Friday, December 16, 2011

WEverb11: Day Fifteen!

Today's prompt is: What event of 2011 affected you in an unexpected way?

My answer for this one is easy: Dan's new casting job.

I know I've mentioned his new job here before, but I can't really stress enough how much Dan getting this job was a major life event for us. It has changed our lives in so many ways, both expected and unexpected.

When he got the call that he had been hired, we both started jumping up and down and teared up. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. This was such a victory for him. And it continues to be so.

He no longer has to work at demeaning jobs, like serving ungrateful tourists at T.G.I. Friday's. He no longer has to juggle more than one job all the time. We no longer have to fret about what god-awful things would happen if one of us were to become ill with no health insurance. He no longer dreads going to work, now that he loves his job and feels like he's accomplishing something meaningful. He no longer feels constantly disrespected by his superiors or like he's going to get fired at any minute, and he no longer comes home from work in a shitty mood because of what's going on with his job (or lack thereof).

For all of these reasons and more, I'm so proud of him and what he's accomplished this year. But these were the expected "side effects."

What we (or at least I) didn't really know to expect were the extraordinarily long hours he would be putting in there. Or how different it would be to have him working a normal weekday schedule. Or how much adjustment there would be in our marriage from this career shift of his. It's been a really bumpy road the past few months, but I'm happy to say that I think we've finally got most of it worked out and things are getting much smoother 'round these parts.

And while I wouldn't say that I've loved the rocky journey of the past few months, I am still so proud of him and of our marriage for weathering this little storm.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WEverb11: Day Four!

Today's challenge was to sum up 2011 with a haiku. Now, as an amateur haiku enthusiast, I could write haikus about 2011 all day. But the one I chose to best sum up the year is:

Central Casting and
Betty's Summer Vacation.
What an epic year.

How would you sum up 2011 in a haiku?

P.S. Yes, I've decided to pick and choose which prompts to write along with. Because...I'm lazy. And I just took a five-hour workshop on Saturday all about reflecting on 2011 and gearing up for 2012, so I'm only going to get invested in the prompts that really intrigue me. Sooooo sue me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beginning WEverb 2011: Words for 2011 & 2012

Although I didn't participate in the month-long Reverb10 daily writing prompts, I loved reading everyone else's posts reflecting on their lives and hoping for their futures. My friend Kim has organized this year's "WEverb11" and since my blogging has been a little...umm...stagnant...over on my little ol' personal blog as of late, I thought this would be just the push I need to do a little writing! And I'm always a sucker for personal reflection and goal setting :)

So today's prompt is:
Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

My word for 2011 is PROGRESS

This year has been an absolutely astounding one in our professional lives. Both Dan and I have made enormous steps towards our career aspirations, and after how hard we've busted our asses in this city since we've been here, that's no small thing to say.

Dan landed his first full-time casting gig four months ago, complete with awesome benefits and paid time off (which we will soon be taking advantage of for our New Years cruise to the Bahamas!). I worked on my first Equity show, which made me eligible to join the union; launched my showbiz blog called The Green Room Blog; and went on the first audition that my agent got for me. Suffice it to say, this year was huge for us.

I'm hoping that as 2012 draws to a close, my word will be BALANCE.

Although this year has been amazing for us in many ways, it's also been a bit of a struggle in some ways, too. We've spent a lot of time apart because we've been enjoying such career success, and we've transitioned from having weird, sporadic, any-hours survival jobs to Dan being a regular 9-5'er (okay, 9-9'er...) and me running my own businesses. Like...we get weekends together? What are we supposed to do on Friday nights that isn't work? You mean, we have to be up at the same time every day? 

The latter half of this year has been a little tough on things like the general cleanliness of the corner behind the couch and, oh, our relationship. We still love each other like mad, of course. And the dishes usually don't pile up too high. But next year, I'd like to place more emphasis on being successful in our careers AND working our way back to the relationship/household/general life contentedness that we felt in 2010.

Overall, 2011 was a fantastic year. Really, 2011, you've been swell. But there's always room to tweak things here and there :)

If you'd like to join in on the daily writing prompts, click on over to WEverb11 and join us! Or follow along on twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Holiday Cards 2011 Style

Just like last year, we ordered our holiday cards from Shutterfly. I love how many different options they have, and how easy it is to find a card that suits every family's personality. I also love how affordable they are!

This is the design we chose this year, because it's both festive and simple, allowing our slightly complex photo to really shine:

I also ordered an 8x10 print of our chosen Christmas picture for my father-in-law, who specifically requested a large photograph of us for his office this year. I hear Shutterfly also does a mean photo book, too, but I can't speak to that myself, as I have yet to try theirs. Maybe next year?

