Tag Archives: free

Continuing The Birthday Fun (or Pie and Makeup)

Even though my birthday had ended, I wasn’t ready to end the celebrating quite yet. I had a couple of other birthday deals I wanted to take advantage of, so I did some of them on Monday (my day off from the day job).

First on the birthday agenda was Marie Callendars for birthday pie. This has been a tradition for a while because they send you a coupon for $5 off an entree plus a free slice of pie. So I went with my friend Emily to the location that we like the most.

I hadn’t seen Emily in a while. Our schedules just haven’t been matching up and we haven’t been attending the same events lately. So it was awesome to get to see her and hear about all the adventures she’s been on lately. She’s got a new gig as a writer for the LA Kings (she’s a super fan) so that was really fun to hear about.

Emily and I both got some yummy food, but we were both saving plenty of room for the pie!

Birthday Pie

We got the chocolate satin pie (which we get every time) and the lemon cream cheese pie. They were both delicious but I was so full after eating!

I had something that I had to attend that evening in the same area as where we got lunch, so I decided to try to stick around there for the afternoon instead of going home. I went through my birthday deals that I had left, and decided to go over to Sephora for my free birthday gift!

I also picked up a few other things while I was there (I had a few things I needed but hadn’t had a chance to go to a Sephora location recently), but I was most excited for the freebie!

Birthday Sephora Gift

I don’t usually wear lipstick because I’m a lip balm addict (I use Natural Ice as my balm of choice), and if I wear lipstick I can’t put on more lip balm. But I’ve also been saying that I’d love to have a great red lipstick to wear for special occasions. So this freebie was perfect! I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet, but I’m sure I will soon. I’m not very good about putting on makeup, but I think that I can do lipstick ok (unlike eyeliner).

After my Sephora run, I had to get to my evening event so I wasn’t able to do any more of the birthday deals on my list. I don’t think I’m going to do them all this year. But there are maybe 1 or 2 more that I know that I want to take advantage of before the month (and the deals are over).

I know I’ve said this every year, but I love how I can just extend my birthday to be the entire month!

Birthday Twin Dinner (or Zero Dollar Bill)

As I have done for the past couple of birthdays, I joined my birthday twin Joanna at Truxton’s for our completely free birthday meal. We actually did our birthday dinner before our birthdays this year. It worked out well with our schedules, so we went for it.

Truxtons

Usually, the birthday promo is good for one free entrée and one free dessert per person. You don’t have to order anything outside of the free food to get the deal (which is unique and what makes it my favorite birthday deal), so Joanna and I have always gotten an entrée and dessert each and ended up with a zero dollar bill. But this year, they changed their promo. This time you would get $20 of free food per person. This could include entrees, desserts, appetizers, or even drinks. And there was no minimum purchase so we knew that a 100% free bill was possible still. So between the two of us, we had $40 to spend and endless options from the menu.

I had thought long and hard about what I was going to order before going to Truxton’s, but I was still undecided because I wanted to make sure that Joanna and I got a 100% free meal. We had to figure out how much we could each spend on each part of the meal. We did some calculations and figured out exactly what we would have after we figured out the appetizer and dessert we were going to split (yes, those had to be figured out first). And since my entrée was cheaper than what I was able to “spend”, Joanna got some of my extra money for her entrée. I was actually very happy with our food choices. Normally we get the 2 free desserts, but we never need both. But to be able to get an appetizer made me pretty happy.

As always the food was fabulous. We got monkey bread as our appetizer, I got the chicken dinner that I had last year as my entrée, and we got the apple tart for dessert (which we’ve actually never gotten before over the years).

Free Monkey Bread Free Entrees Free Dessert

We had a bit of a snafu when we got our bill at first. It showed that we had a bill for a couple of dollars. After figuring out that we were charged for one incorrect entrée, we got a new bill which showed that we have continued our tradition of a zero dollar bill at Truxton’s. Even though our bill was nothing, we still like to leave a big tip. The waitress we had this year was actually the same waitress that we had last year, and she remembered us as the 100% free birthday girls. The tip that we ended up leaving equal about 50% of what the bill would have been, so I think that’s pretty good.

