Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baked Potato Soup - my 2nd attempt!

This is the 2nd time I've made potato soup & this was BY FAR the best recipe. I know I've blogged another recipe for it, but i remember thinking it was not the best potato soup I'd ever had. This, however, was pretty amazing! It was made in the crockpot & i know that's a bonus for some of you! ;) Seriously - DELICIOUS!

Baked Potato Soup
Southern Living Magazine "comfort foods" edition

6 large baking potatoes, peeled & cubed (about 3.75 pounds)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
3 (14 ounce) cans seasoned chicken broth with roasted garlic
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 cup whipping cream or half-&-half (i used whipping cream)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp shredded cheese
3 Tablespoons fresh chives

Toppings (optional): cooked & crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream (i didn't use any of these - it didn't need a thing!)

1 - Combine first 6 ingredients in a 5-quart slow cooker.
2 - Cover & cook on high 4 hours or on low 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
3 - Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped & soup is slightly thickened; stir in whipping cream, cheese & chives. Serve w/ desired toppings.

*my notes - i didn't have the chicken broth "with roasted garlic" so i just threw in some minced garlic. I also didn't have the chives. Everything else is the same. It was DELICIOUS!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the best days ever

So, i got a new question in my formspring box & i'm ashamed to say it's taken me FOREVER to answer it! Reason being that i just can't think of an answer for it! ;)

The question came from Patty at Fatty Patty No More. She asked,

"Other than your wedding day, what was your best day ever?"

The reason this simple question has proven so hard to answer is that I just don't know! I've had far too many wonderful days! And of course none stick out so much in my mind as my wedding day! The other best day ever was a day on my honeymoon, but i talked about that on a recent Fill in the Blank Friday! So i am afraid that for this question, i'll have to tell you my THIRD best day ever & i am pretty sure i should just pick another day on our honeymoon because seriously, i've had a lot of wonderful days but the honeymoon was pure bliss!!

This is becoming an answer to your question, even though it doesn't seem like it! ;)

My best day ever: 11.14.08 - Our Wedding Day

2nd best day ever: Passion Island on our honeymoon
This is Cozumel, right before we took a boat to Passion Island!

My 3rd best day ever would probably be 11.15.2008
My first full day as a wife!
This was at the bed & breakfast where we stayed the first 2 nights before our cruise... it was beautiful weather & it was quiet, just the two of us together in a cute little cottage with a cozy king size bed, a fridge full of yummy snacks & a jacuzzi tub. :)

The other "best days ever" would be the rest of the honeymoon! But I have so many other wonderful days that i remember, like the day Brad & I became an official couple & all the days of us just hanging out & having fun!

And i had PLENTY of fantastic days as a single woman, too, no doubt about it, but they can't compare to my life with my very best friend & soulmate!

I hope this somewhat answered your question, Patty! ;) Thanks for asking!! It brought me back to those wonderful days in the Carribbean! AHHHH! :)

Have a question? Ask it in that box in my sidebar!
P.S. Shayla, yours is next!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Funday - guy's version

I love Keely's Getting to Know You Sundays!! This week, she's having a guest blogger do it & it's a guy ...Ian at Daily Dose of Reality... so the questions are all from the mind of a man, as Keely put it!! Well, here we go! =)

1) Why did you start blogging?
Well, I had quit scrapbooking & wanted another way to journal my memories. I had been journaling on myspace & i was sick of myspace anyway & making the switch to Facebook. My friend Laura had started blogging here & i don't think it was too long before i joined in the fun!

2) Who is the one blog friend that you'd want to meet most in real life?
Well, Laura, of course! I always refer to her as my BBFF (best bloggie friend forever - haha). We've been reading each other's blogs for quite a few years now (on myspace & then here) & i consider her a very good friend even though we've never met in person!! But i also would love love LOVE to meet Nicole, Tiff, & Patti. And really, that's just getting started because i can think of several more easily that i'd also be thrilled to meet!

3) Why are you always concerned w/ losing those "extra 10 pounds" when chances are your husband/boyfriend/friend thinks you look great just the way you are?
I don't think this question really applies to me - i have a LOT more weight to lose than 10 pounds...try 100+! Thankfully, my husband does think i'm beautiful just the way i am! But whether you are 300 pounds or 110 pounds, it doesn't really matter what anyone tells you, you have to believe it & see it for yourself.

4) What's the one thing you wish guys could understand about you?
I can't think of anything b/c Brad understands me pretty well!! The only thing he doesn't get is that i do NOT like to talk in the mornings... but he's catching on!! (& honestly, i deserve it because he doesn't like talking at bedtime & that's when i get a bit chatty! HA!)

5) Tattoos. How many do you have & how many are visible when you wear your everyday clothes?
No tattoos here... they're not really "me" (though i've seen some cool ones)!  

6) What was the best year of your life & why?
I'm thinking this one may prove to be the best one!
Other than that, 2009. That was my first full year as a married woman & it was the BEST. Everyone says that first year is the hardest, if that is true then we have it made! HAHA. Actually it was hard in some ways (we were sick a lot more than usual, our cars & household appliances kept breaking down)! But it was still an awesome year just because we were together. (I know i got married in 2008, & that was the best day, but we didn't get married til late in the year & the rest of the year was filled with wedding planning - which was not my most favorite thing! HA!)

7) Name 3 things you would do if you were a man for a day?
I would take a shower & not worry about having to dry & style my hair.
I wouldn't shave.
I would eat what i wanted because my metabolism would be so much faster.

