Rebel, Rebel…Ramble

There are signs everywhere in London, to REBEL. The dictionary defines a rebel as a person who resistant any authority, control, or tradition. The 1950’s, which gave us Jack Kerouac’s second book, On The Road, and 1955 classic film, “Rebel Without A Cause,” amongst others, popular culture has glamorized being a rebel. Even my the ice coffee wants me to be a rebel. I don’t mind rebelling from war over processed food to the below delicious treat.

Personally, I prefer today’s rebels in the dome of women, standing up and calling out the sexism and discrimination. Although female empowerment books from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to founder, Sophia Amoruso’s Girl Boss, and proof that women over 55 are best suited for strategic leadership, numbers this week revealed the amount of women in tech is down to under 30% and the women on tech boards are not in the leadership chairs. Is the rebellion working? Can it only succeed when famous women support the cause? Can awareness lead to change?

Rebel. It’s all around us. It’s the name of a gym I frequent. During classes we are all called rebels, to incite and inspire us to work harder, go against the grain. A teacher said “if there’s no pain, you’re not changing your body.” (Cut to me screaming in pain from pulling out my arm during the weight lifting portion of the class.)

Be a disrupter, a rebel. Yet, it’s taken social media to vent truthfully about shit people say about women directors getting the ultimate sexist treatment, being a given norm. That’s why I loved when Julianne Moore said no to the nail cam E! added to their inane red carpet coverage. Rebel against the nail cam, that is, unless you launched your own nail line and you are promoting it.

REBEL! Against women getting paid .70 cents to the US Dollar for doing the same jobs as men.

REBEL when so-called ‘women’s magazine’, Allure called reality star, Lauren Conrad, a ‘basic bitch,’ but she gave the most girl boss answer to a question pulled from a listeners at random, during a radio interview, asking her her favorite position, by responding “CEO.”

Recently, Oscar winner and single mom, Gwyneth Paltrow rebelled against her lifestyle site, being compared to other actresses’ brand extensions. She’s right, but press likes to pit women against one another, put people in boxes.

 For instance, Jessica Alba’s Honest brand sells safe eco-friendly baby products, which has netted her $1 billion dollars. Seriously. That is some seriously impressive work for a girl who grew up clipping coupons. Honey, you are the one laughing all the way to the bank, but The Honest Company has a different audience from, which offers recipes, city guides, clothing & accessories, mostly for women, and advice for women on everything from nutrition to how to self-promote– like a rebel.

Launched in early May, Reese Witherspoon’s website, is a strictly e-commerce site for women who want modern Southern style. It doesn’t go too deep, even in the ‘meet’ section of the site, but has a sweet questionnaire about Southern style. A lot of people want to look pretty and be entertained in small doses. They don’t want to know what you’re reading or the latest palatable way to eat kale, and that’s where Reese comes in, providing charm and charming outfits.

Kate Hudson’s website sells strictly athletic gear (and yes, I have some, terrible name Fabletics, but really high quality product) on an ala carte or subscription basis. Again, that is a different business demographic. One does not attend a Southern tea party in athletic wear!

At the end of the day, rebel against comparisons and carve out your own niche. Do you. Always. And if any snakes are around, blast Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ to let them know what kind of rebel they are dealing with – one who sees the enemy, faces them, and triumphs, passing the bad juju back to the original snake.


The Coldplay ‘Ghost Stories’ Campaign…Ramble

Yes, I’m a huge and I mean huge Coldplay fan. I don’t like them ‘ironically’ as one recent fellow I dated (see that’s past tense) remark. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to analyze their campaigns. Their sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ is a beautiful and haunting in honesty. Note, I was not a fan of ‘Mylo Xyloto’, though a few songs grew on me, and though I loved ‘X & Y’ it was about three or four ballads too long, a fact that is also noted by the band.

When I first heard the lyrics to ‘Magic’ about how ‘I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic, when I’m with you’ red flags started to wave in my head. Of course, I ignored them because the lyrics were all too relatable to me. March saw the debut of other new songs from ‘Ghost Stories’ during their globally broadcast performance as part of the iTunes Festival at SXSW. “Another’s Arms” told the tale of having broken up and the oddness of moving on, still wishing for the person already gone. Now the red flag was as large as Russia’s, and my heart was concerned. The following week GP and Chris Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’, which is also brilliant timing from a marketing standpoint of an album launch.

Woah, is that cold? Fair enough. You can say that but the moments I took to mourn their relationship, also produced even greater depth to the lyrics of ‘Ghost Stories’. Friends commented I might be rushing out to buy the album but they were sure Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t listening to it. I disagree since Chris told the BBC’s Zane Lowe in an exclusive interview it was the most truthful album they have ever made. The word ‘true’ appears in several of the songs. It’s also really about heartbreak, not being over someone who was ‘True Love’ but having to move forward. Even in “A Star Full of Skies” he mentions in out of all those stars “I think I saw you”, do you get more literal? Or on “Magic” when he sings “and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” Well damn.

