Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Episode Five: Single White Female Syndrome

So, to begin, let me preface by saying my version of Single White Female Syndrome has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a sociopath. According to my research, this disorder affects young single women and the defining characteristic is the assumption of a friend's look, personality, emotions, everything. It most commonly manifests in women with serious social and personal insecurities and this is their way of coping. Perhaps I should come up with a different title...

Anyway, my version of SWFS has more to do with the people around the woman than the woman herself. I will be my own case and point as I seem to encounter these scenarios on a more than regular basis. Note to friends, family, random man #3 in the restaurant last week: This is not an attack on any of you, so if I make an example you were involved in, please don't be offended.

That being said...

I am a Single White Female. More to the point, I am perfectly content and happy with this status. I find a great deal of satisfaction in being alone. My time is completely my own, and while I don't have a great number of hobbies outside of my work, I do like to indulge in the few extracurricular activities I have. And I do, very often, prefer to indulge in them alone. If one cannot be alone with one's self, well, that's a very big problem. Ultimately, you are stuck with you, and I'd hope everyone has at least a small modicum of tolerance for one's self because even if you're coming home to someone, you'll always be coming home to you, so you had better get used to you being there because you never leave... hopefully.

I say hopefully because, and again being my own case and point, I have lost track of myself several times over the course of my 26 (and half) year existence, which is why I so fiercely guard and protect myself now. I have mostly noted this deviation from self to crop up when I am with someone. Dating has proved the biggest personality thief where I am concerned. I can look back through the relationships and non-relationships and see a very distinct pattern where I simply didn't exist. I was all about that other person, I became like him, adopted his habits, adopted his hobbies. I have come to realize this is the biggest relationship destroyer because more than likely each one of these guys didn't set out with the intention of dating himself, which is exactly what ended up happening.

17 months ago, I joined Weight Watchers. This is relevant because while it initially started out with a focus on weight loss, it ultimately ended with a focus on self. When I started this journey, I really had no clue who I was. I didn't know what I liked, I really didn't know what I was capable of. For years I had exhibited faux confidence, now I was aggressively seeking the real thing. I wanted to find the real me. Not the "me" that I became by honing in on my partner-of-the-time's habits, but the me that loves to cook and bake; the me that will waste hours on video games, books, and wandering the grocery store; the me that will hit the gym in the morning for a 7 mile run (currently in 70 minutes, hello 10 minute mile!) and go for a run again in the evening because I know there will be no treadmills on tour in the fall and I have to learn how to handle running in the elements (side note: mosquitoes SUCK... Literally. HA.); the me that can eat alone in public, prefers seeing movies alone, and is perfectly at ease attending events and parties sans date. All I wanted was to find the me that has always been there, but was buried under a very big pile of baggage, broken relationships, and a lot of over-sized clothing.

Thankfully, I never totally lost myself, but I did become severely overshadowed and colored by my significant other, which gave him way too much credit and way too much significance. I'm sorry, but no one is so awesome and wonderful that they deserve to be two people. My apologies in bursting your bubble, but this is true of all us, including me, and I have to say, I really like myself these days. To my friends and family, a huge debt of gratitude is owed, one I'll probably never be able to repay, but many, many thanks for sticking by me through the multitude of negative but ultimately positive transformations that have led me to who I am today. I honestly could not have reached where I am without your support, especially when it was most undeserved.

Now, to come full circle...

As I said, I jealously guard my independence and "me" time because I so seldomely treated myself to it prior to the last year. I am currently in a semi-self-imposed no dating period of life. I say semi because while I am not wholly opposed to seeing someone, I'm definitely not in The Hunt For Red October phase of finding a mate. I'm not seeking and I'm definitely not waiting (blugh!), I'm just being. I'm being with me and God will bring the right man into my life when the time is right. I fully believe God's timing is perfect, His will is perfect, and the perfect (I use that word loosely) man for me is out there doing exactly what I'm doing (well, hopefully not, that would contradict everything I've just said), and we'll find each other when we're meant to.

However, being a content Single White Female is hard for most people to comprehend. Most cannot understand why I would choose to be alone. Just goes to show the "old" social mores of the 50s and 60s are still alive and kicking despite our claimed progressive, feminist, women-are-allowed-to-wear-pants-and-do-the-jobs-men-do view on life. It seems women are still expected to end up staying at home, rearing the kids, while the man does the "man's" work and provides the support. No thanks. I pride myself on being a successful, working professional and I have no intention of being your conventional, cookie-cutter Donna Reed.

