Archive | January, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2011: Fashion Recap

31 Jan

Fashions fade; style is eternal. – Yves Saint Laurent

To continue the trend of award show fashion recaps, it’s time for the next round of dresses, which were on parade at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards last night. In all honesty, I was less than impressed with the dresses, making it easy for me to find six standouts.  Unlike the gowns for the Golden Globes, many of these dresses spotlighted great prints and bright colors, reminding us that springtime is just around the corner (I hope!).  When I wasn’t falling in love with these fabulous fabrics, I was drawn to neutral colors – black or blush.

As I did with the Golden Globes (and to further confirm my poor decision-making skills), I’m sticking with my six favorite fashion moments for the SAG Awards. And here we go!

6. Angie Harmon radiates happiness in this feathery concoction by Monique Lhuillier. It’s my fashion dream to wear a dress by this designer, and I know that I’d be as giddy as Angie in this frock.

Angie looks like pure happiness to me.

(photo: source)

5. Nicole Kidman is the epitome of sophistication in her Nina Ricci gown.  The lace cutouts and jeweled neckline add just enough mystery and sparkle to her look. I’m usually not a fan of the dresses that Nicole wears, but I think she knocked it out of the park with this one.

my all-time favorite fashion moment from Nicole

(photo: source)

4. Mila Kunis rocked a mainly-red print dress by Alexander McQueen.  The color looks outstanding with her olive complexion and smoldering eyes. Plus, her wavy hair complements the sweetheart neckline and flowing frock, creating a look that appears effortless.

i much prefer this look to Mila's green Golden Globes gown...

(photo: source)

3. Fashion darling Louise Roe confirms that it’s never too early to wear breezy pastels.  The baby blue and purple print of this Tadashi Shoji one-shouldered dress really pops against the red carpet. Her neat updo and unfussy accessories prove that she’s anything but a Plain Jane.

can i wear Louise's dress to church on Easter Sunday?

(photo: source)

2. Of course, Lea Michele was one of my best-dressed picks. A girl can’t go wrong in Oscar de la Renta, and she proves it time and time again.  Departing from her propensity for big ball gowns, she picked a sexier number that really suited her tiny figure.  Her simple hair and make-up are a perfect pairing.

Lea's look is the perfect combination of sweetness and sass.

(photo: source)

1. Talk about a 180° difference from her Golden Globes look! Breaking from her trend of going with structural, bright-hued dresses (usually by Versace), January Jones chose an understated black-and-gold mermaid gown by Carolina Herrera. With her sweeping updo and muted make-up, she looks absolutely stunning and oh-so-ladylike. By far my favorite look of the night!

January's dress is beyond fabulous yet again!

(photo: source)


Little Bothers

28 Jan

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. – Anthony Brandt

My little (but much taller) brother turns 22 years old today. I guess he’s not so little anymore, huh? Because I know Colin would never take the time to read an entire blog entry (he’s way too busy for that sort of thing), I thought I’d make him a video instead. Happy birthday, Bubby!

If the pictures are a bit too fuzzy, you can also watch it here.

Four Eyes…Again

27 Jan

I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don’t know how far you could really see. – Andy Warhol

When I was younger, I was one of those strange little girls who wanted glasses.  I remember buying my first (fake) pair at Claire’s and being unable to take them off (as if they actually made a difference).  Little did I know that my wish would come true…

During the summers, my dad used to play doctor on Cat Cay island in the Bahamas, and my family would tag along for a week of vacation.  One afternoon, he decided to check our vision. My brother, of course, had better-than-perfect vision. This kid never had to wear braces either – he got the good genes in the family. Me? Not so much. I returned home and promptly visited the eye doctor.  When my parents asked why I never mentioned that I had trouble seeing, I said that I just thought it was normal. How was I supposed to know that things far away shouldn’t be blurry?

After wearing glasses for a few years, I had LASIK surgery, thinking I’d never have to deal with poor vision again.  The surgery came at the perfect time: I ended my high school years and spent my college years being able to see without any hitches. However, in recent months, I noticed those blurry edges creeping back into my life.  On one particularly rainy Nashville afternoon, I struggled to read a street sign and was afraid to drive again. Back to the eye doctor for me!

