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 
Feature #5
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?

Passion Piece Feature 
Feature #5
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?

Passion Piece Feature 
Feature #5
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!


Passion Piece Feature 
Feature #5
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

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Hi, friends!

We are officially at the mid-way point of November! Whether you started embracing the Christmas spirit before Halloween, once Halloween ended, or you’re waiting until after Thanksgiving, one thing is for sure: now is the time to start figuring out your Christmas gift list! Even if you’re a last-minute shopper, now is the perfect time to start thinking of who you need to buy for and brainstorming some gift ideas!

I LOVE gift giving and surprising friends and loved ones with gifts tailored just for them and planning out my list helps me get squared away before the crazy shopping ensues! If you’re not a planner by nature, don’t despair! I’m here to share a few tips and tricks with you to help you kickstart the organization of your gift list to make your holiday shopping painless!

List your people

The first step in organizing your holiday gift list is writing out who you need to buy for! Start by just writing out all the people you can think of that you typically buy for in a season- family, friends, co-workers, significant others, etc. I like to separate my list into categories, so feel free to make your own categories as such if you like to see them separated! And remember, you can always add people to your list or downsize. This is just a preliminary list, no need to be locked into it!

Talk to your friends about gifting

This step is important in your gifting process, especially for younger people i.e. college students, recent grads, etc. I can tell you firsthand that gifting as a young adult is hard! I always feel like I want to shower my friends and family with the best of the best, but my wallet says otherwise! Because you and your friends will more than likely be floating in that boat together, ASK your friends and loved ones 1. If you will be exchanging gifts this year and 2. If so, should we set a spending budget. This is something that I adopted with many of my friends in college that we are still practicing now! Being up front and asking if they would still like to exchange gifts for the holiday opens up a conversation, and setting a spending limit ensures that one person is not spending a ton of money while the other stays within THEIR budget. Make sense? Exchanging gifts or exchanging extravagant gifts DOES NOT define your friendship or relationship. The holidays can be tough, so it is important to work within YOUR means!

Consider your funds, create an overall budget, and individual spending budgets

This step branches off the previous one just a bit! As I said, for most young people, spending around the holidays can be nerve wracking! The best way to combat this feeling to the best of your ability is to consider your funds and your budget before you jump into shopping. Once you’re out and about in stores, it can be easy to veer off course and spend more than you bargained for, which ultimately will just leave you a stressed out place once the shopping is over. We want to avoid that! While we LOVE our friends and loved ones, you don’t want to shell out every penny you’ve got on presents when chances are good you will have expenses to cover! Start by:

  • Talking to with your people and setting your spending limits with one another
  • If you don’t have that discussion with your peeps, try to assign spending budgets for each person on your gift list. Like I said, I know you might want to give your loved ones the world, but we must be realistic with our funds- especially this season!
  • Tally up the maximum amounts you’ve assigned to each person to figure out your maximum budget for your holiday spending. This will be a great framework to start your shopping with! Do keep in mind that you’ve calculated your MAXIMUM budget. Those are the walls in which you should aim to stay, and there is nothing wrong with coming out underbudget! Leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room though, as we all know that one extra person always seems to slip our minds in the craziness of the season!

Do your research, get ideas together!

Now that your gift list is a bit more solid, the fun can begin! Take a look at your list and start brainstorming some gift ideas for your people! Something else you can do that I have done in the past is ask your people to list maybe 5 things they want or need this season. If you’re feeling completely stuck, this will help provide a little insight into how they are thinking! Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything they want or anything they need. This will help you formulate ideas that are a bit more personal and tailored to the person you’re shopping for!

Google, Instagram, and Pinterest are your friends! SO many bloggers and influencers put together gift idea lists and posts- the resources are endless! Chances are good that if you search it, you’ll find a resource on it! *Don’t forget to keep your receipts and get gift receipts if you can!*

Gather up your gift bags/wrappings so you can clearly separate your gifts and see what you’ve got

As you’re shopping, if you’re interested, gather up your gift bags/boxes/tags too! Sometimes, the wrapping can be TOTALLY part of the present! I love to put gifts in those cute decorative boxes from T.J. Maxx or Michael’s, then they can repurpose them for whatever they’d like later on! Having your wrappings early will also help you separate your gifts so you can clearly see who you already bought for, what you’ve gotten them, and if you are missing anything! Dedicate one box/bag/space in your closet for your present area so that everything can stay in one place and your gifts aren’t all over the place! When the time comes to pull out your goodies, you’ll be so relieved to have it organized and separated all in one place.


