Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Celebrity [Fashion] Interview: Kerry Washington

This is a style interview adapted from the regular piece from REDBOOK called "WHAT WOULD [insert celebrity name here] DO?

March's celeb style to steal is Kerry Washington's (p. 46). You may know her as Ray Charles' wife in Ray or as the blind woman in Fantastic Four. But movie career notwithstanding, the girl's got style.
credit wikipedia
REDBOOK advertises her Crisp, Casual, and Funky styles. Here's my interpretation of each and I didn't buy anything new. Seriously, I had all this stuff in my closet.

CRISP:
Suggestion: Pair a "graphic color-block dress" with nude or metallic shoe. Long sparkly earrings and a clutch.

  My adaptation:  A purple dress with graphic stripe down the middle and detailed piping cinching the waist. I teachered up the outfit so I can get away with wearing it to school.




CASUAL:
Suggestion: Wear a big stripy top with skinny jeans and ankle boots. My friend Kristin was wearing this EXACT outfit when we went to Hunger Games last Thursday, but I totally forgot to take a photo of her. Guess I was too busy comparing the book with the movie. Like, how the book's hounds were way better than the movie's version. The movie didn't even talk about how they melded the hounds DNA with that of  the fallen tributes. My morbid fascination was disappointed. 

 My adaptation: I don't own skinny jeans, but I do own leggings. Most of my shirts are fitted too and I don't own ankle boots, so this was quite the challenge. I used my husbands' grey button up and a yellow bag that I got for my birthday last year. I rather like how it turned out. VERY comfy too.

FUNKY:
Suggestion: Juxtapose a floral print with leopard print clutch and bold shoes.

My adaptation: I didn't have any 80's floral, so I used this instead. It's a stretch, I know, but oh well. The shoes are still red. My purse isn't a leopard print clutch, obviously, but it is navy faux snakeskin one.
  I think I look fat in that pic. Especially next to rail-thin Kerry. It's weird taking pics of myself for this new blogging venture. I'm used to just being in my workout clothes for the photos, but this is all new territory. I DO NOT photograph well--as you can see.

Diet wise, I've been trying to kick sugar again. I'm not doing so great. I had strep throat last week and workouts have taken a back burner to getting kicking the sore throat. I did go to the Festival of Colors last Saturday, so I could cover it for the paper, it ended up being a workout though, b/c all the shuttles were full and I had to carry my 40lbs son on my back for miles back to my car. The day after, my body hurt all over, like the how you feel after snowboarding for the first time of the season.

Plus, it's teacher appreciation week. What does that mean? The PTA gives us sugary treats several times during the week. Today, I ate a glazed doughnut shaped like a foot. It had little candy toenails--giving it the look of a blue pedicure. Seems wrong on so many levels. I feel sick.

Friday, March 23, 2012

'Til Cardiac Arrest Do Us Part

There's an article in REDBOOK on pp. 70-72 called, "4 Ways Marriage Makes You FAT (and how to stop it)" and I literally thought, "Only four ways?" It's seems like the early years of our marriage was a virtual cornucopia of fast food binges, feeding the sweet tooth, and staying in the rest of the time with 2 pizzas and a movie marathon. But in the name of keeping several chapters of the weight loss memoir veiled until the release date *cough* wheneverthatis, I'll stick to four ways my marriage made me fat.

4 Ways my marriage made me fat:

1. Pier 49 Pizza - Rick and I worked there together for the first year of our marriage. We got gourmet pizza at a discount price and ate it most nights of the week. I'd like to say that we gained the pounds of happiness during those first 12 months, and it'd be somewhat true, but mostly we had TERRIBLE eating habits. Fatness was inevitable.

2. Shared interests in TV and movies, food, and inactivity - We tried tennis one summer. Bought rackets and everything. We thought working out one Saturday a week for a couple hours of low-impact tennis was pretty good, but it's not. We didn't burn a dent the calories we consumed from fried foods.
My Southern husband deep fried my healthy fajitas. grrr.

