waiting

IMG_7624.JPGAs evidenced by the relative emptiness of this blog over the past few weeks, I think it’s safe to say this season has truly been one of the busiest of my life.  A senioritis-induced course schedule overload and new opportunities in the studio have been filling my time so sufficiently, I can’t remember the last time I sat down to journal, let alone blog.  There are so many things I want to share with you- stolen costumes, nostalgic cheese, nourishing drops of dew- but for now I will take a note from advent season.

Advent is a version of the Latin term “coming”.  It refers to the season observed by Western Christian churches as a time of waiting to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus.  It’s a time of anticipation and measured expectancy.  Religious or not, I find the practice of this slow expectancy deeply relatable.  In this chaotic season of life, advent reminds us to take pause, muse, and reflect.

M and I crafted up our own advent calendar (a la Reading My Tea Leaves), each tiny envelope full of good deeds (make dinner for his brother and sister-in-law who are welcoming a new baby this week), and fun winter time dates (spiked hot chocolate at Duck & Bunny) to help us savor the wait.

dear santa, love dancers

holiday gift guide

Nutcracker is in full swing, my friends and I watched Love Actually last night, and my “Bright Copper Kettles” scented candle burns whenever I am home.  We picked our names for the annual FBP Secret Santa, so it seems like an appropriate time to put together a little holiday gift guide: Setting The Barre-style.  Read along for 10 special surprises to wrap up for the dancer in your life…

1. The Modern Classic.  I can’t say enough good things about this ultra soft, barre-inspired workout top. But if you’d like to see me try, check out my review.

2. Chamomile Tea.  This super-tea not only squashes stress, but it relieves sore muscles and reduces inflammation as well!  Yogi-tested, dancer-approved.

3. Warm Booties.  I have been sporting these Bloch booties since 2010 when my mom snagged them for me at a YAGP competition.  I warm up in them every morning, and have yet to find a footwear option that keeps my toes as warm and cozy as these pups.

4.  Glass Water Bottle.  I’m a big believer in reusable water bottles, but am also super sensitive to that icky taste plastic or metal options sometimes leak into the water they are holding.  This pretty glass bottle would eliminate that problem entirely, and the bamboo shell makes it both aesthetically pleasing and indestructible.  Win-win.

5. Nutribullet.  I purchased a Nutribullet this summer and can honestly say I’ve used it almost every day since.  It’s the most high-efficiency, low-maintainance way to blend up nutrient-packed smoothies I’ve ever found, and the cups come with screw-on tops, so you can bring them anywhere.

6. Heating Pad.  This one is essential if your dancer friend lives in a cold winter climate!  Equally helpful in warming up a sore spot and cuddling up with on the couch after a long day of rehearsal.

7. Knit Shawl.  The beautiful and talented Vilia Putrius of Artsy Leo knitted this little guy for me a few months ago, and I am obsessed with it.  The shawl is so soft and intricately crafted; I can wrap it around any part of my body and feel like I’m instantly warm and a tad fancy. ;)

8.  Massage Ball.  I rely on my Footrubz rubber massage ball to cure all bunion-induced foot ailments.  Arch cramps be gone!

9. Pretty Pouch.  I have about four different pouches in my dance bag currently.  One for sewing supplies, one for tape, one for hair accessories, and one for miscellaneous mints, perfume rollers, and other items that attempt to make me smell less like a sweaty foot.  This glam little option from Madewell would be a warmly welcomed update.

10. Stretch Ribbons.  I arrived late to the stretchy ribbons party, but boy am I glad I finally decided to show up.  Two words: achilles savers.  Give any and all lady dancers in your life the gift of freedom from ankle-strangling satin ribbons!  Their tendons will thank you forever.

multitasking maria

All dancers know how tough it can be to find time for gift shopping with Nutcracker rehearsals and performances crowding up our holiday calendars.  I’m loving this adorable Visa commercial, which uses San Francisco Ballet principle, Maria Kochetkova, to poke fun at the dancer solution to most time management problems: multitasking!  Since we’ll be doing our first full Snow rehearsal at FBP today, I thought it would be appropriate to share the Nutcracker-themed commercial here.  Happy Saturday!

