Monthly Archives: August 2011

30 Days of Denim – An Experiment In Everyday Style

Look, I am no fashionista. And WHOA, would I never claim to be. Honestly, I’m almost exactly the opposite. You see I’ve realized that after losing almost 100 lbs this year that I am completely out of touch with what looks good on my body. Everyone knows the up sides of losing weight, but no one talks about the weird parts like being unable to pick up an article of clothing and determine, in your mind, if it is going to fit.  Or look good.  My body has changed so rapidly over the last year that it is a constant guessing game.

Truth be told, even when my size and shape were more static, I always struggled a bit with defining my own personal style.  I don’t want to subscribe to Vogue and break the bank buying looks right off the runway.  I don’t generally DIE, Rachel Zoe-style, over fashion. But I do like to look put together, you know?  I envy those folks who have the innate ability to throw on a few items they have lying about and look super stylish.


source

But I feel that style can’t be much different then anything else in life:  If you want to get better at it, you need to work at it, right?  So I’ve decided to do a little experiment and I thought if you are feeling courageous, or perhaps in a bit of a style slump, it might be an experiment you want to play along with.

Let me break it down for you.

Quick Backstory: Throughout the month of September my company does a fundraiser for United Way where we can “purchase” days of Casual Dress. 5 days a week we can show up looking like it is Friday — for a fee! In years past I generally use it as an opportunity to set my alarm for a little bit later since I’m just “throwing on jeans and a tee.”

This year that is going to change.


For the month of September I’m going to challenge myself — SHOCKING, I know —  to get dressed every morning in a way that looks pulled together.  And because it only involves styling with jeans or a denim skirt/shirt/dress — I feel like the challenge is possible.  You know what else makes it feel possible? Pinterest! I’ve been pinning Everyday Denim looks for a while now, so there is sure to be some serious copying in the beginning. It’s like Fashion For Dummies and I’m not ashamed about how much I love that.  Sometimes you just need a little push.  But for each outfit that is inspired by Pinterest, I will link back to the original pin so you can see what I was working with.  And hopefully by the end of 30 days, the training wheels will come off!

So starting tomorrow, for 30 days (along with my regularly scheduled posting – I’m not going to all of a sudden only talk about clothes!) I’ll be popping in to show you What I Wore. 30 Days of Denim — get it?  Okey dokey then, glad we are on the same page.

If you want to play along, please do. I created the 30 Days of Denim Flickr Group in case you are feeling brave and want to upload your own pictures. (Do It!) Maybe you can find a trend in your own style, or workshop an outfit that you can’t quite figure out (don’t you have those? the outfits where you know something is missing, BUT WHAT IS IT?) Or if you want, you can even just join to see what others are wearing. No voyeurism judgment here…you know this!

There are no rules as long as you are wearing denim (pants/skirt/shirt/dress/whatevs) and they don’t only have to be blue jeans — bring on the colors! Black jeggings!  White denim! Get creative. Bonus Points if you also scored your inspiration from Pinterest and you can link to the inspiring pin for all the rest of us. And you don’t have to be going to work. Snap a pic when you are going to the grocery store, or running errands — if you are anything like me, when I snap a pic I make the tiniest bit more of an effort with my appearance.

Don’t wait until you are thinner, or less pregnant, or have lost the baby weight, or get some new clothes — challenge yourself now to make the best of what you’ve got going on. Style isn’t about looking like a supermodel with a million dollar wardrobe, anyone can do that right? The intention of this is not to be a giant vanity project. The photos don’t have to be professional looking (iPhones, AHOY!), there is no body type requirement and you don’t need to be sporting runway looks. The point for me (and hopefully for you) is to get a better feel for what I look like, a better feel for my own personal tastes, and of course practice putting together a great look with regular clothes.

I recently read this post on Kendi Everyday and the style maven herself said:

I had a moment today. Well, my red heels and I, we had a moment. Two years ago I would have never worn this outfit. I would have never picked up these heels and paired it with these shirts. I would have never posed in a park at lunch with husband snapping photos. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with gratitude and I wanted to say thank you. For the last year or so, you have visited my blog for one reason or another. And because of you, I have confidence to dress in the outfits that I do, to write what I write and to generally be a very happy person. You have become friends to me, even though we’ve never even met. And for no other reason than that, I am SO very grateful for you.

So…let’s pretend we’re super fashionable for a month and see what happens, shall we?

*Let’s fake it until we make it! 
*Let’s pretend we are the most confident models ever (in our closets, in our backyards, in the reflection of our office bathroom mirror — take pictures anywhere!) 
*And then let’s see how we feel in 30 days. 

