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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Surprise! It's a Bridal Party Dance

Starting January 1st, I am debuting something very new and exciting for me.

As you might have noticed, I haven't blogged much about the wedding too much since it happened 7.22.11.  I've shared a few DIY projects, highlights and secrets throughout the journey in the Wedding Category...but I'm waiting to show you a step-by-step breakdown of what the day was like until the New Year.

After a long awaited 4 months, we finally have a video preview of what's to come...

Here you'll see 50 days of planning and teaching choreography via YouTube, an amazing and willing Bridal Party and a perfect wedding reception environment. 

ENJOY the production Scott & I pulled together to perform as a surprise for the guests at our Wedding Reception:

Heather and Scott Wedding Reception Dance Break from SugarPop Films on Vimeo.

Location: Heaven Event Center
Coordinator: Weddings in the City
DJ: Soundwave Entertainment

A HUGE THANK YOU shout out to our wonderful Bridal Party! Great job everyone! :)

Stay tuned for more HBSH Wedding Re-caps:
...coming soon.

O Christmas Tree

It's tradition in my family to decorate the Christmas Tree on Black Friday, and this year Scott and I were inspired to keep it going.  Although I had to work all day, I was excited to come home, put up  our Christmas decorations and start on the tree.

Scott and I have decided to use an artificial tree until we move into a house.  Since we live on the 8th floor of a condo (thank God for elevators!) it's a bit of a hassle getting a live tree in and out.  That, and we don't have the luxury of sweeping all of the fallen needles out into the backyard.  They could be swept onto and over our balcony, so I think we're doing our downstairs neighbors a favor.

An artificial tree it was, and believe it or not we got this one two Christmas's ago at K-Mart.  We waited until the day after Christmas when everything was 75% off and got this pre-lighted beauty for around $50!  On top of that, this was the year we got our ornaments, garland, and lights from Target also at a huge discount. 

 *TIP: If you're wanting to get a completely new look and/or a new tree, the day after Christmas sales are totally worth the wait.

We set a similar type of tree up last year, but this year is the start of a new tradition where we are only putting new ornaments up that we've purchased together. 

Without any more babbling, I present to you our very first Hesington Family Christmas Tree:

Just like our other decorations, we kept the fun & funky colors and prints theme going.  I told Scott it everything together looked a little like Whoville, but it's finally grown on me and this year I love it.

Let's start the tree breakdown with my favorite part: the live animal decor.

I don't care if you're a cat person or not...that's stinking adorable.

Next, the lights.  Our Christmas tree came pre-lit, but Scott had a great idea of adding more.  We have the pre-lit multi-colored strands, but then added 3 colored to white dimming sets.  I like how it changes and gives the tree movement.

After the lights, came the garland, again purchased from Target.


After garland comes ornaments and we stuck to the basics.  Part of our After-Christmas purchasing was a small medium and large ornament set.  All three came in bright colors, funky patterns, and a variety of shiny, matte and sparkles from Target:

To offset the brightness we added a few matte white ornaments:

From there, we are now only allowing ourselves to add ornaments we purchase together.  This ballerina is from our trip to ICE at Gaylord Palms two years ago:

We have also started a tradition of giving each other Christmas ornaments on our dating anniversary, which is New Years Day.  The rule is you have to get it after Christmas on sale, and last year Scott got me this adorable fish ornament from Pier 1 Imports:

And last, but certainly not least another highlight is our Christmas Pickle.  It's been a tradition in my family for years to play "find the pickle ornament" on the tree every Christmas Eve. 

 Whoever finds it first (after it's re-hidden...of course) gets to open a present on Christmas Eve.  It's a great game for a family of all ages, even one like ours that just constists of me, Scott, the cats and this guy:

Roadie's great at games, when he's not distracted by Christmas Tree toys...

(which by the way, has already been destroyed).

Let's finish off our Christmas Tree Breakdown with my favorite part of decorating: the star.

