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POP INTERVIEW: Alexis DeJoria, Professional Drag Racer

Alexis DeJoria is one lucky (and fast) girl. She is a professional drag racer driving the NHRA Funny Car on the circuit, head of her own Patrón Tequila drag racing crew, web radio host on RaceTalkRadio.com and wife to Jesse James.

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Alexis DeJoria is one lucky (and fast) girl. She is a professional drag racer driving the NHRA Funny Car on the circuit, head of her own Patrón Tequila drag racing crew, web radio host on RaceTalkRadio.com and wife to Jesse James, whom you may recognize from his former reality show, Monster Garage. At the beginning of September, she completed her second best race time ever in Indianapolis and had a cameo in the drag racing-themed movie, Snake and Mongoose…in the same week!

Alexis DeJoria

How can drag racing be fun for people who wouldn’t normally go see it? Meaning the preppy law school guys, your grandfather who can barely get out of the buffet after a nap…and women? Because people don’t think women will like it, right?
NHRA drag racing is such an amazing thing in itself. To come & actually watch it in person is unreal. It doesn’t matter who you are, any walk of life- it’ll grab your attention. The sounds and the sights are so amazing. People have this misconception that if you’re not a gearhead or into cars, you won’t be interested in drag racing, but it’s just not like that. This sport is so exciting and it’s easy for a first timer to follow along. You don’t have to be ‘into’ cars to enjoy drag racing, which is unique to our sport. Not to mention, we’re the only motorsport where any general admission ticket is a ‘pit pass,’ meaning fans can wander the pits and literally have a front row of view of watching the crew work on the cars, which is really cool. Plus there are some really interactive displays and attractions in the midway that fans always enjoy- there’s something for everyone out here.

You’re a cute girl and doing drag racing. Have you ever had people act mean to you only to be blown away by your skill? How is racing different as a female?
Believe it or not, my femininity has never come into question. Obviously we may get more scrutiny than a male driver, because female drivers are a rare sight compared to the guys, but as far as mean things being said to me for being a female, I haven’t really experienced that.

When I’m sitting in my race car, I don’t feel any different than any other driver out there. Obviously, the guys have a little bit of advantage with naturally having more forearm strength, which is important to be able to control these powerful cars, but I work out really hard to be able to be on even footing as far as strength is concerned. Once I’m strapped in the car though, I don’t care who’s next to me- they’re my competition and I’m certain my fellow racers feel the same way.

Alexis DeJoria

The benefit is none of your competitors look good in a dress. How do you manage your endorsement side of racing, and what are your goals you have yet to accomplish? Modeling? Acting? Opening a repair shop like your husband?
Haha, well I’m not the only female competitor out here- Courtney Force also races in the Funny Car class and she looks good in a dress, but other than that, it’s just the two of us ladies.

As far as managing the endorsement side of things, I work really hard at always being accessibe and try to take advantage of as many media opportunities as possible, which keeps the sponsors happy. Pretty much anytime a sponsor has an appearance opportunity that works within my crazy schedule; I’ll make every effort to do it. Media is really the big thing though- sponsors love to see their brand represented across all avenues of media- whether it be racing related, or more mainstream. I also make it a point to be accessible to the fans- whenever I’m at the track, if I’m not in my race car or working on my race car, or doing media, I’m meeting the fans. They’re the reason we’re all able to be out here and race.

My goals are here in my profession. Short term, I want to win a race. In my two year career as a professional driver, I’ve been the runner up once and have made it to the semi-finals four times, but I’m still looking for that big win. We have five more races left this season and I’m hoping we can pick up our first win before the end of the year. Long term, my goal is to be the first female Funny Car driver to win a NHRA World Championship.

Outside of racing, I have a few businesses that I’m working on now and I hope to be a successful business woman outside the track as well. I’d also love to have the opportunity to race in any desert race with my husband in his trophy truck.

Why does so much attention go to Danica Patrick and not you in the mainstream media?
Before Danica, there really wasn’t any female that really stood out in a major auto-racing series. She was the first to really stand out in Indy car and NASCAR. Her performance gave her the deserved attention in the auto racing industry, and then her sponsors helped put her on the map in the mainstream with their GoDaddy commercials.

Alexis DeJoria and husband Jesse

Is the risk what appeals to you in racing?
Not the risk, just the excitement and competitiveness of the sport. I mean, these are the fastest accelerating cars in the world! There’s nothing else like it and that’s what draws me to this sport.

