March 14, 2012

One Tree Hill Recap-Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Oh, One Tree Hill, you sure keep the punches rolling. Just when I thought this season was starting to feel the season was staying the same, they kick it up a notch. This brings us to tonight's episode of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Another incredible episode. I know I say this a lot, but Mark Schwann is a genius. Just when you start to question why he's doing something, he explains it all within moments and you see it all come together and it's better than you ever could have imagined.

Tonight's episode was so witty and sarcastic, especially with the dialogue between Chris Keller, Julian, and Dan. Those were some of the best scenes of the entire night. They were all so quick to deliver; I loved it! I think their true characters were really shown in those moments. You see them the way Mark Schwann envisioned them, and it's so cool that he's able to capture that.
Chris: Chris Keller's too pretty to go to prison.
Julian: Yeah, that's what I said.
Chris: You said Chris Keller was pretty?

Dan: He's not dead, he's just...well, I guess he could be dead by now.

Dan: Dan Scott doesn't like this either.

The chemistry between Paul and Tyler is just crazy good! I love that they have had more scenes and story lines together this season, because it has brought something so different, and has brought more humor to the show. So even with all of these heavy stories going on around them, there's still a little chuckling going on here and there. 

Although, I think the moment we've all been dying to see has been between Dan and Nathan. The fact that Dan went through all that he did to find Nathan showed a lot about how he had changed, and that he really could did care about his son. I loved when Nathan said, "It's good to see you, Dad." My heart filled up with joy just a little bit. But, you know that just as soon as something good happens, something bad is going to happen...and it did. Dan was shot. I can't believe I actually shed a tear for him. The fact that you start to see them caring about one another is enough to make it alright, though. YAY for Julian bonking that officer over the head. He can step up when he needs to! haha. 

As for Brooke and Xavier..WHOA! How many times can one poor girl be attacked? I'm just glad he's gone. Every time Brooke was looking over her shoulder or looking a little freaked out, my heart was pounding inside for her. Sophia Bush killed those scenes! I have to say I'm really surprised Tara was the one to save Brooke, I figured as obvious as it is, it would end up being Julian. Chelsea Kane is really impressing me with her acting. I think it's great she (Tara) finally realized that he's an actual creep and Brooke wasn't just being dramatic. I'm not exactly sure what brought him back to town, other than just trying to "start over", but I think it proves that he did have a hidden agenda the entire time. Her "patronizing" him didn't just annoy him enough to set him off and do all that. At least Brooke's little family will all be safe now...although, are they ever really safe for good in Tree Hill? ;)

I have to say, I was a little bored with Clay's story line tonight. It seems like they didn't have much for him, so it was just more of a filler. But, I am glad to see that he's doing better and I'm looking forward to what the future holds for him and Logan. 

There's not much to report with Haley tonight. However, those flashbacks of Nathan killed me. When she thought back to the time when she told him to leave her alone after her mom died and when he held the press conference to say he was going to think about Duke...TOO MUCH. At the end, when Haley's watching Nathan's press conference on tape, I kept waiting for him to walk through the door or to at least hear his voice on the phone when she picked it up. No such luck! Of course we'll have to wait for something until next week. 

It looks like Dan's still alive for the time being...but we shall see how that turns out. Only 3 more episodes left of the series, can you believe it?!?! Oh man, I don't know if all of us OTH-ers are ready for all of this that's to come. :0 AHHH!

That's all for now,

March 13, 2012

Interview With Michelle Gray

"Once you embrace that WHO you are defines you, you can conquer the world. What matters is what's in your heart, what your goals are and what kind of life you want to lead."
 ~Shantel Van Santen

In today's world of media, image, celebrity, and photoshop, the phrase "be yourself" has taken on an entirely different meaning than it did for the last generation. The media has such a negative way of telling girls (and some guys) what they're supposed to look like and act like. It's no wonder that so many people have either gone through or known someone with an eating disorder or issues with body image. Girls all around the world compare themselves to what they see on TV, the magazines, and music videos.
However, in the midst of all of that confusion, there are still people out there fighting to tell girls that it's what's inside that counts, and that is where Team True Beauty comes in. 
Body image is something that has always been close to my heart, and something I've been passionate about for quite some time, so I was really excited to hear about this organization. Because I had recently gotten into One Tree Hill, I saw that some of my favorite cast members would be attending this fundraising event and I HAD to go! I started doing a little more research to see what the cause was all about and I loved it even more. I was able to attend Team True Beauty's one year anniversary party in January, and met so many wonderful people that night (women in the business and girls that are in their 20s like me), that really live out what they're sponsoring. 

