Monday, July 30, 2012

'The Vampire Diaries' Star Torrey Devitto on Her Volunteer Work with Hospice (Interview)

Interview by Sarah Davis 

Torrey Devitto is mostly known for her work in popular television shows like Pretty Little Liars and more recently, The Vampire Diaries, but when she's not acting, did you know that she is a dedicated hospice advocate? She has been an active volunteer in hospice for over four years and in 2011, she became the very first Hospice Ambassador for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Torrey was kind enough to take a break from filming The Vampire Diaries to answer a few questions on why she is so passionate about this cause! 

Style & Wisdom: Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement with the National Hospice Organization? 
Torrey: I started volunteering with Hospice about 5 years ago. From the beginning, I knew that what I was doing was something I was meant to do. My involvement with Hospice will always be a part of my life. I was unaware of Hospice before I started looking into volunteer work. The more I got involved, the more I started realizing how many people don't really understand what an incredible organization Hospice is. That's when I reached out to NHPCO; I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to bring more attention to this organization. It was my understanding that they never had a spokesperson and I wanted to be that person. Everyone is so aware of volunteering at children's hospitals or in animal shelters, I wanted to help get Hospice on that list too. 

S&W: We have to ask- do you think people often neglect the idea of how important hospice care is because it scares them? Death is the number 1 fear that people have in life. Do you think the stigma of death often gets attached to hospice care? 
Torrey: When I first started volunteering, my Mom had a similar reaction. She really didn't want me to do it. She said, "Don't you think you are too young to be able to handle caring for people who are dying?" But after observing what I did for so many years, it totally changed her viewpoint about Hospice. My Mom is a volunteer now and calls me every day expressing how much she LOVES being a part of this beautiful foundation. I feel like if most people would just spend some time volunteering, it would assuage all their fears and it be more fulfilling than they can even imagine. 

S&W: Why did you feel the need to spread awareness for this cause among young people? 
Torrey: Death is the one thing in our life that is guaranteed. It has made me appreciate every day even more now. I think it could change young people's lives. Every young person that I have talked to that volunteers for Hospice has had their life change in a positive way. 

S&W: Along with being an actor comes being a role model, which you do well. Who has been the biggest role model for you? 
Torrey: I have been very fortunate in that I have been able to grow up with lots of great role models around me. I have very strong amazing women in my family that I look up to in awe daily. My grandmothers and my mother are 3 of the most incredible women I have ever met. Both my parents always raised me with strong morals and values, love and respect. I am always asking them for advice. Even still, after 28 years, they never seem to let me down with their words of encouragement and wisdom. They set such good examples and laid down such an incredible road map for me to follow as a child. I am forever indebted to them. Giving back is such a huge part of who they are and always were. 

S&W: What are your personal words of wisdom? 
Torrey: Never judge your own path or journey through life. Stay present and trust yourself. Always speak, live and breathe your own personal truth. 

S&W: You volunteered at the Mission Hospice Glendale, California for many years before becoming the Hospice Ambassador- were there any experiences that changed your life? 
Torrey: Yes. I still volunteer through Mission Hospice whenever I am home. Every single time I volunteer, a new life changing experience happens. Every person I meet and with every story they want to share with me, forever changes my life.

S&W: How can we get involved?!
Torrey: You can go online to and look up a phone number for your local Hospice. They are always looking for volunteers and would have all the information you need to get started. It's so easy! 

Click here to purchase a t-shirt designed by Torrey for the NHPCO (all proceeds go directly to the organization.)

Image Credit: Zimbio

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kristen Stewart Forced to Give Public Apology Amidst Cheating Rumors

by Sarah
Kristen Stewart is taking a lot of heat in the media today for a leaked photograph of her kissing her Snow White & the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, while in a highly publicized relationship with her Twilight costar, Rob Pattinson. Rupert Sanders is currently married, as well. Neither Stewart or Sanders denied the cheating accusations, instead released public apologies for the indiscretion since US Weekly broke the news yesterday. Stewart told People today, 
"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him. I'm so sorry."
Call me crazy, but don't you think Kristen is taking too much heat for this? I'd like to meet someone at US Weekly who could handle being put in a situation like this. 

One of the overlooked parts of this entire saga is that Kristen was basically stalked by a paparazzi to get this photo. Do you think celebrities are being too closely watched in today's culture to the point of harassment? The paparazzi who shot this photograph is probably out purchasing a new home with all of the dirty (my feelings) money he earned, while Kristen is dealing with the world judging her.  Imagine how many times you did something wrong and then picture yourself in a situation where people were selling photographs of it. 

