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!  



Weekending, petunias, and Dexter. | Hannah & Husband

Hello & Happy Friday! Below are some very unrelated TGIF! links that I bookmarked over the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

If you have kids or live in a world around them, you must read this essay our friend Yale wrote for Harry’s Five O’Clock about raising two daughters. The premise is summed up well in this line:

It is my responsibility to display that substance in such a way that my daughter (and her sister, when the time comes, and I hope to God it’s not soon) sees it as the sine qua non of what constitutes a “stand-up man.” 

The Jealous Curator has become one of my happy places on the internet. Danielle Krysa has a beautiful aesthetic and shares the art she’s admiring each day. She recently gave a fantastic Creative Mornings talk on “Humility” that anyone in a creative field might find inspiring.

Art for Your Ear with Martha Rich

However, the real link is to this podcast she’s started. It’s called “Art for Your Ear,” and while her original plan was to be a bi-weekly show, she’s decided to post a new podcast each Saturday. Click here to read about her first episode with artist Martha Rich and click here to subscribe to the show.

TGIF! | Hannah & Husband

Fast Co. Design posted an article this week called “How Nostalgia Fuels Creativity” that I found pretty fascinating. The idea is that nostalgia makes us feel more open and, as a result, it’s easier for us to be creative. In a way, I think the research is saying that nostalgia can create a safe place to allow our minds to work. Definitely worth a read. I’d love to know what you think of the premise.

seth-godinI get Seth Godin’s email delivered to my inbox every day. This one titled “Is it meeting your needs…” really resonated recently–as in, I copied it into a notebook to weigh things against in the future.

Finally, I’m just really excited for this…

Happy Christmas Eve

Hannah & Husband, Christmas 2014

A pic from Sunday. Downtown was all dressed up and so were we!

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! We have had such a lovely holiday season this year and plan on spending the next couple of days sipping sherry & espressos and listening to Nat on the record player. I also have a feeling I will be rereading our stack of Christmas books. (Did you read this post on A Cup of Jo about exchanging books on Christmas Eve in Iceland? I just love that!)

If you want a little something to read over the next few days or just need some quick, festive eye candy, here are a few things we’re digging around the interwebs…

Children’s Holiday Letters to Satan | The New Yorker

The New Yorker always has the best Christmas shorts. (In fact, if you’re in to that sort of thing, my in-laws got me Christmas at The New Yorker our first year all together, and I treasure it.) This year, my favorite was this one by Matt Passet, in which children mistakingly address their letters to “Satan,” and he responds. To the 9 year-old who asks for an Xbox:

This game “Grand Theft Auto” indeed seems quite fun, but why waste your days sitting in front of the TV when the sun is shining outside…  don’t remember reading about any shortage of cars, guns, or hookers. Dammit, Daniel, get out there and live!

Miss Yvonne in Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

My Quest to Dress Like Miss Yvonne

I mentioned Miss Yvonne’s outfit in the Cocktails & Carols post and last night, I finally got a good picture of it. Check out that hair!


25 Days of Christmas Children’s Books

My friend Caryn, has been sharing a Christmas children’s book each day on Three Books a Night. I love when she does this each year, and my absolute favorite this time has been Hilary Knight’s “A Christmas Stocking Story.” Don’t you just love that little elephant?

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform

Go watch White Christmas right now if you haven’t!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of getting all gussied up and heading to the Tennessee Theatre to introduce some of our friends to White Christmas on the big screen! Isn’t it funny how you can watch certain movies again and again yet still catch  new things? My favorite part of that film is always the chemistry between Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.

In case you need a drink…

Last year, we had two signature cocktails for our Cocktails and Carols party: a Jingle Julep and a Sage Ginger Sparkler. Click here to get the recipes.


Cocktails & Carols

Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband

Husband (aka the king of selfies)

This weekend was our 3rd annual Cocktails & Carols party, and (if I do say so myself) it was the absolute best one yet. I get so overwhelmed by how blessed we are each year as all of our favorite people get gussied up (the dress is black tie or “festive”) and crowd into our little house to eat, drink, and sing! The group is always eclectic but when you have friends as fab as ours, lively conversation is never hard to come by.

