Showing posts with label dance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dance. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Competition lyrical dance, "Hallelujah"

Remember that wild and crazy competition I told you about that my dancers and I attended over this past weekend?

Here's a video of them performing their lyrical piece, "Hallelujah" which took 1st place.  Yeah baby.


We're gearing up to compete at another one this Saturday.  The best part?  It's at a local theme park so we get to run around and play on the rides all day when we're done... yee-haw!

I love my job.

~PW

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crazy Weekend of Chaos

Hello my friends!  I feel like it has been ages since I have been here.  I suppose a week isn't so long, but this week has felt like a month for me.  I'm sorry I haven't had a moment to post anything exciting with you (though I do have a lot of projects and tutorials in the works that simply need to be typed).


My dancers attended their first team competition this weekend and did so well!  We had a few rehearsals this week, along with my normally scheduled classes, and then headed out on Friday afternoon for the solo, duo, and trio competitions Friday evening.  For those of you who do the "competition scene", you can imagine where I was all weekend.  For those of you who haven't been through the torture fortunate enough to attend such events, picture the movie "Bring it on" times ten.  It's wild.  I love watching my darling girls perform and I love watching some of the really talented dancers and pieces of choreography that are showcased, but I don't love the crowds of people in every single crack of the building, the blaring speakers all day long, the stress and anxiety of waiting to perform, the crazed out tiara moms, and the 4 year old girls wearing sports bras and booty shorts doing hip thrust moves and calling it "dance".  Can you tell I needed to vent?


Friday nights events finally finished around midnight, we rushed to our hotel room to attempt to get some shut eye (mission- failed) and then hit the floor early again Saturday morning, finally leaving the venue at about 7 pm.  I was glad to finally be home at 10.

Most importantly, my dancers did SUCH A GREAT JOB! I am so proud of them for all of the dedication, commitment, perseverance and endurance they put in to showcase such great pieces.  They have come a long way and I am so proud of them!  I will post videos soon, but tonight just wanted to share some pictures with you.

My youngest soloist

Beautiful duo girls

Sassy little trio

darling soloist

another darling soloist

Excited about their trophies from Fri night

Team warming up for their first lyrical number
Waiting to walk on for their jazz piece

AMAZING stage makeup by Eye Kandy (taken about 6 hours after application and several performed dances)

Team waiting to hear the scores
What about you?  Did you survive your weekend?

I have some tutorials coming to you this week on how we installed our moulding in the Master Bedroom, and a third installment of the Re-upholstery series, so hang tight you patient peeps!

xoxo

~ Exhausted PW

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Choreography- Concrete Angel

Alright you dance lovers out there,  here's another one for you.

This is a piece I choreographed for two of my older students to Martina McBride's Concrete Angel (cut version).  The song makes me cry every time I hear it, and I really wanted to be able to tell a story with this piece.  I think they did a phenomenal job performing it at our last competition.



What do you think?  Ugh, please try so hard to ignore my hideous voice in the background and my corrections every 4 seconds.  I'm a teacher, I can't help it...

For those of you who still haven't entered the giveaway I'm hosting this week for Ali Bug Bowtique, please do so HERE!  There aren't many comments yet so the odds are in your favor!  I would really love to help promote this amazing little sponsor of mine.  Show the love people :)

Xoxo

Jen

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Competition Season in full swing

Happy end of the weekend everyone!  I am so excited to have so many new friends visiting here from my Chevron Chair.  I have so felt the love... thank you!

Many of you know that my "real" job aside from momma and furniture-fixer-upper-obsessionado is a dance instructor/ choroegrapher.  I found this unbelievable new little studio in the county where I live shortly after we moved in, and I feel so very blessed to have found it.  I feel so at home there.  Currently, I teach 5 jazz/lyrical classes for students ranging from 7- adult.  I coach our competition team, and have been preparing hard over the past several months with them for our first competition season as a newly formed team.  I choreographed pieces for several of my students who wanted to compete solos, duets, and trios.  They have competed their numbers at two comps so far and have done so well!  I am so proud of them.  Today I will share with you the trio I choreographed that they placed Queen with at this last competition (the highest rating you can receive).  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fabulous eats of San Francisco

Happy end of weekend, everyone.  I had a fabulous weekend that I just can't resist sharing with you.  My sweet friend and employer Kathie asked me to be sure to send her pictures of all the fun things we did and great food we ate on our planned vacation to NYC this weekend so that she could live vicariously through me.  What a funny gal. I'm hoping to give each of you a mini vacation vicariously through ours as well. Unfortunately we didn't make it to NYC since we were travelling standby on my mom's flight benefits and it was a sold out flight (she works for the best airline, jetBlue) but we went with our next best option of San Francisco for a fabulous quick getaway filled with lots of shopping, and scouring for great food. 

