Tag Archives: books

Keeping My Emotions In Check (or You Are Not Your Brain)

2017 is only 2 weeks in, but my emotions have been pretty up and down for me so far. I’ve had some really good things happen to me (like having fun with my friends at Disneyland) and some really not so great things (like my car dying). I’ve almost felt like I have been in a bit of a haze the past few weeks. Everything has been a bit overwhelming and while I am so grateful for all the good things that have come off all this, it’s not fun to feel this way.

It also doesn’t help that the weather has been very gloomy lately. I don’t love the rain because it causes me extra pain, and I feel like I don’t want to leave the house if I don’t have to. I can take painkillers (they don’t bother my liver), but I’m trying to limit them because I’ve realized that I’ve been depending on them too much in the past. So I’m limiting what I’ve been doing after work and I’m sometimes a bit isolated.

While I was technically diagnosed with depression in the past, I don’t believe that it was an accurate diagnosis. I think it had more to do with being upset with my eating disorder being out of control mixed with the mild OCD that I know I have. But when things are so up and down, it’s tough sometimes not to feel depressed a bit. And of course the state of politics lately isn’t helping my mood (especially when I’m now worried I’ll lose my health insurance if pre-existing conditions can get you rejected from health insurance again).

But I’m working hard on not allowing myself to be too down right now. I know all the situations I’m in are temporary and it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed when there are big changes happening in your life. I’m feeling more and more ok about what happened with my car (although I wish that getting a new car was something I had been looking forward to do instead of something I had to do). I’m trying to think about the good that the rain is doing for the drought that we have been experiencing and not that it is causing me pain. And I’m trying to keep telling myself that it is ok to feel down as long as I don’t stay that way forever.

The timing of this has been interesting because I’ve been reading a new book as part of my recovery themed reading lately. Right now, I’m reading a book called “You Are Not Your Brain” and it is all about changing how you think. It talks about taking how your brain works and making it work to your advantage to getting rid of bad habits, recovering from an addiction, or feeling overwhelmed.

I’m still in the beginning of this book, but it’s been a really good read for me so far. I’ve been seeing how the overwhelming feeling I’ve been dealing with can be worked into something more positive. I don’t have to let my brain control my life and that is something that I know many of us struggle with. The emotions in my brain aren’t always rational and I need to work on separating the rational feelings from the irrational emotions I get from time to time.

I know that being emotional isn’t a bad thing, but I really want to be able to keep my emotions in check more often. I know that it is not the end of the world that my car died, but it is still upsetting me when I should be more excited and grateful that I was able to get a new car (that is significantly better than my old car was). I know that feeling alone and isolated is either in my head or my fault. I have many friends that I could call or text to not be alone, but I’m choosing not to. I am loved, even when I feel like I’m not.

I know that my journey in my eating disorder recovery will be a long one, but I’m glad that I added reading books related to recovery as a part of the journey. I’ve read some books that I haven’t connected with, but then there are the others that I feel it is fate that I am reading them at that time. Self-help and recovery do go hand in hand and I think that all of this work that I’m putting into recovery is making me a better person.

While I don’t want to become an unemotional robot, I’m glad that I’ve been able to practice regulating my emotions right now when it is such an emotional time. Right now is some of the more significant ups and downs, so hopefully with this work that I’m putting in I can manage things even better when they are minor mood swings. And by managing my emotions more, I know that I will be able to manage my eating disorder more. It is all work in progress, but the progress is definitely going the right way.

More Eating Disorder Research (or Reading About HDE)

I’ve been keeping up with my monthly challenge to read a book about recovery every day. I’m pretty much doing the 10 pages a day (sometimes a few extra pages in a day) so that I’m not overwhelmed or feeling like I need to do a ton of reading each day. I think this was a really great challenge to set for myself and I’m happy that I’m not finding it too difficult to continue doing it each day. I think that it can only be a positive thing for me and I’m excited to see what I’ll learn with each book I read.

At the rate that I’m reading, each book takes a little more than a month to finish. So I’m getting close to finishing my second recovery book now and I’ve been learning quite a bit. The book I’m reading now is called “How To Have Your Cake And Your Skinny Jeans Too”.

hde

I’ll admit that I didn’t love the title when I saw it the first time (I’m not a fan of gimmicky books), but there was something about it that caught my attention and it was on sale as a Kindle book so I got it. Since each book is taking me so long to read, I have to buy them instead of getting them from the library (I only get 3 weeks with library books), but I’ve got quite a few that I’ve already bought and I’m sure that buying 1 book a month or so won’t be too expensive.

