Coffee Talk: Shelby

I am beyond excited to have such a beautiful and inspiring friend of mine here for 'Coffee Talk' today. As a part of the Royal Danish Ballet, Shelby Elsbree is a much sought- after, rising star in the ballet world, and has been featured in many publications for her technique and artistry on the stage. As a fellow blogger, Tutus & Tea showcases her talents for culinary creations, photography and writing, making her one of the most delightful and fun reads around! Today she's here to give you a behind the scenes look into the life of a professional ballet dancer. Grab your lattes and your ballet shoes, and let's chat! 
Pictured backstage as 'Aurora's Friend' in Christopher Wheeldon's Sleeping Beauty

As a dancer, you're on stage quite often, what is performing like for you?
Performing for me, is like the cherry on top of the Sundae... Dancers work so diligently day after day, warming up, taking class, rehearsing, physical therapy exercises, cooling down, etc, etc... all to condition our bodies and our minds for the ultimate reward at the end of the day: the performance. Throughout my career as a professional dancer, I can say that my most profound moments of emotional, mental and physical fulfillment have been on stage, in front of a live audience. I love the freedom that comes with performing...the vulnerability of dancing to a live orchestra, the gentle breeze that invigorates me as the curtain rises, the support and strength of colleagues who give you glances of confidence both on and off the stage.
Pictured in "Waltz of the Flowers" in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Performing is challenging, both physically and mentally, what are some of the ways you prepare for and overcome those?
 Despite the fanciful projections related to performing as a ballet dancer (think tutus, sparkling tiaras and satin pointe shoes...) there is definitely a flip side in reality. Performing takes courage. Think about it: You have the freedom of going out there on the stage and essentially doing whatever you want...There are times when this actually intimidates me when I fear having a 'black out,' falling or messing up, but then again, these are the thrills of live art. That being said, every time I step out on stage, I start an inner dialogue with myself ~ mantras, if you will, to keep my focus, conviction, and trust in my technique. Little words with big impact like "faith" "strength" "calm" "believe" come to mind if I fear moments of self doubt. Each time I stand in the wings, before my first entrance, I have a moment with God where I look up and say, "From You, and For You." This small prayer has brought me such strength, power and joy before performing and I really look forward to it.
Pictured as 'Lead Marzipan' in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Many hours of preparation go into each performance, what is it like to see everything coming together? 
 Of course the preparation for performing starts way before the actual show...We'll have classes to cast, endless rehearsals, stage calls, photo calls, dress rehearsals, spacing, lighting, etc... But it never really hits me until I'm doing my hair/make-up, my own warm up, and sewing the ribbons closed on my pointe shoes before a premiere that I feel everything is in place to trust my hard work, get out there on the stage, and perform from the depths of my heart and soul. For me, this is the ultimate reward. ~~


Fabulous Fall

(Photography: Alyssa Shrock)

We've been celebrating fabulous fall here, and I'm sharing some tips for throwing the perfect autumn soiree! Come join the fun, and get some ideas to host your own!

Check it out HERE
and more entertaining tips HERE




Wordless Wednesday

(all via & Inslee)

A Day to Enjoy

Sometimes you just need a day to enjoy to the fullest. We can so easily get wrapped up in to-do lists, daily routines and forget that life was meant to be loved and really lived. Do something for yourself..whether that is a new outfit, coffee with a friend, a special dessert or just some time spent enjoying the beautiful fall weather. The littlest delights can do wonders for the spirit. Go on, you deserve it!

Have a wonderful day!


Weekend Wanderings

What a week..I still feel a little like I'm in a whirlwind of activity since being back; running errands, unpacking and reorganizing, as well as catching up on your lovely blogs since my absence.
(my Bloglovin account was only slightly frightening..triple digits, yikes!)
Weekend, I'm happily welcoming your if only it would act a little like fall around here.. 87 and sunny in October..hmm guess that means some beach time isn't out of the question! Do you have anything exciting planned?

Happy Weekend, everyone! 

The Jet-Set

To celebrate my graduation, we took a long weekend and headed to the beautiful island of Bermuda. It was simply stunning, but pictures are worth a thousand words so here's a sneak peek of our lovely time there! More to come..I'm still sorting through many, many photos :)

Have you been before? Got a favorite place to spend a long weekend? Do tell..

Happy Thursday!

Coffee Talk: Amanda

Today you're in for a treat! I've got the lovely Amanda here to chat about style, fall trends, and a little behind the scenes of blogging. You're going to absolutely love her! Make sure to check out her blog afterwards! Ok, grab your mocha and let's chat!--C
Hi there!  I'm Amanda and I blog over at Eloquent English!  A blog that has nothing to do with speaking eloquently, and everything to do with fashion, lifestyle and stuff.


a little about me and a little about style...

So, how did you get into blogging?
To be honest, boredom.  With my job responsibilities, I found that I would go through major spurts of downtime.  I use to shop a lot online and I'm pretty sure the UPS man figured if there wasn't a package delivered that day I must have fallen ill.  I figured I should probably do something else other than spend money, so I started a blog.

What's the one thing you learned about yourself from blogging?
That the word 'eloquent' is rather ironic as I am a terrible writer!  Over the last year I've been able to practice my writing skills and hone in on what I really enjoyed writing about.  I think that's one of the most important things about having a blog.  Write about what you love!

I so agree! Now, let's talk fashion..How would you describe your personal style?
From day to day that can change, but for the most part I'm pretty simple and classic.  Some days I dress in Banana Republic and others I like to dress a little more down to earth in Urban Outfitters.  I guess it just depends on my mood.