My dad has teased my mom and I accusing us of having 90% of our conversations or planned events revolve around food.  I laughed at first, but realized pretty quickly that we really do operate like that.  The truth is, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I absolutely love good food.   In fact, my dream job would be to travel the world and try out restaurants to review for travel books.  Anyone wanna hire me for that?  I promise I won't object...

Since I always love to travel with a few great suggestions for restaurants before I go, I thought I'd share a few of our favorite places that we found this go around.

The first great restaurant we found (after an average but not mention worthy indian restaurant for lunch) was an Italian place called Umbria.  It was right by our hotel in the downtown district on 2nd Street.

We ordered the Rustica Pizza and liked it but were not blown away.  We did however score with the Pasta, "Fusilli con Pollo e Carciofi".  It was unbelievably flavorful and consisted of corckscrew pasta sauteed with diced chicken breast, fresh artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato and fresh arugula in EVOO and white wine.  We spoke with the waitress about how the dish was prepared because really the flavor was so intense for the ingredients.  She said that they marinate the sun dried tomatoes in the white wine and EVOO first, then toss in the pasta and artichoke hearts.  The chicken is prepared with garlic and salt and pepper and added to the marinade.  It sounds so very basic but I can't even describe how flavorful this was.  I will definitely be trying to concoct this myself soon and will share the recipe if it's a success.  I think the marinating of the sun dried tomatoes is the secret.

Our next day was spent wandering around inside the Ferry Building.  We sort of stumbled upon it (trying to find a great clam chowder in a breadbowl place by the wharf) and spent hours inside sampling different foods from all of the cafes and restaurants inside.  This place is fabulous.  If you haven't been here before, you must GO.  We were able to get small tasters of everything we wanted so that we got to taste a huge variety of foods rather than filling up on just one menu item. 

Here are just a few of the amazing places we tried:

G.L. Alfieri Premium Nuts and Fruit

Oh. my. gosh.  They handed out a sample of their Almond brittle as we walked past and everyone of us was hooked instantly.  I am a toffee and candy freak so I certainly don't buy just any toffee.  This was hands down amongst the best I have ever had.  They also have a huge variety of fabulous almonds (we loved the butter toffee almonds) and pistachios.  I couldn't leave without the lemon chili flavored pistachio meats. 

Cowgirl Creamery

This one is for all you cheese lovers out there.  We're talking, walk into the store and the further in you go the more it smells like stinky feet kind of cheese lovers.  Oh yeah.  I personally love a good sharp cheese and am of course willing to try any and all cheese they want to freely sample to me :)  My sweets loves a good Gruyere so per the cheese connoisseur's suggestion, I brought him home some fabulous cheese called "challerhocker".

 It tastes divine and will be saved for a special dinner with filet mignon (coming soon with the 1/4 cow we just butchered ordered).

We loved their cheeses so much and ordered a plate of Roclette cheese over yukon gold potatoes and asparagus to share.  Our family has an annual tradition of eating rolette, so we had to try this one and were not disappointed.  Roclette is a Swiss cheese that is prepared on a roclette grill similar to fondue (i.e. you melt the roclette cheese and pour it over beef, veggies, bread, or even fresh fruit).  Your house will smell like a high school football team's locker room full of sweaty feet but the taste really doesn't match the smell.  Did that entice you to try it or what?

After our fabulous day at the Ferry Building, we had to do some more shopping, and ate dinner in the Mission District at a great little burger joint (ironically for their cobb salad and to-die-for sweet potato fries) so that we were near our final and ultimate food destination for the day...

Bi-Rite Creamery

This tiny hole in the wall ice cream shop is so worth a cab ride and even hour long wait if you have to.  Since it was pouring cats and dogs outside, we were able to get right in but I would seriously fly back there again just to go eat this ice cream.  They have outlandish flavors like "earl grey tea", "honey lavender", and "orange cardamom" yet somehow the flavors that seem so bizarre for ice cream just so work.

My two favorites were "salted caramel" which tastes just as it sounds though I also felt like it had almost a "burnt" flavor.  My other favorite was "brown sugar with ginger and caramel sauce".  I would never think of ginger in ice cream but oh my heavens.  It worked.  I literally had to savor every single bite and was so tempted to get more after my two scoops.  I kind of regret that I didn't actually.  Next time.


