Favorite Five Friday (93rd Edition)

5 Dec

Hey y’all! So, I missed last week. With work and Thanksgiving festivities, it didn’t even cross my mind until Friday had come and gone. So here’s the scoop on the last two weeks…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. Thanksgiving! I wish there was more than one day each year dedicated to reminding us of all we have to be thankful for. Trying to keep an attitude of gratitude all year long will change your life! I am working to live that. It is not always easy and I mess up. But man, I am a lot happier when I remember to be thankful. This Thanksgiving I was particularly thankful for holiday pay at work, having the money to get a new tire after I put a hole in mine while driving around Los Angeles, a helpful and understanding husband, and friends who made me food and invited me into their home to celebrate.

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2.  Last week I wrote a letter to my 16 Year Old self. How I wish she could have read it! I am grateful for all of the experiences – good and bad – that have made me who I am today, but I sure wish I could have whispered a few secrets and a little love into her ear. Writing the letter now gave me a sense of catharsis, and who knows… maybe it will speak a little love to someone else who needs it.

3.  I love traditions. I really love Christmas traditions! After Thanksgiving (thank you very much) we went and picked our tree! I grew up with a fake tree, but Dan grew up with real trees. So, we have made it our tradition to search for a lovely tree each year. (I can’t believe this is our 5th Christmas as a married couple!) This year I felt particularly drawn to some adorable, itty-bitty trees. I don’t think I have ever had a tree that was shorter than me, but that’s what I wanted this year! We found a cute little one and brought her home. Then we decorate! (Okay, like the next day we decorate.) We always watch The Muppet Christmas Carol while we Christmatize our house. I can’t imagine how many times we have both seen that movie. We sing along to the songs and say our favorite lines. It’s super dorky, but super fun. Dan always puts the lights on – it’s just a guy thing in my family. Then we each put up our favorite ornaments. We’ve collected quite a few over the years. My family loves ornaments! Dan and I try to get new ones when we travel or go on adventures together. Every time I unwrap an ornament it’s like unwrapping a memory. This seriously is the most wonderful time of the year.

Picking out our baby tree. (I am Groot)

Picking out our baby tree. 

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4.  Choosing to be an actor means choosing a crazy life. It’s just one of those things! I’ve realized lately that I have a very strange acting pattern here in L.A. I seem to audition in waves. I will have 9 auditions in a week and then nothing for the next few. It has been happening like that for several months now. I’m not sure what that’s about, but I have learned to be prepared for the unexpected. I think it has made things so much easier by just accepting that anything can happen and I will meet it when it does. I will choose to work hard and be as ready as I can be. I want to make sure I am giving my best at every audition, interview, and meeting. This week was a week of many auditions, and it felt so good to get out there. I’m already looking forward to catching my next wave. So, here is to being ready and being your best.

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5.  My dear friend and awesome mentor, Alison, came to Universal to do a seminar with the Tour Guides this week. Oh my word. It was such an amazing night. I just feel so proud of the talented, brave people who I work with AND so blessed to have Alison and her brand of magic at work in my life. It was really special to get to bring these two worlds together, and I am just feeling really thankful for all the good in my life.

Thanks for being awesome.

Happy Friday!

Dear 16 Year Old Me

25 Nov

Tomorrow I will have been 26 for a whole month.

It’s still in that weird phase where you have to think about it for a second when someone asks you how old you are. But I am trying to own it. I keep thinking about my birthday and the letter I wrote to my 36-year-old self. The advice, the dreams, the self-love I expressed in that handwritten note. I have a picture of who I want to be in ten years, and it gets clearer every day. All of that is built on who I am today. How I got here, who I have been. It made me start thinking about what I would have told myself ten years ago. There is so much I wish I would have known. What would I have said to my 16-year-old self to help her through those heartbreaking and ridiculously fun teenage years? It might have been something like this…

Dear 16 Year Old Me,

You are not too much. Don’t dim your shine because it makes other people uncomfortable. Keep being your loud, silly, emotional, empathetic, talented, joyful self. Lean into it. It is who you are. You are enough.

Not everyone is going to like you. That is okay!

Mean Girls is a hilarious movie. Real mean girls are not your friends. Don’t waste your time.

Pick your battles wisely. You don’t have to submerge yourself in the drama. You will save yourself a lot of heartache if you learn to listen and act with kindness.

You are funny. Don’t believe the people who don’t know you are.

Boys who won’t stand up and say they like you because you aren’t cool enough, pretty enough, popular enough are not nice. They just aren’t. And you can’t change them. Don’t give your heart away. They don’t deserve it anyway.