If you’re still looking for some overall organizational help for this month and heading into December, my November & December 2-Pack Bullet Journal Templates are available for purchase on my homepage! If you’re looking to purchase a template for ONLY December, click HERE! (P.S. the templates make the perfect, downloadable holiday gift!)

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

I know, all my “Christmas after Thanksgiving” peeps are probably going to cringe at me saying ALL of this, but now you are ready to kick start your holiday shopping! Most of these steps can be completed in the coming weeks, your preliminary work can all happen BEFORE Thanksgiving so the minute you finish your Thanksgiving dinner, you can head out to the store and make holiday shopping your you-know-what!

Next week, we’ve got our November Passions Piece Feature, then our Monthly Minute at the end of the month, then get yourself ready for some more organizational, holiday content!

Lots of love! xo

~ Ang

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

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

Happy November!

Let’s start the month off with some beauty, shall we?! I’ll be completely honest: my beauty routine really is not very impressive or extensive. I have found that I have a good handful of staples in my routine that get the job done for me, as quick and easily as possible! Because I spent so many years of my life loading up on the makeup because of my involvement in theatre and dance, I found that I wanted my day-to-day routine to be simple! If you’re interested in checking out my FULL skincare routine, click here to check out my blog post, “Skin Care is Self Care.”

I also wanted to start the month off with this post because I figure the holidays are coming up, and if you’re interesting in trying out any of the products I share here, it might be a good time to ask Santa to add it to your list *wink wink.* I am not currently affiliated with any of the brands or products I’ve included here, I’m just sharing products that I genuinely use that I LOVE! Let’s dive in!

Face

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Tula Glow & Get It Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm
    • I literally just wrote about this product in my last post, I just can’t get enough of it. AND I’ve written about it before! Tula has a whole line of eye balms, so there are several to choose from based on your own needs! I have been using the original (blue) balm for about a year now and I recently got the Rose Glow & Get It balm (pink). The rose one has a warmer tone, so it blends in with my skin a little better! They do the same job, it’s really just a matter of preference. Either way, I highly recommend!
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Waterproof Mascara
    • My #1 staple in my makeup routine is always mascara! Typically, my go to makeup only consists of concealer, maybe some eyeshadow, and mascara! This is mostly because I value my sleep too much to wake up any earlier to do my makeup (lol). I’ve tried SO many different mascaras in the past and recently I discovered that this one works best for me! I love that it’s waterproof and it really does plump up my lashes! I curl my lashes, slap this stuff on, and I’m set! You can find this at any drug store, too! Very affordable.
  • Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
    • I’m obsessed with liquid eyeshadows. I’m a quick and easy makeup kind of gal, and they just go on so effortlessly! They also act as a perfect eyeshadow base when you’re creating a more intricate eyeshadow look! I use this one in the color “Kitten,” and I got it from my T.J. Maxx!

Lips

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Burt’s Bees Chapstick
    • Obviously, you can grab these at any drug store or grocery store for that matter! My go-to flavors are vanilla bean and vanilla maple (that one is seasonal)!
  • Co. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm 8-Hour Overnight Recovery
    • This is my favorite nighttime lip balm! It’s from Bath & Body Works! It comes in a little blue tube and tastes amazing!
  • IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Balm
    • Even before masks became a thing and lipstick was a thing of the past, I was never much of a lipstick wearer. With that being said, you know, you DO need a little color on your lips sometimes, so you don’t look like a corpse! This lip balm is one of those that goes on clear and then blends with the shade of your lips! It also comes in different shades!

Body

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub
    • Brief tangent: I have eczema under my armpits, have for years. Initially, I sought out this product because I had read that it would help with eczema. I still have the eczema, so there’s that, BUT I still really love this product! It’s a really nice gentle scrub, and I love it because it scrubs away all your leftover deodorant! Sometimes just washing your underarms just isn’t enough to get rid of it all, but this makes me feel super fresh and clean!
  • Lush Scrubee Body Butter
    • I looooove this little bee! Honestly, I don’t use this product in every shower or all year round; I save it for the colder months when my skin REALLY needs some good nourishment. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft and smooth, and it has little scrubee beads in it to get rid of the dead skin while it nourishes! Plus, it smells amazing!