Maybe I will still feel like getting dressed is hard. But I hope with a little effort, I won’t.

If you don’t want to participate yourself, tell a friend or share the link. The more the merrier! It will be an experiment in body confidence. Where personal style meets everyday life.

So come join me would ya: Join the Group! Save me the embarrassment of doing this alone.

And besides, you are looking mighty fine in those jeans! Somebody should see it, right?

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2011 Summer Bucket List — How’d I Do?

Oh man, the thing about goals is that I have ALOT OF THEM. I know some people think that is crazy, but I don’t always get them all crossed off, and that’s ok. But I like to push myself, and I think it is always good to have intention.

This time around is no different. I didn’t get to cross all of my goals off, but I think even where I “failed” the intention was still there. I’m wholly convinced this goal list helped me have a fantastic and memorable summer.

I can’t wait to start planning for Fall!

********************

Adventures

Go miniature golfing with Garrett (can you believe we have never done this together?) – FAIL

Hike Feather Falls (our favorite local hike. OMG, can’t wait!) – FAIL, but it is still warm out, so this one may still happen!

Go Wine Tasting (if we hit up Amador, I can cross this off my 2011 list too. Multitasking!) – Partial Credit because we did go wine tasting, twice! Just not to Amador.
2007 American River Red.  YUM.

Have a picnic in the Plaza in Sonoma (Gina and Jim, consider yourself invited) – Yes, for my cousin Jim’s 34th Birthday

Get to San Diego to visit my cousin (Hi Jen! You are missed!) – FAIL. Oh, such a FAIL. Plane Tickets: Y U NO BE FREE???

Pack Dinner and a blanket and head to McKinley Park – Partial Credit. We packed a number of dinners up and headed out on a blanket to eat them this summer. Only we did it in our backyard instead of traipsing across town to McKinkley Park. Figuring out that dinner on your lawn is just as good as dinner at the park = Seriously winning.
Our Picnic

Spend a weekend in Chico with my family – Partial Credit. We didn’t make it up to Chico, but we did get to see our Chico family which was awesome!

Go to the beach (um, and wear sunscreen!) – Oh this is such an EPIC FAIL. And also the thing I hate the most about Sacramento — no beach! We didn’t get out of town a lot this summer and the beach time suffered. Luckily California has great weather for most of the year so who knows, we may get to the beach in Fall!

Have a rollerskating date with my cousin (Flashback!) – Partial Credit. We are actually in the process of planning this date right now.

Superficial Goals (hey, we all need some)

Buy a cute new bathing suit (old ones are still cute, but no longer fit, woot!) – Done! And no, I’m not posting a picture in it. You’re Welcome!

Find a maxi dress that doesn’t look like a tent when you put it on – Partial Credit. I found THE PERFECT Maxi Dress! At Old Navy of all places! And then it hung in my closet for over a month because every time I tried to wear it OMG, it was SO HOT! And really, I don’t need help in the “getting sweaty” department. And I also don’t think Unsightly Ass Sweat makes a dress cuter. So I returned it. (TMI?) Maybe maxi dresses aren’t for me. Or at least not in the summer.

Make a ridiculously delicious Paleo dessert – Do sliced Flavor Grenade Pluots count? Ha. Fail.

Cook something with Bison – I made Bison Burgers! And they were Awesome! So awesome I didn’t even snap a pic!

Finish redesigning and migrating website (this will involve calling a professional, I’m sure) – It did involve calling a professional. But she rocked! And it is done!

Get over my flabby arm phobia and just buy some damn tank tops in which to work out – Done and done!
Portrait of a CrossFitter

Get a few pedicures (for everyone else’s sake. 😉 – Nope. Didn’t even get ONE. I KNOW, right???

Have a dinner party in my backyard before it gets sweltering – I had brunch instead!

Relaxation

Read outside as often as humanly possible – Oh I did this like it was my JOB!

Spend an evening drinking Mai Tais and (finally!) put your Maui photos in an album – While I didn’t drink Mai Tais, I did put a bunch of photos in albums last weekend. So nice to have it organized!

Make an effort to get 8 hours of sleep per night (so hard in the summer because it’s SO DAMN HOT) – Yep. The summer was mild, and the sleepin’ easy!

Enjoy your garden and can your little heart out when those tomatoes get overwhelming – Obviously.

Make Jam – No jam. But I do wan’t to make BACON JAM. How good does that look???

photo credit

Will you make a Fall Bucket List?


This Summer…

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close. Around here we are already scheduling things for October and November, and you know once that happens it’s a holiday extravaganza! Eep! I’m not ready for that just yet.

