Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoe Love: Marina ballet flats

My sister-in-law sent me this picture yesterday. She knew I would love them, and she was right. I don't own many pairs of flats, but I'm currently on the prowl to find some good ones for Spring/Summer.

Do you prefer heels or flats?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Time for a workout change - Physique 57 style

As much as I enjoy working out, I am constantly looking for new, fun workouts to try. Changing things up frequently keeps me motivated and keeps my muscles wondering what's coming next. Several weeks ago, I started slacking on my workouts and knew it was time for a change. I first heard about Physique 57 a few years ago when I was pregnant with Miss M. I was so jealous that I couldn't go train in NYC with Kelly Ripa and have a post-baby body like her's. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I ordered the Physique 57 DVDs. Well, the DVDs arrived a few days ago, and I could not wait to try them out. I popped in the Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout. The workouts are based on the Lotte Berk method which is similar to yoga, pilates, and ballet. Right up my alley. After the arm section, I thought I would need to supplement the workout with some additional exercises. The next sections with legs and abs were intense. My quads were burning! I hadn't felt that much burn since my dancing days. I'm kind of crazy, but I actually enjoy that feeling. Hurts so good. I'm hoping I can get my ballet legs back. They disappeared after I had Miss M. She pretty much ate my muscle. Literally. My quads and tush just vanished right before my eyes. Even though I was strength training while nursing, the muscles still got eaten! So, I'm after those toned legs again.I tried the Arms and Abs one today, and it worked my arms and abs really well. I can't wait to try the rest of the DVDs. On the days I do this one, I won't feel the need to do extra arm stuff. Yay! Don't forget to change your workout routine when you start to get bored. Finding things you enjoy is the best way to exercise. Keeping things fresh is the greatest way to stay motivated.
What kind of exercise keeps you motivated and feeling good?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SMM Giveaway Winner

Thanks to all who participated in my first giveaway for Southern Magnolia Minerals makeup.

The winner is . . .

Michelle who said, "I've never tried mineral makeup! I'd love to!"

Michelle, please send me an email, and I'll give you the details. See sidebar for address.

If you are still interested in trying SMM makeup, CityDeals has an awesome gift certificate where you can purchase the 8-piece kit for only $23. See it here. That's a 51% discount, folks!

P.S. I'll be hosting lots more giveaways on many of my other favorite products in the future.

Ruffled-bottom belted trench

I saw this ruffled-bottom belted trench at Express about a month ago. I'm loving that ruffles are everywhere right now. Ruffles just make me happy. Now, I have a major dilemma. Which color do I pick?

White, navy, or khaki?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lovely Weekend: Super stress, but almost done

This past weekend was filled with excitement, new opportunities, and lots of fun. Spencer and I kicked off the weekend with some serious appliance hunting/finalizing on Friday night. We finally made a decision on Saturday and feel good about what we picked. So nice to have that out of the way.

On Saturday morning, we had a final walk-through for our house. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. There were just some cosmetic touch-up things here and there, but overall, everything was looking great. When we were about to walk out the front door, Husband realized a little part of one wall was crooked. Yeah, crazy. How did they miss that? Anyway, all weekend we stressed about how long it would take them to fix it. Fortunately, we will still close Tuesday night as planned. I can. hardly. wait.

Sunday was slightly stressful since Mr. T was a super grump. He's teething, and the poor guy also has a cold. I can tell he doesn't feel good, and he just cries and cries. I feel so bad for him. Hopefully, he will get better very soon.

This week is going to be a really crazy one. We are trying to figure out how to move our things as quickly as possible to our new house. However, Husband can't take any time off, and we have plans every night this week. We didn't even know until this afternoon that we would still close Tuesday either. I need to pack, too. Yikes! We'll see how it shakes out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Make A Change: Safe food storage containers

One of my goals this year is to make small changes to improve the health of my family and our environment at home. These changes may not be tangible and may be hard to really assess, but I believe small changes over a long time can add up and make a huge difference in the long run.

Ever since learning about the possibility of harmful chemicals leaching out of plastic food storage containers, I've been wanting to switch out all of our plastic food storage containers to safer alternatives. We've been using the cheap take and toss type containers for quite a while. They get little pits in the plastic, get stained, and generally end up looking pretty disgusting.

