Ladies We Love

Ladies We Love: Carla Hall

June 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm , by

Chef Carla Hall and Fuel Up student ambassador Nikki

Chef Carla Hall and Fuel Up student ambassador Nikki

If you’re a fan of Top Chef, you probably already have a soft spot for chef Carla Hall and her impressive cooked-with-love cuisine  (and, of course, her trademark catchphrase “hootie hoo!”). Now, taking cues from Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and the new USDA MyPlate guidelines for healthy eating, Carla is spreading the word about how important nutritious meals and fun exercise are for our kids.

“It’s all about food, yes, but you need to move. You need to get up and do something. Back in the day, we used to play. So now I think the challenge right is to go out and get everyone dancing. Especially the kids,” says Carla.

Carla’s teaming up with Fuel Up to Play 60, which brings youth wellness programs to schools (now 70,000 nation-wide!) Student ambassador Nikki, who also joined us with Carla in the LHJ offices last week, loves the changes it’s inspired in her school. “We started a walking club, and give out raffle tickets if we catch you eating a healthy food at lunch. We’ve done a taste test of different exotic fruits, parfaits, and string cheese. Kids like the new foods, and it spreads around the cafeteria, with kids wanting to bring the healthier choices for lunch,” she says.

Carla, always an advocate for cooking with whole foods, loves to hear this. “I’m all about inspiring people to cook at home, and we don’t have to dummy down kids food. Kids will eat lots of different foods if they have the chance to try it.”

One of Carla’s favorite recipes is her granola, a tasty and nourishing mix of almonds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and dried fruit, which she hopes to sell through Alchemy by Carla Hall, of which she is the executive chef and owner.  (But you can make your own now– click “Read More” below for the recipe!) “I like making granola, because I can control how much sugar is in it. And you can use it as a breakfast or a snack, or even as a topping on dessert,” she says.

Not enough reasons to love Carla? We asked her our Ladies’ We Love questions for more:

What makes me a lady:
I’m a southern lady, and I love earrings. I’ll even notice some nice earrings in a scary movie. My husband will say, “Oh, you’re such a girl.”

Favorite guilty pleasure:
A sundae with pistachio, sour cherry ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and toasted almonds.

Three things on my life list:
I want to spend a New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia. I want to go to Nepal and have a meditation session. And I want to have a dining experience at Alinea, Grant Achatz’s restaurant in Chicago.

If I could have a super power it would be:
I think I would fly. I just don’t walk fast enough!

Ladies I admire:
Julia Child. The Big O – Oprah, I have to say. And my grandmother.

Read more


Ladies We Love: Army Wives’ Catherine Bell

June 3, 2011 at 10:00 am , by

CatherineBellActress Catherine Bell, 42, is one busy woman. She stars in Lifetime’s hit drama Army Wives (don’t miss this season’s finale on Sunday, June 12!), stars in the new Lifetime movie, Last Man Standing, and, oh yeah, she’s a wife and a mom of an 8-year-old and 9-month-old. She wears many hats (and, apparently, never tires), but one thing holds true across the board – everything she does is a labor of love.

“I hear from real army wives a lot. I’ll often see them in airports, and I get the best feedback. They’ll tell me that the show helps them get through when their husbands are deployed. It warms my heart.”

Not enough reasons to love Catherine? We had her answer our Ladies We Love questions for a few more:

What makes me a lady
Being classy, and using whatever abilities I can to help others. As an actress I use my voice to support charities and causes I believe in, which is important to me. I often work with children’s hospitals and thyroid cancer organizations, since I had thyroid cancer when I was 21. I also work with a charity called Criminon, which helps prisoners become upstanding members of society once they are released.

Favorite guilty pleasures
Chocolate, for sure. And lately the TV show Games of Thrones, but that’s more of a wonderful pleasure—it’s a great show. And shopping! I try to support local businesses here in Charleston, where Army Wives is filmed, as much as I can, but when I’m busy I also love Amazon and Gilt. We’re literally on a first name basis with our UPS guy.

