Ever since I was young, I loved to tell stories, dress up in costume and put on a live performance. I loved to observe people, mimic my relatives and exaggerate stories and behaviors to make my audience laugh and feel entertained. Up until 2020, I have been uninterrupted in following my passion as a performing artist. But when the pandemic began, my type of art was canceled. No more in person auditions and acting classes. No more stand up comedy shows. No more working on set with directors, crew and my favorite, craft services. Like most creatives during lockdown, I turned to making short digital videos for TikTok and Instagram. But, there was an abyss within me and I knew the thrill I felt when performing for a live audience had disappeared.
I became more and more paranoid about the unknown virus and had enough of the "Renegade" on TikTok. So, I wrapped myself in my thick winter scarf as my makeshift mask, sported latex gloves because I am neurotic and made a trek down Sunset Blvd. to my local Blick Art Store in West Hollywood. I purchased a starter painting kit, paper and some sparkly metallic pink paint, because I always love a little glitz. This was one of the best purchases I have made in my life.
For the past two years, I have found both refuge and joy in painting. As I painted and shared my progress online, my friends started asking me to commission artwork! Painting became just as fulfilling as performing and this realization helped me come to terms that there is more out there than what I had thought I was destined to do. I am not sure where I will go with painting, but for now it’s a hobby, form of therapy and a thrill to complete each project.
Thankfully, my boyfriend is very supportive of this pastime, so now our living room has turned into my art gallery and a section of the kitchen is a painting studio. It's a very supportive kind of relationship, very similar to Julia Child and Paul Cushing Child. Sweet to have a hype man by your side!
Having an outlet for expression helps us make sense of the world and how we fit in it. I think creating and making things also grows our empathy and compassion. If you are feeling the creative spark, here are a few things that I recommend to have when beginning as a painter:
Let me know if you give painting a try. It truly can only add more color to your life!
Finding love is not pretty. You have to date around, find out what you like and don’t like, make compromises, teach men how to be domestic, have your heart broken and occasionally fall for a sociopath.
For the past ten years, before meeting my boyfriend, he and I both have taken time to work on ourselves separately (a la healing, reading self help books, going to therapy, and adopting healthy habits). These healthy habits we honed make our relationship sing and work beautifully. I believe the commitment to continual growth and good health helps foster a relationship that will last. Additionally, taking strategic chances and putting yourself in the right place are key components to finding "the one".
To preface the following anecdote, my most recent method for finding a boyfriend worked very well for me. I’m not saying the method has a hundred percent success rate but it’s worth a shot if you are open-hearted.
I moved home to San Diego from Los Angeles, rekindled a friendship with an old school friend, and attended her small gathering, where I connected with even more of my childhood classmates. I openly shared my dating horror stories and at the end of the evening, my classmate suggested that I go on a date with one of our mutual friend’s older brothers, who I also have known since I was little but never really talked to because he was an upperclassman.
The next day, on my preferred dating app, Bumble, I saw him, swiped right and we matched! Maybe this was the universe telling me to go for it or maybe it was just my phone listening to everything I said out loud. Our dating profiles were similar; minimal and we both shared similar interests, like stand up comedy, writing, the ocean, and tacos. So uncommon ;) Our first date was a collaboration, he reserved a table at Piatti’s in La Jolla and I suggested we add on a beach walk before. We talked, dined, laughed, shared stories and agreed to go out again. Dating is so easy and fun when you're with the right person.
I cannot believe I had met my soulmate when I was four years old without even knowing. And thankfully and unknowingly, the pandemic brought us back home to have the chance to meet and date each other.
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy said, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with…” I love how the quote’s meaning of “your backyard” can also represent your community that you thrive in and belong to, such as an improv school, the board for your local park, or a social or professional group you're a part of. In these groups is where, people can also find a life partner, someone who shares similar values and life goals.
In order to find love, it’s vital to work towards healing and loving yourself first. When coming from a grounded and healed place, it's easier to identify red flags and to listen to what our bodies and hearts truly want. Next, try the following to find a boyfriend/girlfriend:
This past weekend, I stayed at The Ojai Valley Inn for a bachelorette party for my best friend. We did aerial yoga, dined at The Oak Kitchen, laughed a lot, played games, lounged by the pool and had a spa day!
At Spa Ojai, I had the Rejuvenate Oxygen Facial, which is amazing for reducing fine lines, lifting and giving skin a dewy glow. I was very excited for facial extractions, but I didn't have any clogged pores to extract! My esthetician Jennifer said whatever skin routine I'm doing currently at home is working.
