Smart Girls Have More Fun

I have found yet another reason to love Amy Poehler (as if I needed one…)  Amy, who is currently glowingly preggers with baby number two, runs Smart Girls at the Party, a website dedicated to empowering young women to be themselves and achieve their dreams. She co-produces a weekly web series that highlights girls with “a unique talent, community interest or point of view.” It’s done with a fun, quirky style that’s pure Poehler, and totally accessible to girls.

Poehler, the  “actor, mother, dreamer, list maker, part time lipsyncher and full time goofball” and her two best friends, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, aim to celebrate young girls who are “changing the world by being themselves.” The idea is to show girls that being smart is cool.

I think the whole concept is aboslutely brilliant and I sure as hell would have LOVED a show like this when I was a kid. I would have wanted to be one of those girls on there talking about my passions, for sure!

Amy told the Huffington Post, “The idea [for the show] came out of us wishing we had a time machine so we could go back to the younger versions of ourselves and let them know it was gonna be okay. We wanted to do a show that we would have wanted to watch at that age. And we knew we wanted to have a dance party at the end. We basically started with the dance party and worked backwards.” (I love this, because I admittedly have a dance party once a day!) Also, look for her hilarious husband, Will Arnett and friends from Parks & Recreation and SNL to pop in for dance party cameos!

Amy, Meredith and Amy represent real female friends and celebrate that stage of life where you write down what you want to be when you get older, before too many people tell you no.

Poehler says of her subjects, “We looked for girls that had passions, girls who felt passionate about stuff, no matter what that was.” Each episode showcases an average “smart girl next door,” with guests such as a young writer, a robot builder, a dancer, a chef and a gardener.

The overall message of the show is:  “Be yourself! And then tell us about it! And then let’s dance!”

With all the negative female images saturating our media these days, let’s just take a moment to say, “Thank you, Amy Poehler!”

If anybody knows how to bring the awesome, it’s Amy P.

Check out the link to an episode of Smart Girls at the Party.

Sweet Darlin’ Come Hold Me

I have always had an enthusiastic love affair with vintage clothing, but the more I see indie darling Zooey Deschanel in vintage dresses, the more my need for vintage dresses increases. After watching her in (500) Days of Summer the other night, I wanted to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe à la Summer. With her saucer-sized blue eyes, her thick bangs and her impossibly cute clothes, she inspired me. Zooey’s offbeat and charming style has stolen my heart.

She is one of the most adorable women on the planet, and her style really seems to transcend time. She wears vintage like she was meant for it and in a way that never looks outdated. She has the ability to make vintage look…fresh? Oxymoron much? I love the contradiction.

Everything about Zooey is out of another era, including her singing voice which is often heard on-screen. (She also sings in a band called She & Him). Her fashion choices reflect this throwback style. While most young actresses are showing boobs and legs, it’s surprising how many times you see Zooey covered up in a sweet frock and tights. She wears dresses that have a retro feel with charming details like bows or flowers. Her ensembles range from French hippie with her high-waisted, wide leg trousers to sixties mod in a crisp, bell sleeve dress and nude stockings. Although the style and cut of her ensembles could come off as stuffy and prim, Zooey has a carefree attitude that softens the look. She’s absolutely flawless.

**Photos are not property of Work In Progress. They have been taken from various websites. If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Operation Beautiful


Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point recently launched Operation Beautiful. The goal is to end toxic fat talk. Like Caitlin says, “It hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”

To participate in Operation Beautiful, all you have to do is leave an anonymous positive message (or several!) on mirrors in public restrooms or wherever you see fit. Mine is pictured above (“You are beautiful in every moment!”), but I plan to do more. If you want to participate, email Caitlin a photo of your note and description of your experience.

What an absolutely brilliant idea this is! I fell in love with this project the moment I read about it. I have struggled to have a positive body image for as long as I can remember. I certainly know what it feels like to hate your own body; to dissect every flaw and imperfection, to wish that your stomach was flatter and your nose was smaller. These are things that I still think about and worry about, even though I know that I shouldn’t. We are constantly being bombarded with unrealistic images, telling us what we “should” look like and making us feel like we’re not good enough. It needs to stop! We need to be kind to ourselves and kind to each other. This is why it’s very important to me to spread the word about Caitlin’s mission.

Caitlin has created a website dedicated to this project which features every single Operation Beautiful note you send in and it’s updated daily. I’m heading to the gym this morning and I will definitely leave a note in the locker room today.

Be sure to also check out the Operation Beautiful video featured here.

Photos: Operation Beautiful

Monday Morning Randomness

In an attempt to forget about my throbbing knee cap last night while I was watching The Grammy’s, I spent some time putting together images of a few things that have been on my mind lately. Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s overt.

This weekend when I was organizing one of my closets, I unearthed a box containing all of the old CD mixes that I made in my early twenties. Most of them weren’t labeled, but even the ones that were didn’t indicate more than the month/year or “J-Sto’s Mix” …so I just played them all, all the way through. Nostalgia. So many memories. Songs strike chords. When has it ever been good when it doesn’t feel right? Except now. This is my new sense of balance and boundaries. I think I understand. Genuinely.

I wanted to share this horoscope that I came across. I do believe that there is some wisdom in horoscopes. I often read them all- even the ones for the other signs. Sometimes there is very good insight mixed in with all the generalizations and bullshit. And more than anything, there’s always a little bit of hope, and who doesn’t need that?

If you’re fully alive, the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” keeps evolving. Last year’s truth can’t possibly be true for the person you are changing into. So what’s the answer for you these days? Only you can decide, of course, but I’ll offer a suggestion … “The meaning of life is creative love. Not love as an inner feeling, not as a private sentimental emotion, but love as a dynamic power moving out into the world and doing something original.”

Creative love sounds perfect to me.
Maybe tomorrow there will be fireworks.

I always hope for a happy ending.
How crazy is that?

Photos in this post are not property of Work In Progress.


Photo: TV Spread It

Earlier this week, I was in the book store, like a junkie, desperate to buy the next installment of the Twilight series (I’m totally addicted now, thanks Amy!) While I was there, I also picked up the new, glossy coffee table book by Mary- Kate and Ashley Olsen called Influence . The tiny twin tycoons have put together a book about the most interesting, challenging, creative people they know – the ones who have helped pave the way for them and their generation. Criticize them if you want, but these two girls have been embraced as fashion icons by designers as aggressively urbane and sophisticated as Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa and Christian Dior’s John Galliano.

Their book is composed of interviews the twins conducted with people they admire such as Lagerfeld, Galliano and Diane von Furstenberg, photographers Peter Beard and Terry Richardson, and writer Bob Colacello.

One of the most interesting interviews in the book is with Colacello, who was editor of Interview magazine during its Andy Warhol heyday. Colacello gives the girls much more than their questions alone would elicit. And at one point, he muses about fame and celebrity and how both have become confused with infamy. It’s a topic that gets at the heart of the public Olsens.

The book also includes exclusive photographs of Ashley and Mary-Kate from world renowned photographer Rankin, and a wide variety of other never-before-seen materials and interviews from Mary-Kate and Ashley’s personal collections. I have quite enjoyed the book, myself.

Naturally, the girls have been doing the talk show circuit over the last few weeks to promote Influence. Tashina recently posted a clip of Mary-Kate on The Conan O’Brien Show, which is worth checking out. You can watch it here. You can also take a look at a clip of their recent appearance on Oprah’s show below.