I'm super excited to get our Christmas cards in the mail so I can get them out to family and friends. I might be even more excited for all of the 'Bee cards that will be trickling in this month, too! :)

*Disclaimer: Shutterfly is currently offering 50 free holiday cards to bloggers who write a post about their holiday products, so I am being compensated for this little dose of holiday stationery cheer.*

Friday, October 14, 2011

Merde Il Pleut

Inspired both by today's disgustingly wet weather and by a hilarious umbrella that I can neither afford, nor fold small enough to fit inside my purse, I decided to try my hand at a new skill this afternoon -- umbrella painting!

For those of you who don't speak French, the translation is: "Shit it's raining!"

I think it came out pretty great, considering how difficult it was to freehand paint nice, even block letters without being able to rest my wrist on anything solid. And the whole project cost me all of ten bucks. And now I have an umbrella with way more personality than the boring black one I bought on the corner one day when I was caught outside in a downpour completely unprepared.

This project can be completed in six simple steps:

1.  Buy an umbrella in a fun color and scour your neighborhood for a complementary shade of fabric paint.
2. Dig out a paintbrush and chalk from your unnecessarily vast supply of crafting tools.
3. Use the chalk to draw guide lines for your design.
4. VERY slowly and carefully paint over the chalk.
5. The next day when the paint is completely dry, flip the umbrella over and cover the reverse side of your design with a towel. Iron over the towel on a low heat setting, being careful not to singe your umbrella. This sets your design!
6. Show off your profanity-covered rain gear :)

What rainy day crafts have you been inspired to do lately?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catching You All Up

So it's been an awkwardly long time since I posted here on my little ol' personal blog. I continue to attribute that to the joy I'm finding in being both Editor-In-Chief and a Blogger over at The Green Room Blog. If you ever want to read some really inspiring posts by artists trying to make their way in the showbiz industry, you have to check it out.

But enough about that, over here it's all about me. Hah! Things have been going really well lately. I'm just coming off of working on a fabulous show this summer, where I got my Equity card (a big deal for you non-actor civilians); Dan just got hired as an assistant at a busy NYC casting office (can I get a "woo hoo" for health insurance?!?), and we celebrated our second wedding anniversary just last night. So yeah, other than the super long hours that Dan is working, I have no complaints. I mean, I'd love to book another acting job ASAP, but that will come. I'm not worried.

And although I'm always sad about summer ending (god, I hate winter), I am excited about heading into the holiday season, which really begins for us with our October anniversary, I suppose. Next up: pumpkin picking and choosing a Halloween costume :)

So now you're caught up on all the big changes in our lives of late. I hope you forgive my absence. I do want to leave you with a gem of a picture from my show this summer, just because the costume is so out of character for me:

Yes, those were actual S.W.A.T. team uniforms. The costume shop had to take mine in from every possible direction. I guess they're not used to small people being on S.W.A.T teams, huh? :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Never Too Late To Get Where You're Going

Saw this sign in the subway a few days ago and was totally inspired:

Totally believe it. Take one step, however small, confidently in the direction of your dreams today, folks.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Might Be A Manhattanite If... [Part III]

Check out Part I and Part II of this series :)

1. You think getting some fresh air means going to Central Park.
2. Your definition of a large dog includes cocker spaniels.
3. Being able to easily wash your laundry is never something to be taken for granted.
4. You scoff at the tourists who flock to see spots like The Empire State Building, but yet you always crane your neck to catch a glimpse of what color the lights are tonight.
5. If you don't hear a fire engine or police siren for too long, you start to worry that something's happened.

P.S. Thank you all so much for clicking on over to check out The Green Room Blog this week! We've broken traffic records -- who knew you guys loved me so much? :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Highline NYC

Hello, dear readers! It's been awhile, I know. And I sincerely apologize for neglecting you. I've just been so busy being both a blogger and Editor-in-Chief over at The Green Room Blog, that all of my blog energy has been used up there. But though it's hard work launching and nurturing a new blog, we have such incredible bloggers and readers that it's already growing into a very special community. If you haven't already, go check it out! I'll wait here, don't worry.

Dan and I have both been so busy over the past few weeks, that we haven't had much time to do anything together. I've been auditioning and rehearsing like crazy (plus spent the past long weekend at Disney World with my family!), and he's been working one job while training for another and casting a movie -- hooray!

We did find some time together last week to enjoy a lovely little spurt of spring weather and check out The Highline park for the first time. It was just as fun as I'd imagined, and the perfect place to enjoy some sunshine and a light breeze. We loved all of the art installations that they had to check out, too. I can't wait until the food carts are added this summer -- the only thing missing was some fro yo to devour while strolling!