What was your most recent purchase?
Hunter Rain Boots!  I'm not sure why I wanted so long to purchase them, oh I know why, because my husband thought I'd never wear them.  He was wrong!  I'm so glad I bought them!


You've hit snooze one too many times..yikes! What's a quick go-to outfit when your running late?
I tend to layer a lot of clothes since I'm always cold.  I'd probably throw a pair of skinny jeans, my polka dot sweater and a cute pair of heels AND if my hair isn't blown out, I'd throw it up in a big ole bun!

What are your fall style essentials?
I think there are definitely some essentials for a persons closet including: Trench coat, nude pumps, skinny jeans, neutral cardigans, good watch, a pencil skirt or two, chambray shirt, colorful skinny belts to add a pop of color, well made t's and maxi skirts.

Fall Must Haves

J.Crew long sleeve top / J.Crew button shirt / Calypso St. Barth long top / Mango double breasted coat / 7 For All Mankind skinny fit jeans / J.Crew tall skirt / J.Crew tall skirt / Ankle length skirt, $52 / Camel pumps / Black shoes / FOSSIL sparkle jewelry / Warehouse metallic belt

Can you share your top 3 style tips?
1. If you find something that you love, it's okay to buy more than one of it.  If it works well, why not?
2. Be open minded!  Sometimes we say, 'it's cute, but it's not me'.  Try it on anyways, you never know!
3. Scarves are a great affordable accessory this time of year.  You can wrap it around your neck, wear it as a headband, tie it on your purse or wear it as a belt.  So many options!

Jeans and t-shirt or dress?
I'm definitely a jeans and a t-shirt girl.  I'm one for the utmost comfort!  Don't get me wrong, I still own plenty of dresses!

Flats or heels?
Heels all the way!  I have a lot of shoes, but I find myself grabbing my nude heels a lot.  For one, heels make you taller and at 5'4" I need a little height.  The nude color also makes your legs look longer! and the nude color matches almost everything.

Bon Voyage

Well, I'm off on a little travel adventure to soak up some sunshine and surf in celebration 
of my college graduation. I won't have access to much technology while I'm gone, so things might be a little quiet around here for a few days, but rest assured that I'll be back soon with plenty of photos and adventures to be shared with you! 

See you soon!


Coffee Talk: Candice

Hi! It's me today. There's something I've been doing a lot of thinking about, and thought it appropriate to share with you, in the hope that maybe you're learning the same, or can find something that's applicable to your life from my musings. Let's chat. 

Today I wanted to talk about a subject that's not the easiest thing to discuss; however, it happens all the time, in most places, and should be mentioned...jealousy. Yep. the green-eyed monster that can kill creativity, change friends into enemies, and make even the greatest of ideas seem pathetic. It doesn't loudly announce its presence, or we'd never accept it, instead, it creeps in, quietly changing us little by little until it's work is done. Yikes. Scary, right?

I've seen it happen in many, many situations, and unfortunately also in the blog world in a huge way.  After talking with a friend of mine over coffee one day, she mentioned that trying to compare herself and her work with others often took the fun out of her writing, and affected her willingness to continue blogging...let's not allow that to happen. The root of this issue is really a lack of confidence, and when we allow ourselves to introduce comparison into our situtation, there's really no way to avoid the natural progression into jealous thinking.."Why don't I look like so-and-so" or "how come I don't have.." or "how come they have so many followers?" "I wish that I'd get .." Jealousy is not a healthy thing to have in your life, and it can take something fun and turn it into a nightmare if you're not careful to recognize the signs and change.

Why do we compare ourselves against others? Perhaps the real reason is our lost confidence in ourselves, our purpose, or our faith. Maybe you don't start off feeling jealous of someone else, but over time you find your thinking changed. Silly comparisons and competitive-type thinking can soon turn into something much more.  Jealousy is dangerous. It's creativity's killer, a strain on friendships, and can eat you up inside. I urge you; don't allow yourself to fall into the comparison'll never be satisfied because no matter how hard you try, you'll never be anyone else but you.

 I've stressed this fact many times on this blog, but it's important enough to be mentioned again: 
You have a unique purpose, a special mission, if you will, to accomplish on this earth. No one else can fulfill that calling; only you, with all the talent and ability you've been given (and that is much!) can make it happen. 

God has put you in the life situation you're in for a reason..don't waste that time thinking and wishing you were someone else; instead, find your purpose and run with it. Comparisons keep you from living life, believe me, I've tried. Leave that behind and you'll find peace. Understand this: we are all human, we all mess up, and life isn't perfect. By running from the person that you are, you'll only discover how flawed everyone else is too. We may put on a good front, fooling those around us, but in reality, you'll  find that no matter how "perfect" someone's life may seem, you're only seeing what they want you to see; there's always more behind the scenes. Changing lives with someone else won't make problems go away. Become secure in who you are, and learn to love the person you've been created to be. Here's a great thought, 

Comparison and jealousy won't lead to confidence or success. The world needs people who are true to their calling, true to who they are. Become the best version of yourself, and without a doubt, people will love you for it. 


Weekend Wanderings

Regardless of what is trendy or not, knowing who you are and sticking to that is most important. People will try to change you, to sway you, to make you feel as though there is a need to accept conformity... don't let them. Ask God to reveal what it is that he wants you to do; your life purpose is something that only you can fulfill. Take time to know yourself...find the things that make you come alive, and the desires that have been written upon your heart. Your gifts & talents are what make you, you! Learning to love yourself may not be easy, but it is essential to a life worth living! 

Have a lovely weekend!

Wordless Wednesday

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