Always choose your friends. The friends who are by your side through good and bad. The friends who love you no matter what. Cherish them. They will be with you a long time.

Spend time with your family. There will come a time when you can’t see them every day.

I admire the way you fiercely stand up for those you love and the things you believe in. Love and believe in yourself enough to stand up for you. You are worth it.

Forgive those who have hurt you. Even if they don’t apologize. Carrying around that hurt and anger won’t change it. The only person it affects is you. Lose that list of wrongs that is weighing you down.

Use your words. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Tell people how you feel. Ask for what you want. Share your thoughts. Learning how to express yourself and communicate effectively is going to make everything so much simpler.

Never miss an opportunity to laugh! Smile. With your teeth.

Be proud of all you have accomplished. You have worked hard! You have something to offer. Carry that confidence with you.

Don’t be so afraid to color outside of the lines! Being perfect is boring. Get messy. Go on adventures. Have some fun!

Know that you are brave for choosing your own path. You are an explorer.

You are supported and loved. You always will be.

I might be a little biased, but I think you are extraordinary. I hope you can learn to love yourself as much as I love you.

All my love,

26 Year Old Me

Favorite Five Friday (92nd Edition)

21 Nov

It has been a pleasantly uneventful week! Short, simple, and sweet…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Ever since I stopped biting my nails (THREE years ago!), I have had a thing for nail polish. I was never able to wear it before because I would just ruin it. I love going to get my nails done, but that’s not always an option. I am trying to get better at just painting my own nails instead. I love my latest color – “Smokin’ Hot” by Essie. It goes perfectly with all my Fall wear.

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2.  My friends and I had a genuine Girl’s Night this week, and it was fabulous! It was definitely one of the highlights of my week – just getting to hang out and relax with my girlfriends. I need more of this in my life.

3.  Speaking of relaxing… I have been doing a LOT of that this week. I’ve had a few days off in a row, and it was exactly what I needed. I got to catch up things like cleaning and grocery shopping, but I also got to snuggle up to watch my favorite shows and sit in bed for hours reading Harry Potter (I am cruising through Goblet of Fire right now). It’s been pretty perfect. Sometimes doing nothing is everything.

4.  Today we got to take some Christmas photos! (YAY!!!) Lovely Leah took what I’m sure are going to be adorable pictures of Dan and I today so we can send out Christmas cards. We have never sent out Christmas cards, but I’ve always wanted to! I’m so excited to put them together so people can open up cards with our faces on them. (You’re excited, right?)

5.  It’s time for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1!! That’s a mouthful, eh? We had date night with Mark and Caroline in the Prime theatre. I love kicking up my feet and sitting back in comfy seats to watch a big blockbuster. We really enjoyed the film!

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And that’s all she wrote!

HAPPY FRIDAY, Y’ALL! I hope your week is full of all the things you are most THANKFUL for.

Favorite Five Friday (91st Edition)

14 Nov

Friday, y’all! It was a really great week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  We took a little trip to the IMAX theater to see Interstellar this week. Ohmyword. What an experience. The world that Christopher Nolan created in this film was so powerful. So many unique thoughts, ideas, questions, relationships. Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain were both brilliant, and there was something so beautiful about watching a “father/daughter love story” as McConaughey has called it. Seeing it in IMAX made me feel like I was right in the middle of it. If you don’t know, large portions of this movie take place in space. SPACE. Feeling like you are right in the middle of space is terrifying. But it was pretty stellar. (See what I did there?) Go check it out!

2.  I finished reading Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, and I already want to read it again. I LOVE AMY POEHLER. GAH! Sorry. I just had to get that out there. I love that she lays it all out on the table in this book. She is so honest about herself, her experiences, her highs and lows. This book is so brave. I laughed out loud constantly. I was secretly (or not so secretly anymore) pleased whenever I read something that made me think of my life. Oh, Amy. You just get me. I want to share a few of my favorite segments:

“So here we go, you and me. Because what else are we going to do? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready.”

“… I could decide who I was. My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice. Being foolish was the smartest thing to do.”

“Ambivalence is key. You have to care about your work but not about the result.”

Amy Poehler, I am going to make the choice to say “Yes Please” to my life. Thank you, thank you for sharing yours.

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The result of me trying to hold the book up and pose like Amy.

