Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute
February Round Up

February Round Up

Hellooooo!

The second month of 2021 is in the books! How are you doing, how are you feeling? Is 2021 just 2020 in a wig? Who’s to say. BUT if you’re reading this post, you’ve at least made it this far!

To be completely transparent, this month kicked my butt royally. Many tears were shed. Growing into “adulthood” is hard. Period. Particularly in the last few weeks, I’ve felt really out of sorts and like I’m just pulling myself through. I’m grateful to have such a strong support system though, which has made this tough month a lot more bearable.

I’m sure that many of you 20-something’s can totally relate to what I’m feeling- this impending sense of “now what do I do?” My theatre artist friends in particular. I’m happy to have any job(s) at all right now, but not being able to truly do what I love, or even something close, is difficult and disheartening. My feeling of frustration comes from a deep passion for the art that I love and not being willing to give up on that dream. Frustration and passions don’t seem like they fit together in the same sentence like that, but it’s hard when you want to pursue what you love, that industry is not really happening, and you’ve got bills and student loans hanging over your head (although, bless that extension). All this is to say: if you are reading this and this struggle continues to sting or hit you harder this month like it did me- I see you. I hear you. You are not alone, and we will find a way.

ANYWAY.

Let’s talk about February goals. Since I started writing monthly goals for myself back in June, I’ve noticed 2 things. 1.) my list of goals gets longer every month and 2.) even though my list has more goals on it, they are smaller, more tangible goals. I’m starting to get really specific about what I’d like to accomplish or implement in my life each month and the more specific I am, the more I can plan to take steps of action towards reaching those goals. I guess I’m also just learning more about myself, my routine, and what I can handle month to month! Going back and reviewing the goals I’ve set in past months has illuminated a lot about my growth process, and the goal setting/reviewing process is something I look forward to every month.

Some of my goals for February that I crushed were

  • Keep not looking at who views my Insta story
    • A little background. I will admit, I’m aware it’s REAL unhealthy, but I pay attention to my follower count and who is viewing my stories or not. I mostly pay attention to the follower count mainly because I am trying really hard to grow my brand online, gain exposure, and reach the goals I set on that front. But looking at who views my stories has been an additional struggle in my battle of “worrying what other people are doing or thinking.” I would find that I could still see when people I had muted (for my own mental sanity) had viewed my story, then I would look at their story if they had one…which defeated the purpose of having those people muted…a viscous cycle. SO, I’ve made it a goal to not view my story views and I’ve done really well!
  • Stay consistent with my Dance From Home Classes 🙂
  • Try not to spend on anything other than necessities (bill/birthdays)
    • Although I did spend a little on others things, I really did well with this this month
  • Read 1-2 books 🙂

Now, some things I didn’t quite crush…

  • Doing yoga 2-3x per week
    • I did do a decent amount of yoga this month, but not consistently like this every week
  • Actually stay off of my phone until my limits are up/once the limit starts 😦
  • Less junk food, more water
    • Nailed the water, not so much the food…

Here were my blog goals!

  • Gain 5-10 new blog followers 🙂
  • Reach 1,600 followers on Instagram (or close to that) 🙂
  • Reach out to 1-2 brands 🙂
  • Work on Pinterest :/
  • Get ahead on plans and content :/
  • Post more consistently 🙂

Let’s move on to my favorites from this month!

Books

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Y’all. This book. THIS BOOK! You must read it, it was so good- good doesn’t even describe how good it was. I thought it was exceptional. If you are a friend, daughter, mother, sister…you need to read it. I was so invested in the characters and their stories and I literally sobbed when I finished it. I can’t wait for all my friends to read it. Apparently, there is a sequel book and I NEED to get it pronto. Don’t walk, RUN to get this one.

Go Down Together: The Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn

I’m reading this one currently! I am lowkey obsessed with the story of Bonnie and Clyde, and I’ve had this book on my shelf for many, many years but never made it all the way through. Once I finished Firefly Land, I picked this one up and decided to give it another shot! The first time I tried to read it I think I was too young to fully grasp the writing and the story, so it’s much more interesting to me now!

TV

Firefly Lane: The Series

DO. NOT. WATCH. I feel very passionate about this. If you are going to watch, you need to read the book first. And I hate to tell you, if you do that, you will be extremely disappointed by the show. It is absolutely nothing like the book, it’s infuriating. I don’t know if anyone else gets this heated when tv/movies are entirely different from the book, but I do. I was so excited to watch the show right after finishing the book, since it just came out, and I was so disappointed. I watched the whole season because I was semi invested in this entirely new story they decided to tell, but I would 1,000% recommend just reading the book and leaving the show well enough alone.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

I just started this! I can’t speak to the quality of the show too much just yet, but it’s freaky for sure!

Other

Tik Tok

So…I’m late. LOL. Seriously, I’m light years behind. But I finally took the plunge and made a Tik Tok and my mom and I have really enjoyed sitting and watching videos together and cracking up. I only have 4 videos so far, 3 of which are singing, so we’ll see where this goes! I’m excited to create new content, just have to find the right spark! You can follow me @angelalarose1026

Be on the lookout next month for some cool and exciting collaborations with some brands and products that I LOVE!

As we finish up February and head into March, I will be participating in Lent leading up to Easter in April! Every year I give something up, and usually it’s the same thing…C H I P S. I still gave up chips this year, but I also am giving up social media time before bed and always hitting ignore when my time limit comes up! I’m hoping this will help me sleep better and turn my mind off a bit more before heading to bed. Here’s hoping!

You made it through another month as we come up on the one-year mark of this “new” pandemic world. But what matters is that you made it through to see the other side of this month, and you will press on into a new one!

I hope your March is as lucky as ever!

Lots of Love

~Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

January Monthly Minute

January Round-Up

Hello, friends!

We’ve survived the first month of 2021! We have a new President, a new LADY Vice President. There is hope! While a new year and a new month cannot erase the scars left by the year-that-shall-not-be-named, I hope, nonetheless, that your year is off to a great start!

These monthly round posts are always some of my favorite to write because they help me take time to reflect on the smaller moments that make up the grand scheme of things. Going forward in this year, I encourage you to try to do this as well. I love to plan and look ahead, that’s part of who I am, but learning how to break my year down into months and my months down into weeks have infinitely helped me stay in the moment more while still allowing me to look ahead. Just not on such a grand, large scale!

January always feels like it lasts for an eternity, and this year the month was no different. At first, I felt like there was momentum but about right in the middle of the month I felt things slow down. That’s probably because I had started to better settle into the new routines I set out to establish in this new year. Let me tell you a bit about my January!

If I had to land on a word that would describe my January it would probably be ‘accountability,’ as I started a few new things that would require me to demand accountability from myself, for myself. First, I joined The Ensemble Membership with Dance From Home (check out my Passion Piece Feature with the owner of Dance From Home, Megan Bowen, HERE)! This meant that I would be taking 2 dance classes and 2 dance cardio/ strengthening classes a week. I was really excited and anxious to bring dance and activity back into my life in a more intentional way and being part of the membership has been completely worth it. This did, however, require discipline- because it’s been a minute since I had a regularly show up for myself like this.

I have always been one to start something like this and never finish it. I said it. But, for many reasons, I wanted to push myself in this first month of a new year and a new venture to stop making excuses. Every time I felt like not showing up to a class, I showed up. It was hard after a long day at work to bring myself to class sometimes, but I did it because I knew I would feel much better when it was finished. Some days, I struggled and had to really modify. Some days, my mind and body surprised me in how well they showed up for me. It was a move I didn’t know I needed to make, but I’m so glad I did.

I also took part in Yoga with Adriene’s 30-Day Yoga Journey that she curates every January. This year, the theme was Breath. It was my first year taking part in the journey as a new yoga teacher myself; the depth and growth I was able to cultivate in the daily practice was incredible. I love yoga so very much, but this, too, was still a challenge in dedication and discipline for me! Because I was also taking the classes with Dance From Home every night, I had to do the yoga videos in the morning before work- most days at around 6am (you can see why getting my a** to those dance classes was a little tough sometimes lol). As you’re reading this, I’m in the final week of the challenge!

