Find out Tara's answer and get all of her food photography tips when you keep reading.
Find out Tara's answer and get all of her food photography tips when you keep reading.
The writer, director, and star of romantic comedy Friends With Kids, Jennifer Westfeldt, recently shared with us her relationship inspiration for the film (which also stars her real-life partner, Jon Hamm) and her advice for balancing family life with a romantic relationship. The movie centers on two friends, played by Adam Scott and Jennifer, who decide to have a baby together without being in a relationship. But it also features several couples in various stages of life dealing with family, sex, and relationship struggles many of us can relate with. Here's what Jennifer told us about her inspiration:
The couple dynamics in the movie and relationship dialogue come off as very real. Did you draw from you own life?
Jennifer: I think that certainly the film represents a lot of what I've observed. I mean so many people in my life at this point have made that profound life change and transition to becoming parents. And I think everybody handles it a little differently, everybody sort of just changes differently. It was really a tapestry of all of those things that I've observed, and then I just added make believe to it. And certainly none of the people are really based on real people we really know. It's more about observing trends and then putting those trends into various imagined characters.
Do you have advice for couples who are trying to balance family life with kids with keeping their romantic relationship strong?
Jennifer: I don't have kids yet, so I can't know what that really unbelievable change feels like. But certain friends report that they always have a date night, that they always make time for each other. And I think that that's important. It's such a game-changing situation to have a child. Especially in that first year, I feel that's when they're really not sleeping and really not ready for life to be just incredibly different. But we do have friends who just make it a point, no matter what, every Saturday night, even if it's an hour and a half to get a babysitter.
My nominee for Elle Decor's Bloggers' Choice feature, Amber Lewis, is the founder of Amber Interiors, a design firm that mixes gorgeous textiles with one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect Amber's design philosophy that "chic should be comfortable and functional."
Amber started her career when she turned her love of mixing bold textures and patterns into a small textile and pillow company. After spending time at fashion school for textile design, Amber attended UCLA's Interior Design program and created her first interior design firm shortly thereafter.
LA born and bred, Amber adores her home city. She notes, "I grew up in LA, at the beach to be precise, so I have a love/love relationship with this city. I have traveled all over and I always love coming home. There is something about the weather in LA that is like nowhere I have ever been. It is 74 degrees pretty much every day, 365 days a year. We live outside of LA so it feels a bit removed from the hustle and bustle, but I know I am a 30-minute drive from the city or the beach. It's really a special place."
Amber's currently crazy-busy with multiple projects, and she's launching an online shop soon that will sell pillows, rugs, and extraordinary finds. Make sure to keep checking her blog for the launch date!
Amber recently took us along on a house tour of her gorgeous 1960s California ranch-style home, which she and her husband bought from the original owner. Amber admits, "the decor and layout was awful but now it's open and airy and just what we wanted." See how she adapted the house to meet her aesthetic (and to look fashionable even while living with pets and a toddler) when you keep clicking!
Is it fair to barter TV shows with my fiancé? As in, two hours of The Bachelor equals half of a football game?
Chris: Look, I don't like football, but if I did and I wanted to watch it, then I would expect to have to sit and watch something like The Bachelor, and I would try my best to get into it, or at least find why she liked it. The other alternative is like, "OK, I want to watch football you want to watch The Bachelor, then let's agree on something else." But then neither of you get to watch what you want to. For The Bachelor, I'd want to watch Dexter.
Where do normal men hang out in LA? If you can solve this mystery (preferably with a chart that includes days of the week, locations, and "type" of guy) I guarantee you could sell it for millions in addition to making this single lady very happy.
Chris: I don't think that's a fair question. I think people move to LA because they're not normal.
What's the best way to suggest to any man that he needs to get some new clothes?
Chris: The worst thing you could do is beat around the bush, or side step it. You got to just say it. But I had an ex, and she was like "you got to get Converse," and she kept saying it — "get Converse." I was finally like, "OK, I'll get a pair of Converse." And I got a pair of Converse. I got those regular Chuck Taylor ones, but I literally got every single color of the Converse, and I wore them all the time. And a year later, she was like "All you wear is Converse." So you have to be careful with that, you'll create a monster.
