Out of the Notebook and into the blog

Thursday, January 28, 2016

When the Mountains Call

i love to hike.  My brother loves to hike.  We also happen to like taking pictures - and since I've been in Arizona with him and my parents for the past week, we did.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Something for this Summers Music Festivals

I mean - how many people don't go to music festivals with at least one piece of Urban Outfitters clothing?  Not many.  How about breaking the trend and being truly "hip" by wearing some For Love & Lemons pieces?  I mean they are killing it with...well, all of their clothing lines ever.

Also by the way.  Urban Outfitters sells some of their pieces.  Which brings me to my conclusion that you shouldn't care if "everyones" wearing Urban Outfitters or Free People or whatever it is they are wearing - just wear it if you like it.  It seems a little ridiculous to go out of your way for something no one cares about/will ever even realize.  Buy Urban Outfitters.  Buy For Love & Lemons.  Buy whatever you want to buy.  But right now I really am loving Love & Lemons spring line.

Life: VW On the Loose

Today something a little strange happened in Tucson Arizona.

My brother and i were just driving our way down the road - listening to some Caged Elephants all nonchalantly.  My brother was navigating the roads like a the hyper-cautious champion of a driver he is, while I was zoning out into the extreme "cool" vibe that was filling the car at that moment - when a little black VW bug started backing up down a used car lots driveway.

The driveway was a little bit steep - yes, but it didn't seem like it would be that challenging for the car.

Even so - the car caught my brother and mines attention.  How slanted and strangely it was backing out of the driveway seemed a little out of the ordinary.

We passed it - only millisecond's later, did it roll right on into the street! Straight in front of the white truck driving directly behind us.

My brother interrupts Caged Elephant's soulful voice coming out of our speakers and breaks me out of my trance by exclaiming "there's no driver in that car!"

The little VW black bug rolled right down into the busy Tucson street, without a driver or passenger for that matter, missing us and the car behind us by inches.

What a funny little story to store in our heads to maybe tell our kids or random strangers that we meat on the plane or in the grocery store - who really don't care, someday.  It caused quite a laugh - how does that even happen?  Who leaves their car on neutral on a hill?  Theories?  Do share!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ballet by the Beach - Lake Calhoun Minneapolis

To be a professional ballerina, training 8 hours everyday, you have to love it.  You have to love everything about it and want nothing else more, Ellington's passion for ballet is so obvious, and when we paired her passion for ballet with my passion for photography - we ended up with some pretty jaw breaking portraits of her at Lake Calhoun!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Life Hacks: De-stress for the holidays with an Aurorae Yoga Mat Giveaway!

Image source: Unknown

How do we get more Zen in our life?  Lately I've been overwhelmingly busy, which makes the little bit of "zen" I get in my day an absolutely amazing moment that feels better anything else!

The thing is, is that I don't want to live my life like everyone else.

I don't want to be worried about money all the time.  Where to be next.  What's for dinner.  What's am I missing on my planner.

Sometimes though, in the pursuit of making a difference in the world and becoming the best I can be, the worry seeps in and fills me up, as I'm sure you can relate to.  But then, i get home at the end of the night and i remember…I'm just a being in this world, the world will happen and revolve, I can relax.

At the end of my long day's, I'll light three candles, dim the lights, and just relax.  Aurorae's new Spa Candles are heaven.  After a few minutes of lighting the Eucalyptus candle I was feeling relaxed and in complete stress-fee zone.  This is rare…I wake up at 6 am and there isn't a pause in my day until I get home at 10pm.  This candle makes me say "goodbye" to Monday (oh wait everyday feels like monday!) stress and hello to "zen."

I also try hard to fit yoga into my weekly schedule.  I purchased a Core-power unlimited membership -  if you do this FORCE yourself to go!  Put it on the calendar - make it non-negotiable.  It's been amazing.  I've been using the Aurorae Impressions Yoga mat lately and have loved it. They come with a small chalk pack which is fabulous to put on your hands and feet and on your mat before a hot yoga or any CorePower class.  The grip is fantastic and even when I forget my chalk or towel, I somehow manage to be ok without slipping and sliding around. 

I'd love for you to give the Aurorae Impressions Yoga Mat and Aurorae generously offered one for me to giveaway!

*While Aurorae did sponsor this post and giveaway, I have been an avid user/fan/lover of Aurorae since my yoga practice began 4 years ago!  I have never used a different mat!  

