Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature 
Feature #5
Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Hi friends!

Time for another Passion Piece Feature! I’m so happy to share that this month’s feature is none other than actress, photographer, businesswoman extraordinaire, and last but not least MY FREAKING BEST FRIEND, Miss Kailey Edwards!!! Here’s a bit about Kailey in a more ~formal~ fashion

“Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kailey is an avid lover of classic literature, her two black Labradors, and strawberry ice cream. Simply put, she loves to make people laugh, whether it’s in a crazy role onstage or just chilling in the dressing room and strives to bring an atmosphere of joy in whatever room she walks into. Kailey is also a major supporter of inclusive arts and believes that artistry comes in all abilities.”

I’ve written about how the month of November just fills me with gratitude, and it’s not only an honor to write a piece featuring my best friend, but I wanted to take a moment to give her the recognition she so deserves as a small part of my gratitude for her. Kailey and I met our freshman year of college and just stuck together like glue. We have survived living together, working together (in various locations and positions, I might add), her living abroad for three months, and a freaking global pandemic so I think it’s safe to say our friendship can withstand just about anything at this point! We literally talk on the phone just about every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Simply put, at this point, she is family.

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty
Kailey and I playing villain & sidekick (me looking less than thrilled)

To say that I am a proud friend is quite the understatement. Her natural talents on and off the stage never cease to amaze me. For as long as I’ve known Kailey, she has always loved taking pictures. Anywhere we would go, I could always count on her taking bomb photos of me, the location, and posing for cute pics herself. She loved taking photos so much that once the pandemic hit and everyone was back at home figuring out post-grad life, she started her own photography business, Kailey Edwards Photography! What started as a sweet little side hustle has turned into quite the amazing small business, and sis is booked like…all the time! And rightfully so, her photos are simply stunning! I have watched this girl build this business from the ground up out of one of her passions, and it’s been a blessing. Regardless of any struggle she faces in life, she continues to show up perseverance, grace, and love for what she does!

She deserves her moment to shine and I feel so lucky to share her grace with all of you! Here is our chat about all things self-care and self-love!


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

My name is Kailey Edwards and I’m from Royersford, PA (about 35 minutes outside of Philly). These days, I’m back home and living the dream (sarcastically speaking…)

What are you currently doing for work, if anything? 

One of the craziest things about this pandemic is the opportunities it’s given me in terms of work and, ultimately becoming my own boss. When the pandemic hit, I needed something to fulfill my creativity, which turned out to be photography, and it’s quickly turned into a thriving business venture where I can combine my love visual art with my love of meeting new people and highlighting each person’s unique beauty!

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

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty
Kailey as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at Facetime Theatre

So, my story is a little different from most, mainly because I didn’t get my start in theatre until I was a freshman in high school. I was actually an athlete for my entire school-age life, and I had no idea that the arts would end up being my career path. But, when I was cast as the lead in the first musical I ever auditioned for, I decided to just go with it and see how it unfolded! Well, that first show quickly became two, and then three, and I’m now 8 years deep and can’t see myself doing anything else than being involved in some way shape or form for the rest of my life. I think the best part about the performing arts is that there are SO many jobs that also don’t involve performing, but that still fulfill that creative need. For instance, I have a massive passion for dramaturgy, as well as making the arts more inclusive through things like relaxed performances and ASL/Tactile tours. I think that I will be happy as long as I’m somehow directly involved in the performing arts in some way.

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

  1. Books, books, books! I was a double major in English in college and that’s really just because I love to read so much!
  2. Research is a big passion of mine (which is something my mother says she will never understand, haha!). I just love seeing what other people have to say about a certain topic, while also adding my own interpretations.
  3. Photography. I love that my main job right now is also something that I am super passionate about, truly because it makes people happy and provides people with lasting memories.
  4. Music, specifically jazz! Before I was ever in theater, I was singing at church, and I was super excited when I realized I could become involved in theater and add storylines and acting to songs. 
  5. Dogs-I have two black labs and they keep life interesting, to say the least!

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

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Yes! I am very blessed that my photography business started simply because I just love capturing the world we live in. I studied abroad two years ago in London, and I had so many people back home telling me to create a separate Instagram just for my iPhone travel photos. I never really had the time until quarantine hit, and then I bought myself a camera for graduation. Well, I took photos of friends, they posted them, and then suddenly I have 5 weddings next year! So, it’s been absolutely insane, but also super fruitful. I’ve found that it’s actually benefitted the performing arts side of things for me, because I’ve gotten the chance to photograph fellow performers, which has then given me some wonderful connections within the industry. I love that photography and theatre will always go hand-in-hand and be mutually beneficial!

What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

I think I’m most inspired by the ways I’ve seen other creatives still striving to create art during this time. I mean, for God’s sake, we’re in a global pandemic. There’s no pressure to create, but yet, people still are, and they are making this world more beautiful because of it. 

What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster your passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?

I’ve relearned how to read just for fun. In college, I only ever read books that I had to write papers on, or scripts that I was going to be acting in. I’ve really tried, recently, to read books that are just fun reads that I’ve been meaning to pick up off my dusty bookshelf. I am also taking voice lessons again simply for “me”, without the worry of having to prepare for auditions. I’ve missed singing just for the heck of it.

