food for thought: a day to recharge

In-n-out

I rarely take breaks. The old adage “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is rings verrrry near and dear to my heart. However, Tuesday night I was wiped. Like nothing sounded more appealing than sleeping all of Wednesday. My body was like:

Nat, you’ve been go go go since before Thanksgiving and you need a break. I’m tired. No, really, I’M LE TIRED.

Okkk okkk, I’ll sleep in and relax…

And let me tell you, it was hard to do! Around 10am I was responding to a text thread and my friend text yelled at me:

Why aren’t you actually sleeping in?

SLEEP

Fine. Yes. I just needed ‘to be’ knowing that my body and mind needed rest. My mind was naturally harder to turn quiet, I am VERY good at forming to-do lists. But I gave myself permission (with the help of friend’s permission) to let the ‘to-dos’ wait. That way I could attack the list from a charged state. No a semi-charged (charmed ūüėČ ) one.

Taking those few more hours to stay in bed was fantastic. I didn’t sleep the entire time, but read and didn’t give a flying duck about doing work. And you know what? The world still turned, I still got an audition for the following day, and allowed the uneasiness of not doing anything slowly melt away.

Moving forward, I am going to give myself ONE FULL DAY to recharge. Just sleep, read, go to bed at an earlier than normal hour, check my phone less, and do something crafty. Whether that’s doodling, making a vision board, coloring, knitting, playing with play dough- it helped get me out of my diligent left brain and enjoy the moment a whole lot more.

Now, I give YOU permission. Take a full day off. And if you can’t give yourself a full day, try a few more hours in bed or read the book on your nightstand, or whatever. But forget about things *in a healthy way* for a few hours so you come back to those tasks ready to GO. Promise you’ll be in more of a flow.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Cheers!

NP

hey 27, it’s nice to meet you

It’s a blessing and a curse having a January birthday. Half of your friends are doing a dry January (one of my best friends always starts her post my bday-thank you!) and a lot people are worn out from the marathon that is the holiday season. However, I have this cool thing where I live the full calendar year as one age, and as the new year begins, so do I.

And man does turning 27 feel weird as fuck. It’s an age where my ego is like, “bitch you’re getting ollllld- you’re basically 30 and need to start settling, making babies, getting your series regular etc.” In reality, I know age is only a number and shouldn’t inhibit how you want to live your life. *Easier said than done with societal pressures and outside judgements but I have a solution for that, just hold tight for a moment. Let me give you a brief back story of 2017, aka the age of 26.

I set out at the beginning of last year to really open up my heart. To let myself be loved by others. The funny thing about me is that I’m excellent at giving love out, but when it comes to receiving and accepting that same love I have guards up to not get hurt. Which I realized was really silly. So, I wanted to open that heart UP. And boy did I– I went on dates, had some hookups, some ‘relationships’, a true relationship I thought would be more long-term and at the end of the year/beginning of the new, I am single.

So did I fail?!

Not one bit- I might not have the relationship I thought I’d go into the new year with, BUT I have something a whole lot better. More self worth, a lot more confidence and a motherfucking bounty of love from my friends and family.

I let them love me hard. Love, help me, listen to me in a way that was new. It was with an open heart from my end. And that is the true win of 26. Yes I booked some fun gigs and advanced my wine career, but at the core I really did open my heart.

There’s that saying that you have to put out in the world what you want to receive. And just like a rocket launched into space course corrects a million times before landing on the moon, this year of opening my heart happened. And happened in huge way. I let the universe work its magic (and yes I’m relating opening my heart to launching a rocket into space) and landed on the moon in a way I didn’t think was possible: single but feeling more loved than ever. My friends and family you are THE BEST. Words cannot express my gratitude for you, but if you’re reading this know that I would hand you my last LaCroix/first-bite my food/shower you with kisses and hugs.

Now back to that *! With opening my heart last year I became a lot more self-conscious. Shit got vulnerable and scary. I gave a lot more fucks what some people thought, but in areas of life that their opinion shouldn’t matter one iota. Moral of the story and what y’all should practice: GIVE LESS DUCKS!! Not a typo (and not that I don’t love the power of a well placed fuck) but ducks keep it a little lighter. Easier to take yourself seriously enough, but not so seriously that your friends start to worry.

