Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Simply Divine Q&A With Real Housewife, Lisa Vanderpump

Interview by Sarah Davis 

"Don’t take life too seriously. Have fun in your life. And, never forget my mantra- love and laughter supersede all!"- Lisa Vanderpump
After the most intense reunion of the Real Housewives franchise history, we're all wondering who is going to return back for Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  While we're not sure of any of those details, we can confirm that Lisa Vanderpump, stylish, wise and hilarious as ever, is hard at work on, a website she recently launched with her daughter, Pandora, which offers daily tips on how to live a fabulous and healthy life.  She sat down for an interview with us, in between seasons, and opened up about her sense of style (and Giggy's style, too!), what it has been like allowing cameras in her home, and gives a few "rules" for being a sophisticated woman. We just love Lisa here at Style & Wisdom because she tells it like it is, always makes you laugh, and is literally the most fabulous woman you've ever seen. So, without further adieu, let's jump into the interview! 

Style & Wisdom: First of all, is amazing! You are such a fabulous woman, so it's nice to have access to your personal tips for a fabulous lifestyle. What has been the initial reaction of your website? 
Lisa Vanderpump: Thank you. People have been very enthusiastic about it. It gives us a chance to interact with our fans and share a bit of our lifestyle.

S&W: Why did you decide to launch it? 
LV: It is a way of moving forward. Social media is a great way to connect with people. People have asked me many questions about our lifestyle and for tips and tricks—this seemed like a great way to answer them. Also, my daughter, Pandora, wanted to do it—she is Editor-in-Chief. Pandora was an English literature major and we both enjoy fashion, style and the divine things in life.

S&W: I love your personal shoe collection.  In the show, you wear heels on almost every occasion, what is your most favorite pair of heels you own? 
LV: The Vanderpump, that’s my shoe. But I love Cesare Paciotti right now. 

SW: Any tips/tricks for how to avoid the pain that comes along with wearing heels all night?  
LV: No, but if you find out please let me know! Perhaps, get someone to carry you?

{Lisa with her daughter, Pandora.
Photo Credit: WireImage}
S&W: What has been a challenge of allowing cameras into your life for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? The best part?
LV: I am not a contentious person and sometimes I find the drama is very difficult to deal with. When the cameras keep rolling, it is like a runaway express train. Normally I am fine. I was reticent about showing my daughter’s wedding and I let her take the lead on that. It ended up being an extremely positive experience. We filmed it ourselves and Pandora had editing rights. It was like an unbelievable home movie. The best part of filming housewives is having those special moments documented – Pandora’s wedding, Jason asking Pandora to marry him, Max coming home from school. They will forever be imprinted on mind. I also think being able to share our lives is great. For instance, our adoptive experience with Max was important to share; it had a huge impact on many people… I am a very open person; I will share anything.

S&W: I love your dog, Giggy! I have to ask, what would you say Giggy's personal style is? 
LV: Giggy has alopecia so he has to wear onesies, but they are personally embellished by my husband and me. I think anything that covers his bald little butt is his personal style.

S&W: Where do you get the inspiration for interior design when it comes to putting your homes & businesses together? You do most of the design work yourself, right?
LV: Yes, I do all of the design work myself. Obviously with the business I have to reflect on what the area or particular site needs, so that dictates it. I knew Villa Blanca needed to have a very different feel in Beverly Hills, which is what makes it so successful. I have a very diverse style. One house we lived in was a countryside Cotswolds manor—it was rustic, stone etc. The next house was Art Deco; the next was minimalist-modern; our house in Beverly Park was a French chateau style, and our new house is more modern… I have diverse tastes, not like many designers, so I find that my style changes with each space I design. I think my signatures are natural light, huge flowers arrangements…I accessorize with pink, as it is my favorite color, but rarely decorate with it.

S&W: This past season, you threw a tea party for the ladies that was utterly impeccable (and you helped put your daughter's wedding together.)  What are some tips for throwing the perfect sophisticated small gathering for women, for say, a book club meeting or just catching up with your best friends? 
LV: Preparation. Do everything you can ahead of time. I often even set the table a day in advance. Make things beautiful, no matter how casual. Use flowers, candles… and don’t invite my castmates.

S&W: What are three beauty products no woman should go without?
LV: There are more than 3 to get the polished look, I have to be honest. A great eyebrow pencil, a cream foundation, lip liner, lipgloss. I am a big one for fake lashes. Add individual lashes and voila! instant glamour.

S&W: What is your guilty pleasure in life?
LV: Snogging my dog.

S&W: Who is your favorite designer?
LV: Christina Makowsky.

S&W: Out of most reality stars out there today, you have tons of class & you live in one of the wealthiest cities in the US.  Do you think money automatically brings class and sophistication to people? What are some rules in your book for being a sophisticated woman?
LV: Class has nothing to do with money and vice versa. Unfortunately, they do not go hand in hand. I have seen people with zero money have more class in their little finger than some billionaires. Kindness is classy. Always be reasonably put together. Don’t swear excessively. Try to view yourself as others would view you.

S&W: Should women wear sweatpants?
LV: Yes, to the gym, at home on Sundays and that is it.

