<![CDATA[Rachel Woodward Hansen - Blog]]>Fri, 19 Feb 2016 22:16:14 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!]]>Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:26:58 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/aaaarrrrggghhhhh
I haven't posted in nearly a year, because I haven't had it in me. 

Many of you know that my dad passed away from cancer last year. From diagnosis to death, it was 6 weeks. Let me tell you, when you have an "interesting" relationship with someone who has a terminal illness, it brings up all kinds of unsettled issues and it feels like the wrong time to settle everything, because they are dying. Plus, the fact that you watch someone literally deteriorate is a complete mind@#$%. As much as I hate admitting it, I'm still working through my grief. 

Regularly, I wanna mountain goat my way to the tallest peak around, but instead of having a Rocky Balboa celebration, I wanna turn into the Incredible Hulk and have a rage-filled tantrum complete with a steady stream of profanities, screaming at the gods in the heavens and all the fools in the valley below me so they can hear all the feels inside of me and understand the pain. I won't stop until I pass out, wake up half-naked (with pants still miraculously intact, even though I'll have grown 40 times my size during my Hulk freak-out), not knowing what happened, but finally drained of all the complicated emotions that I've been holding inside of me.

The thing about grief is that the emotions are like that annoying tangled pair of earbuds in your pocket or purse. You don't know how they got all jacked-up, because you know you didn't put them in there like that, but you still gotta untangle them in order to use them properly. 

Here I am, 8 months after my dad's death, just barely starting the exhausting task of untangling the ball of emotional mess inside. I think I wanted to believe that I was handling it all fine, but the truth is, I'm not. 

I read that it takes most people between 18 months to 2 years to work through grief. So, I guess I gotta give myself a break. "They" also say exercise helps, especially yoga. I do love me some yoga, but right now, I would rather punch out some teeth to find inner peace than go into Warrior 2 pose. I suppose you could say I'm in the angry phase. 

I'm pissed. 

Not angry that he died; that's part of life. 

Not angry at God. It's not his fault. 

I'm angry at my dad's wives (oooohhh, polygamy....) with how they handled everything. Like, Evil Stepmother #2 instructing the funeral director to take my parting gift to my dad from me out of his casket right before the funeral.

I'm angry that I let Evil Stepmother #1 keep me away from him the day he died when my gut told me I should visit him. I know I couldn't have known that he would die that night, but it's a tough pill to swallow. 

I'm angry I was told he died via vague text. 

I'm angry that my dad made me tell him a half-truth when he grasped my hand and looked me in the eyes and regretfully asked me, "Was I a good dad?". Of course I said, yes, but the truth is, he royally messed up a few times. Did he have moments of being a good dad? Of course! I have some sweet memories, but I'm mad that I couldn't truthfully tell him what he wanted to hear. I said what I should. 

I'm angry that I had to witness him turn into skin and bones. 

I'm angry that the hope of having the relationship I dreamed of having with him is also dead. 

I'm angry that I didn't answer his phone calls more. 

I'm angry that I didn't invite him to more events. 

I'm angry that I didn't reach out more. 

I'm angry I never told him how much his actions hurt. 

I'm angry he never stood up for himself. 

I'm angry he didn't take his life back from those he let rule it. 

I'm angry he didn't even try treatment so we could have had more time to repair our feeble relationship.  

I'm angry his bat shit crazy wives didn't let his hundreds of music students pay their respects to a man that was a huge part of their lives. 

I'm angry at a whole lot more. 

Mostly, I've just been angry at myself. Since I've been harboring it, it comes out in outbursts. When something slightly annoying happens, it's magnified and I literally have to make sure I don't have a Kylo Ren lightsaber fit of destruction, because there is an undercurrent of rage flowing through my veins lately. Kinda like those 5 months I was on birth control...... I've felt actually crazy. 
Case in point. This toothbrush. I did this to it, to make sure I didn't destroy the rest of our bathroom.
I know working through all the feels will happen in time and the first thing is to identify where they are coming from. Just have patience with me. 

