3 Stunning Photo Series That Will Make Your Ovaries Scream

I’m thrilled to share that many dear friends have been popping out babies lately (like this baby boy, this precious girl, and this teeny guy out in Halifax!). Nothing makes me happier than seeing friends become parents, and all the joy and love that comes with it.

Suffice to say, with all the insane babe cuteness around me, I’m seriously baby crazy. Like actually crazy. I keep telling friends how I think pregnancy is the most beautiful thing of all time, and although I know I’m not ready for a baby quite yet, I wish I could just be pregnant and not have the baby pop out for 2 years. Friends that have actually been or are pregnant tell me that in reality I would not enjoy a 2 year pregnancy (especially if this is any indication of what it would be like), but for now, I’m keeping the dream alive.

So in honour of all the friends who are holding new babies, currently pregnant, trying to get preggers, or even dreaming about what that will look like one day, here are three photo series to celebrate baby-making in all it’s natural glory.

Hold on to your ovaries ladies.

A pregnancy bump beautifully documented by photographer Sophie Starzensk:

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Sleeping with a pregnant belly beautifully documented by photographer Jana Romanova:

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Mother’s with their one day old babies beautifully documented by photographer Jenny Lewis:

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The future according to HER

Have you seen the movie HER yet? If not, I recommend that you do, because it’s a wonderful film (And I KNOW films ever since I returned from SUNDANCE). HER is unpredictable, imaginative, FUNNY, and best of all? It has serious style.

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Set in the not-so-distant future, HER paints a world where technology has the capability to replace human connection in our lives. So it’s basically like right now, but visually is filled with much warmer tones, as the cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema decided to eliminate the colour BLUE!

But since we can’t eliminate blue from our colour spectrum, here are other tips on how to live in the future that HER so beautifully created:

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1. Geometric mobiles
2. Arcade Fire albums
3. High-waisted pants for men
4. High-collared shirts, pocket necessary
5. Safety Pin
6. Glasses by Warby Parker
7. Vintage deco cigarette lighter (which Spike Jonze has said the phone in the film was inspired by a vintage deco lighter found in a thrift shop in LA, so once you find one you’ll need to install a phone screen into the lighter. No biggie.)

To be honest the future according to HER doesn’t look much different than right now (besides the return of the flip phone), however if you REALLY want to see what the future is going to look like, read this.

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[By the way, I recently returned from the FUTURE, as you can see from my Google glasses]

SUNDANCED

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We’ve made it back from the land of powder and power, Sundance 2014, and we are absolutely exhausted (actually we just woke up from nap so this post may get kinda weird). But, I wanted to share the update ASAP of how I did on my Shenanigans for Sundance 2014 list:

#9. Sadly NO ONE confused me for Shailene Woodley (or any other celeb for that matter). Thank you to all who said kind words about how I vaguely resemble her, but I really blame Shailene for screwing this one up as she chopped off her hair and hence my plan was foiled.

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Shailene on the left, my pal Samrah and I on the right. For what it’s worth, Shailene and I do the same face in photos.

#8. NAILED IT. The documentary we saw at SLAMDANCE called Elliot, about Canada’s first martial arts film star, is one of the funniest and most surprising documentaries I’ve ever seen:

#7. NAILED IT AGAIN. The film Young Ones was written and directed by Jake Paltrow (yes Gwyneth’s bro), and was a cinematically breathtaking, regressive futuristic film that blew me away. Some reviews said it was a little thin on plot, but I fell in love with the western dystopian future.

#6. NAILED IT BIG TIME. We saw a Japanese film called R100 which was a comedy about bondage. By far THE weirdest film I have ever seen, but surprisingly amazing. Also the movie featured the North American wrestler Lindsay Kay Hayward, who was there for a Q&A after the film and whose sheer presence made me speechless. Her role in R100 has officially made her the Guinness World Record holder for Tallest Actress in a Leading Role at 6′ 8 1/4″:
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#5. HUGE FAIL. We never even made it into High West Whiskey as it was packed all the time. Luckily for us, we’ll be back in August for a wedding and we’ll totally own that joint.

