Monday, June 30, 2014

Beach Baby, Your Inner Weirdo & #GIRLBOSS

I think there's something you should know about me. I love Mondays. There! I said it. Secret's out.

Mondays excite and invigorate me. I get more done on Monday than any other day of the week, and most importantly, I get it done while feeling enthused and motivated and inspired. I know there's this cult feeling about Mondays that they suck, right? I've seen your pinterests, instagrams and facebook posts about it. If where you're heading on Monday morning, or what you're up to, does not make you want to throw confetti and have dance parties, then take that as a sign to start deciding what does make you want to throw a party to solely celebrate the start of the work week. And then start moving toward that.

Here's something else you should know about me: I love the beach. Oh I love it so much! I'm open to any and all beaches, and have enjoyed sand all up in my life everywhere from California beaches to Florida beaches to Maine beaches, with many in between. But I will tell you what, and this is coming from a girl who seriously loves the Pacific Coast (SoCal! NorCal! The NorthWest! and I don't mean Kayne's baby!) and Florida (summer thunderstorms are my favorite and Florida does warm rain right), there ain't no place like the Jersey Shore.

Am I completely biased? Yes. Did I grow up on these beaches? Yes. Does my Aunt have a home that I sneak off to as much as possible in the summer? Yes. But this is my blog so my biased butt is claiming Jersey beaches to be the best.

While soaking up rays this weekend, I finally joined the bandwagon and began to read #GIRLBOSS. This book is no joke. Sophia Amoruso went from being flat broke, unemployed, uninsured, and virtually doing nothing with her life to running the $150 million dollar brand and shop that we know and love as Nasty Gal. All in less than 8 years. Plus, girlfriend is 30. She's basically a newborn in the business world, and has no formal business training.

She blended listening to herself, trusting her gut, staying authentic to herself, and just doing the damn thing (aka taking action) into the most delicious life cocktail ever.

The reason I read books like this is to remind myself that not only is it doable but that my weird, artsy, non-rule following, dream chasing, action taking self is actually wonderfully made for greatness. There is something super weird about me that makes me a brilliant business owner and creative freak. Many days I pick on myself about these qualities, and I'm even known to whine about how I wish I was 'normal' (doesn't exist) once in awhile. But at the end of the day, I'm super stoked to be able to read a book like this and not even flinch when she mentions finding people and items off of Craigslist, hiring employees from things like Instagram feeds, and taking risk after risk. If this is the kind of place being weird takes me, then heck yes. Bring it on.

And this is true for all of us. We all have special things about us that make us exactly the right fit for the kind of life we desire. Isn't that so cool? You are already equipped with personality traits, quirks, and fascinating thoughts or skills that align with your greatness. It's just a matter of whether or not you choose to shove them aside, hide them in fear or doubt, or grab hold of them like they are the last bottle of coconut water and it is hotter than hell outside, waving them around in the air shouting 'look what I have, look what I have!'.

So, friends, I come to you with two questions:
1. Does Monday make you want to wear a cape, pop on a tiara, and eat cake for breakfast?
2. How can you use your unique qualities to better your life and go after your dreams?

While you're leaving your answers in the comments, tell me where your favorite beach is, k? Cool, love you, mean it, peace out beach bums.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Choosing Your Train Car

When the train slowly came to a halt and it's doors opened, we all piled on as per usual. In less than two seconds, deep sighs were heard as we all simultaneously realized the air conditioning was not working on this particular car of the train. There were words muttered under breath, curses, and general displeasure as every one began to sweat.

Here's where it gets interesting: as the train pulled up to the next station, I noticed most people taking a seat and accepting the gross, starting-to-smell, frustrated car they happened to choose that day. And I noticed this while I walked off of it and on to the car next to us. Which was delightfully air conditioned.

I couldn't help but make the connection to life. Why do we keep ourselves on the smelly, gross, hot car when there is a perfectly wonderful, cool, inviting car next to us? Is it fear that we'll go to the next car and it will be even worse? Is it self-pity taking charge, letting us be all "woe is me" for the moment? Is it classic self-sabotage saying we clearly can't have it all and must suffer? I'm not sure, but whatever it is, it's pretty silly.

You are meant for a life of awesome, not a life filled with settling for whatever you happened to stumble upon. That particular car is not your fate, it's just the car you happened to walk onto. Struggle, suffering, frustration, disappointment and anger are not your truth, it's just what you happen to stumble into from time to time. You are able, at any point, to get off of the car you are currently stuck on and move to one where you're happier.

So, are you keeping yourself on a smelly, sad, frustrated car on the train of life? Or are you perusing all of them until you find one that works best for you?

Enjoy your weekend, friends :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Be It

You are going to have days where you want to do nothing. That's okay, embrace it.

There are going to be times where you want to spend the entire day in bed, lounging and watching terrible reality tv shows. That's okay, indulge in it.