We had it lit up last year, but the base of it that carried the light disappeared over the year.  Somehow, Scott rigged it to stay up so at least we have something up there.

I really want to find a better tree-topper, or even make one of my own.  I have some ideas for a DIY project, but don't want to give too much away just yet.

So that's our first official Hesington Christmas Tree. 

I hope you like it! :)

Off to try to figure the topper out and get more ideas inspired by Pinterest...

  • Have you started decorating or gotten your tree yet?
  • Do any of you play the "find the pickle ornament" game?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Decorations Time

I've been hearing Christmas music since the end of September, preparing for The Singing Christmas Trees and am excited that the rest of the world is finally on my page of decking the halls and going on sleigh rides.

As much as I love Halloween and Thanksgiving, nothing beats the tradition of decorating at home for the Holidays.  This year we decided to keep it simple, but fun.

You may have picked up on the fact that Scott and I have a decorating sense that you wouldn't necessarily find in a Martha Stewart Magazine.  We like fun & funky colors and prints and share a love for a contemporary dream home made up of unique furniture and pieces.

With that said, I get little approval for anything in the country chic category, so I welcome you to a fun and contemporary Hesington Christmas Decorating Party...

Mini Christmas Trees:

We got the set of teal and mint green mini trees from Urban Outfitters in the After Christmas Sale in 2009.  Last year we decorated them with the mini ornaments, also from UO, but this year we added the mini strands of lights which Scott picked up from Michaels. I LOVE these little guys.

HB&SH Stockings:

We got everything you see in this picture a few years ago from Target.  My favorite part about them is the HB & SH initials, which are really crystal lettered broach pins:

I love the funky JOY & NOEL stocking hangers, also from Target:

Oh, the time I got finished taking photos around the house Scott added some white Christmas lights to the fixture.  I thought it turned out pretty cool:

Candy Cane Trees:

Now, this "believe" sign might have been pushing it for Scott's taste, but I fought for it (and won).  I found the sign and the red and white tree cones at Stein Mart last Christmas.  The cones actually came in a set of 3, but I'm still debating on where to set them up.

For now, they're on top of the aquarium.

Kitchen Stuff:

It doesn't take much to add a little holiday touch to your kitchen.  Just like my Fall Decor, I headed to Home Goods to find this set of hand towels for $5.99.

There's nothing more pleasing when you're washing your hands than to smell a seasonal scent.  This Wish Peppermint hand soap was only $4.99 from Home Goods.  It is surprisingly strong, which makes it refreshing...and addictive...believe me! :)

We always display colorful or seasonal napkins in our contemporary napkin holder from Ikea.  They have tons of bright and fun napkins there, but for the holidays I found a the "Plenty for All" Raindeer napkins, again from Home Goods.

We also put our "H" napkins on top, which was a present we saved from Christmas last year.


Every time I turn around Scott finds more Christmas lights to put up.  Here you can see our curious kitties scoping out what's going on out on the balcony...

And, of course more lights:

Creative...yes...but I'm still not sure about that one.  I love the candle holder though, which was an engagement gift from Pier 1 Imports.

That's the majority of our Christmas Decor, but keep an eye out for even more coming soon!  I'll leave you with a sneak peak at our first Hesington Family Christmas Tree:

  • Do you prefer a contemporary or more country decorating theme?
  • When do you normally start decorating for the Holidays?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Singing Christmas Trees

Opening Night is just a few nights away!  Are you ready for...
The Singing Christmas Trees?!

Since the end of September, First Baptist Church of Orlando's Drama & Dance has been working hard to put on a funny and powerful show centered around the birth of Jesus Christ.

photo credit:

 When I attended the Trees back in 2008 with Scott, I loved the production, turned to him half-way through the show and said: "I would love to be in something like this...".  We both attend the church regularly and being a dancer, seeing the show inspired me to share my gift through worship.

Shortly after the Trees in 2008, I spoke with the Senior Pastor and he suggested I get involved with the Rejoice Dance Ministry.