I've been wanting to buy glass containers for a while, and just hadn't done it yet. Earlier this week I finally made the jump. I bought an 18-piece Pyrex set that I'm pretty excited about. (Dorky, I know.) The containers are made of borosilicate glass, and the lids are made of plastic that is free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates.

There are many other great glass containers and some plastic alternatives that are also free of these harmful chemicals and considered safe for food storage. I am planning on purchasing some plastic containers that won't be used in the microwave once I decide which ones I want. I'll keep you posted.

Do you prefer glass or plastic for your food storage?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the SMM Cosmetics giveaway!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Southern Magnolia Minerals Makeup GIVEAWAY

Because I'm loving my Southern Magnolia Minerals makeup so much, I decided to give away a gift certificate from CityDeals for the SMM Mineral Makeup Beyond Beautiful 8-piece Kit.

The kit includes
  • two large jars of mineral foundation
  • finishing veil
  • mineral blush
  • two types of concealer
  • bronzer
  • baby kabuki brush
To enter, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite makeup product is. You may earn additional entries by doing one or more of the following:
  • Follow this blog
  • Blog about this giveaway
  • Like my Facebook page
  • Post this giveaway on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway
The giveaway will end on Monday, March 28th at midnight MDT.

P.S. If you haven't heard of CityDeals before, go check it out! They have hundreds of deals all day, every day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dreaming of a summer picnic

The weather was so nice last week where I live. It has started getting cold again the last few days. Boo. I'm ready for warmer weather. I can't wait to spend sunny days outside playing with the kiddos, going on picnics, swimming, and soaking up the sun with proper sun protection of course!

When I first saw this sweater (oh, that color gets me every time), I imagined it paired with a floral dress with a flowing skirt and a tailored top. That reminded me of an old time fancy picnic party. The girls and ladies in dresses with big, gorgeous hats and parasols to protect their creamy complexions. The boys playing games and making mischief. Men in linen suits casually chatting. Delicious homemade goodies lining the tables.

There are times I think it would be wonderful to wear such beautiful clothes each day with lovely accessories. However, I quite enjoy many other aspects of the current days.

This gorgeous sweater and sweet dress would be perfect for an updated picnic with your love. Still waiting for spring.

Sweater and dress from Anthropologie.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Southern Magnolia Minerals

About two months ago, I ran out of foundation. Bummer. I hate looking for foundation because it's hard to know if I am going to like it or not just by looking at the package or testing it at the store. I decided to do a little research online to find some brands of makeup that didn't contain any harmful chemicals since I research everything these days. I had never really thought about chemicals in my makeup until recently. Who wants yucky, harmful gunk on their face all day? Not me.

I mentioned to Husband that I was looking for some makeup, and he suggested I try a brand he had heard some of his co-workers talking about called Southern Magnolia Minerals. I had never tried mineral makeup before and was skeptical. I have oily/combination skin which means I tend to look shiny the majority of the time. I also breakout when I change my normal routine.

I checked out SMM's website and read a bunch of reviews. I loved that they had little samples of foundation and other products that I could order for just a few bucks so I could make sure to find my perfect shade without buying a whole container. I picked two Diva Defense foundation colors to try and the yellow corrector and green corrector to help with dark circles and blemishes.

I was giddy when the package arrived. I opened it up and found my cute, little samples. I reviewed the application tips and gave myself a little pep talk. New things make me nervous sometimes. Applying the mineral makeup was so easy! I instantly loved the way it looked and how it felt. It felt so smooth and silky and made my skin looked flawless. The entire day I kept finding excuses to walk by the mirror and check on my makeup. I'm used to have a shiny face about an hour after putting my makeup on, but my makeup looked fantastic the entire day. I was super excited.

My little foundation sample has since run out, but there is PLENTY of corrector. I haven't even made a dent in it. I already ordered some more foundation and other things to try. I can't wait for it to arrive.

Can it get any better? Well, yes it can! SMM also offers free shipping! I consider this such a kind gesture. Any site that offers free shipping is instantly my friend.

*Stay tuned for a giveaway I'll be hosting later this week :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lovely Weekend: Appliance Hunting

Electrolux washer & dryer in Mediterranean blue. In love with this color.

