It’s Been A While…

Two children makes life very different; a good different, but a crazy different. Less time for me, more time for them… never a dull moment! Never ever. I am so happy to be the mother of, not one, but two beautiful children now. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride these last 9 1/2 months since I gave birth to our second baby, Carter James, and it’s been hard to find time for much else other than my kiddos and getting in any moments of rest I possibly can. I’m sure many of you relate to having children close together! It’s not been an easy road for me in my postpartum journey this time, surprisingly, but sometimes in life you just have to keep on keeping on. So that’s what I did! It’s been all about survival for me.

That being said, I am so ready to start adding more back into my life that doesn’t involve messy diapers, cleaning up cheerios off the floor and constantly running my washing machine (cue tears of joy!). My blog has suffered and I have missed it. So, here’s my attempt at getting back into what life used to be before it got chaotic. ;)  I make no promises though! Hehe.

During the past year, I have tried many different recipes and products (mostly baby related!), so I have lots to share. Hopefully you will see a post or two here soon.

Thanks for bearing with me, folks! I appreciate all of you!

The Happy Homemaker


Mystic, CT

My husband and I recently had our 4 year anniversary. It’s amazing how much can happen in a short amount of time! We hadn’t been away for a vacation in over 3 years, let alone a short getaway by ourselves since Layla has been born (that would be 19 months!). So we bought a Groupon deal and saved all our cash in a jar so we could get away for a couple of days!

My aunt and uncle both highly recommended a trip to Mystic, CT. I had heard so many people say we just had to take a trip there sometime. After all, it’s only about 1 1/2 hours from where we live! Being about 1.5 weeks away from my 3rd trimester in pregnancy, we knew that now was a great time to go if we were going to get away before baby arrives in September.

Our accommodations were at the Bellissimo Grande Hotel in North Stonington, CT, just a little ways from the Mystic Seaport. When I thought of Connecticut before, I never would have known that a lot of the Mystic Country really is “country”. Lots of beautiful farms and winding back roads to get from our hotel to Mystic. Many people just think of the casinos down in that area, but we weren’t there for that part of it. :) Below I will show a few photos of our time away and places that I highly recommend visiting if you get the chance to travel to Mystic, CT.

Our time away was cold and rainy. But still very romantic and fun!


 Our first food stop was Mystic Pizza II in Stonington (there is another Mystic Pizza right in Mystic). We built our own small pizza and shared an appetizer. Mine was fresh mozzarella with roasted red peppers and sausage. It was divine! Such good pizza.




We stayed at the Bellisimo Grande Hotel in North Stonington. It is a luxury hotel. We had a good experience, but honestly I felt the only luxurious part was the curtains and bedding. Hahha. We had a Jacuzzi tub right in our room. The bed was very comfortable and we slept very well!


Below is my husband digging into a lava cake. :) We stopped at Bartleby’s Café since I had a hankering (okay, pregnancy craving) for coffee and a sweet. He also enjoyed an iced caramel machiatto.



Kitchen Little was recommended to us and we are so glad we tried it out! It is featured in many different magazines, including Gourmet and Yankee magazine. It’s tucked in this marina! It was so cool to see all the different boats and such and enjoy a view of the water.



Our food was absolutely incredible. I’ve never had such a tasty breakfast! I ordered the biscuits and sausage gravy. It came with scrambled eggs and home fries. All for a very low price. We were so impressed and even got to see the chef behind the food! We ended up going there again the next day for breakfast because we liked it so much.



We shopped along Mystic Seaport right where the drawbridge is. It was rainy, but not too bad. At first we were bummed because many of the shops were closed! But they opened up later on and we stopped into this ice cream place to warm up with a coffee and pastry.


Below is a pecan bar with chocolate drizzle. It was so good. The coffee was also very good!


Mystic drawbridge.


Not too far from the drawbridge is another store that sells spices, teas, flavored sugars and salts and more. It’s called The Spice and Tea Exchange. It was a fun place to stop! They had many different blends of spices and teas. The flavored sugars and salts were also amazing. We picked up a couple of things for gifts and definitely would visit again!

On Monday night we had our special “expensive” meal. We dressed up and picked a place with some specialty food. It is so hard to pick a place with all the options available! We were extremely happy with our visit to Anthony J’s Bistro! We ordered crab cakes for an appetizer, which literally melted in your mouth. I got their Carbonara and Kyle got lobster filled ravioli in a cream sauce with broccoli. It was great, quality food! We took dessert “to go” and ate it later in our hotel. We were stuffed!


