Halfway Through 2019! How Am I Doing?

It’s halfway through 2019! How have my goals been going? Well…it’s a mixed bag.

#1: Have I Lost Any Weight?

Not exactly. I’ve still been going in every eight weeks like clockwork to get my blood tested to see how my body is responding to the thyroid replacement therapy, and we still haven’t quite gotten to a good level. And that makes it more difficult. But on the upside, I’ve been getting better at cutting out gluten and sugar, which seems to be the best thing for me to lose weight. And I’ve been more consistent with working out- it helps that I’m doing a very difficult dance number in public, which has been pretty good motivation to stay moving and work on my flexibility.

#2: Am I Taking Care of Myself?

Yes! I’m getting better at saying no to projects that are too much for me and taking time off work if I’m truly sick. And I’m getting better at getting up and doing things on self care days instead of staying in bed and watching Dance Moms or Great British Baking Show all day. I still have a ways to go, but I’m improving.

#3: Have I Made My Wardrobe Function?

Yes and no? I did a purge at the beginning of the year, and another purge last month- so far I’ve gotten rid of four bags of old clothes and shoes that I don’t wear. I also sorted through as many patterns as possible and made a massive Pinterest board of outfits that I like. I’m ready to get into my new wardrobe.

#4: Have I Been Active Blogging and YouTubing?


#5: Have I Saved Money?

I’m not at $1,000, but I’m making progress!

#6: Have I Written a Book?

I’m all set for Camp NaNoWriMo next month!

#7: Have I Improved My Home?

Shane and I are both hard at work on this! We’ve done some downsizing, but there’s still more to do, and definitely more organizing.

So that’s my six month update! Let’s hope I’ve got a better report by the end of the year!

Happy 2019! My New Year’s Goals (and how to achieve them)

Hey y’all!! It has definitely been a while. I’ve really missed blogging and vlogging, and I’m totally ready to dive back into it!!

2018 feels like the longest year ever. In one year I:

-played three roles in Quickies and made my Orlando Fringe Festival debut

-costumed The Wedding Singer for the second time and played a role in the ensemble (which is definitely the most intense ensemble track I’ve ever done!)

-was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder

-played Kitty Verdun in Charley’s Aunt

-tested out some lifestyle and diet changes

-costumed Legally Blonde, which performed in the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando

-celebrated a whole year at Kilimanjaro Safaris

-played Florence “Flo” Gill in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which challenged my usual typecast (belting a G5 in a corset- that’s a new one for me!)

-celebrated my two year anniversary with my loving boyfriend

-costumed an entire production of Spring Awakening in nine days!

-directed my first production in Orlando

It’s been a really, really busy year! But it’s been a year without any focus. I have goals that I’ve been trying to achieve for ages and haven’t gotten anywhere…mostly because I haven’t retained my focus. This year is all about baby steps and staying focused on the goal ahead.

So what are my goals this year?

#1: Lose Weight

Yeah, I know. I’ve made this goal a million times, lost a few pounds, slacked off, and gained it back. What makes this year different is that I have the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease and it’s being treated. I spent most of this year getting my blood tested and checking my levels, and this point I’m almost where I need to be. So if my medication is where it should be, and my thyroid is functioning better than it used to (it’s not at peak condition yet) I should have an easier time losing weight than I have before. The downside of spending the year getting tested and having a chronic illness that causes weight gain…well, my weight has ballooned. Now is the best time to start healthy habits with a better diet and consistent exercise to stop further weight gain and hopefully lose more…seventy pounds of it! Not only is losing weight better for my health, but I know it hampers my performances and my options for roles when I audition, so I look forward to getting to try out for a wider variety of roles.

Diet wise, I’m looking at a low carb/dirty keto diet. I’ve been testing various dietary changes this year, and it looks like my body responds well to cutting out gluten and cutting down on carbs. Dairy doesn’t bother me, which is very exciting! Apparently people with Hashimoto’s do best with around 50 carbs a day rather than the strict 20 carb for traditional keto, so I’m going to do what works best for my body. I’m also determined to drink water, cut back on sugary soda, and stop drinking so much coffee and switch to tea. That I did on accident in the last few weeks, and I can already tell my energy has improved without relying on caffeine!

