Yup, that’s me in City Arts Magazine for Goodwill!

I’ve had fun this month hearing from friends that they spotted me in the Goodwill ad in City Arts Magazine (a free arts publication in Seattle):

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Thanks to my friend Joey at City Arts for thinking of me for this modeling gig! Did you know that Goodwill is a non-profit and proceeds from items sold in their stores benefit free job training and education for those in need? All the more reason to shop and donate to Goodwill over other (for-profit) used shops. Last year, Goodwill helped over 9,200 people!

Review: Hopelessly Devoted to Grease! At The 5th Avenue through August 2nd.

Guest reviewer: Billie Puyear

I remember my first introduction to the music of Grease was in sophomore year of high school. One of the popular girls asked me (ME!) to come over to her house and we were going to dye our hair together! I still have to most vivid memory of singing “Greased Lightnin” into hair brushes in her bathroom mirror thinking “this is the funniest thing I have ever done!”

So when I put on my petticoat and saddle shoes and headed to The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Grease last Thursday, let’s just say I had some elevated expectations. I am happy to say that the old gang at Rydell High did not disappoint. Setting the stage for this evening of awesome were The Dusty 45s. Their performance was amazing and may or may not have contained a flaming trumpet! (and the show is just getting started? I’m in!)

The Dusty 45s transition seamlessly into a show filled with all those hair brush and car trip ballads that we know and love.

As a perk, there are songs performed that I knew from the album that were never in the movie. It felt like when you found the hidden track at the end of your CD for the first time, but you already knew all the words!

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Listening to the stage versions of songs that I had heard only in the film was a totally different experience as well. Solea Preiffer (Sandy) delivers a performance of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” that is filled with such heartbreak, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. Also Bryan Gula’s (Danny) rendition of “Alone at a Drive-In Movie” is both funny and sincere. The entire cast is able to take the characters that we have all known and loved for years and manage to make them their own, adding their own twist on beloved classics I was singing along to (singing mostly in my head, but I won’t lie, I couldn’t help myself a few times).

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It was fantastic to learn of The 5th Avenue’s commitment to arts education and that many in the cast had been affected by the outreach and programming such as Adventure Musical Theatre and The Rising Star Project. Who doesn’t love a happy ending.

If you’re anything like me (and if so we should totally hang out), you will thoroughly enjoy this production of Grease. It is the perfect blend of nostalgia, talented performers and good old fashioned fun. Grease runs July 9 – August 2, so polish off those dancing shoes, buy your tickets and get ready to hand jive at the high school hop!

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Photos: Greased Lightnin by Mark Kitaoka. Sandy and Danny and The Company of Grease by Tracy Martin.

A 12 year old and her Oma review the musical “Wicked”

My 12 year old niece and my mom saw Wicked for the first time last week and loved it (of course)! Here are their delightful reviews. Wicked plays The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle now through August 2nd.

Wicked review by Nara Deller, age 12: 

Before Dorothy, before Toto, when the tin man and the scarecrow were still human…

Wicked is the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good came to be. It’s about the witches of Oz, an unlikely friendship, and different paths you choose in life. The curtain draws you in with an amazing map of Oz. The amazing sets, brilliant costumes, and powerful music (songs like Popular, Defying Gravity, and For Good) set the stage for all the talented performers! Glinda (Alyssa Fox) was very funny, she got everyone laughing, and Elphaba (Carrie St. Louis) was outstanding in her emerald role.

Great cast. Powerful music. Loud. Amazing sets. Hilarious Dialogue.

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Wicked review by Jeanne Deller, Nara’s Oma:

Venturing about town on our way to Wicked at the Paramount Theatre, my granddaughter and I discovered multitudes of like-minded musical theatre aficionados thrilled to be welcoming this rollicking show back to Seattle.

This avant-garde, heart-warming portrayal of hard-won, most-unlikely friendships takes us to the Land of Oz, pre-Dorothy, with familiar characters peppered throughout. Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics bring wickedly funny and daring escapades to light in introducing villains and heroes alike.

Elphaba (Alyssa Fox) and Glinda (Carrie St.Louis) are outstanding in their respective roles as bad witch and good witch. Glinda’s over-the-top self-absorption keeps the crowd laughing – her character even more lively and animated than when the show began its blockbuster Broadway run 12 years ago.