8) What's your alcoholic drink of choice that usually raises a few eyebrows?
I don't have one. I mean, i drink wine occasionally & it definitely doesn't raise any eyebrows!!

Your turn!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

a game, awards & a few shout-outs :)

I've gotten a few blog awards & such lately - so i'm going to do those here... hope it's ok if i cram them all into one blog post?? ;) Keep reading, i may have tagged you for one! HAHA. Please note that if i DID tag you in one, you don't really have to do it!! You can take part in whatever way you want to - whether that means 100% or just partly or by ignoring it entirely. ;) I know some of you recently got other awards & might wanna skip this one. It's up to you entirely. But i would like to give you a shout out so others visit your blog! That's how much i like you. ;)

Mkay. Here we go!

Jenna @ Jenna's Jargon tagged me in this fun little 5 Questions game!! If you haven't read her blog, you should, she is HILARIOUS & will have you cracking up!! Besides, you gotta see her pictures of her chocolate children (chocolate labs). =)

I have to give 5 answers to the following 5 questions & tag 5 people to do the same!!

1. Where were you 5 years ago?
one: i was 27 years old.
two: i had two part-time jobs - an actor & a maid. I performed in elementary schools 3 days a week & cleaned houses & nasty apartments 2 days a week.
three: i was completely single & thought i would die an old maid.
four: i was still a virgin & thought i would die that way. ;)
five: i was considering moving to NYC to go to acting school.

2. What is/was on your to-do list today?
one: breakfast w/ mom & dad
two: lunch w/ mom
three: pick out a "grownup" dresser for our bedroom!
four: do some laundry
five: feed the dog

3. What 5 snacks to you enjoy?
one: sour cream & onion baked lays
two: yellow golden delicious apples w/ peanut butter
three: wheat thins
four: frozen grapes
five: cuties
(yes, i really put all healthy-ish things. healthier than i used to eat, i mean. of course i LOVE chocolate chip cookies, but i don't eat them all that much anymore!)

4. Name 5 places you have lived?
one: the house i lived in from birth til age 9.
two: the house i lived in from age 9 to 21.
three: my first house on my own, with 3 roomies.
four: the apartment with my BFF Sarah.
five: the trailer i live in now w/ my hubby.
(lots of apartments mixed up between numbers 3 & 5!)

5. What 5 things would you do if you were a billionaire?
one: buy a house here.
two: buy a house in Florida & be generous with it (aka: let trustworthy friends use it for free when we're not using it).
three: fill my house with potterybarn furnishings.
four: hire a maid
five: i'm trying to decide between hiring a personal trailer or a masseuse. ;)

I am tagging:
one: mrs. b @ discovering wildlife
two: krystal @ Simple Four Letter Word
three: Jess @ All-American Jess
four: Sarah @ Steudlein's Party of Five
five: Shayla @ Sunshine & Sprinkles

In addition to being tagged in the above game, i was also given the Sugar Doll award & the Beautiful Blogger award. :)

The Sugar Doll Award was given to me by Patty at Fatty Patty No More.
The rules are:
1- thank the person who gave you the award
2- name five bloggers who make your life a little sweeter
3- tell why i was given this award
4- tell the nominees why you are giving them the award

Thank you, Patty, for your award to me!! =) Patty is a blog that i've recently begun reading & i am loving it! She is on a weight loss journey just like i am & she often leaves me sweet & encouraging comments. Thanks, Patty!

Patty's reason for giving this award to me is: "I am new to Melissa's blogs and find her to be so bright, bubbly and fun loving. I am totally going back and reading her archives too."
Thank you, Patty! You are so sweet!

The 5 blogs who definitely make my life a little sweeter are... (& WHY)...
1 - Laura @ Life Happens
Laura is my BBFF (Best Bloggie Friend Forever!). We met ages ago on myspace! Crazy! I can't wait to one day actually hang out w/ her in person! She is so real & genuine & very cool. Her photography skills rock, too! Love ya, Laura!!
2 - Ashley @ Queen Mom
Ashley is a real life friend from high school! We were in musical theatre class together. She is so sweet & relatable. I'm so glad she's started blogging. God is always giving her analogies to teach her more about Himself & they are awesome. She also has a BEAUTIFUL family!
3 - Tiff @ Project 365
This girl inspires me to pieces! Seriously! Oh wow. She is AMAZING! She is doing unbelievably well on her weight loss journey & i am so thankful for her posts! They have definitely taken part in helping me on my own journey.  
4 - Nicole @ Let Them Eat Lettuce
Nicole is hilarious & fun! I love reading about her journey to healthy living! She is a runner, too, something she never thought she'd be. LOVE this girl.
5 - Patti @ Emersyn Grace, Our Biggest Little Blessing & Less is More.
Patti is awesome. I love her blogs. Her first one is about family life & the Less is More one is her weightloss journey, which is inspiring & motivating me like crazy!! She is doing SO WELL on her journey & i really could take a few lessons from her (& i do!).

I also got the Beautiful Blogger Award from Laura at Life Happens! :) Thank you, Laura!!
I am supposed to share 7 things about me. I am also supposed to tag 15 bloggers, but i'm going to skip that part, because (1) i know Laura won't mind & (2) I just tagged 10 people already! HAHA.

7 Things About Me.
1. i wear contacts 80% of the time & glasses 20% of the time. I have my glasses on right now. I am really overdue for my next eye exam.

2. my husband is even more blind than i am. he also is overdue for an eye exam.

3. i have the cutest hubby & the cutest dog in the world.

