Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Giveaway: A Beautiful Necklace to Polish Off Any Outfit

Hawaiian Etsy maker Jiill, owner of Green Tea Jewels
is offering this beautiful Crescent Necklace for today's Giveaway.

Here are some things I love about this necklace:
~It's big enough to make a statement but its simple elegance will not overwhelm an outfit.~
~It can transition easily from day to night.~
~I love that it is gold- have you noticed gold is all over the runways?~
~I can imagine myself wearing it with any thing from a 
Little Black Dress, a floral maxi dress, or a pair of nice jeans, white tee, and heels.~

To Enter:
Head on over to Green Tea Jewels and tell me in the comments what piece you love the most.
Have a U.S. or Canadian address.
(Sorry, Sabine, Krystal, and all my other wonderful friends abroad!)

For extra entries:
(one comment per entry)
Tweet about this giveaway
Facebook about this giveaway

Good luck! 
Entry Closes Friday, June 3rd at midnight.  
Winner will be announced on Saturday, June 4th.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway and thank you to Shabby Apple for giving away this beautiful Spanish Steps Dress.  Even if you aren't the winner, don't forget that Shabby Apple also has cute skirts, accessories, maternity wear, and swim suits.  

So, the winner chosen by Random.org is...

Michelle from Loving Little Things

Also, Shabby Apple is offering all Dancing Branflake readers 10% off their next purchase by using code dancingbranflakes10off.
Another Giveaway is coming up Tuesday morning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Interested in a Giveaway? Here's Why You Should Enter Them

I would be really ungrateful if I did not mention a few amazing things that happened this week.

1.  Monday I won Fresh Brownie's Shabby Apple Giveaway.  

3.  Wednesday night after rehearsal I found a surprise package on my desk from Plume Publishing.  
They sent me this book for free.
I have no clue why but I'm not complaining! Although it might be my connection with Sarah Jio.  
PS... her book is flying off the shelves at Target and Costco and selling out completely at smaller book stores. Go Sarah!
image via Amazon.com

2. Thursday morning I found out I won this amazing Gold Hearted necklace from City of Dionne's Giveaway. I am also seriously in love with Gold Hearted's Knot bracelet.  I just love knots!

4.  Thursday evening I won this Sew Ewe-Nique Designs clutch and earring set from Sandy a la Mode's Giveaway.    Both are definitely coming with me to Europe this summer.

Thank you all ladies for hosting amazing giveaways 
and thank you to Etsy makers for your talents and love to the blogging community.  
It is an awesome community.  
I basically got an entire free outfit this week.  
Now that's amazing!

ps... if you are an Etsy maker who would like to have a giveaway on this blog, just email me at dancingbranflake at gmail.com
pps... the Shabby Apple Giveaway on this blog is still open.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Glorious Food Moment: Banana Bread

The first time I made banana bread I wanted to impress my then boyfriend.  
I made it at night and drove over to his apartment 
and left the loaf wrapped tightly in foil and with a note on top.  

The plan was that he would open the door the next morning and be surprised with breakfast and a love note.
I have no clue what the love note said.  I was too nervous to even think about writing coherently.

It must have been pretty good because he proposed a month later.

And we got married a few months after that.

Can you see why I love banana bread so much?
And just be fabulous wherever you go.

all images my own

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When the Dance World Gets Very Small

Long story short, I found the above photo on a friend's Facebook page and thought: 
"That is the most amazing photograph."  
I looked at who the photographer was and realized 
"Hey! I know him!"  
Not only do I know him but I also danced with him last summer at RDT.  

I quickly emailed him and said "Just realized you are an amazing photographer.  Let's talk!" 

His name is Chris Peddecord and not only is he a phenomenal photographer but also a beautiful professional dancer.  I'd watch him during class and just be in awe.

I wanted to give you an introduction to Chris and his photography.
 Stay tuned for a Q and A from him and
maybe I'll sneak in a few pictures of the photographer himself.
all images are from his Facebook Page.
Like it and be prepared to be blown away.

Have a great day, everyone!

