Cranberry Orange Scones

Hi everyone!

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of accompanying my mom to go see my grandma at her house. We wanted to have dinner with her, and my mom and I wanted to make her scones from the CookiesandCups cookbook!

My fiancé’s stepmom is the owner/founder of CookiesandCups, and if you don’t know Shelly or her recipes, definitely check them out because they are delicious! I found the recipe in her cookbook, and wanted to show you how delicious they turned out!

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The finished product with the glaze!

Now there is a story behind these scones so bare with me! For those of you who don’t know, I recently lost my grandpa. Before my he passed away, my mom and I promised him we would make him scones from Shelly’s cookbook. He loved scones and I knew Shelly’s recipe was amazing. Unfortunately, a day or two after we promised my grandpa we would make him scones he was put on a strict diet because of the cancer.

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The pretty dough!

We never had the opportunity to make them for him, but on Sunday my mom and I finally were able to make them for my grandma. When they were done, we toasted scones to my grandpa because we knew he would have loved them (they came out great). It meant so much to me to finally bake them for my grandma. 🍊💛 I know my grandpa was there with us, and it was just a great day all around!

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The recipe from the cookbook

I love spending time with my family, and I really do enjoy baking something new every now and then! I hope to try more recipes from her cookbook, and I hope to make these scones again sometime soon!

How was your weekend? Do you like baking with your family?

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Dealing with Your Period as a Dancer – Auditions, Class, Rehearsal, & Performance

Hi everyone! Let’s talk about periods today – I’m not talking punctuation. I mean our monthly “gift” that reminds each of us every month that we are women and that we are not pregnant. From mood swings, to bloating, to nausea, fatigue and pain, periods can disrupt everyday life if the symptoms of PMS and your period are severe.

So how do we, as dancers, deal with our periods when we have important auditions, classes, rehearsals, or even shows coming up? How do you manage your flow when you’re required to wear only a leotard and tights, or are put in a skimpy costume and have to dance on stage? Here are some tips on how to deal with your monthly visitor and try to control her severity.

  1. Avoid caffeine the week leading up to your cyclegiphy

    This one is hard for us coffee-addicts, but caffeine actually makes your period cramps WORSE! My OBGYN recommended to me that I avoid (as much as I can) caffeine intake when I am expecting my cycle so I can avoid intense cramps. She also recommended to take TWO ibuprofen (or Advil) a day three days before your period is supposed to come to reduce inflammation and pain intensity!

  2. Take Midol or an anti-inflammatory before your class or audition to reduce bloating and other symptomsgiphy1Midol is great at reducing bloating, cramps, and the symptoms of PMS. If you don’t like Midol, try bringing Advil or an anti-inflammatory. I get bad migraines when I’m on my cycle, and anti-inflammatory medicines help reduce my nausea and headaches! If taking medicine is not up your alley at all, try eating foods that fight bloating the week you’re supposed to get your period. Cucumbers, watermelon, honey dew melon, bananas, egg whites, Greek yogurt, and grapes can all help fight your belly bloat.
  3. Wear an outfit that is appropriate for your class/rehearsal/audition, but also an outfit that makes you feel confidentgiphy4Okay when we are bloating and on our periods the last thing we want to do is be half-dressed in tight clothing with important people (teachers, casting directors, rehearsal directors, etc.) scrutinizing our bodies. Try to accomodate your outfit so you are the most confident you can be. Afraid your panty-liner may show in your penche? Try putting on a wrap skirt. Are your breasts swollen and you need more support or coverage? Add a wrap sweater or a sports bra to keep you suported and feeling confident.
  4. BRING ENOUGH TAMPONS, PADS, & LINERS TO LAST YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY. ALSO BRING EXTRA CLOTHING!giphy3I cannot stress this point enough – bring extra feminine products so you know you are prepared for a long day! During the heaviest flow days of your cycle, sometimes pads/tampons will need to be changed every 2 to 3 hours (depending on your body and your cycle that month). So come prepared with extra everything!! – Even bring an extra outfit in case there are accidental leaks or stains (sometimes you can’t help leaks when you’re doing petit allegro!)
  5. Do your best, and don’t let your period come in-between you and your training or performancesgiphy2Your period shouldn’t slow you down! Keep your head up, and don’t let the stress of your period disrupt your training or any of your dance endeavors.

xoxo

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Audition Season is Coming – Here’s How to Prepare

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OKAY EVERYONE DON’T PANIC. Audition season is almost here (if not here already!), and it is time to buckle down and focus on what we need to do to make it through (and hopefully land a job or two!!). Here are my best tips on preparing your body and mind for a grueling and competitive audition season.

