Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! And A Quick Catch Up!

Hi all! So, blogging has hit the back burner as I finish up my junior year at the University of Illinois! It's crunch time. Big time. On this "spill it" sunday, I'm just going to recap what's been happening in my life since I've been almost completely MIA.


I'm writing a 10 page theatre history term paper. I love the topic I chose, but that doesn't make it easier. It's due tomorrow, and I'm going back to editing it as soon as I finish pounding out this post.

Tomorrow begins Illinois Theatre Audition Week! For a recap of last semester's Audition Week, check out this post or this post. It'll be a busy, busy few days. And stressful. AND this year, cast lists aren't going up until the FOLLOWING MONDAY rather than Friday. Torture. So, I've been spending all nights that I'm not in the library in the rehearsal studio. I took a selfie to send to my parents. Your tuition money hard at work mom and dad!

Warning: Lots of selfies in this blog post. #sorry. #notsorry.

O Beautiful closed. It was so hard to say goodbye to the most moving and powerful production I've ever been a part of. And it's been hard to say goodbye to Alice Fletcher, a character I really, truly came to love and adore.

Here's my obligatory dressing room selfie, taken on closing night:

Here's a couple of production photos to FINALLY give you a little more of a complete view of me as Alice. So far I think I've only been able to post rehearsal/backstage selfies.

Illinois Theatre presents: O BEAUTIFUL
By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Gina Rattan
Scenic Designer: Elliott Djuric
Costume Designer: Ellen Danforth
Lighting Designer: YuYi “Pasha” Guo
Sound Designer: Cynthia Booker
Projections Designer: Joseph a. Burke
Photo by Donald Cregg

Much Ado (the other Illinois theatre show) closed last night. I saw it twice and it was amazing! I'm so inspired by and proud of my peers, faculty and classmates. Here's backstage with my friend who was one of the leads in Much Ado. He was so great! And it was fun that both shows were running at the same time... as you can see, I was in my Alice costume/hair/makeup in this photo:

Final presentations are rapidly approaching! That's the "final" for my acting class when all of the other students, faculty, and department members come to watch (and grade us, in the case of the faculty.) This semester, my acting class concentration was musical theatre. Here's the boys working on some choreography in the beginning of one of our group numbers:

The weather is finally hot (well, in the 60's.. that's hot right?) and running outside is amazing. Return of the post-workout snaps!

And I get to wear skirts!

And light jackets/cadigans instead of coats!


I've been so bad about cooking lately. Lots of oatmeal, protein bars, fruit, and frozen veggie burgers and stuff. Last night I ate some frozen Kashi pizza, which was actually really yummy, and a teeeeny bit healthier than other frozen pizzas. I had barbecue and ranch on the side because dipping sauce is life.

IT'S EASTER! He is risen! I had a nice lunch with my siblings today since we didn't get to go home. I always love spending time with these goons. They were both chewing and I was like "SELFIE" sorry guys.

I got my hair cut! Once you're cast in an Illinois Theatre show you aren't allowed to change your appearance AT ALL until it closes, unless the director and designer tell you to. I needed a trim, badly.

I maybe might be a nanny this summer. I'm staying on campus. It's my last summer as a kid (SOS, shut up Sally, SHUT UP) so I'm going to stay here and have a little fun. And my bestie, Steph, is moving out of her sorority and into my apartment for the summer. Help us.

Anyway, that is the lowdown on what is going on with me!

What's going on with you?
Are you almost done for the semester?
What are your summer plans?
I love hearing from you!

I'll try to be back Wednesday for the What I Ate Wednesday linkup!

Until next time,

Sally Rae

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Balsamic Rice Salad

Hi everyone! I know I've been MIA lately. I thought after my show closed I'd have more free time.


I'm jumping straight into auditions for next season, I'm writing a 10 page research paper, and I'm getting ready for finals.

Yesterday, I realized I was out of groceries. Seriously. I had my bulk barrel of oats, a few eggs, and a tomato in my fridge. My pantry had a can of beans, some rice, coffee, and a few apples. Yeah, I needed to go to the store.

So I checked my bank statement. $50 to my name, folks. And I had just ordered $20 worth of headshots that I need to turn in to the theatre offices tomorrow for auditions next week. SOS.

I grudgingly walked to Walgreens, swiped my card and went to the store, carefully planning what I absolutely NEEDED to buy. $30 doesn't go too far when you love to cook and want to try every new recipe you come across on Pinterest or while reading blogs. I was a bit cranky and annoyed with my financial situation, and thinking about how in a year I'm going to graduate, and it will only get harder.

As I stood in the bread isle, carefully comparing prices so I would not overdraw on my debt card, a girl came up to me, tapped my arm, and said, "I saw O Beautiful for class. You were so great. It was really, really moving."

Thank you universe for reminding me what I do. Sometimes, it's the little things like that make everything worth it.

Speaking of the show closing, on closing night, before set strike, I ran up to the Cafe in Krannert to grab a bite to eat. They bought the cast some Papa John's pizza, but that didn't sound too good to me, so I decided to see if I could grab something a little more energizing to get me through the hours ahead of tearing down a set.

I settled on a double order of the Quinoa salad. And I LOVED it. I didn't have any quinoa, and I didn't want to shell out any of my precious $30 on a bag of it when I had perfectly good rice in my apartment, so I created my own dish that is reminiscent of the delicious dish served at Krannert. I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2


1 c rice of choice, dry. Quinoa would work as well!
1 apple, sliced thinly (I used honey crisp)
1/4 c diced red onion
1 c dark red cherries, pitted
fresh basil
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

The prep is super simple!

Prepare your rice or quinoa and set aside.

Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet or pan, and saute the apple, basil, cherries, and onions. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar when they are almost completely cooked.

Once everything is sizzling nicely, add the prepared rice or quiona and mix it well into the fruits and veggies.

Let it marinate... until everything is all mixed together.

And transfer to a plate. ENJOY!

So good.

I'll try to check in tomorrow with a Five Things Friday!


Sally Rae