Simply Having a Wonderful Sunday!

I awoke this morning to snow blanketing the campus–a rather rare occurrence down south. Of course, as a Northern girl, I scoffed a little at first at all of the emails and texts detailing the closure of campus for a tiny dusting of snow and ice. But I am absolutely in love with the lazy, cosy atmosphere that has washed over my school in it’s wake. Everyone is sweet and warm and taking a day to relax, do homework, and love being together.

It’s a beautiful thing to experience in the last few days before we head home to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have to share this awesome infographic from Love Taza and her sponsor, Sweetgreen! It’s everything you ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving–which, I’m the first to admit, is my favorite holiday, second to only Christmas. Any day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, green bean casserole, apple pie, and family time with Christmas carols in the background is a win in my book!

Eating locally isn’t a new trend - the first Thanksgiving featured seasonal ingredients grown in Plymouth Colony, and throughout the US, local produce is still incorporated into Thanksgiving meals today.  Since we are all about sourcing and eating local foods, we wanted to celebrate the regional cuisine that is consumed on this holiday. Check out our infographic to learn more about variations on the Thanksgiving meal across the US.


Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

I’ll admit it: for me, we have officially reached the holiday season. I held out for as long as I could. I, too, scoffed at the sinfully arrival of Santas and snowmen to the store shelves. I denied myself the pleasure of Peppermint park and holiday cocoa.

But I simply cannot hold out any longer.

This morning, I decorated my room for the holidays, complete with garlands, snowglobes, and, of course, Christmas lights hung over the window. I listened to my Josh Groban holiday Pandora station as I drove cross town all morning.

And this evening, I will spend some time organizing my Holiday Bucket List.

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived in Lauren’s heart, Are you all managing to hold out any longer?

Here’s a little piece of gorgeous inspiration for my decorating style. I can’t wait for snow and home!


Fall Back…

It’s most definitely November. The wind has grown chillier and more insistent; evening comes on sooner. I find myself reaching for an extra scarf or heavier jacket most mornings, because I can’t believe how quickly this month has arrived!

I absolutely love the fall. The period between my birthday and New Year’s is my absolute favorite: a whirlwind of coziness, family and friends, decorations, Christmas music, and (best of all?) delicious food!

In my quest for a happy mind and healthy body, I’ve wracked up quite a few dessert recipes I’d love to try. Here are the ones currently at the top of my wish list.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake by pastryaffair

White Chocolate Frosted Espresso Cake from Pastry Affair…all of my favorites in one beautiful, pastry package.

White Chocolate-Topped Cinnamon Chip Cinnamon Bars

White chocolate topped cinnamon chip bars from Averie Cooks…the only thing better than cinnamon? Cinnamon paired with chocolate.

Apple-Gingerbread Cobbler |

Apple gingerbread cobbler from My Recipes. Everything that is good and right about the holiday season.

I probably won’t have time to make any of these delicacies for a couple of weeks, since my show opens this coming weekend. Cue excitement. Cue panic. Cue growing to-do list. But just putting them up here motivates me to get back in the kitchen and enjoy delicious food! There is much truth to the saying that desserts like these are good for your soul.

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation

Here are a few highlights:

This is Kiwi.  She’s hunting squirrels and contemplating the gorgeous day.

1) Seeing my dogs and my family, obviously.  But especially my twin brother, who I haven’t seen since July! He’s at a military academy, and doing an amazing job…but I seriously miss him!  It was so fun to jump right back into our traditions: obsessive movie quoting, cooking for each other, bugging each other during movies.  Perfect.  Sending him back to school was sad, but I’m cheered that I’ll see him in less than a  month!

2) The friends! Nothing like siting and catching up with some of my best friends in the world. It’s so weird to go home from college, because on the one hand, you feel like everything has changed, but on the other, you jump right back into friendships.  I also got to meet the baby of one of my dear friends, which was precious. I’m only slightly obsessed.

3) Vistin The Boyfriend’s (a.k.a Navy Boy) family! I have been best friends with his sister for like…nine years now?  So I love just being with their family. So warm and cosy! Slightly sad to not have the Boyfriend there, but I’ll see him in a little more than a month so I guess I can deal.

4) Eating.  I am a sucker for home cooked food, and the food of my hometown. Highlights included Thanksgiving (obviously) where I ate my weight in turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and apple pie with praline.  I’m going to post some of those recipes soon, because they are incredible!  I also ate at Noodles and Company, which is possibly my favorite restaurant at home. I just die for their penne rosa or pad thai…gah.  Mouth watering already.

Unfortunately now I have to try to work off all that deliciousness before Christmas break.  It was worth it.

5) Going Christmas Shopping with Mom.  And I don’t mean for presents.  We are obsessed with decorating, so we visited a holiday superstore and Hallmark, and just looked.  I love doing stuff like this with my mom!  Found this tree that I’m convinced will be in my house one day:

It’s an owl tree!

It was a lovely break.  Now I just have to get through the next two weeks and three days…le sigh.

Home Again, Home Again!

My Schedule to Prep for Going Home!

8:00 am: Wake up.  Roll over.  Fall back asleep.  Wake up again.  Wish I hadn’t stayed up so late.

