Passion Piece

Passion Piece

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

Feature #1

Hi, Passion Peeps!

This week’s post is something new and exciting that I am thrilled to share with you all! Last month, I wrote a personal “Passion Piece” about my passion for yoga, but this week I am excited to share the first of many “Passion Piece” features!

Seeing as how Beyond the Footlights centers on life both on and off the stage, and the passions we all have outside of our careers, I wanted to spotlight friends and colleagues of mine (and hopefully some new faces!) and share their passions with this community! I think it is really interesting and beautiful to get to know people on a deeper level than we may experience in work, school, or via social media. It creates meaningful connection with others, and I can’t wait for that connection to be amplified here!

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.
Gabe and I (back left) with our fellow interns at an opening night champagne toast for PSF

My first Passion Piece Feature is Gabe Moses. I met Gabe in college at DeSales University when he came in as a freshman my sophomore year, and the splash he made onto the college scene was incredible. I have had the honor of sharing the stage with Gabe in various productions both during the school year and at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as inters interns and working with him as a director. To say his talent goes unmatched is quite the understatement. His dedication, professionalism, and heart (both on and off stage) afford him well, and there is no doubt that those attributes propel him forward in and among our peers. Not only is Gabe all those wonderful things, he is also a wonderful friend and just a great human being. Every time I watch him work, watching him with friends, and talk with him myself, I feel like I learn something. Whether in our craft or in everyday life, his maturity and sensibility never cease to teach and inspire me. How lucky am I to know this man?!

Here is my chat with Gabe about all thing’s passion, self-care, and the journey.

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

G: My name is Gabe Moses and I am originally from New Jersey, but I moved to Pennsylvania when I was ten years old. I currently live in Bethlehem and I’ve been home since the Coronavirus hit.

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

G: I am currently unemployed due to Covid-19, but I recently started a podcast called “Black-tor” which almost feels like a part-time job with the amount of work I put into each episode.

Tell me a little about your journey and how it has brought you to where you are today?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.
Gabe as Lopakhin in DeSales University’s production of The Cherry Orchard

G: Ever since I was three or four years old, I have been singing and dancing around the house. Although I believe I was born to perform, I definitely picked up these gifts from watching children’s shows like Barney and Hip Hop Harry. These shows included song and dance to tell their stories which reeled me in. So, my family saw me picking up these skills and wanted to put me in programs where I could learn more. As a child growing up, I’ve spent many years in performing arts camps/academies learning and honing my skills in theatre, song, and dance. It didn’t take much for me to realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Early on, I had visions and dreams of seeing myself on Broadway and television. This led me to attending The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and majoring in theatre for four years. I, then, went on to attend DeSales University as a theatre major and I’ll be starting my senior year in the Fall. I have had the privilege of taking part in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as an intern in several of their productions. Over the years, I have come to realize what my purpose is as a black performer and just as a person. I always want to represent my people and shine positive lights on black culture through my art. My goals are not only to entertain the world with my gifts, but to change lives and provide new lenses for people to look through and understand.

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

G: Theatre, Music, Interpretive Dance/Movement, Directing, Podcasting.

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

G: Thankfully, yes! 100%. I am blessed to have been active in the arts, throughout this pandemic. I didn’t think that would be the case when PSF, and so many other theatres, canceled their summer season. I thought this would be the worst summer ever, but somehow it has been very rewarding. I have learned so much about myself and what I want to give to this world while directing and acting in online readings/plays and podcasting.

What are some things you do in your spare/down time to foster/hone those passions so that they stay just as alive as your work?

G: I love watching interviews and listening to podcasts of actors, directors,
musicians, or pretty much anyone involved with the arts. Unfortunately, I can’t go see a show every single day especially as a performer and a college student who’s broke all the time. When I learn from professional artists through these interviews. I always try to find the actors who inspire me and who look like me to hear about their experiences. This lets me know what I’m getting myself into which is very valuable and informative as a young black actor.

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

G: It’s difficult for me to pick three legit goals. I have so many long term and short term goals I would like to achieve in life. If anything, I would love to be on Broadway. That has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid. To be able to follow in the footsteps of so many black actors and directors would be amazing. With the black lives matter movement afloat, I have hope I will be able to be a part of the change that is needed due to systemic racism and discrimination in the arts. So, there’s another goal: to share my voice with the world in hopes to end racism. I believe I have two voices: my performer voice and my personal voice. My performer voice is not necessarily a facade, but an extension of myself when I am performing and acting in a show. It’s the voice I put forth when my face is seen on a stage. My personal voice is the one I use when I do not have a platform to communicate through. It’s the microphone I make for myself when I’m
not given one. If I were to pick a third goal, I would say to be authentically me 24/7. I grew up as a quiet child, which surprised many people when they saw me onstage. Even into my college years, I still hold back who I am sometimes. So, the person I am and the person I am becoming is still taking shape. But I am able to stay humble while still being myself. I’ve grown so much in the past few months, on a personal level, to the point where I am excited to get back to daily routines when this pandemic is over. I’m ready to jump into my next chapter.

What does your self-care routine look like?

G: To be honest, I really need to come up with one that I can commit to on a daily or weekly basis. I tend to keep up with my well-being sporadically, but I feel as though scheduled check-ins will do me justice. I will give myself a pat on the back for knowing when to separate myself from situations I know I do not belong in. I am good at taking time to be alone and think about choices I may have made that were not right or either didn’t go as planned. So, time is a big part of self-care and being able to take a step back before I take two steps forward.

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life?