All in all, the trip revolved around great shopping, fabulous food and a few moments of relaxation for our mani/pedi.  Every mom deserves a break like this every now and again.

Also I need to brag quickly about one of my darling little dance students.  She performed the solo I choreographed for her in her first dance competition this weekend (which I sadly missed) and won Queen in her division.  I am so proud of her!



How was your weekend?

~PW

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Russian Nutcracker Dance... starring the one and only A Dubbs


Just thought I'd change things up a bit today for my "dance" followers.  I have a clip of my darling dancers performing the Russian Dance for our annual Nutcracker performance that was help back in November.  My dear friend Alisha and I had such a fun night choreographing this number when she came in town to visit several months ago.   She may kill me for posting this video (and I may regret posting this tomorrow morning) but it makes me laugh so hard every time I see it.  I promise we both really can dance.  This is just too funny...


Fortunately, my darling dancers turned that silliness into this:



Coming soon- Shredded Beef Enchiladas from freezer meal night, pictures of my gorgeous newly painted  master bedroom walls... EEEK can't wait to show you, and lots of items being made over for the bedroom.  In the works today are the curtains, lamps and shades, night stands and throw pillows.  This Penny Wenny is busy.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Fortunately I have this little helper:

Despite every picture I have posted of him, Trav's hair is not always out of control

Do any of you have the same problem I do where you can literally kiss your kiddos cheeks all stinkin' day long?  He learned to give kisses back now and truly, I can't explain how much it warms my heart.  I love this Trav of mine.

Everyone kiss your little ones tonight and be grateful for them... I feel so blessed to be a momma.

~ PW

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats/ Dresser sneak peak

First, I have to give you a little sneak peak on the dresser's progress.  I am already in LOVE and she isn't completely finished yet.  Wait till you see her with hardware... I was a good girl and took lots of pics along the way to show how I created this look.

 More details and a tutorial on that coming soon...  On to the sugar :)

A favorite treat that I often make for parties or events that is super fast and easy to make is Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.  They're much fancier looking (and tasting) than the original recipe, but kids love them too.  Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats


Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter (I prefer chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
5 cups Rice Krispies (cheap generic brands work just as well)

1 cup milk chocolate chips (or dark)
1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Measure out rice krispies into a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, stir peanut butter, sugar and Karo syrup over medium heat until smooth. 
Pour mixture over rice krispies, stir gently till all krispies are coated. 




Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 pan and press down with buttered hands to flatten it all out evenly. 

In a small glass bowl combine chocolate and butterscotch chips, microwave for aprox. 2 minutes, stirring halfway (Do not overcook- you only want them to melt.  Otherwise they will start to harden and crumble.) 

When chips have completely melted, pour over the rice krispie mixture, and spread out with a spatula. 




Once cooled, cut into servings and try to share with your friends.  If you end up eating the whole pan by yourself like I unfortunately have on many occasions, feel guilty about it for approx 4 minutes, forgive yourself and move on with your day.  :)



Last but not least I had to share the funniest video of my Trav.  I was choreographing the other day in our living room and he loves  to join me whenever I dance.  This particular one is a super fast jazz dance so it involved lots of turns and going to the ground.  Here is his version of the piece we choreographed together:


video


~ PW 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dance Workshop with SYTYCD Stars

I feel like I could die tonight and know that I have lived. Seriously. I took my darling girls that I coach to a dance competition today, taught by some of the incredibly talented SYTYCD former contestants (Allison Holker, Kent Boyd, Ade, and Dominic). I was able to actually take two of the classes in the morning, with my faves- Allison and Kent. Just watching them would have been enough for me but to actually learn their choreography and have them share wisdom with me was so incredible.  Allison's class was first.

Please pretend that I did my hair in the morning and didn't sweat profusely for hours before we took this pic.  Um thanks

I fell in love with Allison and her style from the get go in season two on the show and was so sad that she was voted off when she was. I thought she was amazing back then, but watching how much she had grown as a dancer when she came back as an all star was so powerful. Okay I'm getting a little bit cheesy now. Anyone want some crackers with their cheese? Sorry, this is what happens when you attend an all day dance workshop while running on 5 hours of sleep and battling a head cold. Anywho, her class was unbelievable. She made everything seem so cinch. She even commented on how one of the jumps in her combo looks super cool but is honestly "so easy". You should have heard the laughter in the room. We all knew it was a lie. This video is super crappy quality (who was the videographer...seriously?) but hopefully you can see how I left feeling like I could just die.
video

Kent's class was next and was also a blast.  His style was a blast.  He's dancing next to the gray sports bra/ spandex shorts chick in this one.   


video

Love him.  My girls are all OBSESSED with him.

