Friday Five: Saving Graces

It's been a busy week--not that every week isn't busy in it's own way, this one was just really, really full. There was an influx of grading to do and a new piece to start and set. I'm a big fan of getting the work done by the end of the work week--I really like to have my weekends to do what I need for me. Or at the very least, I try really hard to make that happen! 

So I'm rounding up the five things that have totally gotten me through a full week like this one! 

Friday Five

5 Saving Graces

  1. Meal Prepping - Yeah, yeah, yeah. You hear about meal prepping all the time, but it seriously helps. I made a meal Sunday that I turned into leftover lunches this week. (I took a stab at Laura Lea Balanced  BBQ Chicken Quinoa Casserole from her book--not too bad!). I also made sure that dinners were thought out, made Monday night and lasted on our busier evenings of the week. 

  2. PB&Jelly Grain Free Banana Bread - OK. I've been watching Laura Lea's stories on her PB&J banana bread that she was testing and finally, FINALLY she posted the recipe last week here and I tried it out on Sunday! So. Dang. Good. I'm all for it. In fact, I will probably make this again and again. I have a half piece for breakfast (it's really filling) and the second half in the afternoon. This loaf has totally sweetened this week. 

  3. Water, water, water. And Tea - I've been downing the water like there's no tomorrow! First thing in the morning, I drink a glass--yep. That's before coffee. When I think I'm hungry around 3:00 pm, I tank up on water first before I eat anything or have that extra cup of coffee. I can feel I'm dried out and with everyone getting sick, I'm all about flushing whatever I can out and hydrate my body as much as possible. At the end of the evening I make myself a cup of tea, nothing too sweet, but something to help me relax. 

  4. Consistent Workouts - I'm on week three of a six week challenge and I'm feeling really good! I've been focusing on better choices regarding food and that has helped immensely (Well, with the exception of some indulgences this weekend when the Rents came up--yay for weekend fun!).  More than that though, the workouts are really helping out. I can feel my body getting stronger and each time I'm able to push a little more, go further. Plus, these workouts are a break a great break from work and a good way to work through the stress!

  5. Doing What I Love - OK, so what's ultimately making this week busy is actually what I really enjoy doing. I've got a really layered piece that I'm working on now and I'm pumped! Sure, it took me like four hours to choreograph 37 seconds and I'm totally sure things will change once its on its feet, but I still loved it. Creating something from nothing, building a story, using every part of the music--I love that process! 

Taking care of myself, preparing for the busy week, allowing room for healthy treats and enjoying what's making me busy is what's getting me through! 

 If you need me, I'll be hanging out here this friday night!

If you need me, I'll be hanging out here this friday night!

What keeps you going on those super busy weeks? 

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Hello, Hello, September!

Do you remember the (twenty) first day of September?

It's September, ya'll! Last month of the summer season but inevitably the time where everyone starts dreaming of fall. It's hard not to start thinking of cooler temperatures, baked apples, cinnamon smells and of course, pumpkin spice everything this month. We've still got 21 days until the actual fall season drops! Plenty of time to prep! 

School is up and going, we're definitely getting into the thick of it now. I've already got grading to do, a show in the works, and to-do lists like you've never seen. That's fall, folks. I like getting back into the groove of work and I've got a new focus to help me stay accountable with everything there is do. Sometimes you just got to look through a new lens! 

Looking ahead, I can already tell you this month is going to be dominated by work--it always happens that way and I'm 100% fine with that, but girl's got some goals over here for this month, too! 

Friday Five: September Goals

1. Little More Reading: It's easy to hop on your phone each night before you go to bed and scroll and scroll and scroll....and scroll. I feel like a zombie and yet my hand instinctually reaches for the phone. Best way I can think to break this habit it pick up an an old favorite one, reading.

Got some books you love? Send them my way! I got a library card burning a whole in my wallet! 

2. Gardening: It's surprisingly cooler here in Oklahoma these days so I might as well take advantage! We've got pumpkins coming up and our summer crops are on their way out. I'm looking forward to planting some mums in the front again and finding fall florals for our pots! 

3. Little More Time in the Kitchen: I've been enjoying flipping through my cookbooks and trying new recipes the last two weeks. I truly love meal planning and dreaming up delicious things to whip up for dinner.  What's even better is when I get to actually make each recipe up.

