Who is ready for Christmas?? I love the Holidays and am so excited to announce an amazing Giveaway with Very Jane of Jane.com — an online boutique with AMAZING new deals every single day. Very Jane is giving away a $50 gift certificate to use toward their site!!
This post is coming to you from one of my favorite areas in NYC, the FlatIron District. It’s so Iconic New York. There’s so much to do in this area. I love that I can walk over to Madison Square Park, sit on a bench, enjoy the view, some people watching (people fascinate me), and maybe a bite to eat from Shake Shack. Or I can head further downtown and enjoy the AMAZING shopping that surrounds this area. I can also pretty much try any type/price of cuisine my heart desires, including Eataly, The Little Beet,Sweet Green, or a $5 slice of pizza from NYC Big Slice. New York has it all, and that’s what I love about it!
These Jeans are my new found love. While roaming the city a couple weeks ago, we went in to Jcrew to try on a couple tops (this one included). I was wearing a dress and needed something to wear on bottom. A sales associate told me if I tried on a pair of their jeans i’d get 20% off my purchase so, of course I obliged. However, the second I pulled them over my legs, I was completely sold. I’ve never worn such comfy jeans in my life. I even wore them on the airplane home (which is saying something bc I am a leggings or sweats kind of a traveler).
These jeans are high waisted, come in petite, regular, or tall length and literally fit like a glove. I’m not a huge boyfriend jeans kind of a girl, but these ones are slimming while still giving you a more slouched look. I’m SUPER picky about my jeans too – My jeans have to be high waisted, hit at just the right spot on my stomach, long enough (I am 5’11”), tight, but not too tight, and still be flattering all at the same time. These hit my every requirement! I got a size 28 but usually wear a 27. I wanted them a little on the baggy side so I got a size bigger but, they fit pretty true to size. They do give a little so keep that in mind as well. Plus, they are currently 30% off so, now is the perfect time to shop.
Hi lovelies. Happy Monday! This weekend was one of my favorites because I got to listen and learn from to my church leaders in General Conference. Anddd we had a bomb brunch. My mom only makes this breakfast 3x a year. It’s complete with homemade cinnamon rolls, sour dough pancakes, baked scones, “fritters” as we like to call them, eggs, bacon, sausage, orange juice.. the works. It was delicious. Also, the leaves have started to change in Utah, so we drove through the canyon to see all the Fall colors. It was honestly unreal!!! I have never seen it so vibrant in my life. I love this time of year so so much! Anyone else do something fun over the weekend??
Thank you so much for stopping by. Have an amazing week!
Today was my LAST first day of school at Brigham Young University!! This morning I cried because i’m so sad it’s almost over and also because i’m excited and can’t believe the end is in sight. I’ve worked so hard, learned more about myself, life, and the things that really matter in the past 4 years, than ever before. I can honestly say, I am not the same girl I was when I first stepped foot on campus (and not just because i’m no longer 18 haha). Which makes me super grateful.
Looking back, life seemed so easy, which is probably why people say to me, “enjoy these relatively care-free years of your life”. But, one more semester, and a study abroad later, I will be done with “those years”. It makes me nervous but also excited. Just like they say in Finding Neverland, why do we have to “grow up” and take life so seriously? Why can’t life always be “relatively care-free” if we make it that way? It’s easier said than done. Especially because back when I first entered BYU the most important things to me were how cool people would think I was, would people want to be my friend? What would I major in, what and how many boys liked me, how many dates I went on, how well I did in my ballet class that day, and making sure I was hitting perfect pirouettes for Cougarettes. I’m not gonna lie, I still worry about those things but, 4 years later, I don’t care as much to impress people, or what anyone thinks of me. I love who I am and feel very confident in myself and my capabilities. I also try to take myself a little less seriously. Life is too short to be so stressed about what people think of you and how many people are gonna like you. Plus, if someone doesn’t like you, it is their problem, not yours! It’s so much more important to take into account how you make people feel, do you make others happier and more alive by being around you? Are you kind, loving, a hard worker, do you love yourself and others, are you happy? Do you twirl around in the mountains in a ruffle dress just because it makes you feel happy? (guilty). Those are the most important things in life and I feel very blessed to have learned that over the years at BYU. I’m proud to say, I am a much better person today than I was 4 years ago. So, here is to growth, my last semester, giving my all, and making the rest of my life just as fun and “carefree” as it is now.
