The very first ballet I ever say was the Nutcracker. I was about eight or nine. I got to get all dressed up and my grandparents took me, just like they did with all the grandkids (well, the girls anyway). While, if I’m being honest, I don’t remember much of the actual ballet, I do remember loving it.
I’ve written about the Municipal Ballet a couple time before. For the holiday season, they were inspired by the McCune Mansion to reimagine the classic holiday story of the Nutcracker. For this immersive event, they “23-year-old Clara Silverhouse hosts a holiday party at her childhood home, drinks a bit too much absinthe and has an amazing adventure-filled dream.” I knew that Clara knew how to have a good time.
Every Municipal Ballet event is incredible and this one was no exception. They way they take classically trained dancers choreography and put it a unique twist on it that makes ballet approachable and utterly interesting.
On top of a fantastic ballet production, Municipal Ballet always teams up with a great musical group. For River of Rosewater, local band Pixie and the Partygrass Boys, who put an incredible spin on the beloved Nutcracker score.
If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend catching one of the Municipal Ballet events.
I hate being a cliche. But when it comes to overindulging during the holiday season, I’m afraid I’m guilty AF. In addition to all the treats and holiday parties, there’s just something that feels so right about curling up under a blanket next to the glow of the Christmas tree with a nice glass of wine or festive cocktail. Or two. Every night.
But the Christmas tree has been taken down now and after a month+ straight of that kind of hella-cozy behavior, it’s hard not to feel a little cocktailed out. But even when booze doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, there’s something about the ritual of mixing up a cocktail that’s so enticing. Which is why I have started stocking up on bitters from Bitters Lab.
All it takes is a little fruit juice, a few dashes of bitters, and club soda and I have a light, refreshing drink that totally satisfies my cocktail craving. My personal favorite juice options are pomegranate juice or fresh blood orange juice, but it really works with just about any juice you have on hand. This little concoction will be my go-to until I’m feeling ready to pop open another bottle of wine. Which, let’s face it, will probably be sooner than later anyway.
Getting a sketch that looks great in my head also look great when I finally get it on paper always proves more difficult than I expect. My mind’s eye tends to be much more advanced than my sketching ability. This usually leads me to creating a sketch, hating it, spending three+ days figuring out exactly WHY I hate it, modifying the idea, then re-sketching. The cycle might repeat itself at that point until I’m finally 70%-ish happy with it. Cliche as it may be, I tend to be my own worst critic. But the definite upside of all the sketching and re-sketching is that it forces me to practice my fashion illustration skills. That and the feeling I get when I look at a sketch and finally know it’s right.
I used to hate sketching because I constantly compared my illustrations with others. If my sketches didn’t look perfect, I felt like it was pointless. Recently it dawned on me that my end goal isn’t fashion illustration. My end goal is fashion design. And, wouldn’t you know it, since putting less pressure on myself to be perfect I’ve actually been moderately happy with the sketches I produce.
Once I make my last handful of tweaks to my current fashion illustrations I’ll be starting the process of editing my favorite designs down to four to six pieces to focus on so I can start creating samples. While I can’t wait to have the finished product in hand, I’m working hard at being patient and finding joy in the entire process. Turns out developing patience as an adult is hella difficult. So, we’ll see how it goes.
January is half over and I finally made it to the winter farmers market over the weekend. Eating seasonally is one of the few sustainable eating habits that actually feel doable for me, so I love seeing what’s in season at the downtown farmers market, even if I don’t exclusively do my produce shopping there.
Given that January feels particularly desolate to me, I was expecting the offerings at the market to reflect that. So I was pretty thrilled to see a decent selection of produce available. The winter farmers market is a fraction the size of the summer one, and that’s being generous. But because it’s smaller and less crowded I feel like it’s easier for me to pick out produce and even get to know the vendors.
As I was making my initial loop, I came up to Rino’s booth. When he saw me eyeing his produce he said, “What’s for dinner tonight? Let’s make a menu!” So now I officially have a crush on Rino. I picked up a bag of Brussels sprouts and he started giving me his favorite, simple way to prepare them. Then he did the same with a bag of beets. As I paid, he even handed me a printout for a recipe of Brussels sprouts with bacon and slivered almonds. I already can’t wait to visit him again at the next market.
At the other end of the market is a mother-daughter team. They were selling gorgeous tricolor carrots and I got to chat a little with the daughter as she weighed them out for me. Cutest pint-sized entrepreneur I’ve ever met.
And, of course, I couldn’t leave without snagging a bottle of Bitters Lab Aromatic bitters from a fellow Cocktail Clubber.
Between the delicious local produce and the friendly vendors, there’s just nothing like a farmers market visit to start a weekend off right.