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Monday, February 28, 2011

Inside Oprah's Ultimate After-Oscars Party

Today is the one and only - Oprah's [last ever] post-Oscar show. My gal pal Whitney just so happens to be at the show right now. She sneaked a quick shot of the Kodak Theatre and sent it to me. In her excitement,  I received the photo twice and four of the same message: "Inside the Koak Theater - about to see Oprah!" Gotta love her enthusiasm. Heck, I'd definitely repeatedly send the message if I were there. It's Harpo we're talking about here!

Whit also happened to fill me in on the phenomenal celeb guests who are in California for the taping of the show. None other than Anne "Dance of the Brown Duck" Hathaway, Melissa Leo, winner of  Best Supporting Actress and acceptance speech infamy, and funny Brit man Colin Firth, who rolled out last night with a Best Actor win for his st-stupendous role in The King's Speech. Sorry, I just couldn't resist. And spoiler alert: pop sensation Katy Perry lends her music to the show with a special performance. Sounds like a star-packed party to me.

Catch the show in all of its glory later today at 4 PM EST.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Oscars Has a First Name. It's J-A-M-E-S

It's coming. This weekend.

The Oscars!!!
Here come the beautiful gowns and handsome tuxs sweeping down the red carptet, all the sparkling jewelry, oh and two amazing hosts: Team Franco + Hathaway = Francaway? Yes and yes.

James and Anne have been prepping all year for their gig as presenters at this year's 83rd Annual Academy Awards - they sweated it out at Oscar Boot Camp training and everything.  Such dedication they have.

I am a huge - and when I say huge, I mean huge - James Franco fan. Tristan + Isolde, Annapolis, Date Night, Spiderman, Spiderman II, even Spiderman III - you name it, I've seen it.

 Who wouldn't love a man with a stuffed bear? I mean, really.

And Anne Hathaway is as lovely as ever. Should be really fun to have such a young pair of actors presenting.There were so many great pictures/performances this year:

The Black Swan

The Social Network

The King's Speech

 James! in 127 Hours

And tons more great pictures/actors have been nominated. Hope you have a relaxing weekend! Will you be watching the Oscars? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Any predictions on winners? My amazingly lucky friend was fortunate enough to score tickets to the filming of Oprah's next show - this Monday. As in the post-Oscar show. Ahhh! She's promised to give a full, detailed report - including whether Team Francaway makes a guest appearance. Holy jumbalaya, I hope they do. And that she gets to meet James. And give him a hug for me. Sigh. Will keep y'all posted.

Update: Unfortunately for me and all the viewers out there, James was unable to guest star on Oprah's post-Oscar show. Why, you ask? Oh, because of this little thing called earning his doctorate in English. At Yale. No big deal. With the multiple degrees he already has, he could probably earn in his sleep  sleeping during lectures.

[Images via: here]

Fingers crossed, 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oh, Lighten Up [Your Hair, That Is]

I can't take it much longer. My leg has developed this annoying twitch that won't go away, my head feels like there's a drumline using my sinus cavities for rehearsal space ... it can only mean one thing: spring fever! Yep, that's my WebMD, self diagnosis explanation for it. One more dreaded side effect: my formerly auburn locks are going, going, outta here.

It was fun being a redhead. Previously to this past fall, I was always a Mary Ann, never the Ginger.

Now that the dulldrum of winter is [almost] behind us, I think it's time to finally say hasta luego to the fiery hair color and lighten up a little bit, like these brunette bombshells here:

Will be going full-fledged chameleon and passing back into the lighter, browner side soon. Sometime this month. Actually, now that I think about it, Saturday afternoon is looking look a good a time as any ...

[Images via:  here, here, here, here, here, here]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If Only Your Boss Was This Funny

27. This is the number of things on my mental to-do list. So far, I've only crossed off a few, including: "wake up," "make coffee," "get dressed," and "go to work." Oh, and "blog about my ridiculously long to-do list." Done.