Lucky for me, I found a pair of tortoise shell Tory Burch frames that make me feel stylish and smart. Oh, and they allow me to see clearly again.  As Dad said, he should’ve known that I would turn getting glasses into a fashion event.  Success!

my new eyes

(photo: source)

Who Says I Can’t Have My Cake and Eat It Too?

26 Jan

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age. – Lucille Ball

Today is my 25th birthday. I’m a quarter-century old, which means my quarter-life crisis is going to happen any day now.  It also means that I can eat cake for lunch (already done), buy myself a fun present (also already done) and revel in all the attention and birthday wishes.

my first birthday and first bite of cake - yum!

Mom used to say that she’d never have kids in January. Instead, she ended up with two, although my due date wasn’t until the end of February. I’ve always believed that being a preemie influenced my personality: I’m very type-A and a bit of a control freak; I’m quite punctual (even when I feel like I’m running late); and I can be a bit high strung (only sometimes though). Similarly, my brother arrived 10 days late (and two days after my third birthday) with an attitude that reflects his laid-back entrance into this world.

Growing up, we always had the greatest birthday parties.  I’m not sure how old I was turning, but my favorite one was an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed celebration.  We had a trunk full of costumes and a make-up artist to work her magic on my friends and me. For an afternoon, my basement was transformed into Wonderland, and I got to play the leading lady. I couldn’t have been a happier little girl!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten out of the habit of marking the occasion with a party. This year, however, my boyfriend wouldn’t let me get away with it. Because we couldn’t be together on my real birthday, we celebrated a pretend birthday, complete with presents, a movie date (my choice) and a sunset picnic of sushi (my favorite).  If I have to be in my mid-twenties, at least I have a wonderful boy in my life to grow older with me.

not a bad view, huh?

Starting from Scratch

24 Jan

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve never been particularly athletic.  Even so, fitness has always played a role in my life.  As a little girl and into my high school years, I relied on gymnastics and cheerleading to keep me in shape. During college, I occasionally ran with friends but mostly gravitated towards the elliptical or stationary bike.  After I graduated and moved to Chicago, I no longer had easy access to a gym, but was fortunate enough to have a treadmill in my apartment. When I first climbed on that machine, I could barely run a mile. I stuck with it, and soon enough, I was addicted.


i may not be athletic...

...but at least i look good!

However, I didn’t realize how much I truly loved and depended on running – both mentally and physically – until I was sidelined with two injuries at the beginning of this year.  My left ankle is more fragile than most, and thanks to some well-hidden ice on one of my December-morning runs, I twisted it and did some major damage.  After wearing a bulky boot for three weeks, I was finally ready to slip on my sneakers again. Unfortunately, that night, I was brushing my hair and dislocated my shoulder (also more fragile than most because of a childhood injury). Needless to say, I’m a bit accident-prone.

Unfortunately, these aches and pains kept me out of the race for nearly a month. Now, I have about two weeks before I begin training for the Country Music Half Marathon, which means it’s time to get busy! After my hiatus from the exercise world, I feel refreshed and ready to go, but I also feel like I’m starting from scratch. I think it’s the perfect time to reinvigorate my workout routine using the strategies below.

  • Lately, my favorite gadget has been the Garmin Forerunner 60 watch (which my sweet boyfriend gave me for my upcoming birthday). Paying attention to my pace and heart rate not only ensures that I make the most of every run, but it also helps me to push myself and do better than my previous workout.


my new running buddy

(photo: source)

