Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Recap

Hallie's first Christmas has come and gone already :(. As we had expected, it was awesome to experience the holidays in a whole new way...through the eyes of our child. Some of the special memories from this year include me sewing special Christmas Eve pjs for Hal and her cousin Kate; Daddy building Hallie a shiny yellow wagon that was waiting under the tree on Christmas morning; shopping as a family for Christmas presents; drive thru Bethlehem, etc. The list goes on and on.

Hal is nine months old today and this has been such a fun age. She is laughing at everything. She especially likes "Sweet Brown" of YouTube fame. She says "Mama," "Dadda" and "baba.". She is crawling everywhere, standing and getting into everything. Ahhhh! We are looking forward to celebrating the new year quietly at home as a family. We hope you are too!

Enjoy the photo recap of our holidays :)

Ciao for now

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Wonderland

I'm from Minnesota, so Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas without white stuff on the ground. Luckily for me, Omaha got a big ol' storm just in time for the holidays! It also knocked out a lot of people's power, including my mom and dad's, so hopefully that will be back on in time for Dad to make his famous Christmas prime rib. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful view from our front and back yard...and one of my mini itty bitty cutie :)

Ciao for now

Sunday, December 16, 2012

DIY Garland Christmas Card Holder

This DIY project was pretty self-explanatory and easy.  I've been looking for a simple and chic way to display my Christmas cards that is simple (did I mention it needs to be simple?) and inexpensive.  I trolled around Pinterest and found a nice one on The Good Stuff blog and it looked easy enough.  I already had a gaggle of pre-lit garlands from Target in my basement, so I used two 8' strands.  I think they cost around $10 when I bought them a few years ago.  I used 3m command strips (I looooooove these things) to hang the garland around the outside of the door trim and then just used plain wooden clothespins to hang the cards.  The one I saw on Pinterest used diy glitter clothespins.  No thank you.  I don't do glitter.   It. Is. A. Mess.  I added a DIY Faux Iron Letter "J" to the upper left hand corner (more on those in a later blog) for a little pizazz and that was it.  Easy peasy.  Feel free to copy and add your own pizazz :)

Ciao for now

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Family Funday

It was a balmy 18 degrees in Omaha this evening, and wicked windy to boot.  So, the Jensen clan (minus Finnley, because he was like "it's only 18 degrees out y'all...that's crazy!") headed down to Midtown Crossing to look at the Christmas lights and have some dinner.  We snagged a covered parking spot in the free parking garage - something I didn't fully appreciate about Midtown Crossing until this chilly time of year - and then decided on the Black Oak Grill for dinner.  The restaurant has only been open about a week, but we've eaten at most of the other restaurants down there and thought it would be fun to try something new.  I loved everything about it!  The atmosphere was cozy and warm and semi-upscale, but we felt completely comfortable in our jeans.  The menu isn't huge, but had a good variety and the prices were super reasonable ($8 - $15 for a dinner entree). We got barbeque chicken nachos for an appetizer, but I think they mixed up our order, because there was neither bbq sauce nor chicken on them :)  They were delicious anyway.  Hallie got the baked potato soup and she said it was nummy.  Okay, I'll be honest...I ate some of it.  It was nummy.  Cory got the chicken fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli and I got a cheeseburger with fries.  Both were really well put together and very flavorful.  My cheeseburger came on a fresh brioche bun which they have delivered daily from a local bakery.  Awesome.  But, the very best part of the meal was the fresh baked bread with handmade cinnamon honey butter.  Soooooaaaamazing!  Helpful tip: our waitress clued us in that they never offer seconds on the bread, but if you are bold enough to ask, they are happy to oblige.  Cheers!

  Mandatory family photo in front of the giant Christmas tree ;)

 Enjoying the lights and snuggling with Daddy to stay warm

 Belly full of baked potato soup

 You've been warned!

Ciao for now

Saturday, December 8, 2012

HO, HO, HO...NO.

We decided to take Hal to see Santa for the first time today.  Our small town was having a Christmas festival and it seemed like the perfect, low-key opportunity to meet Mr. Claus.  Anyone who has met Hallie knows she is just about the most laid-back, happy baby that has ever lived.  Nothing much seems to bother her.  For example, prior to meeting Santa, we stopped and met Aunt Kama for a glass of wine.  Hal sat there while us gals chatted and didn't fuss or really make a peep the whole time.  And she's only cried once when someone other than me or Dad wanted to hold her.  So, you can understand why I figured Santa would be her new best friend.  Wrong.  We walked into the local fire station and Cory handed her over to Santa.  She looked a little bewildered at first...

Then she turned around and realized it wasn't Dad holding her...

Little miss happy-go-lucky disappeared :(  Despite her reaction, it was so fun to see her experience Santa for the first time!  We decided we might try one more time with the mall Santa to see if it was just a fluke or if she's really not a fan. 

When we got home (and after a nice long nap) we decided to make some cookies for Dad.  We tried this recipe for Whopper cookies from Shugary Sweets.  Hal was a super big help ;)  She really seemed to like being a part of the baking action.

Ciao for now

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmastime is here!

Pre-Hallie-Nicole really went all out for Christmas. The whole house was decorated to the nine's (whatever that means) the day after Thanksgiving. It was a big deal. Post-Hallie-Nicole managed to get the tree up on December 6th. There seems to be much less time and energy when a kiddo is around. We also put up the stockings and a few decorations on the mantel and called it good. Then we enjoyed our pizza and eggnog as a family. Hallie doesn't know the difference. A few sparkly lights and she is beyond impressed. Maybe a pared down Christmas will be good for us...a chance to remember the real reason for the season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winesday Wednesday

Being a stay-at-home momma is the bee's knees.  But sometimes a gal needs some adult company :)  For me, this comes in the form of "Winesday Wednesday" with my bestie/sis-in-law, Carla/Deb.  We get together every Wednesday and put the girls down for their naps.  Then we turn on the good 'ol fourth hour of the today show (for those of you working a 9 - 5 job, yes there is a fourth hour of the today show...and it is the best hour).  We watch KLG (Kathie Lee Gifford, duh) and Hoda Woman make lovely fools of themselves.  And we have wine.  At ten o'clock in the morning :)  Please don't judge.  I don't get out much.  Today Carla had quite a spread...cheese, salami, Jordan almonds, goat cheese stuffed dates and these.  YUM!  Once the girls get up, they have a happy time playing together, watching us play "Just Dance 4", etc.  Good times.  Sometimes the four of us head out for a grand adventure.  Today...Chik-Fil-A!  I had to see what all the hype was about.  Yummy chicken sandwich, okay fries, AWESOME peppermint milk shake.  We got some to-go for Daddy and spilled the entire shake down the side of my front seat while trying to get in the car.  Super duper. 

More peppermint milkshake, please :)

Ciao for now