Why Ballerinas Smoke

Ballerina's appear to live in a world distinct from the rest of the world.  They create art with their dainty, impossibly small lines.  They appear to fly across the stage in an unrealistic way, and cause an audience to gasp, jaw's opening in awe.  Beyond the stage, the world of a ballerina is somewhat hidden.  A professional ballerina spends a majority of her time rehearsing, spending hours upon hours in the studio working to achieve the perfection she so desires but deep down knows is impossible to reach.  Many don't realize the darker world of being a ballerina, the pressure, the constant judgement, the harsh critique that one hears on the daily.  When you enter the intense lifestyle of ballet, you begin to learn some of these secrets, one of which being the huge amount of smokers that make up this world.  

Percentage of Professional Ballerina's that Smoke: 45%

Dancer Newark Star-Ledger said "I'd like to stop smoking, I have smoked for about 15 years.  I was a dancer, and all dancers smoke, it's the most bizarre thing."

1)  Dancers live in the moment. Ballet is a short career - most "die" their first death in their thirty's. Dedicating ones life so passionately to one thing that is only humanly possible to strive towards for a short period of time, proves that ballerina's care intensely about living in the moment and deriving pleasure from the now.  Thinking about the damaging affects of smoking in the future becomes abstract to them.

2)  Many ballerina's that I personally know believe that smoking aids to weight loss - something that is passionately sought for in the ballet world. Ballerina's are 7 times more likely to be anorexic than non-ballerinas. One needs - desires - stunning lines, and with beautiful lines classically comes skin and bones.  

Ballerina's are 7 times more likely to become anorexic than non-ballerinas. 

3)  Escape.  Long rehearsal hours, stress, ones entire self dedicated to one thing.  Smoking becomes an escape for many - especially when it becomes a culture within a ballet school and everyone begins to join it. 

4)  To create beauty on stage, one must dance with intense passion and feelings, and one can't do this without real life experiences.  Smoking, drugs, sex, they all become outlets for these stories that can be re-created on stage as the beautiful art that you watch from the audience.  

5)  The physical demands of ballet dancing are insane.  Training is intense 12 hours a day, and ballerina's/ballerino's are badass fitness masters.  They have muscles in places you don't even know exist.  This eludes to the notion that they are so fit they can abuse their bodies on occasion - and many do.  

Ballerina's don't smoke because they are bored, they do it because they need an escape, something outside of their rigorous routines.  It's 2015 and everyone knows that smoking is detrimental to ones health, but so is manipulating your body to dance on bloch's and turn out for hours upon hours every day.  To change the culture of smoking in the world of ballet, one must first delve into the deeper reasons of why they do what they do and the solution must be sensitive to the insanely passionate, detail orientated, ruthless desires of ballerinas.  

In a world where your constantly being told that you aren't good enough, skinny enough, strong enough, beautiful enough, one faces the impossible challenge to learn to love their bodies and themselves despite the critique - and until this happens, and even if it does, smoking will remain present in the secret world of professional ballerinas.

What's your experience with smoking in the world of ballet?  Did you realize it existed?  

Monday, December 7, 2015

How Ballerina's Feel Pain

This picture was my most re-pinned photo of the
weekwith 114 re-pins.  Ballerina's relate :)

 I arrive to my 8am classes in college to hear my peers bragging about the lack of sleep they had last night from going out, jostling back and forth between each other in the grand debate of who has it worse with the highest level of sleep deprivation.  This is the college student normal, and a conversation that I am almost never apart of.

However, arriving at my ballet studio on a Friday morning after a week of grueling rehearsals and long barre classes, there is a different type of bragging happening.  From the moment a girl tries on her first pair of pointe shoes, whether she's 10 or starting as an adult, a mindset of determination takes over and one is blinded by the fact that she will do anything to reach the impossible perfection. For a ballerina, you will never hear us bragging about our lack of sleep - it's necessary to perform - but rather, the blisters on our toes, how bloody our toe pads got in yesterday's rehearsal, or how bad our hip needs to pop.  Pain to us is received at a different level.  We grow accustomed to dancing on our toes on top of metal blocks for hours on end, our toes becoming so numb that we can't feel the pain anymore.  We keep going because love it, without ballet we wouldn't be whole.  The pain is no more than a representation of the hard work that we are putting in to become the most beautiful Odette, Jewel Fairy, Rat, or Choir dancer that we can push ourselves to be.

"The pain is no more than a representation of the hard work that we are putting in"

For ballerinas, foot pain, aches in our hips, day's where every step hurts our knees, is a sweet reminder of how much love and dedication we put into our work.  It's a pain that's never filled with regret or bad thoughts, but rather one filled with love and inspiration.  You'll never meet a retired ballerina without pain, and you'll never meet a retired ballerina that isn't grateful that the pain represents her opportunity to dance.  

And that is the reason why, as ballerinas, we don't mind dancing for hours on end during the day in dainty pale pink pointe shoes only to be bandaging our blisters and soaking our ingrown toenails at night.