Mar 24, 2009

Getting Fit: New Routine

I've finally decided on a new routine to follow in my ongoing fitness/health/hot-ass body goals. After I had finished 6 weeks of my last routine, I had a few options that I was having a great deal of difficulty choosing between. For two weeks I technically had no planned workout or routine, and was just doing a lot of yoga and dance DVDs, and used boot camp and kickboxing DVDs for strength, along with Sparkpeople's 15 Abs video. But no more unfocused workouts for me! Since I have access to a gym while I'm here in Vegas- which I'm incredibly grateful for, thank you Mr. Vegas and 24 Hour Fitness-  I decided the best plan to follow would be one that incorporated more weight lifting, as opposed to other routines I follow at home that are composed of high-rep, heart pumping circuit-training moves. 

I am officially taking at stab at fellow Canadian Harley Pasternak's 5 Factor Fitness, granted I'm not following the diet whatsoever, I'm on "vacation" don't judge me, but the fitness routine is getting all of my efforts. The break-down of his method is: 5 minutes of a warm-up, 5 minute upper body and 5 minute lower body-which is combined as superset, and 5 minutes of abs followed by 5+ minutes of cardio. I've upped my warm-up to 12 minutes, on the elliptical or treadmill, and do between 15-35 min of cardio, but I must say being able to finish a workout within an hour is superb! Especially since I head to the gym with someone else, who doesn't treat the gym as their mecca.

I'm trying to keep my weight as heavy as I can lift properly, which often ends in drop sets, in order to take advantage of the muscle building opportunities of machines and heavier dumbbells (than what I own). I'm nearing the end of my second week and am starting to feel some effects, now if only I can get my nutrition down, and stop eating so many chips... since when did I eat chips? Seriously? I normally hate them, and yet somehow I've been munching after every meal!

Mar 23, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Although I do not drink beer, being of Irish descent I look forward to celebrating St. Paddy's Day; even if that means watching other people drink their green beer, possibly while sipping on a martini- if I can think of a green one that's not Sour Apple, that would be superb. This St. Paddy's day I decided I wanted to celebrate in Las Vegas, seriously when you think about it, what could be more fun, besides flying out to Belfast? Unfortunately my plans didn't quite follow through the way I had originally intended. Instead of landing in Vegas the day before St. Patrick's day, thus allowing me plenty of time to settle in and follow it up with a night on the town, the US Airways flight I had intended on purchasing went up 300$ in an hour! The next available flight within my price range was the following day (St. Pat's), and my ride to the airport wanted to spend the day shopping so I couldn't take an early morning flight.

My St. Patrick's day was spent "shopping"- or in my case looking at items I couldn't afford presently, driving to the airport, almost missing the baggage cut-off time, and on a plane. The longest "short" plane ride I have ever experienced! We flew from Buffalo to Philly, then Philly to Vegas, and that Philly to Vegas flight was teetering on unbearable. I did make the most of it however, and chatted to as many people as I could stand, read numerous chapters from this months Spine to Spine, watched an episode of 90210 (which inspired my new haircut) and Californication, read an entire magazine, and did stretches while walking up and down the aisle.

Once off that goddamn plane, Mr. Vegas was there to pick me up, hand me my "Irish Princess" tiara and whisk me away to Yardhouse at Town Square, where we took advantage of their awesome Late Night Happy Hour. Half priced appetizers which includes a delicious (and personal favourite) Seared Ahi Sashimi, Calamari, and Ham & Pineapple Pizza (a Mr. Vegas favourite), along with $5.75 Martinis (Strawberry Fields), and $3.50 Pints- Yardhouse boasts to have one of the largest selections of beer on tap, yet no Corona, much to Mr. Vegas' dismay.

I had a good time and even got a St. Patrick's Day cupcake or two, and was definitely grateful to be back in this city, but after all that travel and still being on East Coast time, I didn't have a chance to make my St. Paddy's day all that I had hoped... drunken stumbling along the strip, coughing up green margarita's from Fat Tuesday's, but I guess that's a good thing.

Mar 11, 2009

Oscar's Fashion:
The "Meh," The Fab & The WTF?!?!

So back to the Oscar's, I realize that this ongoing post has almost mirrored the often unbearable length of the Oscar's themselves, and yet I make no apologies, except maybe to myself. And the show must go on. I really appreciated the 5 historic former Oscars winners presenting the awards, plus it gave me a chance to see some non-winner's gowns in full on stage, like Halle Berry whose dress was disappointing (then again I'm one of the few that did not fawn over her 2002 Oscar gown), Nicole Kidman looked good from afar and then rather.. interesting with all those feathers in her face, at the time I was torn...which ironically could describe her dress, torn feathers, and Marion Cotillard's ballgown that I despised looked rather grand on stage, I still despise it, I'm just saying seeing the gowns on stage could show them in a new light.

