Easy Cocoa Crispy Rice Cripsy Treats

Hi everyone!!

I cooked dinner and dessert for my family last night, and I wanted to make a dessert that was simple, and different than what my family usually reaches for after a meal (usually something chocolatey). I decided to take a new spin on my rice crisy treats and use cocoa crispy cereal instead of traditional rice cereal to get our chocolate fix. The recipe is the same as regular rice crispy treats:

  1.  Six cups of rice cereal
  2. 1/4 cup of butter (half stick)
  3.  A bag of mini marshmallows

I’ve made this recipe with fruity rice cereal as well, and those are just as delicious! This time, I tried to make them with cocoa crispy cereal and it hit the chocolatey spot after dinner!

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All you do is melt the butter in a skillet, and once the butter is melted, add all of the mini marshmallows and mix until they are melted. Then you remove the pan from the heat, add the cereal, mix until the cereal is coated, and press them into a pan with waxed paper. Literally, this is the easiest treat to make, and they are delicious!

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Don’t they look delicious?! If you’re looking for an easy dessert to make for after dinner, or to bring to a barbeque or party, these are super easy and yummy! Also, they are no bake, so no extra heat from an oven is filling your kitchen during the warmer summer months!

What are your favorite, easy treats to make in the summertime?

Xoxo

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Post-Rehearsal Hike – Stairway to Heaven Trail

Today after company class and rehearsal, I took a hike up to heaven 💓 By that I mean I took the Stairway to Heaven Trail (a part of the Appalachian Trail) up to “the view”, which overlooks a valley and the Appalachian mountain range. And seriously guys – it was heaven!! The sky was pure blue, and the smell of the fresh pine and earthiness of the forest was invigorating! The breeze at the top of the mountain was incredible also, and dried all of the sweat I perspired during my trek up there. Even more amazing were the hawks that flew so close – you could see the definitions between their feathers!

 

The warm sun toasted my skin and gave me happy, grounding vibes. Sometimes hiking by yourself helps you find your center more than ballet class 🙏 I rehearse out of NY state, and I pass this trail every week on my way to rehearsal. Switching up my workout routine by taking this hike instead of going to the gym was a fun change to challenge my body in a new way. It was my second time climbing this trail (I climbed it last year), and it was even more exhilarating this time around. God bless this beautiful country! 💓

What are your favorite trails to climb in your state/around the county? Do you like to hike for a workout, and have you ever hiked alone before? Let me know!

Xoxo

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2016 Year-In-Review

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2016 was a whirlwind of a year. I don’t even know where to begin to describe it because I feel like the year flew past me like a speeding train. There was so much good and so many lessons that came out of 2016, and I’m as thankful for the year 2016 as I am glad it is over. 2016 made me laugh, cry, love, rejoice, pout, and count my blessings. I lost sleep and my sanity sometimes, but I also found a new sense of self-confidence and a reinvigorated drive for success. There is nothing I would change about 2016 because for the first time in a long time, I feel 1000% positive I will make my future successful. I’m excited – so excited, in fact, I can barely think about anything else but my future.

Some of my favorite moments from 2016 included:

  1. Performing at ACDA
  2. Spring 2016 dance concert
  3. Memorial Day Weekend
  4. Turning 21
  5. Trip to Lake Tahoe
  6. Being selected for the Randy James/10 Hairy Legs dance ensemble
  7. Working as a dance teacher
  8. Puerto Rico
  9. Performing in a performance art installation created by Kata Mejia
  10. Halloweekend
  11. Seeing the David Parsons Dance Company/meeting the dancers and David
  12.  Presenting my senior choreography capstone at the local nursing home
  13. Seeing Avenue Q
  14. Receiving my acceptance into ADF
  15. Christmas Eve/Christmas morning

2017 is going to be a year of many changes. I will graduate college with two degrees, I will attend a bunch of auditions and hopefully land a performing job. I will find out whether or not I was accepted into graduate school, thus I might enroll in graduate school. I will travel nationally, and possibly internationally (there’s always the possibility!). I could move out to my own place or stay at home. Etc. Etc. Etc. There are so many wonderful opportunties this year is going to bring, and I am so ready for all of them!

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I hope you are as thankful for the past year as I am, and I hope your 2017 is amazing! Here is to 2017 and kicking off this new year right! ❤

*Both photos taken by my lovely best friend Kelsie*

Until next time,

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La La Land – Synopsis and Review (Spoilers)

Good evening internet beauties! I hope your week has been/is full of laughs, quality time, and celebration! Mine definitely has been. This was probably one of my most favorite Christmases yet, and I am so thankful to be home for the holidays this year! Tonight I want to tell you about my latest obsession, which is the movie La La Land! I have seen it twice in the last five days, and I have the soundtrack on repeat constantly! Yes, it sounds excessive, but if I’m going to attempt to put into words how amazing this movie is, and why I am obsessing over it. If you do not wish to read the synopsis, skip to the “Review” section to read my thoughts about the production!