When I started to read the book, I wasn’t quite sure where it was going with how it was going to discuss achieving recovery. But after a few days of reading and getting into it I discovered that it is all about hunger directed eating (or HDE). The idea of HDE is that you will eat what you want because if you don’t it may turn into a binge later. If you deprive yourself of something for too long you will go crazy when you have a chance to eat it.

The idea of depriving myself and then going crazy with the food is not a foreign concept to me. I’ve had that happen and it’s not fun at all. But the idea of eating everything that I crave and want is terrifying because I know that when I do that in the short-term it ends badly for me. But the idea of HDE is that while the short-term may be a lot of “bad” foods, eventually you will get sick of just eating those and your body will start to crave the foods that you should eat and your diet will have more variety in it.

Following HDE does seem like it could be something for me, but like I said the idea scares me so much. All of my fears are things that are written about in the book, so that does make me feel a bit better. Nothing I’m afraid of isn’t discussed in one of the chapters with a solution or explanation of how it will work out. So since it seems like I have totally normal fears of HDE I’ve been testing it out a little bit.

I’m not going 100% with HDE yet because I don’t want to have the days of endless eating of foods that I crave. Those will cause my workouts (and probably my work at my day jobs) to suffer and I can’t afford that right now. But I’m trying to follow my cravings more than I normally do and see where it takes me. Along with those cravings, I try to meal plan around it so that I can get my 3 meals in for the day but staying as close to my calorie goals as possible.

It’s not going too badly. Once I started to plan around the cravings I have, I’m starting to see how they can fit into my every day life. The issue I’m still having is the volume of the foods I’m craving that I eat. This is something discussed in the book and it is similar to the mindful eating that I’ve been working on. I need to start paying attention to how I feel while eating things (and not going into a trance) and see when my body is saying that it is ready to be done with the food I’m craving.

This is something that is going to take time and I don’t know if HDE is going to work for me in the long run. What I do know is what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working and I need to start trying other things (even if they scare me or seem like it could never work) to see what will work and what will be right for me. I’m just glad that I’m at a point in my recovery that I can try things out like this and not feel hopefully when I have a set back and just view it as a learning experience.

Tacocity (or A Book Review And Giveaway!)

I’m so excited for today’s post! Not only do I have an amazing book recommendation for you, but I’m giving away a signed copy too! I recently had the opportunity to read “Tacocity: Los Angeles” which was written by my friend Rob Gokee. I’ve known Rob for a couple of years through various friends. He’s an amazing composer, big user of twitter, and obsessed with tacos! I feel like almost every picture he posts online is of tacos.

So when he started mentioning that he was writing a book about the tacos of Los Angeles, I wanted to read it! I’m not a huge taco person, so if I’m going to go get a taco somewhere I want it to be the best. And since Rob tested out dozens of taco places for his book, I know any place he recommends is going to be one of the top spots to go to.

Rob gave me a copy of his book to read (full disclosure, he gave me a free PDF version to review but the review is all my own) and I was very happy when I started reading it.

Tacocity

Obviously, I knew that the book was going to review taco places in Los Angeles, but I didn’t know much more. I was happy to see in the table of contents that he actually breaks down his reviews geographically so you can look at the area of Los Angeles that you happen to be in. Where I live in West LA, there aren’t a ton of awesome taco places. But while there were some familiar names in the West LA section I loved seeing that there were some places I hadn’t gone to yet and I immediately added them to my list of restaurants to try.

West LA

For each of the restaurants that Rob reviews, he includes a little bit about each place and what they are best known for. He also gives some tips about what to order, when the lines might be shorter (or in some cases if you should go to the outside line or inside line), and sometimes advice on parking which can be tough to find in LA. I loved hearing his stories about what he tried at each place and all the photos that were in the review section made me want to go have everything!

After the reviews of all the taco places around LA, there is a recipe section with some of Rob’s favorites. As you all know I’m working on trying to cook more at home, so I hope to soon have a recipe post for you all of me trying one of the ones from the book! This mole taco one might be the one I have to make because I keep coming back to the picture from the book and thinking it looks incredible!

