Nicole's Bridal Shower

Thursday, September 30, 2010 | | 8 comments
My friend, Nicole, is getting married in a few weeks!! Nicole and I met when she worked with Eric at Landmark Bank. Her and her fiance are great double-daters. We've gone out with them a couple of times and after the wedding (you know how things get when you're planning a wedding) we plan to get together again for pizza. In our last outing we discovered that they are big Arris' fans (and being from Jefferson City, of course we are, too!)
Anyway, the shower was fun! We played a few cheesy shower games (wouldn't be a shower without them!) One game had a bunch of pictures of Nicole on a poster board and we had to guess how old she was. I did pretty well (only a couple of months off of the younger pictures) until her older pictures (I thought she was in her teens and she was actually celebrating her 21st...oops!) Another game was shower gift bingo. We had bingo cards with a variety of shower gifts listed, when she opened a gift we could mark it off if it appeared on our bingo card. Whoever got bingo first, won! Gotta love cheesy shower gifts. The last one is the real kicker...we had to partner up, one person put a role of toilet paper between their legs, the other put a pole between their legs...both were blindfolded...I think you can see where this is going.
We had Caesar salad, a variety of Italian food (I chose lasagna) and a great cake for dessert. Everything was delicious and the decorations were adorable (wish I had taken pictures!) It was a great shower and I was so excited I was invited. Congrats, Nicole! Can't wait until the wedding!

Mizzou vs. San Diego State

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | | 8 comments
Let me just cut to the chase, we had really awesome food at the Mizzou vs. San Diego State tailgate last week. Chef Dad prepared three different kinds of sliders: goober burgers, spicy beef burgers, and turkey, apple and sausage! You're probably okay on the first two, but got held up on that last one. Yes, a turkey, apple, and sausage slider. They were inspired by Bleu's sliders, but I think Dad's may win. Holy moly, were those sliders good. He served them with a chipotle mustard and they were just incredible. As Andrea said, "On a scale of 1 to 10, they would be an 11."
Yay!! Andrea joined us at the tailgate!! It was so wonderful to see her again. You would think that living only 30 minutes apart we would have more time to hang out, but those 30 miles seem like hours when there are two kids in her life and grad school in mine. Darn life. ;) Regardless, we got together to tailgate and we had a wonderful time. I got to see pictures of her kids and hear great stories of motherhood. She heard all about the turmoils of grad school.
Jessica and Whitney, a couple of friends of mine at Mizzou, also stopped by for a bit. Our department is in the midst of planning a large Cotton Summit which Whitney is helping to plan, so it was amazing to get her away from her office for a break...she really deserved it!
Another successful tailgate. As we were packing up to head to the game, I saw this adorable puppy walked by a girl in a great yellow dress: just the perfect Mizzou combination and a great way to end this post.

Pink is my Favorite Color

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | | 8 comments
A little over a year ago my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a tough time for the Steffes Family. I found out my Mom and my Grandpa had cancer on the same day. My grandpa lived only a week or so, but my mom fought and won her battle.  Almost a year later, she's participating in the first ever Mid-Missouri Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!
It was a pretty rainy day, but that didn't stop a large number of survivors and supporters from gathering in their pink clothing and raising money to find a cure for this horrible disease. There was a lot of spirit and passion and an intense desire to join forces and support one another as they fight cancer. There were some great t-shirts with fun slogans, but my favorite were the dogs sporting pink shirts and scarves.
I also loved the lone man, representing the men who've fought and won breast cancer. Pretty admirable if you ask me. His shirt reads, "Men share a breasted interest." Love it.

The rain let up a little bit as the race was about to begin. By the size of the crowd, you would have thought it was a perfect, 70 degree, sunny day. As with most races, the hardcore runners led the way, many of whom were about done by the time the walkers began. The majority of the crowd was about halfway through the race when the downpour began. Not the best conditions for a race, but the participants wouldn't let a little water stop their mission.
I'm so proud of my mom for winning her battle against breast cancer. Her positive attitude always kept the mood lighthearted and happy. I love wearing the many pink shirts I've accumulated in the past year and remember to keep my attitude positive. I love you Momma, you're such an inspiration to me.

When Bird Poop meets J. Crew

Monday, September 27, 2010 | | 6 comments
One day over the summer, I was walking around outside when a bird pooped on me! Of course, I was wearing one of my favorite super comfortable brand new J. Crew t-shirts! To make matters worse, when I tried to wash the poop off I learned that bird poop bleaches colored shirts. Ugh. So for months I kept this "ruined" shirt because I couldn't bring myself to throw away or give away a brand new J. Crew t-shirt. Then it occurred to me, a fashion major should have a game plan for when bird poop meets J. Crew. So I came up with mine...when bird poop meets J. Crew, whip out a funky stencil and your bleach pen!
Without much caution, I slathered the stencil with bleach. I wanted a messy and carefree look, like it could have been an accident but a really cool artistic accident. I let the bleach set for a few minutes and watched as my Tiffany Blue tee turned white. I'm pretty excited with how it turned out. It isn't perfect, definitely messy, but has a bit of an artisan chic look. I think the effort will bring the t-shirt out of the "sleepwear" pile and back into my knock-around daily wardrobe.
What are your thoughts? Should I bleach more? Leave it as it is? Toss it in the garbage? Make more and sell them? ;)

Saturday's Farmers Market Flowers

Saturday, September 25, 2010 | | 6 comments
A little dose of happiness every Saturday morning

What's Old is New Again

Friday, September 24, 2010 | | 6 comments
In May of 2004, I graduated from Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri. This picture was taken before the graduation ceremony, it is taken in front of my 2004 Honda Civic, a graduation gift from my Grandpa and Grandma Steffes. At the time, it was the happiest and most exciting day of my life. High school was finally over, I was graduating with a GPA I was really proud of, I was moving back to Columbia, I was accepted to a liberal arts college well known for their fashion program, I was going to have the opportunity to be creative and study something I'm passionate about, I was the proud owner of a brand new car, and I was finally going to be known as just "Ashley" not "Bob and Terri Steffes' daughter."