G: Make the time! Even if it’s out of the way from the priorities in your life. Or if you have to make a sacrifice that is doable, do it! You will feel so much better. It’s important to do what you love and not what other people want you to do. As an actor, I know there will be times when that isn’t possible immediately after graduation. But little things go a long way. It could be as simple as taking five minutes in your day to do something you love. Stay in touch with the things and people that mean everything to you. Then, hopefully, there will be an opportunity where you can do it every single day, and maybe even make a living out of it.

Huge thanks to Gabe for sharing his time and his words with me!

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

He’s got one more year of school left, and you will not want to miss a moment of his journey! You can follow Gabe on Facebook (Gabe Moses), Instagram @gabejmoses, and Twitter @GabeMoses. You can listen to his podcast, “Black-tor,” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Overcast, RadioPublic, and PocketCasts!

Lots of love!

~ Ang

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Experiencing Burnout and How to Combat It

Hi, sweet friends!

In case you’ve missed this detail about me- I am a planner by nature. Planning things out makes me feel much more grounded and secure. So, before the start of every month, in an attempt to keep on track and keep up with my writing for the blog, I plan my posts (which is usually why I’m on my insta stories asking what content you’d like to see!).

Based on my latest poll, y’all wanted to see some more posts about organization and goal setting. And I had every intention of making this week’s post all about that.

But, my plans changed.

Now don’t click out just yet! Here’s why:

As content creators, we have to write what we know. And this week, organization and goal setting were not two things I felt I could even begin to remember how to do myself, let alone make a blog post on how to encourage others to do so.

Instead, we are going to talk a little bit about burnout.

Whether you have called it burn out or not, chances are good that most of us, if not all of us, have experienced some kind of burnout in our lives. You may have felt it in your job, in school, in relation to the people you have spent too much time with, or in relation to your social media usage. It is that feeling when you’ve allowed yourself to be run down almost to your core, so much so that these things feel toxic and just not good for your mental health.

Recently, I’ve really struggled being at home. I miss my friends, I miss doing the work I had set out and planned to do, and I just miss being busy. Past Angela is laughing at Present Angela making this statement, because whenever I’m busy I wish I had more free time. Well, I got my wish! I’ve thrown myself into my yoga studies and social media, but about a week ago I had a day that sent me spiraling.

It was one of those days where one bad thing happened right after another. The day started with continued disappointment due to Miss. Rona, and around every corner was something else to send me into a tizzy. The funny part about this is on that day, I shared a video about our self-talk on my IGTV that I had made a few days before, and it was meant to be uplifting and helpful. For me that day, it was anything but. I couldn’t seem to take a second to sit, listen, and practice what I was preaching. I continued to share things via social media and later, even shared how poorly my day had gone so far…

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Later, I experienced an incident that sparked anger and anxiety in me I hadn’t experienced since being home and away from school. It was an incident in rooted in comparison, and it was really the icing on the crap cake of a day I had had. Not only did I begin to engage in negative self-talk because of it, but I completely and totally let the incident overtake me, my mind, and my rational thinking. I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel in that time, but I knew the way I was allowing myself to handle it, and how I was talking myself through it was not as healthy and calm as it could be.

Another thing that came up for me in my little ~moment~ was how my social media usage was playing a role in all of it. In the last few months, I have kind of turned to social media as an outlet. Before starting the blog and deciding to make an effort to create a better brand for myself online, I didn’t spend consistent time online. I never planned posts, I never was vocal with my followers and did my best not to get too personal or in depth on social media. I think putting myself out there in that way was what kept me from starting a blog and a brand for so long. I was scared. I was afraid of judgement from myself and potentially from others.

I have come to love Instagram and creating content so much more than I ever thought I would. But even on my best days, I would find myself regularly (almost constantly) checking my follower count, how many people had unfollowed me, and how many people were viewing my blog pages and Insta stories. I would express the results of these constant checks to close friends of mine and they would remind me to, you know, not do those things, but I kept on. I’d check out other bloggers and compare how many brand deals they were getting and their follower counts with mine, and I started putting so much pressure on myself to try and expand and achieve goals I wasn’t even sure were mine. This pressure of comparison coupled with the incident of comparison I experienced did me in.

What I am getting at is that I needed a moment away. I needed to take a step away from social media and go internally to better assess how I could handle moments of burnout in a more productive and healthy way. I realize that life stops for no one, and we are all bound to have those days where it feels like a freight train of nasty is speeding towards us and we have nowhere to run. But the important thing on days like that or in moments like that is how we deal with them. How we talk ourselves through them.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

That crappy day made me realize just how few tactics I had for getting through moments like that based on the way I reacted. I did just that; I REACTED. I DID NOT RESPOND. And I think that made the day and all its events even harder to manage. So, I took a step away from social media for a few days. If I wasn’t posting, I wasn’t checking up on all those things I had listed, and I didn’t have to worry so much about putting pressure on myself in that way. But, at the same time, I knew that I would go back to posting. I knew I wasn’t going to give up on the brand I have begun creating. So how was I to deal with these feelings or scenarios when they arose again, because that would be inevitable?

The answer is, I don’t have an exact answer at the moment. I don’t know that I will ever have a cut and dry, straight forward answer to that question. I don’t know that anyone does. But what I do know is that this moment in my life has struck a chord in me, and has made my thinking mind go inward and consider the question at hand with tremendous compassion, not just for myself but for anyone else who may be going through these feelings at this moment as well.

I think we get very stuck in taking people for their face value; not their literal “face,” but for what they present us with on the outside. We don’t always consider what any given human being might be carrying with them behind the closed doors of their hearts. We can share and post and speak on social media and seem fine, but I think social media can sometimes allow us to put up a facade that doesn’t allow our followers to see the inner workings of our hearts and minds. This isn’t always the case, and also depends on the vulnerability of the individual and what they choose to share, but I think we all need to try and be gentle with one another in that regard, and respect the feelings we may not be explicitly seeing.