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

  1. I would love to make more opportunities available to theaters around the country to be able to do relaxed performances and make their theaters more inclusive all around.
  2. For photography, I would love to ultimately become a destination wedding photographer and travel around the world while capturing memories for people.
  3. Not necessarily a goal, but something I strive to accomplish in anything I do, is to do said thing with kindness and the understanding that everyone has their own gifts in life. I think it’s important to recognize that we are all so needed in this world for so many different reasons!

What does your self-care routine look like?

Oh lord, I barely have one, haha! I really try to wake up early in the morning to do my makeup, not because I need to look good for anyone but myself, but because it’s my “me time” to have to myself before I start my day. 

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

I think the great thing about this world (and more specifically the performing arts world) is that there are ways to become involved in the field you’re passionate about, even if it’s not in the position you ultimately want. I think that you should find a way to incorporate your passion into your daily job or daily routine, so that it doesn’t become this “separate entity”. If you don’t get cast in a show, find a way to work backstage or in the administration office. Always find a way to be involved with the field you love!


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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

She is beauty. She is grace. She is Kailey Edwards! Thanks so much to Kails for finding time in her busy schedule to answer my questions, and many, many more thanks to her for filling the world with beauty, joy, and kindness! If you want to get to know her better yourself, you can follow her on Instagram @kailey__edwards and @kaileyedwardsphotography (her and her mom, Keri, recap the bachelorette on Instagram every week…truly not something you want to miss).

Stay well, friends! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, PLEASE stay safe!

~ Ang xo

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

During the Thanksgiving Season and Beyond

Hey Hey!

November is well under way, and I don’t know about you, but the month of November always fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We’ve got Thanksgiving, which is a great excuse to think about all the things in our lives we have to be grateful for, but why not practice gratitude all November long? Why not all year long?

Developing a gratitude practice is not always the easiest thing, and it can feel especially daunting in the times of 2020, where so much has gone wrong for so many. Despite the many, many mishaps of 2020, I think now more than ever it is important to take stock of what we have to be grateful for and hold onto that with all out might! Here are a few ways to begin developing your gratitude practice this month so you can carry it with you out of 2020 and into the new year!

Make a list of all the people, things, experiences, etc. that you’re grateful for, every day

I think this is probably the easiest way to start a daily gratitude practice! Without any prompts to follow, you can simply just write out all the things you know you are grateful for. Sit with your thoughts and think of every little thing you can think of! It doesn’t matter when you do it, you can do it any time you have a moment to pause in the day (and if you’re having trouble finding a moment to breathe, this could be the perfect excuse to make one for yourself). First thing in the morning, before bed, during your lunch break- literally any time! If you don’t have a journal or paper handy, your phone will be your savior. Maybe make a note in your phone dedicated to your daily gratitude list!

Get yourself a gratitude journal!

As we know, I’m a journal freak, and having a gratitude journal was how I started developing my gratitude practice! I do my practice before bed, and my journal prompts for every day are “Today I am grateful for___,” “Tomorrow I will remember___,” and a word for the day! It’s that easy! I know there are lots of gratitude journals on the market, some more affordable than others, but you do NOT have to break the bank on a journal! You have my prompts, so you could copy those into your own journal daily or look up a few prompts online and copy those into your own journal! If you have a bullet journal, a gratitude page would also be an awesome thing to add into your daily, weekly, or monthly layout!

Check out this resource for 50 awesome daily gratitude journal prompts to get your journey started! And HERE is a 3-pack of guided journals for gratitude, fitness, and reflection!

Find quiet time to sit with your gratitude

If journaling isn’t your jam, you can still have a daily gratitude practice! Truth be told, I don’t write in my gratitude journal every single day. Sometimes I’m away and I’ll forget to take it along, or I slide into bed, turn the lights off, get snuggled up, and realize I didn’t journal. It happens! But when things like that DO happen, I simply sit in my gratitude. For me, sitting with my gratitude often looks like praying, or simply talking things out with the universe. Over time, you will come to learn what “sitting with your gratitude” looks like for you. Maybe it’s praying, or just replaying your day over in your head and pinpointing the things you were grateful for or the happiest moments of the day. Simply taking the time for yourself to revel in your gratitude will make all the difference!

Move your body

If you are able to, moving your body (to me) is one of the greatest gratitude practices you can adopt! Think about it. If you are capable of waking up each morning and getting your body moving, you have SO MUCH to be grateful for. I think of Amanda Kloots and how she documented her journey while her husband, Nick, was in the hospital with COVID. Exercise was one of her ways of coping, and while she could have sat in her grief and sadness, she was up and moving her body most days to honor those who could not. So, not only is the capability to move your body something to add to your gratitude list, but it’s also something we can do to honor those who may not be so lucky.

If you’re looking to start small, incorporating a daily yoga/meditation practice into your daily routine can help you cultivate your gratitude mindset immensely! Perhaps sitting with your thoughts of gratitude becomes your meditation, which fuels your yoga practice! It’s all connected, my friends!

Actively let your people know you’re grateful for them

This one is something small, but I think it’s extremely important, especially as this crazy year we’ve all had starts wrapping up. Personally, I found that throughout the early months of quarantine that were filled with a lot of disappointment, I came to discover who my “people” really are. They were the friends and family members that were constantly there to be my shoulders to cry on (literally and figuratively) and my rocks in tough times. The people I could count on to answer my calls so I could just talk things out like I need to do, and the people who talked me down when I found myself spiraling. And in the moments where I felt secure enough to hold my head high and keep pressing on, I came to understand that that wouldn’t have been possible without my people. I hope you have your own “people,” and if you do, I encourage you to take the time out of your day, week, month to thank them for being your support system. That little acknowledgment goes a long, long way. Add your people to your gratitude list, show up for them as much as you are able to, and let them know you appreciate them!

