Thursday, September 27, 2012

Urban Active Fitness Presents: "Four Agreements"

by Josh Bowen of Urban Active Fitness

I am, by my own admittance, a sucker for motivational videos, songs and quotes. When life throws me a curve ball I find comfort and solace in anything motivational. Today, when I needed it, I found the above picture. I posted it to my Facebook and got a lot of positive feedback. So I wanted to share it with you and throw in my own interpretation, just for kicks and giggles.
1. Impeccable with your word- In this life we only truely own one thing and that is our word. Our word is our bond and with our word we develop trust and rapport with others. We, as humans, owe it to ourselves to keep our word to everyone including ourselves. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This is the golden rule and will get your farther in life than you could ever imagine.
2. Don’t take anything personally- Other people’s actions and words are often times the most powerful assessment of ourselves. However we must realize that people’s perception of us is not indicative of our reality, but theirs. Never let someone tell you what you can and can’t do. To let someone’s opinion of you rule your life is to live your life by someone else’s rules, when in fact this is your world and you set the boundaries and the rules.
3. Don’t make assumptions- You know what they say about assuming things? Well its true. It is human nature to judge a book by its cover but if you didn’t look within you would be selling yourself short. Find the good in all people, believe me there is something there. To realize the positive and forgo the negative is to truely make this world a better place. This rule will prove to be the most important rule of them all.
4. Always do your best- I catch myself sometimes saying “I am trying.” But what am I really trying? There is no trying. You either do or you don’t. Its black and white and crystal clear. When you set your sights on anything, doing your best at it so be priority number 1. Without your best you have nothing. It makes or breaks you. In the end we are ALL capable of greatness just applying ourselves and giving every fiber of our being to being the absolutely best at what we chose to do.
Life is funny and can often times seem cruel. But at the end of the day, our life IS what we make it. We create our own reality. If we want something we can get it. Simply implementing the above 4 rules, instantly makes you a better person and moves your closer to greatness. Greatness is upon us, its in all of us, find it and unleash it.
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.

Events: The Pittsburgh Scene Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary with Stage AE Show

by Sarah

You might not be entirely aware of this, but Style & Wisdom is based out of Pittsburgh, Pa. We try to support all things local; one of those things being local music. One of the best music websites for Pittsburgh based music of the punk/rock/metal genre is The Pittsburgh Scene, run by good friends of ours. The Pittsburgh Scene is a database of Pittsburgh music and anything that relates to it (band bios, upcoming shows, show reviews, and even entire songs.) Come out on Saturday, September 29, night to see six local bands play a show at Stage AE and show your support.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.  

For more official details, visit or find them on Facebook.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Swooning Over: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" Soundtrack (P.S. You Can Win A Copy!)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower hits theaters on September 21 and we are gearing up with an exclusive prize-pack for two lucky readers to win! Summit Entertainment has provided us with two copies of the book , redone with the movie tie-in, and two copies of the original motion picture soundtrack.  We are sort of obsessed with this movie because not only are we a fan of Emma Watson's hair, but it has major ties to Pittsburgh! 

A funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the beloved best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallfower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear, and hope, and the unforgettable friends that help us through life. 
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack List:

The Samples- Could It Be Another Change
Dexys Midnight Runners- Come On Eileen
Galaxie 500- Tugboat
New Order- Temptation
The Innocence Mission- Evensong
The Smiths- Asleep
Cracker- Low
Sonic Youth- Teenage Riot
XTC- Dear God
Cocteau Twins- Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops
Michael Brook- Charlie's Last Letter
David Bowie- Heroes

To enter this giveaway: leave a comment with your name and email address below.  Two US Residents will win a copy of the book and the original motion picture soundtrack.  

Contest Ends September 22!

This movie is rated PG-13. Prize-pack is valued at $32. 

Be sure to like The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Style & Wisdom on Facebook.  

Follow the movie on Twitter at @WallflowerMovie and hashtag it with #WallflowerMovie! Be sure to find the film on Pinterest, as well.

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment
Special thanks to Summit Entertainment for all prizing.

Self Improvement Is The New Black Lesson 1: Fix The Cause of the Problem, Not the Symptom

by Sarah

A Stylish & Wise Affirmation: I will work hard to invest in my own future, because when I do so, I invest in my own life. 

For the first blog entry of the "Self Improvement is the New Black" series, I wanted to first go over what exactly I mean by self improvement. Unless you study this concept regularly, you might think of self improvement as simply improving your looks (like getting a nose job or losing twenty pounds.) 

While looking good does inspire you to feel good, looking good is not, by any means, the focus of improving yourself.  The goal of self improvement is to feel great by embracing your imperfections and using them to move forward.  It is about making the best decisions you can, taking advantage of every opportunity you have, and getting your body to the best place it can be by focusing on it's health, not how "perfect" it can look.  

