Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Hottest Bag in Hollywood

...is Prada's bright orange "Madras" bag.  I'm assuming it's taking the place of the Birkin Bag that Samantha Jones plotted to get her hands on in Sex and the City.  (Remember the episode with Lucy Liu?)  Jessica Alba, Uma Thurman & Sienna Miller have all been seen toting this bag around town. 

Prada Madras bag, £1595; Tel: 0207 647 5000

{ Jessica Alba spotted with her morning coffee...and the Prada Madras Bag a few days ago. }
Fashion Files: What The Girls From Sucker Punch Are Wearing

vanessa hudgens at sucker punch release party

If you haven't heard, fringe is IN! I love Vanessa Hudgens' outfit here (which makes good use of fringe) from the "Sucker Punch" release party at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas.  Her snakeskin dress and jacket are by Blu Moon, the shoes are Yves Saint Laurent and most of the jewelry (including the headpiece) is Low Luv x by Erin Wasson.

Emily Browning wore Erdem to the premiere of "Sucker Punch." What does everything think of her gothic lip color? I can't tell if I love it or hate it.  By the way, I am totally ADDICTED with Emily Browning's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" Cover.  Youtube it, it's amazing.
Rob Bell: { Unfold Your Hands }

It's no secret that I think Rob Bell is one of the coolest people in the world (the tattoo on my arm was inspired by a Nooma video).  I love reading his books because they are approachable, as is the way he preaches God's word.  I usually try to refrain from talking about my own religous beliefs here on the blog, because we live in a diverse world and everyone has been through their own amount of life-changing experiences to believe something different than the next guy (or shoe-addicted girl).  However, I think something that everyone can relate to is one word: love.  Having a positive attitude and believing that you can achieve your dreams happens when you love yourself, right.  You can't have those two things when you hate yourself.  So, if you are someone who doesn't believe in God, but rather, you believe in the energy of the world, you must believe that loving yourself and others is good for everyone. 

This morning, I listened to a podcast of a sermon Rob Bell did on Ecclesiastes.  He talks about this reference to folded hands and I think it's something we can all relate to.  Folding your hands refers to shutting down and not wanting to live the life we've be given.  The "giving up" thing that we do when something bad happens.  Like, if a guy breaks up with us, we stay in bed for days because "we're just not ready to face the world."  Or, even just avoiding things in life that we want to do but avoid because they scare us.  (We've all been there.)  This is bad.  You have a purpose.  You do.  Whether you're the daughter of a pastor who already knows it or you're the son of someone who happens to be in prison: you need to not give up on your life because you're equipped to do something. 

I don't know about you but I've given up before.  I've had my temper tantrums where I tell God or the open air in a large field that "I'm done!" "It's too hard!" Folding your hands, giving up, is bad.  Whenever you do that, it's kind of like saying to God, "You weren't smart enough when you gave me these talents, these disablities, the people in my life, etc."  I'm sure God gets a real kick out of that, right?  Ignoring our own lives by watching other people on TV or whatever avenue we choose: drugs, alcohol, whatever way we think we can forget, all of that is bad.  It's not what you're meant to be doing. 

Do you feel a calling inside of you?  It's not a lie, it's real.  So, start living.  Draw.  Paint.  Cook up some amazing Asian dish with cilantro and coconut milk (okay, I'm really hungry as I'm writing this...)  Put whatever is holding you back in a box, the same box you store that talent you once had, and dance.  Write.  Love yourself.  It's way more simple than you realize.  Unfold your hands.  Crack open your soul and let it flow out.  The medicine is inside of you. 

...Take a moment to remember exactly how precious every moment of your life is.  

Picture of a boat resting on a building after the Japan tsunami

Picture of a tsunami flooding a road after the Japan earthquake

Picture of rescue workers searching for Japan earthquake victims

Picture of a hand from a man killed by the Japan earthquake

{Images via National Geographic of the Tsunami in Japan}

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kris Carr: How to live a Crazy, Sexy, Healthy Life
Kris Carr was an actress living in New York addicted to life in the fast lane, which meant a diet full of coffee, diet sodas, and power bars. When she was 31, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, inoperable and incurable. However, instead of giving up (because how many of us would panic if we found out this news about ourselves), she taught herself how to live a healthy and peaceful life. By completely changing around her diet, first to a macrobiotic diet and then to simply only eating things you can find in a garden, she has been living life to the fullest for 8 years. She is incredibly inspiring on SO many levels. She not only kicked the cancer, but has made it her own mission to change the world by inspiring others to take care of their health.  She's a self-proclaimed "wellness warrior": a wellness coach, motivational speaker and a New York Times Bestselling Author.  I first heard of her book “Crazy Sexy Diet” and thought, this looks like a cool, fun, trendy diet book (which I always pick up and scan through at the bookstore). However, her background story is so incredible that I had to mention her because if you are having a bad day, I want you to look up her Health & Wellness Vlog on Youtube. First off, she’s hilarious and has one of those ultra-upbeat personality. Second, your life will be changed after watching just a few vlogs. A lot of people tell me that they don’t like reading books (outside of when they’re being forced to in school), so if you aren’t up for reading her books, she does fun, quick vlogs that are incredibly inspiring.  And, since I took the liberty of watching all of them (there are only about fifteen up now), I will let in you on a few highlights.

