Monday, November 30, 2009

Second Course: The Dinner

Chris was in charge of the turkey yet was too shy to have its picture taken.  But here are some photos of the other goods.  By the way, the turkey was amazing. 


The table before the guests came.






Clockwise from left: stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, prosciutto with honey brie on baguette, cranberry sauce, sweet and buttered sweet potatoes, and turkey.



A close up of my stuffing.  I love it and I made more of it yesterday.



Some pomegranate sparkling cider.


I love Thanksgiving and I am so happy to eat the leftovers for many many days. 

Up next: Dessert!


 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Week in Dance

Tuesday-
No ballet today but I did have rehearsal for Nolan's piece.  It's a little frustrating because my self-confidence is always a little lower than I'd like it to be during his rehearsals.  Okay, it really plummets.  But I've made a resolve to have a better attitude.  Breathe in...breathe out...

Dr. G's rehearsal was much easier than anticipated.  We only did one run full out and were out of the theater a little early.  My feet have been cracking lately and I was ecstatic to learn that we are doing her piece in ballet shoes.  Relief! 

Wednesday-
I had to miss Dangerous Lorraines rehearsal because of tech for Dr. G's piece.  I was eager to leave a little early so I could get a jump start on making my meal (and get in a treadmill session) but the lighting process is always a little slow.  But I love lighting because that's the time dancers let loose a little on stage and get to know each other better.  We then proceeded to run the piece THREE TIMES in a row.  That was intense and unexpected. 

Thursday-
No dance but best believe I did stretch like crazy because my hip has been hurting lately.  I did do an hour treadmill session to make up for the lack of dancing.  And then Chris and I played a game of tennis that night. 

Friday-
I had rehearsal for Miss Lisa's piece.  We learned a five minute section in two hours.  Record timing! 

Saturday-
Dangerous Lorraines started with a group circle warm-up.  That hip is extra tight in the mornings!  Took a good half hour of stretching and warming up just to lessen the pain during hip flexion.

I then had tech for Miss Lisa's piece.  I can't say how much I enjoy being on stage.  It used to terrify me, and maybe it still will come opening night, but for now I am just enjoying the lights and house in front of me.


Here's a poster of the concert I am in at Sac State.  I am not technically a Sac State student, but I take a ballet class on campus through open enrollment (a program that allows people with college degrees to take classes without being a degree seeking student.  We just pay a lot more.).  I figured since I am there I might as well take the opportunity to perform, learn from these awesome faculty members, and prepare for what's ahead (whatever that may be). 



Hope to see you there!  Just don't tell me what night because then I'll freak out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Course

I'm not sure how to present my Thanksgiving meal except by doing it in installments. First course: Appetizers.



Crispy proscuitto, Chianti salami, Boursin cheese spread, and a sliced baguette from Nugget.



I baked the salty proscuitto in the oven until it was crispy and light.



Bread with baked brie and honey.  Heather figured out that the brie and proscuitto were a perfect match: salty, sweet, savory, chewy, and crunchy.  Yum!





I put the brie in a oven safe dish, drizzled honey all over it, and baked it in the oven for ten minutes.




Up next: The Dinner

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you eat anything that was particularly memorable or good?  Do you love brie as much as I do?




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

En Pointe Photography

I have a friend who just happens to be an amazing photographer.  She lives in San Diego but I can't wait for the day where we can collaborate on a dance shoot because, to say the least, she is simply amazing.  I went through her website to find pictures to show off for you but there were so many good ones it was hard to choose.  She's been featured in magazines and I have to say every photo should be published so all can see her beautiful photos.  Visit her website at http://enpointephotography.com or her blog at http://blog.enpointephotography.com and get a peek at her work below.
 
She does engagements:















Weddings












 Family Portraits






And everything else you can think of! 

Don't you just love the colors in her photographs?  And how she captures movement so well?  I am in love with her creativity.  Go Kart racing?  Balloons?  It's as if she's a stylist and a photographer all in one.  Can't wait to work with her!

Aren't these pictures awesome?  Do you love photography?  What kind of camera do you have?  I'd love to get a nice camera one day.  Any suggestions?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Winter Must-Have



I have decided that bangs are a "cold weather" haircut.  I think they nicely add texture and fun to the solid lines of coats and the bold colors of scarves. They are a great low maintenance accessory, they keep my forehead warm, and I love how cheap they are to trim (hello, $5).  A  few days ago my boss told me they made me look 21 years old.  But upon closer inspection I think bangs make me look older.  Why?  Because when I smile they highlight my blossoming crow's feet around my eyes.  Sigh.  I figure I have two options for my winter 'do: smile and not care or always keep my face neutral to prevent any more signs of the aging process.  Side note: the term "aging process" reminds me of cheese.  I'm totally okay with that because I love cheese.  Here are my options.

