Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 In Review (or Looking Back Is Fun!)

I can’t believe that this year is over! It seems like as I get older, the years go so much faster.

So as I prepare to have an awesome 2013, I’m looking back at some of my favorite memories of the past year (and some of the blog posts about those memories).

Favorite acting moment: joining the union. I had been SAG-eligible for a couple of years, but I had been putting off joining because then I couldn’t book non-union work anymore. When the union merger looked like it would happen, I finally joined (mainly to save a lot of money). I’m so glad that I did it and I don’t even miss the non-union bookings I used to get.

Favorite class(es): I took 2 different but both amazing acting classes this year. I took Marci Liroff’s Audition Class and Porter Kelly’s Commercial Class. They were both amazing in their own ways so I have to mention them both. I learned so much and feel like I’m going into 2013 as a much more prepared actor.

Biggest Laugh of 2012: the giant wine pours at Aria V. My friend Kate and I couldn’t believe the size of the “tastings”. And I might have had the biggest laugh of my life when I realized in the car ride home that they never asked for our Living Social deal and didn’t charge us for a thing!

Best (Almost) Additions To My Family: Technically, neither of these people are in my family yet, but I found out in 2012 that I’m going to be gaining a sister-in-law plus my cousin will be having another baby! I’m so excited! I will officially have a sister-in-law in September and my cousin’s baby should be here at the end of the spring, beginning of the summer.

Best Day Job Moment: when I got my current day job and was finally able to leave my old day job. At my old day job, I wasn’t treated so nicely. I was penalized for doing well at my job. I had personal items stolen from there, and was laughed at when I wanted them back. But in May, I was finally able to get out of there, and I’ve never looked back!

Best Social Events: There were a lot of fun events that I went to in 2012, but the ones that I seem to always tell stories from are my girls night out adventure to The Magic Castle and my friends Marie and Chris getting married. All the events I’m going to in 2013 have a lot to live up to!

Best Overall Moment of 2012: starting this blog! My friend Heather had encouraged me a while back to start a blog, and I never seemed to know when to start it or what to write about. But I did start it and now I can’t imagine not writing here! I’m hoping to be improving the blog next year (self hosting so I can add some more fun stuff is at the top of my list). If I’ve been able to get this far in half a year, I can’t wait to see what another year brings!

And on an unrelated note, if you are going out tonight to celebrate, please don’t drive drunk. It’s a stupid risk to take with your own life (and the lives of others on the road). I was in a drunk driving accident when I was 6, and even though I wasn’t injured, I still think about why the woman who hit us decided to drive drunk. If you do drink and feel even a bit unsafe driving, call AAA for a Tipsy Tow. It’s free to everyone (even non-AAA) members and they will take you and your car up to 7 miles home.

Have a wonderful New Years and I’m excited to have you all continue this journey with me!

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(My favorite pictures of my from 2012)

Finding A Work/Life Balance (or Preparing to Not Be Unemployed)

When I was hired at my current day job, I was informed that it was seasonal. The job went from May until October, had October and the beginning of November off, came back before Thanksgiving, and ended just after New Years. I was a little concerned on what my financial situation would be like from January to May, but once I understood how much I’d receive in unemployment benefits I calmed down a bit.

Working 6 days a week every week leaves very little social time. When you get out of work at 9pm (8:30pm now) and sometimes have to be at work at 9am the next day, you just want to go home and sleep. I couldn’t attend anything at The Actors’ Network since everything there pretty much happened during my work hours. I had the same problem with Women in Film events. But I was ok with that because I would have all the time I needed to attend these events during my (f)unemployment (as my friends referred to it).

But now, it seems pretty sure that the job is going to be year round and not seasonal anymore. There is a chance that this could change because they’ve never kept my office open year round in the history of the company. They might decide that we aren’t work the cost.

But if we are year round, I need to find a way to have a life and work too. I pay for my memberships at The Actors’ Network and Women in Film and want to enjoy those benefits. I want to have time to see my friends and go on dates.

We’ve been told at my job that on the nights we work until 8:30pm, we aren’t supposed to ask for the evenings off. Those evenings are the best times to work on those days. But I think I need to start asking for a couple of evenings off a month so I can at least go to some industry events.

I want to be able to focus on my career and not just my job. But I also don’t want to risk losing my job because it pays well and let’s me go to all my auditions.

I am starting to look at other job opportunities out there. I’m not leaving my job, not anytime soon. But if I can start trying out another job (maybe freelancing) and see if it’s something that I can survive on, then I’ll see what I should do.

