Just a Few of My Favorite Things in 2017

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a “What I’m Loving” post but here it is. At the end of the year it’s kind of fun to look back and think about little things that gave me great pleasure during the year, so here we go!

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

I recently discovered these lip oils by Clarins and I LOVE them. My favorites are mint and honey. They are a bit pricey but they just feel so darn good and they last a really long time – I’m still using the first one I purchased during the summer. This year has been really dry in my geographical climate, I mean like ZERO moisture in the air crumble up like a cracker dry and my lips along with the rest of my skin have been suffering. These lip oils look beautiful, no color really but tons of shine and deep, long-lasting moisture. Can’t recommend these enough.

Calm. com 

I think they won an app of the year award. And well done them! I love this app for guided meditation and I’ve tried a lot of them. I wanted to work on my meditation practice this year as a way to deal with stress, anger, frustration, all those bad feelings that happen when you are a human being but don’t want them to take over too much of your life. Tamara Levitt is the voice of calm.com and what a lovely soothing voice it is. A  nice sense of balance, not too much talking but enough to help a student of meditation learn. This year they added sleep stories, which are just that, stories narrated to listen to while you fall asleep. In addition, calm.com offers breathing tools, timers for non-guided meditation, a free and paid for features, and screen views with sound and or music. I used just the free app for several months but then paid for the full version and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend paying for the full features and get your meditation on.

Republic of Tea Peppermint Bark



I’m a coffee person. It’s probably part of my genetic code, my DNA strands, my blood on a cellular level.  I love it, love it. But I’m also trying to be more aware of health and trying to switch to tea and other healthy alternatives. This particular type of tea isn’t the MOST healthy ever, especially after I add a bit of sweetener but it’s heading in that direction. And truth is that I drink more water when I drink tea so that’s plus for me because I’m a bad bad water drinker. I’ve discovered a distinct appreciation of mint teas and this one has been a seasonal favorite.

Breaking Ballet


I’ve never been good at online programs of any kind. I get bored, distracted, and I’ve never been good with self-reporting accountability. But I’ve learned a lot about being able to work with online programs that have great communication, allow for questions and answers, and have a place for real-time accountability and an ability to support others and be supported. The online program Breaking Ballet fits that bill. I had the opportunity to email the creator of the program, Sarah Aspinall, and she’s great. Sarah is knowledgeable, helpful, and supportive of adult dancers. The workouts are serious but fun. They are doable as a single good long workout or to work out 10 to 15 minutes at a time. I’m going to dance again and I’m going to continue with Breaking Ballet as a method to help me train and get conditioned for dancing my way into 2018.

Find my post on my Breaking Ballet experience here.

2017 was pretty good to me, I traveled, I watched some crazy good ballet, I enjoyed some tasty eats, I played a lot, laughed a lot, I got to spend time with amazing friends, and I started working on my favorite research topics again and found a lot of joy in my work.

And these are a few of my favorite things… how about you, what were your favorite things this year?

Hello December

Son of a Nutcracker!

Who else will be watching this modern Christmas classic this month? Okay, I’ll admit it, I will probably watch this nonsense several times before the month is out. Come on, it’s a hysterical movie!!

And how many of you will be watching a Nutcracker… or maybe even dancing one? I haven’t purchased any tix yet but I’ve got a few really awesome options so I’ll probably see it twice this year. We’ve got the American Ballet Theater and the Miami Ballet here in Los Angeles so I’ve no excuses. Every year, of course, the Nutcracker brings up a lot of discussions because a lot of folks have some very deep-seated feelings about it. That’s my polite way of saying that a lot of y’all hate it. Can I admit to you that I actually teared up at a performance of the Nutcracker? I did. At the Nutcracker! In my defense it was my first time in London in the ridiculously gorgeous Royal Opera House and Alina Cojocaru was dancing and I was just freaking overwhelmed by the whole thing. Over-freakin-whelmed.

I still haven’t been back to dancing. I’ve been trying to deal with a lot of other changes in my life. Being a grown-up isn’t for the weak, I tell you! I’ve got a few acquaintances who like to make disparaging remarks about growing up and adulting. For the most part, I enjoy being an adult but sometimes it is so tough. And being an adult who loves ballet – LOVES ballet – that is tough too because as we are getting older it just isn’t the best time to take up dance or to try to get reacquainted after a long time off and injuries and discouragements are things that create walls, not bridges to long-held dreams like satin pointe shoes and standing at the barre in a pretty leotard. But like Buddy I hold on to an amount of childlike belief, even if it’s silly, I hold on to dreams and that bit of optimism that seems to come so naturally to kids. It’s this ability to be brave, to be bold, to be a bit audacious and even nuts when the occasion calls for it. And with Christmas coming, colorful lights and trees, waltzing sugarplums and dancing mice, I think it’s a great time to let that child out for a run. Join me?