Favorite Photo Friday

Friday, February 27, 2009 | | 4 comments

One weekend Eric and I were feeling particularly stressed so we decided to get out of town and spend the weekend in St. Louis. It was a quick trip, just something to get us away from the pressures of being in town. We took a tour of Budweiser, went to the St. Louis Arch, and ate at Niche. If you haven't heard of Niche, well, the chef there was recently named one of the best in the country by Food and Wine Magazine. Holy cow, it was to die for. I can't wait until we can take another weekend for just the two of us: no family, no friends, no responsibilities.

Actually, some time away with my parents doesn't sound too bad. I'm really looking forward to that vacation to the beach, Mom! :)

My wedding day

Thursday, February 26, 2009 | | 4 comments
My mom sent this to me on facebook, but I'm not big into facebook notes so I'm posting it on my blog.

This is a survey for all of you married folk. Copy mine and paste into a new note. Fill it out & don't forget to tag other married couples on your friend list. Don't forget to tag me back too!

1) When was your wedding day?
March 29, 2008

2) What day of the week was it?
Saturday

3) Did you get married in a church?
Hmm...a chapel. A.P. Green Chapel on Mizzou's campus. It was beautiful.

4) How many in your wedding party?
One matron of honor and two bridesmaids, one best man and two groomsmen, four candle lighters and four ushers, a ring bearer and a flower girl, and the most incredible vocalist

6) How many guests were invited to your wedding?
About 50 attended the wedding (very small and intimate) and several hundred at the reception (PAR-TAY!)

7) How long did you wait to Tie The Knot after your proposal?
Mom, did you say 6 months?!?! Holy cow! I thought I was rushed with nine months!

8) Who did you hire as your photographer & videographer?
Our photographer was Travis Duncan and our videographers were my cousin's husbands.

9) Did you have a DJ or a band?
The best DJ in the entire world....Uncle G, you rock!

10) Did your father walk you down the aisle?
Yes, I may have drug him down the aisle, I'm not sure he was ready to let go.

11) What color were the bridesmaid dresses & groomsmen vests?
The men wore black suits with ivory shirts and black ties (my husband wore an ivory tie) my bridesmaids wore black tea-length dresses with ivory bands around the waist.

12) Who was your Maid Of Honor/Best Man?
Matron of Honor: Karen McKnight and Best Man: Coty Spraggs

13) Did you have a Bridal Shower?
Yes, several! Two of my bridesmaids threw me a shower, a close family friend, and my grandma!

14) What type of limo did you get?
A vintage 2004 Honda Civic, they are pretty classy

15) Where did you go for your Bachelorette/Bachelor Party?
We started the evening at my apartment, headed to The Pasta Factory for dinner, then to De Ja Vu for comedy and dancing.

16) What type of wedding gown/tux did you two wear?
I wore a custom gown by Ashley Dost and Eric wore a black suit.


17) How was the weather?
Beautiful for march, a bit chilly but no bad weather!

18) Where did you go on your Honeymoon?
Napa Valley, California

19) What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
The entire day was exactly as I planned it, that never happens! Nevada's singing made me cry and Uncle G's DJing was more than I could have imagined.

20) How long have you been married?
Almost a whole year!

My Oscar Picks

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | | 4 comments
I know you have all been dying to read about my thoughts on the Oscars dresses. They are finally here!


Best Dressed: Marisa Tomei
Those beautiful pleats take my breath away.

Worst Dressed: Reece Witherspoon
This breaks my heart to post this, because I love Reece Witherspoon.
But what was she thinking??

Honorable mentions: Taraji Henson...
Those uneven layers of accordion pleats make my heart skip a beat.

Meryl Streep....
Ms. Streep got mixed reviews but I thought the understated elegance looked ravishing against the sea of opulent sequins we saw this year.

Penelope Cruz....
Have you heard the story of this gown? Penelope saw this vintage dress 8 years ago and went back to find it and it was still there. She looks spectacular.

Amy Adams
Amy looks beautiful in this red frock, especially with the colorful and bold necklace! So elegant.

A new kind of Post

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | | 5 comments
I've decided to start The Simple Woman's Daybook. I enjoy the open-ended questions and the ability to create my day as I fill it out. It also allows me to share more of my favorite photos (which is what I love about Favorite Photo Friday!) I think I will post these on Tuesdays, since Tuesdays are my busiest days and I see this as a stress-free, no pressure post. Hope you enjoy!

For Today...


Outside my window...the cars are frosted and the air is brisk.

