cheers to you!

a heartfelt thank you to YOU!

I started this blog almost a year ago as a place to share my insight on all things food/acting. And while it’s morphed into more than that, hello wine videos, I wouldn’t have been able to grow without your feedback and support.

Now that the layout is set, I am exciting to bring even more content- like how to do different neighborhoods 3 ways (solo, girls day, date), where I’m craving to eat (LA/Chicago/London/plus more cities included), and fun collaborations with different actors/bloggers/creators!

So since I can’t make everyone an aperol spritz to celebrate, I figured I’d give you my recipe so you can make one yourself. It’s easy AF and extremely refreshing. You may or may not be transported to the South of France/Italy while drinking.

Cheers friends!

APEROL SPRITZ (makes one)

-3oz bubbles

-2oz aperol

-splash chilled sparkling water

-orange slice to garnish

Fill glass of choice- I usually use a wine glass- with ice. Combine all listed ingredients and stir. Another option is to fill a pitcher with one bottle of bubbly and add approximately 16 oz of aperol. Then just pour mixture into a glass with ice and serve. Super easy for parties! Sip and enjoy. 

 

As always, if there are certain topics you want me to cover, comment and I will make a post!

xxNP

 

act like a champion today

So I just had a breakthrough, even though it’s been in front of my eyes since I was little.

Has that ever happened to you?

You hear something for years and it doesn’t totally make sense/you think you understand, and then BAM one day it hits you?? The marquee finally blinks in all of its’ glory!

Mine went a little something like this:

So, there’s a famous sign: “PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY” that hangs in stairwell between the Norte Dame football locker room and the tunnel to the field. Tradition states that all the players touch the wall on their way out before game day. My dad is an ND alum, so we had a replica hanging in our basement growing up. Later, as I was choosing colleges- I ended up choosing UNC because I saw that same sign in a stairwell at the theatre department, only it read “ACT LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY”.  A literal sign I should go there.

Now flash-forward to post college, living in LA and my acting teacher said something along the lines of “LA is the Olympics of acting, so you better train (aka rehearse, practice, read scripts etc.) all the time if you are going to make it in this sea of actors”.

And even with all of these sports metaphors, I was still thinking about myself as an “actor” and weirdly that meant I felt guilty about getting help– I needed to figure it all out on my own because that’s what the great actors do right?? They just find the character, they know the beats of the scene, where it needs to go to tell the writer’s story etc. The greats do it all on their own.

And it’s ironic too because part of the reason I love what I am doing is I constantly get to LEARN. I’m a student of life, as corny as that sounds. But subconsciously I was blocking out help.

But recently it clicked. The “BAM” moment happened during another acting class, as the teacher- a series regular actress- said her career changed when she started thinking about her auditions with an athlete’s mentality. No longer were they this big once in a lifetime, must book or fail situations. Auditions became a game. This meant she was still training, approaching the text from a writer’s stand point and making the strongest choices based on what was on the page BUT she then scored herself post audition like she had just played a game of basketball. That took the audition more into her hands and totally changed her dynamic in the room.

*Most* athletes don’t beat themselves up after all of their losses– because statistically you can’t win them all. Instead, they look at game tapes and work on improving their plays so next time around they can give it a better shot. By approaching acting with the same mentality, it has allowed me to reimagine what winning and losing look like. I feel more in control because I know I have the tools, and can keep training on the parts that aren’t up to par (pun intended).

Not saying this is the way. It’s just the way that I now approach my work- and maybe it’ll help you, regardless of your profession. The same principles can be applied.