S&W: You own some great restaurants in LA right now. Are there any etiquette lessons you want to encourage people who go out to eat? Do you see anything that is totally outrageous happen frequently? 
LV: Sometimes it upsets me when people skimp on tipping, especially if I know the service has been good. People, some of them only kids, work hard as waiters and waitresses and it isn’t fair to stiff them. Always tip well if service is good.

S&W: Style trend you can't stand?
LV: When young guys have their ass hanging out of their pants for fashion. Especially having a young son, I hate when I see boys with their underwear and jeans down to their knees. I can’t understand how that could even be a fashion trend. The waist of their pants down to their crotch. That’s ridiculous; truly a fashion victim.

S&W: A cause you support?
LV: I am a spokesperson for GLAAD- equality for everyone. We have so many problems in the world to deal with already. I think there should be equality for everyone, both racially and sexually. End bigotry and embrace kindness.

S&W: Finally, what are your personal words of wisdom for women reading this? 
LV: Don’t take life too seriously. Have fun in your life. And, never forget my mantra—love and laughter supersede all. 

If you haven't done so already, check out Lisa's fabulous lifestyle website, Dose Of Divine.

{Lisa with her dog, Giggy.
Photo Credit: Lisa's personal website}

Photo Credits: Lisa Vanderpump's personal website

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Win a Lumene Vitamin C Skincare Set In Our "Get Ready For Summer" Giveaway!

I recently stumbled across an affordable line of "spa inspired" skincare from the Finnish company, Lumene, which has recently been making an impressive expansion in the US.  Specifically, I tried out some of Lumene's Vitamin C + Arctic Cloudberry line, which includes skin brightening serums.  

We all know that Vitamin C is really good for your skin. It aids in collagen production, helps your skin create scar tissue and heal itself, and prevents free radical damage (otherwise known as fine lines, wrinkles, and dry skin.) With all of this in mind, I was really excited to try out Lumene's Vitamin C skincare collection over the winter months.  As you might know, the winter is really dark and gray in Pittsburgh, so I was really welcoming of a face wash, toner and moisturizer that came in bright orange containers and smelled like fresh oranges.  

I want to talk about my favorite three items from the line, as well as a Lumene face wash I am particularly fond of.  First, I am in love with the Bright Skin Radiance Nectar.  I have a few blemish scars from my days of being a teen and I felt like this really worked at lightening them up.  What I also love about this product is that you don't have to wear as much foundation while using it, which is always a plus (especially during the Summer when makeup barely stays on.) I also noticed that this product seemed to shrink my pores, which is a total plus, and gives your skin that glow that you have after a spa facial.

Next, let's talk about the Vitamin C Radiant Beauty Drops, which come highly reccommended from the Lumene team, because they have won awards.  What I did with these was sleep with them on, underneath my nightcream, and what I noticed was that they even out your skin tone.  I didn't neccessarily notice my skin becoming brighter, but they did even out my skin.  Since I used this product overnight, I felt like I would wake up each morning with smoother and softer skin.

Finally, let's talk about the Vitamin C Radiance Moisturizers, which come in a day and night cream.  I basically never leave the house without foundation & powder on, and what I liked about their moisturizer is that it is a little heavy (yet absorbs right away)and acts a "primer" for your foundation.  It also has SPF in it, which is really important to me when being out during the day.  These two products, again, leave your skin with a spa-like glow throughout the day, even underneath your makeup.

As for a product not within the Vitamin C line, but from Lumene, I am in love with their Radiant Touch Cleanser.  When I was in high school, my mother bought me a deep sea clay mask that has since been discontinued since she purchased it and it was my absolute favorite skincare product.  This cleanser actually smells just like this mask, so it brings back a lot of nostalgia.  I also like that it has a spa-quality to it, so that when you're washing your face, it is a bit more calming.  

So, where can you find Lumene products? They are available in select Targets, in CVS stores, and always on  If you are from Pittsburgh, like me, you can find them at CVS, Ulta, or even Market District (they seem to have everything, right?) What you will love about these products is that they come in glass containers (not plastic) and they are really high quality, for an affordable price of around $20.  

GIVEAWAY ALERT: We have teamed up with Lumene to bring you a "Get Ready For Summer" Giveway! 

ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL RECEIVE: The entire Vitamin C skincare line (Bright Skin Radiance Nectar, Eye Serum, Vitamin C Day & Night Cream, and Vitamin C Radiance Beauty Drops), including the Radiant Touch Cleanser and Toner! This is a $225 value, including shipping!!


Since Summer is rapidly approaching, we know that you need to look your best (and even go sans-makeup on the extra-hot days of Summer), which means that YOU can win everything mentioned in this review, plus a few more things, including Vitamin C Eye Serum, Vibrant Radiance Cleanser, and Toner! 

TO ENTER: All that you have to do is simply comment below with your name and email address (in order to subscribe to our newsletter) and LIKE Style & Wisdom's Facebook page. (You must do both to be entered into the giveaway.) 

The winners will be announced on May 15th! Anyone in the United States can enter and your prize will be shipped to you. Good luck!

