Christmas Decorating and Traditions!

Hello beautiful internet readers!

For this Sunday’s post, I wanted to show you some of my FAVORITE Christmas ornaments, and tell you about some family traditions my family has during the holiday season! Decorating the house for Christmas is one of my ALL TIME favorite festivities to do during this time of the year. One tradition in my family is we always hosts for Christmas Eve, and for this reason, having our house festive is a necessity.

Since we always have a tree up every year that requires decorating, here are some of my favorite ornaments that hang on our tree each year.

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This ballerina my parents bought me about 4 or 5 years ago. This dancer’s limbs and head have complete articulation, so you can position her in any pose you want. This year, I decided to have her positioned in ecarte derriere because she looks so pretty! Also, this costume reminds me of Waltz of the Flowers which is from The Nutcracker, so she is definitely one of my top favorites.

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This ornament is my baby’s first Christmas ornament (from 1995), and I love this one because the little bear cub is sleeping in a tea cup! It’s super cute and sentimental to both me and my parents.

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I am almost positive this ornament was gifted to me during high school from my good friend Kelsie! Hello Kitty looks so cute all wrapped up in her red Christmas parka! I used to LOVE Hello Kitty in high school, and even though I’ve grown out of the phase, I still love her as an ornament on our tree!

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This ornament was gift to me from my boyfriend as part of my Christmas gift two years ago when we were in Disney for the holiday. He gave me a bunch of dance stuff that year, and this is the first year I remembered to put this ornament on the tree! It is super pretty and cute, and it reminds me of him so it is a fav of mine for sure!

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I honestly don’t know where this tutu on a hanger ornament came from, but I really like it! It showed up in our ornament box one season a few years ago, and I love it because it reminds me of the Dew Drop Fairy from The Nutcracker! ❤

Additionally, a family tradition of ours is we hang stockings for me and my siblings, and our pets! This year, we also added stockings for my boyfriend and my sister’s boyfriend, with an additional puppy stocking for our newer dog Layla! Hanging stockings is such a fun, old-fashioned tradition, and they make our fireplace look super cozy!

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These are a few of our family traditions, and a few of my favorite ornaments! I love the Christmas season so much, with all of it’s stress and fun activities!

What are some of your favorite traditions during the holiday season? Do you have any favorite ornaments?

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Bath and Body Works Black Friday Order

Hello beautiful people!

I wanted to show you all what I bought at Bath and Body Works over Black Friday weekend! I bought some hand soaps, Wallflower refills, and body sprays! I repurchased some favorite scents, and tried a bunch of new ones!

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Bath and Body Works had $5 Fine Fragrance Mists Black Friday weekend, so naturally I picked up my favorite – Magic in the Air – and on my sister’s recommendation I ordered Coconut Mint Drop to try! I needed a new body spray to throw in my backpack for after work and rehearsal, and this scent smells tropical and wintery at the same time! Who knew there would be a scent with that combination? It’s different than what I normally like, but I enjoy it!

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As for hand soaps, I chose a yummy Cinnamon Caramel Swirl soap, and Arctic Berry soap for the holidays! You cannot go wrong with the holiday hand soaps because they all smell delicious!

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For the Wallflower refills, I choose Fireside Marshmallow, Vanilla Patchouli, and Frankincense! I think I will enjoy the marshmallow scent the best, but the other two seem like they would be good.

I was a little disappointed because my order took a long time to ship, but I am so excited my me and my room will be smelling really nice throughout the holiday season! 🙂 Did you take advantage of any of the amazing sales Bath and Body Works had Black Friday weekend? What are your favorite scents?

xoxo

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Nutcracker Week – Arabian and Waltz of the Flowers Makeup!

Good afternoon Leaps readers!

My performance weekend is already over! I can’t even believe how fast it went! I am so excited to be able to look back on this weekend with joy and fond memories! I was SO happy with the way my makeup turned out yesterday, and it was tricky figuring out what kind of makeup to do because I had to have a face that fit the Arabian variation and Waltz of the Flowers. My director told us to have our makeup be more fitting for Flowers, so this is what I came up with! Of course, I used my TooFaced Sugar Plum Fun palette!! This was the best time and way to use it!

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I used Ballerinas in my crease, and buffed it into the outer and inner v as well! This shade is a beautiful transition shade. I then used Land of Sweets to deepen my crease, and darken the outer and inner v slightly. I tried to make sure the Ballerinas crease color was still visible when adding the darker color. I pat onto my lid Magic Touch so the center of my eyelid would glisten as it caught the stage lights! I also highlighted my inner corner, and lower lash line with Magic Touch. I used Purple Peppermint to darken the outer v and dusted what was left of it into my inner v as well.

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To complete the eye look, I lined the outer portion of my lower lash line with Land of Sweets! I used e.l.f. Cosmetics Expert Liner to create an upper and lower wing! These double wings are appropriate for both Arabian and Flowers roles. I highlighted my brow bone with Tutus and Tiaras. I used my Essence Princess Lash mascara to lengthen and define my eyelashes, and e.l.f./Chella brow products to fill and define my brows!

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Here is what the makeup looked like with my Arabian costume on! I wore my favorite stage lip – Colourpop UltraMatte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Mama.

