Monday, July 30, 2012

The Gift Of GUTS: Kristen Johnston

Image: David Khinda

She has made us ALL LAUGH with her acting chops, her insanely hilarious physical comedy line delivery and now has used her own words and GUTS to give an honest glimpse into her private life of success and substance abuse. Turns out Kristen Johnston is not only an Emmy award winning actress and a statuesque stunner but she is also a wonderful author and an addict in recovery.  Her New York Times best selling book "GUTS, the endless follies and tiny triumphs of a giant disaster" candidly and comically chronicles her road to fame, addiction and recovery. What I appreciated about the book was not only it's clever title GUTS which has a double meaning in both a figurative and literal sense but Kristen shines a light on the fact that we are ALL in this together and addicted to something. Also every word was penned by Kristen herself. It is a memoir about HER life in HER own words which in a literary sea saturated with celeb bio's and books is extremely unique and RARE.  No ghost writer here and I have it on good authority that she is one of the only celebs to pen her own memoir for which she immediately has my respect. She and I share the belief that only brutal honestly, accountability and sheer GUTS is the only way to heal and evolve. Let's be honest WE are ALL on the path to recovery on some level.

Book Cover & Me in bed w GUTS

I had the sincere pleasure of having a candid conversation with Kristen recently. She had me laughing, crying and then laughing some more. I can relate to her in several ways and strangely felt like I was talking to an old friend.

LG: What has been the most challenging/difficult part of the writing process?

KJO: "Interestingly enough it was the introduction. Which I literally wrote and re-wrote hundreds of times up until the last minute. I knew that it had to set the stage tonally for the book. First and foremost I know there are a lot of celebrity addiction memoirs so I was like, god I can't be another one of those. I also know that because I have been out of the public eye for so long, who knows what they thought of me at the time. They have not seen me for a long time, they probably think all celebrities are fed grapes and have a manni/peddi every morning. The bottom line is I'm just a hard working actress. I don't have a posse and I don't have handlers. My goal with the introduction was to introduce me as who I am, without saying HI I'm Kristen (Laughs). I wanted to get everybody on the same playing field regarding addition. I really wanted people to understand  that I'm not just talking to them as some actress in Hollywood. Some spoiled bitch who is so bored she has to take drugs. I'm talking to them as their sister, their cousin, their mailman, as their boss, everybody who has addiction. We are all the same." 

LG: Are you surprised with the amount of feedback you have received?

KJO: "90% of the response has been really great. The coolest part about GUTS for me is the feedback that is on the GUTS website, go to the Q&A section and see what I'm talking about. A lot of the feedback is from people who have a loved one who is an addict and that they have never understood addiction until they read my book. I'm surprised with the level of interaction and how much I care and I really do. I have to remember as an addict that I don't have all the answers.  It is ok that when someone reaches out to me in desperate straights it is ok to say I don't know how to help you"

 Image: David Khinda

LG: How has writing the book helped YOU?

KJO: "It has changed everything for me. It has certainly changed my whole view on life, on people, on sobriety. My understanding of sobriety was that you are either with AA or against AA. Now I have this great understanding about it does not have to be like counting the days of sobriety and the pressure it puts on you that if you have a relapse you have to start over. Can you imagine having four years of sobriety and then you  fuck up and go out and drink, or you cut, or you eat .. whatever your thing is, and have to start over - DAY 1. It is deflating and it is debilitating and I think it keeps people sick. I have also been very vocal about the second A - anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous was developed in the 30's when it was socially unacceptable to be honest. My point is; look if you want to keep it quiet, keep it quiet dude, non of my business but as I say at the end of the book - talk about it. Tell your boss you are struggling, it needs to become like "I have cancer" and it still isn't."

We talked a lot about honesty and gave her my two cents on how society does not encourage people to live by the truth but instead to shroud themselves with lies. She wholeheartedly agreed and went on to say "Everybody is a liar. We are taught that it is better to lie. People don't want to hear about it (truth/addiction), they would rather we keep quiet and stay in church basements and have our little cold Styrofoam coffee cup and walk down the block without eye contact .. FUCK THAT, I'm not going to do that anymore.  Why should I be ashamed of seeking help?" 