Maybe this isn't cute to write all of this, but whatevs. I'm almost 32. I do what I want. 
<![CDATA[Rachel's Recommendations: April 2015]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2015 03:18:47 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/rachels-reccomendations-april-2015Here are some things I am all about this month.

TJ's strikes again! This dreamy salty/sweet combo is made of dark chocolate, Joe Joe's cookies, chopped peanuts & almonds, pretzels, and sprinkled with sea salt. I had to banish it to a dark part of our pantry so I wouldn't eat the entire bad in a day. It's perfect for little treat after lunch to satisfy your chocolate craving. There is also a Cowgirl variety made with white "chocolate", but since I don't have a testimony of white "chocolate", I can't tell you if it's any good. If you are a blasphemous person and actually like white "chocolate", you should test it out, because you can't go too wrong with stuff from TJ's. Even if it isn't real chocolate. 


We all know probably that contouring is the biggest thing in makeup right now. I've had it done to me on sets before, but had never tried it for myself until I got a sample from Sephora of Tarte's contour stick, The Sculptor. I have a few other Tarte products so I was certain I'd love it. And I was right. It's really simple to use too. You make a kissy face, draw a line under your cheekbones, using the hollowed lines your kissy face has given you as a guide, and blend up with a brush. Instantly, your cheekbones pop! You can use it on your jawline, nose, or where ever your little heart desires you face to be more defined. I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives than this brand (it runs for $24), but I haven't tried any others yet. Tarte is a great brand though, because they use high quality ingredients and contain no parabens or sulfates. 

If you know me or follow me on Instagram, you know that I am mildly obsessed....OK....majorly obsessed with our dogs, Chancho and Daisy. They are both rescue dogs and are honestly some of the best animals around, if I do say so myself. I feel very strongly that pets should be adopted, because there are so many that need homes and many are put down every day. TEARS! Well, hello apparel is trying to help out, so I wanna spread the word. When you buy one of their sweet "SAVE ALL THE DOGS" or "SAVE ALL THE CATS" shirts, ALL the proceeds (after cost) are donated to a different shelter each month. Not only do you get a high quality shirt, you get to help buddies in need!!! I'm excited to sport mine when it comes to my doorstep. Who's with me?!?!?!


Utah is ridiculously beautiful, you guys. Especially this time of year. That should be enough incentive to get out and enjoy it, but, I've found another reason to go out in nature. Peace. With all the distractions around: jobs, family, phones, Netflix binge watching, etc, it's hard to find time just to be and ponder. It's almost as if we've forgotten the art of being alone with our thoughts. We have a spare moment and we immediately turn to our phones to fill our heads. I am guilty as charged, for sure, but I'm remembering what it's like to sit (or walk) and think. Lately, I've been going hiking at least once a week and it feels SO GOOD! I feel more spiritually connected and more centered in general when I'm out in God's creations. I promise you, you'll find a little bit of yourself out there. Plus, it's a good little exercise and you'll shed a few of those Cowboy Bark calories. 

PS. Speaking of binge watching, make sure to binge watch all of Season 3 of Granite Flats starting THIS Saturday, April 4th on BYUtv.org. Look out for me in Episode 7. Also, if you've missed Season 1 or 2, you can catch up there as well. 
<![CDATA[Come What May w/ Alfie Boe]]>Tue, 17 Mar 2015 21:42:11 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/come-what-may-w-alfie-boe
Since a lot of people have been asking me about this, I thought I'd put the story in one place and write down the memory for myself as well. So here we go!

Question: "How did you get picked to sing with Alfie Boe?"

My friend Nate Keller (who is awesome and I need to kiss his feet) directed the benefit concert that Alfie was headlining. That's the connection. Late Thursday night, Nate called me saying there may be an opportunity to duet with Mr. Boe and asked me if I was interested. Duh! He said it wasn't for sure, but there was a good chance. I was just flattered he asked me. My answer was, yes, please!!!! Like I would turn down an offer to sing with that voice.... Thank you, Nate!

Question: "Did you rehearse?"