Click here to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alice in Wonderland Necklace: Fashion + Food = Magic

I am adoring these cookies in a jar on a necklace (Did I say that right?) from ModCloth.
I vividly remember the first time I watched Alice in Wonderland 
as Alice ate those beautiful perfect cookies in that perfect little home.

I think that was a defining moment in my life because 
that's when my love for confections in pretty packages started.

I remember it because it was so magical.
After watching the movie I would eat a cookie and just wait.
I'd wait to see if I would outgrow a house, fall down a rabbit hole, or meet the Mad Hatter.
I'd wait to see if a new magical journey would start for me also.

Cookies and I have been inseparable ever since.

Did you love that scene from Alice and Wonderland?
Would you wear cookies in a jar on a necklace?
ps... if you haven't entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway there's still time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Do you dream of traveling to Rome this summer?
How about riding a Vespa in a fabulous dress?
If so then you'll love this giveaway!

I adore Shabby Apple's womens dresses.
 I am so incredibly thrilled that they emailed me and basically said
 "Pick a dress for free. Now go pick a winner."  
Uhhh... no problem!

Here are the things I love about this dress:
~The easy breezy skirt is so perfect for twirling and dancing in the moonlight.
~It transitions from day to night effortlessly.
~The bow!
~The detailing on the skirt is stunning.
~It's super flattering and makes me feel more feminine just looking at it.

To Enter:
(U.S. Residents only.  So sorry my international friends!)
~Simply leave a comment below!~
~Giveaway closes on Monday, May 30th at 11 pm Pacific~

For Extra Entries:

(1 comment per entry)
~Tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this blog.
~Facebook about this giveaway with a link back to this blog.
~Like Shabby Apple on Facebook

Good luck and have a wonderful day!
To see the other amazing dresses Shabby Apple has to offer, just click on the photo on the side bar on the top right hand corner.
They also have maternity, accessories, and girl's dresses.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ethan Stiefel Proposes to Gillian Murphy!

In case you all missed it, Ethan Stiefel of American Ballet Theatre (aka Cooper Nielson from Center Stage) proposed to his girlfriend, Gillian Murphy, also a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. 
 Isn't her face just priceless?  
I am so curious to see the ring!
Photo by James Whitehill via Pointe Magazine Facebook Page via my awesome friend and Cooper Nielson lover Coral.  Coral just started writing a dating column for Examiner.com and I am loving it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Dancing Branflake Cupcake Party

I am envisioning a gathering of my blogging friends 
chatting around a table filled with
cupcakes, lemonade, and all things pretty.  
I see fresh wild flowers, lace, and a garden next to us.  
As the day sets the fairy lights come on 
and the guests linger until the morning.

The Decor
Outdoor Room via Elle Decor

On the Table
Williams-Sonoma has some fabulous decorations for a cupcake party.
I am in love with Beatrix Potter and after seeing Ms. Potter 
I was determined to roam the English countryside in search of sweet bunnies and Mr. Heelis.

What I'm Wearing
This entire ensemble is from my favorite vintage inspired store, Ruche.
Cupcakes and vintage seem to be a wonderful pairing.

The Favor
It's nearing dawn and my blogging friends are hungry again.
I'll send them home with a basket of English scones from Martha Stewart 
and a mason jar full of homemade raspberry jam.
image via Martha Stewart

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outfit Post: Florals, Lace, and "The Look"

Do you see everything right here?
They are all going to Great Britain with me.
I have lightened up a bit this Spring and have fallen in love with florals and lace
(I am reminded of Devil Wears Prada: Florals in the spring? SOOO original.)

I bought this shirt at Target on Tuesday for $3.76.  
The cardigan is from Nordstroms Rack for $9.99.
The shoes are Sperry and I bought them specifically for wearing skirts in the fields in Scotland.
Yep, I am daydreaming as we speak.

The bag is becoming a favorite of mine.
It's the bag that you all chose in this post and I couldn't be happier.

Mr. Branflake likes this picture of me so to humor him I'm posting it.
It's "the look" he said.
I have no clue what he's talking about.