I am thinking...when will the weather turn warm again?

From the learning rooms..."There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way" -Christopher Morley

I am thankful for...great friends, beautiful dresses, and a country that appreciates movies from India.

From the kitchen...frozen pizza, I'm ashamed really, but our schedules are crazy this week. I didn't have time for anything else.

I am wearing...blue jeans, a white T, red wrap-around sweater and my favorite Cole Haan shoes with the super comfortable nike air.

I am reading...Honk and Holler Opening Soon. I just finished Icy Sparks, read it. It was a beautiful story.

I am hoping...I get a good grade on the reaction paper I turned in last night. This HDFS class is pleasantly challenging, but challenging nonetheless.

I am creating...an inspiring book collection.

I am hearing...my husband shave and singing Jai Ho softly to himself

Around the house...things are picked up and nicely organized, thanks to a fantastic weekend with my mom.

One of my favorite things...is to wake up to a warm bed and a cold house, it gives me an excuse to stay in bed for "a few more minutes."

A few plans for the rest of the week...grade, do homework, research, read...and hopefully curl up on the coach and watch a good movie sometime in there.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
Warm weather, blue skies, and rows and rows of grape vines. Need I say more?


Research

Monday, February 23, 2009 | | 4 comments
I spent all day Thursday and all day Friday at the Ellis library researching for my thesis. I have to come up with birth rates, death rates, marriage rates, divorce rates, remarriage rates, and labor force participation of women from 1900 to the present. It may sound like a lot of work, but you really have no idea. Government records are chaotic and extremely unorganized, they really need to team up with HGTV's Mission: Organization. In addition, the subject librarians who are supposed to help direct you to the right wing to find the books and records you are looking for, don't ever actually answer your phone calls or emails. I think the University could greatly improve their financial situation by laying off all the subject librarians who don't do anything. In case you haven't noticed, research makes me grouchy. I haven't seen natural light in 48 hours.


My Parents Visit

Sunday, February 22, 2009 | | 2 comments
My parents came to visit us on Saturday. They got to town pretty early and met me at Kaldi's for breakfast, my mom and I surfed blogs on the internet while my dad tried to read. I guess we were too loud because soon he switched to playing games on his iPhone....or maybe us being loud was just an excuse for him to play games on his iPhone!

After breakfast we went driving around town so I could show them the apartments and duplexes that are at the top of our "list". We ate lunch at Bleu, a new restaurant in town owned by a guy we knew from the University Club. Needless to say, lunch was excellent.

After lunch, Mom and I went back to the apartment and dad went to a nearby bar to watch the Mizzou basketball game and smoke a cigar. Mom and I cleaned the apartment. Yes, my mom helped me clean my apartment. Eric's been so busy at work, usually leaving the house around 7:30am and not getting back until after 10pm, and I don't have enough time in the day to do all of my homework and grading and do all of the cleaning. (Especially when Eric gets home at night and dirties what I just cleaned...haha...husbands...)

After the Mizzou game we met Eric at the movie theater to watch The Reader, I had just finished reading the book and wanted to see the movie before the Oscars on Sunday! I usually don't like the movies as well as the book, but Kate Winslet was fantastic and I really enjoyed the movie!

Eric and I convinced my parents to stay for dinner and come out to Sophia's with us. We decided to get a variety of tapas and share them. We got lobster croquettes, crab cakes, filets, lobster bruchetta, miniature pizza, and balsamic chili calamari. YUM!


Favorite Photo Friday

Friday, February 20, 2009 | | 2 comments
This is St. Mary's Church in Wien, Missouri, home of the Wien Picnic. I've been attending the Wien Picnic since I was born and I've only missed one. The picnic is one of my favorite summer activities, but its arrival is bittersweet. It always occurs on the first sunday in August, so it also signifies the beginning of the end of summer.

This is a picture of my cousin, Susan, and me playing Bingo at the picnic. The Steffes' are hard-core bingo players, we usually work three bingo cards at once. Growing up the grandkids would work at the bingo stand passing out bingo cards for $0.25 each. I love this picture because it has the quilt auction and the bake sale in the background. The Wien Picnic wouldn't be the same without the quilt auction.

The final part of the Wien Picnic is the dinner, my least favorite part but everyone else's favorite part. They always serve fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, cole slaw, and roast beef. This meal probably sounds like heaven to all of you, but it sounds like starvation to me. Luckily I'm able to down enough corn and bread to keep my stomach from growling and of course I find nothing wrong with the hundreds of pies available for dessert.

