Monday, January 31, 2011


My bathroom drawers are a hot mess.  I have so much make-up and random toiletries that I cannot even remember what's in them.  And don't even talk to me about the dozens of green Clinique samples floating through every nook and cranny.  It's time to cleanse.

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As part of my weekly resolutions, this week I am tossing out all my old make-up and toiletries and re-doing my entire beautifying regime.  It will take an entire week.  But I think it's important to have a place of order and my bathroom (although clean) is not orderly and that mini chaos allows unnecessary stress and disorder in my life.  No one needs that.

Besides, when I get ready I like to feel like a princess and not a messy teenager with too much make-up.

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How are your make-up drawers?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

If Only I Dressed This Well

Seriously loving this girl's style.  Her shoes, bags, and hair (not to mention amazing winter coats)
trump my style in spades. 
And her expressions are so adorable! 
I cannot wait to play dress up with all my future children
(who will be incredibly cute like this little girl).

Have a Stylish Weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

An Artistic Dancing Branflake Dinner Party

Kristin Hjellegjerde of ArtEco is a blogger and an artist from New York City who just moved to London.  She recently gave a dinner party to 18 guests and sent me this photo of her dining room.  Can you imagine having 18 guests?  In New York?  As an artist?  I certainly had fun with this dinner party.

The Decor
is her own. 
I love the bright happy flowers and the art in the background.

The Playlist
Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson's album "Break Up"
We can talk about famous artists as beautiful people sing in the background.

The Menu
What would I feed a bunch of artists?
Warm, luxurious, and decadent fondue.
Something about communal food seems very La Boheme.

Four Cheese Fondue

 New Potatoes with Three Cheese Fondue

 Eating sausage with this Gruyere and Cider Fondue is genius!

 image via
Such a great idea!

What I'm Wearing

This Brushstroke of Genius Dress from ModCloth
is quite fitting for an artsy party.

Making a statement with these Kapow Boots.

Keeping warm in this sweet ruffled jacket also from ModCloth.
I love pairing blue and red together.

The Favor
 Since Kristin is from New York, having New York Caramel Apples would be fun and nostalgic.

Have an Artistic Day!
If you would like to be featured for a Dancing Branflake Dinner Party, 
email me a photo of your dining room or a dining room you covet to tiffkaddy at

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Bike Rides

image via

Mara from M Loves M has this great idea to do little resolutions on a weekly basis.  I decided I really needed to get on the goal oriented band wagon and do a little resolving myself.  Last week I resolved to make an extra effort to be kind to telemarketers. 

This week I'm resolving to ride my bike every single day.

Luckily, northern California in January is beautiful and perfect for riding my bike a few times around the lake.  The air is crisp and my lungs are invigorated within the first few pedals.

I know this resolution seems small but I don't ever want to take for granted my awesome bike, my good health, and the beautiful neighborhood I live in.  So in a way, it's the small and simple things that help us achieve the greater things.

How are you with your goals/resolutions?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Women's Boots: A Male Perspective

Me: What do you think about women's boots?
Mr. Branflake:  I don't like them.
Me (who has at least ten pairs): Why not?  You don't like my boots?
Mr. Branflake: I like your boots, but some boots that women wear are just strange.

I asked him to elaborate and I loved his (very male) response:

   "Boots dominate an outfit so much that they really need to be the right kind of boot.  You also need to have the right kind of outfit." 

I never thought of it that way. 

So what are the "right kind of boots"?  Here are his thoughts on each genre:

~Uggs or some kind like them: The weather needs to be cold.  Extremely cold.  Frigid.
~Leather boots: Only for going out at night with friends.
~Casual, flat boots: Cute with a casual outfit. 
~Thigh high boots: Never.

Then I showed him a bunch of boot photos (bless his heart) and I asked for his commentary on each one.  Even though he felt uncomfortable at first I think he really enjoyed doing it.  Here goes:

No.  Absolutely not. 
The combination of the casual sole with the fancy lacing just looks weird.

No again.  The buckle is too much.
And the suede borders on casual while the heel is more dressy.
The two looks should not be combined.

Triple no.  The color and the heel are too much.
Besides that, the sole does not match the shoe in terms of casual to dressy.

Yes, initially.  The casual heel with the slouched look is paired well.
Although the shape throws me off.

Yes.  I like this one.  I like the dressy nature of it with the heel. 
I like how it's streamlined and sleek.

