What’d I Miss?!

Happy Sunday, friends! A full four month hiatus- after a three month hiatus- and I’m back. Really, truly back. (Famous last words…) Holy cow, 2017 has been quite the year! Let me catch you up to speed- let’s back up to March.

March 2017

March was a big month! I turned 30 (eek!), spent my birthday at the Wizarding World, and finished up work on “In the Heights” at Davenport North. My next post will be all about my birthday trip, so let me just say- it was an AWESOME month! ITH was one of the best shows I’ve ever worked on, and a truly life-changing experience.


April/May 2017

I had some vacation blues after getting back from Florida- which was cured when I took a long weekend trip to Cincinnati to see Danielle and Brad! It was a pretty lazy weekend, which was exactly what I needed. Oh, and there was cake, so that was a plus!

When I got back from my trip…I did a big thing. I gave my notice at the Family Museum. Yes- you read that correctly. After almost ten years, I decided to leave. There were many reasons for my leaving, but the biggest and most important was that I was ready to pursue my passion full time. I was finally brave enough to do it.

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet…I gave notice without having anything lined up. That was/is the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I really can’t explain it, other than I had the sense that everything was going to be ok. And it was.

During my last week with the Museum, I interviewed for and was offered the position of Theatre Coordinator at Davenport Junior Theatre, which is where I’ve spent the last four months. I’ve finally found my perfect fit of a job. Every day, I’m excited to go to work, love what I do, and feel like I’m not only making a huge difference, but am appreciated for doing so. I could gush for hours about all the things I like about my job, but instead, I’ll just say I’m happy. Super, crazy, stupid happy.

Yes, things aren’t always sunshine and roses. I’ve taken a bit of a pay cut, which was hard. Some weeks are tighter than others, but I still have my house, can still pay my bills, and still have money for my biggest indulgence, coffee! While I’m by no means an expert,  I thought I’d share three apps that have really helped, because, let’s face it: everyone likes saving money!

1- Ibotta- here’s how it works: click on the link and get yourself the app. Once you have, you can access and redeem rebates on your groceries, online shopping, and more! I will check out the rebates, match them up with my grocery list, and then redeem them when I get home. All you have to do is snap a picture of your receipt and scan the item’s barcode. EASY! Once you hit $20 (which honestly doesn’t take long), you can send the money to your PayPal or redeem for gift cards. Bam. Also, if you sign up via my referral link, you’ll get $10 after you redeem your first rebate, and I get $5! https://ibotta.com/r/wxeauvg

2-Receipt Hog- download the app, snap a picture of every receipt you accumulate, and let the points roll in! I will say, this one takes a little longer to accumulate, but for how little work it is, I honestly don’t mind.

3- Cartwheel- if you shop at Target as often as I do, you need this. Just trust me.

Summer 2017

So, other than a new job, how did I spend my summer? Well, I kicked it off by watching my ITH cast perform at the Des Moines Civic Center, followed by choreographing my first show at Quad City Music Guild. West Side Story was my most challenging choreography to date, and one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I had a mini vacation weekend with my family in Chicago, where I got to see Aladdin, and went back two weeks later to see Hamilton with my North kids. Oh, and I snuck in a garage sale, lots of kitty snuggles, and so much friendship time. All in all, a great summer!

So, there you have. The shortest possible recap of the last six months. Life is good and I am loving the path I’m on. What’s to come? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out. Here’s to new adventures, more list adventures, and a happy future.

Until next time,




22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Cool Beanz Coffeehouse

HELLO FRIENDS! It’s been a long two months, but I am back! What have I been doing and what have I been up to? Here’s a (semi) quick update before I jump in to the list…

  1. I directed a show! As I mentioned before my hiatus, I got the opportunity to direct “Charlotte’s Web” at Davenport North. It was a WONDERFUL experience- I spent 7 weeks in the theater, got to work with some amazing kids, and learned so much. I’m on a short break now, but will start choreographing not one, but TWO musicals in January! More details soon. 🙂

2.  I got to spend two wonderful holidays with my family! Though both trips were fast, it was so nice to have time with everyone…and also to slow down for a bit, and do a whole lot of nothing.

3. I’ve gotten to do some awesome things at the Museum! I’m in the process of getting some (much needed) new volunteer software, ordering 13 costumes for our exhibit gallery for my staff to wear, working a ton of fun events, and coming up with new ideas I want to try, left and right. I’m really getting into my groove with my job, and am having a lot of fun!


Working at the Holiday Jammie Jam with Caroline

4. I was accepted into Hogwarts! Try to remain calm.


And…that’s been the last 8 weeks! You’re all caught up- yay!

So, I actually visited my “new restaurant” in October, but in true Steph fashion, you’re hearing about it now. Oh well. I wanted to finish blocking my show, and needed a quiet place to do it. I’d been wanting to try Cool Beanz for years, but it’s on the other side of the river, so I’m not over there much. I decided to make a special trip that day, just to try it out. It was a cold rainy Monday, so it was a perfect coffee day. I got to Cool Beanz a little after 10am. I was running to get out of the rain, but I stopped to take a few pictures.

It was SO cute, and very cozy! There were quite a few people there, but only one person in line. I was glad I had looked at the menu ahead of time- it takes me forever to decide! When it was my turn, I ordered an iced “Quad”- a latte with butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, and cherry. I asked the barista about it, and he said people either loved it or hated it. That made me nervous, but I went ahead with my order and got a chocolate muffin too. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid, but I do remember that it was in line with Starbucks. I found a table right by the cash register, and waited while they made my drink and warmed up the muffin. They were really fast, and brought both to my table.


The muffin was DIVINE. Seriously…I ate it in three bites. No shame. My drink was good, but not something I’d order again. My coffee taste has shifted a lot in the last year, and I prefer drinks that aren’t quite as sweet. But, I’d definitely like to go back and try something else. The service was great, the environment was warm and friendly, and although it was busy, I was able to focus and get a crap ton of blocking done! Yay for me!

Since this post was so late, I’m going to do another new restaurant soon. Be on the lookout for that, as well as more regular posts! I’ve been working on my goals for 2016 and they all center around self-care and happiness. Blogging makes me happy, so I’m planning to do a lot more of it…and also, I’ve got less than 15 months left to finish my list and I’ve got a LONG way to go…

Until next time,