Tag Archives: giveaway

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” (or Another Amazing Giveaway!)

You may remember that a little over 2 years ago I had a giveaway for the book “The Wisdom Of Walt”. I loved the book and it was amazing to get to meet the author Jeff Barnes. He truly is a Disney historian and there were stories in the book that I didn’t know before. And as a huge Disneyland geek, I love when I get to learn new things about the park I love so much!

“The Wisdom Of Walt” was all about leadership lessons that we could learn from Walt Disney and the story of Disneyland. While I don’t read a lot of leadership books, there were lessons I learned that I could totally apply to my life and I felt like it was such valuable reading for anyone. And I was so happy to see that many of my friends read it and found it just as great.

So when Jeff Barnes mentioned that he was writing another book, I couldn’t wait to read it! And he offered to send me a copy before it was released to check out. And I have to say that “Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” might be even more incredible than the first book!

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” is all about life lessons from Walt Disney and the Disney story. I love self-help and self-improvement books and this fit in perfectly with what I like to read. Each chapter had a very easy to read format and the lessons were clear and easy to understand (unlike some self-help books that almost make you hunt to learn what the chapter was about).

And each chapter had a lesson that really hit home for me. Some of the lessons were choosing to change, having to hustle, overcoming obstacles, and communicating clearly. These lessons are so relevant to multiple aspects of my life. I expected to find lessons that fit with my acting career, blogging, and my personal life. But there were lessons that connected with me with my work toward recovery from my eating disorder and I didn’t expect that at all!

I love when a book connects with me and speaks so clearly to me and that’s exactly what “Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” did for me. I know that this is a book that I can read multiple times and get new lessons and experiences each time. It takes a special book to be able to create that and I feel so lucky that I have a book that I know will be something that I will continue to learn from.

And while it was awesome to learn more lessons about Walt Disney and the various Disney parks, it’s not necessarily a Disney book. You don’t have to be a Disney fan to love this book, although being a Disney fan may bring a little something extra to reading it. But learning lessons about creating something you are passionate about, dealing with setbacks, and being your own motivation is something that anyone can learn from no matter what.

“Beyond The Wisdom Of Walt” was released this week and you can get the book on Amazon, and I really do recommend doing it. You can also order an autographed copy from Jeff’s website. But you also have a chance to win an autographed copy here! Jeff has not only given me a copy to read, but he is going to give one of you a signed copy! You can enter below and there are multiple ways to earn entries. And you can tweet about it every day through Rafflecopter to earn extra entries!

The giveaway ends on the 11th and the winner will be chosen from random.org. I will be contacting the winner via email and Jeff will be sending your book directly to you.

Good luck to everyone and even if you don’t win I highly recommend checking out this incredible book! Everyone will gain some amazing insights from reading it and I know that I am a better person for learning the lessons that Jeff put in the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

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!

Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera (or An Awesome Giveaway!)

Today’s post includes an awesome giveaway and I’m so excited to share this with you all! It’s seriously a super awesome prize and I think a lot of you will be entering this!

The other day, I was invited to check out my friend Erin’s movie “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera”. They are getting ready to launch a screening tour and they started in LA this week. Erin has been working on this rock opera for a bit and I couldn’t wait to check it out (you can check out the trailer for it here).

OUAT: The Rock Opera actually started as a parody video of the ABC show “Once Upon A Time” that Erin made called “Once Upon A Anonymous”. That then turned into an award-winning web series. After doing the web series, Erin decided to take things up a notch and create a rock opera that has 7 original songs in it!

I’ve seen an episode or two of “Once Upon A Time”, but I’m not super familiar with the show. So I was a bit worried going into the screening that I wouldn’t get it too much. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t the case!

OUAT Rock Opera

All you really need to know about the story is that the characters are all fairy tale characters (Snow White, Hook, Tinkerbell, Cruella DeVil, Ariel, Ursula, and others) and they are in the mythical town of Storybrooke, Maine. The story of the rock opera was pretty self-contained so I didn’t need to know the plot points from the TV show to get it. I’m sure I missed some jokes because they were about the show, but I still was laughing a lot during the movie. The songs were super awesome and covered a bunch of musical genres. And while I’ve seen a lot of films my friends have made, I think this was the most professional looking film I’ve seen by a friend! It looked just like something a studio would have created and it had some really fun special effects.

And of course, the actors were all amazing!

With Erin and Ace

Erin plays Emma Swan, the lead in the movie, and she looks just like the actress who plays the character in the TV show. And her husband, Ace (you might recognize him from playing Aladdin at Disneyland), plays Hook. I didn’t know most of the other actors in the movie, but I really enjoyed watching them all. They all played the characters exactly how I would want them to and they all had awesome singing voices! You can buy the soundtrack for the movie if you’d like so you can check it out!

They’ve already done other screenings that typically sell out plus they’ve had a big live performance at San Diego Comic-Con! The fanbase for this rock opera is big and I think that people who are fans of the ABC show have to see this and non-fans need to see this just because it’s awesome!