Below, are few products I use daily that are keeping my skin healthy and vibrant.
After my skin was acting up from mask wearing, hormones and usage of too many products, my estheticians at Girl On The Go Wellness Spa in San Diego, recommended ilike lemon cleansing milk for it's natural ingredients and gentle texture. The cleanser helped clear up my skin right away. It works as a daily cleanser for all skin types and is an effective and nourishing make up remover as well.
Sephora's Solid Brush and Sponge is life changing good for proper make up hygiene. I regularly clean my make up brushes, sponges and even the inside of my make up bag. I was hesitant at first with this new product, but it really works if you want to extend the shelf life of your brushes and sponges!
During the winter, I use Drunk Elephant's Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil to keep my skin hydrated and smooth. After cleansing my skin, I apply the oil and then my moisturizer or SPF on top.
In the mornings, while I wait for my coffee to brew, I face roll with my Rose Quartz Roller, which I keep chilled in the refrigerator in my cheese drawer. Face rolling feels SO GOOD, I am not kidding. Facial massage, in general, helps lower inflammation, reduces wrinkles and it's just my favorite self care treat.
I have more skin tips to share but will cap it off here. Let me know if you try any of the above and see a difference in your skin! I have sensitive skin and these products all have helped me maintain a healthy glow inside and out.
“Why aren’t we rolling sixes? If you love me, roll a six!”
“You can block my city but it’s going to be a waste of your roads.”
“I really hope this move doesn’t end our marriage.”
“Overheard” but for the board game, Catan
During the pandemic, I played Catan with a fiercely competitive millennial couple, who were so passionate, that tears of pain were shed and at the end of the game I thought they would file for a divorce! Thankfully, divorce did not happen and hopefully, they still play Catan together, minus the verbal threats. I played with new couples recently and again I witnessed that friends and lovers can become fast enemies when they play games.
Why though? It’s just a game. It’s supposed to be fun. Right?
I grew up playing games. And I mean, a lot of games. My family played, Oh, Hell, also known as Up and Down the Ladder, Shanghai Rummy, Hearts, and later on, Wizard and Mahjong. Croquet, ping pong, pool and badminton were always played during holiday gatherings and game nights. Learning new rules, adapting quickly and being competitive felt natural and healthy because I was playing non-stop. When my friends would join a family function, they would complain that they needed a break, wanted to just sit and talk and that they had never played this many games in their life!
Games helped me learn as a kid. My mom taught me how to count by making a game out of counting steps. She helped me learn my multiplication in the ocean; every time a wave would come, she would test my times tables. To this day, when I am struggling with a project, I’ll call my mom and she’ll remind me to make a game out of the situation. We play games because it’s fun. And as an added bonus, playing games teaches team building, communication, cognition and resilience.
New York Times’ game designer, Sam Von Ehren wrote “Playing a game is an act of exposition” and the choices we make while playing a game “reveal who we are and how we think.” Consistently playing games can train us to bounce back from failure, to keep on exploring and to win gracefully. The more we play games the more we can grow to be resilient and have mental fortitude. Resiliency is fostered by having social support, so playing games with other people can help develop and strengthen it. For example, planning a game night with friends is really fun, I just had one. I cooked and served baked ziti and had black and white cookies for dessert while we played Catan. I was having so much fun that I didn't even realize that I won the game!
As the American sportswriter, Grantland Rice would say, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Or, is it easier said when you win the game and don't feel any vengeance towards your lovers and friends?
I am an actress, teaching artist and writer. I've always loved reading blogs like Lauryn Bosstick's The Skinny Confidential, Aimee Song's Song of Style, and Emily Schuman's Cupcakes and Cashmere. I love their genuineness, vulnerability, humor, and meaningful content.
With moving home to San Diego from Los Angeles during the pandemic and getting laid off from my corporate job in entertainment, I started to explore and refocus on what truly gives me joy and peace. I have always loved learning and helping others learn, so I started teaching acting, singing and dancing to children. It is incredible to see the kids gain confidence and transform just over the course of a couple of weeks of working together. I love how performance and the arts give us the grace to be messy and imaginative. Similar to in the classroom with my students, I hope that my blog posts will spark creativity, hope and innovation for my readers.
Thank you for being here! I am thrilled to share my journey, hopefully bring value and humor to your life and to share my ideas, tips and inspiration for living.