Now that we've gone into what self improvement is a little bit, let's get started.  

First things first, you need to jump right in. Easy, right? Nope. It won't be easy because I want you to tackle the root of the problem, not any of your symptoms. This is the most essential and ultimately beneficial part of self improvement: you will be tackling those things that lurk in the back of your mind that you put off. Up until this point, you may have been putting off some huge self improvement project because it looks too big and too hard.  Maybe it is getting back into your gym regime or maybe it is taking that first move in paying back a giant student loan that stresses you out.  (After all, student loans are the anthem of this generation.) It is time to kick the excuses and replace them with something else.

Homework: start a journal. Write in it what you want to fix. Confession: my journal actually contains the goal of being able to save money and finally pay off a student loan AND getting to yoga at least twice per week. I will admit that my gym regime has hit a plateau and I desperately need to switch it up/take it up a notch but it's very hard to break my usual cardio routine. And because I want you to be honest with yourself, I will also confess that I want to become a better morning person. I usually stay up late writing almost every night because that's the only time my mind ever comes alive, and then I wake up and need several cups of coffee in the morning. In an effort to become not so addicted to coffee, I am going to try to go to sleep a little earlier every night. 

Make an approachable goal that you can do every single day. Write that down.  Every day, write whether or not you've lived up to your goal.  Remember to ease your way into this. It will be less painful if you start easy and slowly work your way into this area of improvement. We are trying to make a life change and change habits, not fix a surface problem.  This approachable goal (even as small as "I am going to save $5 a day for my future instead of blowing it on a ridiculously priced cup of coffee) is the first step in putting yourself first. Be selfish and be on your own side.  If you don't start today, you are not telling the Universe that you are on your own side. Be a little more aggressive and get on your own side. No more excuses. Excuses only suggest that you are unsure about who you want to be in this life.  

This week, I want you to experiment with journaling and see how it goes.  When you actually see things on paper, it can help a lot.  Take a look at how it feels to read an honest reflection of where you lived up to your goals and where you slacked.  Also, do a little math. Seriously sit down and try to figure out how much you money you can save or when you can actually squeeze in a workout.  How can you eat a little better? Where can you save to set aside money for your future? Where can you say, "I don't need that soda, I should instead get water in my body?"

Personally, this past week, I have not eaten out once or bought anything from Starbucks.  Cooking in my own kitchen has not only saved me money, but made me realize how much I love cooking.  

You won't become a yogi master who drinks only green juice and lives in a world of happiness overnight (or maybe ever because those people are fake, in my opinion), so go easy! Do a little something every day.

Hoping this blog finds you well,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Burgundy Fever

Burgundy is a major color trend this Fall, but the color can be unbearably drab. Cruising around on Pinterest, we were able to find this impeccable head-to-toe burgundy outfit, which changed our minds about the trend. What do you think of the color? Would you incorporate it into your wardrobe? 

Image Credit: Pinterest

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kourtney Kardashian Wore What?

Kourtney Kardashian stepped out yesterday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Kardashian Kollection, a clothing line she shares with her two sisters, Kim and Khloe. The oldest Kardashian normally looks great, but when we saw this outfit, we all had to do a double-take. Yes, she looks amazing for just having had baby Penelope and yes, we're happy she's flaunting Chanel, but even a Kardashian can't pull off a fanny pack. Yes, you read correctly. A Chanel fanny pack. Who agreed to this over at the Chanel Headquarters?! 

Image Credit: Kourtney Kardashian's Celebuzz

What is a BB Cream?!

by Sarah
High-end to drugstore, you've probably seen that the latest craze in the beauty world is a product called "BB cream". BB, which can either mean Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm, is a makeup-meets-skincare cream that is similar to a tinted moisturizer, but contains many more benefits than just moisturizing your skin. Beauty Balm creams claim to reduce the size of pores, hide wrinkles, and even out skin tone, all while providing coverage, protection from the sun (with SPF), and moisture.

So, what are a few of the pro's?  Beauty Balm Creams can offer you a matte finish that is smooth, almost as though you took the time to apply primer, foundation, and powder, in one easy step. If you are looking for a morning regime that you can do effortlessly, you have found it.  Another pro is that you can give your skin an antioxidant retreat all day long. Anyone else only do most of their skincare routines at night? BB creams work on reducing the size of your pores and wrinkles all day all while providing you a healthy glow and a little coverage.  

Con's?! Lay 'em on me! And, like most skincare products with big claims, there are con's.  The main con being that most of these products aren't going to be magic, especially if you aren't willing to buy a brand that you already know works on you.  For instance, if you love Clinique and MAC, you probably won't find a miracle product with Maybelline.  These products do not provide a lot of coverage. Instead, they provide the same effect as a primer, which lies underneath your powder. If you are looking to go out, you can bet that this product can only be worn underneath your makeup.  But, it might still be worth it, just to have a little bit of skincare happening underneath heavy makeup.  