  1. Start training for the jobs you will be auditioning for – If you haven’t taken ballet or modern in over three months, or you haven’t even attempted to get your booty into a jazz class, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT. Figure out what dance jobs you are interested in, and find a way to take classes in those genres. You want to feel as prepared and as technical as you can for your auditions, so make sure you keep up with classes, or if you’re not taking class you get yourself into some RIGHT AWAY.
  2. Cross-train at the gym (yes you have to work out in addition to taking class) – YES we as dancers need to do other exercise that is not just dance class and rehearsal. During a workout you can target other muscle groups, and focus on strengthening the muscles that will help you improve your technique and your stamina.
  3. Eat healthy! – This is a given. If you feed your body healthy foods, you will feel healthier, and actually be healthier. No, eating healthy on the week nights and going out binge drinking and partying on the weekends DOES NOT count. You must properly fuel your body every day because guess what? There are 300 other dancers who could be auditioning for the same job who are are not regretting Friday night’s drunken stay out.
  4. Catch enough Zzz’s – Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night the week of your audition. You will thank yourself when you feel alert and refreshed. Catching enough sleep will help you focus on the material being thrown at you during the audition.
  5. If you want to exercise the day before your audition, try something restorative – The day before an audition is not the time to sign up for Crossfit or workout for three hours straight. Give your body a restorative break and try a restorative yoga class, or some other gentle exercise to keep your muscles loose.
  6. Prepare your headshot and update your resume – Update your resume and headshots if you need to. You can read more about this in my article Staying Organized and Marketing Yourself as a Dance Professional. Your headshot and resume are how the casting directors know who you are, what you’re about, what you’ve done, and what you look like. You don’t want to be that person who comes to the audition without those materials prepared. You probably won’t be called back if they don’t have your cellphone number 😉
  7. Find time to unwind and recharge – Audition season is long and taxing on the mind and body (especially because most often dancer’s hear the words “no” instead of “yes”). So, find time to journal, create, engage in your favorite hobby, or just relax. Our lives are busy, and squeezing in auditions takes a lot of commuting, time, and money. Even the day of the audition if it is just on the train/bus/car ride to the audition, listen to some music that calms you down or do something leisurely to fight off nerves and recharge your mind.
  8. HAVE FUN – Auditions are just as exciting as they are nerve-wracking. Try to have fun and make the best of all of your auditions because you are there for YOU and to show the directors the best YOU possible. So be happy, optimistic, and respectful and you will most likely have a good time!
  9. Do your best, and don’t let the “No’s” make you feel less than – Listen, we are going to be rejected by more people than who is willing to give us a chance. That doesn’t mean we aren’t qualified to be there, it means we are just not what they are looking for at this time. You are talented, worthy, and a great dancer. This profession takes commitment, time, and patience, so keep your goals in mind and don’t let anything make you blue.

I hope these tips were helpful, and I hope you all have a successful and FUN audition season. ❤ Let me know what you’re auditioning for – WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!

xoxo

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Bible Verses to Help You Through Hard Times

Good morning everybody, happy snow day!

Whether you are missing someone you love, missing someone you’ve lost, hurting because of emotional or even physical pain, there always seems to be a bible verse to help guide us through our troubles. I don’t usually like to be too religious on my blog, but lately I’ve been dealing with a lot of what-ifs, and a lot of conflicting emotions, so here are four of my favorite bible verses that have been giving me strength. I hope they give you strength as well.

“The pain you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that is coming”

Romans 8:18

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I’m going to start with Romans because St. Paul’s letter to the Romans has to be one of the most motivating and encouraging sections in the bible. If you haven’t read Romans, or if you aren’t familiar, there is so much in Romans that can be used to boost your own morale and deepen your belief in God.

“Blessed is she who believed the Lord will fulfill His promises to her”

– Luke 1:45

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When I am feeling overwhelmed by all of the what-ifs that are present in my life, I have to remind myself that God has a plan for me, and with patience, His plan will be made known to me. He will fulfill His promises to me, and everything is going to be okay.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love”

– Jeremiah 31:3

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This verse makes me feel safe, loved, and accepted by God. It reminds me to love with an unwavering heart, and reminds me that He loves me more than I could ever imagine. Through my many flaws and mistakes, He accepts and forgives and never withholds love.

“If God is for us, who could ever be against us?”

– Romans 8:31

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Probably my original FAVORITE bible verse I discovered when I went through RCIA bible study four years ago, this verse is also from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans (I told y’all it was motivating). This verse makes so many statements in it’s short, 11 words. If God is for us – for me – who could ever tear me down? Who could ever make me feel less than? This quote is applicable not only to oneself, but also to the special relationships we hold with others. We need not be afraid of the unknown because God is for us, therefore, whatever will happen will be what is right.

I hope these verses give you strength, and feel free to comment below your favorite and most comforting bible verses! ❤ I would love to know what they are, and to read them.

Enjoy this snowy day everybody, until next time

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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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