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.

20171210_132239.jpg

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.

20171210_132602.jpg

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.

20171210_132521.jpg

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!

20171210_132145.jpg

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!

20171210_132438.jpg

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!

20171210_134246-1.jpg

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?

2017 signature

Advertisements

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!

20171205_154920.jpg

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!

20171205_154549.jpg

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!

20171205_154808.jpg

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

2017 signature

Nutcracker Week – Sugar Plum Fun Palette Review

Hi everyone! It is OFFICIALLY Nutcracker season, and since my Nutcracker performances are this week, expect some dance-related posts! I am so excited to be dancing in my Nutcracker, and I cannot wait to take photos in my costumes and share some Nutcracker history with all of you! Nonetheless, I figured I would start this week by sharing my review of my Sugar Plum Fun palette from TooFaced and HSN.

TFSPF10

If you have no idea what this set is, please refer to my first post (TooFaced SugarPlum Fairy Makeup Set) to get an idea of what this set is and where to buy it. I was so excited for this set, and I am sure y’all are wondering if it lived up to the hype. This set included the Sugar Plum Fun palette, a full-sized 24-hour Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer, a full-sized Better than Sex Mascara, and a full-size Lip Creme in the shade Sugar Fairy.

Of course the packaging is to die for with the foiled writing and the beautiful fairy design! Upon opening the package, I was met with the palette and the three full-sized extras! I took out the palette and immediately looked at the back to the cute description on the back of the palette. Click the images to enlarge them and read what it says.

Inside of the palette I found the beautiful decor around the large mirror (which is amazing!). Then there are four quadrants of different eyeshadows that are curated to be worn together! The colors are pretty neutral minus a few glitters and the dark plum color. I swatched all of the colors below without using the 24-hour Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer that came with the set. I was disappointed that a lot of the pretty matte shades are so powdery that without a primer they are almost not noticeable to the eye. The first image includes the top two rows, and the second image includes the last two.

Most of these eyeshadows are better applied wet and with a great eyeshadow primer or base on. I have found my favorite shades to be Metal Petal, Tutus and Tiaras, and Magic Fairy. They are the ones I reach for the most, and they give a better color payoff then some of the other shades. The 24-hour Eyeshadow Primer is good, but it doesn’t work as well as I hoped. I’ve found drug store eyeshadow primers to work just as well, if not better, than this one. But I will end up using the whole product because I am always using eyeshadow primer.

The matte lip creme in Sugar Fairy has to be the biggest disappointment in this set. I know with gift sets companies like to keep the color scheme neutral, however, this set is Nutcracker themed. And in the Nutcracker, there is no “Sugar Fairy”, the character is the “Sugar PLUM Fairy”. This formula for the lipstick does not sit well with the texture of my lips. Instead of applying smooth, it applies patchy and doesn’t make one cohesive color. It is also so creamy it smudges super easily. I wish they included a PLUM shade in a matte or semi-matte finish because it would make more sense with the set theme (**cough cough SUGAR PLUM cough cough**), and because the darker color is better for winter. This color is nice, but for something this light, the formula falls apart on my actual mouth. I am going to try to apply this lipstick using different lip primers and techniques and see if anything else works. But straight on the mouth, this lipstick is not great.

TFSPF8

As a whole, I would give this set a 3 out of 5 star rating (0 being the worst and 5 being the best). It is ok for a gift set, and for the price (I paid their special doorbuster price of $49 plus free shipping) it is definitely worth buying and checking out for yourself. Some of the shadows require a bit finessing to get them to apply evenly and smooth, and the lipstick may work better with your lip texture than it does with mine.

Nonetheless, if you’re a sucker for packaging and you love dance/ballet/theNutcracker you will be over-joyed to receive this set. It is so fun, and is very festive for the holiday season. This set is also a wonderful gift idea for the beauty-lover in your life, or for someone who is just starting to play with makeup and eyeshadow who wants a neutral set to experiment with. I will continue to play with it, and definitely use it for my Nutcracker performances this weekend! ❤ I will be posting looks and Nutcracker photos on my Instagram, so make sure to follow me @julias_leaps_of_faith!

I hope you enjoyed this in-depth review and have fun playing with your holiday makeup!

Until next time, Happy Nutcracker season!

2017 signature

Summer Room Renovation!

Hi everybody!

Over the summer, I moved back home from college. My bedroom in my parent’s house was cluttered, dusty, and a bit juvenile. To be honest, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t need or want anymore. I decided to clean my room out and give it a fresh coat of paint. Then I decided I would rearrange my furniture, and declutter as much as I can! I wanted to show you all what the finished product was because it turned out so nice! The best part was that I did it all by myself! Here is what it looked like before (the day I began cleaning it out).

22279129_10212013989698135_723371299_o.png

As you can see, my room was literally busting at the seams with clutter and crap I didn’t use or have space for. After four whole days of cleaning, painting, and rearranging, here is the final product! Click the below photo to expand because it is a panorama!

22217908_10212013989578132_106044965_o

I still can’t believe the difference!! Since I took these photos back in June, I’ve hung a big dream catcher on the wall, a canvas my boyfriend painted me, a picture my best friend printed, and a dry erase monthly calendar. But these photos were taken before I had all of those items to hang on my walls!

