On the Red Carpet: Oscars 2016

You guys, it kills me that I am too far away and too time-zoned out to watch the Oscars live.  Some of my fave memories of this time of year contain scrambling to get through all the screeners from Nick’s work, powering through some short films and documentaries online, and then heading over to my friend Andy’s house to fill out our predictions ballot and watch it all play out in real time.

That said, due to the amazing Snapchat skills of a few good friends (cough…Lilly!), I was able to get some of the red carpet highlights as they happened – and it got me really excited to sit down and write this post.

So excited, in fact, that I totally blanked on doing it until being kicked in the butt by a loyal reader this morning (thanks, Terri).  Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty gritty:

rachel

Rachael McAdams, you sexy beast.  Are you aware of your perfection?  Do you know that I have a deep-down longing for women who choose dark jewel tones over black?  Can you teach me how to wear a long tassel without looking like a stripper?  And can you kiss your stylist on the lips for pairing the look with those simple metallic strappies?  I love you.  And I love your August Getty creation, despite not knowing who that designer actually is.

jlaw

And while I’m on a love high, let’s talk about the always-impeccable J.Law (here in Dior).  Girlfriend, you took the peroxide plunge without looking trashy and paired that masterpiece of a lob with peekaboo lace and a beautiful V-cut bodice.  WERK, girl.  Just werk.

char

Charlize.  CHAR.  LIZE.  Like, can you not?  Can you not defeat the sands of time that weather the rest of our faces into wrinkled, filthy messes and look better than you ever have before?  The plunge.  The Dior.  The color.  The diamonds.  Just go on with your bad self.  Ain’t no one gonna touch you.

cate

The internet told me that Cate Blanchett was getting some negative feedback for her g*ddamn amazing Armani Prive dress, and I honestly can’t imagine what the haters are seeing in her utter divinity.  The cut is so flatting, styled so well, and complements both her body and her general way of being so amazingly that I want Mr. Armani to cease production of any further couture should Cate not be the one to wear it.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

margot

I am usually a huge fan of people dressing like gold statues to go to the Oscars (see Stacy Keibler on the Oscar Red Carpet 2012, still one of my all-time faves), and Margot Robbie‘s choice of Tom Ford this year is no exception.  Sure, it’s not the most interesting dress out there, but the cut is impeccable, the color is eye-catching, and she paired it with a dramatic minaudière like a BAWS.  Well done you.

roons

Rooney Mara, I am so sick and tired of you being 1990s heroin-chic that I’m tempted to delete this entire paragraph.  But I won’t, because yet again you nailed it in Givenchy, and yet again I am forced to eat my words about how I hate that “emo chick” look with the slicked-back black hair and emaciated poor posture.  But know I’m not happy about it.

olivia

I go back and forth on the issue of boobs.  I tend to like them on the smaller side if you’re gonna hang ’em out to dry, and on the bigger side if you’re trying to rock a form-fitting but more modest style.  Olivia Wilde’s Valentino look kind of teeters between the two, but the pleats save it from looking totally whorish, and the choker anchors it down to the cool zone rather than sending it off to slutville, so I applaud her careful choice.

maria

My final shout-out for the night goes to the always-lovely Maria Menounos who did the right thing and went with my all-time favorite designer, Christian Siriano, to make her an all-time memorable look.  The cut, the beading, the wavy hair, the shimmer and shine, it was all on point, and all came together beautifully to make her look like a living goddess.  Much applause.

And now for the not-so-much looks of the evening…

Amy Poehler, I can’t with all this – those wizard sleeves, the red hair, the weird appliques – like girl, I can’t.  Kate Winslet, is it because you’re so beautiful (or because your boy Leo FINALLY got his statue) that you’ve decided to stop trying and just wear Hefty garbage bags to the show now?  Pregnant Emily Blunt, I was gonna  call you out big time for wearing both spaghetti straps AND a dress that is nearly your exact skin color, but because you’re preggo and typically knocking it out of the park, I’m gonna let you off with a warning.  Kerry Washington, you are basically the naturally prettiest person on Earth and you show up to the OSCARS looking ratchet?  But why?

