Thursday, April 7, 2011

You Say It's Your Birthday???'s my birthday, too, ya!

Here we are on April 7th. Hard to believe this 4-month journey is over. Thank you for your comments and support along the way. It has been a good time and I think it was a huge success! I couldn't have done it without this blog, my followers, Inner Strength Fitness Centre and Jodi Sauve's specialized training programs, Alison and Suzanne of Sweet Diva and everyone's support!

It was worth it all and today, I am 40 years old and feeling healthy, fit and fabulous.
Now onto my next goal................

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Portrait of My Almost 40-Year Old Self......Sort Of

This is the second last photo from the Pin Up Girl Shoot that I will be sharing. I like it because it reminds me of the old Hollywood film stars when they had those dreamy looking head shots. It captures the essence of being forty although if you saw me at the Town Hall yesterday getting some items faxed you probably wouldn't have recognized me!

Usually you will find me in jeans, a squall jacket and my bad-ass rubber boots (they have skulls and cross bones on them). My hair will be tied back in a pony tail and I wear minimal make-up. You might also notice that I sport two frown lines between my eye brows and some fine crow's feet which I have earned in my almost 40 years of living. But make-up, good lighting and a talented photographer can erase these small "distractions" from a woman's features and highlight the best of her looks. Here is photo #4:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm Bringing Sexy Back..........

Well, I should say....Sweet Diva is bringing sexy back for any woman who wants to experience glamour......... old Hollywood style. There is just something so wrong and yet so sensual about corsets, stockings, heels, intricate hairdo's, red lips and false eyelashes.......gotta have those false eyelashes.
And here is photo #3 for you all!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Pin Up Girl Shot!

As I wrap up Julie's 40's Project, I hope all of you have had fun! I encourage my female followers to mark a special birthday or event with a professional photo shoot like this. It was so much fun and such a positive experience! Here's photo #2 of the five I will be sharing between now and Thursday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ta-Da!!! A Teaser!

Today is April 1st 2011.
4.0 months ago on December 1st 2010, I launched Julie's 40's Project.
Thank you for following and checking in along the way.
Today I will share one photo with you and then will share four more starting Monday and with the final one being posted on my actual 40th birthday. So, here you go! Hope you like my version of Rosie the Riveter!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Sometimes we eagerly over anticipate an event. We plan out each detail. We daydream about it. We talk about it. And, as is the case here, we write about it. Sometimes, the event itself turns out to be a bit of a letdown as we have blown it up in our imaginations so much that the actual unfolding cannot live up to that vision.

I am happy to share that this wasn't the case with my Pin Up Girl transformation and photo shoot yesterday. I did my best to just go with it and have fun regardless of how it all went. Of course, I had imagined it a thousand times in the last few months but I went into it with as little expectation as possible.

After gathering all of my props and costumes and accessories and donning yoga pants and a black shirt and sandals, I set off for Ottawa at 9am. I was instructed to refrain from anything that might mark my skin (i.e. socks, bra straps, etc.) and, of course, to come sans make-up and with a head of clean hair washed the night before.

I picked up cousin, Loanna, who was my assistant for the day and we arrived at Alison's studio by 11am on the dot. Alison works with the photographer and gets the "models" ready for the shoot by creating the 'look' of the Pin Up Girl with authentic hairstyles and make-up. The photographer, Suzanne, met us and took one before shot. I had Loanna take a photo of myself, Suzanne and Alison before the experience was officially launched.

From left to right: Suzanne, myself and Alison: Before
Suzanne left and we began the 2.5 hour process of turning me into a Pin Up Girl. We started with hair and before I knew it, Alison had my entire head wrapped up in curlers.

Take a good look. This is the first and last time you will see me in curlers!
 The patience and skill that is involved in creating these hairstyles makes me appreciate the women of yesterday even more. We joked that when they had to refuse a date offer because "they were setting their hair," they meant it. And they would keep these hairstyles intact for a week or so before washing and re-styling them. That's why they slept with hair nets. Before long, the style started to take shape and I was beginning to feel more and more like a Pin Up Girl.