When you were younger, did your family ever think your interest in fast cars and motorcycles was a passing fad? Did it start from playing with Hot Wheels and the love growing into really wanting to repair cars and bikes? Or a TV show?
From the very beginning I was always the ‘wild child’ of my family so it came as no surprise to anyone when I said I wanted to be a professional race car driver. When I was growing up, I used to always say that I wanted to be a fighter pilot, which is pretty unique for a little girl. I actually got to realize my dream last summer and fly in an F15 fighter jet, and that was so awesome.

Someone took me to a drag race when I was 16 and that was it- I knew from that moment that one day I was going to drive a Funny Car. My family and friends knew I was passionate about racing, so they were incredibly supportive of my decision to make racing my career.

What are the rules of drag racing? Is it OK if people don’t know them? Can people have fun, unlike a baseball game where you’re left in the dust if you don’t get it? Can we shout? What goes on?
Yes, it’s pretty simple once you see a few runs. Basically, drag racing is two cars racing side-by-side down a straight 1,000-foot track. The first person to get to the finish line wins. Even if it’s a close race, the win light will come on so you know instantly who won and who lost. Each race lasts about four seconds so it’s easy to follow along. And yes, fans should of course shout and cheer for their favorite racer, although these cars are so loud it’s hard to hear the cheers.

Alexis DeJoria

Your husband is unbelievably handsome in person.

Alexis on Harley Sportster

OK. That was NOT really a question but an observation all of us can agree on unless we are legally blind. How did you get so lucky being married to him?
I think we’re both lucky to have each other. We have so much in common. We both have pretty unusual professions, but that’s one of the things that we have in common because we both understand and respect each other’s unique careers. He’s never missed a race of mine since we first met, which is pretty incredible.

What do you do for fun now that you are married so married life isn’t boring? Do you go on dates and dress up?
We try to have regular date nights at least once a week- just the two of us. Typically, we’ll check out a new spot for dinner, especially when we’re on the road, which is often. If we finish up early during the race weekend, we make time for each other. He works during the week but also comes to every single one of my races on the weekends, so it’s important that we spend any down time during a race weekend together. When we’re at home we have a few ‘go to’ spots that we like to hit up. Austin is well known for their Mexican food and BBQ, and there’s a few of those restaurants pretty close by that we’ll sometimes go to as a family, but typically, during our ‘date nights,’ we’ll try and go downtown and somewhere nice if we have the energy. Both of our work schedules are very time consuming, and of course when we’re home, we really try and spend as much time with the kids as possible. We’re very family oriented and family dinners are very important to us.

Since your dad runs Paul Mitchell, when you were younger, did anyone ever try to befriend you solely for free teatree shampoo? Once you smell that in your hair, you don’t go back.
Well, I went to school with all sorts of people with famous parents, so we were all in the same boat. I never felt like people were trying to befriend with me just for who my dad is. But yes, the teatree shampoo is always a crowd pleaser! My dad’s always been very generous and has been known to send people (even complete strangers) boxes of Paul Mitchell products.

What do you do working for your dad’s company? No one talks about this side of your professional life.
I worked at John Paul Mitchell Systems for four years. I started off as a receptionist working the phones. I started right out of high school so I had no prior skills as far as working in the business world went. My second year there I worked in the Marketing and Art department, then my third year was spent in Research & Development- basically I was trying to get a feel for the whole company. My last year at Paul Mitchell was spent working for the Vice President of Research and Development. I loved working in the family business and learning that world, but by the end of my fourth year I was itching to get on the track. My family could see my passion and love and dedication for the sport, so they were very supportive of my decision to leave the family business to start a career in NHRA drag racing.

How are you a great businesswoman?
I’ve learned a lot along the years from my father- I’m very fortunate to be able to pick his brain and watch him in action. My four years working at Paul Mitchell were also invaluable in exposing me to all different aspects of operating a business. Back when I drove a Top Alcohol Funny Car (a sportsman NHRA class), I owned and operated my own team, Stealth Motorsports, for a few years which was a great learning experience- just going out there and living it and learning through trial and error helped me become a better businesswoman.