Going forward, some tactics to combat these feelings of burnout I would like to employ are:

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It
  • Most importantly, taking time away when I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. No post or platform is really worth me losing a piece of my sanity over. If a person/brand doesn’t recognize that your sanity should come first, they may not be for you and that’s ok! We must put ourselves first so that we can come up even stronger!
  • Talk to the people you trust the most. On that particularly crappy day I had, the two moments where I felt a bit of relief were when I texted my best friend and didn’t hold back and when I called another friend later just to vent before bed. Getting it out, talking it through, and gaining a little bit of perspective from another mind that isn’t in the thick of your thoughts can make all the difference.
  • Tap into my breath in moments of stress and anxiety. Taking a moment to pause, take a few deep breaths, and reset is very important. This is something I am working on, I don’t always remember or think about it but I would like to make more of a conscious effort to work this into my life and work.
  • Use the 3, 2, 1 rule- name 3 things you can see, 2 things you can feel, and one thing you can smell. This puts you back into your body and reminds you of where you are in the present moment. There are lots of different variations of this rule that you could do, you could utilize all 5 senses if you choose in any order you choose too!
  • Journal, journal, journal. Journaling is something I am very passionate about that always leaves me feeling like a weight has been lifted. The benefits of journaling are just endless. If you aren’t comfortable free writing, start by identifying reasons why you are stressed and upset and how that made you feel. Ex: “I was upset when ____ because it made me feel ____.” This is a journaling technique I am learning in my yoga training, and it is helpful in identifying reasons why you may be experiencing dis-ease in other parts of your life.

A lot to take in, I know. But I think this is an extremely important discussion to have with ourselves. Developing your stress and anxiety toolkit is essential if we are going to continue to grow and, you know, I am all about growth. For myself, for you, and for our world.

Take care, loves!

~ Ang

Skin Care is Self Care

Skin Care is Self Care

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Hello, beautiful friends!

As you know, self-care is one of my many passions, and (for me) with self- care comes my skin care routine! If nothing else, having a skin care regimen helps me to go into each day feeling like I have a fresh start and end each day by washing the day away!

Throughout high school (and really, throughout most of college) I actually didn’t have a set skin care routine. I was fortunate enough to have good skin, and really only used the occasional acne treatment when necessary or the occasional face mask when I wanted to feel ~fancy.~

Junior year of college, I was in a production of Pippin which required a lot of dramatic makeup and I knew I would need to start taking care of my skin a bit better since it was being put through a lot between all the makeup and all the sweat. So, I religiously washed my face morning and night and made sure to apply my moisturizer, and that was really where my routine came out of. From there, I started doing my research on the best cleansers, serums, toners, moisturizers, sunscreens, and so on.

It has been about a year since I started figuring out what products worked best for my skin and lifestyle, and I am happy to say that I have FINALLY started to settle into a skin care routine that works for me! Here is my routine and some of my favorite products that I use daily!

*NOTE: I am not by any means a skin care professional, and I am not equipped to tell you what skin care/beauty products would work for your skin in your lifestyle. These are simply the products that I use that work for my skin! Always choose what works best for your skin type/any sensitivities you may have! It isn’t about WHAT products you use- you use what works best for you and makes you feel like a wonderful, beautiful, self-care-skin-care princess!

The Routine

  1. Cleanser
  2. Exfoliant (1-2 times per week)
  3. Toner
  4. Hydrating Serum
  5. Eye Cream (at night)
  6. Moisturizer
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Eye Brightening Balm (daytime)

These are the basic steps of my skin care routine! Sometimes rather than using a separate moisturizer and sunscreen I will use a moisturizer that has SPF in it (more to come on that as I get into the products). I also use a rose quartz roller most days and do a face mask at least once a week!

The Products

Cleanser

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser– I love this cleanser! It is 100% oil-free and it is so gentle! Even though it is called a foam cleanser, it doesn’t really create a lot of foam or bubbles when you use it. There isn’t really a scent either, which I kind of like. It definitely cleanses my face well without feeling too harsh! Don’t forget to double cleanse at night! (Drug Store Product)

Exfoliant

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula So Poreless Deep Exfoliating Blackhead Scrub– I JUST got this product in the mail last week and it is my favorite exfoliant of all time, I don’t think I will ever use anything else again! I got it because my biggest insecurity with my skin is blackheads, and I’m hoping that this will work wonders since all of Tula’s other products work so well for my skin! First of all, it smells like a fruit snack. It’s got probiotics and is made with volcanic sand, pink salt, and pomegranate for exfoliation, and witch hazel and raspberry leaf to help minimize and purify pores! I’m really excited to continue to use this product! Check it out here!

Toner

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner– My mom gave me this product (you will come to learn, I get a lot of my skin care products/recommendations from her), and it’s awesome. For a long time, I didn’t use a toner because I didn’t know what it’s purpose was. It really helps prep skin to absorb moisture (from those other moisturizing products we use later) and can help shrink your pores (among other things)! For a while, I was using an Avon toner, but I remembered I had this one and I haven’t looked back since I started using it! I spray a bit onto a cotton ball and spread it on my face! This toner also acts as a rehydrating mist that you can spritz on your face throughout the day for a little added moisture/boost! Check it out here!

