June 2010

Bella Should Have Dumped Edward

MichellePan Eclipse opens today. (Team Jacob!) Oh, sorry, I got distracted. Anyway, Michelle Pan, 20, is the webmaster behind BellaAndEdward.com and author of the new fanbook Bella Should Have Dumped Edward. She stopped by to chat about all things Twilight.

I Heart Daily: What inspired you to start the site?
Michelle Pan: It was for my own entertainment purposes -- I was 13 and looking for something to do with my spare time. I had been doing web design for about a year and I had just read Twilight that summer (2006). I went online and found that there weren't many Twilight fansites, so I started my own. I never expected the site to get so big!

IHD: What's your favorite part about operating the site?
MP: My favorite part is interacting with the fans. I started
BellaAndEdward.com because I wanted to find a place where I could talk to other people who were as crazy as I was about the Twilight saga. I have, without a doubt, achieved that goal! I enjoy knowing that my website serves as an online community and gathering place (in a sense) for Twilighters. Of course, I also love to attend the Twilight premieres and talk to the cast and crew on the red carpet!

IHD: What is your book, Bella Should Have Dumped Edward, about, and what's the story with that title?
MP: My book is a Twilight fan debate book. I asked many questions relating to the controversial topics in the Twilight saga and fans submitted their responses. I then compiled them into a book and wrote my own opinions on the topics. Contrary to what everyone thinks, I don't actually believe that Bella should have dumped Edward! The title was meant to be an attention-getter (since this is a book about the debates surrounding the Twilight saga, it seemed to be fitting). I am actually Team Edward, but I still like Jacob as a friend for Bella.

IHD: What are you hoping for/expecting from Eclipse?
MP: From what I've seen in the movie previews, this one looks like it's going to be a lot darker than the previous two. That's a good thing because the Eclipse book is a lot more action-packed and intense than both New Moon and Twilight. I'm just going to walk into the movie theater hoping for a movie that stays true to the book.

Thanks, Michelle! Watch some of her Eclipse premier footage (she interviews Stephenie Meyer!) below:

Q&A: Nikki Blonsky talks "Huge"


Hugenikki Who caught the series premiere of Huge last night? If you didn't, the show centers around a group of plus-size teens attending a weight-loss camp. Nikki Blonsky (she was awesome in Hairspray) stars as Willamena, a girl whose fitness-obsessed parents force her to go to the camp. "Will doesn't want to change. Will is fine with who she is," Blonsky says of her character. "Even after she’s made fun of for days for wearing boys' clothes, having blue hair and not wearing any makeup, she doesn't care. She doesn't change and put on girls' clothing or lipstick.... And that's what I love about her."

Read on for more from Nikki!

I Heart Daily: How does Huge break from a superficial perspective when compared to other teen-geared shows like 90210 or Gossip Girl?
Nikki Blonsky: I hope it just breaks all the boundaries in Hollywood.
I hope that there are a lot more plus-size characters as love interests, as everything, as all the different roles. I think this is the first time we've ever had a plus-size cast in a TV show. I couldn't be more honored than to be part of this one.

IHD: Do you see any standout celebrities making a positive impact on kids today growing up?
NB: I think one of my best friends is such a good role model because he stayed true to himself. I’m talking about Zac [Efron]. There are a lot of great role models out there for kids right now -- Zac for guys. 

IHD: How have you stayed motivated to make it as an actress when Hollywood is full of size two stars?
NB: People have told me, "If you want to get a job you need to lose weight," and I said, “Okay, really, then you're not the person to be around me because I am who I am and I am this way for a reason.” If I wake up tomorrow morning and feel like losing five pounds, then maybe I will. If I don't, I won't. I just live life on my standards, on what I believe in... and I feel great about my body. I'm very secure in it. I have no problem doing anything, going to the beach, going to the pool. It's my body, it's mine.