This outlook has invoked some entertaining situations, to say the least. I frequently get asked why "a girl like me" isn't married, why someone hasn't "snatched me up," again, why I would choose to be single. I got told by a man in a restaurant that I was "sad" because I was dining alone. I was really happy, quite honestly. Date night with myself is always a treat because I always end up doing exactly what I want to do (which usually involves dinner, a movie, and ice cream after). I found my situation as far from sad as it was possible to be. I had a co-worker ask, in jest, if I was a lesbian. I have friends attempt to "set me up" with eligible men when I come to visit. I find this incessant harping on companionship as a necessity to be annoyingly cliche. 

In summation, I wish people wouldn't assume that a Single White Female is lonely and in need of rescue from the company of herself. There is a vast difference between being lonely and being alone. Yes, I have my lonely moments, but they are fleeting these days, and I find a great deal of joy in learning about myself and what I'm all about, and I feel these are discoveries best experienced alone. I think everyone needs a period of single-gestation in life. You have to take care of you above anyone else because if you're not taking care of you, how can you expect to fully and effectively take care of anyone else? Alone time is crucial because you need to learn about what you need. I know many will argue against this selfish mentality, but I'm living proof that time spent on you in the long run ends up being time well spent for the benefit of others. 

A strong sense of self is your biggest asset, and your most attractive one, so take some time to cultivate it. Yes, I may be alone, but I hardly consider it a bad thing. I'm learning about what makes me happy and how to hold onto me. At the end of the day, I'm stuck with me, so I better like myself, and liking myself has been one of the most important accomplishments of my life, one I absolutely wish upon everyone I meet, friend and enemy alike.

I'll never be Donna Reed. That's a good thing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Episode Four: Guilt-Free Guilty Pleasures

Guilt. A most disgusting, disgruntling, discouraging-- and insert additional dis-worthy words here-- feeling.  I especially hate this emotion when combined with food. Compounded more so when accompanying things I truly enjoy eating. One of the number one reasons for my foray into the domain of baked goods and homemade meals is summed up in one simple word: CONTROL. I'm notorious for going out to restaurants, seeing something that I know to be a no-no food, then going straight home and turning it into a yes-yes-YES delight. This is my ideal way of spiting those guilty feelings without spiting my waist line in the process. Aside from being monumentally more pocketbook and bank account friendly, eating and cooking at home is a sure fire way to gain more control over what and how you eat.

The prompt for today's post comes out of that ever un-disconnected social interface, Facebook. I posted a little status update about enjoying a margarita in the middle of the day along with a buffalo style vegetarian pizza. Now, for most "dieters" these two words most assuredly do not belong in the same sentence. Well, for me I can have these two things all in the same day without ruining my weight loss progress. PLUS, I can even enjoy more guilty pleasures than this, without my waistline experiencing the slightest increase. So, in honor of my guilt free lifestyle, I'm providing a guiltless menu for an entire day that neither breaks your weight loss goals or causes your taste buds to scream in agony for something more flavorful. Even better, all of the recipes I'm going to give you are inspired by restaurant fare I've experienced and chosen to enjoy, but in a healthier way.

To Kim, Briley, & Lil Sis Alex, thanks for the inspiration. NOW EAT UP!

**MENU IS BASED ON STANDARD 29 POINTS PLUS VALUE DAILY ALLOWANCE (This is the amount of Points Plus most members consume when in the losing phase of the Program)

Sandy's Super Strength Breakfast Roll Up
As inspired by the First Watch Power Wrap

3 egg whites
1 tomato basil Ole Tortilla Wrap
1 handful fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms
1 Laughing Cow Light wedge, Swiss 
1/4 cup fat free Salsa
1 cup fruit of your choice
*If you want the turkey called for in the First Watch recipe, add 1 oz 99% fat free ground or canned turkey (cook as directed) for additional Points Plus of 1.

Mix egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms (and cooked turkey, if desired) in small bowl. Place in greased skillet and scramble on medium-high heat. Warm Ole Wrap in microwave for 1 minute. Spread Swiss wedge on warmed tortilla. Place scrambled egg whites in wrap and roll up. Top with salsa and serve with a cup of fruit.