Hair

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Shine Hairspray
    • This has been my go-to hairspray for YEARS. It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t make my hair feel gross, but it makes my curls hold super well (and I have pin-straight hair that doesn’t like to stay curled). ALSO, it smells exactly like pineapple. And I love pineapple.
  • CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protecting Spray
    • Having a great heat protectant is essential if you put any heat on your hair AT ALL. I don’t usually blow dry my hair and I don’t usually straighten my hair either. Because I don’t put a ton of heat on my hair besides when I curl it, I try to be very careful when I do use heat, so I always make sure to protect my hair! This spray had amazing reviews, which is why I got it when I was curling my hair a lot for shows, and it has definitely lived up to the hype!
  • Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray
    • So, like I said, I have pin-straight hair. And while I’ve started to notice some changes in my hair recently, my hair generally doesn’t have a lot of volume either. I got this 3-in-1 spray in a gift set last Christmas, and it has been one of my favorite products to use when I curl my hair. It “Textuizes. Amplifies. and Refreshes.” It helps add some really awesome volume to my hair and absorbs excess oils! This also smells AMAZING.
My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Drybar The Wrap Party Curling and Styling Wand
    • The main event of gift set I just mentioned was this curling wand! I had been using the same curling wand since high school before I got this one, and it really upped my hair game. The wand is tapered so that it’s thicker on the top and slimmer on the bottom (usually wands are the opposite way). It creates a much looser, beachier wave rather than those ringlet wand curls I know you were also rocking in high school!

If YOU use any of these products and love them, let me know by commenting on this post! And if there are any products here you want to try out, now is the perfect time to add them to your holiday gift list (I can’t believe we are already talking about the holidays)!

Also, you better have voted. If not, you better be voting tomorrow! Santa WILL NOT add these products to your stocking if he finds out you didn’t vote.

Have a happy Monday, and beautiful start to your November!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute October Round Up

October Round Up

Hi friends!

Another month of 2020 in the books, which means one month closer to a brand-new year! I love October, it has always been one of my favorite months! I personally felt like the month slowed down just a little bit, which I appreciated so I could enjoy it! Like I’ve said in some of my other posts, my birthday and many of my friend’s birthdays are in October, so fortunately, the month was full of celebration and seeing some friends I hadn’t had the chance to spend a lot of time with (safely, of course!).

As you all know, I try to be as honest and transparent I can be when it comes to gathering my thoughts at the end of the month, and honestly, I felt like my routine suffered a little this month! But I guess it was a bit of an even exchange, because I think it suffered since I spent a lot of time doing things this month that I hadn’t done in months! I loved seeing friends, but of course, being out of my own house where all my routine essentials sometimes threw me for a loop. My usual laundry list of books I read and shows I watch is also short this month, since I didn’t spend as much time lounging around as I have in other months since I started the blog! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is ok if your routine ebbs and flows with the changing seasons of your life! If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that nothing can truly be constant. Our worlds are ever changing, whether we want them to or not!

Last month, I talked a bit about my manifestation journey. Recently, I started manifesting with the moon cycles, and let me tell you. I feel more in tune with the universe than I have ever felt before! Putting out my wishes and goals, learning to embrace forgiveness, and practicing gratitude through manifestation honestly has changed my ways of living and thinking. Nothing is instantaneous, but I really do believe that the universe is holding me and is putting my wishes into motion. I can feel it and I can see the changes in my life already occurring. It’s amazing what a little release can do. Again, if you’re interested in manifesting, I highly recommend Yasmin Boland’s book Moonology and all of her other resources.

Something small but worth noting is the fact that I sat down to personally journal this month for the first time since August. I guess it was the first time since then that I had enough going on in my life that I wanted to document for me to remember later. The physical act of writing is something that I feel very connected to; it always centers me. Returning to that was a little thing that felt so important, and it made me want to continue to check in with myself, even in the most mundane times of my life. It reminded me that it is also important to sit with the times where nothing big is happening. It’s all just as important.

I’ve continued to set goals for myself before the start of each new month, and I’m happy to share that I did rather well in terms of achieving what I realistically could from my list! Of course, some things fell to the wayside, but it feels good to know that am on the right path towards making my goals a reality. It’s so funny to think about, because if the world hadn’t paused and my life hadn’t shifted in the way that it did, I wonder if ANY of these goals would be the goals I was aiming for? I try not to think too much about the “what could have been’s,” but it’s interesting nonetheless!

