The Blonde Bombshell

“Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled”

The opening lines of Elton John’s hit song Candle in the Wind  fueled my curiosity towards learning more about the woman he sang about, as I was unsure of the significance behind this song.  I remember my parents explaining to me that he wrote this ballad in remembrance of Marilyn Monroe after her death and that her birth name was actually Norma Jean. At this time I didn’t know much about movie stars and stage names, but found it peculiar that anyone would could just change their name to something else.  Just as easy as it was for Norma Jeane Baker to change her name to Marilyn Monroe; her acting career nearly blossomed over night, pegging her as one of the most well-known movie stars ever to live.

I haven’t seen many of Marilyn’s movies, as I would not necessarily call myself an  “avid fan.” (I am more of an Audrey Hepburn follower.) However, I have seen Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and can see why Marilyn became the sensation she was.  Even though Marilyn only filmed 30 movies in her lifetime, she will always be remembered for her roles in these films and even won a Golden Globe for her performance in Some Like It Hot . Her bodacious curves, bleach blonde hair, sultry voice all wrapped up together with an air of innocence were all qualities that make her the sex symbol of her era and still today.  I give credit for Marilyn for being an icon of her time, but ever since I learned about her affair with President Kennedy, she always left a sour taste in my mouth. How could she do that to such a classy lady like Jackie?! Scandalous. All that said, I am still intrigued and entertained about the stories surrounding her life and career as a movie star.

This year will commemorate the 50 year anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 5th 1962, and her legacy still lives on. In the past year alone, both a television show and movie have been created in honor of this buxom blonde.  I recently started watching NBC’s “Smash” which is produced by Steven Spielberg and includes a great cast such as Debra Messing, Christian Boyle and Katharine McPhee.  I instantly got hooked about 20 minutes into watching the first episode.

The show’s plot features a team of writers creating a Broadway show called “Marilyn,” based on her life with songs referencing pivotal points in her career.  All odds are against Katherine McPhee’s character, Karen, an aspiring actress, as she auditions for the part of Marilyn against Ivy, who is the spitting image of a modern day Marilyn. Cast members put a spin on songs about Marilyn’s life such as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” which is about Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio and a song called “Let Me Be Your Star,” which embodies Marilyn’s transformation from a no-name brunette to a starlet.  Of course this show is not all song and dance–it shows the trials and tribulations all of the characters face as they try to make it big in Broadway.  Smash is definitely worth checking out!

Watch a clip from “Smash” by clicking the link below.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1383532

Not only was a television show loosely crafted around Marilyn’s life, but in 2011 a movie was created to showcase this starlet in “My Week With Marilyn.”  Michelle Williams portrayal of Marilyn Monroe earned herself an Academy Award for Best Female Actress at this year’s Oscars. I haven’t had the chance to see the film yet, but ever since I saw the trailer I have wanted to.  It’s obvious that Michelle Williams poured her heart and soul into “becoming Marilyn” for this role and that alone shows it is sure to be a good film.  Just from watching a short clip and the theatrical trailer, viewers can see that Williams captured the essence of Marilyn nearly perfectly.  I am anxious to watch this movie once it hits shelves on March 13th.

Happy Birthday, Lauren Conrad!

America’s favorite Girl Next Door turns 26 today!! Lauren Conrad has been one of my favorite reality stars turned overnight celebrity since her role on Laguna Beach.  I’m actually currently re-watching all of the episodes of The Hills right now and it is interesting to see how much she has changed over the course of the series.  Since ditching her role on television, Lauren has dipped her hand in many other pots. First of all, LC was a spokesperson for mark makeup for a number of years and helped mark launch the “m.powerment”campaign to fight abuse back in 2008.  She started  her first fashion line, Lauren Conrad Collection, which unfortunately didn’t last long, but then redeemed herself by launching a line for Kohls called LC by Lauren Conrad and also a higher-end line entitled Paper Crown.

