FriYAY

friyay

What a week it has been. Alex is finishing up his school year – only 7 days left !!! – and we are busy planning our summer and beyond (stay tuned for some exciting news ūüėČ ). I am thinking this weekend will be full of everything outdoors…bike rides, farmers market, patio dining, back porch sittin’…¬†It’s going to feel like summer and I am suuuuuper excited! We may even take a trip over to Keystone Lake. Weekends are the best.

Here are a few fun things:

Dreaming of a beach vacay…this place looks lovely.

Totally making these this weekend. I’m loving everything pineapple right now. Obviously I’m ready for summer.

Vintage rugs are my fave. I can’t wait to add one to my home one day.

I’ve been eyeing these sandals for a while. I saw they were on sale today & totally bought them…happy early birthday to me!

Copper + Succulents? How adorable. 

Happy weekend everyone!

xoxox hannah

Blogs That Inspire Me


I am still brainstorming and figuring this blog out…

What do I want my messages to be?
Who do I want reading this?
How can I help others? 
What is my theme?
How can I update and improve the design?

These blogs serve as inspiration for me &¬†I thought¬†y’all might enjoy them, too.

A Cup of Jo / Chris Love Julia / House Tweaking / Hither & Thither 

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey.

xoxo hannah

 

Wedding Welcome Bags

My sister is officially married!!! WHAT!? We had such a wonderful weekend of family, friends, and celebrating.

A lot goes in to planning a wedding. And I truly love it. One of my responsibilities ¬†was to prepare the Welcome Bags that guests would receive upon arriving at the hotel. (Note: We only prepared bags for guests staying in Bolivar.)¬†Welcome Bags aren’t necessary, but it’s something extra¬†my family decided to do.

Here’s What I Included:

  1. Welcome Note – This may go without saying, but including a little “hello” on your bag adds a personal touch and is sure to put a smile on your guest’s face. It doesn’t have to be specific to each person, just something to let your guests¬†know you’re thinking of them and are glad they took the time to come.

    Welcome

  2. Maps to the Venues РYes, I know we all use our phones to get around these days, but I still think a map is helpful for those who like the old-fashioned way ;). Plus, it gave me a reason to design another insert.

    Pink Maps

  3. To Do – Some of your guests may have never visited your hometown. Give them a list of your favorite spots!

    Bolivar

  4. Treats РAn obvious and important part. Isaak & Faith in particular love nature, so I thought trail-mix would be fun. I then topped the bags off with a few sweet strawberry chocolate chip cookies. YUM! (Tip: Do as much ahead of time as possible. I made the cookies about a week before and put them in the freezer.)

    Bag

The wedding was beautiful and wonderful. Welcome to the family, Isaak!

I’m Running a Marathon

This week I have officially decided to embark on a big, crazy adventure…training for my 1st MARATHON. Whew, that was hard to say. I am nervous and excited all at the same time. I have done one 15K and one half-marathon, but this is MUCH further than I have ever run.

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There are several motivating factors that have contributed to this big decision:

First, I have been struggling lately with a true workout routine. I haven’t totally fallen out of regular exercise, but since college, I haven’t stayed consistent. Now, I’m going all in.

Second, winter is tough. Last winter was hard for me emotionally…I think partly because we had recently moved to a new city, but also because the grey, cold days can be such a downer! This training will help my overall mood (most days) and give me motivation to push through to reach my goal.

Third, I want to better acknowledge and be thankful for my body’s abilities. I am quick to criticize and slow to say,  “Thank you God for the ability to run and move.”

And finally, because it will feel so good to say, “I’ve run a marathon.” ūüôā

Race day is April 24th in Oklahoma City. I can’t wait to fill you all in on this journey.

Also, since it’s the Oklahoma City Memorial Run benefiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, each runner has the opportunity to raise money for the foundation. Follow this link if you would like to make a contribution. Thank you for the support!

xoxo hannah

 

Christmas Gift Guide

Happy Christmas season! Oh how I love the holidays. So much warmth, cheer, and love. Although this time of year is incredibly exciting, it can also bring some serious gift-giving stress as we all want to give the people we love in our lives that perfect present. I’ve put together a list of ideas in case your having trouble.

1)¬†Cutting or Cheese Board — For the entertainer. I like to give things that people wouldn’t necessarily want to splurge on for themselves. I think this totally fits in that category. We received a cheese board as a wedding present and have loved using it to entertain.

CheeseBoard2_bnnr_201501
Crate & Barrel has some especially beautiful options.
Etsy Cutting Board
And you can’t go wrong with a personalized touch.¬†This one is made by¬†TaylorCraftsEngraved.

2) Event Tickets — Treat someone¬†to a special night out. Think¬†concerts, plays, sporting events, parties, etc. Be sure to check ¬†local area websites and¬†national ticket sales sites such as Ticketmaster.

ticket

3) Card or Board Game¬†— It’s always nice to have something to do when you gather with family & friends. I know my family specifically has enjoyed many nights laughing & playing games together. Pass along the fun! Here are a couple¬†popular games out right now:

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Wits & Wagers from Toys R Us
Quirkle
Quirkle from Target

4)¬†Slippers — This one may seem a little weird, but I’m telling you, if you aren’t a slipper wearer, you should be.¬†I received a nice pair of slippers as a Christmas gift last year and I can assure you, they don’t disappoint. And there are many stylish options ;).

