Monday, November 28, 2011

Couple of honeymooners

I know I've already blogged our honeymoon (if you missed it, part one, two, three, four, five, and six. Yes there are six parts. It was an awesome honeymoon okay?), but on our cruise to Alaska we met this adorable older couple and they took some pictures of us celebrating our recent marriage on our fancy formal night and they just sent them to us! Of course I was like "OMG YES PICTURESSSS, LET ME BLOG THIS!".

During our little dance, I couldn't tell you the song. I was strung out on a dramamine and wine combo (jk...maybe). Also high on life.

They sang us a honeymooners song and put napkins on our heads. And made us smooch in front of the whole dinning room. It was a tad embarrassing, but pretty hilarious. PDA y'all.

Fancy hat huh? It makes me think of that boob head guy in Little Nicky, you know what I'm talking about. I think we're being instructed to blow out the candles in our desserts, because that's what you do on your honeymoon.

Done and done. Hope we wished for something good!

This makes me want to go on a second honeymoon immediately. Or any sort of vacation actually. Traveling with Brendon is pretty much the best thing ever. I want to travel around the world for life, can we have that job please? 

Also, I wouldn't mind being that tan again. It's crazy to think that this ghost pale skin of mine was once capable of being a normal shade of human. I'm sure my body is thanking me for stepping away from the tanning booths and upping my chances of avoiding skin cancer, but I thoroughly enjoyed being tan. Oh well, pale is cool these days right?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh Christmas tree!

One of my favorite things in the whole world is putting up the Christmas tree. I look forward to it all year long. And this year, we got a real tree! The cats (Sophie) had previously destroyed two fake trees so I convinced Brendon that this year a real tree was the way to go. Growing up we always had real trees, some of them pretty, giant, majestic trees (Mom, remember that one that fell on me like twice??), so I was waaaay excited to pick out our first real tree. We went out Friday night and found this baby at Home Depot. At first I kinda thought it looked like a short little cactus tree and I wasn't feeling it. I wanted one of the super tall extra expensive fancy trees, but Brendon threw some rationale at me and we compromised. And I'm so glad because I really do love this tree! It's perfect for us!

Mr. H hanging ornaments like a pro, I've taught him well.

I seriously live for this kind of stuff! I was so excited! And the tree smells so good! But unfortunately it made my hands and arms break out into little red bumps. My mom said it was the sap, my skin is such a wuss.

We have a very random assortment of ornaments that we have accumulated over the years. This is Brendon and my SEVENTH Christmas together (but our first as a married couple!!), although we didn't start putting up our own tree until about 5 years ago. We hand made a bunch of ornaments that year (spray painting pine cones and those sticky balls gold is extra cute and easy and they are still looking great!) and we started collecting Hallmark ornaments. We started in 2007, we pick out one every year, usually one featuring cats. We've also picked up other random ornaments while traveling and who knows where else. But on a real tree our collection looks a little sparse and spread out. I think it's time to start making some more. I feel a Christmas project comin' on!

Self timer photos with your camera stacked on random objects are awkward. As I said in my last post, we need a tripod.

Unfortunately, Sophie is just as interested in the real tree as she was with the fakes, hence why there are no ornaments on the bottom branches. But she hasn't tried to climb it yet so we'll cross our fingers. Because she's huge and she'd take that poor tree down quickly. Oh and that creepy Santa tree topper? Totally got that at the dollar store back in 07 along with that felt tree skirt that is way too small. We try to keep it classy. You might not see our little tree in Martha Stewart's magazine, but I love it all the same. It's got character. And it's just as weird as we are.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Happy belated Thanksgiving to you all! I hope you had a fantastic day filled with family, thankfulness, and yummy food. We sure did! We got to eat Thanksgiving dinner, twice! First with my momma and Brendon's family, then at my daddio's. It was a pretty wonderful day. And of course we are verrrry thankful for all the greatness we have in our lives! But we are thankful for that everyday!

