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palm springs

October 5, 2015


Palm Springs. Probably the weirdest vacation I’ve ever taken but nice all the same. It is just the sleepiest town with really nothing to do but lounge at the pool or in your hotel, cocktails or coffee in hand.

There wasn’t much I planned for this trip except for a stay at the Ace Hotel, which I’ve been wanting to visit for quite a while. It’s not a luxury hotel (though the prices say otherwise), but it’s very hip and has fun things like an old photobooth, diner, poolside drinks, a spa (which we didn’t take advantage of), and bikes to ride. Plus, it has photo opps all over the place, and you know I’m all about that.

So we ate brunch at Cheeky’s and King’s Highway. We drank cocktails and ate appetizers at the pool (man was it hot). We relished the air conditioning as we don’t have it in our LA apartment (the trip was worth it just for that). We ate at Birba (pizza, duh) and shared a delicious shake at Great Shakes. We rode bikes with pretty mountain and palm tree views, but it was too hot to do for long. We watched movies in our hotel room and caught up on sleep.

I thought maybe we’d check out the cactus garden, or ride the aerial tramway, or do some vintage shopping. But we ended up just relaxing the whole time – something my husband is not good at it, but it was my birthday trip, so we did it all the same.

This is a great getaway to if you want to do nothing. If I were to go again, I could see renting a cool Airbnb (I know Palm Springs has some cool homes), researching where to actually vintage shop, and maybe go horseback riding. But I’m definitely a plan-everything-with-a-packed-itinerary type of person, so even though a weekend of “nothing” was nice, I don’t know if I could do it often.











-wonderland sam


October 4, 2015


Well, there is a slight chill in the air this morning, and as I can sometimes be overly optimistic, I’m taking it as a sign that fall is arriving. That being said, I thought it’s about time I share the last of my summer adventures before I dive into this autumn season with full force.


Several weeks ago my cousin and her boyfriend took us snorkeling for the first time. If you didn’t hear me crying enough about it, I really tore my feet up with my new fins (not realizing there was a plastic insert that was supposed to be removed). Yes, the fins were killing me the entire 1.5 hours we were out treading water in the ocean, but I didn’t want to be a baby and turn back and as I had never worn fins before, I thought maybe I was just breaking them in. While out on the water I joked that my feet were bleeding, and on arrival to land, I was sadly proven right. Layers of skin were ripped off, leaving my feet pretty much useless the next month. You really come to appreciate things such as the ability to use your feet when stuff like this happens. At some point I was able to shower without excruciating pain, and after a few weeks I could wear shoes other than flip-flops. All this to say – I will be careful not to make such a stupid mistake like that again and also- I love you, Feet. Thank you for all that you do.

I did a sloppy job at editing these because man, it’s hard to edit underwater photos. But here they are! The water was cloudy due to a swell, so next time hopefully we can see more underwater. But can I say, even when they are literally ripping your feet apart, fins are pretty magical in their ability to keep you afloat? I honestly thought there was no way I could tread water for that long and not drown.

P.S. This is one of like, two times I’ve ever gone into the Pacific Ocean without a wetsuit on. Because it was one of like, two times it was warm enough to.













-wonderland sam

autumn in LA

September 25, 2015


Well, autumn is here (that’s what my calendar says anyway). I’m still holding out for those cooler temps and colored leaves, but gosh darn it if I won’t celebrate like we actually have seasons in Los Angeles. I love the summertime but am always ready for a change of season when fall creeps around – it always comes at the perfect time for me. I’m all about the seasons and you KNOW I’m all about the holidays, so these next few months should be good ones. I’ll wrap up photos from the last of my summer adventures soon, but right now, I’m gon’ go ahead and leap right into my fall bucket list because I’m also ALL ABOUT THOSE LISTS

  • visit an apple orchard (and eat apple cider donuts while we’re at it)
  • craft this year’s Halloween costumes
  • bake pumpkin bread (and a pie)
  • make chocolate-caramel apples
  • carve pumpkins (and maybe make it to an actual pumpkin patch this year)
  • take evening walks through the neighborhood with coffee in hand
  • buy a new fall scented candle
  • make homemade bread and pizza (it’s been a while)
  • plan a Halloween event (outdoor movie, Knott’s Scary Farm, Haunted Hay ride…!)
  • finish (and relish) the last books of the Harry Potter series

These things make the list every year, and you bet I make every effort to do them every year. Basically spending a lot of time baking and crafting and overloading my senses with all things fall (maybe a camping or anniversary trip thrown in for good measure). And even though I basically do this already, I want to take (and post to Instagram) at least one photo a day. I did that last October and really loved not only having a record of the season, but also actively seeking out and appreciating those small, treasured moments.