*Lumene did send Style & Wisdom these products for review & giveaway purposes.  However, as we tell all companies that we work with, we will not promote any products that we do not support entirely.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alicia Silverstone Debuts Bird-Like Feeding With 10-Month Old Baby via Internet

Alicia Silverstone, a very vocal Vegan activist, posted a video of herself feeding her ten month old son, Bear, that is viral on the Internet today. In the video, she chews up her meal (for a while) and then proceeds to spit it into her son's mouth. What are your thoughts on this? Is this a natural route to go or just a way for an actress to be eccentric and gain attention? Either way, she has come a long way from playing Cher in Clueless...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Placing High Expectations In Situations You Should Be Skeptical Of

by Sarah Davis

Photo Credit: Di Harrison
Today, I want to talk about something that women probably do more than men.  It's chasing after things that we've created in our heads, that aren't necessarily real.  Or, placing high expectations in situations that you should be skeptical of.  

This is not to be confused with the idea of manifesting, or following a dream that you hope happens one day, it is simply a word of caution. Or, some encouragement to "keep it real."  Keep a level head at all times, know exactly what is happening around you, and don't get too ahead of yourself.  Remind yourself that patience is very key in any situation of life, whether it be waiting to hear back from an employer after an interview or beginning a relationship.  Because while you might know what you want, this world is populated with other people who might not know at the same time you do.  

Maybe right now, you're thinking: how can I possibly step back from a situation I am SO excited about? Or, that I want SO bad? The easiest way that I've learned how to do this is to not invest all of your excitement into one situation.  Your life should have many compartments.  For example, dating, work, cooking, your fitness routine, or even a passion of yours, like drawing.  Each one should have a good amount of space.  So, if one is making you anxious in any way, whether it be problematic or entirely too exciting that you want to get ahead of yourself, switch over to another part of your life.  

Trust your instincts and only invest time and energy into relationships and opportunities that are of substance and you feel in your heart might grow.  Avoid all of the other things that come your way.  There will be a lot of false opportunities that come your way, so you need to be smart when choosing to open your life up to one of them, because when you're wasting time on one that won't work out, you might miss one that could.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence Covers Interview Germany


Jennifer Lawrence, star of the pop culture phenomenon, The Hunger Games, covers April's Interview Germany in Dolce & Gabbana.  In the issue, the laid back star chats with Drew Barrymore about her recent fame, her fear of ghosts, and even says that the first thing she will do with her first big paycheck is "bathe in pool of pasta." The Hunger Games made $155 million during its opening weekend, leaving Jennifer Lawrence the "celeb of fire", but in the interview, you find that she is more approachable than ever. 

Photo Credit: Interview Magazine

A Theater Critic's Response To NBC's "Smash"

by Chris Steele

Somewhere between Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and the widespread success of the Hollywood’s re-hash of Chicago, musicals found a spotlight.  That spotlight was believed to be dimming with the less than prolific arrivals of musical films like Nine and Burlesque.  The song and dance routine has found a home, however, where most people least expected it.  Prime time.  NBC’s response to the lyrical madness is Smash, a creative look at broadway through the eyes of the workshop, “Marilyn” a brand new show centered around the life of Marilyn Monroe.  

Admittedly, I went into this show without a lot emotionally invested.  Many of my former theater pals had been speaking about the much hyped premiere with intense excitement and baited breath, while I awaited it with guarded optimism.  I knew nothing of anyone in the show except Anjelica Houston and Debra Messing and merely knew it was a musical concept about conceiving a musical.  My main handle in the theater world was as playwright so I felt like it was a show I could relate to, but as I said, I entered with much guarded optimism. Glee is cute.  The Voice is interesting.  I’ve never been into American Idol, or any other Simon Cowell creation, for whatever reason.  The Sing-Off took me by great surprise when I found myself enthralled, but it still furthered my concern that the market was getting saturated. 

How many musical themed television shows can actually make it the new age of DVR?  There are only so many hours in a day and how many hours of that can be dedicated to music related television. Music is an amazing thing, but when it comes to television it is mere icing. An amazing sweet treat that everyone is talking about in the morning.  Underneath the icing needs to be cake, we need some sort of substance.  With every new musically oriented prime time spot there seemed to be a different flavor, but a thicker helping of rich buttercream.  It tastes great for about two bites and then you realize the cake is dry and you need a drink.  Sitting down to Smash for the first time I was expecting to love the music and be constantly complaining about the plot and the character structure much in the same way that I treat Glee.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The writing is quick and intelligent.  The structure is solid and has depth. What could have been an overly decadent dessert is turning out to be quite the fare and I’m looking forward to what’s next.

The central core of Smash is four characters.  The first of which is the writing team of Julia Houston, (Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame) and Tom Levitt, (Pittsburgh’s own Christian Borle from Broadway’s Legally Blonde: The Musical and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s Drama program), who are romanced into attempting a musical about Marilyn Monroe, the catch is to show Marilyn in a different light.  The second pair would be Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty, Broadway’s Wicked and another CMU grad) and Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee, American Idol runner up) who are pitted against each other to play the iconic role of Marilyn.  The dichotomy between the two is interesting because it seems to be mirrored in real life. Ivy is a ten year vet of ensemble work and finally gets her chance to be the star of a show and Karen is a home town girl from the mid-west trying to find her break in the big city and seems to have stumbled upon the opportunity of a life time.  Not dissimilar to Hilty’s rise from CMU to broadway compared to McPhee’s overnight stardom on a wildly successful talent show.

