Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chocolate Heaven (or Happy Birthday Nestle Crunch!)

Warning, this is a picture heavy post because of all the delicious treats! Do not read on an empty stomach!

I was invited to the kick off party for the Nestle Crunch 75th Birthday Showdown (that’s a mouthful isn’t it?).

I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I did know that I would be tasting some desert items that were made with Nestle Crunch bars.

I got to the party when it started at 1pm.

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As soon as I walked in, I saw Lynn from The Actor’s Diet and Jennie from Garlic My Soul. I was nice to see familiar faces especially since the bakery the event was being held at (Sweet E’s) was extremely crowded and at first it seemed a bit disorganized.

We got to check out the samples of all the different treats that we available to try.

A Crunch Peanut Butter Brownie from Sweet E’s.


A Crunch Chocolate Royalty Cupcake from Casey’s Cupcakes.


A Candied Bacon Ice Cream Cookie from CoolHaus.


And a Crumbs Crunch Cupcake from Crumbs Bake Shop.


While we were checking out the awesome desserts, we had no idea if we were allowed to try them yet. So Lynn decided to be the brave one and took one off a plate.


After we were there for about an hour, there was a little presentation with all the bakers, and they each explained their desserts.


Then, finally, we got to try some!

I tried a little bit of each one, but those cupcakes were huge! My favorite was the ice cream. The candied bacon in it was delicious!


As we were leaving, we all got a gift bag.


Inside were samples of all the desserts we tried (except the ice cream which I got a gift card for). All the cupcakes are now in my freezer for when I have a sugar craving (although I promised to save some for my mom too).

If you want to check out all the desserts in the showdown, you can go here. There is voting for your favorite dessert until April 21st. The top three bakeries will compete in a final baking competition to declare the winner! If you want to try some of the desserts, all the bakeries competing in the contest are giving away samples of their entries (I highly encourage trying some of them).

I’m so excited that I got to attend this event, but I’m still on a bit of a sugar high from all the delicious treats!

Four Eyes (or An Unexpected Expense)

I’ve had horrible vision pretty much since birth. I used to wear glasses all the time, but when I was 9, my parents decided to let me get contacts (thank you Mom and Dad for that!). Now, I pretty much only wear glasses when I’m getting ready for bed or for rare occasions (like when I’ve gone in for surgery).

So I don’t get glasses too often. I think since I was 18, I’ve had 2 different pairs. The pair that I currently have I know I’ve had at least since 2006. I’m wearing them in this picture that was taken right after I had my hip surgery.


Well, the other night, I was getting my glasses out of their case so I could read in bed, and this happened.


At first, I figured it would be an easy fix. Most hinges on glasses have a screw and I figured it must have come loose. But what actually broke was where the hinge connected to the piece that broke off, and that was glued together.

So I did some emergency gluing but realized that maybe I should get a new pair of glasses that aren’t broken.

So I made a trip to Kaiser to pick up my glasses prescription. My plan was to go to Costco or Lens Crafters or someplace I could get some cheap frames.

While I was waiting, I decided to see what glasses Kaiser had and how much they were.

And oh my goodness! Most of the frames were in the $200 range! And that didn’t include the cost of the lenses which typically run me about $100 since I have a strong prescription (and a slight astigmatism).

I managed to find a few frames that were under $100.

These were $79.


And these were $99 (and I think a bit more flattering even though it doesn’t really matter).


So finally my name is called, and I bring both frames with me just out of curiosity (I was also going to get a discount on any purchase I made at Kaiser since I hadn’t purchased glasses there within the past two years).

Turns out, the first frames (the $79 ones) were actually part of a special sale. I could get both frames and lenses for $99! The lenses would be a bit thick since I wouldn’t get the special ones, but it really doesn’t matter when I’m reading in bed. The nerdy look isn’t too bad on me either.

So I ended up decided to get my glasses at Kaiser and going with the first pair. After my discount, my new glasses cost just under $70! Not too bad.

I get to pick them up in about a week, so in the meantime, I’m being really gentle with my broken glasses. I’m hoping that this new pair will last me close to a decade (as long as my vision doesn’t change). And hopefully within the next decade I’ll get laser surgery on my eyes (it’s been my dream to do that since high school). And if manage to find a way to pay for laser eye surgery, then my glasses and contacts will be a thing of the past!

A Book Nerd’s Dream (or My Fabulous Lunch With Lindsey Kelk)

I’ve previously mentioned on here that I’m a bit of a book nerd. In that previous post, I mention how I love Lindsey Kelk‘s I Heart series.

Well I was able to connect with Lindsey over twitter (and you all know how much I love twitter!). She had mentioned being in LA for something, and I asked her if she would be doing a reader event while in LA. She wasn’t, but somehow over a bunch of tweets, we ended up making plans to get lunch together!