Conrad has also written three  novels as part of the “LA Candy” series. And yes, I admit I have all of them and even went to her book signing. Guilty as charged. Alongside her tween fiction writing, Lauren wrote and appeared in a “Style” book which gives readers tips on fashion and makeup.  She is currently working on another book for the L.A. Candy series and a “Beauty” book.  In the last year LC launched a website with her make-up artist and hair stylist called “The Beauty Department” which showcases all different kinds of beauty and hair tips. I’ve caught myself referencing the site on multiple occasions to help master a winged eyeliner look or to get pointers on retro curls. Lastly, she always stays on top of her personal website laurenconrad.com with fun content including recipes, her favorite pins from Pinterest.com and she even started a live-chat book club!

I would go out on a limb and say that any doubt surrounding this starlet’s contribution to followers and her claim to fame can be summed up by the list of accomplishments above. (I’m sure I accidentally forgot a few things, too).  Sure, she started off as a rich teen living in Orange County who then landed a dream internship at Teen Vogue, but I think she has come a long way and earned her spot in the lime light. I think Lauren Conrad is a great role model for young girls and women and I am excited to see what she has up her sleeve for the future!! Happy Birthday, Lauren!

And just for the heck of it, here is a photo of when Tana, Taylor and I went to Kansas City a couple of years ago  to meet Lauren Conrad at her book signing.  I said something really dorky along the lines of, ” Is this your first time in Kansas?? Oh wait, I guess we are in Missouri now…” (coming from a girl who did not grow up in the KC area).  She responded by A. saying she had never been to Missouri or Kansas and B. That it was like a “Winter Wonderland” How precious. P.S. She’s very skinny and taller than I thought and has obvious extensions that she constantly played with, just like on her “Hills” days. : )

Picture Perfect

Day 8: Technology

I’ve had my outdated, yet somewhat faithful Canon Powershot SD1000 (3x optical zom and 7 megapixels) since August 2008 and have used it hundreds and hundreds of times.  Although I don’t have “an eye” for photography, I’ve always loved taking photos and was in need of something slightly more versatile and sleek to carry around with me while out with friends, traveling, etc. I received my SD1000 as a gift from my parents before I went on a vacation to California because the camera I had previously was a big chunker with a tiny screen and  like .5 megapixels. I  My new slim camera was a definite upgrade and I loved using its new and improved features. For the first couple of dreams it worked like a dream!! I had no problems with it whatsoever and my photos always came out looking crisp and clear. However, for some reason unbeknownst to myself (or anyone else who has tried messing with the camera’s settings), all of my photos are slightly “off”. No matter how much I adjust the settings to try and improve the image, faces are washed out and blurry and just a teensy bit out of focus.  I’m not sure what the problem is, seeing as my brother has the identical camera and has never experienced these kinds of issues. With that being said, three years later, I think it is time to update my little guy for something with a better zoom, way more megapixels and a wide angle lens!

Conveniently enough, Canon just introduced their new ELPH 310 HS (8x optical zoom and 12.1 megapixels) camera yesterday at a reasonable pricepoint and available in a rainbow of colors.  While black or silver would be the most practical and “grown up” for a young professiona like myself, I can’t resist a splash of color and am naturally drawn to either the purple or blue! Once I get a few more paychecks under my belt, I will for sure be buying this camera for myself! I can’t wait to post photos on here and Facebook that are actually high quality….or at least a lot better than I currently have!

What kind of camera do you have?? Which color of the ELPH 310 HS (the above photo) would you most likely get for yourself?!

30 Day Challenge–Photo Style

I’m ready for a challenge in my life– well more like something fun to look forward to.  Since I am no longer a student, I don’t really have the day-to-day  spontaneity and changing tasks and assignments I am used to and often crave.  Working is a totally different story since I’m sitting at a desk 40 hours a week and the day sometimes drags by. Having a fun new regimen, or at least something to look forward to, would add a little sparkle in my day.  So, I will be implementing and participating in the 30 day photo challenge I found on Pinterest the other day. It looks like a lot of fun, without being redundant or really cheesy like some of the 30 day challenges I’ve seen on Facebook. I won’t necessarily be doing this challenge daily, but will try to update as often as possible.