Image: David Khinda

She read me a story and letter to me from a 22 year old addict who's counsellor gave him GUTS to read in rehab after all other methods of treatments are unsuccessful. It changed his life and perspective and gave him hope that he could get well and that he was worth something.  He said "Thank you Miss Johnston, you don't know me but you may have just saved my life". It literally left me in tears and was so moving.

LG: What do you tell someone who asks how to approach or help their loved one who is an addict?

KJO: I wrote an article for called "I ain't No Miss Sobriety" which will totally answer your question. 

She is working a project called SLAM (Sobriety, Learning and Motivation) to bring a "Sober School" to NYC and is 5 years into the process. There are currently over 30 sober high schools in the US (4 of which are in Boston) but nothing like it in New York. A lot of road blocks and hurdles ahead but Kristen and her team are on the road to getting this school opened. The statistics were unbelievable.  Kristen shared "ONE in every THREE teenagers meet the medical criteria for addiction". According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration 1 out of every 70 teens are admitted to rehab but when put back into a regular school post-treatment 80% will relapse in the first 90 days.  Kristen feels like this stat is realistically more like 90% or higher. She wants to provide a place that New York teens can get educated in an environment that promotes a lifestyle of recovery and success. You can help!  Go to SLAM's website to make a donation.

Kristen as Holly in the Exes

The world fell in love with Kristen years ago for her role as Sally on "3rd Rock From The Sun", on various world theatrical stages, for her numerous television and film roles (remember her Sex & The City Character Lexi?) and more recently for her Hilarious character Holly on the hilarious TV Land show "The Exes". I have personally fell in love with who she REALLY is thanks to her GUTS. She is flawed and fabulous, brash and beautiful, honest and hilarious. I'm excited to see/watch/read what she has in store for the world next. I don't know about you but I would like a front row seat.  Thank you Kristen for giving the world the gift of GUTS. Take a bow baby! BRAVO!

Connect with Kristen: 
Kristen take's a bow in her FAB Valentino mini dress on the set of The Exes

Time to hoist those freak flags and SPILL YOUR GUTS 

Tell Kristen and I a story from your life that took GUTS to face, overcome, or acknowledge. The best stories are the RAW HONEST ones and we want to hear yours! Comment below.

KJo on the set of Jimmy Fallon. 
The Fabulous Flip off w her REWIND ring.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sole Sister Sunday: Shinnovation by Kobi Levi

I am loving this weekly shoe feature which feeds my personal obsession with all things footwear.  The best part for me is the collection of knowledge and having the ability to pass it on.  In my travels I came across a real Shinnovator (Nope not a real word but means: Shoe Innovator) in designer Kobi Levi of Tel Aviv Isreal.

The designs are creative and quirky statement pieces that are "Shoe Surrealism".  From coffee pots to cartoons, art can imitate life on your feet for a price, a hefty price. He translates his inspiration literally in his shoes.

His nod to Madonna's Blond Ambition

An Ode to Olive Oyl



Sling Shot Sandal (2009/2010)

His Unique boots were worn by Lady Ga Ga in the "Born This Way" Video

My FAV's

Which designs are your FAV?  Are you bold enough to wear Kobi's Shoe Art?

Connect with him on Facebook & His Blog

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gilded Darkness: Black & Gold


One of the fun things about Fashion for me is colour pairing.  There is the Colour Theory behind fashion (to be explored in another blog) with respect to complimentary colours but as the lazy says of summer start to slip away I want to transition into fall with a shade and metallic combo: Black and Gold. YES coloUr (I'm Canadian).

I have seen some 2012/2013 Collections with this pairing and I adore it. I also adore the mix of current and Vintage items in my style repertoire as well.

NOW: Michael Kors Resort 2012

THEN: Vintage 70's Caftan(Avail soon via Evolution Vintage)

NOW: LANVIN Fall 2012

NOW: LANVIN Fall 2012

NOW: Elisha Cuthbert in VAWK 2012

Consider adding other Black & Gold pieces from day's gone by to your current wardrobe to be Re-Styled!
3) Black Lace Dress w Gold Metallic via  rubyinthedustvintage 
  1) Sweater via bycinbyhand

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Courtney Bingham: Creatively Crafty

I am always on the hunt for tips and ideas to feed my naturally creative nature. I am totally enamored with women who juggle multiple creative ventures and business. I recently came across one budding business woman in Courtney Bingham! She is a creative DIYstress and designer in the swimwear industry. I know with my over crammed schedule I need to reach out for a fabulous one-stop-shop for creative tips and tricks and she is building her brand to help busy women like me. She also helps women take their beach look from the sand to the sidewalk with her line Cover-ups. They also do double-duty; you can cover or you can actually SWIM in them if you decided not to bare all on the beach.