I have no idea how everyone else has a work/life balance. Maybe I’m only comparing myself to those trying to balance work and life. I’m trying to balance work, life, and career. But of those three, I’m not willing to give up any of them (well, maybe work if I won the lottery or something).

“Lincoln” and “Les Miserables” (or Time For Some Movie Reviews)

In the past two days, I’ve seen two movies. They were both amazing, and I wanted to share my movie going experiences with you all.

Please note: this blog post contains spoilers for “Les Miserables” if you’ve never seen the musical or aren’t familiar with the story. There are really any spoilers for “Lincoln” (if you don’t know that slavery was abolished or that Lincoln was assassinated you should be reading a history book and not my blog). If you aren’t familiar at all with “Les Miserables” and don’t want to know about the plot, stop reading right now! This is your final spoiler warning!

On Christmas, I went with my friend Robert to a screening of “Lincoln” at the DGA (or Director’s Guild of America for those of you not in the entertainment industry). It would normally take me between 30 minutes and an hour to get to the DGA from my house, but I didn’t account for the lack of traffic on Christmas, so I was pretty much the first one there. The lobby was empty!



As you can see, nobody was lined up for the screening. Robert and I got some pretty nice seats in the center of the little theater. Everyone in the theater was super respectful and watched all the credits to see everyone who participated in it (my 4th cousin wrote the screenplay).

It was so nice to be in a theater where nobody was talking, texting, eating loudly, or doing any other rude theater behaviors.

I had a different experience when I went to see “Les Miserables”. I went to the Landmark Theater near my house because they have reserved seating. I like to sit in the row behind the handicap seating because there is a rail that you can rest your feet on.

I went alone, and was seating between two groups. And they were weird theater goers. Not rude necessarily, but weird.

The guy on my left came prepared to cry, and boy did he cry! The crying started when the Universal Pictures logo came up and never ended! He even brought a box of tissues in the theater with him! The only annoying thing was that he kept having to blow his nose, but that’s not bad.

The woman on my right must have never seen “Les Miserables” or knew anything about it. Every death shocked her. When Fantine died, she whispered (loudly) to her friend “Anne Hathaway can’t die!”. When Gavroche was shot, she said something about not believing that they decided to kill an innocent kid in the movie.

Between the crying man on my left, the shocked woman on my right, and hearing people eating popcorn and snacks throughout the movie, I almost missed the calmness at the DGA.

But I have to say that both movies should be seen by everyone! “Lincoln” isn’t the sort of movie I’d normally go to, but it’s amazing. All the actors are wonderful and even though it’s a historical story we all know, you get to experience it in a new way. And “Les Miserables” was just wonderful. I thought that I’d cry more, but there were only two moments where I cried. One was Anne Hathaway singing “I Dreamed A Dream”. That was a showstopper in the theater. There were people who did a standing ovation after that number. I also cried at the end because it was just so beautiful.

Now it’s back to my 6 days a week work schedule. I do have New Year’s Day off, but I’m working New Year’s Eve. But I’m glad I got to have a couple of days off to enjoy life a bit more than I normally get to!

Christmas Hangout With My Birthday Twin (or Witnessing A Real-Life Romantic Comedy)

Right before Christmas, my birthday twin Joanna and I had a hangout. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and knew that we had to fix that. We didn’t exactly know what we were going to do, but we knew that we’d hangout on the 23rd.

On the 23rd, we decided that we were going to have dessert and drinks at the Cheesecake Factory at The Grove shopping center.

It wasn’t too bad parking there (which surprised me), and while it took us a while to get a seat at the bar, we are awesome table stalkers. While we were waiting for a spot at the bar or a table to open up, this random girl came up to us. She had a pager for a seat in the restaurant, but since she found a seat in the bar section, she was gifting us the pager. She said that someone had gifted it to her, and if we happened to get a bar spot first to share the love. That was awesome! We ended up finding two seats and the end of the bar before the pager went off, so we passed it on to another group waiting (the original reservation was under the name Adam, so whoever Adam is, thank you for sharing the holiday giving spirit with us all).

As soon as Joanna and I sat down, we got our drinks.

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I had a Dirty Shirley and Joanna had some sort of tropical martini which was yummy! And yes, I know that I have almost the same pose with my drink as I do in my other post.

We both ordered cheesecake. Joanna had chocolate coconut and I had red velvet. Red velvet was clearly the winner.



After enjoying our desserts and chatting for a long time (we both have brothers who are getting married and are planning on having destination weddings), we decided to walk around and enjoy all the pretty holiday lights.


We were taking funny pictures in front of the giant tree…

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When Joanna got a text from the guy she had just started seeing saying something like: “Have you ever been to The Grove? The lights are cool.”.