Pepsi Logo

Thursday, February 19, 2009 | | 2 comments
The quote at the bottom says, "This is what I think whenever I see one of the new pepsi ads. :)"
The Artist is Lawrence Yang.

The Heart Ball

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | | 4 comments
Ann, the owner of Victoria's Bridal and a close friend of mine, invited her staff and their spouses (or significant others) to the Heart Ball at the Capital Plaza on this past Saturday. The evening began with a silent auction and an open bar. After a few hours of drinking and bidding we were ushered into the main ball room for a live auction, speeches by survivors of heart probelms, and dinner. Following dinner there was a live band and lots and lots of dancing. I wore this red satin Ralph Lauren dress and Eric wore a black suit with a red and pink tie. While I was there I ran into my cousin, Becky, who, as it turns out, planned the entire event! We had a fantastic evening with my co-workers and their families. I can't wait for next year!

Colonial Dames

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | | 5 comments

To the ladies of Colonial Dames,
Thank you greatly for the $2,000 scholarship you gave me last night. I must admit, when you said it was down to two finalists, I believed you. I told you about all the fantastic research I had been doing as well as the unique content of my studies. You seemed fascinated as I told my story but I thought you were just being polite. When I finished you said, "Okay, the scholarship is yours" and my heart skipped a beat. I thought I heard you incorrectly so I asked you to repeat yourself. Sure enough, I heard you correctly. You just awarded me a $2,000 scholarship good for two years totalling $4,000. My husband and I can't thank you enough. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Ashley Hasty

YES! You read correctly! I got a two year scholarship for $2,000 a year! One down, a few more to go! Wish me luck!

The Apartment Search- Step Three

Monday, February 16, 2009 | | 2 comments
Apartment Pre-Tour Sunday

After the apartment makes it onto our Numerical System Log, we visit the apartment to decide if it is worth a tour. At this time we rate the apartment on the following criteria: location within Columbia, the quality of the neighborhood, and the appearance of the building itself. This pre-tour is usually done on Sundays and depending on how many apartments we've added to the list, often takes up to several hours to complete.

Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 14, 2009 | | 4 comments
Eric and I had an anti-valentine's day. I worked for a florist for too many years to appreciate the value of Valentine's Day. So instead of going to a romantic dinner for two on the 14th, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday, February 13th. Instead of wearing the ugly pink and red combination that everyone seems to think they can get away with on this holiday, we wore blue and purple. There were no flowers, no teddy bears, and no heart-shaped box of chocolates. Just my husband and me, digging into messy, greasy, delicious hot wings and leaving with horrible garlic and buffalo sauce breath. No steak dinner and bottle of wine for us, not for this celebration.


Favorite Photo Friday

Friday, February 13, 2009 | | 4 comments

Meet Kassie. She is my favorite little lady in the whole world. She had a lot of difficulties growing up. For over a year she was in a wheelchair with both of her legs, from her waist down, in casts. She had to have surgeries and missed a lot of school. It was a miracle that she got her casts off before my wedding, we had every intention of her rolling down the aisle in her decorated wheel chair. But God said she should walk down the aisle an she was the most beautiful flower girl in the world. She loves to dance now that she can use her legs. Grandma Oliver puts on tapes of Elvis and Kassie likes to imitate his moves. I think my Grandma is determined to create a new generation of Elvis-lovers. Kassie also loves school and likes to read! I miss her so much but I think she'll come to visit soon!

The Apartment Search- Step Two

Thursday, February 12, 2009 | | 2 comments
Numerical System Log


After flipping through the Apartment Finder Magazine, we add the apartments that fit the initial criteria (at least two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage) to our numerical system. So far we have seven pages, equaling about 25 potential new homes, of our numerical system log.

The Apartment Search- Step One

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | | 2 comments
Apartment Finder Magazine

Every season a new edition of Apartment Finder Magazine is published and available around the corner from Eric's work. We pretty much count down the days to when a new edition is published. This is step one of the apartment search: flip through Apartment Finder Magazine.



Apartment Searching

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | | 5 comments
Eric and I are looking for a new place to live, our rent is about to go up $100 so we think we can find a bigger and nicer place for less money. Columbia has A TON of places to rent, so we are narrowing down our options to places with a garage. My dad would be so proud to know that we've created a numeric system, rating each duplex on the appearance, location, quality of the neighborhood, one or two car garage, size of the kitchen, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and more. Everything is ranked on a five point scale, five being the best and one being the worst. So far, we have 25 duplexes on our list. We are also excluding duplexes located near Rock Quarry, Bearfield, Juniper Ridge because these are big undergraduate party areas. We are giving extra points to places that don't allow undergrads, this usually ensures that the place will be quiet with few parties. We have to have a decision made by the end of May, I'll keep you updated!

