Sunday, October 14, 2012


"I feel like if I blog after college I either have to blog about crafting, fashion, or babies. I don't want to blog about any of those things. And so I'm silent" - an old friend

I'm not sure how to begin. Because I don't know what I want to say yet. 

I've really missed this.

My life this year has brought changes that probably take place over the course of several years. 

Graduation. Marriage. Moving cross country. Working full time. 

My life last year was mornings blogging at coffeehouses, late nights writing papers for English, pining after the boy snail, knowing we would be together soon. 

And yet, I was comfortable with myself in those times. I was happy with my coffee in the morning and the click of my keyboard as I spilled out my thoughts to nobody in particular. 

I was happy being with myself. 

I haven't really been alone since I graduated. Don't get me wrong, it's been really wonderful. Getting married, I can't even tell you...

...Isaac is my best friend. He will always be my best friend. I struggle with words to express exactly how in love I am, that he is now dedicated to walking by my side for the rest of our time. 

But somewhere, I lost being with myself. 

Consider this an experiment. Consider this a new start. Consider it whatever you want...but most of all, consider me. Consider me a believer. A dreamer. Someone who still believes in magic and laughter and sprinkles on ice cream. 

Consider the autumn that surrounds you and consider coffeehouses to be the best source of medicine. 

Consider how your heart beats faster when you find a piece of home in a place you didn't expect. 

Consider the leaves changing and the evident hand of God's paintbrush. 

Consider what you once believed, that growing up would be an awfully big adventure. Consider "what would Peter do?"

Consider yourself lucky. Because no matter how you change, no matter who comes in and out of your life, if you can learn to be with'll never be too lonely. 

Location: One More Cup

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

American Rover

As I like to very snottily say, whenever I see a boat, "I pretty much grew up on a boat you know."

But seriously dad and his brother grew up on the Lake of the Ozarks, and so did I. 

Ever since I was little, I've loved being on the water. Some of the best memories I have with my family are at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

So when I saw a groupon for a cruise on the American Rover, I couldn't resist. 

How lovely that I didn't! It was such a perfect way to end the boy snail and I's four months in Virginia Beach. 

Snail Papa and Mama come Friday, graduation Saturday, church Sunday, home-bound Monday!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You crafty girl, you...

Sometimes I talk to myself. Most people do right? Reminding yourself of something. 

Or maybe just a little motivation...

I've been talking to myself lately, "Oh, you crafty girl, you."

One thing I splurged on while I was here in Virginia was a sewing machine. A co-worker sold me one for cheap and I started in making belts, bags, and a few dresses.

I found this tutorial via pinterest for a summer dress. I'm a sucker for summer dresses. So comfy and easy. So I had to try.

Another tutorial I read suggested using old sheets. Already hemmed. Yes! 

Here is the result...

Necklace - Charming Charlies
Shrug - TJ Max Clearance
Belt - H&M
Dress - Thrifted sheet and summer dress tutorial
Sandal - Africa

Have a lovely, lovely day blog lovelies. And drink some tea for me!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Things I've learned in Virginia

It's possible to fall in love every day.

Coffeehouses will always make me feel at home.

Do not underestimate the power of magazine parties and wine, even over skype.

I like cats. Not enough to live with them. 

God has perfect timing. 

I love the boy snail (ok, so I re-learned this).

Beach = good

Never complain about the traffic in Kansas City. Ever. 

Make things you love a priority. Blogging (which I didn't do, and I wish I had), writing, singing in the shower, dressing up for no reason, crafting. These things are what make you, you. They make the day pass. They make things feel happy, even when it's rainy. 

Do the right thing, even if you get kicked in the butt for it. You'll feel better. And chances are, the Lord has somewhere else he wants you anyway. 

Never, ever, stop learning. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

 Sadly, I work for corporate America who have no sense of humor about bare feet, so I had my TOMS on all day, but I did go mini-golfing without!

And beat the boy snail might I add. 

And now, for the winner!

Congrats Oly Reyes! So excited for you my old friend. And you will love this book. I promise. 