 My momma was the head chef! Seriously y'all, she's the bomb at cooking and this feast was no exception. Everything I know about cooking, I learned it from her. And google.

Scary much? That electric carving knife means business. Of course, this was posed, there's no way I'd ever use that thing. Someone (me) would lose a finger at least.

 The business. SO LEGIT. I wait all year for this feast. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, rolls with honey butter (that I made! I'll have to share the recipe sometime), tamales, and of course, everything was smothered in gravy.

Brendon and his little brother made cute little post-it note place cards for everyone. Mine said "Best Sweater" and "Santa's Little Helper", I think Brendon's said, "Most Muscles" and "The Cleverest of them All". Might have been a little biased.

Post feast, we had a little mini family photo shoot! Everyone was trying out the "hooters" pose. I'm telling you people, it works. Get those hands on your hips.

Brendon and AJ goofin' around. I think Brendon was trying to live up to his "Most Muscles" place card.

The group shot! This was a feat, no joke, the camera was on a 10 second self timer while sitting on top of the tv. We had to get creative. One day we'll invest in a tripod.

Next up was Thanksgiving numbero dos at my dad's house! Although we were pretty much ready to pop, we ate and ate some more! And then had dessert!

The spread! Everything was delish, my step mom did a fantastic job, the mashed sweet potatoes were my favorite. I think my step brother and I were twiddling our thumbs for some reason. My dad obviously had some boogies.

And not only was it Thanksgiving, but it was my step brother Jason's 22nd birthday! Check out that cake, doesn't it look super perfect? My step mom has wicked icing skills.

Jason and his birthday loot. Look at that cat card! Pretty much my favorite card I've made so far. Classy gentleman cat for life.

Basically I think Thanksgiving might become my favorite holiday. It might be tied with Christmas. It's a tough call. It was so good to see family, eat great food, and just soak in the goodness. I was a happy camper for sure! And that evening, we went and saw Breaking Dawn. All I am going to say is I enjoyed it and can't wait for part 2. And I feel better about being so pale, I'll just pretend I'm a Cullen.

Coming up soon, Christmas arrives at the Hogan residence. PREPARE YOURSELVES. The most magical time of the year is upon us!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pattern prices

I know a few people who read this blog are actually interested in sewing so I wanted to share some tips of the trade! Not that this is a secret, just something I wasn't aware of at first. Maybe everyone knew this but me, and I'm just over stating the obvious. Who knows, hopefully this is helpful!

Here's the deal, don't ever buy patterns (or fabric for that matter) full price. The marked price on most Simplicity patterns (I'm not sure about other brands, but I'm sure the same goes for them) is usually $16.95 which is absolutely insane. Most fabric and craft stores always sell them at 40% off which brings them to about $10, which is still crazy. Online you can get them for about that price, sometimes a little cheaper. BUT, the way to do it is to wait for sales. I know Hancock Fabrics and Hobby Lobby do this, I'm sure Joann's does as well, but every few weeks the patterns will go on sale. And by on sale I mean they are $1-$2 each. The best is when they are 99 cents. NINETY-NINE CENTS Y'ALL. There is usually a limit of how many patterns you can purchase, I think it's like 10, but you can get 10 for the price you'd usually pay for one! Worth waiting for, I promise. Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, and Joann's post their sales ads online, it's a good way to find deals on other things you might need too (like fabric!). Usually it's different brands of patterns at different times, I'm partial to Simplicity patterns. Today at Hancock Fabrics Simplicity patterns were on sale for $1.99. I got five. After I paid and was waltzing out the door, super pleased with my purchases, I glanced at the sales ad the cashier handed me and saw that this weekend they'll be 99 cents. I was a little irked but still, $1.99 is still legit and these will keep me busy for a while.