 Hope you have a wonderful day!
ps... thanks for all the encouragement and workout suggestions.
I'm pretty sure bloggers are the fittest people in the world.  
 Overachievers :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Workout Schedule

I thought I would post my workout schedule for no other reason than to hold myself accountable.  
Otherwise, you'd probably find me eating popcorn and reading in my bed.  
No joke, that's my most favorite thing to do.  

My next exercise challenge? Rock climbing.  Haha.
Okay, so this is a cheeky photo but I absolutely want to learn how to rock climb.
Photo of me by Yaneth White

Here's my daily exercise schedule:
Treadmill 1/2 hour - 45 mins
Bike 1/2 hour
Pilates 1/2 hour

I've set a goal to do this five days a week and so far it's been pretty good.  
If by pretty good you mean I've missed a few days and I'll probably miss more,
then, yes, I've done pretty good.

And you might wonder "Hey, Dancing Branflake!  Why so much cardio?"
It's because as dancers we really don't do aerobic exercise in the studio.
Dance is anaerobic and if I want to build a healthy heart and lungs I need to make up for it.
And it helps me not balloon from all the popcorn.

via Amazon

I bought 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels but I have yet to open it.
Because that woman scares me like none other.
And although I think I'm in pretty good shape I'm pretty sure she'd humble me in a spandex heartbeat.

What's your workout schedule?
And if you don't have one, no judgement here!
I love you just the same!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, 
it's about learning how to dance in the rain.
- My friend, Chelsey, gave me a sweet sign for Christmas with this quotation. 
 I know it's widely used with bloggers but I don't know who said it (no one seems to know). 
 But I like it!  
Especially since it's raining as I write.

I think one of the secrets to happiness in life is to surround yourself with happy people.
That's why I love blogging- 
I've met the happiest people who are determined to have a great life, no matter what.
And you are not happy in a superficial way.
You guys are happy because you see the beauty and good in so many things.
And you share it generously.

So, dance in the rain.
Make your lemonade.
Turn that frown upside down.
Make a wish on a weed (a dandelion to be exact). 
Just, please, keep doing what you're doing 
and share that happiness with everybody.
Happiness is like a large net- 
it grabs the greatest amount of people in one act.

Most of all, thank you for being the wonderfully inspirational people you are all.
I can only imagine the world of good you are doing.
All photos by Oliver Endahl.
Go here to see my interview with this amazing photographer.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Glorious Food Moment: Homemade Poptarts

Williams-Sonoma has the cutest way to make homemade poptarts.
Their Toaster Pastry Presses could be used in gift bags, party favors, or at a fun party with kids and fun loving adults.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

What would you fill yours with?
Me?  Marshmallows.  Definitely marshmallows.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Martha Graham: Pioneer of Modern Dance

For all those saw my Tweet last night or who saw Google today, Ryan Woodward created this live animation doodle that celebrated the birthday of Martha Graham, one of the pioneers of modern dance.  Oddly enough, I was planning on blogging about Martha Graham yesterday, unaware that it was her birthday and before I saw the doodle, but erased the post at the last minute.  I think Martha was calling to me and I ignored her!

Katherine Crockett by Albert Watson, via Martha Graham Dance Company Facebook Page

I will be studying her technique while at the Laban University in London this summer.  I have a feeling it is going to kick my booty.  But I chose her because I wanted needed a challenge.  

Photo by Kerville Cosmos Jack, Dancer Katherine Crockett via Martha Graham Dance Company Facebook Page

An except of prose by Martha Graham from the Martha Graham Dance Company website:
I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

I cannot wait to walk in her footsteps this summer.
(Side note: My mom emailed me yesterday and said "Go to Google.com.  There's a dance routine on there." I don't know why but that made me laugh.)

Glorious Food Moment: Strawberry Tarts

On an unrelated note: Go to Google.com!!!
There's a special surprise for all you dance lovers.
I'll blog more about this wonderful woman tomorrow.

No fruit evokes the memories of summer like strawberries.
As you may know, I have an aversion to fruit.
But strawberries?
Who could resist a sweetened bit of heaven?
Who could resist the color?

Do you know what's even better than strawberries?

Strawberry tarts!

Especially with creamy custard and a buttery crust.