SYNOPSIS

This movie follows the stories of two hopeful artists – Mia who is an actress (played by Emma Stone), and Sebastian (played by Ryan Gosling) who is a jazz musician. They both are living in Los Angeles hoping to make it big, but unfortunately, the performer life has knocked them both on the ground. It is alluded early on in the film that Sebastian invested all of his money into a jazz gig, and was bamboozled by a shady guy who took all of his money from the investment. Mia has been in L.A. for six years and has yet to land even a small supporting role, and is currently a barista on the Warner Bros. film lot. As fate has it, their paths keep crossing until they decide to get to know each other. Sebastian swears he can’t be with a woman who hates jazz, but naturally, they fall in love and Mia comes to love the genre.

Moving forward, Sebastian and Mia are both dreamers who support each other’s big goals and dreams. Sebastian dreams of opening his own jazz club (staying true to classic jazz music), and Mia is a naturally-gifted playwright who dreams of acting in her own show she wrote. With Sebastian as the driving force to inspire Mia to write her own script for her one-woman show, Mia begins writing her play. Meanwhile, one night at a local jazz club, Sebastian and Mia run into one of Sebastian’s old classmates named Keith (played by John Legend), who offers him a spot as a keyboard player in his band. Sebastian, still tight on money, cautiously accepts the offer.

Sebastian comes to know the band (called “The Messengers”), and although they are a jazz band, the band is actually a jazz pop band that appeals to younger audiences, despite Sebastian’s oath to keep classic jazz alive. As the band gains popularity and go on tour, Mia and Sebastian’s relationship becomes strained. Mia doesn’t understand how Sebastian can be so committed to something he doesn’t believe in. Sebastian says he thought this is what she wanted for him – to have a stable source of income and to play music.

Later in the fall, Mia has booked a local theater and is all set to perform her one-woman show. Sebastian’s obligations to his band conflict with his personal life, and he decides to go to a band photoshoot instead of supporting Mia’s one-night only performance of the play she wrote and stars in. The audience at Mia’s play is sparse, and Sebastian is absent. Mia leaves the theater as Sebastian pulls up and attempts to apologize. Mia, sick of rejection, leaves to go home to Boulder City, Nevada. The following night, Sebastian receives a phone-call from a casting agent who was at Mia’s play, who wants her to come in for an audition for a movie. Sebastian travels to Boulder City to tell Mia the news, and convinces her to leave with him the next day to go to the audition.

At the audition, the casting directors instruct Mia to “tell them a story”, and inform her there is no script. Mia tells them a story in the form of a song “The Fools Who Dream”. Sebastian is no longer with “The Messengers”, but knows Mia landed the role. Mia and Sebastian are not sure where their relationship stands and she waits for a phone call as to whether or not she landed the role. Mia looks at each Sebastian with a bittersweet expression and says she will always love him. He tells her he will always love her too.

Flash forward five years later, Mia is a superstar actress visiting L.A. from New York with her husband (not Sebastian) and toddler daughter. After a night out in L.A. for dinner, Mia and her husband are walking to their car when they hear great music coming from a club. They walk in, and Mia realizes it is Sebastian’s jazz club. They grab drinks and sit down to listen to the band play. Mia’s husband the whole time is unaware of the significance of the club and who owns it. As the song concludes, Sebastian comes on stage to introduce the band members. He spots Mia in the crowd and he sits down at the piano to play one of the first songs Mia ever heard him play. The story flashes to Mia day-dreaming of how she wished her life happened – success for her and Sebastian with Sebastian at her side. Mia comes back to reality as Sebastian closes out the song in a quiet and somber piano tune. The crowd erupts into applause; Mia and her husband get up to leave. Mia’s husband walks out of the club first, but before Mia exits, she gazes back at the stage. Mia and Sebastian exchange bittersweet glances, but acknowledge they are happy for each other with faint smiles and head nods. She leaves and Sebastian counts 1, 2, 3, 4 to start a lively jazz song with the band.

REVIEW

This movie is everything I wanted it to be and more. The cast was absolutely amazing, the music was great and clever, and the choreography was reminiscent of Broadway, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and West Side Story. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are not primarily singers or dancers, but they did a tremendous job despite what would have been limitations. Between the music, singing, waltzing and soft shoe tap dancing, they nailed every aspect of a classic Hollywood film.

