Monday, March 26, 2012

My True Love Gave To Me:

On the first day of Spring, we got a BEAUTIFUL day here in NYC!

Jeans: Gap / Tank: Loft / Top & Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters / Flats: Melissa

It finally felt warm enough to wear my new coral jeans. I had a great day of taking Henry on a walk, running some errands, popping by my favorite fountains and enjoying an iced drink from Argo Tea (I love Argo because they cater to vegans with almond milk, soy milk & lots of vegan food options!). Later that evening, I wore this super comfy outfit to my first night of meditation class (more on that soon).

How did you celebrate the first day of Spring?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Carry On:

You will be walking up 9th Avenue.

You will be listening to Otis Redding in your living room. You will be cleaning your bathtub on a Friday night. You will be swooning over color samples and old records and dusty, antique furniture.

You will be praising a dresser that is painted a fading teal and rummaging through terrible old paintings to find a treasure to create on. You will be giggling quietly to yourself under a Duane Reade umbrella as it's pouring and you're getting drenched. You will not even care.

You will be sitting at Lincoln Center with your dog in your lap. You will be singing showtunes to him as you carry him home. You will be eating a doughnut filled with jam on your way to an art store. You will be sitting at a fountain with the sun pressing on to your face, breathing in as deeply as you can.

And it will hit you:

You are happy.
Wildly, unabashedly, internally, externally happy.

You are happy completely and totally alone. Preferring it, for the most part. Happy surrounded by your girlfriends, listening to them talk, watching their faces light up. Happy talking to the check-out girl, the coffee barista, the old man who works in the lobby of one of your most frequented places. Who blesses you every time you say hello to him. You are happy regardless of the circumstances, the pressures, the demands and the noise swarming around you like gnats on a summer day. Happy regardless if the phone rings, if the email comes through, if you ever hear back. Happy of an equal measure when you are with him and when you are without him and recognizing the miracle that is.

You will be so happy, in fact, that you are increasingly grateful for the past three years. The past twenty-five. You would like to kiss each cheek of the sadness that followed you around, thanking it for getting you to where you are. You want to write a love letter to the chunks of time you did not speak, the people who ripped your heart open, the ways in which you hated yourself. You will think back to the times in your life where you felt like the world was ending and now see them as the biggest and brightest gifts.

Then something else will come: you will feel an incredible need to share this joy. You will be that friend who is annoyingly positive, who phrases things in affirming ways, who assigns homework and suggestions when they're really just looking for someone to agree. You will realize that you are called to help people live their best lives possible and you will delicately, barely, dangle your feet into those waters, knowing you'll jump in when you're ready.

You will be writing a blog post on a Saturday night. You will not agonize over the choice you made to stay home and you will not wonder what you're missing out on. You will be deliriously excited to be in your pajamas, in your bed, with salt and vinegar chips and the TV on in the background. And it will hit you: you are so happy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here Comes The Sun:

This is for trying new things.
For pushing into that feeling that doesn't ever feel so great.
For greatness.
This is for patience when you've run out.
For running out.
For running.
This is for the way it feels to let yourself feel.
For feeling nothing.
For feeling everything.
This is for time that is fleeting.
For fleeting thoughts.
For freeing thoughts.
This is for being free.
This is for you
and the way you look at me
that gives you away.
It is not an elephant in the room,
but God Himself there with us.
The company is welcomed.
The company is laughing.
This is for me
and the way that I don't recognize myself
and all the ways that I finally do.
This is for front porches and front stoops and front yards
who keep the stories
I keep in the back of my brain.
This is for going back.
For going forward.
For swing-sets and sunsets and set-ups and upsets.
For letting it settle.
For never settling.
This is for meeting you at 2
and meeting you at 20
and meeting me at 25.
This is for meeting halfway between our houses.
For all the houses you had.
For finally being home.
This is because love will fill you up
until it spills up and out,
until you have no choice but to share it.
This is for sharing the words unsaid to anybody else.
For the things that go unsaid.
For the things that don't need to be.
This is because I know you are on the path you should be.
Your feet would not be on this ground if it wasn't for you.
This is for you.
This is for you.
Take it.

Bonjour, Girl:

You guys! Today is Jour du Macaron!!!

No need for Google translate on this: that means it's FREE MACAROON DAY!

If you're in NYC (or France!), go to one of the participating locations and tell them you are there for free macaroon day and they will give you a free macaroon. If you're feeling really crazy, stop at Francois Payard Bakery on 116 W. Houston for a punch card, then scoot around to any 12 of the locations and return to Francois Payard and they will give you a free box of macaroons. A. Free. Box. Of. Macaroons.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING STILL READING THIS?! Go, people, go! Claim your macaroons! Godspeed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where You Lead:

Something incredible happened recently: I met Alexis Bledel.

