Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sunset Boulevard and Headshots

Today I made the trek to Hollywood from my safe little suburb up north in the valley.  I put off getting my headshots for a week because The Oscars make the streets of Los Angeles look like this...





To be honest, I was a little nervous.  Cora isn't the best baby when it comes to long car rides but today she was the coolest baby ever.  I loaded her up and headed out and I think she was happy to get out of our stuffy little dungeon of an apartment.

She likes to put on her own hats now.  She's still getting the hang of it.

We drove to Argentum on Sunset and parked at the Arclight.  She was definitely the only baby on the boulevard.  I thought it would be harder to maneuver, admittedly, I was scared.  I'm from Oklahoma, granted I haven't been there in years, but I was just nervous to be around all that bustle with my tiny baby.  I honestly think it energized her.  Here are some photos of our little walk.






So those are honest photos of Los Angeles, not a lot of glamour.  If you can't tell, it was glorious today.  The breeze was perfect and it was about 74 degrees.  Cora and I stopped for lunch at the Veggie Grill and I was such a bumbling mess I had to apologize to the cashier.  As I tried to figure out my order, it took me awhile and the line backed up...where on earth did all those new customers come from...it was 2pm!  I told him we had never left the house before and he laughed and was extremely patient and motioned to the door and told me after I completed my order someone was waiting with a highchair.  I wanted to kiss his face!  

All in all, my adventure in Hollywood with my baby was amazing.  Perhaps it's because little aliens like her are rarely seen around those parts, but I don't remember opening very many of my own doors, even at the headshot reproduction studio.  People waved, made faces and winked at her.  I now know what happens when you take a baby around a bunch of artists.  I was silly to be so scared.  

If you are wondering why I didn't post any photos of me, then I will tell you.  Tuesday is my makeup free day.  I think every woman needs one.  I'm entertaining a guest of a volatile nature by the name of Aunt Flo so my under eye circles are so bad I look like I'm suffering from anemia and anger issues.  So, to make up for it...here's a photo of me from the shoot a few weeks ago, the reason I went to Hollywood was to pick up duplicates!


In terms of family life we have had an amazing week!  I am putting together a YouTube video to share with you and I'm getting a little better at figuring out how to vlog.  I am working on the editing tonight and will shoot a bit more tomorrow and hope to have it up in the next few days. 

My blogging life is very busy.  I have accepted too many products to review so I had to make a list and hope that I hit everything in a timely manner.  I'm behind on a few things but hope to catch up through March.  I am not accepting anymore products to review until after I have finished my current list of 20 products.  I may have over extended myself.

Acting class is going amazing.  I'm lucky I found such a gracious coach.  We watched Sophie's Choice last night and I couldn't write about it and I'm still feeling emotionally wrecked by watching that movie.  

Thanks for reading and I will be posting more and more.  Watch out for my new video... I will link it on my blog soon, it will be the next entry!!! 


Friday, February 20, 2015

The Auspicious Pairing of Sophie and Dr. Seuss


Today we celebrated a milestone.  Our young Cora has sprouted her first tooth.  She is in her 13th month of life.  I have heard of many babies who have their teeth before this.  I also was beginning to feel a slight bit of stress each time I was asked if she had any teeth yet.

I spent some time searching Google and I asked my pediatrician if she would ever grow teeth.  I was afraid my child would have a toothless grin and I never thought to actually check if that is a possibility.  Then I was afraid we may end up having to do dental work that she isn't old enough to understand. 

This whole lack of teeth thing was only a concern when someone else brought it up, and then I found myself thinking it on my own and I wondered if we didn't need a Sophie.

Sophie is a giraffe teething toy I was introduced to when I spent 2 days in a class blowing bubbles and painting my child with other moms for $20.  I thought taking my daughter to a learning academy before she was even six months old was wise of me, until I realized I paid money to play with my child with someone else's toys.   I paid money for someone else to tell me how to play.

Back to the story, which by the way is not a sponsored post.  At this overpriced pay with your kid class, all the mothers were talking about Sophie the Giraffe.  The subject went from changing her name if the child in possession was a boy to the materials she's made out of.   Then they talked about gender confusion and that's when I checked, but noticed these kids loved Sophie.

Shortly after this I walked into work and my coworker, out of the blue said,

"One day you will do it.  You will buy the Sophie and all the other stuff to keep them happy."

I had never spoke of the giraffe to him.

I still didn't purchase the Sophie.

Then, some time passed, a few more people asked if she had any teeth and I finally decided to get Sophie. 