Quick as it went by though, it was DELIGHTFUL! And while I can’t wait to start planning for fall I’m going to savor the last few moments Summer 2011.

THIS SUMMER…

…was the summer I worked hard to get healthy

July - 2011 Pre run
Box Jumps

…was the summer of stripes (Let’s keep this up in Fall!)

8-25-118-24-11
The Audrey Hepburn Pants in question

…was the summer of grilling (And I finally got to entertain in my backyard!)

Grilled Cobb Salad
Grilled Cobb Salad

…was the first summer I grew a successful garden


Zuccs

…was full of beautiful weather, fun friends and cute babies
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P1030382
Kell + Chels

…was full of good wine and good family

@ Sebastiani
The birthday boy with his fam

…and of course, good reads!

New Library Swag!

This summer was one I want to remember

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Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe (Part Two)


(Here’s Part One)

So where did we leave off? Ah yes — filming for The Hotel New Hampshire was over and it was back to real life. I believe Rob uses the phrase “emotionally hungover” and I loved that. Imagine the best job you have ever had — the relationships you built, the fun you had — and then imagine it all ending. Twice every year. That sounds emotionally exhausting, but that is the pace he keeps over the next decade. Two movies per year, some better than others. Brief, heated relationships and then always back to his Malibu home base.

The 80s

In the summer of 1983 he heads off to New York and spends some time hanging with Andy Warhol and socialite Cornelia Guest. He tells a story of how one evening they head to Central Park to see Diana Ross. Of course it was a career defining moment for Diana Ross, and Rob Lowe was front and center. He seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time to witness interesting moments in pop culture history. I guess that’s why he gets to write a book, eh?

So it’s raining, Andy and Cornelia want to get out of the ugly weather so they end up at a bar that has created this shot called the Kamikaze. Their bartender, while a talented mixologist, ends up following his passion and pursuing an acting career. Their bartender is Bruce Willis. All of these stories end up showing up in The Andy Warhol Diaries, which makes Rob understandably feel awesome.

Hell, I feel awesome when someone links to my blog. I don’t know how I would feel if some 20th century art genius thought hanging out with me was worthy of documenting. So there’s that.

After New York he is off to London to shoot a movie called Oxford Blues. It’s about a young American who spots a foxy British woman that interests him while in Vegas.  She ends up being royalty, so he heads to college in Oxford and joins the rowing team to get her attention. Yeah, I don’t know either, and the reviews make it sound terrible. But he tries to get Princess Stephanie cast in the movie because he has the hots for her, and she doesn’t respond. Life doesn’t imitate bad art, apparently. While in Europe he meets Roman Polanski in Paris about a role, and Polanski sounds as sleazy as you think he is. He also ends up hanging out with Bill Murray in a foreign hotel room sort of randomly and it all sounds a little bit Lost in Translation if you ask me, but I guess they hit it off and are professional supporters of each other to this day.

After his European jaunt he goes back the states. He tries out for Footloose despite not being able to dance and tears his meniscus during the auditions. Nice break for Kevin Bacon, I suppose. By the way, to this day Footloose is the only show I’ve ever seen on Broadway. I need to remedy this on a bucket list somewhere, STAT.  Instead of doing Footloose he takes on a role in Youngblood which reunites him with Patrick Swayze. Of course Patrick Swayze shows up and kicks ass LIKE A BOSS. I’m dying to read Patrick Swayze’s memoir (of course he wrote it with his wife!) but I checked it out on audiobook at the library a couple of months back and you guys, HE NARRATES IT. Too soon, yo. Too soon. RIP.

Swayze writes a song that he suggests they put on the Youngblood Soundtrack but gets shot down. Good thing the producers of Dirty Dancing are smarter and capitalize on She’s Like the Wind. (OMG, did you know there is some awful Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears duet REMIX of this song. WHOA! How have I never heard that before? You’re welcome.)

While making Youngblood he auditions for a role in St. Elmo’s Fire. During his audition he meets Demi Moore, and well, obvs he has the hots for her. This is kind of a trend. I have a feeling Rob Lowe thinks with his head a lot, if you know what I’m saying, AND I THINK YOU DO. So he gets the role, obviously, and heads to DC where he has a great time embracing his party boy character. I mean, where he very seriously practices method acting. Yeah that’s it. When he returns to LA after filming wraps a spur of the moment dinner party is called with all of the cast mates at the Hard Rock Cafe. Oh, so 80s. My 13th birthday party was at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco and it was BADASS. So were my bangs that year, I promise.

