Benefit Week in a Nutshell

Hello, world!

Man, have I missed talking to you all. I was trying to save a crapton of blog posts to read in my “Save for Later” folder on Feedly, but I knew I just had to press “Mark all as read.” Fresh start this week!

In the past week, I have been running on adrenaline, sugar, and the love and energy of 14 amazing company mates! If you’re not sure what’s been up in the last 7 days of my life, you can read about Benefit Week here (It’s basically my dance school’s biggest, most important, funnest performance of the year). You can also check out Instagram, because I’ve actually been posting pictures of humans rather than just food. Proof that I have friends. 😉

There is so much to say about my very last Benefit concert with company that I actually cannot fully explain it. Thus, I’ll sum up the week in {mostly} pictures! There are lots.

Although we had rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday, I’ll start with Wednesday, since that’s when the dressing room decorating started. These themes have nothing to do with our dances. This tradition is just for fun!  🙂 I actually don’t have pictures of us dancing because….well, I can’t take selfies on stage.

Wednesday

There are no freshmen in company this year, so the new sophomores took over for Wednesday’s themed dressing room. The theme was….

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Eloise at the Plaza!

I have neither read the book nor watched the movie, but it was such a cute and unique theme!

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They call me Y-money.

Wednesday’s rehearsal included a 1.5 hour staging/lighting rehearsal for the younger dance class I assist and then a full run-through of the show.

Thursday

There’s only one junior in company, so she was joined by the veteran sophomores for decorating! The theme was…

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Woodstock/60s!

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Such a fun theme! Thursday was our first Community Concert (for disabled and underprivileged in the community). It was a great “opening night!” I do have a picture of me from our big warmup on stage, thanks to my company director:

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May O’Donnell technique warmup

Friday

Seniors’ turn to decorate!! There are eight seniors this year (more than half of company), so we went all out with our dressing room theme…

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Circus!

This theme worked out so well, and we all had a blast with it. I was supposed to be some sort of acrobat/trapeze artist person…I just found this purple ballroom dancing dress in my closet and used that.

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Each year, seniors design and order shirts that coincide with their dressing room theme. Ours said “Cirque du Company Benefit 2014” on the back!

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Thanks for the photo, Lilly!

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Company ♥ 

Saturday

Benefit day. There is always such a mix of emotions on this day— tears of joy and tears of sadness. We are so thrilled to be dancing together at this big show, but we’re also heartbroken that it’s the seniors’ last one. We soaked up every second of it!

We started with lunch at a great Italian restaurant:

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Crab cake for me!

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Bux all around.

And then we headed to the theater to walk around, do some company traditions, and bond.

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After the show:

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Thanks for the photo, Livv!

And with that, Benefit came to an end… 😦

To say that dance company is a big family is cliche, but it’s also an understatement. Our emotional, hormonal sob session on Saturday night sums up our relationship pretty well. I’m wiped out, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. All of God’s blessings are so humbling. I love you, company ladies!

Have a great day, everyone!

So tell me:

Did you ever have/Do you have a group of friends with which you are super close?

What did you do this weekend?

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That’s When You Know… {MIMM #29}

Hello there!

 

I hope you all had a great weekend! This weekend was a good mix of work and play for us here. I noticed a lot of things that made me think, “That’s when you know…” so here is a weekend recap with all the things I now know. 

(Apparently “that’s when you know” is a trendy catch phrase right now, so you could call me a conformist. Mainstream is the new hipster.)

MiMM

You know it’s been a good weekend when you link up with Katie!

Home-cooked meals made my someone other than domestic Alison, the water pitcher always being full, and constantly hearing Thai TV in the background➔ That’s when you know Mom is home! (Even though now she’s already in Europe.) 😦

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Having breakfast WITHOUT nut butter➔ That’s when you know it’s Friday. (I’m giving up nut butters on Fridays for Lent— in addition to abstaining from meat— because it’s a much bigger sacrifice for me to give up nut butter than meat.) 😀

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Working out in the backyard (even if that means potentially being judged by the neighbors), rolling down the car windows, and road kill EVERYWHERE➔ That’s when you know it’s spring. (Except for the fact that there’s a 60% chance of snow on Tuesday. -_-)

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Watching the school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, going to the diner with friends at 10 PM, and eating the most satisfying omelette + potatoes meal➔ That’s when you know it’s been a good Friday night.