My first interview is with, Michelle, who I met at the event in LA a couple months ago, along with her sister Kristen, and I've gotten to know a little better through Twitter since then. She's super sweet, fun, and has one of the most beautiful smiles. I hope you all get to see how fantastic and inspiring she is through this interview :)

S: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself and the role you play on the team. As well as the mission statement, and how it start up?
M: My name is Michelle Gray and I am the Director of Promotions for the Team True Beauty campaign. Our motto is "Its the size of your heart, not your waistline." Team True Beauty all started one year ago, when some ignorant person on twitter started tweeting about how girls should be super skinny and how they should have "controlled anorexia" to remain skinny. That person has no clue or perception of life, because that's not what it's all about. Team True Beauty is here to enforce the true meaning of self-image and self-worth...its all about the person you are on the inside, because that's what really matters in this world. 

S: How did you TTB deal with body image growing up? Did you feel any pressures when you hit your teen years? Any personal stories or experiences?
M: Everybody growing up feels the pressure to be perfect. Pretty, popular, well-liked, etc., especially throughout middle-school and high school. Its hard because at that point in your life, you really haven't experienced the world yet,  school is pretty much your whole life, it's all you know. I felt all those pressures.  You just live your life every day knowing the person that you are, you stay strong, you get through it, and it all changes after high school. Everyone enduring middle school and high school at this time needs to know that. It all changes for the better! Cliche or not...its true!

S: Who are some people that helped you in those tough times and who are your inspirations now?
M: The people who really inspired me and who helped me through those hard times growing up was definitely my family.  One of the things in life that I am most grateful for is that fact that I was blessed with a wonderful, loving family. We are so close, I wouldn't know what to do without them. They will forever be my inspiration.

S: There's a Backstreet Boys song, called "What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful)" that was featured in The Princess Diaries. I think we tend to think that those things that make us different, make us weird, and it's really just the opposite. What feature did you think was "too different" about yourself in your teens that you've learned to embrace now?
M: Funny you should mention that song because that's actually one of my favorite songs of all time! Its such a beautiful song! I just had to put it on actually...haha! The message in that song is something that everyone needs to hear and believe in. I know it's a lot easier said then done, but the key to surviving those hard high-school days is.....BELIEVE in yourself, KNOW that your differences are not bad differences, but good differences, REALIZE that God put you on this Earth for a reason and a purpose, be confident about that, and be YOU!! You are unique, and there will NEVER be another you EVER. 
A feature about myself that I always used to be so self conscious about is my legs. I was an athlete throughout my entire life and so from running and just from playing sports my legs always seemed  "bigger" to me then the rest of my body and it really used to be something I focused on a lot. Then I came to the realization that I'm being rediculous. Some people can't even walk, some people don't even have legs, and I'm sitting here complaining about the shape of mine? Its human nature to not like certain things about yourself, its inevitable, but be realistic. I felt so selfish when I came to this realization.

S: What's one motto you live by?
M: The motto I live by is 'everything happens for a greater reason, it's all in God's plan'. You have to believe in this statement in order to get through life. Faith is what gets us through our worst times.

S: What is the greatest advice someone has ever given to you?
M: The best advice that someone has ever given me would be to just be myself. You are the only you in this world and that seems pretty special to me! 

