Chelsea recently finished her second audiobook with Penguin Random House. To download, click here.


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Spring Motivation

As we slowly inch our way into better weather (haha, not really because Chicago), I've been running around town like a madwoman from audition to audition. And I'm not sure what it is, but I feel like I've been on FIRE.

I was feeling down in the dumps coming out of the crusty winter months, and decided to sit down with a friend of mine who is a fellow actor. He's been experiencing some wonderful successes lately, and I was doubting that I'd ever get cast again. (This is an irrational fear. A silly one, but after a barebones winter, it felt very real). I had no idea how to fix this problem for myself. And my friend suggested that I do one theatre-related thing every day. He told me to take classes, see shows, and put myself out there as much as possible. And I cannot thank him enough.

My first agency submission!

This business is very difficult at times, but not for all the reasons one might think. I knew going into theatre that I would be poor and largely out of work. I knew that auditions would be my primary job. But I didn't know how to pass the time in between gigs, and I certainly didn't know how to motivate myself to be a better artist. Not that I do now, of course. I'm still a wee young thing learning all the time. But I at least now have a better idea of what to do. I think the biggest trap that an actor (or any artist) can fall into is not producing art all the time. Occasionally, breaks need to be taken, but there is a difference between a break and a lame excuse to not audition. I had forgotten how much I love this. I even love auditioning. I love how exciting theatre can be. And when you are stuck in inertia, it is very difficult to get yourself moving again. 

Submission materials

But I did. And now I'm doing things that I had no idea I was supposed to be doing. I'm submitting myself for projects instead of waiting for them to come to me. I'm active in pursuing auditions instead of finding reasons not to go. I'm taking classes and challenging myself to do things I'm uncomfortable with. Like monologue auditions. And dance calls. And who knows if any of this will lead to a part or an award or a "connection." Who cares? It has already led me to better things. New friendships. New challenges. But most importantly, a renewed belief in myself. 

What's your spring motivation going to be?

Pasta Salad


Everybody needs a good pasta salad. The spring weather that is (kind of) upon us is lulling me into its trap. All I want are burgers, brats, and pasta salad. A bit on the summery side, I know, but a girl can dream. Here for you today is my mom's own personal recipe. Enjoy!

First up, you'll need:

Knives for slicing and dicing

Cutting board

Large pot

16 oz pasta (I used gluten free as an experiment, and LOVED it)

1 green pepper, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

3/4 large red onion, chopped

1 small container cherry/grape tomatoes, halved

1 6-10oz jar pitted greek olives

1 small log of hard salami, cubed

6ish oz cheddar cheese, cubed

6ish oz of mozzerella cheese, cubed

12 large basil leaves, chopped

1 bottle Trader Joe's Tuscan Italian salad dressing


This is the FIRST time I've cried cutting onions. Ever.

Start boiling a large pot of salted water for your pasta. Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until it's as mushy as you'd like. While you're cooking the pasta, prepare to cut everything else into tiny little pieces until your arms fall off. I started with the veggies (tomato, peppers, onion) and then moved on to cheese and salami, but you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. It's a pasta salad. Not hard. 

Once the pasta is finished, drain it and let it cool. Then throw in with the basil and dressing. Toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and you are DONE.

This is one of the easiest and tastiest things I've made yet. It also makes a ton of food, so I recommend halving the recipe or serving a large group of people. It goes excellently with burgers (my secret burger recipe to follow another day.) If you're a vegetarian, I highly recomment skipping the salami and adding artichoke hearts and sundried tomato. Either way, this is such a delicious staple for the spring and summer, and will feed you for like a week straight. What's not to love?

Friday Playlist

This. Happy Friday.

A Few Reasons to Float in the Tub

 My own personal tub

Most of us performing arts types have pretty standard day jobs to pay the rent - retail, food service, child care, etc. Occasionally, however, there will be an opportunity for an actor (or anyone in the business) to create their own job. I know lots of ladies and gents who have dedicated their time to companies like Arbonne and Mary Kay, because they get to be their own boss and sell a product they love. But one gal in particular has gone a step above and has CREATED her own skincare line called Float in the Tub. Who is this magical skincare princess? Her name is Alicia Lees, and she's forever hooked me on her ah-mazing bath n' body products. 