4. i could get rid of my facebook but i could never stop blogging.

5. i secretly want to have a get together with several of the above mentioned bloggers. :)

6. When we got home last night, there was a dead bird by our back door. Brad said it may have flown into the door. I cried for it. :(

7. i am very interested in everything to do with film, tv, theatre. all the behind-the-scenes stuff is right up my alley.

Well, that was fun!! ;)

tired feet, happy heart

I am so excited! I had such a wonderful day!

Well, first i should mention last night... Brad & i had dinner at the new La Carreta on Bluebonnet. And then we saw the movie Alice in Wonderland. I was quite pouty at first because i wanted to see the 3D version - that was the WHOLE reason we went to the movies, otherwise i would have just rented it! But somehow we missed the 3D version. We were walking in & i asked the girl taking tickets if she had the 3D glasses & she said, "oh that's not the 3D version" - i was like "AWW" but we went anyway. I was actually a little whiny about it. ;) But Brad was like "come on, it's gonna be good anyway!" & it was! We really enjoyed it. Johnny Depp was AWESOME. It was cute. I liked it. (Still wish it was in 3D though HAHA.)

Also, we went to Barnes & Noble before the movie. But I spent the whole time flipping through a magazine & then we HAD to leave at the same time that i HAD to find a book. HAHA. I picked one by an author that i have never read before, Beverly Lewis. Please tell me she's good?! I usually hate historical fiction but i am trying it anyway. Then i get home & realize that i SURE did pick that out in way too big a hurry! It was #2 in a series!!! OOPS. So now i have to go back & get #1. I sure hope they're good! Brad & I had a wonderful time - i love him!!

And then today...

I haven't seen my parents in ages, it seems! This morning mom & i were going to go shopping all day. I need/want a new dresser & she is great at giving advice on that kind of stuff! But seeing my daddy for a few minutes was a nice surprise!

This morning as i was walking out the door to meet mom, she called & said that she was out with my dad running a couple of errands & did i want to meet them at BonBon's for breakfast. BonBon's is a cute little place that i had never been to. I said "of course" & was so glad she had that idea! First, got to catch up with both parents! Second, BonBon's turned out to be DELICIOUS! I wanted a "real" breakfast & that is what i got: scrambled eggs, grits, a biscuit & bacon! YUM! I had water with it because i'd already had a cup of coffee & that was enough for me. I usually hate grits but these were yummy!

Then mom & i went furniture shopping. WHEW! We WOULD go to the place that had THE dresser dead LAST! HAHA. We went to Home Furniture, Ashley Furniture, this other new furniture store by the mall (forgot the name of it), Hobby Lobby & Pier One. Nothing. A few "maybe's" but nothing that i LOVED (except at the wrong price). We decided to get lunch & we had one more store to go to before going home. We had lunch at Yvette Marie's Cafe, a place i LOVE that i have been dying to take mom too - it's very cute & artsy & i knew she'd love it! We had a wonderful hot-pressed grilled chicken sandwich, mmm! (I should have brought my camera today for blogging purposes!) :)

Then we stopped at Inventory Liquidators! I will do ALL future furniture shopping there! They get stuff from the other stores & sell it for cheaper. Seriously, some of the EXACT furniture we saw at Ashley for $700 was $400 here!! Some stuff we saw at Home Furniture for $400 was $200 here! AWESOME deals! So this is where i found the one i wanted!! I'm so excited! It will not be in for 2-3 weeks. But i'm super excited!!

I am going to save up & get the piece that matches it later.

I am going to take pics for you of the before & after! What we have in there now does the job (it holds our clothes), but it doesn't go with the bed & the nightstands. The new piece matches & is more grown-up. It kinda has that potterybarn look i love but can't afford!! (Let's be honest, everything i own from potterybarn was a wedding gift - except my bowls - i got those for my birthday. HAHA.) Totally my style - so this is that style w/o the scary price tag!! ;)

One day we will need new couches but i'm going to wait til we are ready to buy a house. We also could use a new table & chairs but i like what we have now okay. Mom is also looking for a new table & if she gets one she will give us hers. And i LOVE hers! Woohoo!

Anyway, it was a wonderful day & i'm so excited about our new dresser!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Meme No. 2

It's time for another of my favorite meme's - Fill in the Blank Friday! :)

This one is hosted by Lauren at the little things we do & if you have never visited her blog, you should, she is super cute! So, here we go! (And if you'd like to play, just go answer the below questions in your blog & then go to Lauren's blog & add your link to the blog hop! :)

1. The best piece of advice I was ever given was to always forgive instantly. That what what you do not forgive, you become. That forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you but for your own freedom. That if you don't forgive others, God won't forgive you. Basically, the importance of forgiveness. :)

2. If i had a million dollars to give to one charity, i would give it to the Los Angeles Dream Center. I went with some friends to do missions with them & seriously - they are AMAZING.

3. If i got to choose my last meal it would be ...gosh this is hard...probably a good ol' country meal, like my mother-in-law's fantastic breakfasts, or like my mama's roast with gravy & veggies. :)

4. My hair is thick, blonde, & wavy (unless i've used a flat iron)

5. If at first you don't succeed, Try Try Again. :)This is the phrase that was going through my brain over & over again when I was starting my weightloss blog. I'd been at that journey too many times in life & i always failed. I realized this time that it was not really a lifestyle change if i quit. And that i would succeed if i tried again & never gave up! So that's what i'm doing now. And i know that i will succeed! :)

6. I have always been pretty shy. Some people do not believe this because i "seem" to be outgoing & because i love to act & sing in front of an audience! But that's different. Meeting a stranger, going on an interview, visiting a church, auditioning, introducing myself to the new person - all these things are quite intimidating for me! I try to push past that & do these things anyway though!