S: There are a lot of celebrities that support and promote the organization, especially the gals of One Tree Hill. How did that come together?
M: We are very fortunate to have all the support that we have from all of our supporters, including our celebrity supporters. The more people that join the campaign and help spread the word, the more support we get, the farther and wider the message gets spread! It's an amazing feeling knowing that so many people are so passionate about our cause and we couldn't ask for anything more! Shantel VanSanten is our campaign ambassador and there is no better person for the job! She is an amazing person who does amazing things for so many people and she is truly a genuine sweetheart and I am privileged to work alongside her on the campaign. Also, Daphne Zuniga plays a huge role in the campaign as well. She's like our campaign Mom...haha. She has been where we have all been and has the expierience and the knowlege on how to live a strong, happy, healthy life and we all look up to her so much! But all of our celeb supporters do an amazing job spreading the message and we are so lucky so have such wonderful people support us.

S: You just came up on your one year anniversary for TTB, and had an incredible celebration for it at The Avalon in Hollywood. I had such an amazing time meeting new people, and just celebrating who we are as individuals with music and all that jazz. What was that night like for all of you? Favorite moment of the night?
M: One word to describe the night of the event...surreal. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous as it was coming down to crunch time, but everyone worked so hard on preparing everything that I knew it most likely would run pretty smooth. As it was going on though, I kept saying to myself, "Is this a dream? I can't believe this is happening right now." I mean, our supporters that flew out just to come to our event, the celebs who volunteered their time to come and meet fans and fellow all felt like a dream to me. A few times I even got a little teary-eyed just because I was just SO proud of what the campaign has accomplished in just a year! The work that the founders did to create this amazing campaign and the work that goes into it everyday...watching it all come together at that event was just unbelievable.

S: What you like to see TTB do in the next year? The future in general?
M: In the next year, I would love to see TTB soar even higher. I want the message to be spread farther and wider to reach as many people as it possibly can! If we accomplished this much in one year...I can't imagine what the future holds! I'm excited to see what lies ahead for us!!

S: What would you say to your 13 year old self? Or the 13 year old that is out there struggling right now with an eating disorder or negative body image?
M: If I could give my 13 year old self advice I would tell truly does get better! Those days and those times you think to yourself that nothing is going to're wrong. It ALWAYS gets better! Ive been through high school, I've been through college, I've lived it, and I've seen it first hand, everything changes after high school! Those people that were bullies, they now have no ground to stand on, they have no more "cliques" to back them up, they are nothing but lonely bullies and you've come out stronger then they ever were. And there is always something to look forward, your career, marriage, kids, grandkids...the list goes on. Always something to look forward to and that is worth living and fighting for.

S: What has been the most rewarding feeling of being part of such an incredible team? How has it changed your life?
M: The most rewarding feeling of being part of such an amazing team is that I have these people by my side at all times! They are like my second family! We bounce ideas off of each other, we're not afraid to speak up about something, we help each other, and we're always there for each other! When the founders asked me to officially come on board the campaign, I was ecstatic! They gave me this amazing opportunity to do such wonderful things...there just aren't even words to describe how coming on board the campaign has changed my lifeI I'm forever grateful to these girls and love them tremendously!

S: When you're having one of those "down days", as we all do from time, what do you do to get out of that funk?
M: Usually when I'm having a down day, I'll go home and put on one of my favorite shows or movies, or I'll jump on twitter or facebook and talk to friends on there, that always puts me in a better mood. Also though, this may sound crazy to some people...haha...but just hanging out with my family is one of my favorite things to do! They always brighten my day, I swear they are the funniest people I have ever met in my life. It's like a full-fledged comedy show every day in my house...and its free! can you beat that?!? haha! So those are definitly  the things that really turn my bad mood around real quick.

S: What are some ways you think girls can encourage one another in their everyday lives?
M:  I think that everyone needs to realize that no matter how confident or unaffected another person may seem, they have the same insecurities and the same feelings that you do...they are just good at hiding it. Even celebrities and models who you see on the covers of magazines, they have the same feelings that you do. We are all human, nobody is carved from steel, nobody is perfect, and everyone has something that they are self-concsious of. Life is hard enough, we need to all stick together and support each other and treat each other how you would like to be treated, and it will make life that much sweeter.

