Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Hair

Hi friends!

Sorry, I've been a little MIA.

Unfortunately, I've been taking care of a sick husband for the past few days. Boo!

And getting ready to head back to class for the semester. Another Boo!

And now, I'm feeling under the weather. Yuck! 

However, I did take time out last week to make a little change...

I got my hair highlighted....Whoop!

I haven't had my hair this light in a long, long time. And after seeing this picture of Ashley Greene, I decided that I wanted caramel highlights.  

(isn't she just gorgeous?!)

Anywho, while my hair isn't as long as hers (hopefully one day soon!), I really wanted my hair to look like hers. Mine is a little lighter on top, but I still am happy with the results. 

So here ya go:




You can see how light it is...whoa.

(please ignore my crazy eyes...haha)

I am pretty pleased with the results. Like I said, I think it's quite light on top. But, I am getting used to it. 

I have a habit of getting bored with my hair and then doing something drastic...and then immediately regretting the decision. 

But hey, it's just hair. And I can always change it. :)

On the restaurant front...the hubs and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary of getting engaged (yes, I know we are such cheese balls...) by trying a new place out....

We headed over to Buckley's at Poplar and Estate. I had heard, like, 5 different people in the past month rave about it, so we decided to check it out.


(Please don't tell my dad)....but this was the best steak I've ever had. 

It was so tender and juicy...it was almost like eating candy. I got the 6oz petite filet (which is definitely enough for me), but it was so good that I wanted another one. 

The prices are very reasonable, and Brad and I really enjoyed the ambiance. 

We are def going back! 

And you should check it out if you haven't!

(Thanks for asking me 2 years ago to marry you. It was the best decision I've ever made.)

Much love. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So what I hear is...

"50" is the new "40"

"40" is the new "30"


"30" is the new "20".

Here's what the lovely Jennifer Anniston had to say on the Oprah Winfrey show a few months ago just days before her 42nd birthday about how she loves how it feels to be in her 40s:

"I would say just a comfort and an ease within myself. And sort of an ability to really tune out the unnecessary negativity," she says. "And really understand that it's all about just putting love and goodness out in the world."

You go girl.

And can anyone really believe Jennifer Anniston is 42?!


Anywho, my point with all this jibber-jabber about getting older is that I want so bad to feel what these women in their 40s and 50s are feeling. 

I can't remember who she was, (although I am pretty sure it was someone on Oprah..<OF COURSE SHE WAS ON OPRAH>), when asked if she'd go back to her 20s, would or wouldn't she, this person didn't hesitate: NO WAY.

When asked why, she said it was because she was in no way comfortable with herself. She was constantly searching for herself...constantly trying to impress others...constantly trying to make others happy...constantly fighting with all those imperfections she saw in the mirror...


That's a lot of work.

And yet, I find myself in the midst of all of that. 

Well, maybe not all of them...but mostly feeling like I'm in a state of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. 

Hey, don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go as a person. I really believe there is always room to grow and be better...and....

Wait, does that sound like not being content with myself? 

Isn't that exactly what I am trying not to do?


So are we supposed to feel a sense of contentment with ourselves, or feel that there's always room to better ourselves?


I know I am probably making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm just trying to find some contentment with myself.

With me, though, If it's not one thing, it's another. 

"Man, I need to lose weight." 
"Gosh, I need to impress my professors." 
"I need to work harder for God."
"I need to do more around the house."

And on and on it goes....

I've heard that your 30s are better than your 20s. 

T-minus 882 days! Woo-hoo!

Look, I'm not wishing my life away. 

Because I love my life.

It's pretty darn sweet.

However, I think I am searching for that self-assurance and self-confidence that comes with getting older. 

Or...just waiting on the pill to take that will just magically make it appear within oneself. 

I am sure the drug companies are feverishly working on that as we speak.

Much love. ;)

Friday, August 19, 2011

And now a word in regards to rudeness...

I understand this post might be a little bias.