I had one rehearsal. And by rehearsal, I mean I got to sing thru it once with Alfie and the orchestra. I was more nervous for the rehearsal than the performance, because I felt like all eyes were on me to make sure I wasn't horrible. I guess I wasn't too bad or he probably would have nixed the duet. Alfie was so kind though and he put me at ease. He also forgot his lyrics in our rehearsal which made me feel better considering I learned the song the day before. I mean, if he forgot his lyrics, he couldn't fault me for forgetting mine, right? (Sidenote: I did change one word during our performance...oops. It still made sense though....Can you spot it?) After our rehearsal, he gave me a hug and said, "That was lovely." Again, he is the nicest. 

Question: "What was it like singing with freaking Alfie Boe."

It was a delight, of course! He came and found me before he went on to tell me he was looking forward to our performance and that I looked beautiful. You guys, what a class act. Those Brits, I tell you what.....

On stage, I was actually surprised at how calm I felt. That's probably due to the intense deep breathing I was doing the entire song before me. Or it could have been me saying, "Help me baby Jesus" over and over. We'll never know.... Also, I just decided to channel my inner Beyonce and have confidence. I knew I could do a good job. 
Click here for the video if it doesn't come up
I love how at the beginning he came over a brought me closer to him. Initially, I just stood in the spot I did for rehearsal. Once he brought me over, I just tried to follow his lead for movement and cutoffs. Remember, one time through beforehand. 

Truthfully, it isn't my best singing ever for a number of reasons. 
  1. I had some kind of bronchitis the week before and was still dealing with the aftermath.
  2. Springtime allergies. 
  3. One sing-thru
  4. A teeny bit of nerves
  5. The sound.
Lemme take a second to explain the sound. The venue was UCCU Events Center which is UVU's sports arena. Basically, that means it has horrible acoustics. Meaning, it has cement walls and echos like crazy. I was struggling to hear myself and the orchestra (ear monitors would have been a dream, but I digress). Even with all that going on, I'm still proud of myself for getting up there, handling the pressure fairly well, singing my heart out, and not royally sucking it up. It was literally the hardest I've ever sung in my life, but I had to! Not only to match Alfie's intensity (hello, powerhouse), but also because of the sound. I was belting it out to try to hear what the *honk* I was singing. 

Looking back, I probably would have liked to sing it a little more classically like in my Secret Garden days (pardon the all the military booty shots in the video). I think our voices would have blended a little better that way.
Click here for the video if it doesn't come up
I guess there's always next time. 
Thank you Nate and Alfie for the opportunity!!! It was definitely an honor. 

And thank you to Mr. G for letting me cancel our plans to go camping and for being so supportive. Come what may indeed! 
Even though we both look like we're passing kidney stones, it was a good time. 
<![CDATA[Rachel's Recommendations ]]>Mon, 09 Mar 2015 23:14:12 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/rachels-recommendationsI was inspired by friend, Natalie Hill's Hit List that she does monthly for Studio 5. It is a list of things she is currently obsessed with. I thought, why not share what I'm currently obsessed with too! So, here you go. Just a few things I can't get enough of right now.


A few months ago, I tried threading my eyebrows for the first (and last) time. It was the most painful hair removal process I've ever experienced, but my eyebrows looked so damn good afterwards, that I was tempted to go back. Never again thanks to these little guys. They are a godsend! They aren't painful AT ALL and they work wonders. I've had them used on me on set before, but forgot all about them until my cute cousin, Ashley, posted a video on how to use them on her YouTube channel. One of the best parts is that they are so cheap! I got a 3-pack on Amazon for about $3 and free shipping. Not only are they great for your brows, but for other peach-fuzz on your face. I use them for my unruly sideburns as well (thanks genetics). Get into it!

This is another Ashley find....(hint: you should follow her!). I'm a sucker for a good matte lip. These gems have great color, don't feel too cakey on my lips, I like how they smell, and they won't break the bank. I have 4 out of the 10 shades and will probably end up with all of them. In the photo above, I'm wearing: top left- Daringly Nude; top right-Touch of Spice; bottom left-Mesmerizing Magenta; and bottom right-Divine Wine (I think cosmetic color names are hysterical). This line in matte hasn't been stocked at Target yet (get with it, Target!) I got mine at Walgreens, but I believe they also have them at Ulta. 