The global Coldplay campaign didn’t need the press of a breakup because it included hand-written lyrics for all songs hidden in libraries all over the globe, hints given away via Twitter, TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon in the US (let alone the countless ones overseas), and The Voice, as well as live shows in five major cities globally.

Tickets in NY were hard to come by unless you work in the music industry or are willing to pay scalpers.

Personally I’d rather shell out a few extra bucks for the deluxe version at Target, a multi-million dollar campaign #MoreColdplay across social media, television and in-store promotions. The fan incentive? Signed paper stars from the adverts, which also were part of the set dressing for their SNL appearance.

Let’s not forget the continued support of iTunes post-SWSX which included a pre-order, an exclusive track, immediate downloads from the pre-order, social media support and dedicated newsletters and homepage banners.

What I love about Coldplay is the imperfection of it all, the inclusion of fans and the music, of course. I once got into a discussion with a senior level exec at Sony about why Kings of Leon, also releasing their fourth album at the time, were not as successful as Coldplay. He said there was no way and then that album turned out to be KOL’s most successful album and he had to buy me an expensive dinner. Music, when it’s brilliant can still go unheard if it is not marketed properly. Team Coldplay always delivers some new way of connecting with the music, making it fun and inclusive of the fans. Look for their TV special as well:

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.


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:

Love & Hate: People Have Strong Feelings for Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

As a Gwyneth fan I am glad that one of my most read posts to date has been “In Defense of Gwyneth…”. I was really excited when her new, healthy cook book It’s All Good came out April 9th and even more so, when I went to the book signing at William-Sonoma. There were no haters with bitchforks waiting to throw quinoa pies at the golden goddess, in fact it was the best dressed crowd I have ever seen at a book signing and there was so much love and appreciation for the Oscar winning actress I felt I had found my people.

It is kind of amusing just how polarizing the media is in their portrayal of Gwyneth. Last week she was named by Us Magazine the number one most hated celebrity – now this is  a list with Kim Kardashian at number ten and Chris Brown at number twenty. Should GP choose to assault someone with a large ass she will apparently slide off that list. Note: this was also two weeks after her new book made the NY Times Best Seller list.

Today People Magazine named Gwyneth “The Most Beautiful Woman In the World”. So is it because she is so beautiful that she is so hated? Wow even the ‘Mean Girls’ were less transparent! When Gwyneth visited Dr. Oz he asked her if it bothered her journalists had taken sentences out of her book to twist and call her a bad mother, the good natured health fanantic had to laugh and say no, because those people obviously don’t know her personally. That’s a pretty healthy outlook.

I view GOOP as GP’s outlet for sharing tidbits and giving insight and access to her contacts. I thanked her for sharing her recipes and yep, believe it or not folks there are items in the newsletter you can make yourself for under five dollars like a sugar scrub. Last week’s newsletter had tips from the butler at the Four Seasons who uses such dollar store products like ammonia and the Mr. Clean erasers to keep things shiny. You could say the elitist part is getting cleaning tips from him, but the solutions are quite cost effective.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletters filled with tips on clean eating and juiciing and recipes have helped me take a whole new outlook to food and the way I consume it. As a result I’ve lost thirty pounds. So thank you Gwyneth for your guidance. I needed someone to point me in the right direction.


Crush of the Week: Robert Downey Jr. …Ramble

RDJ is an eclectic artist who has survived jail, a crappy self-indulgent CD, drug use and the baddest playground known as Hollywood. Now a veteran of the industry with two successful franchises – Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, 

I’ve had a crush on this man even his wife describes as odd, for some time. Hey, everyone likes a bad boy! What I love about RDJ at this point is his influence over other actors and helping create some amazing careers. 

It was RDJ who convinced Gwyneth Paltrow (if you didn’t know she was one of my faves then search her on my blog for why) to take the role of Pepper Potts in Iron Man by telling her she should be in a film people went to see. Oh yeah, being real is an RDJ talent. 

While I don’t care for his buddy Mel Gibson, RDJ is a loyal friend who totally got annoyed with his ‘Due Date’ co-star Zach Galifiankis for getting Mel kicked off a cameo of ‘The Hangover 2’. I also LOVED that RDJ fell in love with the Frenchie on ‘Due Date’ he tried to adopt him unsuccessfully. (Frenchies can be little heartbreakers in the best way possible.) Still, it’s kind of cool that Robert stood up for his friend who has been revealed as a crazy racist who’s lost his mind during Mel’s ‘hard times’.

Now Robert Downey Jr. has continued to work his magic on ‘The Avengers’ franchise. First, he insisted and convinced director Joss Whedon to have the Pepper Potts character in the film to enhance his character Tony Stark, as ‘crazy-in-a-relationship’ kind of guy. Secondly, according to the DETAILS cover interview with Chris Evans aka Captain America, RDJ connected with Evans via their shared agent. He convinced the reluctant Evans to take the role telling him by making tons of money for the studio it would enable Evans to get backing for the smaller films he really wants to do in the future. 