Three things on my life list
Learning how to fly a plane. And just to keep learning and growing and working on that a little every day. You either get better or worse in life, you don’t stay the same.

If I could have a superpower it would be…
To fly really fast. I have so many friends all over the world, and to be able to just be like “boom, here I am,” would be great.

Ladies I admire
Eleanor Roosevelt is at the top of my list. She was really instrumental in developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which a lot of people don’t know exists, but should. And JK Rowling—I love her underdog story.


Ladies We Love: Danzy Senna

May 3, 2011 at 10:51 am , by

There’s not much I can think of that would make me want to extend my hour-long commute to work in the mornings, but that’s what Danzy Senna’s new book You are Free did. I didn’t want to put the eight-story collection down! I am not a harried new mom like Livy, a young woman dealing with her mother’s death like Andrea, or a troubled lonely singleton like Jackie, but there was something that linked me to those women and all of the other female protagonists in the book. Maybe it’s the humanity that Senna infuses into each of her characters.  Whatever “it” is would be a great topic for any book club discussion. Senna, who is the author of three other books — Caucasia (another one of my favorites), Symptomatic, and Where Did you Sleep Last Night? — answered our “Ladies We Love” questions.

What makes me a lady: That I insist on making my bed every morning; that I make my sons eat lots of vegetables.

Favorite guilty pleasures: Us Weekly, dark chocolate and my nightly two glasses of Chardonnay.

Three things on your life list: 1.To be able to raise my sons into confident, healthy, aware men. 2. To translate some of the ideas and themes of my written works into film or television. 3. To take care of a child who is not my own.

If I could have a superpower, it would be: The power to heal through touch.

Ladies I admire: All the anonymous women who raise their children alone, who flee abusive husbands, who take in and nurture other women’s children, who flee oppressive regimes, who speak truth to power, who find the courage to tell what really happened.


Ladies We Love: Diem Brown

March 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm , by

Diem BrownWhen you hear of a 23-year old girl starting a gift registry, most would assume she must be getting married, right? Well for Diem Brown (of MTV fame), who founded MedGift at 23 while battling the effects of ovarian cancer, a registry was her answer to her loved ones’ ever-present question: “What can I do to help?” From there Medgift was born and is not only a registry, but also a resource and social networking site for anyone going through medical hardship. It’s difficult to ask someone for help with medical bills, or for a wheelchair or for a ride to treatment, so Diem’s site makes it easy for patients to create a profile of needs, and sponsors can look-up patients by name to help out. “No matter what the medical misfortune, the stress can be debilitating,” says Diem echoing the premise of her site. Beyond her vision for this growing support network, read on to see why Diem Brown is a Lady We Love.

1.  What makes you a lady? My mom was Australian and being a lady was the most important thing to her, including even having tea time for us girls to teach us manners like always saying “pardon” instead of “what.” I think being a lady is about being strong, having integrity and never being the straw that breaks someone’s back (but rather the hand that pulls them up).

2.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Salt and artificial sweetener. I know both are so bad for you but I can’t seem to kick the bad (yet tasty) habit!

3.  What are 3 things on your Life List?
1. To meet Oprah 2. To become a mom 3.To get my passion, MedGift into every hospital around the United States (so if you are a hospital employee or know someone who is, let them know about Medgift and help your community benefit from this resource).

4.  If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Being able to teleport! I could go from my house, to work, or even to India in the blink of an eye — No traffic, no crowds, and no airport security. Plus, how cool was Quantum Leap?!

5.  Who are ladies you admire?
I admire ladies who have changed the way we see the world! Oprah, for telling us it’s okay to express, understand and explore our feelings. Barbara Walters, for showing us you can work in a “man’s world” being strong, confident and intelligent while maintaining your femininity and elegance. And Laura Ziskin, for the work she’s done for cancer research through Stand Up To Cancer (all while undergoing her own cancer treatment).