I went to my students' classes afterwards to observe and take pics/ videos of what they learned.  Ade taught  them a super fun hip hop dance. 
video
What a stud.
I know this post wasn't about creating a new delicious concoction or turning a curbside dresser into a piece out of a PB catalogue, but I write about creativity and in my opinion dance defines creativity.  I love love love it and feel so fortunate that I was able to learn from such talented and inspiring people today. 

I hope you enjoyed the cheese; I'm off to bed before I delete this whole embarrassing journal entry post.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fabulous French Bread

The Nutcracker performance is over! It was a really great night. All of the hard work paid off for sure. I was so proud of my students and think/hope that the audience was entertained. I'll post pics/video once the videographer is finished.


Perhaps the best part of the hard work was when I finally went to sleep last night... had one of those deep sleeps where you don't remember falling asleep, don't remember dreaming, and wake up feeling like you just closed your eyes 2 minutes ago. It was amazing. I also enjoyed a 2 hour nap today... no interruptions. Yup. I feel like a new woman.


Our cute neighbors invited us over for dinner tonight, so I baked some of Aunt Janet's famous french bread to take with us. This recipe is super easy, even for learners, and fairly quick in the bread world. This recipe makes 4 very large loaves, so I often halve the recipe and bake 4 smaller loaves, or you can freeze the bread to pull out for later meals (french dip sandwiches, paninis, stuffing, etc).


Aunt Janet's French Bread


1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp salt
1 quart (4 cups) hot water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 1/2 cups flour (preferably bread flour, but I use all purpose and it's still great)
2 TBS yeast dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water


Mix sugar, salt, oil, and hot water in mixer (ideally a bosch). Add half the flour. Add the yeast mixture and stir. (At this point I swap out the beaters for my bread hook.) Add remaining flour and mix. Knead the dough well with the bread hook attachment for 2 minutes. Place dough in large greased bowl and let rise until double in size.


Punch down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a rectangle, and then roll into a long loaf and tuck the ends under.
Place 2 loaves on each cookie sheet and and let rise for another 1/2 hour. Make a few slits in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend

What a fabulous weekend it was for us! Friday night we carved pumpkins with our friends up the street, watched The Ring (which they had never seen and still scares the crap out of me) and made delicious carameled apples.


Saturday morning, I was able to go with my dance students to watch the NYC Dance Alliance competition at the Salt Palace. I am always amazed at the talented dancers that Utah produces! My handsome sweets stayed home with Trav so I could run around erranding with my momma without the babe. What a good man. It's amazing what a day of not worrying about your child can do for you. We mommas need that every now and then and it's so easy to forget. Sat night, we went to the neighborhood Trunk Or Treat with our little crocodile... he sure looked cute!


Today we actually made it through all 3 hours of church (amazing for us with Trav) and have enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. I tried out a new chicken noodle soup recipe that was on the back of the frozen noodles I bought. We were actually thoroughly impressed! Here she is:

Reames Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

1 lb. cooked chicken (we used a rotisserie chicken from Costco)
12 cups chicken broth
1 pkg. Reames home style egg noodles (first time trying this brand, and thought they were just as good as the grandma noodles... these are frozen home style noodles so they taste sooo much better than regular dried egg noodles)
2 tsp dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
1 cube (8 Tbsp) butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sherry (optional)

Boil broth with bay leaves, add noodles and simmer for 20 minutes stirring often.
Add the herbs, pepper, onion, and veggies and simmer for approx 10 minutes or until veggies are cooked through.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet. Whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes.
Add cream to the soup, and return to a simmer. Add the flour mixture in slowly, and cook and stir until thickened (2 min).
Add chicken and sherry (if using). Stir to incorporate and heat through. Enjoy!

I did use the sherry and while it was delicious, I felt like I took away from the traditional chicken noodle soup flavor that I love. If you opt to add the sherry, I would suggest only using about 1/4 cup.

This recipe makes a TON of soup. It served our family, our neighbors who were sick and I froze 2 nights worth dinner in zip loc bags.

I also like to make my own chicken stock from the remains of the rotisserie chicken. You simply boil the remnants of the chicken (bones, skin, etc) with a bay leaf, peppercorns, and chunk of onion and let simmer for 15 min. Drain the broth and freeze for the next time you make soup!

How was your Halloween weekend?