My purchases! Obviously I am partial to dresses. I am super stoked about that second one there. RETRO AS HELL Y'ALL! Look at that cute ass bow on that shirt! It also has a cardigan pattern! I LOVE cardigans! But I mean, who doesn't? My main goal was to get a pattern for a holiday dress I want to make with the leftover red plaid I have from Ren Fest. I think I'll be using the second to last for that. The others are just for future use. There are like at least 4 options for each pattern, think of the dresses I could make! And the Walmart by us just started carrying fabric again and it is SUPER cheap, although I'm a little concerned about the quality... I'll have to investigate further. The price of fabric is the limiting factor here, it gets pricey very quickly! Especially for pretty/good quality fabric. But for now I've got a bunch of scraps to put to use and I am excited to get to work on this holiday dress! Sew on!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wishing for a winter wonderland

It's been hot lately. Like 80-something degrees out. Ridiculous. It's November! I don't care if we live in Texas, I want cold weather! I want to be able to wear a scarf! Or maybe even a jacket. So while dreaming of cooler temps, I've been reminiscing about our crazy snowpocalypse we had this winter in Denton. We always got a good few days of decent snow every year, but this past winter we were graced with extra wintery precipitation. One week in particular was intense. I loved it (I'm a snow fanatic), but I couldn't get my car out of the parking lot for like 5 days. Texans don't function normally with snow around. It really wouldn't have been so bad, but it rained first, then it turned to sleet, then it snowed for a couple days. So underneath all the pretty snow was a lovely layer of very slick ice. No one could get anywhere and if they did they slid around a lot. At work we had to run a shift that week with just three of us. Oh and Brendon slid into a ditch coming to pick me up, thankfully he and his jeep were fine.

This is a little 25 second video Brendon made on what I think was the first day of that lovely week of snow and ice in February. It's short, and crappy, and for some reason really narrow. But there's some pretty snow action. And Brendon is weird.

I am really going to miss the snow this winter. I'm pretty sure snow doesn't happen in Austin. I miss Denton. Sometimes all I want to do is be back there in our old apartment living our previous simple lives. But that's silly! We have wonderful things going on here and I am thankful everyday that we're where we are. Austin has grown on me, although I could seriously do without the traffic. Now if it would only snow...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Lynne!

This past Wednesday was my step momma's birthday! We headed down to San Marcos to have dinner with Lynne, my dad, my sister, and step bro that night... and we were late. This is a big deal, I am never late. I am constantly ridiculously early to everything, so arriving late was weeeeird and I felt bad. We forgot Lynne's present at home so we had to turn around (we were only one exit down, but in Austin... that takes a while), and once we got back on the road because Austin traffic is a demon from hell, it took us about 20 minutes to get the like 5 miles south it takes for us to get out of Austin. Frustrating! But we made it, only about 15 minutes late. Dinner was yummy and we had a lot of fun. We were probably a tad bit obnoxiously loud, but whatever, sorry for partying.

She turned 25 duh, and aren't those candles cute? My dad made that cake! It was in a bundt cake shape for some reason, but it was really pretty good! I demolished my piece and some of Brendon's.

Couple of cuties. Don't mind that giant cake case thing in the way. I'm obviously an excellent photographer.

Also, this happened. Contrary to how insane Brendon looks, we were very sober. He makes a cute yuppy.

Family time never gets old. I have decided that I am allergic to Austin. Or all of south Texas. I woke up this morning by sneezing about 200 times in a row. And I've got boogies. I never had allergies until we moved here. What a pain! Some days, like today, are really terrible. I guess I could take some zyrtec or something... but that would be too logical. 

I'm going to be real with you guys, I really want to see Breaking Dawn. Hate all you want, but it is what it is. I read the books a few years ago after my mom, sister, and BRENDON (he read them while working at a hospital in Denton, the ladies there supposedly "conned" him into reading them, pssshhh!) told me to read them. Of course they took over my life for a few days and I was day dreaming about vampires and werewolves for a while and being a bee-otch and asking Brendon why he couldn't be more like Edward (no one is that perfect people, Stephanie Meyer you have screwed over so many poor boys' chances out there). I've seen all the movies, and yes they're pretty lame. BUT I still want to see the new one pretty badly. And I may or may not have reread all the books when I was sick a week or two ago. AND I may or may not have just rewatched Twilight and New Moon and ordered Eclipse on Amazon. It should be here Monday. I mean, if I'm going to do it I may as well go all out right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Look at this handsome hunk I married! Mobile bragging curtesy of my iPhone.