We decided to go to La Sandia (based on it being Mexican food and there being a lot of parking right there). And I have to say, walking up to meet Lindsey at the restaurant, I was nervous.

Obviously, I’m a fan of hers, but I didn’t want to be a creepy fan.

Well, lucky for me, I didn’t nerd out too much over lunch. Lindsey was so nice and friendly toward me from the get go. We spent a lot of time just chatting about life and our mutual hatred toward some certain reality stars.

We did chat a bit about her books. Mostly about how she’s got a deadline coming up and needed to get on it. And since so much of the other stuff we were talking about (like my online dating experiences) were so funny, I was more than happy to talk about “normal” things and not “fan” things.

Best of all, I found out that she is a Disneyland person too! So we made plans to go to Disneyland when she is in LA next month!

We ended up having lunch for about 4 hours and then parted ways, but I’m totally looking forward to our Disneyland adventure soon!

As I was driving home, I was thinking about how star struck I get about authors. I don’t really get that way over actors. But maybe it’s because I look at actors as my peers and they are doing things that I want to and can see myself doing.

I don’t think I could ever write a book. The way that authors create an entire world and make you fall in love with their characters is incredible!

I’m so glad that I was not a creepy weirdo fan at my lunch. I knew it was a possibility, but Lindsey was so cool, she totally put me at ease right away.


And if you haven’t read one of Lindsey’s books yet, shame on you, and go get a copy of the first book in her I Heart series now!

Ms. in The Biz (or I’m Cheating On This Blog With Another Blog)

Since I started writing this blog, I’ve discovered a love for writing that I did not know that I had before. I almost always look forward to writing my posts on here (although I do get the occasional writer’s block). And I’ve decided to expand my blogging reach.

A few weeks ago, I saw that a friend of mine, Helenna, was starting a new online magazine written by women in the entertainment industry.

Of course I wanted to be a part of it!

So I’m excited to announce that I am going to be a contributing blogger for Ms. In The Biz! I will be writing about my adventures in LA as an actress and my day-to-day life trying to live my dream.

The blog will be launching soon (you can sign up on the website to get an email when it’s up), but this past weekend we had the LA contributor get together and Cinco in Westchester.

It was a really great little party. We all got one drink for free.


I’ll give you one hint about what I got to drink.


I had such a nice time connecting with old friends and meeting a bunch of new ones. I was so busy chatting that I only got a few pictures with friends.

The lovely Lizza, who is also in the same WIF mentoring circle as me (and loves the same books that I do!).


The awesome Carolina, who I chat with a bunch online, but we realized that night that it had been exactly one year to the day since the last time we saw each other in person (time totally flies by).


And the founder of Ms. In The Biz, Helenna!


I hope that at least some of you readers will sign up to check out the new blog. I’ll still be blogging on here every day like usual, but I’ll probably go into a bit more detail about what my life is like as an actress on Ms. In The Biz.

Lights, Camera, Action (or Being A DIY Actress)

This past weekend, my friend Rayshell and I shot a scene that we created ourselves. We did this because we both wanted some footage for our demo reels.

Now, here’s some explanation for non-industry people. When you have a demo reel (which is a clip or series of clips of video of you acting), and you get submitted for a role (either by your agents or on your own), you have a slight advantage. All actors submitted who have a demo reel get to the top of the list. So it is seriously in your favor to have some video clip up there.

All my video footage has either been bad quality or from when I was skinner, so I needed to fix that.

I asked my friend Bryan, who was the director of the documentary I did, if he’d be willing to help Rayshell and I film our scene. We knew we needed good quality work, and Bryan would totally be able to do that.

So this past Saturday, Bryan and Rayshell came over to my house where we decided to shoot, and we got everything set up in my living room.


We ended up doing two scenes and the whole thing took about 90 minutes.

The first scene was with both Rayshell and I. We were discussing the ups and downs of online dating (it may or may not be all true stories). Since neither Rayshell nor I are the best writers, we ended up deciding to improv the scene. It might make it a bit harder to edit, but I think it was more realistic and funny that way.

Here’s a screenshot of that scene.

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The second scene was just me being interviewed to camera about online dating. I figured that I could use the interview as the beginning and end of my clip and a short scene with me and Rayshell in the middle.

And another screenshot, of course.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 1.37.24 PM

I’ve watched the footage, and it looks beautiful. I need to sit down and do all the editing so far, but I know that this footage is totally useable and will really look great.

I’m glad I didn’t wait around for footage from projects I already did (that might not look as good) or wait around to be cast in something that would give me footage. I stopped sitting on my butt and took charge.