If you're looking for a new series to binge watch, PICK THIS!!!! Actually, you should stop whatever you are watching and start this. Even if you end up not liking the story (which it is amazing so you're weird if you hate it), you should continue watching it for the acting alone. It is honestly like watching a master class for film acting. Don't get me started on my love for Robin Wright.....we're not worthy! The format is fun too. There are moments when Kevin Spacey's character talks directly into the camera with little asides and I love it. WARNING: it is a Netflix series so there are no rules when it comes to content. There are some sexy time scenes and some F bombs. So you've been warned.....but it's soooo gooooood! 

My mouth is watering just thinking about this place. It's located in downtown Provo and has a nice cozy atmosphere. But the FOOOOD! It is all locally sourced, organic, and it is made from scratch. The prices reflect that, but they aren't over the top. Tip: go for lunch. It's basically the same menu, but lower prices. I ordered the Red Chili Beef Navajo Taco and it was out of this world tasty. How can perfectly cooked beef, topped with fixin's, red chili sauce, on a bed of fry bread be bad? It can't be. I hear the Sweet Potato Fries are killer. Try the Cactus Pear Lemonade while you're there too. Delicious! Check out their menu HERE!

That's it for now. Let me know if you try any of these things and what you think!
<![CDATA[Zombie Commercial: Extended Edition]]>Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:26:04 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/zombie-commercial-extended-edition
Photo from set. Photo bomb by Jason Conforto, director extraordinaire. 
A few weeks ago, Mr. G and I got to film a fun commercial for America First Credit Union that aired during the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. It was hysterical and strange to see Mr. G transform into a zombie. He was perfect for the role. Anyway, I've already shared the 30 second spot that aired, but here is the extended version where you get to see more of how hilarious Greg's zombie is. The teams from Avalanche Studios and Mighty Clever did such an awesome job!
<![CDATA[The Church of Kayla Itsines is True]]>Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:07:08 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/the-church-of-kayla-itsines-is-trueYOU GUYS!!!! (Sorry for yelling, I just am really enthusiastic about this.) If you are like me and need some structure get you motivated to workout, look no further than Kayla Itsines's 12 Week Bikini Body GuideThe workouts are 28 minute circuit workouts (4 circuits, 7 minutes each), 3 days a week. The other 3 days a week, you do low intensity cardio for 35-45 minutes. 

Kayla is an Australian trainer that gained major attention via Instagram. She has over 2 millions followers and is nearing cult leader status. I personally have gulped down the Kool-Aid and I am so thankful. I have been doing her workouts for nearly 5 weeks now I and have already noticed some major results. I'm not even half way done! Mr. G has even noticed. I thought I'd share some of my progress. No progress photos yet, because I'm shy.

  • I AM GETTING A BOOTY! My God-given rear belongs as a menu item at the International House of Pancakes. Hence, the excitement. Since I've been doing this guide, my glutes are becoming maximus. OK, maybe not that, but they are getting shape and curvature which is amazing! One day, Mr. G gave my bum a little squeeze and said, with surprise, "Oh hey firm buns!". I was delighted! Although, I curse the jump lunges every time, I suppose they are doing their job. Now, I know most people want to loose booty and trust me, you will. 
  • Hello arm muscles! Being the weakling that I am, I guess, was, I could never do a push-up. No longer, friends! Not only can I do a push-up, I can do multiple push-ups. I've especially noticed definition in my upper arms. Again, Mr. G noticed when I was wearing a short-sleeved dress for a benefit concert and commented on how awesome they were looking. Yes!
  • Goodbye love handles. They have literally almost completely disappeared. Tears of joy. 
  • Overall body firmness and better health. Wahoo!