Speaking of being on stage, the rumors were true, Anne Hathaway was in the opening number. And although her performance dress was rather fugly, her skit/musical number with Hugh Jackman was HILARIOUS! And shockingly, she can sing. Well done. 

Her vocals weren't the only thing I considered well done, Anne Hathaway wore a Giorgio Armani, mermaid silhouette dress, which admittedly was not great at first glance, I was even disappointed a little when I saw her exiting her car, I had high expectations. Very glittery but, still lacking the drama I was seeking from her. Then I saw a closer shot and began to find the dress interesting, and noticed for the first time that it was covered in pailettes, like fish scales, reminiscent of Marion Cotillard's previous Oscar gown. And now that I've seen a photo of it, and can really scrutinize, it's official- It's FABULOUS! She continues to reign with her fashion choices; best breakup "Take That" ever! Anniston take note.

There's been a few metallic gowns seen on the red carpet (Megan Fox at the Golden Globes; Emily Blunt at the SAGs), Leslie Mann has achieved the look of a wearable disco ball best, in this a cap sleeve Pamella Roland gown with plunging v-neck. Gorgeous, and she inspires me to turn on some cheesy tunes and dance around her.

Could Taraji P Henson look anymore fabulous than she does in this cream Roberto Cavalli? Besides her slip up of showing off her spanx when she pulled her dress up a bit too high during her interview with Ryan Seacrest, the answer is no! She looked like a dream, a dream in cream and floating on a cloud. I'd like to state that I've met her, and she's even more gorgeous in person, I mean unbelievably stunning.

Tilda Swinton is quite simply too much fab for her own good. She may make some often kooky fashion choices but I understand why she's been targeted as Victor & Rolf's muse, she wears looks straight off the runway better than some models, granted I've been enamoured with her since viewing Orlando, but I stand by my decision.

Marisa Tomei's Versace gown was unexpected and unique and simply divine. The folding was somewhat cocktail-napkin reminiscent, and followed this recent origami trend, similar to Heidi Klum's unsuccessful gown [as Jay Manuel pointed out], and yet somehow love it. A friend of mine believed it was "half interesting, but too ornamental...women should be able to move, being half paralyzed by a dress is not appealing." And she has a great point,  and normally I think I'd agree, but she stood so stunningly! 

Speaking of napkins, Jessica "towel-dispenser" Biel was all wrong in a white Prada shapeless satin sack. Her accessorizing wasn't any better! Her hair was a greasy, disheveled mess and not in the "I was getting amorous with JT in the limo" sort of way. And her shoes! Her SHOES! Horribly clunky, closed-toed black shoes. She should have just worn her Vanity Fair Party dress instead, at least that was somewhat flattering.

Moving on with the WTF?!?! category, WTF?!?! was Beyoncé thinking wearing her sofa? 

I did think her simple makeup and ponytail were a great choice though, I'm sure it's not easy complimenting a gown made from the same cloth as the Queen's furniture.

Beautiful Frieda Pinto, it pains me to put you in this category, and due to my enchantment of your face I was gonna slip you into the "Meh" group, but then I'd be lying to us both. This John Galliano style didn't work on Drew Barrymore, and it's even worse on you. While the colour is great on you, the lace single sleeve and beading are aging. I'm just gonna say it: I hate this. It's hideous. Moving on. 

I was originally happy to see Penelope Cruz in something non-black, and it's Vintage Balmain! I'm a sucker for a full skirt, and found the chiffon draping dreamy and somewhat heavenly, it was obvious from the close-up on the red carpet that the bodice possessed some amazing detail. I really liked the back, but then began to fell the strapless cream ballgown was too much wedding from the front. When Penelope won for best actress, I was enjoying her dress much more up on stage, but again I had a conversation with a friend and re-realized she really did look like a bride...

Then I saw this picture and I've decided that I love it again. Just look at that chiffon overlay and the detail at the hem. Call me fickle if you want, besides a love a great bridal gown.

Kate Winslet may have taken a risk in a Atelier Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati asymmetric evening gown, which I always admire. This risk just did not pay off for me in the end, although I'd be interested in seeing more gun-metal gowns in the future, but this is "Meh" overall.

