Tag Archives: DryBar

Birthday Party Adventure! (or Another Traditional Celebration)

I’ve celebrated my birthday at Bodega Wine Bar a couple of times now. It’s such a great place to have a casual birthday hangout so when I was trying to plan what to do for my birthday this year I had going back to Bodega at the top of my list. I looked at having a party at other locations, but I kept coming back to thinking Bodega would be perfect. So I gave them a call and they were able to get me the same section I’ve had in the past for a birthday party this past Saturday! So it was another Bodega birthday adventure!

Before my party, I actually decided to go to DryBar to get a blowout. There is now a DryBar right by my house, so that’s so much easier than having to drive 10-15 minutes to another location. I could walk there, but that day was so hot and humid and I didn’t want to ruin my hairstyle on the walk back. Fortunately there was a meter right in front of the salon for me!

The blowout only took about 30 minutes so that gave me plenty of time to go back home so I could relax a bit before getting ready to go out. I didn’t take a photo of my outfit, but I decided to try to be dressy and casual at the same time so I wore a basic black sundress with some cute heels. And then it was time to head over to Bodega!

And I lucked out with a parking meter again! I found one that was right around the corner and it was free since it was after 6pm! It was perfect and I walked right over to see who was an early bird for the party.

I’m glad I wasn’t the first person to arrive because I always hate waiting for people. And right after I got there more people started to arrive. I’m glad I got a reserved section again because it made things much easier for us. The bar was a bit crowded with some other parties and this way we didn’t have to worry about finding space for everyone. Although at one point there were maybe 15 of us there and it was getting a bit crowded. But I don’t think that anyone really minded that.

I hadn’t had a drink since my birthday party last year, but I knew I’d be ordering one at my party this time. My liver surgeon has told me that I can drink, but I haven’t been drinking since I don’t want to put more stress on my liver than I need to. But this was a special occasion so I figured it was a good time to have my first drink in a year!

I knew my tolerance for alcohol would be down, but I was actually surprised how low it was. I’ve had time without drinking before and it never seemed like I lost too much of my tolerance. This time, I was able to drink maybe about half of it before I felt like it was hitting me. I ordered food to help me feel a bit better, but I ended up not drinking any more of my drink. It was delicious, but I guess I need to realize that I can’t drink the way I could before (at least not for a while).

But I didn’t have my party to be able to drink. I had it so I could hang out with my friends and have fun. And that’s exactly what happened! I love when different groups of friends come together and meet. And this had people from so many different parts of my life there. It was so fun watching my neighbor talk to someone who is part of the leadership of the Unite for Strength slate. Or to see one of my Disney friends talk to someone from my WIF mentoring group. It was just awesome sitting back and watching people get to know each other and have my worlds combine!

I didn’t want any presents (although I did tell people if they wanted to do something they could donate to Unite for Strength) because I wanted this to feel more like a regular fun hangout and not a birthday party. I didn’t want anyone to sing Happy Birthday to me or make anything a big deal. Some of my friends did pay for my food and drink, so that was special and I wasn’t expecting it. All I wanted from my friends was to have them there and get to have fun with them.

We ended up being at Bodega for a pretty long time. It was getting a bit noisy and I think most of us aren’t usually late night people so by 11:30 we were all ready to go. People had been coming and going all night so it was a rotating group of people there, but pretty much everyone who was still there decided to leave when at the same time at the end.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday adventure. It was fun and no-stress. Everyone there seemed to have a great time and that’s what I wanted. I always want everyone else to have fun and that’s what makes me happy!

While this was the main birthday adventure for me, what I have to write about in tomorrow’s post was almost the grand finale of the birthday fun!


“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.


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.


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!

Celebration Time! (or Ending My Dirty 30 Year)

I had decided to have my birthday party on the day before my birthday.

