Welcome, Autumn!

Happy first day of fall, y’all!

Here’s to a new season full of good changes, hot cups of cider, many spiced donuts and lots of great boots! Bring on the flannel, crisp morning air, and all the fall leaves we can stand. Welcome, fall! Stick around for a bit and be sure to bring those great fall temps!

 I spy with my little eye, a perfect pup…

I spy with my little eye, a perfect pup…

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Long Distance Friendships

There is nothing new about long distance friendships. They've been happening for quite literally centuries with folks keeping up by letter until that grand ol' invention of the telephone. Since then we've moved on to e-mail, webcams and nowadays, Facetime and of course, social media. Thank goodness for internet! 

I've been very lucky to gain some beautiful friends over the years and it really took me a little bit to realize how difficult it can be to keep up with those wonderful friendships even with all the modern technology at hand. I'm not perfect but I have found some ways that have helped me keep those friends close even miles apart! 

10 Tips for

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

1. Make the call/text/email  - If someone is on your heart, make the connection. Don't wait for a spare moment, just do it when you think about it. Even if you miss them, leave a message and get back with them when they call again. I reached out to my little sis from my sorority to say I think of her every time I use a blanket she gave me. One quick text and we were able to reconnect years after we graduated! I'm so glad I just sent the text and honestly, every time I reach out, I'm glad. Those people are on your mind and in your heart for a reason and you may never know how much that note can mean. Heck, that works for family all the time! Don't worry so much about the time that's past, just connect. 

2. Schedule your calls - Yup, I schedule my phone dates with friends. We're all busy and sometimes it's not the most convenient time to talk right that second, but offer up times to visit and schedule the date. Then make sure you put it in the calendar! If you're worried you'll forget, set an alarm and if you're concerned your friend my forget, just a send a sweet text to remind them, "hey! Are we still on for tomorrow?" 

3. Set a time limit (if you need it!) - When we schedule dinner dates with our girlfriends or plan a for day out together, it could take a couple hours and it's always delightful! Somehow changing the amount of distance between two folks and a couple hours on the phone can be difficult. There's not shame in keeping it short. When you call a pal, check the time, note how much time you've got and try to stick to what you need. If it's a short call, let them know you have a few minutes but you wanted to drop them a line. My sister is really good about calling any time she has the car to herself. When she's driving from client to client, she'll give me a call just to talk for a minute before the next meeting. It's not an in-depth convo, but it's a moment we get to share a quick "hello" and "I love you!" 

4. Be understanding if plans fall through - Like I said, life happens and sometimes things get busy. Don't get your knees in a knot if someone has to cancel. Trust that your friendship will be able to weather a cancelation and reschedule. Sometimes you have to give each other grace and a call comes maybe a month later than originally planned. It's okay! 

5. Text - I think this one is pretty obvious but in case you forgot, text messages can be a great easy way to keep in touch! Send a joke, a gif, some picture that reminds you of something or just a steady stream of a conversation throughout the day.  

6. Make that gal pal group text - One of my favorite group texts I have on my messages is with a great group of gals from work. Three out of six of us are in other states, two of us still work together and one is just minutes away in the city at a different job. Even far from each other, we seem to be able to share the funny moments in life, celebrate the high notes, lift each other when we need the support and just reach out for that friendly connection. We don't text all the time but we text and connect nonetheless! 

7. Get comfy - I have one friend I always Facetime. I'm not sure how we got started on Facetiming only but I can't image calling her any other way! When I see her on the screen, it's like she's right next to me and that is the best when you're long distance! We schedule our Facetime dates pretty far out and I make it a point to treat those calls like a friend date with favorite drink in hand, a comfy chair to sit in and total focus on my friend.

8. Don't be afraid to be honest - With my college roomie--yes, we're still best friends!--we call each other probably about every six to twelve weeks and when we talk, it's usually for a good amount of time! There's so much to catch up on but we're both pretty good about saying, "hey, I'm throwing in some laundry while we talk" or "ooh, don't mind the sweeping, I've got company coming later tonight!" I appreciate that ability for us to take care of little things while we visit. The hardest thing is making time to talk and catch up and if you and your friend are close enough, let them know you're listening while you stir sauce or wipe down counters. If it's a big task, it can wait, but if it's something mindless and it needs to get done, fold that laundry, lady! 

 Real life after work look, messy kitchen and all, but who cares! I've got a friend on the other end of the line!

Real life after work look, messy kitchen and all, but who cares! I've got a friend on the other end of the line!

