Sunday, December 25, 2011

Looking Back: Christmas 2011

Christmas came and went in a flash. Pat and I not only had both sets of my parents here, but also his cousin and her boyfriend came to visit. My sister and brother-in-law traveled to the Virgin Islands on holiday, and we were left with their pup, Abby.
Mostly I enjoy Abby. She has more energy than I do, which can be challenging at times, but usually can be diminished with a few sprints in the back yard. Last Thursday this was not the case. She kept me up until 2 am... Pat slept on the couch. By the time she had brought me to tears I decided to wake Pat in hopes he would know what to do. He didn't. She finally nested herself in a beach towel and fell asleep. Separation anxiety, gets ya every time.

My mom and John got here Thursday and stayed with us Friday. It was a blast. We drank wine until the wee hours of the morning, or so it seemed. And on Saturday, my dad and Lisa arrived to spend Christmas eve with us.
I made a terrible frozen Lasagna for dinner (which stayed cold) and I burnt the bread. I would say, besides the wine and salad, I ruined Christmas. It is so unlike me to not have a Christmas Eve dinner planned, but I could have never planned for this Christmas. I never have felt this behind and chaotic. Still, we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol as I always do on Christmas, much to everyone's chagrin, and drank champagne and had Christmas cookies. Pat and Dad fell asleep. Lisa tried to be enthusiastic as I recited every line and lyric.
However, Christmas was as Christmas should be, a time for family and love. We awoke Christmas morning and had mimosas (thank God). Once I had less of a hangover, we spent the afternoon with Pat's family and the evening with my Mom, John and Grandparents. A traditional ham dinner was shared and love was in the air.

Photobucket Although I can't wait for 2012, I am eager to hold on to this Christmas, as I feel it is the last one of its kind. Children are coming, whether they are ours or nieces and nephews and I will no longer be the only one looking forward to Christmas jammies, traditions, Santa, carols, decorating trees and houses...

so merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I would like to say I learned to appreciate simple things like a fine red wine, or how I can make a mean garlic dipping sauce for bread, but let's get real, I already appreciate those things. The one thing I really learned to appreciate this year was my family (friends included, because I only have very close friends).
Now, if you belong in this "family" group, you may be saying to yourself, "If you appreciate me so much, why don't you ever answer you g.d. phone?" Well, I am not going to lie, I am still working on that. But through out this year I have really learned what it is to be family, an how my family supports my little family here in Casa de Haire. From the wedding to being unemployed, people jumped on the band wagon to help where they could, and that is what it is all about...

PS In 2012 I PROMISE to answer my phone more!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I can't say that healing has only taken place this year. Pat and I have both had to overcome struggles, both very different, in our lives. But one thing is for sure, we have started healing each other since the day we met. Just this morning we were reminiscing of our first date. We talked about all the things you aren't supposed to talk about (politics, religions, finances) and then 4 months later we moved in together. We knew the first month, maybe second that our relationship, our love was a force to be reckoned with. 3 months into our relationship we passed through Vegas to get to my home town for a visit and we seriously thought about eloping. Then we seriously thought about the consequences from our family. Although we have reached the result, I am so glad we waited. We needed to experience a few more things together, and REALLY be able to celebrate our love.
In the beginning, the impact we had on each other was, first and foremost, a healing one. He, being a few years older and quite the handy man, had many impressive qualities that any girl would like, but there were also things that, when I dug deep enough, were difficult, even on my man of steel. Together, in our first two years of dating, overcame things that were haunting us for entire lifetimes. We were able to discuss things that have never been discussed, feel things that have never been felt, and ultimately heal the things that were unable to heal prior to "us."
I truly believe that when you find someone that can do that for you, make you feel like you were never injured, physically or emotionally. That is when you need to sit back, take notice and realize that is the person you need to have in your life forever.
Fortunately for me, I get to have this man as my husband, the future father of my children and best friend forever. However, if you find that person in any form, keep them close. They are an important piece of your arsenal... and not many people come by that piece armor.


