Month: February 2012

lifestyle, Uncategorized

Are you living your own Oscar Style?

Last night, we had a great time watching the Oscars, simultaneously tweeting and texting reviews and opinions with family and friends. I thought Billy Crystal did a fabulous “old school” job as host and that the show was well produced. I love the Academy Awards and I will never be its harshest critic.

Even with the dresses and hairstyles, I can always seem to find some merit with every celebrity, even if it is simply courage. It is hard for me to knock anyone’s choice on how they choose to express themselves. I would be horrible on those “fashion police” shows.

I have always believed in following your own personal style. Whatever may be currently “in style”, is all too fleeting. And, who are we kidding? By the time you are wearing the latest trends in Texas, Paris and New York have already moved on to the next big thing.

Fashion comes and goes, but classic style is forever. -unknown

via Getty Images

When I watch celebrities dress up on these big nights, I often wonder if they rely on their own instincts to reflect their own personality or do they tend to let a stylist create an idea of what will cause hype. Maybe they keep up a facade to hide behind, not wanting to give too much away, keeping up the allure of the actor. (J.Lo may have given too much away.)

Besides, it is all a part of the magic of movie making. The art of lights, sound, music, costumes, locations all perfectly crafted to create an experience that will leave an audience in awe. Filing out of the theatre, our inspiration runs the gamut from visiting the place the story was set, to cutting our hair to mimic the heroine that stole our hearts, to immediately downloading the soundtrack.

Inspiration. That is why I love the movies, new and old. I make no secret about my love affair with Turner Classic Movies. I always have it on, in the background, Robert Osbourne narrating; the score to my life. In fact, as I write, “Now, Voyager” is airing. (God, could Paul Henreid and Bette Davis make smoking look any more romantic?!)


These old movies are pure magic. They inspire me to create the magic in my everyday life; to make the mundane meaningful.


Do you create and live a life that … Read the rest


Lent, the other New Year

As a less than stout Catholic yet, avid multi tasker, I have come to practice Lent while using it as a checkpoint for my New Year’s Resolutions. A spiritual introspective to remind myself of the hopes I had for bettering myself a mere 53 days ago.

“What are you giving up for Lent?”

I’m not giving up the popular carbs, sweets or wine. And, no! I would never give up wine because Jesus loves wine and Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

I believe that with each day comes the chance to out do the day before. There are some days that is as easy as simply waking up. No one has a perfect life. It is not a perfect life I strive towards.

I strive for perfected imperfection, where there is always room for improvement.

With that said, for this Easter season, I have decided NOT to give up anything. In fact, I will never give up:

  • living each day to my full potential
  • making the most of each day I am blessed
  • being kind and compassionate and accepting of all fellow humankind, regardless of political party (I did not say this would be easy)
  • treating myself with the love and respect that my body, mind and soul deserves
  • reaching out and helping those in need
  • correcting social injustice in my presence

and, lastly, I will never give up my aspiration of being exactly the person that God sees, when he looks at me.

Oh, and I will not eat meat on Fridays, but there will be wine.… Read the rest


The Miracle of St. Jude

Danny Thomas Stamp

All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.
Danny Thomas

This week, the U.S. Postal Service,, issued a new stamp honoring Danny Thomas. Not only is he revered as a legendary entertainer, but for his amazing work in founding the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I was doubly fortunate in 1986, that I not only got to meet and work with Mr. Thomas at a St. Jude Benefit Gala in Dallas. But, St. Jude just so happened to be my personal favorite saint. The saint for hopeless cases.

I was a struggling model and actress in Dallas at that time. I was a Latina trying to get cast in the big, blonde hair capital of the world. Hopeless case, indeed. I needed all the help I could get. So, I memorized the St. Jude Novena and I would recite it every night.

The night I met Danny Thomas was magical. First of all, if you’ve read “About Lola”on my blog, you know that I had wanted to emulate his daughter, Marlo, when I was a little girl. So here I was, all grown up and I got to dance with her father. He was charming and debonair and so, so funny. Oh, and that cigar! He never put it down.

As we twirled around the dance floor, he looked at me, drew his head back a little bit, his eyes focusing on me through his thick black glasses. “You know, your big eyes…they remind me of my daughter.” It was a beautifully surreal moment in my life.

At dinner, I was seated to his right and at our small table of eight, he told us his detailed story of how he came to start his work for St. Jude. I had no idea. I immediately felt this connection with him. Both out of work artists, praying to our favorite saint, just so we could get by. Even more, his commitment to honor St. Jude with such a grand gesture from such humble beginnings, was inspiring for me to believe that I could do the same. Anything I asked of St. Jude, I would have to be ready to the task of paying it forward.