Mostly this is just rambling

Things have been wacky lately! Time is going by too quickly and I cannot seem to keep up. I can't believe Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow. I must apologize profusely to my dear second favorite holiday of the year because it seems to have been thrown by the wayside this year. I'm the holiday queen and all, but this month has been nuts. But I did it big the past two years and cooked the big feasts solo, so I feel like it's okay to not do it so big this year. Sorry little pine cone turkey decorations, you'll get your chance next year I promise. We'll be spending turkey day with my mom and Brendon's family and then we'll do it all over again with my dad, or maybe vice versa. Regardless, I ready to chow down on some grub and am so excited to be close to home this year! As much as I enjoyed our Denton Thanksgivings, it's not quite the same without everyone all together.

In other news, our tv broke. This is a big deal y'all. First world problems, I know, I know. Although we rarely watch actual television, we watch a lot of movies. Like a LOT. It's how we unwind and de-stress. We are movie fanatics! And our tv was our baby. Brendon saved up forever and ever to get it a few years ago and it's a nice little tv so it was really heartbreaking when it stopped working. Thankfully it is still under warranty. Unfortunately, we had to ship it to Samsung in NEW JERSEY to get it fixed (which they will hopefully be able to do). Who ships tvs across the country??? We do. We had to order this crazy special box (that they sent the wrong size of) and bought a gigantic roll of bubble tape to wrap it and pack it up with. I wrote all over the box FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP about a hundred times. I am very nervous for our little tv's big trip across the country and hope that it comes back to us safely in working condition. Because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 just came out and is sitting in our living room begging to be watched. And so are all my favorite holiday movies. Have a safe and speedy journey little tv! We miss you!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Sunday was part 2 of our lovely weekend! We stayed with my momma for the weekend in NB for the Renaissance Festival. We were tentatively planning on going to Wurstfest Sunday but didn't know if we'd have the energy after Saturday. After sleeping in, a delish waffle breakfast (have I told you about my mom's cooking?), and then a nap on top of all that, we decided to go. And the fact that it was free after 3 didn't hurt either!

 The Comal river was looking lovely as always! It had been a few years since I had last been, that new building up there wasn't there before. Pretty cool place, great views!

Of course, we had to get some sausage! We had potato pancakes (SO GOOD), bratwurst, sausage, a kolache, and a little bit of sour kraut! 

 And seriously, we can never go anywhere in New Braunfels without running into someone we know. This time it was Brendon's family! They just happened to randomly decide to come that night as well! I ran into Brendon's mom in the bathroom and we had a little "OMG!" moment. It was awesome to see them!

I told you that hat was my favorite thing ever. And I am apparently very excited about my beer.

 AJ got the coolest hat from the balloon man! Hook 'em!

They had this little parade of people who I guess were on the Wurstfest board or something (Brendon called them the village elders), it was really neat! They were led by a trumpet and everything. I was checking out all the ladies' dirndl's. They had some fancy ones! Also, lots of beer. Everywhere.

 Of course I sported my dirndl! I got a couple of compliments, so that made me feel good! Although I didn't wear my apron because it was like 85 degrees out (come on Texas, it's November).

Lots of cups of beer!

We had A LOT of fun! I love polka music! We danced a little bit, although we need to learn how to waltz before next year (Mom, teach us!). The chicken dance is my specialty. AJ is serious when it comes to the chicken dance, when you hold hands and spin in a circle he puts the pedal to the metal and gets that circle going! The night ended with me spilling a practically full beer into my lap. Although I'd like to blame that on the previous beers I had drank, things like that happen to me all the time sober or not.