Sandy's Strawberry Fields Salad
As inspired by the Broadway Palm Theatre's Strawberry Pecan Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh Spinach
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 TBSP chopped pecans
2 TBSP Goat Cheese
1 tsp canola oil
2/3 tsp balsalmic vinegar
1/4 tsp Splenda
pinch each: Tarragon, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, & dry mustard

In a cup, stir together oil, balsalmic vinegar, Splenda, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss spinach, sliced strawberries, pecans and cheese to mix. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.

Sandy's Savory Buffalo-Style Veggie Pizza
As inspired by BJ's Brewhouse's Buffalo Chicken Pizza
POINTS PLUS: approx. 18-20

1 Flat Out Light Original Pita Wrap
4 grape tomatoes, quartered
1 green onion, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 baby carrots, chopped
1 handful fresh spinach
1/4 cup reduced fat blue cheese crumbles or 3 TBSP fat free blue cheese dressing
3 TBSP fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP wing sauce, hotness as desired!
*If you want chicken, add 1 oz chicken (cooked as directed) for additional Points Plus of 1.
4 TBSP fat free ricotta cheese
1 TBSP fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp + dash of salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Crisp Flat Out Wrap while oven preheats, 3-5 minutes. In small bowl, combine white sauce ingredients. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Stir to combine. Spread over Wrap. Layer on spinach and all vegetables (and chicken, if desired). Top with 3 TBSP mozarella cheese. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing (or crumbles) and wing sauce. Bake for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper if needed.

The Magical Hungry-Girl Margarita
As inspired by Margaritas and Cinco de Mayo parties everywhere
POINTS PLUS: approx. 12+
3/4 cup diet Sierra Mist
2 TBSP lime juice
1 instant lemonade packet (like Crystal Light)
1.5 oz Tequila

Combine all ingredients. Serve over ice, or mix with ice in a blender to serve frozen. Garnish with salt rim and lime, if desired.

Sandy's Sensational Smoco
As inspired by the Choco Taco

1 High Fiber Low Carb Ole Tortilla
2 tsp Peter Pan whipped 1/3 less sugar Peanut Butter
2 tsp mini chocolate chips
2 TBSP marshmallow creme
*If you want the ice creamy version of this treat, add 1/4 cup fat free vanilla ice cream for additional Points Plus of 1.

Grease a skillet with non stick spray. Spread peanut butter and marshmallow creme on tortilla. Top with chocolate chips. Place in skillet and grill until tortilla starts to crisp. Add in ice cream if desired or simply serve warm.

If you'll look closely at all the points for the day, there are still 5 Points Plus available. This is if you skip on the meat and ice cream. If you opt to put those things in to each meal, you still have 2 Points Plus left over. This is a pretty savory day and you'd still be losing weight if you were participating in the Weight Watchers Program. Diet doesn't have to mean deprive. With a little brain power and a will to still enjoy food while "sticking to a budget" anything is possible.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Episode Three: To Bake or Not To Bake? The Answer is YES!

Alright, so grammar aside, YES is the answer to the question queried in this post's title. Today marks my first recipe posting, and not only is there one sinfully delicious (and remarkably healthy!) recipe for you to sink your teeth into, there are THREE, all with seven ingredients or less (7 Points Plus or less for you fellow Weight Watchers out there), and all requiring very little in the way of kitchen utensils. Plus this recipe is so simple, you can literally make it with any variety of ingredients to satisfy any palette.

Today we'll be unbaking, thank you Lewis Carroll, with a simple No-Bake Cheesecake recipe (Thus the YES to our baking without baking enigma). I did a little poking around online, just to scope out the other Cheesecake contenders on the table. Your average store-bought no bake mix (such as Jell-O) is already between 7-10 Points Plus, which is over 200 calories per serving, PRE-PREPARATION! And don't even get me going on The Cheesecake Factory's delectably-anti-trim-waist-line offerings. We'll just not go there today. Cheesecake is one of my absolute favorite desserts, and I hate hearing myself or fellow "dieters" (I ABHORE that word) say, "Oh, I can't have that." Yes you can! Healthy weight maintenance is most definitely not about deprivation, it's about moderation. And while Weight Watchers may not be everyone's choice for a weight loss plan, they have a remarkably simple motto, Don't Eat Less, Eat SMART. Thus, my foray into the world of guilt free cheesecake consumption! 