She gummed on a it a little each day these past few days, and the other night she wanted to stay up and party like a baby.  If you aren't familiar with how one year olds party, let me explain.  For awhile it's all fun and games, reading stories, playing toy, crawling around, then...something happens.  A change overcomes my little girl and she turns into a tiny tyrant.  She pushes her eyebrows together, screams and looks directly into my soul for answers to her discomfort.  This goes on for awhile until I find something to appease her for 5 minutes at a time.  I am patient and I will try everything to make her happy until she falls asleep calm. 

The other night, amidst the screaming, I picked up a book Brian's mom sent over Christmas.  It's The Tooth Book from Dr. Seuss.  I let her hold Sophie while I read to her, most of the time she hates books by the middle, smacks them away, gives me the angry eye and I quickly scramble to figure out what she needs.  This time, she let me read that book 3 times.  That happened Sunday night.  She's also been near Sophie all week and I have read her the book again.  Well, I woke up this morning to see...

She sprouted a tooth!!!

 

 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Age Defying Beauty in a tiny Bottle


Since I have started blogging I have found different companies to sponsor my blog.  Lately I have been working with InstaNatural and I adore every single brand they put out.  I know it sounds nuts but it's true.  I don't actually like everything that gets sent to me from everybody.  I only blog about the things I like.  Recently I was sent a serum by another company, not InstaNatural, but a company with a high priced drugstore line, and it was so overpowering with perfume I could imagine tiny puppies being experimented on and that just didn't jive with me.

InstaNatural is a cruelty free company.  I have no personal conflicts in promoting them and I think that's important as I find my voice amongst the army of bloggers out there.  I used to find discomfort in discussing age defying or age reversal, until I started really taking care of my skin again.  Nothing speaks louder than a before and after so let me show you what InstaNatural has done to my skin in the past few months of using it.

Before

After



That was actually one of the few before photos I could find in the same light.  Notice how rough my skin is.  Since I started using the InstaNatural line my skin has taken on a dewy youthful glow.  It isn't a heavy serum.  My skin drinks it up and there is no oily residue.  It's like a drink for my skin!

Tonight I am discussing The Age-Defying Retinol Serum.  Here are the key ingredients:
  • 2.5% Retinol
  • 20% Vitamin C
  • 10% Hyluronic Acid
  • Plant and Fruit Acids

Currently InstaNatural is one of the top Amazon skincare brands.  They sell primarily on Amazon and in high profile salons.  I love love love their products!  I feel clean after I use them.  This serum has a citrus smell and was not tested on animals.  I have always found it hard to wrap my brain around the necessity to harm an animal for my vanity.

If you would like to learn more about the company, you can find information here.

And you can purchase it here.


I received this complimentary bottle from InstaNatural through BrandBacker.  My experience, results and opinions are mine and mine alone.  I do not make it a practice to try things that do not interest me or are not in alignment with my daily life.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Thankful

Today I did an exercise on gratefulness.  I was told to think about something I am truly thankful for and write it down and explain what it means to me. 

I don't want to sound too cheesy but I am truly thankful for the family I have created.  I have a husband who encourages me and allows me to be me.  I think I waited a long time to get married because I thought it meant I had to hide me.

I came upon my truly grateful moment tonight after acting class.  It's street cleaning in the morning which means parking on one side of the road is scarce.  So, I parked far, a few blocks away.  I sat in the car and ate my late evening Wendy's and thought the walk would be a chore.  I stepped out of the car and the cool air enveloped me and I began my walk.  A slight fog has covered my town and I made my way through it, looking up and catching a glimpse of a star here and there.  As I walked past a party blasting loud music, it hit me, my husband gets me.  He gets why I need to slither around alone in the dark,  silently moving amongst the dark shadows without fear.  He gets why I need to go to class and need to maintain my goals, and he doesn't belittle me for my progress but keeps me encouraged, vibrant and alive. 

I am thankful for Brian Little.  I am thankful I found him in this life because just three years ago I was certain he didn't exist.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You be You

If you missed the Grammys, you missed a couple of interesting moments.  No, I'm not talking about the fashion designer/rapper, I'm talking about some great artists. 

First off, please take a moment to watch Sam Smith's acceptance speech.


I love the fact that he acknowledged he was making bad music until he opened up and let himself just be and the music flowed.  

Here is another moment of someone just being themselves.  Please witness the greatness of Annie Lennox.


I was struck by these two performers because they aren't trying to fit into a mold.  I feel like Sam Smith has always been around even though he just won Best New Artist, but he seems so polished and poised, I dare say he's not new at his art, rather we are new to knowing him.  

And Annie...well, she got up and she sold it.  Her voice filled the room and rooms around the country as we watched her simply sing.  No fireworks, no backup dancers, no weird costumes or surgeries, she just sang, as Annie, and she stole the show.  