What a helluva a friend, mentor, and kickass actor! I can’t wait to see him in ‘Avengers’ out May 4th. 

Resolution Check-Up: Quick-fixes, Exercise & Getting Clean with Gwyneth…Ramble

January is nearly over so it might be time to check in on how you are doing with your New Year’s Resolution. Come on now, don’t deny that you made one…again…to lose ten pounds this year. There is a “seasonal seven” is the nickname for the 7 lbs most people put on between Thanksgiving and New Year’s celebrations. Wisely you have chosen to drop ten pounds as your goal- back to normal with a little extra room in your jeans.

It’s almost a month later though so how do you keep that ten lbs at bay? If you’ve been dieting and exercising you should be losing a healthy 1-2 pounds a week. If we look to entertainment figures (Gwyneth Paltrow, Giuliana Rancic) and coupon sites (Groupon, Gilt City, there are tons of solutions being offered up.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta has been awesomely showing off some of the different ways you can lose weight. What? No, I’m serious.

JUICING: Two episodes ago Sheree (you know the one with the arms you’d like to see on a man, don’t mess with her!) tried to get Kim to lose her baby weight through exercising and juicing. I started juicing myself in November so I’m happy to endorse that it’s not easy and takes a lot of work so Sheree was right in thinking it was something Kim wouldn’t be committing to cause Kim favors some quick fixes.

QUICK FIXES: Last week’s episode had Kim being wrapped up like a mummy for several hours to take off unwanted fat post-giving birth. She commented fellow castmate in need of losing a few pounds, Kandi should try the wrap and once again, Kim requested pizza following her treatment which yielded ten inches of lost water weight.

EXERCISE: Say what? Skipping the quick-fixes and upping her exercising and dieting, Kandi Burress faced the music of her misdeeds on last week’s episode. Kandi enlisted a trainer and he put her on the scale. I love that Kandi let the cameras see that she was at the time of that filming 153 lbs. Now, does 153 lbs sound like a lot to you?

Well, let’s go to another Hollywood icon, Bridget Jones. Ok, she’s really a literary figure that was famous before the films. Renee Zwelleger who played Bridget in the film versions is reportedly 5’4″ vs. Kandi who is 5’3″.

The character Bridget is disgusted with her body weight varying from 131 lbs to 140. Hmm, an inch taller and visibly Bridget was much chunkier than Kandi? I’m guessing that Renee weighed about 160 plus unless her body. To give you another comparison Nicki Minaj is a reported 140 lbs. Now does she look fat in any weigh? That junk in her trunk is something Minaj works hard to maintain. The clip below from the sequel shows Bridge shoving herself into those types of garments that smooth an outfit out or…can make a girl look like a sausage!

This leads us back to Kandi who is facing her weight gain head on and fessing up to eating fried food. I have to give props to Kandi. She knows she’s been a naughty girl and she is struggling with her weight, but she’s honest about it. Sharing your struggles with other people can really help keep a person on track with that resolution lasting past January.

CLEANSES: Gwyneth Paltrow loves a good cleanse, whether it’s the Organic Avenue Juice Cleanse or her GOOP/Clean Program. What’s the Clean Program? It can last either 3 or 21 days long. I have no idea why 3 or 21.

Gwynnie has caught a helluva a lot of flack for hawking the GOOP branded clean diet. All of the information and break down of what consists of basically a protein shake for breakfest, lunch is one of the clean recipes, and then a protein shake for dinner. There are also approved snacks like baked kale chips and of course, the all important herbal tea.

Here she is with a recipe for Vietnamese Salad:

The UK press decided to blast GP’s Clean Diet based on ONE dietician saying it wasn’t a good diet. Well, it’s not really a diet, it’s a cleanse lasting either 3 or 21 days. If they just did a little research and not just look for a way to slam dear Gwyneth, then they could’ve found that GOOP offers up recipes gratis, and if you goto there are tons of recipes also free. If you are a really busy person who doesn’t know anything about nutrition but wants to kickstart your year, this really isn’t the worst way to go. I’ve had several nutritionists and doctors tell me a cleanse to get rid of the all the toxic crap we eat all year is a good for a short period of time. One thing I learned by reading through the Clean Diet program is that certain foods I thought were really good for me are actually really hard to digest. You’ll also save a lot more than if you decide to do quick fixes like liposuction or any of the other treatments at plastic surgeons being offered up on sites like Lifebooker.

There is also the disclaimer on the Goop site: The goop Cleanse by Clean, in partnership with goop, is sold and distributed by The Clean Program Corp, a New York based corporation. This email is not intended as medical advice. The information in this email is just a suggestion and should be taken as such. Work with a doctor in your area who understands and is supportive of your cleansing goals.

Good luck to everyone as we head into February. If you are feeling you are hitting the wall change up your exercise, or hit up Le Cirque for restaurant week at lunch. Then you’ll feel you’ve had a nice indulgence and what that does after a month of eating healthy.