And there you have it, friends! 5 ways to get your gratitude on! If you have a gratitude practice that you love, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! I hope that adding these little actions into your daily routine allows you to relish in your gratitude, recognize the good in your life, and practice more love- towards yourself and others!

As always, I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you reading this post today, supporting me on this journey!

Lots of love

~Ang

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance In Your Work Life

Work is Important, But So Are You

Happy October, everyone!

It feels like it was March five seconds ago, where in the world did the time go? A month into fall, I know many of us have transitioned from summer mode to work mode (maybe you’re still dreading it or maybe you’re loving it!). As a recent college graduate, I know I’m not alone when I say that the transition from college to “adult” life has been quite interesting. As a theatre major, I always had this “plan” as to what my early post-grad days would look like. Obviously, I was probably going to have a side hustle (or two, or three) to supplement some income, but I would largely be focused on auditioning and hopefully have consistent work in the world of theatre.

Welp. As we all know, we make plans and the universe laughs.

Early post-grad life in the world of the pandemic completely flipped my script. Instead of executing the plan I had laid out for four years, I’m now at home, working three jobs just to try and save, save, save so that when theatre comes back, I can hit the pavement.

In addition to my retail job, I recently started a remote marketing position and I’m nannying/tutoring. To say that working these jobs was a bit of a balancing act at the start would be an understatement, also because I am trying to do theatre/teach yoga here and there where I can. Since I know I’m not alone on this front, and the struggle to find balance between work and life is REAL, here are a few tips for learning how to find what works while still working your tush off!

Tip #1: Look Ahead, Lay It Out

I feel like I am always saying this, but it pays to be a planner! When I lay everything out clearly in front of me in terms of my work schedule/personal schedule, I always feel a bit more secure. You could do this weekly, monthly, or for both (I like to do both). Having a planner or a desk calendar of some sort will make this much easier for you. Usually on Saturday’s or Sunday’s I like to sit down with my planner, go through every day of the upcoming week, and write down all my obligations/activities. I’ll go over my work schedule, any work projects I have to complete and their due dates, my scheduled blog content, and any other personal things I’ve got planned for the week. For me, being able to see every day clearly laid out helps give me a clear sense of what’s in store!

Tip #2: Take Breaks

Whether you’re working a remote job, nannying, or working in the office 9-5, breaks are SO important. I’m mostly telling you this as a reminder for myself as well because I am sometimes just the worst with making time for breaks. I’ll work until I’m done, but then feel so drained from not allowing myself the proper time to breathe in a workday. In my yoga teacher training, I watched a lecture about yoga in the corporate world, and I believe our instructor said that about every 30 minutes, you should move your body if you’re tied to a desk all day! Taking a break should really be fueled by what your mind and body are craving. Even if you only get a five-minute pause, use it to stretch, grab some water, grab a snack, call your mom, or just sit still and breathe!

Tip #3: Have a Stopping Time/ Take the Weekend

Having an end to your workday is essential if you are working from home these days. Again, I am really saying this as a reminder to myself as well. It is so easy to get caught up in your work and work waaaay beyond 5 or 6 at night- trust me, I get it. But having a time to end your workday allows you to take some time to decompress before you start the process all over again the next day! AND, if you’re able to, take the weekend! I understand that overwhelming urge to work to completion, even if that means working on the weekends, but try to leave work alone after your end time on Friday!

Tip #4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

This one has less to do with work and more to do with aspects of your life in addition to work. Our society has groomed us to be “yes” people, and sometimes this mentality is super detrimental to our sanity. I know personally, I have a hard time saying no. It’s hard to say no to that extra shift (or maybe not? lol), to planning that party, to that trip that you thought you’d be able to make it on. If the thought of saying no and not taking on any more in your life makes your insides feel glowy: SAY NO! Your work is extremely important, but your down time should be treated with the same amount of love and respect! Don’t run yourself dry; if you do, you will be doing yourself and everyone around you a major disservice.

Tip #5: Ask For Help/ Ask For A Day

BUT if you do happen to bite off more than you can chew, and you’ve planned your way into a hole: ASK FOR HELP! Call a friend, your mom, your aunt, literally anyone you know and trust, and just ask for help! Trust me, we ALL have been there, so any normal human being who cares about you should want to help you out in any little way they can if you come to them and are overwhelmed. Another great way to try and avoid taking on too much or burning yourself out is to ask for the day when you need it. For example, in my retail job, I asked my boss to try and give me one day a week off in between the start of my work week there and the days I tutor. I knew that if I spread myself too thin and tried to overlap in my jobs, I would be mentally drained. I was nervous to ask, but I am sure glad I did because my boss was SO understanding. I know that everyone’s work situation/boss is different, and this may not be possible for you, but if you have the days to take, TAKE THEM WHEN YOU NEED TO FOR YOUR OWN SANITY!