There are a few key things you should know about me: I love my dog more than most humans, I enjoy a good adventure, I frequently wear a tiara for inspiration and I have a slight obsession with Gilmore Girls.

So, as you may imagine, anything involving anyone from the show would delight me. But one of THEE Gilmore girls? If Lauren Graham had also been there, I honestly would have had to sit down.

Here's what I wore:

Top: Forever 21; Sweater: Urban Outfitters; Jeans: J Brand; Boots: Modcloth (& Vegan!)
Nails: Purple with a Purpose, OPI. / Redheaded bombshell: Gillian.

This outfit felt casual enough that I could have easily been coming from work but also cute enough that I wasn't too underdressed. I had worn the jeans and sweater all day, only swapping out the top and my boots in place of my daytime converse kicks. What would you wear to meet one of your idols?

Alexis (I use her first name as we are now obvs bff) is currently in Manhattan Theatre Company's new play "Regrets". It boasts a terrific cast and I was honored to attend the first preview and after-party. Check it out if you're in town. And if you've never seen my favorite TV show, catch a rerun sometime. Lauren Graham, Melissa McCarthy & Alexis teach a masterclass in comedy during each episode.

Many thanks to G for bringing me along and for dealing with my minor squeals of excitement, over-enthusiastic giddiness, and for taking outfit pics in the office.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You And Me (But Mostly Me):

Grown-up truths:

1. You always know what you need to do. Instead of running around doing every possible other thing, just do what you know you need to do.

2. You already have all the answers. Be still, be quiet and listen.

3. You will absolutely mess up your manicure the second you leave the salon. Then again at home. And just a touch more when you go to sleep that night. Every time.

Somethin' To Talk About:

Some words that have caught my eye lately:

I love how the Universe always sends us what we need to read or hear.
Or our friends, in the case of the mug featured above (thanks, N!
What have you read/seen/heard lately that got your attention?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy, Happy Birthday..

Today is the fourth birthday of one of my favorite human beings in the world:


Happy Birthday, Ryan!
You are brave, loud, opinionated, smart, funny and beautiful.
I love getting to watch you grow up & can't wait to see what adventures you find being four.

In related news: one of my favorite blogs turns four today, too.
(I got super excited when I found this out. Add in the fact that it's 
Taylor Hanson's birthday and, well, I sure do like March 14th.)

When I was on tour, on certain days, certain blogs kept me sane.
What I Wore was one of these appreciated distractions.

If you have yet to discover Jessica & her blog,
you can catch up as all 900 outfits are posted today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I walked into the room with my guitar in my hands. I had been so intent on making sure she was already with me that I left my audition book on my chair. For those of you who aren't theatre actors auditioning regularly, your audition book is pretty much completely necessary to, in fact, audition. It contains your music.

Upon realizing this, I made some kind of muttering to myself sounds, let the door close as I stepped back out, grabbed my book and went back in. Hire me, hire me, I'm so together. We did the brief chit-chat thing, I chose to focus on the young man directly in front of me. Six people behind the table with another at the piano so I had to choose someone, anyone. As I dragged a chair over to the center of the room, I spoke as clearly as I could,

"Just so you know, this is the third bravest thing I've ever done."

I'd peaked their attention now and even made a few laugh. The woman two people to the left of my chosen focal point person startled me:

"What were the first two?"

Her eyes were so wide, so honest, that I knew she wasn't making fun. Her glasses were lowered slightly on the bridge of her nose in a way that told me she was kind. I smiled at her.

"Ha, uh, we can talk about that later if you want."

Made them laugh again. I took a seat, drew a breath and told them I would be playing some Taylor Swift.

Later that night, he was walking me home. We had just turned onto my street when the topic of my music came up. "Sometimes I think the more classes I take, the more people I talk about the business with, the less I know what I'm doing or think I'm any good. I feel like they took something from me. And with my music - that's mine. It's mine. I don't want anybody touching it or messing it up."

He let me finish my thought before he responded. He is excellent at that. "So maybe that's something you just do for yourself. You don't have to turn it into a career. You still have acting for that. Music could just be for you."

I had gotten through the first verse and refrain when I looked up at the panel of people in front of me, eyes directly on the guy I had picked early on: "Should I keep going?"