This was for a couple of reasons. First of all, at Bodega, they require a minimum tab for parties on Saturdays. I didn’t want to have to deal with that (everyone has to pay on 1 credit card so that’s annoying). Also, there were a few friends who didn’t know if they could make it at all, but if they could it would only be on Friday. Also, I wasn’t quite sure what I really wanted to do on my birthday day, so I wanted to leave that evening open.

My day started with my workout at Orangetheory. After doing that, I knew that I had burned off enough calories to enjoy a few drinks while I was out.

I had a little bit of time at home to get showered and dressed before I headed out to DryBar. I went to the same one I went to last year for my birthday, and it was a better experience than the year before. But I have to say that the DryBar in NYC was still way better!

I decided that I wanted to have curls in my hair for the evening. That seems festive to me and it’s something that I can’t really do on my own. While it was getting done, it looked pretty great and I was happy while I walked out the door.


Sadly, the curls didn’t last even though the hair stylist used 2 rounds of hairspray (which I later hated because it made my hair impossible to brush). But my hair still looked better than anything that I could do on my own.

Next it was time to head over to Bodega. I was a little worried that not a lot of people would show up, but I went with the mindset that I would have a great time with whoever was there.

And I’m glad I went in with that mindset because only 3 people could make it. Lots of other people wanted to come but had work/traffic/lack of money/lack of time issues.

But the 3 who were there (Rayshell, Rayshell’s boyfriend Paul, and Sarah) were awesome and I had the best time with all of them!

We ordered food and drinks and just chatted about whatever. It was so low key and chill and it was exactly what I wanted. I don’t know if it could have been the same vibe if more people attended.


Rayshell and Paul had to leave around 10 but Sarah and I stuck around until about 11. It was the perfect hangout with friends.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to drive home. And yes, I did stay up until midnight so I could enjoy the first minutes of my actual birthday.

And there were fun things ahead for me on my birthday and I’ll share that with you all tomorrow!

Blowouts, The Book Of Mormon, and Buddakan (or The End Of Day 2)

FTC Disclosure: I was giving a complimentary blowout in exchange for my review. All opinions are of my own and were not influenced by the free service.

After checking out the Empire State Building, Krystle and I got back on our hop on hop off bus. Our plan was to take the rest of the loop back to our hotel, then take the subway one stop so we could get to Drybar for our 5pm blowout appointments. I had mentioned to Drybar before the trip that I was going to be in NYC with my sister-in-law and they offered to treat me to a blowout while I was there. Of course I also booked an appointment for Krystle so we could have a fun beauty adventure.

It seemed like the perfect plan. Until it the bus seemed to be taking forever to make the loop. We finally ended getting off the bus with only 15 minutes to make it across town. We weren’t near a subway so we tried to hail a cab. Only we didn’t realize that it is very difficult to catch a cab between 3-5pm because that is when the shift change happens. We got turned down by several cabs and I started to panic that we were going to miss our appointments. I called Drybar to let them know that we were running late, and finally we caught a cab.

We made it to the Parker Meridien hotel about 10 minutes late. Before the appointment, I was a little worried about how my sister-in-law would like going to Drybar. My first experience with them (on my birthday) wasn’t the best. But I was trying to go into this with an open mind.

As soon as we walked in, we were both very happy. The place was gorgeous and as soon as we walked in, we were offered our choice of coffee, tea, water, or champagne (we both chose champagne).


I was very happy to be offered a drink as soon as we walked in. That wasn’t not what happened at my last experience at the Drybar in Marina Del Rey (I was actually never offered a drink that time).

Krystle and I took a quick before picture. Our hair was totally windblown after being on top of the Empire State Building.


We were taking back to have our hair washed. The warm water was so nice after being so cold on the bus. And the scalp massage was heaven. We got to sit in chairs next to each other, but we didn’t chat too much during the blowout because it was a bit loud with all the blowdryers.


I chose the Straight Up hairstyle, which is a straight style with body at the ends. I can’t remember what Krystle chose, but it was a style with curls. We looked pretty amazing afterwards.