#4. I also surprisingly failed at one of the easier tasks – pitching a random movie to a random person – BUT, a movie idea came to me on our travels home that I am now determined to make and one day submit to Sundance! I can’t reveal the idea quite yet, but if you buy me a few drinks I’m sure you can get it out of me.

#3. OVER-ACCOMPLISHED visiting the AirBNB Haus. We basically lived there as it was the coolest, plus they gave out free Four Barrel coffee and Field Notes notebooks.

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#2. I think we were pretty successful at not being douche bags (as Mark Duplass instructs here). We made memories, not contacts.

#1.  Sadly I didn’t buy him a shot to celebrate Sundance’s 30th birthday, but I DID manage to spot the one and only Robert Redford at the Sundance Institute. Quintessential Sundance mission complete.

But honestly my #1 moment at Sundance was thanks to my pal Tyler who co-produced an amazing film called RUDDERLESS (when it comes out in theatres across the globe, you must go see it). He invited us to their afterparty, which was pretty star-studded since their cast included the likes of William H. Macy, Billy Crudup, and Selena Gomez. Also in this film was a musician named Ben Kweller, who happens to be one of Chris and my all-time favourite singer/songwriters. And lucky for us, not only was Ben Kweller in Rudderless and absolutely hilarious in it, but he also was performing at the afterparty. We got to enjoy the private show he put on, plus we also got to tell Ben Kweller that our first dance at our wedding was his song THIRTEEN. He got emotional, we got emotional, hugs happened, and it was a magical moment that really meant the world to me. Oh and then Ben Kweller and Selena Gomez did a duet of Come and Get It. CLASSIC SUNDANCE!

And last but not least, for those that have a secret paparazzi inside them, here is a list of celebs our collective crew of 14 pals spotted. Some we were right next to, some we hugged (OK only one), and some we just had a quick glance of. But all in all, we saw a whole lotta famous people:

Terry O’Quinn
John Lithgow

Marisa Tomei
Wayne Newton
Christopher Nolan
Ethan Hawke
Billy Connolly*
Nick Cave*
Alfred Molina*
Michael Pitt
Phillip Seymour Hoffman*
Danny Glover*
Gwyneth Paltrow*
Joseph Gordon-Levitt*
Glenn Close
Robert Redford
Billy Crudup
Ben Kweller
William H. Macy
Selena Gomez
Aubrey Plaza
Christopher Abbott
Martin Starr

[* people I did not personally see, but friends did]

Overall, the Sundance experience was like living in an alternate bizzaro universe: a tiny town based at the foot of a mountain where celebrities are in abnormally high ratios, sidewalks are jam-packed, it’s normal to see 4 movies in one day, and there are serious amounts of FREE SWAG everywhere. It’s a weird world to say the least, but we loved it. Thank you to the people of Park City for being so kind to us, and to our pal Brent Hodge for organizing and inspiring us to go. We can’t wait to go back next year for even more shenanigans!

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Big love to our Canadian crew at 1660 Payday for the great times, and the most epic 90s dance party Park City has ever seen. We came, we saw, we SUNDANCED.

9 goals (and by goals I mean shenanigans) for Sundance

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Movie star Shailene Woodley on the left, me on the right. We both have pretty big foreheads. Think I can fool someone?
{Photo credit of me: Marcus Jolly}

Tonight at 5 pm, I’m flying to the famed Sundance Fim Festival for my first time. I honestly have no idea of what to expect – especially since I’m not a movie star nor do I have a film in the festival – but that’s alright by me as I do not like to go into trips with expectations.

However, I do like to go in to experiences with a silly scavenger list of things I want to accomplish!