Because today I'd like to discuss the treatment of those in the service industry.

You know...severs...bartenders...hostesses....etc.

And yes, I am married to a bartender.

(Who happens to work at Jim's Place Restaurant and Bar at Poplar and Perkins every Monday night, Wednesday morning, Friday mornings & evenings, and some Saturday nights...oh and also at Chili's at Poplar and Perkins on Tuesday nights...just ask for Brad.) = SHAMELESS PLUG.


I would say that more often than not when we go out to eat, we are probably a little more observant of our surroundings than most. Mostly because Brad has been in this industry for years, and I had a brief stint in the industry, also (as a hostess).

Oh...and because Brad is going to school for a degree in Hospitality and Resort Management in the hope that he can open his own bar one day.

So, that being said, when we go out, we have a good time....but we can also be a tad critical.

However, more often than not, we try very hard to, at least, give the benefit of the doubt to our servers.

Because we understand, for lack of a better term, the crap that they have to put up with and what all that they have to do.

Unless you've worked in this type of industry, I don't think you can possibly understand the ridiculousness that they have to deal with.

I mean, I could fill this blog with pages upon pages upon...(you guessed it!) pages with stories of...well...ridiculousness.

So, when we blatantly see someone be rude to a server, it flies all over Brad and me.

Ladies and gentleman...I present...last night:

Brad and I were out last night getting a bite, when...dum...dum...DUMMMMM.....

"We've been waiting 20 minutes for our drinks (no they hadn't)...why did they (Brad and I) get served before us (totally the manager's fault because she sat us and got our drinks)....well I am NOT happy about this....blah blah blah..."

First of all, the server was completely swamped. We both knew it. But that guy just assumed that the server had ignored their table on purpose.

Why in the world would she completely ignore them on purpose...I don't think that she thinks that money will magically appear on the table when they leave.


Brad was so upset by the whole ordeal he had to go outside and compose himself...(and yes, that is code that he had to go outside and smoke a cigarette because he was so mad.)

Sometimes people can just be so inconsiderate. And it flies all over me.

Do you realize those people depend on your tips to survive?? They are not out on the streets hustling. They are trying to make an honest living.

I understand that there will be times when your service is less than stellar. Believe me, I KNOW there are lazy people in the service industry. But more often than not, they are busting their butts.

Annnnd I also know there are times when speaking to a manager is probably warranted.

However, making a scene is NEVER acceptable (in my opinion).

You really just make yourself look like an ass. And you've made yourself a target.

Because believe me, most servers, bartenders, and hostesses never forget a face that makes a scene.


So, please, stop being rude to servers. To bartenders. To hostesses.

Take a minute and put yourself in their shoes.

I think everyone should be required to work in this field...at least once.

It would be a real eye-opener.

Wait, did I mention to stop being rude?

Much love. ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crafty-(hot mess)-ness.

So, I am growing tired of the lackluster-ness on the walls in our house.

We'd love to paint, but unfortunately, we can't. It's a long story, but the long and the short of it is, there are 8 layers of wallpaper that have been painted over in our house (his great-grandparents' home).

Of course, when Brad moved in 7 years ago, his uncle painted a quick coat over whatever was here (I can't remember what is was for the life of me...). What remains is this slate-blue-grey color.

But when Brad and I went to paint a few months ago (after seeing some cracks in the paint & wanting something new), we realized we were in over our heads. And after advice from my brother, we just had to put our painting dreams (I use the term "dreams" lightly. I hate painting. Don't we all??) on hold.

Fast forward to opening wedding gifts and learning that my brother's (and his business parteners') gift to us was to help us with renovations of the house.


Yes, it is a truly amazingly-wonderful gift. We are beyond grateful.

So, we obviously can't paint for all the aforementioned reasons. Annnnddd because in order to start the whole renovation process, we have to buy the house. And that may take a minute. Or two.

So, all that being said, I am having to just find pieces that match the color on the walls...and our furniture.

