Birthday Wishlist – It is my Jordan Year!

Hello readers!

My 23rd birthday is coming up on July 3 – and I cannot believe it is basically a month away! I feel like I just turned 22, and I have never been more excited to turn a specific age. For real – even 21 was kind of lame and not as exciting, and I am SO ready to leave 22 in the past.

People say 23 years of age is your “Jordan” year, also known as, the BEST year of your 20s. They say this because Michael Jordan’s basketball jersey number was 23, and he led a fantastic and successful career. Within this context, I am very much looking forward to my 23rd year. I went through a lot in the first half of 2018 (and the last half of being 22 years old), learned a lot of tough lessons, and made a lot of hard decisions. I will eventually write a lengthy post about what I went through and why it is so significant to me turning 23, but for now just know I have a feeling 23 is going to be an AMAZING year.

Nonetheless, if anyone was thinking of what to buy me for my birthday, here are a few items I definitely don’t need, but totally want if anyone was wondering what I have my eyes on.

Vanessa Long Maroon Crewneck Sweatshirt

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Vanessa Long Sweatshirt

For those of you who don’t know or didn’t get the chance to read my post My First NYC Dance Job Starts this Fall!! (2018), I am starting a training company position in NYC starting in October with the Vanessa Long Long2 Dance Company. This opportunity came to me immediately after a VERY significant event in my life back in April. This opportunity means so much to me that I would really love this sweatshirt to relish in the memory that is this opportunity. Also, it is adorable and I love the maroon.

Bad Habit Beauty Arabesque Palette (on Shop Hush App)

Arabesque Palette

Omg, this palette is adorable! It is not only dance themed (which you all know I love), the packaging and color scheme is AH-MAZING. This palette gives me serious Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam vibes, which at $16, this seems like a great dupe! I’ve watched a lot of YouTube reviews of this palette, and a lot of YouTubers agree that this palette is an affordable dupe for the ABH one. Plus, it’s dance-themed. So in my book, it’s automatically better. LOL! This palette is only available to purchase through the Shop Hush Phone App, which is kind of weird since you can order other items through the Shop Hush website. I don’t need any more palettes or eyeshadows, and I’ve been really good about not buying any. However, if someone bought this for me, I would not be upset or opposed. 😉

Phenomenal Woman Campaign T Shirt

Phenomenal woman t shirt

Phenomenal Woman T-Shirt

Maya Angelou is such an inspiring poet and woman. She spoke eloquent truths regarding her experiences with racism, sexism, and life in general. I love her poems, especially “Still I Rise”, and “Phenomenal Woman”. Since I love the poem and come from a lineage of Phenomenal Women (Yes mom and grandma, I am talking about you!), I feel like this shirt is such a proud statement. Yes, I am phenomenal, and yes the women who came before me and who bore me are phenomenal, and I will be a phenomenal woman proudly. Funds from t-shirt purchases go towards the Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation, Essie Justice Group, Girls Who Code, Higher Heights, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood, and The United State of Women (which is super cool).

Natalie Dancewear Padded Turn Socks

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Natalie Padded Turn Socks

 Okay, so I usually am loyal to my cotton crew socks from Forever21 for dance socks, however, these have piqued my interest. I know there are a lot of dance companies that market “turning” socks, and I have never justified spending money on them when I can get my 3-pack of cotton socks from the F21 at the mall for $3.80. Nonetheless, I love Natalie leotards and tights, so I am sure if this product is anything like those, it is a higher quality product. They have padding where the pads of the feet are for turning, and I am not sure how comfortable they would feel. I’ve read reviews saying they are great, and others saying they are very slippery on Marley floors, and the pad uncomfortable. Either way, these are last on my list because like I mentioned they are completely unnecessary. But, since I love Natalie products I feel like they might be worth a shot. Plus, they come in cherry red which is a hot color!

Those are the products I have been eyeballing lately. Of course, they are unnecessary, which is why I haven’t bought them myself already. But they are fun, and I would use each of them!

I can’t wait to turn 23, and I hope my last month of being 22 is amazing!

Until next time, xoxo

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Summer Vibes – Warm Pink Makeup

Hello beautiful people!

This warm weather and sunshine has me feeling some kind of way lately! I LOVE the sun, and I LIVE for sunny 75° days where the sun can beat down on my skin and remind me why I am lucky to be alive!