3. Kids - Does this need an explanation? I'm a stress eater and I ate all the stress of being a new parent.
April 2008

4. Sweet tooth - I covered this, but it deserves recognition again. Rick and I both have a sweet tooth, but mine is 5 times worse for sure. I ate this dessert at a conference last summer. Guess what? I've got a conference next weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.
pant pant
You know what, dieteers?! I'll do better than that. I'll take photos of everything I eat on my 3 day trip. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrity Interview Tuesday: Chelsea Handler

Photo credit: http://ladyofthearts.blogspot.com/
It's that time again. Time for REDBOOK to ask me the same questions that they ask their celebs. The cover and interview spread in March's REDBOOK is Chelsea Handler (interviewed by Marisa Fox on pp. 116-121). I had to limit a lot of the questions, because they frankly didn't apply to me. Here's what I did come up with...
credit: http://www.softwear-tnt.com/bugpuppet.html

RB: Did being the youngest of [five] shape you?

ME: Absolutely. I always felt left behind. When the rest of my family was reading Lois McMaster Bujold and making jokes about cloned Barrayarans, I was going "huh?" or "Wanna play Sullvanians with me?". I think I started reading in general just to keep up with them, and I've been addicted ever since.



RB: Who lives with you?

ME: Husband, Rick. Daughter, Lane. Son, Vin. Dog, Spike.

Believe it or not, Zurg and I are a good match.







RB: What [is] your mom like? 

ME: Five foot nothing. Prefers hard work to leisure. Loves chocolate. Is diabetic. Has a kind, giving heart. I heart her.

RB: What was high school like for you? 

ME: In two words: Socially Awesome. I love being around people and high school was an extrovert's dream come true. Unfortunately, my love for chatting it up with my friends and people I barely knew often interfered with my academics. If had had a little more appreciation for school back in the 90's, I might have been a 4.0 student. Ah well. Maybe I'll peak intellectually later. haha.
If you're new to The Redbook Experiment, you might not know that REDBOOK helped me fit back into my junior prom dress! I haven't been able to wear this since 1998! What?! [fist bump]

RB: Let's talk about your love life. You've dated...

ME: Yes. I dated before I got married almost 10 years ago.

RB: So [do you] have a type?

Junior prom.
ME: I dunno. Lemme do an inventory. I've dated ethnic guys, blonde guys, tall guys, same-height-as-me guys, only one that was shorter. I've dated husky types and maybe one rail thin guy. There's been athletic hirsuit men and relaxed not-so-hairy ones too. I've dated arrogant ass holes and humble best friend types.

I guess I don't really have a type. I know I hate arrogance (but only because I would butt heads with anyone who has a superiority complex. That's shit I won't put up with.)

Geez. I just reread that list, and it sounds like I dated A LOT of men, but some of these characteristics overlap onto the same person. Plus, I've only ever really been in love twice. Most of the other guys didn't last more than a month. That was sort of my cut off time. I could tell after a month if it was going anywhere, and I didn't like to string them along. There were a few that dumped me. I hate being dumped. grrr.
My family at the beginning of the weight loss journey. A couple who eats together, gets fat together, eh?
Even my dog was a bargain. Free.

RB: Do you bargain shop? 

ME: Hell yes. All the flipping time. I teach part time and I'm a writer for Target's sake. It's not like I'm rolling around in piles of Benjamins on my 600-thread count Egyptian cotton bed sheets. Geez. Who do you think I am? Chelsea Handler?

Still I manage to find things I love at discounted prices. I love ROSS and TJ Maxx and Payless. Bargain shopping is the ONLY way to shop.



RB: What [do your] friends know [about you?]
BGW: Ogden last summer


ME: Ask them.

RB: What do you know about Rena?

RICK: You're pretty much like a freaking Jedi in the sense that you can practically read my mind. ME:"I want to order pizza!" You: "This is not the Pizza you will order." ME:"Yeah! I don't want any Fraking Pizza!!!"