On days when it seems like there's no remote chance to accomplish everything, I think it's super appropriate to take a little break. Sneak a few minutes at work to just breathe. And YouTube something hilarious, such as Demetri Martin's witty flip chart jokes.

So make like a kid and give yourself a personal time out. Funniest 9 minutes of your day. Guaranteed.

[Image via: we heart it]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Favorite Fill-In-The-Blank Ever Is ...

Hey, y'all!

Have you ever stopped by Beth Moore's blog? Watch out - you will instantly be encouraged/challenged/or both. For reals. She and the other amazing women at Living Proof Ministries share about everything from how God's working in their lives to leading an online scripture memorization challenge, Siesta Scripture Memory 2011. More about that here.

Just yesterday she posted a fun link asking readers to list their favorite something - anything from their favorite dessert recipe to favorite Bible verse or favorite ever place to visit [for me, that would be NYC. Hands down]. Over 1,500 favorite responses makes for a really neato assortment of things that will brighten up your day. Think of it as 1,500 reasons to smile. As if you needed that many.

"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." [Psalm 68:3]

[Image via: we heart it]

Monday, February 21, 2011

Same Old, Schame Old

True story - we're alll creatures of habit. On any given day, we're likely to do the exact same kind of things we did on the weekday before it. You may be wondering - what does this girl know about anything? Working in an environment where people are forced to make at least 6 to 8 decisions in a row (aka a coffee shop) has given me a teeny bit of insight into the subject matter.  What size drink? Decaf or regular? Whip or no? Skim or soy milk? You want a muffin with that? What kind? and the questions continue. 

If I was a bettin' girl, I'd bet you all my tip money that almost every single one of our regular customers consistently orders the. exact. same. drink. they. always. do. Sure, getting a medium skim latte with an extra shot is can be a down right dandy routine to settle into. But no variation ever?

Honestly, the thought of it all sounds like a major-snooze fest, am I right? Which leads us to today's tip for sprucing up your Monday. We shall:

dare to be different

 Yes, you can. I pinky promise that it's not as hard as it may seem.
You can
  • take a different route home from work (traffic allowing)
  • strike up a convo with someone who looks like they're having a rough day
  • order off the other side of the menu 
  • trade your pilates class for a kickboxing one instead
  • call that old friend the Lord put on your heart
  • switch up your reading genres. Like fiction? Pick up a biography
  • share the story of the love of Christ with your coworkers
  • hold off on your usual caffeine fix; order anything else
  • sign up for that class/volunteer organization you've been meaning to join for forever
The Lord reminds us in the book of James that we should live every day like it's our last. "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." [James 4:14]

So what are you waiting for?  You may just discover the unexpected joy that doing something out of the ordinary can bring. And if not, that everyday routine will be waiting right where you left it.

Yours truly,

Ms. Mix-It-Up-Alot

[Image via: we heart it]

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dear Presidents, Thank You For Everything You've Done. And For the Day Off.

Whew. We made it. The looong weekend is finally here.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. 
Explore. Dream. Discover."

-the original Huckleberry Finn himself, Mark Twain

Have a lovely four (count 'em 4!) day weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bare Legs + Bad Habits Die Hard

News flash: pasty does not even begin to describe the current color of my skin. The result of winter hibernation is the death of my once golden tan. But alas, for the first time in months, my legs were reintroduced to the world. No fighting to put on my tights and feeling like a toddler when they incessantly threaten to fall down, leaving me to walk with a slight waddle and a constant tug to keep them in place. Gravity 1, tights 0.

We have glorious, it's-so-close-to-finally-being-spring temperatures here in Arlington. I mean, even the little birdies were outside chirping up a storm early this morning. I felt very much like reenacting a scene from Enchanted and calling out to them as I skipped by in my warm weather jacket and skirt ensemble, "Ahahaha ahahah ah ahahah!"

On a completely random, unrelated note, I have recently developed a new good/bad habit. Good is to what I'm doing isn't wrong, bad is to when and where I'm doing it.