Now that the marquee’s lights are flashing (thank God!) I don’t need to feel less than because I work through scenes with an acting coach or another actor (aka teammate). And winning doesn’t just come in the form of booking the job. It comes from keep track of growth in the audition room, classroom and onscreen, of being consistent and great at what I do. Being an athlete means showing up to all days like they’re game days; ready to utilize the training, while also trusting your teammates, coaches and your own worth–and ultimately “PLAYING LIKE A CHAMPION” all the damn time.

holiday small talk

Things I love about the holidays:

  1. The food
  2. The booze
  3. The decorations
  4. The gifting
  5. The days where your fuzzy socks/pjs stay on all day
  6. The carols
  7. The friends and family I don’t see often enough

Things I dislike about the holidays:

  1. Catching up with certain friends/friends of friends/family and navigating how to present my life as a creative freelancers who acts, makes wine videos and writes a blog. It can be toughhhhhhhh.

As someone without the “normal” 9 to 5 who can highlight a promotion or change of departments etc. as success (although, luckily, there are lots of creative freelancers emerging at the moment) it can be seemingly difficult to explain what I do or even how I’ve grown. So what do you do??

Me: Grabs a glass of wine, throws on a smile and makes a b-line for awkward convos first so I can settle back with close family for the rest of the night.

Me to Me: Takes a bottle of wine, fat plate of apps and sits by the fire. Tells it my all secrets and avoids people at all costs.

Sooooo you don’t have to do either extreme- take to the “difficult” ones first, or hide. But here are a few things I’ve found helpful:

create your elevator pitch

I know I know, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier if you make a little semi-rehearsed speech. Bonus points for embellishing, everyone does it. And hey, you put it out in the world it might just come right back to you!

enjoy the little things

So you didn’t get a huge holiday bonus like your sister who works in finance, but you know what you did do as a creative?? Probably saw more of the world, reflected, became a better you. Savor that. Please and thank you. Everyday I try to express the gratitude I have- it’ll make it easier to chat with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pete from Nebraska…wine helps with that too.

lean on your friends

If you’re lucky, some of these holiday parties will include your best friends. If so, buddy up and the build each other up while in conversation. You bet your ass I will brag about my best friends, and they’ll do the same. This tactic works best in front of your relative//family friend who thinks you need a Plan B. You don’t. You just need a fabulous support system. Said nay-sayer is not one of them, but brush that off.

smile

Personally it’s hard for me not to, especially after a couple glass, but for those with resting bitch face try it. I’m not trying to get all puppies and rainbows over here, but I shit you not, throw on a smile and hopefully it’ll access a more positive mindset. If you go in the party with a frown and shit attitude it’s hard to have an amazing time despite all the cocktails you’ll thrown back. But–if you slap on a smile, take a deep breath and try to find the fun in sharing your projects/success/set backs/hopes with the world, you just get the best gift of all: a surprising amount of love, support and kind words you never knew your family and friends had to share. YOU just have to open yourself up to the opportunity.

And on that note, I’m stepping off the apple box and dropping the mic. Enjoy all the festivities this season!! Sending my love your way and many thanks for reading and supporting my career.

Merry Merry!!

xoxo Natalie

 

 

life lately, laundry list style

Happy Friday! I’m up early and heading to model (this is becoming a trend) for a fun Studio DIY project- if you don’t follow her look her Instagram, she always brightens my day.

Any who, ever since returning from Scotland (I got back exactly a month ago (sayyyy what??!), I’ve been on the go- read, there’s always something going on/ never a dull moment/ pencil me in for that event! You get the picture. So, here’s what I’ve been up to lately, laundry list style:

life Lately:

