Showering Baby Isaac

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | | 4 comments

My sweet cousin, Susan, is pregnant with her first child, a boy named Isaac! He is due in about 8 weeks and we are all so excited for his arrival! This will be the third great-grandson for my grandparents (they also have one great grand-daughter) and this will also make me the only grandchild who hasn't provided a great-grandchild. Haha. Don't worry, I'm not feeling any pressure! Not even from my parents who dote on babies more than I've seen anyone dote on babies. But this post is not about when I'll be having children, it is about my cousin and how we are all so excited for Isaac's arrival. My cousin, Karen, and my cousin-in-law Jeanne threw a lovely baby shower this past weekend to prepare Susan for Isaac's entrance the world!


We spoiled showered Susan with all kinds of adorable and even a few practical baby things. I, of course, purchased baby clothing. The apparel industry is finally making cute baby boy things so I stocked up Susan with some of the cutest baby boy clothes I could find. She also got many things on her registry including a stroller, a baby bathtub, bottles, and diapers. Perhaps when I have a child of my own I'll start buying items off the registry for baby showers but until then I like to buy fun things.



We played a few games (the first we tried to identify mushed up chocolate in fake diapers and the second we tried to identify unlabeled baby food...neither of which I did well on.) Then...we had cake. This is always my favorite part of baby showers (or any shower for that matter) and this cake was no exception. Isn't it adorable? I haven't been to many baby showers, not many of my friends are married much less having children. So this is the first time I've seen a pregnant belly cake (which I hear is common) but I kinda adore it! The belly part was white cake and the rest was chocolate. Delish!

Thanks, Karen and Jeanne, for inviting me to Susan's shower! I had a really great time and I'm really looking forward to meeting baby Isaac!

Memorial Day Giveaway!

Monday, May 30, 2011 | | 9 comments
Super Sponsors Giveaway!

$10.50 credit to Bloomin' Boutique

$15.00 credit to Blondie's Shop
{To Enter This Giveaway}
Leave a separate comment for each entry!

1. MANDATORY: Visit Bloomin Boutique and Blondie's Shop and tell me your favorite item!
2. Become a follower of Bloomin Boutique & Blondie's Shop & A Hasty Life on Twitter.
3. Become a follower of Bloomin Boutique & Blondie's Shop's blog & A Hasty Life's blog.
4. Heart Bloomin Boutique & Blondie's Shop on Etsy.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.

Feel free to use this tweet:
@AHastyLife is hosting a fabulous GIVEAWAY sponsored by @bloominboutique and @_thisandthat_! Enter to win at

That's 5 chances to win TWO giveaways!
This Giveaway closes on June 3rd at Midnight.

30 Days of Truth --> Day Twenty Nine

Sunday, May 29, 2011 | | 1 comments
   Join me every Sunday for my 30 days of truth. Feel free to join in by answering the prompts in a comment.

{30 Days of Truth}
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

I started this answer about 5 times and then deleted each answer. I started to write about how I'm shy, how I seek approval from others, how I have grand ideas but lose interest half-way through, how I am stubborn, how I am perhaps optimistic to a fault...but as I wrote about each of these things that could be considered "faults" I didn't wholeheartedly believe I really wanted to change any of these things about me. They are a part of what makes me who I am. Take any of these things away and I'm a different person, and I really like who I am right now. So although I don't think I would want to completely change any of these qualities, there are adjustments I see could be beneficial. 

I am shy...although I never think I will be "outgoing" or the "life of the party" being shy can sometimes get in the way of important networking opportunities. I hope that I can overcome my shyness to create important relationships with people who could play key roles in the development of my career and foster learning opportunities for the students I teach.

I seek approval from others...who doesn't? But when I allow the disapproval of others to affect my mood I am allowing others to control my feelings. I hope to change my thinking about the approval of others and just be happy when I get it and ambivalent when I don't.

I have grand ideas and lose interest half-way through....I may lose interest but I never quit. I think this happens to everyone. Rarely do grand ideas live up to their grandeur. But it is the follow-through that counts. And I am not a quitter.