If any of you work-from-home babes or busy beauties have other tips you’d like to share with the BTF community for maintaining your sanity in a busy work life, comment below and let us know! And remember, first and foremost, your occupations do not define you! If you aren’t where you want to be right now, just remember your dreams and your passions will find you when you least expect it. There is a plan, you are living through part of that plan. Take comfort in knowing this is one steppingstone on the way to your destiny!

Talk soon!

~ Ang xoxo

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute
August Round Up

August Round Up

Hi everyone!

Another month of 2020 down. Sad that it’s going so fast, but one month closer to (hopefully) a better 2021! We must be hopeful!

I’ll admit, my round up for the month is a little sparse! While I went back to my part-time job at the end of last month, this month was when I got into the full swing of things and I did spend a lot of my time working. I’m grateful that I’m able to work and I enjoy the little job I have; it’s nice to have something that gets me out and gives me a little change of scenery, you know? In addition to working, I was able to spend about a week and a half this month being a member of the 24 Hour Plays: Nationals cohort as an actor! I mean this from the bottom of my heart, what an incredible experience. Not only was I able to feel like a performer again, but I learned so much, made so many new connections, and took part in meaningful work. It’s an experience that I will treasure as I move forward in my professional career, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to be part of it!

In addition to working a lot this month, I did a lot of work on my yoga teacher certification! I am VERY close to being done, and I am again, very grateful that the online training program I went with is move at your own pace. It has taken me longer to get to this point than I originally had anticipated, but I wanted to make sure I was really absorbing the material- so, thank God for that! Later in September, probably as I am finally finishing the program, I’m going to write a post that will be Part Two of my Yoga Journey post, so look out for that! I am also hoping to maybe start creating some mini classes to post on my social media for people to take at their own leisure, as well as some live classes as I get ready to get some teaching experience under my belt!

Hopefully, LOTS of new and exciting things as I continue to build and expand my brand a bit more!

Alright. This is usually the portion of my Monthly Minute post where I share the written monthly goals I had set for the month and whether or not I had accomplished them. And in an attempt to be as fully transparent with my readers and followers as possible, I am admitting that I FORGOT to sit down and write out my goals for the month! I know, you’re probably thinking, “girl, you made a WHOLE POST about setting monthly goals for yourself and now you’re slipping up?!” And I am here to say, YEP. It’s bound to happen sometimes, and the start of this month, the time when I usually sit down and write my goals out, just completely got away from me. BUT I will say, a lot of my monthly goals carry over from month to month, so having the logged memory of what I had been writing out the last few months was helpful in organically trying to be accountable for myself!

I also slacked big time on the reading front this month, I didn’t pick up a new book. I ordered a book for an online book club for the month of September at the start of this month and I realllllly had to restrain myself from starting it sooner. So, look forward for my thoughts on some books in September!

Now, let’s get to some of the stuff I enjoyed this month!

TV

  • Love on the Spectrum (Netflix): Oh. My. Lord. I loved this show so freaking much! It was just so heartwarming and genuine, I didn’t want it to end. I’m really hoping they will have other seasons in the future because I couldn’t get enough of it!
  • Ozark (Netflix)- Alright. I am a little bit behind on this one, but wow is it good. Like, CRAZY good. I am astounded by everyone’s performances every single episode. I didn’t think this was a show I was going to enjoy, but I am binge-ing it hardcore at the moment- still in season 2.
Monthly Minute
August Round Up

Podcasts

  • Yoga Girl Podcast (and Yoga Girl Daily)- First of all, this woman’s voice just soothes me. I love Yoga Girl Daily specifically because I listen to them most days on my way to work! They are only 5-8 minutes long and each day of the week has a different theme. Lots of setting intentions, reflecting, and taking steps in your daily life to better yourself!

Products

  • My Hydrapeak Water Bottle-: Listen, I don’t care WHAT kind of water bottle you get but get yourself a water bottle! Save the planet! It will also just change your life, really. Personally, I enjoy my drinks nice and cold. Lots of ice. My stainless steel Hydrapeak water bottle (from my local T.J. Maxx- go to yours, I bet they have one or one similar) keeps my drink cold ALL DAY while I’m at work. I’ll come home after a long shift and there will still be ice clanging around in there! I believe you can also put hot liquids in it as well and they’d stay hot! I decorated mine with lots of fun RedBubble stickers 🙂
  • Batiste Volumizing Dry Shampoo: I love me some great dry shampoo, as I am sure many of you do as well. I’ve used the regular Batiste dry shampoo for years, but my mom just recently picked up a couple of cans of the volumizing dry shampoo and gave me one and I LOVE it! Something I’ve tried to start doing this month is training my hair (to not need to be washed as often) because honestly, it was exhausting how often I needed to wash my hair and now I’m just tired of it! I don’t know what it is about this dry shampoo that I love and is working much better than any other one I’ve used! I have naturally very straight and flat hair, so maybe I’m just finding that I like the volume! Either way, check it out!

Not too much to boast about this month, but I am happy to share that a lot of the time that wasn’t spent at work, watching Netflix or reading as much this month was spent on personal development, continued job searching/yoga work, and relaxation where I could grab it. For all of that, I am simply grateful!

Did You LOVE August’s FREE Bullet Journal Templates?