That is how the … Read the rest


the most important valentine

“to thine own self be true”- william shakespeare, Hamlet

Whether you love or hate February 14th, this gentle reminder, lovingly sent by Living Lola, is the most important valentine wish that anyone can send you.

Do you love yourself? Do you love what you are doing? Do you love the possibilities of today?

Truth is love. And, if you are not ready to be true, to love yourself, you cannot be ready to truly love another: your spouse, your kids, your life, your job, your space in this world. You are cheating those closest to you, simply by not being true to yourself.

This is your life? What are you waiting for? You don’t need a journey. You don’t need a path. All you need is complete honesty. Now.

Anyone can say the words, “I love you.” But, can you look into a mirror right now and proclaim your undying love for yourself? Out loud? Do it. I dare you. I promise, at the very least, it’ll make you laugh.

We can all go through rough patches of self-doubt. We can look in that mirror and see all of the imperfections. We can lay in bed at night and think of all the chances that got away, where we were not at our best.

But, oh yes, Scarlett, “…tomorrow is another day!” And it is Valentine’s Day.

The day we will celebrate love, by loving ourselves first.

Now, pass the champagne!

Read the rest


for better or worse: a guide to 23 years and counting

In 1987, I was 21 and I fell in love. In a nightclub. Heavy on the fog machine and even heavier on “The Cure.” It wasn’t the first time I had met the 31-year-old Larkin, but it was the first time I “saw” him. The way we both remember it, through all of that artificial fog, we finally looked at each other and just fell.

Like many couples, you start dating and spending more time together. Lots of phone calls just to hear each others voice. Then you start to have those long amazing talks, swapping all of your stories over long, slow bottles of wine, finding that you connect on a deeper level. You realize you have never felt this kind of connection. And then, as I always tell my girls, you just KNOW.

Is there anything more wonderful, scary, brave, crazy, romantic, insane than falling in love?

We all grow up with an image of what marriage is going to be like or look like.  That image can be quite damning for those who feel a need to itemize qualities or define their future Mr. or Mrs.

For instance, I swore I would never marry someone with kids. And, Larkin said he would never marry again, after his first marriage. Did I mention that we actually made these statements to each other, on one of those aforementioned wine fueled “amazing, long talks”?

Obviously, like most imbeciles in love, we threw all caution, warning, parental feelings, sound advice and genuine criticism to the wind. How could we go wrong?! I was a “Model/Actress”, (which meant equally less in 1987) and he was a cool, nightclub owner. Wasn’t this exactly what Jane Austen was talking about? Or maybe I’m thinking Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. You can see where I’d get confused.

In six months we were engaged, six months later we were married and six months later we were pregnant. It was just like Han Solo making the jump to light speed with the “Millennium Falcon”. We didn’t just fall, we kicked it in to hyper-drive and dove in head first.

Today, we have been married 23 years. “Been married” sounds so casual, like “been there, done that.” No one says we’ve “achieved” 23 years. Or, “earned” 23 years.  Or, even “survived”. That last one may not look as nice on a Hallmark card, but truly, it is … Read the rest

lifestyle, sports, Uncategorized

loving, living and losing…or grace

What a Super Bowl Sunday! Just like NBC’s exceptional marathon coverage began early in the day, I started early, too. Everything turned out lovely except for the outcome I wanted. So, my dearly beloved Patriots lost. Heavy sigh.

Congratulations to the Giants and the fans of New York. But, I’ve ended up changing a lot of this original post due to the articles, tweets and news reports I have read and tried to digest today. Also, a quick thank you for all the nice emails, messages and tweets. I’m going to be fine.

(ADHD moment: AstroTurf makes a great tablecloth! I’ll definitely be using it for Kentucky Derby Day.)

As a follow-up to my last post, I feel that I need to add a few lines about every day sportsmanship, or as I like to call it, every day grace. Watching a close game like this can bring out the best or the worst in someone. It is more widely damaging when the worst is brought out in influential characters with a wider audience. A sports loss is disappointing and heartbreaking, but it is also where loyalty begins. When you choose to participate as a spectator and take it upon yourself to root for a specific team, you commit to being a fan. And, as with every commitment, there is a risk of disappointment.


Taking a risk is living. I would take disappointment, heartbreak and just the rush of putting myself out there and trying, over feeling like I never truly LIVED. (And, FYI, you can mimic that rush just by walking into your local “Zumba” class.)

Think of the great lengths we go through to create all of the Santa magic for our kids. Why not go to those lengths everyday for yourself? There is a great quote by Diane Ackerman , “I don’t want to get to the end of life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” I thought about this quote deeply as I committed to starting this blog. Living the “width” of life is one of the best descriptions I can give of “Living Lola”.

Why would I take the time to do anything and not add my own, special “Lola” flair. I am suited up. I am here to play full-out. And, dance at half-time!

Today, I am … Read the rest