PS- Check out another Nutcracker-inspired commercial here.

it’s beginning to look a lot like…

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December is finally in full swing!  A couple of weeks without snowflaking-it-up in the kingdom of sweets and my Christmas spirit went into hiding.  Now it’s back and ready to go Secret Santa shopping with a vanilla chai in one hand and a gingerbread man in the other.  Man, do I love the holidays.  And there’s nothing like a trip to Boston Opera House and a Christmas party with good friends (knit headwear not optional) to get you in the tree-trimming mood.  Sidenote: Does anyone else find keeping close friends outside the ballet crucial to preserving your insanity?  Discuss.

tis the season to drink baileys

Have you seen Baileys’ latest holiday-inspired tv ad?  The Nutcracker themed commercial features an epic Rat King battle for the beautiful Clara, who stars in this version of the story as an ethereal, light-footed bar patron out for a night in “Candyland” with her girls.  A bedraggled protagonist is found in our studly Nutcracker Prince- love how they made him look like he’d been off at war for some time before stopping for a beer Baileys in the twinkling, chandelier-studded bar.  The Rat King, a tattooed-and-facial-scruffed hunk of man intervenes in the (extremely confident) Nutcracker’s sweet courting of light-as-air Clara, resulting in a ballet battle of carefully crafted roundhouse kicks, expertly choreographed by my Nantucket bff, Natalie Portman babydaddy arm candy husband, and new Paris Opera Ballet director, the ever dreamy Benjamin Millepied.  The dancing, executed by Royal Ballet dancers Steven McRae, Thiago Soares and Iana Salenko, is impressive to say the least.  There is something about the soft fluidity and pure power of the Royal Ballet that always astounds me.  I also love the girl-power message by Baileys, as Clara turns the tables on our dance fight, only to return to her friends for more fun, leaving us with the suggestion to “spend time with the girls this Christmas”.  Don’t mind if I do!  Check out the making of the commercial for yourselves, down below…

entering adulthood

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This past week, two of my best friends, Tegan and Brenna, both turned 21.  Of course there was a fair amount of drinking celebrating around here, but in the lull between festivities (somewhere after the mimosas and before the mojitos), I really got to thinking about what it is to turn 21.  Every year on my birthday, at least one person hits me with the cliché “So, do you feel any older today?”, to which I’ve always replied with a shrug and a half-smile.  But this year was different.  Turning 21 really does make you feel older.  While anyone over the age of 35 reading this may be shaking their head and giving their computer screen a furrowed brow and a sarcastic chuckle, turning 21 has made me feel old.  Okay, not old.  But older.

Although I swear I was just taking my permit test on my 16th birthday yesterday, the fact is I’ve been 21 for over a month now.  Which means I am a real adult.  Nothing is stopping me.  When I think about it, it actually feels like a very advantageous and exciting time in my life.  I have finally been accepted into the “secret society” of grown-ups who kibitz over martinis and discuss their preference for red or white wine at the local watering hole.  Now that my friends are joining me in the exclusive club that is adulthood, I can’t wait to really explore the Over-21 world I’ve anxiously viewed from the outside for so many years.  So cheers to birthdays, liquor store perusing, champagne bottle popping, solo cup clinking, and perfecting the hangover cure.

making spirits bright

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Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!  Here are a few little peeks into the holiday cheer that’s been lighting up my apartment for the past month.

On a more somber note; In the wake of the harrowing tragedy that has so inexcusably stained our country recently, I would like to take a moment to remember those souls whose lives were taken all too soon and the families whose dinner tables will leave one place bare this December.  I hope that this horrific event will serve not as an opportunity to actively hate those responsible for the death toll, but as a reminder of the fragility of precious life.  Let this be a time in which the warm light of hope in the hearts of the good outshines the fiery enmity in the minds of the disturbed.  May the admirable in humankind exceed the evil and may the victims, their families, and this mourning country somehow find peace over the holiday season.

To donate to those affected or volunteer your time, please click here.