Monthly Archives: August 2011

62 Questions – Part Four


I am working through Life Literacy Lab’s 62 power questions to reconnect to yourself. Let me know if you’re ready to take the challenge with me. I’d love to have a buddy!

Part four, and this is starting to get a little bit uncomfortable. But, guess what? They are called growing pains for a reason.

  1. What was that thing you never tried because you were afraid of failure?

    Auditioning for MFA programs and/or applying to PhD programs. See a trend?

  2. What was your greatest disappointment in life?

    I don’t really think about things that way

  3. As a kid, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

    A teacher, a writer, an actress, or whatever cool job I had just seen a movie about. (Lawyer after Pelican Brief, etc.)

  4. What are you really good at?

    Encouraging people. Sharing enthusiasm. Acting. Cooking. Planning vacations. Writing. Brainstorming. Singing. Clarifying. Appreciating beauty (Any ideas on how I can monetize that one??).

  5. What can you do better??

    Make productive choices. Be realistic about what I can get done in 24 hours & following through. Call/text/email people back in a timely fashion, or at all. Clean the damn house. Stay connected to friends and loved ones.

Why is it so much easier to come up with the “things you can do better” than the “things you are really good at”?

Part Three
Part Two
Part One


Mary Kay Summer Blow Out Sale!


Labor Day is just around the corner, so I’m clearing out my summer inventory! Shop online with me between now and August 31st for 25% off your entire purchase.

While supplies last, purchases of $40 or more (after discount) will receive a custom Mary Kay tweezer and soothing eye gel set in a faux alligator case.

Purchases of $100 or more (after discount) will receive the tweezer set and complete set of Mary Kay limited edition nail polishes in Coral Stone and Pink Sand.

Purchases of $200 or more (after discount) will receive all of the above, plus our travel roll-up bag to keep your supplies organized.

When you place your order, just click “contact me for payment information” and I will call or email with your discount. Remember, I offer free delivery or shipping on every purchase.

Please, share the news with your friends and let me know how I can serve you. I can’t wait to see what Fall has in store for us!

62 Questions – Part Three


I am working through Life Literacy Lab’s 62 power questions to reconnect to yourself. Let me know if you’re ready to take the challenge with me. I’d love to have a buddy!

  1. What is the way you often sabotage yourself?


  2. Who would you like to please the most?

    My sweetie.

  3. What do you think a stranger’s first impression of you would be?

    Oh, what a weird question. Someone recently describe me as “alarmingly perky.” Let’s go with friendly, but scattered.

  4. What recurring dream do you have? What do you think is the message your subconscious is sending you through that dream?

    I don’t have recurring dreams in the classic sense, but the same scenario plays out frequently. I revisit an old classroom or school and something is different. People don’t remember me, or my desk is gone, or the classroom has changed dramatically. Often I’m visiting the stage and backstage area of my school in Sacramento or at Cal. I first had this dream in fourth grade, and I was revisiting my third grade classroom. I was super dramatic and walked into the classroom crying, holding a purse. They find a chair for me and I sit and try to collect myself as the lesson goes on.

    Perhaps it is a warning about nostalgia? I want to revisit certain stages, but know deep-down that they no longer exist.

  5. What would you try now if you were sure you wouldn’t fail?

    I have always struggled with this question. It seems to beg for a huge answer, like “I would move to New York and become a star on Broadway.” But I don’t really want that. So instead of trying to manufacture a big thing, I’ll focus on a smaller topic. I suppose I would sing in front of people with my real voice. It’s the only thing where fear of failure completely immobilizes me. Well, not completely. It’s complicated. I can do it, especially if it’s improvised singing (speaking of, I have two shows coming up! Long-form (no singing) on 9/3 and short form (with singing!) on 9/9!), but if I am doing a recital or audition–or even karaoke for goodness sake–my technique goes out the window and my sound suffers. I’m afraid to sing with my real voice.

Part Two
Part One

62 Questions – Part Two


I am working through Life Literacy Lab’s 62 power questions to reconnect to yourself. Let me know if you’re ready to take the challenge with me. I’d love to have a buddy!

  1. If you could change your name, what would your new name be?

    Well, I actually really like my name. If I had to change it, I guess Roxanne. But that is one of my baby names so DON”T STEAL IT! *giving you side-eye right now*

  2. What color dominates your wardrobe? How do you feel when you wear that color? Why?

    *runs to closet to check* I don’t really have a dominating color, but I wear a lot of black. It is dramatic, but also flexible. I feel sophisticated when I wear it. Until I notice that it’s covered in cat hair, which happens on a semi-regular basis. So yes, I feel sophisticated but it also reminds me not to take myself too seriously.

