Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Updates & Alice In Wonderland

Well, it's been a little while. I've been so super incredibly busy at work, my gym time, and writing my novel, that my blog has kind of taken the backburner. I just finished reading the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, I'm currently reading the Philosopher's Apprentice and I'm going to start the Lost City of Z. I'm such a bibliophile. :)

In other news, Father's day and my sister's birthday went off without a hitch. We had a great time grilling some steaks and I served the role of bartender and made some super yummy drinks. I'm also planning on starting Bikram Yoga this week. I took one class a few months ago in LA and was completely blown away. I've been practicing yoga for about 5-6 years now and consider myself to be pretty limber and so when I took the class, the poses weren't that intense, but combined with the heat created one of the best workouts I've ever had. It will be a bit pricy, but I think it's totally worth it to get fully in shape.

So, the reason why I just had to post today is because I just saw the stills for Tim Burton's ALice in Wonderland, and I was so blown away. The movie looks like it's going to be a whimsical and creepy take on the book, and I have to say that I am really looking forward to seeing it. So without further ado, I'm posting the stills below and I'm also posting some pictures from Annie Leibovitz's Alice in Wonderland shoot for Vogue. Stunning!

{Images from: Coming Soon, New York Post}

And... here are the Vogue images I was referring to. Aren't they great?

{Images from: Vogue}

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What two words would describe you?

In one of my first posts, I mentioned that I was reading the book Style Statement. Well, I finally finished it and I came up with my Style Statement! It is... Classic Adventure. Now, for those of you who have not read the book, you might not know what it means, but basically these two words are supposed to be my very essence. The first word makes up my core-- my 80% and the second word makes up the part of me that is uniquely me, so the 20% that gives me my flair.
angelina jolie vogue photoshoot
angelina jolie vogue photoshoot
Angelina Jolie's photoshoot in Vogue by the fabulous Annie Leibovitz
personifies for me what it means to be Classic Adventure.

When I came up with the statement, all I could think was: I knew it all along! I've always known that deep down I'm very traditional and I tend to be attracted to things that are timeless and universally appealing. However, there's also a part of me that is very adventurous and spontaneous and vivacious that craves the new and exciting.
angelina jolie vogue photoshoot
I've always been very introspective, and I pretty much knew these things about myself already, but it's amazing how after reading the book and answering all the questions I was able to realize that the biggest problems in my life-- whether in outfits, relationships, or health have come about because I'm trying to be too much of one and not enough of the other or neither entirely. For example, sometimes when I meet new people I feel the need to portray my adventurous side overly much and in doing so, they are usually surprised when they realize that I'm not actually a crazy, wild, spontaneous person all the time-- or even much of the time.

This has definitely given me a lot to think about and now I'm curious to see what my friends and family get out of it.
angelina jolie vogue photoshoot
So tell me, even if you haven't read the book, what two words would you use to describe yourself?

angelina jolie vogue photoshoot

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things that Make me Happy

I asked you all what makes you happy, but I never actually told you about the things that make me happy. So, I've written a handy dandy list in no particular order. Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

I love not knowing what's going to happen. I love the spontaneity of life and having the freedom to go anywhere or do anything you want, even if it's just for the day. Sometimes I take my freedom too far and need to be rescued, but that's part of the fun!

My next big adventure... I hope.
{Image from Vagabondish}

I love the feeling of the sun on my face. This is especially true after a long stretch of cold weather. I also love being able to wear flip flops every day and putting all my winter clothes away.

Good food
I love eating. Food can satisfy you in ways that nobody ever could. I take equal pleasure in healthy light fare as I do in richer, more extravagant courses. Good food is particularly enjoyable when you've made it yourself or after a long day of strenuous activity.

Strawberry ice cream... my favorite!
{Image from
The Busty Baker}

I was born a fish. For the longest time, I pretended that I was the Little Mermaid and I would splash around anywhere I could find-- the bathtub, our local pool, and of course the ocean. After that, I swam for several years and played water polo. Needless to say, there's something about the water that calls to me. I enjoy most water activities, but sometimes, all I need to be happy is simply to sit on the sand and stare at that massive expanse.

I'm generally a happy person, but my moods can vary drastically. Sometimes certain songs hit me in such a way that I get goosebumps up and down my arms and tears in my eyes. Music is that powerful. It can move me when I'm not feeling particularly sentimental, pump me up even when I'm completely fatigued, and also comfort me when I'm sad.Listen to 23 by Jimmy Eat World (or Jem's cover of Yellow) and you'll know what I mean.

I'm known for quoting movies at the randomest of times. This is one of the ways I interact with my siblings. We watch a movie over and over until we know every line by heart, then we proceed to spend the next years spouting the same lines back to each other. I crack up every time. If anybody ever wanted to gain my friendship, just quote something from Old School, Wedding Crashers, or even movies like Matilda and Titanic.

Along those same lines, I love books. I love getting inside of somebody else's head and being transported to other places. When I read, I feel like I know the main character better than anyone else. For just a few hours I can get out of my head and be somebody else-- experience their joys, sorrows, and loves.