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Wanting to do nothing but sleep from Saturday afternoon through Sunday➔ That’s when you know you had a tiring 5 hour dance rehearsal.

Scraping every last bit of peanut buttery-oatmealy-yogurty goodness out of your bowl➔ That’s when you know breakfast was killer. And that’s when you know you love the new peanut butter Mom brought home.

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DREAMY.

Literally jumping out of your chair while doing your homework and somewhat aggressively running up the stairs to do squat jumps and pushups➔ That’s when you know you’re antsy.

Listening to Demi Lovato on Spotify all weekend➔ That’s when you know you’re a typical teen that thinks she has sophisticated music taste, but not really.

Not being able to find room in your stomach for dried figs and Greek yogurt➔ That’s when you know you’re full.

Your dance friend is trying to get ahead of her “ahead list”➔ That’s when you know there’s a busy week ahead.

Today marks the beginning of the busiest, most exciting week of the year for dance company! It’s Benefit Week, which is the equivalent of hell week for the theater peeps. Quick summary of Benefit Week: Our biggest show of the year is on Saturday, and we have rehearsals at the theater all week, as well as two free performances on Thursday and Friday for disabled and underprivileged people in the community.

For the dance company, there are also tons of fun things that go on backstage. It’s a tradition for each grade in company (freshmen/sophomores, juniors, and seniors) to decorate the dressing room on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a particular theme that is a secret to all the other grades until the big reveal on their respective days. It sounds confusing, but here’s an example: Two years ago, the freshmen/sophomores decorated the dressing room on Wednesday with a jungle theme, juniors decorated on Thursday with an outer space theme, and seniors decorated on Friday with a Wizard of Oz theme.

We go all out for our dressing room themes— costumes and everything. It’s a little insane, but it’s a blast. It’s just funny when people think our themed costumes are our real dance costumes. Two years ago, people on Facebook thought the frog costume I wore in the dressing room was actually part of the show, but it was actually just a part of our jungle theme. No, I will not show you a picture of it. I was so close to posting it but…nah.

Basically, the themed dressing rooms have absolutely nothing to do with the dance show. They cost time and money, but they’re a tradition and we love them anyway!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! If you don’t hear from me, know that I’m just groovin’ it out at rehearsals or shows. 🙂

So tell me:

_____➔ That’s when you know…

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Are things looking spring-y where you are? 

Prom-posal + Fascinating Friday Links #29

Hello!

So I got a little excited on social media yesterday (Instagram + Twitter) because I got asked to prom, which means I’m not a loner! 😉

The run-down: One of my best friends, Michael, has this school project that he’s been working on (he did not make it just to ask me to prom). It’s a cool light box that he engineered himself, and it plays light patterns and effects according to the beat of whatever music you connect to it. I had known about this project prior to the “promposal”, and I thought it was really cool and impressive!

So he brought his project to AP Calculus yesterday, and some people that aren’t usually in our class were stopping by, but I just thought people wanted to see his project. We turned off the lights to see his little light show, and at the end, it was supposed to say “ALISON PROM?” but the bottom section of lights weren’t working, so I didn’t notice the words. I was seriously SO clueless. All my friends knew what it was supposed to say, but they couldn’t say anything of course. So Michael fixed the glitch, and the light show happened again, but this time the letters were clear. Even then, I nearly missed it because my brain was not processing life at that point in the morning. I finally realized that the guy was asking me to prom for crying out loud, and I said yes!

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That was a confusing story. Basically, he’s a genius, I’m clueless, and I’m so excited to be going to prom with my best friend! Here’s the full video (thanks to my friends Daliza and Alexia for filing and editing this! I didn’t even realize they were filming it…I’m such a lost sheep).

Thanks again, Michael! ‘Twas incredible.