Ladies We Love: Angie Harmon

February 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm , by

Angie Harmon is many things: a wife of 10 years to former footballer Jason Sehorn, a mom to 3 little girls, a busy actress, and overall a lady we love! Her role as Abbie Carmichael on NBC’s Emmy-winning Law & Order in the 90′s is how most of us became a fan, but more recently Angie is enjoying the success of her TNT series Rizzoli & Isles where she plays Detective Jane Rizzoli (returning this summer).  When she’s not cracking down on criminals onscreen, she’s Angie Harmoncracking down on nutrition at home by partnering with Hidden Valley on their ‘Love Your Veggies‘ campaign.  Read on to see what else we love about Angie…

What makes you a lady? I can hold my alcohol.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Online shopping, especially  One Kings Lane and Gilt.

What are 3 things on your Life List? 1. To swim with great white sharks; 2.To stay happy; 3.To tour the world with my husband and three girls.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to fly.

Who are ladies you admire? Jackie O, Patti Hansen, and Iris Apfel.


Ladies We Love: Melissa Peterman

January 25, 2011 at 10:54 am , by

WC_MELISSA_1496_300dpi_4x6_REVThis week CMT premieres its first scripted sitcom, Working Class, about a single mother struggling to provide for her family. Comedienne and actress Melissa Peterman, 39 (who’s well known for her role on Reba and for hosting CMT’s competition show The Singing Bee), plays Carli, a woman who’s funny and endearing, much like Peterman herself. “It’s a show you can watch with your kids,” she said. “I love that it talks about what many Americans are going through now, living paycheck-to-paycheck—it isn’t necessarily a fun subject, but the show deals with it with a sense of hope and a sense of humor. Instead of saying what we don’t have, it’s about saying look at what we do have.”

What makes me a lady: It’s my ability to say, “I need help.” There is no such thing as supermom—so I ask for help from my family and friends.

Favorite guilty pleasure: Bad candy, like nerds, dots and skittles. And watching The Real Housewives series on Bravo. New York is my favorite but they’ve all got something that I enjoy.

Three things on my life list: Do a play on Broadway, have Prince sing at my 40th birthday party, and have my son grow up to be happy and healthy with a great sense of humor.

If I could have a super power, it would be: The ability to make skinny jeans not leave marks on my skin when I take them off.

Ladies I admire: Of course, Reba McEntire! Also Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, my mom and Jane Lynch.

Working Class premieres Friday, January 28th at 8 p.m. on CMT.


Ladies We Love: The Baby from The Sound of Music

November 17, 2010 at 9:13 am , by

Can you believe it’s been 45 years since Julie Andrews cavorted and sang all over Salzburg with the von Trapp kids in The SoKym2[1]und of Music? Neither can Kym Karath, who played the youngest, Gretl. Remember, the one who adorably warbled, “The sun… has gone… to bed and so must I” to the party guests? Yep, that’s her, right, and we say she hasn’t changed a bit!

Karath was in New York last week for some TV appearances with her former movie family (there she is, below, with Julie Andrews and her movie siblings), and she stopped by LHJ’s office to catch us up on what she’s been doing lately. After The Sound of Music, she continued her acting career off and on into adulthood—until her three-week-old baby boy suffered a stroke. That caused brain damage and left him with developmental disabilities, and he became her main focus in life.

Her JulieAndrews & Kids[2]son Eric is 19 now, and Karath has found time to work on a project she’s very excited about: developing a TV series called Bouncing Back, about the power of human resilience. As the host, Karath will consult with experts in the emerging field of resilience psychology and tell the stories of real people who overcame incredible obstacles by helping others. “In people’s recovery from difficult experiences, there seems to be an altruistic component that makes them feel stronger,” she says. “It’s very helpful for their self-esteem, and it gives them the capacity to bounce back.”

Karath knows a bit about resilience herself, after going through a divorce, raising a child with special needs and losing her beloved mother to pancreatic cancer. She took a little time to answer our “Ladies We Love” questions. Read more


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