9. Book the trip - OK, travel can be expensive. I still don't know how all these college grads are traipsing around Europe after school or how people are able to live like nomads, but somehow they're able to purchase some plane tickets. Surely you can find a way to get to see your friends, too! I just booked a flight to Denver to see a dear friend and I'm hoping I can add Florida on the 2019 list for my college roomie although, she's coming to town this week! Someday I'm going to make it the Nashville for an MFA buddy and I always love staying with friends in NYC. Maryland, I've got to come soon soon because I miss the heck out of not one, but TWO friends up there! I try really, really hard to make visits happen with friends when I'm back in Dallas and I'm usually successful. There are so many more places to add and many wonderful people to see. 

10. The point is make it happen. There's nothing like spending time with those people who mean so much. Family is a wonderful gift as is the family that you choose in friendships. If you have ten minutes to scroll, you have ten minutes to call. If you have a second to send a text, just do it. The only way to keep friendships up long distance is to make them a priority as you do all the other things in your life. That doesn't mean all day every day communication, but it means making time for those people even if it's five minutes to send them good thoughts or share a funny memory. Just do it. 

Where are some of your besties and how do you keep up with them? 

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Meal Prep Help

I always feel really accomplished when I set myself up for a successful and less stressful week. Meal prepping has been all the rage for a while and there's tons of articles out there to help you, sometimes it gets overwhelming.

The past four weeks have been whirlwind crazy and I’m still four weeks away from having a “normal” week, i.e. nights where I’m home before 8:00 something at night. I’ve definitely been relying on my Sunday’s to prepare my food needs for work and for home, not unsurprisingly since a lot of people do it! While it can take a bit of time and elbow grease, I have to say, it’s been an absolute lifesaver!

Five Favorite All Week Meals

  1. Soup’s Up! I’m a huge fan of soup when I’m in the throws of a busy week like a show week. I’ll make a huge pot and fill up several containers for lunches and boom! I’ve got lunch for every day that week. Just a sleeve of crackers or some fresh french bread and I’m good. Throw a side salad with it or a half a sandwich and the meals seems fresh and new on day four.

    My personal favorite soup recipe is the Spicy Chicken Soup from Real Girl’s Kitchen and yes, that is Haylie Duff’s cookbook. No judgement, she’s got some pretty good ones!

  2. BBQ Pulled Pork Take 2. OK, so it’s easy to throw some pulled pork together, 1 can of soda and a bottle of BBQ sauce, large crockpot on low for 8 hours and ta-da! A great meal is ready for you! You can put it on a bun or on a baked potato or just eat on it’s own with a salad or delicious sautéed veggies.

    Here’s a new one though, slap some of that BBQ between to tortillas, add some cheese, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice and you’ve got yourself some delicious BBQ quesadillas.

  3. White Chicken Chili for days! I wish I could take credit for this, but good ol’ Pinterest to the rescue. Here is THE best white chicken chili and I promise you won’t get sick of this one! Add tortilla chips or pair with a light green salad to stretch it out and shake it up.

  4. Tray Bakes for the win! Roast up a few chicken breasts in the oven with a separate tray of your favorite veggies and that’s an easy full meal with tons of nutrition packed in. I like to use brussel sprouts, asparagus or zucchini with sweet potatoes or purple potatoes and a bit of chopped onion. A little olive oil and some sea salt and you’re good to go. Other spices are fine, but I like the simple flavor come out through the roasting.

  5. Muffins, man. I know, bad pun, but still funny. I whipped up a batch of Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Muffins since I was hankering something delicious warm and fall flavored. Definite success although this particular recipe calls for a pretty good amount of sugar. I’m wondering if I could pair that down or trade out with a different type of sugar. Either way, I’ve got delicious breakfast muffins to pair with scrambled eggs and some fresh fruit.

The trick is to make it all at once and divvy everything up, a plate or bowl for each day of the week. I cart all these bowls to work and leave them in my office fridge prepped and ready to heat up. I’m a leftovers fan so this type of eating isn’t too tricky for me and if you’re looking for something other than a frozen meal for lunch or another sandwich, these might perk up your meals for the week!

Happy meal prepping, y’all!

 The Real Girls Spicy Chicken Soup.

The Real Girls Spicy Chicken Soup.

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Life Lately - Episode 7: Busy Times & Little Breaks

Oh man. I was feeling on top of the world, writing post after post, scheduling out everything and keeping this little day dream running while I worked the real job making magic happen through choreography and teaching dance. Then things just got busy.

That’s okay though! I’m trying to catch up, make things happen and not get too down on myself for this hiccup in progress. It’s all part of life, am I right?

A Chorus Line is off and running in Dallas at Booker T. Washington! The kids did exceptionally well and I was so pleased and extremely grateful for the opportunity! It’s crazy to think in January I was planning ahead for September and now that time has come and gone. Every time I set a show or start a project, it always feels like a giant mountain to surmount in a short amount of time. Like eating an elephant, you take it one bite at a time and before you know it, everything is done.

