Tag Archives: California

The Last Days

11 Feb

These are the last days. 

The last days I will be a Tour Guide, an Angeleno, a California Girl.

Saying goodbye is hard. It’s bittersweet at best. When you know you are about to leave, it’s like putting on rose colored glasses. Everything is amazing again. It’s fresh, new. Just like it was the day you unpacked your dreams and the Uhaul. 

We still stand by our reasons for leaving Los Angeles behind, but I am thankful for these last days. They have given me the ability to remember all this city has to offer with clear eyes and an open heart. 

We put together an LA Bucket List of all we wanted to do, see, eat, and experience before we said goodbye. I have loved exploring and truly enjoying the beauty of the mountains, the ocean, the thriving and active city. I have found joy in being at work, spending time with my co-workers, sharing the magic of making movies with people from all over the world. I have cherished every moment with my beloved LA family – the laughter, the hugs, even the tears. 

The last days have solidified just how wonderful the past five years have been and how thankful I am for the chapter we are now closing. 

It’s too easy to forget what life can really be. I get caught up in routine, making in through the day, and just living life. We should all get to live like it’s the last days. Seeing more clearly, smiling bigger, loving harder, breathing it all in… 

Here’s to living in the last days. 

And let’s be honest… I’ll always be a California Girl. ❤

Favorite Five Friday (121st Edition) 

24 Jul

It’s the day of the show y’all! Okay, not the show… Just the Friday post! Have at it…


1.  We are cruising through summer! Which means we are closer to our trip to Europe. I can’t even explain how excited I am. We are finalizing plans, buying various tickets, looking at expected weather… It all becomes more real every day. So, if anyone has any recommendations of places to visit or things to do in Paris or London – speak now! We want to see as much as possible. Europe here we come!!

2.  Another thing that gets closer every day is the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. They are putting it up so quickly it must be magic. As I walked beside the site where it is being built this week, I found myself giggling out loud because it just looks so perfect. It’s everything I’ve been imagining since I was eleven years old and I began my adventures with Harry. I can’t wait to finally go to Hogwarts.

3.  Speaking of the awesome place I work, Universal puts together some pretty awesome workshops and classes for the tour guides. This week we began a six-week class with instructors from Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop, and I was blown away. Jordan Shappell started us off with a bang. We dove right into scenes, and he coached us with such energy, intuition, and clarity. I learned so much, and I’m already pumped to go back next week.

4.  The number of times I’ve been to the beach this year is pretty sad considering how close it is. There is something so refreshing about being near the ocean. Lucky for me one of my dearest friends just moved to Redondo, and the beach is only a few feet from her door. This week I got to spend time with Cammie AND go to the beach. Totally win-win. It was exactly the refresher I needed. Love that girl and her beach. Thanks for sharing it with me, Cam!

5.  Obligatory cat pictures! Let’s be honest… They will always be on my favorite list. 😉

Have a great week, folks!

Favorite Five Friday (98th Edition)

23 Jan

Happy Friday! This week has been full of excitement and fun…


1.  Dan and I LOVE Jimmy Fallon. He is currently rocking it as the host of The Tonight Show, and we have watched pretty much every episode. (Okay, Dan has seen literally every episode.)  We were thrilled when Jimmy took over as the host, but a little sad that he brought the show back to New York City. Well, he is bringing his fantastic show back to Los Angeles for one week next month. We had been waiting and watching for them to release tickets for those shows, and this week it finally happened. We sat in front of our computer for half and hour before the tickets dropped just refreshing the browser over and over. (It was just like registering for classes in college.) Then, our moment arrived. We were put through to select our date and reserve seats. A couple stressful minutes later we got our confirmation. We are going to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon!!! I will unashamedly tell you that Dan and I screamed like small children, laughed maniacally, and fell all over ourselves with excitement. Jimmy, I think we are two of your biggest fans, and we can’t wait to see you!