And if you are an actor and are putting together your demo reel, do your research. Make sure you are putting it together correctly and to highlight you in the best light. I highly recommend reading this blog post from casting director Marci Liroff.

Mentoring Circle (or Women Who Support Each Other)

Yesterday I had my first meeting with my Women in Film mentoring circle. This circle consists of two mentors (my mentors are a tv producer and film agent) and 8 mentees.

We met at UTA which is one of the big agencies in town. It was a pretty intimidating building.


Makes me so grateful that my agents are in a location that is very welcoming and makes me feel like part of the team.

Our group had a lunch in one of the conference rooms, and for this first meeting, we just did introductions. Most of the women in my group are actors, but most of those actors also do something else (like how I produced the documentary). We do also have a writer and director in the group and I’m excited to get to learn from them.

One of the greatest things about this group is how nice and supportive everyone is. I try to be supportive with all my fellow actors out there. When a woman who is my direct competition (I joke that she is my evil twin) needed to know where the audition we both had was going to be, I gave her the info without hesitation. I know some people wouldn’t do that because it increases their chances to book the role, but I know that if I’m meant to book it, I’ll book it.

I’m so used to having to watch out for these ultra-competitve actors (and many of them are rude and try to knock you off your game in the waiting room). It was truly a breath of fresh air knowing that I wouldn’t have to encounter that in this room.

We will be meeting again in about 2 months (the program is designed to have 6 meetings in a year). I’m hoping to connect with some of my fellow mentees on Facebook or twitter because I’d love to be around supportive people more than every other month.

I think in any industry that is competitive, it is such an asset to find people who just want to make sure that everyone gets ahead and nobody gets left behind. I’m so lucky that I was put into a group like this where that is happening.

Comedy in Babysitting (or Surviving An Afternoon With A Crying 2 Year Old)

Yesterday, I was babysitting for a friend of mine, and the afternoon was something crazy. I was watching her 2-year-old (who I’ve watched since he was born), and he was full of drama!

Right when my friend was getting ready to leave, her son jumped into his stroller. He wanted to go for a walk, which was fine with me since it would distract him from his mom leaving and he might take a nap in the stroller.

First of all, I do want to talk about the stroller. I’m not a mom, so I’m not a stroller expert, but my friend had a Bob stroller, and that thing was amazing! Super easy to push and the handle was at a good level for me. I know that those are supposed to be expensive strollers, but that thing was great!

So I’m pushing the stroller out the door with my friend’s son, and all of a sudden he realizes that his mom isn’t walking with him. He starts screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” at the top of his lungs and I just kept going. My friend drove right by where I was walking and she encouraged me to keep going (I think she also thought he’d fall asleep quickly).

Well, he didn’t.

I pushed him around for about 20 minutes with him screaming every second. Other people in the neighborhood were starting to look at me like I was a kidnapper or something! Finally I decided that he wasn’t going to fall asleep and I headed back to my friend’s house.

The kid was so excited to get back home, because he thought his mom would be in the house. And once he searched everywhere and realized she wasn’t there, he had a nice crying temper tantrum.

He was shrieking and crying and flinging himself across the room. Occasionally, he would lie on the ground with his arms crossed in front of his head and sigh really loudly. Then he’d look at me and see if I would react. When I didn’t, the tears came again.

Eventually, he fell asleep on the couch and stayed asleep until my friend got home.

Honestly, the whole thing was pretty funny. I just feel horrible letting the kid cry it out (but that’s what I need to do). I’ll be back there babysitting again tonight, so I’m hoping to not have a repeat performance from yesterday.

But you know what makes babysitting totally worth it? When the kid, completely unprompted, yells out “Bye bye Jen!” as I’m leaving.

Totally cute.

Being Helpful (or Using Unemployment To Be A Better Person)

I’ve been doing a lot of selfish things while out of work. I’ve gone to Disneyland, taken lots of spin classes, and hung out with friends who I haven’t seen in a while.

But the past two days I’ve focused on other people, and that makes me feel good.

My friend Trevor, who happens to host the podcast I work for, was in a bike accident last week. He’ll be fine, but for a while, he was looking like this.

So while he had both casts on, he had to go to a doctor’s appointment. He texted me, and of course I was going to help him out (he’s going to pay me back when I must have my other hip fixed). I actually didn’t mind driving him because he had taken a pain pill that made him pretty loopy. He didn’t say anything too bad (I promise), but it was pretty darn entertaining. Some highlights were him saying hi to every car that passed us, discussing the bee that landed on my windshield, and saying that I needed to make him banana bread.

By the time I drove him back to his house, his loopiness had ended, but it’s still nice getting to chat with a friend and help him out.