With style, what do you like to wear so you are still the “bad ass racer girl” away from work?
I really like to mix it up- pairing high end pieces with some edgier vintage finds. I have some amazing pieces by different designers from around the world and I love to get all glammed up, but most of the time, I’m pretty casual. I’d say my average day to day ‘look’ is skinny jeans, a loose top and either motorcycle boots, or flat sandals. I also like to mix it up wearing any range of colors, prints, and fabrics.
Like most girls, I’m really into shoes, but just like my style with clothes, I like to mix it up between high-end and casual. I love my Louboutins, but I’m also extremely loyal to my Chuck Taylors.

Where is your drag racing televised on the web and TV? How can people see your race events in real life?
Our events are typically televised on ESPN2 on Saturdays and Sundays of race weekends. Fans can also watch live racing on ESPN3, and my PR team keeps fans up to date on all the racing action via our team Facebook (Alexis DeJoria) and Twitter (@ADR_Nitro771) accounts. I would encourage anybody that’s never been to a drag race before to come to a race and check it out- I’m sure any first timer will be an instant fan. We travel all over the country for nine months a year racing so no matter where you live; you should be able to find a race in your region. (Schedule: http://www.nhra.com/schedules/2013fts.aspx)

I told Dallas TV host and new author Brian Cuban, “I will have someone punch you in the face” if he didn’t eventually go to one of your racing meet ups in his area if he isn’t busy working. Realizing this is somewhat violent and possibly illegal, I want to ask you what his punishment should be. Do you have a better (peaceful) suggestion as a means of torture so he is forced to see a race?
Haha! Well, I think missing out on the racing action when it’s practically in his backyard is punishment enough!

Design

Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign

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As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!

THE DINING ROOM

Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!

ON TO THE GUEST BEDROOM!

GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
THE GUEST BEDROOM

Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was a floor model we got for a drastically reduced price from Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Brian Balthazar (@brianbalthazar)

THE GAME ROOM

BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT / GAME ROOM

Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from PoolTables.com and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!

 

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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Well Sh-t, Leslie Jordan Has Shared Three Videos Of Himself Dancing In One Week And They’re All Perfect

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Doing much better now, Leslie.

If you’ve never believed that “good things come in small packages” then you’ve never seen Leslie Jordan’s instagram. The 4’11” actor known for his iconic roles in shows like Will & Grace and American Horror Story has recently developed a whole new fanbase who loves him for his viral Instagram videos. Usually starting each video by greeting fans with “Well shit, how y’all doing?”, viewers have grown to anticipate Jordan’s hilarious recounting of stories from his time in show biz or growing up in the south. This week, however, the Tennessee native has shared 3 videos of himself dancing within 5 days and honestly it’s precisely what we all need right now.

The first video was posted on August 12th and shows Jordan taking part of the “Git up and dance challenge” which swept the internet about a year ago. Even though he is a little late, the video is still perfection.

On August 13th, Jordan does a dance to “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray a with special guest dance partner Katie Couric!

Finally, on August 15th, Jordan does an epic “tootsie roll” and challenges Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star, Lisa Rinna, to do the tootsie roll herself. Of course Rinna commented with a big “ON IT ❤️😂.” Who could say no to the viral star?!?

The moral of the story here is that the world is going through some tough times right now but maybe, even for a few seconds, we could all feel better if we’d just dance it out. Thanks for the inspo Leslie Jordan!

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Planters ‘Baby Nut’ Has Somehow Already Turned 21 And People Are Not Loving The News

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2020 keeps getting nuttier.

The world was shocked when the iconic Mr. Peanut was killed during a pre-Super Bowl ad earlier this year. There wasn’t much time to mourn, however, before a new nut was thrust onto us like back-to-school commercials in July. Yes, after the 59-year-old mascot met his untimely death consumers were introduced to his reincarnate, Baby Nut. With big, expressive eyes and a tiny stature fans began to swoon over the cute branding revamp and accepted him as the new mascot. Well as if 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough, Planters just released a new commercial celebrating Baby Nut’s 21st birthday and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

According to a quick Google search, a peanut plant takes 4-5 months to reach maturity. So with Baby Nut being born in February, he is technically right on track in his growth cycle. The OG Mr. Peanut was the reigning mascot for 59 years so does that mean he was actually over 3,000 peanut-years old? The accelerated aging is not explained in the new ad with Baby Nut (Young Adult Nut?) simply saying “it’s been a weird year.” Reactions on Twitter are largely negative but as always, hilarious. Here are some of the best:

Yikes. Good thing Baby Nut is old enough to drink now…looks like he might need to throw back a few to handle some of these reactions.

To follow Peanut Jr.’s official account click here.

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