There's some baking about to go down. Expect food pictures. It's totally happening. 

4. Rearrangements: I've had an idea to rearrange parts of our house for a while now. I'm in the mood for a shake up, some organization and a little shopping. I'm thinking there's going to be some serious internet retail research for area rugs going on, maybe even house plant info to flip through, too (When Succulents Die--title to my future book on gardening. I dream of a house with more natural light. So do my plants). 

5. More Blogging: I think back on my first little blog often. I wrote almost daily about adventures and dreams, funny stories and thoughts I wanted to share. I've censored myself a lot lately or tried to fit a mold I'd like to be in--in reality, it just isn't fitting and I guess that's why I haven't been as active. Much like clothes, I've tried on a style and now I need to make it my own. 

Best way to find out my own? Just be me. So we're going to try that for a while. Some things might work and somethings might not. I might have to get out of my comfort zone a bit, follow what my gut is telling me, and we'll see what happens. Either way, I want to be on here more so that's exactly what I'm going to do! 

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Enjoy the long weekend, hug your family members, kiss your sweetie and love on those pets. With all the Hurricane Harvey craziness, this is a good time to take the time to be with those you love!  

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Friday Five

It's Friday, yay! We made it through the week, tackled those projects, and got stuff done! I tell you what, after weeks like this, a Friday sure does feel like the first sip of a good cold cocktail. I certainly plan on toasting to the weekend! 

Alright, Friday Five! Back at it this week. I just read an article about hygge in Women's Health the other day. There's a great New Yorker article here from December, but BASICALLY it's about finding that feeling on being comfortable and cozy, really. It seems it's the little things that make you feel, well, happy and content, I suppose. So, in the spirit of hygge, I've got five things that have just brought me pure joy during these last few busy weeks. 

Friday Five

Little Bits of Happy

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1.  Pen Mate Markers - I love putting pen to paper for lists and calendars, it just feels relaxing to me. I'm pretty picky about what pens I use to write in my Passion Planner specifically so I took a gamble on trying some a couple single Pen Mate Markers from Office Depot. Y'all. I'm in love and I've got a package sitting in my Amazon cart ready for purchase as an end-of-school treat! 

2. Gardening - We spent last weekend cleaning up our front and back yards as well as our little box garden. Two years ago we had a thriving vegetable garden that brought us so many tomatoes, cilantro, squash, and jalepenos. We loved it! But summer work got in the way and we put a pause button on it. BUT, after cleaning everything out, we've got cucumbers, cantaloupes, and watermelons planted! Hoping we're going to have another successful harvest this year! I've got flower seeds to plant, too, a total inspiration per Lara Casey's Instagram Stories. That women is so inspirational and her garden is stunning to say the least. I want a vase of flowers on the kitchen table every day or at least that's the dream! 

3. Bai Drinks - Oh my word, they're so good. I was in heaven with their coconut flavor and then I tried the mango and last weekend I had their watermelon one. So. darn. GOOD! Even the bubble versions are delicious! Try the pineapple, you won't regret it! 

4. Smokehouse Flavored Almonds - I love those salty smokey things. A handle with a pepper jack cheese stick and I'm one happy girl. In fact, I think that's going to be my snack today! 

5. Bella Grace Magazine - My mom sent me to look for this magazine at Barnes and Noble last fall and I thought it would cry. It's a work of art really and a journaling lover's dream come true. There are beautiful articles to read, take-your-breath-away pictures and exercises to do that tap into your creativity or just let your mind wander for a moment. In following them on Instagram, I answered one of their questions. When I picked up this season's edition of a whim, I opened up the article to find this...

 See a familiar name?!

See a familiar name?!

Day = Made!

Look, Mom! I'm published! Just kidding. But really...

Alright y'all!  Here's to hoping you find your own little bits of happiness throughout your weekend! Happy Friday everybody! 

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Friday Five: Five Meatless Recipes

No meat on Friday's at this time of year and it never fails that I scramble for dinner ideas. SO, here are five ideas I'm mulling over for dinner the next few weeks! 