SO, here are 9 things I hope to do while at my first (of hopefully many) Sundance film festival:

#9: Be mistaken for a famous person. I’ve been told I vaguely resemble a less-hot Natalie Portman (we are both Jewish), or recently someone said I bear resemblance to teen star Shailene Woodley (photo comparison above). So basically I kind of look like girls with brown hair. But fingers crossed I punk someone and they ask for my autograph. BONUS POINTS if I make it into a trashy mag.

#8: See a film at SLAMDANCE. [This is already a shoe-in as I’ll be seeing a friend from New Brunswick’s documentary called ELLIOT.]

#7. See a “must-see” film. I’ve already got tickets to YOUNG ONES, so this one again is in the bag (however I’m eternally bummed I will not be one of the first to see THEY CAME TOGETHER).

#6. See a super weird film, not on anyone’s must-see list. Because this will probably be my only chance to ever see it!

#5. Become friends with a bartender at High West Whiskey (mainly because I’ll be back in August for a wedding and I want to get that shit on lock-down!)

#4. Pitch a random person a random movie idea.

#3. Go to the AIRBNB Haus. Because out of all the random corporate sponsored parties happening at Sundance, AIRBNB is definitely the company that “gets me” the most.

#2. Don’t be a douchebag (as Mark Duplass outlines here). I’m there to hang with friends and have a good time, not network.

#1. Meet Robert Redford (a girl can dream big, right?) and buy him a birthday shot for Sundance turning the big 3-0 (and if I’m feeling especially saucy, point out that Sundance and I were both “birthed” in the same year!).

I’ll report back on how much I actually accomplish, and if you are a Sundance vet and have any tips or tricks on how to rock Park City please share!

How To Not Die From Sitting

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You’ve probably already heard, but sitting is the new smoking. Or maybe you’ve read this headline: your office chair is killing you.

But in case you haven’t heard the depressing news, let me explain. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time (like most of us do in order to make a living) cuts off blood circulation, effectively stops you from burning calories and suppresses the production of important enzymes, basically shutting your body down in a variety of important ways. And ultimately turning your body off for the majority of the day leads to higher risk of dying from terrible things (when comparing people who spent the most time sitting with those who spent the least time, researchers found increases in the risks of diabetes (112%), cardiovascular events (147%), death from cardiovascular causes (90%) and death from all causes (49%). )

But here’s the real kicker: even if you are a physically healthy person that goes for an hour run after sitting all-day, that does NOT reverse the negative impact the sitting has already done to your body. So no matter how active you are outside of work, there is no getting around the fact that our bodies were not engineered to sit at a computer, in a car, and/or on the couch ALL THE TIME and will proceed to kill you years before someone who does not sit all day.

But fear mongering aside, let’s talk about realistic solutions to this new death sentence. Because my new year’s resolution isn’t to lose weight or “get healthy”, but simply to NOT DIE FROM SITTING.

Up until recently I thought the only options to fight this battle was to get a standing desk, a treadmill desk or a super nice ergo chair. All those options are quite costly and/or take effort (ie. this DIY standing desk for $22) .But more importantly, none of those options have been scientifically proven to be beneficial yet, and in some cases, still harmful. Supposedly standing all day isn’t the bees-knees either (so why invest a ton of money or time in something that will be proven not to work in 6 months?)!

SO here is a FREE, ZERO-INVESTMENT, MINIMAL EFFORT solution that I think may save your life: The Stand App. Basically, it tells you to get up every 30 minutes (or whatever interval you choose). Not revolutionary I know, but the best way to combat this epidemic is to simply STAND UP AND MOVE every half hour to kick start your system (and seriously, the moving part is really key). And if you need an app to remind you, or drink a lot of water to so you have to pee every hour, or use a Polar Loop band (I’m a new proud owner of one of these thanks to my brother Colin), or a fucking carrier pigeon to remind you to GET UP AND MOVE regularly, than do it. Because dying from sitting would be the lamest way to go, and I feel pretty strongly about this (as you can see from my rare use of an F-bomb).

Sitting may be as deadly as smoking, but it should be much easier to kick the addiction.