Because I wanted to approach this 30-day journey in a new way, I decided to put together an accountability group for any friends of mine who were looking to take part in the challenge and wanted to feel the support of a closer community. I had about 9 girls join the group, and we communicated almost every day- keeping each other accountable and on track. I loved having a group to go to myself, because even though I was “leading” the group, I needed them for accountability just as much as they needed me. It was beautiful to see women from many different corners of my life all come together to practice yoga and support one another- whether they had met before or not!

I am SO proud of myself- I accomplished almost all the personal and blog goals I set for myself this month! None of them were huge goals, all little things for myself, but the fact that I stayed committed to them makes me very happy. I’m hoping to carry this momentum with me into February and the rest of 2021!

Now, onto some things I LOVED this month!

Books/TV

  • Didn’t See That Coming by Rachel Hollis
  • Bridgerton (Netflix)….DUH
  • Night Stalker (Netflix)…creepy AF but good
  • Yoga With Adriene 30-Day Yoga Journey: Breath
    • P.S. this content is free on YouTube and you can complete the videos any time you want! Give it a try and let me know if you do!!!

Products

  • Verb Energy Bars
    • Click HERE to try 4 of their top flavors for only $0.95!
  • OPI Gel Nail Polish
    • This is quickly becoming my favorite gel nail polish brand! So far, I’ve found the handful of colors I have at T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s! If you want to read up on how I do my own gel manicure at home for WAY less than the salon, click HERE!
  • Bliss- Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting & Brightening Serum
    • I had been searching for a vitamin C serum for a while, and I found this one at CVS! It’s affordable, smells SO yummy, and makes my skin look bright and beautiful!

Habits

  • Keeping my stainless-steel water bottle on my night stand- first thing I would do when I woke up was drink water to get things moving and grooving in my body! Still cold from the night before!
  • Setting time limits on my phone!!! Never before 8 and never after 11!…now I just have to…stick to it…

There you have it! JANUARY! Like I said before, the start of a new year and a new month can’t erase what our world is going through or what I’ve gone through personally since last March, but I do feel like having this little bit of a fresh start set me on a new and promising path! I feel a little bit lighter and I feel like I’m starting to cultivate better behaviors that will serve me physically, mentally, and spiritually in 2021. Here’s to carrying this energy through for the next 11 months! We can do hard things!

Next week is FEBRUARY! If you want to grab the blog’s February Freebie, The February Self-Love Journal, head to the homepage and subscribe with an email!

Lots of love!

~ Ang

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Hello my friends, I hope you’re all doing well and finding joy in this New Year!

But we all know what month it is. January. *sigh*

January usually feels like the longest month in all of eternity. That one extra day in there really makes all the difference, right? Plenty of other months have 31 days, why don’t they seem to drag on as long as January always does? AND…it’s cold. I’m in Pennsylvania, and January/February (sometimes well into March or April) are the peak chilly months. By chilly I mean unbearably cold. Maybe I’m just a big baby, maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m already cold 24/7, maybe it’s because I love summer- who’s to say?

I don’t know about you, but for myself and many others, January brings the winter blues. Snow is beautiful, the changing seasons are always incredible to witness, but the frigid temps, the shorter days, and how early it gets dark can all bring on this wintery sadness. So how can we combat these feelings? With winter self-care, of course!

Honestly, winter self-care doesn’t have to be that different from your typically self-care routine that you have all year round! With some special attention, any self-care routine can be transformed into one that suits your wintery needs. Not sure where to start? I’ve put together some winter self-care ideas for you that cover a variety of different sectors of self-care, so hopefully there will be something you can take away from each and implement into your routine! Check it out!

Winter Self-Care: Personal Comfort

Personal comfort, to me, means feelings as comfortable as possible at all time. Full disclosure: I hate real pants. I think the idea of cute pants is great, but I like a comfy pant, a warm sweater, all the layers, etc. And, like I said, I am ALWAYS cold. I like to ensure my comfort when I’m trying to take care of myself and that also means keeping myself warm, warm, warm. Here are a few of my favorite must-haves you can get to make personal comfort part of your winter self-care routine:

Winter Self-Care Ideas
  • Fuzzy Jackets or Sherpas
    • I recently got the one in this picture for Christmas, it’s Koolaburra by Ugg, but you can literally find these babies ANYWHERE- T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Walmart, Amazon, and Target are going to be the best places to get them for an affordable price!
  • Fuzzy Slippers
    • The same ones I’m wearing in this picture are from The Loft and I am IN LOVE with them. I want them in every color. You can find these and many more cute pairs from places like The Loft, Aerie, or Target.
  • A Cozy Bath Robe
    • We’ll get to baths in a moment but having a bath robe to slip on in the winter has been a lifesaver! I love being able to lock in the heat from a nice hot bath and feel all wrapped up and held for the rest of my evening. Sometimes, I’ll even just throw my robe on as a warm kind of sweater to wear with my PJ’s or comfy clothes all day long! I got mine from a T.J. Maxx, I would highly recommend looking there or a Marshall’s for a variety of robes- again for the best deal!
  • Fuzzy Sock
    • Duh.

Winter Self-Care: Skin/Body Care

It’s winter. We’re cold. Our skin is dry. HELP.

  • A GOOD Face Moisturizer
    • Having a good moisturizer in the winter months is essential! I know, especially in college, my little cheeks would get so dry being outside and walking from place to place. Even now, the air is just so dry and chilly that it’s so necessary to give our skin that drink its craving! I use Tula 24/7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream in the mornings and at night. I would also recommend LXMI Creme Du Nil, if you’re looking for something a little more “high end.” The two best drug store moisturizers I would recommend for the winter months (or any time) would be Cetaphil and CeraVe!
  • A Hydrating Face Mask
    • I love using an overnight hydrating mask when my skin feels especially dry and thirsty! There are TONS of these on the market, so find what works for you (the same goes for literally any suggestion I make, always do what works for you first) BUT I use Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask! (you can get this online, but I found a 2-Pack at my T.J. Maxx for a great price…so keep an eye out, always!)
  • Body Scrub
    • So, our skin is dry and dead, and we must do something about it, right? Yes. Find an awesome body scrub and get scrubbing! Pick your preference, salt or sugar, and make sure it isn’t too harsh to use on your entire body. Right now, I’m using the Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender + Vanilla sugar scrub from Bath & Body Works! I like to shower/bathe at night, so I like that the lavender smell sticks with me until I go to bed AND usually my sheets and I still smell like lavender in the morning!
  • Body Lotion
    • Well, you’ve scrubbed all the dead stuff off, so now you must LOCK IN the moisture with your best body lotion. I’ll be honest, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I shave my legs WAY less in the winter. So, since my brain associates lotion with shaving and smooth legs, I often neglect to lotion my less-than-smooth legs in the winter months. I’m trying to be better about it, though! I either use the Water Hyaluronic Acid lotion from Bath & Body Works or Josie Maran body butters! LOVE a good body butter for the winter!
  • Take That Bath!
    • Fill up that tub with the hottest water you’ve got and RELAX! Use your favorite bubble bath, bath oils or bath salts, really set up the ambiance in your bathroom and just make yourself feel special for once! Don’t like baths? You can do the same things standing up in the shower! Very few things compare to a hot shower or bath in my mind. Relax and renew!

Winter Self-Care: In Your Space

The feeling of my personal space is an extremely important part of my own self-care routine. I’ve written before about how the space I’m living in becomes my little sacred place, so it’s really important to me that my space feels warm and welcoming. Here are a few things I make sure I incorporate into my space that make me feel good!

  • Candles
  • Essential oils & essential oil diffuser
  • Big blankets
  • Decorative and comfy pillows
  • Low lighting (I have twinkly lights hanging and usually only use those and my bedside lamp to light the space)
  • Warmth (you could always get a small space heater if you don’t have a thermostat in your space!)

Whatever conditions in which you feel the most comfortable and secure, find ways to create those in your space!