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This makeup turned out great! The eyeshadows lasted all day (through two shows), and never creased! The colors were PERFECT for both roles I played, and the Sugar Plum Fun palette was the perfect complement to my costumes! What do you think of this makeup? Did you use the same palette for character performance roles?

I will be writing one last Nutcracker post to show you some photographs from the shows! I hope you enjoyed this post, and took away some makeup combination ideas for your own shows or everyday makeup looks!

Let me know what you think of it! Happy Nutcracker Season, and Happy Holidays!

xoxoxo

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Nutcracker Week – Performance Essentials!

Hello beautiful readers of the internet!

As promised, here is the third installment of my Nutcracker performance posts! Today, I am sharing with you my favorite products (old and new) for this season’s performances. I use these products not just for ballet productions, but also for contemporary and modern productions, in addition to class and rehearsal!

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Of course, I had to feature my FAVORITE pointe shoes by Bloch – the Sonata (SO1030). These pointe shoes fit my feet like a glove and stay on so well! The Bloch Elastorib I sewed onto them helps ease tension on my Achilles (read about them here: Bloch Sonata Pointe Shoes and Elastoribbon!). All around, these pointe shoes are the best! In addition to my favorite pointe shoes, I wanted to display my favorite and never failing gel toe pads. The Eurotard Feather Lites are so comfortable. They cushion and protect my toes, while never taking up too much room in the box of the shoe. I highly recommend these if you are looking for a thin, light toe protection option.

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I picked up a new pair of seamed tights for this weekend’s performances. I decided on Body Wrappers Seamed Transition Tights in the color light pink after the woman at the dance store recommended a few brands to me. They are not mesh, however, they are the perfect shade of pink, and the waistband is wide and soft-knit. For this reason, the tights don’t cut into my sides, and I am very happy with my choice.

I purchased Capezio 2.5 inch thick u-pins to keep my bun secure and on my head! I’ve been using the thicker u-pins from Goody, but they are still not strong enough to hold my curly hair in place. Hopefully the Capezio ones work well for my hair!

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I needed new ballet shoes, so of course I re-purchased my SoDanca SD16s! They are the COMFIEST ballet slipper ever (read more about them here: National Dance Day & National Lipstick Day!). Anyway, I also picked up the beautiful champagne colored pointe shoe bag all of these products are resting on! I’ve been wanting a pointe shoe bag for some time now because I keep all of my dance shoes in a trundle box in the trunk of my car, and this bag will help me keep my shoes and toe pads together with my ballet slippers so I don’t have to dig around my trunk when I am running into rehearsal or teaching.

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More important than what I have to wear with my costume is what I have to wear under it! I wanted to show you all a supportive dance bra I’ve used for a few years now. The bra shown is Capezio brand, and although there is no underwire, it is full coverage. I wear this bra under the nude leotard (I forget what brand it is!), and my chest is almost fully supported. The woman at the store gave me new straps for the nude leotard for free, and I am thankful she did so because the thicker straps make the leotard secure.

All of the products mentioned above are HIGHLY recommended. I have found these products to be repeat buys, to be durable, and to be long-lasting. I am so excited for my shows this weekend I can’t take it! What are your performance essentials? Let me know!

Happy Holidays! xoxo

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Nutcracker Week – History of the Nutcracker

Hello ladies and gents!

Today I wanted to give a short but sweer history of the Nutcracker ballet! As you’ve probably seen or read, this week includes my Nutcracker performances and since I am so excited for them, I wanted to write posts based off of this theme.

Anyway, if you didn’t know this already, the story of the Nutcracker was originally written in 1816 by a German writer named E.T.A. Hoffmann. The story was originally titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and was  a darker, creepier tale then the one embodied on stage during the ballet. By the 1850s, a man named Alexander Dumas revised the original Nutcracker tale, and cheered it up to be a happier, more magical story.

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The cheerier version of the story is what inspired Marius Petipa to choreograph the first Nutcracker ballet in 1892 (he also choreographed La Bayadere, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty). When Petipa became sick while setting the piece, he handed over the choreographic resonsibilities to Lev Ivanov. Petipa and Ivanov partnered with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky who composed the score for the show. The musical score was a large part of the ballet’s original success.

The ballet didn’t make it to the U.S.A. until 1940 when the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo toured to America and brought the Nutcracker with them. By 1954, George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet choreographed the Nutcracker on his company and first performed it in February of that year. Balanchine is credited as being the first choregographer to recognize the holiday appeal of the Nutcracker ballet, and in 1955, the New York City Ballet performed the Nutcracker in December. Since then, the Nutcracker has been a holiday classic for dance and ballet companies everywhere.

It is crazy to think the Nutcracker was originally written in the beginning of the 1800s, and now in 2017 companies are still performing this work countless times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t think E.T.A. Hoffmann ever expected his creepy story to EVER gain as much popularity as it has, but it is incredible how this century old story is brought to life every year to celebrate Christmas! It is such a deep part of American holiday culture, and it all began with a story written 201 years ago!

I hope you enjoyed this piece of dance history, and tune in for more of my Nutcracker related posts! Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

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