These are my images but in no way did I make the tarts.
Nope, I quick stop to my local bakery and out popped these glorious darlings.
(Some may think watermelon is Summer's fruit.  I will have you know that watermelon is disgusting.)

Do you love Strawberries?
(My mother-in-law and sister both do not.  I think that's just so sad.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Time Were You Born?

What is your favorite time of day?  
Is it when the sun is gently falling back to bed?  
Or maybe when the orange sky happily greets the new day?  
Maybe your head and your heart thrives once everyone is tucked in and all your feel is stillness in the dark.

Photo of me taken by Susan Yee of En Pointe Photography.  
I love this photo because it's Mr. Branflake's favorite time of day.  

I have heard a saying that one's favorite time of the day is linked to the time you were born.  
As if you have a personal connection with that time for the rest of your life.
I am a night owl. I love the feeling of solitude wrapped in a thick blanket of darkness.  
1 AM.  2 AM is even better.  
I asked my mom what time I was born.  
She cannot remember 
(I don't blame her.  I hear labor is pretty intense.)  
But if this saying is true, I have a feeling I was born at night.  
That's when I am most comfortable and at peace.

What is your favorite time of day?
Is it the same time you were born?

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Winner of the Lulu*s $50 Giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered the Lulu*s giveaway.  You may or not care, but I am totally going through all the entries and meeting new people.  Hello to the newest Dancing Branflake followers!  I hope you enjoy this blog and the amazing people who are Dancing Branflake friends.  We are all fun, delightful, and creative people who love food, dance, and living inspired lives.  You'll have fun here.  I promise.

And the winner is: Ana from Live and Enliven!  
Congrats!  Enjoy your mini shopping spree.  

Outfit Post: Anti-Aging Secrets

I've been a little worried about my skin lately.  
I wont reveal my age 
(a lady never does- a lady lies instead) 
but let's just say I am more than willing to drink from the fountain of youth before it's dried up.

 I bought an anti-wrinkle sun block at Target yesterday. 
 It has retinol and supposedly prevents signs of aging. 
I also bought a wide brimmed hat so that when I'm out and about this summer 
I will save my face from unnecessary wrinkle and age spots. 
Although, when are wrinkles and age spots ever necessary?

 Even though the hat is purely functional,
I thought it definitely invokes images of carefree summers and playing with a purpose.
Because, really, the soul becomes ageless when playing in the sun.

What are your anti-aging secrets?
(For the record, I have no qualms about getting older.  I just don't want to look older than I am.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Canadian Dancing Branflake Dinner Party

Erin from the fabulous blog, Pughs' News, sent me this photo of her dream dining room.
Her blog is full of sweet finds, happy thoughts, and a wonderful sense of fulfillment.
I'm so excited because she's from British Columbia, Canada and I have always wanted to go there.  
Being surrounded by beautiful vast fields and the stunning Pacific Ocean sounds like a perfect setting for a dinner party.

The Decor
I am loving the natural light and the gorgeous wood table and floors.
I can only imagine the wonderful dinner parties that would take place here.

The Menu
I asked Erin what her favorite vacation was and she said England.
In honor of her Motherland, I thought we'd have festive fish and chips and a gorgeous trifle.
All courtesy of Martha Stewart.

What I'm Wearing
Hmmm.... If I were to visit British Colombia, 
I'd definitely embrace the feeling of being in nature with stone earrings and a floral dress.  
And I'd bring the jacket for walks along the coast after dinner.
Thanks to Anthropologie and H and M for making all my wardrobe dreams come true.

The Favor
Erin is such a happy and sweet person that I knew a party like hers would include fun candy in a creative package.
I saw these on Ilene's blog where she found them on Melanie's blog, You Are My Fave.
I instantly emailed Melanie and said "I need to blog about this!"
Of course, she kindly said yes.

Thanks, Erin, for inspiring a fun and sweet Canadian dinner party.  
Your blog and your country are so welcoming!
If you would like to be featured, just send in a photo of your dining room or a dining room you covet to:
tiffkaddy at hotmail dot com.

PS... don't forget to enter to win $50 of Lulu*s credit.  Let the summer shopping commence!