Things I Learned From Fostering Dogs…

I’ve had some downtime in the last few months. It’s this weird time of the year where pilot season (one of the busiest times for actors) is over, and episodic season (the other busy time for actors) has yet to really begin. I spend my time during this down period writing, and fostering dogs, or as I like to call them…lil’ puppers or lil’ bubs.

I never understood the bond between human and dog until I brought my first foster dog home (my parents wouldn’t allow pets in the house). When you’re responsible for something that loves you unconditionally, you can’t help but fall in love. Not just that, but you become more patient, kind, nurturing and overall better human being.

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How to Combat a (Sexy) Sinus Infection

Mucus. Migraines. Congestion. So Sexy.

If my week had a tagline, it would be the above. Wouldn’t you want to watch that action-packed movie? Ha!

I’ve been nursing this sinus infection for 10 days because for the first 7, I didn’t know it was a sinus infection! Honestly, I thought it was stress causing me headaches and exhaustion. The first sign of a sinus infection, I thought, was nasal congestion…but, I was woefully wrong. Apparently, sinus infections don’t always affect your nasal cavities. From my experience, I’ve realized that if you feel…

Fatigue

Migraines

Head-throbbing (especially ones that get worse when you lay down)

Dizziness/Nausea

Tenderness around the low-center of your forehead or in between your eyes

…most likely, you have a sinus infection. Also, if you’re just getting over a cold or if you’ve been flying or if there’s been a seasonal change, it probably makes your sinuses more prone to infections. Take extra care of your sinuses during those times.

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Lessons I Learned During A Power Outage

Did everyone have a lovely weekend? I did…for the most part. Yes, except for the 30+ hours of zero power and hot water, it was a delightful weekend.

30+ hours without power?? Some may say “so you can’t binge-watch Netflix, big deal”, others may say “WHATDIDYOUDOAHHH”. I was somewhere in between. Yes I was bummed that I couldn’t hole up in my apartment during the storm dubbed “Lucifer”, watching Netflix and snuggling on the couch, but honestly, when it came down to the 11th hour, I was plain bummed that I couldn’t take a shower, couldn’t eat all the food in my fridge before spoilage, couldn’t walk around my apartment without several blankets and a candle, and didn’t have any connection to the outside world.

So, if I were to go back in time and do things differently, what would I do?

I’d purchase this flashlight. Yes, I have a bajillion candles, but there’s nothing like an electric-powered light that’s strong enough to light up a room so you don’t have to walk around with a hot candle in your hand.

I’d also purchase this handy dandy crank charger/radio. You can listen to some NPR while charging your phone, or computer. And trust me, after hours of reading, you’ll want something to look at other than a book by candlelight.

Download a show or a movie. Did you know that if you have the Amazon Prime or Netflix app, you can download shows and movies for free? You can’t do it on your computer, but if you have an iPad or tablet or even cell phone, you can. It’ll give you a break from books, magazines, and the general doing-nothingingness during a power outage.

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Fun Valentine’s Things

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, most Valentine’s Day critics may decry, “It’s a fake holiday! A HALLMARK holiday!” But, I still think it’s fun to have a day where you think about love. Whether you’re spending the day with a significant other, friend, or just by yourself, here are a few fun things to enjoy…

For someone who needs a little extra love today or if you want to “treat yo self”… You Go Glen Coco!

Not a Mean Girls fan? Here’s another motivational booster. Rock on.

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5 Awesome African-American Ladies

Singer, Baby Esther

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of our unsung African-American, female historical heroes. Female Americans of color are not often celebrated or remembered in history, so I’ve compiled a list of some amazing ladies.

  • Esther Jones aka Baby Esther was a singer in the 1920s known for her “baby” style of singing. Her style of singing was copied by caucasian singer, Helen Kane, who sang “I Wanna Be Loved By You” using Baby Esther’s “boo boo boo” “doo doo doo”. This later became the inspiration for the cartoon, Betty Boop, and her “boop boop dee doop”.
  • Alice Coachman basically broke record after record in track before making history as the first African-American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
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Staying Sane in the Craziness

Have you ever been completely STRESSED, but not know why or how to come out of it? It wasn’t a singular moment, but it piled up in the day-to-day. It all sort of snuck up on you, and now you’re either sick, or tense, or plain cranky?

That’s how I’ve been feeling recently. It is a crazy time in my country. Let alone, the world. I’m overwhelmed on a daily basis and it’s taken a bit of a toll on my overall well-being. SO, I’ve compiled a list of ways to keep sane in the craziness. Hopefully, this will help some of you  as it has been helping me.

