Right at this moment, I’m obsessed with…

Little Green Cars – “My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me”

 

Laura Mvula – “Green Garden”

 

Brass animals. I am loving brass of all kinds right now (I know, I’m a total sheep), but brass animals especially really get my heart racing. Here are a few of my favorites:

This large gazelle is available here:

I can't. I just can't. This guy is too rich for my blood, but if I had an extra $150 laying around, you can bet I'd snap him up in a heartbeat!

I can’t. I just can’t. This guy is too rich for my blood, but if I had an extra $150 laying around, you can bet I’d snap him up in a heartbeat!

Fancy a brass quail instead? Here you go.

I'd love to put this on my nightstand so I could wake up every day to my own little quail! Yes I know, I'm an odd duck.

I’d love to put this on my nightstand so I could wake up every day to my own little quail! Yes I know, I’m an odd duck.

How about some brass doves?

They're so bright! And cute! And expensive, but let's just pretend like I could afford them. For a second.

They’re so bright! And cute! And expensive, but let’s just pretend like I could afford them. For a second.

I CAN’T RIGHT NOW with these impala bookends – just look at them!!

Don't you just want your books sandwiched between these beauts??

Don’t you just want your books sandwiched between these beauts??

And these giraffes are killing me with cuteness. KILLING ME.

Wouldn't these be adorable in a nursery? Or in a grown woman's home (aka mine).

Wouldn’t these be adorable in a nursery? Or in a grown woman’s home (aka mine).

What about everyone else? What are you obsessing over these days? Am I the only one in love with brass animals? Tell me so I don’t feel so alone!

xx Hannah

Oscar Predictions 2013

It’s that fabulous time of year again! The time where we reward actors and actresses again and again for doing their jobs by handing out tiny, gold naked statues. I realize awards shows are slightly ridiculous (as if their insane paychecks weren’t enough of a ‘thank you’) BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I LOVE THEM! I love mercilessly judging the dresses as they go down the red carpet. I love cringing at all of the awkward moments that occur in those three hours because let’s face it- most actors are cuh-razy pants and it’s amazing to watch.

DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THIS? COME OOON.

This one is from the Golden Globes a few years ago, but it is still one of my favorite things to watch. Ever.

Now, I don’t want to brag here, but I am KIND OF good at predicting these winners. I mean, I’ve won things (small prizes like Starbucks gifts cards and an assortment of libations but STILL). So, I decided to let you in on my predictions for this years awards show.

Here’s a nice little printable ballot we will be using: Oscar 2013 Ballot

Best Picture: Lincoln OR Argo. I am torn… I will have to go with my gut the night of.

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Best Director: Steven Spielberg- poor Ben. Robbed.

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence- this one is a toughy. Some people say Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) has it in the bag. Others, Emmanuelle Riva (Amour). All of these ladies were amazing- but I am going off of the SAG Awards and Golden Globes on this one.

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Best Actor: Come on. Daniel Day-Lewis. Every. Time.

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway

Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones

Animated Film: Brave

Foreign Film: Amour

Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty

Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln? Shot in the dark here…

Costumes: Anna Kerenina

Original Song: Skyfall

Score: Lincoln because it’s John Williams?

Documentary: Searching for Sugarman

Documentary (short): Open Heart

Makeup/Hair: The Hobbit

Production Design: Les Miserables

Editing: Argo

Cinematography: Life of Pi

Sound editing: Zero Dark Thirty

Sound mixing: Les Miserables

Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Short Film (Animated): Paperman

Short Film (Live Action): Curfew

There you have it! I hope I don’t lead you astray here. Good luck!

-ashley

Also- watch Part 2 of the “Between Two Ferns: Oscar Edition”. It’s funny.

“Zero Dark Thirty. Is that a movie about Chris Brown?” Amazing.

Between Two Ferns: Oscars 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey there folks-

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. It’s Monday- which can usually be a drag, but I wanted to hopefully lift your spirits (or give you something to do/read/watch at work while you should be working). Enjoy!

The Oscars are in 2 weeks (hooray!) and in honor of the awards show, a new special episode of “Between Two Ferns” has been posted to Funnyordie.com. If you haven’t followed this series, GET ON IT because it will brighten your day. This episode features many of the nominees from the upcoming Academy Awards. Strangely enough, I do picture this to be very close to how Anne Hathaway behaves in real life…

ALSO- the GRAMMYS were last night! I expect Hannah has some great reviews from the show last night, but I thought I would share a few of my favorite moments.

