Author Archives: Kara Gause

Kara Gause

About Kara Gause

Kara Gause is a junkie for TV, film, pop culture, and health food--in that order. A Yankee girl happily transplanted in Nashville, she spends her days as a freelance writer juggling the needs of her twin toddlers, two Bassett hounds, and one fantastic husband--in that order. Read more of her day-to-day shenanigans on her blog,

Cover of Vanity Fair March 2012 Hollywood Issue

Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue Showcases Film’s Hottest Rising Starlets

Vanity Fair March 2012 Hollywood Issue

Vanity Fair's March 2012 Hollywood Issue

They’re young, they’re beautiful and their careers are on the rise. Meet the latest batch of Hollywood’s up-and-coming starlets in Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue.

What does Oscar nominee Rooney Mara really think of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” director David Fincher? What Hollywood faux pas are “The Help” star Jessica Chastain and “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence guilty of making? These are the burning questions avid moviegoers (like me!) want to know. And as usual, nobody delivers the goods better than Vanity Fair‘s annual Hollywood Issue.

Maybe it’s because it’s such an honor to be featured on this special cover, but whatever the reason, Mara, Chastain and Lawrence (along with Mia Wasikowska, Paula Patton, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, Brit Marling and Elizabeth Olsen) are giving up some serious secrets about life as an “It” film actress. And of course, one might expect there to be some bumps along the way.

Taking on the role as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” took Mara away from the Hollywood social scene for a while. The daughter of football royalty–her paternal side owns Super Bowl champs the New York Giants, and her maternal side the Pittsburgh Steelers–famously shed all outward signs of herself to portray the socially stunted genius computer hacker, shaving her eyebrows, piercing her body in various and sundry locations, dying her hair the darkest of blacks and then chopping it off in a punk ‘do.

These were sacrifices to be sure, she says, but all quite worth it for a chance to work alongside Fincher and a stellar cast, including James Bond portrayer Daniel Craig. Of the notoriously demanding director and his habit of doing numerous takes for each scene, Mara is quick to defend. She says, “Everyone has put in all this effort, you may as well explore it and do it right.”

Chastain has been doing plenty right, gaining praise right and left and an Oscar nomination to boot for her 2011 body of work. Such high regard has led some to compare the natural redhead to one of her idols, Meryl Streep. After rubbing elbows with Streep multiple times over the past awards season, Chastain has not grown less starstruck around Tinseltown’s most revered actress, which probably has an awful lot to do with their first meeting.

Chastain explains to the magazine that Streep came to see one of her stage performances and even came to congratulate her after the show. She says, “Because I was so shocked by it, all I did was I held her hands and went, ‘Thank you, thank you. It means so much to me that you came.’ And I walked away.”

Lawrence has a similar snafu to report from her time on set with Robert De Niro for “The Silver Linings Playbook.” She confesses, “Two days ago I told Robert De Niro I wasn’t gonna get him a wrap gift.” After confirming with the legend that she never thanked him for the gift he’d already given her, she remembers saying, “‘OK, well I probably won’t get you one.’ And when it came out of my mouth, I was like, ‘Just because I don’t think I’m going to have enough time.’” Obviously, she wishes she could take it back. Her words, that is–not the gift!

Check out more from this bevy of Hollywood beauties in the March 2012 Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair.

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?When blogger Kara Gause found that her family needed to go gluten-free, she at first panicked but then found some incredible resources she shares here.

Over the past several years, I’ve come to realize I have quite a few food intolerances, one of them being gluten. Sure, I was more than a little bummed to say sayonara to the convenience of delivery pizza, but these days I’m finding that my dietary needs are more of a small annoyance than a giant inconvenience, thanks to some great gluten-free products. I have only come to say this after much whining, tantrum-throwing, pity partying and–most productive of all–researching.

When my husband and I found out that we both have some of the same food issues (gluten), we decided it might be best to begin avoiding gluten altogether for our daughters, determining that it could be hereditary. Of course this resulted in more whining and tantrum-throwing–mine, not theirs.

Would I become one of those mothers whose children never tasted cupcakes or pizza or yummy sandwiches? Ever? What would become of them? After bemoaning their lost gluten-filled childhood, I became resolute: We would all have our gluten-free cake–and we would eat it, too!

So, whether you’re in my boat or you’re just looking for a nice gluten-free recipe, here are some of my favorite resources for gluten-free cooking, baking and eating. May they help bring you and yours (if gluten-challenged) back to your favorite foods.

“BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery” and “BabyCakes Does the Classics.” These books comprise the baking bible to celebratory and everyday gluten-free baked goods. The secret to a moist gluten-free confection is coconut oil, which makes for the most delectable yum-yums you’ll ever eat. There are fantastic recipes for cobblers, donuts, cookies and even my girls’ favorite–carrot cupcakes. Some of these treats are my husband’s favorites of all time.

Pamela’s Products. Miss the everyday ease of grabbing a muffin or whipping up a quick batch of pancakes and waffles for the family? Look no further than the good lady Pamela. There are gluten-free mixes for everything from pancakes to cookies to brownies and pizza dough. She even provides a mean ready-made chocolate chunk cookie for the car ride home from the grocery store.