Serum

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

E.l.f. Hydrating Serum– So I will say, while this product works just fine, I did buy it as a dupe of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Serum. I was on a bit more of a budget when I ran out of the Neutrogena one, so I figured I would give the E.l.f. one a shot! The Neutrogena one goes on more like a serum, while the E.l.f. one is a little thicker, and feels more like a regular moisturizer. But both products work great, and I feel like there isn’t much of a difference between how well they hydrate my skin! (Drug Store Product)

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules (Radiance Renewal Serum)– These vitamin C capsules are perfect for travel. I think I got two tubes of these as samples a while back, and I still haven’t run out! This serum is more like an oil than the hydrating serums, but for a vitamin C boost they are perfect! You just twist the little head off of them, and honestly, if I use this serum once in a day, I can get away with using one of these capsules for up to like three days! A little goes a long way! Check them out here!

Moisturizer

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula 24/7 Moisturizer- Hydrating Day and Night Cream– I have yet to purchase a full size of this product; I received two travel sizes of it in my last two Tula orders, and I still don’t need a full size. Again, a little goes a long way!

OK SO- I just love Tula and their products. They are all filled with probiotics and superfoods to help balance your skin. I cannot say enough amazing things about this brand.

ANYWAY- I use this product usually as my night time moisturizer. It makes my skin feel so hydrated and smooth and loved. Check it out here!

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15- Sensative– What a name. I have used this moisturizer for years, and it works great for my skin. Typically, this is what I use as my day time moisturizer, mainly because of the SPF. It has a lighter feel than the Tula moisturizer, which is why I like it better for day time. It’s really light, but gets the job done! (Drug Store Product)

SPF

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula Protect and Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel– This is a new Tula product and the minute I saw it advertised, I grabbed it up. It is a broad-spectrum SPF 30 and provides UVA and UVB protection. PLUS (here is the big draw)- it is shimmery and smells like pineapples and papaya! It is also reef safe! It leaves me with such a nice glow, I usually don’t even wear makeup when I use it. (You can wear it under your makeup but let’s be real- I haven’t worn real makeup unless I had to in MONTHS). Check it out here!

Eye Cream and Eye Brightener

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream– Another one I got from my momma! I have relatively dark circles under my eyes, that is just how the good Lord made me, but I was always so self-conscious about them that my mom suggested I start using an eye cream to help brighten my under eyes a bit! This one smooths, brightens, and depuffs! Check it out here!

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm– THIS PRODUCT IS A LIFE SAVER. I will recommend it to people until the day I die. This is perfect if you have a hard time getting up in the morning and your under eyes need a little boost! One swipe under each eye and you’re set! It’s made with a little caffeine, aloe, blueberry & hyaluronic acid. I have the original blue one (it goes on clear with a little bit of a white sheen to it), but they also sell a Rose Glow & Get It stick that has a more pink sheen to it and is made with rosehip oil and hydrating rosewater! Either one is the perfect morning pick-me-up! Check it out here!

While those are the products that I use religiously in my daily skin care routine, here are a few of my favorite masks that I use and a few other skin care products that I love!

  • Mario Badescue Facial Spray with Aloe, Sage, and Orange Blossom
  • Origins Masks
    • Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
    • Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
    • Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay
  • Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
  • Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel
  • Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots (these are life savers- I know they aren’t for everyone’s skin but they seriously get rid of my problem pimples in one day!)

And there you have it! My skin care routine and favorite products! Like I said, please be sure to use the products that are best suited for your skin, and if you give any of these products a try in the future I’d love to hear what you think!

Love the skin you’re in, take care of the skin you’re in, and embrace the skin your in!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute: June Round Up

June Round Up

Hi, friends!

Can you believe we are already at the end of June?! It seems like a second ago I was planning out my posts for the month, and this last post was a million years away!

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
June Bullet Journal Cover

I hope you all are starting to enjoy your summer a little bit! This summer may look a little different than summers in the past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of what you’ve got!

So, to wrap up the month of June on the blog, I figured I’d take some time to highlight and share with you all some of the things I have been doing/reading/watching/etc. this month! I am hoping to continue to do this each month to share some new info and ideas with you guys to carry into your lives throughout the year!

Let’s dive in! (Get it, dive, swimming, summer…thanks for humoring me)

My Monthly Goals

I decided at the start of this month to sit down and evaluate my goals for the month. Big or small, I wanted to go into a new month with a clearer view on what I hoped to accomplish and a better sense of direction (personally and in terms of the blog). The list wasn’t long (and I’ll admit, not all of the goals were accomplished) but having this physical list did really help me stay more accountable than I have been in the past! Here are the goals I set out to accomplish this month:

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My sweet yoga set up
My morning yoga set up!
  • Sing Every Day!- This is something that I incorporated into my habit trackers in my bullet journal this month! I wanted to set this goal for myself because as a performer, my voice is one of my instruments and tools that I need to be ready to call upon at any given moment. Admittedly, when I had to come home due to the pandemic, singing made me sad for the first time in my life. I wasn’t singing or vocalizing every day, and when I would sing it was clear to me that my instrument was not in tip-top shape. I’m happy to say that I only noted one day this month where I did not sing or vocalize at all!
  • Do Yoga Every Day!- Setting this goal came out of me hoping to start my Yoga Teacher Training this month, and wanting to make sure my body was in constant practice as I continued learning. I accomplished this goal!!
  • Be Up By 9AM Most Days- Most days, I was up by 9! As the month went on, I found it easier to get up earlier. There was one week where I really threw this goal out the window, but I was listening to my body asking for some more rest! That’s important to note: having goals is great, but when they are in relation to your physical and mental health LISTEN TO YOUR BODY/MIND!
  • Read 1-2 Books This Month (Ideally, 2)- This, I did! I love reading, so it wasn’t too hard. When I was finishing up school, I didn’t have a lot of time to read. Thankfully, I had more time this month!
  • Make and Keep A Spending Spreadsheet- I did this….did I like blatantly seeing the money I was spending vs. the money I was earning….not so much! BUT I felt like this was a good habit I needed to get into since I’m trying to be an “adult” now

Those were the big June goals! For the blog, I had hoped to partner up with at least one more brand as an ambassador…but you might have to wait a month to hear how that worked out!