  • Take a break from social media. This, by FAR, has been my go-to. Whenever I’m feeling
    stressed, I just put a cap on how many times I check my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Recently, it’s been once-a-day for Facebook and Twitter, and twice-a-day for Instagram. Try it. The effect is immediate.
  • Exercise. And I’m talking about physical movement. Something that you love doing, not just grinding it out at the gym. I think when you’re stressed, you want to get those endorphins going, but also be kind to yourself. Instead of forcing myself to go running, which I dislike, I’ll go for a hike or do some yoga instead.
  • Talk to Friends. Speaking of hiking…sometimes, it’s nice to go it alone, but other times, it’s nice to have a friend to laugh with or cry with or be stressed with haha. It makes me feel less alone and more sane.
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10 Favorite Uses for Lemons

Is anyone else feeling a little sluggish lately? I feel a little somethin’ coming on so I have stocked up on soup, honey, ginger, and all things nutritious to combat this sluggishness before it turns into anything more. Did I mention lemons? I mean…they really are in a category of their own. There are so many wonderful uses for them so I thought I’d share my favorites.

Lemon is a great antibacterial and all-natural cleaner. So, you can take half a lemon, stick it in some water and microwave it to clean the microwave. Sometimes, I use vinegar instead, but I love the smell of the lemons.

You can also make an easy and affordable all-purpose cleaner with them.

Since lemon is not only antibacterial, but antimicrobial and antifungal, they are a great aide when you’re sick. I personally like to do a honey, lemon and ginger combo in water. Sometimes, I’ll put some cayenne in to clear up the sinuses. Here’s a good recipe for Honey Lemon Ginger Tea.

I make a conceded effort to not get sick, so I also often drink lemon water. Staying hydrated is important on its own, but adding lemon adds flavor and vitamin c.

I really do love the smell of lemons, especially in the kitchen. So, I like to make an air freshener with them, or I’ll pour a few drops of lemon on my carpet or curtains before vacuuming. Sometimes, if I’m feeling exceptionally crafty, I’ll make potpourri or scented drawer sachets.

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Echo Dot Love

I have had the Amazon Echo Dot for a week and I already feel like Joaquin Phoenix in Her. When I initially received it as a gift, I thought of re-gifting it because it didn’t seem that useful to me. I have an alarm clock, speakers for music, and I don’t need to buy “smart” appliances just so I can turn it on with my voice. It just sounded like more things to put on my to-do list. However, after taking the plunge into this “voice-activated” world, here’s what I learned and love about it…

  • It keeps track of a to-do list. Sometimes, I’m running in and out of the apartment doing work, chores, etc. and I’ll have a random thought in my head like, “I need to buy lemons when I go to the grocery store tomorrow”. Then, I’ll either forget about it or decide to put everything down and find my planner or a post-it to write that thought down. With the Echo Dot, you can just say it and it’ll put it down on your “to-do list” and it’s pretty neat when you’re multi-tasking. 
  • It has useful “skills” you can enable, like guided meditations, 7 minute workouts, recipes, & rain sounds for sleeping. Or at least, that’s what I’ve enabled so far. There’s so much more that I haven’t discovered yet, and with the rate that the technology is going, I presume more “skills” for the Eco Dot are coming.
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The How-Tos of Managing Time

“Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing — singing, laughing, learning. The responsibility, the awful responsibility of managing (profitably) 12 hours a day for 10 weeks is rather overwhelming when there is nothing, noone, to insert an exact routine into the large unfenced acres of time — which it is so easy to let drift by in soporific idling and luxurious relaxing. It is like lifting a bell jar off a securely clockwork-like functioning community, and seeing all the little busy people stop, gasp, blow up and float in the inrush, (or rather outrush,) of the rarified scheduled atmosphere — poor little frightened people, flailing impotent arms in the aimless air. That’s what it feels like: getting shed of a routine.”  – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Oh, Sylvia Plath…how you move me so. Although, in this week’s case, I’m feeling more like “the little busy people” stopping, gasping, blowing up, and floating underneath the bell jar. My schedule has been hectic due to the holidays and I’m gasping for a way to manage it all. Here were some great tips that I found:

Get into the habit of switching off email whenever you can, even if this is only for 15 minutes or 30 minutes at a time. Great idea! Emails and any other form of social media can become a crutch we turn to when we want to procrastinate. I’ve especially been trying to break the habit of “mindless browsing” to make most of my time.

Don’t fuss about unimportant details. I love this advice because it is a great reminder that sometimes the act is more important than making something perfectly.

To piggyback off of that tip, more time spent doesn’t necessarily mean more “money” earned. This was by far the most free-ing of the advice I’ve read. Sometimes, I’ll spend hours and hours prepping for an audition and I’ll drive myself exhausted, which is no state to perform in. Spending hours on something doesn’t necessarily produce the results you want.

Make sure you have some time for rest and exercise. Some of the world’s most brilliant people would build-in down time in their days because creativity and inspiration doesn’t abide by the constraints of time. We have to give ourselves rest and experience life to work and perform better.

Be mindful of small bits of time. Every little bit counts, and who better to know this but moms with full time jobs (side note: ummm how inspiring are moms!). I love this tip because it’s essentially about being kinder to yourself.

Love that she made time for coffee

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