I am a little sad to close this chapter, but that always leaves room for something new. With one show on it’s feet, it’s now time to move on to the next. I’m four weeks away from a second opening for our departmental choreography show and then it’s 100% into Christmas show. Eep! I’ve got one number set and two more to go and granted that’s not an entire two hour show, it’s still a good amount of work. Just like with A Chorus Line, I’ll take those pieces win bite at a time as well .

Suffice it to say, my life has been 110% work lately which has left little time for anything else. That probably came at a good time, too. I have loved diving into this project with a fresh renewal of interest over the last couple months. In a lot of ways this corner of the net has helped me focus on work better by giving me an outlet, prioritizing to-do’s so there was always time to carve out for this. It’s allowed me to play with my closet more, sifting through clothes and coming up with fresh looks and reigniting a love of dressing up. It’s given my husband and I something fun to do, searching for new places in the city for taking pictures, laughing at the crazy things he says and learning to work as a team on a new project.

I got a little discouraged a couple weeks ago when I felt like I wasn’t making progress on anything. After the initial high of my restart, things slowed down and I started to see more of the follow-unfollow game on my Insta and I got frustrated. All those negative thoughts came rushing in and I realized I just needed to step back for a moment and truthfully, it helped to remind me of how much fun this thing is!

A few days away from social media and time off from writing and prepping new posts let my brain rest and quiet down. Stepping back only gave me the chance to focus on things that needed my attention and let my negativity cool its heels. Bottom line is that I enjoy posting! So, who cares if people follow-unfollow or if my progress is slow, it’ll get there so long as I’m having fun and loving what I’m doing!

I’m looking forward to carving out more time for my little blog in between all these work projects! Here’s to more posts and more fun because, why the heck not!

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Summer to Fall Changes

Well, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out in full force and so are the Halloween decorations so let's face it, it's practically fall already! Not that I'm complaining! It's just that now is all about trying to balance out that summer heat in the day with the chillier temps in the morning and evening. 

I have the answer to that problem: jean jackets! 

 Did someone say PSL? 

Did someone say PSL? 

I'm telling you, throw one of over a summer dress, a t-shirt, button down, whatever, and boom! It all works! I picked this one up several years ago at a Steinmart and I can guarantee you could find one at a T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or Ross if you do a little digging. If not, Gap has one as does Madewell, and Macy's. Search for brands like Old Navy jean jackets on Poshmark or ThreadUp and you might get lucky, too. 

 See? Just tickled by the quick fix! 

See? Just tickled by the quick fix! 

I am one of those many ladies that loves the fall season! Yes, I'll admit, I got a PSL the Tuesday they came out and honestly, there's no shame. I've been a pumpkin spice fan way longer than most and definitely before PS was cool. Yup, I love me some pumpkin...but I actually don't care for pumpkin pie. Go figure. 

I just love autumn. I do and probably for a million reasons. The cooler temps, the last whisper of summer as we start to shift over to flannel shirts and mugs of hot cider, not to mention the amount of apples to eat and whip into treats. These fall holidays are always a blast with Halloween jack-o-lanterns and a good spooky movie followed up by gratefulness and thankfulness around the family dinner table at Thanksgiving. 

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Oklahoma fall season lasts but a hot second so it's fun to paint the months with pops of color in our clothes. Oranges here, scarlets and plums, lot's greens and of course, that beautiful fall gold. Anytime I can match the fall foliage I'm all for it. And if my husband is reading this, he'll probably tell me he's got a camo for that. 

Yes, I do love fall and I could wax poetic about it all over this site. So before I break out the sweaters and such, I'm going to hang on just a bit longer to these warmer days and savor the last of summer!

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Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day! 

Let's rest, relax and take minute to prop up our feet and enjoy the day! 

After I finish up some choreography, of course. 

 Cheers to a three day weekend! 

Cheers to a three day weekend! 

Then I will enjoy my full glass wine and a bath bomb. Who's with me, ladies? 

Have a happy day, y'all! 

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Great Green Pants & A Good, Good Day

I love these britches. 

White top, mustard top, gray, black, doesn't matter, they all match with this great green. It's the kind of green that goes summer or fall and I'm eager to see what they look like with a pair of booties or a leather peep toe heels. 

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You know what else I'm looking forward to? More bright sunny days like this. Can't beat a day out by a beautiful lake and fortunately for us, there are several around the city. I know Pyro Man would want to drop a line and could tell me about every point to find the best fishing around. 

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Me? I just want to spend the day enjoying the view and taking a minute to soak it up. A little peace, a little quiet, maybe a good book or journal to write in. Yeah, that sounds like an awesome way to spend the day to me. 

