Tag Archives: ballet

mid-week round-up

Hi friends! I’m back from Kentucky! I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted. Time flies! That means it’s time for another round-up of links…but first, let me catch you up. When we last spoke I was flying to Lexington for a much-needed visit with my Mom. We managed to pack in a lot of fun (and a lot of food!) in my quick trip. Then, she drove me down to Bowling Green. I spent the next 9 days working at the Western Kentucky University – Summer Forensics Institute in the Original Oratory lab. The lab was an absolute blast and we had a wonderful group of students who worked super hard. And in between coaching and editing speeches, I got to hang out with the other folks working at the institute…who just happen to be some of my favorite folks in the whole dang world!!! We spent every evening in fits of laughter. After a couple uneventful flights, I made my return to Miami. (Bienvenidos a Miami!) It was a great trip but I’m happy to be back with Chet and Wink!!

A grand unified theory of avocado toast.

Epically 90’s photos to make you fall into a nostalgia coma.

Meet the ballet dancer who escaped from Syria.

Creating healthy eating habits.

Colorful thank you cards at a great price.

Cents of Style’s 8 item – 24 outfit Summer Capsule Wardrobe is genius!
(Buy 4 or more pieces and get 25% off with code BOLD17.)

This micro-fiction about the 1969 moon landing is so much story in just 199 words.

11 creative gift ideas for children that aren’t toys.

25 things to buy at ALDI and 25 things to buy at Dollar Tree.

Wake up your eyes!

The 25 best films of the 21st century. So far.

Death anxiety may promote humor creativity.

P.S. Still in a reading mood? Check out: In the words of Ms. Hepburn… and Don’t Hide Your Hustle: Megan, Book Coach

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My 10-Day Ballet Challenge

10 day FREE ballet challenge

I’m so excited to share this workout challenge with you guys! As I’ve talked about before on this blog, I’ve LOVED participating in various 30-day yoga challenges over the last couple years. I thought it might be fun to make a challenge of my own (using free online workouts of course) for another type of exercise I quite enjoy — BALLET!

It might sound strange, but those yoga challenges bring me a lot of joy. a) I don’t have to think about what workout  to complete on any given day. Anti-decision fatigue SCORE! b) Committing to something for a specified period of time, even to myself, means I’m way more likely to follow through. c) The results are usually pretty nice. 🙂 d) I love that yummy feeling you get after completing a challenge you set for yourself.

With those 4 joy-inducing items in mind, I added a 10-day ballet challenge to my FIND MORE DELIGHT LIST. And Monday I’m kicking things off! Here’s how things will shake down if you’re interested (or if you feel like tackling a ballet challenge of your own!!! plz dooo!)…

Day One

Adult Ballet Barre by Ballerinas by Night

Day Two

15min BALLET WORKOUT by Sarahs DayArms Exercises With Theraband by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Three

Pre Ballet Class Feet Strengthening Routine  Easy Ballet Barre Workout both by Kathryn Morgan

Day Four

Classical Ballet Barre with Centre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Five

New York City Ballet Workout I designed by Peter Martins

Day Six

Arms Exercises with Theraband Relax & Stretch both by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Seven

Ballet Barre for Balance & Core by Kathryn Morgan

Day Eight

Beginners Ballet by PsycheTruth

Day Nine

Classical Full Ballet Barre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Ten

New York City Ballet Workout II designed by Peter Martins

And there you have it! I’ll definitely let you know how it goes…Until then, WISH ME LUCK!

Have you ever done a workout challenge like this one (or the Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenges)? Love ’em or hate ’em? How do you stay motivated to exercise? Let me know! 

P.S. More Finding Delight posts on working out – Ballin’ on a Budget – Ditch the Gym Membership and Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever

Great YouTube Channel for Lifelong Ballerinas (LIKE YOURS TRULY!)

I stumbled upon a new-to-me YouTube channel the other day. Lazy Dancer Tips was created by Alessia to share the beauty, tips, and tricks of the ballet world. I’m planning to incorporate her videos into my workout repertoire in anticipation of my forthcoming 10-day Ballet Challenge (item #2 on my Find More Delight List). What do you think? Any former ballerinas out there wanting to get back to the barre? This could be a great place to start!