Michelle and Shantel VanSanten (Ambassador of True Beauty)
If you'd like to find out more about upcoming events and True Beauty's street team that just launched, you can check it all out on their website!

That's all for now,

Remember that life is worth living! And don't let anyone look down on you or make you feel inferior to them. You are a creation of God, and that alone should tell you you're worth it all! :)

March 12, 2012


Yesterday was a fundraising day for the Young Adults team at church for our Catalyst convention next month! I'm so incredibly excited about it, and it has been fun volunteering for these things, getting to meet new people and to see all that God is doing in each of our lives. I got to church at 8:30, and we all got straight to work. We were selling hamburger lunches, so first we had to box everything up. We had quite the system of laying out boxes, putting mayo, mustard and lettuce inside each box and getting them outside, so the guys could start preparing the patty's. I was in charge of the was pretty disgusting really. Ceci and I were singing Taylor Swift songs and joking with Viviyan, which is really what all of these things are about, forming closer relationships with everyone, and most importantly, God.
We didn't sell many lunches at the 8:30 service, because more people are thinking about breakfast still than a hamburger LOL.

I went to the 10:00 service with my parents, which was really good. It was about making each moment count, and focusing on what you do have instead of what you don't. It was about giving time to the things that are important in life (God, family, friends, etc).
"Where your heart is, your treasure will be there also."
After service ended, it was straight back to volunteering. This time, I helped Jasmine out with the money a little, and then got to season some meat with Martin. That was really interesting! LOL. We also brainstormed for our possible documentary and some other things we'd like to film in the future...with a possible Kung Fu scene? I think so ;) hee hee. 

Love these girls! It was a pleasure hanging out with them all day :)
We sold some more lunches after the 12:00 service, then it was time to pack up. We were all pretty much exhausted by that point, but we raised a lot of money for the convention....So, WOO HOO :D. It was an awesome day.
When I got home, my parents had bought me this marshmallow lollipop, that reminded me of something from Katy Perry's Candifornia tour. It was so good and sickening sweet too! I think they would make really cool decorations for a candy bar at a party of some sort. 
I hung out at home for awhile, had dinner at Panera with my parents, and went to Bible study at 7. It was fantastic. We were all still feeling pretty tired with the time change and fundraising at first, but we were all able to hear a lot from one another and what God wanted us to hear. We also celebrated Alex's birthday, so it was a really special day! I am so glad I'm able to be connected with other believers and that I can start my week off with a great start, being able to share what I'm going through and know that I'm not alone in whatever it is I'm facing. They've always got my back! 
When I got home, I ended up watching the series finale of Wonder Years, because we have it on DVD. That will always be mine and my dad's show. I grew up watching it on Nick at Nite every night with him. That's what TV should be about; insightful and teach life lessons...Kevin Arnold did just that. It brought me back to a lot of good times; simpler times of being a kid and longing for my childhood again (even though I know I'm not that old). I feel like Wonder Years will always connect us no matter what happens!

That's all for now,

Why Does Everybody Love Saturday Night?

This weekend was interesting; pretty eventful and fun. Saturday, we ended up driving to Valencia for the day because there was this restaurant that sounded really good to me up there. We ate at Woodranch, did a little shopping, and tried out this ice cream parlor that my parents have been telling me about forever (Farrell's Ice Cream). It was pretty tasty!

Later on, we ended up ordering some new iPod, iPhone, and computer cases! I am SO excited to get it in the mail and show all of you :). We went to Sonic for dinner, and ended up going to Target because my mom needed to get something! 

Mittens got a brand new bed :) He loves it!

Couldn't sleep at all really. Tossing and turning should really be considered a sport for as much as I did it. In those times, you just have to pray and trust God that the storm you're going through will eventually pass and you'll be better for it in the end.

That's all for now,

Hit The Lights, Camera, Action!