Hi, my name is Lorin ... and I have a raging flossing-while-driving problem.

Just the other day, I was on my way to work and apparently thought it was no big deal to grab floss from my purse (yes, I carry it with me ... because my teeth are crazy sensitive to getting cavities) and start to clean my teeth as I navigated my car through the mid-day lunch traffic. That is, until I tried to merge onto the highway with the minty thread in both hands, steering with my knees, and realized how ridiculous it was. Yes, I've had prouder moments.

Multi-task much? It's like manufacturers need to put one of those warnings on the packaging just for the oblivious like me: "Dentist approved; please do not use while drinking or operating heavy machinery/vehicles." So to all of you sensitive teeth, multi-taskers out there, think twice before flossing up in the middle of the highway. Or at least wait until you're at a red light.

[Images via: here]



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keep, Keep, Keep It Up

Yes, that line is the beginning of a peppy cheer that many a pom-pon-toting girl like myself yelled during high school basketball and football games. It's also a memo to self:

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

This reminder, written by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:2, echoes what the scriptures teach us about keeping Christ and the glory of the cross and the power of the gospel at the forefront of our lives.

I don't know if y'all ever listen to Hillsong United but the worship music they write is incredible (read:  get ready to push replay) and their ministry has touched lives all over the world. Here's a playlist with a few of their songs plus a couple others that are a great way to focus our hearts on the Lord and to praise Him for all the amazing things He has done and is doing each and every day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Karaoke, You Karaoki, We All Karaokamo

Ever seen those free-in-a-wellness-gift-bag emoticon magnetic charts? There are a bunch of different facial expressions, ranging from "happy" to "mischievous," and they're designed so that a person can express their emotion of the day by dragging a little black magnet over the square that best matches their current mood.  Feeling a little peppy - go on, move over to "excited." They also serve as a bright orange flag when a bad mood lurks nearby. Warning, your cubicle neighbor just slid her feeling from "hopeful" to "extremely pissed off and will explode at the next person to even look at her wrong." Wait, what? That's not an option. But if only it were ... much more intuitive and enlightening than the frowning "upset" option.

If I had to pick an emoticon on the magnetic chart to describe my current life status, I'd have to choose "waiting." Yes, it's not usually an option either - like "extremely pissed off ..." but hey, my blog post, my emoticon chart. 

Waiting for what? Hmm, on any given day: for the laundry to dry, for the next train, for 5 o' clock to hurry up and get here, for dinner to make itself (wouldn't that be loverly), for my roommates to come home so we can catch up on life, for a never-ending supply of Nutella to appear in the kitchen, and more.

Just last week, I jumped on the small wooden stage of a crowded sushi bar and jammed out to "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay," with Kipsie. The lyrics definitely describe life right now - "I left my home in Georgia/ Headed for the 'Frisco bay ... Sittin' here resting my bones ... It's two thousand miles I roamed/ Just to make this dock my home." Just change Georgia to Florida, and San Fran to VA, and would you look at that, Mr.  Otis Redding wrote this song with me in mind.

Lucky for those of us who are waiting on things in life - or for life itself - to happen, the Bible has some really great promises to help us through.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." [Isaiah 40:31]

"Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." [Micah 7:7]

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." [Psalm 27:14]

"So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." [Hebrews 9:28]

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" [Isaiah 30:18]

As we wait - not passively, but actively trusting, patiently relying upon Christ, obediently fulfilling the roles He's called us to, it doesn't seem so much like a melodramatic song, kicking our heels in the water on a dock somewhere. Silly, Otis, waiting isn't wasted time.

[Images via: we heart it]

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Did the French Chef Give His Wife on V-Day?

Answer: A hug and quiche!

Ooh la la. Don't you just love love? Honestly,  couldn't resist the joke. I don't think it would really be Valentine's Day be without a gushy romantic pun or two.