Mole Tacos

I think this book is perfect for anyone who lives in LA or might be moving to LA soon! It’s a great guide to amazing food in the city and I think even people who have lived here their entire lives will discover a new restaurant in the book. And even if you don’t live in LA but love tacos, this is a great read from the recipes in the back as well as giving you inspiration for a LA taco trip (I’m sure if you tweet at Rob he can help you plan a taco crawl).

Now for the fun part! You can enter to win a signed copy of “Tacocity: Los Angeles”! There are a ton of ways to enter this time (just make sure you leave a blog comment as that is the required entry). While most entries are only one-time things, you can tweet every day for extra entries! Rafflecopter will randomly be selecting the winner at the end and you will be getting a signed copy of the book from Rob!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and I can’t wait for you all to read the book too!

PS: There will be a book launch/signing for “Tacocity: Los Angeles” coming up on August 22nd from 5:30-8:00pm at Salazar (one of the places Rob writes about in the book). I hope to see a bunch of you there!

Working On Money Priorities (or What’s Worth The Splurge)

I’ve really been working lately on spending less. I know it’s important for me to do this because I need to use that extra money toward my credit card debt (and not creating more debt). And obviously, there are some costs that I can’t avoid (bills and stuff), but I’ve gotten more serious at taking a look at my fun expenses.

I’m sure it sounds like I spend a ton because I go to Disneyland pretty often and now I have a pass to Universal Studios as well. This Disneyland pass was pretty much half paid for by recycling ink. That option won’t work for me in the future (the loophole that let me do that was fixed), but pretty much what I paid out of pocket was the same as 2 days at Disneyland. And my pass has the parking so I’m not paying $18 each time to park. I know I’ll go more than 2 times in a year so it’s easily worth it. And my Universal Studios pass was something I got at Costco for almost the same price as a 1 day ticket. The issue with my pass is that you can’t use it on weekends at all, but since I will probably only go on Mondays that isn’t an issue for me as well.

I am still spending money on other fun things, but I’m really trying to limit them to fun experiences like my season tickets to the Pantages or other shows (I just got tickets to see “The Little Mermaid” live at the Hollywood Bowl soon!). And when I do tickets like those, I’m working hard at finding good deals or making sure what I’m paying is a good value (like the season tickets being about $300 for all 7 shows). Part of why I love going to so many shows is it keeps me busy. And when I’m busy I’m not focusing on food.

And speaking of food, one of the biggest savings I’ve had lately is food related. I set the monthly challenge not to order any delivery food in March, and I’ve been able to keep that up so far this month too! I’m not doing as great about cooking from scratch, but even getting microwave food from the grocery store is cheaper than delivery food. When I’m not cooking, I’m going out to eat and that tends to be with friends so it makes it more of an outing than just eating. My grocery bills have gone up a bit since I’m eating at home more, but the amount they have gone up is significantly less than what I was spending on delivery food so that is a win for me.

But I think the biggest savings for me as been shopping. Mainly buying books, but I’m trying to be better about shopping in general. I used to buy a lot more stuff. Now, if I’m buying things online it tends to be household stuff I need or workout clothes. I’m not buying as much “normal” clothes because honestly I’m not in “normal” clothes that often. And even on non-workout days I usually wear my workout pants because they are more comfortable to work in.

But my book spending was pretty bad in the past. I used to be a huge library person, then there was an ordeal with my library card not working (I don’t know what happened and neither do they). Instead of doing the easy thing and just registering for a new card, I took advantage of how easy it is to get books on my Kindle. My old e-reader was much more difficult to get books on so just being able to press a button and order a book was so fun! But the spending was adding up. And while most of the books I buy I love and read over and over again, there were some that I got because they were on sale for $0.99 that I’ve read once and that’s it.

So recently I finally got a new library card and I’ve been taking advantage of it so much!

Library Card

It is so easy to get books on my Kindle from the library. Yes, I have to use my computer to get them. But then they are sent wirelessly to my Kindle and are on the device for 21 days. So most of the time I can read them more than once if I want to. I actually went a little overboard with putting Kindle books on hold from the library and had to delay a couple of holds (I had gotten 8 library books available at once). But I’m starting to find my groove with the library again and I feel like an idiot that I waited so long and spent so much money. I can’t go back and change it, but I’m glad I’ve changed now.

I know that there are still a few more places I can save money in my monthly spending. I want to get my grocery bills down a bit more as well as my household stuff (cleaning supplies, paper goods, and those things). I’m going to do some price checking between stores near me and Amazon and hopefully I can figure out the best options for me to maximize my money.

