that’s a wrap

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Two weeks from today marks opening night of Nutcracker and the first official day of winter. But dancers know Nutcracker season is already in full swing, and New Englanders (or other cold-weather-dwellers) know winter has indeed arrived.

Early sunsets and extended studio hours make for chilly ballerinas. Luckily, my absolute favorite dancewear brand, RubiaWear, has us covered. Literally. Hehe.

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I firmly believe everything Ashley Ellis touches turns to gold. The RubiaWear creator and Boston Ballet principal dancer has been growing her collection of ultra-soft and flattering warm ups (which began as a range of legwarmers), and I am all about it. I’ve waxed poetic on the perfection of Rubia legwarmers in the past, but have I introduced you to the Cora wrap?

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Made from the softest fabric in a rainbow of color options, the Cora is cut to the perfect long-enough-to-warm-you-up but short-enough-to-keep-things-light way that Ashley’s designs seem to nail every time. The cozy wrap multitasks as much as its maker, lending itself to a whole gamut of various functions. While I tend to wear it doubled up around my hips, I’ve also been known to circle it around my neck when my shoulders feel stiff, or blanket it over my knees backstage.

Versatility, coziness, and a ballerina-run business. Win, win, win, as they say.

Curious about Cora? Check out my chat with Ashley here and browse the full RubiaWear line here.

hygge

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Hey. Hi. Hello. It’s been a while!

Please excuse the absence around here, as you can see things have been…busy. I am usually a Thanksgiving fanatic, but something strange is happening this season. Don’t get me wrong- I had a fabulous time with the stuffing and pie, but this year jingle bells are just ringing a bit louder for me.

It’s not even December yet (but can you believe it will be this weekend?!) and I’m diving head first into the holly jolly. I’ve already watched most of my prerequisite Christmas movies (Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Charlie Brown’s Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m looking at you), the crafting has begun, and you guys, I even decorated my tiny tree. I know.

This quick week off from work was refreshing and productive, filled with family time, tea dates, homework cramming, donkey feeding, indoor farmer’s marketing, and small business shopping. Because #shopsmallsaturday should last all season long, here’s a little round up of my favorite spots around pvd:

NAVA for the best gifts for your best gals. + plants + candles + vintage wears

Home Imagined for refurbished midcentury furniture and an epic craft corner.

The Shop for cozy. Because you can shop small for foods and drinks, too.

Queen of Hearts / Modern Love for downtown fashuuun and fun accessories.

Frog and Toad for the most unique, perfect, can’t believe this is a real thing gifts.

 

 

first photo by Emily Nunes.

 

 

spirit in the sky

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Ah, sweet autumn. Often staved off by clinging tan lines and rushed along by jingle bells, you might just be the most underrated quarter of the year. But with a fresh slate at the start, a smattering of costume and food focused holidays, and a remarkable ability to bring out the inner emo poet of my youth, your months are far more magical than most. You entice the whole of New England into smokey scents and pumpkin flavors. Your pale skies give way to a fiery splatter of morphing treetops. Your crisp wind plucks leaves to the ground, acorns tumble under toe. Undertoe fades from feeling until next summer as waves are observed from the safety of warm sweaters. Farmer’s markets take shelter, early sunsets coax the world inside. Your time is to rest, to nest, let cozy manifest. Quite simply, you are the best.

goodbye broom

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Flying coven.

Plunging fall.

Morning birds.

Hopscotch pumpkins.

Broken witch.

Enchanted broom.

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

Chop, chop, stop.

Growing fondness.

Scheming neighbors.

Cultish fervor.

Human fire.

Ghostly woods.

Packed bags.

White paint.

Family dinner.

Soaring tango.

Happily Ever After.

 

photos of Saturday night’s “Widow’s Broom” by Ty Parmenter.

 

it’s october third.

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Oh, October. Sweet month of change. Temperatures finally dropping, but the sky does not yet fade. A dark bar incites its usual existential sound; crunchy brussels and and fluffy hummus abound. A bright breakfast expands palettes into poaching, Nick’s eggs + veggies do the experimental coaching. A weekend date requires little more than borrowed beanies and held mitts: a westside going golden and freshly layered knits. Dusty vintage rockets provoke one too many sneezes, strip-shouldered mannequins provide warm woolen squeezes. Grocery store hide-and-seek yields new plant babes and boo Sunday snacks. Portuguese fado follows carefully unplanned naps. Beanfriend makes soups, 90s Bourdain loops. Welcome, Dear Autumn, we’ve been waiting for you.

there’s no place like home

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Man, is it good to be back. M said something this week that really resonated with me:

“You know you’re living in the right place when you travel all over and you keep looking back over your shoulder.”

