February 27, 2012

oscars 2012 - the hits and misses on the misses

Did you watch the oscars? I'm a huge movie fan, but this year, there sure was a lot of "meh" in the mix. I was very underwhelmed by this year's best picture contenders. But let's face it, lately the oscars are just as much about fashion as they are about filmmaking. Here are some of my personal picks for favourite fashionistas: 
Michelle Williams (in Louis Vuitton). It always amazes me that this is the same actress from Dawson's Creek. I absolutely adore her vintage style and wish I had the face to pull off that amazing haircut. Her style is iconic. 

Milla Jovovich (in Elie Saab). This look is the perfect throwback to Hollywood glam. Love. It.

Kristen Wiig (in J. Mendel). This dress is so romantic. I'd get married in it (if I wasn't already hitched and could afford to lounge around in designer wear). Her relaxed hairstyle and black nail polish give this look a great edge. I was hoping her brilliant original screenplay for Bridesmaids would win her an oscar. The cast and the writing are all insanely hilarious. She penned the best comedy in years. She is amazeballs. 

Gwyneth Paltrow (in Tom Ford). She looks statuesque. Two children, are you freaking kidding me? I don't think my figure was that amazing in my pre-teen years. I love her simple classic style. She always looks so natural, never overdone. 

Cameron Diaz (in Gucci). This nude toned dress looks amazing on Cameron. It suits her beach- tousled hair/tanned complexion perfectly. 

It's a little funny that all of my favourite dresses this year have a long and lean silhouette, probably a subconscious choice on my part to will my body to look like that one day. 

Not that I can really critique designer fashions given that I wear my lululemon track pants for both my day and evening looks lately, but here were a couple of looks that I think missed the mark:
Angelina Jolie (in Atelier Versace). A lot of people placed this look in their top 10 best dressed list, hell, her leg already has 10,000 twitter followers. Something just didn't sit right with me - her arms look eerily thin and the leg jutting out of the slit felt awkwardly forced. Angelina is a goddess but she needs to eat a sandwich with extra mayo on it. 

Meryl Streep (in Lanvin). Meryl is my favourite actress. I don't think anyone can come close to her mad skills. Her acceptance speech was bar none the best of the bunch. But, something about this look felt a little frumpy - I didn't think it did much to flatter her legendary beautiful looks. 

February 23, 2012

random images from our day

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that make me really happy, like the images above. Today I took Stella to visit my grandma, who had to transition from a low care facility to a 24 hour care home. It's pretty awesome how one little baby can make a whole room of elderly people light up. It's funny, when the seniors looked at Stella, they said comments to me like, "way to go!!" or "great job!!" and "job well done!!" which is kind of funny, it's like they are saying, "great job having sex!" I have to admit, it's quite fun to be in a room where everyone is calling me "young lady". Chad Allan (singer/guitarist who started the Guess Who) was performing for the old folks today during their tea and cookies. I wonder who will be making the rounds when I am  in my twilight years, maybe I should save my Madonna t-shirt just in case.

February 22, 2012

here comes the sun in White Rock

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

February 20, 2012

a smile for your Monday....

Guess which cousin isn't so thrilled about having a new baby around?

Here is the correct answer:

February 18, 2012

one of those tunes I can't get enough of....

Love the creativity shown here. Love the song.

February 17, 2012

Funny Fridays: Fitness edition

How to score free gatorade:
Two weeks ago the doctor gave me the green light to start working out again. Naturally since I have been pushing that mother**** of a stroller (why again didn't we buy something more lightweight?) daily,  I figured that working out would be an easy transition. Hence, my cocky decision to join my friend for a spinning class for my welcome back tour. Hell, I even went 15 minutes early to warm up my legs on one of the bikes. It seemed like a great idea at the time - you know, why not toss on an extra bit of cardio because after all, I did have an entire banana for breakfast and my bod was ripped from all of my walking. Oh ya, I figured my transition back to athletics would be undetectable to the naked eye. Fast forward 45 minutes into class, when we are supposed to be envisioning hills and as hard as I tried, I was only seeing stars. I wanted to smoothly climb off my bike and pretend I had to use the washroom. Unfortunately, as soon as I climbed off the bike, I knew that I'd collapse if I tried to walk away. So instead, I stood cooly beside my bike - pretending to inspect some ill-designed piece of mechanics on the bike. When I found my land legs again, I very non-chalantly sashayed out the door and sat on the first seat available. Immediately after, the teacher followed me out. It's the gym's policy to make sure you are okay. I told her to please return to teach her class, but she had to wait for another staff member to arrive before she could. So much for my subtle exit. Before I knew it, a gym jockey arrived, gave me a giant high five (for making it out alive?), checked my vital signs and gave me a bottle of gatorade as a parting gift/pity prize. Perhaps I over-shot. 

