Thursday, December 19, 2013

60 Day Challenge Recap

Remember back in October when I started a 60 Day Challenge at Pure Barre {here}? Well, Sunday marked 60 days and I pleased to announce that I completed my challenge with time to spare! In fact, I actually did 41 classes during the challenge!

 // Follow me on Instagram // 

I completed my 40th class two days before the challenge was over and I got to celebrate with a glass of champagne. Pure Barre Boulder was actually celebrating their 3rd anniversary, but it was perfect timing for some bubbly.

I can't tell you how excited I was to finish the challenge and see my star in the final column, especially because about halfway through the challenge I calculated out the rest of my time and I was starting to worry I wouldn't finish, especially with impending obligations and weather that would keep me from the studio.

It felt great to finish and I loved looking at my visit history after the fact and seeing that my push to get 40 classes in two months put me about 25 classes away from earning my 100 Club socks!

I'm so glad I found Pure Barre. It has seriously changed my life. I don't know of any other exercise that I would be looking forward to doing 3 to 5 times a week to meet a goal of 40 classes in 2 months. Sure, I love spinning, yoga, boot camp, walking, but Pure Barre takes the cake and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Check out some of my other posts about Pure Barre:

2 Weeks of Unlimited Pure Barre | Pure Barre, 5 Classes In | What Is Pure Barre? | Pure Barre Class #9 | Pure Barre Update | Christian Hits the Barre | 60 Day Challenge | Comparisons

  Have you met any fitness or health goals lately that you'd like to take a second to share? Brag away in the comments! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Craft Night

Attention GFC followers: GFC seems to be a thing of the past, as it's now missing from my sidebar. Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up with Hannah, Here! posts. 


Over the weekend, I had a casual craft night with Stephy -- my first craft night ever! I'm not sure how most gals run their craft nights, but Stephy and I did our own crafts instead of both doing the same thing. But actually, I did borrow one of her craft ideas from earlier in the week.

Anyway, I made candy covered pretzel thins for us to snack on and we spiked some mulled apple cider with salted caramel vodka. Yum!

 Here's what you need: 

I want to stress, these are not chocolate covered pretzels. These are not yogurt covered pretzels. They're candy covered pretzels and they're amazing. I used white candy and red/white/green sprinkles to be festive, but Michael's has a huge variety of colors and of course they make just about any color and combination of sprinkles ever.

Follow the directions on the Wilton's bag to melt the chips. I used a double boiler because my microwave was broken at the time. It was incredibly easy and the candy melted fast! I dipped the pretzel crisps into the pot (and kept the water on the bottom simmering to keep the candy warm) and then fished them out with a fork. I only used the whole pretzels to make it look nicer and more uniform and because they're easier to fish out. I let the excess candy drip off the pretzel and then placed it on wax paper to dry. They dry within an hour, so add sprinkles relatively quickly so they stick!

I decided to do two projects, the first of which was to decorate a wreath. I picked one up from Michael's for about $8 and then just fluffed it up a bit. I found the thinnest part of the wreath and added a burlap bow to make it the bottom. I used {this} tutorial to make the perfect bow. The rest of the wreath, I filled with gift tags. I found some in the $1 section that read "joy" in glitter letters and I found another set that were glittery and had a stocking, a tree, a snowman, and a candy cane

For a first time crafter, it was pretty easy and doable.

Here's a few close-ups:

My other project was inspired by Stephy's craft, seen below.

I cut six-inch strips from my burlap and added a triangle shape to the bottom of each strip. Stephy had some four-inch stencils she let me borrow for the letters and I alternated red and green acrylic paint for each. I added the white ampersand and then used a snowflake printable from some random website as a stencil for either end.

I'm so happy with it, especially the snowflakes! I want to do more already! For now, I hung it on the mantle, but I rehung the stockings and they're covering the bunting right now. 

And don't forget New Year's is just two weeks away. Do you have your NYE essentials yet?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ten on Ten :: December 2013

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!

 I braved the long lines at Kohl's and Target and scored some awesome essentials for Christmas for both Christian and me.  Yes, that shirt is from Elf.
// Pajamas // Tie // Tee //

 Look at my sweet, shy boy. Holmes is one of my four foster kittens. (Sherlock, Watson, and Moriarty are his brother and sisters.) He's still skiddish and scared, but we're working on him!

Enjoying a Santa belt sugar cookie (just one, I swear) and some hot chocolate, complete with mini mallows and a mini candy cane.

While most people seem to be getting their snow now, we got ours a week ago. This week was the warmest it has been since Tuesday (mid-20's), so the snow is here to stay! For now, at least.

Also at Target, I got new gloves, which I'm so excited about since my last pair had a giant hole in them. I'm also excited that they double as mittens! 
 // Gloves //

Pure Barre Boulder: Where I spend most weeknights. Tonight, I took my 38th class toward my 60 Day Challenge of 40 classes. Fingers crossed I'll be done on Thursday, three days ahead of schedule!