  • When it comes to running, rather than stick with a steady pace and minimal incline for my allotted workout time, I’m depending on interval runs (like this one or this one from Peanut Butter Fingers) to keep me energized and motivated. Looking forward to my workout makes my 6 a.m. (or earlier) alarm that much more bearable.
  • Speaking of my early running routine, I’ve previously been in the habit of only working out at the start of the day. If I don’t fit it in before work (or errands or whatever’s on the day’s agenda), then it doesn’t happen. This time around, I’m doing my best to listen to my body and exercise when it’s best for me – if it’s best for me that day.
  • As much as I love to run, I don’t love getting stuck in a runner’s rut. To avoid this pothole, I’m focusing on mixing up my routine and trying new workouts. Thanks to Groupon, I have two awesome options to help me achieve this goal.  Back in October, I purchased three hour-long sessions with a personal trainer from Basics and Beyond.  More recently, a friend and I bought five BarreAmped classes. This workout combines dance, Pilates, yoga and deep stretching, providing me with a perfect cross-training alternative during my half-marathon training. I have a feeling that both of these experiences are going to kick my butt, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.
  • Because I don’t currently belong to a gym (having a treadmill makes a gym membership less necessary), I rely on hand weights and workout DVDs for most of my strength training.  The newest addition to my collection is Crunch – Burn & Firm Pilates.  I first attempted this DVD with a friend during a weekend trip in Chicago, and let me tell you, I was cursing at the television screen shortly after it started. For me, a good marker of a challenging workout is when I have trouble completing the DVD during my initial attempts.  Plus, it makes surviving the entire thing that much more rewarding.
  • I used to approach food in the same way that I approached my exercise routine: lots of sameness.  Motivated by Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting and my own resolution, I’m ready to change that pattern once and for all! Cooking more often gives me the opportunity to try new things and figure out what eating habits make me feel full, happy and ready to tackle the day. It also means that I pay more attention to what I’m eating, which in turns allows me to feel more satisfied with my food choices.

if all else fails...

(photo: source)

Golden Globe Awards 2011: Fashion Recap

18 Jan

Just around the corner in every woman’s mind is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume, which will make an enchanting new creature of her. – Wilhela Cushman

The Golden Globe Awards were held in Beverly Hills on Sunday.  I know I’m a bit behind with this post, but it took me a few days to watch the show in it’s entirety. Plus, I, of course, had to watch E!’s Live from the Red Carpet before I could make an adequate assessment of the night’s glamorous gowns.

As always, there were quite a few commonalities among the attendees’ dress choices. Many women wore classic black (which is to be expected) – Halle Berry, Piper Perabo and Julianne Hough, for starters – and they all looked stunning on the backdrop of the red carpet (which is also to be expected). Personally, I fell for the nude-colored dresses (à la Dianna Agron, Scarlett Johansson and Kaley Cuoco, just to name a few).  For me, the biggest surprise of the night (and perhaps not in the best way) was the number of hunter green dresses. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mila Kunis and Elizabeth Moss all wore this bold color, and while I love it for everyday dressing, I thought it was less appealing in such a glitzy setting.

In terms of style, one-shouldered dresses made a strong showing, as Lea Michele models below.  As with most fancy occasions, sparkly dresses are always on-trend.  Carrie Underwood, Anne Hathaway and Olivia Wilde (all three below) dove into this style head-first, while Sandra Bullock just dipped in her toes.  My favorite accessory also made it’s mark: many women opted for a simple dress with a pair of statement shoes – or, in Helena Bonham Carter’s case, a pair of mismatched statement shoes.

Originally, I intended to pick my three favorite dresses, but per usual, I struggled with my decision-making skills and instead settled on my top six looks of the evening. Drum roll, please…

6. One of my favorite up-and-coming actresses is Emma Stone. As much as I love her as a redhead, I think she looks even more beautiful as blonde (she reverted back to her natural hair color for her role in the upcoming Spiderman movie). Her choice of a bright sherbet Calvin Klein Collection sheath makes her look like she’s glowing. I feel like a girl couldn’t help but feel pretty in a dress like that!

this peach color perfectly complements Emma's blonde hair and tanned skin.

(photo: source)

5. On-trend in terms of color and sparkle, Carrie Underwood sticks with the basics and looks beautiful in a blush-colored and sequined sweetheart gown by Badgley Mischka. Her neat chignon pairs perfectly with the sleekness of her dress.

the perpetually stunning Carrie

(photo: source)

4. January Jones adds a pop to my best-dressed list.  She always makes a statement, and this red and fringed Versace dress may be my favorite so far.  She made a slight nod to Betty Draper with her retro curls, adding a touch of softness to such a bold (and somewhat scandalous) look.