Gluten-free blogs. Bloggers like the Gluten-Free Goddess are solely responsible for making me excited about cooking and baking again.

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods. Prepared muffins, pizza crusts, loaves of bread (yes, really!) and the best granola you’ll ever eat–all available in a regular grocery store chain as well as Whole Foods. Udi’s means you can once again make a sandwich for lunch. Power to the people!

Local and national chain pizzarias. Gluten-free pizza dough is popping up everywhere. Some aren’t so great (back to the drawing board for you, Mellow Mushroom!), but others like California Pizza Kitchen are making some major strides. The best I’ve ever had is from Nashville-based Pizza Perfect, so check with your favorite local pizza joint, and always remember the supply and demand principle: If enough of us demand it (politely, of course), they will supply it.

For more information on gluten-free recipes, check out magazines like Vegetarian Times, Whole Living and a myriad of other cooking and nutrition magazines.

Seventeen magazine March 2012 cover

‘Mirror Mirror’ Star Lily Collins Shares Her ‘Mirror Mantra’ with Seventeen Readers

Seventeen magazine March 2012 cover

March 2012 Seventeen

She may be the daughter of pop royal Phil Collins, but actress Lily Collins is making a name for herself with upcoming film “Mirror Mirror.”

Lily Collins may have skipped a few rounds–OK, years–on the audition circuit, but the daughter of pop star Phil Collins aims to prove she’s got staying power. Covering the March issue of Seventeen, the  actress confronts the naysayers who suggest she’s only getting roles because of dear old dad.

“My last name may have opened doors, but I have to keep them open,” she tells the magazine. After a breakout role as Collins Tuohy in “The Blind Side,” the British-born but L.A.-raised beauty went on to star opposite her then real-life love Taylor Lautner in “Abduction.” Riding largely on Lautner’s name and “The Twilight Saga” heartthrob status, the film managed to gross more than $82 million worldwide and solidify Collins as one to watch.

On March 30, the 22-year-old will get to show off her acting chops once again in “Mirror Mirror,” playing Snow White opposite Julia Roberts’ Evil Queen and Armie Hammer’s Prince Andrew. Her portrayal of the innocent princess with a posse of dwarves has been compared to that of Kristen Stewart in June’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” But the comparisons should end with the title; “Mirror Mirror” promises to tell the traditional tale we’ve all grown up with and grown to love but with a modern twist of feminism.

Heavy on display in the film will be Collins’ incredible beauty–perfect for that of Snow White–framed by those trademark thick eyebrows of hers. She confesses that what once made her feel out of place now makes her feel unique, saying, “It used to bother me–having bigger, fuller brows. I even plucked them once so I’d fit in, but I hated them and couldn’t wait for them to grow back. Now I embrace them. I’ve realized the quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.” I know, moms: Collins is fast becoming a contender for role model status, right? Refreshing!

Beautiful, smart and humble, the young Collins also dishes to the teen magazine about her own celebrity crushes (Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Timberlake) and the excitement over potentially coming face-to-face with them on the job. She says, “It’s weird to have celebrity crushes now because I could actually meet them or work with them!”

Confidence, too! Must come from the actress’s “mirror mantra,” which she says is simply “looking in the mirror and reminding myself that I’m enough. What I am to myself and what I am to people that love me is enough.” Collins challenges readers to “love the person that you see” in the mirror.

I, for one, can’t wait to see more from this wise young woman!

Will you see “Mirror Mirror” next month? Will you take your teen daughters?

Cosmopolitan Reaches for Younger Demographic with Fanning, Gomez Covers

Cosmopolitan Reaches for Younger Demographic with Fanning, Gomez Covers

Cosmopolitan cover February 2012

Feb. 2012 Cosmo featuring Dakota Fanning

Cosmopolitan March 2012 cover

March 2012 Cosmo featuring Selena Gomez

Teen stars Dakota Fanning and Selena Gomez are growing up fast, but are their fans old enough to follow them? Cosmo seems to think so.

Cosmopolitan is known as the guilty pleasure of many women, and truth be told, their male counterparts as well. Offering the latest in food, style, celebrities, advice, hair and beauty and–most notably–sex and love, the magazine dishes it straight to its readership. This is a magazine for mature women filled with mature topics, but with a fun twist.

So why is it that the magazine is reaching low–very low–into its age demographic? The current February issue features a still 17-year-old Dakota Fanning on the cover (she’ll turn 18 February 23), looking confident and all grown up in a fitted sequin dress. Surrounding her are headlines like “His Best Sex Ever” and “Um, Vagina, Are You Okay Down There?” Yes. Really.

Fanning is a college freshman now, even if you do still picture the “I Am Sam” pint-sized star when you look at her, but does anyone else think this is weird? Like perhaps Cosmo is dipping into a different demo here?