Got any other hot tips on how to not die from sitting? Please save us all and share!

California Roadtrippin’: Palm Springs, San Francisco, Sonoma

It feels kind of cruel to share these photos as much of North America freezes in a polar vortex, but perhaps pictures of sunshine and warmth will provide hope!

Basically, our holiday was perfect (besides the whole getting sick thing which always seems to happen to me). We were fortunate to spend a week in Palm Springs with Chris’s family, and then a week in SF with my grand familia (and lots of wonderful friends scattered throughout).

This vacation marked Chris and my 8th California road trip together, and I realized that adventuring in California is one of our all-time favourite past times! And since there are endless possibilities of what to do while on a California roadtrip, I wanted to share 5 of my favourite places in the Golden State. So if you find yourself in California with some wheels, sunshine, and time on your hands, here are my Grown-Up Party suggestions of what to do:

1. Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree – Ever wanted to feel like you are neighbours with Fred Flintstone, or in a Doctor Suess book? If yes, then go to Joshua Tree. The landscape is so drastically different compared to our deciduous Pacific Northwest that we wondered what planet we just stepped onto. And while you are there, hit up Ryan Mountain for a 2.5 hour hike. You’ll get your sweat on and be treated to a 360 degree view of the national park. 

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2. The Creationist Museum (aka Cabazon Dinosaurs), Cabazon – If you happen to drive between LA and Palm Springs, on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere you may notice some giant dinosaurs. Go with your gut and pull over. It is the strangest “museum” I’ve ever seen that is filled with some incredibly lame robotic dinosaurs, but the fascinating part is that it also happens to be a creationist museum. The creationist mantra is not too in your face, but when you see the slogan “By Design, Not By Chance!” plastered on a sign next to a dinosaur and lion hanging out, it starts getting really trippy.

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3. Heath Ceramics, San Francisco Alright this stop might not be for everyone, but if you love beautiful design, masterfully crafted pieces, OR seeing famous people … head to Heath Ceramics. It is a San Francisco institution of timeless pottery that will just make you want to redesign the shit out of your kitchen and tableware. Their new space in the Mission also has a coffee shop with Blue Bottle coffee, AND on the day that we were there cashing in some christmas gift certificates, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie (and formerly married to Zooey Deschanel) walked in to do some shopping. I was seriously freaking out inside, AND we picked up 4 bowls and 2 mugs. BEST MORNING EVER.

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4. Fort Funston, San Francisco – California is obviously known for it’s beaches, but San Francisco – not so much. But if you head a few minutes south of the convenient, but not-so-stellar Ocean Beach, you will be treated to the magical utopia of Fort Funston. With endless beach, sand dunes for little boys to get extremely dirty in, cliffs for hang-gliders to jump up off, and one of the last off-leash dog beaches in the city, Fort Funston is one of San Francisco’s best-kept secrets. (Sidenote: We even saw DOLPHINS at sunset. Pure magic.)

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5. SCRIBE Winery, Sonoma – I’m going to call it, SCRIBE Winery is the best winery in all of Napa and Sonoma. I know that is a bold statement, but I’m telling you, IT IS. Just trust me on this one. I actually plan to write a full blog post dedicated to SCRIBE and how it encompasses everything I want in a winery, but for now, I’ll just say if you are heading to the wine country of Northern California, do not miss SCRIBE (and make sure to call ahead and make a reservation!).

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Thank you California for your blue skies! It was the perfect way to start off 2014!

Thank You 2013! (aka POP LAURENTHOLOGY)

Daniel Kim’s mash-ups of pop songs at the end of the year (known as Pop Danthology) is one of my favourite guilty pleasures, and so as an homage to Daniel Kim (a Vancouverite!) I decided to do a very short, “laurenized” mash-up of some of this year’s best moments of laughs, surprises, tears, and most of all … crazy dancing:

I’m offline for the next few weeks soaking up family and a bit more of this magic in Palm Springs, but there are exciting happenings on Grown-Up Party planned for 2014 that I can’t wait to share! (HINT: Redesigns! Parties!)