I created a really pretty eye look using the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette to celebrate the sunny season, and wanted to share it with you all! I am really sorry a lot of my eye looks have been using the same palette lately. The Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette is just incredibly versatile, and there are SO many amazing subtle, glam, and crazy looks you can create with it.

ANYWAY, here is the final result!

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I won’t go to much into face makeup deets because they are not what I want to highlight in this look. However, I will list what colors from the palette I used if you like this color scheme and decide to try a similar look yourself.

may 2018 palette look

  1. Crease/Inner V: Silk Creme and M.F.E.O.
  2. Crease: S.B.N.
  3. Center Lid: Little Lady
  4. Outer V: Jacz (very small amount)
  5. Lower Lash Line: Silk Creme, M.F.E.O., Jacz
  6. Inner Corner: Faint

Then I used the brush I used for my crease and inner v to buff and blend all of the colors together. Here is a better view of my eyelids so you can see how the blended colors looked.

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My lipstick is the Ciaté London Liquid Velvet lipstick in the shade “Secrets”. I love this color, and this formula! My mom bought me this lipstick at the Sephora in Times Square, NYC back in September 2017, and it is such a shade for all seasons! It is one of the BEST matte lipsticks because it does not crack, crease, or dry out your lips! I definitely recommend Ciaté London liquid lipsticks if you want a good one to try.

What do you think of this makeup look? Do you like it? What colors remind you of summer?

xoxo until next time!

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Xtend Barre Training

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This past weekend I trained to become an Xtend Barre instructor in Brooklyn, New York! Xtend Barre is a really fast-paced high-energy workout that combines dance, Pilates, and weight training to help sculpt, shape, strengthen, and tone your body!

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This is really not just a workout for women either – men struggle through this class, even men who are strong or who are already professional dancers! At the training I attended, there was actually a male dancer from the Martha Graham dance company training with us, and he claims Xtend Barre is one of the most challenging workouts he has ever done. **If you don’t know Martha Graham’s technique, just know Graham dancers are 150% muscle, and if he says Xtend Barre is hard – believe it!**

I’ve been practicing and adding Xtend Barre consistently to my workout regimen for the last month and a half, and the results have been fast! My body is the most toned, strong, and lean it has ever been.  I’ve gained about 5 lbs of muscle within the last two months from switching up my workouts, and adding weight training (not including the weight sculpting you do in Xtend). I’m so excited to be on this journey to becoming an Xtend Barre Instructor. For the last part of the training, all that’s left to do is plan my test-out class, and film a test class for my trainer to review so I can officially start teaching!

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My body never looked like this until I found Xtend Barre – and the toning and definition has been really fast!

I really enjoyed myself learning the Xtend Barre technique this weekend, pushing my body to new limits, and meeting new people. Our trainer was also amazing, and I am really fortunate I was able to train under her direction and knowledge.

There is so much to do, and only 17 days left until my first day of work at the American Dance Festival! I can’t believe everything is wrapping up and coming full-steam ahead so quickly! It is all so exciting and exhausting in the best possible way!

I will definitely keep you all updated on my Xtend training, and can’t wait to share this career expansion into the fitness industry with you!

Have you ever tried Xtend Barre? Let me know if you have, or if you include barre fitness training into your workout regimen. I’d love to know your thoughts on it!

xoxo

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Fairy Makeup and Hair

Hello everyone!

This weekend has been so crazy because I have been preparing for my company’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is so funny because I never imagined myself dancing professionally (on pointe no less) with a ballet company as one of my first gigs, however, ballet is the reason I fell in love with dance. More specifically, my “Barbie in the Nutcracker” VHS is what made me want to start taking dancing lessons when I first saw it at the ripe age of 6 years old!

I didn’t actually take dance until I was 10 (and my first year of dance was not ballet, unfortunately). But anyway, it is so funny how life presents these moments where everything comes full-circle. I am dancing as a demi-soloist, and dancing the roles as one of the lead fairy attendants to Titania, and a lead bridesmaid for the wedding in Act II. The company had a fundraiser performance for our full-length production this weekend, and I wanted to show you all my makeup and costuming I had for the fairy dance!

I used the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette to create this eye look, and the Ciate London Fierce Flicks liquid eyeliner pen. I LOVE how it turned out. My lips are Colourpop Lippie Stix in the color Lumiere.