I've always been so proud to have such successful parents. I loved telling people that my Dad was our middle school principal (even though I usually told people while rolling my eyes and groaning) or that my mom was the first national board certified teacher in the state of Missouri. But I was so tired of being in their shadow, I was always referred to as Dr. Steffes' daughter or Mrs. Steffes' daughter. I'm pretty sure a lot of my classmates and teachers didn't even know my first name. Many of them called me Stephanie (because they couldn't think of Ashley and my last name is strikingly similar to Stephanie...but can you imagine what cruel parents would name their child Stephanie Steffes?) Anyway, Stephens College was my chance to be just "Ashley" and graduation represented my impending independence.

More precisely, this red graduation gown represented my impending independence. I was one of the first students to pick up her graduation paraphernalia, I tried it on with the new dress I had purchased and probably even brought it with me to pick out shoes to wear in order to make sure they looked great with both my dress and my graduation gown. I practiced different ways to wear my cap...forward covering the forehead? slightly backward highlighting the face? cocked to the side with some attitude? I made certain that the white collar (which I think most people throw out) was pinned perfectly to the graduation gown so it wouldn't be crooked in the pictures. I was really proud to have two tassels, one for graduating in '04 and one for honors society. I was also excited about having a pink rope for choir. I thought it was cool that what I wore represented my value for education (the gown itself, the honors society tassel, the cap) my love for music (the pink rope) and my passion for fashion (the really fabulous heels I chose!)

That was over six years ago, and in May of 2011 I'll be graduating again. This time with my PhD in Textiles and Apparel Management. I'm no longer known as The Steffes' daughter, in fact, most of my professors, friends, and acquaintances only know me as Ashley or Mrs. Hasty. I cried the day I realized I would never be referred to as "Dr. Steffes" something I had dreamed of since the day my dad got his doctorate. I wanted so desperately to be separated from my parents and their success only to find myself six years later following in their footsteps and longing to live up to their legacy.

First Day of Fall 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010 | | 6 comments
5 Things I Want to do This Fall

  1. Pick Apples

  1. Carve a Pumpkin

  1. Bake something with pumpkin (pumpkin bread? pumpkin pie?)

  1. Go on a hayride

  1. Attend a bonfire

Missouri vs. McNeese State

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | | 5 comments
The first home football game at Mizzou was against McNeese State and The Steffes/Hasty Family was ready to tailgate!! My parents set up their tent around 8:30am, but there were still several tailgaters already in action. Eric and I joined around 9:30am and the real fun began! ;)
We played washers, girls against guys, and the guys killed us. I did get quite a few washers in and I got one in the center! I was pleased. I think I'll be a pro by the end of football season. I think I'll work on my hillbilly golf skills next year.
Mom and I got the itch to get pedicures around 10:30, so we took off and got Tiger Toes. Mine had a tiger stripe painted on them and Mom's had tiger paws. I only wish I had thought of this for the TAM Tiger Tailgate College Colors Spirit Contest (whew, that was quite the slogan!) Oh well, I still won that contest, I just think this would have been a nice addition.
When we got back, Laura and Regan joined the festivities. We had great food prepared by Chef Dad. Later, Galen joined us for a few minutes. We had a fun time just eating, chatting, and telling stories. We only wish Galen didn't have to go drive intoxicated tailgaters to the E.R. ;) It was a great group and I'm looking forward to the next tailgate!
Eventually, we did actually attend the game. We love our tailgating but we also love the game. Of course, we ended up leaving at halftime because Mizzou was killing McNeese State 42-0. Ouch.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a great Saturday!

Budweiser Clydesdales

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | | 8 comments
There are some really wonderful parts to being in graduate school. One of those wonderful parts are the field trips we go on with other graduate students and professors. Recently, we took a trip to the Budweiser Clydesdale breeding farm, not too far from Columbia, MO. We got to see the room where they are bred, where they are washed, where the mothers care for their newborns, where they graze, and more!
We saw many horses, some grazing, others being washed, but this one was posing and wanting us to pet him. My friend and fellow graduate student, Laura, and I are pictured here posing with Chad (I think that was his name) he was so soft and very calm. But boy was he huge!
This is a picture of the stalls where they are kept. A lot of the horses are used to constant personal interaction with their caretakers so they don't enjoy grazing in open fields too often. Those horses are kept here and given lots of attention by visitors like us. Several of the horses leaned up against the bars so we could pet them.
A good group of us was able to come including five professors, two instructors, five graduate students, and a handful of family members. We had a wonderful time and we're all looking forward to next month's adventure!

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