Urban Active Fitness Presents: "The Wild World of Supplements"

by Josh Bowen of Urban Active Fitness

On an almost daily clip, trainers are asked about supplements. From the skinny kid who wants to be a bodybuilder to the soccer mom who wants to lose just a little body fat, everyone seems to ask about supplementation. It is a touchy subject because of the enormity of the business supplement bring in and all the different options there. Quite frankly, there are more choices of supplements than there are cities in the United States (by the way, that means there is alot). Supplements is a billion dollar industry and it is also controversial in nature. There are thousands of supplements sitting on shelves in commerical stores that are not FDA approved and could potentially cause the body harm. There are also other supplements that are almost a necessity for today’s working warriors. So with this blog I thought I would tackle a few topics:
1. Which supplements are a neccesity
2. What should I eat pre and post workout
Let’s look which supplements are a neccesity. To be honest with you, no supplements are a neccessity. Neccessity meaning life can not go on without it. Now, with that said, there are several supplements that are risk free and can add alot of value to your workouts and your results given how busy people are and how difficult it can be to get these nutrients through real food. *Just so everyone knows, I personally take supplements. I, however, do not suggest nor prescribe supplements to anyone. I truly feel you can get the same results, if not better, through whole food. The point of this blog is to provide you with information so you can make an educated decision for yourself. Now that we covered that, and hopefully you respect my honesty, lets get into some of my favorite supplements.
Walk into Vitamin Shoppe or GNC and count the number of different protein brands. You will be there forever. Out of every type of supplement, there are more kinds and brands of protein than any. They really fall into these categories; Whey, Caesin, Egg and Soy.
Whey protein is a derivitive of cow’s milk. It is digested by the body very quickly, making it optimal to take after your workout to replenish your muscle tissue. Here are the types:
-Whey Concentrate: contain anywhere from 25-89% protein. The rest is made up for fat. This is the cheapest form of whey protein
- Whey Isolate: Virtually fat free and containing at least 90% protein, whey isolate has been cycled through taking most of the lactose out of its contents
-Hydrolyze Whey: The fastest absorbing protein and ideal for people that are lactose intolerant. However the taste is so bad that most protein powders will only contain 20% or less hydrolyze whey.
-A slow digesting protein (cottage cheese) that is optimal for bed time to absorb slow digesting protein while you sleep. For growth and repair
Egg Protein
- Protein from eggs which has the highest biological value of any protein. AKA this is the best form of complete protein.
-Made from plants but soy is somewhat controversial because most soy proteins will increase the amount of estrogen in the body. Which is not advantageous for either male or female trying to build muscle and decrease bodyfat.
Other supplements that you may have interest in:
Branch Chain Amino Acids
- Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine make up the components of muscle tissue. BCAA’s allow the body to retain muscle and help repair it after resistance training.
- A non essential amino acid that keeps the body in an anbolic state, fighting off catabolism (degradation of muscle tissue).
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Essential fatty acid that is good for heart health and disease prevention.
OK. You probably notice there are several supplements that are missing. Testosterone boosters, energy drinks, creatine, etc. Given my audience, I do not feel it is necessary to talk about these. To speak frankly there are items on the market that will cause the body more harm than good. Keep it simple, folks.
Now that we have talked about some supplements, lets talk about what we should eat both pre and post workout. Unless you are an athlete, a bodybuilder or someone who has been working out for a long time, I do not think this is as important as people would think. However, since I was asked the question I will answer it.
There is a lot research that is done on before and after workouts and what is the most beneficial. Most of this depends on the goal but I would assume most people are trying to lose bodyfat and build muscle tissue. With that said, what you eat before you workout will fuel your workout. I suggest eating a mixture of fast acting protein (whey isolate) and a fast acting carbohydrate (fruit) before workout. This mixture will give you the stored glycogen levels you will need for a hard resistance training workout. If you are chasing or needing a “pump” a vasodialtor such as niacin will open the blood vessels up and allow for more blood driven to the muscles.
The most studied part of resistance training is what to eat after you are done working out. A lot of research will state you have to eat fast acting protein within 45 minutes of your workout to take advantage of the “anabolic window.” In the most up to date information I have, the 45 minutes is more like 2-3 hours to support muscle growth and repair. So I suggest taking in a whey isoloate protein directly after workout and before a real meal. I also believe this is a good time to have some glutamine and BCAAs as well. Again, this can all be accomplished through real food and without supplements but given the topic this is how you can opperate if needed. I am not a big believer in the simple carbohydrates follwing workouts. There is no need for extra sugar in the diet, a fast acting whey protein will be sufficent enough to tide you over until you eat a real meal.
* I must reiterate that I am in no way drawing attention to supplements and saying something has to be done a certain way. I wrote this blog as education versus application. There is more than one way to skin a cat and there is plenty of contradicting information out there that would tear this article apart. However, with all my expereince with clients and myself, these principles seem to work the best.
Please do not hesitate to email me any questions that you have on this topic or any other topic. Use cautin and common sense when it comes to what you are inputting into your body. The body is a well oiled machine that needs proper fuel to perform at a high level. Treat it with kindness and it will be good to you.
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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Red Carpet Looks from the 2012 Teen Choice Awards

by Sarah

LOS ANGELES, Ca.- Young Hollywood stepped out last night for the 2012 Fox Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles. Instead of bringing a lot of high fashion designers to the table, we saw a lot of prints, a lot of sparkle, and a lot of girly colors like pink and purple. 