Angelina Jolie changed her dress! Rejoice! Her Elie Saab black dress is fitted, gathered, and is even showing a sheer bit of leg, just the way we like her. But honestly, the sweetheart neckline is nothing new, the dress is simply black, and while yes she's finally showing off her frame, there is really nothing truly groundbreaking. In fact it's an odd mix between a red (fitted) dress I wore to a wedding (or two), and the Vintage Hermès she wore to the 2008 SAG awards.

Her 115 carat Lorraine Schwartz Colombian emerald drop earrings were a stunning pairing with the minimal gown and makeup; akin to her "pairing" with Brad Pitt, they really are a stunningly gorgeous couple. It's not natural, but I digress...My girlfriend best described her ring, "It looked like it came from a gumball machine....or the ring in the Bagelfuls commercial." 

Closing up the "Meh" trio is Rodarte wearing Natalie Portman. Yes her pink chiffon dress is pretty, but big deal! shes a pretty girl- it's not hard to do. She obviously looks gorgeous, but I found it exceptionally safe, something is lacking. Similar to my thoughts on Alicia Keys plum Giorgio Armani Privé chiffon gown, the colour looked great on both. Simple, safe, pretty dresses. Big fat "Meh."

Mar 9, 2009

Spine to Spine: The Alchemist

My February book choice came a little late, but thanks to my cousin loaning me a pile of her books I finally found my book of choice almost 3 weeks into the month! Fortunately, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was not only an easy read, but it was also an inspiring one. 

Which, frankly was exactly what I needed during this time in my life; something that not only offered hope that better days are within reach, but also encourages chasing your dreams. I've had a lot of thoughts (and possible regret) that I have never fully given my dreams a chance, which essentially means I've never given myself a chance to truly be happy. I love the idea The Alchemist is based on of following your "personal legend," and "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." It sort of helps make sense of all that I've experienced in my past (similar to adage "everything happens for a reason") and encourages me to follow my heart (or omens); but most importantly it stimulates hope, that was almost lost, that my dreams may still be available to me, and perhaps the reason I hadn't reached them earlier is due to something greater- perhaps I wouldn't have to be able to hold on to them once grasped? I'm not sure, but The Alchemist definitely inspired positive thinking, which I greatly needed

Mar 5, 2009

It's Official: Chris Brown is Charged

And he's a fucking idiot. Plain and simple. I refused to allow random media outlets to dictate what the "truth" was, in order to give Chris Brown a chance. Mistakes happen, people misconstrue "evidence" and public opinion somehow becomes facts. Well now that I've had a chance to read the sworn statement by Los Angeles Police Detective DeShon Andrews, I think it's safe and appropriate to form an accurate opinion of the situation, and of Chris Brown. And that opinion is simple, he's a fucking idiot.

First off, you don't beat your girlfriend because she gets upset after finding a three-page text from a girl you've had a previous sexual relationship with. Second, when you can't push her out of the car, you do not shove her head against he passenger window. Third, you do not punch her directly in the face while you are driving. Fourth, you do not shout at her, "I'm going to beat the shit out of you when we get home! You wait and see!" Nor do you threaten to kill her after you believe she's called her assistant to have the cops waiting at her house. Fifth, you do not continue to punch her in the arms, the hands, the legs, the feet,  nor do you bite her fucking fingers when she tries to gauge out your eyes because your strangling her. Basically what I'm trying to say is, YOU DO NOT BEAT YOUR FUCKING GIRLFRIEND. 

But that is not the only reason I think he's an idiot, although it's really all the reason I need. You do not do it when you're both such large figures in the media, at the height of your career, one that's based on you being a "good guy," and YOU DO NOT do it before the Grammy's [or ever]. Just goes to show your total lack of comprehension of...well... anything.

So yes, Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies. Felony counts of assault and making criminal threats; essentially a threat that your actions indicate you intend to follow through, i.e. telling your girlfriend you are going to kill her, then follow that with the action of strangling.
After Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated, 'You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I'm really going to kill you!'
Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in [an] attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.
Brown continued to punch Robyn F. on her left arm and hand, causing her to suffer a contusion on her left triceps that was approximately two inches in diameter and numerous contusions on her left hand.
The whole situation is rather shocking and disturbing, but for those interested you can read the affidavit here. And now we're receiving reports that Chris and Rihanna are reconciling? I promise not to judge, but something doesn't sound right there. There are only so many conclusions a person can come to when they hear of such possibilities; low self-esteem?; previous experience with such occurrences? (which connect with the first option, and a belief that this kind of action is deserved); there's more to the story?; either way, both of these kids need serious help. It also proves how little we know of our celebrity idols/personalities, no matter how many interviews we watch or read, how well they dance or act, how many of their songs we listen and relate to, or their movies we watch and connect with. They are real people, that we do not know. We only know the personality that's been manipulated for us.