It was strange when I read this post prompt on Reverb11on Saturday morning. I was laying in bed surfin' the web on my Kindle Fire thinking about getting healthy again. And there it was, the question of ambitions. So, I would say, truly my ambition is to be healthy again and forevermore. To be vegetarian again, and to eat less corn... (basically all processed foods).
As I said last week, Pat and I got our new Lifetime membership and are getting on the right track physically (I am so looking forward to getting back into yoga practice), but there are so many other aspects of health that I would like to focus on as well. My mental health is of concern most days. I am finding that I get cranky at the drop of a hat, or super emotional. When this started happening I had to think back to a year ago when I was happiest. I was mostly vegan, (I love cheese) and I understood what I was putting in my body. This may sound crazy, but when I knew what I was eating was good for me, and I knew exactly what it was doing for me nutritionally, it almost felt spiritual. The connection to the food and knowing where it came from.
Since then I have most certainly slipped, meat is a main course again at our house and I even ate McDonald's a few times, which I could nearly throw up at the thought today.
I knew I needed something to set me straight again. I thought about reading Skinny Bitch for the second time, but I thought I needed something new. This morning I watched Food, Inc. It was not surprising, but I was still shocked. There are a few other documentaries available, but this one may have done it's job. I don't need to see the animal cruelty to know that it is prevalent in mass production. So, back to Sprouts and Farmer's Markets for us.
So, here is to us, being happy, healthy, and in love! I am so ready for 2012!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Letting Go

This year I let go of stressing over my blog... my old blog. With everything else going on in our lives , I always felt I was falling behind, I was never creative enough, I never had enough followers, and I never did enough DIY for the sake of the title. It was too much pressure.
That is when I developed my Tumblr from the advice of my brother Jake's Lauren and everything seemed to be okay again. I was able to be sporadic with my thoughts, and creative ideas, and if and when I did post, on either blog, it was a good place to showcase it. It also was a place to be inspired, even if it was just looking at pretty pictures! Beauty is inspiring.
That was when I realized I was blogging for me, not to get followers, but to just have a hobby. I place to focus myself in my home life when everything else can be so... cray cray!
I feel much more at peace after letting go. I no longer feel obligated, but HAPPY, to blog!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


As the year is coming to a close, the only word I could describe it as is HECTIC.
It started with our wedding planning and, if you ask any bride, that is never an easy task. It comes down to creating budgets, choosing colors, flowers, bridal parties, dresses, THE dress, groomsman wear, songs, wedding cake flavors, interviewing photographers, gifts, registering, and finally cutting something because you have gone over budget! Even right up to the second you walk down the aisle there is something to do, someone you forgot to invite, someone that RSVP'ed that isn't showing up and now your tables are uneven and you already printed your escort cards.  And that just the first six months.
I knew if Pat could stay by my side through that constant stress and the daily bad moods he could be by my side forever. Although it was hectic, it still turned out beautifully, and the task at hand was completed... we are married!
Stephanie Patterson Photography
Things seemed to be going smoothly, but in October I was terminated from my job... Pat and I scrambled as quickly as possible and made a responsible financial plan. Remarkably, we made it for a month on his income and my meager unemployment checks until I found a new, awesome job. The constant stress of job searching is not something I wish upon anyone. The feeling of not contributing in a new marriage is terrible, but I did what I could to have the Mr. come home to a clean house, dinner on the table and tomorrow's lunch in the fridge. (And I watched the Today Show everyday, Miss ya Reg!)
So, as this hectic year is fizzling out... I say "Good-bye" and "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"
2012 is going to be a great year... I can feel it!

Note: Today's post inspiration was provided by Reverb11 Inspiration to review 2011 and all you accomplished in it. Check it out and participate if you like!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To your health!

The new year fast is approaching, but I am not one to keep, or make for that matter, New Year Resolutions. We decided to jump the gun and, in a moment of feeling full of fat and grease, the Mr. and I decided to take ourselves to our local Lifetime Fitness and become members!

Now, this may be the most expensive gym in town, but I would say it is worth EVERY penny. Not only are the towels provided, but these towels are fluffy and white. Lockers are provided. Blow dryers are always available. And, dare I say it, they also provide girl products should you forget you already used the one at the bottom of your purse! And, they also provide amazing yoga classes and I promise, you can not join a Yoga Studio at this price.
We just want to feel better and have more energy. There is no reason to feel this dumpy during an AZ winter when mountains are calling our names! (and if the six pack abs come just to see the light of day, fine, they will be welcomed).
We are going to start eating healthily again and drink less alcohol. We are young, and strong, and awesome! and there is no reason we can't succeed! (Especially when my dad can run circles around us, not that he shouldn't be able to).

So, here we go, we have our sneakers on, and motivation in hand.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Day Date

The past month has been tough for the Haires, we have clipped coupons, eaten in, ate left overs and kept the A/C at the all time high temperature for low bills. Pat worked crazy amounts of overtime and I played housewife. So, with my new job starting Monday, we decided to celebrate... with a coupon. We did our morning chores (meaning I swept and Pat napped for 2 hours) and headed to our favorite spot in Phoenix! Postinos on Central.