Winter Self-Care: Mind, Body, Spirit Care

Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is such an important part of self-care (well 3 important parts, really). Whatever brings you peace in those 3 areas of your life: DO THOSE THINGS! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep moving your body
    • I know many people are ready to smash new year’s resolutions right now, but the winter and the cold often makes people less inclined to get physical. I encourage you to do something each day, or as often as you’d like, to get your blood flowing and body moving! You could do yoga, walk/run on the treadmill, go outside and walk/run, dance, stretch- literally anything that truly brings you joy and gets you moving. You’ll feel amazing after, I promise!
  • Drink lots of water
    • Pretty self-explanatory! Stay hydrated! I’m trying to get up and have a glass of water with lemon each morning!
  • Watch your favorite shows or movies
  • Listen to your favorite podcasts
  • Read books you love OR read new books
  • Journal/manifest
  • Hibernate aka rest when you need to!

That last one may be the most important thing to take from this whole post. Self-care also means listening to what your body is telling you, what it is asking you, listening, and taking necessary steps! At the start, self-care may simply be you starting to listen to your body and what it’s asking for before you even dive into doing all these things! If you are tired, REST. Taking care of yourself IS productive, because how else are you supposed to get anything else done if your mind/body/spirit is in tip-top condition? Whether you believe it or not, you deserve the best for yourself and you are capable of making that happen.

So, believe it!

Lots of love to you!

~ Ang

What’s Your ‘Word’ for 2021?

What’s Your ‘Word’ for 2021?

What's Your 'Word' for 2021?

F R I E N D S!!!

We made it! We are here in 2021! Feels a little surreal, doesn’t it? We’ve spent the last 9 or 10 months saying, “I can’t wait for next year” and we are finally here! I hope that you all rang in the New Year happily and safely. All we can do now is pray that we find ourselves, as a country and a community, on the up and up as the year goes forward.

Let’s talk about setting New Year’s goals for a moment, shall we? Let us reflect…

In case you missed it, I’m a big dreamer. Every year, my list of those hopes, dreams, and goals was always SO all over the place, and honestly, sort of superficial. It’s kind of sad, but I can highlight for you the top few things that my list generally centered around: hoping for success in relationships, hoping and dreaming that I would find success in my career as a theatre student (aka hoping to get work, essentially), and hoping to “work on myself,” which is very nonspecific.

I keep saying to my friends and loved ones, this is the first year that I’m excited just thinking about all the growing I can do. It’s my first year being an “adult” (using that term loosely), and I can really, truly focus on MYSELF. I’m not in a relationship, I’m not married to school anymore, so now, I am really excited to set goals for myself that are tangible and won’t be swallowed up by schoolwork or distraction. This is the first time that I am able to set real career goals, as an actor and now blogger/writer/whateveryouwanttocallthis and aim to accomplish them because I’ve got nothing but time and hope on my side. This is the first time, literally ever, that I am setting personal growth goals for myself that feel attainable. AND, again, it’s the first time that I have the TIME to devote to these goals. If I don’t accomplish them now, I guess I could blame it on work, but I don’t have the excuse of school or consistent rehearsals anymore (although having consistent rehearsals could also very well still count as a viable excuse if the universe hears my manifestations 😉 ).

It’s also the first time in four years that I feel like I’m able to set goals for myself on my own terms and go about crushing them in silence. I had actually considered writing my first post of the year all about my goals for 2021, and then I had a thought. My goals/hopes/dreams are just that. They’re MINE. I spent 4 years of college constantly comparing myself and my goals to those around me, and measuring my success based on whether I did it all. I’m realizing now that that no longer serves me. I no longer have to explain myself, my choices, or my actions to anyone (I never should’ve done so in the first place). So, no offense BTF community, but I will not be laying out my list of hopes/dreams/goals for all of you to see. We’re going to hustle in silence then crush the world with our good fortune and news on our own timeline!!!

But I digress. While I am not going to share with you my precious list of 2021 goals, I would like to share with you my ‘word’ for 2021. Leading up to the New Year, I started to see a lot of people I follow on social media talking about choosing their word for the year and reflecting on their word for 2020 and how it panned out. I have always gone into each new year with hopes, dreams, and goals made up in my head, but I honestly had never considered choosing just ONE word as the headline, if you will, for the new year ahead. I started thinking about all the things I was wishing for and manifesting for 2021 and I settled on the word ABUNDANCE.

Abundance.

“A very large quantity of something.”

I love that the definition is so simple, so malleable that I can kind of shape it any way I want to fit my life and circumstances. I can’t really provide you a step-by-step process on how to figure out you word for 2021; mine just kind of hit me in the face and I knew that was it. I can, however, kind of give you a framework for how I arrived at the revelation, and hope that you going on a similar journey sparks the same moment for you.

I simply started by sitting down and writing out my hopes, dreams, and goals for the New Year (take a shot for every time I’ve written that in this post lol). I typed mine all out in a OneNote document on my computer, so I’d be able to quickly access it. I didn’t hold back; I allowed myself certainly to dream big, but I did also try to make a list of things that truly felt attainable, that I knew I could successfully take action towards. Then I looked at every different sector of my life: family, friends, relationships, work, the blog/social media presence, etc…the list goes on and on. I tried to find similarities in what I was wishing for in each sector. Without divulging every goal and detail to you, let it be known that ABUNDANCE was the word I came up with to summarize what I was truly wishing for in my life in the New Year.

In each of those different areas of my life I wanted more. I wanted growth. I wanted success and I wanted happiness in copious amounts all the while. So I landed on abundance. I want the absolute most in every aspect of life and I am determined to make that happen.

Am I moving forward with my head down for a bit, since you never know WHAT could come out of this new chapter? Absolutely. I think I will forever be changed in the way I approach large life changes after 2020, we all will. But the fact that I am able to sit here and pinpoint a single word to sum up what I want out of this next year of life gives me hope and joy. Hope for the future and joy because I feel like I am going to be coming out of this fog with a much clearer headspace, making room to hold space for myself, my needs, those I love most and their needs, and anyone else who comes into my life along the way.

If you have a ‘word’ you are holding onto in this new year share it in the comments below, and feel free to share why you’ve chosen it as well!

I’m wishing you abundance + whatever else you are manifesting. It’s all yours, baby!

Lots of love

~ Ang

2020 Round Up

2020 Round Up

2020 Wrap Up

Well, friends, here we are. The final blog post of 2020! I feel like this is the day we have all been waiting for, to finally put 2020 to rest. Since this is usually the post where I recap every month, I thought what better way than to close out 2020 by recapping the year!

I started Beyond the Footlights in May, and while I’ve written pretty extensively about my life and experiences from about March on, there were some quote-on-quote normal times before Covid-19 erupted to share, as well as some more minute details from throughout the year that I’d love to reflect on and share with you, too. Honestly, I’ve kind of been putting off writing this post because it IS a lot to unpack. In our own ways, we have all been through some form of trauma this year. By no means do I use the word trauma lightly. I don’t think that you could meet a single individual at this very moment who hasn’t experienced any kind of loss due to this pandemic. I will admit, I’ve pushed down many thoughts and feelings that I’ve carried with me this year just to get through, so unpacking it all definitely scares me. But we can do hard things, and I want to take this time to reflect on all the growth I’ve experienced because of it all.

2020 scared me. Without even having any knowledge of how the year would play out, it scared me. It was the year I’d graduate college and take the “real world” by storm. I had no idea where I’d find myself after August, I was entering an industry that excited me and terrified me, and I had no idea if I would sink or swim. I knew I’d take on new financial burdens, and money scared me (money still kind of scares me, but that’s beside the point). I thought I would leave home and move somewhere I had never lived. I was entering the New Year as a single lady for the first time in a long time, and I was equally excited and scared to find myself in 2020. Last December, I wrote a little something for myself to look back on. Here is one little part of what I wrote:

“This needs to be the year of self-care, self-love, and self-security. It is time to stop depending on men to remind us of our worth. It is time to start remembering for ourselves what we bring to this Earth, because it is the reason we were put here. It is time to start having more confidence in ourselves and our abilities, because without that self-assurance and a better mindset, we will crumble. It is time to stop hiding how we feel from people and to start seeking help when and where we need it. It is time to stop worrying about what other people think of us, and time to stop comparing ourselves to others. It is really time to stop comparing ourselves to others. It is time to keep doing what we love, find new passions, and pursue our dreams. By me. For me. Full steam ahead.”