2.  More auditions this week! It’s been exciting and fun. I keep trying to approach each one without fear or doubt. I am just trying to show them me, and hope I am who they are looking for. I just feel like more adventures are coming our way this year. Stay tuned. #NoFear15

3.  Speaking of exciting things, both Dan and I had really great experiences with Casting Directors this week. CDs are some of the hardest working people in this industry. It’s been a privilege to meet several who are doing all they can to help actors they believe in. Sometimes all we need is a leg up, a little push. Thank you for believing in us. You are appreciated!

4.  Daniel Hackman gave in and got an Instagram this week. That’s right. The man who never takes pictures is finally… taking pictures. ANDposting them. I know. It was a shock for me too. If you want to follow that cute, crazy guy, you can find him under @DRHackman.

5.  More Disney time this week! We went with some of our Universal pals and it was such a great day in the parks. Not too crowded and the weather was delicious. One of my favorite parts of living in California will always be my annual pass to The Happiest Place on Earth.



Have a great weekend, everyone!


13 Jul

I have certainly been missing because of all the action happening in my life!  It’s been THREE weeks since I last posted on my blog, and I’ve missed it.  There has hardly been a spare moment since summer began.  I have been dying to share some of the fun things I’ve been doing!  So, here’s my update:

1.  I finished two more 101-in-1001 goals!

  •  Leah and I hiked to the Hollywood sign last month.  It was a great work out, and a lot of fun.  I loved seeing the sign up close.


  • Dan and I drove down the PCH to San Diego!  We created our own little route, and we made sure to drive by all the best views.  It was a really great adventure!


2.  My family came to California to visit!  We had a blast in San Diego visiting Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, The Safari Park, and (Macenna’s favorite) the pool.  Then they came up to L.A. to check out our new apartment, eat at many delicious restaurants, and. of course, take my tour at Universal.  It was a great week, and I miss them already!

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3.  My super spunky, sassy, and fun friend Leah is the best.  We have fun whether we’re sipping wine, eating popcorn, and watching Josie and the Pussycats OR putting on strange outfits, climbing trees, splashing through creeks, and taking fabulous photos.  Leah took a ridiculous amount of amazing photos over the last few weeks (including my new headshots).  She is one talented lady.

1025433_10100130540737935_1653010662_o 1052736_10100130540867675_655390486_o 1053517_10100130541261885_824635716_o 1026200_10100130540982445_729953696_o 1049224_10100130541187035_1214783500_o 1074661_10100142751352765_2060622106_o 1049021_10100135255269975_1587931379_o4.  Working at Universal is wonderful!  I got busy much quicker than I had anticipated.  Currently, you can catch me tour guiding on the trams or welcoming guests as an MC  five days a week!  I’m enjoying my wonderful co-workers and the new relationships I’m building.  And on top of all of that, I also got to join the 6 week acting class that the guides get to take part in!  I’m so excited to be taking class with Shari Shaw for the next month and a half.  It’s going to be a great summer!


5.  I would NEVER make it through my days without the support of my ridiculously awesome, super handsome husband.  Seriously, guys.  He’s always there to make me laugh, push me when I need to get going, and let me fall apart when I need to.   He makes me breakfast while I get ready in the morning.  When we work out together, he runs slower so I can keep up.  He meets me at tour guide gatherings and immediately becomes everyone’s favorite person.  I am ridiculously lucky that he’s mine. 🙂  We’ve had a blast together the last couple weeks traveling to San Diego, watching endless episodes of New Girl (I mean, until the last episode of season 2), seeing Despicable Me 2 in a fancy Universal Screening room, getting way too much candy from the vending machine in our apartment at 11PM, and just spending time together. 🙂


Welcome to my life for the last three weeks!  It’s a pretty good one. 🙂  I think I’ll keep it.

A chapter comes to a close…

16 Jan

Things have been a bit crazy in the life of this California girl for the last couple of weeks.  As the craziness is about to pass, I’ve decided it’s time to share what’s been going on and why I’ve been a bit absent.