(Photo credit: I Am That Girl's Site)
Friday morning my mom and I headed down to LA for the day, which is the best way to spend one, in my opinion. I just love it down there. If I could live there, I totally would. Anyway, we stopped in Valencia because I wanted to check for this magazine called, Zooey, with an article on One Tree Hill's Bethany Joy Galeotti. I was so excited when they actually had it! We also ended up just eating lunch down in that area, because otherwise we would've been pushed for time. It worked out much better!

We got down to LA in no problem after that, it just gets a little tricky downtown and getting off the freeway!

We went to FIDM (Fashion Institute LA) to check out this student store they have on campus. I think it's basically a store where students design/make clothes and they're really cheap. They had jewelry, dresses, shoes, magazines, and a few bags. It was cool getting to the students come in, looking for material and other necessities probably having waited until the last minute for a project. You can also definitely tell they're from LA; they just give it off that vibe. I got some earrings that were 4/1$, bracelets, a few magazines, and a scarf for a total of four dollars and change. Crazy right?
Also on the campus was an area where some Oscar nominated movie costumes were being held. We saw costumes from The Help, The Artist, Marilyn, War Horse, etc. We weren't allowed to take pictures, but it was really awesome. It was unbelievable how tiny most of the costumes were. Hollywood standards are seriously unrealistic.

Channeling my inner Brooke Davis ;)

We got done pretty quickly there, so we just decided to head over to Warner Brothers studio. We looked around at the studio shop for awhile, grabbed a Starbucks, and got in line. We were extremely early, but I wanted to make sure I got in.

We met a really nice girl, Jessie, who was visiting from Nashville. She told us about some of her friends and how they'll randomly see Keith and Nicole or Lady A has stopped into their gym and Hillary brought them cupcakes. It was cool hearing her stories! It didn't take long at all for them to get us on the lot and seated in the soundstage (#5 just in case you're ever there). I always find it fascinating before the show to watch the producers, directors and writers running around frantically making last minute adjustments on things and seeing how it all comes together. I'm so in love with the craft and the behind the scenes process that every time I go to a taping or event of some sort, it reminds me of why I love it so much.
It took awhile to get the show started, but once they did it went straight through. It technically wasn't a taping; it was just a rehearsal for the real thing on Wednesday, which is the Pilot episode. and mainly for the network execs It was very exciting to be in the studio at such a crucial moment for all of them. Apparently it is in the number one show slot to be picked up for the Fall fingers crossed! I thought it was a pretty funny show. Being that it was the first episode, it's hard to see where they'd take the rest of the season because it seemed that there's not much of a main plot and everything is finalized...but, who knows, by Wednesday they could've changed the script to something completely different.
But, of course, it would figure that the one time we have dead center seats to see perfectly, Sophia's scenes were on the complete opposite sides and one was off screen altogether. Thank goodness for monitors, but for most of the show it felt like she wasn't even there. Oh well, though. At the end, they introduced the entire cast and they all came back out. I kept waving my One Tree Hill season 6 booklet and trying to get her to come over to sign, but she was talking to cast mates and other crew members. She did finally wave to us, though, and that was awesome :D A few seconds after that she had to leave.
I ended up meeting one of my Twitter friends, Rebecca and her friend, Stephanie, and we all sort of walked out together with Jessie. We ended up talking for an hour or so in the parking garage. She told us all kinds of amazing stories about being an extra on One Tree Hill and visiting Wilmington. We also covered Country music, things she's interning for, and whatever else came up. It was a lot of fun getting to know them. We even got to see some of the smaller part actors from Partners walking into the car garage to leave.
My mom and I had planned on eating at Paty's diner, because it's a tradition basically, but it got to be too late and we had to get home.

We stopped at In-N-Out and headed home. All in all, it was a really amazing day, and I'm so glad I got to share it with my mom.

That's all for now,

March 11, 2012

In The Kitchen With Me!

Thursday night, I made some cookies with my mom. Nothing fancy, just good ole oatmeal chocolate chip! I was just excited I finally got to wear my new spiffy apron ;) LOL.

If you're curious about the recipe, just leave me a comment or message me via social media!

That's all for now,