-She talks about this thing called a Green Drink, or a green smoothie, and the recipe is on her website (crazysexylife.com). If you think about how it is altering the impact of cancer on this woman’s body, imagine what it would do in the role of preventing cancer. It should really be a no-brainer. Also, as a lot of diet-fanatics stress, you shouldn’t eat a lot of meat and dairy. It’s full of hormones and diseases.

-Okay, on to more emotional stuff. She says that what she feeds her mind is just as important as what she feeds her body.

-EFT, or tapping, to lower the levels of fear. EFT may look silly, or like a sham, but I think drilling positive things into your mind is never a bad idea. You tap on different places of your head, where certain energy runs at its highest, to stimulate the flow. (I haven’t researched this hardly at all, so if you are really interested, I suggest doing further, in-depth research.) I had a migraine the other day and this method took it away.

-Eliminate perfect from your vocabulary. There is no such thing and chasing perfect will get you nowhere. Dream big, but leave room for a lot of change. Stop trying to live according to the plan because life happens between the lines (that's where God is and that's where the magic happens).

-Declutter- get rid of crap that you don’t want so new things can make their way into your life. (Mentally, too.)

-Make an inspiration board of all of the things that inspire you.  When you start feeling down, take a peek at it to remember all of the things that you love about life.

-Rock out to one of your favorite songs and totally release your soul for a few minutes.  If you have to go out into the woods and scream, do it.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so by doing this, you get rid of stress.

-Power down at least one night a week (no internet, no television, no work).  Just allow your soul to recharge from everything you put it through all week long.  Have one day a week that you do this, too (i.e. Saturdays and Sundays).  She says that vacations should actually be a part of your schedule and to not feel guilty about it! If you can't rest, you can't heal! So, kick back and rest up (sounds fab, right?)

{ www.crazysexylife.com }

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Vintage Rush Named "Blogger of the Month" in Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine

"Blogger of the Month" in Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine
I'm super excited to be in the March issue of Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine! When they asked me, I thought "Who? Me?" You can buy this fun Pittsburgh-based magazine at Barnes & Noble! And... it's hilariously written by Gina Hussar, who is super sweet.  I also have to mention here that I had to rely on my camera for the photos of the article, as my scanner is like a fourteen year old girl: rebellious and only does what she wants.  Technology...


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Williams-Sonoma Recipe: Michael Voltaggio's Spanish-Inspired "Mac & Cheese"

Okay, so this is a collison of three of my four of my favorite things: CHEESE, Williams-Sonoma, Comfort Food & uh...Chef Michael Votaggio.  A few years ago, I would have looked at a dish as simple as Mac & Cheese and thought it had no real culinary potential.  Of course, a few years ago, my diet was basically coffee, Balance Bars and Yoplait yogurt.  I knew nothing about cheese: I thought it came in blocks in the dairy department.  Needless to say, I had no idea what a "mother sauce" was.  I thought Mac & Cheese came from a box.  However, over the past year and a half, I had the opportunity to work in a Cooking School and I just so happened to learn much of the culinary world.  So, back to the French Mother Sauces, one of which is Bechamel Sauce, which makes the BEST Mac& Cheese you will ever eat (of course, add a crap-ton of your favorite white cheeses to it).  Who knew? Who knew Mac & Cheese could be so exciting? 

I also fell in love with the idea of comfort food over the past year, while being a part of so many cooking classes, because it eases your soul.  There are many aspects to food: it can cure, it can destroy your body, it can nourish it and it spark nostalgia in your mind.  Oh, and lastly, before I share this recipe, I want to say how much I LOVE Williams-Sonoma.  If I won a million dollars, I'd go to Williams-Sonoma and buy whatever I wanted. 


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) diced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 1/2 cups Bomba rice
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry, preferably Manzanilla
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups (9 oz.) coarsely grated soft Spanish goat cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 1/2 oz.) grated Manchego cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives


Preheat a broiler.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the chorizo and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, saffron and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until absorbed.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the water 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each addition has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Fold in the goat cheese and season with salt. Transfer the rice to a casserole dish or large fry pan and sprinkle the Manchego on top. Broil until the cheese is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with the chives. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe by Chef Michael Voltaggio

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The F Word(s)

"Fear stands guard at the gate of opportunity."