Zero Dollar Bill

Joanna and I joked about how we need to figure out how to make this work and include drinks as part of our free $40 and Truxton’s money. It may involve not getting much food, but free drinks sounds pretty awesome. We’ve got an entire year before we have our free birthday meal again, and I’m sure will have it figured out by then. Then again, Truxton’s may change their birthday club within the next year and then we’ll have to figure it out all over again.

This was the perfect way to kick off my birthday celebrations (as always there were multiple celebrations). And tomorrow I will share with you all the fun that I had on my actual birthday!

A New Challenge (or Who Wants To Come Workout With Me?)

A new challenge at Orangetheory was just announced! And again, I’m going to do it!

This one is to get a free pair of Nike IDs (and who doesn’t want to get some free workout shoes?)! There are a lot of rules to this challenge, but I’m going to make a checklist for myself so I make sure that I complete all the tasks.

The first part of the challenge is to go to 15 workouts between November 17th and December 17th. If I had all my regular workouts each week, that still wouldn’t be enough. Plus, one workout the week of Thanksgiving is going to be at a different location. So in order to complete this task, I know I’ll have to add a 4th workout a few times. I’m looking at maybe adding a few Saturdays in there, but again, I’m going to make a checklist so I can make sure that I get all 15 workouts in there.

Then I also have to post 7 photos on Instagram. That actually shouldn’t be a problem. When I was working out during my personal 8 week challenge, part of my deal with Orangetheory was to post a photo on Instagram after every class I attended. This time, there are rules and themes to each photo, but I’ve looked at the list and they shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, I think it will be pretty fun!

The 3rd rule of the challenge is to complete 2 Monday Challenges. This will be the easiest thing for me to do. With the exception of the first week of Monday Challenges (where the instructor forgot to mentioned the Challenge), I’ve done the challenges every week. And I have no intention of stopping!

The final rule is something that I need help with. I must have 3 friends come with me to class over the 30 day challenge. So far, I’ve had a bunch of friends say that they want to go, but it’s hard to get people to commit to a certain date. And even though not all 3 guests have to come to the same workout, I need those 3 guests to be there before December 17th.

So I’m putting it out there that I would love some blog readers to come work out with me between November 17th and December 17th. I would love the support and I need it in order to win free shoes!

So who’s with me?

Girls Shopping Day Out (or Spending Free Money)

A few weeks ago I got an awesome email from Women In Film. They were going to do a Girls Day Out shopping event. This was going to be held at the South Coast Plaza in Orange County, which is about 45 minutes away from my house.

Usually, these types of events are only open to members of Women In Film who have a higher level of membership than I do. But this time, it was open to everyone!

I RSVPed, and even though I was initially on the wait list, I got off the wait list and officially invited to the event!

I was allowed to bring someone with me, and I had to ask my friend Emily to come with me. She’s a great shopper and I knew that she would love this event!

I got there a little late (I had an appointment that morning and I knew Emily would be a little late too because she had church) and so the VIP suite that we had use of was a little crowded. So I waited outside the room for Emily to get there.

But I did get my amazing gift bags!

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One gift bag was from sugarfina and had some gummy candies in it. The other gift bag was the mall gift bag. It had a map of the mall, the dining options, the schedule of stores that were doing special things for WIF members, and a $100 gift certificate to use at any store in the mall!

Emily arrived shortly after me and we stopped at each store that had special things for WIF members. One store had a bag with a catalog and a perfume sample, another one said it was a typo on the list and they only had a gift with a purchase, and finally there was a store where you could enter to win free UGGs.

A lot of the stores were stores that are very fancy. I joked that the mall was like an inside Rodeo drive.

After doing our laps around the stores, we decided to get some lunch. There was some free food at the VIP room, but since it was so crowded we decided to just go somewhere and pay. We had a nice quick lunch and before I knew it, I had to get back to LA.

I didn’t spend my free $100, but when I looked at the gift certificate it said that it doesn’t expire! So when my money situation is a bit more steady, I’m definitely going there to go shopping!