Anyway, a reporter has been following Emilio Estevez around doing a profile for New York Magazine and so they all get together to take the guy out and show him a good time. Of course, when that “profile” of Emilio comes out, it actually ends up being an expose of young Hollywood wealth and excess and Rob and all of his friends are (not so lovingly) coined The Brat Pack.

The Boring Part

My notes from the next part of the book go like this:

  • He does some plays
  • He gets involved in politics
  • He has a pivotal role in Prop 65

You can see where those things rank on my detail-o-meter.  BRING ON THE TRASHY CELEB TALES, ROB!

Royal Romance

But then he goes back to Europe.  He is there to promote a movie called About Last Night and mentions that it was a movie by Edward Zwick and goes on and on about his credentials. All I could think of was — didn’t he produce My So-Called Life? So what you are telling me is that he knew Jordan Catalano. Got it. Why didn’t you say so sooner?

So since Rob is fancy pants and famous, he is assigned a security detail by the name of Glenn Southam. Glenn Southam also does security for Princess Stephanie and her family and asks Rob if he would like an introduction. Rob’s giant impending boner says yes. And what do you know, he and Princess Stephanie start a relationship that is full of glamour and intrigue! When it comes time for Rob to leave Europe, after weeks of living in a Princess Stephanie bubble, Glenn takes him to the airport. On the way home Glenn Southam is shot several times by masked gunmen. Apparently Glenn knew more people than just the royal family. EEP! To this day the murder remains unsolved. Obviously it shook up Rob, and it was foreshadowing of the demise of his relationship with Princess Stephanie.

Steph (yeah, she and I are tight now) comes to visit months later for an event they both are co-hosting for the Princess Grace Foundation but they end up breaking up. He launches right into doing the movie Masquerade which bombs. The writer on that movie gets sort of fed up and decides he just wants to write for TV. Screw all the movies! Good move, Dick Wolf. My addiction to Law & Order thanks you.

Just to clarify, throughout all of this, Rob is still wrestling with some inner demons and drinking heavily.

Ok, carry on.

Happily Ever After?

Rob gets offered a movie called Bad Influence. James Spader is in this movie who I think is totally hot in a creepy way. That has nothing to do with the book. Anyway, he meets his future wife on this movie as she does his makeup. Now that is a good story about how you met your wife: “She was my makeup artist.” Hmmmm. Anyway. They meet, they are friendly. He sort of implies they become friends with benefits, but in a way that doesn’t make it sound like he is saying his wife was kind of a ho, you know?

The press tour for Bad Influence is in Australia and because it will be long, the producers spring for a trip to Fiji for Rob and one guest afterwards. Why can’t my company think like that? Anyway, he brings his future wifey, Sheryl. They have a lovely time and Rob is totally sure it is forever. Until, of course, the night he gets back to LA he gets wasted and invites some booty call over to his house. Obviously, Sheryl dumps him. This may sound sad, but actually it was kind of a turning point.

Rob realizes he needs to go into rehab.

The 90s

What I do find endearing about Rob Lowe is that throughout this whole book, his voice is very self-deprecating and honest. I found it sort of shocking that he said he loved rehab. Therapy gave him the tools to deal with his crazy life, and he was happy — as a grown man — to finally have someone sit down and teach him, instead of just drinking to numb the pain/stress/mixed-emotions. That makes sense to me. And it also makes sense to me that he is still sober, which is pretty cool.

Sheryl comes to visit in rehab and of course they work it out. In June of 1991 he asks her to marry him, in July 1991 they are married. 20 years, eh? Not bad. On his wedding day Lorne Michaels of SNL Fame calls him to talk about doing Wayne’s World. The 90s are a new chapter for Rob personally and professional. He moves to Santa Barbara and has a family and becomes more of a comedic actor doing movies like Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy (the cow tipping scene was Rob’s idea) and Austin Powers (a role he was offered based on a fierce Robert Wagner impression he did for Mike Myers on the golf course. So LA.)

He ends the book talking about his time doing The West Wing, which is a role he ended up fighting for, doing for a large pay cut, and commuting daily to from Santa Barbara. On the upside, it was a role he felt was written for him and it reunited him with Martin Sheen. It turns out though, that there was a lot of drama on that show with the producers and Rob and these things ultimately ended with him leaving the show. One of these incidents was the producers anger over the fact that Rob agreed to do a photo shoot by himself for the cover of JFK Jr’s magazine George when the show was an ensemble cast. Rob ended up doing the shoot, although sadly the shoot took place the week after JFK Jr’s tragic plane crash.