If so, you’re in luck! Didn’t get yours last month? No problem! I am sending out another round for September! If you’ve every wanted to start bullet journaling but have no clue where to start, this template is for you! I’ve curated various pages based on what I use in my own bullet journal as well as suggestions I’ve gotten from Pinterest and the Instagram hive! Everything you need to start tracking your own personal habits for the month can be found in these pages! Sound good? All you have to do to get the FREE templates is subscribe to Beyond the Footlights using your email! This offer will be good for the whole month of September, so you’ve got some time to consider if you’re on the fence! This may be the final month to snag the template for FREE, so you aren’t going to want to miss this!

As many of you have gone back to school and will continue to go back as we move into September, know that I am thinking of you and sending you all the well wishes in the world! Stay safe, smart, and healthy, my loves!

~ Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly
Feature #2

Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly

Feature #2

Hi Friends!

Beyond the Footlights is back with another Passion Piece Feature, and this month I had the joy and privilege of communicating with actress, theatre coach, and ball of literal sunshine, Jenna Leigh Miller!

Here’s a little bit about Jenna in her own words!:

Passion Piece Feature
Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly
Feature #2

“Hey! My name is Jenna Leigh Miller and I am a New York City based actress. I hold a BFA in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University. I first came across Musical Theatre on a Brownies trip to NYC, where we saw Beauty & the Beast, ever since then I was hooked!  I started singing at the young age of 3 years old, at church. I truly was singing before I was talking. I lived out my “Fame the Original Movie” dreams by attending the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts as a Vocal Major. I am also the creator of Problem Solved, a Theatre Coaching for all artists, specializing in everything audition related. In my free time I enjoy cooking, games nights, Gilmore Girls, and reading as many quote books as I can.”

Y’all. If you don’t already follow Jenna on social media, you MUST this instant! While Jenna and I haven’t had the opportunity to meet one another in person, I feel like I already know her like I know any close friend just from our interaction with one another via social media. I truly don’t remember how I stumbled upon her profile, but from the moment we connected I could tell how positive, uplifting, hard-working, and hilarious she is!!! I follow both her personal account as well as her Problem Solved account, and on any given day, my feed is full of Jenna doing everything from highlighting her favorite self-tape products and audition book hacks, dancing up a STORM, and singing her face off to her making her signature chai, chilling with her blow-up pool dolphins, and doing blind taste tests of her favorite adult beverages! Her feed really is the social media experience we are all in need of during this crazy quaran-time!

I just love how real and supportive Jenna is at all times. What you see is what you get, and that isn’t something that is easy to hold onto in our line of work sometimes, so for that I admire her immensely. Because she works hard, she plays hard, and because of that, I thought it would be fun to check in with Jenna and hear about her passions and how she practices self-care! Here’s our chat:

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

J: I am an actress, performer, artists, daughter, friend, and human being. I am New York City based but I am currently quarantine in Easton PA, which is also where I’m from!

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

Passion Piece Feature
Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly
Feature #2

J: I am so grateful for my theatre coaching business- Problem Solved, truly has kept me busy during quarantine! I also teach acting to younger kids with this company based out of Pittsburgh called South Hills Music Academy. And I social media manage An Actor Plans, which sells Broadway themed stationary goods! Check them out: @an_actor_plans

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

J: I always knew I wanted to perform. I know that sounds so cheesy but, it’s true! I did other things as a child, soccer, swim team, but it was always AFTER rehearsal or AFTER my voice lesson or AFTER my dance class. To me, my path was always lit up. I knew what I wanted to do. As artists, creativity runs through our bones. That has spilled into other parts of my life, but my Broadway dreams have been consistent my entire life.

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

J:

  1. Performing…duh! #jennaforbroadway
  2. Cooking and cocktail making. Follow my #drinkswithjenna journey on Insta
  3. Supporting and uplifting fellow artists, that’s how I found Angela on Instagram! #artistssupportingartists
  4. Problem Solved, building something from the ground up is incredible rewarding
  5.  AUDITIONING! (I know crazy) I love being pushed outside my comfort zone in the audition room, meeting new people, getting an opportunity to perform. I even love the hustle that comes with audition season.
Passion Piece Feature
Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly
Feature #2

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

J: I love the quote, “Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life.” Meaning I try to fill my time with my passions. If you don’t love what you do, what’s the point?! I turned my passions into my career. So yes, all of my passions fall into the same category!

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

J: See, this is something I struggle with. You know how they say don’t work from your bed, because you shouldn’t mix “work” with “down time”. Well… I am currently writing these responses in my bed, p-jays still on with a pomegranate G & T in my hand. So much of my work is my downtime I struggle to find that perfect balance. But I will say cooking is a huge stress reliever for me. It’s an hour to myself to create.

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

J: Oh woof, BIG question! I feel like this is best discussed in a bar in Downtown Manhattan with some fancy drink that is casually flaming, but I’ll give it a go…

  1. Perform on Broadway. This has been a professional goal of mine since I saw my first Broadway show, Beauty and the Beast, on a Brownies trip to New York City.
  2. Have a home base. I am slightly obsessed with tiny homes and I feel like for an actor it’s the perfect size. And being able to drive your house whenever you have a contract sounds brilliant to me.
  3.  Make a sustainable amount of money where I get to choose what I want I do. Whether that money comes from contracts or my business doesn’t really matter to me, but they don’t call it finical freedom for nothing. I want that freedom!

