Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

January 12, 2011

Final Images of 2010

by Hannah

I do believe this is that last post of 2010 photos.

Christmas Day- we visited Manny’s dad at work at the fire station. It was Seth’s first time seeing it, and he was thrilled of course.

Seth’s first tricycle ride:

Me and my little sister, Eva. I love this kid so much. She’s visiting me this coming weekend- can’t wait :)

{p.s.- holding a D700 with one hand, getting it to focus and take a picture with both faces in it, and having a decent expression on your face while doing so- is an art form all it’s own. ;)}

And there you have it.



December 26, 2010

And all was quiet…

by Hannah

My first Christmas with a child, rather than a baby.
Joy, wonder, amazement, sensory overload, meltdowns, and now- peaceful sleep. He made the holiday magical for all of us again.

Yesterday my husband and his dad both worked. I am thankful for our firefighters and dispatchers, who work to keep us safe, 365 days a year. So today was “our” Christmas, and it was all wrapping paper and sweets and delicious food and the awesome craziness of family gatherings. I love every minute of it. Santa spoiled all of us this year, especially my son :)

I hope your holiday was wonderful, too. I was just looking over my calendar and to see only six days left in 2010 was a bit of a shock, though of course I knew that already. This year has gone by faster than any previous year of my life. It scares me- does that rate keep increasing as we get older? Time, please slow down. please.

I am filled with so much gratefulness tonight that I could practically burst.
For my son.
For my family.
For another year.
And yes, for my new printer, and film for my Polaroid, a lovely necklace, a French press for my coffee, Toms shoes, and some much-wanted books.

I am so very blessed.

December 25, 2010

Holiday wishes…

by Hannah

…from our family to yours.

I hope that your Christmas day is full of love and wonder!



{The photos above with me in them were taken by my friend April. Others by me.}

December 23, 2010

Recipe: Turtle Candy

by Hannah

Pecan turtles are one of my all-time favorite candies, and I decided I’d like to try my hand at making some to give as gifts this year. I’ve seen more complicated recipes, but this one is pretty simple (though it can get pretty messy- be warned!).

Prepare a couple of baking sheets by covering with aluminum foil and spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

I used packaged caramel candies- a 14 oz. bag- and unwrapped them all and put them in a microwavable bowl.

I added a little water to the bowl so the caramels would soften well, and then microwaved, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each, until it was smooth. I found that I had to pop it back in a few times while I was making the candies, because as the caramel cools it becomes pretty sticky and difficult to work with.

Meanwhile, I toasted up some pecan halves in the oven.

Then arrange the pecan pieces on the prepared baking sheets in clusters of four.

When the caramel is soft, drop onto each pecan cluster with a spoon. I had to use two spoons because the caramel is so sticky and didn’t want to come off easily.

Next, use a double boiler or the microwave to melt a small package of semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you don’t have a double boiler (like me), you can use a stainless steel bowl resting in a slightly smaller saucepan, with a couple inches of water in it, on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is smooth.

Then drop chocolate onto the caramel-pecan clusters.

Put the baking sheets in the freezer so the candies will set.

It’s always great to have a little “helper”. Though really at this age, I needed someone to help me with the little helper : )

When the turtles have hardened, take them out of the freezer. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week, but let them sit a bit before eating so the caramel can soften.

I packaged mine up in tins I found at the craft store, with wax paper to keep them from sticking together too much.


December 22, 2010


by Hannah

Decorating our tree. Manny’s parents came over to help.

Manny shot these:

And the next week, we went with them to get theirs and we all decorated it together.

{It was pretty cold (for Florida) for a while, with lows in the 30’s. Now it’s back to the 60’s/70’s, which is perfect for me.}

Here’s the whole group- shot using the timer and a makeshift tripod:

It is so, so great that we are all together, home, and healthy this year. I am so thankful. Last Christmas we visited Jackie in the hospital, as she was just finishing up her first round of chemo. What a huge difference a year makes!

And… a sneak peek at gifts I’ve been making. I made these felted hot mats for my grandma, who doesn’t read my blog, so it’s safe to post here :)
I’m kind of in love with felting things lately. The one on the left came out a little funny, since I had to kind of make them up as I went. I really like how they came out though, and might be making a set for our table.

And tonight, we went (very spontaneously) to the zoo where they’re doing “Holiday Nights” this week. It was so much fun, and Seth got to meet “Santa” for the first time. Thankfully, he didn’t ask for anything he’s not getting :-P They had LED Christmas lights everywhere. Our zoo is very conservation-minded. We have a membership and we just love going and walking around as a family.

Tomorrow, Seth and I are heading to visit my family until the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Manny works Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, so our Christmas celebrating will be kind of odd and spread out. I’m really looking forward to it though, and I’m busy finishing up my last few handmade gifts! It looks like I’ll be sending out packages the Monday after- but better a little late then never, right?