Now, let’s talk about some of the things I read and watched this month that I really loved!

June Books

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My June Reading List
  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid- So, I actually finished this book in May, but I loved it so much that I wanted to share. Reid is a Philly based author, and her debut novel was Reese’s Book Club February pick as well as a New York Time’s Bestseller! I only wish I had picked it up sooner. A little blurb: “With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such A Fun Age explores the stickiness of transnational relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown-up. It is a searing debut for our times.”
  • Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook by Anthony Sher– I am WAY behind on this one, but this book is a MUST for my fellow actor/performer friends. It was extremely relatable and personal; I loved every second. The book chronicles Anthony Sher’s journey toward becoming Richard III with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984. It was fascinating to have a glimpse into the mind of an incredible actor.
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo- This is an extremely important read. The title itself is self-explanatory regarding the content of this book. This was a required reading for a course I took in the fall, but I decided to go back and re-read it this month in much more depth, and I am so glad I did. DiAngelo does an incredible job of laying out what exactly White Fragility is and providing readers with the tools to examine their own whiteness and facilitate further important discussion regarding racial attitudes. Do yourself a favor and get this one.
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle- The perfect summer beach read. I got it on a Tuesday and finished it by Friday. I am excited to read more of Serle’s work in the coming months! A little blurb: “In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting. Expertly paced, finely observed, and utterly heartbreaking, this is a book readers will not be able to put down.” THAT IS TRUE!

Movies and TV

I will be the first to admit- I definitely do not watch enough movies OR TV, but I am working on it! I was pretty proud of the progress I made on that front this month, so here’s to that! I was fortunate enough to have many of the tools at my disposal to continue to educate myself on the BLM Movement as well, and I learned very much through watching many of these. Here’s to a continued education for the rest of forever! Here is my watch list and where you can watch them too:

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My June Watch List
  • Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
  • The Goldfinch (Amazon Prime)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • When They See Us Now (Netflix)
  • 13th (Netflix)
  • Ken Burns: The Central Park Five (Amazon Prime)

I will admit, I have never watched Dance Moms and I did also watch the first season of that this month, but I’m a little too behind to be sharing that with others as something to watch….

ANYWAY

That’s my June Monthly Minute! If you’ve already checked out some of these books, movies/documentaries, or if you check them out in the future, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I hope that the month of June brought you the gifts of joy, education, and fulfillment! And you know what, if it didn’t, how beautiful is it that July is right around the corner and you have another chance to reach your highest potential? Pretty beautiful if you ask me!

Thank you for a wonderful first full month on the blog, I have had so much fun sharing content with you all! I can’t wait to see what July will bring!

~ Ang

Making Home Feel Like Home Again

Making Home Feel Like Home Again

Making Home Feel Like Home Again- How To Turn Your Living Space Into A Place That Serves You

How To Turn Your Living Space Into A Place That Serves You

Hi, beautiful people!

Let’s talk about our living spaces, shall we? I’m a recent college grad and currently, the living space that I am occupying is my childhood bedroom in my childhood home. The circle of life, right? You graduate high school, then (if you so choose) you spend four years of college living in dorms or apartments, aaaaand then, for lots of us, we end up back at home for a hot minute. For many recent grads, we aren’t only home for the summer, we are home until businesses or our industries are able to get back on track.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I’m actually enjoying having some extra time to spend with them. And coming home, I was excited to have some more space than I had in my little apartment. (Plus, at home, I’ve got a bigger bed and my momma’s cooking). But I loved my little apartment because when I moved in, I had total power to make that space my own. Unlike when I got a new bedroom in grade school, now I had the power to decorate my room in my apartment like an adult and make it my own little sanctuary.

Making Home Feel Like Home Again: How To Turn Your Living Space Into A Place That Serves You
My little gallery wall from my apartment

So, coming back home to my childhood bedroom made me feel a little nervous. I was excited to be home for all those reasons I listed, but I didn’t know how I would make my childhood bedroom into the same little safe space that my apartment bedroom had been. That room was always the place I could go to seek calm and quiet, and I knew that I would have to take some necessary steps to make my room at home feel the same way (really, for my own sanity!).

If you need some thoughts on how to make adjustments so your space serves you, here are a few suggestions!

  • Evaluate What You Need– Take some time to just sit in your room or the space you are aiming to re-vamp, and evaluate what changes would be necessary to make that space feel more like you, more like home, and more like a space you want to spend a decent amount of your time in. Maybe start a list or document highlighting what you’d like to do with different parts of your room, things you would like to add/take away from the space to make it more “you,” and where you’d like to maybe donate the things you decide to get rid of!
  • Make the Necessary Changes to Your Space!– When I first moved all of my things back home, the first thing I did was take stock, reorganize, and gut my room. I had so many things in there that I had just let sit between my visits home, and still had lots of things left from my childhood. I took stock of the things I no longer needed, wanted, and the things that no longer served me at this point in my life. I spent a lot of time rummaging, but once I finally got some organizing done, I was able to start making the space mine is a more aesthetic way. I pulled out my summer bedding, hung up new wall decor, put out the other decorations I loved, and made that place a space that I look forward to sitting in when I need some quiet time!
  • Will It Really Serve You?– Marie Kondo the crap out of this situation, peeps. As you go through old papers, clothes, mementos, ALL THE THINGS, ask yourself if it really brings you joy. If you are feeling like you may not need to hold onto something and your immediate reaction upon seeing it or finding it ISN’T joy- it wasn’t meant to be held onto! I encourage you to donate things or give them to younger siblings or family members. Chances are good that someone else could use and appreciate those things much more. What a JOY for you to be able to provide them with that JOY!
  • Don’t Try for a Finished Product OvernightSo I went in that room. I started organizing. But it took me a while to sift through everything and make the space feel totally like mine! Don’t try or expect to get your space complete and perfect over night! I know, it is easier said than done. I am the first person who jumps on a task, and then tries with my whole being to complete it as soon as possible for what I think is my own peace of mind. But really, the expectation of getting it done ASAP only causes me more stress or frustration, especially if it doesn’t immediately go as planned. Be gentle with yourself. Take all the time you need to be happy with your space!
Making Home Feel Like Home Again: How To Turn Your Living Space Into A Place That Serves You
One of the new set up’s in my room at home