We had our "e-posse" coupon for a free Bruschetta Board, and it is the only thing we get, unless it is brunch, in which case we order the Farm Scramble. I believe said Scramble is the perfect hang-over cure.
My darling husband and I sat on the patio, enjoyed the reggae musical selection and our  $5 afternoon libations. Pat had the Warsteiner Pilsner and I had the Ca Del Sarto Pinot Grigio which was fantastic. The hipsters we prevalent and the service was great, like always!

After another beverage each, we decided to walk it off down to our favorite Central stores and by the time we got to Smeeks, we needed another beverage. Pat had a Coca-Cola and I a Dr. Pepper.


It was a perfect November afternoon with the man I love.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Tablescape: Trial Run

P-Funk and I didn't ask for Fine China for a wedding gift. He said we have too many dishes as it is and I will need a storage unit for my dishes alone. But, now I wish more than ever we had. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and I don't have enough of any set to fill the table(s). So, I had to get creative. I am mix and matching sets I inherited  from 2 different grandmothers to make a perfect harvest setting.

Below I coordinated the napkin color with the largest plate, looking for the cleanest contrast with the smallest.

I really like the way the entire table came out.
There are a few things missing, like a carved turkey, and mashed potatoes, and an entire table. I have about 11 people coming over for Thanksgiving this year! The other table we have available is a round/oval table, so we are going to make a "T" with them. This is will provide plenty of room for all the delicious food, wine and love that will surely be surrounding the table this year. 

The only thing I need more of are place mats, napkin rings, and possibly silverware. Sounds like a few shopping trips to Create & Barrel and Ikea are in my future! *Heaven help me!* I might also go to GoodWill to look for a drink cart, just to place items that are taking up space on the table.

Do you have any Turkey Day tips? Please share! I need all the help I can get!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thanksgiving Sneak Peak

Here is a little Thanksgiving sneak peak! I am thrilled about the color pallet and I think this will be a GREAT Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for place settings and Thanksgiving traditions! I need to do a trial run, right? Of course!


Also, I am no longer unemployed effective 11/14, so I am going to have a whirlwind of a week next week, getting everything ready for guests arriving and Breaking Dawn pt. 1 coming out. 

To be completed this upcoming week:
  • Wash Windows - 5 Haboobs this year did a number on them! 
  • Misc. Gardening
  • Thanksgiving Table Trial Run
  • Wash Table Linens (after trial run)
  • Email Thanksgiving guests about attendance 
  • Deep clean bathrooms and kitchen (I won't be the only person using these spaces)
  • Grocery Shopping- Weekly and Turkey Day
  • Mail Baby gift to Emily 
  • Get work wardrobe ready
  • Buy meat thermometer at Crate and Barrel
  • Make burlap table runner
  • Research side recipes
  • Pair up dishes
  • Make Chalkboard Wine Glasses (I am a little grossed out by chalk though)
*Deep Breaths

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Furniture!

So the Mister and I got some new furniture this weekend. Our house finally feels like a home, and it is about time too!
We have been here nearly a year now! I can hardly believe it. Since we have moved in we have made several new friends and hosted many parties and family gatherings We decided we can comfortably sit about 8 people at the table, which is far more than our old table. With our new big table we will be hosting the next two major holidays with our joined families. A first as a married couple! I am so looking forward to the holidays this year! In fact, when my brother-in-law asked me what I am most looking forward to with marriage I said, "Our first Christmas together."

Friday, October 28, 2011


Somehow in my life I have surrounded myself with folks that love to get the crap scared out of them. They go to scary movies and laugh "because there hasn't been a scary movie created since The Ring." Mr. Haire has to go on Scary Movie dates with the neighbors and I stay at home and watch Notting Hill or The Wedding Date.

To them, Halloween is all about scary movies, haunted houses, and saying "Bloody Mary" in front of the mirror with the lights off. Well that last bit might be an exaggeration. But to me, Halloween is all about wearing a colorful wig while passing candy out to the Trick-or-Treaters, carving pumpkins and wearing my scary ghost socks and pajama pants while watching the Today Show Halloween specials. I am such a skirrdy cat that I am afraid to look at some of my favorite blogs. For example, CromeYellow has posted their 11 Must Watch Halloween Movies List. So if that is your thing, take their advice, they are experts. If you are looking for something a little more mild, my Halloween movies include:
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Frighteners
  • The Craft
  • The Others
Now, I know those may not be considered scary, but they are the ones I know won't give me nightmares. At least they haven't in the past. How Mr. Haire ending up with such a weenie I don't know, but I just don't do scary!