I am stubborn...okay, this one is kind of ligit. I would like to be more easy going. I remember in high school I had a friend who was mad about me about something and she told me how mad she was and then invited me to lunch the next day. I was so confused. Wasn't she mad at me? Yeah, but after she told me she was over it. I had always been super stubborn and stayed mad. I really admired this girl so from then on I tried really hard to get over things quickly. And although I've improved tremendously there are still times I find myself holding a grudge and being stubborn. So I'd really like to be less stubborn.

I am a fault. Whatever, I like being optimistic. It makes my life much happier than cynical and pessimistic people. I don't care if my optimism is unfounded. I'm happier for it.

So there ya go.

Country Strong

Friday, May 27, 2011 | | 4 comments
From this picture you would think I was born and raised in Texas or something. My family started listening to country music when my mom was teaching 6th grade at Lee elementary school. I was in kindergarten. My mom's students challenged her to listen to country music for a month, they insisted she would like it, she insisted that she wouldn't. She never really latched onto it (although she didn't hate it as much as she thought) but I was hooked by the end of the month. And I stayed hooked until recently. I've always identified with the country songs, I loved how they were usually positive, focusing on love and good times. I always wanted to be the girls in the songs. I wanted to wear cowboy boots and cute cotton dresses. I wanted to have a tree that I sat under and where I would dream of the future. I wanted to find a nice country boy to love me. I had a vivid imagination.

I love this picture because although I identified with country music, I never thought of myself as a country girl. I was a city girl on the outside and a country girl on the inside. I never dressed the part, except for this day, apparently. I'm wearing keds and fold-over socks (Keds are still a part of my wardrobe) a denim skirt, a red button-down shirt, and my hair is au naturale. The brown leather woven belt really brings the whole thing together, don't you think? ;) I'm standing in my mom's rose garden. For as long as I can remember my mom always had the most beautiful rose gardens. When I was little I would bring my teachers a rose on the first day of the school year (instead of an apple.) My teachers loved me.

I've recently gotten away from listening to country music. Not that I don't still love it (I do) but I'm starting to appreciate other types of music, too. I've been listening to more classic rock and I'm a huge fan of Lady Gaga and Pink's new songs that empower women to be who they are. I love the messages! So even though I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the country, I think I'm getting more in touch with my city-girl mentality.

This post was inspired by "The Help"

Thursday, May 26, 2011 | | 5 comments
Have you read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? I can't remember the last time I had the time and energy to read for fun, graduate school really takes it out of you. But after graduation I set a goal to read for fun this summer and The Help was the first book I chose! My parents had recommended it to me years ago (when it first came out) and gave me their copy when they were done. It sat on my bookshelf and collected dust until last week. It was recommended to me again when I was asking for books I should read so I dusted it off and finally read it. It. Was. Fantastic. I highly recommend it to you if you haven't read it! Plus, a movie is coming out based on it so pick it up before the movie is released!

So after reading the book, I was inspired to write this post. One of the main characters, Minny, is known for making a delicious Caramel Cake. They talk about it a lot in the book and my mouth was watering just thinking about it. I've never had a Caramel Cake before but it sounds so simple, so sweet, so southern! I know this cake probably isn't as good as Minny's but it was worth a shot! I hope you enjoy!

Southern Style Caramel Cake


½ cup buttermilk , room temperature
4 large eggs , room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 16 pieces and

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter , cut into 12 pieces and softened
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in large measuring cup. With electric mixer on low speed, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, until only pea-sized pieces remain. Pour in half of buttermilk mixture and beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add remaining buttermilk mixture to bowl and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.
Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

For the frosting:
Heat 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and salt in large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan, 4 to 8 minutes. Whisk in cream and cook until ring of bubbles reappears, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in vanilla.
Transfer hot frosting mixture to bowl and, with electric mixer on low speed, gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting is pale brown and just warm, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

To assemble:
Place 1 cake round on serving platter. Spread ¾ cup frosting over cake, then top with second cake round. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Serve.

CoMo Blog Girls

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | | 2 comments
Every month the bloggers of Columbia try to get together to discuss (of course) the blog world, questions we have about blogging, our thoughts about new developments in social media, and also local happenings. There were 8 of us in attendance at our May meeting, I think this is the largest group we've had. I love this group so much primarily due to our hugely diverse blogs and backgrounds. We have everything from craft blogs, lifestyle blogs, blogs about children with amputees, and blogs about urban homsteading. I mean, you really can't get much more diverse!