Friday Five: Meatless Meal Ideas

1. Pizza - Can't go wrong with a good veggie pizza or even go for a margarita pizza. Either one works for me especially if it's homemade or from my favorite pizza place, Hideaways! 

2. Pasta - I like a tortellini dish with tomato sauce and a side of salad. Of course there's an Asian noodle dish I like from the Barefoot Contessa, too. Dress some pasta up with sauce, veggies, lemons or fish, doesn't matter 'cause pasta is G-O-O-D! Did I mention mac'n cheese is a total option here? 'Cause it is and I think I will definitely put this on my menu plan.

3. Fish  - I enjoy a good salmon filet now and again. I like it baked with lemon and veggies, but if I'm feeling a little adventurous, a honey ginger sauce glaze can shake things up with a spicy kick. 

4. Shrimp - These little guys can be fixed up just about anyway but I sure do like 'em pan seared! Pioneer Woman has a Summer Stir Fry that's really nice and I just made a shrimp etouffee on Mardi Gras that hit the spot. You can't go wrong with shrimp. Unless you're allergic. Then it can go really wrong. So don't eat shrimp if you're allergic. 

5. Veggie night - This could be baked potatoes and salad or even just a big ol' salad with lots of fixin's. How about a zucchini quesadilla? Not everyone is a veggies fan but I think it's all about how you whip it up. Pick a fun new dressing for a salad or protein up your baked potato with cottage cheese. In fact, add some cheese and quinoa to your broccoli and you've got yourself a nice bowl of awesomeness. 

Alright folks, what are some of your favorite meatless meal ideas?

 Homemade Shrimp Etouffee was a perfect! I have to remember more shrimp for Pyro Man! He tried to pick them all out for his own bowl! 

Homemade Shrimp Etouffee was a perfect! I have to remember more shrimp for Pyro Man! He tried to pick them all out for his own bowl! 

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Friday Five

Hey hey ya'll! It's Friday and it's time to let our hair down! Whoo-hoo!

Only two more work days after today until my favorite holiday but that still leaves six full days until it's turkey lurkey time. Instead of wishing away these last few days, I'll just remind myself of why this holiday really is the bees knees! 

Friday Five

Five Reasons Why Thanksgiving is Amazing

1. The food. Seriously. It's always amazing and there are some pretty good classics I can always count on to on the table. First there's the perfect turkey and dreamy gravy to top it off. Then you've got the traditional cranberry sauce, my favorite. My mother's rice dressing, a nod to her cajun  roots. Oh, and all the pies! Mince Meat! 

2. The table settings. I love seeing all the beautiful table arrangements in magazines with gorgeous flowers and such, but nothing really compares to home. We use a fabulous set of my grandmother's dish ware. Dad's mom, Mother Prebble, had a lot of great sets of dishes, stunning depression ware, but this set is the perfect color for fall, amber!

3. The Macy's Day Parade! I love watching the parade especially if I can watch it while making some Thanksgiving treats. I love watching the Broadway snippets, watching the Rockettes and their eye-high kicks (College dreams live on), and all the amazing balloons. How can you not smile while watching the parade?

4. The OFFICIAL Start of Christmas! Once I see Santa on that sleigh at the end of the parade I'm popping on the Christmas carols and ready to see good ol' George Bailey. To me this is the official kick-off of the holly jolly season! 

5.  The people! We started celebrating the holiday with a few close family friends and rotated houses each year. Every year was full of fun! It's changed over the last 20 years; People moved, kids grew up, and two chairs sit empty at our table. We've been spending the last ten Thanksgivings at my parents' house and we've added a few new faces to the mix. One thing remains, we come together for a night of good food, good conversation, and good times! 

Gobble gobble, ya'll! 

 Apple pie, anyone?

Apple pie, anyone?

Thankful Thought #18

18. I'm thankful for pie and all the wonderful flavors there are in the world. Really deep thought today, I know. 

What's your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

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Friday Five: Obsessions Lately

I've discovered a few new things that have made their way into my every day life. In short, they're my new favorites. 