Now once you’ve conquered creating a desirable space of your own in the room you are working on, you may need to work to create an environment that serves you within your shared spaces! So many graduates and even students still in college are now back at home this summer, maybe for the first time in a long time. Summer work plans have shifted, and I know for me, this is the longest I have been consistently at home since I started college four years ago. This has not only caused me to have a shift in my living, but it has also created a shift for my family.

Some tools to help make your shared living spaces just as peaceful as your private ones:

  • Be Open About Your Needs As with most things in life, communication is key! Communicate your needs to your loved ones and allow them to communicate their needs to you. If there is a time of day you would like to dedicate to your work or yourself without disruption, let them know and ask that they respect the schedule you have established for yourself while not living at home .
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out!Remember that while you may face moments of frustration with your family…you do have to live with them and them with you! If an issue arises that warrants a discussion to be held with a family member or your whole household, absolutely have that discussion! If you are having a day where everyone in the house just seems to be on your nerves and you are frustrated, don’t be afraid to call a friend or someone you are close with and vent it out! Don’t sit and fester in the frustration, because that will only hinder your mood/productivity and disrupt your safe space. If you aren’t comfortable with calling someone to talk it out, allow a journal to be your friend. Pouring it onto the page is also much better than letting it sit in your heart and mind!
  • Find Some Means of Escape– Sometimes, in order to gain some peace, you may need to find a positive means of escape! We love our loved ones, but sometimes you need a minute for just you. Because many of us have been at home with our families for months, you may have already experienced the difficulty of “escaping.” But if we can’t get out of the house and be with our friends, we can find other ways to feel a sense of “escape” from our homes! Reading, writing, and watching TV and movies are all pretty common means of escape that may be right at your fingertips! This may also go hand in hand with your self-care routine!

Any space that you occupy should be a place full of positivity, love, and the things that make you feel full in the best of ways. Take stock, change things up, and settle into the space that serves you!

~ Ang

How To Start Your Bujo Journey

How To Start Your Bujo Journey

How To Start Your Bullet Journal Journey

Bullet Journaling for Beginners

Hi, friends!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a planner. I find joy and take pride in my ability to plan. And I LOVE a good planner. Give me the stickers, each different section, and the color coating! I loved it all so much that my sophomore year, I decided to try my hand at bullet journaling, and I loved it! What is a bullet journal (or “bujo”) you ask? A bullet journal is a journal based on a system that utilizes key points or bullet points. That is the simple, perhaps self-explanatory answer. For me, a bullet journal is how I keep my physical and mental health on track, and the perfect place to record my personal “trends” on a month to month basis.

The possibilities of what you can track and create with your bullet journal are ENDLESS. Because the possibilities are endless, starting your bujo journey can feel a little overwhelming. Here are my tips on how to start your journal and make it your own!

  • Grab Your Materials!– The first thing you will need is…a journal, duh! You can really use any journal you would like, but for the purpose of creating symmetrical boxes for all your trackers and such, I would recommend getting a dotted journal. I used a dotted journal, and I love how easy it makes my page set-up! Mine is Artist’s Loft from Michael’s, and it was SUPER affordable (and a pretty pink)! You could also use a journal with blank pages, or a lined journal if that’s your jam. Pens and markers are also bullet journal staples! How else are you going to create to your heart’s content? I use simple black pens to do my basic writing/ outlining, and TomBow Dual Brush Pens for my hand lettering and pops of color (one end is a fine tip and the other is a brush tip)!
  • Pin! Pin! Pin!Before diving right in, it will be important for you to know to establish your journal’s set up and how often you want to update your journal. I like to create a new layout for my journal every month, I find that to be the easiest for me! (Once, I made a bullet journal planner for a while year in advance. I wouldn’t recommend, it didn’t allow enough room for additions/edits). Pinterest is FULL of different ideas for layouts, trackers, and themes. It is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole looking for ideas on Pinterest, but it is more than likely that you will end your search with a boat load of inspiration! Check out my journaling Pinterest board for some added inspo!
  • Take Stock– This is what I like to call “Page Planning.” Now it’s time to think about what kind of things you would like to measure/keep track of in your journal! I think this is one of the most fun parts of creating a bullet journal because it is tailored to YOU! Think about the things you would like to do more consistently in your life, or the things you would have a better grasp on if you measured them day to day. I like to have some “reflection pages” where I keep track of things I am doing/watching/reading in a month. Here are some page/tracker examples:
    • Sleep Tracker
    • Mood Tracker
    • Spending Tracker
    • Period Tracker
    • Reading/TV/Movie List
    • Weekly Planner Pages
    • Full Calendar Pages
    • Password Log
    • Food/Water Log
    • Monthly Memories Page
    • Dream Log
    • Brain Dump Page
    • To-Do Lists
  • Get Creative!Make this journal your own! Something that I love about having a bullet journal is that is also acts as a creative outlet for me rather than just this book full of personal stats and information. When I create my monthly layouts, I find it so relaxing. It is my own little private space to decorate as my own and take pride in- so dress yours up however you’d like. You do NOT need to be great drawer! You do NOT need to be a master at hand lettering! All you need is a little creative energy, and a desire to keep better track of your life and habits! P.S.- I have recently started giving each month a theme/color scheme!
  • Keep Track and Plan Ahead– Once you’ve got your layout set up and your trackers created, you’ve reached the hardest part of having a bullet journal- keeping up with it. It is one thing to make the journal pages, but it is TOTALLY another thing keeping up with what you have set out to measure every day/week/month. But if you put the time and work into creating this journal for yourself, you would want to do your best to be consistent right? Right! Personally, knowing that I have this little book often makes me stay on track because I know I have something keeping me accountable! It is also essential to plan ahead. Make a Pinterest board of your own so you can that inspiration at your fingertips when it’s time to create something new! Since I make new layouts monthly, I usually start page planning the last week of the month.