And we are not even starting on Heidi Klum.  Not.  Starting.  Because I have to think she had a severe head injury just before the show, causing her to temporarily believe that she was Honey Boo Boo all grownsed up and headed off to prom night with her hillbilly boyfriend.  Because that is the one and only excuse for showing up looking like this.

What were your picks and pans, friends?  Any that you LOVED that I missed?

On the Red Carpet: Golden Globes 2016

Oh, readers, it’s that most glorious time of year that makes even the post-Christmas blues seem liveable – it’s awards season!

Typically the hubs and I are much more aware of what’s going on in Hollywood (living in L.A., it’s basically the closest we have to a neighborhood culture), but since moving to Singapore, our connection to what’s “hip” and “current” in the entertainment industry has become increasingly tenuous.

That said, we are at least up to date with most of the blockbuster films out there (hey, we saw Hunger Games on opening weekend, that HAS to count for something?) and likewise, I am determined to keep this blog up to date with my oh-so-crucial red carpet fashion reviews.

So let’s go ahead and get started.  Some overarching trends included shades of gold/nude (see Kate Hudson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who did it best, IMO), Rooney Mara, Brie Larson) and old-Hollywood glamour makeup looks (a la Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Emmy Rossum and Sophia Bush), along with some taking the bold-yellow risk (again J.Lo, as well as America Ferrera and Lola Kirke).

As for individual winners of the night, here are my humble assessments:

Julianne Moore, you are always a wonder to behold and your GG look was no exception:

Julianne-Moore

OMG J-Law, you are flawless.  FLAW.  LESS.  I can’t even look at this photo for an extended period of time for it makes me question whether I am even fit to share the living era with such a perfect and inspiring creature:

Jennifer-Lawrence

Always surprising (and almost always spot-on) Cate Blanchett turned up in something creative, beautiful, and haute couture, all at the same time – proving for the zillionth time that she absolutely kills the ingenues when it comes to fashion, without even showing an ounce of skin save for her delicate and lovely English wrists:

Cate-Blanchett

As for Kirsten Dunst, whose face I absolutely detest and whose acting is hit-or-miss at best – your boobs looked amazing, black on blondes is always a win, your makeup was on point, and I will give you your deserved props (just this once):

Kirsten-Dunst

Let’s also all agree on the fact that Laverne Cox in a white dress looks better than 90% of brides on their wedding day, and even that is probably a lowballing (pun intended) it:

Laverne-Cox

Natalie Dormer, I miss your half-shaved head (a la Hunger Games, randomly the second HG reference in this post today), but I’m gonna tell you what – the neckline on your dress had me mesmerized, the fact that you found a non-whorish shade of red to wear blows my mind, and the half-messy styling that would make lesser females look like junk only serves to make you look like an amazing goddess of style:

Natalie-Dormer

And finally, last but surely not least – let us all hail the Queen (Latifah), for she is beautiful, she is strong, and she is the only actress (ok, the only other actress, because I will totally shout out to Lupita Nyong’O for her 2014 Oscars look in the same hue) that can pull off baby blue and crystal embellishments without looking like prom gone wrong:

Queen-Latifah

You got the picks – now it’s time for you to witness the wrath of my pans.

Kate Winslet, I love you girl but that dress sent me straight back to my junior-year homecoming dance in 1998 (and even that is being generous – maybe 1995?).  Miss Katy Perry, I am unsure why you chose to show up in the muslin mock-up of what could have maybe been an elegant and classic dress, but kick your stylist to the curb after that one.

The still-adorable Rachel MacAdams decided to revive the perennial trend of wearing couch upholstery to a red carpet event (see Lucy Liu at the 2013 Globes), while my wife Amy Schumer, of whom I refuse to speak ill, did NOT kill it as I would have hoped.

The taste of the Globes has me rabid for what lies ahead (Oscars and Grammys especially) – so stay tuned for more red carpet reports as the season moves forward…

What were your favorite looks?  Do you take issue with any of my picks or pans?

Weekend Roundup

I feel like every day I discover a new amazing blog – but I never have time to commit to reading everything I want to read in a remotely timely fashion.  Do you guys feel the same way?  Hopefully I’m doing you guys a service with this week’s links-around-the-world:

I am constantly on the hunt for glowy skin – but I hate BS tips on how to get it.  Here’s some real talk.