Even though I only got to spend a little bit of time there, it was a really awesome time! And after I left, Emily used her free $100 to go and get some awesome shoes! I which I could have stayed longer, but I had a very exciting evening planned.

And on a silly note, on the drive home, my car reached a milestone!

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Guess I need to take my car in to be inspected soon!

General Meeting (or Hanging Out With A Casting Director For Free)

This week, I had a general meeting with a casting director.

For those of you who aren’t actors, a general meeting is when a casting director takes some time to meet with you even though they might not be casting something in particular then. They get to know you a little and sometimes you read a scene from an old script.

While this sounds like a great concept and it used to happen more often, sadly this is a rarity for actors to find these days. More often you will have to pay to meet a casting director.

Paying to meet a casting director is technically illegal, but they still happen. They are called workshops and companies promote them by saying that this particular casting director is coming in because they have to cast a certain role.

And to meet them, you have to pay a fee (and in turn the casting director who attends gets paid to be there).

I’ve always found this to be a bit sketchy. If the casting director’s job is to find talent to fill a role, why do we have to pay to be considered? And being at a workshop is not an audition for a particular role. It’s more like an audition to get an audition.

For non-acting jobs, it would be like paying to apply for a job posting that you found. Not paying a monthly (or yearly) fee for a site and you can apply to all the jobs you want. But paying $20-80 (that’s typically what it costs for each workshop) for each resume you send out.

That’s why I find it a little ridiculous. If you disagree with me, I first ask you to check out these two webpages. And if you still disagree with me, that is your opinion and I’m not going to stop anyone from spending their money how they want to spend it. I just want to speak out for anyone who is on the fence if they should be spending their money on workshops.

Those two webpages have information from Billy DaMota. He is the biggest anti-workshop advocate in my opinion and he is always happy to tell actors about free workshops around town (sadly there are very few). He seems to be looking out for actors as much as he can.

And Billy DaMota was the casting director who did the general with me this week. He took me out to lunch (he paid but because I was going to workout right after I only had a juice) and we had a nice chat. We discussed my background and a recent audition that I did for a project that he cast. We also discussed the podcast I work for (he was a guest on it in the past) and some guests that he has in mind for us.

While I didn’t audition for him for any parts, to me this industry is about building real relationships with people. I know that if Billy sees that my agents have submitted me for a part that he agrees I’m right for, he will bring me in. He wants to see me succeed as an actor.

And while I have plenty of friends who do workshops and have said that that is the reason that they booked a particular role, for me that is not a priority for spending my money. I need to focus on paying down my debt (it’s still not as low as I’d like it to be but it’s moving in the right direction) and getting into another acting class. And while there are many casting directors who claim that they will not bring you in unless you are well-known or attend one of their workshops (I’ve had 3 casting directors tell me this in the past year), I have actually gone into all of their offices without ever having to spend a cent. While technically I have not booked anything, attending a workshop doesn’t guarantee a booking either.

Basically what I want you all to know after reading this post today is if you are an actor, you don’t have to spend money to meet casting directors if you don’t want to. And if you need any advice from a casting director, I highly recommend contacting Billy DaMota and asking him. He’s more than happy to answer questions.

At least reasonable questions. Don’t ask him if he can cast you in something. 😉

Being An Eyebrow Wax Model (or An Adventure At Queen Bee)

I’ve been going to Queen Bee for waxing for over a year now. While their prices aren’t the cheapest in town, they are reasonable.

Every so often, they have special deals. Sometimes it’s new employees who need people to work on while they are training for the job (but they are all licensed estheticians already). I’ve thought about trying one of those deals out before, but then it also makes your wax longer. Sometimes, I just need to get in and out quickly.

And sometimes, they need model to various reasons.

Recently on social media, Queen Bee mentioned that they needed some waxing models for a training video that they were working on. This isn’t something that is going to be posted publicly, but just for their own use. They needed a bunch of different types of waxing to be done in the video, and I noticed that they needed someone to come in for an eyebrow wax!

I typically go to Benefit for my eyebrow waxing, but this was an opportunity for not only a free eyebrow wax but a gift card to Queen Bee for helping out! I was totally down for that.