Go do yourself a favor, buy this dress, twirl around, and remind yourself that no matter how dark life may get or seem, it can always be made fun, “carefree”, and oh so happy. It is simply a choice. Choose happiness.
When it comes to NYC, I’m a well versed travel guide, if I do say so myself. I’ve been going to NYC every summer since I was 10 for dance. Then, last Summer I got to live there for 4 months. Honestly, i’ve been more times than I can count, eaten at tons of incredible restaurants, seen hundreds of Broadway plays, and shopped and explored until my feet couldn’t stand it any longer. I love the city. The energy is enticing.
Anyways, I always have tons of people asking me for my travel recommendations so I decided to do a post about it. Here it is:
There are TONS of restaurants in NYC and a lot of them are good so it can be a little overwhelming so I put together a list of my favorites in each category, with a link to their website. From one foodie to the next:
Dance is my life. I eat, sleep, and breathe it. I have since before I can remember. To give you a little background, I started dancing when I was three years old in a small basement studio. My older sister was a dancer and I aspired to be just like her, in every aspect of life actually. I soon outgrew this little studio and my mom started me at what would be my second home for the next 16 years – The Dance Club. I started with Jazz, Ballet, and a tap class (which I hated at the time). Within a few years I jumped up to a team and started competing. This is when I started to take it more seriously. At 7 years old I was crying because I didn’t get a solo part or because I didn’t get to be front and center, haha (I’m 5’11 now, so you can imagine I was always pretty tall). Anyways, I won’t bore you with my life story but, after a few years I finally made the highest team, Company. I had worked so hard and couldn’t believe I had made it. For the next 7 years I lived at the studio. 2-10 everyday. I left straight from school, danced all day, went straight home to finish all my homework until about 2 am every night (I was a straight A student and my parents were troopers). I’ll be honest though, I was never the best one on my team, but man, I worked my butt off every single day because I wanted it, I wanted to be the best! I went to extra classes, took privates, spent extra hours trying to be the best I could possibly be. I traveled all over the place trying to get an “Outstanding Dancer” Scholarship – which I finally did.
Once I graduated High School, I got into BYU and auditioned for the highly prestigious, 16 time national champion dance team, Cougarettes. I was crazy skinny, tall, and frankly kind of awkward (as a dancer) and well, I didn’t make it. I was CRUSHED. My dream had fallen through. At the time, I thought nothing in the world could be so horrible. But, I swallowed my pride and spent my freshman year taking TONS of extra classes – ballet, jazz, pointe, ballet privates, adult classes, classes with my old company. I was determined that if I worked my absolute hardest and gave it everything I had (in all aspects of my life) that this would happen for me. And guess what?! It did!!! I made the team that next year and loved every second of it (despite my coach being brutally mean to me). The friends that I made will last a lifetime and the experiences had will shape me for the rest of my life. I then did the BYU Contemporary Company for a year and toured Southern California performing all over the place. Honestly, that’s when I realized how much I needed dance in my life. I had just broken up with someone and felt my heart had broken into a million pieces, Cougarettes didn’t go quite as I had planned, life was no where near where I had “planned” it to be (is it ever?) but, when I danced, everything felt right again. As dramatic as this is, I know I was born to be on that stage. I live for it. I feel whole and happy when I am dancing. It’s a feeling I can’t begin to describe. It’s the place I can be most vulnerable and free. I seriously love it!