I’d just like to note none of these things I have achieved yet and I am ok with that. For me, it is more about the direction and not the speed at which I achieve my goals. I do believe in putting things out there in the universe and asking for what you want. But not at the expense of giving myself timelines I have to follow.

What does your self-care routine look like?

J: Cliché answer, but wine, face mask, and a good Netflix binge and some yummy snacks! I also find self-care is giving myself pep talks. I recently re-did my dance reel and when I was going through editing the videos 75% of them all had some sort of self-affirmation in them, “You got this Jenna,” “Show em what you got,” “You are so ready for this.” Makes me laugh watching it back, but to me that is a huge part of my self-care. If I don’t believe in myself, why would other people?

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

J: You make your own schedule. So, YOU get to decide what your energy goes towards. Carving out an hour of time to sing each week is the same as carving out an hour of time to do your laundry. To me I put them on equal levels of importance.

I also say this all the time but when it comes to the performance industry but, SHOW UP. That’s my advice, show up. Half the battle when it comes to pursing your passions is showing up. Show up for your family, show up for your fellow artists, show up in your audition prep work, show up to that early morning open call, show up when preparing food for your body, show up to that dance class you have been wanting to take all quarantine. Show up for yourself.

Passion Piece Feature
Jenna Leigh Miller: Social (Media) Butterfly
Feature #2

A HUGE thank you to Jenna for taking time out of her busy, fun-filled life to answer my questions! Weren’t her responses just perfect? So candid, so hopeful, and so relatable! I can’t wait until I am able to connect with her in person, but in the mean time, catch me following her journey and growth online!

WHAT? You don’t already follow Jenna?! Fear not. There are plenty of ways to connect with her online right now! Check her out at any of the following:

Actress Website: www.jennaleighmiller.com

Actress Instagram: @jennaleighmiller

Like to Know It: @JennaLeighMiller
Problem Solved: www.problemsolvedbyjenna.com 

Problem Solved Instagram: @problemsolvedbyjenna

Actor Must Haves: http://www.problemsolvedbyjenna.com/actormusthaves

Pinterest: @ProblemSolvedbyJenna
An Actor Plans: @an_actor_plans

Have a wonderful week my friends! Keep shining!

~ Ang

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

Little Lessons to Keep In Mind Whether You’re Going Back In Person or Not!

Hey, babes!

All my college homies, this one is for you!!!

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on college and the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am becoming, it got me thinking about how different some of my college experiences were compared to what I thought they would be. It happens with any new and exciting event in our lives- we construct our ideal version in our heads and then reality swoops in and puts us back in check.

Truthfully, so much of what I had told myself would happen in college didn’t happen. Things I was told to expect didn’t always happen according to “plan.” But sometimes they did! There were also SO many times where the unexpected happened! For better or worse, I think everything in my journey happened when and how it needed to happen. I learned every lesson just how I was supposed to in my four-year journey.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College
My first first day of college (left) vs. my last first day of college (right)

But were there other things that happened in my college experience I wish someone had warned me about? ABSOLUTELY! Did I go through experiences that I wish I could have been even the slightest bit more prepared for? FOR SURE! Looking back, were there lessons and principles I wish I would’ve kept in mind more as I navigated my way through classes, relationships, and my field of study? YOU BETCHA! So, I want to share with you 5 little nuggets of advice you can hold onto as you venture into college, continue your education, or just as you need them in life!

  1. Being a Planner is NOT all bad!– When I got to college, I was NOT the “planner” that I am now. I knew I would have the drive to get organized, but I really didn’t know where to start. Owning a planner certainly was a massive step in the right direction. I used a color coding system to keep my classes and assignments on track! Knowing that my own organization was one part of my life I could control during the huge adjustment made me feel more at ease. When I would get the syllabus, I would immediately write down due dates in my planner from the course calendar, so I was always able to be one step ahead, and never have anything sneak up on me! Finding the best way for you to organize your school work will take a little bit of weight off of your shoulders, and YOU DO have control over that! If you’re looking for a great planner with enough space to keep all of your obligations on track check out the Planit Planner here! (use code ANGELAL10 for 10% off!)
  2. Try to see the light at the end of the tunnel!– I know that sometimes, no matter how much you plan, everything happening at a given time during college can be extremely stressful. It always seems to work out that all of your major tests, projects, and auditions fall in the same week. A cruel joke, right? And when you’re right in the thick of it, it can be extremely difficult to fathom how you will ever get through it. I encourage you to always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Try to tap into your breath as best as you can to center yourself. It is so much easier said than done (trust me, I spent four years rarely trying to see how things would be on the other side), but I promise you when those crazy, busy times have ended, you’ll sit back and wonder “why was I causing myself so much stress?” Everything will work out, I promise!
  3. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary stress!– While college is largely about furthering your education, another huge aspect is your social life! Making new friends, meeting new people, and trying new things are what the college experience is all about. To be completely candid- you will most likely experience some drama in your four years, whether it has to do with friendships, relationships, work, etc. My best advice to you is to distance yourself from any unnecessarily dramatic situation as soon as you possibly can. If there are people that you become friends with or you start dating that quickly prove themselves to be toxic individuals, cut them out. The people that you meet in college and let become a large part of your life should not cost you your sanity! This also goes for any obligations you take on. Try not to bite off more than you can chew! If you say yes to something but find that it is causing you more stress than joy, be completely honest with yourself and the other individuals involved, and savor your sanity.
  4. You will lose friends, and that’s ok.– Friendships is an amazingly weird thing. As we grow, our friendships either grow with us, or they don’t- and THAT IS OK! It doesn’t make you a bad person or make others bad people. Going into college, if you lose touch with some of the people you went to high school with that is completely normal. You may be on totally different schedules or across the world from one another, plus you are both adapting to this new way of life! If the friendships are worth it to both of you, you will keep in touch. Even once you get to college, your friendships will shift! You may be closer to one person one year and closer to another the next. Your relationships will either grow with you or you may grow out of them, but either way YOU are GROWING!
  5. Give yourself some grace.- One important thing to remember in college is that change is inevitable. And sometimes change can be messy. In times that are tough, I want you to remember not to be so hard on yourself. There will be times when you cannot do it all, you cannot commit to every event or every hang out because you need to take time for you, and that is ok. It is also important to remember you cannot please everyone, nor is it your responsibility to. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and they might not be yours! So, be unapologetically yourself and grant yourself some grace, baby!