Brilliant casting, superb staging, incredible costuming – all intermingled with high-flying monkeys and more. Wicked continues to impact audiences around the world in the most positive way – forever changing lives “For Good!” Grab your friends, significant other, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews (recommended for ages 8 and up) and join all those Seattleites out there who are basking in Wicked’s glow.  Choral numbers “Popular” and “For Good” are alone worth the price of admission. You have through August 2nd to catch this dynamite show and join in the rousing, standing ovation with the drop of the curtain on the final act.

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Buy your tickets to Wicked now (or learn about their day-of $25 ticket lottery).

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Photos by Joan Marcus.

Anne of Green Gables, Mini Golf, SAM’s Disguise, and Orange is the New Cat.

Some highlights from June:

Delightful conversation over happy hour with some gals! Boom Noodle is back on the hill so Alida, Erin and I made our way there to check out their happy hour offerings, most of which we enjoyed (the rice cakes were strange, but everything else was fine and low priced). Erin, Nora and I savored the deliciousness that is Barrio, and Alida and I caught up over guacamole and the salsa bar at La Cocina Oaxaqueña.

Rachel introduced me to a tiny secret beach and hand shaven noodles from Seven Star Pepper. Already craving more (noodles and beach time).

I got to check out Lanen’s gorgeous house and back yard and finally meet her cute pup, Falcor, a king charles spaniel.  She caught up over pizza, salad and wine at Tutta Bella before seeing wacky performance at the Seattle International Dance Festival.

Erin, Paul, Somer, James and others joined in the celebrations of Conor’s first birthday with a pool party at Kate and Julian’s. Watermelon season has arrived!

Kathryn and I relived many moments of our childhood as we rewatched Anne of Green Gables on DVD (thanks to ebay).


“Puffed Sleeves!”

I treated myself to a trip to Minneapolis to visit Erin M. I met up with my childhood best friend Rebecca and got to meet her little girl at mini-golf at The Walker, followed by some glorious poolside time with Erin (thanks, Chris!).

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Such fun to connect with my best friend from childhood and meet her sweet little girl! 

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Getting frank with my hostess, Erin! 

I checked out the new “Disguise: Masks & Global African Art” at Seattle Art Museum.  I had a blast at Night of Disguise with Levy, Jessica, Brandon, and Nora. Don’t miss this exhibition – it’s incredible. Saya Woolfalk’s room is stunning, I could spend hours in there. After the Disguise party, we watched Levy perform in Unexpected Productions’ Theatresports, just down the street in Pike Place Market.

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Photos are allowed in #SAMDisguise! The room featuring the work of artist Saya Woolfalk.

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My look for our evening out at “Night of Disguise”

Brandon and I enjoyed celebrating with Jonathan and Oryx at their wedding party, connecting with old friends and making some new ones. Yup, actual conversation at a dance party. It really makes a difference when party throwers know how to play their speakers at a level that fits the venue and crowd.

Father’s Day gave us the opportunity for a fun, laid back BBQ on the roof with my mom and dad and bro. Brandon and I introduced them to card game Red7 – one of my new favorites.

We had an awesome trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma! Erin, Paul, Brian, Morgan, Brandon, and I goofed around in perfect pool and hot tub weather, enjoyed a great wine tasting at Homewood Winery in Sonoma, a delicious lunch at the awesomely designed Fremont Diner (fried chicken sliders and mac n cheese – yum!) and revisited Sonoma Plaza (shaved ice for the win!) and Roche Winery (Chardonnays I actually like). Brian and Morgan introduced us to the game Camel Up. I’m not sure I have the strategy down yet, but I still enjoy playing!

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Sign in The Fremont Diner outdoor patio in Sonoma

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We had an excellent, relaxed wine tasting experience at Homewood Wines in Sonoma

TV shows & movies I enjoyed:

Orange is the New Black Season 3 (great writing and characters!) For those of you who are already fans, I share this gem:


Artwork by KittyCassandra 

Re-watching Dollhouse – love that show! Eliza Dushku and Enver Gjokaj are awesome to watch.

Rewatched part of “The Fall.” Such an epic film. I need to go back and watch the whole thing again soon.

Books I read:

The Willpower Instinct – great book with so many useful tools to help with willpower

The Language of Flowers – lovely story that was fun to get lost in (thanks for the recommendation, Athena!)