January's smoldering glare and red lips accent her sassy gown.

(photo: source)

3. Styled by the lovely Rachel Zoe, Anne Hathaway sparkles (quite literally) in a bronze sequined number by Giorgio Armarni Privé. I love the contrast of her long-sleeved but backless gown. It’s quite different than her previous award show choices but follows her tendency for an ethereal yet strong overall look.

Anne looks like a Golden Globe statue herself!

(photo: source)

2. Lea Michele’s one-shouldered Oscar de la Renta gown combines two of my favorite things: light pink and ruffles. This dress just makes me smile!

always love Lea's looks at award shows

(photo: source)

And the best-dressed gal was (in my book, at least)…

1. Olivia Wilde never fails to impress me when she walks a red carpet. I’m always in awe of her style choices, and this dress proves no different.  Wearing a chocolate brown and sequined ball gown by Marchesa, she toughened up her look with spiky and sparkly gold Christian Louboutin booties. For me, it was the perfect mix of girly and edgy. Her blunt bangs and simple hairstyle sealed the deal.

Olivia is perfection.

(photo: source)

Ready to Run!

17 Jan

Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I have to admit that I felt more than a little lost as I entered the real world post-college graduation. While my life has always been filled with great people and endless opportunities, I cannot help but wonder what my future holds, which leads me to My Bucket List. What are those adventures I’ve always wanted to take? What are those things I want to do to feel more fulfilled? How do I want to leave my mark and say that, “I was here?” While that last question may take a few (or a lot) more years of living to answer, I can start checking off some of the less-complicated items on my list. There is no time like the present, right?

It is this mindset that led a friend and I to sign-up to run our first half-marathon in April 2009.  To be honest, our initial motivation may have been self-serving – after all, it is a great way to ensure bikini enviability by the summertime.  But soon after finishing the race, I realized that this experience affords us so much more than a beach-ready body.

First, it served as a great “something” to focus on as I survived a chilly Chicago winter.  Post-holidays can be a bit sad for me.  I spend a week or so with my family, and then I return to the doldrums of the everyday working world.  To this end, my scheduled running also acted as a much-needed stress-reliever.   It was a somewhat-confusing and unconfident time in my life – and achieving a goal like this one ensured that I not only make time for myself but also that I rebuild my self-assurance and become an even stronger young woman than I was before.

Finally, strutting through Nashville with thousands of runners (both more and less prepared than myself) allows me an excellent opportunity to improve upon my current workout wardrobe.  I believe that you feel your best when you look your best, and this motto certainly extends to those times when you perhaps look your worst.  I was sweaty, tired and achy as I logged those miles, but I assure you, I was dressed from head (visor) to toe (sneakers) in coordinating black and pink Nike gear.  After all, accessories are a central part of any outfit.

ready, set, RUN!

For a less-than-athletic girl, this pursuit initially surprised my family and friends. Looks of incredulous belief were usually followed by apprehensive notes of encouragement and endless reminders that the most important thing is to do the best I can. Perhaps this self-doubt from others motivated me even more.  Not only did I have something to prove to myself, but I had something to prove to the people I loved most.

Looking back now, I can say…I did it! Two hours, 34 minutes, and 56 seconds later, I crossed that finish line and was filled with immense pride and a bit of disbelief. How did a girl who could hardly run three miles at the start of her training just survive 13.1 miles in the time it takes to watch a movie? To fly from New York to Atlanta? To enjoy a delicious meal in good company?

As I said before, this adventure is not a one-time deal. In fact, it’s time to start training for my fourth half-marathon, which I’ll run with my mama at the end of April. Next time around, my goal will not only be to finish but to beat my previous times and, of course, to always do my best. If you’re up for it, join me!

jamie and i look quite fashionable in our pink attire and glitter headbands.