Personal growth continues to be at the forefront of my heart and mind month to month, as I share with you on the blog. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but it is the best feeling knowing that I am the same “Angela” but I am oh, so different than the girl I knew even just a year ago. It may sound cliché, but it’s true. Of course, I have moments where I can feel myself reverting back to my old thought processes or ways of handling things, but it’s amazing to me that now, I am able to stop, recognize that, recognize that that isn’t how I want to be, and can try my best to make a shift. I do think there are parts of me that are inherent that I can’t and shouldn’t have to change, but anyone who knows me and loves me enough knows that I am what I am and will love me anyway.

SO ANYWAY! MY MONTHLY FAVES!

TV & Movies

  • Dancing with the Stars
  • The Bachelorette
  • Schitt’s Creek (currently on season 2, still deciding how I feel, despite popular opinions…)
  • Ozark (FINISHED SEASON 3!)
  • Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2
  • Emily in Paris (I started watching it as background noise, but I didn’t hate it. Very cheesy, but cute!)

Books

  • I’m still working through Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It’s a GREAT book, I just did not devote as much time to reading as I should have this month (that was a goal I did NOT meet)

My Faves

  • Tula Glow & Get It Stick
    • I’ve talked about this product before, but since I have been kind of busy this month, this product has literally been a life saver. This little stick of wonder depuffs your under eyes and provides a nice cooling sensation. It’s perfect for your sleepy eyes first thing in the morning! I love to apply mine right after I moisturize, under my makeup! If I’m ever in a hurry or just don’t feel like bothering with makeup, I’ll swipe this under my eyes, curl my lashes, and go! I swear by it! If you want to check it out, click HERE!
  • Liquid I.V. Immunity Support Blend
  • You guys know I LOVE my Liquid I.V. sticks. I drink one almost every day, and I truly have seen a huge difference in my hydration and my energy (when drinking the energy multiplier). Well, my love for this company grew x10 this month with the launch of their new product, the Hydration Multiplier + Immunity Support Blend! These sticks offer the same hydration multiplier goodness PLUS vitamins C &D, Zinc, and Wellmune to keep your immune system at it’s best! We all know how important that is right now! AND they taste like yummy oranges. If you want to try them out, click HERE for 25% off and free shipping on me!

SHOP TODAY!

My subscribers and followers on social media have already heard all about this, but I am so excited to share a new product launch with you! You may know of or have been receiving my free Monthly Bullet Journal Templates, and I’m SO excited to launch my 2-Pack Bullet Journal Templates TODAY!

I decided to sell my templates in 2-packs going forward to better tailor them to the seasons and give everyone a chance to start thinking about planner in advance! The first 2-pack will be for November & December, and let me tell you, they are SO CUTE! With your purchase of the 2-pack you’ll receive 50+ template pages for two months to get yourself and your loved ones ready for the holiday season! The templates ALSO would make a perfect, adorable, and affordable gift for the planner in your life!

Click HERE to get your 2-Pack today!!

I wish you all the best heading into November! Get ready to give thanks! Xo

~ Ang

The Show Must Go On

The Show Must Go On

Learning To Grow With Your Community Through Good Times and Bad

September is in full swing, which means the first semester of college is in full swing! While college students may be experiencing great change, many are doing anything they can to a) keep themselves safe and healthy and b) maintain whatever sense of normalcy they can. As fall rolls around in theatre departments, (the department that I am clearly the most familiar with), the season usually means Showcase audition season for senior theatre students.

For those reading who may not know what “showcase” is/means, generally, it is a group of students from an acting program that are chosen to perform at their school’s showcase for agents/casting directors in the spring of senior year. At my school, like many others I am sure, actor’s showcase was considered a big deal, and a lot of hard work and preparation went into both the auditions and the performance itself.

I want to speak a little on my experience with showcase, and hopefully offer up some encouragement and advice to those preparing to embark on their showcase journey…

I got into my senior showcase and, unfortunately, we didn’t get to take it to New York this past March as we had planned. Literally, about a week and a half before we were scheduled to head to the city, the world became a brand-new place and the showcase was postponed. If you experienced any sort of loss of work due to the pandemic, you could imagine how completely devastated we all were- myself, my classmates, and my professors. In school, the members of the showcase class met several times a week to rehearse and continue to learn about the industry. We continued to meet as a class over zoom once we were sent home but reaching the day our performance was supposed to take place and meeting on a zoom instead was extremely hard.