Even on a cold, very windy night, 29th Street Mall is ready for Christmas with twinkling lights, bustling shoppers, and giant, glittery presents.

Sweet potato smash fries are what dreams are made of. I enjoyed a nice long dinner with my dear friend Krista as we mostly talked about How I Met Your Mother. (Any other fans out there?)

You know when you're so into your conversation (about fictional people on the television show you watch), you don't notice you're the last two people in a restaurant and all the employees are just hanging out, ready to leave? Yeah, that was us.

Ending the night by a cozy fireplace and a trimmed tree. I'm so excited about Christmas this year and just soaking up every moment of it. If you follow me on Instagram (@HannahLarson42), you can see just how much I love Christmas every day!

{Was anyone else having problems when they uploaded their pictures to the post, they would be all grainy and washed out? I had a hard time with three of my photos and it was very frustrating!}
ten on ten button

Monday, December 09, 2013

Christmas Cookies Gift Box

This Christmas, I'm trying to be a little more Pinteresty.  I already debuted my hot chocolate bar {here} and I had the best time putting it together.  When my family told me how touched they were that I did that for them, I wanted do it again!  It feels good to do nice things for other people and Pinterest is chalk full of ideas for just that.  Also, I'm a little over this gift card craze and wanted to give special gifts with homemade touches, even things that people could enjoy together.

One of the gifts I put together and have already given twice is this Christmas cookies gift box.  Since people usually do their holiday baking before the 25th, I delivered the box to my aunt, uncle, and cousin over the weekend when I babysat.  My hope is that they can spend an afternoon together baking and decorating cookies and create great memories with their loved ones in the process.

The great thing about this gift is that you can dress it up or dress it down.  I was able to do a slightly simplified version for a nice White Elephant exchange (meaning not joke gifts) that had a price limit.  I'm a big fan of baking myself and every year, I look forward to decorating holiday cookies with my family, so hopefully people can enjoy the same thing since it's literally wrapped up in a bow for them!  This year I tried to focus on creating the Spirit of Christmas for people, rather than buying cliche, obligatory gifts, because Christmas is more than that!

For my aunt and uncle, I added an extra roll of gluten free cookie dough and three cookie cutters: a holly leaf, a Christmas bow, and a snowflake.

I filled the box (from Hobby Lobby) with shredded paper (Michael's) to hold everything in place and make it look nicer. I got plastic crafting ornaments from Michael's and filled them with different Christmas sprinkles. (Use a funnel!)  For the cookie dough, I rolled it into a log and made sure it had a light dusting of flour (not flour for the GF roll) so it wouldn't stick to plastic wrap. I rolled it into some wrapping paper and used baker's twine to tie off the ends.

Unfortunately I didn't manage my time before leaving the house either time and didn't get to get the pictures I wanted, but you can find the original pin {here}.

Be sure to add some baking directions. I also included the royal icing I use for my melting snowman cookies. And keep the dough refrigerated until delivery.

Follow me on Pinterest @HannahLarson42.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Hot Chocolate Bar

Earlier this week, Kym at Travel Babbles posted a picture of the hot chocolate bar she made for her kitchen {here}.  It was so adorable, I had to do it myself and since it's so easy and pretty cheap, I figured I'd share with y'all.  P.S. You have to check out that post because she has so many Pinterest-worthy ideas, like a "25 reasons why I love you" advent calendar for her hubby and mini apple apples!

Kym used the cutest apothecary jars, but I went by what was on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Her jars give it a more whimsical and Christmas-y feel I think.  ;)  Also, the one thing I keep forgetting to get at Michael's/Hobby Lobby is chalk, so I added the number for the countdown board.

Christmas countdown board - $1 at Target (dollar section)
Medium glass canister - $6.99 at Hobby Lobby, 50% off
Small glass canisters - $5.99 each at Hobby Lobby, 50% off
Irish coffee cups - $2.49 each at King Soopers, 30% off
Red & white string - $2.99 at Hobby Lobby, 50% off
Mini glitter ornaments - $1 at Target (dollar section)

We already had the tray, I just laid down a white dish towel on it to make it look a little nicer and give it some texture.

I dumped out a can of hot chocolate mix into the largest canister (and it was just the right amount).  I got a large bag of mini marshmallows and a 40-count box of mini green and red candy canes.  I have extra of everything in the pantry to restock when we're low!

We're not the biggest lovers of hot chocolate or sweets at my house, but it brightens up the room quite a bit and it will be great for guests who come over during the holiday season.  Plus, this week is all about the single-digit temperatures and snowfall, so it's perfect for keeping cozy by the fire!

By the way, here's what we're workin' with in Colorado today: 5 inches of snow and 10 degrees.  What better day to enjoy a hot chocolate bar is there?