Today is the day for Hallmark greeting cards, chalky pastel-colored hearts, and long stemmed roses. Today is also Monday. You know what that means - it's also time for - drum roll please - another round of Spruce Up Your Monday!

Ready? Here. it. is. Not sure what to do with this day of lovey-doveyness?

Take a cue from some truly great movies about l-o-v-e and do what they do. Hollywood reenactment at its finest.

First up, we have P.S. I Love You. Whether you're with your significant other or not, get all dolled up and sing some karaoke! Belt out your best Broadway-style version of "I Honestly Love You" or "Killing Me Softly." Or any other song that falls in between those two extremes. Guaranteed good time with only a slight possibility of falling and breaking your nose. Totally worth it.

Next, who could forget the "this is not a love story" love story. Channel your inner Joseph Gordon-Levitt and have yourself a big helping of expectations. Fingers crossed they will meet up with reality, unlike this poor bloke in 500 Days of Summer. You almost had us fooled, Zooey, but in the end, he just wasn't suit-and-tie enough for you, was he?

Looking to do something a little dangerous? Grab yourself a man and lie in the middle of the road. Preferably a mostly deserted side street. That way, you can truly connect with one another in the stillness of the moment, looking up at the sky and thinking about the tragically beautiful journey that lies ahead of you. So very Notebook of you.

If you're really fearless, find a poster board and a fat Sharpie and tell someone - like the BFF you've had a secret crush on for all time - how you feel about them. That you Love them, Actually. This is most effective when the recipient of your heart's desires is not currently married to your best friend. Ruh roh, Mark. This Juliet is already taken.

When you receive a ginormous, overstuffed present from your boyfriend, proceed to carry it around everywhere you go. For the whole day. Like TSwift in Valentine's Day. Oh, what a precious bear you have there. Super excited for you and Boy Taylor. Especially excited about how silly you look trying to stuff that in your locker.

[Images via:]

Hope you have a swell Valentine's Day!



Friday, February 11, 2011

Where To Next?

"All serious daring starts from within."

Eudora Welty

[Images via: we heart it]

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nutella 24/7? I Think So

Happy Thursday! 

When I was in college and it was socially acceptable to eat just about anything at any time - leftover pizza for breakfast, coffee and birthday cake for lunch, you name it we ate it - I discovered a deliciously simple treat that you can enjoy with any meal of the day.

I've got two words for ya: 

Nutella croissants

Insert a chorus of angels singing here. Seriously, so delicious. Here's the really easy anyone-can-make-it recipe for this chocolately snack:

What you'll need:

1 package of refrigerated croissant rolls (Pillsbury or any brand will do)
1 small jar of Nutella
A cookie sheet

What to do: 

1. Preheat your oven, following the instructions on the back of the rolls.

2. Next, unroll your croissants and lay them about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3.  Then grab a big spoonful of Nutella and spread evenly all over the roll. Repeat with each croissant.

4. Then simply roll up each croissant and put them in the oven for 11 to 13 minutes.

5. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then let the eating begin.

[Image via: herehere, here, here, here]

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

GLEEfully Yours

Hey, y'all! Do you watch GLEE

Even if you weren't a chorus geek in high school or really aren't that interested in music, it's worth checking out. My roommates and I grab some snacks and park ourselves in front of the TV each week - Tuesdays at 8 PM [Fox].

Not to spoil the episode for those of y'all who missed it, but  [spoiler alert] last night's Valentine-themed show included retail store serenading, trips to the nurse's clinic, and a kiss-the-quarterback fundraising booth. Every episode will make you laugh out loud plus have you singing along to the catchy tunes.

And, in honor of the smash hit, Sephora has put together a fantastic assortment of pretty OPI nail polishes that give you an opportunity to let out your inner GLEEk, such as "Sue vs. Shue," "Miss Bossy Pants," and "Slushied."

Other sparkly colors include a teal-rific "Who Let the Dorks Out" and my personal fave, "Diva In Training," a flashy hot pink. Just another reason Sephora is the best makeup store in the world.