  3. Which song do you sing only when you’re alone? What memory does it bring back?

    Oh goodness. I am an indiscriminate singer so this is a tough one for me. I guess On My Own from Les Miz. I remember crying like an idiot at the stage door after I saw it for the first time. I actually started crying before the curtain went up. I’m weird.

  4. Whom do you secretly envy? Why?

    I secretly envy people with minimalistic homes.

  5. What do you really want? But really…

    I want to fully live the life I have.

62 Questions – Part One

How do I find my passion?


The feeling of disconnection from ones “true self” is a favorite topic of philosophers, armchair psychoanalysts and navel-gazers alike. And, not surprisingly, the rift between who we are and who we want to be seems to be growing in our age of hyper-connectivity. We are constantly plugged into the internet, social networks, Netflix streaming, texts from friends and coworkers, etc. etc. etc. All of this ‘noise’ (which is fun, don’t get me wrong!) can serve as a distraction from life’s deeper questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I want? After all, we don’t have time to pursue our passions if we’re obsessively refreshing our Facebook feeds and putting out fires at work! The cultivation of passion and connection to self require time for silence and reflection–precious commodities in today’s culture.

But what happens when you take the time to reconnect to your heart’s desire, to pursue your calling or to follow your passion and you realize the devastating truth: You don’t remember what it is. You have a vague memory, some scribbled notes in a journal, but it all seems so distant. If you are here right now, don’t despair. You are not alone.

My friend Sarah introduced me to Life Literacy Labs a while back by doing one of C.A.’s inspired exercises on this very topic.  C.A. has identified 62 power questions to reconnect to yourself. Sarah’s courage in answering these questions in a public forum was absolutely inspiring–and I am going to follow suit!

I plan to tackle 5-10 questions per entry. Has anyone else worked through this list? Please let me know how it went for you.

  1. What is that thing that no one, not even your partner, your mother or your best friend, knows about you?

    I swear like a sailor when I drive by myself. I can go from zero to batshit angry in no time flat. This is especially weird because I give my sweetie such a hard time when he gets frustrated while driving, but my road rage is SO much worse. :-/ Sorry, sweetie!

  2.  What would make you feel embarrassed in public?

    Making a mistake, especially in front of a large group. (Hello, perfectionism!)

  3. What do you think is your biggest flaw? What have you done about it?

    Indecision. I’ve accepted it as part of my personality, and something that I need to be aware of. I let my logical brain spin itself out making pro and con lists, and then I try to go with my gut.

    Edited to add: Hmm. After thinking it over, I think my indecision is actually a symptom of my perfectionism. I’m indecisive because I am terrified of making the wrong choice.  I’ve been working on giving myself permission to make mistakes, and recognizing that there’s no such thing as “perfect.”

    This blog is a big part of mortifying my perfectionism. It has stifled my voice for far too long…

  4. What is your biggest strength? How did you develop it?

    My biggest strengths are empathy/acceptance. I try to understand where other people are coming from, even if their behavior seems inexplicable from the outside!   

  5. What do you have to put up with in your life? How long have you been tolerating it?

    I put up with a messy/disorganized living environment. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember.

How to be present


10 Quotes about living in the present moment

1. The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. –Buddha

2. Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world. –Thich Nhat Hanh

3. Be still, and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10

4. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. –Jesus (Matthew 6:34 Message Translation)

5. Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. –James Thurber

6. Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee. –Montaigne

7. I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. –D.H. Lawrence

8. Living in the present moment creates the experience of eternity. –Deepak Chopra

9. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. –Lao Tzu

10. You can experience, on a surface level, happiness and unhappiness, but they are minor movements on the surface of your being. I compare this to lighting a candle in a dark room. The candle is lit, and then suddenly the candle is extinguished. That makes a big difference in a dark room.

But if you open the shutters and let the sunlight stream into the room, the effect of the candle, lit or unlit, happiness or unhappiness, makes little difference. In the absence of the sunlight your happiness will appear extreme, as if your ego has triumphed over the universe, but you are at the mercy of the wind of phenomena, and when, as it will, unhappiness returns, the candle flame dies and you are in the depths of darkness.

Allow the sunlight into the room by saying “Yes” to the present moment. If you go deep into the Now, there is always peace and joy there. It doesn’t depend on the ups and downs of object consciousness. The joy of the present moment is the sunlight that fills your life. The ups and downs of object consciousness are the flames of the candle. –Eckhart Tolle

Mary Kay Azure Eyeshadow Look


Oh my goodness… Mary Kay’s YouTube channel is amazing! Check out this high-drama smoky eye look done by Ashunta Sheriff. Mary Kay Azure is one of my favorite colors (assuming I ever work up the cojones to wear it out of the house!) and I love the idea of doing a smoky eye with such a bold, bright hue.