Fun highlights from this year:

Our friend Ross brought a bottle of sparkly and a sword. I tried (& failed) 4 or 5 times to open it myself. Finally our friend Josh jumped in and got it on the first try! So much fun! In related news, if you see me purchasing a sword any time soon, it’s only for opening bottles of bubbly-I swear!


We know super talented people. This year, everyone enjoyed a keg of beer brewed by one of our friends. How cool is that?

Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband


Lots of Christmas carols were sung (obviously) as well as a selection of songs from both Disney and Rocky Horror Picture Show. But my favorite selection of the evening was when we all stood around the piano and sang Biz Markie.

Little Richard and Pee-Wee Herman in Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

In the living room, we had some visual candy running on the television as we played vintage Christmas records. If you haven’t seen the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, you’re in luck. Netflix just released all of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse–including the Christmas special! Note: I may have to make Miss Yvonne’s outfit for next year’s party!

Finally, the food. Here are a few recipes that were requested:

Husband made Slaughter-style chicken and waffles using my cornbread recipe and grilled chicken dressed with sour cream, cilantro, & jalapeños. Delish!

Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband

Spinach Dip from scratch

Clementines dipped in chocolate with bourbon-smoked sea salt

Naughty: Lumps of Coal

Nice: Shortbread cookies with chocolate bows
Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband Cocktails & Carols 2014 | Hannah & Husband

This year’s signature cocktail was a Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz. But you should always remember that parties in the South involve bourbon–Lots. of. Bourbon. We went through several bottles.

Note to Self: Next year, buy multiple handles.

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!


A Poem of Peace

Presented without comment.

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
by Dr. Maya Angelou

from the National Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 5, 2005

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

See this necklace? Check out the how-to on DIYNetwork’s Made + Remade!

Twas the weekend of Thanksgiving when all through the house, Husband & I were getting ready for a photo shoot with HGTV HOME!

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

You may recall images like this little elephant blowing up my instagram. 

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

Well she, along with several other fabric projects, are all part of the “12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric” Contest! Here’s how to enter:



So you obviously can pin anything, but, to get you started, a couple of us from DIYNetwork’s Made + Remade teamed up with HGTV editors to create Pinterest-worthy projects using HGTV HOME products.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the photographers at our house shooting the projects! As you can see, it was a dreary day, but you’d never know it from the final pics.

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

Lest you think all photo shoots are glamorous, here are Crystal & Sarah crammed in our teensy guest room.

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

Husband hanging Marianne’s embroidery hoop tree in our stairwell.

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

Wreath by Liz & cookie cutter ornaments by Farima. As a side note, we’ve left the little tree there and put other ornaments on it. We’ll eventually use it to make a custom hedge, but I love the little front porch christmas tree in the meantime!

Behind the Scenes with HGTV HOME's 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric Contest | Hannah & Husband

So go create your own “12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric” pinterest board, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #12daysofhgtvhome! The deadline to enter is December 24th so get to pinning!

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband

For one reason or another, I have a newfound obsession with jingle bells. I was cleaning out my studio the other day when I found a jar of full of them, and I couldn’t resist. I decided to make a little winter door decoration perfect for the flurry of guests that come & go during the season.

Here’s what I did…

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband


First, I crocheted five strands with a chunky cream yarn. Then, I made some fluffy pom-poms and tied them on to the ends.





Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband


Next, I tied jingle bells onto some jute rope (also found in my studio), and reinforced the thread I used to tie them on with some hot glue. You could do this step several different ways; this just worked best for the things I had on hand.

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband


Laying out all the strands to the desired hanging lengths, I tied all the ropes together with a hair band at the top.

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband


Next, I made a loop out of the jute rope for hanging.

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband


With hot glue, I attached the base of the loop to the hair band.

Jingle Bells for Your Front Door | Hannah & Husband

Finally, I used hot glue and repeatedly wrapped the jute rope around to secure the top.