It was another whirlwind weekend. Why does the weekend have to go by so quickly? Husband and I spent a significant amount of time researching and looking at appliances. Blah. So boring. We need to find a washer, dryer, and refrigerator. I've never bought appliances before, so I just feel mostly overwhelmed at the choices. I hate making a bad decision on anything, so I have to research it to death, and then I have to figure out how to make up my mind. It takes forever, but makes me feel like I'm making a more informed choice. I'm hoping to make a decision by tonight. Any suggestions?

On a very happy note, our house will be done this week! I'm hoping we will get to close on Friday and start the move on Saturday. I cannot wait!

Here are a few other weekend highlights:

*Went to dinner with my mom and brother at a new restaurant without the kiddos. The food was delicious. The company was better. (Thanks Husband.)

*Had amazing warm, gooey cookie topped with ice cream at a little dessert place with my mom, brother, and Husband. Super fun.

*Went to dinner with Husband for a much needed date. So nice to have some alone time with my best friend.

*Attended our new church congregation. Everyone was so friendly. I'm really excited to meet new people.

*Had a lovely Sunday dinner with family. Love family time the most.

*Checked on the house three times. Cabinets and counters in, hardwood floors in, tile in bathrooms. Ecstatic.

It's going to be a crazy week around here, too. Getting ready to move and picking up much needed small items like shelf paper/liner, some new cleaning supplies, and much more.

Hope you had a lovely weekend as well.
Wishing you a happy and productive week ahead!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shoe Love: Ivanka Trump footwear

I'm loving these gorgeous shoes from Ivanka Trump's new footwear collection. They are simple, classic, and elegant. They are also very affordable. The red ones are my favorite.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love

Most people wouldn't know just by looking at me that I am one fourth Japanese. My grandma is from Okinawa. All of her family still lives in Okinawa, and thankfully, they were not directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami. However, my dad is currently working with a factory in Sendai. The factory was not damaged, but he has only heard from a few people he worked with. He is so worried about the others. He was supposed to go there next month for business, but that trip has been called off.

As I have watched the news and seen pictures from the devastation, my heart goes out to all the people affected. I can't imagine how terrifying something like this would be. I can't imagine, as a mother, how horrible it would be to have your children away from you during such a crisis and not know if they were ok. Then, trying to figure out how to take care of your family and help your neighbors as well.

There are many ways to get involved and donate. There are many people in this world with loving hearts. Here are a few ways I have found to get involved. I'm sure there are several others.

First, Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have teamed up to create For Japan With Love. They are planning a Day of Silence tomorrow, March 18th, in honor of Japan. I will be participating in this and, thus, have no post tomorrow. They will also be donating money raised to Shelterbox, an organization which sends emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies.

Second, Sachiko over at Tea Rose Home is from Japan and her family lives in one of the hardest hit areas. She is trying to spread the word to get people involved in helping Japan any way we can.

Next, for those in Utah, April at 21st Century Charm School, is organizing a relief effort to tie quilts for Japan. People are in great need of warmth and comfort. This is a simple way to donate time or supplies if you are short on donating money. The even will be on Saturday, March 19th
in Orem, Utah. You can view details here.

Also, Heather at {House} of A La Mode is organizing a way to donate quilts. You can find details here about her modern relief effort.

{ modern } relief - japan

Last, a wonderful place to donate funds is to LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund. 100% of the donation goes straight to helping those in need. You can request that it go to efforts in Japan, as well. This is my favorite place to donate because I all of it know it will go straight to the place it is needed.

I hope you will take a moment to consider how you can help. It doesn't have to be a big amount of time or money, but a small, simple gift with a loving heart. I pray that all people affected will receive courage, strength, comfort, and peace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grow citrus trees indoors

Did you know that you can grow citrus trees indoors? I had no idea until I read this article in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living. I got so excited that I could possibly grow lemons indoors. Then I got nervous because I don't want to get one only to kill it.

I'm a little inexperienced when it comes to growing things. The only plant I've ever had was a ridiculously resilient spider plant that didn't care if I forgot to water it for three weeks. It still survived. I had it for about ten years or so. In addition to Meyer lemons, you can grow limes, oranges, tangerines, pomegranates and more.