With their new screening tour starting up soon (tickets are on sale for some locations now!), Erin and the entire team behind OUAT: The Rock Opera wanted to give away an amazing prize to all of my readers! They are letting me give away 2 VIP tickets to any of their screenings on the current screening tour (but you would be responsible for any travel costs to get to the screening if you need to travel to it) plus a digital download of the full movie! This is such an awesome giveaway and I’m so grateful that Erin and the team are letting me give this away to one of you! All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below and a random winner will be selected after the contest ends at midnight on April 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are a lot of opportunities to enter and you can enter every day with the tweet about the giveaway option! The giveaway will run through midnight on the 15th and I will email the winner that they won (you’ll have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is chosen). You will have a chance to say which location you want screening tickets for (don’t worry, what you put as a comment doesn’t have to be where you really want them) and Erin and the OUAT: The Rock Opera team will coordinate with you to get you your tickets and digital download.

If you don’t win, you will still be able to buy tickets for their screenings,  buy the soundtrack for the movie, and starting on April 1st you can buy the digital download of the movie.

Good luck with entering and I can’t wait for you all to get to experience the Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera yourselves!

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.

Food Should Taste Good (or Time For Another Giveaway!)

About a week ago, I got an email from Food Should Taste Good. They wanted to send me some chips to try. I hadn’t really heard of this company before, but one of my co-workers is in love with their sweet potato chips, so I figured I should check them out!

On Friday, I got home from the 5K to see this box waiting for me on my doorstep.

DSCN0110

And opened it up to see that I got my samples!

DSCN0111

I wasn’t going to eat these right after the race, so I saved them for later in the weekend.

I finally got a chance to try them out on Sunday (yes, the chips were my breakfast). I got 4 different types in my sample box.

DSCN0112

All of the Food Should Taste Good chips are gluten-free, low sodium, and don’t have artificial ingredients. Yes, they are still a treat, but these are a much better option than most of the other chips out there.

I made myself a little sample plate and tried all the chips without any dips so I could enjoy them plain first.

DSCN0113

I tried the multi-grain tortilla chip first. I really enjoyed these! I love chips that have flax seeds in them, and these have them! They are nice and nutty and would be perfect to serve with guacamole or feta dip (I need to make that soon so I can post the recipe on here!).

Next I tried the olive chips. These have green, black, and kalamata olives in them. They reminded me of olive tapenade. These are so delicious plain, but since I’m a total olive lover, I’d probably add some tapenade on them just to make them more olivey.

Next in the tasting were the sweet potato tortilla chips. These are the ones that my co-worker is obsessed with, and I can totally see why! They are a really nice mix of sweet and salty. They do taste like sweet potatoes and that is a major plus for me. I’m not sure if I’d try to use them with a dip because the flavor is so yummy, but I might test some out later.

And finally, I had the sweet potato kettle chips. I love kettle chips! I was a little worried about trying these because of the sweetness of the tortilla chips, but was pleasantly surprised that these had much more of a salty flavor, as I believe kettle chips should have.

The other thing I loved about these chips was they aren’t too horrible calorie-wise. I entered my sample plate into my phone, and was happy to see that I didn’t bust my calories for the day.

IMG_1929

Now for the fun part for all you readers! Food Should Taste Good has given me another sample box that I can giveaway to one of you! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment with which flavor of chips you want to try (all the flavors can be found on the website).

You have until the end of the day on June 11th to enter. I will be picking a winner using random.org. One entry per email address please.

Good luck! I hope whoever wins the sample box loves the chips as much as I did!

UPDATE: Congrats to my winner, Kate! Expect a box from Food Should Taste Good soon!

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 8.09.47 PM

FTC Disclosure: I was given a sample box from Food Should Taste Good to review for this post. Food Should Taste Good is also providing me with a box to give to a reader. All opinions in this post are my own and were not influenced by Food Should Taste Good.

200 Posts! (or My 1st Giveaway!)

I can’t believe I made it to 200 posts! That’s so amazing! And thank you everyone who has read at least some of those 200 posts!

And to celebrate, I have something for you. A while ago, I ordered a DVD of one of my favorite TV shows. It got lost in the mail, I had a new one sent to me, and then weeks later the original one showed up on my door. I asked the company if they wanted me to send it back, but they told me to keep it.

And I’ve decided to pass on that DVD to you!

_1354502381

It’s season 3 of “Cougar Town”, which in my opinion is one of the funniest shows on tv right now. If you haven’t seen the show before, you should totally check it out. Here’s the extended preview of the 3rd season which aired last year.

So, what do you have to do to win this DVD? It’s really easy. All you have to do is comment on this blog post with either your favorite “Cougar Town” episode or if you’ve never seen the show, your favorite TV show. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win (it stays hidden and only I can see it). You have until midnight April 25th to enter. And on April 26th, I’ll be announcing the winner (which I will choose by using random.org). That’s it! (US residents only.)

This contest is being paid by me. I was not paid or sponsored to do this. I just wanted to share something with a reader, because you guys keep me going on this blog. I’d probably still write a little if nobody read it, but to do this 5 days a week for 200 posts is a lot!

So thank you for being on the journey I’ve gone on for the last 200 posts! And here’s to the next 200!

Update: Congrats to Erin who won the DVD!!

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 8.29.09 AM