These two people inspired me to not worry about me.  I spent most of my younger years wishing I could be someone else, anybody else, someone with less problems, more money, prettier, smarter, good sorority, better grades, married with babies which eventually came whether I worried or not.  I guess my point is, we are all great individuals with cool talents and I would like to see us celebrate our differences instead of trying to hide them.




Monday, February 9, 2015

Someone said you didn't deserve love.

Valentine's Day is approaching and many people want to hide under the covers and wait for it to pass.  This day really adds a heavy pressure to life if you let it.  You begin thinking there may be something wrong with you... Oh gosh, single again.  Maybe you just got out of a relationship and the pain of seeing everyone couple up and celebrate fuzzy feelings makes you want to get drunk and vomit until you see bile.  I get it.  It sucks to be alone sometimes, especially when your loneliness is magnified by a holiday.

One of my biggest pet peeves is reading posts by people on facebook that say, "you won't find love until you find yourself."  To that, I say, bullshit.  This whole life is about finding yourself and once you find your soul mate you shouldn't give up the search of knowing you.  Stick with me here, I may bend your brain for a minute. 

I believe that yes, you should be comfortable in your skin, but that shouldn't be a requirement.  If you aren't, someone can actually build you up, if that's their point in your life.  I know I knew myself pretty well but I was spinning like a top in a crazy big city and I didn't find focus and balance until my husband entered my life.  He also makes me happy, and I allow it. 

I feel like people are trying too hard to be perfect to attract that right person that we have forgotten to just be human.  We all have our faults, which I also don't think you need to wear on your sleeve right away. 

I met a guy once who told me to become what I wanted to attract.  Well, I attracted a former zookeeper and a current petroleum engineer.  I am neither of these things.  I am the opposite of him.  I am not clean and tidy, he is.  I operate in chaos, he doesn't.  I am not well read, he is.  I am street smart and he is book smart.  We are on opposite ends of the spectrum but we are both kind and we both have the same energy and can do attitude.  We have both overcome obstacles in our lives and we wear our battle scars with pride but not boastfulness.

I guess I think of relationships in the same way I have lived my life.  Be open, be willing and be forgiving of yourself and whoever crosses your path.  I hear people recant tales of horrible dates and I know I used to do that and my one regret is that I wish I hadn't. 

We are all struggling when we are single.  It's weird.  It's weird to meet someone new and have a meal with them.  It's weird to share a bed, a shower, a first laugh and a first fight.  It's weird to essentially invite a stranger into our lives.  But we do it.  Because love is fun, crazy, fulfilling and one of the most important ways we can spend our lives on this planet. 

It hurts to lose love but it's not the end of the world.  I always thought I couldn't wait to see who was in store for me.  Is it this guy?  Nope.  That guy?  No.  Then finally, it was the guy.  Unassuming and overwhelming.  Love is amazing and I hope you find it if you haven't. 

Someone said you didn't deserve love until you jumped through hoops to find yourself, don't listen.  You deserve love and can blossom as a human both before and after you find it.  We can lean on each other and build each other up. 

You can find solace in the fact that the person who played you will one day run out of other's feelings to play with.  The jig will be up and after some soul searching perhaps they will be willing to find love as well.  While we can't judge our worth by another we are allowed to want it, need it and desire it.  There is nothing wrong with feeling someone could complete you.  We all deserve love.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Smell of Art

Tonight I started my acting class, but first...baby!!!



 This is the face I wake up to every morning!

Recently I struggled with how I wanted to pursue my art.  I have been in and out of classes in Los Angeles, mostly out, because I just couldn't find a place where I felt challenged as an individual instead of lumped together into a herd and taught by a blueprint.  Blueprint teaching benefits no one, especially when it comes to acting.  

I studied with Sam Christensen awhile back but he kicks you out of the nest and you have to find another spot.  I looked at the actor mills and asked around and finally read every review available and went and met with the person I thought would be the best match for me.  All I want to say is, I found my study home!  I let my instinct guide me.  Tonight as I watched my classmates work, I noticed a smell.  This may sound weird, but smell factors into my life in a huge way.  The last time I felt truly inspired I was studying at University of Texas at Arlington, studying with Betty Buckley and performing with Our Endeavours Theatre Collective.  I remember then that there was a certain sweetness in the air.  I filed that into my olfactory box of memories as the smell of art coming alive.  Tonight, while in class, I smelled that sweet smell again, ironically while watching a scene about a girl who couldn't smell.

When I got home I shot a selfie because I wanted to share my post class glow.





And now for the sponsored part of this post...