BRITTANY:  I think of my 16th birthday when you guys came to "steal" me away. :) And how can I forget the many nights of Pride and Predjudice at [your house]. :)

TEX: [When we first met in person] you didn't believe me when you discovered that I am Tex [from the blog - http://texcommando.wordpress.com/], and you admonished me to cuss more. That was excellent.

NICHOLETTE: Every time I think about you I think: smart, pretty, fun, kind, loving, talented, hard worker, strong willed. I love playing speed Scrabble with you. You keep it entertaining by being so competitive. That and you have a winners song you'll sing. Lol. 

LISA: The memories that keep coming to mind are prom, taking pictures in the back yard, and hanging out watching space ghost and mystery science theatre at your house. My new favorite memory is when you were spinning lettuce and you took the lid off before it stopped. The look on your face was PRICELESS! My favorite old memory would be any of the times you told Andy to be nice to his little sister :)

CHRIS: When I moved to Utah, Rena called me nearly every day and we would go out with the kids. It made me feel welcome and loved.

TREVOR: That one practical joke we played on Rick.

JEFF:  Your reaction when I gave you some bad news about something that was going on... how supportive and empathetic you were.

ANGIE:  I remember that you were the one that informed me that I was pregnant (the first time), because I hadn't figured it out yet.

BONNI:  Mel and adam at the drive in movie, parked n the very last row...they're too busy talkin bout JR to even care about the show....lolol!! :P

NATALIE:  Human barbies ring any bells?

K. ZEDUB: Rena when I think of memories and you I think of soccer and you plowing over Coach Flies. [I got the nickname "Kamikaze" that day] and calling some girl a "wench"! Lol. So many more but those are a few.

BRANDI: Pole dancing. Enough said.

ME: Aww. My friends are the best. I wasn't sure what kinds of responses I get when I put forth this question in the fb world, but I'm pleasantly surprised. I have so many fond memories of each of them as well. I heart you, friends.

However, after reading a couple of these, I don't know whether to feel warm and fuzzy or repentant.Can I make up for it by saying, "Kids! Don't do drugs! Unless prescribed by a professional, and even then don't abuse them."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Health Confessions

I know I'm captain or at least first mate of the Diet and Exercise Cruiseline, but I still make mistakes. Here are some of my more recent screw-ups. (As inspired by "What's your health confession?" by Jessica Girdwain on p. 61-65 of the March issue of REDBOOK)

1. I ate 2 pieces of my son's birthday cake and a scoop of ice cream.

I had monster truck-sized slices too.

2. I ate stadium french fries and battered and fried chicken strips at Disney's Toy Story on Ice last Friday.  I took my son there for his 4th birthday.

...then I ate a two bites of my husband's cheeseburger.


3. Sometimes after a really tough workout and my legs feel like I spent time in the torture device from The Princess Bride, I'll wear heels to work anyway. I'm bad ass like that.
Surprisingly easy to walk in. Pretty comfortable too.

4. Even though brush 2-3 times a day and use mouthwash almost as much, I don't floss very often. Mostly because every time I buy some or get a free sample from the dentist, my kids find it and pull all the floss out to tie up bad guys or use as a Pet Shop leash.



5. When I don't feel like working out, I swap it out with a couple hours of gardening. And when I don't feel like doing that, I lay out. It's going be 60 degrees this week. The sun and I are going to get reacquainted.

Last fall. Homegrown veggies, peeps. Can't wait for this year.
Bear Lake last summer.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrity Interview Tuesday: Lenny Kravitz

According to the March 2012 issue of REDBOOK, "Lenny Kravitz is just waiting for the right girl" (p. 89). Marisa Fox interviews him about his role in Hunger Games, his interior design business, and dating.

In this post, Fox *unintentionally* asks me the same similar questions. I think if Fox were naming this post, she'd call it:

The Redbook Experiment is just waiting for the right outfit. 

RENA AT A GLANCE

 Teenage hangout: 
Diamondhead pool in MS
 "Mostly harmless swimmers with the occasional weirdo."