I was also feeling the effects of two sleepless nights and was wondering how I would muster the energy to be photographed all afternoon. Loanna snapped this flattering shot of me.

After hair, Alison started the make-up application beginning with a heavier stage type of foundation. It had a yellow-ish tinge to it but she assured me that it would not seem yellowish in the photos. Due to the bright lights of the studio, heavier-than-usual make-up was applied.

And finally, I was adorned with false eyelashes. This was the first time for me but definitely not the last time. This one little addition made me feel like a glamorous diva in an instant!

We were finished by 1:45pm and quickly rushed off to Suzanne's studio which is located only blocks from Alison's studio. Suzanne photographs her clients on a white backdrop so that she can add things to the finished product to change the feel of the photograph. Remember this is a Pin Up Girl photo shoot so there are usually lots of props and additions to each pose. I had many costume changes and did poses that involved ice cream sundaes, a chocolate cupcake with a cherry on top, a retro telephone, old suitcases and even some shots with black stockings, corsets and a white fur rug. You can use your imagination.............

Here's a teaser! The very first outfit and pose!

After three hours of shooting, we decided to wrap it up for the day. I finished the session with my own version of the famous Rosie the Riveter pose. It looked awesome!

Since we were on the east end of Ottawa and we knew that rush hour traffic would be at its peak, we decided to go and have a gluten-free pizza at Bella Vista Pizzeria on Bank Street. It was a wonderful way to end the day and to celebrate the completion of this four month journey!

One last Pin Up Girl pose for good measure!
Suzanne has promised me some photos for next week so that I can finally share the end result with all of you!
I am hoping that those of you who followed will be inspired by my journey and will seek out your own Inner Pin Up Girl for she exists in all of us. I know the exact moment during the photo shoot when "SHE" was released! I felt the shift and I even commented to Suzanne and Loanna that MY Inner Pin Up Girl had been freed. I encourage you to do the same.

Was this worth it as far as the investment? Absolutely!! I wanted to do this right and have it done by a professional. This was a shared birthday gift from my husband, Tim, and from my 39-year old self to my 40- year old self. And the experience was worth every lunge, squat, bicep curl, plank and penny. I am grateful that my friend, Justin Tracey, who has photographed my casting exhibit in the past, recommended Sweet Diva Photography because Suzanne (and Alison!) made the experience authentic and fun and comfortable and I can't wait to see the finished product! I will happily bid farewell to my 30's and embrace my 40's with open arms and a big, false-eyelash wink!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The End of the Project is Near

Tomorrow is preparation day for Thursday which is the Pin Up Girl photo shoot!! I have made a list and I am checking it twice. I have clothes and shoes and stockings and granny panties and a pointy bra to pack. I have an antique hand mirror, jewelery, a bustier, and other accessories to gather. Yes, my 29 faithful followers, this four month journey is coming to a close and I am feeling very happy about how it all turned out.

My 40th birthday is exactly two weeks from Thursday and I will hopefully have one photo of the shoot to share that day. The rest may not come for a month or so as the photographer is away on holidays for several weeks. She has promised to get at least one to me to share here with all of you.

When I started this project, I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into but four months seemed like a good length of time to figure that out. I hit many bumps along the way, moments of doubt and had even thought of throwing in the towel at one point until my husband gently reminded me that I was in the midst of hormonal imbalance. I have lost inches and pounds but most of all, I have become physically stronger and in the best shape I have ever been in. I have dropped a size and I am on my way to dropping another size. By my 40th birthday, I will have reached all of the goals I set in the beginning: drop a size, lose 15 pounds, complete a 5km run and be fit and strong. Oh,  and fit back into the $80 jeans I bought last year when I was in liver failure and lost a pile of weight in a short amount of time :-)

Check in on Thursday when I post some of the photos of the transformation into a Pin Up Girl.