The best thing about creating this journal is that your creations can constantly be changing! You can switch up your page and tracker layouts as often as you’d like AND you can always add/subtract things! If there are new things you want to keep track of, add them! If there are things you find aren’t useful to measure anymore, or you aren’t liking them in your journal, you don’t have to include them in your next layout! What is important is that you are taking control of your life and habits!

What’s In My Journal!

Here is a look into what I currently include in my pages and what I like to keep track of on a monthly basis!

  • A cover page for the month
  • Sleep tracker (Hint: if you have a Fitbit or Apple Watch, I use my insights to get my hours!)
  • Mood tracker
  • Log of the books I read, movies I watch, and TV shows I watch every month
  • Monthly memories page
  • One line a day page (write down the highlight of my day)
  • Dream log (I was just curious to see how often I could recall my dreams!)
  • Yoga and exercise videos/classes log
  • Extra doodle pages (i.e. boxes of the things I can control, doodle of the chakras and what they represent, etc.)
  • Habit trackers:
    • skin care routine
    • yoga
    • exercise
    • gratitude journal
    • journal
    • blog writing
    • singing
    • up by 9
    • drink at least 3 bottles of water a day
    • read

I’m excited to include some new things as I start a new month and keep myself accountable with each new goal I set! Are you ready to start your bujo journey? Grab your materials, gather your inspiration, and take the leap!

Feel free to share your journal creations with me on Instagram by tagging @ang_larose1 ❤

~ Ang

Self-Care To-Do

Self-Care To-Do

Self Care To-Do
Developing Your Self-Care Toolkit

Developing Your Self-Care Toolkit

Self-care: doing the things that make you feel more like yourself – Robyn Conley Downs

Ok, passionate peeps. Let’s talk self-care.

Because how can we even begin to nurture our passions if we aren’t taking care of the mind, body, and soul that are responsible for them? Self-care, in my opinion, is essential for growth. We must learn to slow down a bit (even those of us who may find that hard) so we can put our whole being into the things we love most- our job, our hobbies, our loved ones.

Self-care is particularly essential in the life of performers, mainly because our bodies are our instruments. Healthy eating, stretching, exercising, or any other action a performer takes to maintain their body as a vessels of creativity is also an act of self-care. But sometimes, since after all, we are human, throwing those things out the window can also be an act of self-care.

Since I have been at home in the last few months, I have filled my days with new exercise classes, yoga classes, dance classes, and online seminars that I am fortunate enough to have access to. I really went hard at the start, trying to fill my time as much as I could to avoid the sadness I was feeling. Once the sadness dissapated, I became so connected and committed to every class I was taking…

…Then last week hit. I experienced a total loss of motivation. I knew I should get up and move my body (because I am SO lucky to have that ability and option in my life) but every time I would think about taking a class, I couldn’t do it. My body didn’t want to, my mind didn’t want to. Maybe it was the nice, hot weather that slowed me down, allergies, that sense of “summer” finally being here and getting a “break.” I don’t know. All I know is that I wanted nothing to do with all the things that had been getting me through the last 2-3 months.

Then I took a moment and reminded myself of all we have been hearing in those 2-3 months. This isn’t a productivity contest. This isn’t about how much you are doing right now. Don’t push yourself. Don’t do it! Recognizing when your mind and body need a break should be another major part of your self-care routine! Slowing down is just as important as meeting your appropriate edge.

What is most important is YOUR interpretation of self-care, YOUR version, and YOUR implementation of it in YOUR life and schedule in a way that serves you.

I’m here to offer some suggestions, based on my own taste, and the tastes of the people I know who so kindly offered me their suggestions! Take what you need, leave what you don’t!