22243797_10212013990098145_1813314967_o

I completed this project at the end of June, and now as fall progresses, I am thinking about doing some more cleaning and sorting of the items in my room. To me it feels great to throw out or donate items I no longer use or want.

22279150_10212013989498130_109389998_o

It feels great to put some elbow grease and sweat into your living space! My room finally feels like an adult bedroom that I can live in as I begin my “adult” life (while I still live at home). What kind of projects have you done at home? Do you like your living space?

Let me know what you think of my project below!

Xoxoxo

2017 signature

Staying Organized and Marketing Yourself as a Dance Professional

Hi everybody!

As you all know, I am trying to break into the dance industry as a professional performer and as a respected dance educator. I’ve been learning as I go, and it has been so hectic trying to stay organized on top of all of my responsibilities as a dancer in two companies, and a teacher at four different studios. I will share with you the ways I’ve found to be most effective in keeping my life together! ❤  These tips are focused for dancers, but are helpful for any young professionals trying to break into their own industries!

1. KEEP A BINDER, AGENDA PLANNER, & JOURNAL ON HAND ALL OF THE TIME

This one is a biggie. I cannot tell you how helpful each of these resources are. My binder separates my paperwork for all of my studios. It organizes my class rosters by day and time, separates costume pictures for recital dances, and allows me to keep track of employee agreements and contracts. Furthermore, the binder allows me to keep a portfolio of different class combinations, barre for each level of ballet I teach, and choreography. The agenda planner obviously helps me keep track of commitments, auditions, teaching, private lessons, and rehearsals.

marketing4

My journal helps me keep track of all of my ideas for my classes, for my blog, and allows me to create to-do lists. With all of your paperwork organized, you will not only thank yourself for keeping your life in order, but you will appear organized to your employers and directors, and appear as though you take your job seriously (which you should), which is a win for both parties.

marketing3

2. KEEP COPIES OF YOUR PERFORMANCE BILLS, RESUME, AND HEADSHOT

I cannot stress ENOUGH how important this is. If you don’t keep track of your performances or choreography showcases, how can you prove to future employers or directors these events actually happened? Also, keeping copies helps you create a precise CV/resume – performance bills usually have choreographer names spelled correctly, and include the name of the piece you danced in, the music, and the names of the other dancers you performed with. This information is pertinent for networking with other dance professionals and creators in the field, and pertinent for updating you’re own CV.

Marketing2

Keeping extra copies of your headshot and resume is helpful if you have a lot of back-to-back auditions or workshops you’re attending. Sometimes workshop teachers will ask for participants’ headshots and resumes, and having extra copies readily available will only be beneficial to you and to the hiring directors! You never know who you’re going to meet!

3. MAKE BUSINESS CARDS MARKETING YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL

Okay, a lot of dancers (especially emerging professionals) don’t believe they need business cards since dance is not necessarily an “office job”. However, that is actually false! Dance is a business, and a small fraternity at that. I decided earlier in the summer to make business cards for myself and for my blog/Etsy shop. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have them on hand since I was securing a lot of studio jobs and auditions.

marketing1

Low and behold, at the dance festival I performed in (see First Professional Performances – I Can’t Believe This Is Real Life), one guy from another company who performed in the show gave me his card and asked me for mine!! Luckily, I had them on hand to distribute! Again, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU WILL MEET! Whether or not these dancers are in the same dance genre as you, networking is so important, and you never know how these people could influence your career later down the line.

4. MAKE A FREE WEBSITE PORTFOLIO DOCUMENTING YOUR DANCE EXPERIENCE

The internet and WordPress are a great way to advertise yourself for free! I use WordPress.com for my blog, and for my professional dance website. Check it out at juliakathryn.dance. You can use one of the readily made templates, and customize it to your liking. You can include a copy of your resume, your dance reel, dance photography, highlight important workshops or dance experiences, and more!

marketing5

Furthermore, you can buy a web domain and link it to your free website, so when people search for your site, you have a professional domain to go with it. I bought a few domains and linked them to my free WordPress website from GoDaddy.com. This online portfolio you can link in the signature of your emails, put on your business cards and resume, and you can put it on your social media to direct followers to your professional work.

This concludes my top tips for staying organized and marketing yourself as a dance professional. All of these resources are also cost effective – my planner was $5 from Wal-Mart, the journal was a gift so it was free, the binder I already had with dividers from college, the website is free, my business cards cost about $10 for 100 of my dancer ones, and $15 for my blog ones (because they are square and printed front and back), costing me bout $25 before tax and shipping. My website domains with discounts for a year of ownership was $41 for three domains. An 8inx10in headshot print out costs about $3 from Walgreens.

I hope you enjoyed my top tips! I didn’t realize how important the business side of the dance world was until I graduated college, but these resources have helped me land a lot of jobs in the last six months!! 🙂 I hope they continue to do me well in the months ahead, as I try to break further into this industry as a young professional.

What are your favorite ways to market yourself? Have you tried any of these resources? Let me know if this was helpful!

xoxo

2017 signature