No more getting nude in public!  I mean, unless you want to.

I love when I have time to get all dolled up and put my face on, but that’s about once a month for me.  Here are some shortcuts for every other day.

As much as I consider myself ultimately gangsta, I could never pull off using rap lyrics in real life with a straight face.

You put bacon in a salad and I assure you I am going to want to eat that salad.

If you guys know me, you know that shelter dogs have about 97% of my heart – and here are some of the wonderful reasons why.

Don’t act like you don’t want this, and furthermore, don’t act surprised when you get one from me for Christmas.

This is a perfectly legitimate workout presented in a completely illegitimate fashion.  And I support that.

Did you see that video about catcalling in NYC?  And then did you see Tosh.0’s version set in L.A.?  Oh, the hilarity – and also, the bitter truth.

I am 5000% obsessed with trying out this fitness trend – who wants to bounce with me?

What are you guys checking out this week?  Which blogs do you think I should read?

The Five Rules of Perinatal Fitness

Almost two years ago now I became a certified perinatal trainer, meaning I can now work safely and effectively with women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, and are postpartum.

This is not my first such “specialty” certification.  A while back I got Silver Sneakers certified, which helps me work with seniors and the elderly population, and before that I took a special course in working with the obese and morbidly obese (even bed-ridden).

Working with mommies; however, is truly a passion for me.

lilly1

My amazing client at nearly 9 months!

As a woman who has never had kids (but assuredly wants to when the time is right!), it is an absolute privilege to watch my clients transition from their former bodies into new, powerful, transformative ones – bodies that are giving life.  And if I can offer some sort of strength, comfort, and guidance during that time, I am honored to do so.

So what have I learned over the past two years, working with nine different prenatal and two recently postpartum clients?

5)  Never underestimate the reparative power of a body that has given (or is giving!) life.  A lot of my first-time postpartum moms are scared to come back to exercise because of the enormity of the task their bodies have just performed.  That said, it is exactly that task (birth) that has prepared you for the relatively simple challenge of rediscovering fitness.  What’s a daily walk with your baby after you’ve spent 32 hours in labor?  How hard is picking up a 5-pound dumbbell when you haul around a 10-pound baby 20 hours out of the day?  My new moms are strong, unrelenting, and adaptable – and I try to remind them that as much as possible.

4) Do the best you can with the time, body, and sanity that you have.  Before you got pregnant, maybe you were the type that hit 3 Spin classes per week in addition to running 20 miles and taking yoga on the weekends.  Now you are pregnant, or have an infant, or God help you have twins, and you’re noticing that you just can’t maintain that level of exercise.  That’s okay.  It’s more than okay.  Because we are all trying to do the best we can with the time, ability, and mental clarity that we have, and if that “best” is simply 10 minutes of push-ups and planks, or a walk down the street to get groceries, or just a nap – that’s ok.  Fitness comes back in pieces, not all at once.

photo 2

Rock that core, girl!

3) Your abs may or may not “come back,” but there’s more to core than abs.  Speaking of coming back, there’s this odd perception that in order to have really achieved an “ideal” birth, you will have somehow morphed your postpartum body back into its former shape, including tight, six-pack abs.  And for some moms that is possible.  But for many moms, maintaing a strong “deep core” (transverse abdominus and lower back) is more important, because it is these muscles that actually help you carry your baby, pick your baby up, stand up for hours without back pain, and support overall healing.  I advise my mommies to forget about the visibility of their abs for the first 6-12 months and focus on building the actual muscles that will help them stay strong and pain-free as they recover.

2) Having a baby is not a free pass.  OK, now for a moment of tough love.  You have had a baby (or two!  or many!).  You’ve done serious work.  You’ve been pregnant, then birthed, then recovered.  But all of this being said (and a hearty congrats to you!), it does not entitle you to forget about exercise and nutrition.  In fact, there is no time more crucial to pay attention to your health than during the early throes of motherhood, when you need to be healthy, awake, alert, and present for your child.  Exercise keeps you sane.  Eating healthfully keeps you energized and enhances the quality of breast milk (if you are nursing).  Establishing a pattern of proper diet and exercise now means you are modeling those behaviors for your kids as they grow – and isn’t that something you’d want for any child?

mommies1

Teaching postpartum fitness in Culver City

1) You don’t have to do it alone.  Finally, my favorite point as a trainer – in short, it takes a village!  Ask your partner (or a family member) to watch the baby for 30 minutes so you can get your run in.  Organize a healthy food exchange with mommies in your area so you can cook once but swap meals all week.  Join a mommy group or FIT4MOM program that encourages fitness and allows you to work out with your little one.  Find a certified perinatal trainer that can come to your home and work with you privately on your pre-and-postpartum health.  Even if fitness is already a priority for you, finding a support group of like-minded folks can make it feel like you’re not alone out there – and that’s crucial.