Such a beautiful look!

Keep your eyes peeled for my first video blog–I’m going to try a similar look with a bright purple coming up next! I have a feeling I might need to bring in some reinforcements…so stay tuned!

Should you let your wife drive alone?


Wow, there is a lot going on here. First, watch.

So, how about that? My interpretation of the scary driving montage was the tired “women aren’t good drivers” story, but my sweetie had a different take on it. He started by admitting that he does get nervous when I’m driving alone. Which led to some rather colorful language on my part. 🙂 Once I stopped seeing red, we had a good conversation.

He said it isn’t that he’s concerned about my driving; it’s that he’s concerned about the other factors he can’t control and/or protect me from. Which was sweet, but still problematic.

But, getting back to the ad. First, it exploits the desire to protect your loved ones–“If you love your wife, then buy our tires.” Second, the structure of the ad, namely that men are interested in performance for themselves and protection for their “women,” implies that women need to be protected and men don’t. And why would a woman need more protection than a man while driving?

Does a flash-mob of crazy drivers start when a woman gets in the car alone? Does Cal-Trans set up detours just to stymie your wife’s airport runs? Clearly, the answer is no. Traffic is traffic, detours are detours, and crazy drivers do not practice gender discrimination. The implication, then, of women “needing protection” on the road is that women aren’t as adept at navigating the hazards of driving. Which brings us right back to the starting point: Women can’t drive.

The most troubling implication of the ad is evidenced by a stylistic shift when the driver is reunited with her husband. When the woman is driving by herself the music is ominous and the cinematography is choppy and disjointed. Not only is the world unsafe, but something feels seriously out-of-order. Hmm…I wonder what it could be…

When she safely arrives at the airport and her husband gets into the car, the disordered universe is set aright. This return to order is evidenced by the abrupt change in cinematography; The music becomes soothing and we are treated to a nice steady shot of the happy couple. Apparently, it is not only dangerous for a woman to drive alone–it is unnatural. Ick.

Mary Kay Eyeshadow Swatch


The response to my first eyeshadow swatches blew me away! Thank you to my Mary Kay friends in Russia for linking to my photos. It was fun reading your responses in the forum–thank heaven for Google Translate!

My next inventory order came in last week, and I’ve been dying to post more swatches! As promised, the swatches for our Mineral Eye Color in Espresso and Denim Frost are below. The first photo is in full sunlight and the second is indoors with flash.

Espresso is a matte dark brown, the darkest brown in the MK palate. It layers nicely and is a wonderful liner. It may be because I was born in the 80’s, but I am in love with Denim Frost! It is a greyed-out cobalt blue shimmer with some iridescence–and I think I see the tiniest bit of black pigment in the second photo. It’s so nuanced it drives me wild!

Swatch of Mary Kay Espresso (matte brown) and denim frost (blue shimmer) eyeshadows

Look at that shimmer!

Overall I am impressed with the Mineral Eye Color collection. The shades are highly pigmented and blend beautifully. Please comment if there are any particular color combinations you’d like to see!

As always, let me know if you’d like to place an order or if you have any questions.
(510) 779-2386

Disclaimer: I am an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay. I purchased all supplies and materials shown and received no compensation for this post. 

Cooking with coconut oil


Yesterday I chronicled my not so harrowing experience cooking with coconut oil for the first time, and I promised to discuss the reasoning behind cooking with a new (to me) fat.  The DH and I usually cook with olive oil, but there is a growing body of evidence indicating that olive oil may not be the nutritional godsend we’ve been led to believe it is.

Apparently olive oil begins to break down when it is heated much above 200°F-250°F–which is not very hot at all. George Mateljan of The World’s Healthiest Foods explains that “oxidation of nourishing substances found in extra virgin olive oil, as well as acrylamide formation [an air-borne neurotoxin, among other nasty things]  can occur at cooking temperatures close to 300°F.”

Did you catch that? We’re all trying to be healthy, so we’re cooking with EVOO like everyone tells us to, and we’re inhaling toxic fumes?! Yuck!  Click here to watch a video with George explaining the process. You can literally see the oil change from a beautiful green to clear as it heats up and oxidization begins.

Olive oil, especially the extra virgin variety, just isn’t designed to be cooked with at high temperatures. To retain the benefits of olive oil, it seems better to use it to finish foods, drizzling it over your salmon after it is cooked, using it to dress a salad, etc.