They needed the waxing models to come in this past Monday and since that is my day off, that worked out very well. I was able to fit it in between a doctor appointment I had in the morning and my workout class that afternoon.

Every time I come to Queen Bee, I just love how cute the place is! It so much nicer than going to a cheap nail salon for waxing.

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I checked in and waited for everyone to be ready for me. They had it all set up in one of the waxing rooms with 3 different cameras there to capture all the action.

I’m definitely not camera-shy, but it was a little weird to be in front of a camera without any makeup on and having them film an eyebrow wax. But at least I’m very used to having my eyebrows done. I’ve been getting them waxed since I was 14.

It wasn’t the quickest wax because there was a lot of talking about what they were doing, but it didn’t take forever either. Maybe about 25 minutes.

I totally forgot to get a before picture (and trust me, you don’t want to see how bad my brows were), but I did get an after one!

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Nice clean eyebrows that aren’t too skinny! Exactly what I like! I’m a little red from the waxing, but that always happens to me. That’s one of the reasons I like going to Benefit, they put makeup on your face after waxing so you can go out and do other things and not look freshly waxed.

But since I was just going to work out right after this, I didn’t care how I looked. I really think that Queen Bee did an awesome job with my wax. I still can’t believe that I was going to a cheap nail salon for years and putting up with how bad my skin got after waxing. I have totally learned that paying a little extra is worth it, especially when it comes to your skin.

Thank you Queen Bee for my eyebrow wax and I can’t wait to get to use my gift card the next time I’m in for waxing!

Continuing The Birthday Celebrations (or A Birthday Twin Adventure)

On Friday evening, I got together with my birthday twin Joanna. It had actually been a while since we had seen each other.

But besides wanting to hang out again, we had a birthday tradition to uphold!

It was time for our free birthday meal at Truxton’s!

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This might be one of my favorite birthday traditions. Joanna and I have been doing this for years, and both of us look forward to it each year.

Truxton’s really does have one of the best birthday deals around, and it would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage of it.

So when Friday came around, I was ready to have an awesome meal (I had also saved up my calories so I could afford to have a meal like that).

Since we knew that our meal was going to be free, we both ordered without looking at the prices. I got a 1/4 chicken with some garlic fries (and they were super garlicky) and Joanna got the salmon.

While we waited for our food, we spent some time just catching up on each other’s lives. Since we are both actors, we both live pretty crazy lives. We both are always changing things around like our day jobs, representation, or other things like that.

Both of us have had some changes in our lives, so it was nice to have the time to fill each other in on what’s been going on. Since right now we only have 2 annual traditions (birthday and Christmastime) and somehow we never have the time to get together, over dinner we also decided that we are going to add a fall and spring tradition hangout. Right now we only know what we are doing for fall (Disneyland), but we have some time to plan out spring.

After dinner, we ordered our free desserts. We always get this one ice cream dessert that comes with churros so we only had to decide on the second dessert. We opted for a giant freshly baked cookie.

We each had 1/2 of each dessert, and I have to say that saving my calories (and working out like crazy at Orangetheory) was totally worth this splurge. It was so yummy!

When the bill came, we had a bit of a laugh at the difference between what Joanna’s meal would have cost versus my meal.

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Thank goodness it was all free! And since it was free, we were able to leave a nice tip (we left $30).

All in all, it was an awesome evening out. Not only was it a free meal, it was a meal with a good friend who I don’t see nearly often enough!

I’ve still got a few more birthday deals that I’m planning on taking advantage of, but my birthday month is going to be over before I know it!

Another Birthday Outing (or Seeing My Birthday Twin)

I haven’t been taking advantage of a lot of the birthday freebies this year. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit busy. But there is one birthday freebie that is a tradition that cannot be missed.

My free entrée and dessert at Truxton’s with my birthday twin, Joanna! Joanna and I have enjoyed our $0.00 meal for the last couple of years, so this year was no exception. There is now a Truxton’s in Santa Monica (just down the street from my work), so we went there instead of the one by LAX.

As soon as we sat down, we each got out our free birthday coupon.

