What’s better than a birthday party? A surprise birthday party! This week I pulled a fast one on my brother Derek for his 30th birthday. Since the day was smack in the middle of finale preparations for Dancing With The Stars, we had it on set and in between rehearsals.
As you know, I’m all about a theme party so of course there were props galore. For his present, my family and I pooled together to send Derek to Hawaii, so naturally my theme was all things aloha! I had a blast stocking up at the party store. I scooped up a tablecloth with blue waves, fish printed plates, shark napkins, Tiki lights, toy lobsters and balloons, lots of balloons! The best thing I found was hands down the giant crab costumes. How could I resist? My mom and Shirley were voted in as the lucky crabs. Did I mention it was nearly 90 degrees outside?
We invited Derek’s closest friends, some of our family and our DWTS family, too. I was super stealth and sneaky decorating the lot quickly, trying my hardest not to get busted. Well little did I know, the surprise was on us… Derek was almost an hour late! My mom and Shirley were stuck sweating it out in the massive crab outfits for over 45 minutes! Continue Reading
As many of you know, I’m in the middle of designing and building my dream house. Right now I’m in the stages of sourcing wallpaper for my master bathroom and closet. I’ve been learning so much about interior design throughout this process and thought it would be a cool journey to share with you!
My plans are to keep a neutral palette in and around my bedroom. Of course I’ll introduce some color but it will be in a muted, earthy way. My interior designer Jake is helping me make selections that are calm, interesting and youthful, as those are the elements I’d like to bring into my sanctuary.
The wallpapers we have narrowed down to are a combination of intricate, detailed hand painted papers. We plan on using modern light fixtures with clean lines to keep the look contemporary and young.
Wallpaper is such a fun way to create interest in a space. I’d like to choose one that is subtle enough to blend in but also a special feast for the eye.
Last night was nothing short of incredible! I always look forward to the finale show because we get to revisit all the dancers from the season and reminisce some of their best moves. My favorite part of the night was of course performing with my brother alongside Sia to her beautiful song, “Elastic Heart.” It was emotional and powerful but most of all — it was fun!
A little insider info: It was Sia who contacted Derek and said she wanted him to perform to her song. Meanwhile, Derek and I have been prepping for MOVE Live on Tour, and we already planned on putting this song in our show. Derek always envisioned it as a romantic love story but I saw it in a way that expressed the difficulties that come with a family’s love. In our lives, we’ve had experiences where we want so badly to keep the peace in our family. The lyrics say, “I’m like an elastic band. If you pull too hard, I’m going to snap.” We came up with a concept based around family dynamics and how a family’s love can be difficult, too. Continue Reading
Chicken soup is more than a meal — it’s a moment. Just the thought of a heaping bowl of warm, savory chicken soup evokes an emotional exhale. It’s comforting, it’s familiar and when made from scratch, it’s done with love — the greatest ingredient!
I made this traditional recipe at home a few nights ago and I’ll make it again soon! It was so good I had to share.
Yesterday at the end of a group fitness class, the instructor had us high five our neighbor for a workout well done. At first, the thought of high-fiving the stranger beside me felt funny. I mean, we hadn’t been introduced let alone exchanged a word in the last 60 minutes of side-by-side sweating. These thoughts quickly escaped me as we clapped our hands together for a moment of dual encouragement. It did feel really good to celebrate a stellar sweat session.
Later that afternoon I went to pick up flowers for a friend. I was blown away by the beautiful arrangement the florist put together. As I began to gush over how great his work was, I instinctually reached up and out for a high five. It felt like the right thing to do. It was as if words weren’t enough to tell him how much I appreciated his efforts. Continue Reading
My girlfriends and I like to get together as a group as often as possible. Lately we haven’t been able to do it as frequently as we’d like to, so I was especially excited to have a night in with my girls last week.
We all love to cook almost as much as we love to eat, so a potluck was without question the way to go. After a few back and forth group emails we decided taco time would be our tasty theme.
Our host made the special night even more so, taking the theme a step further by decorating the dining room in brightly colored placemats, napkins and candles. The extra efforts and thoughtful details made our friends dinner feel like a festive event.
Staying in is easier, less expensive and way more intimate than meeting everyone at a restaurant or bar. Below are my tips for planning an awesome group dinner date. Continue Reading
I don’t know about you guys, but transitional weather always throws my skin for a loop. It seems just when my skin has adjusted to the new weather and I feel like I’ve got everything under control, all it takes is a rise or fall in the temps to take it all back.
Lately my lips have been getting pretty dry. At first, I felt the need for a little balm and then slowly but surely my pucker progressively started to resemble sandpaper. The hair mask I made weeks ago did wonders for my tresses so I figured why not seek out another natural way to get my kisser back to well, kissable.
I discovered some great combinations of DIY treatments that both exfoliate and nourish. A great lip scrub will do just that, slough away dry skin but also infuse moisture back in simultaneously.
Below are two different kinds of scrubs you can make at home. I can’t decide which one I love more! Let me know what you think… Continue Reading
My favorite DWTS moment from last night was when I got to dance, of course! It’s crazy to think before tonight, I hadn’t danced on the show since last season. I cannot express enough how much of a thrill it was to be back on that stage! What an honor to be part of Allison and Riker’s dance, too. I am still overcome with the excitement and adrenaline that comes with sweeping across the ballroom floor. Also very moving was Len’s beautiful and touching performance. I didn’t expect to have such an emotional night. It truly was special.
A few weeks ago, my sister Marabeth and I went on one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. It wasn’t a tropical beach and it wasn’t a chic, decadent city either. In fact, it was only about an hour away from where I live in Los Angeles. The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu is a place where people go to unplug and go off the grid from their everyday lives. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of gotta go here, need to pick this up from there, return this call, reply to that text and so on. We all need time to stop and smell the roses, literally.
At the Ranch, they put us through a different kind of bootcamp that I’m used to. It’s not at all the high-impact sweat session that I usually fit into my schedule. They had my sister and I slow down, go on five hour long hikes, take yoga classes and even encouraged a daily nap! The menu was vegan, clean and delicious. This all lends to gaining a sense of serenity and clarity. We were definitely feeling it. Waking up at 5:30am originally sounded like a horrible idea, however I discovered it’s actually a productive way to go about my day. I like waking up with the sun and I’m motivated to continue doing it. Spending an extended time in nature was truly refreshing in every way. There weren’t any errands to do, no cars honking, zero phone notifications, it was really… nice. Continue Reading
My mom is one of the most beautiful, kind and inspiring people I know. I am aware that I’m fortunate to have such a wonderful figure in my life, so I’d like to share her message with you all. No matter who you’re celebrating today, this note is not only for me but to you too.
There are no words that can describe the feeling of the moment right after childbirth. The first of course is of great relief! Followed by one of exhilaration at the precious moment when your sweet baby is placed in your arms. The overwhelming love, gratitude and privilege floods over you with a flurry of other emotions. The weight of responsibility and hoping you can measure up to the mother you esteem yourself to be holds your heart hostage. Last but definitely not least the instinctual momma bear syndrome sets in.
As far back as I can remember when others would ask me the proverbial question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I always responded, “I want to be a mother.” Being young myself served me well because I too was like a kid having fun, playing, learning and making mistakes right along with my kids. I liked having fun and being silly, loving and supportive. The forever cheerleader, I wanted my children to be independent and unafraid, to experience life, take their own journeys. I didn’t realize just how independent they would all become and leave… Ha! Continue Reading