Okay, this is not to brag or be overly conceited or even dramatic, this is to tell each and every single one of you.. YOU CAN DO whatever you set your mind to. You can accomplish anything. When I watch this video, honestly, I am just so proud of myself. I’m so proud of how far I have come, and the battles I have faced to get here, yes I still have so much work to do, but for me, I am happy with where I am at. I have worked SO hard to get to this point. Like I said, I was never the best at my studio or even on Cougarettes, but, through hard work, consistent effort, the help of my teachers, parents, sister, and my Heavenly Father, I have achieved so many goals. So, to the girl who thinks she isn’t good enough or the person who thinks they can’t achieve a goal, I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN!!! You are good enough, you are smart enough, talented enough, YOU are enough, and you can accomplish anything! As the company I work for says, “The harder we work, the luckier we get”.
For the past couple of years I’ve been really struggling with my hair. I’ve had a lot of different stress and health issues that I think have caused my hair to fall out. It’s gotten so thin and brittle over the last year and it’s the worst! So, here are a few tips for long, healthy hair (i’m trying them out too, and I’ll keep you posted!)
I used to take so much pride in my long, thick, luscious blonde hair but sadly, not anymore. Last April, right before I moved to NYC I decided to chop it and go closer to my natural color in hopes that it might be healthier. While it did help a little, I just didn’t feel like myself and I spent the next few months in New York absolutely hating my hair. Going darker and short just didn’t feel like me. I’m sort of a blonde girl through and through. So, when I got home I finally decided to get extensions. I went with Honey Hair Extensions and have been LOVING them!! I finally felt (more) like myself – it sounds extremely superficial but, I love my hair and used to take so much pride in it. P.S. If you’re in the market for extensions, Honey Hair is amazing.
Anyways, even though my hair was long and luscious again, my actual hair, as well my overall health didn’t improve at all (obviously). So, this past weekend I took all my extensions out and my hair is still SO THIN, so stringy, and still super short – due to my health problems, not my extensions. I also picked up a few of these new products and i’m really hoping they will help. Plus, I decided I am going to fully commit to my health. I am going to do everything in my power to make myself healthy again. My doctor says no sugar, dairy, or gluten, and no processed foods, but sometimes I am really really bad at it. However, I am going to fully commit. Give it my all, give everything my all – i’m sick of giving everything a half-a** effort (excuse my french, I actually never swear, but shows my commitment, right? haha). I am committed. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I’ll also keep you posted on the products. Can’t wait to try them out!!
So, after all that, here are my tips:
Tip #1: Stop bleaching. Just this week I decided to go closer to my natural color. I “broke my base” and then used a toner throughout so that I still feel blonde and bright. But this way, I can go a lot longer before dying my hair again. My next appointment isn’t until May!!! Crazy..
Tip #2: Extensions 😉 but seriously. Fake it till you make it. I love having extensions not only do they make my hair fuller and more luscious, they also help my real hair to be healthier. I really only curl my extensions, giving my real hair a little heat break.
Tip #3: Deep conditioner, Frizz control, heat protector, and a wide tooth comb. My favorite products are linked below.
Ps. These pictures are shot with my Honey Hair in. Check them out – they are gorgeous!!!
As I’ve talked and met with a lot of my friends and followers, I’ve realized, a lot of you don’t know that I am a photography major. I hardly post about it because I often think my work isn’t good enough or compare it to others. It can be scary to put your work up to show the world. This clearly stems from fear – something I’m really trying to work on.
I used to have the same fear with dance. I used to be afraid of performing in front of people I knew because I was afraid they wouldn’t think I was good enough. But, I got over that fear when I realized that no one was going to believe in me, if I didn’t believe in myself. I finally decided I actually was good enough and that people liked watching me. I started to perform for myself, taking the focus off what others might be thinking. Being on Cougarettes really helped me with that because 1.everyone at BYU loves the cougs, confidence booster right there and 2. I was performing in front of 60,000 people almost every week – you really have to be confident and forget about who is watching. I stopped caring what everyone was thinking and really just danced for the pure joy of it!! Now, I honestly love performing and the feeling of people watching me do what I love! It’s fun and scary and exhilarating. Honestly you have to be your own cheerleader. I’m often really hard on myself but most of the time, I think I’m pretty great! Who cares if someone else doesn’t think so, right!?