I’ve got a lot of fun things coming up this summer and a lot of them will involve money. But hopefully with the cutting back that I’ve been able to do I will not put myself into more debt just to do them.

Scared Speechless (or A Book Giveaway!)

I’m doing another giveaway! I know I still have my “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera” giveaway going on, but this is another amazing giveaway that I think you will all love! So I had no choice but to run 2 giveaways at the same time! You can enter both of them and I really hope that you do!

I met Steve Rohr when I was at the Entertainment New Media Network Conference last year. He was so amazing when he spoke to the group that I had to talk to him immediately after he spoke and pitched him to be on the Inside Acting Podcast. I’m glad he said yes because I absolutely loved his episodes! The stories and knowledge that he shared is amazing and I know how lucky we are that he was willing to speak with us. And I’ve been fortunate that Steve has stayed in touch with me because he’s a seriously awesome person (beside everything else he does, he’s the publicist for the Oscars!).

Steve recently shared with me that he and his friend Dr. Shirley Impellizzeri wrote a book called “Scared Speechless”. It’s all about taking the fear away from public speaking and how to become the best public speaker you can be. He offered to send me a copy and of course I said yes! While I don’t do much public speaking, I figure that any help I can get to be less nervous when I speak would be good plus I love reading self-help books!

I was so excited when it arrived at my doorstep and loved that Steve and Shirley signed it for me!

Scared Speechless Signed Copy

I immediately started to read it. I read it so quickly that I was done within 2 days and would have put this post up sooner except that I wanted to read it again before blogging about it! I felt like I read it so quickly that a second reading was needed to I could digest everything I was learning and make sure that I didn’t miss any lessons.

This is such a wonderful book! Obviously, it’s great for people who have to do public speaking or presentations at work or school. But so much of this book is perfect for actors who are nervous about auditions. It discusses some of the science behind fear and how to overcome them. It shares ideas for speeches and how to write different types of speeches like presentations, toasts, eulogies, and commencement speeches. And it has a great list of speeches you can watch or read to be inspired and to help you with whatever you may need to come up with.

What I love so much about this book is how it is broken up. Each chapter could be viewed as a standalone article. You could read just what you need to or read the entire book and still get a lot of information out of it. Each chapter starts with a chapter focus (listed on the first page of the chapter) so you know what you will be reading about. Then toward the end of the chapter there is homework or ideas to try to help work on the lessons that the chapter discussed. And finally at the end of each chapter there are key notes from what you just read in the chapter. It’s almost like someone already wrote notes on the book so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything and you know exactly what you should have gotten out of that chapter.

I read a lot of non-fiction books and I have to say that this one is one of the easiest books that I’ve read in a long time. It is very clearly written and the chapters are split up nicely so it doesn’t feel confusing or like it is repeating itself (which is a common issue I see in non-fiction books). I think that this really is relatable and anyone could find something in the book that connects to them and their public speaking (or auditioning) issues. This may be the first non-fiction book that I honestly think everyone no matter what should read.

You can go online and buy the book in paperback or on your Kindle now, but I have a signed copy to giveaway! There are a ton of ways you can enter. You can follow people on twitter, visit different fan pages on Facebook, comment on this post, or tweet out a message (and you can tweet out a message every day for extra entries!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait for you all to read this book. It really is incredible and I have a feeling that this will be a book that I come back to from time to time to help me with my auditions and any public speaking moments I might have in my life.

Good luck and I can’t wait to announce the winner!

Fit2Fat2Fit (or A Book and TV Show That Get It)

I while ago, I heard of the book “Fit2Fat2Fit“. It was the story of a personal trainer named Drew who gained 75 pounds so he could understand what it was like for his overweight clients to lose weight. Immediately I was interested and got the book to read. I read it so fast and loved the message that the trainer shared.

Fit2Fat2Fit

So many trainers and coaches out there have never had to deal with a weight problem. They don’t understand the mental and physical toll excess weight puts on a person. They see someone overweight and think that the person is uneducated and just needs to be taught how to work out and eat better. They think it’s just as simple as that.

But that’s not the case at all.

