving saws as these stories always lead to unappetizing anecdotes.

Topics that entice a humble brag from your guests. People love to talk about themselves, y’all. Know your guests before they arrive, and encourage them to talk about something fab they’ve done lately.

Taylor Swift. She’s everywhere right now and your niece, grandmother, and even your brother Steve (after reading this Esquire article) can now openly admit they love her.

Your vinyl collection. Universal truth: 99% of people like music of one sort or another. People over the age of 49 have memories of spinning vinyl as they discovered rock-n-roll and made out in their parent’s living room. Those under the age of 49 relish the hunt for their favorite old records in pristine condition. Bonus: Every family has an audiophile at the table who will be more than happy to share the science of why records are superior to whatever you just downloaded from iTunes.

The Playlist

Finally, when in doubt, sit back and enjoy that you get time with this crazy special group of family and friends. Perhaps sit back and enjoy it quietly while listening to whatever music is playing in the background. Here is our Thanksgiving playlist…

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Only a couple days left in the countdown to Thanksgiving so I wanted to share a few recipes that have been a hit in the past and a some that will be on our menu this year.

The countdown is a little more real for the turkeys. #thanksgiving

The countdown is a little more real for some than for others.

The Turkey

In the past, I was always a fan of roasting with beer and fresh herbs. But last year, we broke with tradition and used Alton Brown’s brining method. I’ll never look back. Here’s the full recipe. 

The Sides

I made this spicy roasted squash with feta and herbs two weeks ago and have made it at least twice since. I knew sriracha held magic powers, but wow! Bonus for those that are a little scared of spice: the brown sugar and feta even things out perfectly.

Sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon and golden raisins. My mother-in-law, known when we first met for her general disdain of all things green, loved these so much after our first Thanksgiving that she humbly requested “those green things with the bacon” the next year.

The Lee Brothers are masters of Southern fare, and while I have yet to actually make this pimento cheese potato gratin, I’m sure it will be a perfect addition to our menu.

Cranberry Orange Relish: My recipe is here. 

Emma Chapman’s recipes can make anyone look like a baker–including myself. These Rosemary Parker House rolls are a delicious twist on the classic that also make for the perfect post-turkey-day sandwiches.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Snack | Hannah & Husband

The Treats

If you’re going to have a house full of company, you should also have a house full of snacks. Our two favorites this time of year are…

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Snack

Momma’s Fantasy Fudge

Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie | Hannah & Husband

The Pies

When I was 9, I won a pie contest with my Woo-Woo’s recipe for Pumpkin Pie. It is always my go-to.

Hands down, the best apple pie ever: Emma’s (again, she can make anyone look like a baker) Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie. I always make ours in an iron skillet and, while you have to watch the bake time, that really sends it over the moon!

Looking for a little more inspiration?
Check out my pinterest board:

The Belle’s Thanksgiving Game Plan

What are your go-to recipes? Anything we *must* try?

3 Beauty Products to Try Now

3 favorite beauty products | Hannah & Husband

When I find fab beauty products, I can never resist telling all my friends. Likewise, when I hear about new products, I have to try them for myself. (Remember this winter skin care post from January?) So today, I’m sharing three of my favorite beauty product finds of late.

3 favorite beauty products | Hannah & Husband

 

L’Oreal EverCrème Nourishing Leave-In Spray

Since my locks went blonde, I’ve been searching for the perfect way to condition. Conditioning in the shower wasn’t enough. Oils tend to leave my locks a bit flat (and my head a bit itchy) and other leave-in creams have just seemed to gunk things up. This “nourishing leave-in spray” from L’Oreal is amazing! It’s sulfate-free so it’s not as harsh on my already-treated hair, and it detangles like nothing else I’ve tried. Bonus: it’s less than $10, and I can buy it at Target!

Essie Quick-E Drying Drops

Manicures are my idea of the perfect weeknight me-time. I blame the “nights of beauty” my mom and I used to have when I was little. But I am always going to bed too quickly and waking up with ruined polish. These quick-e drying drops from Essie have totally changed that. I still recommend waiting about 15 minutes to change the sheets or cook, but that’s better than the hour or two it used to take. Bonus: they leave my nails with extra shine. My only tip is don’t overdo it. If you use more than a couple drops per nail, they can darken your favorite red just a bit.

They’re Real! Mascara

I use eye drops like they’re going out of style so when it comes to mascara, I’ve had a hard time finding anything that will stay put. They’re Real! Mascara from Benefit has changed all that. Not only is the waterproof actually waterproof, they make your lashes look swoon-worthy!

So what are your favorites right now?
Anything I *must* try?