P.S. Wanna ditch your gym membership and still get fit? HERE’S HOW! 

mid-week round-up

Hello my beautiful friends! Today marks my THIRD day in a row of waking up at 5 am. (How do you every-day early-risers DO IT?) These early rise times have been to facilitate a pretty mind-numbing project so maybe it’s less about 5 am and more about all the work in the hours that follow. But either way, I’m totally zonked. Wednesday tho, amirite!? WE GOT THIS! Here are some links to help keep your eyes pried open ’til the weekend…

The surprisingly interesting story behind the filet-o-fish sandwich. (<–You know it is Lent when…)

Here’s what a food blogger actually eats in a day.

Photographer Omar Robles’ portraits capture dancers en pointe in San Juan.

This Kentucky Forecast t-shirt made me laugh.

SOOOO relateable re: small(er) town living has perks and big cities can be a sorta nightmare.
“i can’t deal with traffic anymore. or people. or pretty much anything that takes longer than five minutes and doesn’t move its mindlessly texting ass out of the way. i thought i was committed to being a city person but i’ve been in both new york and los angeles for work (LOL) over the past few months and rather than being like “hooray! look at all of the expensive juice options laid before me!” i’ve instead found myself thinking “shit, have there always been this many people on earth?”

A purse with TWO pom-poms so it can be your personal cheerleader.

Related: Gift ideas for  sisters, girlfriends, best friends, wives and any other lady loves!

The next scientific breakthrough could come from the history books.

Researchers uncover a regional distinction in American Sign Language, and seek to preserve it.

Once hunted to near extinction, Europe’s great egrets take refuge along the Danube.

101 small ways you can improve your city.

I always end up sleeping in gym shorts and t-shirts but I’m considering an upgrade.

Pumping iron with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer is no joke.
“Asked earlier this month about the most important person in her life, Ginsburg, who was widowed in 2010 and lost a close friend with the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, responded, “My personal trainer.” That would be Bryant Johnson, 52. You could think of Johnson’s sturdy limbs as a fourth branch of government, grafted onto the judiciary, keeping it aloft.”

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever and Must-Haves for Sleeping in the Heat.

mid-week round-up

bougainvillea

What are you up to this week, folks? The weather has cooled in Miami a bit (the locals call Fall/Winter “The Winds” because it’s basically the same as the rest of the year just a bit breezier, lol.). On Saturday, in true Autumnal spirit, we saw a creepy movie at the theater and then hit up Bath and Body Works for a candle haul. I’m obsessed with their Fall scents. (Leaves is my favorite.) Hope you’re making time for your favorite Fall-tivities, too! Now, here are a few links I’ve gathered and would love to share…

“Black Jeopardy” is SNL’s best political sketch this year.

10 horror movies for your Halloween viewing pleasure.

How women created book clubs.

They took in one refugee family. But families don’t have borders.

19 tiny things you can do to make the world a (slightly) better place.

There is no such thing as “free” vaccines.

The afterlife of a ballerina.

No, Donald Trump, abortions do not happen at 9 months pregnant.

This book looks wacky and laugh-out-loud fun.

Why the art of speaking should be taught alongside math and literacy.

Secret guaranteed eight-dollar flight upgrade trick.

Let everyone know  you’re with her! 

mid-week round-up

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Happy MY birthday to all of YOU! I have a ton to do today to get ready for our trip to Louisiana (!!!), but I thought I’d pop on to do a quick mid-week round-up. Posting will probably be sporadic or non-existent for the next few days as we have a lot to cram into our short trip. Never fear! I’ll be back soon with pictures and lots of great, new content.

I love you guys! Thanks for hanging out in my corner of the internet. I’m incredibly grateful for your support. (And if you’re new here, welcome!) I’m a year older, a year wiser, and so excited to embark on my next journey ’round the sun. xoxo

Nicholas Kristof live tweets the second presidential debate.

What can you learn about someone from seeing their bedroom?

Inside the New York Public Library’s last, secret apartments.

Kate Middleton’s expressive face is the main reason I love her.

The mystery of 1,000 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

These earrings would make a pretty and feminine addition to a Fall wardrobe.

Hating Kim Kardashian is the most boring thing you can do.