If only you knew, sister.

January

2020 Wrap Up
Kailey & I at a dance call last January

Oh, how young and naïve we were! It’s honestly crazy to me to think of how different my life is now than it was a year ago. I was still in school, at home for Christmas break, prepping, prepping, prepping for auditions. January was the busiest time of the year for auditions at school, and we always auditioned for the Shakespeare Festival the day before classes started back up for the second semester. I spent most of my time rehearsing my materials for that as well as The Sound of Music, which we would be auditioning for at the end of the month (I spent A LOT of time trying to learn how to play Do Re Mi on the guitar…). I was also cramming to learn lines for Tartuffe, which I would start rehearsals for as an understudy once we got back to school. Showcase prep was also in full swing, as we would start putting it all together once we got back. I spent lots of time putting together my reel and actor website, getting everything just right. Back at school, my class started putting together our own children’s show!

February

2020 Wrap Up
4 single galentines!

February 1st was actually the last time I went ~out~ out to a bar with friends (LOL). My friends and I were just having an absolute blast in our last semester. My class schedule was pretty light, I had a lot of theatre related work, but for the most part, the hard part of college was over. My class continued to work our butt’s off building our children’s show. It was also the first Valentine’s Day that all of my close girl friends and I were single all at the same time! We made tacos and chocolate covered strawberries, drank wine, and enjoyed each other’s company.

March

March was arguably the worst month of 2020, for obvious reasons. It didn’t start that way, though. At this point, I had found out that I would be playing Maria in The Sound of Music, which was obviously a dream way to end my college career. March was also when our senior showcase would be going to New York, so we were in the throes of finalizing every aspect of that. I went on spring break but had to come back from the break early to tech our children’s show which would open the following week.

Then the world stopped.

2020 Wrap Up
My senior class on our set for The Jungle Book

All of my senior class on campus had to quarantine, either in the campus housing or in off campus housing where many of us lived. That week brought so much disappointment and sadness. We were able to finish tech for our show and record a final run to be distributed, but all the hard work and dedication would never be experienced by a live audience. We all just sat together, prayed, talked, cried, and tried to enjoy the time we had. I sat in the lobby of the theatre building crying as we learned we would not be able to take our showcase to New York the following week. And a few days later, I sat in my bed and sobbed when I got the news that The Sound of Music had been cancelled too. It was a week of tremendous loss. On top of it all, we were faced with the uncertainty of the rest of our college careers. Classes moved online, and my mom came to start moving things out of my apartment little by little to head back home. It was just jarring. I was planning on living in my apartment until at least May, and now I was being ushered out, back home with my parents, two months early. The freedom and the college life that I had lived was suddenly stifled, and there was nothing I could do but roll with the punches. We continued classes online; fortunately, I only had two real classes that met weekly.

I attempted to learn how to ride a bike. That was short lived.

April

2020 Wrap Up
Momma & I with wine and snacks on what should have been opening night of The Sound of Music

I threw myself into other outlets as best I could, to keep my mind and body busy. I found out that I love dance cardio! I did a lot of bullet journaling, reading, and squirrel watching in our backyard. Of course, as time went on, the days that events and things were supposed to happen on came and went, which made dealing with the circumstances of the world a little harder. On what would’ve been opening night of The Sound of Music, I spent most of the day in tears, snacking and drinking wine with my mom. I was able to watch a workshop that my college held hosted by Laura Benanti, which was really special for everyone involved.

April was the month where I really started working on creating Beyond the Footlights. I had briefly thought about starting a blog before, but I could never realistically figure out how I would make it happen because my life was so busy with school and theatre. Well, having time was no longer an issue, since I would have as much time as I needed for the foreseeable future. I also had major doubts about my abilities and whether or not anyone would even care to follow along on that journey with me. But I went out on a limb, and started gathering ideas, figuring out logistics, and setting it all up. Aside from simply surviving this bitch of a year, I would consider starting the blog one of my biggest achievements of 2020.

May

At the beginning of the month, my family and I completely moved me out of my apartment. I had been back at home since March, but all of my furniture and some of my belongings were still at the apartment. It was a really bittersweet day; I loved that apartment, as much of a shit hole as it was. I was in a virtual reading of 12 Angry (Wo)Men (directed by Gabe Moses), which was so awesome.

2020 Wrap Up

On May 18th, I launched Beyond the Footlights and the rest is history! It was one of my happiest, proudest moments of the year. I didn’t just say I was going to do it, I did it, and it was really exciting.

2020 Wrap Up
How I graduated college…

I saw my best friend, Kailey, for the first time in person since we had left school in March to take our graduation photos at our college. It was also the first time I had set foot back on campus since we had left, which was very surreal. I handled it much better than I had anticipated, probably because I had her with my and our moms. May 16th, we graduated virtually, and I spent the day at home with my parents, my brother, and my grandparents. I won’t lie, I spent the day feeling really angry. I just kept saying it all wasn’t fair and it shouldn’t be like this. I FaceTimed Kailey throughout the entire ceremony; not being able to share this victory with my classmates and friends was incredibly hard.

June

2020 Wrap Up
Namaste, bitches

News of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement caused me to do some serious self-reflection, a journey and process that continues to this very moment in time. It was time I started listening, looking within, learning, and taking necessary steps to become a better ally. The work is NOWHERE near finished, and I strive to take each and every one of those steps into my daily life.

In June, I took another plunge and started my 200-hour yoga teacher training! I had been going back and forth for about a month after I found my studio online, and I’m really glad that I decided to begin my training. At the time, I wasn’t back to working yet and school was done, so I didn’t really have a lot of structure to my days. You’d think having free time to do whatever I wanted would be great, but I very much like having a schedule and deadlines. I loved that I was able to work on my training whenever I wanted, but I did my best to set a schedule for myself which helped me a). get the training done and b). feel like I had a purpose, something to work for again.

2020 Wrap Up
The cast of The Two Gentlemen of Verona (i love them)

July

I went back to working my retail job in July, which was definitely an adjustment, but it was also kind of nice to get out of the house again and have things to do. I got to take part in a virtual performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the group of fellow actors and friends I would have worked with at the Shakespeare Festival. It was an absolute BLAST, and it was so nice to flex those actor muscles again.

August

2020 Wrap Up
The AMAZING 2020 Cohort for 24-Hour Plays: Nationals

August was a great month. August marked a year since I made the promise to myself to not get into a serious relationship, and that was a huge marker for me. I was fortunate enough to be part of the 2020 cohort for the 24-Hour Plays: Nationals! I spent a week participating in virtual workshops with my fellow cohort members, and at the end of the week we were all cast in one short play and had about 8 hours to rehearse and put it on its feet for a virtual audience! It was equal parts exhausting, nerve-wracking, and exhilarating. The shutdown set me into this spiral (that I honestly still struggle with sometimes) of thinking and feeling like I should have chosen another career path, but the whole 24-Hour experience kind of reaffirmed for me that I was meant to pursue theatre. I also landed a job working as a marketing assistant for a blogging business! I applied completely on a whim since I had no real experience aside from my own blogging efforts, but I figured what did I have to lose? Having another little stream of income and gaining experience has been really great!

2020 Wrap Up
My aunt’s dog, Zeke! We would take selfies every week I tutored 🙂

September

September was when work kind of started to really pick up. I was working my retail job, doing project work for the marketing position, and I started tutoring my cousin doing online school as well. I would stay with my aunt near where I went to school two days a week, which was really great because it was the perfect meeting place for my friends and I. Being able to see them for a dinner or a coffee here and there was especially awesome after many months of solitude (lol). After many months of study, I officially completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training!