Along these lines, I really want to take ballet, and right now I’m not in good enough shape to spend the money on classes. If I can lose 40 pounds- about half of my goal, and down to the lowest weight I’ve been since college- I want to start taking ballet classes. And eventually I want to go en pointe!

#2: Take Care of Myself

These are all those little things that help so much but I just don’t think about them. Flossing! Night skincare routine! Meditating! Regular doctor visits! Sunscreen! I have a whole list of little things that in the long run make a big difference.

#3: Make My Wardrobe Function

I don’t wear clothes often. Wait a minute. I should rephrase. I don’t wear cute outfits very often. I either wear my work costume, pajamas, or rehearsal clothes. And none of those are cute. My normal rehearsal outfit is a schlubby tee shirt (most likely with a cartoon character on it) and old yoga pants. My goal for the year is to sort through my wardrobe, get rid of a bunch of items, and make new clothing pieces to improve my wardrobe. I’ve also downloaded the Cladwell app, so hopefully that will also help improve how I style myself.

#4: Get Back to Blogging and YouTube

I’m on a good start for that! I have several months’ worth of ideas stacked up and I’m trying to get ahead of posts. YouTube will be easier now that I have a better phone to film on, and if videos pick up I plan on investing in a good camera and lighting. You can visit my YouTube channel here!

I also want to pay more attention to my neglected Instagram account. I have my main account here, and I started a fitness/diet/health/ballet account here.

#5: Save $1,000

If I save $20 a week, I’ll be in the clear. I just need to be careful about my spending!

#6: Write a Book

I wrote a book once. It took four years and it’s been sitting in a drawer for ten years. And I used to be a prolific fan fiction writer which, laugh all you want, is a fun hobby that allowed me to push the boundaries of my abilities and develop strong skills. I’ve had extensive outlines sitting around for months, and now I want to write 300 words a day and eventually complete a book by the end of the year. Maybe my goal for next year will to get published!

#7: Improve My Home

I’ve lived in the same apartment for almost six years now. I’d like to move to a larger apartment- I really want a dedicated space for sewing, writing, and filming. In the meantime though. I’ve really let my apartment lapse. When you’re dealing with chronic, overwhelming exhaustion, cleanliness is one of the first things to fall by the wayside for me. Shane and I spent the two days before New Years scrubbing, organizing, and doing laundry (we did ten loads and it took the entire second season of 30 Rock to put it away) and we’re going to work hard together to maintain, organize, and decorate our space until we can move.

So those are my goals for 2019! Watch this space for updates. What are your goals for this year? Comment below, I’d love to follow your journey!

Life and Health Update

It’s been a hot minute! I took a little bit of a break after a new development in my health journey, and now that I’m feeling a little more prepared I’m ready to start blogging again.

A lot has happened in the past few months. My birthday was in February, I ran the Disney Princess 10k, and I trained for a new role at work as a Yes Faciltator in the Magic Kingdom. I also was cast in the ensemble of a production of The Wedding Singer, and I’m also costuming it! I’m assisting with the costumes for a production of Little Shop of Horrors as well, but that’s not quite the beast that Wedding Singer is. I have some auditions lined up for the summer and fall as well that I’m excited about. And I’m working on a book for Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time (I have a completed outline ready to go!)

The biggest change, though, happened after my yearly physical. Disney has an amazing health services deparment on property for cast members, and I have a fantastic GP over there. My physical was absolutely normal, but my doctor asked if I had any questions, and I (very anxiously) asked if we could check my thyroid levels. She asked why, and I spilled out a whole list of symptoms that I’ve been experiencing. I never want to be That Guy who comes in with a self diagnosis from WebMD, but at the same time I was experiencing almost everything on the symptom list. Luckily, my doctor is wonderful and immediately agreed to check my thyroid levels.

I got a call three days later saying that not only do I have hypothyroidism, but I also have Hashimoto’s disease, and there was already a prescription waiting for me to pick up that afternoon, and that I needed to make an appointment for follow up bloodwork in eight weeks.

Well. That was a lot to happen at once.