So here’s the 2018 (the age of 27) where I aim to:

  • GIVE LESS DUCKS ABOUT THE OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS OF OTHERS (as in always listen to friends, but give up the need to please them and let go of the possible judgement)
  • PRACTICE ‘I AM FULL OF ABUNDANCE’ AS A MANTRA (as in knowing my life is full of wonderful things and putting out that energy to attract more abundant opportunities)
  • THINK-WHAT GOES UP CAN GO HIGHER (as in trying to think of the hope for the¬†best possible outcome¬†instead of the worst- why not put it out there? I promise you’re strong enough to handle the worst, so why not put the best shit out there to the good old universe?!)
  • PURSUE WHAT’S MAKING MY EYES LIGHT UP (as in, yes I can start do a wine 101 show and do a podcast and keep acting in the¬†S is for Revenge¬†because it fulfills me- try to do less of what drains you and aim to find the things that make your eyes light up and keep at it!)
  • SMILE MORE (as in spread the love to more strangers, keep my opening up my heart!!)

 

Happy New Year all, may your wine glasses always be half full (or completely full) and your hearts OPEN!

 

xxNP

do shit that makes you happy

Tuesday was one of those days…I was having a sliiight pity party for one and going down a social media rabbit hole didn’t make matters better. Instead of reflecting on my accomplishments, I went straight to comparison and the ugly thoughts of:

“sh*t it’s almost the end of the year, WTF have I done?!”¬†

“damn she’s so young and killing it, FML”

“andddd another role I couldn’t get into the room for”

“I really haven’t gotten in many rooms [casting director’s offices] this year, so I suck”¬†

“I’m not going to make it in LA”¬†

etc. etc. etc.

Yep. Those nasty fuckers (aka thoughts) crept in real hard. With the end of the year coming in full speed ahead, it’s pretty easy to feel those WTF did I do this year thoughts? Admittedly, I’m still hung up on the fact that I don’t have a TV credit to my name. I’m SAG eligible, and my auditions this episodic season have been lackluster.

But I know it’s dumb to hold on to the negative.

I mean I was a lead in a movie this year! Number 2 on the call sheet baby. I filmed another fun role later in the summer and managed to pass my level one somm exam. Can’t take that away from me.

Admittedly my fall quarter I slowed down on the social media game and didn’t post much to my blog. But hey, like nature, we all have cycles and shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it.

So, friendly reminder if you’re feeling down or beating yourself up in the comparison game- just tell those bad thoughts to SHUT IT OFF.

Pour yourself a glass (or 2 of wine) and throw on your favorite show, go on a run, read the book that’s been on your nightstand for months (is that just me?!), make some cookies, whatever makes you happy and tell yourself life is marathon and not a sprint. Best to enjoy yourself along the way, because if you can’t learn to do that on your ride to your top- then how can you expect to appreciate your life when you success comes your way?! Biggie wasn’t lying when he said “more money, more problems”. There’s always going to be something “more”, so enjoy the now.

Kick ASS today. Keep dreaming BIG. And do something for yourself that’ll make you smile. Even if it’s just for a few moments. Soak it in, and repeat on the reg.

xo NP

P.S. I followed this recipe and drank a chilled Pinot Noir. A+ combo (just sub dark chocolate chips for milk when making the cookies!)

bridging the gap

A few months ago, Catherine McCormick of CatherineGraceO asked me to be a part of a nationwide campaign to “bridge the gap” between millennial and midlife bloggers across the country. The aim was to break boundaries between age groups and bond over our similarities–which hint, there are lots!

I was fortunate enough to speak with Cynthia Lawson. And man she’s a beautiful soul! Incredibly positive, a loving mother and a handbag designer, she is a self-taught creative. Although it wasn’t until she brought her daughter to a modeling audition that she got the bug. Casting asked Cynthia to audition too, and thus began her modeling career. Being on sets helped shape her style which translated to growth her other career in pharmaceutical sales. Her regular offices noticed a shift in Cynthia; she was chic, confident and beaming! In her words:

Along the way I noticed how my job industry was obsessed with youth culture
and appearances. Not to mention if you were outdated or looked old you became invisible. My
mission over the last fifteen years has been to overcome this stereotype. Armed with fashion
magazines and the E network, I consistently noticed that woman like me were not represented.
It wasn't until 2009, that I discovered a hidden world of fashion blogs written by stylish women
of all ages. These soon became the fuel that I needed to bring out my true self. I started from
the top down and updated my look with a sleek new hairstyle. Girls a good hair style can
immediately update your look and take years away. I looked for the right style of clothing that
complimented my body type, and tried to become adventurous with my color palette. As I
looked at myself in the mirror I realized, I look younger now than I did fifteen years ago. The
style formula I created and continue to add to, has been the guiding light in my life and really
gave me a purpose.