I forgot how proud of their German heritage New Braunfels is. Although I'm not technically German at all (Brendon is, he even knows some of the German songs!), I feel like growing up in NB makes you a little German regardless! I can't wait until next year! We're going to need to get Brendon some lederhosen for sure.

Ye Olde Renaissance Festival

This weekend was a blast! Saturday me, Brendon, my mom, my sister, and her boyfriend Alex went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. Although it was a long drive (it was in Plantersville which is almost to Houston!) it was so fun! And crazy! I was nervous at first about dressing up, but it turns out people go ALL out for these things. Like some of the outfits had to have cost hundreds of dollars. And some of the get ups were extremely revealing. Like one chick was sporting nothing but a thong under a very see through chain mail skirt (????). There was so much to see (aside from scantily clad middle aged people), tons of music, and very entertaining shows! The music was fantastic, there was a bagpipe band that rocked it big time. They were my favorite. We also saw this guy who cracked whips that were on fire! It was nuts! He's apparently the international whip cracking champion. Kudos to him!

This picture of my sister cracks me up! She should have sported those shades all day, they were so period appropriate. We definitely got dressed in that parking lot/forest. People might have stared, whatever.

Check out my mom lookin' like a boss, scheming out our plan of attack. You see that garland hat I'm sporting? Pretty much the best purchase of my life. I got it as soon as I got there and didn't take it off all day. Flowers in the hair for life.

The place was huuuuuge! There were a gazillion shops and eateries, plus man powered rides, shows, music stages, and a "magic garden" (where people were smoking some magic herbs... real inconspicuously. (not.)).

THIS DUDE. I mean come on. TOO legit to quit. He was actually selling some pretty sweet silver jewelery that I regret not purchasing. They had everything there in the shop to size rings for you! They were ready to roll!

Mr.  H and I!

Brendon got to play Robin Hood and shoot a longbow. It was pretty neat! He likes weapons (scaaaary).

My momma and I taking a break. We did A LOT of walking, our feet were worn out! I wish I had taken a picture of the back of my mom's dress, her shawl made a cool loop/cape-ish thing in the back, it was so pretty!

All of us! Sporting my Fall 2011 Scottish Collection. I am very proud of all my handy work! Nothing fell apart and I think we all looked pretty fab. Poor Brendon was the only one not wearing red plaid. I bought his fabric first and I didn't realize everyone else would pick the same color. He was looking extra sweet in that blue though. He prefers standing out anyways. :)

The ladies! My sisters waist is so tiny it's not even fair. And I am so pale I am pretty much glowing in the flash.

Alex and Julie. Little cuties and their matching plaid!

Scottish Hogans! I think we make a pretty cute Scottish couple.

It was a seriously fun day with the family and I can't wait to go again. If you ever get the chance, GO! It's tons of fun. You could just people watch (I'm a huge fan of people watching) for hours. And people there like to par-tay! The beer, wine, and mead was definitely flowing. Dressing up is the bomb and I wish I could do it everyday. There needs to be more excuses to do stuff like this!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bad cats and parking

I mean really? These cats. It's like, "Oh are you doing something here? Let me sit on it." Absolutely ridiculous.

I finished up my sister's ren fest outfit yesterday, just gotta crank out her boyfriend's. Got two days. That's his shirt up there that Greg is using as a bed. Sorry bout the cat hairs bro. Too bad I'm so tired lately! I need energy, too much to do to be a sleepy head. I blame it on this chilly weather (that happens every other day. Texas you are weird!). It makes me just want to curl up under five blankets and never leave.