7. Oh & by the way I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland tonight with my hubby - finally! We're also going to a new location of our favorite restaurant! Yipee!

Your turn. :)

Friday Meme No. 1

Today is Friday - & that means 5 Question Friday!


1. Did you pass your driver's test on the first try?

The driving part, yes.
The written part, no.

i didn't study a lick! i studied the second time & passed. :)

2. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I have many. But this one always will be the big one!

i was a freshman in high school & my sister was a senior. For whatever reason, i had decided to sleep on the couch that night (no CLUE why - i guess the embarrassing part is so ingrained in my mind that i forgot why i was in the living room in the first place!). Anyway, i thought only my parents & sister were in the house & that my sister's boyfriend had already gone home. How wrong i was! I decided the living room was also an appropriate place to change clothes, since everyone was asleep. My sister's bf chose that moment to decide to go home. In mid-change, my sister's boyfriend walked through the living room. Oh the horrors! And this is even more embarrassing than it sounds because of how exposed i was! EEK! His reaction was to turn bright red, stuff his hands in his pockets & march quickly through the room, mumbling "goodnight". HA.

3. What TV show would you like to be on? Oprah, The Biggest Loser, or What Not To Wear?
Well, obviously, Oprah because that would likely mean they were giving me a house as a surprise or sending me on a vacation. Or maybe it means i just wrote a book or became a broadway star?! ;)

I'd also be okay with, like Mama M said, dressing as horribly as possible so that Stacy & Clinton could give me some fashion advice, a huge shopping spree & a free hairdo & makeup!

I actually COULD be on The Biggest Loser, but would rather NOT. Couldn't be away from hubby that long & would rather lose weight the way i am doing it... no sense in it being COMPLETE torture! ;)

4. Would you ever get plastic surgery? And what kind?

I kind of feel the same way about plastic surgery as i do about tanning beds. Which means, NO WAY!!! Though CERTAIN kinds, i think are understandable.

5. What are your favorite jeans to wear?
I have 3 pair of jeans all from Lane Bryant. One is too big, one is too tight & one is just right. So the just right ones are naturally my favorites.

YOUR TURN! Head on over to Mama M's!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Weekend!

I am so excited it's already Friday!! & guess what? We're OFF next Friday! For Good Friday. HOORAY!

Hubby & i are going on a date tomorrow night! I've been wanting to see Alice in Wonderland & it dawned on me that i better do that soon or it won't be in theatres anymore. This is one of those that i'd like to see in 3D at the theatre! So we're going tomorrow. We're going to meet at our favorite restaurant, La Carreta first. We haven't gone there in FOREVER - & they just opened one near the movie theatre we like. So, we're going to the new La Carreta & to see Alice in Wonderland. We'll spend a little time in Barnes & Noble in between. And then come home.

Saturday i have a date with my mom! I'm happy. We used to do lunch or shopping trips all the time & we haven't in SOOO long! I miss her! My mom is the best decorator & she's really really good at finding stuff that is not as expensive as it looks! ;) Really nice stuff for a good price. Well, i'm looking to buy a new dresser for our room. I can't wait! So we're going to go furniture shopping on Saturday! I can't wait! Definitely excited about the dresser, but also excited about lunch & time with my mom! ;)

And then Sunday - church & relaxation. :)

It's gonna be a great weekend!

Now, if i can just make it through an 8 hour workday. Funny i complain about that & then remember my nurse friends - a 12 hour shift might kill me!! Ok, maybe not, because it's 12 hours on your feet as opposed to 8 hours sitting at a computer?? I don't know. But all i'm saying is, i can't wait for the weekend to officially begin!!

BTW, i'm dying to go to the beach & we are now planning a beach trip! It's actually my parents planning it but we are going to join them - me, brad, my sister & our parents. I love beach trips with the fam & we haven't gone on one in quite a few years. AHHHHH, cannot wait. Won't be until August or September! But i'm excited!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

my dream roles

So today I'm going to answer another question i got on formspring... another theatre related one! YAY! I have another one after that too, sorry if it's taking me awhile to get to your question!

But first, i think that in light of these theatre related questions - i should tell you about the dream i had the night before last.

I dreamed that i was going into a building (that i've never been in before) to report for a production i was going to be managing (i'm assuming it was film which i've never done - so do they call that stage managing? or film managing? HA!). Anyway - i got there & went into a room to put my stuff down & got a text that said, "Matthew McConaughay will be there in ten minutes." In my dream, i expected that so apparently i knew he was in the show - but the text made me get a HUGE smile on my face... so i put my stuff down & then headed back where ever i had come from & entered this room & guess who was in there? Amy Adams! She was putting her stuff down & she looked up when i opened the door & i said "hey" & she said "hi!" She was so nice! HAHAHA.

And i guess you'd think that i'd be more ecstatic about the Matthew part - & don't get me wrong - he is way cool! HAHA & cute! BUT - i was more thrilled about Amy Adams. Because i ADORE her. I want to BE her. She gets GREAT roles in films and she often gets to work with Meryl Streep! HAHA.

ANYWAY. On to the question!

If you could take the lead role in any stage production, what would it be?

Oooh, thank you for this question!