These four broadway archetypes are representative of their model.  Julia is an emotionally unstable writer, Tom is a moderately flamboyant composer, Ivy is Diva stepping into the lime light, and Karen is a little bit country and little bit rock and roll, just trying to get by.  While these characters make up the back bone of the show, the supporting cast give depth and flavor.  Three in particular stand out, the producer of the show Eileen Rand (Anjelica Houston… what hasn’t she been in, personal favorite The Royal Tenenbaums), the director of the show Derek Wills (Jack Davenport), and Karen’s uber-successful and profoundly fantastic boyfriend Dev (Razza Jaffrey).  Eileen is knee deep in a nasty divorce, which makes the funding of the show a constant point of drama. Derek is everything you’d expect in a chauvinistic, egotistic, misogynistic director that you love to hate.  Dev seems to be the perfect representation of what most men want to be and the man that most women seem to want. 

What excites me about Smash is that it has set the table for a television series, a mundane statement to be sure, but a simple thing that so many good concepts neglect to do. At first glance one might think it has painted itself into a corner by simply being the production of one show. What happens once the show is up? Derek answers the question with a simple comment to Karen alluding that it is just the beginning; a workshop could be a number of years before it comes to fruition. 

There is a wide list of possibilities within the different relationships.  We, as sympathetic viewers, are being groomed to feel for Karen and grow distaste for Ivy, but there is room for an emotional bait and switch.  Ideally only one or two, multiple personality bait and switching is a curse of Glee, may ultimately be it’s downfall.  Dev is the perfect boyfriend in many respects, but how far down the rabbit hole will he go with Karen before he needs to throw in the towel and make his career.  This is all without even considering the drama unfolding on the real world side of the writers.

Truth be told, I don’t really care about the music.  In fact, I think there’s too much of it.  My only real complaint about the show is that at times (maybe once an episode) it falls into a strange music video type feel that is outside of its real world character. The well staged bits during rehearsals aren’t at fault, I count those as part of the ambiance of it’s show Marilyn. Rather, I mean Ivy writhing on the bed or Karen singing to her closet. I suppose there is a creative license or an element of character development imbued in these moments, but they pull the viewer out of the scene with little to no reward.

Great television is unanswered questions.  The best shows give us a table of unanswered questions and possible outcomes. The first season is setting the table and by the end of it we can be pretty sure if we like the feast that should be coming as we invest time and emotional energy into these characters.  At first glance I feared that we were getting plate of fluff on day old cake with a side of popcorn.  At this point, I think it’s safe to say we’re looking at a pretty decent feast.  Now it’s time to sit back and see what they do with the table that’s set. I feel strangely confident that Smash will deliver and when “Marilyn: The Musical” closes it will have been a long and fruitful ride.

Photo Credit:  NBC

Urban Active Fitness Presents: "Groundhog's Day"

by Josh Bowen of Urban Active Fitness

Are you switching it up enough at the gym?
Insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. To give you a mental picture, there was a film titled, “Groundhog’s Day,” where main character, Bill Murray, is forced to live the same day over and over.  Now if you had the pleasure (displeasure really!) of seeing this movie you know that doing the same thing every day can be boring, unbearable and tiring. So why does the average gym goer relive their own personal Groundhog day? Why do people go into a gym and do the same thing over and over and expect to get results? Most people will walk into a gym for the first time, workout for a month and see some results. After that they stick to what works and hit a plateau and never see the results they were intending to have. Is this you? Do you feel like you are constantly doing the same exercises, every week and seeing zero results? STOP! Stop doing that, its not working and will never work.

Your body is a machine, designed to adapt to everything you do to it, that’s its job and it does it well. You can’t walk into the gym run 2 miles, sit on a couple of machines and take it to the house and expect to see any results. It will work for the short term, not for the long term. So how do I fix this? Here’s how:

Variety: It is truly the spice of life. In an exercise program you need variety so your body does not get use to anything. This creates soreness and soreness is good.  Stop hopping on the elliptical for 45 minutes and expecting to be ripped, not going to happen. Start resistance training and cross training. Switch your program up every 4 weeks!

Exercise Selection: If you are used to always doing body weight squats and lunges, try doing deadlifts and front squats. Switch it up and watch the results come!

Reps/Weight: You don’t have to do 15 reps of everything and yes ladies, I am talking to you! Increase the weight, decrease the reps. Shock your body! Doing something different!

Elliptical: Get off the elliptical! You are not working hard enough, period. Do interval sprints, flip a tire or push the prowler. Get your cardio but get off the elliptical, its too easy! Like it or love it your body doesn’t like to change. It wants to stay right where you are. Naturally you want to see results. Don’t be Bill Murray and get stuck into Groundhog’s Day. Break the chains and break out of the plateau. Let me know what you think!