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I used M.F.E.O. and Pooter in the crease. Then I used Faint on the center of my lid, with Hustle blended toward the Outer V. I added the colors Buns and Chip to deepen the Outer V. Then I added Sissy (a pink with gold flecks) as a topper to the center of the lid, and lined my lower lash line with it. I added the color Beem to the inner corner!

I didn’t snap a good image of my eye makeup because the lighting in the venue was so yellow and dim. However, this is a closer look at it.

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In the next set of pictures, I’ll show you more of my costume with the other lead fairy attendant. These images were from a performance two weeks ago (where I accidentally didn’t bring my eyeliner, but used the same colors). The lighting in the hallway was perfect for pictures.

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I love being able to wear my hair down for the fairy scene, and wear a flower crown!

And another one!

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6 year old Julia would have DIED to dance in this costume, especially with wings!

I am excited for this performance. It is the first time I will be dancing in pointe shoes in front of an audience in a professional ballet performance. It is coming up in June, and I am hoping to write another post in my bridesmaid costume and hair!

This summer is going to be filled with dance, movement, and progress, and I cannot believe it is all coming up so quickly. Also, the first half of 2018 is almost over – WHERE IS TIME GOING!?!

Let me know what you all think of my makeup and costume! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Citrus, Ginger, Coconut Water – Spring Thirst Quencher

Hello everyone!

Lately, I’ve been switching a lot of my cooking products/products I eat to coconut-derived products. For example, I’ve switched my milk to unsweetened coconut-almond milk; instead of olive oil, I use organic coconut oil; and instead of bringing regular water to rehearsals and teaching, I’ve been making this coconut ginger citrus water instead! I want to share this recipe because it has changed the way I hydrate, and I’ve only been experimenting with it for a week!

When I dance a lot/exercise a lot, sometimes regular water (room temperature or cold) becomes hard to swallow. That’s not a metaphor – I mean for me personally water becomes really hard to swallow because it just doesn’t cut it with no electrolytes or anything to replenish the salts I lose through sweat. I’ve never been a fan of Gatorade unless I have a bad cold! I just can’t tolerate the sugar when I am burning energy because it leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

Coconut water has A TON of natural electrolytes and salts you need to replenish your body, without artificial colors, flavors, or added sugar and syrups. Although coconut water plain is just as good for you, it is an acquired taste. When sweating, plain coconut water may not be the best option to drink because it’s a bit bitter, thick, and salty. This citrus and ginger coconut water quencher is sure to provide a better, more palatable flavor, and yummy hydration for everyday drinking.

This is not my original recipe, however, you can get creative and add as much or as little as you want! I found the original recipe here: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/coconut-water-benefits/.

What you’ll need:

  • All natural coconut water (**I’ve used Vita Coco and Goya Coconut Water**).
    • Usually I use the regular 2-cup servings in the box you can get at the supermarket. Pictured is a larger coconut water, which may be more economical if you’re making this drink frequently.
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Regular filtered water
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Lime
  • Honey (if you want a little sweetness!)
  • A blender or NutriBullet

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What to do:

  1. Add 1.5 – 2 cups of coconut water to your blender
  2. Add 0.5 – 1.5 cups of regular filtered water to your blender (depending on how concentrated you would like the coconut water to be)
  3. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  4. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  5. Grate the ginger root and add 1/4 teaspoon or more of ginger to your mix (add more or less to taste)
  6. Optional Step: Add 1 tablespoon or more of honey for sweetness
  7. Blend!!
  8. Taste test, and adjust whatever more or less of whatever it may need. Or if you are satisfied, move on to the next step!
  9. Transfer to a refrigerator safe container, and chill. Serve cold!

It will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long – it is SOO good!). It is best served chilled, and over ice. You can add fresh lemon and lime wedges, or more grated ginger to the top for garnish if you are planning to serve this to dinner guests/friends. You can blend it with ice and make a healthy, quenching, slushy, or even add tequila if it is Taco Tuesday and you’re feeling like you want a healthy twist on a margarita!

I’ve found this recipe to be delicious with a little more lemon and lime, a little extra water (not too much though), and a little extra ginger. I’ve also found it to be delicious with, or without honey! I will definitely be making this a lot while I am attending the American Dance Festival, and will be making this for all of the shows I have coming up! (I’m performing in my first full-length ballet – Midsummer Night’s Dream – in June).

What’s your favorite way to hydrate? If you try this recipe, or have another coconut water recipe, please share it in the comments! I would love to try it!

Xoxo

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