Through her career shift, things began to blossom and she realized that people respond to how you dress. She’s not lying. As humans, we take stock of how people present themselves- are they laid-back, confident, polished etc. and in turn we make adjustments to how we introduce ourselves to said new face.

Through her time modeling, she came into her own and started to “dress for success”. I’m out here in LA doing the same thing! Playing into that game so to speak. Sure would I love to roll out of bed and arrive to an audition? Yes. But does an athlete just walk on the field without warming up?¬†Appearance is the entree to acceptance Cynthia told me. I couldn’t agree more. You could have the best audition out there, but if there’s no effort for appearance there will be chatter. Dress for the role people! Go into that room and own it. Casting wants you to be the answer to their problem!

This conversation reinforced my belief that at the end of the day, regardless of the age gap and career choices, we all share a lot more in common with one another than differences. Both of us want to uplift and empower those around us while realizing that we first need to keep our mental game strong. By leading with openness (and a kick ass outfit to reflect that) we can encourage those around us to do the same.
So, I’m daring you again to chat with a stranger, acquaintance or colleague who is at least 20 years older than you- hopefully you’ll find that bridging the gap isn’t such a hard thing to do.
Cheers!

making “me” time

And just like that, it’s the first day of Spring!

Growing up I learned that Spring was all about rebirth; plants and animals coming out of hibernation as the frost melted away into sunshine and warmer weather.

blooms at Lake Elsinore

And while warmer weather might not be there for everyone (just come visit Southern California to get your dose!) there are hints of Springtime popping up everywhere:

ps loving the portrait feature on the iPhone 7!

…Like poppies! Popping up (can’t help myself!) throughout the parks in California. Known as a “super bloom”, the wildflowers are extra happy and vibrant this year because of all the rain we got during winter–see we really did have seasons this year!

..We also “sprung forward” so the days are feeling longer and the nighttime slump comes later.

…There are lots of “spring cleaning” ads. Having been in my new space for a little over a month, I’m taking the time to clear the clutter and get rid of excess stuff I haven’t touched in months.

…It’s March Madness! My Dad is in his, damn I can’t even remember how long he’s run it, but he’s the ring leader (call him the “commish”) of a big NCAA basketball tournament pool. His emails bring me joy everyday. It also helps that my alma mater, UNC, is still in the running and Villanova (last year’s champs who beat us) are already out. YES!

…Pastel colors are everywhere! Stores¬†are gearing up for Easter (hello Reese’s and Cadbury chocolate eggs!) and flowers are blooming.

wildflower cluster

So back to flowers and “me time”. Over the weekend, I decided to drive out solo to Lake Elsinore and see the colorful blooms. Man, did I feel like I was in Oz (not just how colorful, but lotssss of other people had the same idea).

cactus meet flowers

Wanting some time with little human interaction to reflect, soak up the sun and take some pics, I took a slightly steeper path, made it to the top and spread out my things.

alllll by myself (and loving it!)

I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. For everyone!!!! Making time for yourself-even if it’s just 15 minutes and at your kitchen table- it is so vital to staying grounded. For re-centering, rebirth (hey, hey, Spring connection) and refocusing on you. What brings you happiness and what you need to let go. I’ll write more on this later in the week and the steps I take, so look out.

sunny selfies

In the mean time, on the first day of Spring. I dare you to take some time for yourself. JUST FOR YOU. Because at the end of the day- even with girlfriends, boyfriends, moms, dads, spouses, family, coworkers, etc. If¬†you aren’t making yourself whole and happy it’s going to make it damn challenging for the rest of your circle to bring you that fullness. Find it in yourself. I promise it’s there.

You can start small and:

…buy yourself flowers

…get whipped cream on your coffee

…read the comics AND the sports section from a real newspaper

…sit an extra 5 minutes in your car to listen to your favorite song (again)

…take a walk around your block during your lunch break, or when you’re home from work

…smile

…stay longer post workout to stretch a little deeper or dip into the sauna if that’s available.

Whatever you choose do it for you!

Wishing everyone a great start to their week. Let me know how you take your “me time” in the comments.

xo N