October

2020 Wrap Up
Looking like a real person for the first time in forever

My birthday month! A big month. First and foremost, I went on a date for the first time (a ~real~ date, anyway) in over a year. Nothing ended up coming out of the experience, but it was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. I can now confirm that I still may not be ready for a serious relationship for a little while longer, but I’m grateful for the experience nonetheless! One of my best friends, Bella, also has a birthday in October, so a few of my friends and I got together to have a night in and celebrate our birthdays. Kailey, my mom and I also went to an outdoor winery (all wineries are outdoors, but obviously we spent the day outside because, you know, Covid) and we had a sleepover which was really fun and special!

November

2020 Wrap Up
Post-DFH workout- learning to love my body!

Nothing too exciting happened in November! I took up embroidery, a little late for a quarantine hobby, but I really enjoyed it! I worked a lot and continued to tutor. I also took part in a 14-day Get Up and Dance challenge that was hosted by Dance From Home, a fitness business that I found on Instagram! I’ve tried a lot of challenge type things like this before, but more often than not, I don’t follow through with them. I think the fact that this one was rather short AND dance/strength based was what really helped me through. I had the best time, and honestly really looked forward to taking the dance cardio classes and getting my body moving. I’ve kind of kept up with dancing during the pandemic, taking classes and teaching classes at my dance studio at home, but this really reignited my love for dance and moving my body.

2020 Wrap Up
My pie 🙂

I spent Thanksgiving at home with my immediate family, which was nothing out of the ordinary since that’s how we celebrate every year. I made a beautiful pie and felt very domestic. I also hosted my first giveaway on my Instagram featuring four female owned small businesses! I had a really great turnout with a lot more people than I had anticipated, so it was really exciting!

December

And here we are, December! I’m still working quite a lot, I’m done tutoring now, but I recently got hired to be a substitute teacher! I will admit, I’m having a hard time feeling the Christmas spirit right now. I love Christmas, but it all looks so different this year that it kind of makes me sad. In the last week or so, I’ve been feeling very anxious. Sometimes my feelings of anxiety come in waves. As the year is coming to a close, I’ve found myself measuring my worth by the work I am doing, or not doing, really. I’ve been so busy working the several jobs I have, none of which are what I went to school for or am exceptionally passionate about, but unfortunately my chosen industry isn’t where it once was. I’m still coping with the fact that I’m not finishing the year where I thought I would. I often get very anxious with the fear of getting “stuck” where I’m at right now, mentally and circumstantially, and get stuck comparing myself to others. No matter how “together” I or my life may seem, it is all VERY much a work in progress day to day. I guess I can’t really compare where I’ve ended up in 2020 to where I thought I would end up or the goals I HAD set for myself a year ago, because life really came in and just completely rocked my boat.

You might have rad this post and thought “well, Ang really didn’t do anything exciting enough to write a whole post about,” and you’d be right (lol). Nothing I shared here was extraordinary and a lot of it was pretty simple and perhaps unexciting. But the point is, I made it through the year. I made it through this dumpster fire of a year, and I’m proud to just share that with you.

This morning I was watching a talk show and a woman whose name I didn’t catch said something along the lines of that we have to stop claiming this year to be the worst one yet. Everyone’s story is different, and someone may have already had worse years than this one. Is this one of the worst years in history for our country? Absolutely. But I guess it was a wakeup call to me to be reminded that for some, this year was much worse than for others. It sounds harsh to say, but has this been the worst year of my life so far? Definitely. But in the grand scheme of things, will it be the worst year of my life as a whole? Absolutely not. It made me take a second to revel in appreciation for the life that I do have, and for how fortunate I am to be coming out of 2020 as unscathed as I am.

I have many, many things that I am manifesting and putting out into the universe for 2021, and I am going to hold those things close to my heart and tackle them with quiet grace. Quite the oxymoron there, tackling with grace, but I’m discovering that that’s the best way to ensure my own happiness and sanity. Looking back at what I wrote myself at the end of last year, I think I’ve accomplished some big things that do matter. I’ve learned how to better practice self-love and self-care. I’ve learned not to look to others to establish my worth and have become so much more secure in my sense of self; the independence I’ve gained is incredible. I didn’t hold back how I was feeling, and I asked for help when I needed it. And I most definitely embraced my passions, practiced what I loved, and I am still out here continuing to chase my dreams.

May you look back on 2020 and look for the good, no matter how big or how small. And may you keep chasing your dreams all the way into 2021. Thank you for being here. I love you. Let’s do this.

XOXOXO

~ Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

Hi friends!

Back again with the FINAL Passion Piece Feature of the year! Before we dive in, I have to thank you all for embracing and reading these features every month! Some of these Passion Piece Features have been some of the most viewed posts from the blog since I got started in May and it makes my heart burst with joy knowing you enjoy reading about these amazing individuals as much as I love getting to share them with you!

I’m SO happy to finish out the year featuring a wonderful friend of mine and incredible artist, Mackenzie Moyer! Here’s a bit about Mackenzie in her own words:

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenize as Elmire in Tartuffe

“My name is Mackenzie Moyer, and I am a recent grad of DeSales University (class of 2020 woohoo!), where I earned my B.A. in Theatre. When I am not acting, you can find me running my business (Some Wandearrings, LLC), playing Dungeons & Dragons, or writing. When I am acting, I am usually kicking butt in period dramas, dabbling in witchcraft, or annoying my stage husband in high comedy. My special skills include breathing in a corset, a reliable nose whistle, and being able to perform the famed dance move: The Worm.”

Yes, all of that is just as incredible as it sounds. This girl *full stop.* DOES. IT. ALL. She does it all, and she does it all WELL! She’s an incredibly talented actress, writer, model, and a freaking small business owner!!! I’ve known Mackenzie for 4+ years now, and I have always admired her for the hard work, dedication, and passion she pours into literally everything that she does. I have worked alongside her, watched her work from afar (is that creepy? let’s go with no), and the drive she possesses truly is just unreal. This girl gets shit done. On top of all that, the zest and excitement Mackenzie has for life, especially the little things in life, is so admirable and inspiring. She fights for what she believes in, she fights for others who may not be able to fight for themselves, and always leads with her good-natured heart. She has been there with me and for me in some of the best and worst moments of our college careers and for that, I am so grateful.

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

When the pandemic hit, Mackenzie took her creativity into another amazing venture: owning her own business, Some Wandearrings. She makes STUNNING hand-made and hand-painted earrings inspired by classical art and natural beauty (two things this woman literally embodies) and is committed to raising and donating money to various organizations helping the fight for racial justice. I’ve watched her and this business grow exponentially over the last few months, and the impact she has made and continues to make is astounding. This time has been extremely difficult for artists, but it has been so beautiful to watch my colleagues and friends, especially ones like Mackenzie, coming into their own and finding additional spaces in which their passions lie.

Here is our chat!

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

I’m Mackenzie! I’m from the Philly suburbs, and I’m currently living with my parents in PA to ride out this pandemic!

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

HA. Well, I have been doing a lot of little things off and on, as the restrictions ebb and flow. I have a part-time retail job, I run a jewelry business (the biggie), and I have another part-time job at a local paint-and-sip place! My jewelry business (Some Wandearrings, LLC) was started in June as a way to raise money for the BLM movement, and has since become a small business, and an on-going way to monetarily donate to BIPOC organizations, while also keeping me busy and employed. I have always loved making things with my hands (I’m an avid crafter), and getting to share my jewelry with people and feel their support has been a great blessing. Plus, owning a small business has opened my eyes to a whole new section of the economy, cultivated a new skill set, and given me a whole new community! It has been equal parts exhausting and rewarding, and I am very thankful.

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

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenzie as Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood & Maid Marian

I grew up in an athletic household (read: my parents ran marathons for fun. Marathons. As in plural.), but from a very young age I was drawn to singing, writing, and performance. I both sang in church choir AND was on a travel soccer team for a lot of my childhood (#versatile), but late middle school into high school I transitioned into solely the arts. I was lucky enough to have always known what I wanted to do! I got my degree in theatre from DeSales University, and “graduated” this past May (we all know the reason for the quotes). While my degree is in Musical Theatre, I feel much more called to TV/Film work and straight plays, especially classical and period plays (or fresh adaptations of classical tropes)! As is the story with many performers, my career is kinda on hold right now, save for some online theatre (which has been quite rewarding, even though challenging and strange).