Why do men need their man caves?
Chris: I think that men think they need their man caves. They don't really do. They think they want them, and then the second they do get them and they have alone time and time away from the girl, and the girl is really cool with giving them alone time, then that's when they, or at least I, start to think, "So, why are you so cool with me being alone? What's wrong with me that you don't want to be with me every second."
How can I ask my husband to do housework without sounding like a task master?
Chris: Don't make a list. Don't pin anything up on the fridge. I'm a dude, obviously, and when I'm not in a relationship, I don't do any of that stuff. I don't do laundry until I want to. But if I live with a girl, you have to do it when she wants to or when we want to, which sucks. That totally messes up my day. So just come out and just say it. Just have a good attitude about it and don't wait until you get frustrated.
How would you describe your perfect woman and how could she attract your attention?
Chris: Tweet at me. That gets my attention. The number one thing is, you have to have a good attitude. Find the humor and the fun in things that aren't even fun. The two things that turn me off completely are negativity and if a girl's cheap. I mean, I'll pay for everything, but if a girl just mentions it, that's a turn off. That and DON'T WEAR FLIP-FLOPS. It's terrible. I mean come on. Put something on your feet. What if you have to run away? You're dead.
I'm moving in with my boyfriend next month and it's the first time I'm living with a man. What should I prepare for? Get the answer and much more advice from Chris below!
In a recent article in House and Home magazine, J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons chatted about fashion, style, and design, as well as her lovely Brooklyn townhouse, which was one of your favorite house tours last year. The house is currently under contract — congrats to whomever is buying the gorgeous property! Let's take a look back at the home and hear what Jenna has to say about decor, design, and her home's style.
Since its launch last February, Disney's Jake and the Neverland Pirates has become the top-ranking series among kids in that age group. The animated show — about a new crew of pirates who work together to outwit Captain Hook and Smee around Pirate Island — is about to embark on its second season with a prime-time special Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns (airing Feb. 13), where the little boy who won't grow up enlists the minipirates to help him find his lost shadow. As with the daily show, the special will feature original pirate rock songs written and sung by Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band. I spoke with Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, the men behind Sharky and Bones and the stars of the live-action music videos featured at the end of each episode, about the popularity of pirate culture and what it can teach tots today.
LilSugar: Obviously you two are well versed in little kids' obsessions with pirates. How did it start for you two?
Kevin Hendrickson (Bones): It started before our kids. Loren and I met maybe 12 years ago, and we both just had a love of pirates and the old Disney records we grew up listening to. We decided to make a pirate album for kids, even though we didn't have kids.
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): We were pirates before pirate was cool. We had an affinity for pirate and pirate culture and the old Disneyland rides — you know the old Pirates of the Caribbean attraction — and we combined all those into a rock album for kids of all ages. We say "for buccaneers of all ages" because we had a lot of fans that were not kids and a lot of fans that were kids and then families that were fans. We just decided to not be a children's band, but a band for all buccaneers!
LilSugar: It's been almost 60 years since Disney released Peter Pan, and unlike other Disney flicks, it hasn't received a rerelease or a 3D upgrade. Why do you think the pirate obsession remains so strong today?
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): I have always maintained that what pirates represent for play is all the best things about play. That's imagination, adventure, being bold-hearted, silly voices, and fun dress-up costumes. You put all that together and you get classic kid play. It's like pirates and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were huge for a while, and I think for the same reason – you can just go "roaar," and play all these great games, and they were bold and adventurous and from exotic locations. Pirates are the same thing. They're one of those classic play building blocks
Before her panel, I caught up with the newlywed model and founder of FEED, a project to fight world hunger in conjunction with UN World Food Programme. She shared her relationship advice, as well as the issue she hopes women will pay more attention to and details about her upcoming FEED back. Read our interview below.
TrèsSugar: How have your relationship and career priorities changed with age?