That I did, and in 2009 I got my start to dancing with the troupe through the Trees.  I was very busy at the time working and dancing professionally, but this was my time to do what I love for who I love most.  Once Opening Night arrived all of the rehearsals, time and sacrifices suddenly seemed completely worth it in order to be a part of the production telling the real story of Christmas.

Here I am (2nd from the right), before our opening number at our first show in 2009:

I love the fast, Broadway type of numbers, but I have to give my favorite moment award to dancing as an Angel in "O Holy Night".  The soloist for this piece is Tiffany Coburn, and her voice is beautiful and powerful enough to make me tear up during every performance.

Here I am on the stairs to the right of Mary and Joseph:

This is a video I found on youtube of "O Holy Night" - you can hear Tiffany and see the dancers come in at the 4:00 mark, and I am on the far right side:

Yes there's singing, dancing, acting, live music, and amazing voice and instrument soloists...but the Singing Christmas Trees isn't all about the dance and drama.  There's two 40-foot trees filled with choir from top to bottom!

Oh, and did I mention there's snowflakes?

Whoever gave me the task of dancing with a prop must be pretty brave! :)

To get more information and/or purchase tickets to the Trees, click here: Singing Christmas Trees.

2011 Dates:
Friday, December 2nd @ 7:30pm
Saturday, December 3rd @ 3pm
Sunday, December 4th @ 5pm
Friday, December 9th @ 7:30pm
Saturday, December 10th @ 3pm
Saturday, December 10th @ 7:30pm
Sunday, December 11th @ 5pm

Articles about the Trees:
2011 Orlando Local Guide Article
2008 Orlando Sentinel Article

 Location and Directions:
*pulled from Singing Christmas Trees Website.

Only 3 more rehearsals to go until SHOW TIME!
Hope to see you there! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankgiving & Our First Dance Song

What a great and extremely filling Thanksgiving!  Even though this year has been a challenging one, I have a lot of reasons to Give Thanks.

Yesterday, Scott and I got up early to finish off what we were bringing to my family's Thanksgiving Dinner.  Scott completely took over my housewife duties and put together two great dishes for the occasion.  I would love to take credit for the delicious sides you see below, but I just wouldn't feel right doing it.  While I was taking a pre-Thanksgiving nap --er, falling asleep on the couch at 8pm-- Scott was getting busy in the kitchen getting busy.

The destination was my Aunt Karen's house and she owns a beautiful ranch in St. Augustine with a gorgeous two-story country-chic house, a horse stable, tractors, a pond, a cook-out gazebo and about 10 acres of land.

Here you'll find little cell phone service, horses, cows, a donkey, dogs, catfish and good company.

*NOTE: Unfortunately, I forgot to put my memory card back into my camera, (oops) so instead I relied on the app on my phone to document the highlights of our Thanksgiving.

This year was different because we got to bring Roadie with us!  My cousins have little ones so there's always toddlers running about, but this holiday was the first time I was responsible for someone other than myself, well besides Scott <--- give the whoopie cushion a rest already will you?!

As soon as we arrived, Roadie couldn't wait to get out and explore everything:

I swear the little guy has no fear.  He walked right up to the horses, stuck his head INSIDE of the gates and barked at them.  Besides being amazed at the animals there, he had a hay (get it?) day rolling around in the grass and playing with the other dogs.

We planned to eat our traditional Thanksgiving meal around 1pm, since my cousins had in-laws to visit later on.  I'm glad we decided to eat that early because I'm not even exaggerating when I say I am still full from that meal.

I didn't get to take pictures of everything, but our meal included:
  • Turkey and Ham - standards
  • My Uncle Bucky's infamously sweet, Sweet Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberries
  • Macaroni & Cheese (the kind that's crunchy on top!)
  • Green Beans & Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Rice and Gravy
  • Dinner Rolls 
  • My Mom's Cherry/Strawberry Jello-Salad
  • My Aunt Sandy's Lime & Cottage Cheese Jello-Salad
and last but certainly not least, Scott's Cucumber & Tomato Salad with onions, feta cheese and mint tossed in a lime vinaigrette dressing:

We knew all of the traditional starches would be covered, so we opted to bring something different, and sneak in some veggies that weren't covered in bread crumbs.  Everyone seemed to like it, so I'm sure one of us will be making this and I'll post a recipe in the near future.