Compared to most of my friends who have never had a weight issue, I’m possibly more educated about nutrition. I can guesstimate calories with the best of them. I know what is good, what is bad, and what is ok as a treat. Every bite I take I know if I should be ok eating it or if it’s something that I need to think of as an ok indulgence. I know the food pyramid, how many servings of each thing I should have each day/week, and how many calories my body takes to be alive. I might not be the most educated on what workout routines I should do, but I’ve got nutrition and food down. I may have an eating disorder, but I don’t have a lack of education.

Lack of education may be the issue for some people, but it isn’t for the majority. We know what we should and shouldn’t do, but there is something else in our bodies saying otherwise. And unless you have been there, you don’t get it. I try to explain it the best I can on here, but I know that the voice in my head is so much louder and more persuasive than I could ever explain.

That is why I loved the book so much. Drew didn’t understand at first that when you are heavy, you might not have the same motivation or energy to work out. Or if you are used to eating fatty foods that your body craves them and that eating healthy doesn’t give you the same joy that food has given you in the past (and you have depended on that joy from food). Once he gained the weight and tried to immediately get back to his old routine, he realized that it was not as easy as that. People don’t need to be educated, they need to be understood and guided to a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve been lucky at Orangetheory that none of my coaches have judged me or have tried to talk down to me because of my weight (that has happened with coaches/personal trainers in the past). They understand that I have an eating disorder and am working my way toward recovery. They get that I need support but not lectures. But I know that not everyone has that experience. As much as I think that all trainers should do this experiment to understand what their clients go through, I understand that it isn’t realistic. But I think reading the book can help them get it.

I’ve loved the book for a while, but I discovered last week that now there is a TV show on A&E with the same name about the same concept. A trainer takes 4 months to gain as much weight as they can and then work with an overweight client to take the weight off together. I’ve seen the first episode so far, and I really enjoyed it (and didn’t hate-watch it like I do with other weight loss shows). The trainer didn’t quite understand that things would be hard when he gained weight at first. But once it was time for him to get back into his regular routine and try to lose the weight, he got it. He understood the food withdrawal and the exhaustion of exercise. He became more empathic about what clients might be going through and saw the journey from the client side instead of the coach side.

I’m sure that all the episodes will follow a similar format, but I think that it is an amazing show to watch. I know that people will still judge me and other’s based on appearance, but hopefully they can understand the issues we face just a little bit more.

Learning About “Breaking Vegan” (or An Amazing Book Giveaway!)

I’m so excited to share this amazing book and giveaway with you all! But before I get to that, I wanted to give you a little back story.

I first heard of Jordan Younger when her blog post about ending her vegan diet went viral. She used to blog under the name The Blonde Vegan and changed her name to The Balanced Blonde to reflect her new lifestyle. I heard of her because I know the blogger The Balanced Brunette and someone mentioned the name similarity.

I had read the post about Jordan ending her vegan diet and was very proud of her. She had discovered that from the restrictions of the vegan diet that her food choices became more and more restrictive and ended up turning into orthorexia. There was a lot of backlash from her post including vegans being angry for her eating animal products again and from other people who didn’t believe that orthorexia was a real thing.

I could relate to people not understanding an eating disorder. I had the same issue with my binge eating disorder. At first, it wasn’t recognized as an eating disorder. When I was first diagnosed, it was classified as a non-purging bulimic and there wasn’t any help for me. And people (including some in the medical field) thought that it wasn’t real and that it was just an issue of me liking food too much. So to have a name, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan was a huge relief for me.

Jordan was able to get help for her eating disorder as well. After her post went viral, I started following her on social media and realized that she also works out at Orangetheory! And one day, I noticed her name on the heart rate monitor screen and introduced myself.

Jordan is seriously such an amazing woman and so open about her story. And with all that she learned through the beginning of her journey with her eating disorder, she wrote a book called “Breaking Vegan”.

The Balanced Blonde

Since Jordan knew me through Orangetheory she offered to send me a copy so I could check it out! I got it and started reading it immediately.

Breaking Vegan

What struck me the most (and what has stuck me with so many eating disorder stories) is how similar her story is to mine. Our eating disorders are very different, but so much the same. They start with small choices (both of us started with disordered eating issues as children) and balloon out of control without really realizing it. Jordan’s book is very well written and beautifully laid out. Her story includes photos of her throughout her journey and in the back there are some great recipes for healthy meals (I’ll hopefully be making some of those soon!).