Yours in Fitness,

Josh Bowen will be joining Style & Wisdom every Monday for the next few weeks for a series of blog posts about obtaining maximum fitness results.  Josh Bowen has been the Quality Control Director of Personal Training at Urban Active Fitness since 2007 and has trained and directed 400 trainers in 7 states.  Josh has certified trainers, proctored hundreds of seminars and conference calls, and contributed to ten published articles about fitness.  His mission is to spread the word of fitness to as many people as he can through personal training with a motto of "train, motivate, and inspire!" For more useful tips from Josh Bowen, you can find daily posts from him on Urban Active's blog.   

Photo Credit: Women's Health

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games: "The Film On Fire" During Its Opening Weekend

In The Hunger Games, people are obsessed with a televised event where teens are forced to fight for their lives and murder each other.  In the movie, nothing is sugar-coated.  In real life, people are obsessed with a movie about teens who are forced to fight for their lives and murder each other.  On top of that, there are many political and social issues that are blatantly pointed out.  No sugar-coating.  On top of THAT, there was hardly any subliminal advertising on water bottles, or fast food bags, because most major companies did not feel comfortable advertising with a movie that contained a brutal killing field.  Yet, we're all still obsessed with this movie. Basically, out of our own free will.  In its opening weekend, it is reported to be making $150 million dollars. 

I finally watched The Hunger Games last night.  I will admit that I tried to see it for the prior two nights but the tickets were completely sold out (all showings). There were police there, people wearing The Hunger Games t-shirts, everyone had purchased their tickets six months ago, etc.  I went into the movie without reading any of the books (so if you haven't read the books, you can still get hooked by watching the movie first.) 

First of all, I don't know what it is, but there is something about watching/reading a teen struggle through life with the weight of the world on her shoulders that can remind us all of our youth. Or, maybe it's just fascinating to see such a youthful existence handle the weight of the world better than most jaded adults could. Jennifer Lawrence plays the tough/not-so-good-with-people "girl on fire", Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers into the dreaded Hunger Games to replace her young sister.  The Hunger Games take place once a year in a fictional futuristic world, where a male and a female from each district are offered (i.e. the names are randomly chosen) as sacrifice into a televised event, where they will fight to their death.  Only one winner will make it out alive.

The Hunger Games is an odd movie in nature because even though it is set to be one of the most popular teen films of our generation (move over, Twilight), it is also, one of the most edgy films.  Behind all of the hype, it is a movie about teens killing teens.  At one point, a young girl is brutally killed.  Yet, it is a glamorized event; all of the contestants must go on a talk show, win audience approval and gain sponsors, and look their best.  The fact that they are going to die is sort of overlooked by the public, even though it's always "the elephant in the room." This sets up a great discussion of how our own society overlooks a lot of gruesome events happening in our country and throughout the world and focuses in on glamorized events like awards shows or red carpet events.  

If you haven't seen The Hunger Games, you should.  There is a little bit of something in it for everyone.  And...may the odds be ev-ah in your fav-ah.  


Photo Credits: Lionsgate

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pittsburgh Gathers For The 6th Annual Farm To Table Conference

by Sarah & Rose Davis

On Friday, March 23, Pittsburgh gathered for the 6th Annual Farm to Table Conference & Food Tasting at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. (The Conference extended into today, Saturday, March 24, as well.) The purpose of the event was to offer information about eating local food in Pittsburgh and it's surrounding regions, introducing attendees to locally made products, local farmers, and local establishments.  Some of the vendors included: Cabot Cheese, Manchester Farms Milk, and Bumbleberry Farms Honey (which had a great chocolate honey spread.) The Local Food Tasting, which took place later in the day, offered samples of food, fresh juices (including shots of fresh wheatgrass) and local beers/wines.  

P.S. Eating locally & taking advantage of your local Farmer's Markets are a few topics that are very near and dear to my heart because before I started this blog, I worked for Market District in their Food Marketing Department and I studied every aspect of food that I could while I was there. Additionally, I worked underneath a variety of chefs well-versed in the topic. I read a few books written by Michael Pollan, including The Omnivore's Dilemma, which goes into detail about how most food found in a box at your local grocery store is made. Pollan encourages you to not only think about what you're eating, but to question it, and to eat food that comes from the Earth, not factories and not from engineered corn. (If you haven't read this book, it will change your life.) What you put into your body should be more important that what you put on your body (like jewelry and clothes) and where your food comes from is a key aspect of YOUR health.  I rarely buy meat from grocery stores because I don't know where it comes from, how the animal lived, when the animal was killed, etc.  The Farm To Table Movement is something to look into if you aren't familiar with it.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kim Kardashian Gets Flour Bombed While Launching New Fragrance

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Thursday night, Kim Kardashian was flour-bombed at the launch of her fragrance, True Reflection, in West Hollywood, CA.  Not sure what flour-bombing is? In clearer words, it's when someone chucks a bag of baking flour on you. Apparently, a woman threw a plastic baggie filled with flour at the reality star while screaming, "fur hag."  Despite the negative feedback from a hateful fan, Kim Kardashian quickly cleaned herself up and returned back to the red carpet with a smiling face.  This is the reality that most celebrities, specifically reality television stars who share their lives with the public, subject themselves to: the fact that they can be loved with passion and hated with passion.  Even if you hate Kim Kardashian, you have to admit that she handled the situation well.  (But, there is always the chance that the reality star staged the flour bomb to prove to fans that she can handle negative feedback with grace.  You just never know with these paparazzi-addicted "celebrities"). 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Coconut Water Similar To Human Blood Plasma?

