Category: lifestyle

aging, bar life, lifestyle, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, reflection

a hazy summer

via L.A. Brown Photography/Martha’s Vineyard Magazine

How precious of me.

I thought I’d just spend my summer writing, while mulling over my journal at the beach, painting outdoors and hiking every trail with meditation walks on this lovely little island.  Sure, I’d fit in my social media duties and work, as well. It was going to be summer on the island, just like it used to be.

I knew it would get busy. I knew our little bar would get busy. I knew that the population of this island was going to grow by 100,000 tourists. I knew all of this.

But, wow.

At night, I take off my eye make-up with a slather of coconut oil and there is a moment of hazy blindness before I rinse if all off. (LivingLola beauty tip: Coconut Oil is like magic. You’re welcome.) This summer is that hazy blindness, except there is no rinsing off the cloudiness of the past eight weeks of crazy busy. It is all a blur.

I never expected to work this hard for a bar, of all things. But, I have to say, I have enjoyed the challenge.  It has been a good kind of getting-to-test-yourself kind of crazy. I think I may have even found my limit. So, I’ve got that now.

I look at what Larkin and I have built; the friendships that we are establishing, the life we are creating, the strides we are making.  Turning this little iconic 70-year-old bar into what we have coined, “the best little live dive on the rock”. LivingLolaFunFact: Many islanders refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “the rock”.

We are honored and humbled. Blessed with accolades, news articles, interviews and we even made the New York Times. Not bad for our first year. Larkin and I have a knack, a way of making things happen when we are both on the same page, in the zone. Our flow is amazing, almost a yellow brick road to success, as long as we are both headed in the same direction.

If either of us gets distracted or are not fully on board for a project, that is when we wobble, or worse, fall. I don’t mind falling. We are one bad ass team when it comes to getting back up. We’ve had our share of practice time in our 28 years together.

Now, we are in … Read the rest

inspiration, lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 life lessons from Katharine Hepburn

(edited from a previous post, August 2012)


The Tao of Hepburn~ 10 Life Lessons from Katharine Hepburn 

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” Finding your passion and making it your life’s work is a choice, your choice.

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.” Do not stand on the sidelines and wait for someone to put you in the game. You are the quarterback of your life.

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” Every day, every minute, each mundane moment is a chance to create. You can conjure up boredom and complacency or you can make magic. It is all on you.

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.” If you choose the mission, then give it your all without demanding anything in return. Grow respect by mothering from a place of love, not expectation. Nurture, guide and teach by example, without criticism. If you choose to forgo motherhood, see the following….

“Never complain. Never explain.” Do not ever give someone the power to make you feel guilty for your choices. You are on your path, living your life. Stand tall by your convictions and let your actions define your character.

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” Go ahead and pay the therapist your hard-earned money, get your parental angst off your chest. Now, get over it. Parents do the best they can with what they have. It is called the past for a reason. It has passed. Kick it into high gear and move forward. It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” Either you do it or you don’t. If you cannot apply discipline to your studies, your workout, your health, your screenplay, your marriage, your child rearing, your job, your finances, your blog, your novel, then, you will never achieve … Read the rest

friends, lifestyle, movies, travel

an open letter of thanks



Dear Mr. Osborne, Mr. Mankiewicz, TCM Staff, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, TCM Party and many distinguished guests:

I cannot thank you enough for your gracious hospitality and entertainment this past weekend at the 5th annual Turner Classic Film Festival. As this was only my second year to attend, I am fully confident that I will be attending every year, as this is one hell of a party.

Hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, you were gracious, patient and truly engaged with all the guests, those famous and those famous in our own minds. The entire TCM staff, from producers to greeters, were genuine and really looked happy to be working. If this was not the case, perhaps you should consider work in front of the camera, because you were all very believable. Everyone received equal celebrity status treatment.

The Roosevelt staff, under pressure from the onslaught of guests requesting changes of rooms due to construction and early arrivals remained graceful and collected. The hotel itself is an homage to a more graceful and elegant era. You provided the staff to back those images up and it did feel like “Old Hollywood” rekindled.

Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Many classic and current film stars showed up to support the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Turner Classic Film channel. Every one of them looked out to our applause with humility, mutual admiration and style. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They reminded us of why we traverse from all over the country to see these classic films on the big screen.

Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro "A Hard Day's Night" Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro “A Hard Day’s Night”
Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there) Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there)
Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis

 Finally, I offer my full gratitude to my #TCMParty pals. I am not yet a seasoned veteran of the festival, and still easing into the marathon of movies. But, this I know is true: there is just something special between this group of “friends” that see each other once a year and are pretty damned excited about it. Some of you, I finally met after years of tweeting back and forth. We are not strangers at all, just like-minded people with a passion for old movies, the strong link in our social media friendships.  It doesn’t matter where you come from, … Read the rest

friends, health, home, lifestyle

soulful spring cleanse


I’ve done nothing but clean, cull and move since January! I am so over it. So, I’m offering up a different kind of spring cleaning. You know how I love to be different.

The Windows=Attitude.