There are going to be nights where you can't get your work done no matter how much you force yourself to keep typing. That's okay, release it.

There are going to be times where you're being unbearably hard on yourself to finish, or start, something. That's okay, forgive it.

You are going to look at your to-do list, and look to your running shoes, and look to your couch, and find yourself ignoring both the list and the shoes. That's okay, revel in it.

We are not here to get everything done or be the most productive human beings possible.
We're here to enjoy the experience. And sometimes, enjoying the experience of life means doing very little else except being. That's okay, be it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mustard Seed Sessions: Interview with Stephanie of The Loudmouth Lifestyle

I'm so excited to share this interview with Stephanie Shar from The Loudmouth! Steph is bold, talented, and carving out a path for herself in one of my favorite cities, Los Angeles. 
Make sure to check out her blog, instagram, and e-book to get more Steph in your life!

1. What's a day in your life like?

As a writer/blogger/shop owner/aspiring model/soon-to-be consultant, every day is a little different!  But, it goes something like this... I usually wake around 7 or 8 when my boyfriend gets up for work, and I don't actually start anything serious until 9. During these early morning hours, I take my time eating breakfast while checking my phone, social media, email and my favorite blogs. I try to respond to everything ASAP so that I don't forget, because I tend to do that.  After that I'll normally work on something easy like a just-for-fun post, link roundup or guest post. Around 11 I really get down to business, and then in the afternoon I'll take a long break to nap, take a walk or run errands.  If I just stay in the house all day on my computer, I get crazy.  I go back to writing around 4 and work diligently until 8.  After that I'll read, hang out with the boyf and relax.  Now that I'm pregnant I get tired super early and usually head to bed around 9 or 10!  I wrote all about my daily schedule here.

2. What prompted you to start your blog?

I've wanted to write for a living since I was 7, but I never knew exactly what to write.  I went from short stories and poetry, to novels, to scripts and sketches.  I finally discovered blogging in 2010 and started The Loudmouth Lifestyle, which started as a fashion blog, but now focuses on self-help, self-love and living to the fullest!  It's the perfect place to fulfill my goals of inspiring and empowering women, and I've recently begun writing e-books as well.

3. Is your business/blog your full time job? If not, what else do you do? If yes, how long were you doing it before it became full time?
I am proud to say that it's now my full-time job, though getting to this point hasn't been easy!  I've been publicly blogging since 2010, but I've been writing in general for the last 20 years!

4. What would you tell your 20-year old self?
I would tell her to get cracking on your dreams sooner than later. :) I don't think it's ever too late, though sometimes I do wish I had started earlier.  I just didn't have the confidence. 

5. What's the worst job you've ever had?
Fortunately, my past jobs haven't been too bad, but I have had to deal with some mean bosses.  One of them was sexist, racist and wouldn't give us breaks.  He also almost fired me for wearing jewelry with my uniform.  Now, I get to wear sweatpants and eat at my computer!

6. What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?

It was from my dad. I was a teenager and I had a huge crush on a boy that didn't give two shits about me. My dad told me, “don't ever put more effort into a relationship than the other person.” Even though he said those words so long ago, I learned that on my own, over and over again, the hard way. I am the type of person who sometime cares TOO much about other people and can forget about myself. I've become more selfish, in a good way. You need to have a healthy balance of love for yourself and others. This can be applied to business, too -- if you have a business partner and you're putting in more effort than they, something needs to change.
7. What's the hardest part about pursuing a "non-traditional" career? The best part?
The hardest part, for me, is the fact that most of my friends and family are more traditional.  A lot of them don't really "get" what I'm doing and it's difficult to explain or earn their support.  I've always been a pretty independent person, and that's been really helpful in starting my own business, since I don't have a team backing me up.  That leads me to the next question -- I love working for myself!  Though I plan to someday higher a photographer, videographer, and office assistant, it's not possible right now and I am totally okay with that.  I'm learning a lot and having fun and I'm always busy, which is so fulfilling.

8. What inspires you?
Other blogs and books, and getting offline!  I usually find the most inspiration when I'm traveling or exploring my own city.  Immersing yourself in a different environment is so refreshing and I always come back to my work with new ideas.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fiddler, Friends & Features

You may have noticed a little absence here on le blog. That's due in part to lots of exciting things going on, including this little bit of news!

I am so excited to be performing at "Raising The Roof", a gala to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Fiddler On The Roof. Getting to be reunited with so many of the people that shaped my life as both a person and an actor, and getting to work among such legends, is amazing and unreal to me! 

There are a few tickets left for the event on June 9th at Town Hall in NYC. You can find more info and buy tickets here.

There are some very cool articles with amazing stories that you can see here and here.

I've also recently popped up on this blog (make sure to check out her style! so good), and in this Mother's Day post (warning: adorable baby photo of me is included).

Say it with me now: TRADITION!