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

My first and foremost passion is performance and acting. It’s just something I can’t imagine not doing.
Writing – when I was a little girl, I also wanted to be a writer, and would write lots of poems and stories in my free time. I don’t do it as often now, but it’s still a hobby I very much enjoy.
Painting & crafting – I took up painting in high school as a hobby and picked it back up in the pandemic when I started my business! I’m also a sucker for a good collage.
Dungeons & Dragons – I started playing in college, and now I just want to play 24/7. It’s collaborative fantasy storytelling – it’s so fun and is so tied into what I do as a performer anyways. It’s just the best.
Period dramas. I said what I said. Catch me talking about Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, and the like any day of the week.

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

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

My jewelry business is alllll about the hand painted earrings! It’s been really fun to delve back into painting (especially such small and detailed work!) and get to share it with so many people in such a personal way. In terms of acting and performing, I have been lucky to get the chance to participate in several readings and online productions – I am currently playing Jo March in a four-person adaptation of Little Women (by the brilliant Heather Chrisler). So, I am still flexing those actor muscles as much as I can while lying in wait!

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

I have loved seeing my friends and fellow creatives create their own Youtube channels, podcasts, start their own businesses, mount their own virtual shows. It’s been a blessing to see people put themselves out there in a time where I think so many of us feel limited and stifled. It’s an act of bravery, and it brings so much joy.

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?

Honestly? I’ve been watching a lot of TV (it keeps me company while I paint and craft) which is something I never used to have time for or want to do. It has kept me excited about the industry and helped me figure out the type of work I want to pursue post-pandemic (of note: Hulu’s The Great, Netflix’s Anne with an E, and, of course, Fleabag). In terms of non-performance related shtuff, I play D&D with pals, peruse Pinterest (for inspiration for future projects), and journal or write.

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

1. Be a truly decent person – which seems like an obvious goal, but I believe it takes genuine effort and intellectual/emotional investment to be good. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to be good. I wasn’t originally going to put this as one of my goals for this question, but I think it’s important to speak on the belief in human beings to grow and evolve and learn and acknowledge that it takes work.
2. Work steadily as a performer on material I care about, with people I care about. I have specific goals and ideals about what kind of work (i.e.: period film/tv pieces, Shakespeare, new adaptations of classical styles, etc.), and I have big, outlandish goals (star in a Broadway play, be in an Oscar-winning film), but if I can pay the bills and have a laugh off stage or on set with friends, then I think I trust that.
3. Write something really good and put it out into the world. I’m not sure yet what it will be – a book of poetry, a one-woman show, a novel. But one of my childhood dreams was to be an author, and I think I have it in me yet. 

What does your self-care routine look like?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenzie as Sir Eglamour in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Well, it used to look very different, and I am sure it will look very different again when the pandemic is over. Recently (it’s about to get real here), I’ve been struggling with lack of motivation, seasonal depression, and all that fun stuff that winter and darkness and isolation can bring us. So, anyone out there feeling this way – you aren’t alone! BUT despite those feelings, almost every day I go for a long walk around my neighborhood and listen to a D&D podcast. It’s my time to get out of the house, get some exercise, and get my mind off of whatever is troubling me. I also bake a lot, and I have been watching TV like crazy like I mentioned above. I also journal pretty frequently, which is not only helpful, but will be such a gift to be able look back on such a monumental time in my life and the world.

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

Right now, it’s a pandemic. So my advice now is different from what my pre-pandemic (or post-pandemic) advice would be. Right now? Do what you gotta do to get through it. For real.

That being said, even if you can’t actively pursue your passions right now, for whatever reason, what seeds can you sow that you can reap the benefits from post-pandemic? What skills can you learn, plans can you make, habits can you form, vision boards can you meditate on? (Listen, I love me a Pinterest board.)
I am usually ALL ABOUT the grind. I love being busy, I’m ambitious, I’m motivated. But in this season, at this moment, I’m moving slowly. I’m listening to my body, to my gut. I’m learning to swim in these feelings of uncertainty and fear and frustration instead of letting them drown me. I’m pushing myself when appropriate. But unprecedented times call for new tactics, new ways of living. Find your new tactics, invest in them, and then allow yourself to get excited for what’s to come when we emerge on the other side.

As I am writing this post and re-reading Mackenzie’s responses, I can assure you that I am in awe right along with you. What a beautiful way to end this post, and an even more beautiful and inspiring way to end this chapter of Passion Piece Features. I feel so lucky to get to read these responses, connect with new friends, and reconnect with old ones. Mackenzie is absolutely right, we are all learning, growing, and adapting to this brand-new way of life and we continue to do so within every new season the universe hands us. May you all do what you can to get through and know you’ve got people here to hold you up if/when you need it.

A huge thank you to Mackenzie for her time and energy! Check her and her business out on Instagram @mackenzie_moyer, @somewandearrings, and check out her actor website at http://www.mackenzie-moyer.com!

Stay tuned for the LAST BLOG POSTS OF 2020 coming your way soon!

Love you all!

~Ang

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

Happy Monday, Beauties!

We are officially halfway through December, which means only a few more weeks left of this crazy 2020! If you’re anything like me, while this year has taught me a lot and I am ultimately very grateful…I am also VERY ready to kiss the year goodbye! As my planner brain and I have started to look ahead a few weeks into the oncoming New Year, I have been brainstorming ways to set myself up for success in 2021. I will say, 2020 has given me the time and power to create better habits for myself such as manifesting, goal-setting, and creative planning, so I want to make sure that I carry those newly developed habits into 2021 and continue to cultivate them. Keeping this in mind, and also thinking of how I could tie this desire of my own into the blog and help my readers, I thought what better way to set ourselves up to achieve ALL of our damn goals and make those big dreams happen than creating VISION BOARDS!

I’ve created vision boards for myself in the past and while I totally get that visual art or art in general may not be everyone’s ~thing~, keep in mind that there are so many different ways to create a board that works for you! Personally, my past vision boards (one still hangs in my room today because I love it so much) have been comprised of a combination of photos and quotes I found online via Pinterest or Google and small, handwritten sentiments of my own. For example, after my first year of college (when I was manifesting being cast in shows at school and in summer work), I included little cut outs of my name from callback sheets and playbills from my first year as a reminder of what I was working towards! Any little thing like that, little things that will remind you of your goals and what you are working for are the perfect additions to what you compile!

Feeling stuck and not sure how to even begin compiling ideas for your vision board? Fear not! In my typical planner fashion, I’ve created a little step-by-step guide to help you gather your ideas and get started creating your board so you can create an amazing reminder of all you are, all you want to be, and all you deserve in 2021!

Part of my favorite vision board I’ve made that still hangs in my room!