If that doesn’t convince you that something’s a bit shady, then take the magazine’s March cover featuring 19-year-old Selena Gomez. Sure, she’s older, but the former “Wizards of Waverly Place” star and Disney sensation certainly carries with her a younger fan set, as does boyfriend Justin Bieber. On the cover, Gomez sits legs open, bearing cleavage. Bookending her photo are other featured topics “50 Sex Tips” and “Your Orgasm Guaranteed.” In the accompanying article, Gomez talks about growing up and looking for more “edgy” roles on film.

I get it. I really do. These talented young ladies are growing up and have no intention of being pigeonholed in their careers. But I do question Cosmo’s choice in recent cover girls. I also can’t help but wave a red flag over the fact that Fanning and Gomez have a much younger draw than Cosmo usually reaches. But then, that’s the whole point, right?

Am I alone here, mamas? Are you reluctant to see these girls on the cover of Cosmopolitan? Would you let your teen or tween read these issues?

How to Kick a Headache (Without a Pill)

6 Ways to Kick a Headache (Without a Pill)

Working Mother magazine December/January 2012We’ve all felt that headache creeping up and reached for a pain reliever. But here are six ways to stop a headache before it starts — and before you have to pop that pill.

It’s perfectly normal for me to start rubbing my temples by 2 in the afternoon. The culprit? A gnarly headache. And it’s no wonder: Such is the life of a mother, be it stay-at-home or working or, in my case, both. It must be in the job description. We do tend to care for ourselves last — and after things begin to fall apart. That’s probably why 75 percent of migraine sufferers are women. Yeah, really.

Before I stop to pop a pill for my ill, I try to think over my morning and early afternoon. Most likely, I’m missing a few of these key anti-headache steps so lovingly pointed out in the December/January issue of Working Mother magazine:

1. Have a snack: Heck, go out on a limb and eat breakfast! Get reckless and grab some lunch! And definitely pack an apple in your bag for a snack. Otherwise, your blood sugar will crash, leaving you with a beastly headache, not to mention (ahem) a terrible attitude.

2. Drink up, Buttercup: Perhaps the biggest instigator of a headache is lack of hydration. This means good old-fashioned water, not sugary or sodium-filled beverages. If you’re drinking caffeine, you’ll need to balance it out with water. Drinking water tends to take the edge off my headaches almost instantly.

3. Stay on schedule: We’ve all fallen prey to the predatory stress headache. We should expect it to rear its ugly … er, head, especially whilst we’re rushing around hurriedly trying to accomplish too many things at once. Try sticking to a schedule (planning one first is ideal) to avoid last-minute stresses.

4. Just say NO: Sticking to a schedule will most likely result in using the word “no” an uncomfortable number of times. However, which is worse worse: inviting someone else to pick up some of the slack, or stressing ourselves and our kiddos out daily?

5. Go to the mattresses: OK, yes it’s a line from “The Godfather,” but it’s also a line from my chiropractor. He tells me a mattress is due for replacement every  8 to 10 years. You may need some extra support to help prevent that headache.

6. See your doctor: Experts say that if you’re experiencing headaches more than twice a week on a regular basis, you may want to give a doctor a call. There may be an underlying physiological ailment, but it could also be that you’re doing too much and not taking care of yourself.

It’s time we mamas (and papas, too!) stop turning ourselves into martyrs and start taking better care of our bodies. The alternative isn’t exactly conducive to family life. If we’re not up and functioning properly, we become the headache to everyone else.

InStyle Covergirl Jennifer Aniston Comes to Terms with Aging While Finding Love Again

Our favorite “Friends” alum is covering InStyle again, which is a wise choice for the magazine, considering she’s a bestselling celebrity face for the magazine industry. Why do we love Aniston so? Perhaps because we just want to see her find happiness again.

Jennifer Aniston doesn’t need a holiday like Valentine’s Day to make her feel special. Thanks to her “Wanderlust” costar and real-life beau Justin Theroux, the actress, feels celebrated year-round. Covering the March issue of InStyle, she assures the magazine that this time, she knows what she wants in  relationship.

“Having experienced everything you don’t want in a partner over time, it starts to narrow down to what you actually do want. As I get older, I realize what qualities are important in love and what suits me. And what I won’t settle for.” Wise words for those single folks out there who might be settling.

Hard-won wisdom often comes with time, something the 43-year-old realizes has passed by very quickly, even with the help of facials and the like. While she’s “fascinated” by dermatology–”skin, products, lasers…I call it ‘laser porn’”–Aniston’s happy to stick with her day job, though, she realizes she’s got some serious company from the younger set.

She confesses, “You know what makes me feel old? When I see girls who are 20-something, or the new crop of actresses, and I think, Aren’t we kind of the same age? You lose perspective.”

From time to time, the age-defying stunner is offered the part of the older woman in a film or one with a teenaged child. Aniston says, “It’s like, ‘I’m not old enough to have a 17-year-old!’ And then you realize, well, yeah, you are.”

But don’t waste your time worrying for America’s Sweetheart. She knows she’s still got it going on. “Young? I don’t feel my age. I feel young every day.”

See the ever-young Aniston along with Theroux and Paul Rudd in the comedy “Wanderlust” when it hits theaters February 24.