Over the last few months I’d been noticing a fatigue in myself that I just couldn’t shake.  My body was worn down, my voice was always tired, and I just couldn’t bounce back. When I went home for the holidays, I saw one of my doctors and found out that I have a polyp on my vocal cord.

I had suspected that may be the case because I experienced something similar in high school. I developed nodules on my vocal cords and was put on complete vocal rest for two weeks in the hopes that my pipes would heal themselves.  It truly helped, but I’m not sure my vocal cords have been very strong since then.  I remembered what that felt like and thought it was possible that I was doing damage to my voice.  I’m so relieved that I chose to go see my ENT when I did.

So, I have a polyp.  This may not sound like much to most people, but to a performer it is terrifying.  I could lose what makes me feel like me.  Fortunately, it was caught early enough that no permanent damage has been done and it should heal in time.  Unfortunately, if I continue working at My Gym my voice will not heal and I could be looking at surgery within the next few months.  So, a difficult choice had to be made.

Tomorrow is my last day working at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center.  I have spent the last few weeks explaining to my co-workers, trying to find solutions, searching for other jobs, and saying good-bye to all of the amazing kids I work with.  (Seriously, I teach 15 different classes… it’s hard to keep it together when you have to say good-bye that many times!)  It’s been rough, but I know I am doing the right thing.  Sticking around was a risk I just couldn’t take, and I have to take care of myself. I am so thankful for the time I spent at My Gym and I will always treasure it.  It’s nice to know that I have a home to go back to if I am ever able.

I am closing this chapter of my life tomorrow, but a new one is about to begin.  Now that I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone, I am going to get uncomfortable and start pursuing my passion.  I plan to do more freelance work from now on so I can do what I need to become a working actor. I’ve joined an acting studio and I start classes next week.  I signed up for LA Casting. I am going to call in to Central Casting every week. I’m going to seek out theatre. I am going to audition all I can.  I am going to give it all I’ve got.

I am terrified.  And I am ridiculously excited.  This is the next chapter of my life.  I am ready to begin.

Bring it on, 2013!

4 Jan

Another year has come and gone… I truly can’t believe it.  2012 was a great year, and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time reflecting on what happened, what didn’t happen, and where to go from here.  I always like to look back on where I’ve come from… it sort of clears my head in terms of figuring out what is next. What do I want most.  So, here’s a look at the happenings of 2012.

  • We had a fabulous time ringing in 2012 at Chaffin’s Barn with wonderful friends and high hopes.
  • We took a fun trip to Pennsylvania to visit family.
  • I went to Salt Lake to be in one of oldest and best friends weddings.
  • Dan and I got to be in the wedding uniting our best friends, Christy and Steven.
  • We said tearful good-byes to our incredible friends, packed up, and moved across the country.
  • We became California residents.
  • We celebrated our 2 Year Anniversary.
  • I started a blog. And kept up with it!
  • I braved the freeways of Los Angeles.
  • We explored California together (and with Heather)!
  • We both found jobs in California.
  • We both experienced being extras on the set of television shows.
  • I got to cross going to Disneyland at Halloween and Christmas off my bucket list (But you better believe I’ll do it again)!
  • We spent Thanksgiving with some of my Dad’s side of the family, and they met Dan for the first time.
  • For the first time since I can remember, I went an entire year without being on stage. Without acting in general. (ouch).
  • We have lived in California for 6 months. HALF A YEAR!
  • We spent Christmas in Salt Lake City with my family and had a wonderful time.
  • We rang in 2013 with high hopes for the year to come!

2012, it’s been real, but 2013, I am so ready for you!