Arranged marriages in the 1800’s.

The ballerinas who burned to death.

The most influential reality show in TV history. (I’ve been saying it for years!)

Public speaking hacks for scientists!

Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong.

mid-week round-up

horsehead

What’s going on this week, guys? I hope you’re enjoying the book-themed week here on the blog. It seems fitting, given all the rain we’ve been getting, I just want to curl up on the couch and read novel after novel. Are you reading anything good right now? Hope your day is great wherever you are, and below are a few reads of a different variety (back to all-things books tomorrow though!)…

Voyages: Visual journeys by 6 photographers.

10 New Orleans musts for under $10.

Stop taking pride in not knowing how to do basic shit.

This ballerina starts her day with a corn-dog as a PRE-breakfast. (#spiritanimal)

Confessions of workplace masturbators.

I’m saving this podcast for a rainy day…or road trip.

Female debaters everywhere feel ya Hillz!

How to decorate a large wall.

30-minute sheet pan potatoes and chicken sausage.

Investments that will save you money in the long run.

Hugo Lucitante’s tribe sent him into the outside world so he could return and save their village.

Typecast as a terrorist.

April favorites.

April Favorites collage

With the turning of the calendar page from April to May, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in April…

1. Pocket Letters

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know I’ve been going a little Pocket Letter crazy this month. I just can’t get enough. For those curious, Pocket Letters are a genius way to send someone (pen pal, friend, stranger, etc.) a little mailbox surprise! Essentially, you take a 3×3 baseball card holder, decorate it to your heart’s content, tuck in some stationery goodies for your pal, and mail it off. Here’s a TUTORIAL if you’d like to learn more. I’ve been making these for a little while now, but I only recently hopped on PocketLetterPals.com to start arranging swaps with peeps from across the country. The resulting deliveries have made mail time a giddy experience. (If you’re interested in swapping leave a comment below!) 

2. Ballet

While I’m hopelessly devoted to my yoga practice, the month of April saw me dusting off my ballet shoes for a bit of barre work. I turned to YouTube (of course!) and was able to rustle up a few videos of actual ballet classes. I then got to work and have been trying to incorporate ballet into my workout routine on a weekly basis. For me no other exercise ever seems as effective yet effortless as ballet. I can have sweat dripping down my neck all with a smile on my face. Maybe because it has been a part of my life for so long? *cue that scene in Center Stage where Juliette Simone/Julie Simon talks about the barre being home.*

3. Graze snacks

If you wanna up your snacking game, you GOTTA check out Graze. Graze is a snack subscription service that sends you 4 or 8 individually packaged snacks weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I’ve gotten two boxes so far and I gotta tell ya…I am HOOKED. Each snack I’ve tried has been delicious and perfectly portioned. And you can’t beat the convenience! My favorite snack so far has gotta go to the Honeycomb Flapjack which Graze describes as a “rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle.” It’s legit better than a candy bar. YUM!

4. Homestead Town Hall Museum

On a recent #AdventureSaturday, Chet and I decided to explore Historic Downtown Homestead. Normally when we spend a Saturday in Homestead it’s at the beach. But this time around we decided to stay on dry land and see what else the city had to offer. Downtown Homestead is definitely a blink and you’ll miss it stretch of road but it does offer some quaint places — an old theater with a retro marquis, a park with an amphitheater, and the Homestead Town Hall Museum. After chowing down on some amazing Cuban food at a little hole-in-the-wall attached to the local bus station, we headed to the museum. Admission is free and was totally time well spent just for the eccentric docent who showed us around. (Although she did try to convince us to sit down in a couple of folding chairs to watch an HOUR long documentary about Homestead on a rinky-dink TV. Not gonna happen, lady.)

5. Free printables

One of the joys of wedding planning on a budget has been scouring the internet for ways to cut corners. My favorite way so far? Free printables. They are so fun to tinker around with. Pictured above is one I found for a Thumbprint Guestbook. It is so simple and fun! I love the idea of having it out at our reception with some ink pads and asking guests to create the leaves. Wouldn’t it be lovely to frame that as a keepsake? What a beautiful reminder of all our “people” and the special family tree we’ve created for ourselves, both with our actual family and the folks who’ve become our family.