by Sarah Davis

Coconut Water has been heavily advertised on the market for a while now (not to be mixed up with Coconut Milk) as a hot health-drink, but did you know that it has the SAME electrolyte balance as our blood plasma? Coconut Water is one of the biggest sources of electrolytes out there and is almost identical in composition to human blood plasma. In fact, during the Pacific War, coconut water (taken straight from a coconut, it acts as a universal donor) was used as emergency blood plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers. Apparently, this is still done in some third world countries. Wild, right? Since coconut water is always nestled into a coconut, it is always sterile and ready to drink (or inject), because the layers of the coconut act as a filter. (Disclaimer: these are facts about what some people do in EMERGENCY situations, mainly in the past.  In today's world, coconut water is around for us to rejuvenate our blood with electrolytes by drinking it.) 

A few health benefits: 
One serving of coconut water has more potassium than 2 bananas.
It will regulate your blood electrolyte level (fitness gurus suggest that after you workout, it is a good time to drink coconut water, because you may have lost important electrolytes while sweating it out on the treadmill.) This is also good if you are suffering from a hangover.
It is chock-full of nutrients, which will keep your skin looking vibrant and keep you healthy. It's also really good for pregnant women because it prevents U.T.I.'s.  For non-pregnant gals, it keeps your body clean and has been known to reduce many stomach-related problems.  
Coconut Water promotes elasticity in the skin, so it helps to prevent wrinkles.
It's even been known to reduce your cholesterol!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Look: Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" Video

Since Katy Perry debuted her empowering breakup song, "Part Of Me" at the Grammy's right after her split with Russel Brand, fans have been eagerly awaiting the accompanying music video.  Minutes ago, Katy released "Part Of Me", which features the pop singer dressed as G.I. Jane.  This song will be available on the "Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection" re-release of her wildly successful "Teenage Dream" album. Have a look!

How Much Water Does YOUR Body Need Each Day?

by Sarah Davis

When we think about how much water we should be drinking every day, the automatic response is: eight glasses. Drinking eight glasses of water every day has been drilled into our heads, right?  But, if you take a minute to think about it, how could it be the exact same amount for someone who weighs 90 pounds and someone who weighs 300 pounds? Or, how big should the glass be?  A great way to figure out exactly how much water your specific body should drink each day is to take your weight and divide it by two.  This number is the number of ounces of water you should have in a day! 

Properly hydrating your body can benefit your skin, your level of energy, and help you to lose weight.  Most importantly, it helps to rid your body of waste and toxins.  It essentially keeps your body clean and working properly.  

Some tips: Keep water with you at all times and you will be surprised at how much more you drink, without really thinking about it.  Also, drink a few cups of tea every day.  This will hydrate you and you'll trick your mind into thinking that you are drinking something other than water.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Justin Bieber Gets Bloody for Complex Magazine

18-year old Justin Beiber takes the cover of Complex, which will go on sale April 3, looking like he's been brutally battered in the boxing ring. In the issue, Bieber has a dramatic new look. Love or hate it?  (You have to give the little Bieb's credit for these Fight Club inspired photos, since he is going to become a man one day. He's not Peter Pan; he can't stay a little boy forever.) In the interview, he opens up about why he thinks it's unfair to keep his relationship with Selena Gomez a secret (like most Hollywood teens tend to do) and his new album, which he says will be a new sound for him.


Image Credits: Complex 

A Cheerful Jessica Simpson Chats With Jimmy Kimmel About Her "Large Baby" & Lavish Baby Shower

A rather chipper Jessica Simpson and her 8-months-along-baby-bump stopped by Jimmel Kimmel Live on Monday night to promote Fashion Star, where she chatted about her large baby bump (at one point, Kimmel asks her if she's carrying an adult), a baby shower that could have impressed Carrie Bradshaw, and if she is ready to deliver her baby.  In the interview, she says that while most people think she might be carrying twins, she actually just has a lot of amniotic fluid, even noting that when her water breaks, it will be "like a fire hydrant."  We can always count on Jessica Simpson for an overload of TMI, right?  

Madewell Spring 2012 Collection

by Sarah Davis

Oh, why thank you, Madewell.  Your Spring 2012 Catalog is exactly what I've been craving all winter. I'm SO ready to pack up all of my sweaters & peacoats, toss them into storage like yesterday's news, and wear light pastels, floral jeans, and a'plenty of neutral tones this Spring.  I'm loving the floral print jeans, how adorbs are they? (I'm also really loving ANY brown accessories.  I have a brown bag that I use almost every day and I love the brown belt, glasses, & sandals pictured below.) 