The book ends on a happy note though. Rob elegantly summarizes that he spent the 80s working on his career and the 90s working on his family — the project he is most proud of. After reading this I honestly felt like he was a far deeper and more introspective person than I ever gave him credit for. Sure the book was a bit of a vanity project — aren’t all celeb memoirs, HELLO! But this one was entertaining, full of great stories, and enlightening in really surprising ways. Plus, the glossy photos in the middle of the book?

HOT.

I mean, what’s not to love?


What’s For Dinner?

Picnik collage

This week’s menu has two pieces of inspiration: The Everyday Food Great Food Fast Cookbook (which I love!) and Pioneer Woman’s new show on Food Network. Did you watch it? I thought she was pretty cute. It also made me really wish I had red hair, although I’m fairly certain I full explored that in the 90s and it wasn’t a good look. Ah, well!

The recipes I’m posting below anyone could make, but most of them will need a few tweaks on my end to keep them Paleo, but that’s what keeps it fun right?

Enjoy!

Monday
Lunch: Grilled Chipotle Chicken Thighs + Roasted Broccoli
Dinner: Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli, Bacon + Apple Salad (This salad is To. Die. For.)

Tuesday
Lunch: Leftover Turkey Burgers + Garden Detritus (That sounds romantic! ha! Probably squash and tomatoes)
Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry Wraps + Cantaloupe + Salad

Wednesday
Lunch:Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps + Flavor Grenade Pluots (Ha! I bought these plums at the grocery store and they were listed as Flavor Grenade Plums, and Garrett and I have been laughing about it all week.)
Dinner: Beef Bulgogi + Cauliflower Rice Bowls

Thursday
Lunch: Green Curry Chicken with Broccoli Slaw
Dinner: Out with friends!

Friday
Lunch: Barbacoa Beef Salads
Dinner: Chicken Fried Steak + Gravy + Sweet Potato Parsnip Mash with crispy shallots + Marinated Tomato Salad with Herbs

Saturday
Lunch: Greek Salads with Romain
Dinner: Rye Crusted Pork Chops + Caramelized Cabbage and Onions + Homemade Apple Sauce

Sunday
Shop!

What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week?

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Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe (Part One)


Oh you guys, this was a doozie. And by this, I mean Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography. Maybe you love Rob Lowe from the 80s or maybe you were a little too young to lust after various members of The Brat Pack (I was just a smidge too young, though I was obsessed with ALL the movies in my teens.) Regardless, the book was a totally soapy, interesting and actually well written book. I kind of love Rob Lowe more after reading it, even though I realize editorially, all of these stories are completely one-sided. Anyway, if you don’t want to run out and buy it, let me tell about the good parts. Settle in, this is a long one, which is why I’m breaking it up into parts.

He tells a story at the beginning of the book about JFK Jr (speaking of swoon!) which I actually thought was kind of brilliant, since he ends the book by going back to it. It sort of parallels some things about Rob’s life (yes, I’m totally going to call him Rob, since I am totally his BFF now that I’ve read the book.) While being this “hunky celeb” he is also very politically minded, and at the end of the book when he talks about his most recent TV role (The West Wing), the whole thing sort of comes full circle. It’s not as douchey as I’m making it sound, promise.

So he describes how they meet in his younger years, then see each other socially again and again and finally one night they have a chat in a Park City, Utah bar during Sundance about they key to happiness in life. Rob says, now that he is sober, that his wife is the key to his happiness, and supposedly it is weeks later he proposes to Carolyn Bessette. Whether this is true or not, or just Rob Lowe puffing his feathers and giving himself credit, who knows. But it sets up the book for lots of discussion about public perception, politics, love and marriage, and happiness.

Early Life

He starts chronologically with his life growing up. Raised early on in Ohio, his parents divorce and his mom moves the family out to Malibu, CA. He befriends some folks in town which include brothers Charlie Sheen + Emilio Estevez and Chris + Sean Penn. Nice random friends to meet when you move into a new neighborhood, right? Obviously they all have an interest in film and they fool around making silly small movies.

Because he is interested in movies and has already shown a passion for acting (he was involved in lots of theater in Ohio and continues to look for an outlet in Malibu) his new step father takes him to a movie set where his brother and sister in law are doing special effects. He is pretty impressed with the AMAZING special effects work that is going on, and it just so happens to be for this little movie called Star Wars.