-wonderland sam

25 for my 25th : final progress

September 10, 2015

Hey, remember how I made a list of 25 things to do during my 25th (or really 26th) year? Well, as always, I didn’t get to all of them, but I made progress! I did new things! That’s what counts. I love having these lists to hold me accountable and to push me to actually do things. And since today is my 26th birthday (sheesh), here’s a round-up of all the progress I made:

1. Visit Portland, Oregon √ : We loved Portland.


2. Learn how to use a sewing machine : Not yet, but I’ve already purchased a sewing e-course and have a sneaking suspicion my in-laws are getting me a sewing machine for my birthday. ;)

3. Make my own sandwich bread √ : Yum yum yum. However, I need to make this into a regular occurrence.


4. Go apple picking √ : My first time – and everything I hoped for. For sure doing it again this year.


5. Enroll Kipling in an obedience class √ : We 100% need to be more consistent with her at home if we really want her to be trained, haha.


6. Read the entire Anne of Green Gables series √ : After book three I decided I didn’t want to continue the series. I loved the first book, but it started to lose its magic as I kept reading.


7. Buy a new mattress : Still waiting on this belated Christmas present from my mama, haha.

8. Run 3 miles straight : A weird knee issue has prevented me from doing any type of running (and hiking downhill), so obviously this one was not accomplished.

9. Go camping at Joshua Tree √ : A different experience camping in the desert for sure. Glad we made the trip, but I prefer the forests.


10. Get my splits back : Ugh, I was making such progress with this, and then I tore up my feet up and couldn’t bend my ankles or have them touch anything. On that note, I haven’t been able to exercise for the past two weeks, and I was in such a great routine…

11. Go on a day long hike √ : This hike on the Channel Islands was long enough (after kayaking 9 miles and carrying all of our camping gear/water on our backs up and down up and down up and down).

2015-09-10 11.08.24

12. Take a lesson at a shooting range : Still looking out for a Groupon shooting lesson (and not just a free-for-all shooting range)

13. Take a SkillShare or other online class √ : I took a Street Photography course but have yet to take the lessons and practice in real life.

2015-09-10 11.08.53

14. Learn how to actually plant an herb garden √ : Our garden haul has been small, but look! We grew strawberries and bell peppers, and our basil plant has been so wonderful (the only herb we’ve currently planted). Love tending to this garden and eating food we’ve GROWN.

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15. Have a pen pal

16. Read Harry Potter √ : Making/loving my way through the series – currently on book five and planning to finish before Harry Potter World opens up in Los Angeles!

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17. Book a national commercial : I have, but not a union national commercial, which is the whole goal. But I’ve signed with a new commercial agent…so small steps you guys!

18. Book a role on a TV show : Yes, I’ve done it, but both have been unscripted hidden camera/docu-reality series. So again, the goal is for a scripted, union job. Putting it out there, Universe.

19. Sign with a theatrical agent : Workin’ on it.

20. Have a picnic in Central Park √ : We weren’t able to picnic because we had leftover Thanksgiving food for days that needed to be heated up and eaten prior, but we did make it to Central Park (not Central Park pictured below, obviously).

2015-09-10 11.23.58

21. Ride on a train √ : Took the train to meet my Mama half-way to San Diego!

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22. Invest in new friendships √ : Suppressing my anxiety and meeting up with newish people! For coffee! Hikes! A fancy gala!

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23. Unplug √ : Trying, trying, trying. Reading more. Getting on Facebook less. The motto seems to always be – baby steps.

2015-09-10 11.11.36

24. Find a fitness regimen that is right for me √ : ClassPass! I was in such a great routine of working out regularly and trying new fitness studios. However, with my mutilated feet I haven’t been able to exercise the past two weeks and am very sad about it.