First off- JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. I was absolutely the target demographic when ‘NSync first came onto the scene and because of that, I will be a fan for life. Also he’s just awesome. His performance last night was classy and fabulous and can I please have that new album now?!

Justin Timberlake Grammys 2013

Also- Taylor Swift’s adorably awkward dance moves

taylormumford taylorbrunomars taylordance

And Lena Dunham loving life.

lenalaugh

For more Grammy highlights, visit our friend Nikki Pierce’s site- That’s Normal. She does a much better job than I ever could at capturing all of the best moments from last night.

That’s all I have for now! Have a lovely week!

-ashley

30 Rock Finale- or, hello gaping hole in my life.

Hello again! It is a sad day indeed, friends. The SERIES finale of “30 Rock” airs tonight and I am not quite sure what to do about that. It’s obviously going to leave a gaping hole in my Thursday night line up (and in my heart) and I am a little scared of what might replace it. That with “The Office” ending this year- I mean come on. NBC, please don’t mess this one up next year. I suggest just 2 hours of Parks and Recreation, but what do I know.

So, in honor of all things Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy- please enjoy some of my favorite moments from this hilarious, smart, weird and amazing show. Also- watch tonight on NBC 8/9c! As Tina herself just said at the SAG Awards, “Just tape “The Big Bang Theory” for once for crying out loud!”* Blerg.

Don’t Mess w Liz’s food

And finally- all of the best Liz Lemon moments all rolled into one fine video- thanks, guy who had time to make this!

* I am going to go out on a limb and honestly ask- WHAT IS IT WITH THE BIG BANG THEORY ANYWAY? Also- Two and a Half Men…whyyy? I don’t get it. The end. Sorry.

 

-ashley

That Time I Set My Hair On Fire (Sort Of)

Has anyone out there ever scorched their hair whilst lighting a gas grill?  No, you say?  You’re too smart to have a giant gas explosion burn your eyebrows, eyelashes and hair?  That only happens in the movies, you say?  Well, let me tell you, it happens in real life, and I, obvious grill-master that I am (not), had it happen to me last Tuesday evening.

I got home from work to a perfectly thawed salmon filet and the desire to cook it over an open flame, so I headed outside and went about setting up our gas grill.  First I turned on the gas, then turned one of the burner knobs to the flame symbol, and then pushed the ignition button a few times.  When that didn’t work, I took the lighter that was next to the grill, bent down to the little hole where you can stick it in and light the flame manually, and flicked it on.

And then this happened:

Since I, unlike the well-prepared public servant in the photo, was NOT in a fireman’s suit, I was hit with a huge flame like a slap in the face.

My first thought was “I’m dying!!!!” (sometimes I can be a little melodramatic).  When I realized I was still alive, I thought “I’m on fire!!!!!”  As I patted myself down and touched my face to be sure there were no burns, I smelled it: burnt hair.  I immediately touched my bangs, my eyebrows, my eyelashes… and felt scorched hair every place my fingers landed.  Since I’m nothing if not practical, I decided to grab my salmon from the fridge and pop it on the now working grill before I went to check out the damage.

When I finally stood in front of the bathroom mirror, the reflection that greeted me was alarming.  I had a halo of burnt hair surrounding my face.  The eyebrow and eyelashes on the left side of my face were in bad shape.  And my bangs were scorched to within an inch of their life.

Ok, so it wasn’t as bad as the picture above, but it was pretty awful, especially considering I’d just had my hair cut and colored two weeks prior.

I’ve since come to terms with the fact that my bangs are going to be just a little bit shorter than I’d like for the next few weeks, and my eyebrows and eyelashes are going to take some time to grow back properly.  But at the end of the day, I know that it could have been MUCH worse, and I’m so grateful to God for protecting my face, my body, and my life.  If burnt hair is all I have to show for my terrifying experience on Tuesday, then I’m happy to put up with it for a while!

For everyone out there who intends on grilling this summer, this article provides some good tips to make sure your BBQ’s don’t end in burnt hair or worse: MSNBC

You can be sure I’ll be following all of those tips, and getting our ignition button fixed before attempting any more grilling!  If you don’t want to end up like me, I implore you all to do the same. 🙂

Happy summer!