3.  A lot of television shows are filmed at Universal, and I get to tell people about them every day. One of these shows is the hit singing competition, The Voice. Dan and I have been fans of the show since my friend, Loren, was a contestant in Season 3. We’ve been trying to get tickets to see a taping of it for ages, and this week it finally happened! We got to go watch the live taping of the results show on Wednesday, and we had a really fun time. Before the show there were delicious food trucks to choose from and souvenirs for purchase. (We got ourselves a mug. Had to happen.) Then one of our fellow guides took us on a tram down to Stage 12 where they film the show. It was exciting to see all the judges in person, and the artists all sounded so good! It was all a pretty quick process, and we had a good time. I’m glad we got a chance to see it from the audience’s perspective. I feel like I can paint an even better picture of the show when I tell my guests about The Voice.

4.  I helped photograph a wedding this week! That is a sentence I didn’t think I would ever say. I have always loved photography… from carefully taking pictures with a disposable camera as a kid to documenting every hang out with my high school pals. I love having the memory of a photograph. It’s just so special. Well, if you read my blog… you have probably seen many a fabulous photo taken by my talented friend, Leah. She is a rock star photographer. This week she was booked to shoot a lovely beach wedding. We hadn’t seen each other in a little while so she asked me to come with her to hang out. Then, she had the brilliant idea to make me her assistant and let me play with her secondary camera. She gave me a Photography 101 lesson, and then I just got to play! I loved getting to “help” shoot this pretty little wedding, and it was one more thing to cross off my 101 in 1001. Maybe I will be adding Photographer to the list of things I want to be when I grow up. ;)

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Taken by Leah, obviously. ;)

Taken by Leah, obviously. ;)

5.  Eight years ago my best friend walked into my life. I’m so glad he is still here by my side.

Want to hear something crazy? (If you don’t like adorable love stories then stop reading this. Now. No, really. Right now. Okay, I warned you.) The first time Dan and I were in the same place at the same time was in 2004. I was only 15, and at rehearsal camp for my Summer Tour with The Continental Singers. I didn’t know who he was at the time, but I watched him perform with The Jeremiah People.

Flash forward to 2006, I am 17 and on tour again. This is the first time I ever hear his name. (He is super popular, ya know.) Several months later I am at rehearsal camp for my tour with The Jeremiah People (Full Circle), and I finally match a handsome face with the name. But we still don’t meet.

Then, at the end of 2006, our tours collided. We were introduced. We were immediately smitten. We spent an evening hanging out and getting to know each other. By the end of the night we were holding hands. (IKNOWRIGHT?!) I am not sure who reached for who first, but we have been holding hands ever since. (Except for the majority of the two years when we were long distance, but you know what I mean).

People say, “When you know, you know.” Well, they are not wrong. I guess I am one of those people. We just knew. :) It’s amazing to think how long this man has truly been in my life. I am thankful for him every single day.

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The cutest, right?

 

 

Hey, I’ve been talking too much. I want to hear about your week! Anything great happen?

Share with me in the comments below. :)

Happy Friday!

Favorite Five Friday (90th Edition)

7 Nov

October has come to an end, and even though October is my favorite month… I am thankful that November has arrived. I am also thankful that Friday is here! Here is a recap for the week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Halloween! We pretty much celebrated by going to work, but we did have a little Halloween party as well. Technically it was last week, but I didn’t add it into my post. So, I am sharing now! The Tour Guide Halloween Party is always a good time. People go crazy with their costumes, and it’s so fun to get together outside of work. My co-workers are pretty awesome.

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2.  Halloween Horror Nights 2014 has officially come to an end. It was an exciting month full of fun, scares, and practically no sleep! Now, it’s time for the next big thing.

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3.  I’ve become a little jewelry obsessed lately. Truthfully, I have never been a big accessory wearer. It was just never my thing, and I tended to keep things simple. Then, I decided I would just wear earrings. Then, I decided jewelry is the thing that really pulls together and completes an ensemble. And now, I love it. I’m just trying to get better at figuring out how to wear it. I just had to share my new favorite necklaces (birthday gifts from some of my favorite ladies). One for each state that I’ve called home.

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4.  I have been catching up on life this week! I am so thankful for the chance to sleep, relax, and get some much-needed things done. I am starting to feel a little more normal. I am relieved and grateful.

5.  Another Disney day! We went with a group to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was a gorgeous day of walking straight on to rides, eating yummy food, and taking silly photos. Or in other words, just another amazing day at Disneyland.

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Have a happy Friday and an even happier weekend!