Gorgeous scrapbook filled with all kinds of lovely things, I'm sure.
{Image from Frolic}

I'm not an adrenaline junkie, but I love the kick. I love driving fast and boarding in fresh powder down a mountain I've never tackled. I love the feeling when you catch that wave or feel the air whip against your cheeks when you're riding a bike. I love the post-workout high I get after my kickboxing class-- the feeling that I can do anything (or at the very least kick some major butt), and I love the excitement that comes from standing in the middle of a crowded arena waiting for the opening band to play.

My family and friends
I love being surrounded by the people I love (if this were in order, I think this would be at the top of my list). They know exactly what mood I'm in just by looking at me. They can calm me down or pump me up. I can go on adventures with my friends or just hang out in my PJs. Family to me means comfort and security.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What makes you happy?

I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately. Let me explain. I have a pretty big family. I have a (nearly) 22 year old sister, a 19 year old brother, and two 8 year old (half) brothers. The two little ones are mainly interested in video games, legos, and their friends. Their greatest happiness is getting some ice cream or a new toy. It's funny that such simple things can make kids feel like they're on top of the world. For the older ones it gets a little tougher because life gets more complicated. My other brother is very similar to me. He's been out of high school for a couple years now, but he seems kind of stuck. On the one hand, he has very distinct likes, but on the other hand, I'm not sure if he quite knows the direction he wants to take in life or is meant to take in life.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned...
so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

--Joseph Campbell (via That Unreliable Girl)
{Images from: Ms. Muse and from my own personal collection.}

My family worries about him. I do too to a certain extent; however, I have different reasons for worrying. They worry that he won't find a way to completely care for himself and be independent. I worry because I'm afraid that he'll settle for something and realize that he's not happy doing that. I mean, maybe someone will be happy becoming a monk or working for a little candy shop, or becoming a surf instructor. None of those professions make a lot of money, and yet all the people who choose to do them seem a lot happier to me than the people who rely on money to satisfy them. Has anyone read The Alchemist? That book was so inspiring to me-- especially the idea of having a personal legend.

"Everyone has a treasure that is waiting just for him."
--The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
{Image from my personal collection. The ocean is my treasure.}

I think that sometimes people get so hung up on money and security that they don't realize that we don't really need all that much to get by. My family thinks I'm a little crazy for my thoughts, but I'm not saying that making money is a bad thing. It's not! We all need it to survive, but there has to be a balance between following your heart and following your head. If your only concern is making money and getting security, then what's the point? On the other hand, if you value your job and you feel satisfied in it from a personal perspective, then you'll not only be more fulfilled, but you'll probably be better at it. I recently read a really great interview with Sandra Bullock (of all people) who kind of stated my point. She said,

"I think most of us are raised with preconceived notions
of the choices we're supposed to make.

We waste so much time making decisions based on someone else's idea of our happiness – what will make you a good citizen or a good wife or daughter or actress.
Nobody says, 'Just be happy – go be a cobbler or go live with goats.' "
--Sandra Bullock, Interview with Glamour
{Images from In Style and Batman Begins-- Bruce Wayne followed his own path in life.}

Kids have it right. They just are. They can be just as happy with designer clothing as with a homemade t-shirt. I wish that more people would have that outlook in life. I would be so happy knowing that my siblings were happy in what they were doing, even if it wasn't a "successful job." I really want my brother to be happy. He's a good kid (well, he's not so much a kid anymore), and he deserves to be happy, but I think that he really needs to find himself first before he can know what will get him there. I think he needs to get back to that childhood mentality and then find his own personal legend.

What about you? Have you found what makes you happy?

Monday, June 1, 2009

What's the best movie you've seen lately?

This weekend was awesome! Although it was supposed to be chilly, the weather in Tahoe was absolute perfection! My dad, brothers, and I went fishing on Saturday and I caught the biggest one! We also played tennis and went to dinner at our favorite restaurant. I also got some new snowboarding gear, which I can't wait to wear next season and overall had a great time with the fam.

This weekend, we also caught the new Disney/ Pixar movie: Up. Has anybody seen it? I was crying within the first five minutes. I've noticed that old men and children are a sure-fire combination to get me crying in movies-- even computer animated ones! I'm a bit of a sap... ok a lot of a sap... but it was definitely heart-warming and heart-breaking, as well as inspiring, and just so completely good. I highly recommend it to anybody-- young or old!

This was such a funny scene!

On another note, although it's definitely complete fantasy, it really resonated with me because one of my life-long dreams has been to visit South America. I won't give anything away, but let's just say that South America plays a big role in the film and so I have decided that instead of always talking about it, I'm going to do it. I'll post more on my exact plan later, but in the meantime, step 1 of my plan is to set a date. I'll update soon.

So, what about you? Have you seen any great movies lately? I'm really looking forward to watching The Proposal, which stars Sandra Bullock and one of my favorite leading men: Ryan Reynolds. Last night I got to watch the MTV Movie awards and they showed some clips from Harry Potter 6 and Transformers, both of which look phenomenal, and of course the trailer for New Moon which is definitely coming along quite nicely (didn't Rob Pattison look amazing?). So, needless to say, I'm definitely looking forward to watching quite a few flicks.