Lauren Bush: "It's been a flow to this point. I don't think there's a perfect science to it. Maybe there is and in that case I'd love to know. I don't have kids yet, therefore I can travel more easily perhaps. I think it's about doing what you love. FEED for me is like my arm. It's like second nature. I feel like I'm in this rare awesome position where getting up to go to work isn't really work, it's exciting. If you find something you love, it melds naturally. To be an entrepreneur is all consuming. And lucky enough, my husband was an entrepreneur himself, is very entrepreneurial, so he just gets it. It's also about surrounding yourself with people who will support your passion."
TS: What piece of relationship advice would you share with young women?
LB: "Don't sweat the small stuff."
TS: Who are your female role models?
LB: There are more women now than when we started five years ago that I can look to. Sheryl Sandberg (the COO) from Facebook. I saw her speak and she's so inspiring. Also, Somali Moms, a foundation in Cambodia with this amazing woman. And Christie Brinkley and what she's been doing with Every Mother Counts is really inspiring.
Many of my friends are applying to business schools right now and a couple are interviewing. I've picked up a number of useful tips from friends and people with graduate degrees, so read on to find out how you can prep for your interview.
For more tips, read on.
"It's a love letter to the agony and ecstasy of celebrity," director Simon Curtis, pictured above, told me about his latest project, My Week With Marilyn. The film starring Michelle Williams is out on Nov. 23, and follows the icon on a 1956 trip to London, which doubled as a honeymoon with playwright Arthur Miller and a work trip to film The Prince and the Showgirl. The movie, based on two books, catches up with Marilyn after her husband leaves and she begins to befriend 23-year-old set assistant Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne).
My Week With Marilyn attempts to pull back layers of Marilyn the sex symbol to reveal a more authentic depiction of the private star — without turning her into a depressed or drudged-out caricature. I sat down with the filmmaker, and here's what Simon Curtis told me about Michelle's performance and what he learned about Marilyn Monroe.
TrèsSugar: Why did you want Michelle Williams to play Marilyn Monroe?
Simon Curtis: With Marilyn Monroe you have a certain, very limited number of people who are the right age, the right potential Marilyn Monroe looks. Michelle was way at the top of my list. Not only is she gifted and brilliant, she's incredibly hardworking and she wanted her performance to be as good as I did.
TS: You came in with high expectations. Did the performance exceed that?
SC: Yes, it does actually. You never know when you're making something, but she just amazed me on every single day. There's something about her fearlessness taking on the complexity of Marilyn, who I think a modern mental health professional would diagnose somewhere in the bipolar, borderline personality area. And certainly those wild mood swings — one of those beguiling things about Marilyn is that you never knew who was going to walk in the door, or who was going to walk out. And Michelle just went for it and presented this multifaceted character who's also incredible as Marilyn.
TS: What about those bookend song performances by Michelle? I had to do a double take for the final one because I couldn't quite tell if it was Michelle or Marilyn.
SC: We wanted to present in those songs the fantasy, the Marilyn people saw or remember, because so much of our film is this private, unexpected Marilyn.
TS: The movie is a window into her life rather than a biopic. By experiencing the details of her life, what do you think will surprise audiences about Marilyn?
SC: This is a very crucial time in Marilyn's life. In 1956, she came to London with such high hopes because she was going to work with the great Laurence Olivier, she had set up her own production company way ahead of her time, was in fact a producer of this film, and of course was married to the great Arthur Miller, who she thought was going to rescue her and give her some intellectual credibility. And the story of our film is how those things all went very quickly wrong.
TS: But there's a lot of humor in that dark story of things gone wrong. It sort of surprised me how feel-good it was in a way.
SC: I'm glad. It's a very nuanced film and there is a lot of darker stuff, but that's right. It's a love letter to filmmaking, the agony and ecstasy of filmmaking. I love it that the actors found so much humor, specifically Ken Branagh. We wanted it to have all of those qualities.
To find out why Simon Curtis thinks Marilyn is so relevant today, whether he used body doubles, and what he hopes audiences will come away with, just keep reading.