I would never change my style for anyone but I think it's always interesting to hear what guys think about what we wear.  And since my hubby's a math person here's the breakdown:


Are you a boot person?
Side story:
When I began showing him all these photos he dramatically held out his hand in the "stop" gesture and said "Wait.  I think I need to be rubbing your shoulders while we look at these."  Swoon!

PS... Blair from Wild and Precious did the sweetest feature on me today.  
Thanks Blair!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Formal Dining

Paula Deen's website came out with the most adorable and handy tool for formal dining.  Read the full article by Jonathan Able here.

A.) Napkin
B.) Dinner plate
C.) Salad plate
D.) Bread plate
E.) Water glass
F.) Red wineglass
G.) White wineglass
H.) Salad fork
I.) Dinner fork
J.) Dessert fork
K.) Dinner knife
L.) Fish knife
M.) Soup spoon
N.) Dessert spoon and fork

Formal dining is an art form that I fully intend to help keep alive with all my dinner parties,
real and imagined. 

Are you a formal dining connoisseur? 

Monday, January 24, 2011

An Interview with Ballet Zaida photographer Oliver Endahl

Ballet Zaida is a photography project started by dancer turned photographer Oliver Endahl.  I first noticed Ballet Zaida when many of my dancing friends starting "liking" his Facebook page about a year ago.  I originally contacted Oliver to ask him for permission to use his photography for the blog.  You were so blown away by his photos I thought you might appreciate an interview.

Dancing Branflake: If you could, please tell us your philosophy when photographing dancers.
Ballet Zaida: I strive to show off the best classical ballet technique in my photography. Throughout my life I've seen a lot of ballet photographs where the technique is so off it ruins the photo. One of the reasons I started Ballet Zaida was so that there could be an outlet where not only dancers, but anyone, could see great ballet technique for free.

DB: What makes a photo shoot successful?
OE: If at the end of a photoshoot everyone had a good time, and we got 10 to 15 solid photos. That's a perfect shoot.

DB: Do you direct the dancers with poses and movements or do you simply capture them dancing in the moment?
OE: I'll tell the dancers where to stand in accordance to the environment, and give them a general pose idea, like maybe an arabesque, a back bend, or a pose from a famous ballet. From there they put their own spin on it, and the result is usually excellent.

DB: You were a dancer before you become a photographer. What is your dance background?
OE: I spent around a decade dancing at the San Francisco Ballet School. I stopped dancing right before I would have joined a company, because it was time to move onto something new.

DB: What camera do you use?
OE: I use a Canon 7D and a Canon 50D, and I only shoot digitally

DB: Any advice on how to look good in a picture?
OE: Be confident, because you have no reason not to be. Especially in ballet photography, you could have the best body and the most wacked out feet. But it's all meaningless if you don't have the confidence.

DB: Any advice on how to photograph a good picture?
OE: Take into account the lighting, and try to remove yourself from your own memories. Try and look at the photo as if you knew nothing about it, and ask yourself how the photo makes you feel. A lot of people assume everyone else will think the same thing, and get the same feeling they get when they view a photograph. And it normally doesn't work that way because everyone thinks differently.

DB: What is your ideal lighting when doing a photo shoot?
OE: I try and only shoot at sunrise, or sunset. I think the lighting is the best at those times of day.

DB: What are your future plans for Ballet Zaida?
OE: Right now I'm focusing on spreading the word, and exposing as many people as possible to Ballet Zaida.
A lot of people are concerned ballet is a dying art, and I want to change that. I think an online photography project is the perfect way to introduce ballet to the masses, and make the art form more accessible to the public. I have multiple projects I'm working on that have never been done in dance photography before. And I think not only dancers, but the world, will enjoy them.

Thank you, Oliver, for sharing you talents and skills with us. 

Have an awesome dancing day!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Valentine's Day S'mores

image via Williams-Sonoma

You know how much I love s'mores so when I saw these over at the Williams-Sonoma's website I got incredibly excited for Valentine's Day.  
I am envisioning these as a favor for my Dancing Branflake Valentine's Day Dinner Party.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Are You Fashionable?

Both Sabine from Sabine Psynopsis and Lisa from The Sentimentalist tagged me with the same fashion Q and A, which was incredibly flattering and humbling because they are both dedicated and beautiful fashion bloggers.  I do not consider myself a fashion blogger by any means and I feel a need to do this in honor of all those bloggers who wish they were more stylish than they think they are. 