"Oh, fuck them!" She speaks in a way I envy, a way that sometimes reminds me of who I think I used to be, sometimes who I think I am. "No, no, no, fuck them. They think they know anything? No. You know that guy on Smash? Plays the director or the husband or someone, I don't know, I haven't seen it. Anyway, when he went in to audition for the part of John Lennon, he turned his chair around and faced backward. He sat in the chair, facing backward and sang his whole song that way. When he finished, Yoko Ono said that's exactly how John would have done it. Guess who got the part? EXACTLY! He did. They don't know anything! You are the one with all the power."

I nodded, biting my lower lip. Desperately wanting to believe her. Desperately wanting to shake myself, to remind myself that I already fucking know this. Wondering what happened that made me forget. Simultaneously angry that I let myself, while forgiving, accepting, knowing everything was to get me to where I am.

I played through the entire song, only looking up that once to ask if I should continue to play. When I was finished, they all had smiles on their faces as though somewhere between the time I entered the room and now, they realized this actually was the third bravest thing I have ever done.

It was later in the week that I realized that was the first audition that had nothing to do with 'them'. That one was all for me. I didn't care if I got the part, only cared that I did this scary thing. I realized that I already knew the answers: all of the things she said out loud for me; that I am called to do something with this music; that I must keep going.

It used to be enough to be adorable. That sounds shitty, I know, but it's true. I did the adorable, well-groomed, put-together, little miss perfect musical theatre actor thing so, SO well. (Google my headshot, you'll see what I mean.) Hell, I could still do it if I was into being masochistic. But I had to quit pinning my hair back and singing the same three songs the same way I had to quit every other destructive-to-myself behavior. When I say 'enough', I don't mean all I had to do to get a job was be adorable - I mean 'enough' for me, for who I wanted to be. There's so much more now and maybe I'll never be in another musical again in my life (I wish I could explain in writing the shock that just sent through me) but dammit, I will be interesting and rough and tired and beautiful and brave.

I will be the kind of brave that sits, shaking, playing her guitar in front of other people.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What A Wonderful Boy You Are.

Well, hello there boys.

GQ recently chose their favorite fashion forward 30 under-30 male actors.

Needless to say, it's a delightful little slideshow to click through.

Boys: take note! Fashion can be easy! Even, dare I say it, fun. Every guy in this list has their own unique style and stays true to themselves. My favorite example? Michael B. Jordan (Parenthood, swoon) and his chronic cardigans. He looks fantastic but shows he knows who he is while also being the most comfortable guy in the room.

I love men's fashion. Love it. I often find myself, while shopping, looking at clothing that I'm totally drooling over only to then realize that it's not stuff I would wear but instead, what my dream well-dressed dude would rock. That being said, there's also something insanely delightful about a guy who has no clue how to dress, throws random things on and still looks ridiculously well-dressed. That messy, casual thing. (This is true for women, too! But this post has nothing to do with you ladies, sorry.)

All right, what say you? Agree with the list? Think they left someone out? Couldn't possibly care less about men's clothing or style at all? Sweet! Let's hear it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hello, my baby.

Henry Bear returned to me today after a short visit with his Grandma. My mom and I call this time his "sabbatical" which gives me the image of this little guy writing in his journal, creating poetry and having deep thoughts - like a tiny, furry Thoreau. I love being able to give him a breather from the city but we both have some wicked separation anxiety when apart. You can imagine the joy that happens when we're finally reunited (after all of, like, ten days).

His triumphant, tail-wagging return has inspired me to create another list of all the amazing things this little guy teaches me:

1. First, the obvious: getting out of the city is crucial to one's happiness and health. Sometimes I'm too hard on myself for needing breaks from this crazy town and he helps remind me that we can all benefit from time away from the sights, sounds and people.

2. Fresh air is also crucial to one's health and happiness. Even when Henry stays with my mom, I find myself taking walks if I'm cooped up in my apartment for too long. One night in particular, I felt so ancy and couldn't pinpoint the reason. A short walk (and a cookie and a bunch of kale) later, all was right again.

3. I am allowed to rest. It doesn't mean I'm slacking on responsibilities or missing out on the-best-thing-ever. It means I'm taking care of myself. Henry highly encourages naps.

4. Know your people. Figure out who is always in your corner, on your team. Not just when you're being adorable and fun but when you're whiny, yelling (barking?), nervous or feeling shy. These people are rare, be loyal to them. Also know who likes to give you treats and stick with those people, too.

5. Cuddling is a daily requirement. Let people hold you, rub your back, massage your head.

6. Electronics will never be more important than the people you Love. If Hens wants attention and I'm choosing to text or type, he will nudge the phone out of my hand or slam his paw on the keyboard. Yes, seriously.

7. Be honest about your needs. Demand them lovingly. None of that passive-aggressive-you-should-know-what-I-need shit. Tell them. (See number six for examples.)