IHD: Do you think Huge is going to inspire plus-size women to be confident in their skin?
NB: Absolutely, because my character, I know for sure does not conform to losing weight. She will not conform to trying to look pretty like all of the other girls. She is herself and that's why I love her and that's why I feel so blessed to be playing her. There's no greater role to play than somebody who can be inspiring to somebody else.

We heart Nikki! If you didn't see the first episode of Huge, don't worry -- you can catch it again tonight at 9/8c, and then every Monday at 9/8c, on ABC Family!

Indie Crafter Du Jour: Mary Andrews of Contrary

Gemini Here's some more DIY goodness to covet! Mary Andrews of Brooklyn, NY, makes a ton of great jewelry (you can peruse it all at her etsy shop, Contrary), but the items I've set my eyes on are her horoscope pendants ($26, pictured).

Available in every astrological sign, the charms are made from a thick brass piece that hangs from a romantic garland. They're pretty much the perfect birthday gift. 

Other things I've tentatively put in my shopping cart are the Team Jacob-inspired "Twilight Wolf Necklace,"($30), these precious "Thimble Sewing Earrings" ($7), and this super adorable mini "Phonograph Music Box Pendant" ($24). And one final note: the prices include shipping, even internationally! We heart that.

Three Modern Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelet Summer makes me think of camp, and camp makes me think of friendship bracelets. Strings, knots, braids, beads... oh, the glory! Here are three modern takes on the classic friendship bracelet. Give one to your BFF, naturally.

Shashi Petit Golden Nugget Bracelet, shopbop ($18, pictured). These good luck charms with gold-plated beads come in nine colors! Plus, they're adjustable for the perfect fit.

Knotted Friendship Bracelets, etsy ($3 for a set of 3). Okay, these are 100 percent old-school, and I cannot resist them. On etsy, you can afford a whole armful of these timeless accessories.

Tomodachi Kimono Friendship Bracelet, Uncommon Goods ($20). Made from vintage kimono fabric, these Japanese designs satisfy the floral trend too.

RED Hearts: Ryan Gosling's Band is Good

DMB_front_cover-500RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.

Today's RED Hearts post is by Amy Hunt, 20, reporting from Lexington, Kentucky. She's got a band she wants you to hear:

You know who Ryan Gosling is? You do -- or am I the only one who feels compelled to watch The Notebook every time it’s on TV? You may have even heard that he has a band, but you probably shrugged it off: Not another actor thinking he can start a music career. In fact, when I first mentioned the existence of Gosling's band to a friend, she shot back, “They probably suck." To which I replied, "Oh, I love them."

Dead Man’s Bones, comprised of Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields, released their self-titled first album last year, and after a few listens, I was hooked. This album that I purchased on a whim -- simply because I needed to add something to my Amazon cart to get free shipping -- has become one of my favorites. 

Many ways of describing their music have been tossed around (from doo-wop to gospel to Halloween), and I’ll agree with most of them. It just sounds wonderful. The entire album has a 1950s B-horror movie feel to it that works so well it might confuse you at first. Pitchfork called their song “In the Room Where You Sleep” (video below) “creepy and catchy,”  “pretty damn good” and “a middle school assembly gone goth.” Tracks like “Lose Your Soul” and “Buried in Water” are dark and eerie, yet others, like “My Body's A Zombie For You” (see a live performance) and “Pa Pa Power,” are tunes that I find myself dancing and smiling to. 

What's most fantastic about the album, though, is the accompanying Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir, whose youthful voices take the music to a whole ‘nother level. And when Gosling and Shields went on tour last year, they included children’s choirs from each city. When watching videos of performances on YouTube, I was struck by how much fun the kids looked like they were having during the shows (their comments confirm it) -- and how happy and grateful they seemed to be a part of it all.

And if that doesn’t move you, you can probably catch The Notebook
 on some channel tonight. 

(But first watch a live performance of "In the Room Where You Sleep"):

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