The circuits are no joke. They are challenging, but so worth it. I definitely modify things, because I'm still no Hercules, but that's also what I love about the workouts, is that I can modify them for my level. You can also just do them at home, which is convenient. Unless you have a dog like Daisy that wants to lick-attack you every time you are on the floor trying to do some sit-ups then to the gym with you! 

Now, you can buy both the workouts and a healthy food guide. I only purchased the workout (because I wasn't ready to say no to chips) and it was just over 50 US dollars (the prices on her website are in Australian $). Also, I notice that when I'm working out regularly, I naturally eat better (justification for not doing a food guide). I'm sure I would have quicker results if I was more strict about food and a little better with my cardio training (I've missed some days), but I don't wanna stress about it, because I still wanna enjoy life. Plus, chips. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share this in case anyone needed something to get them up and going. If this skinny-fat weakling can do it, so can you!
<![CDATA[Why We Tell the Story]]>Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:27:17 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/why-we-tell-the-story
This Saturday I'm performing in a benefit concert and you should come! It's at Orem High School and you have two chances to see it that evening. It features some of the most talented people in Utah. Seriously, these folks have been on Broadway, in national tours, recording artists, So You Think You Can Dance alum, local favorites, etc..... I'll be singing one of my favorite songs from She Loves Me, Will He Like Me. 

The best way to get tickets is beforehand (like most other events). It's cheaper in advance and you avoid the long lines to purchase tickets at the door. You can go to THIS WEBSITE to buy them. 

Funds received from tickets purchases go to awarding students scholarships to pursue further education in the arts, all in the name of my beloved high school drama teacher, Syd Riggs who passed away suddenly in 2005. She is the reason why so many of us Utah performers are where we are today. 

Sparkle Shirley!
<![CDATA[Obligitory New Year Post]]>Wed, 31 Dec 2014 21:19:05 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/obligitory-end-of-the-year-postNot gonna lie, 2014 was a pretty stellar year. I'm hoping 2015 will top it. So far it's started with me sick in bed, but c'est la vie! To help out this year, I'm making some goals. I'll share a few with you. Some are just plain none of your business and therefore, I'm keeping them to myself.

2015 improvement goals:
  1. Think of Mr. G's need before my own.....more. Honestly, every night it's my turn to say the prayer, I pray to be less selfish. Mr. G always giggles.
  2. Eat breakfast. That may seem silly, but I'm horrible at it presently.....so.......goal. 
  3. Become more of a bad-a. I've seriously signed up for some kickboxing classes. 
  4. Do enough acting to quit my day job. I got pretty close to this one in 2014 and even in Utah, I believe it can be done!
  5. Care less about acting. Meaning, enjoy life and live it. I read somewhere recently (I think a Backstage article) that actors shouldn't put their lives on hold for their career. If we don't live a full life, how can we portray all the complexities of it? Brilliant.
  6. Exercise. Duh. 
  7. Eat all the chips.

I'm gonna leave my shareable ones at that for now. 

Now, to look back some of my favorite moments that made 2014 bomb.com in slide show form.
<![CDATA[How to have like the best marriage ever]]>Tue, 30 Dec 2014 18:10:04 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/how-to-have-like-the-best-marriage-everLately, it seems as if social media is being bombarded by articles like:

"50 ways you're the worst spouse ever and don't even know it"
"17 things to never say to your husband"
"5 things to always say to your wife"
"1,000,000 ways you suck at being a human.....and don't even know it"

I thought I'd add my sage advice on marriage and bombard social media with it (since I'm an expert, being married myself for a year and a half. Expert alert!) It isn't a list of things to do or not to do. It's just one pretty simple and, I think, pretty universal idea. Are you ready? Here it is:



Seriously, I think that's what most marriage issues stem from....and you usually know that you are being one. 

<![CDATA[Hansen Holiday Herald]]>Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:01:24 GMThttp://www.rachelwoodwardhansen.com/blog/hansen-holiday-heraldMr. G's family has a long standing tradition of a year-end letter and now he is in charge of producing said letter. I know everyone is brimming with anti......cipation about this year's letter. So without further ado, here it is! Hint: to read it better, click on the little fullscreen thingy next to the magnifying thingies.