Favorite Five Friday (89th Edition)

31 Oct

Oh, what a week! Birthday celebrations and fun all week long. Y’all, I have felt so loved. Check it out…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Dan and I have lots of anniversaries… So many important and special dates that we remember as we add more years to our relationship. This week was our engagement anniversary! 5 years from the day he got down on one knee in front of a mixed crowd of strangers and friends. 5 years from the day he pulled out a ring and asked me to be his wife. My heart is so full when I think of those memories. If he asked me again today, my answer would be the same. Yes!

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2.  So, it was my birthday this week! (Yay Birthday!!!) We did lots of fun things to celebrate. First, we continued a really great tradition. For the second year in a row, we welcomed in my day of birth by getting street tacos in the middle of the night. This might sound crazy, but it’s actually convenient. We were getting off of work in the middle of the night anyway, and our favorite little street taco cart pops up on our corner late at night on the weekends.  Too perfect not to be tempted. :) The tacos were delicious, and my birthday had arrived!

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3.  Whenever there are presents, I am like a kid on Christmas morning. I was thinking about that this week… I have never thought of gifts as one of my love languages, but man, do I love opening thoughtful gifts from loved ones.  I so appreciate the presents, the phone calls, the texts, the social media posts. Day made.

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Opening gifts in PJs. It’s what you do.

I couldn't figure out how to open it...

I couldn’t figure out how to open it…

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Dan always make me laugh with his gift wrapping.

Dan always makes me laugh with his gift wrapping.

4.  I wanted to do something a little different for my birthday this year… So, Dan put together a fabulous birthday brunch with a few of our closest friends. We went to The Castaway in Burbank, and oh my gosh, this place is gorgeous. Delicious food with a ridiculously beautiful view of the city. It was so lovely. I guess I’m a grown-up now. (Or maybe not!)

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5.  This was my Golden Birthday! (Just in case you are wondering what that means: your Golden Birthday is when you turn the age of your birth date) That’s right 26 on the 26th. I had been excited to celebrate this one for a while. I even made a goal on my 101 in 1001 to write myself a letter on that day to be opened in 10 years. So, that’s what I did! I took some time for myself to think about what I have accomplished so far and all that I still want to do. I wrote a letter about who I hoped I would be in 10 years – my goals, my dreams. There may have been a few reminders and some advice, too. And bullet points, because, ya know… I’m me. I probably still will be 10 years from now. ;) I have tucked it away into a safe place, and I can’t wait to open it on my 36th birthday.

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I had a fantastic birthday and really wonderful week. Thank you all for making this girl feel so special.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Favorite Five Friday (88th Edition)

24 Oct

Friday already? I don’t know where my week went. Let’s find out…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Disneyland! Our trip was pretty great this month. The Halloween decorations are the best and we practically walked onto every ride. We also got to do a couple of things I had been wanting to do for a while – Dan got me my awesome Darth Vader on Dumbo shirt and we got our silhouettes done on Main Street. Mostly we just loved hanging out together. There is something about that magic in the air at Disneyland. :)

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I am Groot.

I am Groot.

The shiny guy worries a lot.

The shiny guy worries a lot.

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2.  Halloween Horror Nights continues!! After this weekend, there is only one weekend left. Come on over and get scared.

Twinsies.

Twinsies.

Creepy Twinsies

Creepy Twinsies

3.  More scary movies this week! An American Werewolf in London, Cabin in the Woods, and Toy Story of Terror just for good measure. We decided we had to watch An American Werewolf in London because that’s one of our mazes at HHN this year. It’s my favorite one, and, in my opinion, the scariest! I have literally screamed both times I’ve gone through it. The movie is 33 years old, and it still stands up. Sure, it’s not as scary now as it probably was then, but it looks awesome. (Tour Guide Fact: Rick Baker won the Academy award for best make-up in 1981 for An American Werewolf in London. It was the first time that award was ever given out. Plus, it’s a Universal film!) Cabin in the Woods is one of my favorite scary movies. It’s brilliantly put together. They play with and twist the horror genre into something totally different. It’s equal parts hilarious satire and totally scary movie. It’s definitely a must see. Oh, and Toy Story of Terror is just adorable. See these movies, y’all.

4.  One of the sweetest people I know is on her way out the door to NYC. So, we got together Tour Guide style for some Karaoke at Saddle Ranch to wish her well. I miss you already, Steph! You are going to do amazing things!

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5.  An early birthday lunch at Aroma Cafe (my favorite) with Leah (my favorite)! We are both so busy that it’s hard to get our schedules to line up. I know whenever we get a chance to hang out, it will always be a good time. Thank you, Leah!

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Have a great Halloween week, everyone! :) Happy Friday!

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