6. Washi tape

I LOVE washi tape. This month I’ve been using it a ton to decorate pocket letters (see above) and my planner (see below). Last week we stumbled upon an office supply store that was going out of business and I stocked up. My other favorite places to find washi? Target, Dollar Tree, and Ikea. Ikea sells packs of four for FIFTY CENTS. Hello!?! Need I say more.

7. Target Dollar Spot planner

I started using my Target Dollar Spot planner on April 1st and the obsession is still going strong. In case you’re wondering, I call it the Target Dollar Spot planner because it was created from 3 components purchased at Target in the $1-$3 section. A mini binder, dividers/weekly inserts, and folders/monthly inserts. Each of these “kits” was $3. While I utilize this planner for weekly and monthly planning, I’ve also been trying my hand at planner decorating. (Inspired by CheapCraftyGirl on YouTube.) It’s a fun activity to sit down on a Sunday night and decorate the next week’s spread! And it’s also a cool way to use some of the stationery goodies I receive in my pocket letters. Paper crafting for the win!

8. The Brain Candy Podcast

Confession: I’m a LONG time viewer of The Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge. I have never “out grown” these shows and continue to enjoy, especially The Challenge, to this day. The advent of social media has taken my interest in reality TV in a different direction. I love keeping up with cast members on Twitter and Instagram because seeing what D-List celebs do in their day to day is just as interesting (if not more) to me than watching them on a show. Anyways, that’s all to say, I follow the two ladies responsible for this podcast on social media. So when they started promoting this endeavor I was totally into it. It’s hosted by Susie Meister (RR: Down Under) and Sarah Rice (RW: Brooklyn) and is billed as “candy for your left brain and your right brain.” While some episodes are about The Challenge (both Susie and Sarah have competed multiple times on the show), many are not. They cover everything from cults to travel to DIY. It is super easy listening…kind of like you’re eavesdropping on two intelligent girlfriends having a chat. Oh, and usually wine is involved!

9. Uncovered by Leah Lax

If women and religion, and how the two intersect, is of interest to you, then this memoir is a must-read. I love learning about different religions and recently realized I didn’t know too much about the lives of Hasidic Jews. I picked up this memoir at my local library and couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of Leah Lax who left her liberal, secular home as a teenager for a life as a Hasidic Jew. Lax recounts her experiences with arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and motherhood during her time with the Hasidim, and exposes how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings existed beneath the surface throughout her time there. This book taught me a lot about this particular faith through the eyes of a woman who lived it and then left it.

 

mid-week round-up

baby animal

Hello friends! What’s new this week? Not much ’round these parts. Just getting back to normal after several weeks where one or both of Chet and I were traveling. It feels good to get some extra work done and to give this blog some love (beyond just posting on Wednesdays, which was all I managed to squeak out last week). We also managed a trip to the beach on Saturday for some seaside nachos and several hours of sunbathing. (My nose and forehead got a lil pink. Resolved: Start upping my SPF game and/or get a really obnoxious beach hat.) And along with my love of pocket letters, I’ve been dipping my toes in planner decorating. I just can’t stop thinking about paper-craftin’, y’all. It is a problem! Ok, I think that’s everything from around these parts, now onto the links…

Good to know my beloved Subaru could become a house if the need arises.

This visionary sees food justice as a social movement.

Wanderlust? Let your zodiac sign point you in the right travel direction.

The cutest photo series ever. (Wedding reception goals?!)

The voyeur’s motel.

This 28-year-old choreographer is making waves in the ballet world.

Siestas: yay or nay?

College students share how deportation relief changed their lives.

Target hacks.

Hugh Jackman has a Fair Trade coffee company!

So interesting to think of the US divided into 11 nations. (My current city, however, doesn’t even fall into one of the 11…which honestly seems correct.)

Bridget Jones and the Millennial workplace.

P.S. You can find a little bit of career advice from yours truly in the new book, Corporate Survival Guide for Your Twenties: A Guide to Help You Navigate the Business World! I am so excited to be featured in this helpful resource for new professionals. The book is by fellow Miami blogger Kayla Buell and you can pre-order a copy on Amazon, if you’d like.  

