Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mini Makeovers

I wanted to share a few updated spaces in our home. 
Nothing quite like a satisfying before and after shot. 

And just in case you haven't seen the real before,
here are the same rooms for your viewing pleasure...

 I always imagined the bay window area as a sitting/reading nook.
I found the Ikea chairs in the classifieds, moved the table from the nursery, 
and bought the curtains from Ikea for less than $20/pair. 

The living room was just too "warm" for my liking,
and didn't flow well into the kitchen color scheme, 
so I moved the sitting chair to our room and replaced it with the black rocker. 
I replaced most of my homemade pillow covers with new covers from Ikea for $5/pop. 
I moved the gold mirror to the basement and replaced it with an 
iron art piece from Hobby Lobby that I found for 50% off. 

In our bedroom my hubby hung 2 Ikea wall shelves that I painted white,
I replaced a broken floor lamp with one I found at the local thrift store,
I swapped chairs with the living room
(and it is so much nicer to have a good chair for chatting and reading), 
and I brought a rug up from the entryway to fill the vast area of gray carpet. 

The basement is still a huge work in progress.
We still need to paint all the walls and ceilings from a nasty taupe to white. 
There are no windows down there so it seems very dark with the current paint color.
But our vision for the room is coming together (workout/guest room/play room).
We found the futon for $60 in the classifieds, 
and Mike's work gives us a yearly stipend to use towards "health" 
(aka the exercise equipment). 

Slowly making progress! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

A New Year, A New You

Welcome 2014!

It's a new year and one of my resolutions is to be a more regular blogger.

I'll be posting on this blog again as a way for me to stay up on things that I love. I've found that I'm starting to lose myself in motherhood, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm missing me. 

I'm hoping to fill this blog with thing that excite my desire to learn and grow; things that will help me simplify and enrich my life. Dance, books, writing, music, choreography, interior design, DIY projects, healthy living, real food, and all things motherhood.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Simple Body

I'm starting a journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
My goal is a fitter, trimmer, leaner, healthier, and more vibrant body, mind, and spirit.

I will explain more about the program/approach I will be taking.
I will also be...
-making weekly exercise and food logs
-tracking my weight
-recording my body measurements 
-recording my emotional and physiological progress

I have wrestled with my body weight and body image my entire life. To better express my thoughts and my situation I should explain a bit about my personal experience.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Movement Monday

Eek, it's been awhile. 
I'm having a blog identity crisis; 
meaning, do I keep two blogs, 
or do I turn my family blog into my personal blog?  

For now I'll keep this going I think.

Any thoughts?
Does anyone even read this thing?

Movement for today: 

Royal Ballet

Concerto - Second Movement;
Choreography - Sir K. MacMillan;
Music - Shostakovic

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Parade of Homes #1

My sister-in-law Kristie invited me to go with her to the Parade of Homes yesterday. 
Needless to say I was thrilled to go!

Here are a few pictures from my favorite home.
I'm pretty much obsessed with the decor and feel of this home.

(Hatfield Homes)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Technique of Artistry

*Disclaimer: This may or may not be a plug for ballet! 

Let's begin by going back 18 years... 

A young girl, about 8 years old, walks into her first official ballet technique class. Wearing pink tights, soft pink shoes, and a crisp black leotard she is filled with anticipation. She is excited about this new class. She knows she is about to begin the training to become a dancer. This little girl has seen the older dancers and everything they can do. She knows it will take many years to train her muscles and her mind to be able to do the things the older dancers can do. 

Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and year after year, this little girl continues to work hard. She goes to class every day. She works as hard as she can. She learns patience. She learns to be still and obey a teacher. Sometimes she cries a lot. It isn't always fun. Sometimes her body hurts. Some days are so hard and she wants to quit. Some days are wonderful and filled with love for dance. 

Even on those hard days the little girl knows that she loves to dance. She loves being able to move to music, and to express the feelings she has through movement. When she isn't at dance class she is thinking about dancing. She feels something wonderful when she is dancing.

Eventually this little girl has grown up, and eventually this not-so-little-girl-anymore has trained her body to do everything that is asked of her. She can jump high, she can hold her leg where she wants it, she has control over gravity, she can turn, she can leap, she can put steps together with a moments notice, she can replicate movements quickly...but, can she really dance?!

Dancing, of course, is more than technique. Having good technique doesn't always mean you are a good dancer. It doesn't always mean you are passionate and expressive. It doesn't mean you are artistic and creative. 

However, does it help? 

Let's ask and answer a few questions.

1. What is technique?

Technique, simple defined, is a "way of accomplishing." Technique is the set of skills, for any discipline, that allows someone to accomplish something. As it is often put, technique is like a set of tools that you would use to do something. It's like the hammer that lets you flatten a nail, or the curling iron that lets you curl your hair. Without the hammer, or the curling iron, it is much harder to flatten a nail or curl hair. 

2. What is artistry?

I looked up the words artistic and artistry on dictionary.com, and this is what I found. 1) showing skill or excellence in execution, and 2) artistic workmanship, effect, or quality. Can we suggest, then, that artistry is a qualitative element of dance; something that comes as a result of something else?

On a side-note, I believe artistry is different than creativity. A dancer may consider themselves artistic, but not necessarily creative. I'll ask some questions about this at the end of the post.

3. How do technique and artistry work together?

Let's think about the little girl, who grew up, and developed great technique. She has passion for dance. She loves dance. She has trained her body for years and years so that she can dance. Her technical skill has become a tool for her to be artistic. It will now allow her to, more effectively, express the love and passion she has for dance. 

4. Does having strong technique allow a dancer to be more artistic? 

I believe technique and artistry work hand in hand. If you think of technique as the means to the (artistic) end, then having strong technique will only help you get there. Say, for example, you want to build a house. The finished house is the artistic, expressive, end. If you only have a simple screwdriver and one piece of wood it will most likely be impossible to build that house. Obviously I believe there are exceptions to this, as I have seen a great many artistic dancers who may not have the strongest technique. My belief is simply that strong technique will help artistry. 

Let's watch a few short videos to see how strong technique increases the artistry of these dancers:

Beautiful, yes?

Simply put, I believe there is a technique to being artistic. Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to most rules. Some dancers have flawless technique yet they are not artistic. Some dancers are very artistic but do not have a solid technical base. However, I still believe that developing strong technique will help a dancer to find clearer artistic expression.

Do you think strong technique helps increase artistic expression? 

Do you think strong technique helps or hurts creativity? 

Why or why not?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dancing Daydreams

Sometimes, when I'm particularly aching to dance,
I find myself choreographing in my head to every song I hear.
If only it was as easy as thinking the movement and seeing it translated instantly. 
That would be awesome. 

Today a few of the songs that're creating dancing in my head are these.