**The base recipe is NOT my creation, but came from a recipe site called Gina's Recipes. She's a fellow Weight Watcher and strives as I do to create healthful recipes based on old favorites. The modifications I'll talk about are some of my own ideas to make Gina's base recipe more versatile.

Me with my mother
from the show
This post also commemorates the closing of Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping, which I've been working on in Fort Myers, FL since February! I tested out several of my Weight Watchers friendly recipes on this cast (including soda cupcakes and some devastatingly delicious pistachio parfaits), and my no-bake cheesecake was my final thank you for a fabulous run of over 90 performances! A few weeks prior to closing I told the cast I'd be baking for them one last time before our time together ended and I told them they could choose the ingredients and I'd supply the dessert. Simply and unanimously: Chocolate and Peanut Butter. They could care less what else was involved. I, of course, was happy to oblige, especially since these two are among my top 5 favorite ingredients to bake with (or just eat together, let's be honest). I had recently discovered the no-bake cheesecake recipe and thought it'd be the perfect base for my delicious deviation.

The original recipe calls for Whipped Topping, Cream Cheese, Splenda, Lemon Juice, and a reduced-fat Graham Cracker Crust. And don't worry about writing all this down, I have a handy-dandy easy to download PDF linked at the bottom of this post. Just download and print and you'll be ready to hit the super market! For my Chocolate/Peanut Butter concoction, I simply added reduced-fat peanut butter to the mix, some mini chocolate chips, and substituted a chocolate graham cracker crust

Pictured at Right is everything you'll need to make my Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cheesecake!

8 oz fat free whipped topping, thawed
8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup reduced fat peanut butter
5 teaspoons mini chocolate chips (or you can shave 2 pieces of Dove dark chocolate)
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 9-inch Keebler Chocolate Redi-Crust

To start, place the 8 oz of cream cheese in a large bowl. I softened mine first, but I found microwaving it for approx. 45 seconds makes it easier to incorporate with the other ingredients. After microwaving, stir with a spoon until smooth. Add in the 1/4 cup of Splenda and 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice and stir until well combined. Add the 1/4 cup of Peanut Butter and stir until well combined. Slowly mix in the 8 oz of whipped topping (it will be the whole carton). Stir until the mixture has a warm brown tint from the peanut butter. Spoon the mixture into the Chocolate Redi-Crust and spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides.
Finally, garnish with the 5 teaspoons of mini chocolate chips or the two shaved pieces of Dove Dark Chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm. Cake! Well, CHEESEcake...

YIELD: 6 Slices.

Now, the beauty in this recipe is how easy it is to modify. If you like Strawberry Cheesecake, try substituting 4 oz of Philadelphia 1/3 Less-Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese into the recipe. You can garnish it with Strawberry slices and even make your own sugar-free strawberry sauce (take 1 cup thawed frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon Splenda, and 1 Tablespoon water, place in saucepan on the stove over medium high heat and stir continuously until sauce forms). Craving that Jello-Oreo Cheesecake? Use the chocolate Redi-Crust and crumble some reduced-fat Oreos into the cheesecake mixture. And, of course, if you just want plain and simple delicious (but healthy!) cheesecake, just follow the recipe as directed.

For all you Weight Watchers out there, the Points Plus as figured on the PDF are listed for the base cheesecake, the strawberry, and the chocolate peanut butter. If you make your own creation (which you should!) be sure to re-calculate the Points Plus for any modifications you make.

To get this amazing recipe for your recipe book, simply right click and save the image to your desktop. 

Let me know any crazy delicious creations you make! I'm always looking for new, tasty ideas!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Episode Two: The Great Milk Debacle of 1937.

I feel like no matter what the event, it should be accompanied by a word denoting serious conflict as well as an arbitrary year for added emphasis. I highly doubt Milk has ever been involved in war-like circumstances, but I do know that there is no use crying over it when spilled and that it does a body good.

Which brings me to today's subject: MILK.

Milk was a constant staple of my diet up until a I joined Weight Watchers. Before we go any further let me preface: WEIGHT WATCHERS ENCOURAGES THE CONSUMPTION OF MILK. I just opted not to have milk so that I could have other things for my allotted daily points.