I understand that there is some controversy with the title because not everyone who goes vegan develops an eating disorder. But this story is a personal story of what happened to Jordan and how her discovering a vegan lifestyle helped to make her eating disorder come out. It would be the same as if I said that ice cream created my binge eating disorder (it didn’t, but that’s an example). Of course it’s not the fault of ice cream, but that ice cream led me down the path to the eating disorder that I believe I was genetically at risk for.

I highly recommend this book both to those who have an eating disorder as well as those who don’t. Those who have an eating disorder may find comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone, crazy, or weird. That’s how I felt reading this. And those without an eating disorder can see how easy it is to spiral an eating habit into an eating disorder and get an idea of the mindset of someone with an eating disorder and why it’s so difficult to overcome them.

Of course, I recommend everyone buying the book, but I’m also giving away a copy! You just need to enter through Rafflecopter below and you do as many of the entry options as you want (the tweet option is available every day!). The contest will end at 12am on Christmas Day so I will be playing Jewish Santa and emailing the winner on Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope that you all enter this giveaway and even if you don’t win you read this book. We should all support Jordan for sharing her story because it is so difficult to do! If more people were open with their eating disorders, I believe that more people would reach out for help and would realize that they don’t have to be alone in this journey.

“The Wisdom Of Walt” (or Time To Win An Amazing Book!)

I’ve covered almost everything from the Entertainment New Media Network Conference in my past two posts. But I did skip talking about one of the speakers. And it’s not because I didn’t enjoy it. It’s because it was my favorite speaker of the entire event!

Jeffrey A. Barnes is a professor, an author, and a Disney fanatic. And as a fellow Disney fan, I was super excited to hear what he was going to talk about.

Without giving away a ton of Jeffrey’s story, he had always dreamed about writing a book about Walt Disney and Disneyland. Then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He put off having surgery for a while because he was teaching a college class on Disneyland (where was that class when I was in school?!?). After having the tumor removed, he had mentioned that he had the life regret of never writing his book. His wife told him that he still had plenty of life to live and encouraged him to write the book he always wanted to.

The book “The Wisdom Of Walt” was written as both a story about the history of Disneyland as well as leadership and self-help through the lessons that Walt Disney went through while building his park.

The Wisdom Of Walt

When Jeffrey was speaking at ENMNCon, he talked about how we needed to be the hero in our own stories. Every story needs a hero who is willing to fail, willing to act, and willing to dream. And to get your dreams accomplished nobody can be that hero except for you.

His talk really connected with me. I try not to be the victim in my story, but sometimes that’s tough. I need to focus as much as possible on being my own hero and making sure that my dreams are my priorities.

Obviously as soon as the conference was done, I bought “The Wisdom of Walt”. To say that I’m devouring the book is an understatement! I’m putting off watching my favorite TV shows to read more and more of the book! I’m getting close to the end of it and I’m already planning on re-reading it because I know that there is so much to absorb in the book.

I love the history of Disneyland parts. I do know a lot of Disney history but I’m still learning new things. And I love the lessons that are in each chapter. The book is such a great mix of learning Disney history and leadership skills with fun facts about the parks.

Why am I sharing this all with you? Because Jeffrey A. Barnes is super amazing and is giving away a copy of “The Wisdom Of Walt” on my blog! Not only is he giving away a copy, the winner will have their copy signed and personalized!

All you have to do is enter at the bottom of this post. There are a bunch of ways to enter including commenting on here, following me on twitter/Facebook/Instagram, and tweeting out the contest (you can do that every day and earn extra entries!). The contest goes until midnight on Thursday September 24th so you have lots of time to enter and earn extra entries!

And if you don’t want to enter (or if you enter but don’t win), Jeffrey has decided to give all readers of Finding My Inner Bombshell $5 off his book if you order it through his website! All the books ordered through his website will be signed (just not personalized) and if you enter the code “blog” in the notes, you will get a $5 refund after purchase! If you would prefer the Kindle version, you can get that on Amazon (but no discount and obviously it won’t be signed).

Good luck to everyone who enters! And I hope that even if you don’t win, you get this book because it is truly amazing!

Please make sure you enter through the Rafflecopter below even if you just enter by writing a comment. I will be selecting the winner randomly from the Rafflecopter entries on Friday the 26th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Day Of Allergies (or Book Nerd Fail)

This past weekend was the LA Times Festival Of Books. I was so happy to find out that I was going to be getting a media pass again.

LA Times Festival Of Books

I knew that because of my work schedule I couldn’t go for the first few things on Saturday, but I was all set to spend as much time at the event as possible.

