Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween is fun for kids and adults

Halloween is one of those holidays, which for me is more of a season than a holiday, when adults can be kids and kids can be adults. It’s pure fun, so embrace it! I think sometimes people get too stressed out about it all. Maybe they don’t want to put on a costume because they think it might not be over the top enough or they don’t want to have a Halloween party because they think it might not be as fabulous as they want. Don’t overthink it!

In my household, celebrating Halloween was a big deal for my mom. She and my dad always set up a haunted house in our front lawn, complete with a real casket! So I see Halloween as a time to be silly and let go of all the stressors that are around you on a daily basis. Crafting is a great thing to do during Halloween. You can have fun making wonderful little things for both kids and adults—whether it’s cupcakes or cookies decorated with gummy worms and other creepy crawlies, or creating a chic Halloween party with inexpensive candles and fabrics, like the one I did last week on CBS’s The Talk. I had a blast creating a mad scientist's lab for the kids and a sparkly spider soiree for an adult party.

Whether you dress up and go trick or treating, go to a party, host a party, or all of the above, the point is to just go out and have a great time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To my fans of ALL ages

Next to meeting so many incredible brides and being able to make their wedding dreams come true, what I love MOST about My Fair Wedding is how it brings families together—that is, the families who gather around the living room to watch the show faithfully each week. It makes me so happy to know that multiple generations—grandparents along with their children and their grandkids... and maybe even their great grandkids—have something to look forward to on Sundays. I love meeting these viewers and hearing their stories about how the show has given them another chance to bond and laugh with their families. In our crazy-busy lives, we could all use some more of that!

One of my most wonderful and devoted fans is 82-year-old Dorothy, whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently. She is a huge follower of the show and especially enjoys watching it with her loved ones. I could probably have spent hours listening to Dorothy’s funny anecdotes and her takes on some of the more crazy ideas my brides had in mind for their wedding. The show makes her smile, and getting to know her made me smile—which is so important because feeling the joy is what it’s all about!

Dorothy, I adore you! Thank you for sharing your happiness and for touching my heart.


Monday, October 17, 2011

When kids can’t be kids...

It absolutely breaks my heart to hear about each new teenager to take his life after being incessantly bullied by his classmates... and for what... just being gay. While it’s reassuring to see that a few states are taking a stand against bullying by enacting laws such as New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and California’s Seth’s Law, but I think we also need to stop putting so much media attention on these suicides. I worry that all of this constant coverage is giving other teens who suffer from bullying the idea that taking their own lives is a way out. These kids need to understand that killing yourself is NOT an option. Bullying needs to stop, but suicides need to stop more.

I know how hard it can be for these kids because I was also bullied in school... but I was strong enough to get through it and I trusted it would get better. I can’t stress enough that having an outlet and someone you can share your struggles with is one of the most important things you can do to overcome something like this.

Several years ago, I was asked to return to my high school and give a commencement speech. I admitted to the students that I had dealt with difficulties in school—I didn’t say “bullying,” but in hindsight, I wish I did... I explained that ultimately whether you end up first in your class or 300th, graduating from high school wipes the slate clean. From then on, you can make your own decisions and choose to live however you’d like. It’s a fresh start.

For help with bullying, go to LGBT teens (or those questioning their sexuality) can visit or call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).


Monday, October 10, 2011

Change for the better

We all get comfortable in our day-to-day lives. Some people are so set in their ways that they would never consider changing their hair color... or hairstyle for that matter! Many of us avoid change because we don’t know what it will bring or how it will affect us. But the fact is, change happens, even when we’re satisfied with the status quo. I personally came face to face with this recently when we had some staff changes at my company (employees left, new people were hired). When change comes suddenly and takes you by surprise, you often react by insisting you were in a happy place… that things were fine just the way they were. But then soon after the scene shifts, you realize the change has actually resulted in something better. Change provides a new outlook, a new vision, new direction.

For me, the change turned out to be beyond all expectations. My new employees are simply fantastic and I am so grateful to have them on my team. The experience reminded me to embrace change. And you should too—whether it’s changing jobs, changing your diet, or changing your relationships... it might seem scary or overwhelming at first, but trust that it happened for a good reason. Once you embrace the change and open yourself up to the possibilities, you’ll find that there’s always something bigger and better right around the corner.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Movie to Inspire You

I love going to the movies! Films are not only a great form of escape, they can also give you the chance to put important issues and events in perspective. Every so often I’ll watch a film that is so moving it should be required viewing for everyone. The story doesn’t necessarily have to be about something you’ve experienced or can personally relate to. It just has to touch you in a way that makes you think about your own life and relationships. The latest movie I’ve seen that falls into the “must-see” category is The Help.

For those who have yet to see the movie (or read the book), the story is about the challenges that the main characters face as black women working for white families around the time of the civil rights movement. Ultimately, it’s a story about human connection and how we treat people we deem “different” from us. It’s just an incredible film on many levels—the acting is brilliant, the cinematography is breathtaking, and the complexity of each heartfelt storyline is powerful beyond belief. What’s most impactful is how you feel after watching the movie… what it does to you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. (I’ll have you know I left the theater in tears!)

When you stop to think about what you’re supposed to be doing in life, you’ll probably come up with some obvious answers… going out and having fun, having a great job, getting married, raising kids, and living a life you believe in. But there’s a bigger picture out there. Everyone has a chance to make their mark on the world—even if it’s just a small handprint. For the character of Skeeter in The Help, that was to write a book from the perspective of black maids during a time when sympathizing with the struggles of African Americans was unpopular.

If everyone did something simple today to benefit the greater good… volunteer, write a letter to their local representatives, be an advocate for social change… imagine what a difference we’d see in the world tomorrow! The problem is that many people say they want to help others or change their own bad behaviors that might affect those around them (like smoking or drinking irresponsibly), but never actually take action. Remember, saying isn’t doing... What's one small thing you can do today?