How beautiful is that? Walking the steps up to my apartment in Providence for the first time in a month was just the best homecoming; Walking around the Hope Street Farmer’s Market Saturday morning was somehow even sweeter. Maybe because I knew this would be my last chance to stomp Lippit Park on a Saturday morning, with the season starting next week and all…

Speaking of the season, have you guys heard that sentiment going around about how “September is the new January”? I couldn’t agree more. There’s something about the crisp fall air that stirs an urge to refresh and prepare. It’s perfect nesting weather. What better way to commemorate my renewed love of PVD and nestle into fall than with this pretty little map of my city?

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Inspired by her world travels, the artist behind Modern Map Art uses intricate city grids to create detailed urban portraits with a touch of nostalgia. I love the vintage font and graphic vibes in this poster- how cute would it be as a housewarming gift?

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The map arrived just in time, as my wonderful city welcomed me back with fresh fall feels. M and I have just started listening to Crimetown, the Gimlet podcast all about Providence’s mobster past. It’s pretty wild hearing the late Buddy Cianci’s voice (and a beautiful chorus of other Rhode Island accents) on such a well known pod. The perfect compliment to local cherry tomatoes and late-summer figs.

What city do you call home? Does it have quirks that make you feel all fuzzy?

 

Providence map c/o Modern Map Art. Check them out to celebrate your city with a custom print.

moments.

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I’ve been collecting moments throughout this dear little career of mine. Writing them down, sharing in this space, keeping them safe here where I can return to them when they are needed. Last Saturday night amidst multiple mediums of fire and water, I scooped up a pretty powerful one. It’s past my bedtime, but I’ve got to get this out, down, locked away here in my safe space…

At 8:14 I crouch behind the basin stage. In full red unitard and crimson pointe shoes, it would be tough to hide me even without the hundreds of fiery crystals and plumed feathers crowning my head. Our elliptical audience catches my heart beats then tosses them up like sparks spit from blaze, left to scatter down wildly into the water below.

At 8:20 the performance begins. At 8:24 the first torches are lit. At 8:27 it starts to rain.

Then comes my cue. Stravinsky’s Firebird is reaching its swell, behind thin black capes I make my way to center stage. I enter the huddle of students, worriedly whispering, The stage is so wet! Be careful Miss Kirsten! and as the horns exhaust I am hoisted up from the group.

The music takes a sharp breath in while the audience applauds. Slowly in cadence with the petering cheers, I feel wet ground replaced beneath me and I stare boldly into the crowd. A bassoon guides my sanguine step forward, carefully onto pointe and then downstage. Red feet are less timid than mine. Looking through the layer of thin black smoke and metallic raindrops between us, I finally break gaze with the crowd to twitch my chin down with the quick recoil of my wings.

Oboes lead me through my trance before the flames assemble and the horns creep up again. We board the boat and push into the river as the finale builds. I peak. On a platform in the center of this wobbling wooden vessel, I can feel the warmth of four huge torches surrounding me. I stand in a deep lunge, never feeling more balanced and unstable. Stravinsky’s creation lets out its largest blast. I peek. Up into the weeping night sky, bending back toward flapping wings. It’s then the crowd’s cheers fall silent and I’m wrapped up in my moment. Under water, over water, through fire and cloaked in it, I cry.

This perfect, strange, magical moment, between PVD and me.

 

photo by John A. Simonetti.

bucket list and a birthday

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It’s been a strange few days, so here are some photos of blue skies and books.  My mom had a few Providence places to cross off of her bucket list, so we (very spontaneously) strolled through the gorgeous athenaeum and the quiet Arcade together.  We talked architecture, restoration, politics and love.  We walked Westminster and Benefit, bought vintage sweaters, picked up fallen leaves, and picked out East Side homes around the Boulevard. November is weaving its golden ways and once again I’m hypnotized.

Speaking of my lovely mother, today is her birthday!  This wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t wish her a very happy day here. xoxo!

all the leaves are brown

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Ah, autumn.  This weekend felt short, yet decidedly fall.

There was a cousin visit, complete with brunch, a stroll through Swan Point and heavy and happy life discussions.

There was tea times three and lots more walking, leaf rustling, west side mansion shopping, and poster hunting.  There were Bucks & Dunnies, Ducks & Bunnies, pumpkin peeping, late night cookie baking (have you ever made just one chocolate chip cookie?) and more “life discussing”.

In a few hours it’s toes first back into ballet, but for now, I’m savoring the warm fuzzies of this photo diary.