What's this going to cost me? While some of the higher end brands like MAC, Clinique, and Stila are offering BB creams from $30-$40, you can find an affordable, yet equally effective balm with Garnier, which is only $12.99 in drugstores.  Any other drugstore brand (like Maybelline) might not be worth saving a few pennies on because they won't provide a finish you're looking for. 

Image Credit: Borrowed from

See Jennifer Lawrence in W Magazine!

As fans everywhere are getting ready for another Hunger Games installment, Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence is showing her glamorous side for a sophisticated photoshoot with W Magazine and opens up about her recent mega-fame in an interview.  Lawrence, who has always remained very down to earth, says that she prefers not to live in Los Angeles while acting, in order to avoid paparazzi.  With so many stars calling the paparazzi on their own outings, we can't help but to love J. just a little bit more! Here are a few highlights from her interview with W

On attending the Academy Awards: "It’s an honor and an overwhelming compliment, but it’s also a kind of bizarre thing. All of a sudden you’re at these parties and everybody’s famous, and you feel like a loser. By the time of the actual Oscars, I was so sick of fittings and trains and corsets and people asking “What are you going to wear?” I had to go on a diet, because at all the parties there’s champagne and hors d’oeuvres. I ate so much! I think I wore two Spanx on the night of the awards."

On aging (even though she's only 22!): "You do become more aware of your mortality as you get older. When you’re little, you jump on any wild horse. Then you get a little bit older and realize how fragile life is, and you’re more careful."

On the paparazzi in Los Angeles: "Sadly, I cannot live in Los Angeles anymore. I don’t understand how actors can do it. You have no life here. You are followed everywhere. It’s not like that anywhere else in the world. I don’t want to stay in L.A. and start thinking that’s reality—because it’s very far from normal. But I still love movies. I’m just going to love being in them from Kentucky, or Prague, or somewhere else."

On taking the role of Katniss Everdeen (in The Hunger Games): "I got really nervous about signing on to that huge franchise. I was afraid that Katniss would overwhelm any other character I’d try to do. But I love Katniss, and she didn’t take over as much of my life as I thought she would."

For more of this article, you can visit W Magazine's website (or click here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Emma Watson and Nina Dobrev Shine at The Perks of Being A Wallflower LA Premiere

Los Angeles- The Perks of Being A Wallflower premiered last night in Hollywood and the leading lady of the film, Emma Watson, looked gorgeous in Armani! Co-star Nina Dobrev wore Reem Acra.  Both ladies wore simple, elegant make-up and we can't help but be jealous of how fab they look! The Perks of Being A Wallflower opens in theaters September 21 and stay tuned for a special giveaway here on the blog to win a copy of the book! (The author is from right here in Pittsburgh!)

Photo Credits: Getty Images

Monday, September 10, 2012

Win a Copy of "Speechless" by Hannah Harrington

As you know, Love is Louder is one of our favorite online campaigns here at Style & Wisdom. On August 28, Love is Louder and Harlequin Teen teamed up to bring you Hannah Harrington's new book, Speechless, which is about the effects of teen bullying. Thanks to Harlequin, one of you lucky readers can win a copy of the book by entering below! If you aren't familiar with this brand new read, here is a little preview:
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret. Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast – and nearly got someone killed. Chelsea has taken a vow of silence – to learn to keep her mouth shut and to stop hurting anyone else.

Speechless explores the real-life teen issues of bullying, mean girls, LGBT awareness and hate crimes. Compared to the many books already out about bullies, Harrington’s novel stands out for its authentic voice and unflinching portrayal of what it means to be part of the bullying.

More on Love is Louder:
Harlequin TEEN has partnered with the nonprofit Love is Louder, a movement that started when actress Brittany Snow, MTV and the Jed Foundation decided to do something to help those feeling mistreated. Hundreds of thousands of people just like you have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings you down. In October 2012, Harlequin TEEN will be releasing a brand new survey that has interviewed 1,500 girls between 13-18 years old on the subject of bullying.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ryan Gosling Writing & Directing First Feature Film

by Sarah
As if there weren't enough reasons to love Canadian actor, Ryan Gosling, now we can all admire him for writing and directing his first feature film, How To Catch A Monster.  The movie will star Gosling's Drive co-star and Mad Men style icon, Christina Hendricks and is due to begin principal photography in the Spring of 2013. According to a press release about the film, Christina Hendricks will play a single mother "swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater world."

It goes on to say that the film will "weave elements of fantasy noir and suspense into a modern day fairytale." Bold Films immediately picked up Gosling's screenplay and it will be produced by Marc Platt (who produced Drive) and Adam Siegel (who produced Wanted). Overall, we are excited to see the final product of HTCAM.