I know that college may look a little different for some this year, but I think that some of these little reminders are things you can carry with you all the time- whether you’re in a college setting or not! Your experience is what you make it, so always remember that something amazing can come out of something unexpected or different. You’re going to crush this academic year, I’m rooting for you!

Best of luck!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute
July Round Up

July Round Up

Hi Friends!

I feel like I will say this every month, but I can’t believe July is already coming to a close! Summer always goes so quickly. I wait all year for these glorious three months and they are always gone in a blink! Even though I felt like this month flew by, honestly, I felt a lot less productive in my own life. I’m not really sure why I feel that way, but if I had to guess it would probably be because I didn’t have as much down time this month as I did in June to accomplish everything I had wanted to. A blessing and a curse!

Fortunately, I was able to get back to work at my part-time job this month which put some normalcy back into my life. I’m excited to start working regularly again; it’ll be interesting returning back to a “normal” busy schedule and making life work!

This month I was also lucky enough to be part of a virtual production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company (the position I was slated to have this summer), and it gave me so much life. Seeing my friends a couple times a week and having a dedicated space to practice our craft was much needed after months of separation/lack of work.

Diving into July’s round up, normally I would start with my monthly goals, but honestly, a lot of my goals remained the same from June! And to be candid, there was a lot of inconsistency in my goals this month. Some days/weeks, I really nailed it but many others I did not. But that’s ok! We eb and flow, and some months are just bound to be more productive than others!

Two things that I added onto my list of goals were:

  • Listening to podcasts at least one day a week
    • I accomplished this one! I listened to Black-tor, The Ensemblist, Yoga Girl: Conversations From the Heart, and Everyday Ayurveda & Yoga at Hale Pale
  • Choosing 2 days a week to seriously limit social media usage
    • This one, I didn’t do so well with (hence my post on burnout at the start of the month!). I think I was just too vague with myself, seeing as I didn’t pick 2 days right from the start. I’m going to bring this one with me into August!

Books, Movies, and More!

Monthly Minute 
July Round Up

Books

One of my other goals for the month was to read 1-2 books. Here are the ones I read!

  • Sunburn by Laura Lippman
    • This book was alright! Definitely not my favorite read, but I kept reading nonetheless! The plot was a little too slow and confusing for my taste, and there wasn’t really a shocking moment until the very, very end despite its claim as “suspenseful.”
  • The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
    • I loved this one!!! I finished it I think in four days, I couldn’t put it down! There were turns and surprises left and right, it did not end up being anything like I expected. I definitely want to explore other works of both authors since I loved this book so much!

Movies and TV (or lack thereof)

I will admit, I am the worst at watching TV and movies. You would think that as an actor I would be on top of it, but I am ashamed to say, I was not this month. (It also isn’t helpful that I have been binge watching Dance Moms as a form of entertainment– very bad). But here is what I DID watch!

  • Hamilton (duh)
    • Whatever I say about Hamilton here won’t do it justice, and most of you reading this have probably experienced this moment of speechless-ness. The artistry, athleticism, and genius just moved me to tears, several times. Watching that, I knew that theatre truly was where I belonged. (If you want to have a discussion on whether Hamilton or Burr was the bad guy, let me know).
  • We Are Freestyle Love Supreme
    • This documentary is on Hulu and if you loved Hamilton, you should certainly watch this! It follows the trajectory of the hip-hop improv group that Lin Manuel-Miranda (among many other Broadway stars) was a part of that sparked the show that came to Broadway in 2019. I marvel at the men and women that were part of the group, their talent simply is extraordinary.
  • Uncut Gems
    • Unpopular opinion: I love Adam Sandler. I thought this movie was great, and unlike anything he has ever done before! It was definitely a little slow to start, and a little strange, but the end knocked it out of the park!
  • Unsolved Mysteries
    • Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. If you love crime shows, this is 100% for you. It was only slightly unsatisfying because…they are unsolved. Nonetheless, it was very addicting!
  • Palm Springs
    • Personally, I didn’t love this movie! I thought it was a little predictable and just reminded me of Groundhog Day too much. I love Andy Samberg, I thought he was good but nothing to shout about. I thought there were a lot of plot holes and things that didn’t make sense to me, so I regret to share that it wasn’t my fave!