25 Random Things About Me

Saturday, February 7, 2009 | | 1 comments
This was going around Facebook so I thought I'd post it on here since it took me FOREVER to write!

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I ignored these notes for as long as I could before I succumbed to the pressure.

2. I have two blogs, not one.

3. I "went out" for my friend Regan's birthday the other day and the next morning I understood for the first time what my dad means when he says he is "too old" for something.

4. I think my mom is the greatest woman in the world and I wish I was more like her. She is independent, strong-willed, a true believer, she lets go when she doesn't have control, she lives her own life and doesn't care what other people think about her, she is sassy.

5. The thought of my Grandpa Oliver still makes me cry, even two years after his death.

6. I could watch Law and Order, CSI, Cold Case, and Without a Trace 24/7 (and I have)

7. When I cook chicken, I never think it is done, one time I cooked it for an hour longer than the recipe called for because I was convinced it was still pink. By the time I stopped cooking it the chicken had no moisture whatsoever.

8. I never asked my parents to teach me how to cook when I was growing up because I didn't want to mess up a perfectly good meal.

9. I make the best cookies in the world, I have my own secret recipe and cooking method, and no, yours are not better.

10. Speaking of which, I hate it when people make cookies from a box, bag, or tube. Making cookies from scratch is not difficult.

11. I've never broken a bone...knock on wood.

12. I've had stitches twice, once to sew my eyelid back on (gruesome isn't it?) and once to sew my chin back together. They both occurred before I was out of elementary school.

13. I plan to move to Italy, just like in "Under the Tuscan Sun" (minus the divorce)

14. I know my husband would do anything in the world for me, he thinks he's lucky I married him, but I'm the lucky one

15. When I was little and visiting my Grandma and Grandpa Steffes, I would walk to the cemetery and let my imagination run wild. I would read the names and imagine the lives that they lived, the secrets that the kept, the letters that they wrote, the sorrow that the felt, the lovers that they had. Even today I can't drive past a cemetery without my mind wandering to what untold secrets the decesed took to their graves.

16. I feel the same way about old buildings. I imagine what occured in those rooms, who sat on that furniture, what document was signed on that desk, what child hid in that corner.

17. I could have been a creative writer with the way my imagination takes off when I'm around old things.

18. Since I've gotten married, I've fallen asleep around 8pm more days than I care to admit.

19. I have clips of Wayside School is Falling Down stuck in my head. For example, when I come across the number nineteen I think of this: (excerpt from Wikipedia) The 19th story does not exist. The reason is that the building was inadvertently built with story 20 directly on top of story 18. The teacher of this class is the fictional Miss Zarves. In Sideways Stories from Wayside School, the 19th chapter is omitted and in its place is a message stating that the 19th "story" does not exist. In Wayside School Is Falling Down, Allison accidentally ends up in it.

20. When I walk into a classroom and all the students are sitting at their desks with the lights off I think of Wayside School again, when one student was assigned to turn the lights on every morning but she was late to school one day and the class sat in the dark the whole time. After reading that chapter I had nightmares about not showing up to school on time and my class having to learn in the dark.

21. I think I got my sense of style from the clothes my mom bought me in England and the Madeline doll I played with. I'm obsessed with black and white clothing and girly floral dresses.

22. I really want a dog. Really, really want a dog! But Eric thinks we are too busy, and we probably are. But we have no trouble taking care of Ruby Hubbard when she comes to visit.

23. I have always dreamed of getting my PhD and being known as Dr. Steffes, just like my dad. I went through withdrawl when I realized I would be Dr. Hasty.

24. I'm a bit boastful of the fact that I will be the first Dr. Hasty.

25. I love my friends and I miss them terribly. I'm really proud of everything they are doing with their lives, especially those in Chicago, NYC, KC, St. Louis, California, and even those who stayed in Columbia with me....you know who you girls are. We may not talk much but I think about you everyday.