No, I'm not talking about food, fat or the obvious curse word.  I'm talking about faith vs. fear. 
What is the difference between faith and fear? Faith is walking with confidence in the pitch black and fear is being frozen in it, or believing things are pitch black when they aren't.  For some of us (I can't speak for everyone), these two things, faith and fear, are constantly at war with each other. 

Faith is an easy thing to talk about when the good times are rolling and you're as happy as a child who is trying ice cream for the first time, but it gets a little more tricky when the lights actually do go out.  Faith becomes harder when doors begin slamming in your face, people start letting you down and you just cannot see anything good coming into your life in the distant future.  Faith is looking at these tough times and saying "Things will be okay" or "I am not going to let bumps in the road completely derail me." It is having the courage to walk around in a dark room, even if it means tripping over chairs, bumping into a lamp, or stepping on a thumbtack and finding a damn light switch. 

Fear, on the other hand, is camping out in the dark room, saying, "This is it, there is no light switch." Fear is not wanting to step on that thumbtack or trip over a random pair of boots
to get to the light switch.  (It's something that simple, turning on a switch, but the obstacles and the lack of light appear to overshadow the simplicity of finding the light). 

Fear is being stuck on top of a cliff all by yourself.  The only way off is to jump into an ocean.  It looks scary and you know you'll be caught by something or someone on your way down, or you'll swim around in the ocean, but you stand up there contemplating what to do. The thing about those life-changing events that everyone dreams about when they say "I need some change in my life" is that you have to take a risk.  You have to jump. Life can only catch you if you are falling, you'll never see anything except the cliff (your fear) and a view of what lies beneath (the opportunities of your life).  You'll never be a part of what you're looking at if you don't jump. 
You have to realize that fear is an illusion, not faith.  There are tons of people out there that will tell you that faith, believing that anything can happen, despite whatever circumstances, is an illusion; a daydream or a fairytale.  Faith is very real and very powerful, just as fear is.  If you can be strongwilled enough to be terrified to live out your dreams, you are probably just as strongwilled to make it all happen.  When your own dreams scare the Hell out of you, you should know that those are the dreams that you should be investing faith, not fear, in.  Those are the dreams can turn into the accomplishments that you were MADE, by something higher, to achieve.

Have some courage today to make things happen for yourself! Every fear you have can be just an illusion, if you choose to see it that way.  Choose to see life in YOUR favor.  Always believe that anything can happen, as long as YOU make it happen.  The first step is what you choose to believe.  Don't make paths to tiptoe around your fears, make whatever path you choose and plow right through any obstacles you see. 

Image via Pinterest

Get Polished Up: Hot Nail Colors

Have I mentioned before that I am ALWAYS on the hunt for a new hot shade of nail polish.  I'm a little obsessed.  Here are a few of my latest finds (including Katy Perry's OPI line). My favorite from her collection is a nail polish with the name, "Cracked" which you paint over top of a dry layer of a different shade and it comes out looking crackled. 

1. Waking Up In Vegas, Deborah Lippmann, $16
2. Cracked, Katy Perry OPI Collection, $8.50
3. Cool Reserve, MAC Cosmetics, $12
4. Orgasm, NARS, $13
5. Blue India, MAC Cosmetics-Give Me Liberty of London, $12
6. Riva, Chanel (Predicted to be the #1 shade of nail polish in Spring 2011), $39 (a girl can dream, right?)
7. Teenage Dream, Katy Perry OPI Collection, $8.50
8. Last Friday Night, Katy Perry OPI Collection, $8.50

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Springing Forward With A Few Spring Essentials

1.  Cusinart Mini Food Processor in Parsley, $39.99
2. Slatkin & Co Candle in Passion Flower, Bath & Body Works, $19.50
3. House of Harlow1960 Black Resin Necklace, Amazon.com, $128.00
4. Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr, Barnes & Noble, $16.50
5. Terra Chips, Whole Foods or Market District, $4
6. Florist Measuring Cups, Anthropologie, $24.95
7. Komono Wing Blouse, Anthropologie, $128.00
8. "The Virgin Suicides", Target, $15

Friday, March 4, 2011

Love is Louder: An Interview with Courtney Knowles, Executive Director of the Jed Foundation

{ Brittany Snow and Courtney Knowles }
You might be seeing "Love is Louder" written on people's hands all over the internet right now. Brittany Snow, Whitney Port and Sophia Bush to name a few. When you see these words, it not only tells you a simple, yet powerful, message, but it also makes you wonder, "What is this movement and how can I get involved?" The Vintage Rush is proud to talk with Courtney Knowles, executive director of the Jed Foundation and a founder of the online campaign. He lets us know what it is, why it is such an important message and how we can get involved.