LL Bean Slippers
L.L. Bean Women’s
Men's
L.L. Bean Men’s

5) Portable¬†Powerbank Battery Charger — For the person on-the-go. You can’t go wrong with an extremely useful gift like this.

Charger
This one is from Brookstone.

I hope these were helpful! Merry Christmas!

xoxo hannah

Almost Instagrammable

Real talk.

I’m not a photographer.
I’m a tough critic.
I’m scared of over-gramming.
Instagram is intimidating.
I want all of my posts to be perfect & get a million likes.

But.

Lately¬†I’ve been learning to completely & totally embrace who I am. God made me unique and I am fearfully¬†and wonderfully made.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14

And so are you!

I play the comparison game too often & that can lead to some major feelings of insecurity. This blog is one way for me to practice being confident in who I am Рwhether that be my style, opinions, or ideas. Bear with me because this concept is hard.

So.

Even though these photos didn’t make the cut the¬†first time, they are going to be showcased now.

1 23happy monday!

xoxo hannah

Menu Round-up

Who loves to cook, but has the hardest time deciding WHAT to make?!

Well folks, that’s me. Every Sunday I try (key word, try) to plan out what we are going to have for dinner each night. This past week, the planning worked out quite nicely. Don’t you just love that?

If you’re looking for some new recipes to try, here are a few ideas.

MONDAY: Soy Sauce Marinated Pork Chops

This recipe came out of Better Homes and Garden magazine. We threw some mac & cheese (YUM) on the side & called it good. I loved the glaze, but it definitely had a bit of a kick to it. If you’re not into spicy food, I wouldn’t recommend adding¬†it after¬†grilling.

RU245085.jpg.rendition.largest(photo from Better Homes and Garden)

SOY SAUCE-MARINATED PORK CHOPS
Author: Better Homes and Garden

INGREDIENTS

  • 4¬†6 ounces bone-in pork chops, trimmed (about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1/4¬†cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3¬†tablespoons lime juice
  • 2¬†tablespoons sugar
  • 1¬†tablespoon canola oil
  • 1¬†tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2¬†teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4¬†cups mixed spring greens
  • 1/2¬†cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place pork in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture over pork and turn several times to coat. Cover pork and let stand 20 minutes at room temperature, turning occasionally.
  2. Place the remaining soy sauce mixture in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling. Boil gently for 1 to 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup; set aside.
  3. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill chops on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side or until pork is slightly pink in the center (145 degrees F), turning once.
  4. Place greens on a serving platter, top with pork, and drizzle with boiled soy sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

TUESDAY: Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls

This recipe is a fun find from a cookbook we received as a wedding present. Included are recipes submitted from members of Wellspring Baptist Fellowship, a local church in my hometown of Bolivar, MO.

cookbook editrecipe edit

As if the title alone¬†didn’t have me interested, this recipe was submitted by one of my favorite high school coaches, Rhianna Garber. I was sold. And rightfully so. This was Alex’s favorite meal of the week. He took it for lunch Wednesday &¬†Thursday…

BAKED CHICKEN LASAGNA ROLLS
Submitted By: Rhianna Garber

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded baked chicken breasts (as a time-saver, use a rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s deli)
  • 8 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 can (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix first eight ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup mozzarella for baking, set aside.
2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on counter-top. Lay noodles flat atop plastic wrap, top each noodle with a layer of ricotta mixture and 1/4 cup of chicken. Starting at one end, roll one noodle at a time.
3. Fill the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Lay rolls seam-side down, cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake 20 minutes

WEDNESDAY: Homemade Minestrone Soup

I took advantage of the slightly cooler weather and made one of my fave soups.

Fun soup fact: We served it at our wedding Рout of sweater-wearing crock-pots!

I pinned this recipe from The Little Spice Jar Blog. And for all you skeptical meat lovers out there, Alex¬†even likes it! Super hearty and delish. You won’t be disappointed. This photo is from her blog because, well, I forgot to take a picture. I’ll get better at this I promise!
Minestrone Soup

HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP {SLOW COOKER}
Author: Little Spice Jar
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  15 mins
Serves: 6-8 servings
An easy to make, minestrone soup recipe that tastes 1000 times better than the Olive Garden’s version! My minestrone soup is loaded with good for you veggies, like spinach and zucchini. It’s also protein packed with red kidney beans and great northern beans. You’ll be full for hours from this healthy, nutritious soup!
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¬ľ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1¬ľ cup celery, diced
  • 1¬Ĺ cup white onion, diced
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or ¬Ĺ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1¬Ĺ cups zucchini, diced
  • 1¬Ĺ cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • 2¬Ĺ cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (or Romano)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20 – 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.

THURSDAY: Burgers  & Grilled Zucchini & Peppers

Since I am not a big red meat eater, on burger night I opt for my favorite black bean burger. Morning Star is my go-to. These are delicious & obviously super easy since they are frozen. I typically put mine on a bed of spinach and top with cheese and spicy mustard. Alex goes all-American with a beef burger, BBQ sauce and seasoning.

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We douse our vegetables in olive oil and lemon pepper, place them on a grill tray and turn often. Violà! Simple and tasty. Alex has totally mastered these.

FRIDAY: Date night y’all!!! On Friday’s we date. And I love it. (heart eyes)