I'm still going to get a little citrus tree eventually. I love delicious citrus way too much to not give it a go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The joy of freshly squeezed lemonade

Last week, Miss M made a request to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house to pick some lemons and make lemonade. I told her that it was really far away, and we wouldn't be able to go. She looked so disappointed. I called my mom to ask if she might be able to bring a lemon with her when she came for J's big surprise.

I love the smell of citrus trees. As a child, I remember going to my grandparents' house in California and just standing by their citrus trees and breathing in the delightful fragrance. We would pick lemons and make the most delicious lemonade. My grandma would get out her old electric juicer. She'd put on her yellow rubber gloves that she does the dishes with and scrub the lemons. She'd cut them up and let my siblings and me juice them. The finished product was always refreshing and rewarding.

I still do the same thing when I get a chance to visit. At Christmas, Miss M had the pleasure of picking lemons with my grandpa in his yard. She stood by me as I juiced the lemons. She helped pour in the sugar and stir it up. Then she guzzled the lemonade as soon as it was mixed.

When my parents arrived this past weekend, they brought about ten lemons from my grandpa's yard for Miss M. She was so happy to get them. "Now we can cut them and get the thing (juicer) and make the juice with the sugar and drink it. Yum!"

Yesterday morning, we juiced the lemons. The smell was heavenly and instantly took me back to many of the wonderful memories from my grandparents' home in California. Since there were only ten lemons, it was pretty quick to juice them by hand. Miss M was trying to get the juice out of each lemon and then she would carefully pour the juice into the measuring cup.

I like my lemonade a little tart and on the strong side. Here's the general ratio I follow.

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 cups cold water

I don't like ice in my lemonade because it gets watered down once it melts. I just put the lemonade in the fridge until it's cold.

Freshly squeezed lemonade is such a treat for me. I'm happy Miss M has been able to experience a favorite little thing of mine.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lovely Weekend: The perfect birthday surprise

Sunday was my sister's birthday. It was a milestone birthday. She is a super-hard-working doctor in her first year of residency at a children's hospital. She was in need of a little pick-me-up, so my parents decided to fly into town to surprise her for the big day. I have been so excited for weeks just anticipating her reaction and complete happiness.

I told Miss M on Saturday morning that Grandma and Grandpa were coming to surprise Aunt J for her birthday. Miss M got so excited, which was absolutely darling. She kept telling us how she was going to hide and turn the lights off and jump out to yell, "Surprise!" I hadn't even told her about any of that. It was so sweet.

We picked up balloons and J's favorite cookies. We made a sneaky plan to get into her house while she was out running. We had plenty of time because she was running 20 miles. Yep, 20 miles. J is training for the Boston marathon. Did I mention she's amazing? Well, she is. She really is.

I stood at my post by the front window watching for J to arrive. Finally I saw her and announced she was coming. Miss M and my parents quickly hid. J walked through the door, and Miss M jumped out and shouted, "SURPRISE!" J knew I was coming over with the kids, so she pretended to be surprised to see Miss M. Two seconds later my parents jumped out and yelled, "SURPRISE!!!" It was so perfect! J was completely shocked and so happy. After J got ready, we headed out the door for a fun birthday celebration.

We spent Sunday evening together as a family. In addition to my sister, I also have a brother who, unfortunately, was unable to make it to the surprise birthday bash on Saturday. He also lives close by. It's great when our parents come to visit, and we can spend time with all of us together. Family is our favorite after all. It is everything to us.

Did you have a lovely weekend?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yoga X with Tony and the kiddos

Thursday morning. I hear my Mr. T alarm go off. I roll over to see what time it is. 6:00 am. Ugh. A little earlier than the last few days. Well, at least I can go workout, I think to convince myself this is a good thing. I tip-toe out of my room and scoop up my little munchkin. He's so sweet and cuddly in the morning, even if he does wake me up awfully early these days. I am hoping I can get in a decent chunk of Yoga X before Miss M wakes up. I miss those quiet workouts when it was just me.

