About Colleen Quill

Elle, love, kisses and pop glitter make life worth living!

Female Leadership Inspiration…Ramble

It’s Monday morning. There are people I know scrambling to pull numbers for weekly meetings. I feel the chaos out there and calmly found myself up at the crack of dawn, thinking about an idea germinating with a friend of mine. We were discussing Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” efforts and expansions of the program to universities when Charlotte Beers’ name came up and her TED talk. I found it hugely inspirational as Ms. Beers gives examples of moments that tested her, redefined her career and made her a successful in the male dominated advertising world:




Thank you Ms. Beers. My brain is activated and excited about a new project. 


Consciously Uncoupling, Insert Tears!…Ramble

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a huge Gwyneth Paltrow fan, I was before Coldplay released an album. Then I separately found their music pretty damn amazing. It’s no shock then that upon the news of their separation, one that my friend Shoshi ‘called’ quite recently, and I wanted to refute at the time. Turns out she knew what she was talking about, except the part where Gwyneth would say it was her decision.

Watching Coldplay’s live iTunes Festival performance at SXSW, I did raise an eyebrow when I heard the lyrics to “Another’s Arms”

Late night watching TV,
used to be you here beside me,
used to be your arms around me,
your body on my body.

Read more: Coldplay – Another’s Arms Lyrics | MetroLyrics

But, I was still enthralled with Magic’s lyrics “I don’t want anybody else but you”, so were they still trying to work it out at the time the lyrics were written? I don’t know, but I do know it has to be hard when one person is on tour for two years and the other person is going to events all over the world for work as well, an international move to California, plus two young kids means there is a lot of juggling and obstacles to staying connected.


The media loves to throw hate in GP’s direction. No, she isn’t the most down-to-earth person with some of her recommendations and guess what people? You don’t have to be so literal. How about finding the inspiration for high priced looks with an affordable version for yourself? For all of the high end items, GP also gives away a ton of information for free, so much so I still credit her for inspiring me and helping me with her gratis recipes, lose 30 lbs.

I was inspired about the strength of the blonde couples’ relationship, when Chris was asked by a Rolling Stone reporter for a cover story at the release of VIVA LA VIDA, if he’d ever been in a serious relationship. He answered one. And the journalist asked him about it and Chris responded it was the one he was in now aka his marriage to Gwyneth. Swoon.

Having been through my share of heartbreak, I could really relate to ‘Magic’ lyrics “And I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic when I’m with you.” Yes, I know that pain. And sometimes it helps for me to look towards those beautiful couples who are in love and believe in their magic. This split so soon after L’Wren Scott’s suicide illustrates life and love is not easy for anyone. Behind the scenes you never know what is really happening in someone’s mind. Social media allows us to all ‘curate’ our lives to look amazing and some days it just isn’t, which is why I posted a photo today of a trash yard.


The Magic of Coldplay…Ramble

I just got broken, broken in to two,

Still I call it magic when I’m with you….

Oh my, Coldplay. Since I heard this song last week I cannot help but fall under its magic. There are certain times in life when a song hits the mark, it’s like the composer and lyricist crawled up into your head and explained to you why you feel what you feel. ‘Magic’ has already slid into my top five favorite Coldplay songs. There are already a bunch of really great covers of it on Soundcloud so I am not alone in my sentiment, which is exactly the point. Here’s to all the people who still believe in magic.

Crush of the Week: Amy Poehler…Ramble

Golden Globe winner and second time host, Amy Poehler is on fire these days. I’m personally in awe of her spirit and now her entrepreneurship. She just inked a deal with NBC for a new TV pilot, which will star Natasha Lyonne (who sorry I’m not a fan of since she did an interview looking for apartments and totally put down Brooklyn. Girl, Orange is the New Black films here all the time, get over your I can only live on the the Island mentality or Bjork will bop you next time you come this way, I digress.)

Ms. Poehler’s Parks and Recreation has one of the most talented, funniest casts on TV. Like many people, I was slow to get into it, I was always out on Thursday nights, but once I started watch it on demand, I was hooked. The clever writing, the sincere way Poehler’s Leslie Knope inspires everyone is just brilliant. I love how well developed the characters are, for example, the Ron Swanson character who eats meat, deplores vegetables and government, once gave a child a land mine as a reward, is a carpenter, has two evil ex-wives named Tammy (the same name as his mother) and hides his money in the woods.

Back to Leslie, I mean Amy… she was also the first guest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ ever setting the tone as “The Joaquin Phoenix of this show” according to Seth:

Although, Amy asked for George Clooney to “please stop” their prank war, she and bff, Tina Fey, are in a prank war with George Clooney:

The prank war which started at The Golden Globes, places Amy and Tina on a higher plane of playing with the boys, something both of them have never let them stop them from succeeding. In Tina’s book ‘Bossy Pants’ she mentions that Amy has bigger balls than any of the men they were in Chicago’s Second City with and it influenced her to stick up for women. Who says women can’t be funny? A man who has insecurity problems and has clearly never watched Amy as Leslie Knope.