Mar 4, 2009

Getting Fit: Being Sick

I have a few blogs that I've started, sitting in draft mode, and it's really frustrating not finding the time to finish them, or as the present case may be- being unable to muster the energy to type for longer than a minute or two! This week I am sick, last week I was stressed out and spent most off the week running on empty (which explains how I got rundown this week), the week prior I suffered back problems and couldn't do much of anything physical for a few days, so I tried to make up for my lost workout time by doubling a few days of cardio, and adding an additional set of the my workout circuit. And look where it's got me! Clearly my body (and mind) needed a rest, and I didn't heed the first signs, so it FORCED me to stop, take a break, and rest.

If only I could see straight, I'd be able to read the book outlining my new possible workout (that I had intended to start this past Monday); Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut, which looks to be a relatively hardcore 30 day routine. It only makes sense that the relentless trainer features on TVs the Biggest Loser would write in her first chapter, "Girly " push-ups? I don't even want to hear it--toughen up or go buy someone else's book." Of course in my present ill state, she's kind of scaring me, so maybe I should check out someone else's book! (You can read a chapter of Jillian Michaels book here.

My other fitness options are to follow routines that I've used in the past, and are somewhat familiar with. Which consist of Heidi Klum's infamous trainer, David Kirsch's Sound Body Sound Mind, which works similarly as January/February's routine, as a low weight-high rep circuit that uses all muscle groups while incorporating cardio with the strength moves; David Zinczenko's The Abs Diet for Women, which is better for muscle building, as expected from the Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health, it focuses on low reps with higher weights; or I could always take another stab at the 5-Factor Diet by Harley Pasternak (the Canadian credited for revamping much of Hollywood's fittest), but I found that workout a little too easy, the diet advice however, was great (as is David Zinczenko's). 

So many choices, if only I had the energy to pick a routine and/or read the book! Let alone actually do the moves... Whichever I chose, I'll keep TMP updated.

Mar 3, 2009

Oscar Fashion: In the Red

Just finished watching the results show of American Idol, and I'm impressed with my deduction skills; I correctly guessed each Top 12 contestant, Kris Allen, 16 year old Allison Iraheta, and pretty-boy rocker Adam Lambert, hopefully Megan Corkrey gets in on a wild card- and yes I actually care about American Idol, it shocks me weekly. It's now over and I have one of three things to do, workout, watch CSI, or continue my Oscar fashion's critique; and since I've been far too stressed out with this job hunt and other obligations this week I haven't managed to say much else about my Oscar thoughts, and believe me, I have a lot to say- You should see my notes! 

NOTE: That opening paragraph was written a week ago! A week AGO! And guess what today is... another AI results show. Clearly I need to get my Oscar's critique on- it's getting to a point where it has been so long, I almost don't even care about what anyone wore... I said almost,  so let me pick up where I left off.

Common of formal red carpet events, there was a lot of red worn on the carpet, scarce of it was very good however, 

Heidi Klum wore this origami-inspired RM by Roland Mouret, and as much as I want to love her fashion risk- I don't. It looks as if someone took a roll of crimson organza and just wrapped it around her, and tied a bow in the back. The dress is too much, with the dangerously high slit up her leg, the cut-outs at the side and the back, the signature Roland Mouret neckline.. all TOO MUCH!! Oddly enough, I did love the excessive jewelry, which should fall under the category of too much, but that was the only part of her Oscars experience I appreciated.  

Amanda Seyfried wore another "losing" red number, although from this angle it doesn't look so bad, but when facing front the rise of the hem exposing her shoes looks ill-fitting. It's very close to being a gorgeous old-school glamour throwback with that giant red satin bow, and those Veronica Lake waves, but this is the Oscar's "close" is not a compliment. The gun metal shoes, and antique necklace were a plus... again I prefer the accessories to the gown. 

Finally a dress I liked! Amy Adams' silk crimson Carolina Herrera dress with double-face duchess satin bustier was absolutely gorgeous on her. It was an excellent fit and that colour looks divine against her skin. I was rather torn on her Fred Leighton 1950's bib necklace,   

It was possibly a little too much paired with the black pipping of her crimson gown, and yet when looking at the close-up it's hard to deny how great the emeralds, rubies and sapphires look against her skin. The jewels also bring out her eye colour, and compliments her makeup-- I like the dress on her, I love the necklace on her, I'm not sure how I feel about the two together, but compared to January's fashion choices, this is a winner!
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