I’ll be back in the morning with a yummy recipe!

November 30, 2010

Decking the Halls {Part I- Decorating}

by Hannah

I have been whipping up handmade holiday decorations in my spare moments over the last couple of days, and I wanted to share a few of them with you! We ventured into the attic yesterday and retrieved our boxes of ornaments, and our faux wreath for the door, which I decorated the first year we were married, as well as our stockings and some other things. I’m hoping to add lots of handmade things to our collection this year.

I found this great blog post about decorations made from simple white cardstock, on d.Sharp Journal, via Design Sponge. I love how my snowman garland and angels come out!

Also on Design Sponge, I found the instructions for these fun paper ornaments, which I hung from the chandelier above our dining table.

A few nights ago we went to CityPlace, where they have a giant Christmas tree and a train for the kiddos, which Seth thoroughly enjoyed.
p.s.- It was dark outside when I took these. I love my D700’s high ISO capabilities!

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived, and I am loving it!

xoxo, h

January 18, 2010

Handmade Christmas, Part 2

by Hannah

You may remember when I posted these pictures of Seth covered in blue paint?



Well now I am making good on my promise to show you the finished product. We gave these as gifts to several of our family members, and we kept one to put up in our own house too. I had been wanting to get hand and footprints from him for months, and I am so glad I got around to it before he turned one. Those hands and feet will never be this small again… sniff sniff.



This is Seth’s first artwork :)
We used non-toxic completely washable tempura paints- first I painted the green onto the canvases and let it dry completely, and then we did the handprints and let that dry. Then I did several coats of a spray varnish I picked up at the crafts store, to seal it all in. I am pretty happy with the finished result!

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January 5, 2010

Handmade Christmas, Part 1

by Hannah

(Yes I am still doing Christmas posts. Also our tree is still up and I haven’t finished making all the gifts, which is why this part 1. I’m a little behind this year.)

First, here are the little tunisian crochet hat ornaments I made for my mom and mother-in-law. It was my first time trying tunisian- here is the pattern I used. They were fun and quick and came out pretty cute, though Manny thinks they look more like bells than hats.


For my mom, I made a set of little felted bowls.




Here is a link to bowl pattern on Ravelry: linky.

And for my sister I made this hat. It is just like the one Bella wears in the La Push scene in the Twilight movie. Needless to say Eva was thrilled. I will admit, though, that I too enjoy reading and watching the Twilight series :)



And here is the pattern on Ravelry.

There are one or two more handmade Christmas gift posts coming soon. Or fairly soon. ish…

Right now the hubs and I are about to eat some lovely crockpot chili that has been making the house smell awesome all day, and we’re going to watch a moving cuddled under blankets as the temperature drops outside- expecting lows of 30 degrees or less tonight, which is really farking cold in this neck of the woods.

Stay warm and happy,

January 1, 2010

A Christmas Tradition

by Hannah


I wanted to post this closer to Christmas, but I am just going to go ahead with it now since that obviously didn’t happen.

My mom and I have been making poulla for the holidays for years. It is a traditional Finnish coffee bread, the wonderful key ingredient being cardamom. I love it. My whole family loves it.

One recipe makes three loaves. If you are going to make it, prepare for it to take over your whole kitchen and half your day. But it is so, so worth it.

You need:

2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of warm water
1 (.25oz.) package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
4 eggs, beaten
9 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of white sugar

First, warm the milk on the stove in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble, then remove from heat and let it cool until it’s lukewarm.

Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Then stir in the milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and about 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Beat until batter is smooth. Add about 2 1/2-3 cups of the flour and beat well until the dough is smooth in appearance. Add the melted butter and beat until dough looks glossy, then stir in remaining flour until dough is stiff.

Turn out onto a floured surface and cover with your mixing bowl, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and turn dough over to grease the top. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Punch down, then let rise again until almost the size it was.

Turn out again onto your floured surface, and divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into three again, and roll each piece between your hands into a 12 to 16 inch strip. Braid three strips into a loaf, tucking the ends under a little, and lift the braids onto greased baking sheets. Let rise for 20 mintutes.


Brush each loaf with a bit of the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check occasionally to avoid burning the bottoms. I usually brush with a little more melted butter and sprinkle a bit more sugar on top then. Because it tastes good.



December 31, 2009

Seth’s First Christmas, Part 2

by Hannah

We waited for Jackie to come home from the hospital to celebrate Christmas with Manny’s side of the family. It was a celebration of having her home too!

I took these with my iPhone, so the quality is a little meh. Sorry.

Uncle Chris helping Seth with his presents.


Seth loved this book.


Manny’s parents got him a laptop.

Seth with one of his new toys.

Manny and his new toy.

It was a lovely little holiday celebration.

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