He of course has to throw in the story of how he lost his virginity to his brother’s 16 year old babysitter. All that really made me thing was: Oh yeah, Chad Lowe is Rob Lowe’s brother. And then I thought about Life Goes On and wondered whatever happened to most of the cast. It was a long rabbit hole of google for me. After boning the babysitter he also starts drinking a lot with his buddies, and does a bunch of commercials that sort of satisfy the acting bug. He begins to get more serious though, landing a local agent and one night they go to dinner with another actress trying to make it in showiz who is beautiful and passionate and wide eyed. Rob could care less though, because he brought his girlfriend to dinner (to his agent’s dismay) so it appears he missed out on a nice blind (chaperoned) date with Sarah Jessica Parker. They keep in touch though, over the years.

He finally gets a TV Series and it completely changes his life. Well, in the way that it completely changes your life when you start getting fan letters from men in prison. Also, he’s making some money. But that little voice inside keeps telling him that if all these girls screaming for him at local appearances really knew him, they wouldn’t like him. Booze helps. He ends up working with a number of other actors who get fed up with acting and move on to other pursuits. One of which was Janet Jackson. I guess she ended up lucking out, eh…especially since the show was eventually canceled.

Luckily he gets some roles in After School Specials. God, what happened to those because they were THE BOMB. This one is called “School Boy Father,” ahem, and he goes to his girlfriend Jennifer Grant’s house to watch it (Remember her from 90210?). They sit on her dad’s bed to watch it (awkward?) and daddy-o joins them halfway through to check it out. Daddy-o tells Rob he’s a good actor, which seeing as her dad was Cary Grant, Rob is excited. Apparently Cary Grant gives him some Faberge eggs and Brut Soap on a Rope. I feel like this is some kind of nod to the fact that Cary Grant was gay, but I’m not really connecting the dots. Help me out.

After Jennifer Grant, he then begins dating Melissa Gilbert (who I just read today is getting divorced…sad face) and this, to me, is where it gets interesting. I heard that she devotes a LARGE part of her memoir to their relationship because it was so dysfunctional in her life, but you’d never get that from how Rob talks about it. Basically he dated her when he was filming The Outsiders, which was a big time of change in his life. Concurrently, his friend Sean Penn is working on a little movie called Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Things are beginning to change for everyone.

The Outsiders Era

It’s around Christmas of 1982 — I was begging for Cabbage Patch kid from Santa but Rob was heading up to Zoetrope Studios to audition for Francis Ford Copolla’s adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s book The Outsiders. The ensemble cast that would ultimately include tons of brand new up and coming actors.

So Rob is scared of the audition process because he has heard that when his friends’ dad Martin Sheen made Apocolypse Now with Coppola, the intensity on the set almost killed him. But he ends up nailing the audition and reports to the set in Tulsa, Oklahoma to make this movie with all of his soon to be friends and costars. The cast rundown shakes out as follows:
Matt Dillon is lady killer (Rob is inspired)
Patrick Swayze is a master of everything he touches, and a bit older and more mature (and married)
Tom Cruise is one of his BFFs (and VERY intense)
C. Thomas Howell (what ever happened to that guy?) is total professional
Emilio Estevez is a comfort to have around because they are friends from home
Diane Lane is a babe (and probably dating Matt Dillon)
He makes very little mention of Ralph Macchio — no love for The Karate Kid? What???

As you can imagine, the set is full of shenanigans, but he learns a lot as an actor. He also learns how to drink heavily and still show up for work.
***Foreshadowing***
He leaves the set and feels really proud of his work, but when it finally shows up in the theater, his part is dramatically reduced and it’s his first professional sucker punch. His friend Tom Cruise is taking a chance on a little film called Risky Business, Matt and Diane get cast in Coppola’s next film Rumble Fish and Rob gets the opportunity to audition for Dino DeLaurentiis who is about to start production on Dune. Ultimately he turns down Dune (it is supposed to be a trilogy, he would ended up turning into a sandworm in the last movie, and would have no script approval) and it is a bullet dodged, as they do not go on to making the other movies.

The Making of a Movie Star

He chooses to work next on a movie called Class, which no one really sees, but ends up getting to work with a talented “up and comer” named John Cusack, and it’s his first movie with Andrew McCarthy. Hmm…I smell the 80s! While making the movie, it is the first time he is away from his family on Thanksgiving. He has dinner with the director and some friends of the director’s family who host a lovely evening where Rob chats up their daughter. The daughter is little out there, they stay up all night talking, and she gleefully announces that she is a virgin and saving herself for Jackson Browne. The daughter also, apparently, is Daryl Hannah. I wonder how she feels about that little story? Don’t worry though, Rob gets his just desserts when his next movie bombs at the box office, beaten out by a little movie called Splash.