Okay link love time. Enjoy this week’s Fascinating Friday Links!

fascinating friday links

Health & Fitness

[For those with pesky allergies (in the words of Amanda)] Nut Butter Alternatives for Nut Allergies via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

[May help you catch some Zzz’s] Best and Worst Foods for Sleep via Cooking Light

[Fuel the tank properly] Rev Your Metabolism via Kath Eats and The Real Life RD

[For endurance] Foods to Maximize Your Race Regime via Olive to Run

[Carbs are friendly!] We Should Stop Shunning Carbs via The Real Life RD

[Motivation] Triple Threat Workout and Workout Motivation via Fitnessista

[Bodyweight workouts galore] 10 Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises  + HIIT Bedroom Workout via Purely Twins +Lucky 7’s Bodyweight Workout via Blonde Ponytail + 10 Minute No Equipment Workout via Your Trainer Paige + 15-Minute Intense Interval Workout via The Body Department

Food for Thought

[Absolutely love this] I’m Okay With Not Being Perfect via The Story of a Girl

[Don’t let these hold you back] 20 Self-Confidence Traps Holding Smart People Back via Marc and Angel

[For everyone] 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Lost and Alone via Marc and Angel

Food for Belly

[Cauliflower never looked so delicious] Cauliflower Crust Calzones via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[SPRING] Limesicle Pudding via GI 365 + Strawberry Lemonade Scones via Peas and Crayons

[Simple] Honey Coconut Whole Wheat Waffles via Back to Her Roots

[Favorites in one bite] Chunky Monkey Bites via Running with Spoons

[I mean…] Healthy Samoas via Chocolate Covered Katie

[Paleo, but still looks fabulous!] Maple Almond Cinnamon Caramel Glazed Donuts via Peachy Palate

Miscellaneous Fun

[SO accurate] 20 Disney Characters That Would Be Perfect for Reality TV via BuzzFeed

[For run-lovers] All About Running: A Story via Olive to Run

[Budget and kid-friendly] $14, 40 Minutes, 4 Make-Ahead Toddler Snacks via Fitnessista

[Small plates and bowls can be better] Food Photography Tip 2 via Edible Perspective

[Love these fonts!] Fun with Free Fonts! via Peas and Crayons

So tell me:

If you were asked to prom, how so?

What are you doing this weekend?

Favorite links from this list?

 

 

Behind the Scenes #14: Sweets and Pistol Squats

Thinking-Out-Loud

Thinking out loud with the amazing Amanda today!

1. While I was being super domestic on Monday, I started listening to “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk on repeat for some reason. I hadn’t listened to it in maybe 3+ years, but I forgot how much I actually love that song (probably the only techno song I like). It definitely helped me work harder at scrubbing my bathtub while simultaneously twerking grooving.

2. Speaking of domesticity, here are the fruits of my labor from Tuesday:

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More of these delicious applesauce banana muffins + sriracha chicken

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Tuesday’s dinner: sriricha chicken with spinach and cabbage and avocado on top. So good!

I highly recommend the muffins and the chicken! Not together.

3. I’ve been eating lots of fun treats at school this week! On Tuesday, my friend, Apaula, let me try one of her homemade macarons that had a Nutella filling. I almost turned it down when she offered me one, but then I thought…Hello? YES I want one.

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And since Italians like to have a big celebration for St. Joseph’s Day (yesterday), our Italian teacher let us order some sfince di San Giuseppe pastries (we paid her, and she picked them up from the bakery) to enjoy in class for the special occasion. The sfince is basically a donut-shaped cannoli. It’s as fabulous as you think it is.

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My friend, Kristi,  forced me to take this selfie. Nah she didn’t force me, but I did it anyway. Ew, it’s so creepy.

This pastry was gargantuan. It was 10 AM and I wasn’t feelin’ the huge sugar bomb, so I had about a quarter of it before sharing it with jealous friends who are not in my Italian class. 😉

4. I practiced some more pistol squats at the gym yesterday, but this time, I used the lowest box available to assist me.

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(No, I didn’t hoard all that equipment for myself. It was just there. I’m not being sarcastic this time!)

I did 3 rounds of 10 on each leg, supersetted with some bodyweight side lunges, and it was tough. I think that’s about as low as I’ll ever get with my short achilles, but I’m pretty proud of even getting to that point. Now I have to work on not looking like my head is about to explode when I do pistol squats.