And, I've just been putting off finding things for the walls because I'd like for Brad to have some imput. I mean it is his house, too.

But, trying to get Brad to Garden Ridge is like trying to squeeze a piano through our front door....do-able. But highly unlikely.

(This avoidance of such places is mostly due to his work schedule. Mostly...haha.)

Anywho, I just got the itch today to DO something. So, I went to Garden Ridge and found a couple of frames for suuuupppaa cheap.

Annnddd I had seen this on Etsy and thought, "Hey I could do that!"

It's all the important dates that you might have for you or your family. 

Pretty cool, huh? 

I present to you my, on the fly, interpretation:


Wow, mine definitely looks like it could use some tweaking. The card stock is fine. But my handwriting could use some tweaking. (And by "tweaking" I mean, should not be there at all.)

So, maybe I'll just go to the zazzle.com creation page of the person who did the original picture and do that instead (and by "that" I mean be lazy and order it).

So, after taking a look at the other one, I am definitely going to re-do mine.

However, I am going to keep mine up for right now. I am dying to have something (anything!) up on the wall in the bathroom.

Oh and the explanation of the dates:
01/13/04 =  the first day of Tuesday/Thursday classes for that semester = the beginning of Brad's and I's journey together
07/22/04 = Brad asked me to be his girlfriend.
08/29/09 = Brad asked me to marry him.
05/21/11 = wedding day

On to the next crafty project...

I made this little ditty for the bedroom:

(it says, "yeah, love is a verb here in my room." - incubus)

It's a song lyric from one of Brad's favorite Incubus' songs. I am surprising him with it in the bedroom.

I am pretty happy with that project. Simple. And to the point. And it's in the font that all of our stationary for our wedding was in. So, I like that about it, too.

I guess it's on to the next project...

Hey, I'm no Martha Stewart. 

But a girl can dream!

Thank God for esty.com and zazzle.com...now I don't have to be Martha. I let my mouse do the hard work for me. 

Much love. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011


I used to loooovvee to read as a child.

I was even a member of the "Berrytime Book Club" we had at the public library in my hometown.

"Berrytime?" you ask. Humboldt = West TN Strawberry Festival.


Unfortunately, as time has gone on, I have fallen out of love with books. I think this is due to something we like to call "undergraduate studies."

And more than that, it's now called "graduate studies."

Seriously, I have not been able to motivate myself to read anything for fun since being enrolled in the graduate program I am in.



However, making the executive decision to not take classes this summer because of needing a break after the wedding, financial reasons, and because I frankly was just burned out from the semester before...I decided to buy a book to take and read at the beach on our honeymoon.

It was a pretty entertaining read. When we got back home from our honeymoon, I went and saw the movie by myself. (Because there was no way the man was going to agree to go see it...annnnnd I honestly like going to see movies by myself every now and then.) I thought the movie was..."eh." I love Ginnifer Goodwin. I think she is gorgeous. And I thought that Kate Hudson did a great job in her role. But, seeing the story on screen...just left me a little underwhelmed.

After reading that Emily Grffin book, I thought I'd read this one:

I really loved the ending of this book. I cried. Yep.

Well, after that...I decided on this little gem.

Fabulous. Just fabulous. I can't wait to see the movie. (Oh and a guy that used to work with Brad is one of the extras...so it will be cool to see him, too!)

As you can see...I am on a roll...go me.

So, then I went and got this:

Omgeeee. I can't say enough about this book. I loved loved loved it.
So, naturally, I couldn't wait to go see the movie!
The man and I planned a date night this past Wednesday night to go see it. We used a gift card we had gotten as a wedding gift to Outback, so we headed to Studio on the Square in midtown to see the movie. However, when we got there, it was sold out!
So, we headed back towards the hiz and hit up the Paradiso. Luckily, we got there about 30 minutes before the movie started. And I am glad we did, because it filled up quickly. I had no idea the movie would be so popular!
And the movie...
Was amazing.
Just amazing.
Of course, they altered a few things...and couldn't possible fit everything in that the book did.
But, it was just so good.
And so moving.
Even the man cried. More than once. Like, he couldn't even get up when the credits rolled because he was crying.