After linner (somewhere between lunch + dinner), we were all stuffed like turkeys and took a minute to breathe before digging into dessert.  Well, maybe not all of the time I made it over to the dessert table Scott's Pumpkin Roll was almost gone!

Quickly, I gathered a plate with a slice of the roll (which by the way was his best one yet), home-made buttermilk Pound Cake & a slice of Pumpkin Pie:

I'm not kidding when I tell you the Pumpkin Roll was almost gone within 10 minutes after dinner.  I got a few scraps together to form a slice for myself, but it should have really looked like this:

Y-U-M.  My family loved it, and we were excited to contribute things worth raving about! :)  I guess you could say our first Thanksgiving as a married couple was a S-U-C-C-E-S-S, Yes.

After a few hours of visiting with the family and laughing at the dogs playing, it was time to head home.  Scott and I rode back to Orlando with my dad and grandma and talked about exciting things coming up for us the entire ride home.

When we got to the Daytona area, we stopped mid-conversation when we realized a special song was playing on the radio.  Scott and I had a hard time deciding what Our First Dance together as a married couple would be on our Wedding Day, and 2 days before the wedding at the last minute changed it to "Hold Us Together" by Matt Maher.

To get you up to speed: 3 weeks before the wedding Scott lost his job.  On top of the stresses of planning a wedding we were now in the mind frame of Where are we going to go and what are we going to do?  We had a different First Dance Song picked out, but when we heard this one two days before the wedding it seemed to be playing just for we changed it right then.

My favorite part is at the 2:10 mark:

Hearing that song put a huge smile on my face.  What a great reminder...everything is going to be just fine.
And for that, I am so thankful.

Happy Turkey Day, Turkeys! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WOW: Give Thanks

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I'm sure there will be a lot lists of what we're thankful for out there.  Even though the turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and dressing is something to get excited about, I'm counting down the hours the true meaning of Thanksgiving is to do just that: to Give Thanks.

While browsing on Facebook earlier, I stumbled upon Scott's status and it took me back for a second.  THIS was a perfect inspiration for my Word of Wisdom this week:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

What a pick-me-up.  It's things like seeing Scott inspire and share the Word via Facebook that makes me prouder than ever...even more than when he produced the D12 Orlando All-Stars Game.  He's goofy, outspoken, and at times a tad inappropriate, but he's also our family's preacher and inspiration for me to grow in my faith.

For that, I am thankful.

Although I could write all day about things I'm thankful for, here's a short list of the highlights:

1. A wonderful start to our Hesington Family.

2. Our Extended Families.

3. Our purr-boxes: Aspen & Cali.

3. Finding our stray dog, and falling in love with Roadie.
(Wouldn't YOU keep him?!)

4. My Health.
(This is my favorite photo from my first year of NBA Dancer Auditions).

5. A roof over our heads.
(This photo was taken through as I caught a sunrise from our balcony!)

6. Food in our bellies.
(Especially yummy home-made remedies like Scott's Spicy Brisket Chili!)

7. An opportunity for new jobs and career paths.

8. A new found love for learning how to cook.
(This was my very first recipe to share on my blog!)

9. Our church and getting to dance through the Rejoice! Dance & Drama.

10.  Jesus Christ!

As you scramble around trying to finish cleaning your house before your guests arrive or make your last minute trips to the grocery store - remember to GIVE THANKS.

For the big things, for the little things and for everything in-between...

I'm still dreaming about the turkey, stuffing, and other Thanksgiving treats I get to experience tomorrow...but at least I'm thankful for it! :)
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