I know I have been away from Neverland. But wonderful things are happening. With a Save the Date...and a certain favorite movie of ours. 

Oh you shall find out soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Felt the joy and the fear

There is something about tea that I find calming. Not just the drink, but the ritual. The pretty cups, the small cakes and flowers on a lace tablecloth. The stopping, and breathing, and sitting with a person you care about. 

And for a moment that person is the most important thing in the world. 

We don't stop a lot. I don't stop a lot. But as I was mapquesting away at work today, I started to think. 

About tea. About friends that are not here and those that are. About life and stopping. And letting someone in enough to say, "you are the most important thing about my life in this moment."

And so I stopped at the thrift store, bought myself the essentials, and because I couldn't wait, had tea with myself. Just because. I needed to stop. And for a moment, be the most important thing in my world. 

What helps you stop, and just be?

New Soul - Yael Naim
(possibly one of my favorite music videos of all time)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Words ending in "ing" of the week:

Jenny&Tyler seeing.

Cake baking. For a very Happy Birthday for my Mama for four months.

Bag making.

Coffeehouse Haunting.

Soon-to-be-sister listening.

"Everything is great. Everything is grand. I've got the whole wide world in the palm of my hands." 

Yes, yes I believe I do. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012



Peter Pan.

A drive through the country with the window down. 

The library and the smell of old books.


Time alone.



Coffee. And the houses that serve it.

21 Jump Street.

Oh, and you should go download this song and fight human trafficking. 
Jenny&Tyler strike my heart again.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Giveaway: Start Something That Matters

Let me back up.

I saw this article and thought...wait...I blog, I write about TOMS all the time. Maybe they would let me do this!

The premise is this. In order to get the word out about his new book, Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, offered a giveaway of his own.

Books for Bloggers. Tell TOMS why your blog would be a good one to feature a giveaway. If you win, TOMS would send you not one, but TWO free copies of "Start Something That Matters." You read one, review it on amazon and your blog, and then giveaway the other.

Well friends, almost six months later, here we are.

Between my December and moving I've just now had time to finish the book. And what a book friends, what a book.

Let me start by saying this. It was not from lack of inspiration that it took me so long to finish this book. Anyone that knows me, knows I fly through books. But there are those, those books that especially challenge how I think and what I believe, that take me a little longer. These are the books that stay on my shelf. These are the books I re-read to suck every last bit of goodness out of. And this is one of those books.

Every time I picked it up, I came away feeling inspired to impliment little changes in my life. To start thinking of creative ways to help people, making plans for my future, trying to find ways to incorporate the things I love (Africa) with the things that I'm good at (uh...giggling? this part is a little harder).

You cannot read about Blake's journey, about the laughs AND the trials, without feeling something. Inspired yes. But I also found myself challenged. Challenged to look and see where giving was lacking in my life. It's a hard look. I'm still looking.

The book is written almost like a business model. He goes through specific componant of his business, showing people the ways that he's succeded and even some of the mistakes he's made. I laughed. Outloud. A lot. Much to my embaressment in public places. Stories of Norstroms calling and offices based out of apartments.

But there were heart wrenching stories as well. I still remember reading about the first shoe drop. I was sitting in bed with my mom, and I woke her up, cause I had to read her this one specific spot:

"The kids, anticipating a new pair - or their first pair - of shoes were so eager for our arrival that they would start clapping with joy when they spotted the bus rolling into town. I broken down in tears many times. Oh my God, I thought, this is actually working."

It was this, this connection I felt to someone I didn't know, that caused me to keep reading. I thought of all the times in Africa I experienced the same joy. His vulnerability and total willingness to bare his soul for the purpose of inspiring people, is what kept me reading. The business advice was sound, and just about anyone can find something good in it, but this was my connection to the book.

And now for the giveaway. In the past I've done giveaways that require following and twittering and all of that.

But this isn't about getting publicity to my blog. This is about giving people the gift I was given. If you want to enter, just tell me. Comment on facebook, comment on this blog, call me, text me...whatever.