Favorite Photo Friday

Friday, February 6, 2009 | | 5 comments

This picture was taken the day before I graduated at a Kappa Delta Formal. Hayley (far left) planned the entire event and it turned out to be a great "Good-bye Seniors" event! Hayley and Amy (not pictured) bought the amazing dress for me as a graduation gift. Nevada (hugging me) has a fantastic blog you should check out. She talks about her experiences in New York City and she is absolutely hilarious. Sarah (amazing silver sequin dress) is living in Chicago, and also has a blog. She is really busy with her new job and doesn't post very often but she's a fantastic girl. Lauren (far right) is still living here in town and is a manager at Express. I still never see her, she might as well be living in Tokyo. And last but certainly not least are the twins, Alissa and Vicky. They are really classy girls and beautiful girls (inside and out). Alissa moved to KC and has a great job on the Plaza and Vicky moved back to sunny California!

I love you guys and miss you so much!

Super Bowl Party!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009 | | 4 comments

My parents threw a fantastic super bowl party last Sunday. As usual, the gathering centered around the delicious food my parents prepare:

For lunch, my dad made chicken cordon bleu, sweet potato fies, and southwestern vegetable soup. My mom made me wonderful chocolate chip cookies for dessert (and then sent them home with me so they wouldn't eat them...trust me, I didn't complain.) Then when the super bowl began we had a variety of hors d'oeurves: boneless buffalo chicken wings, hummus and veggies for dipping, chips and dip, and these absolutely wonderful chicken skewers (I can't remember the name!) that Wolfgang Puck made for the Oscars last year.

YUM!

For those of you who live on another planet, the Steelers won (which means my husband won $5 on a bet he placed with a friend of his) but I was cheering for the Cardinals and Kurt Warner. At least it was a really entertaining game to watch, down to the last few seconds!

Jane Austen

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | | 3 comments
Isn't this the cutest quiz?

I am Emma Woodhouse
of Emma!

You like being the queen of your social circle (small and provincial as it may be), and feel it's your duty to help those less influential than you. You often meddle in the affairs of others, though you do it with a pure heart. You are often deluded in your flights of fancy, but your good intentions and creative spirit make you someone anyone could like.


I am Emma Woodhouse!


Take the Quiz here!

My Top 5 Strengths

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | | 2 comments
According to the StrengthsQuest assessment that I took as part of the leadership conference last week, my top five strengths are:

FUTURISTIC
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

LEARNER
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

MAXIMIZER
People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

CONTEXT
People who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.

RESPONSIBILITY
People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like me?

Writing Intensive

Monday, February 2, 2009 | | 3 comments
I went to a workshop for TAs (Teaching Assistants) of Writing Intensive courses. We were paid $50 to attend and received a large packet of resources to help us as we continue to teach and assist students.

The first half of the day was a complete waste of time. My parents don't believe in things being a waste of time, they usually tell me that there is always something you can find that made the time worthwhile. But I thought about it for four hours and I couldn't come up with anything.


The second part of the day was actually quite interesting. We read through about 15 different potential scenarios that we could face as TAs and discussed how we would handle them. I thought I better speak up and voice my opinion or I'd fall asleep from boredom. Well, I didn't fall asleep from boredom but I also don't think I made any friends...I'm going to explain this scenario carefully so as to not offend anyone, (just keep in mind my intentions are good):

The scenario describes a student who turns in a very well written paper: good structure, excellent flow, no grammatical or mechanical errors, and completely fulfills the assignment. (Whatever the assignment might be, we aren't given that information.) BUT, the paper is filled with blatantly racist remarks. You aren't sure you can grade the paper without bias, what should you do as the TA?

The majority of the class said to give the student a zero and perhaps talk to the student about the inappropriateness of the subject and the racist remarks.

I disagreed. I tried to think about what the scenario is trying to teach us. The scenario isn't about racism, it is about reading and grading opinions that we don't agree with. I took out the racist issue and inserted something else that would be offensive to people, such as the pro-life/pro-choice debate or evolution/creation, etc. Eventhough I may not agree with the paper's content, I still have to grade it like any other paper. I do think that the TA should sit down with the student and explain that he/she won't accept racist remarks in the student's papers from now on, perhaps explain how such remarks don't make the writer look intelligent, etc. but I don't think you can give the student a zero if it meets all the requirements of the assignment!

By taking this stance I don't think I made many friends, I know I had a few people agree with me but they didn't speak up. No conclusion was agreed upon, we just moved on to the next scenario.

February

Sunday, February 1, 2009 | | 1 comments
Can you believe it is February already?? This cartoon was so random, I had to include it.

If you can't read the caption, it says: "Ben doesn't know what to do between hunting season and fishing season, so he shot February."
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