Things To Add To Your Self-Care Toolkit

  • Develop Your Own Spa Routine!
    • Light up those Bath and Body Works candles I know you’ve got, take a warm shower or bath, complete your skin care routine using your fav products, and do a face mask! I personally LOVE doing my skin care routine and painting my nails!
  • Stream Your Favorite Shows and Movies (And Find Some News Ones!)
    • It is a damn shame Friends isn’t on Netflix anymore, but take comfort in watching those old TV shows and movies that just make you feel good! Grey’s, Grease, and Because I Said So are some of my favorite feel-good watches! Also investigate some new shows you might love to binge! I just binged Little Fires Everywhere and Killing Eve on Hulu!
  • Write! Journal! Read!
    • It can be so freeing to get your thoughts and words out of your mind and onto paper! If writing or journaling is your thing, maybe set aside 10 mintues at the beginning or end of your day to set some intentions for yourself or reflect on the day. I’ve recently started using a gratitude journal, and I fill in the prompts at the end of each day! Or if reading someone else’s words to put aside your own thoughts for a while is your jam, set aside that 10 minutes in your day to read!
  • Sweat It Out!
    • The benefits of exercise are endless, but if you’re anything like me, finding the classes or types of workouts that suit you is extremely important in finding the motivation to do it. If dance is your thing, try out dance cardio or barre classes (two things I am really into these days)! Yoga is also a great if you are looking for something more low-impact that will still tone up your body and help you sweat it out! Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube is a MUST! BUT: don’t overdo it and run yourself ragged!
  • Organize!
    • If you’re a “planner” like me, organizing is like self-care for the brain. Getting my week together in my journal or my planner helps me tremendously so I don’t feel as overwhelmed when life gets a little crazy. Being able to lay everything out in a pretty and creative way also makes it fun! Bullet journaling is perfect for this (future blog post to come)!
  • Get Outside!
    • Soak up that vitamin D! Sit on your porch with a cup of tea or coffee, go for a walk, explore some places in nature that you’ve never been before, go for a drive! Stepping away from the computer screen and getting a taste of the sweet outdoors can help remind you there is more to life than any obligations or frustrations!

I hope you are able to take some of these suggestions and apply them to your own self-care routine or begin to develop one if you haven’t already! Please feel free to share if any of these resonated with you!

You only get one body, one mind, one soul- it’s time to take care of them, baby!

~ Ang

Ready, Set, Routine- Establishing Your Own Routine Post-College

Ready, Set, Routine- Establishing Your Own Routine Post-College

Establishing Your Own Routine Post-College

Hi, my beautiful friends!

It’s that time of year: The end of school and the beginning of spring with summer not too far behind! Even though many momentous events in all of our lives have been altered, many high school seniors are preparing to embark on the next four years of their lives in college and current college students are preparing for another year of their education (however that may be). But college seniors, like myself, are about embark on a whole new experience- adulthood.

Living, breathing adulthood. How scary and exciting, especially in the current climate. Now, rather than worrying about assignments, or rehearsals, or class meetings, we are faced with worrying about finding jobs, finding places to live (if that is your plan), and paying off our loans sooner than later. Yikes.

But one of the biggest adjustment’s college seniors are about to face may be the lack of routine in their daily lives- until jobs are secured anyway. We are so used to waking up at a certain time to make it to our classes on time, then having a structured class schedule, and (for us performing arts majors) having a structured rehearsal schedule at night too. All this structure is about to fly out the window. For many of us right now, everyday life is a lot like summer vacation; What day is it? What time is it? Do I have anything I need to do today?

Establishing a routine of your own can be essential in making the adjustment from collegiate life to “adult life” (whatever “adult life” even is, really) a bit smoother! This doesn’t have to be a routine that you strictly follow every single day. I mean, give yourself a little break- especially if having such a rigid routine isn’t helpful for you. Creating that routine for yourself may just be helpful in making yourself feel like each day has a purpose and like you have a reason to get up in the morning (because there are SO many reasons to wake up every morning!).

Here are a few helpful hints to get your routine started!

  • Start planning your week out before it gets underway- Something I’ve started doing during this time is planning out my week before it starts. I have a document on OneNote and I just change the dates every new week. In the body of the document I have a section for each day of the week, and I use this to fill in the things I know I have/want to do. I take stock of the fitness/dance classes I know are scheduled for certain days/ times, as well as virtual seminars or classes I plan to take!
  • Establish a start time and an end time- Choose a wake-up time that works for you! As most of us know, since we have had a start time and end time set for us since we started going to school, having a start time gives us that reason to get going and an end time gives us something to work toward! Getting up at the same time most days will certainly set somewhat of a routine. I am trying hard to make sure I am up around 9 every day, so I don’t feel like I’m rushing to cram in what I want to do in a given day! Pick an end time that feels appropriate in your own workday- do NOT let yourself grind away into the wee hours of the night!
  • Establish the order in which you want to accomplish your daily goals- Okay honestly, my daily goals are not huge, exciting goals. The tasks or things I am aiming to complete right now are not nearly as time consuming as attending school or working a 9-5 job. Here are the things I want generally to accomplish: exercise, work on writing/blog, look for jobs/auditions online, practice my craft/find new material. Each day, based on many factors, I decide the order in which I want to accomplish these things. Do what is best for you! Typically, I like to get my workout in first thing so I can focus the rest of my day on my other tasks!
  • Give yourself a general time frame to complete your tasks- Take those daily goals and tasks you set for yourself and decide how much time you can or want to devote to each thing. This can help ensure that you have the time set aside AND will remind you not to spend excessive amounts of time on one thing. Each task doesn’t have to have the same time frame on it and it probably won’t! If you take some extra time on one task and have less time to devote to another, it is totally ok! Give yourself some wiggle room!
  • Take a break!- Allow yourself time to breathe in your routine! Part of the beauty of post-grad life is that there is no rushed schedule! You no longer have to go from one class right into another, change your outfit for a movement class and shovel in your lunch before you have to walk half of campus to get to your next building (ah, college). Make sure you carve out time throughout your day for necessities- food, naps, a little stretch.
  • Factor in time for your passions- It is wonderful if you loved going to school, or if you love your job. Truly, that is amazing! But I bet you have some other things that are just “yours” that you would also like to do in your day along with the work you must complete- things like reading, taking a bath, doing your nails, drawing. The possibilities are endless, and your day can most definitely include the WANTS as well as the NEEDS. In fact, it should! Maintain that sanity!

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful in your navigation of post-grad life in this crazy interim! I’d love to hear what else you are doing to make the transition out of school as seamless as can be. Feel free to share this post and share your thoughts with me! Stay well, my beautiful friends. We will make it through! xoxo

~ Ang