On April 10, 2012, on TOMS annual One Day Without Shoes, I will announce the winner. The winner will be decided by simply putting all the names in a hat and drawing one. I'll ship the book to you the next day.

Spread the word. Buy some TOMS. Start something that matters. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh Hannah

It's been an "Oh Hannah" week. 

I skyped with Kit yesterday. Don't you love it when Jesus puts people in your life, people you depend on so entirely, just to find out that God has even more in store for your friendship. I find myself growing closer to my maid-of-honor than I thought was possible, and realizing how entirely Jesus has placed her in my life. 

I was talking to her about my week. She laughed at the end of my 20 minute ramble of complete nonsense of a week and said..."So not only are you working and planning a wedding, but you're thinking about all that too? Oh Hannah."

It was an "Oh Hannah" week. 

It was a week of thinking. My job leaves a lot of room for thinking. Meditating? Sure. 

About marriage. About putting this man (when I'm serious he switches out of boy snail mode) entirely before myself. 

About friendships, and the death of them. And how insecure that leaves me feeling. 

About God. And the bigness of his love. And the stretches of the universe. And the concept of eternity. 

About adventure. About how I've always said I want adventure in my life, and yet when it comes, I shy away. 

Yes, an "Oh Hannah" week. 

So please forgive me for abandoning Neverland for a bit. My thoughts have been a little to big for this small piece of my heart. 

But I love you Neverland, even if I've been thinking very grown up thoughts lately. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Draping...but not for my wedding

In this midst of the craziness that is planning a wedding and work...

...I have found time for cake baking. 

Spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Experimenting with a draping technique I saw on Cake Boss (don't judge). 

I'm gettin' better no?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My life looks drastically different than I thought it would at this time in my life. And it's been making me think. A lot. When you mapquest for 5 hours every day you have time to think. 

About what is the same as before graduation.

Like Mario 64 lunch breaks. 

And what's different. 

Like the absence of coffeehouses. That I don't have homework. I have a fiance. I'm trying to maintain close friendships over 5 timezones (family overseas is a complicated thing). 

I've always wanted an adventurous life. But when it comes right down to the adventure, I tend to chicken out. I worry. I get insecure. And I convince myself that it's better to just work and save and spend my evenings  pinning things to do in the future, but never quite finding time to do them. 

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

I've been comparing my life. To what I thought it should be. To the lives I see in documentaries. To my life pre-graduation. 

And while I'm not completely joyless, far from it, I realized I've been stressing myself out for no reason. Stressing about things that didn't matter for today.

So forgive me love, if I forget that our life is for adventure. Just keep reminding me. I promise I'll do better. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Remembering Your Day

I was told, by ever so many people, that I needed to prioritize my wedding. Pick 3 important things, and make sure those things happen, and then don't stress about the rest. 

The first thing that came to my mind was photography. I love drooling over other people's wedding photos and, let's face it, for a girl in her twenties, I have a atrociously bad memory. 

I've always loved the very natural looking photography. Outdoors. Natural light and soft colors. Old barns and ripped up couches in the woods. 

But where to start? I wanted to meet the photographer first. I mean, they'll be hanging out with my crazy family and the boy snail's crazy family all day long. 

I'll tell you what friends. I lucked out. Not only did I find one, I found two amazing photographers! A couple. Adam and Wendy. 

I met them at a bridal show my mom and I went to just for fun to get ideas. We hired them the next day. 

Not only do they take some of the most gorgeous natural light photography I've ever seen...

...but they have such an eye for detail shots and such an interesting perspective. 

And they may even do custom photo booths...just sayin'.

I might just be a little more excited about the photographs than the wedding. 

(Except not really at all)

They are incredible. Please check them out. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What I've learned from my big girl job...

...mapquest makes bad decisions sometimes.

...lunch breaks should be pre-planned to avoid not getting any break cause you're running around like crazy.

...rush hour traffic exists. Just cause I haven't ever had to sit in it before, doesn't mean it wasn't there. makes everything go faster.

...singing outloud is frowned upon in corporate environments. will be confused, but it's ok to ask questions. In all of life.