But let’s back track a bit and talk about the prep for this opportunity. At my school, the process begins at the end of junior year. The basic info is given out, and the summer before senior year, you begin the hunt for audition material. Mid-September you audition, that week you find out if you will be part of the showcase class, and if you are chosen from the auditions, you kind of immediately start searching for your materials that you’ll perform. There is a lot more to choosing material than you would think. We did scenes/songs, so pairs needed to be solidified and the order finely tuned. Even after we thought we had settled on material, it changed, and the process started all over. God bless my professor and her team because I am sure there was SO much more to it than I even know at this point, having been through it all. You rehearse. And rehearse. And rehearse. And then you’re supposed to take that work, do your thing, and celebrate when it’s all said and done. We got it all, but that last bit looked a little different for the class of 2020.

So, I swear I have a point here, and it is this: I’m sharing this experience and perspective because we went through it all only for it not to happen. If you would have told me a year ago (yikes, a year ago already) when I was preparing for auditions, “hey, maybe don’t stress so much because…what if the world enters a pandemic and showcase gets cancelled?,” I would’ve laughed right in your face and proceeded to stress anyway. I started going back over every aspect of the class and the preparation that I had worried myself sick over, and I just kept thinking, “wow, I was so upset in that moment and so worried in that moment, and so frustrated in that moment…and for what?” Now, I understand that when I was upset/frustrated/worrying in the moment, there was no way for me to see into the future. I felt as though every feeling I was feeling was valid and justified, and in those moment, they were, but it was a major lesson for me.

I was so stressed the day before auditions, my mom and aunt took me to get my nails done in an attempt to get my mind off things
I was so stressed the day before auditions, my mom and aunt took me to get my nails done in an attempt to get my mind off things. If it looks like I had been crying…it’s probably because I had been.

Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you here, but the whole experience got me thinking about the weight I place on moments in my life, the importance that I assign to things, and how I often allow little stressors to overtake my life in a much larger and unhealthy way. I spent many months in preparation for showcase allowing myself to feel anxiety, frustration, and pressure and allowing those feelings to really run me dry. There were lots of time I just couldn’t focus or sleep because I just couldn’t turn my mind off. It was like a hamster wheel of deadlines, scripts, notes, judgments- you name it. On the other side of it all, it made me take a deeper look at myself and the bad mental habits I had created and ask myself, “would I be this worried if I knew I wouldn’t have this to worry about in a month?,” and if the answer is no, then I shouldn’t assign so much weight to that task. If I had that mentality throughout the whole process, I can guarantee the work I was producing would’ve been even better, too.

Let me be perfectly clear: feelings of stress/anxiety/frustration are all normal, but allowing them to run your mental health is, well, not healthy. My feelings like that and the weight I assigned to them also did NOT solely stem from my showcase, but from a combination of life as a college student in her senior year, plus all other aspects of life.

My best friend, Cathy, and I enjoying some margs post-showcase auditions
My best friend, Cathy, and I enjoying some margs post-showcase auditions

My showcase class and I always had a blast when we were together. When we were staging the showcase, we were all seated onstage to watch each other’s scenes and songs. The supportive, loving, and electric energy that I felt in that room every time we would sit and watch each other was simply remarkable and untouchable. I constantly had the chills or tears in my eyes while marveling at some of my best friends and colleagues bringing their gifts to life. We were each other’s support systems in the crazy process, and I feel very lucky to have shared every last minute of the journey with them. Showcase or no showcase, we will always have each other.

For my friends preparing to embark on this journey yourselves, no matter how different the experience may be, here is my advice to you:

  • Choose material that you love that speaks to your heart. Fight for it and for yourself.
  • If you don’t end up being part of your showcase class, do not let it stop you for a single second. Promise me that. Your art and your voice matter, showcase or no showcase. It does not define your worth or your career path WHATSOEVER.
  • Be kind to one another. Be kind to your leaders. Everyone is adjusting to a whole new way of doing this, so be gentle with each other.
  • Do the work. That’s all on that. Try not to allow yourself to get too overwhelmed. I promise, every aspect will fall into place. It may take 50 tries and you may not end up where you started but take comfort in knowing it WILL work out for the best.
  • Hold on to your classmates. All of them. That is your support system, now and forever. Celebrate each other’s victories and comfort each other in moments of struggle. Enjoy being in a creative space with your best people and be grateful for one another.

Be grateful. Be gracious. Be kind. Be you.

You will make it through.

~ Ang

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