So happy holidays to all (or for fans of This is That, this is winter), and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for stopping by to read Grown-Up Party. Catch you on the flip side: 2014!

3 British TV shows you should watch right now

It’s no secret – I am obsessed with TV. I happen to also work in TV so I play it off like watching so many shows is for my job, but in all honesty, I simply love investing in characters. And if there is any culture who really understands brilliant, riveting TV shows (AND the busy schedules of adults who do not have the time to watch a billion episodes of one show) it’s the Brits. So if you are looking for something to watch over the Christmas holiday or to start 2014 off right, may I suggest my 3 favourite british shows discovered in 2013:

1. Peaky Blinders – This show is my newest obsession. Set in England 1919, this highly stylized gangster show based on a real mob family who sew razor blades into their caps (hence the title) is unexpected, clever and packs a serious punch in just 6 episodes. It’s compared to Boardwalk Empire, but personally I think it is far superior. There are british accents and Cillian Murphy – double SWOON! Weinstein bought it so it will be coming to North America soon, but be a step ahead of the game and watch it right now!

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2. Black Mirror – This is hands down the most haunting and thought-provoking television show I have ever watched. Each show is a stand-alone and is set in the “future”, but basically could be happening right now. Black mirror refers to the everyday screens we look at on our iphones and computers, and I guarantee after you watch one episode you will never look at technology the same.

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3. Sherlock – I hope you already know about this modern day Sherlock, but if not, jump on the bandwagon right now and catch up because in January it returns to resolve a juicy cliffhanger!

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Honourable mention: Top of the Lake – This show is actually from New Zealand and is breathtaking both in story, and sweeping landscape shots. If you liked the Killing or Twin Peaks, I predict you will love Top of the Lake. (Also Elizabeth Moss is so good you will forget all about some copywriter named Peggy.)

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What were your favourite TV shows of 2013? I’m always looking for new shows to fall in love with so please share!

Catch phrases you will need for the digital age

I fondly remember banners in middle school of catch phrases hung in our classroom to help us understand the world a little better (like this one, or this classic, or my personal favourite).

But lately, I am finding myself using NEW catch phrases to understand and describe this brave new world we live in: the digital age and wild west of social media.

So you may be familiar with them, but if not, prepare yourself for these new slogans to be hitting the scene any day  now (and who knows, before you know it they may be hanging in your child’s middle school classroom!):

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[Original posters all made by hand (on the computer) by Lauren Bercovitch]

Do you have any social media mantras you are now living by? Am I missing a soon-to-be-classic catch phrase? Share below!

Apply For Things!

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As a grown-up no longer in school, I’m very out of practice when it comes to writing essays, taking tests, and applying for scholarships (even the thought of doing any of those assignments scares the shit out of me). But the crazy thing is, there are opportunities adults can apply for that are being neglected, wasted and missed every day!

For example, my musically-gifted husband recently won $10,000 from The Shore 104.3 as September’s Best of BC. And remember that time my bro and I applied for The Amazing Race Canada? And even if you aren’t artsy or have the burning desire to be on reality tv, there are programs like Imagine1Day’s Accelerator Fund that actually gives YOU money to execute an idea to raise money for charity. How nutso and awesome is that?

So the moral of this post is to take a few moments out of your day, scour the internet for opportunities that fit your interests, and take the plunge to apply for something.

Be like my pal Ross, graphic designer extraordinaire. He took the time (with the help of talented film-making friends) to apply for the Emerging Designer Competition in attempts of winning money to pursue his passion of making fonts. And now he has gone and made the short list (voted on by other really talented folks like Douglas Coupland!). If you know him, you already know he is brilliant and should vote for him to win the big cash money prize here. If you don’t know him, please watch this video, fall in love with his work, and then also vote for him!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/75372332 w=622&h=350]
Know of any super rad grants/scholarships/funds for grown-ups who are not in school? Share below!