...I make mistakes, but they can be fixed. matter how many times I do it, calling phone to phone in the office will always be as fun as when I was five and calling my cousin on my dad's office phone. is good.

...and tea can be better.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can You Paint With all the Colors of the Kitchen?

Well I can!

Saw these all over pinterest and just had to give it a try. 

This is the result. 
Guys...lets keep doing this ok?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Memory 21

Did you ever have pretend games as a kid or was that just me? 

I loved dress-up, Indians, enchanted forest, pioneer women. I loved them all. I would create worlds and characters and personas. 

Dress up was no playing matter in my world. 

And I got particularly good at pretend office. 

I had the whole set up complete with four page fake customer list with phone numbers, magazine that customers would order out of (designed by myself and my best friend at the time Heather. We were a clothing magazine) two line phone system, filed documents, and an old laptop to type on. 

Bushnick Designs Incorporated 
(seriously, don't ask how we came up with that name, I don't remember)

How appropriate that now that I'm entering the world, I get a job working for a corporation doing data processing. 

I know, not exactly the type of job you'd see eccentric me working in. But since I'm only in Virginia till the boy snail graduates, I needed something temporary. And this one lets me act like a big kid.
(complete with new, big-kid-I'm-a-working-grown-up shoes. They're real pretty)

And besides, I'm sure corporate America could use a few more little kids to lighten things up.

What was your favorite pretend game growing up?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Location, Location, Location

When the boy snail and I started thinking about getting married, I became quite particular about the location. 

My first choice was the amazing theater we performed at in high school. 
It's mostly ruins now, but so many memories camp out in that section of my heart. And, the parking lot of this theater is where the boy snail first told me he liked me all the way back in high school. 

But alas, when I called about reserving the location, the manager said they would probably demolish this beauty by the following year. 
(they've been saying that for years though, so maybe a engagement photo opportunity hmm?)

So we started back at square one. What to do. Many websites I looked at suggested a place that had emotional significance for the couple, but that idea had been shot down. 

So I went with the second best thing to emotional significance. I went with something that I adore (and that the boy snail loves, maybe not adores like I do, but there are sparks). 


Mom and I started the hunt. And guess what. I think this location might have emotional significance in the years to come, just like the theater. 

Yes. Pumpkin Farm. You know it's perfect. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Next, Just-Learning Baker

I got brave.

Tell you what, things are always easier with the right tools. Valli, my cake decorating mentor and adopted mom for the next 4 months lent me all the professional cake decorating supplies she had. 

And I present to you, a first ditch effort to bake then decorate!
Let the new obsession take root and grow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 24

1) Cake Decorating
Seriously, I'm addicted to Cake Boss, Next Great Baker, Cake Wars, Ace of Cakes, and Amazing Wedding Cakes.
P.S. - Valli, who I'm living with right now, used to be a cake decorator. My present this year for my birthday is a custom made cake by Valli, that I get to help with to learn! What!

Next Great Baker here I come. Or maybe more like Next Just-Learning Baker. 

2) Tulle. 
Oh don't worry, you'll find out why eventually. 

3) This incredible cover of Fix You by Coldplay done by my soon-to-be-sister and her friend. 
I can't believe how soothing her voice is. I've listened to this like 14 times already. 

4) Paint Chips. They save my life while pre-wedding planning.

5) Wedding Planning. 
And to keep all you lovelies updated on the happenings, I present for your enjoyment a new series!

So get ready, cause the fun don't stop till I get a ring on that boy snails finger!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kiss the Girl - December Part 5

New Years Eve was particularly wonderful this year. Emily had a party at her house, complete with good friends, good food, and lots of fake mustaches! 

The boy snail and I were heading to Virginia on the 2nd, so I was particularly eager to see my girls one last time. It was the perfect end to a perfect December. 
Thank you guys for all your support in this crazy time. 
I'm just trying to remember if there is anything left to tell you about December.
I don't know...can you guys think of anything?
Anything different at all?
Oh come on! You know!