(And yes, I am probably going to get flack for telling the world that. But, hey, I love that my man is a sensitive one. He's human compassion sensitive. Geez.)


Like now. Go see it.

So now what to read...

Well, unfortunately the Borders stores are closing. Sigh.

So, I headed over to Germantown today and picked up four new reads.

Yes, four. Aren't you proud of my determination to keep reading?!

So, here's what I got (and they were all 40% off):

I can't wait to see the movie, too. 

Depending on how good the book is, I will decide if I want to subject myself to a Miley Cyrus movie. 

Obviously, I am sucker for Nicholas Sparks. And, thus, crying. 

I saw the preview for this movie and decided to pick this up too. It's the first in line to read, so if the book is good, then I will go see the movie in the theater!

So, there you have it. These have been my escapes this summer. 
Oh and this movie too:

Go see it. Now. It was abso-freaking-lutely awesome.

Much love. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Being an aunt...

Is the best job in the world.


I'll say it again.

Being an aunt is the best job in the world!!

(I don't know about this. However, it's a cool onesie nonetheless.)

Today was a monumental day in the Hansen family.

Our sweet nieces, Hannah Jane & Heather Dawn, both had a big day of firsts.

It was Hannah's first day of Kindergarten and Heather's first day of pre-school.

It just doesn't seem possible!!!

Where has time gone?!

I know that my sister-in-law and brother are probably wondering the same thing. And probably on a grander scale. I can only imagine their emotions today.

Sending their girls out into the big world... (Okay, I know it's just Kindergarten and pre-school...but to the girls it IS the big world. And yes, one day big world will equal high school...then college...okay...must... stop...it's just TOO MUCH.)

Hats off to my brother and sister in law. They've done an amazing job up to this point.

And as time goes on, and the girls get older, I know that they (the girls) will make mistakes. Which is what happens. But it won't be because they didn't have amazing guidance from their parents.

They are quite the lucky pair to have the mom and dad that they do.

And I feel lucky to be a part of it all (as I am sure Brad does).

They've been such a joy in our lives.

Seriously, I can't begin to put into words the love and hope we have for them.

Watch out world! They're going to do BIG things...

(sweet Hannah Jane on the day she was born)

(Hannah growing up...)

(And now a big girl...)

(on her first day of school!!)

(her daddy walking her to school...isn't this the sweetest?!)

(Kindergarten...oh my.)

(2024 future valedictorian)

(sweet Heather Dawn the day after she was born)

(and now a big girl on her first day of pre-school)

(such a sweet family)

Time flies. Take a few moments to enjoy the ride. 

Much love. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And now a word in regards to cattiness...

I will be the first person to admit that I am not perfect. 

I have said hurtful things to/about other people.

But I'd like to take this opportunity to make a plea to the women of the world to stop.

Stop being mean.

Stop being hurtful. 

Stop being rude.

To your friends. To your family. To your husbands. To your lovers. To all.

It's not attractive.

One day you'll wake up and wonder where everyone went.

I'll tell you. 

They (hopefully) stood up for themselves and said: "Enonnnoouuuugh."

God don't like ugly and he ain't stuck on pretty.

Our looks are going to fade.

And no one will remember that designer purse you had 20 years ago. 

Or what kind of car you did or didn't have.

Whether or not your house was bigger than others.

That's not what they'll remember.

What they will remember is the kind of person you are. 
Whether you had good character.
If you were humble.
If you practiced what you preached.

How many tombstones have you seen that read: "Here lies Jane. She was vain. She tried to keep up with the Jones'. She was a bitch more often than not."

I am trying every day to be a better person than I was the day before. 
It's hard. 
I pray for forgiveness and strength. 

I just wish the cattiness would stop.

Sometimes being nice isn't appropriate for the situation at hand...I understand.