8. Play as often as possible. Show off a little. Dance with your favorite person. High five a lot.

9. Treat the start of a new day like you have won the fucking lottery. Waking up is enough of a reason to throw a party. Sometimes Henry wakes me up at ungodly hours, already wanting to play, and you know what? I literally don't care. His little face gets me out of bed faster than anything. Sometimes I get to wake him up and that is even better.

10. Love actively. Let the Love you feel for someone spread across your face and into your body until you are moving with joy. Show them you Love them. Tell them you Love them. Out loud, often. It is not enough to just Love, it's a full body, full soul, every day experience.

So much wisdom in such a tiny pup :)

What about you? What have you learned from your pets (or, you know, human children)?

P.S. A big THANK YOU to my momma for watching the baby.
P.P.S My cousin noted (on Facebook) that she thinks he looks like me in the picture above. That's the first time that's happened and I am strangely delighted. My sister said he looks like a bobble-head. Not as delighted.

If God is a DJ.

I found myself en route went to get ashes. I'm not sure if it's those four years spent in Catholic school or my fascination with St. Patrick's Cathedral and the ability to observe so many different types of people all joining together in the same pursuit. Perhaps it's just who I am. Regardless, I went.

The line wrapped all the way out of the church, down the steps and winded it's way back toward Madison Avenue by the time I joined it. For the next 40 minutes or so, I listened to the family behind me, the woman muttering to herself in front of me and the various passerby reactions of how they were not going in that line, no way, no how, this is crazy.

I decided to give up Starbucks for 40 days. Partially for selfish reasons as my bank account and my waistline will be highly benefitted, but also because it's an actual challenge for me. Admittedly, I spend way too much time there for reasons of comfort and sugar. I have that gold card that comes with your name printed on it and makes it all too easy to swipe it just once, twice, three times more.

More importantly though, I decided to give up being unkind to myself. In other words, to be aware of how I treat and speak to myself. The easiest way for me to do this seems to be to determine if I would say to one of my best friends what I'm saying to myself. For example, when thinking about my career, I would easily tell myself that I don't know what to do, it's never going to happen. When speaking to a pal, I'd be encouraging her, helping her make an action plan and sending her love notes to remind her she has someone who believes in her. It's an interesting thing to observe my own thoughts and behavior. I tend to be so fixated by observing the people around me, sometimes I forget that I'm even visible. My favorite people to observe are kids; they're so brave, so open, unaware of the silly societal rules we learn as adults. Sometimes I solve problems or determine how to spend my time by asking myself what I would do if I were six. Always seems to do the trick.

To be honest, two weeks in and I'm not yet sure what's harder: Starbucks or kindness.

As we finally climbed the stairs and made our way into the church, in an effort to quiet her young daughter, the mother in line behind me said: "Time to be quiet, we're in God's house now". Her daughter switched her voice into a hushed whisper and without a beat, replied,"Where does God keep his TV?" 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Sunday Kind of Love:

I'm not sure when it happened, but Sunday has fast become my favorite day of the week.

A glimpse, for you, of this one:

My theory here was that the massive amount of kale-carrot-apple-beet-ginger-lemon-lime-red plum juice would cancel out the doughnut. Which is true. But then one must factor in the near-end of the day stop into City Bakery and, well, my juicer will be revved up again tomorrow.

How do you spend your Sundays?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I demand to be surrounded by beautiful things.

I wear a tiara on my head for inspiration and to remember my own worth.
I wear a tiara on my head because it's fun and silly and free.
I wear a tiara on my head because I want to.

I stay up until it's so late that it's nearly early (case in point: it's almost 4 am as I type this)
and when I begin to write, I often can not stop. Not for food, for human interaction, for anything.
For awhile I thought that meant I should stop writing but now I know that it means I must.

I have glorious adventures and get to go, see, be, do, experience things I never thought I would always knew I would. I take pictures of all of these things with the best intentions to upload, post, share them. But I almost never do. I want to share these here - tell you how tonight when we left the restaurant we were both shocked to find how many hours had passed. How the Upper West Side sounds at night and that the buildings in New York City sometimes feel like you're walking through a painting and how it had started to pour out of nowhere. I want to show you the pictures I snapped of the chocolate cake they brought us (maybe I'll get to that one) and what I wore and the signs on the walls.

But mostly, I just want to write.

The idea of living beautiFULLY, to me, is this need to surround myself with beautiful things, beautiful thoughts, beautiful sights and words and sounds all while living deliciously and completely fully. Stretching my arms out so they reach as far as the night sky spreads and drinking in every second. Trying that class, buying that dress, saying those words.
Wearing that tiara and knowing you are enough exactly as you are.
Letting inspiration filter in with the sunlight.
Dancing alone in your apartment
and saying no to as many things as it takes for you to learn how to say yes to what matters.