Let me introduce you to this fabulous group of ladies (from left to right):
Jessica from Kohler Created
Laura from Along for the Ride
Jen from Born Just Right
from CoMo Homestead
Caroline from Caroline Leemis Design
Christa from C. Jane Create
Lissa from Don't Blink

Sometimes we just get together to catch up. Other times we have specific topics that we want to discuss. Christa organized this month's meetings and I was thrilled that she brought specific topics to discuss. She had some really great questions and prompts. So I want to share them with you and get your opinions! Here goes.

1. How do you moderate comments? Do you moderate all of them? Just ones over a certain number of days old? Do you let all comments publish automatically?

2. How do you reply to comments? Publicly on your blog or do you reply directly to them via email?

3. Do you have a facebook page for your blog? How do you use it? Do you think it is helpful or redundant?

4. What are your thoughts on syndication? What are the pros and cons?

I want to hear from you! Tell me what you think!

Memorial Day Cook-Off

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | | 4 comments
My family started an annual Memorial Day Cook-Off a few years ago. We (my mom, dad, Eric and I) each make an original burger and then we vote on the best one. Last year, Dad's Grecian Burger won. He actually made two mini burgers that he counted as his one entry: one had an aoili sauce and the other had a mint pesto sauce. DELISH! You can check out the recipe if you click on the link above. We always keep our recipes a secret until the big reveal on Memorial Day. I'm still trying to work out my recipe this year, but Eric and I purchased special seasoning from Penzeys Spices a few weeks ago so I think we're going to have a distinct advantage. :) Since I don't have the recipe worked out, yet (and since I can't post it for fear of my parents or Eric stealing the idea and making it better-ha!) I decided to post the ideal outfit I'd wear to this cook-off and then post the recipe after Memorial Day. So enjoy! Isn't this such a cute outfit?? And of course, it is developed around a dress from...where else? J. Crew.

J Crew shift dress
$148 -

Belstaff flat leather boot
$550 -

FOSSIL vintage messenger bag
$148 -

Dorothy Perkins coral necklace
13 GBP -

Fedora hat
$185 -

A day in the life of a post-grad

Monday, May 23, 2011 | | 5 comments
Last week I spent a day chronicling what I do every day on twitter. I took photos randomly through out the day of what I was doing because I want to remember this fantastic time of my life when I'm neither a student nor a professor. I'm in the blissful in-between. I'm taking full advantage, enjoying every minute of every day and I want to remember the happiness of this time. I get to do things I love (with a few responsibilities thrown in there) but even the packing seems joyful knowing that it will get me one step closer to my dream of teaching and starting the adventure of life in Indiana. Many of my friends have gone off to start their new lives in places such as Texas, Virginia, Rhode Island, Chicago, and more. Not me, I'm still in the blissful in-between and I'm loving it. So enjoy a day in my life as a post-grad:

7:30 am:
Hanging out at Starbucks and reading a good book. This is my absolute favorite way to start the day. I get lost in the world of the book I'm reading (currently The Help) and I lose all track of time.

10:30 am:
My life isn't all fun and games, I have to get some packing done! But even packing is fun because I know it is getting me one step closer to my life in Indiana. On this day I was packing my books that will be moved to my new office at Indiana University, so as an added bonus I got to day dream about what it will be like as a professor.

11:00 am:
I just had my graduation party last weekend so I'm finishing up writing some thank-you notes. I think they should be sent out as soon as possible, so most of them were sent the Monday after the party. But a tardy thank-you note is better than no thank-you note at all!

11:30 am:
The life of a post-grad definitely includes some couch-potato time! I finally get to catch up on all my DVR-ed shows that got put on hold while finishing my dissertation and graduating. Some of my favorites? Oprah (just watched the Ralph Lauren episode and I was drooling over his fantastic lifestyle), Cougar Town, Modern Family, and Dancing with the Stars.