I get Mr. T his milk and change out of my pajamas. I pop the Yoga X DVD in and see Tony's face. I'm getting a little tired of hanging out with Tony so much, but I love my Yoga X. Four minutes in, and I get to wide-legged forward bend. Mr. T is sitting on the floor right next to me. I try to focus on my breathing and wake up my cold muscles when I feel a tiny finger in my nose. I turn my head further so I'm out of reach. It works. Then I feel a not-so-gentle tug on my hair. Am I really going to make it through this today?

A few more minutes go by, and I hear Miss M open her door. I pause Tony to give her a hug and put Mr. T in his high chair for some confinement and breakfast.

"The TV might have to think if you leave it paused too long," I hear Miss M say.

I get out some bananas and cereal and head back to the mat. Moving on to Warrior II.

"I'm stuck! I'm stuck!" I hear Miss M say.

I pause Tony and head into the kitchen. I find Miss M with a plastic necklace around her leg that is tied to another one stuck on the cabinet handle.

"There you go sweetie."

I put another handful of cereal on Mr. T's tray as I walk by. Back to the mat. I make it to twisting triangle pose. Miss M comes running in with her necklaces and slips one around my wrist. She starts to do downward dog with me. Every time she does yoga poses with me, I think it is the cutest thing, especially in her footie jammies. Then the necklace makes it onto my neck. Miss M hugs and kisses my leg. Then she climbs on my leg, and I give her a hug which makes balancing slightly more difficult.

I make it to Warrior III. The end is drawing near. Miss M knocks me off balance, and we fall over laughing. We get back up, and I finish the sequence.

I get Mr. T out of his high chair, and he pulls my hair and pounds on my back while I end with some stretches and give him tickles.

We survived another workout. Although I like to workout on my own because I can get through it a little faster, I wouldn't trade these moments for anything.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shoe Love: black lace stilettos

I can always count on Valentino to have gorgeous bows on something. Love these delicate, feminine stilettos. They would pair perfectly with a pretty party dress.

Shoes are one of those things you can never have enough of. I love how the perfect pair of shoes can make an outfit pop.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Safe all-purpose cleanser recipe

Several months ago I had been looking for a safe, chemical-free cleanser to use on my kitchen counters and for general cleaning. I found several on the internet that seemed ok, and then I saw this one on Dr. Oz. It was developed by Dr. Gary Ginsberg who is a toxicologist. It's my new favorite cleaner. I don't always put the Borax in, and I haven't noticed a major difference without it. I usually put more essential oils to cover the vinegar scent a little more. The vinegar smell will not linger once the surface dries.

All-purpose cleanser
1 tbsp of Borax powder (find it in the laundry aisle of your supermarket)
3 tbsps of white vinegar
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of dish soap
1 drop of essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Shake before using as well.

Some of my favorite essential oils to clean with are lemon, orange, peppermint & rosemary, and white fir which is especially nice during the holidays. You can get creative and try a blend or just pick one oil. Many of the essential oils also have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

*Caution: Be careful when using vinegar on granite. I don't have granite countertops, but I have heard that vinegar can damage some types of granite sealer.

What's your favorite chemical-free way to clean?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The cookie lover in me

The cookie lover in me found this post by The Sisters Cafe very interesting. It talks about a New York Times article on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The original New York Times article can be found here.

Now I want some warm, gooey cookies. I guess I better let my craving know it needs to give me a 36 hour advance warning.

Lovely weekend wrap-up

Husband works. A lot. There are some days the kiddos don't even see him. I hate those days. He does, too. We had nothing planned this weekend which is a rare treat. We stayed in our pj's Saturday morning until noon. We stuffed ourselves with delicious pizza for lunch and took a peek in a lovely boutique on the way to the car.

On the way home, we stopped by our house to check the progress. There was a lot of work and noise going on inside, so we didn't want to bother going inside. Miss M's big, blue eyes started welling up with tears because she wanted to go inside so badly. She hadn't seen the inside yet. Husband carried her inside to take a peek at her soon to be home. She was thrilled! Sigh of relief that she likes it. I can hardly wait for it to be finished in three weeks. Bring on the move. I'm SO ready!

Older pic from Husband's iphone.

On the drive to the grocery store, the kiddos fell asleep. Husband stayed in the car while I hurried inside to grab a few things. I so enjoy a moment to myself at the store. Just me and the shopping cart, we can go pretty fast.