Things I Loved

Monthly Minute
July Round Up
Monthly Minute
July Round Up
  • My Planit Planner Planner
    • I have been in desperate need of a new planner, and my Planit Planner saved my life! I can’t wait to use it as the year progresses. It is so high quality, and I loved that your experience is really personal. You have the freedom to choose your planner, the cover style/type, your weekly layout, and the extras that come inside! I never had enough space in a planner to write out everything without it all being squashed, but with the blank weekly layout I never have to worry. They are going to have lots of new styles launching through the end of the year, so keep an eye out! Check them out here! Use the code ANGELAL10 for 10% off your purchase!

There you have it, JULY! I hope that you all had a terrific month, and I can’t wait to see what August brings!

On the blog, August will bring something new….BULLET JOURNAL TEMPLATES!

Monthly Minute
July Round Up

I love bullet journaling so much, and I wanted to make it a little more accessible to those who may not have the time or may not feel confident in their own ability to make one from scratch! The templates I made are so cute, you don’t want to miss them!

To get the first monthly template in August, make sure you subscribe to Beyond the Footlights on the home page of the blog, only subscribers will have access to the template! If you are already an email subscriber, no worries, you will receive the template!

I can’t wait to share these with you! xoxo

~ Ang

Goal-Getter

Goal-Getter

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

Hi, sweet friends!

With the start of a new month quickly approaching, I wanted to take some time to talk about monthly goal setting!

Monthly goal setting is something that I only started doing at the end of May (for June), but I have found that it is something that keeps me on track and serves as a constant reminder of the things I am working towards!

I should clarify- when I say “goals,” I’m talking goals on a smaller scale. We all have our larger goals that we would like to accomplish in our life, even in the next five or so years: write a book, travel, start a business, book a Broadway show…

The list of larger than life goals can be endless and should be individual to you and your aspirations! But the goals that I set for myself every month are goals that I know I would like to accomplish in the here and now rather than in my future. These goals are comprised of things I know I would like to accomplish for myself on a daily or weekly basis during the month, or things that I know I can realistically complete in a 30-day time frame.

Many of my goals really serve as reminders for me! My list is generally comprised of actions that I want to take throughout the month to better myself in a variety of ways and help myself achieve mental, emotional, and physical peace. When I complete something that is on my list of goals, I feel a sense of peace and fulfillment that propels me forward and onto my next task!

Let me share with you a few things that were on my list of July Goals so you may better understand what I mean (these are quoted from my writing):

  • Do yoga every day BUT be gentle with myself, and take a day off if need be
  • Read 1-2 books this month
  • Start listening to podcasts at least one day a week
  • Continue waking up by 9 AM
  • Continue my money spreadsheet and spend less than June
  • Choose 2 days a week to limit social media usage to avoid burnout

So, how can YOU set up a list of goals for your month that will help you achieve peace in your everyday life?

  • Assess your values! This doesn’t mean you have to dig down deep, it really just means asking yourself what matters most to you, for yourself. Do you value your quiet time, taking care of yourself, taking care of others, education, working hard, etc.? The list goes on and on. Figure out what values need to become priorities first and foremost.
  • Figure out what you need mentally, emotionally, and physically! This is so important, and there is no right or wrong answer. Start by pausing and considering what may have caused you more mental dis-ease than you would have liked to experience this month. What can you limit/increase exposure to in your life that would create more mental ease in your life? Repeat this evaluation in terms of your emotional and physical states!
  • Ask yourself what you feel you are lacking in your life. Since graduating, I have felt the lack of education and learning in my life, so I wanted to keep reading and learning through listening to more podcasts! You may not have the time to incorporate the things you are lacking into your life every single day, but adding them to your list of goals for the month creates a space for them that you may not have even had at all!
  • By the same token, what feels excessive or unnecessary in your life that you may want to cut back on? I felt overwhelmed by social media, so I added cutting back a few days to my list of goals! This list is not just about adding things into your life, it can also be about what you’d like to get rid of to create a healthier space for yourself!
  • Ask yourself if there are goals in your work or personal endeavors/projects that you would like to accomplish. I have a separate section of my list of goals that focuses on my monthly goals for the blog! Again, these are not the goals that I would like to achieve with the blog long-term, they are simply the tasks that I know I can accomplish in a month if I set my mind to it and work hard.

At the bottom of my list for July, I wrote this:

“Be gentle with yourself and these goals. You will not reach them all at once. If you don’t reach them this month you are not a failure. Love yourself!”

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

I love my past self for this reminder. I couldn’t put it into better, simpler terms if I tried! Be gentle with yourself and these goals. As you can see, I set out to do yoga every day, but what I had learned from the previous month is that that goal was great to have, but sometimes I just didn’t want to do it because my body was telling me not to. But I wasn’t gentle with myself, and I did it anyway. These goals are not set in stone, nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t do what you thought you’d have the space and time for!

You will not reach them all at once. You just won’t! You’ve got to give yourself some grace. Just as you will not write the novel you aspire to write in a day/week/month, and just like you will not have 500 new subscribers/customers overnight, you will not be able to check off every goal every day. But it’s ok. If you don’t reach them all this month you are not a failure!

Love yourself. That one speaks for itself.

If YOU make a monthly goal list for yourself for August, I’d love for you to share it with me via social media @ang_larose1 on Instagram, @BTFblog on Twitter or via email!

I love you, I can’t wait to see you all crush your goals!

xoxo

~ Angela

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