Only Gamble On Love…Ramble

A few days ago I was delayed in the Las Vegas Airport so I hit the Dolly Parton slot machines, sucking down a much needed ice coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and watched for updates that our flight would actually leave.

I told a friend what I was doing and she told me “only bet on love.” My reaction was different than the last few months, which were spent dealing with some major heart break. Major. It’s like that scene in all the Alien movies when the creature bursts forth out of the humans’ chests- painful and unnecessary.

What if you bet it all on love and it kicked you in the teeth? Maybe taking up Zumba, aka exhaustion via Beyonce songs, will help. After all once you’ve been humiliated by love or lust or a crush or just life in general, shouldn’t you let it all hang out? Beyonce ‘Run The World (Girls)’ and ‘Grown Woman‘ are always going to be the crowd favorites:

However, a little foray into some air guitar and zombie moves with jumps to P!nk’s “So What” let me vent my frustrations:

And you know what? He is a tool, a rake of the highest degree. I was working at Sony when that P!NK album came out and it just cemented how much I j’adore P!NK and her sass. How did I lose sight of my own? Of course, P!NK’s self-expression lead to a reconciliation and mine has lead to me going big in ZUMBA. But so what? “You are obviously the superstar of this relationship” will always stick with me as I almost busted my ankle pounding into the wood floors a few days ago. When you bet it all on love, when you lose, the pain can be a crushing vice splintering the shards of your broken heart into dust, but yet you have to bet it all if you want to win. And, fellas, I’m worth winning.

Crush of the Week: Kit Harington…Ramble

Game of Thrones fans do not have to wait until April to swoon over Kit Harington. The Londoner stars in “Pompeii” in theaters today. Those who have managed not to give a crap (too much gore/sex/dragons/hot men/creepy white walkers/the brutal red wedding) about ‘Game of Thrones’, or are completely TV free now have a chance to swoon over Kit on the big screen, playing a slave turned gladiator. Hmm, sounds a little familiar, but no this is not a rehash of Russell Crowe’s unforgettable performance in ‘Gladiator’, it is a love story, from what I gather a bit ‘Gladiator’ meets ‘Troy’ with a switch that the object of lust, I mean love, instead of being the forbidden Helen, is Kit’s character. Well hello Hollywood, I like that twist as much as I like action movies and historical fiction so bring it!

As a romance writer, Kit is extremely hero inspiring. That soft voice, the sullen, yet sexy looks, and the rock hard abs he earned for this role is all a recipe for swooning. Yeah, yeah, don’t be so superficial you’re thinking. He is a very decent actor, classically trained with deep royal ties in the family tree. Even at under 5’8″ Kit is a powerhouse of extreme sexy.


I also really like to dance around singing Bastille’s “Pompeii” any chance I get, maybe my crush is on anything having to do with Pompeii? HA! Nah, but please enjoy the amazing Bastille’s SNL performance of ‘Bastille’ and think of Kit as you dance around singing ‘A-a- oh aaaaa-ooo, aaaaa, aaaaa-ooo, how ammmIgonnabeanoptomistaboutthis?’

Brand of the Week: goop *by Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

The inaugural Monday issue of goop came out this week, covering all that is fun and worth notice from New York Fashion Week. Guest Editor, Fashion muse and trendsetter Taylor Tomasi Hill (isn’t that name just MADE for fashion?) finally reveals who maintains her red locks (the prices are not that outrageous), where and what to eat (juice, juice, juice baby!).

It’s typical for Gwyneth’s goop to make headlines on a weekly basis. It makes me laugh that there is such hate for someone who seems pretty funny, cultured and cool to me, but others see GP as a snob, elitist and out of touch with reality. GOOP was a genius idea. Gwyneth became more than an Oscar winner with a rock star husband, two kids and oh yeah a number one single in Australia for her duet with Huey Lewis:

Personally I love my weekly dose of all that is GP. Why? Her posts about healthy eating, juicing, detoxing and exercise tips from Tracy Anderson have helped me lose thirty pounds and keep it off for over two years. I shared that little tidbit with GP when I went to a book signing for It’s All Good and she was so delighted to hear it. My friend Brian asked me “How did you get her to smile like that?!” and he got back in line so he could do the same. Now, haters will have you believe it will cost an arm and a leg to make any of the recipes in there, but I believe they were shopping at Whole Foods for all the ingredients. Hey New York Times, we’re not all living in denial.

In fact, I have a new friend who was afraid to tell me she has been using It’s All Good recipes because she is on one of those programs where you have to cut out everything – gluten, sugar, alcohol, nuts, etc., in order to find out what she is allergic to, under her doctor’s care. My friend was so relieved I believe in all things goop as well. How sad she had to assume she would be dismissed for liking Gwyneth? Being able to make recipes that fit into her restrictions has been made 1000 times easier by Ms. Paltrow so again I applaud you GP.