Gosh - this one is so hard because there are so many shows i'd love to be a part of! BUT...i typically lean towards NON-lead roles. I mean, actors are stage hogs & love to get more lines, more solos, etc! And i'm no different! HAHA. But - i just love the supporting roles... they are usually more fun - either FUNNY or EVIL in some way! You know what i mean? Like my role as Little Becky Two Shoes - she was evil. But i would not mind doing that show again & play Penelope Pennywise - she was more of a lead role in that show than Little Becky & she was quite evil! HAHAHA!

There are 3 plays that i would LOVE to be in -

1) Guys & Dolls
2) Chicago
3) Steel Magnolias

Guys & Dolls - Adelaide

I was in Guys & Dolls in high school. But one of my dream roles is ADELAIDE. She is ADORABLE & cutesy & it's SUCH a fun role. I could not have done this back in high school even if i had auditioned for it. I could do it now as far as the acting & singing, but not as far as the dancing - & really i would want to lose some more weight before even auditioning for this! But i did once use her song "a person can develop a cold" (forgot the real name of it) for an audition (it was awful - i was so nervous that i forgot the words. but anyway!) - i would love to play her in the future! (Btw, that is Lauren Graham from the Gilmore Girls as Adelaide! I totally forgot she played that role on Broadway! This makes me happy!)

Chicago - Roxie Hart

I love this musical. It is AWESOME. I saw it at BRLT & it was a show i wasn't working - so i got to sit in the audience for it. It was SUPERB. I loved it. I would play any role in it but again, i'd need to get in shape b/c it is a dance heavy show! Anyway, i'd love to play Velma Kelly, Roxie Hart or Mama! & i could do Mama anyway because that ones not really a dance role. But i think i'd probably be best suited for Roxie (once in shape)! Yes, i realize all my dream roles are blondes! Total coincidence! HAHA.

Steel Magnolias - Clairee

I stage managed Steel Magnolias at BRLT & it was, hands down, my favorite stage managing experience. It was a lot more fun than work. I remember during casting asking the director, "do you think we'll end up with 6 wonderful sweet women or 6 catty diva women?!" The director laughed & said, "ohhh, probably some of both!" HAHA - BUT - lucky us, we got 6 wonderful sweet fun cool women. I loved every one of them.

This is at the cast party - me, my asst stage manager Jordan (in the maroon shirt) & the costumer (i forgot his name! standing behind me) & the entire cast. Clairee is standing next to costume guy.

ANYWAY - i went into it thinking i'd love to one day play M'Lynn or Ouiser, but as the show went on, i realized i'd LOVE to play Clairee! However, i am WAY TOO YOUNG for this role - in about 20 years, if i hear of someone putting it on, i'm auditioning!!! HAHA. But i'd be thrilled to play Ouiser or M'Lynn as well (two old for the other two roles! Though maybe i could pass for a Shelby!?) HAHA.

So that's it - 3 of my dream roles! Thanks for the question! It was a fun topic!!

If you have a question for me, ask it in that box in my sidebar. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

my theatre background

So, as mentioned in my last blog post, i had two more questions waiting for me at formspring. Both theatre-related questions! I love it! I love theatre, acting, & anything even semi-related! (Pretty much anything in the arts category!) Answering questions about my PASSION sounds wonderful! I was planning on answering both in the same post, but the first question got pretty long...so i'll answer the other one in another post! That alright?

And i'm sorry - i seem to have answered more than you actually ASKED! I got a little bit carried away, going down memory lane!

1 - I know you love acting, what made you have such a passion for it? How old were you when you started acting?
OLD. HAHA just kidding. But i didn't get involved in the community theatres until i was 26.

I've always loved acting, as in - i would perform, direct & choreograph in front of the mirror to my Psalty tapes when i was a kid (What? You don't know who Psalty is? HELLO! Psalty the Singing Songbook!!!!) HAHA. I did some acting in little plays & skits at church growing up, but that's about it. Until high school. There was an audition only class called Musical Theatre. I was in that class in 10th, 11th & 12th grades. I had really small roles in the musicals because i was too chicken to try out for the lead roles! But at least i had the guts to audition for the class! HA!

For about 10 years, i didn't do anything with acting. I was REALLY missing it. I wanted to be an actress. It had been a passion throughout my life but i'd never really pursued it. To be honest with you, I'd always thought that christians had no part in that kind of career. But later i began to believe that was a lie! Of course Christians could be involved in theatre! :) In late 2005 I began reading books on how to make it as an actor. I would sit for hours in Barnes & Noble reading. And every book advised you to get started in your local theatre - to (a) see if it's REALLY what you wanted to do & (b) get some training. It was right after this that i realized that the drive-thru guy at starbucks (my boss was sending me on almost daily runs to starbucks at that time, so i was getting chatty with the starbucks people) was performing in Annie Get Your Gun at the local theatre. I got all excited & told him i'd go see it. I got my mom & sister to come with me. In the very opening number of that show, i had tears in my eyes. Not because it was a sad moment. But because i wanted to be up there. I was MEANT to be up there. I walked out of that theatre, into the lobby, & saw a huge sign for auditions for their summer musical, Beauty & the Beast. I said, "i'm going to be in that show."

Now, i wasn't someone who was FULL of confidence & i'm not even one of those fully motivated, go-out-and-get-'em kinda people! I'm usually shy & have a hard time pursuing things like this. But i wanted it SO BAD. I auditioned - & i was cast as a villager & placemat in Beauty & the Beast. I was SO excited!!! I cannot even tell you - you would have thought i'd won the lottery! I was amazed because over 200 people had auditioned & only 40 would be cast, including the lead roles. I remember running thru the halls of my workplace when the cast list was posted on their website. I was laughing & saying, "I MADE IT! I MADE IT!" My boss hugged me & sent me home saying, "There's no way you'll get any work done this excited!"