My fit mommies out there – what are your favorite pre-or-postpartum fitness tips? 

Sunday Special: Love Your Body 2014

So let’s chat about something we all deal with, shall we?  Body image.  Do you love your body?  Do you loathe your body?  Are you somewhere in between?

On my best days, I feel like a strong, athletic goddess.  On my worst, I feel like a squishy pile of lifeless marshmallow fluff.  On the average day, I feel like an average person – decephoto 1 (1)ntly fit, unremarkable, normal-looking.  But can I truly say I love my body?

Today I was invited to an empowerment event called Love Your Body, held in L.A. at the Luxe Sunset Hotel.  The creators of the event, Karen (of Karen Michelle designs, on Robertson) and Mia, emphasize developing healthy body image, wellness at all sizes, and positive interactions among and between all women (stuff TFB definitely stands for, too, by the way).

The day started with a showcase of amazing products presented by predominantly female entrepreneurs, including the awesome and utilitarian Sash Bags (onephoto 2 (1) of which I am dying to have for my upcoming travels – so functional and cute!), Runway Kids boutique (some of the most fashion-forward yet age-appropriate kidswear I’ve ever seen), and Papa Ben’s Kitchen (the fanciest, tastiest biscotti you’ve ever tried).

From there, we sat down in the forum area to hear from Elise Joan of Red Diamond Yoga (which just so happens to be right by my house -score!) about her struggles with body image, and she shared one of the best quotes I’d heard in a long time about dealing with adversity:photo 5

“The barn’s burnt down, but now I can see the moon.”

I have to remember to use that one for particularly frustrating times (like right this second, when my barely two-year old Macbook Air has gone on the fritz – AGAIN – and this time the repair costs are almost as much as a new computer would cost…sigh).  But I digress – back to the event!

After Elise, we heard from plus-size model (and real-life food addict, who was so candid and honest about her struggles with 6000+ calorie binges, bulimia, and yo-yo diets) Danika Brysha – and girlfriend was laying it down.

She’s seephoto 4n/done it all – the anorexic size-zero fashion industry pressure, the binge-drinking coke-snorting party days  – and emerged instead as a positive body-image role model and owner of a clean eating delivery service in NYC (Model Meals, check it out) who goes around the nation speaking about nutrition and fuel.  Awesome, right?

After the speakers, we sat down (front row, b*tches) for the fashion show – the main event, if you will, showcasing models of all ages, sizes, and body types, in clothing designed and made by women.

photo 3Some of my fave looks came from a brand called Cali Free, a California-style fashion emporium with affordable clothes and laid-back vibes (yep, designer stuff that I can actually afford to purchase), although there were tons of cute, new designs

Watching everyone from the sweetest little girls to
the most bodacious and self-confident sassy ladies walk down the runway with flair was definitely the best part of the day.  I kept thinking back to when I was a little girl and how excited I would have been to participate in an event like this (and let’s be honest, I would’ve probably asked them if I could do a back flip down the runway).  What a truly great opportunity for young girls and women to connect through the universal language of (self) love.

photo 5 (1)Major thanks to my friend and fellow blogger over at Pugs & Pearls for inviting me (and hooking me up as “press”) to this event – I will definitely be back again next year.

That said, the event got me thinking about my question above: do I really love my body?  Do I treat it with respect?  Can I remember the compliments and forget the critics?  Should I make food choices based on how I want to feel or just how I want to look?  These are the tough ones.  And these are the reasons that events like this, that help us silence the critical voices in our heads and focus on the positive, need to keep happening.

What motivates you to self-love?  What activities/rituals/thoughts help you love your body?