Ah, Vail Dance Festival. A beautiful whirlwind of art and connection, effervescing with life. When I wasn’t fangirling world class dancers (or holding light reflectors in their faces), I found myself wrapped up in the serenity of Vail’s mountain air. What a completely magical place for a celebration of movement and music. I feel honored and humbled by this entire experience. Some behind-the-scenes photos, if you’d like to see…





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for more #bts from the Vail Dance Festival, check out @settingthebarre on Instagram.

10 days down under









as we touched down in Queenstown

island vegetation and mini eco-system formations

welcomed us to a land down under

avo toasted plates and brekkie bowls

dark fruit breads and savory scones

skyline hikes to starfish dives

winding drives past brown beehives

by rocky vineyards and cold Sound rocks

then cute salads and long bird walks

sweet TimTams and fijoa fruits

just Keds and my trusty boots

exploring a world upside in and downside out

leaning left in round abouts

now a fat stack of boarding passes

sits in my home like wasted ashes

artifacts of our 40-hour days

and proof of passports so well played.


-from the weary mind of a NZ traveler

forest lights

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Last weekend, a group of friends and I headed up to Acadia National Park in Maine for a little camping adventure before work begins and reality takes its firm grip once more.  We really lucked out with our timing, since September is technically off-season for the park, but our weather has been having a hard time saying goodbye to summer.  We had the whole campsite to ourselves, which meant there was plenty of opportunities for “zen wheelbarrowing”, telling inappropriate loud jokes by the fire, and early morning jogs through the woods for one of our campers, who was super chilly without a sleeping bag that first night.

Although we climbed (scaled) some of the tallest mountains I’ve ever hiked (ran) up, bringing me one step closer to mastering that fear of heights, standing at the top of Bumblebee Mountain was not the most notable moment of the trip for me.  On our first night in Acadia, we, rather randomly, decided to walk over to the seawall and do some stargazing, all 7 of us.  As we shifted our backs around on the bumpy rocks, looking for a place to nestle our heads, Kevin noticed a bright light on the horizon.  We sat up and the light rose with us, as if craning it’s big eyes over the ocean to get a look at us.  No one spoke.   The light grew wider, inching up out of the ocean a bit further, and altogether, silently, we all realized what we were seeing, though I’m not sure any of us believed our eyes.   Could we really be witnessing a moonrise in Acadia?  The just slightly waning moon revealed more of its face to us, with eyes now peeking out behind the sparkling black cloak of the sea.  The more the moon appeared, the faster it rose, as if gaining its confidence from our wide-eyed awe.  When it finally cut its ties with it’s reflected twin in the water and hung freely among the stars, we all started breathing again.

That accidental moonrise viewing, over the ocean in the completely clear-save-the-stars sky over Acadia, with 6 of my best friends, is an experience I will cherish forever.  Just 4 minutes of pure natural beauty, a serendipitous gift from the universe, just for us.


the umbrella factory

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There’s a place where you can weave through bamboo stalks so tall, the tops look like tiny paintbrushes tickling the sky.

A place where you can see jewelry made of spoons, beautiful art and home furnishings, made by your neighbor.

There’s a place where you can get lost in potted plants, losing count of the rows and rows of herbs, succulents, flowers, and greens, the arched hug of a warm greenhouse guiding you from above.

There’s a place where spotted chickens roam free, and emus greet you at the gate.

A place where chairs are made of moss, and roadways- stepping stones.

There’s place where smoothies are made with just 3 ingredients and the freshest of fruits, a place where musical instruments require only the willingness to think to be played, and the teeniest of sculptures can be yours for $5.

Would you believe me if I told you this place was in little old Rhode Island?  That taking a drive out to Charlestown could make all these things true?  Well, folks, I’m not lying- and here is my proof!

muddy paws and pink mountains

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Even through my fleece tights, leggings, and thick puffy snow pants, I could still feel the pull of 10 spirited dogs harnessed in and ready to run.  Tension pulsed from the strong shoulders of the mutts through the taunt lines, into the slats of our wooden sled  and up through my hamstrings.  These dogs love a good gallivant through the White Mountains, that much is clear.  And shouldn’t they?  With their plush coats deflecting any hint of an intruding snowflake and the blood of Iditarod racers in their veins, these dogs were- quite literally- made for this.

That first 200-foot tug on the musher’s command is still the most imprinted one in my memory.  Even with an impressively steep incline, the lofty and peaceful height of the trail and a fast downhill slope at the finish all competing for attention, that initiation pull was still my favorite.  A quick taste of release for the motley team of eager sled dogs, each with their own story and personality…it was impossible not to feed off of their energy and excitement.

Although I will admit, as we rounded out our trip and the sun began to set, the White Mountains glowed a soft pink and that view almost took over top spot as best moment of the day.  New Hampshire’s landscapes are truly some of the most beautiful in the country, and enlisting in a sled ride is one of the best ways to view them.  If you ever find yourself in need of a relaxing retreat, check out Muddy Paws dog kennel.  Their staff is cool, knowledgeable, and care for each of the 140 dogs like they are the only pup in the place.  It’s a great experience, an incredible gift (just ask my boyfriend), and *bonus* the kennel is entirely non-profit, meaning all proceeds to go caring for the dogs.  If that doesn’t make you feel all warm and cozy, try some hot cocoa by the fireplace in your cozy NH cabin ;)  This President’y Weekend getaway was one for the books.

russell pond

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On Tuesday afternoon, my boyfriend and I decided to head up to New Hampshire for a semi-spontaneous camping adventure.  The site we chose by Russell Pond in North Woodstock could not have been more perfect.  Crystal clear water, 80-degree weather, mountainous terrain, a rope swing (which I braved- very uncharacteristically!), picturesque sunsets and glowing sunrises…what more do you need?  Sometimes submerging yourself in nature and living simply (no cell phones and all meals cooked over an open fire) is all it takes to clear your head and rediscover your inner child.  Being just a short drive away from the Appalachian Mountain trails, we even managed to fit a completely exhausting nice relaxing hike in!  At the peak of the trail, we looped around Lonesome Lake, breathing in the fresh northern air and the surreal mountaintop views.  Bravo, New Hampshire.  Bravo.

cotton candy clouds

Good morning, dears!  Just thought I would share a few photos of the views I’ve been soaking in lately…DSC02678 DSC02680 DSC02684 DSC02679DSC02689

Last night’s sunset was too gorgeous to go undocumented.  And where are these pastel-colored skies, you ask?  Right over the flat waves of Short Sands in the one and only York Beach, Maine- my favorite little beach town!  I’m here with my family for a quick little weekend getaway, enjoying the views, the wine, and some R&R.  Hope you’re all having as wonderful a weekend as I am!  Ciao!