A Reflection Reflection (or Why I Look at Myself in the Mirror So Much)

reflections 1 b and w     reflections 2

In Frances Ha, the titular character’s best friend Sophie remarks on Frances’ thing. You know, that thing we all do that’s unique to us but also a little weird to other people. Frances’ thing was a not so sneaky habit of stealing peeks of herself in anything that cast a reflection. I found this film hugely relatable as I’m sure it was for any “creative-type” ladies inching towards 30. And for more reasons than 20-something poverty and a past full of refusing adulthood’s responsibilities. As my sister so kindly pointed out as we left the theater, finding my reflection is sorta MY thing, too. It’s a little strange to admit this but…I look in the mirror. A lot. I check my reflection many times a day. Sometimes bouncing between two or even three mirrors before I feel satisfied. And for no real reason either. Just to…look. I always notice when I’m around something that offers a view of myself. A car window, a storefront, a television screen gone black, the face of my iPhone. Sometimes when the creeping feeling of social anxiety bubbles to the surface and I can feel a negative emotion, like anger or embarrassment, hot on my cheeks, I want to see myself. I feel calmer if I’m able to.

I’m not sure when this practice started. I know my sister has teased me for years about checking my reflection in car windows. Usually in those impatient seconds before the unlock button is hit on a keyless entry remote. Perhaps my reflection relationship began as a toddler when I was enrolled in my very first ballet class. My whole childhood was spent learning complicated and unnatural positions through careful speculation of my own bodies’ curves and contortions. In dance, the mirror is there to help you. You catch a glimpse of a sickled foot in your tendu derriere. You point your toes harder. You notice a leg that could be in a more attractive line. So you correct it. You realize you aren’t as high off the ground in your changements as the two ballerinas flanking you. And you jump like hell until you are. The reward for this self-correction felt great to me. The reward was art and not just any art. Art thatcreated. Later, when I started competitive speech and debate, I would try to use the mirror as a tool in a similar way. And even found new ways to use it, too. To help the memorization process when learning speeches, I would recite the words in front of a mirror, careful to pay attention to the shape my mouth made when pronouncing each sound. Confident that once I learned the shapes they would be easier to recreate again and again.

These practical uses for my reflection are why I don’t think my need to look at myself is born entirely of vanity. Everyone uses the mirror in attempt to make themselves look better or hotter, more presentable or more professional. And I’m certainly no different. I use it as I twist my hair over and over until I’ve created what I hope will, ironically, look like an effortless and messy top knot. I use it to see if my outfit is flattering, showcasing parts I like and hiding those I don’t. I use it to verify a pair of heels’ ability to make my calves look bangin’. But I also use it, frankly, just to make sure I’m still there. Like when I’ve been lost inside my own thoughts and imagination for too many hours. Or when someone has made me feel unimaginably small and unimportant. Or when a task seems insurmountable. Something about that tiny glance into my own eyes tells me, “Yep, you’re still you. You’re in this amazing world and this wonderful life you have is REAL. Own it. Go live it. You’re beautiful and confident and that thing you don’t think you can do because you think you’re not good enough…what’s the harm in trying?” I’m cringing at how cheesy that sounds but there ya go. Honesty!

It’s a long standing practice in the world of retail to place mirrors behind counters where patrons are likely to get a little incensed. When angry customers approach a mirror the likelihood of irrational behavior lowers drastically. Why? Because no one wants to see themselves act like that. And the mirrors behind the bar in your favorite seedy joint? No one wants to look at a belligerent and sloppy-drunk fool and think, “Whoa, that’s ME.” So maybe what this reflection on reflections boils down to is this — We all want to see the best version of ourselves. I don’t want to see someone who is meek and boring so, just like I did at the barre in my ballet classes, I find those parts I need to change in my reflection and alter them. Perhaps that’s done physically, cracking a smile or fixing a rogue strand of hair, or perhaps it’s an alteration more mental than physical. Either way, create the person I see looking back at me. The person the world will see, too.

 

Author’s Note: This is my personal relationship with mirrors and is not necessarily a practice I think everyone should strive for. I know many struggle daily to LIKE the person they see looking back at them in the mirror let alone use their reflection as a confidence booster or a tool for healthy self -correction. For those of you walking that difficult path, please keep fighting. I think you are beautiful!