Nikki Shoots Courtney's Fab Cover Up's

She is currently building her brand via her Website 
And a Video Series on her You Tube Channel

My FAV Video: How do create a chic bulletin board

I caught up with Courtney while she is travelling around the country with her rocker boyfriend, Bassist Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe (they are currently on TOUR with KISS)

LG: Where does your love for DIY come from? 

CB: Ever since I was a little girl I always loved doing arts and crafts. As I got older and moved out on my own and got my first apartment I didn't have a lot of furniture, curtains, pillows, etc. I couldn't afford to buy all of the things I wanted so I experimented and taught myself how to make things on my budget. Now when you go into my house everywhere you look you will see something I have made or covered in fabric from ottomans to lampshades. 

LG: What is your FAV DIY project(s) right now? 

CB: Experimenting with floral arrangements! Along my travels I love taking pictures of gorgeous over the top expensive flower arrangements, whether in hotels or restaurants. When I get home I try to recreate them for a fraction of the cost utilizing my local wholesale flower mart and then blog about them. I also love thinking up cool ways to make vases or boxes and pots to put the flowers in. 

LG: Are you starting a DIY Vlog (Video Blog)? or Video Series? How can my readers find all your amazing crafts & tips? 

CB: Right now I have just started posting how to tutorials on youtube, Courtney Bingham is the channel. I am trying to put up a new video once a week. I am currently in development for my own tv show, "The How 2 Girl" a 30 minute lesson on how to get the look you want for less.

LG: When and why did you start designing the cover up's

CB: I started making my own when I was 17. I brought a Brazilian bikini and I knew my mother wouldn't let me wear it so I sewed a cover-up out of swimwear material to try and hide it from her. I had to return the bikini to the store but I was left with a cute cover-up, I made more for myself but always knew I wanted to have my own line. I designed this new line in February 2012 and launched it online in July. 

LG: Who is the "Cover up's by Courtney" woman? 

CB: The Cover Up's by Courtney woman wants to feel comfortable and sexy at the same time. She loves going to the beach and the pool and is wants to feel confident. She is chic. She likes leaving things to the imagination. She buys staples for her wardrobe and is a trendsetter not a follower. She likes to stand out in a crowd. 

LG: If you had one piece of style advice as it pertains to beach gear (swimsuits & cover-ups) what would it be? 

CB: Accentuate what you've got. No one has "the perfect body" there is no such thing. Work with what you have, purchase a swimsuit that is the right cut and fit for your body type. For example, I love triangle bikini tops but they are not that flattering on me, so I always stick with bandeau tops. As for my bottoms, I am working on getting a fuller booty so I cheat and look for the cuts that accentuate it instead of making it look flat.

There is still time to ROCK a chic Cover Up by Courtney this summer, Use this EXCLUSIVE CODE: EV9002 and SAVE 15% through AUG 5th!

I don't know about you but I am excited to see what she will bring to the table AND to the beach next!

Connect with Courtney

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sole Sister Sunday: The Crystal Sole

The house of Lanvin presented crystallized soles on one of their shoe styles for FALL 2012 ready to wear collection. We are all too familiar with the famous red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes but how do we feel about the Crystal Sole of Alber Elbaz?

DETAILS:  Crystal-Sole Satin Platform Pump
Richly colored satin covers these Lanvin pumps, providing the perfect pop of color, but it's the crystal-covered sole that will steal the show.
  • Shiny satin upper.
  • Mixed metal crystals cover sole.
  • Low-dipped vamp elongates the leg.
  • Almond toe.
  • 5" covered heel; island platform lowers the pitch.
  • Leather lining and sole.
  • Made in Italy.
PRICE TAG: $1690.00

I personally love the shoe in blue as pictured above. It is a unique twist on the traditional satin platform.

Who's Buying??