So, to avoid eating oxidized oil, it’s recommended that one only cook with fats that can handle the heat: coconut, avocado, high oleic safflower, etc. But as good child of the 90’s, I remember when movie theaters were forced to stop using coconut oil to pop their popcorn because of its high saturated fat content. So why is this healthy food guru advocating the use of saturated fat?

Read the rest of this entry

Spanish Rice with COCONUT OIL!


Welcome to the inaugural post of Adventures in Huswifery.

So far I’ve posted some old-school “badvertising” under this category, and I have so much more planned! I look forward to exploring the history of the term “housewife,” questioning housework as a traditionally gendered activity, and, most importantly, documenting my struggles to get my shit together and act like a grown-up when it comes to keeping our house clean. My dear husband can, and does, clean circles around me on a regular basis. I am all for questioning traditional gender norms, but it’s really time for me to start pulling my weight.

I have, however, already achieved some modicum of success an area of traditional huswifery: cooking! So, without further ado, I am proud to present my first food blog. My food blogs and recipes will be cross posted between Adventures in Huswifery and Dining as I see fit.

Spanish rice cooked with coconut oil


1/2 medium yellow or white onion (can someone tell me the difference here? I use them interchangeably and it hasn’t blown up the world…yet)
garlic to taste
1 jalapeno
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup of tomato sauce
1 dried chile (if feeling whimsical)
2 cups of long grain rice (I used white basmati)
4 cups of chicken broth
salt to taste Read the rest of this entry

Overcoming Procrastination: The Tools


Be gentle to yourself. Unless you’re gentle to yourself, no method or technique will work for you. — C.A. Kobu

It’s been with me as long as I can remember. The desire to start anew, organized, focused. To finally achieve my potential. The start of every new school year was full of new binders and planners and hopes and dreams. “This semester, I will stay organized. I will not complete papers the night before (or the morning) they are due. I will set deadlines for myself.  I will… I will… I will…”

But it never really happened. I still got great grades, most of the time. But I felt like it was a constant struggle. I could only produce when I was in “the zone,” and I had no way to control when the muse would strike. After graduation, things got worse. Instead of concrete deadlines, I was faced with the squidginess of the real world. And I realized that instead of getting a F if I didn’t turn something in, people would often cut me slack. Extend deadlines. And I abused it. Oh lord, did I abuse it.  And I castigated myself. I tried all sorts of organization and motivation systems. “Muse be damned, I’m getting it done!!” I was hard on myself. And it pushed me farther from any semblance of productivity.

I am learning that motivation isn’t a one size fits all scenario.  The tricks that can catapult one person into “the zone” will completely immobilize another. Our different learning styles, different personalities and different values combine to create highly specific and beautiful individuals–doesn’t it make sense that our approach to work, organization and motivation should be individualized as well?

The creative process isn’t just about widgets and time-lines–we do need to leave space for the muse. It isn’t only allowed, it’s essential! Charlie of Productive Flourishing  voices this very well:

“Creative people approach their work differently. Most of us don’t work 8-5, and we don’t have projects that we can plan to get done during the same times each day. The limiting factor for us is not the amount of time we have available, but rather the type of time we have available.”

We all work differently. So if you struggle with procrastination, or feeling blocked in your projects, take heart! You are not alone. You could be working in a system that isn’t designed for you. Try other planners. Restart your project. Don’t be afraid to get out your markers and draw a picture about how that *expletive* presentation you have to finish by Monday is making you feel.

Download Creative Menthol from Life Literacy Labs and try one of C.A. Kobu’s exercises to get “unstuck.” For the love of Pete, stop using Outlook to organize your task list! Try one of Charlie’s free planners. It is your right to figure out a system that works for YOU, even if it looks like madness or wasted time to an outsider. Give yourself permission to try a different approach. To fail. To refine your process and try again.

You are worth it. Your ideas are worth it.



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

– Max Ehrmann

Read more about the history of this poem.

Trapped in a Rumor


Guess what? I have a show coming up on August 13th! Trapped in a Rumor is doing some fabulous short form improv in conjunction with members of The Fancy Dinosaurs. I am thrilled to be working with these talented and BEAUTIFUL people.

Join Trapped In A Rumor as we help one of our own, Andy Bardin, prepare to take the next big step in life: marriage! Andy and his long time girlfriend Kat will be tying the knot in the near future and it is our great pleasure to help them out any way we can–so a portion of the show proceeds will be going to their wedding fund. How cool is that?

Click here to buy your tickets. You know you want to…

Trapped in a Rumpr poster advertising improv show August 13 @7PM

Help us celebrate Kat and Andy's love!

Our Deepest Fear


Be free today. Be yourself. – Stacey

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson