What a Girl Wants

In this new generation of easy access to private lives through social media and the iPhone I have noticed that with it comes a lack of chivalry. For the single girl being asked out and dating is a whole new world. There is no mystery anymore, and frankly it is just too easy.  As a woman brought up in a traditional, proper, and loving family I often go to my Father for advice. The way he treats my mother and acts as the head of the household is remarkable.  What I always tell him frustrates me the most is the world of “texting.” A man doesn’t have to put himself out there anymore. He doesn’t have to worry about rejection because a text is easily deleted and he never even has to look the woman in her eyes or have a conversation with her. I truly believe that what women really want is to be fought for. They want to feel that of all the women in the world you are worth the time it will take to actually pick up the phone and call.

 

I just honestly miss the romance in life. The mystery of the first date, of discovering who a person is, and learning whether you connect with them. Even I am guilty of using my social media to display the lovely life I lead, but there is just something more intriguing when you know nothing about the person and discover it all on your own. Besides, if you judge a book by its cover (or by its instagram photos) you may never truly get to know the person at all.

 

To me romance is when a man goes out of his way to introduce himself to you, is proud to have you by his side, and when he believes he is lucky to have you in his life. And the same goes for the woman. She too must appreciate the man she is with. There must be a mutual respect – which doesn’t come through texting, but rather spending time with the person.

 

One of my favorite memories of being asked out was when I was at dinner with my mother. I was having a mother/daughter dinner drinking wine, laughing, and being silly. The table next to us was a boy with his family as well laughing at our ridiculousness. After his family left he ran back into the restaurant, shook my mothers hand and introduced himself, he then told me that he couldn’t resist my smile and if he could take me out to dinner. How could I say no? He called me the next morning. While this man may or may not remain in my life is yet to be known, but what I do know is I will always have a respect for him because of the respect he showed for me.

 

My wise words for today is to put down the cell phones. Open your eyes to the world around you – you could be missing something great.

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Thank You God for Family

I believe God granted me the gift of a lifetime when he gave me my family. My mother always tells me that I am a guardian angel sent to watch over my family, but I know the truth: it is she who shines her light upon our family in all we do. Her laugh could warm the heart of any cold soul, and every move she makes is one for others. She makes life on earth a precursor to heaven, and she doesn’t even mean to.

My family life has been the foundation that has allowed me to run wild and still find solitude and strength within myself. One of the places that have remained sacred to me is a little treasure in northern Idaho called Priest Lake. We can travel the world trying to find who we are, but we always travel back to the home – and this is where we find it.

 On my journey of running I would say that traveling the world and meeting the people I have met has made me realize more and more how important my childhood has been. That is why I am so thankful for the roots I have at the lake. Every year since I have been born my family has gone to a cabin in Idaho. We go with another family who has two boys, Parker and Dane, and my brother, Bret, and all the parents, animals, boats, sea doos, and craziness comes together once a year. It never changes. We dance at the same local restaurant that my parents have been going to since they were 20. The memories of being five years old and staring at our parents dance through the window have turned into memories dancing with our own significant others and for some our own children! It is a place we come to and ease into pure comfort with one another through water sports, BBQ’s, laughter, and bonfires.

I once read a quote by Denzel Washington that said, “Acting is just a way of making a living; the family is life.”
I think we can remove “acting” and put any career in this slot. For family should always come before all. Family is not always blood, but it is those people we create traditions with who sincerely have our back in all we do. Who will be there to answer the phone at 2 am when we can’t sleep, or bring us back down to earth when we are floating too high. Family is the backbone of life. I don’t know where I would be without my loving family, Priest Lake, and God. These are the things that will always remain number one in my life.

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Hard Work Makes the Dream Work

It’s the things we do when no one is looking, when we are at home all alone, when we have a spare minute…it is when we choose to prepare at night instead of attend the party…it is the sweat and tears we put into our dreams that no one sees…and when we have success the onlookers think it was easy for us…but we know, that success does not come without sacrifice and hard work. It is these moments that separate the champions from the rest. When we get up and work even when we don’t want to – that is greatness.

While hard work isn’t always pleasant, the rewards you experience by being self-made are so much greater when you know what it took to get there. People often tell me that when they see me in a commercial or on TV, they think it’s “cool” or “glamorous.” What many don’t realize is that this one moment of success took years of training, coaching, studying dramatic arts at USC, waking up early to work out and stay in shape, thousands of mornings getting up early, preparing, getting ready, driving all over Hollywood, and auditioning only to hear “no.” Then one day you hear “yes.” That moment is worth every taste of bitterness leading up to it. For I believe you can never know just how sweet something is without having experienced the bitterness.

My mother worked for many years as an executive in the corporate world for Fortune 500 companies, and I can remember her telling me that the only difference between the CEOs and the people who worked for them was that the CEOs got up more times after they failed. Failure is simply a part of life, and though it is heart wrenching at times, the more you can make friends with failure, learn from it and learn to keep going the better off you will be.

 As a young girl performing on stages in my small town of Woodinville I can remember dreaming of Los Angeles like so many do. I have memories of other kids calling me “prude” in science class, or “lame” because I didn’t drink or attend all the parties. But I am okay with that because I know that my time was spent working on grades and my goal of attending a private university. The rest would come later. My dream did come true, and while attending The University of Southern California I set my sights even higher. I’ve since experienced the thrill of filming a movie with actors who are among the most respected in the industry, a CSI spot with the talented Ted Danson and Marg Helgenberger and in the past month I have filmed four commercials for major companies. When I stepped in front of the camera on set, each time I smiled back on every moment I spent working towards this, and I was thankful. I know that I did this on my own. Moving to Los Angeles to follow a dream that so many do. But I believe what sets me apart is my sincere love of the craft of acting, and my willingness to put in the work that is necessary – and then some. I do not take a single moment of this life for granted. I love acting more than I have ever loved anything. It makes me so happy.

I know that hard work can indeed pay off. I have paid close attention to certain stars I admire who have worked their way to the top with respect, dignity, and tenacity.  For example, Jodi Foster and Natalie Portman fulfilling their education at ivy league schools and continuing to better themselves. Ryan Seacrest, a self-made success story in his own right, who stated, “I know when I go to bed that no one’s working harder doing what I’m doing, and I think, quite frankly, simply that hard work at some point was gonna pay off.” One other person I admire and watch is Cameron Diaz. With beauty and a smile like that you would think it was easy for her, but if you pay close attention you can see how hard she works. She wants to be taken seriously as well in her craft, shown through example by doing movies like “My Sisters Keeper.” Another quote I love is by Cameron: “I think that anything that you do, any accomplishment that you make, you have to work for. And I’ve worked very hard in the last ten years of my life, definitely, and I can tell you that hard work pays off. It’s not just a cliche.” I don’t have any crazy connections, or link to the world that is acting, but I have my talent and my brains – and I will make it happen.

On my journey I have met some very inspiring people. When I auditioned for USC’s theatre program at 17 years old I met a young man who I still remember. He was waiting in the hall for his audition, and I sat next to him talking to him for an hour while we waited. I remember him being so full of light and energy, yet he was soft spoken and kind. He was torn over going to school or continuing with what had already been a success in the industry. When I asked him whether he would forgoe USC if he got a certain role, he said: “Oh no, my mother would never let me go out of the house before studying with the greats. She has made me gain my education and become a skilled actor before even allowing me to work.” He later introduced himself as Evan Ross, son of legendary singer Dianna Ross. And while I didn’t put that together until later, and although he probably doesn’t remember me, I remember him and the inspiring way he spoke. I learned that day that you can affect some one by simply speaking to them, and often not even know it. My family has raised me with very similar standards and morals. That is you go after something with all you have, it will pay off if you have a steady and determined heart. It’s all about the work ethic, and the improvement.

The last thought I have today is about faith within Hollywood. I was baptized, raised, and confirmed Christian growing up. There have been times that I have lost it living out here in LA alone with no family, but it always makes its way back into my heart. I do believe that there are faithful people in Hollywood succeeding because of their hard work and talent. Just last week while I was on set I shared a trailer with a young girl named Paige Hurd. She was reading a book called “God Doesn’t Blink,” and we struck up a conversation about what churches we attend and bible study groups. It was the most refreshing conversation to hear on set. Her sister then came to visit her on set and they seemed so close. I know this girl will go very far, for she has a solid ground beneath her. It is people like this that continue to inspire and prove to me that the world of acting can be one of great positive influence if we choose to use it in the right way.

My hope and desire is to use my career to positively influence younger generations to live strongly, be proud of who they are, and give back. 

