Meet Catherine

Yesterday, while pursuing the Lawn & Patio section at Target and drooling over all of the grills, fire pits and patio furniture, I came across this guy:


I think owning a garden gnome is a rite of home-ownership passage.  So when I stumbled upon this beaut, I couldn’t pass him up.

I asked Kevin what his name was, and he said “Catherine.” Then he later nicknamed him “Number.”


So if you ever find yourself walking up to our doorstep, please take a moment to greet Catherine “Number” Hicks.



Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Short Hair Don’t Care

Okay. So, my hair looks drastically different.


Here are the facts:

1.) I haven’t had a haircut in over a year. Not even a trim.
2.) I just closed a show wherein I contractually could not cut my hair.
3.) I’m always happy to help a good cause.

You might be wondering about #3.

I’ve always wanted to grow my hair long enough to donate, but I never had the patience to let it grow that long before getting bored. This time, I knew without a doubt that I had plenty to donate. Minimum requirement is 10 inches, so we cut just that.






So, although I’m not used to the final product at the moment, I know it’s for a good cause.


And I love a good challenge. Give me a drastically different haircut, and I’ll figure out how not to look like a 12-year-old boy.


So far, I’ve experimented with trendy styles such as this:


And this:


Any tips on styling short hair?


Maybe I’ll just get a headband.











Playdoh Picnic

Oh hey, Monsoon Season.  It sure has been yucky outside, but at least the grass is super green, right?


Since we didn’t have the option to go outside yesterday, we had a “picnic” indoors with some good old-fashioned Playdoh.


My mom found this set at Marshall’s for $5.99.  What a steal!  It came with four small Playdoh tubs and a bunch of food molds.


So, you know, you have your standard bread.


And mystery meat.


And fruit salad.

IMG_3034The basics for an indoor, rainy day picnic.

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Kev saw me snapping photos of the delicious treats we made, so he took some as well.  Like you do.

I’m not sure what Kev made exactly…



HAIR Art #wappo

Last night, one of the most challenging, heartfelt, sincere theatre experiences of my career came to an end.  We closed HAIR at The Keegan Theatre with a nearly sold out run, two weeks of extensions, many a tear shed and more pride in a project than could ever have been imagined.

There are so many reasons this was such a highly emotional experience and why its closing brought up all of the feelings.

There was nudity.  And lots of it.  Never have I ever imagined myself standing naked on stage in front of over 100 people, for 30 performances.

But more importantly, and probably the greatest lesson that came out of this, stemmed from a physical injury that I endured throughout the process, which, in turn, though I feel physically weaker, made me mentally stronger.

Since 2009, I have been dealing with the same herniated disc in my lower lumbar spine.  Over the years, I have been able to keep it under control on my own.  But days before starting rehearsals for HAIR, I took a turn for the worse.  I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably, in the worst pain of my life.  And there was nothing I could do.  I couldn’t walk.  I couldn’t get to a doctor.  Calling an ambulance wasn’t an option because being moved a fraction of a millimeter would trigger intense, sharp, burning mass amounts of pain.  That went on for three days, until my doctor finally got me Percocet, which made it possible to get an MRI, showing that (GASP!) I had a huge disc herniation that was pressing against several nerves.

The disc pain was bad, but the nerve pain was horrendous.  It went all the way down my leg and into my foot.  The pain made me feel like my leg was going to turn black and fall off.  I had trouble walking, but the Percocet was helping.

Over the course of the rehearsal/show process, I went through two Percocet prescription refills, two Gabapentin refills (nerve pain killers) and three epidural injections.  And thank GOD I had doctors who were willing to use less invasive measures to “get me through until closing” instead of urging me to quit.

And although some nights I would find myself limping back to my car after a rehearsal or show, all that went through my mind was “I have to do this.  I have to do this.  There’s no way I’m NOT going to do this.”  My biggest fear was having to let go and drop the show.

Sound crazy?  Probably.  But this show is super important to me.  I did HAIR in October of 2006 at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, and it was an amazing experience.  Since that production, two of my Tribe members have passed away suddenly, leaving a big hole in my heart.  One of them was my best friend, Darin.  We had been through so much together, that production of HAIR included.  We spent hours together, figuring out where I should place each riff in “Easy to be Hard,” listening to the Shoshana Bean version of “I Believe in Love” and wishing we could whistle tone, and  beaming with pride over the beautiful piece of theatre we were a part of.

So when the opportunity came around to be a part of a brand new Tribe and a completely different, yet equally exciting, Tribe experience, I couldn’t give it up.

Which leads me to today’s post-show project.  The artwork for the poster is incredible.  I love the colors.  I love the concept.  It’s perfect.  So when I first saw the box of posters in the box office during rehearsals, I grabbed one for framing.

I found this frame at the thrift store for $2.50.



And It was the perfect size for the poster.



First thing’s first, remove the awkward paper backing.





Then peel off the foam core “art”.


Use the existing foam core to make matting.


Wrap DIY matting with duct tape.


Then cover this awkward plate at the bottom of the frame with duct tape.


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And there you have it.  

And just for fun, my tribe in 2006:


And the WAPPO Tribe in 2014:



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Very different.  Equally momentous.

So much love and gratitude to everyone who came out to support this beautiful production.








Home Alone

The past week has been quite a whirlwind.