In today's world, it becomes easy to get overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. We've all been there and for some people, it's a little harder to bounce out of than others. There are a lot of negative aspects of the media, but there are also a lot of really inspiring movements right now. One of which is Love is Louder, led by actress Brittany Snow, the Jed Foundation & MTV. It was created in September of 2010 to provide more online support to make a change in the growing number of teen suicides. Spreading positive words to people can alter their life. Think about how bad a really negative person makes you feel about your own life, something that Courtney mentions in this interview is that a small act of kindness makes a tremendous difference. One of the most valuable things you can offer someone is support and positivity.  So, get in on this movement and spread a message that will help more people than you realize.  (Write "Love is Louder" on your hand, snap a photo and anytime you tweet, use the hashtags #loveislouder). 

The Vintage Rush:  Why is it important to have an organization like the Jed Foundation available for today's youth?

Courtney Knowles, Executive Director of the Jed Foundation: Research shows that emotional health issues, like stress and depression, are top reasons that young people aren’t able to succeed in school or do well in other areas of their lives. All of us can benefit by protecting our emotional health and looking out for ourselves and others. The Jed Foundation is providing the resources and programs that help young people better understand common emotional health problems and encourage them to get support if needed. We work really hard to talk about these issues in a way that will connect with teenagers and young adults.

TVR: What is Love is Louder, in your words? How do you hope it will change the way young people approach depression or anxiety?
Courtney Knowles:  Love is Louder is a simple, but powerful message. No matter what we are dealing with – stress, depression, mistreatment, anxiety – the love and support that exists to help us is always stronger and louder than the pain. Sometimes during the toughest moments, it is the simple knowledge that there is help or hope that can help us move forward. It’s also a message about our impact on other people. We each have the ability to help someone who may be lonely or depressed, we also have the potential to harm them if we treat them unfairly or dismiss them. Whether the message is for yourself or for those around you, the truth is that we can make the love, support and hope louder than any internal or external voice that makes people feel mistreated, misunderstood, alone or hopeless.

TVR:  What has been one of the most rewarding parts of your job? Has there ever been an experience that has changed your life or motivated you in some way?
Courtney Knowles:  Launching Love is Louder with Brittany Snow is certainly a highlight of my work with The Jed Foundation. The idea we came up with was so simple and within days it had spread across the country. We developed and launched the idea within a 48 hour period and I remember that just a day or two later there were videos on YouTube of crowds of college students chanting “Love is Louder.” It’s a humbling and inspiring feeling to see people taking something you created and using it to empower themselves and their communities. Since Love is Louder was born as an online, viral campaign – we’ve always been able to watch the impact in real-time and see how people are changing their schools and communities by joining the movement. Looking at the thousands of Love is Louder pictures that have been uploaded by people around the world still makes me speechless.

TVR: What are some inspiring words that you live by that would help anyone (not even just a young person, but anyone reading this blog) who feels a bit overwhelmed by the hardships life throws at them?
Courtney Knowles:  May seem corny, but my inspiring words are “Love is louder.” The more I’ve worked on this movement the more I’ve seen that to be true. We all deal with lots of internal and external “stuff” each day that is difficult and it is amazing what the smallest act of kindness can do to overshadow all of that. More and more research is showing that taking time to be grateful, thinking about the good things in our lives and helping others, can making us more resilient and better prepared to deal with the tough things. When you get overwhelmed or ticked off or feel hopeless, take a deep breath and say “Love is Louder” to yourself a few times. It really works.

TVR: Why do you feel this generation is getting hit so hard with depression and anxiety? On a similar note, what is the most amazing thing about this generation?
Courtney Knowles: Research does show that an increasing number of college students say they are struggling emotionally. I think there is a lot of pressure on this generation – pressure to succeed in order to compete for recognition, jobs or social status. I also believe than an increase in use of technology to connect and communicate sometimes makes people more isolated and decreases the number of real connections and interactions that today’s young people have. Feeling connected and supported is really important in preventing and managing emotional health issues like depression, anxiety or stress.

TVR: Lastly, how can we get involved?!
Courtney Knowles: You can get involved in the movement by visiting www.loveislouder.com and joining our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and spreading the word through your tweets and status updates (hashtag #loveislouder). You can also write “Love is Louder” on your hand, take a pic and upload it to our FB page like thousands of others have done. And you can spread the impact of Love is Louder by focusing on the positive instead of the negative in your world, and using your words and actions to help and support others, especially those who may be struggling emotionally.

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