I had no clue then that BRLT would become one of my FAVORITE places in the years to come. So i was in B&B that summer. i made LIFELONG friends. I don't know when i decided that i didn't want to do film after all - theatre was where i wanted to be!

This is me in my placemat costume! Looking worn out! Sorry it's the only pic i have!! Didn't take enough pics back then! & the date is wrong!

After that i auditioned for My Fair Lady. I was not cast, but i didn't want to leave that place! So i worked backstage, which is something i never thought i'd do!! The next show, Mousetrap, they asked me if i would Asst Stage Manage. I had NO CLUE what i was doing, but i said yes. That is when i fell in love with the backstage aspect of theatre as well.

Decemer of 2006 i was in my second show, A Christmas Carol. I had some lines in this one! ;) It was a WONDERFUL TIME. (Although i do remember me & 2 others missing an entrance & skipping our ENTIRE SCENE. Worst theatre moment EVER.)

That's me, the blonde. I couldn't get any other pics to post!

Then i did a lot more stage managing... & then i got a PAID job as an actor with Playmaker's touring company. It was really awesome because (1) it was with three others who i had the majority of scenes with in A Christmas Carol - so we'd already become great friends & (2) it was PAID!!! During the day, we traveled to elementary schools in our state & put on a show! Great fun! Best job ever! Sadly, it was only a temporary job! But i have sooo many great memories from this show!

The cast of Sheriff Riley's Spankin New Duds (in costume):
David, Me, Christian & Molly - i miss these guys!!!!

After that was more non-stop stage managing. Which i LOVE. :) The next show i was in was Urinetown, the musical. This was my favorite role ever! And yes, you read that right: URINETOWN. It is a HILARIOUS show about a town that has to PAY to PEE. It is very well written & hilarious. I got cast as supporting role, Little Becky Two Shoes. This role stretched me as an actor, i learned SO much & improved a lot, i think. I loved it!

Michael Ruffin (who was also in this show & who was the Starbucks guy i mentioned in the beginning!) took this photo! These were our headshots - us in character with our real names - & they were posted along the wall in the lobby. I had mine matted & framed. But yeah, that would be Little Becky Two Shoes!

This shot & the next one were taking during production. This is right before i kill the police officer next to me (good friend Tim Callais - who you WILL see on Broadway one day!)

Little Becky Two Shoes & Hot Blades Harry (our characters were bf/gf). We had a song together & were plotting to kill the lead character! HAHA. & yes, i'm sweating!

Then i was in one more show. i can't even believe i did this one!! It also stretched me as an actress! HA! I played Ruby Rae in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas...YES, i was one of the whores! This show was great fun, too, but VERY difficult! I had to learn some choreography & that is not easy for someone as out of shape as i was(am)! I did manage to get my steps down pat & thankfully didn't get booted from the dance routines! I had a couple lines & i had a solo. It was a fun time! Try not to hate on these photos - they are not as naughty as they may seem! HA!

Me as Ruby Rae

Another of me as Ruby Rae!

HAHAHA - i could not resist - i also had a short scene where i played one of the townspeople. Like my big Texas hair - it has a mullet too! This is me fervently praying for them to shut down the whorehouse! (Reinacting - this is actually in the dressing room.)

So that was the last show i was IN! After that i co- stage managed The Producers & then i went on a long break to finish planning my wedding & to enjoy married life! When i came back i missed Stage Managing... i love it just as much as performing, just in different ways. They are both very enjoyable & fulfilling to me! So i have done a good bit of SMing since i've been back. I do want to act again - not sure when that will be, but i can't wait!

I am sorry i MORE than answered your question! If you skimmed a lot, that's fine, but hopefully you at least enjoyed looking at the pictures!! ;)

My next question has to do with my dream role...& I have another one too! So i will answer soon! If you have a question for me, type it in that box in my sidebar! & be sure to leave your name/link if you want me to put your link in my post!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blogger Pet Peeves

Well, i did kinda hint that i wanted someone to ask me what my pet peeves are here in blogland. Laura at Life Happens asked me...thanks, Laura! So here we go!

Q: What are your blogger pet peeves?? :)
A: I am not trying to complain but there are some things that drive me crazy! Some are just things other bloggers do (not intentionally) & some are things that have to do with blogger itself. Maybe google will read this & fix it?! Or maybe nothing's wrong & i just don't know what the heck i'm doing! ;) I'll try to get through this quickly & painlessly!

1. I heart Trebuchet.
I like writing my posts in the Trebuchet font. I don't know why. I just like it. But all the time, sometimes multiple times in a post, it will switch back to Times New Roman. I end up having to highlight paragraphs & go back to change it to Trebuchet. Why does it do this?! I mean, if i start a post in Trebuchet it should STAY that way unless its told otherwise! Yes, i know that i obviously have my default font on the wrong one, but i've gone into settings & looked everywhere. I thought i changed it to Trebuchet but obviously it didn't work out. Now that i'm writing this, i'm feeling silly - i probably just didn't look hard enough...