To put it plainly: this goes out to all those bloggers who know that if Stacy London were to raid their closets they would barely have anything to wear to New York.

image via tumblr

What is your favorite fashion accessory?
Scarves.  Nothing brightens up a face like a colorful scarf.

Who's your fashion role model?
Patricia Field.
She seriously knows how to dress a person individually and is extremely practical when doing so.
What do you always carry with you?
My debit card, phone, and ID.  Anything else gets in the way.

How would you describe your style?
My husband says playful elegance.
 I say by day, sloppy dancer.  By night, chic librarian.

image via

What's your favorite?  Jeans, glasses, or heels?
Heels.  Neither jeans or glasses make me feel like a woman, but heels do.

What inspired you to blog about fashion?
I think dance and fashion merge quite nicely.  Both inspire each other.

What is your favorite fashion store?
Anthropologie in theory, Target in reality. Is Target a fashion store? No? Oh well.

What is your favorite fabric in clothing?
Polyester.  I do not own an iron and I have not ironed anything in years.  But I do love my silk pajamas. 

Who are your favorite designers?
Nina Ricci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein (for men).
Who or what inspires your style?
A well dressed woman.  I say, "I want to look like that" and then I try to find out if I can.

Would you choose to buy something high quality or make it yourself if you could?
I would definitely make it myself.  I tend to dress modestly (shirts with sleeves, hemlines to the knee) but I find that most modest clothing looks very boring (hence librarian looks).  If I could, I would design crazy things that I still feel comfortable in.  Unfortunately, the only things I can sew are the ribbons on my pointe shoes.

image via tumblr

For this I am tagging:
Any blogger who thinks they are not fashionable.
Because I bet you are!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Women to Watch

When people you know do amazing things sometimes you cannot help but tell the world.  A blogging perk is that you get to know the professional and personal side of people and celebrate with them their successes.  Two of these people have received such high praise for their talents that I wanted to share them with you.

First off, Leigh Viner of Create was featured in Harper's Bazaar recently.  I love Leigh, her art, and her stunning blog.  She's also incredibly nice and down to earth (a bonus when you really want to just admire her with your jaw dropped).
See the full article here.


In other awesome news from awesome people, Sarah Jio (magazine writer and Glamour health blogger) recently received some advanced praise about her new book from famous author Jodi Picoult.

"Mix a love story, history, and a mystery and what takes root? THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, a novel that reminds us how the past comes back to haunt us, and packs a few great surprises for the reader along the way."  —Jodi Picoult, author of Sing You Home and House Rules

I am thrilled for Sarah's success and I, along with so many others, cannot wait to read her first novel (it comes out in April). And to make me more over the moon, Sarah is the biggest sweetheart ever and is sending me an advanced copy.  I cannot tell you the last time I was so excited to read a book!
Pre-order the book here.  See her book trailer here.

Congratulations, ladies!  

Do you have any good news of your own?
Tell me so we can celebrate together!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remembering the Important Things

We had the most wonderful time in Monterey visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  It was so wonderful to be in the beautiful city and just play with them for a few days.  

Some highlights:

~Sipping hot chocolate from penguin mugs.
~Playing Bananagrams while listening to Christmas music.

~Eating pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches on the beach.
~Seeing all the big fancy mansions along the golf courses at Pebble Beach.

~Getting my first whiff of the ocean when I rolled down the car window.
~Taking a walk, finding a playground, and swinging to our heart's content.

 ~Brownie bites, sugar cookies, and homemade granola.
~Inside jokes at any given moment where all of us are instantly in stitches.
~Knowing that family is the most important thing in the world.

I hope everyone here gets a chance today 
to tell someone they love them. 
Nothing can replace those three wonderful words.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Rich, hot, playful...
image via
Thick, dark, glossy...

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 Fun, warming, soothing...

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Sophisticated, classic, yet with countless possibilities

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Are you a hot chocolate lover like me?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ocean

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There's something about the ocean I cannot get enough of.  
I don't know if it's the smell of a surface in constant renewal or the sound of the waves stirring up its contents.  Perhaps it's the ever changing light making sparkling reflections.  
What girl doesn't love a sparkle?  

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My most free, beautiful, and happy self is next to the ocean. 

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"...the sea, once it casts its spell, 
holds one in its net of wonders forever."
~Jacques-Yves Cousteau
 To all my blogging friends, have a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Peace and love for all.