 

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The Resilient Heart

What is love? A word so often thrown around hastily, we write about it in songs and books, we make movies and cartoons idealizing it or making fun of it, and many spend their lives wondering if it even exists. Yet, it is not tangible or “real.” It often does not last, and if it doesn’t, does that mean there was never truly love there?  How can one even begin to define such a word? Love: Like faith it is true if we believe, cruel if we don’t take care of it, and the most powerful emotion known to man.
I believe, no matter how many times we experience despair or lost love the miracle lies in the ability for the heart to move on.  We don’t always want to, but with time and a bit of sunshine our hearts do indeed heal and we have the ability to give again, and let another experience the beauty and light that lies within us. One of my favorite quotes is by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote “what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter compared to what lies within us.” No matter what we have experienced or what trials we have ahead it is what is within our heart and soul, the goodness within us that will always remain and always shine through. No one can ever take away the special light within you! Here lies the miracle: the heart is resilient.
To learn love is a never-ending lesson, but I do know that if we love ourselves, and appreciate our own joy first, then we will have the ability to love truly, faithfully, and for always. 

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Jaclyn and Toran’s Engagement Party

This past weekend I held an engagement party for one of my closest friends Jaclyn Betham and her fiancé Toran Caudell. As a woman, I have come to realize that my girlfriends are my pillars of strength. It is important to stand by each other, stand up for each other, and cherish one another in this often unforgiving society. Jaclyn is the kind of woman that I believe represents what my blog is all about. She is strong, independent, and walks with confidence and grace at the same time. She has always been there for me through the years, and we have remained good friends as our lives, relationships, and careers changed. 

Now, she enters a new phase in her life in which her partner will be her most important pillar of strength. The smile on her face says it all. I could not pick a more perfect man for her. The kindness and loyalty between them radiates and it is with honor that I was able to throw a party to celebrate their beautiful relationship. Love is choosing the highest good for the other person in all aspects and situations. This couple represents just this. They improve one another and motivate one another to be the best possible people they can be. They are a power couple, and I know we will be hearing a lot about both Jaclyn and Toran in the future. May we look to them as an example of not only love, but what friendship looks like. 

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Cake by Susie Cakes. They will have a consultation with you and design whatever you like! Find them at: https://www.susiecakes.com.

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At Michaels Arts & Crafts I found plastic champagne glasses and tied white ribbons around the base, and placed “I Do” stickers at the top.

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Mr. & Mrs. Martinellis Covers to spruce up the bottles!

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Table ideas for an Engagement party! One of the hits of the day were the fake diamond rings laying on all of the tables that guests could put on and take home!

 

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Yummy fruit in crystal make for a classy way to serve food.

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Making a collage of the couple-to-be with a thick white frame for signing or giving advice is a nice present for the couple as well as a way to include all of the guests.

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The beautiful Couple

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Take a Moment of Silence Daily

As I took a moment of silence by myself sitting in the grass over looking the ocean I noticed a small lady bug crawl on to my hand – wanting to enjoying the view as well I am sure. As I strung a line of daisies together the lady bug stayed by my side, keeping me company. He even posed for my camera :).

What I noticed about this moment is that when we take life slow and gentle the world wants to join in. When we are rushed and stressed out we may not notice the lady bug in our company. Just as in our daily lives it is important to be kind and gentle with all people and things we encounter. For I may never have noticed the lady bug that is said to bring luck if I had not taken the time for myself and moment to breathe. It makes me wonder how many other little, beautiful moments we miss when we don’t take the time to notice the world around us.

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Grilled Summer Tortilla Sandwich

After discovering I have celiacs disease about four years ago I have taught myself some very tasty wheat and gluten free meals. The following may be made with or without these gluten-free options. ALthough, I find the Brown Rice Tortillas from Trader Joe’s to be the perfect texture for this grilled summer tortilla sandwich!

Ingredients:
1 Large gluten free tortilla
1/2 cup fresh cooked chicken
1 vine ripe tomato, thinly sliced
1 slice sharp cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon olive oil

On a skillet pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Then place the tortilla in the skillet followed by all of your ingredients until the cheese is melted. Once the cheese had melted fold your tortilla in half and allow it to cook until golden brown.

Once finished…serve and eat! Yummy :)

I like adding a fruit or vegetable to all my meals. Eating at a table with beautiful flowers that is set nicely often makes me eat slower and enjoy my surroundings.

xo

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