I was also so inspired by the power of a few friends with a dream and a great work ethic. It's hard to believe such a cool park could come from nothing within a few short years. Way to go, guys. The Highline is definitely one of my new favorite NYC spots.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Union Square Greenmarket

Question: What is the best way to cure the ohmygodwhythehellisn'titspringyet blues?

Answer: Pretty things at the Union Square Greenmarket!

Shopping at this outdoor farmers' market has become one of my new favorite mornings out in the past year or so. There is everything your heart could desire -- fresh breads, pastries, vegetables with the dirt still on 'em, cheeses, plants, cut flowers, fresh meat -- you name it!

I've always been a sucker for the produce (hello, spaghetti squash that they don't sell in my grocery store!) and pastries (I think you all know about my pastry obsession by now), but today my name was called by none other than my favorite flower: ranunculus.

You see, last year was our first summer with a balcony, and I made a plan to try my hand at container gardening. But I only really followed through half-heartedly with some pretty generic potted flowers and a bit of climbing ivy (which is doing very well, I might add). It wasn't all that motivating to shop for gardening supplies at our local teeny tiny home depot gardening section, and I was a little too insecure in my gardening knowledge to attempt shopping in the flower district.

But ohhhhh, was I lured in by the table overflowing with ruffly ranunculus goodness today. I bought two pots of them to start with, because I'm terrified of killing them. Plus, I was inspired to buy two little potted herbs -- basil and thyme, my most frequently used in the kitchen -- to nurture indoors until it gets just a little warmer and I can move them outside. I'm looking forward to buying some lavender, too, at some point, to see if I can overwhelm the city smell and make our balcony's scent a relaxing one!

Then, of course, we had to wrap things up by buying some pastries...Dan couldn't resist a "breakfast" cookie, and I got an enormous apple turnover. We enjoyed ourselves so much and were so tempted by so many delicious and healthy-looking foods, that I resolved to try spending our entire bi-weekly grocery budget at the market at least once this summer, just to see how well I can feed us with all fresh goods on the same money we usually spend at the grocery store. Because I cook so much from scratch, I think we spend a remarkably small amount on food as it is, so it'll be a challenge. But I think we're up to it.

At any rate, wandering around the market together is something we really love to do as a couple. And that's worth a lot by itself.

Do you shop at farmers' markets? What is your favorite buy there?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Bejeweled Penis

Yesterday, as I was in one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall Garment District trim stores, pawing through piles of beaded embellishments to find the perfect piece to use for my latest Redheaded Actress Etsy Shop custom order, I stumbled across what can only be described as a bejeweled penis:

I mean, I'm not just being dirty, right? That can't be anything other than a penis shape, can it? And if it can't be anything else, then what possible use could one have for a bejeweled penis embellishment?? Wait...don't answer that.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm all about taking groceries home on the subway, but...

Call me a germophobe, but I wouldn't eat that broccoli sitting sans protective bag inside the granny cart caked in grime...


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have you ever seen a dog with a faux hawk? have now!!

What is the strangest hairstyle you've ever seen on a dog before? Or is this another "only in New York" kinda thing??

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Following the Yellow Brick Road...

...has brought me from being this girl at 12 years old:

To being this woman at 24:

This weekend, I get to perform at the Gershwin theatre for 1600 girl scouts and get another teeny tiny taste of what it's like to work on Broadway. I've found that every time I do the Wicked workshop that I'm a part of, it gets harder and harder to walk away from that world and go back to being on the other side of a Broadway stage. It's wonderful, though, to get a little kick in the ass and remind me what I'm working so hard for.

This is my dream and I will get there.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 Twitter Retrospective

So it's a new year, huh, folks? Funny how fast that happened, isn't it?

I get very contemplative and analytical around this time every year, much like many people do. And I've always thought that keeping one of those "one line a day, every day of the year" kind of journals would be so cool and manageable (and perfect to read on December 31st!), yet I've never been able to get one going.

But then I realized, "hey, I do kinda keep a one or two line a day public journal -- Twitter!" So I spent some time combing through the good ol' archives from 2010 and picked a few of the tweets from each month that best encapsulated my experiences to bring to you: The 2010 Twitter Retrospective!


14 - Gah, I cry every time I write a wedding recap, watch the wedding video, or listen to music from our ceremony. I am suuuch a sap.

27 - Very proud that my little fledgling businesses have inspired one of my friends to create his own -- stick it to the man, my friends!

30 - Just rocked The Gershwin. Hope it's not the last time The Gershwin and I meet.


15 - Spending the afternoon crafting up a storm and re-vamping monologues, while surrounded by snoozing puppies. This is the good life.

17 - Hey fellow actors -- it does absolutely NO good to be cold, snarky, or standoffish in the waiting room. We're all in this together, yo.

24 - Welcoming my husband's fledgling NYC casting agency, @, to Twitter!