Since then, I have re-joined my local gym and have taken workouts at a gentler rate of return. Today at power yoga, someone actually out-dorked me. I kid you not. Not only did this neighbour yogi of mine sing along to the songs whilst we were doing yoga, (distract much?), when we were in an inverted pose he picked up his iphone and started texting. You read that right, he was texting upside down. My teacher, being a bit of an india-taught ancient practice kind of traditionalist, didn't think this was cool. She got up, and in front of the 50 or so students, stood by his side and announced, "ladies and gentlemen we have a first, texting while doing yoga..." but I know deep down she really wanted to shove the phone up his chakra. 
Namaste y'all!

February 15, 2012

I do (again)

A dear friend is getting married next month, so I've been thinking a lot about weddings lately. If you were getting married, what kind of wedding would you plan - something simple or a big shindig? If you're already married, would you go back and change anything about your day if it were held today?  I loved our garden wedding, simple in style, but full of twinkling white lights and friends dancing barefoot. There are a few updates that would be amazing to make. Wouldn't it be something to have a beautifully shot video, like those shown below, to capture your day? They are incredibly artistic keepsakes layered together with great music. Gorgeous.

nick+maria • england wedding from Paperback Weddings on Vimeo.

Adam and Eve from dolly on Vimeo.

What about a beautiful destination wedding, like this location?
Or,  for a summer wedding, check out some of these great ideas.
My style has definitely changed throughout the years. Nowadays, I'd love to wear something more vintage, like this dress.
We couldn't afford much for our wedding and only have one photo that we truly love from our day. The funny thing is that our favourite photo was taken by our photographer's wife - she took a candid shot that we just loved. Needless to say, he wasn't too thrilled when we told him that we wanted her photo enlarged. If we were getting married today, I would love to hire someone with this photography style. Beautiful.
I still prefer the simple outdoor wedding, because it really represents who we are, but it would be fun to update it.
What kind of wedding would you like?

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have written about romantic love in the past, but something new has happened to my heart. As soon as I saw the doctor hoist her into the air and place her in my arms, I knew that I would never be the same. It was the single most extraordinary moment of my life. My heart has been extremely lucky in life to have the love I feel reflected back to me through romance, family and friendships, but the love I have for my baby girl is something beyond any capacity I have ever known. I want show her every amazing thing this world has to offer, to watch her excitement grow with each new discovery, to help her realize her dreams, to be her greatest cheerleader and to have her always feel loved and protected. I feel like my heart lives externally now, in this little being. I think Valentine's Day is a cheesy hallmark driven event decorated in overpriced flower arrangements, but nonetheless, it is a great excuse to spend some time together. We walked along the beach and overdosed on mini sandwiches and tiny treats. Valentine's Day: coming soon to a muffin top near you. 

February 10, 2012

Funny Fridays

I actually love movie trailers. Have you seen this clever trailer that spoofs every academy award winning movie?
Or what about these remakes of the shining or mary poppins? Or this eerie treatment of uncle buck or mrs. doubtfire? What about this inception style remake of toy story 3? Love. 

Have a wonderful weekend!!

February 7, 2012

Introversion & Extroversion - are you an innie or an outie?