As an actor and a mom it is extremely important to maintain health.  In order to not get sick I know I need to take care of my body.  This includes diet, exercise, sleep when I can get it and probiotics.  I stay proactive with my immune system with a product by Hyperbiotics.  


Here is a true story of what happened with this product.  I received a bottle right before Christmas and started taking it immediately.  My husband and best friend did not.  My friend started to get an itch in her throat that night and by the next morning she had the flu.  She didn't feel good and later that night my husband caught it as well.  My daughter caught a bit of it and that sucked as she was only 11 months old and you can't explain to an 11 month old that her cold will pass.  I stayed immune from the whole thing.  I didn't understand it and thought, well this is weird and remembered that I was the only one who was doing this one tiny thing different.  I was taking the Pro-Immune pills.  

Now let's cut to a more recent time.  I stopped taking them for a bit and nothing happened.  A week ago the Santa Ana winds picked up and my nose would not stop running.  I was sneezing all over the place.  I remembered the Hyperbiotics Pro-Immune System.  I took two pills and was fine the rest of the day.  It worked that fast.  It was like I had taken a Claritin but I didn't have to experience the medicine nausea that goes along with it.  Not sure if you get that but I do and I don't like it at all.

Tomorrow Cora and I start gymnastics but I'm honestly a little bit nervous.  I'm contemplating whether or not I should wait until after Wednesday when she gets her first round of measles shots.  The outbreak is so bad here and I would hate to have her suffer through measles.  I will call gymnastics and ask in the morning and let you know if we did it or not.

This post does include sponsored content.  This content was sponsored by BrandBacker and also by Hyperbiotics Pro-Immune System. The capsules were provided to me for sampling purposes but my experience with the product and opinion on it's results are my own.  I am not a medical professional, nor have I played one of TV...yet. 







Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1 and it has all just begun.

I have been absent from blogging for the past couple of weeks.  My reasons are... life happened and I just didn't have the energy to do everything and record each moment both here and on YouTube.  I would like to blame it on astrology.  I think Jupiter was up Uranus and it blocked my sun and made my chi disappear.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Last Tuesday, January 27, Cora turned 1.  My baby is a year old.  I spent most of the 26th walking down memory lane and thinking about exactly where I was at that moment, every moment of the day.  I thought about when my water broke and how weird that now, exactly one year later, I was driving down the road, completely healed.

Here is the baby eating her homemade smash cake.  That is chocolate icing, my fave and she liked it too.



Last week Brian and I also had a date night on the Malibu Pier, here is the evidence.



 Grapefruit Sorbet Dessert that was beyond delicious!


That was Sunday, the following day, outside of reliving Cora's day before birthday, I also interviewed at an acting class and found the place I want to study.  I begin class tomorrow night.  I'm very excited/terrified.  It's been awhile since I acted at all and during the interview, as I read a monologue, I cringed and stopped, stared into my new teachers eyes and said, "I can feel myself acting."

He accepted me into his class to study despite my rusty creaking of a monologue and we begin tomorrow.  I'm also getting my headshots done on Friday and will begin construction of my new website, change my IMDB name and update my bio, load my photos onto all the casting websites and begin the hunt for an agent.  

Something seems different now than it did for me before.  I did it all wrong before.  My daughter truly inspires me to be honest with myself and my emotions and to honor the good in me instead of dwelling on the bad.  I did that in my lonely existence out here before I met my husband.  

This upcoming week I also have a ton of product reviews to post, both here and on YouTube.  I still haven't figured out how to put my soft box lights together so I may just have to continue to film in low lighting until I get it together or we move into a house where I can devote a room to my vlogs!

I know I'm about to embark back on an exciting journey and I'm ready.  I hesitated many times by forcing myself into the wrong class, or trying to jump into something at the wrong time when I just wasn't ready.  I am slowly finding my balance and learning to allow myself to take pleasure in life outside of Cora even though it eats me up with guilt sometimes.  If I could, I think I would spend every waking moment with her but that wouldn't benefit either one of us.  She will one day want to have friends!  Speaking of, we are starting gymnastics this week!  It's a mommy and me class and it's more for us to begin to be social and for her to see other kids her age and learn from them.  There are some things I think she will pick up if she watches another kid do it, like walking.  I know she's able as she's taken a few steps but I don't think she wants to yet because she gets everywhere quickly by crawling.  

We also have immunizations this week, which I hate.  The measles outbreak is no joke and she's due for that shot right now so we will get it.  I also start a new workout routine at CardioBarre and I think I'm going to collapse just by thinking about my week ahead!  And yes, I am still a bartender in addition to all of the above mentions.  

I promise I will post more and I leave you with Cora dancing on her birthday!

video