Grooves to: 
"I love the entire Longstrong album. 
Her voice is haunting and reaches out and strums my heart like guitar strings."

Side project: 
Weight Loss Memoir
"I've lost 70 lbs in less than 5 years, and even though that seems like a long time to lose weight, the journey is really worth sharing. I battled infertility and insulin resistance, but the book is really about realizing my personal worth and taking back my life."

RB: How come you're able to unplug so easily? 

ME: It's not easy. I am an internet junkie. I have 3 email accounts, a smart phone, 3 computers in the house (one for each of us, except for Vin), 5 blogs (some private), and sometimes I even use facebook on my Kindle. That said, when I'm camping, I totally unplug and LOVE it. I do still bring the Kindle though. I love being around my family and doing things outdoors. We are thinking about going to Lake Powell soon, and I'm pretty psyched.

RB: You have [another blog]--tell me about that.

ME: Sure. PROSE-SPECTIVE is my writing, teaching, and daily life blog. I review books, write chunks of fiction, tell true stories about my life and family, and try to make sense of my trials. I've had that blog for 2 years. It's the best therapy.

RB: And you're [writing for The Daily Herald]! Do you like it? 

ME: Yes. I love it. I get to interview so many interesting people in the community. I am probably a strange journalist though, because I prefer to write uplifting articles. However, I don't get to pick my assignments and sometimes have to write about crime or tragedy. A lot of times, the people who endure the worst kinds of tragedies make the most amazing recoveries or hold annual fundraisers for noble causes. They deserve to celebrated.

RB: How hands-on are you as a parent with your daughter, Lane?

ME: I only teach every other day, which is fortunate, because I get to be there for her for 50% more school functions than I was when I was teaching full time. We do homework with her every night and are proud to announce that she was honored with an academic award last month. She usually gets 100% on spelling tests too. We are very proud.

RB: What style are you rocking these days? 

ME: Dresses. Last month, I bought two new dresses and I wish I could wear 'em EVERY day. The purple one makes me feel like Addison Montgomery from Private Practice, and the other is a funky wrap dress that's very J-Lo meets high school English teacher.

RB: Did you have any say in your costumes [wardrobe]? 

ME: Well yes. But that gave me an interesting idea. What would my kids dress me in if they could choose my outfits?

See below for the results...
Vin's selection for me. Not bad. I probably would wear all this together, except for maybe the cat ears. Although I do like a little unpredictability.

And his jewelry choices are a little eccentric. I'm more of a less is more type.

This is Lane's pick. There is a clear difference in their tastes, eh? I like it, but again the mouse ears and accessories are too much.

The bracelets are totally wrong, and she picked out snowflake earrings. =/ 



Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Jackie O. / Addison Montgomery Dress

 I've been watching episodes of MAD MEN and falling in love with that early 60's style, and so when I came across a dress that had the same simple shape (and was only $15 on clearance rack at Sears) I bought it without hesitation. Imagine my surprise, when I flipped through REDBOOK and found that the March WHAT TO WEAR trend is Jackie O. dresses (p. 39-40).

I like my dress, because it reminds me of Addison Montgomery's style in Private Practice, which I've also been Netflixing in my limited free time. 
I call it my Addison Montgomery dress. 
Addison Montgomery  - credit website: icydk.com





REDBOOK advertises Jackie O.'s as a TREND WITH BENEFITS, because of it's versatility--ability to go from day to night with a swap of accessories and shoes--and because the cinch in the waist takes off 5 pounds. I know that when I tried it on in the dressing room I looked thinner. And I got a ton of compliments when I wore it to work today. Even though I haven't gained or lost anything in 2 months, one guy at work said, "If you get any thinner, you'll disappear." Clearly, you can see that I'm not in danger of that happening, but I ate some ice cream today for good measure.