All of the sudden we both started looking around for the guy (I don’t know why I was, I had never met him). We didn’t know if he was at The Grove and had just spotted us and was trying to be cute or if it was a random question. Joanna tried calling him, but there was no answer. We walked around looking for him, hoping for another text. It was seriously like a romantic comedy.

Finally, the guy texted and we met him for a moment at the Veggie Grill. And I felt like I had just seen the happy ending in the real life movie.

Between the yummy food, being gifted the pager and then passing it on, and then randomly running into Joanna’s new guy; it was the perfect amount of pre-Christmas magic!


Merry Christmas! (or Happy Movies and Chinese Food Day!)

Just a quick post to say that I hope you are spending today with those you love and doing whatever happens to be your tradition.

I’m not spending time with my family today, but that’s the norm for me. My brother is with his fiancé, my parents are driving home from Tahoe, and I’ll be hanging out with friends.

I’m planning on having a day filled with going to movies (including a free screening of “Lincoln”) and ordering Chinese food from my favorite place. That’s exactly how I want to spend my day!

Changing My Perspective (or Maybe I Should Think More About What Other’s Think of Me)

This past Friday (when the world did not end), my friends Marie and Chris (who got married in Texas recently) threw an End of The World/Chris’s Birthday Party.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay too late at the party since I had to work on Saturday morning, but I wanted to go and at least make an appearance.

I got to hang out with a ton of friends who I hadn’t seen since the wedding, and I got to drop of a DVD of all the photos I took at the various wedding festivities to Marie.

As I was leaving, another friend was heading outside for a cigarette, so we walked outside together. I’m going to refer to this friend as “K” since I didn’t get to ask her if I could write about her on here.

K and I were chatting about a lot of random stuff outside. Somehow, age was the topic. I mentioned how K, Marie, and a lot of our other mutual friends have known me since the summer I turned 19. That’s a pretty long time.

K was saying how they have watched me grow up and she even remembers when I was doing my senior thesis at LMU. And then K said something that made me pause.

She mentioned how she found it odd that I was always surprised to be invited to Marie’s various bridal events (bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding) because in her head, they’ve all known me for almost 12 years so of course I’d be invited.

But in my head, I’ve always thought of myself as the annoying little sister of the group hoping to tag along. Maybe I’ve felt this way because in the beginning of my friendship with them all, I wasn’t 21 yet so most of the time I couldn’t hang out with everyone. But I’ve never outgrown that feeling.

But maybe I should.

I spend a lot of time not listening to what people think of me. But maybe I should start listening.

K said some really wonderful and meaningful things to me. I’m not sure if she realizes how much our quick conversation meant to me.

So K, if you are reading this, thank you. You really made me think and realize that sometimes I’m the one who doesn’t think of myself in the best light. I need a mirror of my friends to help me see the truth.

“Queen of Versailles” (or How Documentaries Influence My Life)

I love watching documentaries. I love documentaries about history, acting, curing diseases, almost any subject. I think my love of documentaries influenced me to help create “#140Characters”.

I watch most of my documentaries through Netflix (both instant and DVD) because I find watching them to be such a personal journey and I’d rather do that at home.

Recently, I watched “Queen of Versailles”.


It’s about the Siegel family who owned several time shares and were in the process of building the biggest house in America when the recession hit. After the recession, their business started to go under and they needed to start living more frugally. Or at least the husband tried to be more frugal. The wife seemed more interested in making sure she looked good (through clothing and plastic surgery). She didn’t seem that connected to their wealth, or lack thereof. She even made a comment in the documentary that should would have to watch the movie to understand their families finances.

There were some funny moments in the documentary. I loved when one of the nannies (yes, nannies) dressed up like Rudolph for the Christmas party and was dancing around while getting ready. Also, seeing the wife show her kids where she came from was nice.

But watching someone in such a bubble about their situation is scary.

The reason I wanted to see this documentary is because the director/producer was also behind another documentary that I love, “Thin”, which is about an eating disorder treatment center. It’s interesting how two documentaries I love are about subjects that I need help with.

I am nowhere nearly as bad as Mrs. Siegel with my spending (she once spent $1,000,000 in a year on clothes), but I should be more aware of my financial situation and how I can better it. And I know I suffer from an eating disorder, and maybe it’s time again to see if I can get some form of treatment.

I remember watching “Thin” and almost being jealous that they had a place that they could go to and get help. It seems much easier for anorexics and bulimics to get help as those are more common eating disorders. But maybe since some time has passed since the last time I was trying to get treated there are more options for me through my insurance.