Demi Lovato, who hosted the awards show along with Kevin McHale, wears a Falguni & Shane Peacock dress and Christian Louboutin heels. 

Hayden Panettiere in Zuhair Murad and Kat Graham in Mara Hoffman.

Taylor Swift in Maria Lucia Hohan and Selena Gomez in Dsquared2. 

Images: Getty Images

Saturday, July 21, 2012

'Dark Knight' Director Releases Statement On Aurora Shooting

By now you are probably familiar with the horrific tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado early yesterday morning (July 20, 2012) at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.  Many people responded, including President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey (who both encouraged taking a moment of silence.) Now, the film's director, Christopher Nolan, is speaking on behalf of the cast and crew about this horrible act of violence. In a statement released yesterday, he said,
"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
Warner Brothers went on to cancel a red carpet premiere in Paris and removed gun violence scenes from the film's trailer. Additionally, the studio has agreed not release any box office numbers this weekend, out of respect for the families. All sales accumulated over the weekend will be released on Monday.  

Editor's Note: our prayers go out to all affected in Aurora, Colorado.

Image Credit: The New Yorker

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

James Franco Interviews Mila Kunis in Interview Magazine

Mila Kunis is interviewed by her Oz the Great and Powerful co-star, James Franco, in the August issue of Interview Magazine. I was particularly excited for this interview because James Franco is actually a really talented writer and Mila Kunis is always really open about how normal her life is. James even starts the article off by saying how he thinks she is the one of the least pretentious people in Hollywood.  Here is a great highlight...

Mila on the double standard between famous men and famous women: "I think there will always be a double standard between males and females, so I think an actress is more likely to protect her public persona than an actor would be. An actor goes crazy in a hotel room, gets trashed, throws a bench, breaks a window, and he is considered a rock star. An actress does that, and she is sent to rehab...and can't get a job.

Click here to read the entire interview.

Photo Credits: Interview Magazine

YSL Combines Social Media & Eyeshadow

by Sarah

What's that shade of eyeshadow you're wearing? Oh, it's 'Facebook Blue'!

I do have to admit that when I first heard of this news, I thought it was a Saturday Night 
Live joke. However, it isn't.  Yves Saint Laurent has designed a"Pure Chromatics Devoted to  Fans" eyeshadow palette as a "declaration of love" for their Facebook fans, using the Facebook blue.  With only a little over  1600 of these suckers available, the fashion label is promising special perks to any Facebook fan who purchases the palette.  A limited  supply? Really? Sounds to me like YSL is just playing the game.  (The game of tricking people into liking your page on Facebook, I mean.)

I'm not entirely pleased with YSL lately, ever since I read this article stating that they plan to change their name to "Saint Laurent Paris" in the upcoming months. Even though I could barely pronounce "Yves" up until a few years ago and definitely can't afford anything other than their makeup, I am not pleased with this change. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lady Gaga Launching First Fragrance This August

Leave it to Lady Gaga to create a perfume with deep meaning.  This August, the singer will launch her first perfume, Fame, which makes perfume history in that it is the first EDP to ever contain black liquid. Gaga, of course, needed it to be black to show the real color of the "soul of fame." Once airborne, however, the perfume becomes invisible (to avoid staining or leaving color on the skin, or to, more realistically, show that fame can have dark side, but ultimately be a true illusion.) What does the fragrance smell of? The deadly belladonna plant, along with a fruity-floral mixture of honey, orchid, incense, and apricot nectar.  

And if you aren't yet sold that this is a true Mother Monster creation, she came up with the concept of an egg shaped bottle while inside of her egg at the Grammy's.  Fame by Lady Gaga is expected to be one of the top celebrity-perfumes ever sold.  You will be able to purchase it at Macy's, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Ulta, and J.C. Penny in three different sizes.    