 I was a 2% drinker for most of my youth and downgraded to Skim once I moved out on my own. Once I endeavored to change my eating habits and pursue a healthy lifestyle, milk was suddenly a difficult item to include, despite my absolute adoration of it as a beverage crucial to daily life (AND health). Chocolate Milk became virtually off limits. You can imagine my devastation over this intolerable fact. I've spent the last year trying to no avail to really work milk into my daily food consumption.

Enter Stage Left: A Co-Worker of the Vegan-Raw-Whole Foods Persuasion. Enter Stage Right: A Weight Watchers-Friendly Blog...

A Co-worker of mine is very conscious of the quality of food he consumes. He doesn't drink milk but chooses instead a non-dairy alternative. I've always been a little leery of these, mostly because I hate the idea of sacrificing flavor for less calories. I also try to eat sugar-free as much as possible and these drinks tend to go for conventional sugar as sweetener. So, one can see how the non-dairy alternative would not have much appeal. Here's where the blog comes in. I subscribe to The Hungry Girl blog. She's a conscious eater and is always looking for the tastiest, yet healthiest, options on the market. Low and behold, an answer to my struggles!


This healthy milk substitute gets you a whopping 8 ounces of "milk" for just 40 calories! For anyone also following the Weight Watchers program, this is just 1 Points Plus per cup (You can even have a 1/3 cup serving for 0 Points Plus!) vs. the 2 Points Plus for the same portion of Skim Milk. I use it plain on my cereal in the morning, but with a little Splenda, this becomes a delicious stand alone beverage. It's thicker and creamier than skim in texture and sits somewhere between 1% and 2%. 

And don't even get me started on the Chocolate... I have again become a chocolate "milk" drinker! This decadent liquid packs just 45 calories into it's 1 cup serving, again only 1 Points Plus! For this, I add a little Splenda as well and drink it all by itself! It seems so guilty, but it's so not! These awesome substitutes are also great for baking, milkshakes, and even to have in your coffee. The unsweetened vanilla comes in a refrigerated variety but is also available in a shelf-stable carton as well. The unsweetened chocolate is only available in the shelf-stable carton (you'll find it near the Soy and Rice Dream alternatives.)

Now, I know what you're thinking because I thought it too. Going for this type of alternative has to be more costly, right? WRONG. With the coupon I have linked below, you can get a 1/2 gallon of Almond Breeze for just a few pennies more than a 1/2 gallon of Skim. So with a minuscule price difference, why would you not go for the healthier choice? More for less, and just as tasty? I sense the conclusion of all milk-related conflicts everywhere!

Click this link: Almond Breeze Coupon!

Happy Drinking! Have a Chocolate Milk for me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Episode One: The Saga Begins.

I have to first begin by extending an enormous thank you to the lovely Miss Anna Lise Jensen for her suggestion of such an appropriate nom de guerre. Many thanks to the other suggestions I received, but this one landed closest to home. Donna Reed not only captures the essence of what we have come to know as the "stereotypical housewife," but she truly exemplifies a defining characteristic of the 21st Century Woman: WE WORK.

A Little Bit About Donna Reed...
Donna Reed was an Academy Award & Golden Globe winning actress, remembered best for her turn as Mary Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life and as Donna Stone on The Donna Reed Show. She appeared in over 40 films during her 30+ years in the business.

She was truly a woman ahead of her time, despite her on-screen embodiment of the cookie-cutter housewife of the times she lived in. She was college educated (she insisted on graduating before fully diving into her MGM career), co-chaired an anti-war advocacy group called Another Mother for Peace during The Vietnam War, had a successful film career, and still managed to have a home, a husband (or three), and raise four children.

After her death in 1986, the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts was created in her memory and provides scholarships to performing arts students.

A Little Bit About This Modern Day Donna...