  • Back in acting class
  • “Modeling” for ModJewel (use code MYFIRSTMOD for 10% off!!)
  • Auditions–yay!!!
  • Create and Cultivate POP UP in Beverly Hills for a dose of inspriation and boss ass ladies.
  • The Taste of LA with @missfoodieproblems AKA eating and drinking all the food on the backlot of Paramount.
  • I’m in a play! It’s about one-night-stands, and actually closes tonight, but I’ve had a blast being back on stage.
  • There was a baking night, and I made a silly Instagram story to go along with it. Raw cookie dough was consumed.
  • No notifications- well almost. While I was in Scotland I turned off ALL the notifications on my phone, and since returning I’ve only turned on texts and phone calls. It’s so refreshing and I feel like I’m checking my phone a lot less.
  • Hi Fall!! Yesterday marked the first official day of Autumn, and, yes, this is a weirdly placed point, but in my stream of consciousness. I want LA to get about 15 degrees colder- can you do that Mother Nature??
  • Taking a few minutes to daily (errrr almost every day) to “meditate”, aka lighting these candles and journaling. The power of positive thinking works wonders.
  • COLLEGE FRIENDS VISIT!! (post to come about “things to do in LA with out-of-towners”) And we went all around town naturally, and ate VERY well.
  • Taking solo hikes sans music. It’s great for the soul.
  • Watch Sophie’s dog, realize I cannot/am not ready for my own dog. It’s like having a child. NOT READY.
  • Attending birthdays, late night karaoke and an Emmy’s party…. and the very unwelcome hangovers associated. Usually cured by a donut.
  • AND then in between life happening, I’m mad at myself because I didn’t make a wine video this Wednesday. Trying to let that one go, as there are only so many hours in the day.
  • I recently bought this GIANT DESK CALENDAR in attempts to plan my life/blog content out in a more organized fashion. I’m becoming my mother, and totally ok with that. She’s the best.
  • Planning on a couple trips these next few month and eyeing Northern California, New York (again I know!) and Austin for the BBQ and Tex-Mex.

Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. If you’re in the Midwest slash on the East Coast eat an apple cider donut for me. Thanks (they realllly need to get on that trend in LA!)

why scotland?

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye

It is currently 5:45am in LA and I’ve been up for about an hour. Hello jet-lag! If you follow me on Instagram, I recently wrapped up a 10 day trip all around Scotland.

What exactly was this trip about? I’m glad you asked!

Let’s set the scene: It was around 9am July 5th when I received an email that made me “blink twice”. Not going to lie, my eyes were a liiittle fuzzy (thank you one too many celebrating America’s birthday) but Istoria clothing designer, Rachael Forester, had written asking me to model her freshman collection in Scotland.

  1. I am not a model by today’s standards, but sweeeet
  2. A TRIP TO SCOTLAND- sign me up!
  3. Wait a second…is this too good to be true? There must be some catch…
  4. *checks out Rachael’s social media/blog* no catch, this seem very legit
  5. *check out photographer’s Instagram* ohhh I recognize this page
  6. *Calls Rachael to confirm I am not being cat-fished* she is the real deal
  7. HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO GO TO SCOTLAND FOR WORKKKK

But how did they find me?? As fate would have it, around June 20th, I left this comment on Sophie Kuller, the photographer’s, post (her last name is pronounced “cooler” btw)IMG_0030

That comment “so special #docklife” made Sophie look at my profile which spiraled into her showing Rachael my profile when their initial model backed out. Crazy coincidence and lucky- but I also realized that had I not been blogging, making silly wine videos, or just being me I wouldn’t have gotten the offer. They saw an authentic person behind the glass of their iPhone screens.

And that my friends is how I booked the job!

Oh right, back to what the actual job was, modeling. Now I’ll expand more on that later when I can release all of the pictures, but in short, I had little experience. Sure, I have had my headshot taken but I hadn’t modeled clothes since my short-lived career as a Carson-Pirie-Scott-Sunday-Coupon regular. The images below are gems, I know.

2016_08_24_08_40_09
you know you owned pants like those at one point 😉
Circa 2001
Second from the left, circa 2001

Despite being green, I didn’t think twice. Here was a fantastic opportunity and I couldn’t say turn it down. So I started flipping through fashion magazines, Pinterest and Instagram to see how the model’s were posing these days. And a little over a month later, I hopped on a plane for Scotland.

a little light help from the bounce board
a little light help from the bounce board
princess vibes in this caped jumpsuit
princess vibes in this caped jumpsuit

Can’t wait to share more images. Have a glass of wine or whisky tonight, after all it’s Wednesday! Cheers!! #scottishfrecklegirl