On a budget? Your chance for $25 tickets to “Wicked” at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre

The popular musical Wicked is back at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle July 9 – August 2.

This three time Tony Award winning show is really delightful – my mom will be guest reviewing the show for this blog and taking my 12 year old niece.

On a budget? Wicked is offering a day-of-show lottery for $25 Wicked tickets. Arrive 2.5 hours before the performance to put your name in the barrel. A half hour later, names are drawn to purchase a tickets (2 per name drawn, cash only).

About the show: Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete – and completely satisfying – new musical in a long time” (USA Today).

Don’t want to play the lottery? Tickets, here.

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Photo by Joan Marcus

Chiho Aoshima, Smash Putt, Spam Musubi & Costume Parties

In May, I was able to explore Seattle and enjoy life in the following ways:

I walked up the water tower at Volunteer Park to enjoy the view (after catching my breath – so many stairs!)


Experienced the awesome Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World exhibition at the Asian Art Museum. I loved this show so much and am definitely going back.

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Image: “City Glow” (detail) by Chiho Aoshima, visitsam.org/chiho.

Stopped smell the flowers at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Introduced Morgan to my favorite dumpling place, Din Tai Fung in University Village. Their green beans are awesome.


Sang out with friends at Kate’s karaoke birthday party at Rock Box.

Hit up Smash Putt for a second time (wacky mini-golf! I think the Foosball one was my favorite)

Got a gold star from my dentist for brushing – no cavities! (If you’re looking for an awesome dentist, check out Dr. Sebek and tell her Keridwyn sent you.)

Watched “Far from the Madding Crowd” with some friends at Pacific Place. If you like Downton Abbey, you’ll probably enjoy this film.


Met Juvi’s new cat Niko. Meow.

Was unimpressed with dinner at Mamnoon – love getting mana’eesh za’atar to go at lunch but won’t be back there for dinner again. Bummer.

Enjoyed spam musubi and coconut shave ice from Marination ma kai with B, Paul and Erin after a short visit to Alki beach.


Supported Opulent Temple by attending the White Party fundraiser.

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Photo by Noelle Smithhart

Celebrated my mom and sister in law for Mother’s Day.

Saw Jasper in Deadland at The 5th Avenue Theatre. I loved so many moments of this show – it has true potential but there were a few numbers and bits I think need cutting or adjusting before it really takes off.

Modeled for a photo shoot for Goodwill and City Arts. (I’ll share when it’s out!)

Took Brandon on a surprise date to see Janeane Garofalo, who is awesome live!

janeCelebrated my friends Jon and Melissa’s wedding.

Decided bikinis shouldn’t be just for the skinny minnies and bought myself a two piece.

Created a character, “Celeste Giobadi,” at a Space themed costume party.

Was unimpressed by Serious Pie on Capitol Hill. Did they change their crust recipe? Where did the salt go?

Books I read:

Left Neglected. From the author of Still Alice. Loved it!

Big Little Lies – decent beach read

Shows I enjoyed:

The Jinx. So addicting and well done.

Seattle production of Grease at The 5th Avenue Theatre July 9 – Aug 2. GIVEAWAY

The summer before 6th grade, my friend Rhiannon and I watched the movie version of Grease nearly every single day. We loved that movie. The Pink Ladies rocked our world.  We danced in the living room to all the numbers and belted the slow songs into hair brushes.  When Rizzo sang “There are worse things I could do,” we felt her pain.

The 5th Avenue Theatre is producing their own version of Grease this summer and the Seattle based cast looks stellar. I’m especially excited to see the adorable and talented Sarah Rose Davis as Frenchie, Andi Alhadeff as Cha Cha, and Kirsten deLohr Helland as Rizzo.

The Dusty 45s will be performing as the high school rock band, which will make this show even more electric! Grease runs July  9 – August 2.

I’m thrilled to be giving away a pair of tickets to two lucky winners! Enter to win, here. Giveaway ends June 30.


Cast members from Grease. Photo by Mark Kitaoka


So cute and perfectly cast. Sarah Rose Davis as Frenchie. Photo by Mark Kitaoka


There are worse things she could do. Saxton Jay as Kenicke and Kirsten deLohr Helland as Rizzo. Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Winners will be able to choose the performance they wish to attend between July 9 and July 15.