It’s funny how watching someone with the same problem as you can really help you re-examine your life.

But this was just what I needed now to help me kickstart my journey again and get me out of this slump!

Where I Am (or Staying The Course)

I haven’t really updated recently about my weight loss.

That’s because there isn’t a lot to share. I’m maintaining the little loss I had earlier this year, but I haven’t lost any since. This is disappointing, but not unexpected.

I haven’t had a ton of time for exercising. On the mornings where I don’t leave for work until 11am, I’m normally trying to get other work things done before I go to work. And I don’t get up earlier because I get home late, and I know that I do not do well with a lack of sleep (I try to get at least 6 hours).

My food hasn’t been as good as it can be. It’s not horrible, but I know it could be better.

I keep saying that once I’m (f)unemployed I’ll be able to spend time on me. But now, my job might end up being year round. I’m now sure if I could do 6 days a week year round. That’s a lot. Only having 1 day off a week is tough, and normally that day is filled with laundry and cleaning since I don’t have other time to get it done.

I don’t want to leave my job. I’m making better money than at my old job and my boss is very cool with my acting stuff. But I’m thinking that I might start looking for something that I can do on the side and maybe eventually turn into my main job.

Yes, I need to make money to pay the bills and pay down my credit card. But I also need to take care of myself, and I don’t feel like I am doing that to the best of my ability right now.

And I want to be working on my career (acting) versus my job and right now I’m not able to focus on it as much as I’d like.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say, I just needed to get it out there. Maybe after I have 2 days off at Christmas I’ll have a better attitude and feel better about where I am.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies (or Cookies That My Mom Approved Of!)

The cookies that I made for the blogger cookie exchange were a big hit! After I had made them, I shared the recipe with my mom, and she liked them too! So here is the recipe for you all to enjoy some red velvet white chocolate chip cookies (made with boxed cake mix!)!

You’ll need:


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

2 cups mini white chocolate chips (I did 1 cup of regular ones)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350

In a mixing bowl, add butter and mix until soft and fluffy

Slowly add in cake mix and flour

Once combined, add egg and mix completely

Add white chocolate chips and mix until well combined

Form dough into 1 inch balls and bake for 8-10 minutes (highly recommend baking on a Silpat or similar silicone baking mat)


Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks


(I know that they aren’t super gorgeous, but I made the cookies too big and didn’t know to let them cool more before transferring them to the cooling rack)

This recipe says that it will make 4 1/2 dozen cookies, but since mine were so big, I got about 3 dozen.

I also highly recommend baking these in advance and storing in a zip bag in the freezer. When you want to serve, leave out at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (I do it an hour in advance). For some reason, I think that frozen and then defrosted cookies taste better! I think it makes them less crumbly but more moist.


Blogger Cookie Exchange (or Why I’ll Have A Sugar High For Weeks)

After all the sadness on Friday, I was glad that I had something fun to look forward to this past weekend. I had previously attended the Blognic, and the same group of bloggers decided to organize a blogger cookie exchange!

The deal was that we would all make 6 dozen of our favorite cookies, bring them to the event, and we’d leave with lots of different types of cookies to enjoy over the holidays! I had never been to a cookie exchange before, but I was in.

I searched Pinterest for easy to make holiday cookies, and I found a recipe for Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe to come tomorrow!). The recipe involves cake mix, so I figured it couldn’t be too bad.

I made my (almost) 6 dozen and brought them to the event on Sunday.

The cookie exchange was held at Amanda from LoveCreative‘s house. And I have to say that she has a gorgeous house and did an amazing job decorating it! The cookies looked pretty amazing too.



Amanda even set up a hot chocolate bar (I added marshmallows but skipped the candy cane and Bailey’s)!


I enjoyed getting to spend some time with all the bloggers and getting advice from them all. I also enjoyed having some fun back in my life.

I had to leave the cookie exchange a bit early because I had my final night of Porter Kelly’s commercial acting class, so I filled up my to-go box and headed out the door.



Also, Amanda had collected all the recipes for the cookies ahead of time, so we all got to take home a super cute recipe book!



Thank you so much fellow bloggers for welcoming a blogging newbie! I’m really looking forward to fellow blogging events! And if you are a blogger and want to be invited, let me know!

And just so you can learn more about all the fabulous ladies who attended, here are all of their blogs:

Rachel (Lupa & Pepi)

Jennie (Garlic My Soul)

Kelly (Studio DIY)

Sarah (Very Sarie)

Amanda (LoveCreative)

Irene (Design Stiles)

Mindy (Budget Fairytale)

Jessie (You & Me Events)

Amanda Jean (Jean & Gene Creative)