A delightfully spooky time!

My husband and I threw a small Halloween costume dinner party for about 10 friends at our apartment this weekend!  It was so much fun, I only wish our apartment was bigger so we could have had a larger guest list!  I thought I would share our decor for this holiday.  I haven’t ever been a big Halloween-decorator in the past (at all), but this year I really wanted to do it up right, and have some friends over to give me a reason to do so!

For the courtyard, we didn’t have the time to do much, plus there are rumors that it’s going to be re-landscaped soon, so since we don’t know when exactly that is happening, we didn’t want to hang stuff from the trees, just to have the landscapers show up and tear it all down.  So we kept it simple and cut some faces into black paper bags, and lined the walkway with luminaries!  They turned out even cuter than I imagined.  In the stairwell leading up to our apartment, we put some of Martha Stewart’s mouse silhouettes (not pictured) and put candles around and christmas lights behind our pumpkins and gourds.

Derek and I dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse this year, and we are super happy with how our costumes turned out!  My skirt was the first thing I’ve made on my own from a sewing pattern, so I’m pretty proud of how it turned out!  We made the ears, Derek’s bow tie, and I painted my shoes yellow.

Our guests lined up at our banquet table (which took rearranging our entire living room, and disassembling our office area…resulting in our bedroom being an absolute catastrophe!)

Ollie, our handsome mascot, no matter the season.

The following day, I took some more photos of our decorations, as I simply didn’t have time to get all the photos I wanted of the party setup before guests arrived.  The “tree” held favors (tricks and treats) for our guests, in halloween cones.  We draped all of our furniture in white cloth to give it a ghostly effect, and we covered some of our artwork with tin foil and drew in creepy eyes.  The bat garland was from West Elm (I’m obsessed with it), and the black cat portrait is from Heather Mattoon’s series “Cats in Clothes”.  Something that I didn’t get to photograph that I am bummed I missed was my brain-shaped ice for the punch!  Ahh, well, another year.  I also missed out on photographing all of our guests in their costumes, unfortunately.

Derek made the ghost following a craft tutorial from Martha Stewart’s October issue of Living.  She will definitely be re-used in future years, and perhaps she will eventually have a ghost family to hang with.  I re-created our center pieces on our regular dining table (which held the appetizers and beverages during the party), since I didn’t get to adequately capture them during the event.  The “pumpkin” bouquet is from Trader Joe’s.


We had so much fun, hopefully we can make this an annual event of sorts!  Happy Halloween!

Beautiful Sister

My beautiful and talented sister was sweet enough to let me photograph her while we were standing around in Maine one day…goodness, she is so beautiful, huh?  She is quite the crafter.  Check out her website:  www.janellegates.com

Poolside Test Shoot

This weekend I got together with a few friends and we pulled together this summertime test shoot by a lovely pool in Long Beach.  Our model was Heather Ann Davis, who is mostly an actress these days, but was gracious enough to lend us her beauty for the afternoon, makeup was by Veronica Chanel, wardrobe styling was by Wade Parkins, and hair styling by Steven Perlin.

My sweet Ollie.

Before we got a kitten, several people told me about how their kitties changed their lives for the better.  I now completely understand what they were saying.  Ollie is the sweetest little thing, and makes my day-to-day life (while Derek is at work) so much more exhilarating.  Such a great little guy.  He is growing up so much though…I just want him to be teensy forever.

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We are starting to make plans for the holidays.  Any suggestions on what we should do with Ollie while we are gone?  We don’t have many friends that will be in town, or who aren’t allergic, and while we could take him with us wherever we go, travelling with cats isn’t exactly the easiest thing ever.  Any suggestions?

A new addition to the family

Last week Derek and I finally got our sweet little kitten. And oh boy is he something! He is 12 weeks old and teensy. Super playful and cuddly and so well behaved. We think he likes our home so far. :) However, we don’t have a name for him yet!! Boy names are so difficult it seems. Sigh. It’ll come to us…

Visit my website to see my current work: www.melodyhansen.com

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Today we celebrated the lovely @jilly100lc and her impending bundle of joy with the prettiest flowers, tastiest bites, the bubbliest mimosas and the craftiest project for the nursery. Such a beautiful morning! Can't wait to meet baby! #welcomebabydax This sweet little nakey babe turned 18 months today. It's insane to me that I have been a momma for A YEAR AND A HALF. What in the world...?!!! It's been a blur, but the happiest, sweetest blur I could have ever imagined. My Wilder is by far the happiest creature I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. I love you, my darling boy! #wildercobalt #18months Just exploring our new little community on foot with my almost 18 month old. (Not our house behind him...he was trying to break in.) #wildercobalt #18months Even though we are still technically in the same neighborhood, we are in a new part of the neighborhood, which means new walkable spots to visit regularly. This is for sure one of my favorites (already was, but now I can walk there in under 5 min!): @flowerboyproject! Wilder was especially fond of the truck he could see through the open back door (😂...silly boy) while I was enjoying this view right here (& sharing this delicious PB toast with him). #venice This photo is from our first morning in our new apartment. This little nugget seems to love the new digs. So much space to call his own! 🤗 #wildercobalt #venicebaby There's our little 🏡 we waved 👋🏻 to this week. My emotions are all over the map. 🎭 This week we moved out of our Venice Beach bungalow of 4 years. It was a bittersweet move - we left behind so many wonderful memories, Wilder's first home, and many amazing neighbors. We only moved .9 miles away, and are still in Venice, but it's still sad to say goodbye to such a sweet little home by the sand. On to new adventures and home making! 📦🚛👶🏼 #wildercobalt #venice One more from this morning. Today Wilder was feeling really brave and had so much fun running in the ocean. He's never done that before! This was from the end of our day, stripped down to get the sand off before heading home for his nap. My sweet, naked little buddy. 😍☀️ #wildercobalt This morning we had the most perfect of all perfect beach days. I remember dreaming of days like this when I was pregnant, thinking ahead to Wilder running/crawling around in the sand and building sand castles, running in the ocean and not caring about the amount of sand covering us. It's even better having this dream realized AND getting to watch @_derekhansen have the best time digging in the sand for 3 hours with Wilder, giving him the best time of his life. Doing parenthood together is an honor and a challenge I don't think I'll ever fully wrap my head around. Happy Father's Day to the most loving and caring dad-du I could ever hope for for our son! ❤️⛱🌊☀️👪 #wildercobalt #fathersday2016 This trip to New York was one for the books. So sad for it to come to an end, but so thankful for each and every moment. #campahler 📸: @amy_k_ross


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