Day 1: Self-Portrait

I had to dig around for a self-portait of myself and this one barely counts since I didn’t actually have to hold my camera out in front of me. I don’t really take this type of photo very often and I wasn’t about to take one of myself right now. (It’s been a long day and I’m already in my jammies sans makeup). I found this one, which was taken with my Photo Booth from my MBP, so it’s not the best quality…but here it is.

Again, I’m slightly ashamed of this picture and am glad to get the self-portrait over with on day one and am eager to jump into some of the more fun and quirky photos! This will be fun : ) Other blogger friends, I encourage you to participate as well!!!

Any Aqualung fans out there?? This song by “Stateless” really reminds me of some of Aqualung’s songs from the “Strange and Beautiful” album.  Also, does anyone remember this song playing on the  season 1  finale of Vampire Diares when Damon kisses Elena?? : )

Sprucing Up

When I started my job at RSVP back in October, I never took the time to make my office/desk area “mine”.  My bulletin board was disgustingly ugly and I didn’t put much effort into making it look better. I used some scrapbook paper to cover up the brown cork board, but other than that, I didn’t add any fun and personal touches such as photos, notes, etc. I like making a space feel like “me” by decorating it to reflect my personality and style, so I am unsure of why I let my bulletin board stay so ugly! Yesterday I realized that enough was enough and I was tired of working  in squalor (ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration).  I decided to take the plunge by marching over to the local Hobby Lobby to pick up some crafts and spruce my bulletin board up!

Exhibit A: My bulletin board before its makeover

Exhibit B: My new and improved bulletin board!


I already feel so much better about my work space! It’s funny how small changes can have that effect.  I need to print off more pictures to put around my desk, but my printer ran out of ink before I was able to print off the others I want.

I did make sure this little guy got a prime spot on my desk…

Sparkle

This weekend was one of the most relaxing I’ve had in a long time! I spent a lot of time at the pool, made some money through babysitting, saw two movies, “Cars 2” and “Monte Carlo”, caught up on some reading, participated in game night, tried a new restaurant, ate lots of yummy food, hung out with fun people and watched pretty fireworks for the 4th of July. Although I previously talked about how I do not like the Fourth of July holiday, I actually really enjoyed it this year!

Last Weekend

I spent last weekend hanging out with friends, Jessica H. and Jessica F., in their new apartment in Kansas City! I know both of the Jessicas through our major, Communication Studies, at K-State and think it is so cool that they are continuing their friendship after college and are now roommates!! Upon my arrival, Jessica H. and I went to Lulus Noodles and I absolutely loved it! In fact, I’ve been thinking about eating those drunken noodles a lot lately…

Saturday was a fun-filled day spent at the River Market Farmer’s Market shopping for produce and the Toy & Miniature Museum to see the Barbie exhibit. Later we went back to the Jessicas’ apartment for a homemade dinner and then their house warming party, followed by a night out at the bars in Westport.

Pretty & Patriotic

The temperatures are rising, baseball season is in full swing, local swimming pools are at full capacity and burgers, hot dogs and potato salad are summertime staples for many.  Yes, it is summer time and, it is almost the 4th of July.

The Fourth is a holiday that I do not usually get too excited about. (It’s no Halloween…).  I do not enjoy Black Cats, Roman Candles, Whistle Warblers (ok I made that one up)…pretty much I don’t like things being lit on fire only to watch them explode. However, I don’t mind viewing the BIG firework displays when it gets darker at night–that’s kind of pretty. What I DO enjoy about the 4th of July festivities is the food, for obvious reasons. Hot dogs, chips, potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, watermelon, brownies, lemonade…those are the contenders at most BBQs I go to in the summer. I also like getting together with my friends and having a good time, but just please don’t stick a punk in my face, try to convince me to light anything on fire or be alarmed when I jump away and scream from fire crackers coming too close to me.

In light of this upcoming occasion (yay, America), I have created some fun looks to wear! Even if I don’t love the holiday, I can still try and look cute, right?!

4th of July

Bonus: This year since the 4th of July is on a Monday, I get the day off from work.  Ok, maybe it’s not such a bad holiday after all.