Fundraising my Way to the American Dance Festival

Hello everyone!

As you all know, I attended the American Dance Festival last year for the Dance Professionals Workshop. See American Dance Festival Dance Professionals Workshop Sampler  for more on my experience in summer 2017!

This year, I am planning to attend the whole six week school, and I am waiting to hear back about completing work study while I am there to help mitigate costs of tuition. While I wait to hear back if I received scholarship money or not, I am trying to fundraise myself by selling my crochet bun covers that are available for purchase on my Etsy!


From now until May 1, any and all proceeds from my Etsy will go directly toward my tuition for the American Dance Festival. Completing the six week school at ADF has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now that this life goal is now tangible, I really REALLY want to be able to go!! Any purchase big or small will help me afford the costs of tuition.

Studying at ADF for the summer will not only refine and expand my technical and artistic abilities, but it will also help me better serve my students and community as an dance educator.

Remember y’all, I also sell homemade makeup if you’re interested in trying one or a few of my own hand-pressed mica eyeshadows! Proceeds from any of my Etsy transactions will go towards my tuition balance.


The link below will lead you directly to my Etsy shop if you’re interested in purchasing anything and helping me fund my summer at ADF.

Julia’s Leaps of Faith Etsy Shop

Thank you so much for your time!

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Engagement Story

Hi everyone! Happy New Years Eve!

I am sorry I’ve been so quiet on the blog. The last two weeks, my boyfriend-now-fiance was home for holiday block leave. If you don’t know this already, my fiance is in the military and has been for almost three years now. We have been dating for three years, and on December 14, he proposed to me! It has been a crazy two weeks, but I wanted to tell you all how it happened!


I’ve always known my fiance because our families have been friends for years. We grew up seeing each other occasionally at his grandmother’s house. I always had a crush on him, but never told him. I live on a lake, so d uring the summer of 2014 he was using the lake to train for the military because his town pool was closed for renovations. I came home from working at a day camp one day that summer, and I saw him for the first time in a couple of years on my dock (handsome as ever BY THE WAY). The next morning, I saw a Facebook friend request from him, and from there the rest is history.


He decided to propose to me on the dock right where we saw each other before we started dating. His family and my family tricked me into thinking we were just going to dinner, and that we were just going outside to get a quick picture. Turns out, they wanted a picture because he proposed to me! It was so sweet, and it is a day I will always remember!


I was so excited the day it happened, and now I am even more excited to know I am going to spend my life with my best friend! We spent the last week of his leave looking at some potential venues and gathering prices for different vendors to see roughly how much we have to save for our wedding day. What we are finding out is that weddings, even when done on the cheap, are still super expensive.


If any of you fellow bloggers and followers have any ideas or hacks to save money for your wedding day, please please PLEASE let me know! ❤ We need and appreciate any and all help and advice we can get! Whenever my fiance and I do decide to start planning a wedding for real, I will definitely be posting wedding planning updates on the blog!

I hope your holidays were spent with your loved ones, and were very merry and bright! Stay safe tonight, and happy New Year! Let’s start 2018 with a positive mindset and plenty of goals!!!


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Bye for Now Ipsy Subscritpion

I am so sad to be writing this post. I decided I am going to stop my Ipsy subscription for now. I love Ipsy as a service, and they have great customer service representatives who are always more than willing to help fix any problems. As a whole, the business is an AMAZING one. However, I feel like after a year and 8 months (March 2016-November 2017), I’ve been receiving many of the same products, many products in similar colors they already sent me, products in colors I’ve specified in reviews I did not like, or repeats of products I already own. If you’ve noticed, I’ve stopped reviewing my glambags on here because I have not been very excited about the last few bags I received.



Furthermore, I feel like I have so many of their little bags that I am actually running out of room in my makeup drawer because of it! I love the little bags because some of them are SO CUTE and perfect to throw in a purse. But the bags are hit or miss. Many times, the designs are strange or not cute and I don’t really have a use for it after I’ve opened it to see all of my products for the month.

Nonetheless, Ipsy has introduced me to many new products I love, which led me to go out and buy full-size versions myself! I am very satisfied with my time as a customer, and like I said I will be back to Ipsy eventually! But for now, a break is much needed.

In the meantime, what are your favorite beauty subscriptions? Do you like Ipsy? Which other one’s should I try?


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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!


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.


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.



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.


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!


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.


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.


The internet and WordPress are a great way to advertise yourself for free! I use for my blog, and for my professional dance website. Check it out at 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!


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 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!


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Ipsy August “Good Vibes Only” Glambag 2017

Hello beautiful readers!

finally decided to bring back my monthly Ipsy unbagging. I mean, I love Ipsy so much – I’ve been a customer for abouth a year and 5 months now! ❤ This month’s theme was actually amazing. With all of the celestial happenings in the universe this month (i.e. the solar exclipse, meteor showers, Mercury in retrograde, etc.), I think this “good vibes only” theme was perfect for this month. There were three bag designs available to Ipsy subscribers, and I actually received the one I wanted. My bag says “Wild & Free” *Cue Snoop Dog!*, and I mean, late summers adventures and nights are all about being “Wild & Free” (within reason, of course haha).


I was not a huge fan of the last two summer glambag designs, so this one was super refreshing and pretty! ❤ I will totally throw this one in my backpack or pocketbook to hold makeup or items I need!

Enough about the bag itself. Let’s see what I received!

  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
  • theBalm Cosmetics theBalm Voyage vol. 2 Eyeshadow in Kuwakaribisha
  • MAKEUP FOREVER EXCESSIVE LASH Arresting Volume Mascara
  • Hikari Cosmetics Shimmer Bronzer in Flush
  • Paula Dorf Cosmetics Mini Universal Brow Pencil in Taupe
  • IPSY POINT REDEMPTION – Full-sized Pixi by Petra Mattelustre Lipstick in Honey Bare


Last month, I received an eyeshadow pan in my Ipsy bag that was this really dark, sort of ugly brown/gold, and I was happy I received Kuwakaribisha from theBalm because it is a light, champagne gold color that will be gorgeous all over the lid, or as a highlight for the inner corner and browbone. The other option theBalm had this month was a similar ugly brown/gold, so I am happy my glambag review last month (that mentioned I disliked the eyeshadow color) worked and they chose a better color for me!

The Hikari bronzer/blush looks beautiful!! I cannot wait to use it later today and see how it looks on the skin.  As you can see, the pan has two pink tones, and two sparkly bronzer tones, so I am looking forward to how it looks on my olive skin.

I am curious about the Paula Dorf eyebrow pencil because I’ve never heard of her brand before. When I swatched the eyebrow pencil, it looks more brown than it does taupe (taupe is the color that best matches my eyebrows), but the texture and formula felt nice, and I will definitely try it out to see how I like it.

Finally, the Pixi by Petra point redemption is so exciting because I love the formula of their Mattelustre Lipsticks. The color is subtle, and natural, and I love the packaging. A lot of the Pixi by Petra packaging reminds me of retro beauty packaging from the 50s and 60s, so it speaks to my old soul. Plus their cruelty-free, so what is not to love?

I swatched all of the products on my arm, so you can see what I am talking about.


From top to bottom – Honey Bare Lipstick, Kuwakaribisha Eyeshadow, Hikari Bronzer, and Paula Dorf Eyebrow pencil.

What did you receive in your Ipsy bag this month? Did you like your products, and your bag design? Let me know!!

September marks the beginning of Ipsy’s fall glambags, and usually their fall bags are AMAZING. As much as I don’t want summer to end, fall beauty trends and colors are my FAVORITE. Can’t wait for next month!!


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