Vision Board Planning

  • Sit down with your phone or a journal and write about what you want to let go of in the New Year
    • Writing down what you want to let go of will help you illuminate what you maybe DON’T want or need to include in your board and help you start to figure out what you want to welcome into your life in an attempt to avoid what is no longer serving you!
  • Now, write what you want to attract and welcome into your life in the New Year
    • Think about the type of energy you want to go into the year with and carry with you all 12 months! If it’s an energy you haven’t experienced personally yet, think about some events/people/things that have seemed to radiate that energy in your eyes. If it’s an energy that you HAVE experienced and want to sustain, sit with the thoughts and feelings that the event/experience brought you. Try to hold onto that.
  • Think about what you want to manifest, or put out into the universe that you’d like to have brought into your life, as well as your goals
    • What do you want? Nothing is too small! How can you realistically take steps forward to help you achieve what you want to achieve? What will you work in tandem with the universe to make happen in 2021?
  • Think about who or what inspires you (i.e. music, lyrics, poems, individuals, photographs, etc.)
    • This step is pretty self-explanatory. What inspires you? Who inspires you? Are there places you want to go, things you want to experience? This is also where you can start to figure out what artistic mediums you vibe with that you want to incorporate on your board.
  • Take to Pinterest! Create a Pinterest board for your vision board to help develop your board’s aesthetic
    • Make a board for your board! Having one place to compile all your ideas into will make the formation of your board much easier. Pin away! You obviously don’t have to include everything you add to your Pinterest board on the vision board you create but having lots of ideas is great! Pinterest will also show you similar pins to the ones you pin, so it makes finding what you might like a little easier! If you want to check out my Pinterest board for my vision boards, click here!
  • Gather inspo from other sources i.e., books, magazines, physical articles/supplies, etc.
    • Get together those other little nuggets of inspiration from any other resource that inspires you or holds deep meaning for you!
  • Get creative!
    • Now that you’ve got your pieces all togethers, you can start printing cutting out everything you’ve collected. And assembly is all up to you! You can assemble on a canvas, cork board, poster board, right on the wall, etc. I like to assemble it mine on the canvas or floor, take a picture of it, then start the REAL assembly of it on my chosen canvas!
  • Tip: Gather more resources than you think you will need, always better to have extra
  • Tip: Make sure you have the proper tools for assembly- if you’re going directly onto the wall, be sure whatever you’re hanging with won’t ruin or damage your walls

Now, all you have to do is bask in the beauty of your creation and hold onto your hopes, dreams, and inspiration no matter what the New Year brings your way. I know that’s SO much easier said than done, but once you’ve got your beautiful vision board reminder hanging where you can plainly see it, acknowledge it, and remember the intentions you set when you made it, you will hold all the power! Each month of the year will lead you to set new goals, will bring you joy, and may bring struggle to face- but it’s all part of life, baby! It’s how we carry ourselves through it that means the most. Gather your strength, gather your people, and hold on tight because 2021 is YOURS!

*insert pounding fist emoji*

I love you lots!

~Ang

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You’re At a Loss

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You’re At a Loss

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You're At a Loss

Happy December, Babes!

Last month I highlighted a few ways to get your holiday gift list organized, so now we are ready for the next step. Shopping! You may have done some shopping during those Black Friday sales or you may just be getting started, to each their own! Regardless of when you start your shopping, you may have that someone on your list that you just…don’t know how to buy for! Whether it be a friend, a family member, a co-worker, some people just always seem to stump you! It may not even be that they are difficult to shop for, you just may not be able to come up with ideas off the top of your head which can leave you feeling lost when it comes to heading to the stores (or heading to your laptop in this year’s case).

I asked social media and did some thinking of my own, and I’ve come up with a list of some simple, easy-to-find and easy-to-give gifts for just about anyone in your life this holiday season!

Books

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female  Friendship: Schaefer, Kayleen: 9781101986127: Amazon.com: Books
Untamed: Glennon Doyle, Glennon Doyle Melton: 9781984801258: Amazon.com:  Books

Something that a few people said they would want to receive as a gift was a book, specifically a book they have been wanting! If you know a bookworm, this is definitely the perfect gift! I know, from personal experience, for some reason I don’t always jump to buy a book for myself over something else I want…and I’m an avid reader! It’s always really thoughtful to be gifted a book I’ve talked about over and over to a friend. It could also be really personal to purchase a book for someone on a topic you know they are really interested, or something you know they are interested in learning more about! Even if you don’t know what book to buy someone, a gift card to a bookstore could be great. Even better if the bookstore is a small business!! Two books I personally would give as a gift ANY time are Untamed by Glennon Doyle and Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer.

Framed Photos

Another personal gift for any friend or family member would be framed photos! Photos always act as a beautiful memento of a friendship, relationship, or memory of a loved one! Places like T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and Target have really affordable frames, and it only costs a few cents to print photos from places like Walmart or CVS! If you’re looking for prints that are a little fancier, try a place online like Parabo Press where you can get square prints, wall art, photo books, gallery displays, calendars, and more! Click here to shop and use the code HGZPAW for $10 off your order!

Personalized Stationery

I love this idea, definitely because I’m a paper/notebook/stationary nerd! I have lots of friends who are small business owners and having personalized note cards is something so thoughtful and useful if they are sending out thank you cards or little personalized notes! Having personalized notepads and desk calendars is also something that can be useful for any college student or at-home worker! If you’re looking for some really gorgeous, personalized planners, notepads, notecards and more- Ivory Paper Co. is your spot! They’ve got it all and it is SO stunning and durable! Plus, they’re a small business! WooHoo! Click here to shop the Ivory Paper Co. Website!

Blue Light Glasses

Claire Blue Light Glasses in Tortoise- Tortoise 4
These are from Francesca’s!

Here we are, December 2020, and we are ALL sitting on our computers STILL. My blue light glasses have been such a saving grace ever since I started the blog, since I spend a decent amount of time on the computer these days! If you know someone who is taking classes online or working from home, chances are good they could use a pair of blue light glasses, too! I have two pair, one from Amazon and another from Francesca’s!

Pajamas

Pajamas may seem like a simple gift, but if you’ve got someone in your life who just likes to snuggle up and stay warm during the chilly winter months, cozy pajamas are essential! Old Navy has the cutest holiday pajama sets, and you could even spice them up with a robe, cute slippers, and socks from just about anywhere! To be honest, I have a lot of pajama sets from Walmart that I absolutely love- plus they are really affordable! Maybe you even do a cute little pajama exchange with your peeps and have a holiday movie and wine night over Zoom! It could be a great way to make the most out of the situation!

Earrings/Jewelry

Just about any jewelry makes for a great gift, but earrings seem to be big this year! Personally, I have really gotten into the big earrings trend because of having to wear a mask! We can’t utilize lipstick as much as a form of self-expression when we are out, so earrings are the way to go! Polymer clay and resin earrings are big right now!! If you’re looking for some awesome small business accounts to check out, check out: @somewanderearrings and @earringsbyvic. Instagram is the perfect place to look for small businesses to support! You can definitely fall down the rabbit hole and search until you find what you’re looking for!

Sashka Co. Bracelets in 2020 | Bracelets handmade beaded, Glass beaded  bracelets, Handmade bracelets

Additionally, one of my favorite jewelry brands to gift during the holidays is Sashka Co.! These bracelets are the perfect, affordable gift for the jewelry lover in your life! Each glass bead bracelet is handmade, and the company’s mission is to provide sustainable jobs for women in Nepal! Click HERE to check out these gorgeous bracelets!

A Self-Care Beauty Bundle

For the purpose of this gift idea, I’m referring to self-care in the form of baths, relaxations, and “treating oneself.” Lots of people on social media said they’d like to receive things like face masks, hair masks, chapsticks, etc. It could be super cute to gather up those items and maybe a few others like bath bombs, bath salts, a loofah, nail polishes, fuzzy socks, and anything else you can think of, gathering them up, and creating a self-care beauty bundle! You could include wine, candy, and other snacks to amp it up a bit, too!

Gel Mani Set Up

When you hear “gel manicure” you may automatically think of the $25-30 dollar service you get at a salon but buying the tools to start doing your own gel mani at home is actually rather affordable! I’m going to put a link HERE to one of my previous posts “How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani.” In it, I highlight all the tools and products a person may need to get started, links and all! Even just getting someone the UV lamp and base/topcoats will help kickstart their at-home mani process immensely!

Reusable Coffee Cups/Water Bottles

From Annie and Lulu’s!

I will admit, I also have a slight obsession with cups and water bottles LOL. I also love mugs, but since I tend to be going, going, going I am always seeking out new reusable travel cups and water bottles! If you have people in your life who love all things cold (even in the winter months) you could get them a nice stainless-steel water bottle or travel mug! Again, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s always have affordable, versatile options! If your peeps are hot beverage people too, or they don’t really have a preference, reusable plastic cups are a perfect gift! Check out PeachesbyPaige and ShopAnnieandLulu on Etsy for adorable, affordable reusable cups (and more!).