And being nice definitely isn't the easy choice. 

But maybe it's time to take a step back. 

"Pride makes us artificial & humility makes us real." - Thomas Merton

Much love. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meet Me In St. Louis

Hi friends!

Sorry, I've been a little MIA from the blogging.

I had a busy weekend!

The man and I met my folks in St. Louis this past Friday to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals. Sadly, the Cubs lost.

(the folks and I at Busch stadium)

On the upside, we had an amazing time in St. Louis! Brad had never been, while I had been twice before. My parents were only able to stay Friday night, but Brad and I stayed both Friday and Saturday.
(the man and me)

Our hotel was not the best...however, it was in a really cool part of town - "The Hill."

Check out some cool facts about The Hill here!

We ate dinner on Saturday night at a restaurant called Gian Tony's. It was sooo good! And very charming. Check out the website here!

(after dinner pic)

I had decided to wear a dress I had gotten on our honeymoon (at the same store that I purchased the LBD from). They called it the "Julia Roberts" dress.
(said Julia Roberts dress)

I loved it because it was polka-dotted. :)
(my version of the Julia Roberts dress)

But anytime I wear something new, I get a little nervous.

And for whatever reason, I get self-conscious. Ugh. I know. Stupid. But hey, it's what happens. I am trying to work on it.

So, imagine my thought process when I kept catching this woman at a table staring at me. I kept thinking "Is there something wrong?" "Do I look terrible?"

After about 20 minutes of wondering, she and her family got up from their table to leave. Surprisingly, she popped by our table to tell me, "I just had to tell you. I think your dress is so adorable. I've been admiring it since you got here."

WOW! I was so shocked. And blushing!

Brad then told me that he had overheard the lady tell her husband how much she liked my dress. But because he knew how much I would blush, and that I'd be uncomfortable taking the compliment (that's a whole other blog post), he decided to wait and see if she'd say anything.

Well, hey...it made my day! :)

On Saturday we also took the Anheuser Busch tour. I had already taken it, but Brad thought it was pretty cool.
(the man at the tour)

Sunday we headed to Union Station and sadly, it has gone downhill since the last time I visited. Granted that was almost 10 years ago, but still. It was definitely a sad face.

After that visit we headed to the Arch, which was pretty cool...to begin with...

Explanation to follow.

I had already been to the arch, faced my fears, and experienced the whole kit and kaboodle. Brad had not. So, I mean he HAD to go. The Arch is something you just have to do at least once in your lifetime.

(awesome Arch pic taken by the man)

Unfortunately, we made the mistake of getting there around noon. Which apparently, is the time everyone else decided to get there, too. We had to wait in a long line outside (in the ridiculous heat) for 30 minutes because of security. Upon entering, one thing was abundantly clear to both Brad and me....


What I mean to say was that it smelled of sweaty feet.

And nastiness.

Yikes. It was a hot mess.

Waiting another 30 minutes in line to get tickets was a bag of fun, too. We realized very quickly that it was going to be a long afternoon. We got in line around 1ish.

The next available tour wasn't going to be until 2:55 p.m.


But hey, we checked out the museum they have. And played checkers in the general store. And toughed it out.

And then we got in line to head to the top. And the gentleman behind us..well...whistled the entire time. And talked to himself. Muttering strange things. He was behind us for 20 minutes. Muttering and whistling non-stop. Fabulous.

Correction: fabulously scary.

(me and the man right after getting away from creeper)

All in all...we decided that while worth it for the day, we are definitely good for the rest of our lives on visiting the Arch ever again.

(checking out the views from the top)

While I had already been to St. Louis, one thing that surprised me was how FRIENDLY everyone we talked to was. It's not like I had negative ideas about St. Louis. However, I just was so impressed by the friendly nature of everyone there.

Thanks St. Louis!

The man and I are already plotting a return trip...maybe in September to see the Cubbies again?

And maybe the Cubs will have better luck with that go round...

Wait, let's not jinx anything.

Much love. :)