– Hannah

Nailed it.

Well hey there. Happy Thursday! This post comes to you from a few thousand feet in the air (Thank you, Virgin America). I am traveling from LA to Orlando to take part in a dear friend’s wedding. She is getting married AT Disney World. More on that later….

Now on to the nails! I don’t know what’s come over me recently, but I have been WAY into nail art/polish and the like. I am not really a girly girl, but this has definitely been a hobby of mine recently. So when I stumbled upon this little idea, I knew I had to try it. Also, I had a wide open Thursday night due to a lack of new TV episodes to keep me company (I miss you, Parks and Recreation/30 Rock/Office).

These “watercolor” nails seemed like a nice challenge so I gave it a go. Mine did not turn out quite as nice as the digits in the post above, but I was still fairly proud.

First, paint your nails a flat white color and let them dry completely.

Select 3 other colors and pour/drop each color on a plate. Pour a little bit of nail polish remover into a small bowl or use the lid of the bottle.

Dip your brush in the remover- use different brushes for different colors- and paint the thinned out colors onto your nails! I sort of blotted the brush making small faint circles. If you want to be super artsy, you can try to paint a few fancy flowers.

 As you can see, mine didn’t turn out quite as polished (pun INTENDED) as the ones in the link above, but still a fun project! They definitely look better from afar rather than close up.

I think the trick is using great, soft brushes and making sure you really thin out the polish before brushing it on.

And there you have it! If you are a man and you read this far down (thank you, husband and Dad) kudos to you!

Now, go paint your nails! As I always say- Chipped nails=chipped life.*

 * I don’t say that, ever.

Hey Christian Girl

Hi folks,

Hannah here (finally!).  Sorry for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere… sadly, there hasn’t been much in the way of great music on television lately, and I haven’t Shazam’d a song in a few weeks.  BUT a few of my fave summer shows start up again this week, so I’m sure I’ll be back at it every Tuesday in not long at all.

In the meantime, has everyone seen the newest take on the “Hey Girl” blog?  It’s called Hey Christian Girl and it’s my favorite one yet.  Maybe because everything is spot on for us Christian girls, and it’s all hilarious.  Thanks to my bible study leader (yep, I’m about as cliche as it gets), I stumbled upon this little gem today and laughed at my desk as I read all 5 pages in 2 seconds.

Some of my favorite posts are:

and

and of course

Be sure to check out the Hey Christian Girl tumblr and let me know which ones are your favorites!  And look out for new music posts coming in the next week or two. 🙂

-Hannah

Ode to Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, Hannah and I would like to dedicate a few posts to our dear moms. We both are blessed with mothers who encourage, support and love us unconditionally. I, for one, was not always an easy child. I MAY have had a deep love for sarcasm and professional arguing. Lovely combo when you’re a teenager. Thankfully, she stuck around through those years and I am all the better for it.

Here is a recent photo of my Mom and I:

I think it describes our relationship pretty well.

I want to start with my FAVORITE recipe of hers- the coconut cream pie. It’s the BEST dessert and I absolutely request it every time I go home to Texas for a visit. I don’t have any photos unfortunately- but just picture a flaky warm crust, sweet filling and mountain-high meringue lightly toasted, sprinkled with coconut flakes. Hungry? Thought so.

Below is the recipe! I have made this before on my own and it took me a couple of tries to get it just right. I prefer mine a little “primed” (refrigerated for a day or so) as opposed to right out of the oven.

PIE CRUST

 For one single-crust pie

1 ½      cups sifted all-purpose flour

½         teaspoon salt

½ c      up of shortening

4 to 5   tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with pastry blender till pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of the mixture.  Gently toss with fork; push to side of bowl.  Repeat till all is moistened.  Form into a ball.  Flatten on lightly floured surface by pressing with edge of hand 3 times across in both directions.  Roll from center to edge till 1/8 inch think.

 Fit pastry into pie plate; trim ½ to 1 inch beyond edge; fold under and flute edge by pressing dough with forefinger against wedge made of finger and thumb of other hand.  Prick bottom and sides well with fork.  (If filling and crust are baked together, do not prick.)  Bake at 450⁰ for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden.

 


MERINGUE

 For one 9-inch pie:

3          egg whites

½         teaspoon vanilla

¼         teaspoon cream of tartar

6          tablespoons sugar

Beat egg white with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating till stiff and glossy peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.  Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pastry.  (For coconut pie, sprinkle coconut over meringue.)  Bake at 350⁰ for 12 to 15 minutes or till meringue is golden.  Cool.

 

VANILLA CREAM PIE

¾         cup sugar

1/3       cup all-purpose flour or

            3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼         teaspoon salt

2          cups milk

3          slightly beaten egg yolks

2          tablespoons butter

1          teaspoon vanilla

Coconut

1          9-inch baked pastry shell

In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat till bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir small amount hot mixture into yolks, immediately return to hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla and coconut.  Pour into cooled baked pastry shell.  Spread meringue atop pie and bake at 350⁰ for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool.

ENJOY!!

I also asked my Mom what her favorite memory was of us together. This is what she sent me. You can truly hear her tone in this story, so I am not going to paraphrase.

“From the time you were three years old you talked about being an ice skater.  If ice skating was on TV you were spell bound and could not be moved – even with candy!  (Another one of your favorite things!)  You begged for ice skating lessons and begged your brother to learn to ice skate so you could be partners.  He was, of course, appalled at the idea, and you cried for days.

Finally some friends of our friends heard about your love for ice skating.  They had a son who was an Olympic skater and decided to take the two of us on a “surprise”.  We headed to Dallas for an ice skating show with all of your favorite stars.  We had no idea where we were going until we actually got there.  You were glued to the edge of your seat and could not take your eyes off of all of the skaters, especially Nancy Kerrigan – your favorite.  After the show the folks suggested that we make a stop at the restroom before we headed home and you reluctantly left your seat still spellbound by the night.  To our surprise they were not taking us by the bathroom, but backstage to meet all of the ice skaters.  They thought you would love having your picture made with everyone.  As Nancy Kerrigan approached, you ran behind me and would not come out.  She was standing there waiting for a picture with you and you would not BUDGE!  You stayed behind me the whole time with me trying to pry you from around my legs.  You said your “hair” didn’t look good (you were eight!), you weren’t dressed right…you name it.  You would not show your face.  Then, as soon as we got in the car to go home you started crying and cried ALL night over the chance you had missed!  Really Ashley,…your hair????”

I also vividly remember this occasion and it was truly upsetting. Mainly the part about me asking my 13-year-old brother if he wanted to be my skating partner followed by his swift rejection.

WE COULD HAVE WON THE GOLD AT THE OLYMPICS, CHRIS! I AM SURE OF IT!

When I think about my Mom, I think of her very quick wit and dry sense of humor. I am so very grateful I was exposed to this at a young age. She is an AMAZING host and advice-giver. As my Dad says, “She is the wisest person I know.” I also think of “I Love Lucy” and large Diet Cokes from Sonic as she is the HUGEST fan of both.

We are very different in a lot of ways- but as I get older, we seem to grow closer. I hope that when I have kids (NOT ANY TIME SOON) that I can be as loving and patient as she was with my brother and I.

Thank you, Mom and Happy Mother’s Day!!


Cause for Good: Sister Effect

Hey there blog readers-

I would like to introduce you to my good friend Lizi:

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(Here we are at my wedding this summer.)

Not only is she a wonderful friend, a fantastic Mom and an INCREDIBLE musician (check out her and her husband’s music here), she is also working with some super awesome folks on an exciting new project. Together, they have created “Sister Effect”, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the lives of women in the Sudan. You can read about their mission, team and ways that you can be involved here:

Sister Effect

They are aiming to provide education, clean water, shelter and more to these amazing women who have lived through more than we could ever comprehend.

Now, I know there are a lot of organizations out there that CLAIM to help people in Africa or other impoverished nations, only to steal, lie and manipulate people into giving their hard-earned money or the like. Not here!

I can vouch for this team and say whole-heartedly their goal is to enrich the lives of these women in a war-torn country, and partner with them to provide hope. Please, please, please check them out and feel free to share their information with others.

I know this is a bit of a digression from our usual posts- but I think this group is worth mentioning. I am not trying to push any political agendas here- just trying to help improve the world we live in! Thanks in advance for taking a look!

Happy Thursday!

-ashley