2. Computer freakout.
This is obviously something wrong w/ my computer... (see it just went back to Times. Let me fix that...) As i was saying, this computer freakout is something i haven't told anyone - i should have mentioned it to my husband but he'd probably freak out himself & say there's a virus on my computer or something! HA! (He can be a little paranoid about those types of things - (Haha, jk love ya honey!!!). Anyway, i noticed this when i FIRST started blogging & it still happens. Today i was going to take a screenshot of it to show you here but go figure, it didn't happen today. Which is a miracle.

But i will go through the blogs i read on my dashboard & comment on them as i like. And sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes more... after i comment on someone's blog, & x out of that post, the page i'm on starts opening new windows all over the place. New tabs, i mean. Am i making sense here, b/c i'm explaining this with as much computer terminology as i know how, which isn't much. HAHA! Anyway, at the top, i start getting all these new tabs & if i don't hit control/alt/delete then i will have hundreds of new tabs. All it says in the address part is "about:" something (i forget what now)& i just keep getting new tabs! It's insanity! And so i'm furiously ctrl/alt/deleting & sometimes that works but closes all my windows - even if i'm in the middle of something! it's CRAZY, y'all! And can't be good. I used to think it was something wrong w/ the particular blog i'd just commented on - b/c for awhile it'd ONLY happen on CERTAIN friend's blogs & not on other certain ones. But now it happens ALL the time!!! There are maybe 2 of you that it doesn't happen after i comment on your blog, but mostly it's very random & it's happened after i've commented on most of your blogs. I don't get it at all! It's crazy! Sometimes the ctrl/alt/del thing will work, but other times i have to just restart my computer. NOT COOL. Any idea? No? Wierd, i know.

3. Giveaways.
This doesn't annoy me TOOOO much - i mean i don't think about it all the time or anything. But i do not participate in giveaways where i have to jump thru hoops to get to participate. I like the sweet ones that are like "just leave a comment"  & i also don't mind the ones that say "you get an extra entry if you leave another comment" or whatever. But all this "tweet this" & "make this your facebook status" & "mention me in your blog" & comment once you've mentioned me in your blog" & "comment again if you are a follower" & "comment again telling me which item you'd like most" - seriously - i'll just not join the giveaway. Which i'm sure is fine to all of you, but i'm just saying!! I don't like all the hoops! Especially because most of them have to do w/ comments & if you read my peeve #2, you konw i shouldn't be leaving oodles of comments! HAHA! All that said, you guys are awesome for doing giveaways - i want to do one too soon but just haven't thought of anything cool to give away!! I'm thinking about it... :)

4. Commenters - i'd like to reply to your comment, but can't...
Ok, others have posted about this before. But i guess it's my turn because i'm finding that there are FAR more bloggy friends that don't know about this than the ones that do! See, I have my account set to where it sends me an email when somebody comments on my blog. Many times I would like to respond to that comment through email. Why? Well, it's easier. But the main reason is because I can make sure the person will see the comment. In the past, before i knew about this, I would just reply to that person on the post. But how do i know the person will see it? How will i know they will remember to come back to the post just to see if i replied?! Used to, i'd comment on your blog & maybe ask a question, but if i didn't remember to go back to your blog then i'd never see what you had to say!

So, i have learned that when i get that email telling me someone has commented, i can hit "reply" & their email will come up. So i just answer their comment in an email. But sometimes i hit "reply" & i get this: noreply-comment@blogger.com. This means that the person i'd like to respond to does not have their email address in their blogger profile, so i can't respond to their comment that way.

So many of you have missed out on responses from me! I'll hit "reply" & see that "noreply" thing & just delete it.

I understand why people don't put their email. Maybe you don't want to be notified by email when you got a comment (i did the same thing in the beginning). Or maybe you don't want people to have access to your email.

But there's also the possibility that you just didn't know that people were doing it this way! And that it's so much better! (Promise.) So maybe...try it out...for a week or so??

I feel like this made no sense. I tried to explain it well!!!

If you'd like to do what i'm talking about then just go to Settings. Then click on Comments. Then scroll all the way to the bottom where it says "comment notification email" - enter your email address there & click "save settings". I think that is all you have to do! And then you will start getting your comments via email. Maybe you like just checking your blog for the comments better (i used to prefer that way too) but you're really missing out on some replies to your comments this way! When you get a comment from me thru your email, you can hit reply in your email & respond to my comment. You don't have to, but you can! & it's cool!

That's really it, for the most part i LOVE blogger!!!! I love all the friends i've made & journaling about our life. It's just that if these things changed, blogger would improve dramatically! ;)

So that's it for the peeves. There may be more & i may remember them soon as i hit publish, but oh-well! HAHA. Of course, nobody likes mean commenters, but so far i've been pretty lucky in that area (thankfully). :) Just thought i'd share these & maybe you could shine some light on the first 2 peeves! And maybe you'll join in the email thing?!

If you have a question for me, ask it in that box in my sidebar! I am loving it! I have two more new questions about Theatre!! YEAH! Can't wait to get to those! Tomorrow!


Meatloaf & Taters

These recipes came from my latest Southern Living magazine. I made this Saturday night for dinner & it was a hit. I've made meatloaf before but this one was even better! And the mashed potatoes were good, too!

Gonzales Meatloaf

2 lb. ground sirloin
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sized red onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded & chopped*
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese*
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro*
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons hot sauce
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp pepper

*I didn't have the cilantro, so we went w/o it. I also didn't have the monterey jack cheese, so i used what i had, which was about 1 cup shredded parmesan & 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella...it was delicious! And i didn't have the cherry tomatoes, but i did have canned diced tomatoes, so i used about 3 Tablespoons of that!