Now, those who are still not sure, goop has plenty of recipes on the website. What? Free recipes? The website access remains free. As to the exclusive items made for goop with designers, some of the higher priced items are totally not in my price range, but there are more than fifty items under $150 dollars and I use them as inspiration, and find an alternate like this gold horned pendant. I got into a disagreement with my former literary manager over goop’s items for kids, none of which are over $85 dollars. He wanted to assume, like so many others, there was nothing of value there. Buddy, you are not a woman, you haven’t even looked at the website so if you only get your news via tabloid headlines, you come off looking silly to me. Huge applause to goop for providing an insider look at glamor and nutrition. goop keeps me informed. Note to goop: please make some goop branded items! And for the rest of you please enjoy GP on the Grammys:

Crush of the Week: Olympians…Ramble

Americans are never more proud to beat our chests with patriotism than watching The Olympics. The Winter Olympics provide a lot of tasty ‘dude’ eye candy for all of us at home. Have you found yourself saying ‘rad’ frequently since SAGE Kostenburg won a gold medal for snowboarding? Bro, the blizzard is in honor of Sage coming to NY for the first time, to make him feel in his element. 

Still has there been any more pride-inducing fever than the THREE Americans on the podium for free style skiing? 


Gold medalist, Joss Christensen dedicated his win to his dad, who passed away while he was on a plane overseas. The same thing happened to my dad, although I was flying overseas on vacation, but it makes this win all the more awesome to me personally. My eyes are glued to watching these athletes fly through the sky, soaring faster than a lot of people drive, with ease and determination. Thank you for inspiring us Joss, Nick and Gus. USA! Your smiles and amazing attitude are so refreshing and revitalizing. Big love to you and your families. 

Lessons in Progress: Canine vs. Human Instagram Accounts…Ramble

We all get followers who comment on every little thing we post on social media. I try to tow the line between showing some personality, and not going into a TMI situation (no one wants to know what you did in the bathroom). In general, I assume anything I write to anyone via the 1′s and 0′s is going to potentially be accessible to the greater Internet audience. Thus, when ‘friends’ on Facebook started to comment I post too many photos of my beloved French bulldog, I was happy to have Instagram as my new outlet. It’s not an automatic follow back site and there is a community for every niche interest.

As a branding and digital marketing professional I like to experiment online. Twitter has been a great way to connect with authors. Pinterest is a huge ego boost for style and interior aesthetics. Instagram has been a great place for me to connect with the Frenchie Mafia. Oh yeah, we exist. Batpig lovers unite! And we are active ‘humans’ who have regular Frenchie Meet-ups, rally behind lost, mourn the dogs going over the rainbow, and those in need of funds for operations as a Frenchie army. 

Thus, when the haters started commenting about my Facebook posts, Instagram was a relief. I had an outlet where I could unabashedly celebrate with others infected with the Frenchie madness, who cared about the health of these special creatures. And, I know this’ll shock some people, it’s not required to follow people if you don’t like their posts. Sit down. Take that in for a moment. Recover. Now double tap like all my IG photos. 

The account @grrlgeniusbk was private for a long time because there are some stalkers we have, but let’s face it you can look up anyone’s IG account on a computer outside of the app, even if they blocked you, so now the account is public. Elle has had some features and a steady climb to over 800. It’s not thousands, but it’s very nice that so many IG friends come to see what Elle is up to on a daily basis. 

I’m trying to get two full manuscripts published, making it an ideal time to experiment, start a ‘human’ account to build a following under my author name @cocoquill. Starting over at zero is a bit of an ego and professional challenge. It’s also reignited my love for Instagram, after some modern dating despair. Experimenting on different social media platforms is fun for me. Some people can’t keep up with one account and IG has not yet figured out the multiple account management, however I’ve been a digital girl since the late 90′s so it’s second nature to me. 

Last week one of my human photos was featured by @newyorkloveny, an account for photos of NYC. It was interesting to see, unlike Frenchie features, the account did not ‘like’ the photo on my account, but gave me photo credit. In comparison to other photos featured, it had a slightly higher like count (over 70). I regrammed the photo on the grrlgeniusbk account, where it got half (still over 40) the likes an average Elle photo receives and was the highest amount of ‘likes’ (26) for the new human account. It validated my starting the ‘human’ account because my loyal Frenchie audience wants photos of Elle. They will most likely be supportive when I have a published book, but they are not interested in seeing the diversity of my life experiences and imagination. 

It is always a challenge to get the ratio of followers to move beyond a one-to-one result. Thus, hashtags, times of day to post, subject matter have been fun to play around with as I move forward once more. 

Have You Ever Been Han Solo’d? …Ramble

It is one of the best responses to a first ‘I love you’ when Princess Leia tells Han Solo she loves him right before he gets frozen by Darth Vadar:

Leia: I love you.

Han: I know.

Swoon! It was funny, in character and just about the hottest smirk Harrison Ford has ever given on film. I ‘got Han Solo’d’ a few days ago, so spotting this little gem as part of an exhibit at MoMA made me giggle. It’s the little things in life that have to be appreciated.