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The servers were actually excited that we were celebrating our birthdays and even more excited when they found out we shared a birthday (I was afraid they wouldn’t be happy to wait on a group that had a completely free meal).

Joanna and I each got a burger as our main dish (we had to save room for our desserts!).

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As always, the food was delicious! I had never had a burger in all of my previous Truxton’s adventures and I was glad that it was a good choice.

Joanna and I had actually picked out our desserts before ordering dinner (doesn’t everyone do that?). We always get this crazy banana dessert thing and then we also decided to get a cream cheese brownie.

It was pretty crazy when both desserts were brought over to us.

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We split them pretty evenly, but either of us was able to finish our half. I have to say, the brownie thing is my new favorite dessert! I know that Joanna and I will be ordering that again next year at our birthday outing.

It was seriously so great to have a nice dinner with a friend and catch up (I don’t think we’ve seen each other since Christmas). We chatted a bunch about my brother’s wedding (her brother recently got married), crazy day jobs, and just general life craziness.

Before we knew it, we had been at dinner for a few hours and needed to each head home.

Even though our bill was nothing (literally), we still left a very nice tip.

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I know that people who come in with a freebie meal or Living Social deal get a bad rap because they don’t tip enough (or at all), but I want to make sure that I go above and beyond what the tip should be when a meal is completely free.

With this being the last week of my birthday month, I’m almost out of time to use up my birthday freebies. I still have my $30 at Benihana, but I won’t get to use that one because it’s only good for weekday dinners. Oh well.

At least Joanna and I made sure to do what is one of the most important birthday tradition meals.

#140Characters (or How To See The Documentary That I Produced)

I love twitter. Honestly love it. Right now, the push notifications for my twitter app on my iPhone isn’t working and I’m getting crazy frustrated about that.

Over a year ago, a few friends and I got together and discussed how much we loved twitter and how it’s done some amazing things for people. And we decided to make a documentary about the positive power of twitter.

We worked really hard on it. We got some amazing people to share their story and we filmed a little bit of all of their lives.

And now, we are ready to share this amazing project with the world!

I’m super excited to share with all of you the first screening of “#140Characters: A Documentary About Twitter”.

(Our fabulous movie poster)

You are all welcome to attend the screening. It will be on October 30th and free tickets are available here.

If you’d like to check out our trailer, you can see that here.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone. We want to share this movie with the world.

I’m so proud of this project. I’m normally not behind the camera, but I feel so strongly about this subject that I had to be part of it.

Check out the trailer, get your free tickets (only free until Oct. 20th), and I hope that I’ll see a bunch of you there on the 30th!

 

My New Favorite Happy Hour Place (or Free Hot Dogs)

Wednesdays are nice at my job because I work “normal” work hours. I’m only there from 9-5:30. And I have a friend who has Wednesdays off, so we normally hang out after I’m done with work.

There are a bunch of good happy hour places near my job (the advantage of working in Santa Monica), but yesterday, my friend wanted to go to Bar Food because it’s down the block from her house.

She had told me about Bar Food before, but I just hadn’t checked it out yet. And I was very happy once I was there. Happy Hour prices were great, and you get a free hot dog as long as you order a drink. I wasn’t drinking, but my friend ordered a drink so I got her hot dog. And then we split an order of fries (which were $3.50).

So since I only had water, my bill for the evening was only $2! Not bad. I did check out the drink menu and there were a lot of yummy looking drinks. I just was exhausted (and haven’t gotten paid for this pay period yet), so water was just fine with me.

Another nice thing about Bar Food is the free parking that’s all around. There are so many places where free parking is impossible to find. The only downside to the free parking in the neighborhood behind the bar was it was a permit only parking area from 8am-6pm. So since I got there at 5:45, I just sat in my car until 6 when I knew it was safe for me to park there.

I’m totally going to be going back there more often! And yes, the free hot dog was pretty good!

 

*I know it might sound like I might have been paid to write this post, but I swear that this is my honest opinion of Bar Food. But if they want to pay me in free drinks for such a positive review, I wouldn’t turn it down. 😉