My dress is the same color as the one on the right and the same cut (minus sleeves) on the left.
Here are some other Jackie O.'s that REDBOOK advertises. I love the orange one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Celebrity Interview Tuesday: Thomas Haden Church

March's MY BIGGEST FAN celeb interview in REDBOOK is with Thomas Haden Church, who I know best from his role as a quirky mechanic, Lowell, on the 1990's TV show Wings and for being the Sandman on Spiderman 3.

His cute 7 year old daughter, Cody interviewed him for the BIGGEST FAN article on p. 94 and adapted by Marisa Fox. Since I have a cute 7 yo daughter too, I'll have her interview me.

(DISCLAIMER: All responses by Cody are taken from the magazine, but are obviously taken out of context.)


LANE: How old are you?

ME: A lady never tells...the truth. Just kidding. Always tell the truth. I'm 30.

LANE: hmm... What's your favorite meal? And mom, once when you were sleeping, I came downstairs and got the duster and had to dust the glasses, because I didn't want you to get allergies.

ME: [makes a face.] Like dusted inside the glasses?

LANE: Yeah.

ME: Ew. Let's not do that again. The dishwasher does a good enough job cleaning off the dust.

LANE: OK. [walks to the kitchen to get duster under the sink.Vin, 3yo, runs to see what she's doing. Together they go into the next room.]

ME: Thomas Haden Church's son, Cody, do you have any questions for me?

CODY: Who is your favorite Disney character?

ME: When I was a kid, I'd say it was The Little Mermaid. I loved that movie and would watch it over and over again. I loved the soundtrack too. [I sing a couple lines from "Under the Sea"] My mom got it for me. Now, I'd say my favorite character is...Buffy. I know. Buffy's not Disney, but she's the strongest female character that TV's seen in a long time. I heart her.

CODY: I like Dumbo because he can fly with his ears. Who is your favorite character in this movie?

ME: What movie? Dumbo? Um...the pink elephants. [I hear the kids in the other room.]

VIN: [Yells.] I'm stuck! [laughs.]

LANE: [imitating me.] Vin, let's not lollygag. Let's not lollygag.

CODY: Do you prefer being in LA or in Texas?

ME: Oh, tough question. [thinks.] LA is so close to Disneyland, but commuting around there is a beast. Texas is where my sister lives now, but they do have thumb-sized fire ants. So, I'm gonna to have to say...neither.

CODY: I think you like the ranch here in Texas.

ME: ...huh?

LANE: Mom, I have another question. What's your favorite color?

ME: Don't you know?

LANE: Red?

ME: Yes. Red. Ask me a hard question.

LANE: I don't have any hard questions. Actually, what's your favorite dessert? What's your favorite book? And what's your favorite movie? [walks off before I can answer. I holler my answers into the other room.]

ME: There's a cafe in town that makes the best carrot cake in the world. Their slices are as big as my foot. I get one every year for my birthday.

LANE: Mom, Spike needs to go outside. [Spike, our dog, is sitting patiently by the back door.]

ME: OK. [She let's him out.] My favorite book...I'm currently reading Partials by Dan Wells. It's a YA fiction about a virus that has wiped out most of civilization, so ten years after the fact ppl are trying to survive and continue the human race. (link to book on amazon)

LANE: Oh. And mom. I stepped on top of this bench to dust the mirror. Is that OK?

ME: Yes. Just not the shelf next to it.

LANE: Well, I kind of already did.

ME: Well, don't anymore.

This is the spider robot they made yesterday.
LANE: OK.

ME: My favorite movie currently is The Help.

LANE: [Spike runs back inside.] I'll get Spike a toy. 

CODY: Hit them in the head!

ME: I'm sorry?

CODY: Tickle you!

ME: Was that a question?

CODY: To sink the tickle.

ME: [raises eyebrow.] Where are you going with this?

CODY: Were you like me when you were little?

ME: Verbally confusing? No doubt about it.

CODY: That's a lie!

ME: Oh. Pinocchio! That's a good movie too.

LANE: Vin, wanna play ping pong ball with a Zooble?

VIN: No. Don't understand me.

ME: My apples didn't fall far from this tree. [aims both thumbs at chest.] That's for sure.

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