Alicia is a friend of mine with whom I work at my day job, but she's also a costumer for Light Opera Works. She is just beginning to unwrap her potential in bath/body care, and I am here to wave her banner and shout her praises! I sat down with Alicia to ask some questions about how she got started, what kinds of products she offers, and how you can get your hands on one of her magic potions. 

 The lovely Alicia Lees

Chelsea: Alicia, how did you get your start making all of these awesome goodies? When did you start? Do you have a mission statement?

Alicia: My mom taught me about a year and a half ago how to make the sugar scrub, which is one of my top sellers. It was just us in her kitchen and I've been making new products ever since. My mission is to provide luxurious, organic, and sustainable bath and body products for anyone and everyone.

C: When did things start taking off for you?

A: Business really started picking up about six months ago, before Christmas. Friends and family knew about the line, but when gift orders started pouring in, I knew it was going to be a busy season. I also threw my first Champagne and Sugar Scrub party, and that helped business get going as well. 

C: It sounds like you're getting popular! Do you do special events as well, or is it just invite-only for now?

A: I do special events all the time! Baby and bridal showers have been very popular, as well as simply word-of-mouth. I take samples to work and try to spread the word as much as possible. Parties are a big part of that, so if you want to host one, I'm happy to cater to anything!

C: What sorts of products do you offer?

A: I currently have sugar scrub, lotion bars, lip balm, and shaving lotion. I'm always experimenting, though, so more is on the way!

Lotion bars, sugar scrub, and lip balm!

C: I know the sugar scrub is my personal favorite. And I am addicted to the coffee scent. What other scents do you offer?

A: For the sugar scrub which is the most popular, I offer brown sugar, coffee, vanilla clove, pumpkin pie spice, rosemary bergamot, and lavender. Most of the sugar scrub scents can be made into lotion bars and lip balm, depending on the essential oils used. I'm also trying out and orange cream and do pine and peppermint variations around the holidays. I'm open to requests as well!

C: They all sound good enough to eat. 

A: Technically, everything is edible as well (though I wouldn't recommend it for taste) because I use only organic product. That comes in handy if you have small children or mischievous pets who get into the product by accident.

C: So everything is organic. Fantastic! What kinds of ingredients do you use?

A: The base for most of the products is coconut oil, and I also use essential oils for scent bases.  I also incorporate as many physical ingredients as possible. For example, the lavender sugar scrub has actual lavender in it, as well as the coffee, rosemary and bergamot, and vanilla clove. I try to be as authentic and natural as possible with the scents of my products. My goal is not to have a perfumey product, but a more subtle one.

C: It sounds like you're goal is sustainability as well. 

A: Absolutely! I try to reuse and recycle our packaging as much as possible. If you bring me your own container, I'll even take $1 off your purchase!

C: Any exciting news coming up?

A: Well, I'm planning another sugar scrub party sometime this summer, but until then, I'll be busy working on my new website, Please feel free to stop my Facebook page, or my Etsy shop as well. And you can email me anytime at

C: Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. I know I'm looking forward to all the new things you're creating!

 Alicia was very patient with my photoshoot ideas

You guys, I cannot stress enough how incredible these products are. I use my coffee sugar scrub all the time, and am so looking forward to trying new scents. The lotion bars feel moisturizing without being sticky, and the lip balm is soft and luxurious. I have to reiterate once more that I don't advocate for products simply because they benefit my friends (although in this case, it's a lovely bonus). I truly love all that Alicia is doing, and would happily buy her products any time. And to prove how amazing these products are, I want to share the love with YOU! The first three comments on this blog post (within the continental U.S.A.) will receive a sample of Alicia's sugar scrub! I have one coffee, one brown sugar, and one vanilla clove available, so it's first come, first served. But there's a catch. In your post, you have to name which Friday Playlist song has been your favorite and why! Happy commenting! I hope you all get a chance to float in the tub very soon. :)


Friday Playlist

I'm gonna be a little musical theatre-y today and give you a song from the Wild Party (Lippa). I'm supposed to be practicing Sondheim, but I just can't get this out of my head.

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