It was so perfect that we got blowouts that day because we had an exciting evening planned that night. We started by going to “The Book Of Mormon”. We had seats in the very last row in the theater, but we were very centered.


The show was great and Krystle enjoyed it as well. After the show, we got a cab and went down to Chelsea for dinner at Buddakan. My quick review of the restaurant was that the food was amazing, but the service was awful. Even though we had a reservation, we still waited over 25 minutes for our table. But if you go, I highly recommend the appetizer sampler and the mushroom noodles.


I also recommend the Charm cocktail. It was delicious.


By the time we were done with dinner, it was after midnight. We were exhausted.

But this was such a wonderful day of the trip.

Thank you so much to Drybar for providing me with a blowout that day. And now that Krystle has experienced the blowout experience, she’s hooked on it (as am I after seeing how great the experience can be). I know that blowouts are now going to be a regular outing on the trips that Krystle and I take in the future. And I know now that the Drybar experience is not what I experienced on my birthday, I will be going more often in LA, especially when I have special events.

Happy Birthday to Me! (or Part 1)

A lot of things (and a lot of pictures) happened over my birthday, so I’m splitting this into 2 posts. This is pretty much what happened before 4pm on my birthday.

The day started off with happy birthday phone calls from various family members. One of my favorite phone calls to get is from my cousin Stephanie. Her oldest son, Dalton, sings happy birthday to me each year. It’s a tradition that I totally look forward to. This year, we FaceTimed so it was extra special.

The call started with a lovely video chat with my cousin’s youngest son, Hudson (who I will get to meet in real life for the first time at Thanksgiving).


Then a very sleepy Dalton and his sister Annabelle came to the phone to sing to me.


(I love being able to take screenshots of video chat!!!)

After those festivities, it was time for me to head over to SoulCycle for a spin class! This class was with Ben B., who taught the very first class that I went to. I actually hadn’t been to his class since that first one (he doesn’t teach with I can normally go), and it was really fun! He’s so high energy and upbeat.

When I was putting on my heart rate monitor for class, I noticed that even that was celebrating my birthday with me!


During the stretch part at the end of class, one of the front desk people came into the room with a brownie with a candle in it. The entire spin class sang happy birthday to me! It was awesome!

Something else awesome about the class was a group that was in there. Remember last week when I was talking about how “The Biggest Loser” is one of my guilty pleasure but their workouts are a bit unrealistic? Well, it turns out that some of the contestants in the upcoming season of “The Biggest Loser” were in that spin class! I didn’t see any cameras so I have no idea if they will show it on tv. But I did get to see who some of the new contestants are (and no, I didn’t see Ruben Studdard). I didn’t take any pictures of the contestants since there were production people nearby and I didn’t want to get in trouble, but as soon as the new contestants are announced, I’m excited to see who it was that I saw in class! I guess that some of the workouts that they do are realistic since it’s something that I do pretty much every week!

After spin class, I got home and saw these flowers from my parents on my doorstep.


After showering and getting dressed, I headed out to the one pampering thing I decided to do on my birthday. I got a blowout from DryBar. I had never been before, but I figured why not try it out.

It’s super nice inside. I loved the pop of yellow throughout the salon.


They have a menu of styles that you can choose from. I chose the Cosmo-Tai since it seemed pretty fun (and not something I could do on my own).


It also reminded me a bunch of this headshot of mine that I love!


The stylist I got was very nice. She and I chatted a bit and then she got to work.


While she was working on my hair, it didn’t really look at all like the style that I wanted. But I didn’t say anything because I’ve learned that you can’t judge a hairstyle by the process, you have to wait for it to be done.

Once it was done, it looked nothing like the picture in the menu. I asked her to fix it a couple of times, but I realized that it wasn’t going to be what I thought. It was a cute style, but I really wanted what I saw in the photo.


With my cute hairstyle, I headed home and started to get ready for my birthday party. But those photos will have to wait for part 2 coming tomorrow!