2015-09-10 11.10.54

25. Be happy. √ : Finding what makes me happy and adding more of THAT to my life.

2015-09-10 11.10.10

-wonderland sam

the pursuit of happiness

August 31, 2015


“It’s easy to be miserable. Being happy is tougher. And cooler.” – Thom Yorke

I saw a poster with this quote via Instagram several weeks ago. And boy is it the truth. It’s so, so easy for me to feel annoyed, angry, and anxious, and sometimes, it’s a whole lot of work to just let all of that go. But, in my experience, all good things are always worth the work.

That’s what I’m sitting here telling myself as I linger over this past weekend and wish I was anywhere but sitting at this desk.

Good weekends make Mondays harder. Ah, the contradictions of life.

I’m really not going anywhere with this except, to add the good, you also have to subtract the bad. Rid your life of time wasters, energy suckers, and people who just pull you down (I guess that’s difficult to do in the workplace). But just now, as I logged into Facebook (which is not nearly as regular of an occurrence lately, and for that I am so, so grateful), I started feeling anxiety at all the hate and judgment that is spewed there. When did the internet go from a place of connection to instead, a place of destruction? I just can’t handle it. And therefore, as I’ve said before, but really mean it now, I want to stop. If something doesn’t make me feel or do better now, or in the long run, I don’t want it in my life. I don’t have that time or energy to waste.

This post wasn’t meant to be such a downer (slash the antithesis of happiness), but I think my anxiety is getting the better of me today, and I wanted to put it out there. I need a nap.

In other news, things I want to focus on:

plants. walks. books. sun. my dog.

And maybe some wine for good measure.

I shared a lot of happy summer things from my weekend here. Will share some fun GoPro pics soon.

-wonderland sam

car therapy

August 28, 2015


I’m a head case – I’ll be the first to admit it. I think therapy is a verifiable, genuine good course of action for any and everyone to take. Anyone who has the money to afford it.

In the meantime, my car is my therapist’s office, my steering wheel the said…therapist.

Just this morning, on the way to tape an audition, I laughed and cried in a span of two minutes. Laughed at a funny story on the radio, cried at a seemingly strange song to be crying at. And I don’t even know why. But it felt good.

I really don’t like driving. It’s lonesome and boring, and why can’t teleportation be a thing already? But driving gives me time alone with myself, where no one can hear me (except Dr. Steering). So how do I use it?

Well this morning, after the laughing, and the crying, and the getting out of the car and the getting back in it, I used the radio to pump myself up. I sang and danced and got my energy groovin’ and didn’t care who may have been watching. I always forget to listen to music unless I’m in a car (that may be strange to some of you, but it’s really not something I generally think about). But when I do, and it’s not music I’m tired of, I am always reminded just how much it can affect my mood. How it can lift me up and change my spirits and really just make me excited about life (is that too grand?). But it’s true. Same thing about dancing (I LOVE DANCING). So I did that.

I also talked to myself. Yep, I talk to myself. Full disclosure, the cat’s out of the bag, I’m insane. But I do. And I like it. And it helps me SO. MUCH. Today I pretended I was talking to the group of students I’m going to mentor in acting this semester. I’m excited and nervous about it, and I want these kids to actually learn and have fun and be excited about acting. So I talked to myself for a good 20 minutes.

A note about talking to yourself – it really makes the time fly by. Before I knew it, I was already at work. Win-win-win.

The only thing that will make car therapy better is self-driving cars, so I can lean my seat back and share my feelings from “the couch”.

But then I’ll be terrified that this car is driving itself and am I going to die and are robots taking over the world?!

That will open up a whole other can of worms to be discussed with my therapist.


-wonderland sam


August 25, 2015


Remember how I said I’d never buy a disposable underwater camera ever again because the quality of photos is laughably horrendous (particularly the ocean kayaking pictures, which makes me doubly sad)? Well, I thought I’d share a few of the decent ones anyway because why not? Some of these are over a year old and still capture some good memories (even if not picture perfect). Mother, if you’re reading this, I’d love a GoPro for Christmas this year. ;)






























-wonderland sam


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