Image Credit: InStyle/Supporting Information Courtesy of The Fashion Spot

Friday, July 13, 2012

Are You Looking At Yourself (and Your Love Life) Clearly?...An Interview With Life Coach, Marnie Nir

Marnie Nir of the Handel Group chats with us about her journey to becoming a life coach, commonly asked questions about relationships and what advice she normally tells the women (and men!) who ask them.  This is a great interview for anyone who is struggling with dating, but hesitant if life coaching would ever help.  Marnie offers a great piece of advice which is that if you are having problems in life- it is your fault. I think her "no-excuses, no bullshit" approach is not only fantastic, but eye-opening. (Aside from this interview today, Marnie wrote for us recently: be sure to read "Can't Find Love? Here's Why?" if you haven't already.)

Sarah Davis: What is a life coach?!(For all of our readers who don't know!) 
Marnie Nir: At Handel, a life coach is someone who gets hired to help people uncover, admit, unravel their dreams and get them into the right actions to realize them. Most people mainly listen to negative voices in their head, which we call the “chicken” and the “brat,” instead of dreaming, making promises and keeping them. People get caught up in these other voices. Our method, Personal Integrity®, realigns a person to their dream. Basically, we help people honor their word to themselves, so they can fight the real war: inner peace. The learned skill of honoring your word helps people fight where they normally sell out, excuse and feel bad, so they will fulfill whatever they get brave enough to say they want in their life. And then some ...

SD: How did you get started in the field? 
MN: About ten years ago or so (wow), after I had maternity left Manhattan, I got to thinking, oh sh-t, is this it? I always knew (in theory) I was a lot like my mother, but after I became a mother and moved to the ‘burbs, the evidence was amassing quickly and I was not completely happy filling out the "occupation" question in doctors' offices and having to write "mother." I knew I wanted a career, but I had no idea what I wanted to do; I only knew for sure what I DIDN'T want to do. Then my sister, Lauren Zander (co-founder & chairman of the Handel Group®), started coaching me. She made me write a thorough list of my career interests and then start digging. The one I came up with that felt so far fetched at the time (read: chicken) was a columnist. I thought being a mother was too effing funny not to document it, and I didn't think anyone on TV or in my ‘hood was aptly representing me. I made many mistakes, couldn't believe Elvis Costello loving me was now singing Barney tunes, and that so much of it was too ironic not to cop to in print. So I declared myself a columnist and not long after, I had a column in two local papers on motherhood as I experienced it. From then on, not only did I owe my sister (ha), but as she worked her magic on me, I saw I could go do the same with other people, fellow chickens, if you will. And voila. Several years later, I became a coach for the Handel Group's Life Coaching arm.

SD: I read somewhere that you are a life coach who deals mostly with women and singles. My main question is: is dating as big of a deal for men as it is for women?   
MN: I have both men and women clients. However, I think more women are willing to ask for help than men in this area. But I think finding love, sustaining love (and an erection!) forever is equally a big deal for both. Thus, the divorce and cheating rate. Right?

SD: Okay, let's jump into some questions about relationships. Should dating be fun? How can you keep a relationship fun?  
MN: I think dating should be fun. Personally, I think dating is like shopping or even, like building your own man/woman. It is like finding THE one right house that is so “you.” And, even if during the “shopping” process, you realize this particular “house” isn’t your “home,” you can also see what was close about that one, helping you to keep defining YOUR perfect “home.” Ooh, I want him/her to have those eyelashes, that twinkle, be that happy about his/her career, be loving towards his mother, have that butt, that caring-ness. You get the point. I think you have to make dating a much better sport than most have it right now. What if the sport of dating was proving love is easy, magical and for you? Most people are not busy proving that; they believe it’s difficult and therefore are proving it’s difficult. They believe there is some sort of drought out there, and not noticing that declaring it “difficult” just sneakily excuses dating losers or not dating at all, right?  

How to keep a relationship fun?  Keep designing it. Asking for what you want. Be bold. Speak up. Design who should be in charge of what: If you are better in the romance department, take charge of that. If he cares more about sex than you do, have him in charge of that. You get the drift. Keep being yourself, speaking your truth, not making up anything without asking.

SD: What would you say to someone who insists that all men are bad or someone who insists that they are "broken"/unable to love?
MN: Is this "BS?” (haha!) I think many people have many, many bullshit based theories about men, women, love, marriage, dating, etc. If you have a theory that all men are bad, there are so many things that theory then allots you. You can date shmucks. Not date at all. Keep picking bad men and thinking it's them and not the picker (you!) People are so addicted to their theories and don't know it. The bummer is they’d so much rather prove their theories than disprove them, even if it means being alone. 'Cause, truth is, your theories are designed to keep you "safe" and also, well, truth be told, who the heck likes to be thirty years wrong? I think you are who you say. No? So, for example, if I say "I'm not a morning person," ain't that just a doctor's note for sleeping in or being a jerk in the morning? I'm not saying that some people don't have deep work to do or unresolved issues, many do. But the ones who just stamp themselves “broken” and don't have any desire to unbreak themselves, are the ones you shouldn't date.

SD: Why do you think women care so much? 
MN: I think many women deeply want the whole package. Love. Romance. Trust. Family. And why shouldn't they.  

SD: What is the biggest mistake you see women making with dating or relationships?  
MN: Selling out on their dreams. Stepping over red flags and trying to convince themselves it's okay not to ask everything, say anything and not have to give up on what's important to them for fear that there isn't better around the corner. Some sort of BS about a boat they missed (and invented!) which just isn't so. 

SD: This is probably one of the biggest topics that women need help with (in my opinion): can we change a man?  
MN: First, you'd have to be convinced he's worth the work, because if there is NO drought, then make sure you aren't truly doing the old square peg round hole bit. Then if he's sooooo, great but for this one issue, then I think you'd also have to make sure the man is open to being changed. You'd have to ask. He'd have to agree. But you'd have to be that open as well. It works both ways. 

SD: For example: If a guy tells us something like he never plans on having children, should we listen to that, or is there hope that he will change? 
MN: I think if it's your dream to have children and you are with a man who is saying “no way” and “never,” then, truth is, he's not your man. Your man wants kids. I think, and maybe this is a generalization, if you hang around with a man who doesn't want kids and you say you do, I would question whether YOU really do. Sometimes, we hide behind or blame another so we get to look brave and not have to deal with our own fears.

SD: If you were to go through a list of important things to remember when finding a match, what would be on this list?
MN: Write up your dream. See what's on that list, what deeply matters to you and stick to it. If you want kids, find a man or woman who wants kids. If you want a sweet person who honors family, seek that, but also, in the meantime, make sure you honor your own family. If you want a fit, healthy person who eats well, great, eat well yourself and get your tush to the gym, too. I guess that's also the point: be the person you want to date. Because (even more) truth be told, you are not going to date out of your own league, so make sure you are in the league you want to be in. 

SD: I read a great article by you on the Huff Post where you explain that all of your problems are your fault (i.e. YOUr problems.) Can you just go through this and how it pertains to dating?  
MN: Like I said above, you are whom you date. And by that I mean you attract and date according to your theories. I promise. If you go through your history of relationships, you will see from that long (or short) list, evidence of your theories on love, on you, on marriage, on the opposite sex, on sex itself. It's all in there. Once you start seeing what you’ve been busy proving, it's not that all men are x y and z, it’s just that you have a theory that all men are x y and z, and you have been dating accordingly. If you had a theory that love is great, magical, and easy, would you have dated any of those? If you have a theory that men cheat, and you date cheaters, then is it really that all men cheat, or you like and attract the cheating kind? One of my favorite theories back in my dating days was: men don't appreciate me. They just don't get how special I am. (Shut up). Guess what kind of man I dated? The one who thought I was great? Nah, those, magically, I was not attracted to. I called those friends. The ones I wanted to jump were the ones who needed prodding to go out with me. So, who do you think really had the issue with appreciation? Do you think if I thought myself special that I would date or tolerate a man who didn't? You see how this was sneaky of me? You should all be equally as suspicious of yourselves.

SD: Do you think it's good or bad to make dating mistakes? (Should we spend so much time beating ourselves up or should we just embrace that we've learned a few things along the way and move on?) 
MN: I think we are here on earth to learn. I think we are even here to evolve (more than just upgrade) our own parents' love lineage. I think if you could always translate a date into a great lesson, wouldn't that rock? A richer context for dating would be if you started to view it as constant lessons for you, as the world giving you the perfect lessons. And no, sorry, great lessons don't sound like, “see you shouldn't date,” “see you shouldn't have told him your truth,” “see you should have played the games better,” or that you should have read several more books, or pretended you didn’t want kids when you do; NO, those are not the lessons. I think possibly the greatest lesson I teach people is that you cannot blow it with your man. If it blows up, he wasn't your man. How is your man blowupable? By the very nature of him being your “one,” your “one” gets you, likes you and isn’t a “no” to you. So stop thinking that a "no" was supposed to be a "yes;” it's not even remotely possible. And, yes, it’s sneaky of you to think otherwise.

Visit Marnie's personal blog at:
or connect with HG Life Coaching:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I Accomplished Something- But I Don't Feel Excited, I Feel Panic! Why?!

by Sarah Davis

Maybe you're one of those people who handles major change with an incredible amount of ease, but this blog is for the rest of us who catch ourselves freaking out a little bit. This guide is for anyone out there who feels like right before major change happens, they want to abandon the project, die, or even vomit... 

Big milestone achievements are amazing, right? People give you flowers, you get your makeup done, you get congratulated. Is it always a smooth ride, though? Is it normal for these big milestone achievements to have a little PANIC mixed into them?  If so, does this mean you are abnormal in some way?  Or, a trainwreck who can't be happy about your own life?  One word: NO! It means you are a breathing human being reacting to a major change honestly. 

I have been working on a book about my speech disorder for about a year now.  It's almost been published a few times now (and by a few, I actually mean a few, as in two), but I am still scared to have people read it! Book readings, book signings, all of it- it's scary. I hate public speaking (it's what the book is about).  As someone who is the inspirational field, I should be out there doing lectures or vlogs, but it scares the hell out of me. My fear is making it VERY hard to get back out there and let more agents and publishers see this work and my fear is also making it hard to promote myself. Lately, I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety about this. I've been having dreams about being 9 months pregnant but being unable to give birth (or being so close to being done with this book, but not having enough guts to do something with it). How will people ever be inspired by me if I'm still not entirely okay with my flaws?! 

There is a LOT of fear attached to something like publishing a book. It's probably just like giving birth to a baby and constantly asking yourself "will I die while giving birth?!" Or getting married and constantly thinking, "Is this guy even going to like-or, I mean, LOVE, me forever?!"  Or, "What if I fall while walking down the aisle??!" 

Our minds can take us to totally irrational places when we're hearing our fears out. And, fear LOVES to stand guard at the gate of opportunity. 

It's important to know that all of this is healthy.  If you weren't debating if you could actually pull something off in full-on freak-out mode, you probably wouldn't need to be because you weren't anywhere near success.  It's important not to give up, even if you feel completely 100% unequipped in the last moments, because if you do, you won't ever see the REWARDS for all of your hard work and enduring through a natural response to change: a 'lil bit of panic.  I've learned that this is a blockage that occurs right before something amazing as a final question from God, saying, "Do you want it? You have to want it." Then, you have to push one final time through your own fears. 

But, how do you push?! 

1. Surround yourself with healthy people. Surround yourself with your closest friends who are going to give you a pep-talk through your freak out sesh'. Sometimes it can be as easy as a gentle reminder from friends. The other night, I saw Katy Perry: Part of Me at the movie theater and I noticed that right before every show, she bonds with her dancers and team.  They do a "circle" and give each other a little encouragement.  I don't know about you, but right before going on stage in front of thousands of people, I would definitely need a little pow-wow with the people going out with me. 

2. Take a chance on yourself.  
How many times do we take chances on other people?  Or new jobs?  Today, if you are struggling with something about yourself that you don't exactly love about yourself, take a risk and get out there and do what you want to do anyway (even if it is scary).

3. Avoid searching for validation and keep your eyes on the prize.  
You've made it this far on your own.  Now is not the time to seek validation for something that isn't going to matter once you "cross the bridge."  Think about going skydiving.   If you didn't need validation to get yourself on the plane, you certainly don't need validation to jump.  You put yourself up there.  Just keep your eyes on the prize.  Allow yourself to just react.  If you're scared, at least you know that this is an honest reaction coming from YOUR soul.  You don't need any validation for this, because only YOU can ultimately push yourself through this blockage. Focus on the high you will feel after you accomplished something as insane as skydiving.  The prize will be worth the pain and the fear you're experiencing now.

4. Engage in on-the-spot meditation.
There is a myth that meditation can only be used in a quiet room with Buddhist music playing softly in the background.  I believed this for a while. You can close your eyes, calm your spirit, and tell fear to "hit the road" at any time.  The other night, I had a bad night.  There was no other way to describe it.  I was driving home from experiencing someone say that I was too young to be writing a memoir and I felt like a huge loser.  But, I took a moment to meditate for a few seconds and I literally felt a wave of relief wash over me.  I heard a voice say, "Stop this. You are on the right path, that's all that you need to worry about." It only took a few moments for me to meditate in the middle of a panic attack.  

5. Don't do anything destructive because you are TOO close to what it is you've been after. We all know people who love to drink, especially when things are getting rough.  Why not, right?  Drinking definitely doesn't alleviate fear, however.  It might for a moment and give you a crazy, unconventional amount of confidence, but it won't help you address any real situations in your life. Plus, it might make you weaker in sticking to your standards of not needing any validation. If you love a good shot of tequila, save it for after you've said "I do" or published that first book. Save it for a celebration. Only drink when you aren't in a bad or unstable mood. 

Sarah Davis is a distinguished journalist, motivational writer, and founder of Style & Wisdom. She has a firm grasp on pop culture, celebrity news/style, and self improvement.  She believes that Style & Wisdom is an inspirational take on pop culture; a place where you can find inspiration, and a healthy escape. Bored with most self-help blogs, she created Style & Wisdom to be a combination of the things every woman searches for on the internet: self improvement, style, and a little celebrity news.  She's interviewed celebrities, actors, authors, charity founders, dancers, fashion designers, artists, and anyone who offers the world a little inspiration. Style & Wisdom was founded in 2011 and has continued to grow daily. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest (If you are the owner of this image, email us to have your name credited!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Currently In Theaters: Katy Perry: Part Of Me (Review)

Currently in theaters: Katy Perry teamed up with MTV to bring you Katy Perry: Part of Me, which is a documentary on the pop singer's life and career, but plays like a dual concert movie, as well. One of Katy's strengths, as quoted by her friends and team, is that every song she has relates to a situation in her own life, so the movie is broken down into showing tidbits of her life in documentary-form followed by a song that relates from her most recent album, Teenage Dream.

One of the main points of the film is to show Katy backstage on tour and to show the amount of work and heartbreak she put in to get to the level of success she has today.  You get to meet her team, see how hard she works on a year-long tour, see her bond with her friends, and you even see brief tidbits of a quiet Russell Brand in the beginning of the film.  By the end, though, you see Katy crying uncontrollably moments before going on stage, unable to speak but able to toss of her wedding ring, and then you see how she has to pull herself together and go on stage. Ultimately, you are left with no choice but to be on Katy Perry's side of the divorce and relate to how hard she works on her music and concerts, as she was a producer.  

Is this movie worth seeing? This might seem like a no-brainer, but only if you see Katy Perry's music! 

Katy Perry at the premiere of Katy Perry: Part of Me in Sydney, Australia (Photo Credit: Kristian Dowling/ Getty Images)

If you like Katy Perry and her album Teenage Dream, you will love this. It's really emotional, really inspiring, and put together in a way that you make you cry one minute and then want to start dancing the next. Even though there has been criticism that everything you see is one-sided (particularly when it comes to her divorce), isn't she allowed to show her side? She hardly dwells on the divorce at all, you get the impression she only includes it to prevent the same critics from asking why she wouldn't address such a media hotspot in a documentary of her own life.  

Overall, Katy Perry: Part of Me is genuinely light.  She says many inspirational things along the lines of: "if she can do it, anyone can." The movie is fully equipped for children who adore her, as well.

If you didn't like her album, however, I wouldn't suggest seeing this film.  I also wouldn't suggest this to people who aren't aware that it's a documentary. It isn't a fictional story, with Katy Perry as a main actress (i.e. like when the Spice Girls did the movie, Spice World), which is what some of the promotional posters seem to suggest.  

(Image Credit: Kristian Dowling/ Getty Images)

First Image Credit: MTV 

Monday, July 9, 2012

TV Buzz: Does Season 5 of True Blood Have Too Many Story Lines?


So, we knew that Russell Edgington was returning this season, but we weren't prepared for Sookie's visions of his almost-melted body OR his hospital bed in the middle of a pretty creepy abandoned mansion. 

Okay, let's do a quick recap of the fifth episode of the season, "Let's Boot and Rally." Sookie pukes on Alcide, Sookie led Alcide, Eric, AND Bill through a haunted house to find Russell (with her visions) during a time crunch, Russell Edgington returned in a very creepy way, Tara dressed up like Pam, and we finally have some insight as to why Terry is so shell-shocked from his time in Iraq. Of course, it's a supernatural fire monster who is hunting down each member of his Marine squad. As though that wasn't enough to put in one episode, Lafayette's dead boyfriend, Jesus' head appeared in the middle of the night in his apartment as well as his mother's, we are set up to see that Russell has a friend in the Authority who has been nursing him back to health (may or may not be Nora), and Hoyt is hanging out at Fangtasia wearing eyeliner.  

A couple of things: First, is anyone completely sold on Tara as a vampire? 
I know, I know, she isn't sold either, so it's a learning curve for everyone.  But, with all of the creative story lines  True Blood has produced in the past, it seems incredibly cliche for her to be working at Fangtasia, learning the ropes so easily. Instead of bartending at Merlotte's, she's just bartending at Fangtasia.  Every time she gets out of line, Pam magically appears to compel her to stop and then she's boring again.  She tries to kill herself in a tanning bed, but Pam shows up and compels her to never do it again.  She tries to feed on a human at Fangtasia in public, but Pam rescues her. Let the girl do something dangerous.  