8:10 am: Realize I can print boarding pass! Do so.  It is a struggle.  $25 for a suitcase? I bought the freaking ticket, isn’t that enough?? Consider packing carry on.  Consider the fact that a) I don’t know how and b) I don’t have time to downsize my conditioner, shampoo, hair goo, and all that other girlie stuff. Oi. Check layover to see if I have enough time for Starbucks.  A little doubtful, but love will find a way.

8:15-9:15 am: Shower, fight with my hair.  Drink coffee and eat oatmeal while watching the Today Show and catching up on Twitter. Think about how little I want to get dressed.  Get dressed.  Run around searching for Uggs while Shelby comes in so we can walk to…

9:30 am: Acting III: Improv.  Today we did sensation stuff, which was fun.  Except having my eyes closed for so long freaked me out a little.

10:45 am: Go to the library.  Pick out a couple of books for the trip because I am poor and can’t get what I want at Barnes and Noble.  Cry inside.

11:00 am-1:30 pm: Go to work.  Work.  Slash do this.  Slash go get lunch.  Slash a thousand other things…and possibly homework.

1:30 pm: Rush home to do laundry…we’ll see how that goes.  Probably shouldn’t have left it off till the day of?  Eh whatever.  Casually think about packing, probably toss a few things in the suitcase without rhyme or reason.  

2:30 pm: Stage Management.  Try to focus while thinking about turkey and stuffing and green bean casserole and pie.  Lots of pie.

4:00 pm: Vocal Production, where we will be doing jaw work.  I have a feeling I’ll be vacillating between frustration with my jaw and tongue (we have to try to loosen them.  Mine hate me and don’t like to cooperate) and imagining that in an hour and fifteen minutes, I will be on Thanksgiving break!!

5:15 pm: I AM ON BREAK!!!! Now time to go home and pack.  Woops.

6:00 pm: Hopefully finish last minute packing?  Head to dad’s and drive while listening to Christmas music…might be the highlight of the day.

6:30-10:00 pm: Eat a home cooked meal.  Play with the puppies.  Talk with dad.  And try to go to sleep early beeeecause…

Day Two:

3:45 am: Wake up.  Die.  Get coffee.  Live again.  Stumble through getting dressed and some semblance of makeup.  

4:15 am: Leave for the airport

4:45-6:00 am: Anxiously check in, wait in line for security…this is the part of flying I don’t like.  But then I am going to get a big ass coffee, buy the Christmas issue of Real Simple Magazine, and chill before boarding my flight to…

10:05 am: Detroit.  Yea.  Hopefully they have Starbucks.

10:25 am: Arrive at home! Woo!  Beautiful moments.



Five Things…A Theatre Filled Weekend

This weekend is going to be absolutely insane.  In the best way possible.  Here are a few things I’m excited about!

1) 10 of 12!

ImageFor the uninitiated, a “ten of twelve” is a rehearsal that is the maximum number of equity hours performers can work–we rehearse ten hours out of a twelve hour day, with a two hour dinner break (we aren’t equity, obviously, but our school follows their rehearsal guidelines).  So tomorrow I will be spending 10 awesome hours with the Christmas Carol cast, trying to do homework, but more likely fooling around.  And using my dinner break to eat atrociously (my money right now is on either Taco Bell or Panda Express).  The photo above is from last year…I’m looking forward to another amazing run! (ps..can you spot me?  I’m in the middle looking ridiculous in a muffin cap).

2) Julius Caesar…aka a Shakespeare Callback!

All the callbacks from this round of auditions have been posted, and I had the great good fortune to be called back for three amazing shows!  Yay!  I’m super excited for my callback on Sunday evening for an all female version of Julius Caesar.  I have no idea how the director is going to play that, but I’m sure it’s going to be epic! Also, I just absolutely love Shakespeare callbacks with all my heart.  Nothing better than being able to perform that beautiful poetry with other people!

3) Christmas Music


I know, I know, it’s only November 16th, I’m skipping Thanksgiving, blah blah blah.  I start listening to Christmas music basically after Halloween.  I absolutely love it! There’s a different style for every mood, and it just cheers me up so much.  Also it’s the perfect homework background music.  My current obsession is Noel by Josh Groban, and the song Joseph’s Lullaby from MercyMe’s Christmas album.  If you haven’t heard it, go find it right now! Incredible!

4) Scene Work!

Some people wonder how I could go to rehearsal at 11:30 on a Sunday night.  I say, how could you not want to?  I am in a good friend’s directing scene, and all of our rehearsals are going to be late at night.  In high school, I might have made excuses about sleep or homework.  Now I realize: what am I here for, if not to play and do good scene work with some amazing people?  I’m super excited!

5) Dreaming about Thanksgiving…

On Wednesday morning, I will be boarding a plane at 5:30 and beginning the longish trip back to my hometown up north.  Thank. God.  I can’t even begin to describe the relief that washes over me when I think about going home for a little while.  I think as much as we love being at school, we all need some rejuvenation every once in awhile.  I can’t wait to help my mom cook our amazing Thanksgiving feast, to see my awesome twin brother, to hang out with friends, to feel cold weather again, to cuddle with my dogs…and just to not worry for five days! I’m also super lucky, because I get to come back and jump right back into a wonderful show.  So much to be thankful for.

Also, I get to eat my weight in amazing food. Nothing better than that.  Did I mention all fitness goals go out the window on holidays?