Also, I just need to give a shout out to my job and it's ridiculous parking situation for making me an excellent parallel parker in the past months. Before this I seriously never had to parallel park and had no idea how to. Parking on the sides of streets? What is this nonsense? At first I would/could only park at the end of rows (those spots are rare y'all) but these days I'm swingin' backwards into tiny spaces between cars I never thought my boat of a suv could fit in. I'm not going to lie, I've got some skills. But I def see why people drive these tiny little cars (or a scooter! I have never desired a scooter so much in my whole life. THE PARKING OPTIONS!). I still have to pass up some spots that are just not big enough for my big ol' xterra. City life is weird!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fancy night on the town

This weekend was busy! Saturday I tailgated at UT for work, then my mom and sister came up to visit and have lunch, and then that night we were lucky enough for my daddio to invite us along to a work event that they were having here in Austin. Not only did we get to go to the party and dinner, we got to stay in the Hilton in downtown! And my sneaky dad switched us rooms so when we arrived we were very surprised to find a suite awaiting us! This room was not playing games. It was huuuuge and it was fancy. It had a living room! And the giant bathroom made a kind of hallway between the ridiculously large bedroom and the living room. I was so excited when we first got in I did a few skipping laps around the apartment. We were pretty much ready to move in. And check out the view:

Pretty legit huh? I know this is a horrendous photo of me (I've got some minor laser eyes going on), but look at the background. And check out the size of that window!

We were super duper excited about the giant bed! Our feet didn't hang off the end! We have a full sized bed now, and as we are both pretty tall (and are often joined by two felines) it can get crowded. Sleeping on a king was a treat.

Brendon checking out the bedroom window view. Austin, you are a very pretty city. I'll give you that.

Pretending we are fancy rockstars!

And of course we got to hang out with these guys!

We had a BLAST! Everyone my dad worked with were so nice to us. After the party we went to this super fancy (like, ridic fancy) steak house and ate like kings. After that somehow we got talked into heading to 6th street by one of my dad's coworkers. And I'm not going to lie, it scared me. A lot. I was really overwhelmed. I can't handle crowds, much less drunken crowds. I prefer something much more low-key. But it was an experience for sure. All and all it was a very fun little escape from reality and we felt very spoiled afterwards. Although unfortunately I am the lightest of all the lightweights and felt real terrible the next morning. And I was still recovering from being sick so that didn't help.

I feel like I've been going a million miles an hour these past few days, I need to slow down before I lose my cool. I don't know how Brendon manages being so busy all the time. He's just a badass I guess. After being so sick last week and this jam packed weekend, I feel crazy! I STILL haven't decorated for thanksgiving here, we're still sporting Halloween decor. BUT, I did get to decorate our store for Christmas on Sunday (just a tad early)! It looks very festive, if you're nearby you should check it out!

This next week is going to be nuts. Somehow I have to make my sister and her boyfriend both outfits for the Renaissance festival this weekend. I just finished up cutting all the fabric and it took me a good two hours or so. We'll see if I can make it happen, with my sanity intact. Sew on y'all!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Of course, of course.

(Brendon that title is for you. And Mike. And all you pharmacy kids.)

Greetings from the land of kleenex and sudafed, where looking like a hot mess is impossible to avoid!

Okay people, it happened. It was only a matter of time, I knew it was coming. I got sick. BOO! Brendon was sick with a nasty cold all last week (I think it was last week, my days are all messed up), but I wasn't worried. I was sure my superior immune system (joke) would keep my safe. Of course, not the case. If Brendon gets sick, I get sick. And I usually get it way worse. OR I'm just a huge baby and can't handle it as well. I woke up a couple days ago feelin' not so hot, yesterday I felt real lame, and today I feel straight up terrible. And of course, today is a beautiful blustery wintery-ish day outside and I can't enjoy it properly. That cold windy walk to work this morning at 5 am was intense to say the least. All I could think about was my bed, downing some cold meds, and becoming dead to the world until I felt better. Needless to say I definitely crawled under the covers asap when I got home with a sweet Sophie kitty who is always the best sick nurse. She's in my lap right now as I type. How do animals know? (I'm going to pretend that it isn't cold and she wasn't using me for my heat.)

So forgive my blogging hiatus for a few days while I recuperate. I haven't even taken my Halloween stuff down and switched to Thanksgiving decor. You KNOW I'm feeling bad when anything holiday related is postponed. Wish me a swift recovery y'all, being sick sucks.