12:30 pm:
Probably one of my favorite times of the day, I get to have lunch with my husband! This doesn't get to happen every day but it happens more often than when I was a student. I'm more flexible with my schedule now that I don't have school so I can meet him whenever he has a break at work. I love getting to see Eric during the day. It really breaks up the "alone" time which can get monotonous. 

1:30 pm:
After lunch I usually drive to Jefferson City to see Huxley. On the way, I jam to the radio. I've listened to more radio in the last week than I have during all of graduate school. Although the drive between Columbia and JC is long and boring, I've enjoyed updating myself on the latest music. The radio station loves playing "Perfect" by Pink, "Half of my Heart" by John Mayer and Taylor Swift, and anything Michael Buble. I hear these songs over and over again, but since they are good jamming songs I don't seem to mind.

2:00 pm:
As soon as I get home I take Huxley out of his kennel and outside for a bathroom break. Then we immediately go in for puppy play time. Huxley loves to play fetch so we play fetch until he stops bringing the ball back. Then I wrestle him for any number of his chew toys, currently he likes to play with his "Chewy Vuitton" (a doggy chew toy that looks like a Louis Vuitton purse...what? I didn't know we'd be getting a boy dog when I purchased, Huxley loves it.) So we tug on Chew Vuitton for awhile until Huxley gets bored with that, too.

3:00 pm:
When Huxley gets bored with all of his toys (and you can tell when he is bored because he will pay no attention to his toys and his only thought it to jump on me and chew on my clothes, even though his toys are right in front of him) I know it is time for a walk. I take Huxley on a least a mile walk everyday and depending on how much energy he has, sometimes we add in more. He is still learning to "heel" so this leisurely walk usually wears me out long before I see any effect on Huxley's energy. It is tough work making sure I don't trip on Hux when he bolts to the other side of me. And it wears me out holding his leash tight enough so he'll stay on my left side. But walks wear him out so I never skip a walk unless it is raining. Huxley hates the rain and will refuse to do anything outside when it is raining. Plus, who likes the smell of wet dog?

3:30 pm:
A walk usually wears Huxley out a little, at least enough for me to give him a Kong and he will entertain himself for a few minutes. I take advantage of this time and try to slip in some blogging. Although, I don't often get as much time as I'd like. So I'm sorry if I'm behind on reading your blog! I barely have enough time to whip out a blog post for the next day. I recently got an iPad which makes blogging a little easier because Huxley loves laying on the keys of a laptop. So I can hold the iPad up if Huxley is determined to chew on his Kong right on my lap. And he is often determined.

4:30 pm:
Yeah, I get in about 30 minutes of blogging before it is puppy playtime again. Huxley has So. Much. Energy! We used to have nap times during the day but they are long gone. I play with him until Eric gets home and then Eric takes over to give me a break. I'm so thankful Eric takes over after he gets off work because by this time Hux has thoroughly worn me out. Eric even feeds Huxley most days and takes him out for more potty breaks when he gets home. I can't tell you how nice it is to have someone else entertaining Huxley for awhile. Also around this time my parents are getting home (Huxley is staying with them because our landlord doesn't like pets) and they let their dogs out so Huxley has some playmates for awhile. Although, I'm not sure how much my parent's dogs like Huxley. I think he might have too much energy for them.

7:00 pm:
After all of the dogs have been played with and fed, the adults (aka humans) get to have dinner. We ate out at Madison's in Jefferson City at one of their Six Course Food and Wine Pairing Events. That is a six-course meal with a different wine for each course. I couldn't believe we were in Jefferson City the meal was so good. It was a great ending to the day. Of course, not all days end with such a gourmet meal but this one was definitely worth mentioning. Delish!

9:00 pm:
I was so worn out from the day that I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the evening. Dad and Eric went outside to smoke a cigar and talk. They took the dogs with them so they could run around outside and hopefully burn off some more energy before going to bed. Mom and I stayed inside and watched some t.v. catching up on some DVRed shows. I went to bed early and played Words with Friends on my phone, checked my email, perused social media and then fell asleep.

30 Days of Truth --> Day Twenty Eight

Sunday, May 22, 2011 | | 1 comments
   Join me every Sunday for my 30 days of truth. Feel free to join in by answering the prompts in a comment.