[Images via: here, here]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Remember the 90s? They're Baaack

Well, at least for today. We're going back to the time of slap bracelets and overalls, when kids passed origami notes written with gel pens and wrote "I heart JTT" on their Lisa Frank folders. Long before the Jonas Brothers were around, we had major crushes on the Lawrence brothers, ate Dunk-a-Roos after school and spent all Friday night watching TGIF. Ready? Here we go.

Top 10 Things That Made the 90s Rad!

1. Awesome catchphrases like "da bomb," "whassup," "as if," "talk to the hand," and "psyche," were all that and a bag of chips. Let's raise the roof!

2. All the time we spent looking for Waldo & Carmen San Diego. Do you remember desperately scanning pages of people at the fair or swimming at the beach, hoping to get a glimpse of that lanky fellow in the those black rimmed glasses and striped shirt? And what about watching Carmen's show on TV, where she jet setted around the world in her trench coat, daring kids to try and figure out her location? Both fun and frustrating at the same time.

3. Popping any Disney video in the VCR and singing along with every single word. Want to test if someone is really a 90s kid? Just invite them out to karaoke and request that they sing the following: Circle of Life, A Whole New World, Hakuna Matata, Beauty and the Beast. It's still fun to hear a cheesy Disney song from back in the day and break out into song, including hand motions ("over sideways and under on a magic carpet ride. A whole new wooorld!") Side note: Singing every single word can also be applied to the  uber-catchy Fresh Prince theme song.

4. We wore our candy and ate it, too. Sugary, pastel bracelets and necklaces and ring pops were awesome! You could trade with friends and color coordinate with your butterfly hair clips. This is at least half of the reason why I developed an intense sugar tooth (and really sensitive teeth).  Here's an advertising flashback to the gimmicks they used on us. And they worked.

 5. The library was one of our BFFs. Long before the Kindle or Smart Phones, we had to read the old-fashioned way: by renting out huge stacks of The Babysitters Club, Goosebumps, and Sweet Valley Twins and reading them under our sheets with a flashlight when our parents thought we were sleeping. As if.

6. I racked up credit charges by playing Mall Madness, figured out who I would marry in a round of MASH, spruced up my jean jacket with my Bedazzler, whipped up a batch of inedible brownies in my Easy Bake Oven, fed and cleaned up after my Tamagotchi, and practiced my Picasso skills by painting  plastic horse suncatchers. All in a 90s day's work, my friends.

7. What I (still) know about science I learned from TV. Thank you, Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Magic School Bus, for helping me successfully make it through basic level science classes and for making education entertaining. Along with the Speak and Spell, Brain Quest flashcards, and Scholastic Books. We owe you one.

8. Breakfast really was the most important meal of the day. So many cereal choices, so little time. Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Rice Crispies, Cookie Crisp - the list goes on and on. If you were a cool 90s kid, you had the best cereal choices to offer your friends the morning after a sleepover. If you weren't, well, you probably didn't have too many sleepovers ... or friends. Unless you had a trampoline or big pool, in which case, you're back on cool kids list.

9. Boy bands + teen pop princesses + one hit wonders = a boombox full of awesome music. Hanson, Christina, N'Sync, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Britney, the 90s would not have been the same without you. They topped the MTV charts and their posters covered our bedroom walls. We listened to "MMMBop" on repeat on our Walkmans and swooned when hearing "I Want It That Way." And who could forget about hits like "Mambo No. 5," Ace of Base's "The Sign," "Blue (Da Ba De)," and "Ice Ice Baby."

10. TV shows were better then. C'mon - what kids these days watch can't compete with Fresh Prince, Saved By the Bell, Doug, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Boy Meets World, Recess, Full House, everything on Nick, Friends, Step by Step, All That. ABC's TGIF lineup was da bomb. The end.

Were you a 90s kid? Anything you miss like crazy? Or fads you hope won't ever return?