Neutral Page 7

Neutral Page 4

Neutral Page 2

Neutral Page 8

Photo Credits: Fashionista

Monday, March 19, 2012

Urban Active Fitness Presents: "Spot Reduction Myth"

by Josh Bowen of Urban Active Fitness

Everyone wants flat abs, but Josh says the key is to work
your whole body!
A common question every personal trainer will hear, “which exercise will help me lose fat here?” Stand on your head and do a bicep curl! No not really but many gym members are under the impression that if your triceps are not to your liking, all you need to do is triceps and the fat will go away. That’s not the case and never has been the case. Your body does not isolate places where it loses fat and you cannot dictate where you lose it either. Perfect example, you can perform thousands of crunches every day, with the intention of losing the spare tire around your waist. This may build your abdominal muscle (also could cause some lower back issues) but does very little to reducing the body fat on top.

Though your hormones impact where your body stores fat, it does little to choose where you lose it. Performing specific exercises can help in the overall process of adding muscle tissue and boosting the metabolism, but does not strip away the fat. Spot reduction does not exist, you must decrease your entire body fat before specific areas start to improve. Do not pay attention to these late night informericals that promise ripped 6 pack abs in under 30 days. If this was possible we would all sell our washer and dryers and use our iron clad stomach to wash clothes.

With that said, pick exercises that involve your entire body; squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, thrusters etc. These exercises burn significant calories at the same time building strong muscle tissue that will boost your metabolism. This will burn body fat! So put away the ab roller, the Tae-Bo collector set and start hitting the gym and strength train. I have spoken!

Josh Bowen will be joining Style & Wisdom every Monday for the next few weeks for a series of blog posts about obtaining maximum fitness results.  Josh Bowen has been the Quality Control Director of Personal Training at Urban Active Fitness since 2007 and has trained and directed 400 trainers in 7 states.  Josh has certified trainers, proctored hundreds of seminars and conference calls, and contributed to ten published articles about fitness.  His mission is to spread the word of fitness to as many people as he can through personal training with a motto of "train, motivate, and inspire!" For more useful tips from Josh Bowen, you can find daily posts from him on Urban Active's blog.   

Photo Credit:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jennifer Lopez Talks Body Image in April's Issue of Vogue

Jennifer Lopez is covering this month's issue of Vogue, "The Shape Issue." In the April issue, she opens up about her struggles with body image, admitting she's just like every other woman when it comes to her weight. J.Lo is newly single, ready for the release of What To Expect When You're Expecting, steadily releasing hit songs, judging on American Idol, and...seems more down-to-earth than she's ever been. (The entire article is available here, but here are a few notable highlights.) 

On her weight: "I'm not a size 0 or 2. I'm not 6-feet-tall like a lot of the models that come around, and I'm like, 'Wow, I'm really short compared to models!'. I'm just a regular woman. I wear a size 6. You know, when I eat a little too much over the holidays, maybe a size 8.  When I'm in shape, maybe a size 4."

On reminding herself she's beautiful by wearing a diamond ring that reads "I Love Me": "That may sound conceited but it's not.  If you don't love yourself, you can't love anybody else.  And I think that as women, we really forget that.  All we want is to be happy, to feel secure, to feel understood. But you can't look for somebody else to do that for you.  You think about it.  Oh, yeah, of course I care care about myself.  Of course I have good self esteem.  But when you really take a good look, you are not treating yourself like someone who does.  And when people treat you in a way that you don't want to be treated, it's not their fault. It's yours." 

Photo Credits:  Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue Magazine

Friday, March 16, 2012

Carey Mulligan and Leo DiCaprio Star in "The Great Gatsby"

by Sarah Davis
Maguire, DiCaprio, and Mulligan will star in December's The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is coming to the big screen in a highly anticipated film adaption from Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Toby Maguire.  Set to be released in December of 2012, DiCaprio will play Gatsby (um, this couldn't be more perfect), while Carey Mulligan will play Daisy. Toby McGuire will be the narrator, Nick Carraway.  I don't know about you, but I'm am SO excited for this, as this is probably my favorite piece of literature.  

But, back to Daisy! What is she going to be wearing?! Tiffany & Co. is supplying ALL diamonds that you will see on Carey Mulligan in the film and rumor has it that Ashley Olsen is lending her own collection of vintage dresses for her wardrobe! 

La Cage Aux Folles (Review)

by Sarah Davis
Christopher Sieber and George Hamilton in La Cage Aux Folles
PITTSBURGH-La Cage Aux Folles is overly dramatic, has a cast of cross dressing men exposing their bare chests (so there is no chance you mistake them for women), and at times, tugs at your heart. The set is more feminine than the inside of a Victoria's Secret, nothing is held back, and at times, the cast throws giant beach balls into the crowd.  It's safe to say that no cast member was anything short of overly confident, displaying it through high kicks, flashing their booties, or belting it out Broadway-style about applying a few more coats of mascara when getting ready. Let me remind you, these are men we're talking about. 

Aside from the La Cage Aux Folles plot itself, which I think was appreciated more to older generations than me, a 26 year old raised in a fairly Christian home, the production itself was flawless.  Everything about the changing of the scenes happened flawlessly and everything was crafted beautifully. It was clearly something straight out New York City. A few nights prior to attending La Cage, I sat in the same auditorium (Pittsburgh's historical gem, the Benedum Center) watching a beautiful ballet with an audience that quietly admired the beauty of the show.  The energy of the cast members of La Cage was instantly set with a pre-show talk with one of the castmates, who fired off jokes at the audience with no shame while everyone located their seats.  At one point, even criticized a late guest. "Welcome, what does your ticket say? 7:30-ISH?!" The crowd found it to be the highlight of their night. The late guest, who actually sat in the row in front of me, didn't notice that everyone was staring at her, saving herself the awkwardness of the perhaps unwanted spotlight.  Pegged an interactive show, the audience was encouraged to participate, to bounce around the beach balls that were tossed out into the crowd (I don't know if I mentioned this, but there were a lot of older folks in attendance, mostly to see George Hamilton, I assume), and to even lean when Christopher Sieber's character, Zaza, told them to (not entirely sure why.)

