Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


No plans for us as of yet, but Bella is enjoying a special witch kong in honor of All Hallows Eve.  I hope everyone is having a fancy, cozy holiday!

P.S. Love this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Finances....Budgeting

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Today, I'd like to offer a little tip about budgeting that has really helped me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Martha's Vineyard


This weekend we're in Martha's Vineyard for a family reunion.  I love being on the east coast.  Whenever I get to travel back east, I always fantasize about living here ~ the seasons, the history, the architecture, the general feeling.  There's something about it that makes our moderate climate and relatively short history seem so vanilla (this is not to say that I don't appreciate many aspects of living in California).

Looking across the harbor

Our family has a bit of history here.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Comfort in the Kitchen

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Whenever I get bored around my house my mind inevitably wanders to rearranging furniture.  I don't always act on it (Dietrich would go nuts) but I love the refreshment that a new arrangement brings.  

Home and design sites (one of my favorites is Apartment Therapy) offer great inspiration and give me new ideas.  I recently stumbled across a photo of a comfortable chair in the kitchen and fell in love with this concept!  My mom has a couch and a comfortable chair in her kitchen and that's pretty much where I live when I go visit her.  How nice would it be to cook a yummy meal while I loved one curls up nearby with a cocktail or cup of tea?  
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Even better yet if you're the one engulfed in a comfortable chair while a loved one cooks for you! 

What are your favorite sources for design inspiration?

Monday, October 15, 2012


I shared my morning routine a while back (it's so different these days)  and now I'd like to talk about evening routines.  Dinner, specifically.  What do you like to do for dinner, or in the evenings when you are winding down?

Dietrich and I have had changing habits over time, but lately I have been loving Real Simple recipes.  They recently published a meals for a month issue which includes shopping lists and recipes for four weeks of meals.  I love the variety, and that it takes out the hemming and hawing about what to make for dinner.  It's pretty easy on the grocery budget too!

I'd hate to admit it, but often times after dinner we usually end up watching TV, catching up on emails, work and social networking.  I would love to spend more time away from artificial screens, so we have been trying to incorporate more backgammon and yoga (for me).  That sounds totally random, but it's true!

What about you?  What's your evening routine?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Something Spooky

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I really love Halloween.  I liken myself to Claire in the Halloween episode of Modern Family, except instead of actually acting on my love with elaborate costumes or decorations it's all in my imagination.  That is why I am always so enamored by the Halloween goodies and crafts that pop up this time of year online and in catalogues and magazines.

Here are some of my favorites:

"Too cute to be creepy" Salem Owls

A mini-paperclay Halloween Jack O Lantern

Bone and teeth Halloween Bottle Openers

Googly-eyed Undead Pumpkins

Dinner with the Addams tablescape

I fantasize about having a reason to indulge in these, like a big festive Halloween party or creating a spooky trick or treat experience for the kids in our neighborhood, but I can never seem to justify the expense.  However, this year we had a few gift cards left over from our wedding so I decided to indulge in this and am currently drinking my coffee in this.  

Halloween rituals start with making everything spooky!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Inspired By: Communal Living

This past weekend my mom was in town, and we had a delightful Saturday afternoon.  

I took her to Patine, where I got a deliciously scented candle, and she got a vintage tin to hold vanity goodies.  We were recommended to go to a nearby Open Studio tour, which we did. To say it was inspiring would be an understatement.  

We arrived at Charles Prentiss' home and studio after a winding drive up a one way road flanked by overgrown foliage.  When we got to the top of the hill there were panoramic views of the ocean beyond blankets of produce fields.  His art was incredible, but what was really inspiring was his way of life.  He lives on a commune (for lack of a better word) with three other families that have all lived there for 30 years. They built the structures themselves, and it is nothing like I pictured communal living.  My mom and I walked around in awe, taking in as much as we could of the scenery, the layout, the idea, the art, and the beauty of it all.  We didn't want to leave! 

I think the video explains it best.

The experience got me fantasizing about trying something like it.  Would you enjoy this style of living, or is it too close for your comfort level?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Do or Don't: Faux Leather Leggings

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The other day I was shopping and spotted a pair of faux leather leggings.   There was something about them that tempted me, so I tried them on.  

I liked them.  

I thought they would be cute with a cozy white sweater and tennis shoes or ballet flats. But then I thought, when would I actually wear these?  They seemed so flashy, and surely any one who saw me wearing them would be chuckling under their breath.  With the way my current wardrobe is they would not go unnoticed among those who know me.  So I strayed away.  

But then I kept spotting them in cute outfits online, and I continued lusting after them.  So I decided to buy a pair.  I wish I could afford these (not faux) and I think these are really cute too, but I ended up going with these.  There are so many cute styles, I just decided to go with the cheapest pair since I will probably only wear them once a year.  That is, if they are still in style next year.  

They're en route to my house as we speak. 


*Update:  They arrived and I love them!  I still don't know when I will wear them, but they're worth it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Been A While...

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Hello there.  I'll state the obvious - it's been a while since I've posted on here.  Over two months! I have missed blogging, but at the same time I never seemed to work it into my schedule. For the last two months I decided not to stress about that and just let it be.  So here we are, without post for many moons.   

A summary of what has been going on:

I quit my old job at the CPA firm for good.

I floated down the Rogue River with my family.

I started working with two amazing companies part time:  Synergy and Patine.

Last but not least I decided to start my very own CPA practice - just me!  Hannah Brandt, CPA! So now the aura of my work is more like this.

So, if you have any tax questions, you know who to call ;)