That next movie he does is called The Hotel New Hampshire, and it is the first role that he is just offered: no audition necessary. He jumps at the opportunity and co-stars with Jodie Foster (who he has great respect for) and Nastassja Kinski (who he thinks is hot.) As you can imagine, he ends up boning Nastassja Kinski, but it is Jodie Foster, years later, who will be his only friend who reaches out to him during his Sex-Tape Scandal. I totally put this movie in my netflix queue after reading this book. I don’t know why, it just sounds a little twisted and weird.

*****

Things are just starting to heat up, but I promise, it gets better. Back soon for the second installment!


Pins of Wisdom

Either you are totally obsessed with Pinterest or you are sick of hearing about it.  I think it’s kind of polarizing, you know, like cilantro.

I happen to be loving on it (speaking of, follow me so I can follow you!) because there is just such a  diversity of stimulus out there:  recipes! gorgeous photos! fashion inspiration! home decor ideas!  I mean you name it, and someone has pinned it. I love the fact that it is such a visual medium: I can just stare at awesome things and then every once in a while click, and it’s tagged in an online bookmarking system FOREVER. Victory.

One of the boards I made for myself is Words of Wisdom (or maybe that board came pre-assigned and I added to it, who knows?) but I have thoroughly enjoyed adding to it and here are a few favorites:

(All images cited here)

What is not to love about that kind of internet time suck, right?

I also enjoy the fact that the more stuff you pin the more your own personal style becomes super obvious. I started pinning home decor ideas that I enjoyed because I feel like I have NO SENSE OF STYLE when it comes to decorating, but when you look at the board — HELLO color trends! Obviously I do have a style that I’m attracted too.

Plus now I have a place to put all the haircuts I am too scared to try in real life. And of course, a very easy way to show Garrett the kind of engagement rings I think about…you know, in my dreams! (Yeah, you can bet I sent him the link to that board. haha!)

Anyway, since it’s Thursday I thought we all might need a little inspiration to get us through until Friday.

Enjoy!

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The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

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Pre-season football is starting. Children are returning back to school. August 23rd is here and inevitably another year has gone by.

I generally allow two days of feeling sorry for myself:  his birthday and today.  But to say that there are only two days a year where I feel sad over the fact that my father is gone is laughable. Laughable is such an accurate word, but the irony of that juxtaposition of emotion is not lost on me.

The tidal wave of grief comes and goes.  Sometimes there is a warning, but often times it happens so fast that it destroys everything in its path. Once again I am left to pick up the pieces, restore my emotions, and try to rebuild.  It is arduous, but I have come to appreciate that I get better and better at recovery each time.

There is the X on the calendar today but it is mostly unnecessary. It’s a date that looms and before I was even consciously aware of it, there was the usual emotional foreshadowing last week that let me know it was coming.  It has become almost a physiological response, like allergies in the spring or a cold in the winter.

But this morning I felt a difference.  A few months ago  I had a moment.  And just like on that day 13 years ago when my life was split into Before and After, that moment changed things.  It’s not quite as dramatic as the end of a chapter, but perhaps just the perspective shift that comes with a new narrator in the same book.

Time spent together does not determine the effect another has on our lives.

I have reached that tipping point where I feel I am doing a disservice to the time my dad and I did spend together if I carry on acting as if my life is full of loss.  Had you told me this 5 years ago, I probably would have neck punched you. But today this idea feels like a light bulb illuminating the path to my future.

I’ve tried a number of new things this year: CrossFit, training for a half marathon, going Paleo. I’ve begun to get more serious about planning our wedding, Garrett and I have taken a number of necessary steps to start planning our family. And even though I have done these things physically without the presence of my father, he has been there.

He’s been there when I doubted myself.
He’s been there when I needed advice.
He’s been there when I needed a reminder to have gratitude.

Frankly, we’ve shared a lot this year.

To act like these things haven’t been real or influential just because he’s no longer physically here paints such a fading portrait of the 19 years we did spend together.

He has always been here.

Yes, there are reasons to be sad. And I reserve the right to completely break down around the unfairness of it all. But also, there are things to celebrate. And there is still wisdom left to gain if I can just be open to receiving it in a different way.

Losing a parent is the ultimate amputation, instantly cutting you off from a portion of your past and leaving a gaping hole in your present. But what I’m realizing today is the incision was clean. And for the first time in 13 years I feel like the wound is healing. There will always be a scar, but today instead of seeing the remnants of an old and painful wound, I see a familiar reminder of a wonderful time. Something that has given me character. A perfectly healed time capsule of infinite love that will always yield a good story if I need one.


Weekend Wackiness

This weekend was full of So! Much! Excitement!

For starters, I took Friday off — who doesn’t love a 3 day weekend just because.  That afternoon, Garrett’s golf clubs came, and if there is anything cuter than a grown man with a new toy, I don’t know what it is.