Coffee Gift Cards (or any gift cards, really)

People may say that gift cards are impersonal, but I would argue that gift cards for just about anything make THE perfect gift. It’s giving the gift of choice! Let’s be real. We all love and appreciate receiving Dunkin’ and Starbucks cards. We just do! It’s really nice, especially around the holidays, to have the bill for our caffeine addictions paid for! It’s ALSO really nice to walk into Target or T.J. Maxx and know that part of all the unnecessary things we put into our cart will be covered, thanks to a friend or family member! If you’re feeling COMPLETELY stuck and just don’t know what to get a person: GET. THE. GIFT CARD. No offense to the candles out there, I love a good candle, but I would much rather pick out something I’ve had my eye on with a gift card than receive my 900th holiday candle (hence why candles were not on my list!).

I hope this helps you CRUSH your holiday shopping this season! Please stay safe if you’re going out shopping at all! Wear your mask and abide by any and all restrictions stores may have! Make smart choices and order online as much as you can. Just about all these gift suggestions can be purchased online, so please be smart! Your friends and family will thank you! HAPPY DECEMBER!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute 
November Round Up

November Round Up

Hello!!!

Holy gumdrops, it’s almost DECEMBER! I hope you all had the most amazing and SAFE Thankgivings! It’s so hard for me to even grasp that we are on our way to CHRISTMAS. Honestly, even though 2020 has been an absolute dumpster fire, it really has flown by!

I don’t know about you, but now that the year is coming to a close, I find myself sitting with the thought of where I was this time last year. Like, holy crap, talk about change. I do try really hard not to get too caught up in thoughts of “pre-pandemic” times, but it’s wild to me that we all knew 2020 would be big, but never in a million years did anyone expect all the events that transpired.

I don’t want to get too deep or too invested in a recap of the year (that’s for December content, wink wink), but it is important that we take a moment to recognize the growth I know we have all made in one way or another in 2020. Hello, if this pandemic hadn’t happened, I don’t think I would have been sitting here writing this for you, and you wouldn’t be sitting here reading it! Starting the blog was one event this year for me that set me on a new path that ultimately led me down so many other avenues that I hope to continue to pursue.

Setting my monthly goals for myself was something I DID NOT DO prior to starting the blog. So, showing up for myself (and for you all with these recaps) is something I am really proud of! SO, on that note, let’s hop into my November Round Up!

First of all, HUGE step for me and the blog…we reached 100 followers this month!!! Grow with the blog has been slow and steady since I started it back in May but having 100 people who follow and subscribe wasn’t something I had anticipated achieving in my first year! So, if you’re reading this, a huge thank you to YOU for your support! I also wanted to create a new freebie for subscribers, get ahead on content, and land at least 1 partnership with a brand, all of which I accomplished!

In my personal life this month, I wanted to work on my physical health a bit! I’ve always been very active because of my involvement with theatre and dance, but I’ll be honest…working out has not always been my favorite thing to do. I love yoga, and because of my teacher training I’ve done a lot of yoga during this quarantine, but I really wanted to start doing more to get my body moving. I haven’t done a lot of dancing since the theatre industry shut down, for lack of space and lack of motivation. Recently, I started following Megan Bowen and her business Dance From Home and I just finished her 14 Day Get Up and Dance Challenge! It included dance cardio workouts, strengthening workouts, and self-love exercises, and I’m so proud of myself for finishing it! It felt amazing to get my body moving on a regular basis and begin to love my body and meet it where it’s at. Typically during the holiday season, I slack off on moving my body and I end up feeling terrible about myself after enjoying all the holiday food. But I can honestly say that right now, I feel the best I’ve felt during this season in a LONG time! I’m ready to jump into the holidays, stay active, eat whatever the heck I want because I can, and enjoy it ALL!

Some other goals of mine were:

  • Try not to spend unnecessarily– I did still spend money on myself and some things I probably could’ve done without, but I did spend less than I did in October! Even small wins are still wins!
  • Keep manifesting– 🙂
  • Fill out gratitude journal every night– I didn’t land EVERY night, but I only missed one or two!
  • Pick at least one day to social media cleanse– This, I didn’t do. BUT I did set limits on my social media at night/in the mornings! I love that the iPhone allows you to set time limits on apps that you choose. I set a limit for myself from 11pm-8am. Going forward, I would like to have the limit start earlier and end later!
  • Read 1-2 books– Nailed it! Unless I was feeling particularly exhausted, I would read at least 1 chapter of my book before bed (since I set the limits on my phone!).

Like I always say, every month is hit or miss in terms of reaching my goals! November was a pretty decent month for goal reaching, but there were still some marks I missed AND there were marks that I kind of hit! I’m learning to be gentle with myself, so I encourage you to practice being gentle with yourself too! Now, here are some things I’ve watched/read/loved this month!

Monthly Minute
November Round Up

TV

Schitt’s Creek

I finally finished the series this month and I LOVED it! It took me a while to warm up to the show, but I got so invested in the characters as their stories developed. I can’t say much because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched but I TOTALLY cried watching the final episode!

Killing Eve (Season 3)

I watched the first two seasons of Killing Eve early on in the pandemic, so I was really excited to see season 3 on Hulu a few weeks ago! Honestly, it hasn’t thrilled me, I’m not going as crazy over it as I was in season 2. I had to Google the ending of season 2 because there was no kind of recap, and I kind of feel like a third season was a little bit of a stretch. It was still entertaining; I just wasn’t as sucked in as I had been with season 2!

Grey’s Anatomy

Ok, listen. I am a devoted Grey’s fan, and while I do kind of think it’s been going on for too long, I am STILL watching. I got all caught up in the early Corona days, so I was ready when they announced they were coming back to TV. I commend the writers for their pivot into the current circumstances of 2020, it is interesting to see the medical field right now portrayed on TV. How true to the times it really is, I’m not sure. The first few episodes have really had me in my feels though. I’m excited to see where they take things.

And, of course, I’ve been watching Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelorette religiously! I love Kaitlyn Bristowe but…Nev should’ve won. There, I said it. For the Bachelorette, I’m predicting Ben, Ivan, Brendan, and Zach will make it far. Maybe Noah? They’re the top contenders in my opinion.

Books

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

During the summer, I read The Wife Between Us by this writing duo and I LOVED the psychological thriller so much that when I saw this book on a rack at Barnes and Noble for $7 I just had to get it! They did not disappoint with this one either! I was hooked right from the beginning, always asking questions and wondering where the plot line was heading! If you love a psychological thriller, their books are for you. You will be flipping the pages so quickly searching for answers, you’ll be done reading in the blink of an eye. Then, you’ll have to pick up another one of their books like I did! I finished this book and the next day I ordered their book You Are Not Alone! Check them out!

Podcasts

Chatty Broads

Chatty Broads is hosted by Bekah Matrinez (Bachelor alum) and Jess Ambrose, and I LIVE for their recaps of The Bachelorette on Wednesdays. Seriously, if you’re looking for the most entertaining and information filled Bachelor/Bachelorette recap, look no further! I am going to get into listening to their other episodes because I just vibe with them so much!!

Extras

Verb Energy Bars

I love these little nuggets! Each bar is only 90 calories, has as much caffeine (from green tea) as a shot of espresso, and they are yummy! They’re just so easy to throw in my bag to take to work, and they’re the perfect mid-day pick me up when I hit that 3 o’clock slump! If you’re interested in trying out the bars for yourself risk-free (seriously, no strings attached) you can click HERE to get a trial 4-pack for only $0.95! Salted Peanut Butter is my absolute FAV!

Liquid I.V.

Y’all know that Liquid I.V. is a CONSTANT favorite of mine! This month I tried the Strawberry and Apple Pie flavors, and they were to die for! I particularly enjoyed the Strawberry, it tastes like strawberry milk…only it’s water, not milk LOL if you want to try either of these flavors, the energy multiplier, the immune support blend, and more click HERE for 25% off your order + free shipping!!

Well friends, get ready for some more holiday content coming your way in the coming weeks! I hope you all jump into December with kindness, happiness, and love! Talk soon!

~ Ang

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.

Passion Piece Feature 
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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