I was going to say I’m not really one to make resolutions, but who am I kidding?  I am exactly that person.  I love setting goals almost as much as I love to achieve them.  I won’t look at them as failures if they are not reached, but here are some goals for the next year (not necessarily in order of importance… just how I am spitting them out):

  • Join an acting studio/take acting classes.
  • Sign up for LA Casting.
  • Submit to agencies and seek representation.
  • Go to as many auditions as possible!
  • Look for places to do theatre.
  • Find a home church.
  • Make friends, start creating a community.
  • Continue blogging.
  • Complete my 101 goals in 1001 days so I can get started!
  • Continue to date my husband.
  • Stay active.
  • Remember to take care of myself.

There’s a basic list!  My “mantra” for this year is going to be, “Do the things that scare you.”  I know those are always the things that end up being the most worthwhile.  Here’s to a fabulous year… 2013, bring it!


Favorite Five Friday (4th Edition)

17 Aug

Here it is…


1.  During a phone call, my friend said, “I can hear the sunshine in your voice.”  I loved the thought of that, and I’ve been tossing that around in my head all week. I really think the California weather is making me a happier, brighter, more enthusiastic person. Or maybe it’s just Cali in general. Whatever it is, I’m loving it.

2.  Bath tub crayons. Seriously.  The kids I used to babysit had some, and I thought they looked like fun! I bought some so I could leave silly notes for my husband in the shower. We’ve been having a blast writing messages to each other. I feel like a kid again!


3.  I finally got to get back to some of my workouts this week, and I am feeling great!  Jillian Michaels has been a huge factor in my weight loss and fitness over the last year and a half. She might be crazy and intense, but she can certainly be motivational.  What stuck with me this week was (I’m paraphrasing) the idea that we are all unique. We have to be brave and share our unique qualities or we cheat the world of what we have to offer. You are the only you, so be the best you.

4.  My show of the week has been Veronica Mars. I love the Nancy Drew-esque mystery solving, but Veronica (played by the adorable Kristen Bell) is smarter, savvier, and sassier. It’s fun to watch and try to solve the mysteries along with Veronica and her Private Investigator Dad. It’s also great to see cameos from a ridiculous amount of celebrities. It may not be the best written show to ever hit television, but it’s a good time.


5.  Never underestimate the power of kindness.  Especially from a stranger. I was approached twice this week by people I’d never met and told that I was beautiful. Wow. It takes guts to talk to someone you don’t know, and to throw a compliment in there on top… gutsy and kind.  I was once told by a teacher that  whenever a kind or positive thought crosses your mind you should share it. Only good things can come from sharing your positive words with someone who may need to hear them.


Happy, Happy Friday!

California Girl

24 Jun

From the time I was very little, I had an obsession with California.  I was born into a family of Californians, but I had the “misfortune” to be born in Utah.  It was unfair.  The Golden State was home to beaches, Disneyland, Hollywood,  and a large portion of my family. California was the dream, but I lived in Utah.  So, I had to settle for family vacations to SoCal and listening to the Beach Boys on a regular basis.


This photo is of an eighth grade assignment

Many of my dreams changed, but some of them have stayed close to my heart.  California is one such dream, and two weeks ago it became a reality.  My husband and I just moved to Los Angeles, and I am FINALLY a California Girl.

The past couple weeks have been incredibly surreal and ridiculously exciting.  It was of utmost importance to do many touristy things as soon as possible.  Here is a look at our first California adventures:

We explored the Santa Monica Pier, shopped, and went to the beach.

Heather and Jo do Santa Monica


Santa Monica Pier

Daniel and I celebrated our second anniversary with season passes to Universal Studios!

Two Wonderful Years


We went to downtown Hollywood and explored the Walk of Fame.

Welcome to Hollywood!

The Disney Soda Fountain

A favorite star, Carol Burnett

Meryl Streep is one of my inspirations

Of course, The Beach Boys

Exploring California has been a wonderful adventure so far.  Every day I learn something new.  Every day I become a little more brave.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to begin living this dream.  I am ready to see what the world has in store for this California Girl.