Friday Five

Obsessions Lately

1. #GirlBoss Radio - Found the podcast when they first aired, but I'm only now catching up with all the posts. Every interview is different and I really enjoy the stories from each girl boss they interview. It's really relaxed--i.e. they cut up a lot and you hear the occasional burp on air--and I feel inspired after I listen to the candid interviews. They don't mince words and they're pretty honest about getting to where they are now. I'm a little late to the game, but I TOTALLY have #girlboss the book waiting in my Amazon cart now! 

2. Make It Happen - This book by Lara Casey was recommended to me by a friend. I'd heard of it before, but I just hadn't take the moment to read it until now. It's so inspirational, makes you want to jump out of your fears and into excitement, take a chance on your own ideas! 

3. La Croix - In the last few months I've been trying some new bubbly options that weren't soda and I've really come to enjoy my La Croix. Favorites so far: lime (LOVE), mango, coconut, and cherry lime. Delicious! 

4. Passion Planner Paradise Blue - Passion Planner just released a new color for their cover and I'm IN LOVE! Don't get me wrong, I adore my GOAL-den cover, but that paradise blue is gorgeous! It's undated and I'm SUPER tempted to purchase to use for next year, but I'm going to hold out and wait to see if they release the cover with 2017 dates! 

5. Honey Mint Chocolate Patties - I found these gems a few weeks ago and I LOVE them! Just enough sweet to satisfy my tastebuds after a meal. Today I discovered they have Almond Chocolate, Pomegranate Chocolate, and Double Dark Chocolate, too! Yum! 

What are some of your inspirations lately? 

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Friday Five: February Spring Fever

Ya'll. It's February and the weather is crazy warm right now. My tulips and hyacinths are already popping up, it's that warm. What's the deal, Mother Nature?! I thought we'd get a couple more weeks of chilly weather before plunging into Spring--not that I mind. My wardrobe just isn't ready yet is all. 

I'm starting to day dream about all the cuteness for this season and I'm drooling over many pieces from Anthropologie, my favorite store. I'm a huge fan of the store (even if my pocketbook isn't) and I couldn't help but start searching through their latest arrivals. Of course, I fell in love with everything. Here are my top five favorites...for today. 

Friday Five:

Spring Shopping Fever

1. Floral Jumpsuit

 I ran across this little ditty and squealed out loud. This just screams "spring!" to me!

Image found on www.anthropologie.com. 

2. Blue Dresses

I'm a huge fan of blue, obviously. These caught my eye immediately! How chic and feminine the lace is, I love it. 

  Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

  Image from www.antrhopologie.com. If only this dress wasn't a petite! It would be beautiful for Easter! 

Image from www.antrhopologie.com. If only this dress wasn't a petite! It would be beautiful for Easter! 

3. Kimonos and Cardigans

I love the idea of kimonos over beautiful simple tops. It's comfortable and flowing all at the same time. PS, check out the shoes! 

  Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

4. Ballerina Skirt

Chic, classic, elegant, pink, lovely....I could go on, but simply put, I adore this look. 

  Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

5. Butterfly Jewelry

Can you get much more spring like with these gorgeous necklaces? Literally a necklace of butterflies in the most ethereal way. 

  Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

  Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

Image from www.anthropologie.com. 

What's your latest screams "spring!" to you?

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Friday Five: Being Present

Being present in a moment is such a challenge for me. My little brain just doesn't whirring half the time. So being completely and fully present enough to enjoy every second of simple moments made this one week I really savored!

1. I kicked back in the front row of an awesome PBR show with a cold beer and a handsome guy next to me. What could be better? 

2. This week I finished one piece and started another. The process of creation can sometimes be frustrating but sometimes, like this week, it can be pretty awesome watching it all unfold. 

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3. I indulged in a perfectly made hot chocolate chip cookie and I didn't regret one bite. 

4. I went out with some girlfriends on a week night--pretty much an unheard of act for me! And between the queso, limes, laughs and fun, I lost track of time and to-do's which was perfect. Just what I needed!

-No pictures for this one. Why? Because I was TOTALLY present with the girls. Why else?-

5. I took some time to focus on prep for life next week. Aka: eating.  

How have you been present this week?

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Friday Five: Christmas Shows of Old

We opened our Christmas show last night and the students did amazingly well! I've always enjoyed seeing the Christmas show, but this year was especially exciting because I had a piece in it! Choreographing a giant snowball fight on stage has been the most fun I've had setting a piece probably ever! 