Let's face it, we live in an extrovert's world. Our culture expects people to be outgoing. But with the release of Susan Cain's new book Quiet and Time magazine's article on the power of shyness, introversion is finally getting its "say". By current estimates, 30% of our culture are introverts. And studies are revealing that our affinity for extroversion and bias against introversion may not be that healthy after all.
Research shows that introverts tend to be more deliberate, which means they think things through, often leading to smarter decisions. Introverts are better at listening which can often make them better leaders. A notable example of this is with the most recent presidents. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are both very extroverted, leaning towards quick decision making, which, in turn, was their eventual downfall: one with Iraq, the other with an intern. However, President Obama's more cerebral, introverted inward approach, which often gets critiqued for being too risk averse, has lead to less rash decision making than his predecessors. Studies show that introverted leaders are more detail oriented, better at representing their people (better listeners) and better at assessing risk and remaining focussed (which explains the latest surge in introverted CEOs like Bill Gates and Google CEO Larry Page). Warren Buffet is also classified as an introvert for his inherent awareness and aversion to risk. Interestingly, extroverts are more reward driven. Unfortunately they often ignore warning signs along the way in their desire for reward. The financial crisis is blamed on this phenomenon. Most people know instinctively what classification they fall into: Extroverts draw energy from mingling with large groups - they actively seek out social gatherings and thrive in a large circle of friends. Introverts prefer smaller gatherings or simply want to be alone. Introverts can often fit all their friends in a phone booth, but tend to have deeper relationships. Introversion is not to be confused with shyness. Shyness is more of a form of anxiety. Shy people tend to avoid social situations, even those they want to attend because of their inherent anxiety. 
It's funny, I have always been labelled as a quiet person, so naturally, I assumed I was shy. After reading the article in depth and completing their questionnaire, it turns out I'm introverted, not shy. It is nice to see some positive narrative on introversion because it often is mislabelled as a negative trait -something that you need to change or overcome. Like sexuality, introversion or extroversion is predetermined from the womb. Although we are all born as introverts or extroverts, how we deal with this, according to the Free Trait Theory, will depend upon our personal goals. According to Harvard lecturer and research psychologist Brian Little, we have three identities: our biogenic identity (introvert or extrovert), our sociogenic identity (expectations of family/religion/culture) and our ideogenic identity (our personal desires). For example, even though I was born an introvert, I am driven to connect with people on a deep level - I love finding out what makes people tick, what their interests are and what they want from life so I actively choose to spend a lot of time with friends. It is part of my ideogenic identity. I could spend more time alone (true to my introverted nature/biogenic identity) - but I'd miss out on an important part of reaching my personal desire to connect deeply with others. So, I choose to spend many of my days visiting family/friends. I may not have hundreds of friends, but the ones I have, I can say I know very well. Where my introversion causes me problems is in my sociogenic identity (cultural expectations). I tank in the the cocktail party scenario where you have to make small talk. I find that small talk is an art form in its own that I am simply not very good at. I wish I thrived at small talk, because the cocktail party scenario is definitely an integral part of most career paths and I really do admire people who have the gift of the gab. I am glad that these articles have emerged and that positive light is finally being shed on introversion. To make a long story short, nerds rock. 

February 6, 2012

February 5, 2012

February 3, 2012

Funny Fridays

Since he has left, the show isn't nearly as funny. This is one of my favourite Steve Carell scenes from the Office. (Jim can hardly keep a straight face). 
or what about this debbie downer skit? everyone cracks up....
So silly, but it makes me giggle - check out cats working out here.
This classic still makes me laugh - baby trashes bar...

I hope you have a great weekend! 

February 2, 2012

Love it or hate it?

As we enter into the month of love, I thought of things that seem to trigger feelings of definite love or hate in people. I have kept it light - avoiding politics and religion for obvious reasons. Here's a few things that come to mind that for some reason,  people have strong opinions of either way: (bracketed are my opinions)
  • camping (love)
  • black licorice (hate)
  • oysters (hate)
  • cats (love)
  • swimming (love)
  • country music (hate (with the exception of johnny cash))
  • olives (hate)
  • snow (love)
  • Caesars (cocktails) (hate)
  • unsweetened iced tea (hate)
Here are a few things that a lot of people seem to love that I cannot stomach: Two and a Half Men, ACDC, Monster Trucks, the phrase "man cave", real martinis, anything with the word Diva or Princess on it, Mariah Carey, people talking on cell phones in restaurants, rodeos, air guitar and air quotes, dancing with the stars, Walmart, animals dressed in clothes

Here are a few things that I love that a lot of people can't stand: bourbon, rap music, subtitled movies, veggie burgers, running, pumpkin pie, so you think you can dance, qtips, canoeing, house hunting, hot yoga, red heads
What do you love that a lot of people hate?

February 1, 2012

her first day at the beach

Sun streaming down, coffee in hand, two hour walk along the promenade with my girl -  bliss. I smiled the entire walk. Don't you love it when you are having one of those perfect moments, when you know there isn't anywhere else you'd rather be? It's when all the simple elements of what makes you happy line up. One thing I've realized is that my favourite moments in life don't usually cost much.