Winding Down

I’m three days into finals week and only a few more days away from wrapping up this fall semester! We’re making it, y’all! We. are. MAKING IT!

Hope everyone has been enjoying the December month so far! I’m totally behind on Christmas presents, what I have isn’t wrapped, no baking has happened yet and only half of my decorations are up but I’m 100% fine with that. That’s life, right? Things get a little hectic and you just roll with the punches. Honestly, I’m keeping my eyes on next Monday evening when I can crash a little bit before all the Christmas traveling beings.

We’ve got dear friends coming in this weekend to visit and I can’t wait to hang out! To top that off, we’ll all be watching another sweet friend marry her man this Saturday—can’t wait for all the fun celebrations we’ll have going on this weekend! It’ll be so great to let go of work for a couple days (we’re going on day 18 at work here, straight…) and even though I’m ready for little down time at home, I know these are the moments that mean the most.

During busy times like this I always feel exhausted just around the time I should be enjoying all the fun of the season and in someways that seems so unfair. Rather than sitting in that sulking moment, I’m choosing to remember what this time of year is for and what really is important. Now I’m not saying I don’t still need a nap or 9 pm bed time for the next week to help get me there, but I am saying that I’m actively choosing not to be a Scrooge with my time this year. Or at the very least, being present with the time I can give.

In other news, Miss Penny Pup is doing so much better. Last week she got very sick and after seeing three different vets, having three different x-rays, and two ultrasounds to be sure, they found something was lodged in her small intestines as it connects to her stomach. One surgery later and a week out of recovery, she’s doing very well and almost back to her Penny self! She still can’t understand the no jumping thing or why she has to wear a cone of shame. Another week and she should be released to return to her natural routine, sans squeaker toys though!

Well, folks, it’s time to get back to grading and doing a little house cleaning! Gotta get those grades in so I can get to all the fun stuff of the season including a holiday nap!

Comment

Life Lately - Episode 9: Turkey Time

Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK! Yay! Let the festivities begin! Oh wait, first a couple days of work and then we can get to it!

We went to a friendsgiving this past weekend and had a lovely time hanging out with friends we know and visiting with newer ones. I had a hankering for Pioneer Woman’s Cranberry Sauce, which I highly recommend! I might try to whip another batch up for the real turkey day. Very easy and really delicious nestled next to that golden bird.

I really wanted to bake a pie of some sort so I grabbed my Waitress cookbook and whipped up her “Thanks for Taking Me to the Moon” Pie and y'all. It is totally worth it especially if you are a peanut butter lover. Lucky for you, I found a copy of the recipe on Taste of Home so click that link I set and surprise your family with one heck of a delicious pie!

 I ran out of time to stop and get the moon pies, but honestly, not a necessity for this pie!

I ran out of time to stop and get the moon pies, but honestly, not a necessity for this pie!

Tonight Pyro Man and I are having a date night—we’ll see if I can kick his behind in bowling! It’ll be nice to get out and doing something out of the ordinary for us especially before holiday week starts. It’s funny to me how sometimes during trips, even though we travel together, he’s actually the person I end up spending the least amount of time with. The whole point is to visit with family we don’t get to see much so it does make sense. Still, a night out together will be a nice change up.

We’ve got a couple more days of work and school before we head to Texas and I’m more than ready! Just a few grading assignments and costume runs are standing between me and a worry free break. We’re really lucky that our families are all so close, we can usually see everyone on one trip.

Aside from Thanksgiving, I’m trying to find another read for the next little bit. I wrapped up a great book a couple weeks ago, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, which apparently was a TV series at one point. Overall, I was totally wrapped in the book and fascinated with each character and their journey in the desert of Masada in 70 CE. There are so many strong female characters and their stories are just heart wrenching, each one different from the next and yet, they all have the common tie of following their truth. If you’re wanting some historic fiction, I highly recommend trying this one.
Alright y’all. Time to start the week and get that turkey timer started! Only three more sleeps until Macy’s Day Parade and a full day of giving thanks!