{30 Days of Truth}
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

First, I'd have to figure out the health risks. I really shouldn't be pregnant yet. My disease is supposed to be in remission for a year before getting pregnant. Ooops! I would also need to figure out the medication situation because I'm not supposed to take the Crohn's medication while pregnant. Yikes!

Second, I'd have to figure out the financial situation. According to my life plan, it is a little early to be getting pregnant. So Eric and I wouldn't be prepared to pay for this "little bundle of financial ruin" as Eric likes to refer to babies.

Third, I'd go shopping and buy all the cutest baby things! My parents would be ecstatic so I'm sure they would be spoiling the baby (and me) the moment they found out I was pregnant. 

Fourth, I'd be super excited to be starting a family with Eric. He'll be such an incredible daddy. (Yes, I've already decided the little one would call him daddy! Just like I call my daddy, "Daddy.")

My Summer "Off"

Friday, May 20, 2011 | | 1 comments
So I graduated and now it is SUMMER TIME! And for the first time in a long time I actually have my summer "off." I put "off" in quotations because sometime this summer we have to squeeze in a move to Bloomington, IN and train our little puppy and pack and....well you get the point. But I have the summer "off" in a sense that I'm not taking summer school!! Whoohoo! And I'm not working! Double whoohoo! So what am I going to do? Well, I'm not quite sure. That is for another post. I'll have to do a little research to find out what it is people do when they have summers off. (Is that the graduate student in me talking or the professor?) It looks like I used to go the The Muny, an outdoor theater in St. Louis back when I had summers off. Perhaps I'll add that to my list of things to do this summer. 

Another picture from my blonde days. Is all this reminiscing about my blonde days a sign I should go back to blonde? I haven't been blonde since I was about 5 but it could be a fun change. Haha...I doubt I'd ever do anything that drastic to my hair but it is fun to think about! And look how long my hair was!! Sheesh! I also often think about growing out my hair but anyone who has tried to grow out their hair knows what a pain it is. So I just keep cutting it. Plus, short hair is so much easier to manage! When I cut my hair I cut the time it took to dry my hair by half. That is a big reason to keep my hair short. Anyway, back to the picture.

Too bad cameras back in the late 80s/early 90s weren't too detailed. It is hard to tell what I am wearing. But we can assume it is a dress. Probably a blue, pink, and purple floral dress. It is sleeveless and it looks light and summery. Good thing, because summers in Missouri are HOT! I'm wearing white sandals with white fold-over socks with lace on them. Those socks are adorable! I know they are kinda coming back into style (okay, not the fold-over ones with lace) but socks with heels are all over J. Crew ads and the runway. So I post this picture with very little embarrassment. In fact, I take some pride in this picture. I was so cultured, even as a child. Look at me happy as a clam attending a play at The Muny. And I did so in style. 

Yes, I think I'll add attending an outdoor play at The Muny to my list of things to do this summer. And of course I'll do so in style.

Graduation Weekend ~ Sunday

Thursday, May 19, 2011 | | 6 comments
After three graduation parties on Saturday you would think we'd be all graduation partied out. Oh no, on Sunday we hosted my graduation party at our home in Columbia. We had about 40 friends, family, and former teachers attend! We even had my dad's band, 2 Car Pile-Up, playing! It was quite the party.

The Food:
We had a cupcake theme for the food. Almost everything was in cupcake form. The menu looked something like this: Onion and Cheddar Cupcakes with Chives, Cherry Cola Cupcakes, Cornbread Cupcake with Maple Cream Cheese and Pulled BBQ Pork, Tomato and Basil Cupcakes with Parmesan Chips, Meatloaf and Cornbread Cupcakes with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Orange Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling, Pom Cupcakes with Raspberries, Fruit Cups with Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette, White Cheddar Popcorn, Cakepops, and Fitz's Soda! Yum!




The Decorations:
We transformed our garage into party central with pink, orange, and white sheets hanging from the ceiling around the perimeter and concealing the "garage" stuff. We hung pink and orange tissue balls across the ceiling and used pink and white table clothes. I had flowers on all of the tables along with tea lights to "set the mood." Haha. 





The People:





The Entertainment:
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