Then I got invited to something fun on Saturday evening (more on that tomorrow) so I figured that I would go all day Sunday and maximize my time there with the media pass.

Then Sunday came and I was hit with one of the worst allergy attacks I’ve ever had.

I have no clue what caused this allergy attack (I’m severely allergic to olive trees but I’m not aware of any in my neighborhood) and it didn’t seem like it would be going away on its own. I know that this sounds gross, but I wasn’t able to breathe through my nose and it was running like a non-stop faucet. At times it was hard to catch my breath and I felt like I might throw up. I wanted this feeling go away as soon as possible so I took my allergy meds and hoped that they would kick in quickly so I could still spend the afternoon at the event.

Sadly, I wasn’t feeling better until the afternoon so I ended up missing the entire weekend.

I’m trying not to be too upset by this. None of my friends could go so I wasn’t missing any hang out time. And while there were authors and panels that I was excited to see, there wasn’t an event with one of my favorite authors like last year. And of course, there should be another event next year and hopefully I will be able to make it then. And maybe next year there will be an author that I love speaking there.

But while I was sad about missing the event, I figured that the most fitting way to try to wait out the allergy attack would be by reading. So I got to spend a nice morning and afternoon reading in bed (even though I wasn’t able to breathe through my nose and was sneezing every 2 seconds). And while I haven’t necessarily been tired lately, having a day of doing nothing really did revitalize me.

So maybe this allergy attack was just my body saying that I needed to slow down for a couple of hours and relax. And I did just that and didn’t feel guilty about it at all.

“Thriving In Hollywood” (or Celebrating The Ms. In The Biz Book Launch!)

I’ve been writing for Ms. In The Biz for a while now. It’s been so awesome to be a part of a blog that has so many amazing women with incredible stories and advice to share. And a little while back, Helenna (who created Ms. In The Biz) shared with all the writers that she was going to be putting together a book of some of the blog posts we had shared on the site!

The book is called “Thriving in Hollywood: Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz”. While none of my posts are featured in the book, I’m still super proud of all the writers who had pieces chosen for the book and that I get to be a part of the same blog!

This week was the official launch party for the book. There was going to be a red carpet and press there, so I decided that I really wanted to look my best.

After my morning workout, I showered and then headed over to The Dry Bar to get my hair done. I normally only go to The Dry Bar on my birthday, but the party was on my half birthday, so it seemed fitting.

The Dry Bar

I had them do my hair in a similar style to how it was done in New York, but lots of curls. As soon as I was done getting my hair done, it was off to makeup!

My friend, Kayla, did my makeup for me. She also did my makeup for the Besame launch party so I knew it would be amazing.

Makeup

And when I was done getting beautified, I loved how I looked!

MITB Party Look

While it feels like a lot of makeup to me since I rarely wear makeup, it just looked like an enhanced version of me. It was perfect!

For my outfit, I wanted to be comfortable because I knew that I would be on my feet all night. As much as I could love to have worn heels, it’s just not something that my hips can deal with now. So I went with leggings, a long sweater, and some cute flats.

MITB Mirror

I know I look a little distorted in that photo. My mirror needs to be replaced because it can not longer hang correctly over a door.

I got to the party and my first stop was the red carpet. I wanted to make sure that my photos were done while my hair and makeup looked fresh.

MITB Red Carpet With Book

After doing my official photos, I wandered around and found a bunch of my friends. It was so much fun catching up with people when we are all dressed up! We don’t normally look like slobs, but everyone looked so fancy that night!

MITB With Helenna MITB With Robert MITB With Nicole

After some catching up, I ran into other members of the team from the Inside Acting Podcast, including the hosts Trevor and AJ (who just got in from New York that morning!). So of course, we gathered for a podcast red carpet photo.

MITB IAP

Before I knew it, it was getting toward the end of the evening. I was exhausted and ready to get into my PJs and watch some TV.

The one thing about having fancy makeup done is that it takes quite a bit to get it all off.

Post MITB Party

I was super happy to have my Spanx and fake lashes off and to have a bare face at the end of the night!

Overall, I have to say that this was a super successful book launch party! I had a blast and everyone else I talked to did so as well!

I highly encourage all of you to get a copy of “Thriving In Hollywood”! I’ve read it and it’s super amazing! And maybe the next time Ms. In The Biz does a book, one of my blog posts will be chosen!