Option 1: Me, happy, with crow's feet, and loving the changing ginko leaves behind me. 
 




Option 2:  I could just not smile and have a perfectly smooth face.  Look!  No lines! 





But: Whenever I'm around this guy I can't stop smiling.  He's seriously the funniest guy I ever met and he always makes me laugh.  No wonder I started getting wrinkles around the age of 20.




Lesson: I'd rather look wrinkly, happy and stylish than be smooth faced without joy in my life. 

 

The Menu



Here's my Thanksgiving menu so far

Appetizers:
Brie with honey and bread
Hot Apple Cider
Crispy Prosciutto

Main Meal:
Turkey
Ham
Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Salad
Rolls
Gravy
Martinelli's


Dessert:

Key Lime Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Cake???
Hot Cocoa

Am I missing anything?  If you are reading this you are certainly most welcome to stop by and eat with us.  I love having people over! 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why I Hate Yoga But Love Jumping Out of Trash Cans

Confession: I hate yoga.  To me, yoga is excrutiatingly unproductive and I have no patience for holding poses for endless amounts of time as people sweat around me.  I love doing yoga poses on my own but only when I go at my own pace and I don't have to do anything too uncomfortable.  Yeah, I know that's not really yoga but it makes me feel good. 

I am a mover by nature. I love the feeling of gliding across the dance floor or jumping around for no good reason.  Case in point:















Looks like I'm jumping out of a trash can, huh?


Do you like yoga?  Do you ever just put on music and jump around?  I did as a kid and I never stopped.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Photoshoot and the Sushi

Photoshoots are interesting because they are very revealing about a person. The photographer loved, just loved my 'serious' headshots whereas I thought I looked like an angry washed out whale. After deciding I finally liked one out of a gazillion head shots I went onto the floor and started dancing in my pointe shoes for some action shots. I was disappointed because there were no shots that I absolutely loved. The photographer loved the jumping photos but they just made me cringe. There were a few where I said “Okay, that looks acceptable,” but none that made me go “Wow!”

After being frustrated with Ballet Tiffany I took off my pointe shoes and tights and put on some dance shorts and just started being Modern Tiffany. It was so fun! I felt free and in control and happy. Looking at the modern poses I was like “Yes! Yes! Oh snap! Sweet!” I love ballet, it is a deep passion within me and I think it is the most beautiful and moving thing to watch. But modern dance brings out a different side that I just can’t explain in words.

After the photoshoot I went out with Heather, Aaron, and Chris and ate some serious all you can eat sushi for $13.95. We shared about ten rolls. I had a little photoshoot of my own with these beauties.









They put sesame chicken INSIDE the roll.  Awesome!


Whatever it was, it was deep fried.  All of it.


And here are some photos that I took with the wrong setting.  Whatever.


Heather and Aaron. 



Heather and Sushi.



Chris and Me



Aaron, Heather, and Sushi



All Done!

Do you like having your picture taken?  Are you disappointed when you see pictures of yourself or are you pleasantly surprised? 

My Week in Dance

Tuesday
Ballet: Pointe shoes feel good but I know I need to work on better articulation.  My left arabesque leg is getting much higher than the right.  Weird. 

Dr. G’s Rehearsal: Surprise!  I thought we finished the piece last week but there was a whole other section to complete.  Luckily, we did finish it this rehearsal.  I am still completely out of breath by the end and that needs to change real soon. More cardio?

Wednesday
Dangerous Lorraines: rehearsal was awesome.  Fellow dancer Chantou and I seem to always get partnered, which is fine by me because she is an amazing dancer.  She has a wonderful fluid spine and is very attentive to her environment.  This week we created a duet about reliance and dependability.  I can’t wait to see the final product.


Thursday
Ballet: I had an epiphany.  Someone in my ballet class recommended I pull up on my leg more to get a better arabesque.  As I’ve been doing this I realized that me “pulling up” is simply just engaging my iliopsoas, the main power muscle of the entire body.  I have three herniated discs so using the proper muscles is key in preventing immense amounts of pain in my back and legs.  Yes, I did have an Oprah "Aha!" moment and my body is thanking me.

Dr. G’s rehearsal: We were on the stage tonight!  Very fun.  We just ran the piece over and over again.  It’s a long piece and I can’t believe how many hinges we are doing.  But I amazingly was not gasping for air by the end.  I came home at 10 PM and Chris had a frozen yogurt with M&M's waiting for me in the freezer. 


Friday
Nolan’s Rehearsal: We finished!  There’s a surprise ending that’s really fun.  It’s also the piece that closes the show.  My feet are cracking from doing so much modern.