Same thing goes for photography, I am going to mess up, and some of my work might not always be the best compared to all the other photographers in the world. But, I am learning and growing and putting something I love out for everyone to see – obviously something I like doing! So, here is a shoot I did for Ivie Juice Bar. I absolutely love lifestyle photography and shooting people in a live environment vs. a studio. So this shoot was really fun for me. One of my goals for 2017 is to be more intentional about my work. Shoot what I love, do what I love and make it count. I want each day to be intentional. One of my favorite dance teachers used to tell me to set an intention before each class. What did I want to do? What did I want to get out of that class? If I didn’t set that goal, it would just be another class and I probably wouldn’t get that much better. I want to start doing that with my everyday life. Set an intention for each day. If I set small goals each and every day I think my days will start to become more meaningful. I’ll let you know how it goes.
2016 was a year of learning. A year of growth. A year of adventure. A year of change. A year of discovery. And a year I think I will always remember. This year has sort of been a rollercoaster. But, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Here are the highlights:
I started out the year with a big move ahead of me. I was moving to NYC in April and a lot was changing. I broke up with someone, struggled with that for a hot minute. I went to Chicago for the first time ever with my mom to 1. audition for the Rockette Summer Intensive where I got the best compliment of my life. I’ll never forget, a girl at the audition came up to me and told me I should be a Victoria Secret Model and I could have cried. haha and 2. Get over the break up (haha so funny to look back now). Performed a lot with CDT (BYU contemporary dance company), toured Southern California and Vegas performing and teaching (an experience I will never forget). Laughed hysterically with one of my best friends Myles while on tour. Went to Justin Bieber concert. Had a new niece born. Did a lot of collaborations. Was a bridesmaid for my bff Olivia. Played a great April fools prank on my brother that turned into the most embarrassing moment of my entire life (*hint: I was on a date and I had to go to the bathroom really bad and that is all I’m gonna say about that. HA, DEAD.. never went out with him again). Was a bridesmaid for my best friend Sadie’s wedding. Found out I got into the Rockette Intensive. Went to San Francisco with one of my very best friends, Kenzie. Met a creepy cable car driver who told me my Vegas name would be Ashley.. huh? Ate our hearts out and had the time of our lives in San Fran.
Moved to NYC. Lived on the Upper East Side for a couple weeks then moved to Upper West with a friend I grew up dancing with and my new fave, Riley. Interned for Fashion photographer, Jon Moe. Worked with a lot of models. Assisted a stylist. Worked really hard and learned a lot. Ate a lot. Gained a lot. Cried a lot. Took a lot of dance classes. Explored amazing AMAZING NYC. My mom came and visited. Went to 15 Broadway shows — Finding Neverland, Bright Star (twice), Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the opera, Aladdin, School of Rock, Rockettes NYC Spectacular (twice), Les Mis, Paramour, The Color Purple, HAMILTON, Beautiful, and Waitress. Took a lot of Soul Cycle classes and fell in love.
Went back to Utah for the fourth. Went to California (on a very delayed flight) for my best friend/ cousin’s wedding, had a blast. Went back to NYC. Was extremely hot. Had no AC. Was extremely lonely. Missed my family. Again, I cried a lot. Walked a lot. Ate a lot of Pink Berry. My brother and our friend Johnny came to visit. I turned 22. Saw Justin Bieber (again) at Madison Square Garden with Nate and Johnny. Shopped A LOT. And pretty much had the time of my life. Finished my internship, which I loved. Did the Rockette Intensive. Auditioned for Rockettes – made it to the top 15 but was too tall. And finally went back home with a lot of more suitcases than I came with. TBH I grew more this past summer than ever in my whole life and also learned more about myself than ever before. I learned what really matters in life. What I really want in my life. And honestly changed a lot (my mom can probably attest).