Photo Credit: Getty

Self Improvement: Be The "You" You Want To Be, Today

by Sarah
Pittsburgh has an amusement park called Kennywood. It's actually where Adventureland was filmed.  Any Pittsburgh native visits the park every summer to catch a thrill on a rollercoaster, take their kids to experience what they experienced as a child, eat Potato Patch cheese fries, or to just kindle old memories of their own childhood. This year, time only allowed me to go once, but I had a great time. While I was standing in line for one of the rides, I heard an advertisement somewhere within the background chatter that said, "Make new memories." It was just a marketing ploy for the amusement park, but it really inspired me to get more active in "making new memories", as opposed to remembering old ones. The time is now, right? 

It made me realize that even though I might have been at Kennywood on this day because I have some of the best memories of being in that park as a kid, I had the opportunity to make an equally rich new memory. 

We often don't think of current moments as being memories, because we don't exactly know how they will pan out yet, but they are worth investing in. It's worth it to look at what you're doing right now because one day it will be a memory: it will be a soothing memory or one that makes you cringe (we can all probably think of a few moments that make us cringe- like an awkward first date.) Either way, it shouldn't be something you sleep through. 

Every moment is an opportunity of some sort.  You are alive, you are breathing, and you are creating new memories.  It's so vital to realize that tomorrow's aren't guaranteed, so you need to be making memories.  Everything that you want to be in this life, you need to do it now. Start investing in the only thing you have to work with: right now. This piece of information is literally so vital, but we often forget about it. 

This is something that I sometimes catch myself struggling with.  I try to live in the present moment, but I'm a thinker.  I love to think.  I tend to remember memories that are over and done with sometimes and it brings a dark cloud over new territory: the present moment.  These don't even need to be bad memories; they can be memories of when I remember (note how I say remember) myself being better than I might be currently. For instance, I'll think, when I was 120 pounds, my life was SO much better. Or, when I had that other job, my life was SO much better. I even take it forward and think, "Once I get some new Apple product, my life and my blog will be so much better." I have to literally pull my head out of the clouds in order to think, "Oh, wait, my little life is amazing now." 

Memories that deteriorate the present moment are literally like subjecting your skin to a skin eating disease. Thoughts that make you think you aren't good enough yet to fully experience the now are just as destructive. So, any thoughts that take away from you projecting yourself forward in life with what you have are what are false and unnecessary.  If you notice, nostalgia never makes you feel immobilized in any way. Nostalgic memories encourage and inspire you to do things that you once loved or made you feel loved. But, painful or false memories supported by a fearful ego (like when I mentioned the "my life was so much better when I had that other job" faux-memory) do nothing but make you probably don't have it in you to make new memories, right? 

Being the best you is about being the best you can be mentally, in the present moment. Being the best you is an inside job. You can start today, even if you don't think you have everything you need. Despite what the thoughts and memories we discussed above might tell you, you do have what you need. Just start being that person you dream of being, today

Photo Credit: Pinterest/Pics and Quotes

Friday, September 7, 2012

Who Wore It Best? Miley Cyrus & Pink Show Up On The Red Carpet Rocking Same Hairstyle

Did last night's VMA Awards create a major controversy? Well, not major, but Miley Cyrus did show up rocking a nearly identical hairstyle as Pink.  As we all know, Pink has made short hair part of her look since the beginning of the career.  Miley, on the other hand, just recently chopped off her locks and died it platinum blonde. Once everyone began to notice that the two singers looked oddly similar, the former Hannah Montana child star took to Twitter. Cyrus, who is no stranger to sounding off on Twitter, tweeted "Woahh 2 girls have blonde short hair! The whole world should go into panic mode. Redickkk." (Don't you just love her grammar? Perhaps we should go into panic-mode because the girl doesn't even know there is no k in ridiculous.) 

Flashback moment: Remember in Sex and the City 2 when Miley and Samantha Jones show up to a red carpet event wearing the same dress? Remember how graceful Miley was? 

All jokes aside about Miley's lack of education, we want to hear your opinion!  Who wore the spiky platinum hair better: Miley or Pink?

Photo Credit: Getty

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer, Please Stay!

by Rose

As summer draws to a close many of us head back to school or home from a vacation while others plan ahead for Halloween and Thanksgiving. I for one relish the last days of the summer. They are slow and allow me to think about all of the things I've accomplished in the past few months. This summer, I captured it all on my favorite app: Hipstamatic. I swam in the ocean, spied on polar bears and sharks, and had many adventures with friends! Please enjoy some photos from my summer and I hope you enjoy the last days of your summer and think about all of the great experiences you had. I hope you find time to appreciate and look forward to all of the great things Fall has to offer!

Tell us. Are you a fan of the Hipstamatic app? 
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