The Mystic Seaport Museum is right down the road from this area, but we decided to save that for a day where we could enjoy it more. The weather was pretty rainy and windy at times and very chilly for June 1st! There are so many things to do in Mystic, so we will be going back when we get the chance. On Tuesday, we checked out of our hotel, went and had breakfast, then headed to the Olde Mystick Village, which is basically shops. We enjoyed stopping at some cool stores, like a specialty Scandinavian shop, a pasta shop, a Southwestern shop and the general store. We spent almost 2 hours there walking through the rain and shopping. That about wrapped up our trip, and we felt like we had done about as much as we could do in the rainy weather.

It was a lot of fun spending time with just my husband. No time schedule and no responsibilities! Even driving in the rain down the country roads was just relaxing and fun for us. We missed our daughter a ton, but she did great without us for the first time!

Mystic is known for being right between Boston and New York, so if you are on your way through that area, it’s worth a stop!

Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our time away in Mystic, CT.

The Happy Homemaker

New Goals for a New Year

It’s that time of year again… you know, the end of it where we all think of the things we would like to accomplish in the coming year? I know I do! It is always refreshing to start a new year with a clean slate! I am looking forward to this coming year, and am excited to see what it holds. No, our years aren’t always fun, and can be filled with lots of heartache at times. But each and every year is filled with different things, and we don’t have the chance to relive them once they are gone.

I have created a free printable for you to start making a list of goals for this coming year. You don’t have to fill it all in right away, but it can get you thinking about some small things you would like to accomplish in the next twelve months. I used to make a resolution list, but then I never kept to them. They were big dreams and aspirations, and I hardly ever got any crossed off my list. I decided to make small (and sometimes big) goals for each year, so it would be looked at as something I am striving for and am in the process of achieving, rather than something I will never get done. At the end of 2015, I can look at it and know that I did my best in those areas and I didn’t have to feel like a failure.

Click here for the printable: Goals 2015 Goals-2015


I have given you just 10 slots to fill. Nothing overwhelming. Just add your most important goals for the new year, and then make out a plan on how to get started on them. A goal will never be reached or even strived for if you don’t have a plan to make it happen! I liked the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who reminds us that each day we should live like it is the best day of our year. It kind of makes you think differently when you wake up each day!

Clip this to your fridge or tape it onto your bedroom mirror. It will be a good reminder of what you are striving for in the year to come.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

The Happy Homemaker

Buy on Etsy this Christmas

Just as a reminder with the Christmas rush about to start…

You can help support small business online by ordering from shops on Etsy! Consider buying handmade items from small businesses to help them during this holiday season!

I have been listing several items weekly and will continue to do so until I can start getting some sales. I would love some feedback from you. What popular items are you looking for this Christmas? Let me know, and I will get right to work on creating some unique, handmade gifts just for you!

Christmas is drawing very near, so order soon!

Thanks for your support,

The Happy Homemaker

Check out my shop here: AJHansenHandmade

Etsy Shop

I finally brought myself to create an Etsy shop. Have I thought about doing it before? Yes, many times. Yet, I didn’t quite know if what I made would sell, or if it would be worth my time. However, I recently figured it was worth a shot. Being a stay-at-home mom is such a wonderful privilege and blessing (I’m not gonna lie – it has it’s days!), but there is always the need for a little extra cash in our house. I love to craft, especially crochet, so I thought why not! 

My shop’s name is AJHansenHandmade. All the good names I initially wanted were already taken. ;) I am so excited to see what will happen! My hope is that I can make items at my own pace and then list them. I’m afraid made-to-order would get too overwhelming for me at this point (I don’t have tons of time on my hands!), but I am open to special orders if you have a specific request.

Please share my shop, and get ready for more specially, handmade items coming soon!

You can find my shop here. I have all baby items currently, but will be listing a lacy, heather grey scarf as soon as I finish it!

The Happy Homemaker

A New Start

Years ago I started a blog called In My World. I kept up with it for years here and there… mostly there… and I was beginning to feel it was pointless. That’s when I decided to start a whole new blog especially geared towards more specific things. This blog is going to be about many topics, but I will be a bit more private about my personal life and focus in on more everyday occurrences. You’ll find things like recipes, DIY projects, health finds, family ideas and more. I am hoping that while I try out new things in my life and see what does and doesn’t work, that I can then share them with you!

I have been known for my love of hobbies. I do not have just one hobby – I have several! And while I do enjoy just about everything that I have tried, I often get bored and move onto the next project. I am one for variety in life. So you will most likely see a lot of different things posted on here. I will also be posting information on things that have not worked for me.

Thank you for reading the first post of my new blog! I hope to get a great jump-start and really take off with it. Please follow or subscribe to keep updated on all my posts.

Below is a poll with a couple questions about your favorite interests. It will help me to generate future posts towards the most popular topics out there. I appreciate your vote!

I look forward to the fun ahead, and can’t wait to start experimenting with new projects, recipes, health secrets and more!


The Happy Homemaker