While I may not (yet) be an Academy Award & Golden Globe winning actress, I'm certainly aspiring to be one. My crowning characteristic of the moment is that I'm at least a working actress. I have steady theater work through the remainder of the year in sunny (albeit humid) Florida. I'm hoping as ever to book other gigs, be it modeling, film, or commercials, to fill up the limited free time around my shows. My goal ultimately is to return to Los Angeles as soon as possible in 2012. And while I will constantly be seeking the growth and improvement of my craft that will hopefully ensure me a long, successful career in this business, I am a firm believer that to enjoy one's work, one must have and enjoy one's life. After all, how are we to accurately re-create, or in reality live, life on the stage or screen if we have never been out and experienced the glorious world around us? For the majority of my readers, I know you're affiliated with the arts in some capacity, and living life fully on the income of an artist can prove a difficult, but not un-accomplishable feat.

Which brings us to the definition of Adventure...

adventure |adˈven ch ər; əd-|nounan unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity her recent adventures in Italy.• daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm :she traveled the world in search of adventure a sense of adventure.• archaic a commercial speculation.verb [ intrans. datedengage in hazardous and exciting activityesp. the exploration of unknown territory they had adventured into the forest.• [ trans. dated put (something, esp. money or one's life) at risk he adventured $3,000 in the purchase of land.

I myself prefer the verb tense of this word as it instills a sense of movement, a seeking quality. Of course, an adventure does not have to involve the loss of life or limb (or even that ever precious dollar). An adventure to me is simply finding something you love and pursuing it with vigor, and simpler still, enjoying the pursuit.

Thus, a blog is born...
Those that know me well will tell you with unwavering certainty that there are few places I love more than the kitchen. I love to cook and especially to bake and even more to eat whatever I've created. However, just over a year ago, I realized that my love for the kitchen was harming more than just my waistline. My self-esteem was at an all time low and years of negativity were wreaking havoc on my perception of life. The kitchen became a place of solace, but not for the right reasons. So one cold day in January 2010 standing with my mother, appropriately, in her kitchen, she asked me a simple question, "Where do you want to go from here?" I could either continue on the downward spiral I was on, or I could dig my heels in and change my path completely. A week later,  I made the best decision of my life to date and joined up with Weight Watchers. 16 months and 30+ pounds later, the lightness I experience isn't just the numbers on the scale, it's in every particle of my being. The small, active choice of just wanting to be thinner has become about so much more than that. I have finally discovered the ability to love myself for who I am no matter what that scale says.

The kitchen has again become a place I truly love to spend my time, and I have found many ways to make it work to my advantage. I'm an actress which means I'm judged the second I walk in a room based solely on my appearance, but I also love to eat and I refuse to starve myself in order to wear "smaller clothes" or fit this twig-skinny idea of beauty that is forced down our throats daily from every media outlet available. This woman is going to have her cake and wear her skinny jeans too!

I get asked a lot about living the Weight Watchers lifestyle, what my tricks are in the kitchen, food recommendations, etc, etc, etc, and I want to share what I've learned with as many people as possible! You don't have to do Weight Watchers to find success in whatever your weight-loss goals may be. You just have to be willing to choose yourself and make smart, healthy choices for your body.

The Modern Day Donna Blog Menu...
*Expect to see a lot of recipes. I'm all about creating the healthiest foods possible without sacrificing taste. I've done a lot of research into "smart" foods, modified hundreds of recipes, and found a number of healthy tricks. Everything I share will be something I've already made, so I'll be able to offer extra tips and advice to aid in your success!

*As a working actor I travel, a lot. I try to experience local culture as much as possible wherever I am, but that can be a costly endeavor if not done correctly. I hope to share some tips about getting out and seeing the world without breaking the bank in the process. After all, a good housewife is a thrifty housewife!

*I love to decorate and create meaningful gifts, but again,  I do it on a limited budget. There is a blog in the future where I will attempt to decorate my Los Angeles apartment for under $500. It will be a challenge, but one I fully intend to overcome!

*Q&A: I want to answer your questions, so if you have them, post them! Whether it be about food, exercise, acting, modeling, traveling, etc, etc, etc, I want to hear from you!

*As an artist, there will be posts regarding my work, and any tips I've found to be particularly useful to an actor striving to make it in this business.

The World is an Empty Plate...
See everything around you as an opportunity to explore, learn, and grow. Fill your plate with the things you love and experience those things fully! I hope you'll enjoy sharing in the filling of my empty plate. I'll try anything once, so expect a flavorful adventure complete with pearls, heels, a whole lot of metaphorical and physical cake, and of course, the skinniest of skinny jeans.

Here's to the road ahead,

-Modern Day Donna