Two more nephews were born. Went to Bear Lake with my family. Was a bridesmaid (for the 15th time) for another best friend, Forest’s wedding. Moved back into my apartment. Started my last year of college and sadly got really depressed. I Didn’t end up dancing on a company this year bc of my major. Had a ton of stomach problems. Met with more doctors than I’ve ever met in my life. Went off gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, and meat (as best as I could). Cried a lot (hah are you seeing a pattern?). Got some good use out of my heating pad. Missed a lot of class. Found a doctor who I love, had a lot of prayers answered, and am now on the uphill track. Before finding Doctor Anderson I couldn’t get out of fetal position for 50% of the day. I Almost dropped a bunch of classes but ended up making up all the work and got an A in all of them (one of my proudest moments).
Met new friends. Got a new job. Took all my finals early and went on vacay to Hawaii for 10 days with my family. Had a blast. Came home. Had a beautiful Christmas with my fam. Played with my nieces and nephews. Had a great NYE and am now starting out the new year in Deer Valley skiing with my family. Andddd if you’ve actually gotten to this point in my novel, I want you all to know what a great support system you have been to me this year. I love my followers. Your comments are always so sweet and encouraging and I can’t thank you enough!!! It has been an amazing year full of learning and change. It’s been a hard year, but a great one – I wouldn’t change it for anything. Hard things make us better and stronger. In the moment it’s hard to see but looking back, I’m grateful for the way I have grown and what I have learned.
As the new year rolls in, I hope to continue learning and hope to make this year even better than last. Bring it on 2017. Can’t wait to see what you have in store!
If you made it this far, thank you so so much for reading. I love you all and I hope you have a very happy and healthy new year!
My life as of late has been a little bit crazy. I haven’t blogged in such a long time for that very reason (in case anyone was wondering why I’ve been MIA). A lot has been changing and I’m not always sure how to handle it. I am [supposed] to graduate from BYU this April, we will see if I make it.. HA. I’m excited, nervous, scared, sad, and oh so happy all at the same time. My time at my University has been life changing, I guess more like life defining (?), to say the least. Since being here at BYU I’ve had some of the greatest times, i.e. I lived in the dorms where I met some of the greatest people, I made the sixteen time national champion BYU dance team called Cougarettes where I worked my tail off, performed my heart out, and met the greatest group of “sisters” I could’ve ever imagined. I Studied at the London Centre on a study abroad, performed on BYU’s Contemporary Dance Team, got to represent BYU while performing dance in many cities throughout the West Coast, I traveled through Europe on an art history and photography study abroad, I got into the BYU photography program, got to intern with an incredible fashion photographer in NYC, and have honestly gained the best education, friends, and lifelong knowledge. Now, here I am, about to graduate and leave all those amazing experiences behind. Up until now, my entire life has been planned out for me. My future is sort of unknown, which is really scary and exciting at the same time! Wish me luck as this crazy semester rolls on. What an exciting time to be alive!
Nothing says Memorial Day like a good blue dress, amiright? Normally on Memorial Day I would be with my family having a pool party/bbq in my backyard. Enjoying the nice summer day, relaxing, and playing with my nieces and nephews. Not gonna lie, I’m sad I won’t be there this year. But, I’m headed for a run in Central Park, babysitting my dance teachers cutest baby, shopping with friends, and dinner at El Centro. Can’t complain, it will be a great day in the city, but I sure do miss my fam a little extra today.
Another great thing about Memorial day are the unbeatable sales! Everyone is having them, so I thought I would share a few of my faves. If you click the link, it will take you directly to their site..