And writing, writing, writing the whole time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

C is for Cookie.

Recently, I volunteered at the CCAP benefit. CCAP, according to their website, is "Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry."

How cool is that?! My friend Deborah's father is the founder so lucky for me, I got to witness just how awesome this organization is first hand. And how awesome tables full of dessert are. 
Passion fruit & caramel macaroons? Um, yes please.

So many of New York City's most delicious restaurants and amazing chefs came out to support.

Beautiful friends enjoying the night.

Sometimes you just need to sit down for a minute and take silly mirror pictures.

Outfit photos of the night and laughs courtesy of one of my favorite ladies.

Dress: Macy's (NYC); Shoes: Filene's (Boston); Necklace: Satya

So many people stopped me to compliment my dress. I couldn't help but laugh as some very wealthy and classy New Yorkers were loving a dress that I spied in the juniors section of Macy's. 

Just goes to show that you never know where you'll find an amazing new item for your closet :)

Eat well, be well & give back!

P.S. For more of my pics & a delicious review, check out Tough Cookie NYC

Thanks, Deb, for letting me partake in the night! For more info on CCAP, please visit their website.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Gonna Soak Up The Sun.

I've been in overwhelm lately.

The dearest loves in my life know that I get to this point from time to time. Usually a combination of worrying about money, my career and my life are the culprits to blame. Although as soon as I start to teeter into overwhelm-land (like Disneyland except with less fun and more panic), anything and everything can be to blame: the negative energy on a NYC subway during rush hour, feeling heartbreak over the horses forced to pull carriages, waiting on someone to return my call, making assumptions, the weather, etc.

In recent days, I've been trying to decide what to do about my current living situation. Should I move to a new apartment? A new city? Find a roommate? Find a friend's place to sublet? Move back home for a bit? In New York City, the options are literally endless. The hours spent scouring Craigslist until the middle of the night were ridiculous, never mind the phone calls to my mother where I would obsessively list every pro and con I could think of for every possible option.

In attempting to make one big life decision, several others popped up out of the woodwork. When considering a move to LA, my career choices started to demand attention. If I want to be on TV, shouldn't I be in LA? But what about all of the pilots and episodics shooting here? What about the connections I have where I currently am? What about the recent meetings I've had out there? Could I really give up theatre altogether? Do I really need to ever give up any part of the business?

And on and on and on. See how easy it is to get all swirled up with the thoughts in our own minds? Throw in the fact that I have absolutely no income at the moment, an unclear path to my goals, some unnecessary boy drama and a big meeting coming up? I found myself literally hiding under the covers in my bed yesterday.

And then, something clicked. I remembered that it's not our circumstances that define us but how we choose to react to those circumstances. I decided to change my attitude that very second and trust that everything will work out in a great way. I meditated on a few positive mantras as I got ready and instantly found myself perking up. Throughout the day, my mind would start to wander back toward negative thinking and I'd take a second to re-focus and remind myself that I was choosing to have a positive attitude.

Wanna know what happened?

By letting go of my panic over my housing situation, out of nowhere, the most perfect roommate match happened.
By releasing my obsessive research about what gym to join and how will I afford it, my amazing cousin asked me to join her at a certain fitness center and offered to pay my way in exchange for being her company. This is the exact place I've been admiring from a far (and from their website), eager to try their class.
By actively choosing to stop fearing my financial situation, the employees at my banking institution magically waved a fee for me and I have found myself with several promising new routes for sources of income (cross your fingers!).
By trusting that I'm in the right profession and am allowed to audition for whatever I want, I had the opportunity to sing for one of my biggest inspirations today. I also managed to show up, sign in and get seen for this audition in less than an hour. (Sorry to you non-actors for the theatre jargon, we'll get into that in another post.
By feeling more joyous, I've found the people around me to be happier. By being more generous, I've seen the return come at me ten-fold. I even got the chance to see a great play by a writer I really like for free tonight!

All of this came from a simple decision to choose happiness & trust over fear & panic. There is no way for us to know what's going to happen next. Trust me, the control freak part of me wishes there were. All of the studies, to-do lists, yoga poses and psychics in the world can't tell us what the next moment will bring. But by firmly declaring to trust the Universe, trust ourselves and trust in positive thinking, we can float easily from one day to the next.

Tomorrow morning, when you wake up (or heck, even right now if you're feeling crazy) declare out loud that this day is going to bring amazing things for you. Then sit back, watch and give thanks.