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Well, it might be a grown man in a hot pink headband letting the world know he is an athlete.

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He doesn’t generally go around looking like this, but Saturday morning was our gym’s First Annual 80s Wod-A-Thon. Obviously there was dressing up involved and we took the challenge quite seriously.
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(God, the 80s. Why are these fashion trends coming back? Did we learn nothing?)

The point of the event was to get everyone at the gym used to the idea of competing, but in a stress free environment. Competitions can be scary, but it’s hard to be stressed when the judges are dressed like this.
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We were broken up into 9 teams.

Garrett’s Team Thruster Thunder were going to be tough competitors.

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(Yes, that shirt does say “Get Laid: Ask Me How”)

But my team Better Off Dead-Lifting was also bringing the energy.
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(Step Back, Y’all…We’re Bringing Tye-Dye Sexy Back)

There were 4 main events:
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WOD #1 was one attempt each at a max broad jump. And 3 attempts to find your 3 Rep Max for Push Press.
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WOD # 2 was to as a team find the max amount of tire flips you can do in 3 minutes. (It was a tractor tire weighing a couple hundred pounds that all 4 of us had to move.) Here is a video, courtesy of my workout buddy Pia, to give you an idea of what it looked like:

If you would like to know what it felt like, I would say this is more accurate:
photo credit

You know, but with a tractor tire on top of you.

So that was pleasant.

Onto possibly the best WOD. WOD # 3 — Max reps on the thigmaster. And if you thought there was a way to NOT look stupid using the thighmaster, you thought wrong.

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I think at this point it’s appropriate to let you know that I asked Garrett to take pictures of my team during all these events too, but he coincidentally seemed to forget each time.
Note to Garrett: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FORGET. THIGHMASTER PICS ON THE INTERNET.

WOD # 4 was appropriately called The Chipper. It included a
100m relay holding plates (25lbs women/45 men) then a circuit of the following where you only moved on to your next station when the whole team was done:
250m row
15 burpees
20 box jumps
30 jumping pull ups
Followed by a 200 m relay sprint for each team member

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It was a bitch. But in the end, Better Off Dead-Lifting was pretty darn happy with our 4th place finish.

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Thruster Thunder had one more WOD to go though, because they were TIED FOR FIRST! (I have never been so happy NOT to be in first place!) The first place rights came down to a wheelbarrow race, and in the end, Team Top Gun took the victory by a nose.

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I think the sunglasses must have given them an advantage.

It’s so great to belong to such an awesome gym full of people with such fun personalities. The community at American River CrossFit is palpable. There is really no place I’d rather workout.

ARCFit Crew

*More amazing pics here.
(OMG, like this one, and this one, and this one. OH GOD, I die.)

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Such a fun couple of days! But let me tell you I think I need another weekend to recover from my weekend, if you know what I’m saying.

Are you read for this week?


What’s For Dinner?

Well it has been a crazy weekend and it was all I could do to get my act together for about 30 minutes to throw this menu together.  I shopped as quick as I could and now I’m back at home and plan on curling up on the couch with a book and watching trash television before it’s back to work tomorrow.

It may not be the world’s most creative menu (I stole some dishes from last week that we didn’t end up making due to impromptu plans) but sometimes you need an easy cut + paste menu to get you through the week, right?  Every meal doesn’t have to be a gourmet restaurant outing.

Anyway, here’s what’s going on our table — tell me what’s going on yours?

Monday

Lunch: Grilled Southwest Chicken Salads

Dinner: Cajun Shrimp w/ remoulade + Spinach Salad (stolen from last week)

Tuesday

Lunch: Chicken Chorizo w/ Peppers + Onions and Kale Chips

Dinner: Grilled Rib Eyes with Asparagus + Salad

Wednesday

Lunch: Paleo-ified Minestrone-esque Soup (I’m wishing for fall and loving the hyphen, can you tell?)

Dinner: Grilled Chili Rubbed Tri Tip Salad w/ Grilled Vegetables on top

Thursday

Lunch: Ground Pork Chili

Dinner: Joe’s Special.  Have you ever heard of Joe’s Special? — because it is AMAZING!  (Note to self: blog this recipe soon!)

Friday

Lunch:  Minestrone Soup Leftovers — Maybe I should call it Italian Beef + Greens Soup, since that is more accurate

Dinner: Chicken with Shallots + Steamed Broccoli

Saturday

Lunch:  Taco Salads  (it’s a big lettuce week around here again)

Dinner:  Leftovers/Mustgo/Out — TBD

Sunday

Shop!

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