5. For the first time yesterday, I tried a dried fig with Greek yogurt AND some sunflower seed butter.

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Why haven’t I done this earlier?! It’s my favorite sweet snack on steroids.

6. Mom is coming home today!!! I’ve missed her (and her cooking) so dearly. She won’t be staying for long though… she’s turnin’ right around to go to Europe in a few days! What a world traveler. This just means that my domesticity will increase exponentially. At least I’ll be prepared for college, right?

7. I’ve calculated that I’ve gone through six 32-oz. tubs of Greek yogurt in the two weeks that my mom has been in Florida. I’ve used some of it for cooking, but otherwise, it’s just me + spoon. No, it’s not a problem— I can stop whenever I want. Which just happens to be never. 😉

8. This message from my friend, Anushka, made my night:

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I mean, she’s the one inspiring me, if anything. I’ve never had carrots and sunflower seed butter together before! I’ll try that combo, Nush. 😉

9. I’ve definitely broken my “no complaining” sacrifice for Lent too many times. When I’m more prudent, I do my best to hold back, but I guess I’m just outspoken, and I speak before I think most of the time. *sigh* It’s never too late to keep trying though!

10. Next week starts one of the busiest, but most exciting weeks of the year! It’s the week leading up to my dance school’s Benefit Concert (since it’s a not-for-profit organization), which is our biggest show of the year. It’s called “Benefit week,” but it’s equivalent to “hell week” in theater. I’ll be at the theater rehearsing or performing from 3/4PM until 8/9PM every day. Just a heads up— I probably will not be able to blog very much at all next week because of this. It pains me, but Benefit week will be a huge whirlwind, and I don’t want to miss some of my last moments performing with company!

Happy Thursday, friends! I hope you have a lovely day 🙂

So tell me:

What have you been cooking lately?

Best sweet treat you’ve eaten recently?

Have you ever tried carrots with nut butter before?

Random thoughts?

WIAW: Full Day of Dance

Hey there!

It’s another crazy week around here, and yesterday I was so domestic that I barely did any homework (I didn’t have much yesterday anyway). I did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, baked muffins, and cooked this rockin’ sriracha chicken all before ballet, and I felt like SUPERMOM. Minus the mom part, so, just super.

I’ll save any rants and thoughts for tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes. Today, I’m joining the WIAW party to show you all what I ate on Sunday, the day of my last dance company rehearsal ever. EVER. It still hasn’t hit me yet, so I won’t talk about it too much. I could burst out in tears at any second at this point.

Anyway, our last rehearsal before a show always involves running our dances multiple times, so it was a long, tiring day. Here’s what fueled me through teaching religious education and 4.5 hours of groovin’!

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Jenn‘s got the linkup for some fabulous eats!

Breakfast

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Fuel for proclaiming God’s word, shushing third graders, and picking up paper and pencils off the floor: 

Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach, minus chia seeds) + side of Greek yogurt. Dipped like so.

Lunch

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Fuel for jumping, running, and turning…all at the same time (aka dancing): 

PB & J. Holy moly I hadn’t had one of these babies in such a long time and it hit the spot like no other.

Snacks

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Fuel for more dancing: Carrots and hummus

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Post-dance fuel: Greek yogurt, sliced banana, crapton of cinnamon and nutmeg, stevia

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Plus nuts

Dinner

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Fuel for finishing homework, blogging, cleaning, and chatting with Dad:

Lime-cilantro salmon on spinach + sriracha + avocado toast

The salmon turned out well! It’s always a celebration when I don’t under-season meat. For this one salmon filet, I put on some fresh lime juice (from half a lime), about 2 tsp. honey, sea salt, pepper, and cilantro. Baked at 400*F for 8 minutes (in our small toaster oven).

Desserts

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Fuel for baking: Half of this juicy navel orange

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Fuel for sleeping 😉

Sample of homemade apricot-orange Irish soda bread

There ya have it! A busy day’s worth of delicious eats. The PB&J was the highlight, without a doubt. Those will be returning to my life with a vengeance; I bought some new strawberry jam a couple days ago just for the cause. 😀

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like PB&J/AB&J’s?

What has been fueling you through long days?

Have you tried a great new recipe recently?