One of my favorite Hollywood classics is Shall We Dance with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s characters capture the essence of Rogers and Astaire, but still manage to make their own characters unique and relatable to the 21st century. Characteristic of most Astaire and Rogers movies, the endings were always happy and gave the viewer what they were expecting. Contrarily, the ending of La La Land doesn’t give the audience what they want, and I think the realness and reality of modern-day long-distance relationships displayed in the film is a reason this movie feels so authentic.

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The lyrics to every song in this movie also cleverly intertwine the storyline, and allude to the outcome of Mia and Sebastian’s relationship. I realized this as I’ve played the soundtrack on repeat, and confirmed my assumption today when I saw the movie for the second time. Even from the first song, “Another Day of Sun”, you can gather some information about what is going to happen to Mia and Sebastian. Yet, the lyrics don’t give clues that are too obvious either unless you are looking for them and unless you already know how the film ends.

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Drinks before the movie tonight

I give this movie a 10/10. I highly recommend everyone see this film, even if they are not into Broadway or old Hollywood movies. This movie was created in Hollywood, USA (just like the classics), and I think this movie is going to leave a significant, almost historical impact on Hollywood movie production. I hope to see more films like La La Land in the future, because quite frankly I don’t remember ever seeing a movie in the last two years that has touched my heart the way this film has.

Have you seen La La Land? What do you think? Let me know!

Until next time – here’s to the fools who dream!

Xoxoxo

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Parsons Dance Company – A Day in Philadelphia

Hello beautiful internet readers!

I had the best day yesterday, and I wanted to share my adventure with all of you! ❤ Winter break is here in four days, and before finals week, my classmates and I were able to have a whole lot of fun yesterday while we deal with the stress of school. Were able to see two shows by the David Parsons Dance Company at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia!!

If you don’t know who David Parsons, go to Google and YouTube and look him up! I’d search “Nascimento” and “Caught” to gain some perspective. He used to dance for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and started his own company in 1983. His choreography is extremely athletic, and he utilizes music commissioned by various composers. I personally love his music selection, and many of his dances are upbeat and bring a whole different perspective to modern dance and concert dance as a whole.

My one professor used to dance for the David Parsons company, and now works closely with him to create new work. Yesterday I had the opportunity to not only see them perform their show twice (at 2pm and 8pm), but my professor arranged for us to meet and warm-up with the company members before their two o’clock show! Additionally, WE MET DAVID PARSONS. I repeat – WE MET DAVID PARSONS. *Swoon* We were all starstruck and soooooo excited!

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Fellow dance majors and I after the warm-up, and waiting for show #1 to begin!

We had such a whirlwind of a morning, and warming up with the company members in the studio at the theater was incredibly inspiring. I was in awe sharing the studio with so much talent. Parsons dancers are athletic, graceful, and full of crazy energy, and I could feel their energy even during the warm-up. I aspire to achieve their caliber of precision, athleticism, and grace. It was a special opportunity because it was one of those moments where my dreams became tangible. For an hour, I was actually within and among a network of professionals, and I want to be as high-achieving as they are!

After the first show, my classmates, professor, and I ate at a cool restaurant called the Misconduct Tavern, and afterwards, we bought Starbucks and walked around Philly’s Wintergarden at City Hall. There was a lit Christmas tree, and pop-up tent shops, in addition to the beautiful Wintergarden itself. After a stop here, we made our way back to the theater for the 8pm show. Yesterday was my first time ever visiting Philadelphia, and I enjoyed the area we were in.

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Under the trellis in the Wintergarden

The shows we saw them perform were special. This week in Philadelphia, David Parsons and his company debuted a new experimental work called, “The Machines” (Dancing with Drones), which fuses technology and creative expression. The company members dance alongside drones which were specially designed by undergraduate students and professors from Drexel University. The drones are computer operated (not hand operated) by infrared light and special computer software which syncs the choreography and flight of the drones with the movement of the dancers. My professor who coordinated this trip actually assisted in choreographing this work, which is amazing! This work is not a finished product, but the company plans on presenting an updated version of it at the Joyce Theater in New York City later in May, which I will definitely be going to see!

Other dances performed included: “Finding Center”, “Hand Dance”, “Almah”, “Caught”, and “In the End”. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but my top favorites were “Almah”, “Hand Dance”, and “In the End”. I think the 8pm show was better than the 2pm show, even though they featured the same dances, and I was happy we bought tickets to see both performances.

I love visiting new places, and this trip was very memorable for my senior year! I suggest you all see the Parsons Dance Company if you ever can because you will not be disappointed. It is not traditional modern dance in any sense of the word, and you will find yourself wanting more long after the curtain comes down.

Have you ever seen Parsons perform? Have you ever been to Philadelphia? What was your experience like? Let me know!

Until next time,

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