After getting back to my inlaws, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and play outside. Husband and Miss M played kick and catch with a ball while Mr. T explored the prickly, winter grass. I took the opportunity to finish choreographing the two dances I have been needing to work on.

There is something wonderful about dancing in the open air.

Sunday was a beautiful, relaxing day. We had a slow morning enjoying time together. Husband made coffeecake, and the kids gobbled it up. We went to a cousin's baby's blessing and enjoyed time with family and friends.

Spending the last few days with my family and creating our own schedule was beautiful and rejuvenating.

Hope you had a lovely weekend as well. Bring on the new week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lazy day lounging

The only thing that can make a lazy day better is lounging around in something comfortable and super stylish. Loving this darling hoodie from Anthropologie. I might wear a hoodie every day if it was this cute.

Hoping you enjoy a lazy day.

Photos via Anthropologie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Word of Wisdom Living

I stumbled upon a blog called Word of Wisdom Living in the beginning of January. At first glance, I knew I would be hooked. Word of Wisdom Living discusses the Mormon law of health, the Word of Wisdom, and the healthy benefits achieved by following it. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each post. I think our society is in much need of a diet makeover. By diet I don't mean "going on a diet" but how we eat on a regular basis - a lifestyle.

This past week, Mr. Hellewell visited the bread aisle at his local grocery store. His goal was to analyze the nutrient content of every type of bread. Such a daunting task! I was only semi-shocked at the results he found. Out of the 70 breads reviewed, only two met the criteria for being whole grain and having more grams of natural fiber than grams of sugar. Two! That's absolutely terrible! It's very disheartening to see our food supply in such pathetic shape.
Mr. Hellewell provides a simple plan for changing our diets one step at a time by giving a weekly challenge. We all know it's easier to make small changes over a long period of time than it is to make large changes in a small amount of time.

Head on over to Word of Wisdom Living and see what healthy changes you can make in your life today and in the weeks to come.

*To learn more about the Word of Wisdom go here.

All photos courtesy of Word of Wisdom Living by April Hellewell Dickson.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Physique 57 on sale!

Ever since hearing about Physique 57 a few years ago, I've been wanting to try it. The workouts look fun and similar to pilates and ballet exercises which are things I already love.

Thanks to Natalie over at Mormon in Manhattan for the heads up about the Physique 57 workout DVDs on sale at Gilt Groupe. Go check it out. I can't wait to try it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More than a ballet lesson

Last night in technique class, I had the girls write down their personal answers to five questions. I had been wanting to do this little activity for the past couple of weeks but hadn't yet.

Class had started off well, but after barre we got a little side-tracked talking about stretching different muscles and other body alignment questions. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to get the girls to think beyond their technique for a moment. Luckily, I had grabbed paper and pens as I ran out the door before class.

Here are the questions* I asked:

  1. Tell my why you want to dance.
  2. What do you want to learn from this class?
  3. How can I help you specifically?
  4. What can you do to make our class better?
  5. Where do you want dance to take you?

We laid on the floor on our stomaches with our heads pointing in toward the circle. Very relaxed and informal. As I thought of and asked each question, I wondered if I would get the responses I was hoping for. I wondered if they would take this little exercise seriously and go beyond the basic responses.

We finished up just as class time ended. I tucked the papers and pens in my bag and drove home. After eating dinner and putting Miss M and Mr. T in bed, I eagerly pulled out the papers.

As I read through the first girl's paper, my heart sank a little as I read the answer to question #5. She said, "I love to dance, but I'm not very good; so I don't know yet."

I remember having similar thoughts during my dancing days.

I have a great desire to teach the girls about the impeccable beauty of ballet and to love it as much as I do. But, there is more I need to teach them. I want them to push themselves to places they didn't know they could go. I want them to learn to be artists and not just technicians. I want them to find ways to express themselves and their emotions through dance. I want so much for them. I realized last night that, above all, I want them to love themselves. I want them to be happy with who they are and to strive for their best excellence.

I look forward to the upcoming classes where I can hopefully share a few small things I have learned in my own ballet-life journey.

*The above questions or similar questions are helpful for every aspect of life. I feel rejuvenated when I refocus my own desires and plans of action.

What helps you stay focused on your goals?

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