Ok ok! I'll just tell you silly lovelies! The boy snail proposed! And it was perfect, and lovely, and everything I could have hoped for.

And baby look at that ring! White Sapphire, fair trade, and a band swirling into white gold perfection.

Ok, ok, the proposal. He told me he had always wanted to reenact his fiance's favorite movie. 

The party headed outside at midnight to count down the new year. As midnight struck, Isaac's friend Dane started playing "Kiss the Girl" on guitar. I didn't realize what was happening as friends gathered around and started singing along.

And then he got down on one knee. And I shrieked and nodded through my tears. 
And so now we come to today, living in Virginia, job hunting, and enjoying first ever spontaneous date nights with the boy snail. And of course pining the crap out of my wedding plans

So stay tuned lovelies, things are only beginning. It's my turn for the crazy, blogging insanity of wedding planning!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

These Christmas Lights, Keep Shining On - December Part 4

Many of you will remember my stories about Christmas with my family. 

So many traditions. The ornament exchange, Santa comes, Kris Kringle (complete with handmade gifts). But this year was particularly special, because we got to welcome two new people into the family, my sister and the boy snail. This was their first Christmas with the Nobrega family. 
Sometimes I wonder why the boy snail doesn't run in the opposite direction. 

And as a special little surprise, Beni got to sit on Santa's lap. He has such a strong resemblance to a certain husband of hers, we just couldn't resist. Really they're almost identical, my brother and Santa.
But the most special of all (at least for me) was that on this, the first year that my sister got inducted into the Kris Kringle tradition, I got her name. So I made what every new wife needs, an apron and a cookbook full of Nobrega family recipes, even with a few handwritten by my Grandma. 
(Also note part of my incredible Kris Kringle gift around my neck, thanks again cousin Missy)

Le sigh. Completely-Perfect-For-Me-Family pictured below. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Walk of a Lifetime - December Part 3

Overnight flight...not the best place to study for finals. Or perfect place? I'm not sure, even now. But study I did. 

And 4 finals, 1 week and 1 boy snail later, I got to take the walk of a lifetime. 
My entire family (new sister included) came down to see me walk. 
My brother and sister spent their honeymoon watching me walk down a really long aisle and get a piece of paper that defines my future. Exciting right?

And funny enough, I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I had no idea I would. They actually had to tell me to go pick up my ropes, or I would have just gone on my merry way. 
After, my sister and I even got to have a lightsaber fight! Oddly enough I had at least three separate lightsaber fights this holiday. 
(I just had to ask the boy snail if I was spelling lightsaber right. Be jealous)

But really the highlight was my party. See I don't know if you picked up on this but my family was a little busy this last month, so my incredible aunt (she'll claim she's my favorite) organized a perfectly Hannah graduation party for me. 
I remember turning to the boy snail at one point when everything was getting set up, saying, "Everything is Hannah!" pointing to the decorations, completely with confetti, gormet cupcakes, chocolates, and best of all...
...a DIY coffee and hot chocolate bar, with peppermint sticks, 3 different coffeemates, and lots of marshmallows. 

So let's review: walk of a lifetime, Magna Cum Laude, lightsaber fights, gourmet cupcakes, coffee bar, and one very happy girl snail. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Wedding to Cry About (in a good way) - December Part 2

Did I forget to mention that my brother moved to Bahrain?

Well he got married there too, so I guess that cats out of the bag. And boy was it a beautiful wedding.
My (new) sister Beni did me the incredible honer of allowing me to be in her wedding party.
 I got to wear a pretty dress and pretty make up and then proceed to cry off all the pretty makeup and walk around barefoot in the grass in my pretty dress. 
But ah, such is life. 

Seriously, sobbing crying. It was kinda embarrassing. So much so that Beni looked behind her at one point to make sure I wasn't dying. 

But I think the truly beautiful thing for me, was that despite us being halfway across the world, we still got to share this special day with my family at home, via skype
I couldn't be happier. I hope my day gets to be just as special, skyping my brother and sister included. 

P.S. - Check out their incredible photographer