To rewind a little bit, I was experiencing a lot of things that I assumed just came with getting older- tired all the time, muscle and joint pain, weight gain for no real reason. About six months ago, though, I started watching Kathryn Morgan’s videos on YouTube. She’s an amazing dancer and has a fantastic channel, but one of the first things I noticed was that her hair texture was really similar to mine, and I haven’t really seen that before. (If you watch my Evil Dead vlog, you can see how thin my hair is; it’s been falling out in handfuls over time.) Scrolling through her videos she had several about her illness- she has hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. She’s very upfront and well-spoken, and that’s when I started wondering if that could be what was going on with me. I started doing more research, and thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask about it. I told my mom about it while I was waiting for the results, and it turns out that thyroid problems are an issue for several relatives on that side of the family.

So that’s been quite a change. I’ve started my hormone replacement therapy, and while I have seen some positive changes, I’m looking forward to the results of my next bloodwork to see what the doctor wants me to try next. I’m also trying to make some major dietary changes, namely cutting out gluten and dairy. I’m hoping that, now that I have the correct diagnosis, my health will improve and I’ll start losing weight!

Do you deal with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease? What advice do you have?

OOTD: The Last Jedi

Shane and I finally went to Disney Springs to see The Last Jedi. Finally. I don’t know how I managed to avoid spoilers for nearly a month, but I did it and boy howdy, was that a great movie. It’s not my favorite Star Wars film, and it made a lot of risky choices, but overall it was a really strong movie and I had a great time.

It has been absolutely freezing in Florida. Freezing as in I was standing at the merge point at work and watched flurries falling. It’s a terrible time to work a completely outdoor attraction. They had to pull most of the animals off the reserve, but on the upside the park was super empty. I layered the crap out of my costume- leggings, thick fuzzy socks, and a sweatshirt under my work shirt and pants, and then my work coat and a white knit hat. But I can’t find my gloves, so my hands were so cold. I couldn’t even signal my row numbers with my hands while I was loading!

It was still cold for the movie, so I got to dig my rarely-worn but much-loved winter coat out of the back of the closet. And my favorite boots! These Blowfish boots literally feel like slippers. I need to see if I can find more pairs in different colors. I’ll only be able to wear them a couple of times a year, but it’s worth it, right?

But now I need to see The Last Jedi again.

Top: Forever 21

Jeggings: Target

Boots: Blowfish

Coat: Forever 21

Glasses: Eye Buy Direct (Sophie frames)

so what are your goals for 2018?

Every year I read a million articles about how New Year’s resolutions don’t matter, they never work, a certain day to start doesn’t matter…all that stuff. But I like it. I like that January 1st feels like a reset button, a “new [year] with no mistakes in it,” to paraphrase Anne Shirley. And I’ve got a lot to look forward to this year! I have four confirmed shows so far, a new role in my career at Disney, and maybe even an engagement ring coming my way (Shane says that’s his goal for the year and he asked to see my Pinterest boards, so you know it’s real.) So here are my goals this year!

Make changes for my health. “Lose weight” is always the most ubiquitous New Year’s resolution, but I don’t want to just lose weight. I mean, yeah, obviously I want to lose weight. But I’m terrible at food. I make tremendously poor choices, and I need to change that. And I’m so out of shape. Working at Great Movie Ride kept me active, but I was still not doing anything to benefit my body, and at Safaris I’m practically sedentary. I’m nowhere near as flexible as I used to be, and I need to be in better shape to dance in shows. And if I lose 60 pounds? That would be awesome. I know 60 isn’t necessarily realistic for one year’s time, but I’m aiming for at least 30 pounds down, as well as bringing down my measurements.

Blog and vlog regularly. I have a tendency to post a lot of posts at once, and then disappear. Oops. I’d like to make daily posting a thing, and I really want to post more videos. I am trying to save up money for a real camera (I’m currently using my old iPhone 5 with the shattered screen for all my filming) but I also want to develop my filming and editing skills. Daily posting is a lot, yes, but I think the consistency is good.

Write! I used to write all the time. I wrote copious amounts of fan fiction in high school and college, and at one point I even wrote a novel (that I promptly stuck in a drawer). I miss writing, and I have some ideas that I’d really like to work on. Even one sentence a day is still progress!