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients. Shape into a 9x5 inch loaf & place on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan (I didn't do this either - i just put it in a casserole dish but shaped it like the loaf. It was fine.)

2. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes; increase oven temperature to 425, and bake 15 to 25 more minutes or until done. Let meatloaf stand 10 minutes before serving.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3.5 pouns Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/2 cups warm buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 tsp. pepper

1. Saute garlic in hot oil in a dutch oven over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water, chicken broth, potatoes & 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat & cook 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

2. Drain potatoes & return to dutch oven. Add buttermilk, butter, pepper & remaining 1 tsp salt. Mash potatoes with a large fork or potato masher to desired consistency. Garnish with butter & freshly cracked pepper if desired.

*Note: I didn't think it was that great when i was finished, i added a splash of heavy whipping cream & a dash of salt & it was perfect. :)


Sunday Funday

I am up early on a Sunday - we're going to church but still, we stayed up late-ish last night & i could have slept a whole 'nother hour, at least!

So i'm kinda early on my Getting to know YOU post - usually do not have time til later in the day. Kinda fun way to start the day off! I love Keely's meme. You should join in... just answer the below questions in your own blog & then head on over to MannLand5 to add your link to the blog hop!

1. What year did you graduate high school?

2. What part of your body do you neglect the most?
erm, hmm, i guess my hands? Because i bite my nails with not even the slightest bit of concern & no desire to stop doing it, and they only get manicures for special occasions. (Though i do put lotion on them when they're dry.) I could have said feet but they get pedicures semi-regularly.

3. Beach house or lake house?
Ohhhh, beach house!!! I mean, lake would be good too, i wouldn't complain. But i'd just LOVE a house on the beach!!!

4. Mac or PC?
I have a PC. I think Macs are awesome though. But no plans to get one anytime soon.

5. Did you wear braces?
Yep - for 2 1/2 years, i think.

6. If you could be one person for a day - living or deceased - who would it be?
I"m gonna go with Amy Adams. She gets some amazing roles as an actress...and gets to work with Meryl Streep!

7. How many times have you moved in your life?
Only once growing up - when i was 9. But man, my 20's?! Nothing but moving! Yeah, i moved out of my parent's at 21 & moved in with Brad when we got married at 30.
Moved 6 times in between that (including back to my parents for a year). So that's a total of 9 times.

8. Would you rather cook or clean?
Cleaning? Not so much. I'll do it, but i'd love to have a maid come in every couple of weeks! :)

Your turn! & Happy Sunday!

Questions from Krystal...

I got a couple more questions from Krystal at A Beautiful Life. Krystal is my newest blog friend - i love reading her blog. She is really cool, you should go check it out (plus she's engaged to be married, so send her some well wishes!!) ;)

Here are my questions from Krystal.

1. What kind of camera do you advise a beginner buying?
Um...wow...really? LOL. I was kinda surprised (& a little confused!) at this question, because well, i have no clue about anything having to do with photography, really. I mean i've always loved taking picures, but i have only just recently gotten really interested in photography. Right now i just have point & shoot. It's a Kodak EasyShare C913. I like it;  it's a good little camera. I've also recently gotten onto paint.net & learned a few things about editing & my pics are starting to look better because i'm paying more attention when i take the picture & i'm doing more editing.

So i'm interested in photography as well & i am saving up to get a Canon Rebel which i hear is WONDERFUL! My bloggie friends Laura & Jenna (who are more into photography and take awesome pics!) have one of those & i'll be bugging them a lot asking them questions when i finally do get mine!

On to your other question...

2. Other than God & your husband, are there any other people in your life who have influenced you greatly?
Ah, yes.
Of course, there are many who have shaped & transformed me to become the woman i am today. But the main one - the one with the most positive impact on my life was my youth pastor growing up, Pastor Ron Erickson. I was bigtime involved in our church & youth group when he came. He moved to our church to be our youth pastor when i was in 9th grade. He remained my youth pastor throughout my youth years, & was still considered my pastor as i got older & was serving in that youth group as one of the youth leaders. And then i later was what they called "youth advisor" (really the same as youth leader, just older with more responsibilities). I also attended his college/career group, & learned a TON about God's word during that time. I learned so much through his ministry. He left that church in 2006 & began his own church. So he was a HUGE part of my life for about 13 years.

Bro Ron taught me a LOT about the word of God. I have so many journals filled with notes from his sermons...the man could PREACH! i learned so much through his teaching, especially in his college & career class. I was never bored (which is saying a lot for me!) & always left with my mind BURSTING with all i had learned out of God's Word. But really, the main impact he had in my life was during some tough times as a teenager. I do not know where in the world i would be today without his influence & support & encouragement during the hardest years of anyone's life - those awful teen years! I had almost no self-esteem & he is the one responsible for helping me to build up my confidence. He encouraged me, counseled me through some tough situations & he was there for me. The main lesson i learned from him was about the importance of FORGIVENESS. I have taught lessons on that topic at a home for troubled girls and I have used his words of wisdom in explaining forgiveness to friends. My philosophy in life is "Always Forgive Instantly" & it is truly an important lesson that i learned from him! I was on my way to becoming a very bitter woman & if it were not for his influence in this area, there's no telling where i'd be today. I certainly would not have the blessed life that i have!

I thank God he was in my life & even though i don't see him that much anymore, I am always thinking of him & his family & wishing them well. =) (Thank you, Bro Ron & family!)

Great questions, Krystal! Thanks!!
I have two more questions that i will answer in upcoming blog posts.