Isabel Gillies' 5 Loves and a Dud

Warning: Major girl crush alert! New York Times bestselling author and actress, Isabel Gillies is in 'da house. And we are giddy as a couple of school girls running around the playground. After reading her memoir, Happens Every Day: An All-To-True Story, which ended up on the New York Times bestseller list (no surprise as it was candid, ridiculously honest and beautifully written), we fell for her. And when we read the last page and closed that book, we wanted more.

And apparently we weren't the only ones who felt that way. Because Gillies has written a follow-up memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story.  And dare we say it's even better than her last? You know when you're rooting for someone so much that you can actually feel it in your gut? That's how we felt for Isabel when we read her latest memoir about picking up the pieces after her husband leaves her for another woman. And even though by the title we pretty much knew it was all going to work out, we were still fully invested, riding the roller coaster with Gillies, her two young sons and even her parents. (Plus, she weaves the story in such a way that although you know it's coming, you have to wait for the love! But, don't worry, it's well worth it.)

And one guess what we're going to tell you next!

Yup. You got it. If you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of A Year And Six Seconds: A Love Story. We'll randomly select the winners on Sunday, November 9th after 6p.m. EST.



1. Aquaphor. I discovered Aquaphor (the most perfect solution on the planet) when I had babies. I don’t know who told me to get it, a doctor, another parent, a magazine, but when I did my life changed. It’s like Vaseline but with a magic ingredient in it. I used to rub the viscous, smooth ointment into whatever red, chapped, questionable mark that was on the baby and it would just go away. I started putting it on my lips, rubbing it into my hands, having it on my bedside --  and now there is not a drawer or purse that you won’t find a little or big tube of it -  this genius, inexpensive, healer of all things. Sometimes even a bad mood.

2. Nora Ephron and Woody Allen.  I put these two together because I love them both so much. The other night during a snow storm (in October, please) my husband Peter and I watched Hannah And Her Sisters, a Woody Allen film from the eighties, and I tell you, I went to sleep thinking all is right with the world. Same thing happens if I read or watch ANYTHING that Nora Ephron has a hand in creating. Yes they make the most intuitive observations, yes they are smart and funny, yes they predominately write about New York, but it’s something about their tone that speaks to my soul. Their point of view is very often right along side mine, not always, but a lot. I am just so happy they do what they do. I will never get enough of it.

3. Cook Books!  Goodness how I love to read cookbooks. First of all they usually are so beautiful and heavy. If I didn’t need them in the kitchen I would keep all of mine in the bedroom (and in fact I have about five at all times in there as many nights, I read them before sleep). My mother had lots of wonderful cookbooks. I can picture her in front of her red shelf perusing each spine for one she wanted to pull out and use. I think sometimes her fingers even fluttered in anticipation of one of her old friends tumbling into her arms to be brought into the kitchen. I am the same. I love my cookbooks like friends. I know all of them, visit them on a weekly basis and thank them when they have done something awesome for me, like help me cook for my family. Love them! I also LOVE getting them as presents!

4. The Weather.  Yup. Love the weather. To me the weather is one of the best ways to feel in touch with this amazing universe we live in. Sometimes it’s dark, heavy and full of anticipation. Sometimes it’s bright, vivid and invigorating. Sometimes it makes you stay inside and play Monopoly, sometimes it makes you jump into an ocean. I love how it changes and I love how we are all utterly affected by it. It’s an equalizer. It’s more powerful than us. It’s the first thing most people think about. It’s something to hope for and something to work with. And in the North Eastern part of The United States, if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will change.

5. LOVE.  The last love has to be love. I almost don’t know what to say because the word is so big, it’s so complex, it’s what I like to write about, it’s what we are all consumed with, and I think it is what keeps the world going.

How are we so amazing that we can feel love? How did we get so lucky? To me, it’s the most interesting and phenomenal part about being human (I’m not saying animals don’t feel love, I think they do, but I’m talking about humans). Just writing about all these things I love is making me feel so good and changed from a half and hour ago, when I was not thinking about love. Love changes you and usually for the better. What about FALLLING IN LOVE? That is like a hurricane of amazing. I could go on, but definitely the last “love” is love.


ANXIETY.  I am plagued with anxiety. I think I might have a bit of a disorder. How I wish I was very calm and steady, but alas, lots and lots of the time I feel it’s all not going to be okay. Now, I have spent my life trying to fix this, and I have made progress. But it still can disturb my sleep, make me get in a fight or worry until I have trouble breathing. Anxiety is a little worse than a dud. I think of a dud more like a bad movie, but a bad movie can give me anxiety. Waste of time! Waste of money! What if I wrote a dud movie or book!!! See, anxiety.

Thanks, Isabel!


Liz & Lisa

To find out more about the lovely and talented Isabel Gillies, visit her website and follow her on Twitter.