Improve my living space. My current apartment no longer suits my needs. I do enough alterations and sewing jobs that I need more space to work and meet with clients, so I want to transfer to a new apartment in the same complex that has a little more space. I also want my place to feel more homey and more like me, rather than a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture and random plastic bins for temporary storage that somehow became permanent. It’s a lot of hoops to jump through but I really want to move!

So those are my big goals for 2018! Comment below with your goals; let’s keep each other motivated!

Back to Blogging!

Hi, friends! It’s been a while. A lot of curveballs came my way! A big one came in the form of Photobucket- I had worked so hard to upload all my photos so nicely onto Photobucket, only for them to change their policies and charge several hundred dollars to link photos from their site to my blog. Yikes. What a mess. I’m still fixing a lot of broken links, but I’m working on it! (Comment if you see any photos I might have missed!) I’m going to host a lot of my photos directly on WordPress from now on, and store the rest on Flickr.

My other major curveball you probably saw if you follow me on Instagram. My beloved home attraction, the Great Movie Ride, closed its doors after nearly twenty-nine years. We only had a month of warning, which meant we all had to switch it into high gear to close out the attraction and immediately go to our new locations. I only had about twelve hours between walking out of Movie Ride for the last time and starting on my day one of training at my new location. It was so much happening at once, and honestly it was really emotional. I spent three and a half years at this attraction and loved it, and I loved the people there. It was a huge change to lose the attraction, the work, and the people all at once. I’m now a safari guide at Kilimanjaro Safaris, and I like it well enough. It will never be GMR, but it’s a good job. I’m looking into some other places within the company as well- I think it might be time to move into a backstage area of the company rather than being front line. But it was a lot to handle at one time.

Now add to that that I was doing three shows simultaneously. I did a cabaret called It’s a Date in June, I did Heathers in September, and I did a production of Evil Dead: The Musical in October. So between everything going on, I barely had time to breathe, much less blog!

Now that things are calming down (I’m feeling more settled at Safaris and I’m only working on one show), I’m ready to work on my blog and my YouTube channel again!! I’m going to aim to post new videos on Mondays and Fridays, but I might pop up with more videos as interesting things happen. I’m also planning on spilling all the beans on the shows I’ve been in recently, as well as talking about my sewing projects, Disney, fashion, books, weight loss, and beauty stuff! I love talking to people, so feel free to comment or get in touch with me on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Tumblr! Let’s be friends!

Get to Know Me!

Here it is, kids- my first official Youtube video! It’s a scary world on the Youtube, but it’s exciting. I figured the easiest thing to start with was a tag about myself. I guess? I’m not sure. This will definitely take some getting used to though!

Give the tag a try yourself; leave a comment if you make a video or post of your own!

  1. What is your middle name?
  2. What is your favorite color?
  3. Who was your first best friend?
  4. How tall are you?
  5. Cats or Dogs?
  6. Funniest moment throughout School?
  7. How many countries have you visited?
  8. Are you in/gone to college?
  9. What was your favorite/worst subject in High School?
  10. What is your Favorite drink?
  11. What is your favorite animal?
  12. What is your favorite perfume?
  13. Tea or Coffee?
  14. What would you (or have you) name your children?
  15. What Sports do you play/Have you played?
  16. What is your favorite book?
  17. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
  18. What is your favorite movie?
  19. Are you Single or Taken?
  20. Whats your idea of an ideal first date?
  21. How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had?
  22. Favorite memory from childhood?
  23. Do you speak any different languages and how well?
  24. Do you have any siblings?
  25. How would you describe your fashion sense?
  26. What is your favorite restaurant?
  27. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
  28. PC or Mac?
  29. What phone do you have? (iOS v Android?)
  30. Tell us one of your bad habits!

It’s been a slightly unorthodox Christmas- I introduced @shaneinscoisrad to my beloved family tradition of Christmas Eve Swedish meatballs on the 22nd, I baked all the cookies on the 23rd, I blew up banks and had pizza with @skipperkimberly on Christmas Eve, and today I Mugsi’d it up before going to sing in Candlelight. And it’s been great, and I had a hidden Mickey on my collar and Jodi Benson winked at me, so I’d sat this had been a successful Christmas so far. #candlelight2016 (at American Garden Theater -Epcot)