Thursday-Monday, Matt took Kevin on a roadtrip to Ohio to visit family for Easter.  Matt has never ventured into the world of solo roadtripping with a toddler, but there’s a first time for everything.  Honestly, I was surprised he would even try.  As a family, we drive to Ohio (7.5-8 hours away) at least three times a year, and we drive to Maine (at least 14 hours) once a year for either Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Matt is the driver, and I am the one who passes Kevin snacks, toys, changes the DVDs and tries to keep him entertained.  I’m not sure how Matt did it, but he did, and I’m super proud and impressed.

While the boys were in Ohio, I kept myself busy with work, errands and performing my little heart out every night in HAIR at the Keegan Theatre in DC (which is why I couldn’t join them).  And try as I might, I couldn’t sleep in to save my life.

On Monday, Matt and Kev drove home, but since that was the night of the 30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards, I was already gone by the time they got home.  If you’re not familiar with the HHA, it’s essentially the Tony Awards of the DC area, honoring theatres and theatre artists in the DC metro area.  It’s a fun night where the theatre community gets to dress up, eat hors d’oeuvres and celebrate the nominees and winners while enjoying an open bar.

And this year, it was at a gorgeous new venue, the National Building Museum.

Photo from theatreWashington

Photo from theatreWashington


Pre-gaming at McCormick & Schmick’s.


A few of the nominated cast of the Keegan Theatre’s production of The Fully Monty, nominated for Outstanding Ensemble Resident Musical.


Just one of the 1,304,305 selfies I took that night.

Tuesday morning I woke up (surprisingly) without a hangover and took Kevin to the Columbia Mall to meet my mom.  He was spending the night at Memaw’s since my castmates and I were going to sing the National Anthem at that night’s Washington Nationals baseball game, and Matt was not going to miss it.   We had to be there at 3:45 for sound check, and the game started at 7:05.


Hanging out in the holding room at the stadium. So glamorous.


The first picture Matt and I have had taken together in too long.



Check us out in all our glory!

Wednesday morning, I got ready and drove to the mall in Columbia, MD again to meet my mom and Kev for lunch and to bring my little guy home for good!  FINALLY I got to spend some time with him, get a few good cuddles and kisses in and see how much he’s grown and changed over the past week.  He’s practically ready for college.

So there you have it.  It’s been a busy, crazy, momentous week.  I’m happy to have my boys back so we can all sleep under the same roof for a significant amount of time.  Until we go to Ohio/West Virginia next month for a wedding!  YAY!

Until next time, I leave you with this Celery Stalking update.  It’s only been a week!


Sunburst Mirror Revamp

Remember when I talked about buying this Midcentury inspired sunburst mirror from a street sale in this post?  Well, I finally managed to pull it out of storage and fix it up.

Materials Needed:

  • Mirror
  • Drop cloth or something to paint on
  • Newspaper or something to cover the actual mirror
  • Painter’s tape
  • Spray paint primer (I used Valspar Primer in White)
  • Spray Paint color of choice (I used Touch’nTone in Gold)

When using spray paint, be sure to be outside or in a well ventilated space.  I was in my garage with the garage door open, and the fumes still made their way into the house.


Isn’t she a beaut?  The original owner got creative using somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 colors of paint and went to town.  Not my cup o’ tea, but it was a noble attempt.


First, I used newspaper and painter’s tape to cover the mirror.  (In the end, some paint did get through to the mirror, but I’ll use a razor blade to scrape it off later.  Or I’ll just consider it added character.)


**It’s super important to wait until each coat of paint dries completely before spraying on another layer.  Also, it’s best to use more light coatings rather than just a couple heavy coats, which will start to look runny and gross.  Believe me, I know.**

First coat of primer.


Second coat of primer.


First coat of Gold.


Second coat of Gold.


And voila!  Finished product!



I haven’t put it up on the wall yet because it’s damn heavy.  But most importantly, I’m waiting for Matt to get back in town to get his placement opinion.  And because of its weight, I have to make sure it’s hung on a stud and not just in the drywall.

But not bad for a $7 street sale find, eh?  Sure beats spending $300 (ON SALE) on the EXACT SAME THING here, huh??

I mean, it looks identical, right?

original starburst mirror


If there’s something I love more than Midcentury decor, it’s DIY Midcentury-inspired decor on the cheap.  Makes my heart sing.

Celery Stalking

I’ve never been much of a fan of celery, but I’ve always been a fan of gardening.  There’s something so magical and satisfying about watching something grow and knowing that you made it happen.  Plus, the added bonus of saving a few dollars every month by growing your own food.  It’s a win-win!

I’ve seen a lot on Pinterest about re-growing celery from the typically discarded bottom of the stalk.

FYI, I’m just starting this process, so I’m showing you the very beginning in hopes that in a couple months, I can show you a finished product (or at least A stalk of celery).

It seems really simple.  You basically just get a bundle of celery (I got mine from Giant).IMG_2718

Cut off the base.  Put it in a shallow container with about an inch of water or so (refreshing the water every few days).


Put it somewhere to catch some rays.  (My celery enjoys wooded views.)

IMG_2787And then wait.  And wait.

What’s supposed to happen is some leafy baby stalks will start to grow out of the top.  And after a few weeks, you should start to see some white roots growing out of the bottom.  When that happens, you replant the base into either the ground or into a large planter.  I will have to do the latter since I don’t really have a place to dig up outside.

I use at least two stalks of celery a day in my smoothies, so although this won’t save me a ton of bucks, it’ll be rewarding and awesome.  Also, there’s something relaxing and freeing about growing your own food.  Like I said, it’s magic.  Thanks, Mother Nature.

**UPDATE: After only about three days, I started noticing some leafage happening right in the center!


I’ll keep y’all posted!  Happy stalking!  (Get it?  Celery… stalks… see ya.)