Author Archives: Hanna

About Hanna

Lover of all things: Irish, Kansas Jayhawks, Volunteering, Museums, Movies, Music, Outdoors, Bodies of Water and Daily Inspirations.

Doo-Wop on Tonight

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Loving Jimmy Fallon’s newest endeavor, The Tonight Show. And oh so happy to see he brought his usual antics and challenges with guests from The Late Night Show. His interview tactics bring out sides of guests you’ve never seen.

Here, see Billy Joel embrace a new technology and sing a little duet with one Jimmy. All while sitting in the hot seat.

 

 

Travel on the Write Track

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When I packed my bags and moved to Chicago, I arrived by train. And ever since that May day in 2009, I find myself taking the train quite often. While the CHI—STL length isn’t nearly as glamorous as travel up on the East or West Coasts, there’s still something comforting in the travel. Train travel seems timeless to me, classic. I love finding myself in Union Station and knowing the rush of traveling and the look of the building were what people many, many years ago experienced.

So imagine my excitement when I came across Amtrak Residency. There’s a ton of press going on about the program, though here’s the gist: Reporters tweeted at Amtrak how cool this would be. Amtrak agreed, and made said writers take a train ride. And now, the Residency is open to writers of all levels for various lengths of time.

What I really love about this whole initiative (despite the fact it’s right up my alley) is it came about from one writer just tweeting about a love for writing on trains. Amtrak listened and decided there was something powerful there. As more brands continue to use their consumer base for more than just customers, I’m excited for more things such as this to come to fruition.

As this weekend is another family wedding, I’ll be taking that well-traveled CHI–STL train ride. And I’m excited to sit there, put in the headphones and just start writing.

To see the power and beauty of train travel on the Coast, visit my gal pal Leela’s blog. Last month she spent 36 hours on a train from California to Seattle (now she’s moving all throughout Europe).

“At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves — that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves.” — Alain de Botton, “The Art of Travel.”

 

Riding the Typhoon

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Love when I come across a new band that immediately makes me run to iTunes, purchase, and listen to non-stop. This week it’s Typhoon (via The EveryGirl). They have a bit of a more controlled sound than Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, so if you dig them, you’ll probably dig Typhoon.

The crazy part?? The band is a 12-piece group. I cannot even imagine the stage presence they must demand while playing live. They’re putting quite the pep in my step during the work day just coming through headphones.

Current favorite song at the moment– “Young Fathers”

 

 

#STPSochi2014

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For her birthday party this year, gal pal Amanda took full advantage of Olympic fever and hosted a shindig complete with Olympic activities and a firm dress code. #STPSochi2014 took place this past weekend at Fat Pour and with three events (Cross Country Pong, Figure Pinning and Chubby Bunny Biathlon), there were many opportunities to land on the podium.

I went back and forth on my costume. Do I wear all denim and go as a Canadian Tuxedo? Do I curl my hair, wear crazy pants and go as a curler? Finally, I took a cue and inspiration from the opening ceremonies.

Remember as a country enters the arena, they have a flag holder? And next to that flag holder is a gal announcing the country names? They looked straight out of Hunger Games. And were exactly what I would mimic.

Using a white dress, silver pipe cleaners, a headband, a hula hoop and some paper, I created my outfit for the day. Needless to say, didn’t really think through the whole commuting to the bar, but thankfully Melissa threw me in the backseat of her car. The party was total fun and I took home a silver in the Cross Country Pong event. We all were still riding that thrilling Hockey game in the morning, so nothing was dampening our spirits.

When we left, we decided to hit up Smoke Daddy’s for dinner. I cut myself free of my hula hoop and realized with the white dress and silver medal, I looked like one Nancy Kerrigan á la Lillehammer Olympics.

Should the Summer Games ever hit right with my birthday, I clearly know the winning theme.

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Medal Biting Ceremony

Medal Biting Ceremony

Hair You Go

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Upon moving to Chicago, I started doing something I hadn’t done since I was about 10. I didn’t mean to do it, it just started happening. My hair just started growing and I started rocking longer locks (except that one time in San Francisco when like a hippie child, I cut my hair at a music festival because it seemed like the right thing to do).

Though after the winter static, the battle of sitting up properly in a chair without catching it and running out of bun options, I’m going to chop it all off.

With a date sent (the end of March, so I can have one more family wedding with Southern Belle curls), an organization picked (Children With Hair Loss) and the mentality I’m ready for the shorter look, I’m way too excited. Here I come bob!

Dig and Scratch

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Bus shelters are not exactly the most inviting spaces on the block. Which is why I absolutely adore brands and venues that turn them into something enticing. Stouffer’s did it a few years ago when they transformed a shelter with the warm feeling you get from eating their product. Or the taste of the Maharaja royal courts complete with seating.

The latest from a museum in town perfectly captures the “typical” look of a bus shelter, but with a bit more fun (those rotating ads aren’t fooling anyone, if anything, they scare you while flipping). I love the way the “revealed” ad offers admission discounts aside from the exhibition information.

I think there’s one shelter a bit up the street from my usual stop, so I may just have to wander over with a penny in my pocket and go scratch off some frustrations from the day while helping unveil an ad. Well done MCA Chicago.

Via AdFreak

From Classic Color

From Classic Color

 

Guinness Goes for Gold

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It’s no secret I am a junkie for commercials. But the ones that rely on art cards, the swell of a music and a simple visual…man, those are the ones that just hit me hard.

This latest from Guinness is no exception. They had a stellar one a while back about basketball and this one is about Biathletes and the Olympics. As Guinness is not an Olympic Sponsor, the ad will be “banned” tomorrow in regulation with IOC. Which is a huge shame. It’s a stunningly beautiful ad. Cue the tears.

CREDITS
Client: Guinness
Spot: “Barnes Sisters”
Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Tom Darbyshire
ACD/Copywriter: Jon Yasgur
ACD/Art Director: Jim Cancelliere
Director of Integrated Production: Dave Rolfe
Producer: Whitney Collins
Editorial/Animation: My Active Driveway
Creative Director: Steve Choo
Music: Andrew Knox Music

Meet and Greets

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Between the holidays, the never ending Polar Vortex and a busy work schedule, life as gotten the best of me. As I sit here hyped up on some Alka-Seltzer on yet another Work From Home day (thanks to those tundra temperatures), I figured I should take some time to update.

Within the past two months, I met two people I’ve been waiting to meet since 2004. And three weeks ago, I got to meet a tiny little lass I’ve been waiting to see and hold since August.

First up, the Bernings. Fate dealt us one sweet card when Matthias and his parents ventured down to Chicago the same weekend Mom was in town. We’ve heard a lot about Matthias’s parents over the years, but we’ve never met, as they don’t come to the States all that often. This meeting/reunion of sorts was my absolute favorite part of the holiday season. We all easily fit into conversations with each other, though Matthias had to jump in every now and then and wow us with his seamless German-English-German speech. The weather wasn’t the best, though I spent the whole day in fits of giggles and smiles. A Christmas miracle? Nah, just much overdue.

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After some time Facetiming with Lisa and Baby Beckett, I ended up having a work trip out to Colorado. Lucky for me, the presentation was on a Friday, which meant I could take the weekend with the Watsons down in Colorado Springs and finally meet Baby B. I was pretty excited and anxious as well as a little more than nervous. I cannot tell you the last time I held a baby. After a drive (and gossip sesh) from Denver to the Springs with just Lisa, I arrived to Watson Manor ready to meet Baby B. We both played coy. And during the Kansas game the next day we moved into the “hold me” phase. Thankfully, there’s one thing Baby B and I cannot get enough of…books.

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Sharing some book love while dressed in Rock Chalk attire

Even with the mood swings of Old Man Winter, it’s hard to complain too much. Especially since Restaurant Week is going on and Sundance U.S.A. is this Thursday. Needless to say, there’s not much meandering around the city though enjoying the quiet, downtime of “too-cold-for-tourists” season.

The Things Readers Carried

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When I read The Book Thief a few years ago, there was a quote that really stood out and well, I still carry to this day.

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I find this to be all too true. A great book, I just want to keep holding as the book and story have a hold on me. It’s hard for me to really let go of a story and its characters since it all feels so incredibly real. And according to science now, it appears I’m not going crazy as a story implants itself in your brain and sticks around for a bit, changing the way your mind works.

Dr. Gregory S. Burns and his research team conducted a study with undergraduates and recorded their brain activity while reading Pompeii (Robert Harris) over nine days and then continued monitoring brain activity for an additional five days after finishing the book.

Huffington Post writer Jacqueline Howard goes into more detail about the study and its findings, yet I cannot help to just love this little nugget from Dr. Burns during Howard’s reporting:

“At a minimum, we can say that reading stories –- especially those with strong narrative arcs -– reconfigures brain networks for at least a few days. It shows how stories can stay with us. This may have profound implications for children and the role of reading in shaping their brains.”
— Dr. Gregory S. Burns

And now, I think I’m going to have to pick up Pompeii.