Then yesterday, I made the 2 hour drive down to San Diego to see my grandparents. I wanted to see them, first of all. They had moved into a new place last January, and the last time I was there was before they had any furniture in the place.

So it was nice spending time with them, and I was able to help them out as well. I drove them to the store (neither of my grandparents are driving right now) and helped them get groceries and other necessities.

I also helped my grandpa fix something on his DVR (he’s super tech-savvy, but this was a weird fix). And I brought them some treats. I brought my grandpa some Peeps (I remembered that he used to love them), and then I made them some banana pecan bread.


It’s actually the exact same recipe as my banana blueberry bread, but the store was out of blueberries. So I used the same amount as pecans in it. We didn’t try any of it because we ate dinner at the restaurant where my grandparents live, but it smelled really delicious.

I drove back from San Diego the same day since it’s just easier to not have to bring all my stuff down there for a night (and I didn’t want to impose). Added bonus, as I was driving north on the 5, I got to see the fireworks over Disneyland as I was driving past! That was good timing!

I’m glad I was able to do a bunch of good things over the past few days. And I’ll be doing some babysitting for a friend for the next two days, so I’ll be helping out some more. I just want to make sure I balance the selfish things in life with being a good person.


Soda Free (or Maybe I Can Keep This Last Bit of This Vice)

I’ve previously mentioned that I’d like to get rid of my diet soda habit. Well, after that post, I wasn’t able to kick my diet soda habit. I wasn’t drinking it every day, but I’m aware of the problems that artificial sweeteners can cause.

But somehow, for the last month, I haven’t had a soda once. I didn’t realize at first that I didn’t have a soda, but after a week or so, I thought that maybe I’d try to keep it up.

And it wasn’t easy at first. There are some places that seem to go hand in hand with drinking a diet Coke. Like when I forgot my lunch at my day job and would run to Wendy’s for a baked potato (best emergency lunch). Or going to the movies. Or when I’m driving around and  get really thirsty and want to grab a diet Coke from a drive through.

But I’ve managed to avoid getting a soda while going to those places. The key for me is getting a bottle of water (with a straw). It has seemed to work really well for me for the last month. But I will admit sometimes even though I’m not craving a soda, I almost get one out of habit.

But the one thing I haven’t been able to kick is drinking sparkling flavored (calorie-free) water.


I’ve tried plain sparkling water, but as I described it to a friend yesterday, the bubbles seem different.

But if this is my one vice, maybe it’s not so bad. It’s not like I smoke, do drugs, or something else harmful to my body. And if this sparkling water keeps me sane, is that so horrible?

If I’m not thinking about it, I’ll just drink plain (non-sparkling) water for an entire day, but sometimes I really do crave it. And drinking one over the course of the day does help me stay hydrated.

I’m going to try to limit how many I drink (when I was doing the RFO diet I could easily drink 4 a day) . I’m not going to drink more than 1 a day. That seems reasonable.

And maybe one day in the future, you’ll see a post from me saying how I was able to give up the sparkling water. But for now, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

26.2 (or No Marathon For Me)

It was the LA Marathon here in LA yesterday. I had a bunch of friends running, so I had the news coverage of the marathon on my tv this morning hoping I’d catch a glimpse of one of them running (sadly, I didn’t).

I’ve never done a marathon (the farthest I’ve ever done was a 5K and that’s walking), and at one point in my life, I dreamed of being able to say that I ran a marathon. I even had a personal trainer at one point who was training me to run. That stopped pretty quickly due to my hip hurting. So I gave up on that dream for a while.

Then they started doing marathons on The Biggest Loser. Some of those people were in much worse physical shape when they started and they could do a marathon. So I tried starting with the Couch to 5K program. And I had to give up on that again because of my hip.

I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of running. I know that high impact workouts are not the best for me.

And then one day, I came across this post on Daily Garnish. And it made me realize that it doesn’t matter if I never get to do a marathon one day. That shouldn’t be an end goal for me. For some people, all they dream of doing is a 5K. I have lots of friends who don’t think that they could do one. And I do it. Sometimes I’m a lot slower than I’d like to be, but I still cross the finish line.

And running isn’t for everyone. For me, it’s just not something that I should do because of my health restrictions. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be healthy or that I don’t get good workouts in. I push myself so far in spin class. I drip sweat and I know that even though I’m not do all the standing work, I’ll get there one day.

So maybe I can take the approach I wanted to take with doing a marathon to spinning. Doing a 5K is the same as being able to do an entire class without a break. Doing a 10K is like not taking a break and making sure I use all the resistance that the instructor is saying. And finishing a marathon is being able to do the entire class, standing up work and all, exactly how the instructor wants it to be.

I might not be able to do a traditional marathon, but I can make my own marathon with what I am able and love to do.