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What's your idea of a good day? 

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Life Lately - Episode 6: Happy & Rollin' Along

Life is back in full swing with classes rolling, rehearsals carrying on and plenty of evening snuggles with Penny. I feel like I'm constantly moving and going, reading and grading, reviewing and creating, but it's the nature of the game and truly, I think I'm at a pace I can keep without burning out. 

My sweet Pyro Man husband has been super helpful even while he's getting settled into his new semester. After long distance love for so long, it's really nice to have someone to turn when I need an extra hand here and there. It's entirely possible to do so much on your own, it's just wonderful when you have a partner to hold out their hand when you really need it, too. 

September is next week and that always seems to be the month that starts that fall feeling, although if you look anywhere on the internet, those dreams of crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice started back at the start of August. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a cool down and some fall fashion shifts, I just know we've got a while before that change in the weather happens for us in OK. Come the first day of fall, I'll be regretting wearing that cute sweater when I'm dying of heatstroke! 

In any case, September holds some excitements of it's own! "A Chorus Line" opens this month and I can't wait to see it! These amazingly talented performing arts students have worked so hard and they keep growing every rehearsal. I'm in awe of their energy and focus and inspired by their passion. It's been such an honor to work with this group and the memories I will always cherish.  Each time I set a show, I feel stronger and more confident and I learn more about my own process. This particular one has been such a good run for me as a choreographer; I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a grand experience with the students as well as the fabulous artistic and management team.

My best friend and first college roommate is coming to town for a wedding and I cannot wait to spend some time with her! She lives in Florida and it's been since our weddings since we've seen each other--y'all. That's SIX years! We keep up with phones dates as best we can but to hug someone who means the world to me, I simply cannot wait! 

So that's life so far! We're busy and we're running and I'm still having a ball spending time on this lovely little blog. What a fun escape for me and how much I have enjoyed flexing my creative muscles with it these last two months. I can't believe it's taken me so long to really push through the fear, throw my weight into it and make it happen. As much as I wish I'd let go sooner, I think the struggled process helped me to finally let it all go and hit this thing without those niggling doubts. 

Here's to a new month coming, happy excitements, and fearless endeavors!

Happy Monday, Y'all! 

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Favorite Bath Bombs

I jumped on the bath bomb bandwagon a little late having only really discovered them a couple years ago. It all started off in this cute shop in downtown Rockwall, TX that sells their own and I really loved them--they smelled wonderful and it was a perfect treat when I wanted a night to sit, soak, and relax. But that's not the place that sells my favorite. 

Of course, if you've shopped at Lush, their bath bombs are equally divine and definitely designed with the body in mind using materials guaranteed not to cause infection or irritation to the skin. I love them, too, but I my favorite bath bomb doesn't come from this chain either. I actually found them totally by accident--isn't that how all great finds work though? 

On our trip to Charleston last year, we stopped through the Historic Charleston Market to shop and see all the local finds when I happened upon a booth with the most heavenly scent. This shop, Old Whaling Company had all sorts of scrubs, soaps and you guessed it, bath bombs. I immediately started picking up and inhaling each one, loving everything I touched. I ended up with about four or five to purchase and savored them over the next couple of months. 

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After the last one was gone, I couldn't help but pine for more. Fortunately they ship (Duh, Julie, it's 2018--everyone ships!) so I hopped on their Etsy site just recently to order more and I can't wait to dive into my stash! 

I was so pumped to receive my fragrant shipment! Seriously, the box smelled like a spa, clean and relaxing. I wish our screens were scratch and sniff so you could smell this, too! They send you samples of soap to try and I'm excited to see how I like these two; One is bergamot and grapefruit and then magnolia is the other. 

This company really does keep health in mind when they craft their products, try reading their story here of how the founder got into making their products. Finding a company that really is conscious of what goes into their products makes me feel like a cared for consumer and honestly, the last thing I want to do while I'm soaking is worry about what the heck is floating in my water. 

 Penny just about went crazy with all the different smells! 

Penny just about went crazy with all the different smells! 

If you're like me, a bath bomb enthusiast, you really should check out Old Whaling Company! You can mix and match the scents in a bundle or try a few at a time. Shipping is quick and you're sure to get a hand written note and samples included as well--how thoughtful! 

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The only real question now is which one do I start with first? 

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Alright, time to share!

Bath bombs or bath salts? Floral or clean? What's your favorite scent for a soak? 

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I Spy

I spy with my little eye something...yellow. 

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Would you believe this gorgeous oasis is right here in OKC? This little passion project of mine has really given me a reason to explore more parts of this city and I'm loving it!

What's your favorite spot in town? 

 

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