Comment

Working Towards, What, Exactly?

I forget, quite often actually, that this little space is all my own to be me and post what I want without any expectation. There’s no need to share perfectly posed pictures except that I like the aesthetic of that and it makes me feel like I’ve got something put together in my life the way I want. Reality says otherwise and yet I can snooker myself a bit into believing things are as organized and beautified on my Instagram.

Is it wrong to see a beautifully curated setup? I didn’t think so until the last few weeks. Sometimes you start a project with a fuzzy idea and then you get a little lost in what the point of it was much like telling a long story. You start down one road and somehow end up somewhere else completely thinking, “now, what was the point of this story again?”

This blog restart, for example, I restarted this summer because my brain opened up a vein of creativity that I followed happily and hungrily. I was writing like crazy, posting consistently with tons of ideas in my head. I grabbed my wonderful husband any time I had an idea and we would go shoot some photos for the heck it, him figuring out my camera, me trying to figure out how to stand, pose, use my hands, etc.

I felt like I was gaining ground, but on what, I wasn’t too sure. I figured it would come to me as we kept on going. When I started to focus on work (Hello, love my job—and my paycheck—so of course that deserves attention!) Lately in trying to jump back in, it’s felt off. My writing ideas dried up, everything felt forced (Hello, Julie! Probably because it was!) and I had a particular disappointing shoot that really shot my confidence. I had to ask myself, “what the heck are you working towards, exactly, and who the heck are you trying to be?”

In my deepest of hearts, I want this site to be a curated site, a perfect presentation of what life is for me. The reality is anything but that. Yet, I crave having that perfection because the outward appearance is so appealing because it feels like my life is lacking something sometimes. In essence, I starting deviating from being me and starting trying to perfect things because I thought that’s what things needed to look like or its what I craved for things to feel and look like.

And in saying that, I’m reminded of this wonderful quote,

Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

- Judy Garland

It looks like I sort of forgot that in my pursuit for what I thought things should look like. No wonder I wasn’t feeling like myself. Being influenced by others in style, be it in fashion, art, work, whatever, happens all the time and isn’t necessarily a bad thing…so long as you don’t forget yourself. How easy it is to do that at, apparently, any age.

All this to say that maybe another social media break would be good. Shut down insta for a few days—and by that I mean no checking or scrolling ‘cause to be honest, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve really posted. I think I need to actually do some hands on projects that don’t require anything but pure interest. There’s a half-way made afghan calling my name and a pair of pj pants I’d like to make. Oh, and my guest room is in serious need of finishing. That room has been in lacking some decoration for 5 years now. It’s way past time to finish that room.

Let me see if I can right this train: Essentially, I’m forcing something here and in doing so completely losing track of me and maybe that’s because I’m judging myself a bit in what I think people want. Who am I doing this for? Well, me. Or at the very least I should be posting what interests me and if it pulls people, awesome.

So, maybe I don’t know what I’m working towards or am trying to figure that out right now. Can I still post prettily posed pictures? You betcha and I probably still will, but I’m not going to let a lack of perfection stop me from writing or posting because I don’t want to mess up “a look.” I’m also not going to second guess what I want post any more. Just take a leap of faith and be you, baby. Er, be me. Whatever. You get it.

Alright folks, too much musing for a Saturday and yet, all good things I just needed to work through out loud. If you made it through all this, I thank you, and if you’re trying to find your voice in social media, too, I feel you. We just need to get back to our roots of just being ourselves and drop the idea it has to be perfectly posed something of what someone else wants or needs.

Happy Saturday, y’all!

You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?"

- Dr. Seuss

Comment

Life Lately - Episode 8: And A Busy Month It Was

Whoa, just like that it’s almost Halloween! People, can you believe it?!

Well, to tell you the truth, I certainly can’t, but there you have it. The Great Pumpkin will rise here in a few days and trick-o-treaters will be knocking on the door and I need to think of some Halloween costume or something or other that I can wear to work come Wednesday. Much to do, folks, much to do!