In the story, however, the main characters are a gay couple with an eccentric life.  George Hamilton owns a cross-dressing nightclub, La Cage, and the other, is the cross-dressing, more-dramatic-than-a-dramatic-female-star-of-the-show, Albin (played by Christopher Sieber).  Georges' son has found the love of his life, but the girl happens to be the daughter of a right wing anti-gay politician.  The girl's family wants to meet her fiance's folks over dinner, so the son tries to persuade his father, Georges, to get rid of Albin, who has a stage name of Zaza,for the night, get rid of most of his belongings, and invite his biological mother to pretend like his parents are "normal." Albin is left hurt. I won't give away the rest of the story, as I'm sure most of you know it already, but in case you don't, you should go see La Cage at the Benedum Center over the weekend.

Even if you can't relate to being gay, you can surely relate to the human emotion of wanting to be accepted for just who you are.  "We are what we are," is one of the main songs of the show, and the lyrics are said more than once at key times during the development of the story at the nightclub, La Cage.  Even though they are pretending to perform at their nightclub, the song sets the tone of the entire Broadway production.  "We are what we are and what we are is an illusion." La Cage Aux Folles is playing all weekend, until March 18, so be sure to check out this Broadway musical if you're in Pittsburgh. I would recommend this show to anyone who is looking to relax and go to a show to have fun.  

Also, be sure to check out an interview we did prior to opening night with the stage manager of La Cage Aux Folles, Karyn Meek (article available here).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Going Green For St. Patrick's Day

by Sarah Davis

With plenty of Irish festivities coming up over the weekend, I wanted to put together some inspiration for outfit planning and of course, a little inspiration for those of you who like to bake yummy treats for every holiday. I think it's important to not wear too much green, but to wear enough that people notice by only allowing key pieces of your outfit to be green.  I really like to wear just a green scarf or just a green top, etc. I wanted to share with you a FAB recipe for Guinness Stout Brownies, which are one of the best parts of St. Patrick's Day (in my opinion). They are so delish that it can almost be considered dangerous. 

Photos courtesy of designers & recipe linked above.

Tara McPherson Releases Third Book, "The Bunny In the Moon"

by Rose Davis

Here at Style and Wisdom, we love the sweet and creepy art of Tara Mcpherson. You may know her from her poster designs for bands like The Melvins, Rilo Kiley, or Kings of Leon among countless others, or you many have seen her in Juztapoz magazine.  Or, maybe recognize her toyline. Yesterday marked the release of her third Book, The Bunny in the Moon

This book is a colorful collection of some of her most recent work, which focuses on mythology and folklore. My favorite piece is titled "The Bunny in the Moon". If you look closely, you can see the bunny in the moon. The painting depicts two people with notes pinned to their chests.  They are writing on each other with arrow pens. Tara describes that a long time ago when people were put to death with arrows, there would be a note pinned to their chest right over their heart, so that the archers knew where to hit. I love how she takes something so dark and turns it into something so sweet. 

To purchase The Bunny in the Moon, visit her website here.
Watch a time lapse video of Tara Mcpherson painting "Safety of Water" here 

The Bunny in the Moon
The Safety of Water
The Death of Boto
Photos belong to artist.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

TIP: All Beautiful Flowers Need Time To Bloom!

by Sarah Davis
There is a common misconception that miracles happen on their own.  Sometimes, they do.  Other times, they come in the form of a seed.  A seed alone isn't really much to us.  A seed with water, light and a nurturing bed of dirt becomes a plant.  

Today, look out for small miracles that come in "seed" packages.  You have the seed in your hands, but you have to allow time, light (or a positive attitude), water, and you need to ensure that your seed has a nurturing bed of dirt (or a healthy, safe environment.) 

Example: Think about being accepted to college. Your acceptance letter into college is your seed. It's an opportunity that will require a lot of work on your end, but the opportunity is a gift in itself. But, you have to work hard for four (or more) years before you get your degree.  If you don't focus on your studies in college and keep your environment healthy (or your nurturing bed of dirt), you can easily get derailed and this great opportunity becomes a great failure. Or, if you don't provide light and water (by studying and doing well), your plant won't grow either.  Finally, this seed takes time (or 4 years) to become a plant.  

At any given moment, you are nurturing growing plants in your life.  So, remember that EVERY DAY, you should be providing all of these plants with light, water, a healthy environment, and enough time to grow.  No plant out there "gives up" before it's grown.  It just grows.  Do the same. It's silly to become frustrated with a flower because it isn't fully grown yet; it takes time.  Keep up with maintaining your garden and good things will bloom

Photo Credit: Citified
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