How do you see the world? Your world? This is all you; your attitude. Do you need an attitude cleanse? A cold, long winter can build up feelings of inner despair. All that hunkering down with comfort food because you “deserve it”, because your job is miserable, your relationship isn’t what you hoped, “True Detective” is over…whatever the reason. This I know is true: YOU are in control of your attitude. Guaranteed change only comes with change in you. Let’s Windex that attitude for the season and see what good energy reflects back your way.

What you send out through social media says a lot about your “window”, as well. (No, not that your hand on your hip makes your arm look thinner…we get it.) Are you sending out solutions or are you adding to the noise? Are you a hater or are you an inspiration to others? If someone were to pull up your “feed”, what are you serving up?

The Baseboards=Relationships

We all need a support group. Maybe not in a fluorescent lit room, in a circle of chairs, jones-ing for a cigarette, but a group of friends that support YOU, no matter what, without question, James Taylor/Carole King style: you just call out their name and they are there.

I wouldn’t have the gumption to write, live big or simply survive without my Scrabble girls. We started getting together for speed Scrabble, 10 years ago, but, then it became oh, so much more. We have gone through life and death together. We have prayed desperately together, we have traveled together. We have cried together. And, my God, have we laughed together. As we recently reminded each other, our friendship is based on absolute acceptance. We never have to apologize for ourselves when life gets in the way of our time together. True friendship should never be taken for granted, and the care and keeping of these special friends is vital.

I have a group on Twitter that shares a passion and love for classic film. I love when I have free evening, turn on Turner Classic, open my Twitter feed and instantly we are all together; offering trivia, critiques and laughter … Read the rest

lifestyle, motivation

“show me how big your brave is”

Don’t tell me this commercial hasn’t stopped you in your tracks. If perchance, you are fast forwarding through your commercials, grab a tissue and behold.

That’s some powerful sh*t, Microsoft, as I type on my MacBook. 

BRAVE. What a great word, not just for 2014 as a whole, but for every single day ahead that will create your 2014. What are you facing? Big decisions? Uncertainty? Are you consumed with doubt? Are you scared?

I usually have a pretty good January plan for mapping out my year, but this year’s calendar? Pfft. I couldn’t tell you where I’ll be at any give month, or what I’ll even be doing. I can’t begin to summon a picture of what life will look like over the next 12 months.

At some point, we will be moving. At some point, I may start a business. At some point, I’ll be on Martha’s Vineyard. There is so much up in the air. But, this is the chaos of unmade plans that create adventure and experience and maybe therapy, who knows?!

All I know for sure is that I will make it awesome. I will celebrate 25 years of marriage in February. I will be at the TCM Film Festival in April. I will cheer on my four successful kids, in four different states, tirelessly from wherever I may be.

And, I won’t hold back.

I’m going full-out brave. Let me know ‘how big your brave is’.


Huzzah, Sara Bareilles, for providing the perfect soundtrack to accompany the brave choices we all have to make.  C’mon! Blog Karaoke! Everybody, sing along. No one’s watching. And if they are, who cares. BE BRAVE!


You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see youRead the rest

lifestyle, motivation

look for the magic

via Sugarboo Designs
via Sugarboo Designs

It has been awhile. But, we have that kind of relationship, no? Like old friends that go awhile without seeing each other, then just pick up right where we left off. I thought so.

I’m perfectly comfortable with checking in, every now and then.


as Fall finally flirts with us in the South, cold now…hot this weekend, I am reminded once again of change. Just like the seasons, time and those God-forsaken-Yes-I-know-they-save-lives smoke detector batteries, we all must change. And, be prepared to change. Especially before that obnoxious beeping sound starts. In the middle of the night. Every freaking time.

It has been a big year for our family. Transition and change has come in a variety of emotional packages, big and small, heart wrenching and heart soaring. Whether tears of joy or fear or gratitude, this I know is true: there has been magic. An exhilarating force of unexplained energy; I had absolutely no control. Experiences and outcomes that I couldn’t even imagine.

That’s the best thing about uncontrollable change. The house sets down with a sudden thump, you open the creaky black and white door, then, boom. A Technicolor wonderland. Not at all what you expected, but, wow! Pretty damn cool.

Today, there is uncertainty, chaos and indecision. Honestly, I’m still waiting for the house to land with a sudden thump. But, seasoned from experience, I am confident. There will be magic. Adventure magic.

I am not afraid. I am freaking Dorothy Gale excited.

Don’t be afraid. Push back the door. Go. Just go.

Look for the magic.

 … Read the rest

cocktails, home, lifestyle, movies, recipes

oh, happy day

living lola mantra
living lola mantra via My Chickas

While I don’t remember posing for this picture, maybe it was that awesome champagne in my hand, I do love the sentiment.

Living Lola Life Lesson:

Always keep a good bottle of champagne in the fridge. Today just may be the day that calls for the bubbly. You never know what is coming around the corner.

Be prepared to celebrate.

via TCM


Classic Champagne Cocktail 

1 dash of angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

Cold, dry champagne

Twist of lemon peel

 Add the dash of bitters to the sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled champagne glass and slowly pour in the champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.