Next topic on the list: What is up with this fire monster? 
True Blood should skip out on his story and focus on Tara a little more or perhaps Lafayette (who gets so little screen-time).  In this episode, it is revealed that Terry's Marine squad all did acid one night and then accidentally killed a few people from a town in Iraq. To protect their squad, they killed everyone else, as well, and then burned them all to leave no evidence behind.  A barely alive woman curses Terry, saying something about a fire that will burn them all to death at some point, before he shoots her and then sets the fire.  So, while the story makes sense, it's lacking fangs, which is what the show is all about. If we have to sit through this, at least, like I already mentioned, make Tara's transition a little wilder. 

Third, how many more stories do we need to sift through in one episode?
Meanwhile, in yet another story line, after finding two of his shifter friends shot to death, Sam calls the police, to which, Jason and Sheriff Bellefleur show up.  Jason shows up and has an epiphany: crimes committed by supernatural forces have been going on forever, but humans have just been too misinformed to ever make the connection.  Now that Jason knows, however, he is going to make some changes.  Hmmm.  

Then, Sam goes over to warn Luna that someone bad is lurking around Shreveport, probably out to shoot more shifters, and on his way out when leaving, he gets shot by a group of people in masks driving a pickup truck. Then, like clockwork, Luna follows him out and gets herself shot.  Then, as though that wasn't enough, Emma comes out to see what's going on, but manages to escape by turning into a cub and high-tailing it into the woods. 

The return of Russell Edgington: finally, a moment that makes sense.
The best part of the entire episode is when Sookie, Alcide, Bill, and Eric find Russell.  He simply says, "Took you long enough." 

Is this season too confusing?
Overall, this season seems like it has a lot of story lines. By now we know that True Blood does deliver with confusing (at first) plot twists, but we also know that each season has had one main "bad guy." This season, it's hard to figure out exactly who the "bad guy" is.  Is it Russell? Is it the unknown person from the Authority who is secretly working with Russell? Is it the fire monster? Is it Lafayette's witchcraft?  Is it Alcide's old wolf pack?  Or, is it the people who shot Sam and his friends (who might be Alcide's old wolf pack, who knows?) 


Photo Credit: HBO

Are You Indulging In A Calorie-Fest Without Even Knowing About It?

It's no secret that it's the middle of summer and everyone's main agenda is to beat the heat.  One of our first responses to a heat wave is to grab a cold beverage, whether it be a diet coke or a beer.  However, before you grab just any iced beverage, you need to know exactly how many calories is in what you're choosing.  This month's issue of Glamour features a great article (written by Kelly DiNardo) that compares common cold beverages to popular food items.  The results will leave you wondering if those minutes on the treadmill are worth it, when you could be drinking water or tea and feeling just as cooled off.  Even if you are aware of what beverages out there are fattening, this article offers an easy (and creative) way to refresh your memory. Here are the highlights:

Kourtney Kardashian Welcomes Baby Girl

Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to a baby girl early Sunday morning in Los Angeles.  What did she name her? Penelope Scotland Disick.  Pack master Kris Jenner told E! News that Penelope looks just like Mason, while Kourtney told the entertainment channel that she and the new Kardashian are healthy and resting comfortably.  And, you know what "rest" means in the Kardashian Klan, it means lounging around with a Blackberry and a publicist trying to figure out which magazine outlet will pay the MOST for the first photo of Penelope.  

Either way, congrats Kourtney!

Photo Credit: Celebuzz

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Healthy Living Spotlight: thinkThin High Protein Bars

by Sarah

A few weeks ago, I stopped into Trader Joe's and found the best protein bar I have yet to see.  ThinkThin high protein bars have 20 grams of protein, zero sugar, and taste like REAL food.  (Plus, they are gluten-free.) I think I've tried every protein/nutrition bar out there at this point and up until now, my favorite has been Lara bars, but now, I'm hooked on thinkThin bars. I find a lot of protein bars out there to taste like chalk or vitamins, so anything that tastes like real food is always a treasure.  My favorite is the Brownie Crunch bar; it tastes like a real brownie and you actually feel full and energized after you finish eating. Also, apparently Gwyneth Paltrow swears by these bars! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Top Summer Makeup Picks

After a few trips to Sephora & Ulta, Rose suggested we put together a list of our favorite summer makeup products.  I added in a few of my summer must-haves and we ended up with this list (that offers a glowing, flirty, and sun-kissed look).  Hope you enjoy!

1. NARS Blush-Bronzer Duo, $40, Sephora
2. Benefit They're Real! Mascara, $22, Sephora/Ulta
3. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $40, Sephora
4. Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor (in Allure), $16, Sephora/Ulta
5. Smashbox Shades of Fame Eyeshadow Palette & Brush, $48, Sephora
6. Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40, $32, Sephora
7. Ulta Sunless Mitt (for consistent sunless tanner applications), $4.99, Ulta
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