Just being in the audience last night made me reminisce about Christmas shows gone past and some of my favorite memories: 

Friday Five

Christmas Show Memories of Old

1. Best Nutcracker Role - Sure, I was a Peppermint Princess soloist my senior year of high school, a Russian Doll before that, a beautiful snowflake and even a flower in the Waltz of the Flowers (TOTALLY bit it on stage one night, too). But all those pale in comparison with my favorite role in the history of roles, a rat. I loved the costume and I loved the drama. 'Nough said.

 There I am, offering the Rat King a giant piece of cheese! 

There I am, offering the Rat King a giant piece of cheese! 

2. Soldiers - When I was a student at OCU, I had the awesome opportunity to be in our traditional "March of the Toy Soldiers" piece and I loved it. I felt like a miniature Rockette marching my heart out, flapping like no tomorrow, holding the perfect doll face, and pinwheeling to beat the band. It truly is a legacy piece that I'm so thankful I had the chance to perform it!

3.  Timber! - You always hope that things go well for a show, but sometimes things happen...and it can be hilarious. Like that one time Frosty fell over just before exiting the wings...and had to be dragged off...because you cannot get up in that snowball costume--totally there for it and it was as funny as it sounds. 

*If I had a picture or video, I would insert here...but I don't so you'll just have to imagine and giggle without it.* 

4. Best Audience with the Biggest Fans - Sometimes it's not the show you remember, but the people in the audience. I remember this particular Christmas show well, Grandma came up to see the show and I'm so glad we were able to make that happen for her and for me! 

 The last show Grandma got to see at OCU and I'm so glad she did!

The last show Grandma got to see at OCU and I'm so glad she did!

5. My Very First Performance - Here it is, where it all started. My first performance as a dancer was at a little Christmas show in a mall. I stepped on my friends tu-tu and ripped it, but by golly I was a professional! Kept right on dancing and tried to drag my friend along with me. After all, he show must go on! 

 Baby's first dance costume...with many more to follow. 

Baby's first dance costume...with many more to follow. 

Started my performance career in gold and white and ended my last Christmas show in gold and white. Pretty fitting if you ask me. 

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Friday Five: Five Thankful Thoughts

For the last week I've had several moments of "I'm so grateful" and "Thank goodness for this." Having a hard time just picking a single Thankful Thought, I'm doing five right here, right now! 

Friday Five

Five Thankful Thoughts for the Week

1. So thankful for girlfriends! Text messages, sorority songs, pizza dates, shopping sales, sangria cheers, and comedy clubs--I'm glad for the moments I've had this last couple weeks with women who lift me up, make me laugh, and encourage me. I've been lucky to find great friends in life and I'm really grateful for the time spent with each one. 

2. I may be getting older, but I can still move! I grumble when I plie and hear my knees crunch and crackle--yes, you read that right and yes, I'm still in my 20's. When I go on a walk, lift weights, stretch it out in yoga or flap across the floor, I'm reminded my body is awesome and can do so much. Instead of fussing over what I can't do or the loss in flexibility, it's time to focus on what I can and how I can maintain and improve. After all, you only get one body! 

3. Amy Phoeler's Yes, Please! read by Amy Poehler is the absolute best thing ever done ever. Y'all. I  just used "ever" twice in one sentence meaning it really is that good. I downloaded a free trial of Audible and started with Yes, Please! and it's amazing. Not only that, but hearing the author read it how they wrote it makes the book all the more awesome.  Go listen now, you won't be sorry. 

4. I am grateful for the existence of coffee! For without this glorious caffeinated brew, my mornings would be less productive, my speed more of a slow trudge, my eyes without light, and my enthusiasm under the sunshiny norm. Thank you, Coffee, for pulling the best and most optimistic version of myself out of the darkness every 6:30 am! 

5. I got such a good guy.  I could never be grateful enough for the man who is my husband. He can handle my weirdness, my tears, my crazy moments and the loving ones, too. I could share all the moments I'm reminded that he's the one for me and all the reasons why, but I'll keep my endorsement for my man short: He's awesome and I'm glad he's mine!

What's on your grateful list this week?

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