What all can a gal accomplish in a month? Quite a bit, actually, so lets get right down to it and update you on all that’s been going on!


My best friend and college roomie, Karley, came to visit in September and we boogied a night away celebrating a sorority sister’s wedding (Congrats, Vicky!)! It was a perfect weekend full of reunions with beautiful friends!

Karley has this incredible talent for braiding hair and did an awesome braid crown for me and I was thus inspired to finally learn how to do double dutch braids. *See photo below.

I wrapped up three massive pieces for our Christmas show—whew! Now to clean and rehearse for December. Still some work to be done, but everything is on it’s feet for the most part.

We wrapped up and opened the student choreography show which turned out to be a huge knock outta the park this year! Always proud to work on that show and see our students grow so much in the process.

I took a quick trip to Colorado to see my dear, dear friend, Megan, her husband and their brand new sweet baby boy! I flew into a perfect fall day and woke up to a snowy covered world, a perfect first visit to Denver! By the way, the science museum there is way cool and has an awesome dinosaur exhibit!

The last couple weeks has been spent focusing jumping ahead into the midterm to-do’s at work. Pyro Man has been keeping his nose the grindstone studying, I can somewhat remember what his face looks like, but a date night tonight might refresh my memory.


Life feels sometimes like a runaway train and when I get a chance to hop off for a bit, I still feel like I should be spinning my wheels just a go-go-going to keep moving when what I really need to do is relax. I knew back at the very beginning of the year that from July on, life would be one long runaway train until...about Christmas time.

When I saw that, it was easy to get a little bummed knowing that free time would be a rare occurrence. On the flip side though, my schedule would be packed with things that light me up. So free time was light—at least my time would be spent doing things that I found to be fun and with people I really enjoyed being with. Best of all, I got lucky that my free weekends filled up with visits with friends I hadn’t seen in quite literally years.

Yeah, life’s busy, but it always is and that’s just life! In fact, I feel weird when there’s too much downtime and yet, that down time is so necessary to recharge your batteries. You can bet, though, that after a few days off, I’ll find a project of sorts to fill whatever time off I have! The question is whether I really get the chance to finish it or not.

Eh, c’est la vie!

Comment

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…

Comment

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.

Comment

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!

Sunflower Shot (10 of 10).jpg
Comment

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! 

Comment

I Spy

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

Yellow Top  (17 of 31).jpg

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? 

 

Comment

Back to School Hopes

Dear Fall Semester, 

It's time we meet again. I can't believe it's already back to school, but you and I both know you seem to come around too soon. It's just your nature. 

This year I'm hoping you could take into account a few hopes I have for this semester. Just mere wishes or prayers, requests for a good start to the year, positive thoughts to put out for your consideration: 

Let this be a good start to a fulfilling year for everyone who walks into a classroom. 

Let the work be meaningful, the frustrations be small, the improvements be grand and the lessons be clear. 

Let there be more cookies and surprise treats in the break room. 

Let there be happiness in the time given, the earnest of efforts made, and the process of the projects exciting. 

Let there be a lot more laughing and less griping. 

Let there be a sweet friends with an open doors to walk through. 

Let there be plenty of concealor, hair ties, and red lipstick around for when the work gets tough.

Let confidence grow from those moments of doubt. 

Let the times of victory last as long as possible. 

Let the coffee pot always be hot and the brew always be strong. 

Let the joy of what we do shine out and spill over all. 

Let there be positivity in every word we say and actual effort to do better and try harder the next time. 

Let the favorite leggings never fade and computers never crash. 

Let the inspiration from the "aha!" moments fuel us to keep going. 

Let the tap shoes be loud, the buns be high and jazz hands be strong. 

Most importantly, let us not forget how lucky we are to do what we love. 

 

Amen

 Already starting the year with a laugh--can't beat that! 

Already starting the year with a laugh--can't beat that! 

Comment