 … Read the rest

health, lifestyle, motivation

friday, a beginning

Mary Shelley via
Mary Shelley via


On this very rainy Spring day, I find myself offering “new beginning” messages and advice to some of the closest people in my life. And, God, by no means do I have the answers. I just happen to have an over-abundance of the one thing that always seems to be the most annoying thing to the people closest in my life: a positive, self-disciplined, roll up your sleeves and show some muscle, “We can do this” spirit.

Several friends and family going through divorce. Some starting ALL over. Devastating and heart-breaking, yes. But, I also see the liberating, shake up the Etch-a-Sketch side. The fresh start. The clean slate. (This is usually where annoyance kicks in.)

Our kids, all in their twenties, are all making big life changing choices right now, as well. Ah, but that is what your twenties are for, no? The growing and maturing out from under and away from your parents. Trying on new locales, lifestyles and different jobs to see what is a good fit.

“Good fit”…hmm?….well, let me start with that.

New you. If you are trying to actually get fit, then do it now. It will never be as easy as it is in your twenties. Just saying. Make it a habit now. Get crazy about it. Fall in love with being good to your body. You will always have to be active in some way, as long as there is good food and cocktails. So start the self-discipline this minute. You will thank me when you are 47. And, you can thank me by taking me out for a cocktail.

New cities. Did you leave home to go to college, swearing you’d be back in four years? Do you stay in your college town, because it is just that awesome? Do you live where you have always dreamt of living? What holds you back? Do it now.  Now, while you’re young, nimble and traveling light. Spouses, jobs, kids weigh a freaking ton. It is so much harder to chase your dreams with a conga line of baggage. Albeit, beautiful and loving and Louis Vuitton-esque. It is still baggage. Even with the LV’s plastered all over it, it is STILL heavy.

New jobs. This is what you wanted that awesome education for, right? Get the job you love! Take your … Read the rest

friends, lifestyle, movies

TCM Film Festival 2013

So, for my forty-schmismosh birthday last week, my wonderful husband treated me to my ultimate fantasy: The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood.

(Don’t even want to know what you were thinking.)

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are related to me or are my friends or were standing next to me in the grocery line yesterday, I apologize for showing this yet, again.

But, holy hell. THIS. HAPPENED.

photo (13)
The incomparable Robert Osborne

Don’t you just love the way he is cozied up to me? Like we’re old friends. Well, to me, he is. He will always be. I love Robert Osborne. He was as gracious and dapper as I thought he’d be. The perfect host. Lark just has to deal with it.

 I will be waiting with bated breath this fall, when tickets for next year’s film fest will go on sale. Larkin and I had the time of our lives and have vowed to go back every year.

with Larkin at the Vanity Fair party
With Larkin at the Vanity Fair party

Many of the movies I attended, I admit, I have seen numerous times. But, never on the big screen.

Some digitally remastered, some not. All amazing.

But, even more fascinating than re-watching them, as they were meant to be viewed, were the introductions.  Legendary filmmakers, actors, directors…discussing the details, the memories, the experience of taking part in creating these classics.

Tears filled my eyes, when we all gasped in surprise when Cher was introduced to kick off “Funny Girl”. (You may remember, she was one of my first mentors. See “About Lola”)

Cher introducing "Funny Girl"
Cher introducing “Funny Girl”

I heard Tippi Hedren and Norman Lloyd speak of working with Alfred Hitchcock. I was totally amazed by The Birds; a film I’ve seen many times. It sounded absolutely terrifying in the historical Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. It felt like a totally different film.

I swooned over Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s Notorious. In my opinion, he is the most gorgeous, debonair male lead of all time. All these years, watching all of his movies, but finally…there he was….larger than life. I sigh, just typing this.

 Albert Maysels discussed his capturing the infamous “killing” on film while working on the Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter. The creators of Aiplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and star Robert Hayes had us all rolling in the aisles before the film even started. … Read the rest

lifestyle, Uncategorized

letting the light back in

I stumbled. I was a little wobbly. I am back up again.

I just couldn’t bring myself to post without sounding perfectly intentional or inspirational. It’s just a tiny blog! You’d think I was trying to write a sequel to the I Ching.

I was totally over-thinking it. Trying too hard. Perfectionism is venom in the veins of creativity.

And then a friend of mine from the Vineyard sent me this video. It reminded me that simple beauty, perfection and creative inspiration can come from the most humble of places.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

That was the intent of my Living Lola blog all along. A small serving of creating a beautiful, meaningful life from the banquet of everyday living.

Simply put, it has been tumultuous times in Texas. Honestly, I’d settle for a little mundane right now. It isn’t anything I can’t handle. In fact, it is just another opportunity to widen the frame and sharpen the focus. Doesn’t the struggle make the story?  Or something like that? I know I want good lighting. Anyway…

So, back to basics. Gently coated anecdotes, well-intentioned wisdom, good food, brilliant beverages. Creative, authentic, sincere living.

I Ching, rest assured. “Book II-Dynasty Quest” has been shelved.

the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.… Read the rest