Miss Lisa’s Rehearsal:  We still have one section to complete but I’m not worried.  We learned a section today where I am doing a funky lift.  I love learning new lifts now that I’m more comfortable with partnering.  Thanks, Chantou!

Saturday
I wasn't able to go to Dangerous Lorraines rehearsal because I had to work all day.  I sure did miss them!
The Photoshoot:  One of the most humbling yet fun experiences.  Note to self: red lips are good for going out, not good for headshots.  Post about that coming tomorrow.  Until then, here are some pictures of Chantou and me doing one of our partnering sections at a previous Dangerous Lorraines photoshoot.










Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Photoshoot and a Craving

I have a photoshoot tomorrow and I am way nervous.  You know how in America's Next Top Model the loser model gets only 50 frames at the photoshoot because she didn't win the challenge?  Let's all put this in perspective: a beautiful, budding model needs at least 50 shots just to get one beautiful picture to impress the judges.  Um... I'm thinking I'm going to need at least 500 shots and extra ordinary lighting. I only have a half hour with the photographer.  Eek!


In unrelated news I have been craving fruit like I crave a chocolate cake.  The crispness of apples, juiciness of oranges, and the utter and complete sweetness of a ripe peach makes me want to reach into this picture and take a bite.  I haven't had any said fruit because I am lazy and fruit just takes too much effort to eat.


I took this picture at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  Isn't fruit just so pretty?  Probably why every still life artist begins with fruit.



Any advice on how to take a good picture?  Should I let my bangs down or pin them back?  And what the heck is up with my fruit cravings?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Change your Shampoo, Change Your World

Sometimes I fear complacency so much that I'll make small changes in my life that make me feel just a tad better about being married, living in suburbia, and loving 30 Rock more than hanging out with my friends on a Friday night.  Does the word 'rut' sound familiar?  Or how about 'boring?'

I love being married, I love the neighborhood we live in, and 30 Rock makes me laugh harder than imaging myself in skinny jeans.  But sometimes you gotta just spice things up a little when when the life that's required of you is not, well, spicy.


Don't you sometimes feel like jumping around (or in) a large body of water just to shake things up a bit?



Here is my small yet recently acquired spice rack.

1.  I'm wearing a new perfume called Twilight.  It's inspired by the book/movie.  Don't hate.
2.  My new soap reminds me of the English countryside.
3.  I got the latest issue of Vanity Fair.  I read last month's in two treadmill sessions.
4.  I bought leggings to wear with cute wool dresses and fuzzy boots.
5.  I started wearing tights to Church.  I haven't worn tights since I was five.
6.  I began cooking with sun dried tomatoes and fresh thyme.
7.  I started giving myself quick yoga sessions throughout the day.
8.  I will now always order the daily special at restaurants.  Tower Cafe has some amazing ones.  The best meals are usually off the menu.
9.  I got bangs.




I know, these aren't life changing.  But sometimes it's the small things that help the most.

In a rut?  Do you sometimes make small changes, like buying a new shampoo, and suddenly feel like a different person?  Any spicy ideas to share?  






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Might Be Losing Weight and Not Even Realize It

Quick confession time: I have not only seen the movie Mean Girls but I think it's hilarious.  Okay, with that out of the way remember when Lindsay Lohan's character gives Rachel McAdams' character Kaltene bars to "help her lose weight" when she's really trying to sabotage her body?  Lindsay advises Rachel to eat as many carbs as she can because it helps the active ingredient burn fat faster.  When Rachel complains that she's gaining weight Lindsay tells her that's just how it works: you bloat and then the weight comes off "like that" (with a finger snap).  Awesome moment in the dress boutique.

I've been working out like crazy for the last two months.  I've upped my treadmill time and I'm on it a half hour to forty-five minutes a day.  I've been dancing almost everyday and vamped up my abdominal exercises to help strengthen my deep core muscles.  It's been really frustrating because I haven't lost any weight according to the scale (unreliable) and my tape measurer (ultra reliable).  But I stuck with it because I had a goal to exercise more and I knew I should do it.  Well, I was tempted to give up multiple times but the guilt of buying a treadmill then not using it is pretty powerful.

Then last week I weighed myself and guess what?


Me a year ago after an intense treadmill session.  

I've lost 5 pounds!  And not only that I've kept it off despite a run-in with sushi (see pictures below) and a big chocolate cake.  I literally dropped it with a finger snap.





These photos were taken with my phone but I still think they are beautiful.

It makes me think about progress and how sometimes when we don't see immediate results we give up or lose faith in whatever we're doing.  But I believe goals are important and this lesson showed me that we will be rewarded for hard work even if it's not in the time frame we are expecting.  

By the way, that sushi is all you can eat for only $13.95 at Shogun Sushi in Elk Grove.  I ate over 20 pieces.