Here are some pictures from our Pumpkin Carving session with our neighbors and dear friends "The Kims."

Mine is the happy one in the back.
(pictures from Mrs. B. Kim)

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween, and I really hope you don't find your Happy Pumpkins smashed in the road Tuesday Morning!

The "mis-matched" bridesmaids

  • Each girl finds a fit she is comfortable and confident in- we all have different bodies, how could one dress be flattering on every girl? 

  • Each girl gets a color she looks best in (within a range)
  • Makes your wedding more personal
  • The gals can do something to match your wedding theme too! Vintage, cocktail, modern, the options are endless! (My girls went for a garden-vintage theme)
  • If your gals are scattered across the states like mine were, they don't have to worry about which store they can get THE dress at, and which dye lot was used, is the right dress going to come in at all? Etc.
  • It can be in their price range. There is nothing worse than have to make your friends charge for your day. 
  • They just might wear that dress again!
  • It can really stress your girls out picking out the right dress. The pressure is on them instead of you, and sometimes your gals may just rather you pick for them. Talk to them to see if they are up for the challenge!
  • They have to send you pictures for approval. I received so many emails and picture messages with the dresses... I really liked that part because I never get to see these girls anymore.(I suppose this could be a pro or a con, depending on your stress level) I would love to share a few of the horror stories, but I might get shot...
  • Online shopping isn't the best suggestion. I suggested ModCloth to my girls because there are so many amazing dresses on there, but none of them worked out, whether it was the wrong color, too short or too revealing. They all found their dresses at Dillard's, Macys, and other major department stores. If you are a frequent online shopper, and you know what you are dealing with, then I say go for it!
Tips :
  • Get them a few pieces to unify them. I did matching necklaces and shoes- these also served as their bridesmaids gifts.
Necklaces: Forever 21 Shoes: White House | Black Market
  • Give your girls some examples, options and a good idea of the color range you have in mind.
  • Give them some freedom, they have your best interest at heart.

Here is our Wedding Party. I think it was a great group, and I really love how all the photos turned out with the mis-matched dresses.

photos by: Stephanie Patterson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curry Pancit

1 Package of Rice noodles
1 Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
1/3 of a Cabbage- Sliced
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Stalks of Celery Chopped
1-2 Carrots Chopped
1 Green Onion
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
Olive Oil
5 Tablespoons of Curry (optional)
Chop your onion and crush your garlic, then chop that up.
Throw some oil in your wok and toss your onion and garlic in and saute them.
The onion and garlic should pop and sizzle for some time. (My cat attacks my legs when I cook onions. It makes her eyes burn)


After your onions are nearly browned, add your chicken broth. 
Throw in the rest of your chopped and sliced veggies.
Soak your noodles for about 10 minutes until they are softened and loosen up.
Keep the vegetables cookin' until you can nearly smell the carrots sweeten up.
Add in your soy sauce and curry if you like.
Stir in your softened noodles and let your flavors meld together. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve when it is all hot and soft!

 I made this dish with Red Curry, but I think next time I will try Yellow Curry. It may suit the vegetables better.

While cooking this dish for the working P-Funk I drank my red wine and listened to Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations" in the background. I have decided he is my new cooking buddy, and one should always have a cooking buddy. Do you have one?

Spaghetti Squash Dinner Last Night

There were quite a few changes to the recipe that I listed below for the Spaghetti Squash, like add diced sauteed mushrooms*, garlic, shallots, and put the Parmesan crisps on top of the dish (as well as in the dish). And it was a hit! What I didn't do was take out the seeds... which was not pleasant. My Mother-in-Law (MIL) was over for dinner and she told P-Funk to get at $100k job so I am able to stay home and cook these amazing meals every night. I said, please do.
Because this dinner was a hit, I will be doing a tutorial on it soon, but tonight, Curry Pancit. Stay tuned!
And until then, cheers!

*This is the only way P-Funk will eat mushrooms

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinner Plans for the Week

Well, turns out, being unemployed gives one a lot of spare time. With all this spare time, I have found the luxury of meal planning. This Saturday night I sat in front of my Pinterest with my hot apple cider and looked at all the options I have Pinned.It is still in the high 80's, nearly 90's here in AZ, but I have found I am still longing for all the Fall flavors, so without further adieu, here is the meal plan for 10/24-10/28:

Italian Spaghetti Squash, with Parmesan Crisps

  • Curry Pancit- a spin off of this recipe 
  • Calzones

  • Source: via Emily on Pinterest


    Left Overs